Journal: advance your effectiveness. My thoughts, tips and experiences – shared with you.

Time for YOU. Read this section with a cuppa. Take a moment to switch off, focus on my words of wisdom – support your development and effectiveness.

This is YOU

Are YOU serving ice-cream as you welcome your teams back to the office?

Could there be a connection between leadership effectiveness and ice-cream?

And it’s not about favourite flavours

Is your style of leadership turning the ice-cream sour?…

A new ice cream parlour opened on our local high street recently. It’s attracting a lot of attention, comfy chairs, a delightful menu. Welcoming smiles as you enter. ‘Excellent’ I thought I can’t wait to visit with my daughter.


The staff were all lined up eager to serve and the manager was looking very pleased with the influx of new customers. We take a seat; a menu is promptly passed to us by the manager and then we wait … and we wait … and we wait…


We are not the only ones waiting, the staff are also stood there waiting – The manager however is busy greeting his new customers, taking orders, making those orders and then starts pointing to the tables of customers waiting for said orders.


Then a large group walk in for take-away’s. The manager immediately leaps into action and directs his staff with a ‘do this, do that’ approach, micromanaging their every move.


Meanwhile, we’re still waiting …


Ice Cream Leadership


Within the hour of my visit the smiles had turned to frowns. Customers and staff looked frustrated. The allure of the ice-cream parlour was starting to fade and sour. Did the manager notice? Possibly not, he was utterly consumed with the task ahead of him. He was very busy. He was doing everything. He looked overwhelmed.


As an executive assessor and coach to leaders, I see this a lot. The confusion between stepping back and leading a team v’s knowing what’s needed and rolling up the sleeves. This is a challenge that every leader faces daily. It’s a challenge because rolling up the sleeves and getting the work done brings a level of satisfaction – the desire to control, achieve and ‘I know best’. Add the pressure of being passionate about the challenge ahead, ownership of targets etc and leaders often talk themselves in to believing their rolling up the sleeves is the right way forward.


  • It becomes a career staller for the leader
  • Loss of engagement from the team 
  • Possible resignations from high performers who are capable of more


Leadership Effectiveness is about understanding that there is a time and a place for all leadership styles. It’s knowing how to flex and adjust within a range that differentiates what effective leaders do. A different flavour for different situations.


Ever observed a leader’s career plateau? Most of us have. It’s the leader who can navigate challenges, provide a path for others to follow plus space for trial and error that reaps the career rewards. Whilst what will differentiate your career at a leadership level is easy to understand, the transition to leading in a different way is a whole new ball game – Why? Just like the ice-cream parlour, when you are in the situation it’s the strengths that have got you there that became your automatic go-to and you default to what’s most comfortable – rolling up the sleeves.


Ever heard of the term overused strengths? This is when the behaviours that got you to a certain stage in your career become derailers. They stop you taking your career further. Think of the manager at the ice cream parlour. His drive to achieve was starting to derail him. He couldn’t take a step back and stop achieving by doing.


Adjusting your leadership style becomes challenging especially when the pressure to perform is staring you in the face.


As you start to welcome your teams back to the office, presenting them with a smart office, a comfortable coffee area and top of the range technology will only get you so far.  The key to leadership effectiveness during times of change is learning to unlearn. It’s about building mental muscles to consciously dial down your overused strengths. It’s about acknowledging that what got you to this point of success in your career allowed you to open your ice cream parlour – leading effectively to keep the door open and lights on is what will take your career forward.



In my ‘3StepReset’ programme we look at all of these areas and help you to get clarity around those behaviours and overused strategies that are keeping you at a level you aren’t happy with.  Over 12 weeks I will take you on an immersive experience, combining best in class leadership effectiveness expertise, executive coaching skills with an inside out wellbeing, mental fitness focus.  For more information see… or send me a message.


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Leadership Effectiveness is the rock of every business. NewlandRock increases leadership effectiveness for talent-savvy companies and individuals going through a transition.

Focused on Assessment | Executive Coaching | Wellbeing Solutions – Internationally

Are YOU serving ice-cream as you welcome your teams back to the office?