Speaker Bio

Michael Nicholas

Michael is a seasoned leadership development specialist with almost 30 years of relevant, practical experience. He helps executives, decision-makers, senior managers and successful entrepreneurs to transform their results while simultaneously experiencing less stress and having more fun.

This is achieved by improving self-awareness and self-leadership and by learning how to influence more effectively to maximise the contribution of others. He has a thorough understanding of the issues affecting his clients and of how to develop the capabilities that drive success, particularly in the field of emotional intelligence. By applying clear and simple strategies his clients experience major performance improvements in business, as well as other significant quality of life benefits.

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Since his first job, as an officer in the military in the mid-80s, in which he was immediately challenged to lead 35 people in a highly operational role, Michael has become increasingly inspired by the challenge of developing leaders effectively. In 2004 he left his successful corporate career to focus exclusively on leadership coaching and training. He has three primary areas of expertise:

  • Helping executives and business leaders to improve effectiveness. Most often this starts with their personal leadership, to enable growth in areas such as authenticity and integrity, then works outwards so that they can learn to more powerfully and ethically influence others.
  • Transforming emotional intelligence by helping people in areas such as reducing reactive behaviours, improving their ability to communicate effectively, becoming more comfortable with ambiguity (which hugely reduces stress), increasing creativity and adaptability and committing to taking total personal responsibility for their results.
  • Providing coaching and training in the cognitive aspects of business decision-making – a capability that has been shown to benefit every area of their business and personal life.

Michael has worked with a full spectrum of clients, the larger ones including Dixons, HSBC, Marks and Spencer, and Sainsbury’s, where he has been a key supplier of coaching and training for several years. He has developed many courses and workshops for a variety of audiences, covering subjects ranging from the fundamentals of leadership, to the development of coaching skills, to improving self-esteem and self-confidence. His emotional intelligence and decision-making courses are the culmination of several years of evolution, ultimately having been brought together specifically for Sainsbury’s, where they run on an ongoing basis for 1,200 of their most senior staff:

  • Emotional Intelligence: Available as a ½-day introduction or a 1-day/2-day workshop integrated with a 3-month programme of follow-up to effectively embed learning and maximise growth.
  • Decision-Making: Providing a framework to know when to apply rational versus intuitive approaches and enabling recognition of the cognitive biases which lead to errors of judgement.

The experience and knowledge that Michael brings to his work comes from hands-on experience and real-world, profit-orientated, business know-how combined with many years of extensive research. After gaining a degree in engineering from Durham University he qualified as a Chartered Engineer during seven years as an officer in the military. Later he amassed broad-ranging leadership and business experience from several senior level corporate positions, including as a Director in the strategy consulting practice at Deloitte, running Nortel’s professional services business in Europe and in a major sales role with a $342m target, also whilst at Nortel.

Michael is the author of two books, Being The Effective Leader and The Effective Leadership Guide, and is also a Trainer in the DISC personality profiling/strengths based assessment tool and licensed to administer the Thomas International Emotional Intelligence assessment, TEIQue.

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My programmes
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Leading with Engagement in Mind

This session will help participants to achieve the goal of raising levels of engagement by empowering them to direct their efforts more productively.

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Leading with Engagement in Mind

How to Cultivate a High-Performance Culture of Commitment, Creativity and Trust.

Overview:

Research indicates that an engaged and committed workforce, where employees willingly give their best, is associated with numerous beneficial outcomes, such as better organisational performance and lower turnover. Engagement and productivity are directly linked. So what does it take to achieve this? How can you engage others to maximise results: theirs and your own? How important is trust, and how can it be cultivated? And why, when most of us can so easily recognise a great leader, is excellence in this area so rare?

The challenge in seeking to achieve high levels of employee engagement is that traditional command and control hierarchies, whilst offering simplicity of decision-making and clarity of organisation, lack adaptability, creativity and speed. Worse, they tend to foster “obedience” rather than the attitudes required to maximise productivity and competitiveness. Instead, it is necessary to build an environment within which employees feel committed to superior job performance, and this depends on the creation of an empowering emotional relationship: a “psychological contract” between employer and employees, or leaders and followers.

Outline:

To help participants improve engagement, the workshop explores the nature of the relationships that leaders must create, particularly the factors that determine how they are viewed by others and why is is necessary to become less transactional and more relational in interpersonal interactions. It addresses the most important factors affecting leadership success, examines the cultural conditions needed for a business to flourish, and uncovers why this can only be achieved by leaders with strong inner qualities.

