Posts Tagged ‘Leadership Development’

leadership development

Leadership Development Today

Posted on 14th September 2013 in Communication Skills Training, Leadership Development

Leadership development means that leaders must be able to reach beyond a reliance on only their cognitive ability to demonstrate other capabilities.

Just two decades ago, the majority of white-collar employees expected to be paid a modest salary, receive standard benefits and keep their job for years as long as they did what they were supposed to do. Few expected to be coached or developed. Fewer still expected their leaders to understand them, to be intuitive, to create energy, or to break down barriers and facilitate the flow of information. Times certainly have changed as these days top graduates see strong coaching, mentoring and leadership development programs as important as salary in choosing prospective employers.

New Behaviours

Leaders now need to protect, to inform and to have the strength of character to do the right thing. Which also means ‘fessing up’ when they haven’t done the right thing.

Behaving purely dispassionately and coldly analytically will distance you from the others. Good leaders need to be right in the mix, getting their hands dirty. It will be appropriate at times to display emotional connectedness and vulnerability – all believable human qualities.

Draw on head, heart or gut behaviours as differing situations and events demand.

Too often, leaders reflexively rely on their proven way of solving problems, approaching relationships or capitalising on opportunities. They automatically assume they can approach fresh challenges in the way they always have. They end up being partial leaders, which creates problems. I guess thats why the term innovation is bandied around so often these days. Innovation through conscious leadership development is needed as so many leaders have failed.

Leadership Development as Training Focus

As a consequence of a shifting landscape and greater focus on the actions of leaders, leadership development has grown rapidly as an area of study and training. There are a plethora of training options out there, offering everything from presentation impact to executive coaching to managing critical conversations to media skills training.

Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.

Dynamic Presenting – Enabling Powerful Communication

Bespoke Leadership Development

Leadership – It’s Something We Can All Do

Posted on 18th February 2013 in Communication Skills Training, Leadership Development

Leadership development is a fascinating growth area of study and research. Every day there are a million blog posts, tweets and updates on Facebook and LinkedIn around the broad notion of leadership and developing necessary skills to be deemed good at it. There are more “Top 10 Tips to become a CEO” than anyone who is actually working to become a CEO would have the time to read.

We at Dynamic Presenting have been guilty of getting in the mix and piling it all on the heap as well. Some articles and posts out there are very informative, engaging, sometimes amusing. Others are just repetition of well known nuggets of wisdom.

Do Leadership

When it comes down to it though, leaders simply have to DO leadership like an actor has to turn up on stage regardless of how rehearsals went and deliver what they have to. They have to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in, in whatever way they deem best. Just like learning to drive, there’s no point turning it into an academic exercise insisting that theory is all important. Get behind the steering wheel and get going. Each time you stall, you will learn more about your own resilience, determination and creativity than through any studied means.

Dynamic Presenting’s Bespoke Leadership Development

That’s why when we deliver bespoke training courses for our clients, we focus on their specific needs in the moment and are more than happy to change up our day’s agenda if that will yield greater benefits. We also place the accent very firmly on DOING many practical exercises…repeatedly.

See how Dynamic Presenting’s bespoke communication and presentation skills training could benefit you.

Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.

Dynamic Presenting – Enabling Powerful Communication

Leadership lessons film set

Leadership Lessons Learned from the Film Set….

Posted on 12th February 2013 in Film, Leadership Development

Leadership and all its attendant skills are perhaps the only role for the director on set. Everybody else from actors to crew to production assistants tends to have a pretty clear view of what they need to do and in a sense if th director wasn’t there they would all do their jobs with professionalism and aplomb. But the director is the one withe vision – quite literally in regards to a movie  and acts as the hub or conductor of the orchestra. Decisions have o made constantly and quickly by the director as the buck stops with them. Filming is a precarious, fraught, edgy business with many pitfalls, status games and consequent ongoing learning for all involved.

Film Director as Leader

Succinct, practical tips about film making and leadership from Nigel Cole, a TV and film director. Life on a film set can be pressurised with everyone looking to the director for decision after decision. Actors, cameraman, designer, script supervisor, 1st assistant director, make up…. etc. Everyone takes their leadership from the director. Yet a truly respected and supposedly talented director will not simply issue commands but will know how to communicate with and motivate those around him on set so that everyone’s creative talents are unleashed for the creative benefit of the film.

Truly effective leadership is called for on set to maximise the talents of everybody present. Understanding when to kick and when to stroke, as a theatre director once told me is the nub of the talent. In essence actors will give a good performance, the crew will do their roles with aplomb… In a way the director is the only person without a very specific role to perform.

