Delivery partnership to provide apprenticeships

Leadership Management International (LMI) UK has entered into a delivery partnership with Nescot College to help train and develop the next generation of managers and leaders.Nescot college

The delivery partnership will provide companies looking to invest their apprenticeship levy, with two new Government approved, specialist apprenticeship alternatives, both of which will develop the existing skills of employees.

The apprenticeship levy currently obliges employers with annual paybills over £3 million to pay 0.5% of their bill into an apprenticeship fund, with contributions made each month, which can then be reinvested into staff training via approved apprenticeships.

However, for those employers struggling to find relevant programmes and qualifications to invest their money before the 24-month deadline, there is an urgency to invest apprenticeship levy funds into programmes that deliver tangible benefits for the business and the individual.

To give businesses more options on how to invest their levy, LMI-UK and Nescot College have combined their expertise to develop two new specialist courses that meet current apprenticeship standards.

The new Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor and Level 5 Operations/Department Manager courses will now be made available to organisations looking to invest their funding and upskill their existing workforce.

Nick and the team at LMI-UK, will deliver courses that allow organisations to invest their funding effectively, whilst developing their people and driving productivity improvements.

The Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor apprenticeship costs £5000 and runs over 18 months, whilst the Level 5 Operations/Department Manager programme costs £9000 and takes 24 months to complete.

The development is expected to nurture several new relationships between LMI-UK, Nescot College and organisations determined to make the most of the Government’s apprenticeship levy.

Director accepts leadership challenge

Nick Howes, Director at LMI, said: “The attraction of the delivery partnership is that it will ultimately benefit everyone involved. I believe that is why we have been successful in developing these two new courses for the College, which can see the long-term benefits.

“These two new apprenticeships encapsulate the very idea of a modern apprenticeship; we’re offering new skills that can only enhance the careers of all those completing the courses; there is no age limit too, which will help organisations plan their future leadership needs.

“Combining our experience of developing and delivering management and leadership training programmes, with Nescot College’s award-winning track-record of apprenticeship delivery, we have created two unique programmes that will give employees the skills and perhaps more importantly the confidence to become the leaders they and their employers need them to be.

Nescot College’s view

James Jennings, Head of Apprenticeships at Nescot College, said: “A lot of time and effort has been invested in the development of these new courses and to see them as finished products has made it all worthwhile.

“Already organisations are showing a great deal of interest. The first of these new programmes has been launched successfully with a prestigious global industry association having 25 of its people begin the Level 5 Operations/Department Manager apprenticeship.

“It is our aim to ensure apprenticeships are relevant to modern organisations and strengthen their workforce with additional skills; strong businesses create opportunities for employment.

“We spent time with Nick and the team at LMI-UK carefully planning the content of the courses and pinpointing areas for training and development based on employers’ requirements, and I believe the new courses will be extremely effective in helping develop people to their full potential.

“I expect the delivery partnership to be a great success and I’m confident that it will open up collaboration opportunities with other businesses in the future.”

Mo Ibrahim African leaders prize unclaimed again

The world’s most valuable individual prize – the Mo Ibrahim prize for good governance in Africa – has gone unclaimed yet again.

Mo Ibrahim at the ceremony 15/10/12

 The $5m (£3.2m) prize is supposed to be awarded each year to an elected leader who governed well, raised living standards and then left office.

This is the fourth time in five years there has been no winner.

A committee member said the group looked “for excellence in governance but in leadership also”.

Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki met at least one of the criteria, after he stepped down as president earlier this year.

However, his 2007 re-election was tarnished by disputes which turned violent, leading to the deaths of some 1,200 people.

His opponent, Raila Odinga, said the poll had been rigged in favour of Mr Kibaki, who denied any wrongdoing.

Three people have won in the seven years since the prize was launched: Cape Verde’s Pedro Verona Pires; Festus Mogae from Botswana and Mozambique’s Joaquim Chissano.

Sudan-born telecoms entrepreneur Mr Ibrahim launched the prize in an attempt to encourage African leaders to leave power peacefully.

The $5m prize is spread over 10 years and is followed by $200,000 a year for life.

Do you reward or even recognise great Leadership in your Organisation. It is a rare ability and one that needs nurturing and developing.

10 Ways to Build Trust with Employees

TeamBy Michael Levy

Successful leaders develop relationships with their team based on trust. Employees, when they feel trusted, supported and engaged, will give special effort to leaders they trust. Because the opposite is also true: employees rarely excel under the punitive thumb of someone they do not trust and who they feel does not trust them.

A lack of trust affects morale, personal and customer satisfaction, as the employees shift energy and focus from working on real issues that positively impact their company and its customers, to the resentment and dissatisfaction they hold towards management.

Here are 10 ways to build trust:

1) Establish and Maintain Honesty and Integrity

Honesty and integrity are the foundations of trust in any organisation, and they must begin at the top. Leading by example, management must demonstrate and instil honesty and integrity throughout the organisation.

