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Contrarians, change and curiosity

This month’s Guest Blog is written by Pete Martin, creative director at The Gate Worldwide. Author of The True, The Good and The Beautiful, Pete shares Caffeine’s belief and practice for the need for speed in leadership. The funny thing about a private jet is how fast it takes off. The plane just sort of hops into the air. I …

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Need to lead? Need to read

  I am writing a book. As part of writing this book I am speaking to successful leaders of all kinds. Some lead large corporates, some lead start-ups, some lead opinion, some lead government policy, some lead charities. All are very different and each has their own approach to leadership. However, as you’d expect there are some recurring themes. One …

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Managing Business – What a shoe mender and an American General can teach us

  For those of you not familiar with Timpson – the nationwide chain of shoe menders – I’d urge you to read about them.  Timpson is a very successful privately owned business, with a remarkable management ethos. They call it ‘upside down management’; and it has a lot to teach us about managing business in volatile and uncertain markets. Managing …

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SuperTeams – Part Two: Real Life

  This month’s Guest Blog is written by Danny Herbert, a Caffeine Associate, communications strategist and expert in building brands. This blog follows on from David Kean’s piece examining Google’s research into team management and discovering what makes SuperTeams tick. It reflects on the implications of Google’s team management research for achieving greater productivity and better results from your teams …

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How to build a superteam at speed

  For two winters I worked in the French Alps as the resort manager for a chalet company. Our management team consisted of 4 people. Only four. You’d have thought we could get on, have a laugh, be the embodiment of a SuperTeam – rock it like the Rolling Stones. We were in the Alps all winter for pity’s sake …

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Electric eel or Catfish? Know your audience.

  Edith Sitwell, the British poet, critic and eccentric who died in the mid-1960s once described herself as, ‘an unpopular electric eel set in a pond of catfish” and anyone who’s ever pitched for business knows that sometimes, despite your best efforts, you’re the electric eel and the catfish ain’t buying. Destructive personality clashes can get in the way of …

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Manners maketh the manager

Last week we were talking about the right kind of purpose and how too often people assumed the purpose of business was a ‘tooth and claw’ fight to win at all costs. Then this week, I heard an article on Radio 4 about Donald Trump: while he was winning Republican primaries, he was losing among general public opinion because he …

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So your business is purpose-driven, but is it the right kind of purpose?

A few years ago, working for a Japanese consumer electronics company whose major competitors included Fuji, my colleague and co-author Shaun Smith asked the team what their leadership purpose was; the reply, after a pause, was, “F..k Fuji”. Destroying or displacing your competitor is certainly one kind of leadership purpose. It’s a mindset that sees business as a war game …

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Mastery in 6 minutes 40 seconds

This month’s Guest Blog is written by Eddie Selover, life and performance coach and organizer of PechaKucha Orlando. Eddie talks about PechaKucha and how it syncs up with how we live now. PechaKucha is a speaking format with a simple set of rules: each presenter has 20 slides, and each slide is on screen for 20 seconds. With the timing set on …

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Don’t let excuses excuse you from winning

Persuading people of our point of view and getting them to back our judgement with their money is what makes the business world go round.  The sharpest end of the persuasion business is the pitch: that intense and brief period where you get to make your case to the potential client.  And yet so many people in so many companies …