“Arrogance is a formula for Leadership Failure” – A Conversation with John Smart

August 8, 2017 © Copyright Glomacs

John Smart is an acclaimed leadership expert with over 30 years of experience in the field. Many of our clients call him one of the absolute best leadership communications trainers and coaches working today.  To gain some insights into his thoughts on leadership, we had a chance to interview him. Here you can learn more about the talented keynote speaker, his inspirational sources and the three necessary elements for great leadership.

 So, without further ado, we’d like to introduce today’s guest: John Smart.

 What is the most common mistake you see made by leaders?  

For me, personally, one big mistake is arrogance. If you have been promoted to that level then people must have seen in you certain qualities and attributes that they admire, so don’t over-play them with arrogance. Have confidence yes, but there is fine line between confidence and arrogance, and it’s the latter that is always the downfall for some very good leaders.

What is the most important tip you can give for developing leadership skills? 

Keep learning: know yourself, believe in yourself and invest in yourself. Simple. Self-knowledge and awareness are key factors, knowing your limits, both in your strengths and weaknesses can save a lot of pain and heartache in the long-run.  To do this requires questioning and enquiry, emotional intelligence, as well as acceptance, seeking new ideas  and thoughts.  Investing in yourself encompasses your own personal development to become a better you.

What book would you recommend to someone taking on new leadership roles?

That for me is a very difficult question.  All Leadership books I read have good and bad areas in them with some small pearls of wisdom contained, whether that’s Steve Jobs’ autobiographies, Covey’s ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, right through to  Dale Carnegie’s pioneering book from the 1930’s, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’  Seek a topic or person that intrigues or inspires you and start there.

Which leader has had the biggest personal influence on your life?  

I know you’ve asked for one! – but I have to mention two people who have had the biggest influence on my ‘business and academic’ life. These may not be your stereotypical leaders, but each have qualities that I admire for different reasons.  Kurt Lewin, (Psychologist and Behavioural Scientist, 1930’s) and Muhammad Ali (Boxer, World Heavy Weight Champion).  Kurt Lewin, because many of the leadership, team dynamics, change and group behavioural theories were originally  identified and formulated by him, then copied by many in various guises and adapted over the decades.  (Covey, Jobs, et al, would have nothing to write about without his work.)  Muhammad Ali – purely because of his mental attitude, tenacity and commitment: ‘to be the  greatest’.

Who can benefit from leadership coaching?

I think a simple answer could be everyone, not just the Coachee.  Good coaching, I believe, creates the ‘ripple effect’.  Undoubtedly the person being coached benefits, which in turn will make them feel better; feeling better will produce a more positive attitude, which in turn will be felt by others around them and the team, either through direct or in direct actions and communication.  This in turn creates a better working atmosphere and environment which is picked up by other departments and so on and so on.  

Describe how your coaching sessions works?

In my coaching training sessions, I use a combination of the best models and theories  on the market ensuring that the delegates get the widest, yet the most comprehensive development.  This includes a large time spent on developing interpersonal skills, building rapport, question structure and getting the best from the Coachee. During 20 years of coaching, I have developed a very effective, yet simple, method of documenting the coaching session, making the session and output visual as well as ensuring accountability of the Coachee’s actions.  This is a very powerful tool which ensures that the person being coached takes responsibility for the next steps, their own development and implementation.  In addition, I  also use a very powerful feedback technique that involves a proven Psychology technique to ensure that not only is feedback given correctly, but it is fully understood and the actions needed to correct the situation are formed by the individual.  This ensures commitment from the individual to change the consequence of their initial action. 

What is the first step someone should take if they are interested in your coaching services?  

I would say the first step would be to get in touch with us. Visit our website for more information on our programs. Send us an email to info@glomacs.ae or give us a call at (971-4) 425 0700. We would be pleased to discuss whether and how we can be of help for your specific situation.

Well said! Thanks for stopping by, John – it was lovely to have you here.

John’s upcoming training sessions are now available on Glomacs, as well as other popular Management and Leadership, Learning & Development themes . If you’d like to find out more information about an upcoming event or if you have plans to schedule a customized coaching session exclusively for your team , get in touch with us. Visit our website for more information on our programs. Send us an email to info@glomacs.ae or give us a call at (971-4) 425 0700. We would be pleased to discuss whether and how we can be of help for your specific situation.

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