Ceannas Company Brochure

Welcome to Ceannas

changes to key aspects of leadership behaviour can have an exponential impact. Keep it Simple: There is no need to use ‘management speak’, technical language, or reference to complex leadership theories when seeking to improve leadership behaviour. There is no such thing as the perfect leader: There is no singular model of leadership to which an individual must aspire. Leadership behaviour isn’t fixed: Leadership behaviours can and need to change throughout a leader’s life depending upon context, experience and insight. Even the best leader has something to learn: The most senior and effective leader can benefit from identifying small, unexpected and high yield changes to their leadership behaviour. Our role is to listen, learn and understand the ambitions of the leaders within the company. By using the Ceannas approach we help them build a set of explicit expectations that will consistently guide and inform the leadership behaviour of everyone in the organisation.

One of the key drivers behind the establishment of Ceannas has been to fundamentally challenge the idea that leaders need to be ‘transformed’ in order to become more effective. This premise assumes that a leader’s current practice is deficient, ineffective and in need of a complete renewal. The Ceannas approach builds from who you are, first and foremost, as a person, and then seeks to build a deep self awareness of your own assets and default leadership behaviours. Our practice is to help Leaders develop a unique personal development strategy founded upon small, practical, observable and achievable changes to leadership behaviour. THE CEANNAS PHILOSOPHY: Personal ownership of change: The most powerful force for change in leadership behaviour comes from within the individual. Leadership Effectiveness is not dependent upon personality: Leadership is not the sole preserve of the assertive, the charismatic or the extrovert. Less is more: S mall, highly focused, and achievable

Behind the Proposition

Our Vision To be globally recognised as a high impact, distinctive and trusted partner in the field of leadership development.

Our Mission To release the hidden value in businesses by identifying and enabling positive changes to leadership behaviour.

Our Values To consistently do the ‘right’ thing for the ‘right’ reasons - where ’right’ is ethical, authentic and sincere.

Our Focus To dedicate ourselves to supporting and developing chief executives, executive directors and senior leaders.

Releasing Hidden Value Ceannas seek to add significant value to your business through productive change to leadership behaviour. We focus on listening, learning and understanding the ambitions of the senior leaders within the company. The distinctive feature of the Ceannas approach is that it enables businesses to identify unexpected and high leverage changes in leadership behaviour. Small, Observable and Achievable Change Small and highly targeted changes in leadership behaviour can have an exponential impact upon a leader’s effectiveness. Ceannas allows the leader to focus on changes to their behaviour that will have the greatest value.

Unique Design for Every Client Every company is different and what works with one company won’t always transfer to another. We take great care to align our methodology, intellectual property and personal interactions with the strategic intent of the business. We build long-term and trusting relationships with our clients that are sustained beyond contract periods. Aligning with Leadership Culture Leadership behaviour must align with the company’s values or it cannot be consistent or effective. Ceannas help to make a company’s leadership culture explicit and enables leaders to align their behaviour with that culture. Given the highly personal and high value work we do with clients we are committed to confidentiality and anonymity.

The Ceannas Leadership Index ®



Sequence events through time

Definitive action plan

Appreciates all are different

Maintains and weeds

Balances resource Financial and people

Resilient, overcomes obstacles

Deferred Reward

What works for one may not be right for all

Eye for detail

Awaits for potential to be fulfilled

Removes what’s not flourishing Sees the


strategic picture Visualise sum of parts


Delivery focus



Driven to seek better understanding

Uses intuition to full advantage

Adopts a vision

Strives to further knowledge



Art of the possible


Thrives with uncertainty


Inspires others to achieve beyond perceived limits

Role model

Upfront, public eye

Protects and supports

Elicits high performance

Evidence Led

Aspires to improve and develop their world

Belief in high aspirations

Encourages independence

Adds value through coordination


Logical and analytical

At ease with feelings & emotions

Creative mind

Forgiving of mistakes


Willing to sacrifice

Respect for individual capabilities

Open to all possibilities

Lifts the spirits

Unconditional positive regard

Translates the vision

Own and transmit a clear value set

Gives others confidence in their abilities

The Ceannas Leadership Index ® is a tool for analysing leaders’ behavioural preferences and defaults.



Name: Date: Relationship builder

It applies the power of metaphor to seven inter- connected lenses on leadership that together create a profile of an individual leader at a particular point in time – it is not a psychometric test. Most of us will have experienced leadership diagnostics that provide us with interesting information about who we are. In that sense they hold a mirror up for us to see ourselves more clearly, but often leave us with the question - “so what?”. The Ceannas Index goes much deeper by focusing

in on those aspects of leadership behaviour which might just prove to be the key elements in a marginal leadership gain strategy, and which add real value to a leader’s performance and their impact upon their organization. The Index has been developed over a 20-year period and has been used productively with over 3000 senior leaders from around the world. It is used to greatest effect to release the hidden value in businesses by identifying and developing high- leverage changes in leadership behaviour that align with the organisation’s strategic ambitions. 

