John Amaechi OBE is an organizational psychologist, best-selling author, and CEO of APS Intelligence Ltd. In 2019, John was recognized as one of HR’s most influential thinkers by HR Magazine. John is the first Briton to have a career in the NBA. John is a Chartered Scientist, a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health. He is a Research Fellow at the University of East London and his research interests are effective, inclusive leadership, building high-performing teams, and organizational design that maximizes productivity and human thriving in readiness for the future world of work.
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- “Excellence is in the mundane.” The hours and hours of work when no one is watching.
- Effective feedback – If it’s not developing them, it’s not feedback. And feedback is never cruel. Ask, what can we learn from this?
- The evidence-based traits he shared about effective leadership:
- Emotional literacy
- Coaching Approach
- Clarity & Direction
- “Promises have an enormous impact when kept by giants. And a devastating impact when broken. To keep these promises, unconditionally and persistently, is the duty and honor of being a giant.”
- “You can’t be a part-time man of principle.”
- There is a difference between elite teams and a group of elite individuals. We want to build elite teams.
- Look at how you reward people — What gets measured, gets managed. Reward people for being great teammates.
- People must earn and maintain their job titles.
- Coaching leaders:
- Start at the end – What does great look like?
- Introspection – How well do you know yourself?
- Pragmatic – Measure real progress
- Introspective work – view yourself critically, but not cruelly
- “You need people around you to be truly candid and caring.”
- John and his team take an analytical approach – “I have a geek squad and we analyze data.”
- They use expertise to provide commentary on the data
- Feedback – It must be timely and effective. Do regular micro-appraisals. What made you think of that? What can we learn from this?
- If it’s not developing them, it’s not feedback
- Feedback is never cruel
- Mantra: “I promise to reject excuses and embrace discomfort.”
- You can’t skip to comfort…
- The Promises of Giants is the product of a lifetime spent observing and studying effective leadership – from accompanying his mother’s visits to her dying patients to competing at the highest levels of professional sport, through two decades of management consulting with multinational corporations. These experiences have shown that everyone has the ability to act decisively to influence the world in a positive way.
- Everyone is a giant to someone…
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Really enjoyed this podcast! Thank you John and Ryan. Your comment about high-performing team versus high-performing individual struck a chord. My cofounder and global management influencer Michael Watkins wrote an article in Harvard Business Review entitled, “When is Teamwork Really Necessary,” which speaks to the difference between the two and the roles within.