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Hot air

A special blog by our leadership guru, Mr Peter Anderton.

Consider this. Not new but still very relevant…

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The woman below replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”

“You must be an engineer,” said the balloonist. “I am,” replied the woman, “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is, technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.”

The woman below responded, “You must be in management.” “I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

“Well,” said the woman, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”

It made me chuckle. Stereotypical, for sure. But I can’t help thinking it’s not that far off the mark. But why is that? And, more importantly, what can we do to make sure we don’t become that stereotype?

As 2%ers, we like to think we’re a bit different. We like talking to people, especially people who make us think, laugh or are just a little bit quirky! We’d love to have a chat with you about management and leadership. So drop us a quick email entitled ‘Leadership, brilliance and other stuff’ to to let us know which of the following you are:

Number 1 – I’ve got a specific leadership question to discuss over email and here it is…

Number 2 – I’ve got a specific leadership challenge to discuss with someone and here it is… also, here’s my number – please give me a call sometime / sometime after (date).

Number 3 – I just want to have a general chat about being a brilliant leader – here’s my number – please give me a call sometime / sometime after (date).

Number 4 – I’ve heard about the Personal Leadership Programme a few times and its high time I stopped faffing around and looked into it – please send me some details, give me a call or whatever it is you would like us to do.

(We may publish some of the best answers if they are printable!)

We look forward to hearing from you!


PS – no obligations whatsoever.

PPS – here’s a couple of testimonials from some brilliant delegates who attended our latest Personal Leadership Programme:

“What can I say? Since attending the Personal Leadership Programme doors just keep opening up! I’ve experienced 25 years of leadership and management training – but this replaces all the notes and books I have accumulated to date. From just a few simple changes I am already getting so much more out of my team – and relationships at every level have been improved tenfold. This programme is life changing. I feel like a new person. Watch this space!” Louise Archer, Central Transaction Manager, HSBC

“I recently attended the Personal Leadership Programme and have made some small, subtle shifts to my behaviour as a leader. Within just 3 weeks my team tell me they have never felt so valued. The resulting impact on discretionary effort, performance, appetite and ideas for change has been amazing. Better yet, the impact hasn’t stopped at work! Life changing – both professionally and personally.” Steve McCue, Customer Team Manager, North West Leicestershire District Council

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