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Slow & Steady? No one wants to work with a slow coach.

This month’s Guest Blog is written by Caffeine Associate and professional coach, Rebecca Morley.  Like Caffeine, Rebecca believes in the need to deliver sharpness, stimulation and growth at speed. We all know the one about the hare and the tortoise…if by any chance you have forgotten the story, let’s recap: The hare knows he’s the fastest of the forest animals …

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CORPORATE COURAGE VS. BREXIT BASHFULNESS

  We are slap-bang in the middle of ‘interesting times’. Leaders and potential leaders face monumental challenges, but also great opportunities. I’m referring not only to the political leaders caught in a whirligig of ‘What just happened?’ and a rollercoaster of ‘Who’s in control?’, but also to the business leaders as Brexit throws a firestarter of uncertainty into the tinderbox of …

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Cut the clichés and actually DO something

  We meet with clients every day. And we never miss a chance to ask them what they want from their professional service suppliers. When it comes to credentials meetings and pitches one of the most common bugbears – we’re told – is the trotting out of meaningless clichés. How many of these sound familiar? “We pride ourselves on our …

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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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Dinner Party Shame: A story of Brand Pride

  This week I’ve been a Dragon. It’s been fun. I’ve been part of a judging panel on a ‘Going Further’ competition where students from the 157 Group of Further Education Colleges pitch to redesign their brand website. It’s been smartly organised by Amy Fowler of the 157 Group and my fellow judges included Maggie Philbin, CEO of TeenTech, Ian …

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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 …