Author Archive

An adulterer can still be an effective leader

February 20, 2012

How trustworthy are you on a scale of 1-10 – really?

Why do I ask? Because I have a theory, that as people, we are becoming less trustworthy. Let me give you an example – you buy something from a shop and return to your car and realise they have given you too much change – what would you do? Our internal responses will vary from ‘ah, nice one!’ To; ‘ah, well it was their mistake’, to; ‘I would go back but I’m in a hurry’ etc.  etc. – how many people would return on a matter of principle? Not that many I suspect.

Matters like these go to the heart of character and what I believe the world needs today in the context of leadership. If this person will essentially steal from the local garage, what happens when he notices there has been a mistake calculating his bonus or for that matter, your bonus – what will he do? I hear you say, ‘well that would be different’ – well at what point does it become different? There is no question; it opens up all sorts of ‘grey’.

Trust - Adult and Child Holding Hands - Blue Sky Performance Improvement

Leadership and the importance of being trustworthy is not an exact science. There are plenty of examples of great leaders lacking traditional moral standards – Dwight Eisenhower, George S Patton and Martin Luther King to name a few. Can we be trustworthy in some contexts and not in others?

As part of our ‘Conscious Leadership’ development journey we start by working with leaders to identify their personal values and hold the mirror up in order that they can explore whether they are living their life by those values, and if not, what they may choose to change. The experience can be life changing. Honesty is an important value to many and there are so many more; love, faith, compassion, enthusiasm, openness, contribution etc. etc. Whatever your values, the importance of knowing what they are and living by them cannot be underestimated – we’ve all found ourselves in a pickle when we’ve done something in our hearts we know we shouldn’t have done.

It’s fair to say that there is no one absolute barometer of successful leadership but I know one thing is for sure, I’d rather be led by someone I trust.


Marc Jantzen - Blue Sky Performance Improvement

Blue Sky Performance Improvement


Feel the love and blindfold your staff

July 25, 2011

As a CEO and highly trained chartered accountant with a passion for numbers and ROI I have a major confession to make – I absolutely love my role in developing the Blue Sky culture.

Yes it’s the soft fluffy stuff that’s my joint passion and I challenge every leader to truly embrace it. We preach engagement to our clients, we extol the virtues of driving performance and for me as a CEO it’s my role to lead on it and make sure it truly happens.

Inspire - Blindfolded on a bus to nowhere

Like all organisations we have core values and I try hard to make sure they’re not simply fancy words on a poster but we are living them and breathing them and holding ourselves accountable to each other when we’re not. A great example of making sure we embed them is our Inspire events. Every four months all our staff spend two solid days together and the agenda is simple – take time out to reflect on and live our values. We host many different sessions so for example at our June event we held a brainstorm around updating our approach to social media to demonstrate our value around Progress.  Another value core to us is Being Authentic and a workshop around creating an open feedback culture was well received by staff and is something we are always striving to create. Then there was the fun bit! Connection is another one of our values and this time that meant blindfolding all our staff, putting them in a mini bus and abandoning them in various locations in the Sussex countryside (yes now and again a leader’s role definitely means you can be fiendish!) and make them find their way back to our secret location.  Four hours later some felt more connected than others!

So what do you do to lead the culture of your business and do your staff see you at the heart of it?

Go on, embrace the fluffy side. You might just enjoy it!


Marc Jantzen - Blue Sky Performance Improvement

Blue Sky Performance Improvement