Nigel Cumberland is a leadership coach & facilitator, author, and Co-Founder of the Silk Road Partnership, a leading global provider of executive coaching and leadership training solutions. He coaches and trains leaders with organizations such as the World Bank, United Nations, Google, Dell, LVMH and the Dubai Government. Previously, Nigel held multinational Managing Director and Finance Director positions with various UK and European multinationals. In addition, he co-created an award-winning recruitment firm based in Hong Kong and China, which he later sold to a listed UK group.

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We discussed:

Ethics in leadership:

Current phenomenon – in business, government, sport – of no admitting of having done wrong: “I made a mistake”, “There was an error of judgement”. Big issue of accountability and honesty.

“If we coaches fail to be pillars of ethical standards, what hope is there for everyone else?”

Accepting the consequences of our actions.

“Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences.” Robert Louis Stevenson

“Integrity and honesty are core to leadership. The basis is self-leadership – being honest to ourselves.”

Forgiveness is important and that is harder to achieve, given in particular the “brutality” of the media and the “fear of life being over” if error or culpability is admitted.

Boards recruiting CEOs should require evidence of past ethical behaviour – including a clear indication of acceptance of personal responsibility for being wrong at some time and what the person did about that. Ethical behaviour should be a minimum requirement for a CEO position.

Technological Change

“The rate of technological change is now accelerating so fast that it has risen above our ability, as humans, to adapt to, and absorb, all the changes happening around us.”  Eric Teller

Leaders need to think about getting ahead of change, not just playing catchup.

Sense-making and asking questions – see the Harvard Business Review article of April 2018: Better Brainstorming – Why Questions Matter More Than Answers

Values – and understanding the value of values

Story of a workshop with bank staff and looking at the correlation (or not) of personal values and bank’s statement of values.

More about Nigel and Contact Details

Educated at Cambridge University, Nigel is a Fellow of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He is also an extensively qualified executive coach and leadership training professional holding the prestigious Master Practitioner title with the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (“EMCC”). In addition he is a Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Certified Coach and in 2011 was a Founding Fellow of the Institute of Coaching Professional Association, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. In 2016 he was made a Freeman of the City of London in the UK.

Nigel can be contacted via social media, via Google search (not many of the same name), or his LinkedIn account or The Silk Road Partnership website.

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