Authoritarian Leadership

Clearly parallels exist with any other form of leadership where instant decision-making is needed. The age of the authoritative business leader, with some exceptions, seems to be largely over. Similarly, the film director who barks at his minions in a vain attempt to establish status and authority, is now a rare presence.

There is never enough time, budget or people to quite pull off the movie you wanted to or had in your mind’s eye when first imagining the finished film. The phrase “T’was ever thus” springs to mind. Business life is exactly the same. Leadership is routinely faced with competing demands, lack of resources, people management issues…

Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.

Dynamic Presenting – Enabling Powerful Communication

empathy leadership awareness

Empathy – Towards Empathic Leadership

What is empathy? If you think it’s lightweight, airy fairy, post-modern self-help delusion, then check out this short animation from Jeremy Rifkin and the Royal Society of Arts. Could just be that we are all soft-wired for empathy and that it evolved as more of a pragmatic behaviour. If we embrace this notion, there could be a multitude of ramifications for how we live and work.

Survival of the most Empathic

Empathy is the lubrication that maintains strong relationships and allows us to build trust with others both personally and professionally. Putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes and seeing something as the other guy does are invaluable survival techniques. When a child sees an adult obviously in a state of upset, it’s common for the child to offer their favourite toy to that adult in a bid to cheer them up. Often this seemingly selfless action surprises us.

But perhaps deep within our collective unconscious, this ability or skill is as fundamental as any form of communication. Perhaps in ensuring all members of the tribe are healthy and happy, our ancestors ensured the overall tribe and therefore the “selfish” or individualistic survival needs of every member were met. In other words, by using empathy we look after the collective and in doing so increase our personal survival.

Empathy for Leaders

Actors are truly aware of how to use and display their empathy. In approaching a role, the actor has to use her own experience and memory of events and emotions to connect with a character in a play. To really get a handle on how the character talks, walks, acts and feels, the actor has to stretch herself and explore human behaviour as fully as possible.

What learning then could be transposed for today’s business leaders? Many of whom are focused on the bottom line, share price, their own stock options, their personal profile… As opposed to really understanding the wants, needs, motivations and emotions of the people who are the organisation.

It’s a well worn cliche that “our people are greatest assets” or words to that effect. If you’re a business leader, isn’t it time you carved out time to understand your greatest assets..?

Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.

Dynamic Presenting – Enabling Powerful Communication


Be Authentic

Be Authentic – Attend a Conference as Yourself

How to be authentic? What does that actually mean? And who am I without my accomplishments – past, present or future? We all hang labels on ourselves and others. Indeed we’re pretty much trained to do this from the get go. We define ourselves by our jobs, specific roles, industry sectors, educational backgrounds, family backgrounds, race, religion…. But and this is kinda impossible to do, who are we if we could strip away those societal layers..? Would that stripped down person be our natural, authentic self..?

Meet New People

Intriguing and illuminating Harvard Business Review article on how to just be yourself when meeting new folk at a conference.

Many of us label ourselves according to our professional role and thats the prism we then view life through. When meeting people for the first time we tend to offer up “I’m an engineer” or “I’m an actor” etc quite readily. In so doing we label ourselves and attempt, albeit subconsciously, to restrict other people’s perceptions of us into the pre-determined arena we would rather they see us in.

It is controlling behaviour and smacks of inherent fear. Great advantages lie in store for those willing to temporarily suspend the importance of their titles, rank and status and just be in the moment. We are all imperfect and vulnerable. If we can trust ourselves to show some of that vulnerability to others, then those people will trust us – because they will see their own vulnerabilities reflected back – and so they will know us.

Allowing Ourselves to be Authentic

If we could allow our ego’s to chill out and just be in the moment, viewing the familiar and unknown with the same optimism then we get out of our own way. Then we strip layers of padding – our role, company etc – away and are more vulnerable and open to change and new experiences. Which in turn lead to new adventures as our authentic selves, personally and professionally.

Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.

Dynamic Presenting – Enabling Powerful Communication

Emotional Intelligence growth decade

Emotional Intelligence – Decade of Personal Growth

Awareness of Emotional Intelligence has grown rapidly over the last 10 years. A crucial area of analysis in terms of personal and professional development. The phrase was first coined by leadership figure and journalist Daniel Goleman.

Emotional intelligence is all about understanding your own emotional state in any given moment and being able to understand that of those around you as well. There are great personal benefits in understanding why you feel any particular emotion and being able to clearly distinguish and articulate what you are feeling is immensely powerful. Of course, this meat and drink to those of us who work in theatre and drama, where fundamental emotions are our stock in trade.

