What is your role within ExecutiveSurf?
I am a partner at ExecutiveSurf, providing leadership, self-leadership and career coaching, plus training for the Global Talent Gateway members.
Your biography says you are a leadership coach, which sounds impressive. What does it entail?
It is a concrete role, assisting high potential leaders achieve their goals, by facilitating discussions on where they are NOW, where they want to be and what talents and potential they possess. Then follows the building of a personal action plan. My role as leadership coach is to keep the leader accountable for their progress and to help them deal with distractions and disasters along the way.
What makes a good leader; can you give some examples from business or sport?
A good leader is someone who uses minimum force to get a group of people to look inside themselves and apply their own strengths and competencies to the strategic mission. They will support the team through the change process and will get their executives to “own” their duties, customer relationships and the initiative required to bring success to the company.
Great leaders are; Jack Welch at GE, Lance Armstrong from cycling and Mike Tindall, of the England Rugby team.
Your background is in executive search; how has the industry changed and how do you see it going forward?
ES has changed beyond all recognition. From grinding human telephone-based research, supported by newspaper advertising, to unbelievable CRM and social media-driven innovations, that are getting more ingenious and powerful by the day. The process has been democratised, which puts the individual candidate in charge of their career destiny.
In the future, it will be only the “value added” executive search firms that will survive. For the others, their main search service will become fully automated and the human version will become obsolete, replaced by something very different.
You are the chair of SIETAR; what do they/you do?
SIETAR is a non-profit organisation; The Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research that is official partner to UNESCO. It provides a valuable platform for discussion around diversity, intercultural synergy and moving the corporate agenda forward, around difference, race and inclusion. It provides support for the many trainers, post graduate students wanting to pursue work in training, academic research and employment in the field of intercultural competence. I am fortunate to be president of the UK chapter of SIETAR. (www.sietar.org.uk)
What do you do to relax?
I walk in the Swiss mountains, laugh and debate with a diverse bunch of friends and make too many YouTube videos (“The Coaching Minute”).
Have you read any good books lately?
“Swiss Watching”, by Diccon Bewes, which is funny and true. Also “My Sh** Life So Far” (comedian Frankie Boyle’s autobiography), which is funny, but a lot less true.
Matthew Hill will be conducting a series of webinars for ExecutiveSurf. The first one, The Invisible You, is on the 9th May. (For webinar details, please click on the ‘Are You Invisible?’ panel, on the homepage).