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Pete Ashby Of Addresses Achieving Ambition: Challenging Under-Expectation

Pete Ashby from discusses the main leadership behaviours that get in the way of people truly realising their ambitions.


(Monday, January 14th, 2013) United Kingdom - Pete Ashby, top UK leadership coach who heads up illustrates “the proposition that too many top leaders don’t expect enough of those around them, which can then become a barrier to them realising their ambitions.”

“When I talk of under-expectation, I don’t mean this in relation to the number of hours worked.”

“What I mean is that many CEOs don’t expect enough from their senior staff in terms of working through tricky issues together on the basis that they’re okay about thinking on their feet and occasionally changing their mind.”

In Windsor I want us to do just this, through a process that expects more of you than you would expect at a traditional “conference”.”

Host Pete Ashby then says: “We’re all used to going to conferences and being spoken at by experts. We then ask a few polite questions and afterwards head off to the bar to discuss what we thought of their answers.”

“We won’t have any external speakers at Windsor. We will have a group of top leaders who will themselves provide the resource for our discussions.”

“This means that if you join the group, you’ll be asked to offer support and advice to others at times, whereas in the past you might have expected to watch as they asked the visiting expert for that advice.”

“But there’s a wonderful quid pro quo here: you will be able to look around the group and regard everyone else there as a potential resource for you.”

At this point Pete Ashby goes on to say: “Early on I will ask each of you to offer the group some sort of opening judgement about how you see your ambitions for yourself in two or three years’ time. They might involve you developing – and maybe transforming – your current leadership role in some ways, or they might involve you going from No 2 to No 1 or perhaps doing something very different from what you’re doing at the moment.”

“Whatever your ambitions might be, the idea is that you will just be offering us your “starter for ten”, on the basis that it’s provisional and absolutely confidential to other members of the group.”

Pete, founder of the popular leadership behaviours and styles blog states: “Then at roughly the mid-way stage I will ask each of you to pause and ask yourself the question:”

“Having thought about this fairly intensely, is this still the right goal for me? Would it enable me to make the best possible use of my talents?”"

He then discusses the “values we will need to “live” as a group for this process to succeed, not least the high degree of trust we will all need to place in each other, constantly being ready to move on in our thinking and working as peers in a spirit of true reciprocity.”

“This contrasts powerfully with what we know to be true in far too many teams, where we’re too safe with each other far too often, we offer too little up-front and expect too little back in return.”

Pete Ashby of then strongly emphasises: “At Windsor we will find out how much a commitment to shared risk-taking and mutual trust can enable us to come up with creative outcomes of real benefit to everyone in the group.”

It’s an ambitious process, for those who are ambitious for your future leadership role – and happy to ask for advice from others on the basis that it’s a two-way (and multi-way!) trade.”

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