Managers must be consistently truthful, regardless of circumstances. Share good and bad news openly. Eliminate gossip and diffuse inappropriate politics. Great managers know that they are not perfect and they make mistakes. Better to admit them rather than ignore them or cover them up.

Leaders demonstrate moral, strong values, methods, and principles. They do what you say they will do and make their actions visible. Team members quickly pick up on insincerity and broken promises.

2) Establish Strong Business Ethics

Managers need to set the moral tone for the work place. Teams with common ethics are healthier, more productive, adaptable, responsive, and resourceful because they are united under one common value set. High standards will never harm the relationships you have with employees.

3) Communicate Vision and Values

Communication is important, since it provides the artery for information and truth. By communicating the organisation’s vision, management defines where it’s going. By communicating its values, it establishes the methods for getting there.

4) Communicate Effectively

Managers who communicate openly and frequently, build relationship and trust. A lack of interaction erodes trust. Face to face interaction is the best method to build trust.

5) To Get Trust You Need to Give Trust

It is important for a manager to create an environment of trust. This begins by trusting others. It is more effective to assume employees are trustworthy unless they prove otherwise rather than waiting to give trust when they haven’t earned it. As team members come to feel they are trusted by their manager, they will find it easier to trust in return.

6) Keep Interactions Consistent and Predictable from the Beginning

Building trust is a process – which starts with the initial actions of the manager, establishing norms and expectations. Trust results from consistent and predictable interaction over time.

7) Be Accessible and Responsive

Find ways to be regularly available to team members. When interacting, be responsive. Be action rather than talk oriented. Don’t just think about taking action – do it.

8) Maintain Confidences.

Team members need to be able to express concerns, identify problems, share sensitive information, and surface relevant issues. It is important early on to get agreement as to how confidential data will be handled.

9) Watch your Language

It is important that a manager’s language does not imply “us” or “them”. Terminology should be easy to understand. Leaders should stick with business language, rather than strong or vulgar language.

10) Create Social time for the Team

A lot of trust and confidence is built through informal social interaction. Successful managers ensure that social opportunities happen regularly.

Building trust with employees is critical for creating an effective team that works well together. Taking time to build trust will reap benefits for managers that make the effort.

Managing a High Performance Environment

In workplaces all over the UK, there is a drive to improve performance – to obtain better quality and greater productivity. To do so is essential for national and international success in a highly competitive global market – for many, it’s simply a must for organisational survival.

But generating better quality and greater productivity is only possible when the workplace environment permits such improvement. Simply imploring the team to work harder or inducing them to perform to achieve a short-term gain will not guarantee lasting improvement.

high performance wheel

Consider the High Performance Environment Wheel. The six spokes within the wheel provide the structure for building the environment. The three key focus areas around the rim provide the momentum to propel it.

A high performance environment is typified by:

  • Teamwork – how well a group of people work together to achieve a common goal
  • Production – how efficiently goods and services are produced and delivered – the overall effectiveness of getting things done
  • Quality – a mutually agreed standard for the acceptability of goods & services
  • Communication – the extent to which the people in an organisation can talk to each other and convey with clarity their expectations of performance and support
  • Knowledge and skills – the recognition and appreciation of existing skills, the support for and desire to enhance and expand learning in the environment and improve the personal contribution to the team’s output
  • Security – how secure employees feel when they are working and how well the organisation supports initiatives to improve well-being

If one of these ‘spokes’ is missing or not performing as it should be, the environment will not be as productive. And in driving or propelling a high performance environment, the essential ingredients are:

  • Relationships and performance
  • Commitment to security, learning and innovation
  • Continuous improvement systems

Without one of these drivers, the environment will be held back.

Periodically apply the wheel to assessment how your teams are functioning to ensure that they are working to peak performance that has not succumbed to procrastination, miscommunication or a lack of focus.

For more information and to discuss how LMI UK can become a trusted partner in the business performance improvement of your people, please get in touch.

Michael Levy 0161 980 0780 / 07903 183931 /

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Six Qualities of a Top Performer – do you have them?


From Michael Levy

From over decades of working with people from every level, in small to very large organisations, across every sector, we have found there are six characteristics or qualities that almost every top performer shares; and conversely, are under developed or missing in people not considered top performers.

1. Focus

All top performers have unswerving singleness of purpose. They are 100 per cent committed to their chosen pursuit. The reason for this is their unbridled enthusiasm for what they do, seeing the total picture and not getting bogged down in details. They focus on what is important, what pays off and on success essentials.

2. Integrity

Top performers understand that success comes from establishing trust with prospects and clients. This trust only comes if the person believes totally in what they do. Top performers, almost to a fault, are congruent in their words, beliefs and actions. They use their own products. They are their own best client. They walk the talk. They do and deliver what they say they will do.


