Ithaka Leadership Development Ltd

Leadership Development Training and Management Training Specialists



Ethos has three components - personality, leadership behaviour and culture - which defines the character of any organisation.


Personality determines performance. It influences how we think and make decisions and work with others. Although we can’t change our basic personality, we can understand it and learn how to modify our behaviour to improve the way we work with others.

Leadership behaviour
Leadership is not an innate skill available to a select few. With the right instruction, feedback and tools, anyone can learn to be an effective leader.

The first step is to understand our ‘real’ leadership behaviour. Because we often see ourselves differently from the way others do, it’s important to get a more complete view. By factoring in feedback from multiple sources we gain a more balanced perspective which enables us to focus on improvement.

Culture has a direct and massive impact on performance. That’s why creating the right environment is a crucial enabler for people to perform to their true potential.

Culture comes from the top and organisations typically reflect the personality of founders and leaders. Culture isn’t something magical that happens by accident though. It’s an amalgam of the personalities, ethics, beliefs, objectives and behaviours in an organisation. And that’s what makes it so complex and challenging to control. But culture can be changed to create the right environment but it takes discipline, expertise and commitment.


Your Vision should be what drives your organisation and be the foundation on which future growth and prosperity is built.

It should not be a glib marketing slogan. It states why you exist and what you stand for. It should incorporate your values and the things you truly believe in.

It has to be a key driver at the heart of your business, reflecting what you want to achieve. It must be an inspiration for your people, your partners and above all, your customers. It’s the headline that creates consistent and meaningful communication with your audience.

Above all it should be simple, easy to understand and memorable.

Vision drives strategy and that’s why they have to be aligned and in synch.


Developing strategy is critically important for three key reasons:

1. Better decision making - you identify the right areas of focus and highlight the resources you need to succeed.
2. Improve efficiency - you spend less time and money on non-goal related activities.
3. Remove guesswork - you introduce more certainty into your business which means you are able to make better forecasts, measure performance and predict growth with greater accuracy.

There should be two strands to Strategy - what you say and what you do.

1. What You Say (Messaging Strategy)
Whatever product, service or idea you provide, you must describe it in a way that attracts attention, arouses interest and motivates action. The objective is to create a body of content that is clear, concise and compelling and your strategy should contain the following;
  • What your ‘Big Idea’ is and what’s special about it
  • A crisp headline of less than 20 words
  • A short story which can be delivered in less than 20 seconds (your "elevator pitch")
  • More detailed content which is consistent with the headline and elevator message
2. What You Do (Go to Market Strategy)
This describes how you build momentum and generate revenue from your product, service or idea. This applies to any organisation, irrespective of the sector it operates in. The ideal strategy should be concise and focused on delivering the results you are aiming for. It should contain the following:
  • Realistic and measurable goals
  • Identifying the target audience
  • Potential barriers to success and how to overcome them
  • Evaluating different routes to market
  • Working with partners and associates


Actions are geared towards achieving your Strategy. They work best when they are broken down into specific tasks to achieve clear goals.

There are two strands to Action - building momentum and developing relationships.

Building momentum
To succeed you must have people who want to do business with you. And the best way to do this is by developing a “Thought Leadership“ position and engaging your audience in conversation. You need a compelling on-line presence and you should use social media and other channels appropriately. You should also seek referrals from clients and partners because endorsement is far more powerful than an unsolicited approach.

Develop relationships
Every organisation has something to sell. Whether it’s a product, service, idea or request for donations, it’s selling. And when you make a sale this should be the start of a long term relationship.

Selling means solving problems and to succeed you need a proven methodology and process combined with essential core skills. You must create advocates who will do business with you again and refer others to you. This is a virtuous circle you must embrace to realise your true potential. This not only generates revenues, it also helps you to understand more about what people want. Use this to drive product and service innovation.
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