You’ll only succeed in continually improving your results if you’re focused upon continually developing those who work for you – and you’ll not be able to help them to develop unless your own self-development is almost obsessional…

Here’s a selection of articles for leaders on all aspects of self-development.

Writing Executive Summary Sections

Writing Executive Summary Sections

Writing executive summary content for your proposal is one of the most critical writing exercise in the whole proposal writing process. This module will take you step by step through write executive summary sections that really sell what you’re proposing. Writing Executive Summary Sections: First or Last? You’ll frequently read advice suggesting you write your executive summary first and then use it it as a sort of outline for your proposal – my strong advice is precisely the opposite. The danger with writing executive summary sections too early in the process is that you will almost certainly need to rewrite them later when you review your finished proposal. You’ll definitely find it is missing points which you will by then have realized are absolutely critical to the success of your proposal. Instead, I strongly advise that you plan on writing executive summary content only after the rest of your proposal has been written and polished, and you are absolutely clear on the messages that you wish to communicate to your client with the proposal. To get your proposal to that stage check out modules 3-9 in my FREE Business Proposal Writing course. Why Bother Writing Executive Summary Sections at all? The Executive Summary serves two main purposes, namely: To provide an overview for senior management readers To provide a summary and proposal ‘road-map’ orienting all readers. An Overview for Senior Management Readers Not everyone in the client organisation who will have an input into the proposal assessment process will have the time to read your proposal in great detail. Many of the more senior members of the proposal assessment... read more

Protected: Centering

Note: this article is a detailed version of the section on ‘Centering’ found in Deiric McCann’s Reflective Practice Assignment entitled ‘The Integration of Mindfulness and Executive Coaching’ completed for the Smurfit Business School’s Diploma in Business and Executive Coaching  For many years those involved with helping people deal with stress have promoted a practice called ‘centering’.  The term ‘centering’ seems to have been popularised in the west as one used to describe a core practice in the martial art of Aikido.  Think of your reaction to stress: most people tend to hunch their shoulders, take shallower breaths, and thereby increase their heart rate – resulting in a vaguely out of control feeling.  In a fight this sense of stress would obvious be even greater than in a physically non-threatening but stressful everyday situation. So, in Aikido, centering is employed as a way of managing this energy in a fight situation. Everyday stress situations induce in us the exact same ‘fight or flight’ type physical reactions experienced by those engaged in a fight: the body is flooded with adrenalin, the heart rate increases, muscles tense up, and the ability to focus upon small everyday tasks is completely inhibited as the entire body prepares to deal with a perceived threat – to the exclusion of absolutely everything else (the ‘deer in the headlights’ reaction).  The fact that the typical everyday business ‘threat’ poses no physical danger makes no difference to the resulting set of physical reactions – we still respond automatically in precisely the same manner. Through the eyes of the Aikido practitioner this sort of stress is wasteful and unfocused energy... read more
Proposal Strategy Development – the Key to Success

Proposal Strategy Development – the Key to Success

Proposal strategy development is one of the critical first steps in making your business proposal a winner. You would not run your business without a business strategy – neither should you write a proposal without a clear strategy to ensure its success. Here’s a step-by-step guide to proposal strategy development that all of your proposals are on target. Generic Strategies Think about some past deals you may have pursued, particularly those where you ultimately won the business on the basis of a proposal.  Now consider why you won that business. Most decisions reflect the purchaser’s concerns at the time the decision is made, and most can be traced back to one, or a combination, of the following concerns: Cost You might well have won the business for one of the following reasons: Lowest price, or Best price/performance, or Return on Investment (ROI). Technical Aspects In this instance the lead decision-maker was most likely a senior technical officer in the client organisation. You will likely have won because of: Superior specifications, or Programme/solution design, or Better technical personnel. Quality A quality orientation can manifest itself in either of two ways: “Snob” value, or Proven high quality/reliability. Competitiveness There are two ways in which you may have found your proposals were successful on the basis of competitiveness: The extent to which you proved that your solution was vastly superior to that of any of your competition, or The extent to which you convinced your client that your solution would afford them some significant competitive edge over their own competition — an edge which would not be afford them by any other vendor’s... read more


Leadership Charisma  – The Audio Book Charisma for its own sake is good for little more than your ego – but put it to work in service of your business and its impact can be enormous. Focused properly, Leadership Charisma fosters an environment where every one of your people has a positive and energetic attitude, is emotionally and intellectually committed to your vision, and is inspired to contribute his or her very best. In this book you’ll read how new research with more than 40,000 leaders worldwide shows precisely what successful charismatic leaders do to develop their personal and commercial charisma. Following our step-by-step guide you will not only learn how to be more personally charismatic, but also harness your charisma to achieve superior bottom-line results for your business. You’ll discover: The four-step Leadership Charisma Model that will make you a more charismatic leader. How to make a charismatic impression on everyone you meet. How to dramatically increase the charismatic impact of your one-on-one communications. How to make your talks and presentations charismatic. How to manage your people for maximum engagement, productivity and profitability. To listen to, or to download, the latest chapter press the ‘continue’ link. Test Driving ‘Leadership Charisma’ – In Audio Form Leadership Charisma is one of the most attractive books you’ll ever read – we produced it in full color, on great quality paper, to make the content more accessible (have a look at a sample chapter here), and to allow us to provide better illustrations of key concepts.  So an audio version is not the ideal test drive!  However, it will give you a great insight into the... read more


Employee Recognition Works! Want to start today to dramatically raise the engagement of your team and rocket their productivity? One study by Towers Perrin showed that a leader recognizing good performance can raise employee engagement by as much as 60% – and raising engagement dramatically raises productivity and bottom line results. Best of all it doesn’t cost a cent! Here’s a step-by-step guide for making it work for you. Why does it work? Employee recognition is extremely powerful because it triggers employs two powerful responses common to every single being on the planet – one physiological and one psychological. Physiology: It’s Chemical! When you’re praised by someone, particularly someone you respect, your brain responds with a release of the brain’s feel-good chemical, Dopamine. Without Dopamine it’s pretty much impossible to feel pleasure. This is the chemical that gives the runner her high, those in love their intense feelings of well-being, and even provides the highly pleasurable sensation that comes from eating chocolate or making love. Recognizing employees works because our brain chemistry is wired to respond positively to praise – and we naturally respond by unconsciously repeating the behavior necessary to get another dose of this feel good chemical. Recognition encourages the repetition of the desired behavior. But there’s another psychological factor that multiplies the effectiveness of recognition – the so called ‘Norm of Reciprocity’. Psychology: The ‘Norm of Reciprocity’ There is a universal human response psychologists call the ‘Norm of Reciprocity’. Most people feel an involuntary sense of obligation to return the favor when someone treats them kindly – even when that service was unsolicited, and even if the... read more

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"The Power of Leadership Charisma"
Deiric McCann, recent presentation in Slovenia

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