Servant leadership: why being a servant leader is worth the work

Servant leadership may sound antithetic. Isn’t the role of a leader to guide and manage, rather than follow and serve? However, being a leader and being of service are not only compatible, their combination can lead to better outcomes than the sum of their parts. Instead of blindly following organisational goals, servant leaders prioritise the …

Read more

Using the goal gradient hypothesis to help people cross the finish line

Our perception of progress can impact our overall drive to reach a goal. The goal gradient hypothesis posits that our efforts increase as we get closer to achieving a goal: when the reward is in sight, we feel incentivised to reach the finish line. Designers and decision-makers can effectively use goal gradients as a motivational …

Read more

Pre-mortem: how to anticipate failure with prospective hindsight

Most people are familiar with post-mortem documentation, where team members come together at the conclusion of a project to record what went well and what didn’t. Fewer people have performed a pre-mortem before the start of a project. A pre-mortem is an exercise where we imagine that a project has failed, and where we work …

Read more

The Pygmalion Effect: an invisible nudge towards success

When I was in school, a friend of mine was offered the opportunity to coach the newly formed volleyball team. He didn’t think he had what it took to do a good job, but there was no one else better qualified, so he accepted. While they trained several times a week, my friend kept on …

Read more

Micro-wins: celebrating progress over success

I was having coffee with a friend today, and he told me how he made sure to celebrate his micro-wins. Celebrating victories is obviously not a new concept, but we tend to focus on the finish line and our biggest achievements. We rarely take the time to stop and appreciate the small, daily victories. Micro-wins …

Read more