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About Jacquie

Jacquie Molloy guides senior leaders to develop and display leadership authority (what she calls Authoritas); helps Boards to discover the power (and imperative) of exploring differences of opinion through Debate; and shares the practices for personal authority, high-performing teams and cultural excellence with individuals and organisations so they can be Visible in all the right ways.

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The 4-priority scorecard  

It’s Q4 already …

That means all eyes on what must be completed by end of year and set up for next year.

It also means performance development review conversations — yours and the ones you have with your team.

During the year, no doubt, you have felt the pull of specifics and micro details and dynamics that have, let’s say, blurred your focus.

And you’ve been aware of the energy and effort required to clean up your desk (figuratively and literally) and get back on track. (Energising and exhausting in equal measure.)

This year’s been no different to other years because this is what happens when our priorities are not big enough and our boundaries are not clear (to ourselves and others).

Please don’t succumb to the trap that it’s about time.

Because the problem is never that there are not enough hours in the day. 

Instead, consider the 4-priority scorecard. Use the big number format

1. Am I generating insights?

2. Am I creating business value/increasing commercial effectiveness?

3. Am I nurturing the leadership and succession pipeline?

4. Am I contributing to a healthy org culture?

These are the priorities that together allow you to hold a direction and maintain a focus on what matters most.

And they allow you to model what you want your team and peers to also be focusing on.

How you lead and what you do shouldn’t be two separate categories! 

Of course, you’ll need to be all over the critical skills and leadership attitude required to achieve these 4 priorities — and you’ll require empirical evidence to demonstrate to yourself and others that you can do what you say you can.

Do you have it?


Leadership & split identities 

In the plays about Henry IV, like so many of his histories and tragedies, Shakespeare concerns himself with what happens when someone seizes power illegally or immorally. And, as always, it’s instructive.

In Henry IV Part 1, Shakespeare lets us understand Henry’s internal conflict that comes after the adrenalin rush of a successful takeover and the ‘getting rid’ of Richard II.

Henry tries to just snap himself out of this conflict. And we’re all familiar with this ‘I’m over it’ attempt to change something — about ourselves or our circumstances — by sheer grit and will power and determination.

White-knuckling is difficult to sustain though — and that’s if it even gets off the ground.  

He says: from now on, I’m going to be my royal self again. I’m getting back in the game! I’ll be mighty and powerful. I’ve been too soft lately and that weakness has cost me. It’s lost me the respect of powerful people who only respect you when you are as powerful – or more powerful - than they are.

I will from henceforth rather be myself,

Mighty and to be feared, than my condition,

Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down,

And therefore lost that title of respect

Which the proud soul ne'er pays but to the proud.

Henry believes that being ‘soft’ gets a king no ‘respect’. 

But through his subsequent behaviour and actions it becomes clear that he’s not at all comfortable, or reconciled, with the manner in which he got the crown and won England.

Sure he brags about being a winner: nothing can seem foul to those that win.

But his guilt and ‘split identity’ ironically render him incapable of making the most out of the position for which he committed the immoral action.

It’s hard for us to keep split behaviour/beliefs up when we can not reconcile our outward show of confidence and our internal second-guessing/imposter syndrome/low-level anxiety.

David Whyte, poet & organisational thinker, says — I’m paraphrasing — that we’re so afraid of losing face and think we have it all under control but if we ask someone who reports to us what our greatest flaw is they’d be able to tell us immediately.

We are seen.

And when we are leaders, we are not only visible, but always modelling to others. That’s part of the role. That’s part of the responsibility.

Come back to the central Authoritas question always: who will you allow yourself to be?


What do you need to do?

1 July marks the beginning of the second half of the year, the third quarter and the start of a new financial year.
That’s reason enough to pause, focus your mind and ask yourself:

  1. How am I showing up in my role? Am I creating a followership of those
    I lead? and what is the evidence for these beliefs?

  2. What are my priorities for the rest of this year — not my wishlist, not my rolling to-do list, not my ‘what I think I should do’ list, but actual priorities?

  3. What habits, practices or tasks do I need to let go of — for good,
    no messing around this time?

What will you commit to establish or change in the second half of this year to enhance your productivity, your resilience and your reputation?

