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What your leadership style? How to you keep your resilience when the going gets tough? How do you create ‘follow-ship’ in your team? Check out the posts below to find out more.

Inhale Oxygen and breathe… An interview with coach and social entrepreneur Lily Lapenna-Huda

After two days digitally marooned in the beautiful Berkshire countryside, surrounded by 90 leaders keen to discuss the challenges faced by those who want to change the world for the better through business, coach and social entrepreneur Lily Lapenna-Huda reflects on Oxygen and on her own leadership.

“Transforming the worst school in Britain” An Interview with Wavelength SpeakersHub’s Drew Povey

In 2003 the school’s inspector, Ofsted, branded Harrop Fold School in Salford “the worst school in the country” putting it into special measures, the lowest rating a school could have.

Behaviour was so bad that two local bus companies refused to transport pupils attending the school and a quarter of school-leavers went on to be classed as NEET (not in education, employment or training). Worse still, the school had inherited a financial deficit which was the largest of any school in the country.

“My headteacher told me I was an existentialist!” An interview with Jude Kelly

”At fourteen years old I was creatively destructive,” says SpeakersHub speaker Jude Kelly “I got in with a bad crowd and things were spiralling out of control in my life until my head teacher told me to go and set up a drama group in the school.”

“He told me that he thought I was an existentialist and I needed a creative outlet to channel my search for purpose in life.”

Guardian CEO David Pemsel on navigating the disruption affecting his organisation and sector

Media is the industry most disrupted by the digital and software revolution. The 200 year old Guardian has undergone a wholesale change to the foundational components of its business: from its operating model to its infrastructure; what it sells, to whom and how it goes to market. In this video, David talks honestly about the challenges facing his business and sector and how he and the senior team at the Guardian are doing to navigate their new world.

On leadership success and significance

We recently completed Connect, our (eighth) annual six-month leadership experience for 90 people including senior leaders from engineering, media, financial services, housing, energy and retail. These are leaders on their way up, average age early to mid forties, bright, ambitious, keen to learn.

To be human after all

“Organisations are non-entities, people are organisations”.
Dr Aravind Srinivasan, Aravind Eye Care System

However much we like to imagine we’re in control of Connect, we know what happens in the room (garden, tent, field, amphitheatre) and what plays out in each of our minds as we walk away cannot be planned.

Stunning two days of sunshine and learning at Sheepdrove!

Here’s a glimpse into the wonderful couple of days we had down on the farm at Sheepdrove for our last event of Connect 2017, Reconnect. It sure was HOT HOT HOT but what a beautiful setting! Some great photos of our fantastic Connect 2017 members along with our fabulous speakers.

Everything you always wanted to know about storytelling and leadership but were too afraid to ask

“I didn’t make things worse.”

This is how Sir Martin Narey described his time as Director General of the Prison Service of England and Wales during one of our Leadership Masterclasses. Not what one ordinarily hears from a leader but then Sir Martin is no ordinary leader. He’s an inspiring individual and an accomplished storyteller, and the core narrative he uses to describe this chapter of his leadership story – the last-choice-for-the-job, unheroic, lonely leader failing to make the difference he so passionately aspires to – is compelling but it’s also a fiction. A fiction in the way that all stories purporting to be about reality are fiction. Because creating coherence from the raw mess of lived life involves choosing what to include, what to exclude and what framing will best martial the chaos.

We share what Wavelength observed & learnt on Best in Class 2017

Stepping into other organisations is a powerful way to sharpen focus on your own culture, organisational effectiveness and leadership. Not because the organisations visited on Best In Class are perfect but because they help illuminate what’s strong, precious and worth building on in your own organisation alongside those flaws, deficits and areas of underperformance that must be addressed. Moreover, the visits provide invaluable inspiration and ideas for how to tackle them.

So what of this year’s cohort of BIC organisations?

On Your Marks, Get Set… Go Raise the Bar

As I pulled in to Sheepdrove this week, I was instantly reminded of my time as a Connect member in 2014. The sense of excitement, anxiety and the re-emergence of that pesky imposter syndrome were instantly with me. It also recalled the friendships and connections that I had made at my On Your Marks and indeed the personal transition I have been through since; from Connect member to being part of the Wavelength team.

Illustrations of the talks from Connect 2016 On Your Marks event

Our wonderful illustrators, Matt and Danny, produced these illustrations live at On Your Marks as our speakers were speaking. A wonderful record of the stories and insights each speaker shared with us. Click on each to view a larger image and enjoy!