Generous with time



Personal Ranking


Strong Sense of belonging


75 72 72 68 66 65 64


Identification with community








Will give and take

Obligation to others



Ceannas Building Blocks

Ceannas Gathering

Personal Ceannas Programme

Vision Mission & Values

Ceannas Conversation

Leadership Charter

We have developed a streamlined and highly

Our one-to-one Personal Ceannas Programmes adopt a highly focused and interventionist approach based upon results of the Ceannas Conversation, the Ceannas Leadership Index ® , and Ceannas Leadership Sonar ® . The programme design is focused upon helping the individual to identify a personal leadership strategy that aligns with their organisation’s values and strategic ambitions.

We support many of our clients to design their own unique Leadership Charter. The Leadership Charter builds upon the company’s vision, mission and values, by creating a framework that explicitly describes the leadership behaviours that all leaders in the organisation should live up to and consistently display. A Leadership Charter creates a means whereby leaders can ‘call each other out’ if leadership behaviours are not in line with their Charter.

A Ceannas Gathering offers an opportunity for a group of leaders to come together to develop their individual and collective effectiveness. A gathering can take place over anything ranging from 1 – 3 days. A Ceannas Gathering is not a ’team bonding’ or ’team building’ event but a carefully designed process to maximise the effectiveness of a team to deliver results that align with the organisation’s objectives. Our Ceannas Gatherings make significant use of our team development methodology known as “Effectiveness to the Power of Team ® ”

The Ceannas Conversation is at the heart of the Ceannas methodology. It is a one-to- one confidential conversation that focuses upon the life and career experiences and influences that have shaped the individual leader’s personal values and leadership behaviours. Using the results from Ceannas Leadership Index ® the Ceannas Conversation focuses upon leadership assets and concludes with the identification of potential small, observable and high- leverage changes to leadership behaviour.

effective methodology for helping leader’s to generate an integrated suite of vision, mission and values for their company. Based around the following key questions. • What is your desired end state? • What are you going to do to get there? • What are the key behaviours that will demonstrate your company’s values? If a company already has well defined and settled vision, mission and values we will use these as the foundation of our work with the company.

Powering the Ceannas Platform

Ceannas Leadership Sonar The Ceannas Leadership Sonar ® has been developed as an alternative to the blanket and uniform approach of 360 appraisals. The Ceannas Leadership Sonar mirrors the sonar process by enabling a leader to check that they are where they think they are; identify areas of risk and potential blind spots; and provide an insight into where productive opportunities for change in their leadership behaviour might lie. Its most distinguishing factor is that it allows the leader to map their position against their own organisation’s vision, values and leadership charter. Decision Making Scaffolding Ceannas Decision Making Scaffolding ® is an exclusive model of decision-making designed by Ceannas to enable leaders to escape from their default perspectives on leadership challenges and translate that into fresh leadership behaviours. By combining features of behavioural economics and the psychology of learning we have created an ingenious process to generate exceptional and sustainable solutions.

Effectiveness to the Power of team The Ceannas philosophy of “Effectiveness to the Power of Team ® ” releases the synergy of the team to the extent that it enables each member to achieve far more as part of the team than they could ever achieve individually. These are not ’team bonding’ or ’team building’ events but a carefully designed process to maximise the effectiveness of a team to deliver results that align with the organisation’s objective s. Ceannas Leadership Radar As with the Leadership Sonar®, the system allows the leader to map their position against their own organisation’s vision, values and leadership charter. However, the Leadership Radar® shifts the focus from leadership behaviour to how the individual enhances the effectiveness of their senior leadership colleagues; contribution of their team to the strategic goal of the organisation; and, ensures their team works in synergy with other teams in the company.



Leadership and belonging

From our very first breath we have a need to form an attachment or a bond with another human being – in the first instance, most likely to be our mother. Recent research has demonstrated that failure to form such early attachments can lead to significant long-term physical and psychological damage. It was John Donne who wrote ‘No [woman] is an island” and so it is within any organisation with more than one person that there will be a need to establish positive and sustained relationships with our colleagues. And, if we don’t, then we know intuitively what the outcome will be. The need to belong has two main features: 1. Frequent personal contacts free from conflict and negative effect. Note here “free from conflict and negative effect”, i.e. it’s not good enough just to occupy the same space as other people. 2. An interpersonal bond marked by stability, concern and continuation into the future. Note here, ‘stability’; ‘concern’ and ‘continuation into the future’ - how often are such factors repeatedly ignored by organisations in the way they treat their employees? However, from reading through the research on this topic there appears to be a clincher, which, I would suggest, overrides all of the others. That key factor is that for a person to feel a sense of belonging that they must believe that the other person cares about her/his welfare and likes her/him. Ideally that concern should be mutual and free from any notion of self-interested social exchange.

