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Smarter, faster, nicer

Any intervention to get your team working smarter, faster and nicer must address your particular challenges.

Below are some of the topics I have worked with in the past.

They are a mix of skills-based interventions, structural changes and cultural changes: it’s often as much HOW a training, off-site or coaching session is presented as the content which makes it work.

The PA Program always involves a mix of

  • senior executive coaching
  • high-potential and key-opinion-leader coaching
  • some training
  • review of structural and incentive issues that may underpin political acumen problems.

Other interventions can include

  • quarterly team offsites
  • extended training with application labs and twinned assignments for leaders
  • benchmarking
  • customer experience analysis and others.

You’ll find more information on each of these below.


  • Why decision-making takes so long and how you can make it work for you
  • Get ahead without being a jerk
  • Managing up instead of sucking up: a 5 point plan
  • Increase your personal power without compromising your integrity
  • Making a no sound like a yes: playing politics and avoiding scope creep

Quarterly team offsites

This is your chance to get your team focused on your vision.

Too many leaders tell me that their team says they don’t know where they are going – even when they’ve said it before. Offsites allow you to change the medium and build 2-way communication that you can’t get in the day-to-day environment.

Having a guide and facilitator provides someone to protect your ideas, advocate for you, and allow you to relax instead of trying to control the room.

Structural, team and incentive review

Structural issues such as workflow, process design, team composition and organisational design can actually drive political acumen problems. Drawing on our extensive experience in productivity and organisational design allows you to get to the heart of the problem.

Application labs and twinned leader assignments

Designed specifically for smart teams of extremely clever people, these are customised combinations of training with real-work assignments supported by coaching. Each application lab results in a real leader action (twinned assignment) that supports the improvement in political acumen.

Coaching key opinion leaders

You need coaching to ensure that your vision is as clear as it can be, and to eliminate emotional and physical obstacles in the path to achieving it.

As much as your leadership sets the tone, unless your high-potentials and key opinion leaders share your vision and have the skills to make it happen, it can get stuck. Engaging them on office politics and its effect on their job, and giving them the support to address and benefit from it, is absolutely essential to your team’s success.

Training and coaching topics

This is an indicative menu about how we address leader, manager and team issues in political acumen.

Influencing others

  • making No sound like Yes
  • taking a good brief
  • asking incisive questions
  • pleasing your boss
  • rapport 101: getting on with people you hate
  • helping your team please you
  • rolling out the vision
  • dealing with bad customer behaviours.

Presenting and training with confidence

  • presenting with confidence to clients and customers
  • presenting to your board or executive committee
  • teaching and training team members
  • teaching and training customers and clients
  • teaching and training your boss

Team building

  • building a team that talks to each other
  • building a team that has each others’ backs

Getting along with clients

  • building a client base that has your back

Working with your brain and its chemistry

  • using your brain in a smart way to manage time
  • using your brain in a smart way to manage energy and emotion
  • setting goals the brain smart way

Managing your team

  • dealing with poor performance in your team
  • career planning with your team

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