Outcomes:

This session will help participants to achieve the goal of raising levels of engagement by empowering them to direct their efforts more productively. It does this by providing an improved understanding of what lies at the heart of other people’s decisions about how much energy and commitment they bring to work. It will:

  • Offer a simplified model of leadership, the clarity of which helps to accelerate progress in this area.
  • Provide a clear understanding of why the ability to establish trusting relationships is a critical leadership capability for the modern age, and how to achieve it.
  • Demonstrate that the successful delivery of tasks, whilst essential, is insufficient for great leadership and enable recognition of what else must be mastered in order to excel.
  • Explore how social perceptions are formed, individually and at group level, enabling engagement to be established more effectively.

Please note: this workshop replaces Emotional Intelligence, this is not a follow on session and not suitable if you have already seen Michael's Emotional Intelligence session.

Decision-Making: Art or Science?

This workshop helps participants to make sound, reliable and informed decisions which are “right” for their customers, clients and colleagues. It will also improve their ability to do this, even as the complexity of their environment increases.

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Decision-Making: Art or Science?

Meeting the Judgement Challenges of an Increasingly Complex World

Overview:

Professional judgement is possibly the most important capability of any leader because it determines how well every other talent or capability can be applied. It is a key determinant affecting which organisations win in the marketplace and which struggle from crisis to crisis. Although many factors shape success or failure – such as market and competitor activity, technological advances, legislation or product innovation – in every case the quality of leaders’ decisions is the consistent factor influencing the effectiveness of their response.

The challenge as we strive to make improvements in this area is that making decisions, whether relating to strategy, operational crises or people, cannot reliably be boiled down to a ‘science’ of pure reasoning in a process that will provide all the answers. In this increasingly volatile and complex world, judgement calls are often riddled with far too many intangibles, complexities, unknowns and variables to allow every option to be identified, fully analysed and understood. For leaders, learning to handle this task is critically important.

Outline:

To enable improvements in judgement the workshop addresses two of the core decision-making challenges. Firstly, it explains how to steer a course between two common, yet highly contradictory, sets of advice: that clear, structured and rational processes are essential, and the opposing viewpoint which insists that well-developed intuition is the key. Secondly, it explores some of the unconscious mental biases and traps that lead to errors, showing how this awareness also holds the potential to overcome them.

Outcomes:

This workshop will help participants to make sound, reliable and informed decisions which are “right” for their customers/clients and colleagues. Furthermore, it will improve their ability to do so even as the complexity and ambiguity of their operating environment increases.

By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Understand the primary mechanisms by which decision-making errors arise, and how to avoid them.
  • Learn a simple model to help them to make more consistent and appropriate decisions.
  • Be able to recognise the times when strong leadership is required.
  • Experience and learn to avoid three specific mental barriers that lead to decision-making errors.

Decision-Making: Art or Science?

This workshop helps participants to make sound, reliable and informed decisions which are “right” for their customers, clients and colleagues. It will also improve their ability to do this, even as the complexity of their environment increases.

Read more

 

Decision-Making: Art or Science?

Meeting the Judgement Challenges of an Increasingly Complex World

Overview:

Professional judgement is possibly the most important capability of any leader because it determines how well every other talent or capability can be applied. It is a key determinant affecting which organisations win in the marketplace and which struggle from crisis to crisis. Although many factors shape success or failure – such as market and competitor activity, technological advances, legislation or product innovation – in every case the quality of leaders’ decisions is the consistent factor influencing the effectiveness of their response.

The challenge as we strive to make improvements in this area is that making decisions, whether relating to strategy, operational crises or people, cannot reliably be boiled down to a ‘science’ of pure reasoning in a process that will provide all the answers. In this increasingly volatile and complex world, judgement calls are often riddled with far too many intangibles, complexities, unknowns and variables to allow every option to be identified, fully analysed and understood. For leaders, learning to handle this task is critically important.

Outline:

To enable improvements in judgement the workshop addresses two of the core decision-making challenges. Firstly, it explains how to steer a course between two common, yet highly contradictory, sets of advice: that clear, structured and rational processes are essential, and the opposing viewpoint which insists that well-developed intuition is the key. Secondly, it explores some of the unconscious mental biases and traps that lead to errors, showing how this awareness also holds the potential to overcome them.

Outcomes:

This workshop will help participants to make sound, reliable and informed decisions which are “right” for their customers/clients and colleagues. Furthermore, it will improve their ability to do so even as the complexity and ambiguity of their operating environment increases.

By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Understand the primary mechanisms by which decision-making errors arise, and how to avoid them.
  • Learn a simple model to help them to make more consistent and appropriate decisions.
  • Be able to recognise the times when strong leadership is required.
  • Experience and learn to avoid three specific mental barriers that lead to decision-making errors.

This speaker currently has no keynotes. Please check back soon.

This speaker currently has no retreats. Please check back soon.

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