Report on Emotional Intelligence

Intriguing read about the development of “Emotional Intelligence” over the last 10 years, now viewed as a crucial area of analysis in terms of personal development and leadership. This report looks at 15 or so key composite areas within the field of Emotional Intelligence and offers insightss based on industry, age, gender, culture etc. Interestingly the self-employed tend to have a higher overall level of EI – something to be said for living as a forager and not relying on the falsehood of job security and making things happen…?

Why do business leaders lack Emotional Intelligence?

Perhaps surprisingly and despite an avalanche of research, discussion and debate, many C-suite leaders are still emotionally inept. Why is that? A recent survey concluded that middle managers often have far more emotional intelligence than those at the top of organisations. Could it be that they are more skilled in people management as they have to make people related decisions everyday? Whereas the average CEO rarely has to encounter the same number of ground troops.

Perhaps organisations are still focused on tangibles and hard figures above all else. A decade of emotional intelligence is just the beginning…

Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.

Dynamic Presenting – Enabling Powerful Communication

emotional intelligence ten years

Emotional Intelligence. 10 Years Strong

Emotional Intelligence has garnered a lot of focus and press coverage of late. Now, some 10 years after the concept was born, it has proven to be much more than just a fad. Indeed, as a concept it has gained a lot of respect amongst business leaders. There are many training courses offering workshops in developing emotional intelligence. And the phrase has now passed into common, everyday usage.

The higher up in an organisation you climb the more important it is to be emotionally intelligent. Managers who score higher on a test of EI report less stress, higher morale and experience less illness.

Safety & Survival

One of the first principles of human behaviour is safety and survival. To that end we are constantly scanning our environment for danger, both consciously and unconsciously. Emotions (fear, anger, sadness, joy & disgust) are one major and rapid pathway for alerting us toward challenge and threat in our environment. We also use emotions to communicate this information to others. Recent research has shown that the brain has specific areas dedicated to processing emotional information (Joseph LeDoux – `The Emotional Brain’).

21st century survival is as much about self-preservation in the social and psychological world as it is in the physical. So emotional intelligence is really about our ability to integrate our emotions with our cognitive thoughts. Thereby ensuring our everyday safety and survival in the modern world. And like other forms of intelligence some people are better at it than others.

Research into Emotional Intelligence

The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations was founded in 1996. It was set up to aid the advancement of research and practice related to emotional intelligence in organizations. The following research projects and articles are provided by the Consortium.

Some further recommended tools to test your emotional intelligence:

Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.

Dynamic Presenting – Enabling Powerful Communication


Change Management – London Market Professionals

Leading change management professionals were in attendance to hear Sartaj Garewal speak at a unique, new event for insurance and change management professionals. This will be the first of several events by London Market Professionals. This aims to create a forum for influential figures within the London insurance market to meet and exchange views. Professor Roger Maull’s keynote speech addressed ‘New Models in the Digital Economy.’ Sartaj Garewal and Roger Oldham  jointly delivered a session on ‘Human Dynamics of Change.’


Change Matters

‘CHANGE Matters’ will become a regular forum for experienced change management professionals. An opportunity for those who work in the London insurance market to meet, network and discuss key issues, drivers and concerns of the day.

The overall aspiration is to enhance the standing, knowledge and awareness of those responsible for change management delivery in the London Market. CHANGE Matters meetings will be held every 2-3 months. These events will involve presentations from experienced change management professionals and keynote speakers on topics of mutual interest. The mission is to add value to the change community. Audience interaction will be encouraged. Where the event adds value to a individual’s knowledge and skill set, it may qualify for continuing professional points, depending on the rules of the respective governing professional body.

Build your social network

The post event drinks gatherings are an important part of the LMP events. They will allow practitioners to interact with their peers, exchange viewpoints and build social networks. The meetings will be held in central venues such as the London Underwriting Centre. The Lloyd’s Building is another likely venue.  LMP was founded by Brian Groves and Roger Oldham in January 2012.

What happens at Change Matters events?

We will be inviting quality speakers from the world of change management, education, learning and from our own sector too. The aim is to assist attendees with their professional development. Allow them to discuss and debate matters of common interest and meet their peers in a friendly social environment.

How often will the events be held?

At least four – six times annually. Late in the afternoon on a Thursday to ensure as little impact on the working day. And allowing people the freedom to stay on for an hour afterwards to socialise over a glass of wine.

Who should attend?

Especially aimed at change management professionals working in the insurance sector. But also for anyone with an interest in operational change.

How much does it cost?

Nothing, it is completely free to all change management professionals.

What’s in it for me?

Knowledge, education, opinions, questions, panel discussions. And crucially, social interaction with like minded change management professionals.

We have big plans for LMP including numerous added benefits for members. Further training, education and wider social events will bring together members of the HR Matters, Legal & Compliance Matters and Cloud Matters groups.

Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.

Dynamic Presenting – Enabling Powerful Communication

investor pitching for social entrepreneurs

Investor Pitching Skills for Social Entrepreneurs

Dynamic Presenting provided a series of workshops on investor pitching for social entrepreneurs. Sartaj Grewal advised entrepreneurs with social, educational and community based business ideas on how best to pitch to potential investors and win start-up funding. The focus was on communicating personal stories and emotional selling.

Village Capital – Pitching for Investment

Village Capital is an incubator program, started in 2010, which has been run in New Orleans, Boulder, Mumbai and San Francisco. It has been cited as “#1 Trend to Watch in 2010” on; featured in Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine and Beyond Profit. So far, the program has incubated 82 entrepreneurs selected from over 500 applications and developed amongst other skills, their investor pitching ability.

The first European Village Capital, was hosted at Hub Westminster, as a twelve week program designed for entrepreneurs to accelerate their for profit social businesses. In workshops focused on fundraising, marketing and designing for impact the 16 participants will develop the core skills needed to attract investment and scale their businesses as well as receiving mentoring and coaching from our team of experienced advisors.

At the heart of Village Capital lies the belief that entrepreneurs benefit from building peer networks for review and support. The program culminates in peers selecting two entrepreneurs that receive investment prizes of £50,000 each.

The next Village Cpital Programme for Spring 2012 will be announced shortly. For enquiries email

Nominet Trust Accelerator

Nominet Trust’s project partners can take advantage of our Accelerator Programme delivered by Merism Capital

The programme delivers a seminar series which includes topics such as “scaling up a social enterprise” and “pitching for investment”. Project partners also benefit from access to mentors and experts who can help them address specific challenges facing their organisation.

The sessions are led by a variety of speakers with specific expertise in different areas. Spring 2012 sessions are:

  • The Impact Investment Landscape
  • Measuring Social Impact and Value
  • Assessing different business models
  • Investor pitching
  • Company structures and due diligence
  • Growing pains
  • Marketing
  • Exit strategies from the investor and organisational perspective
Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.

Dynamic Presenting – Enabling Powerful Communication


Fear of Public Speaking – The King’s Speech

Whatever your misgivings about public speaking, spare a thought for poor old George VI.  He was a highly private man called to a highly public role during one of the most tumultuous periods in modern history.  George spent his young years in the shadow of his glamorous elder brother Edward until he was crowned king in 1936.

The nascent technology of wireless radio had forced new responsibilities on to the King.  Before he had been expected to address occasional select gatherings of worthies and notables, now he was expected to address the nation.

Weight of Expectation

When called upon to address even a small room full of people, many of us feel the weight of expectation sitting on our shoulders and the terrible dread that we might mess things up in front of an audience. This is quite literally the stuff of nightmares: to be exposed in front of our colleagues as not quite up to it. With this mind it is little surprise that many people do everything they can to avoid any public speaking engagements. However, as we journey through our careers becoming more senior, the prospect of giving presentations and speeches increases considerably.

If it’s possible to get that worked up about a small presentation, one must suppose that George’s anxieties were of a different order given that he had to address the British public on the subject of war, a task made infinitely more gruelling by the fact that he had a stammer. This would seem to be fate demonstrating quite clearly that if nothing else, she has a sense of humour; our first war-time monarch of the broadcast age had a stammer!

Tackling the Fear

If you have seen Tom Hooper’s excellent ‘The King’s Speech’, you will of course know all of this already and without wishing to spoil the film for anyone yet to see it and do see it – it’s terrific,George VI tackles his fear of public speaking by consulting a speech therapist, Mr Logue, who turns out not to be a doctor but an actor. While the King is initially horrified to discover the man he thought to be a nice respectable doctor is in fact a member of one of the least reputable professions going, the acting profession, he is won around eventually. 

You may find your mind wandering down the same tracks as the King’s and wonder to yourself what possible use an actor could be. Well an actor’s job is to connect with audiences, if you’ve ever been to the theatre or cinema and found yourself captivated by a performance then you know what I’m talking about.  As Mr. Logue demonstrates in The King’s Speech, the skills actors use can be taught, even to someone as unprepossessing and in the grip of public speaking fear as George VI.

Dynamic Presenting

That in a nutshell is the whole point of Dynamic Presenting, to analyse your style of presentation, pitching and public speaking to locate weak spots and to help supplement these with skills and techniques which have stood the test of time.  So if you want a consultation fit for a King, even if your problems aren’t quite on the same scale as George VI’s, drop us a line and we’ll start with a chat…

Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.

Dynamic Presenting – Enabling Powerful Communication