Conversation is where it all happens!
Would you like to have a take-stock conversation about you and your team?


What stops you and your team from being switched on?

There’s a tonne of literature out there about making teams great. And an equally wide range of materials about the many ways we as individuals stop ourselves from being at our best.

So what is new to add?

Well perhaps nothing new so much as a reimagined way into the conversation that will help us cut through the white noise that has built up around these topics, preventing us from clearly seeing what is holding us and our teams back.

Let's start that conversation with three very human factors that prevent you and your team from being switched on.

1. Mental multi-tasking

2. Censorship (internal and external)

3. Resentment.

They are also all ways that we, and those around us, resist.

You probably know that we resist everything that we find uncomfortable or difficult unless we have developed the strategies and tactics — and habits — to move through the resistance into action.

We resist dynamics that don't appeal to us or don't make us feel valued. We put off, make excuses and rationalise what we don't want to do in favour of other things.

We hide behind ‘busy’. Often. Even when we don't know that is what we are doing.

For our team — especially if it's an Exec Team or Board — to be switched on, then our team members must know how to identify these types of resistance and how they play out in themselves and others.

They must become skilled at reading the dynamics of the room clearly and without prejudice.

They must learn how to reset and elevate their performances.

I’ll be sharing some of my new work on Switched on Teams this year, including a white paper for the C-Suite and Boards that will be released in May. If you're interested in receiving this white paper, reply to this email or contact Chloe so that we can put you on the Priority List.

For now, why not reflect on how any or all of these 3 factors play a part in how you show up and contribute — and indeed if you have different ways of showing up and participating depending on who is in the room or who is speaking or what is being discussed.

That awareness is gold if you are willing to see it.

Here’s to a productive and energised 2019!


Authoritas: a leadership approach for turbulent times

Sometimes we find ourselves facing the unexpected — a situation or event that we did not ask or plan for. 
How we react and respond in these times is the real test of our leadership.
Because leadership does not require a title (although many leaders have one) and it does not require hundreds or thousands (or millions) of followers.
We are all leaders.
And we can all demonstrate Authoritas.

Just like excellence is not the norm, but is a reward for those who do the extra work, then Authoritas is the standard of leadership that goes beyond ‘taking charge’ and ‘making decisions’ and calls into service those esteemed qualities of integrity, gravitas, authority, courage, compassion, empathy, self-awareness, critical thinking and discipline.

And just as there is no one brand of excellence, there is also no one ‘right way’ to lead.
But like all high quality experiences, like all forms of excellence, we know great and inspired and trustworthy leadership when we see it.
We recognise Authoritas without having to be told what ‘it’ is.

Authoritas sets you apart just as excellence sets you apart.
One of the core aspects of Authoritas is the question: who am I willing to be?
Having to meet the situation that is can be overwhelming and the attendant disbelief and frustration can easily lead to inertia and even complacency.
It’s human nature to try and hold the status quo no matter what.
And sometimes meeting the situation that is hurtles us into high emotion, which can be a wonderful catalyst for swift action.
As an Authoritas leader, if the strategic response is quiet inaction (for now), then hold that state with disciplined awareness and integrity and clear-sighted critical judgement.
As an Authoritas leader, if the strategic response is swift action, then undertake that with decisiveness and compassion and full accountability.
Not surprisingly, when we’re talking about Authoritas at senior levels, a high level of self-care is not weak nor is it optional — it is mandatory.
Because you know the saying ‘give until it hurts’? Well, that’s where you need to be playing: for your organisation, for your people, for your community.
The Authoritas leader knows that it’s not just learning that comes from outside the comfort zone – that’s where leading happens too.

Your mission is to continue to ask and reflect on these ‘open’ questions:
  • How am I inclusive? (And how do I know this is true?)
  • What are my secret fears and doubts — and how are they likely to show up in my decision making (or inaction) when I am fatigued or stressed?
  • Why am I putting off the final sign-off of an initiative that I know we must take?
  • How do I renew my resolve and hold myself accountable to what I say I, and we, stand for?

Who are you willing to be?
If you or your team need to bolster the critical thinking skills, perspective-taking practices and the critical leadership comms practices or want to increase the level of difference you can make, then please reach out.
I’d feel proud to help you fully embody Authoritas.