WISDOM - carry it lightly

That rank has been achieved And that power is retained; The wise set out to distribute To see their knowledge contribute And carry wisdom lightly, As if it were the wind; The fool lives in the present Takes no account of dissent And is driven by self-interest And absence of respect; The wise look back and forwards To the past and to the future Seeing them as one, And making them connect; For fools are sadly destined To lead their lives unquestioned And see themselves correct, In everything they do; Yet the wise who seem uncertain And who never cease to question Will lead the more fulfilling life, Where all they do is true; So answer this, all you Who hear this tale, To which side is your prize? Is it towards the fool you tend, Or the challenge to be wise?

The fool will rarely listen Preferring through omission To fill the space of thoughtful hush, With lines that start with I; The wise prefer to listen A time for acquisition And only speak to understand, And ask the reasons why; The fool blindly follows others Where shared opinions smother Thoughts that go against the grain, Of mainstream status quo; The wise don’t heed convention

“Ah, look at all the lonely people. Ah, look at all the lonely people. Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been, Lives in a dream. Sits by the window, wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door, Who is it for? All the lonely people, where do they all belong?” Lennon and McCartney’s haunting lyrics capture something of the despair, which can face anyone who has experienced loneliness, or, to put it another way, doesn’t belong. In our work with organisations we’ve come to understand the importance of ‘belonging’ to long-term sustained success. For where a sense of belonging is not apparent then the likelihood of a positive and productive culture is significantly diminished. Belonging is the fundamental human need to give and receive affection from others. This need provides a pervasive drive to form and maintain, at least a minimum, quantity of lasting, positive and significant interpersonal relationships.

And have no apprehension Before they set in motion, Thoughts that tip a domino; The fool takes no correction And sees it as rejection A personal attack that Dents shallow confidence; The wise don’t fear objection And seek interrogation If it generates ideas, Of greater consequence; The fool hoards information As a means of confirmation

Leadership and belonging

Remembering the Future

Now think about how many organisations actually treat their employees and reflect upon why people might feel a sense of isolation rather than belonging. At the heart of this is the notion of self-interested exchange where the organisation, in the form of its senior leaders, approach workforce relationships in a transactional manner, e.g. “if you do this then we’ll behave like that, but if you do that then we’ll behave like this.” As a former teacher and school principal I came to understand that if you treated children in such a transactional manner then the likelihood of them forming any bond with you was almost impossible. It was while seeking an alternative to the notion of ‘love’ – which is inappropriate when working with other people’s children – that I stumbled across the notion of unconditional positive regard. Almost all parents treat their own children with unconditional positive regard. Regardless of what their child might do, they will continue to treat them with enduring warmth and not be deflected by the human frailties of their child. The true teacher adopts the perspective of the parent, and is able to step beyond the reflexive response to dislike the child for their actions and separate the behaviour from the person. Such a stance does not mean that the teacher ignores or condones poor behaviour, but that they make it clear they still value the child as a person. In their seminal book on top American companies, which were ‘Built to Last’, Collins and Porras explored the features which underpinned their success. Aside from excellent management decisions a common denominator was the extent to which they

explicitly set out to create a culture that valued its employees, who in turn responded with their loyalty and commitment. “The visionary company was guided more by a core ideology - core values and a sense of purpose beyond just making money - than the comparison company was.” In fact the sense of belonging that bound people to companies such as Coca Cola, Johnson and Johnson and Disney faced claims that they almost created a ‘cult-like culture’. This sense of belonging was reinforced by a commitment to grow managers and leaders from within as “insiders preserve the core values, understanding them on a gut level in a way that outsiders usually cannot”. It’s these commonalities between people who work together that reinforce a sense of belonging, in contrast to those organisations who see people as discrete parts of their ‘machine’. Henry Mintzberg coined the word ‘communityship’ in an attempt to capture what it is to create a place where belonging forms the social glue that binds people together. Ultimately we are social animals who cannot function without a social system that is larger than ourselves. Unfortunately, there are too many leaders who ignore this fact, and who, when faced with financial challenges, are willing to exhibit behaviours which demonstrates their total disregard for ‘belonging’. As my granny used to say: “Hell mend them!”.

Think forwards, Remember that time When your dreams Come true, and eternal Hopes have sprung, Recall the very moment

When tomorrow Becomes today, As you travel Through time,

Backwards and forwards, Forwards and backwards, In transitory thoughts Of who you were, And what you might yet Become, For now is always Destined to be the Past, And, with that in mind, Throw off The shackles of the Present, And fulfil your Obligation, For tomorrow, Today.

A Small Step to Wise Leadership is written in an exceptionally clean and jargon free style and bears the trademark signs of having been produced by someone who values concision, precision and harmony. There is a really attractive flow to it – one that very naturally keeps one wanting to read on, with a structure that offers clear and logical progression. The tone is great – not too formal, not ‘self help’ but the right mix of mature reflection, experience and wisdom and warmth of character. Marc Lambert, CEO, Scottish Book Trust.

Smithy House, Langshaw, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 2PA Phone: 07774 368932 Web: www.ceannas.com

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All rights reserved (excluding images and named quotations,) Copyright © Ceannas 2017. No part of this document may be used without the express permission of the author.

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