Purpose, Flow and Letting Go

At our recent Connect event, former Director of Performance at UK Sport, Peter Keen CBE, ran an in-depth workshop with a small number of members exploring Putting Purpose to Work, Creating Leadership Excellence. The session received outstanding feedback from the lucky few who got to be part of it and we asked Graham Hodgkin, CEO, London’s Air Ambulance for his reflections on this session for those of us who missed out.

Some stimulating reading and videos ahead of Wavelength USA Tour 2015!

Wavelength USA is one of our two annual study tours. Wavelength USA gives our participants unique opportunities to get inside some of America’s most pioneering and successful businesses and into the heart of the digital revolution in Silicon Valley.

Ever have days when you can’t be arsed? Hear what Greg Dyke, Jude Kelly and Martin Narey have to say….

At On Your Marks in 2013, one of our members was brave enough to ask what we all want to know… it’s easy to stand up and talk about leadership but surely there are days when even our first class speakers lack a little motivation of their own?

On Your Marks?

Three days with 120 people on an organic farm in Berkshire.

Three packed days hearing from: British, American and Danish serial entrepreneurs; an eye surgeon from India; a Baroness who earned her title through service to sport; UK MD of a global furniture retailer whose most popular product is named Billy; evangelists from an airline that’s been profitable for a straight 43 years and from a luxury hotel chain with “Ladies and Gentlemen” not employees; the Co-Founder of the first funky business magazine, Fast Company, and former talent champion of the number one business oriented social networking site LinkedIn; and from the sustainability and partnership lead in a company innovating to reduce cows’ flatulence (among other planet-positive things).

George Evers shares his highlights of Wavelength Connect 2014

I arrived at Sheepdrove, the first venue of my Connect year, with the final leg of the journey being a beautiful drive through a misty countryside. Reassuringly, the signal on my Blackberry disappeared just as we arrived. Always a bitter sweet moment.

What is Resilience and how can we improve it? A summary of Wavelength’s Reconnect 3 event from Diana Man

Reconnect 3, the final event for the Wavelength Connect 2014 Members. And what an event it was! The theme of the day was Resilience. As the Members get ready to fly the Connect Nest and head out into the big wide world putting everything they have learned into practise, they will certainly need it!

Geoff McDonald, Former Global VP HR Marketing, Communications, Sustainability and Water at Unilever asks: Does your company matter to people?

Unilever is on a journey, you could even say a leap of faith, to make the world a better place.  This talk by Geoff McDonald, Global VP HR – Marketing, Communications, Sustainability & Water at Unilever, makes us believe the world, despite the environmental and social challenges it faces, will be OK.

Nick Stace, CEO, RCVS asks: how much do we care?

The 19th Century author and humourist Mark Twain once said that “the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Little did he know then that his simple but painfully exposing challenge would force some of Britain’s top leaders to contemplate the meaning of their lives, the importance of their work and the human values that drive them.

What’s the biggest challenge facing leaders today?

No-one said leadership is easy.  In this video various leaders from different types of company around the world discuss some of the main challenges facing them in the current business climate.  It’s interesting to note how many of these leaders talk about the new challenges they now face in this digital world of the internet and constant communication.

Dave Ridley from SouthWest Airlines on Servant Leadership

In this short video, Dave Ridley, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at SouthWest Airlines, explains that Servant Leadership is nothing complicated or new.  It is merely an extension of the eternal principle – treat others as you would like them to treat you.

Posted in: Dave Ridley Leadership

Dave Ridley from SouthWest Airlines on the importance of humility in leadership

One of the challenges all leaders face as they succeed in their careers is not to assume that past successes must inevitably lead to future successes. In this short video, Dave Ridley, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at SouthWest Airlines puts the case that leaders should “always be learners” about their leadership style and have the humility to recognise that they might need to change.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made in business?

How often do you hear leaders honestly sharing their mistakes and what they learnt from them? As one of the contributors says in this film: “People always learn more from other people’s mistakes then from their triumphs.” Some of Wavelength’s speakers reveal their deepest secrets – always fascinating, sometimes shocking, it’s compelling viewing!

On Your Marks Stimulography

Our Connect members were exposed to a vast array of great content and stimulus at On Your Marks 2013.  Here is our stimulography of some of the resources mentioned during the talks. Hawthorne Experiments Gerard Van Grinsven Marketing Myopia – …

Dave Ridley from Southwest Airlines on How to be a Chief Encouragement Officer

Dave Ridley, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Southwest Airlines says to be a great CEO we need to recognise “people need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed”. Watch Dave talk about being a Chief Encouragement Officer, and the power of being told you’ve done a good job.