The ICF, EMCC and AC hosted an exciting a fascinating event at the Irish Management Institute in Sandyford, Dublin on Friday 23rd September 2016.
Developing Leadership for Humility not Hubris:
In recent years there has been an increasing interest in the topic of executive hubris. In this session, consultant and author Matt Nixon will share some models originally created for diagnosing and treating ‘at risk’ organisations where boards are concerned about the risks of hubris, or needing to treat the results of crises rooted in hubris.
The session with Leadership consultant Matt Nixon looked at why some organisations lose their trusted reputations and the role leaders play in these major crises. In particular he explored the impact of hubris or arrogant over-confidence in business and its implications for coaching. Issues explored included – What can and should the coach do to reduce their clients’ risks of hubris and crisis? ; What can the coach do when they think the client is suffering from hubris?; What are the dangers for us as coaches or consultants? ; How would we know we were suffering from hubris?
Matt shared examples from his career as an executive and consultant on how we can be helpful in containing and managing some of the damaging aspects of hubris, and relate the dangers to individuals to risks to the organisation they lead. Matt’s book Pariahs: Hubris, Leadership and Organisational Crises, was published earlier this year, and was described by the Financial Times as “a valuable guide” and by Management Today as “a scholarly and illuminating analysis of corporate descent into the abyss”.
Tips for coaching practitioners to minimise against the negative impact of hubris in both the client and themselves include – Start where the client is: “Stay Alive” ; Get the contract right – links to legacy and reputation ; Encourage curiosity and linkages to models and ideas ; Don’t collude with them – stay humble, curious, wise ; Learning not knowing; Reduce threats without pulling punches ; Be courageous – taking risks even while humble ; Level the playing field to enable honesty
Matt runs Disraeli Group, a specialist consultancy focused on leadership, reputation and legacy.
Matt spent a decade in line leadership as an HR executive for Barclays, where he was a Managing Director, and Group Head of Talent and Shell, where he headed up Organisation Effectiveness globally. In these jobs he played a key role interacting with CEOs, boards and regulators as the organisations faced massive external challenges to their reputations, leadership and cultures.
Previously, Matt was a partner at Towers Watson in Chicago and London, where he led the UK Reward and Performance Management practice. He has worked globally for private and public sector projects for clients in diverse industry segments, including banking, hi-tech, manufacturing, regulation and museums.
Matt is the author of Pariahs: Hubris, Leadership and Organisational Crises, (Libri 2016) He contributed a chapter on Leadership and Reputation – Inspiring Trust in a Perfect Storm in the forthcoming Inspirational Leadership (ed. Fleming and Delves, Bloomsbury 2016). He has taught on Ashridge MBA and Strategic HRM programmes, and also lectured at Warwick Business School and contributed to the Daedalus Trust Hubris Project at University of Surrey Business School.
Matt’s first degree was in Classics. He is qualified in a number of psychometric individual and team assessment tools. He is a trustee of Demos, the think tank, and a school governor.