How to Get Your Project Managers to Tell You the Unvarnished Truth
Very few people like to have to say “please listen: my project is a dog’s dinner” and, in many organizations, the culture of project management discourages raising such red flags. Gretchen Gavett recently published an article, “The hidden fa [more]
Four Keys to Unlocking Motivation
Early last week I facilitated a ½ day workshop on leadership at the 1st Post-Doc Days at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. One of the topics we discussed was motivation, the topic that researchers ask most questions about. Science is not for the fain [more]
Beyond Boring – How to inject life into your presentations
Leadership has moved on since the time of the Roman emperors and nowadays leaders need to be able to rely on their communication skills to influence others to ensure that goals are met. A few years ago I published a blog article He wants Subjects, V [more]
How Science can help solve the Enneagram’s Credibility Problem
A key characteristic for leaders is to be able to understand and deal with different types of people or characters. In my work I make use of a model of personality, the Enneagram, that my clients find useful in understanding themselves and their coll [more]
5 nuggets of 2400 year-old leadership wisdom
One recent Sunday evening I stumbled across Yannis Simonides’s performance in the one-man show Socrates Now in Athens. I had decided to visit Athens on my way back from delivering a to-day leadership programme for the Nucleosome4D network, as a cu [more]
Leadership is another of those things that people find hard to define, but can recognise it when they see it. I recently googled “leadership definition” and got 386 million hits, which indicates there are many definitions out there.  A dictionar [more]
7 Ways to improve your meetings
  Meetings are the bedrock of getting things done in organizations, or at least they could be. Despite all the practice we get, most people complain about meeting quality. Don’t expect them to improve on their own. Eric Barker’s Ba [more]
Group Leader is not the only career option
Last August, I was invited to run a mini-workshop at a post-doc retreat in the Swiss Alps. The beautiful landscape was conducive to good and creative work. One of the workshop topics was what career options are open to post-docs who do not want to [more]
How Not to Take “no” for an Answer
After-hours at a recent workshop, the conversation went slightly off the beaten track and people began to swap stories about what they learned from different challenging or funny moments in their careers. Several times, the topic of resilience ca [more]
I recently wrote about the 24/7 lab – one model for a successful research lab. The original Nature article about the lab generated a lot of discussion, including a thoughtful response in Nature from Julie Overbaugh. For those whose working s [more]
Five ingredients for The 24/7 Lab
I have been asked several times for my opinion on the Nature article, The 24/7 Lab – Working weekends. Leaving at midnight. Friday evening meetings. Does science come out the winner? The title took me on a trip down memory lane. When I was in Dubl [more]
How can I criticize without offence?
Clients regularly ask me about how they might criticize a colleague or employee, without that person taking offence – or how they might broach a delicate topic with someone. In most cases, the first step involves offering the colleague or employee [more]
Putting Lab Management in the Picture
  I got a good chuckle from the cartoon drawn by Leonid Schneider, participant at a recent EMBO Lab Management course run by Leadership Sculptor near Heidelberg, Germany. While the cartoon emphasises the strong involvement of participants, [more]
“I only need a minute …”
Interruptions have always been the bane of a researcher’s life and at the same time researchers need interactions to thrive. Most operate an open door policy and are annoyed about the level and style of interruption that ensures their own time is n [more]