Tom Rees-Davies



  • Number 5 is an interesting one. I tend to agree, but you do risk putting someone out of their comfort zone and alienating them further.

  • This is a really interesting thought:

    "If rules have been agreed for the office, we should stick to these rules, regardless of our leadership position."

    I don't tend to agree. As leaders, I feel it is incumbent on us to be able to voice disagreement in a positive way, rather than blindly follow rules handed down and ask that our team do the same....

  • The choices weren't flexible enough for me. Some of it agree with, others not so much. I find it hard to mask my emotions. People tend to be able to read how I'm feeling, even without me speaking.

  • Totally. The non-patronising element is very hard. It's hard for this not to sound trite.

  • Straight roads! And central heating.

  • Tom Rees-Davies made a comment

    I think I'm able to role model curiosity in the questions I ask my team, my colleagues and my leaders. I'm naturally curious, though I have had to develop my empathic curiosity over the years. I think I do also invite questions - the only dumb question is the one you never ask!

    One contrary viewpoint: I feel that focus on outcomes over processes can be...

  • Tom Rees-Davies made a comment

    I like this idea. I can imagine using this more as a parent, as Denise suggests below, than in my current role!

  • Yes this is a good point. I've resisted reading the critical view of servant leadership, but I can imagine some of it will relate to the blurring of 'work' and 'personal' relationships. I think there's a danger of taking concepts like this too far and forgetting why we have leaders in the first place!

  • Tom Rees-Davies made a comment

    I think I'm strongest at integrating the managing and doing of work. It means that I can empathise with and identify the challenges my team experience much better.

  • 'Eagerness to give advice' is one I particularly recognise in myself, especially as a leader. One thing I've tried to improve is to not get stuck on the first thing a person has said that resonates with me - there could be more, even more pertinent points to pay attention to.

  • Absolutely the same for me Denise!

  • Henry I've had similar challenges. I hold myself accountable to a high standard across my work. I have found it challenging when others fail to reach those standards. I think what has helped me personally, is working on empathy - my standards are different to others' and could be influenced by a whole different set of values. That person could be having a...

  • I often find myself down a wikipedia/research rabbit hole!

    I used to sit next to a colleague who is now a very good friend. We had the best time, as we both had an almost compulsive need to fill any gaps in our knowledge. That was both a positive - we learned loads working with each other - but could also be distracting!

  • This is an interesting one. Having worked with younger teams I have found that people often seek answers from direct managers/leaders, rather than trusting their own instincts. I have always tried to encourage and autonomous and problem-solving mindset - if your people are competent their instinct will often be right. I serve to validate their thinking, rather...

  • There are and should be clear boundaries between work and personal life, but it's integral to understand your team. What drives them, what makes them tick, what upsets them, how they like to be managed etc.

  • Not necessarily the most 'key' learning, but I will certainly be more open and authentic with my team about my strengths and weaknesses. I really liked that.

  • I have found the process of writing a purpose statement to be really very interesting. To boil down one's purpose to a sentence or two is tough but has really helped me clear my head and focus.

  • I'm a little nervous to share mine but here goes:

    "To bring energy, positivity and effort to every aspect of life in a way that inspires my friends, family and colleagues and brings people together so that I can lead a successful career and enjoyable life."

  • Tom Rees-Davies replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    I think this is more to do with how religion influences your personal values. Religion itself isn't a value but it can emphasise other values for the individual.

  • I think it is hard to be authentic when, for example, you hold a minority opinion on a key topic. Remaining honest and true to one's self is toughest, but arguably most important in these scenarios.

  • I think I know some of my values, but I thought the same 10 years ago and they've definitely changed. I think my purpose right now is clear, but it will evolve.

  • Making high level strategy make sense to individuals.

  • Honesty and integrity. Give your honest opinion to your colleagues and team. If you can't answer a question (for example about future strategy) explain that and explain why, don't side step it. Don't ask your team to do something you wouldn't do yourself.

  • I think a strength of mine is championing others. I know that kudos and compliments from peers and leaders is a natural fuel for me personally, so I like to try to do the same for my team and colleagues. I use examples when celebrating someone so the enthusiasm seems truly genuine.

  • Absolutely, you're one of the best collaborators I know!

  • I think the point around extrinsic motivators is fascinating. Early on in my career I worked in a company that valued money motivation as a trait almost above anything else. Looking back now you can see the negative impact of the environment that created very clearly indeed.

  • I think I've chosen agree as I have made a concerted effort over the past few years to understand and come to terms with who I am, who I want to be and how this affects those around me. I've worked hard on bringing an authentic version of myself to work as I've felt I've had to bring an exaggerated or winnowed down version of myself to work in previous...

  • I agree - I feel like I've gotten to a good level of understanding of who I am. But I will keep changing so this will be an ongoing process!

  • Love the concept of humanising the workplace! Looking forward to this course.

  • Holofernes sounds like a certain UK statesman of our time...

  • I think as a start up you need to be viewed as offering something unique or as being able to do something in a unique way, or maybe even just better.

    This video has been the most informative and interesting in the series so far.

  • Competitor's staff also the most expensive option of the three for sure!

  • I think my default role would be completer, but in the context of a new business I'd have to take on the role of chair.

  • A team should have diversity of thought - hire people who know what you don't and ensure they are set up for success.

  • This seems like a really good, fit for purpose, way of setting this kind of PDP Business case out.

  • @MartinH I mean actually, that I couldn't physically hide my emotions very easily - I was too easy to read! Therefore, if stressed or upset this would be easily detectable and lead to a drop in morale in the team! I had never thought before as to how my facial demeanour might be interpreted in an interview, as with your unfortunate example.

  • Vague, generic feedback is the worst. It doesn't help to refocus and improve and is just frustrating. I like the idea of pushing back and asking for more specific examples.

  • I'm about to undergo my first 360 review, which I'm really looking forward to.

  • I plan to undertake PDP session with my manager at my next review. I'm hoping to get exposure to other areas of the business and also work with a mentor from another business area to help aid my career development.

  • I feel like meetings are often the biggest time-wasters, certainly in previous jobs. I quite like the POP acronym for dealing with this. If a meeting doesn't have -
    Outcomes or Objectives
    Plan or Process
    - then don't go.

    I often find that I've been invited to a meeting that I will only need to contribute to for 5 minutes. I'll either send my...

  • I think self-awareness is very much underpinned by emotional intelligence. For me, that could be defined as being aware of how you're feeling AND how this impacts those within your team. One thing I had to learn quickly as a young manager, was how my mood would impact my team, in particular the younger members - especially as I have a terrible poker face and...

  • I think most successful organisations I've worked for have put real emphasis on individual development, and not just paid it lip service. Not only does the organisation gain from the benefit of having upskilled and motivated employees, they also have employees who feel valued and invested in. Ultimately, an organisation is only as good as its employees and...

  • Preparing yourself for future employment opportunities.