3. Service

Win-win relationships. Top performers understand that for future success, it is absolutely critical that their clients are happy. To do this, they do three things:

  • They study their clients. They learn their ‘language,’ they learn the problems, challenges, issues, they learn the competitors, they learn the dynamics and strive to know their clients’ business almost as well as the client.
  • Top performers master asking questions to find out if and how they can help prospective clients. They understand that the client will show them what they need and how they want to buy, if they only ask the right questions.
  • Top performers under-promise and over-deliver. Their goal is not a satisfied client, but an absolutely excited, happy, thrilled and overjoyed client.

4. Relationships

Top performers understand they’re not selling products, they’re creating relationships. They know in their hearts that their success is determined by the quality of these relationships. Consequently, they network, seek referrals and constantly build up their relationships. They turn clients into centres of influence who become ambassadors for their business.

5. Smart-Hard Work

Top performers understand that it takes hard work to succeed at anything. They work smart. However, they understand that in order to work smarter, they develop and follow a system, keep very detailed and accurate records and statistics on their activities and results.

6. Continuous Improvement

Top performers are never totally satisfied with their performance. They constantly look for ways to invest in themselves. They study their industry. They set goals to beat their best. They work to improve the system – not to change the system, but to improve it, to optimise it, to maximise it, to multiply it.


Look closely at these six qualities. What qualities are missing or would benefit from development? What can you improve? By recognising that life is too precious to accept only average or worse, we can take action to incorporate, believe in, trust and live by these success essentials.


Source: Randy Slechta, President of Leadership Management International, Inc

Effective Motivational Leadership

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Are you a Task Manager or a People Manager?

This is not a fictional story and the changes took place over many weeks. As a scenario many can relate to, its clear from my conversations with managers, that tinkering with possible solutions only produces a short term fix.

One of my clients, Ray, a senior financial services manager in his early 30’s commented, “I know I should delegate more but it doesn’t seem fair on the team to be dumping my work on them” he explained. “And I can’t ask everyone to stop calling me for help because they need to get their jobs done too!”

Recognising the need to take a fresh approach to his business challenges, no one was more surprised than he was when he became a bonafide leader of people, rather than a task manager. This is what he did.

In spite of his concerns, he knew what he wanted from his role and what he needed from his people. Ultimately, clear-cut, written goals were to him the foundation for obtaining what he was looking for.

  1. Ray worked on developing his plan for getting there: his road map to keep him on track. His plan also helped him anticipate and overcome obstacles that would get in the way.
  2. Ray asked himself the question “what’s in it for me?” and identified compelling benefits: fewer working hours; increased sales; more family time and considerably less stress. The importance of self-motivation cannot be undervalued.
  3. Ray knew he could do this! Initially, small successes built his confidence, he developed his people skills, he delegated tasks that he knew he should not do and he protected his time. Ray’s self belief bolstered his expectation of success.
  4. Finally, he Never Gave Up. Sometimes things didn’t go to plan. Delegated tasks came back incomplete, or not on time or to a poor standard. Ray used his desire and confidence to follow through with his plan and never gave up.

Failure to change from being a task manager to a people manager stems from giving up too soon, “I tried that – it didn’t work!” The same failure stems a defeatist attitude, “I knew when I gave out that work, I’d end up doing it.” The same failure stems from a lack of time to plan and set goals, “I’m just too busy – I’ll try get round to that tomorrow!” Be aware that obstacles can get in the way of achieving a result – be just as aware of cast iron excuses being given.

Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Stay Focused.

Yes, stay focused! This is a key determinant to your results. It’s less about what is happening around you – it’s more about what is happening inside your head!

For further information :

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Michael Levy

Guest Speaker for Leadership Lunch – Manchester, Thursday April 25th

I am delighted to announce that my Guest Speaker for the Leadership Lunch event on Thursday 25th April is Mr Paul Dooley. Paul is a hugely respected leader in the Commercial Insurance market. He will share from his 26 years experience, keys to his leadership success and how he is about to educate the good people of Knutsford in the Art of Tea!

The Leadership Lunch is an invitation only event. One of very few events that brings together business owners, business leaders and senior executives to come away from their place of work and focus on an a key area of leadership in a supportive peer group environment.

Please get in touch with Michael on 0161 980 0780 / 07903 183931 or for more information follow here.

About LMI UK

Proven Development Programmes with a Unique Methodology: LMI UK is part of a leading global organisation that operates in over 70 countries, in 24 languages, worldwide. For over 50 years we have developed a reputation for delivering highly effective Management and Leadership Development programmes to companies large and small and to inviduals at all levels.

About Michael Levy

Since joining LMI UK in 1999, Michael has worked with hundreds of clients to deliver exceptional results that enhance their personal and professional success. His extensive experience covers all aspects of Leadership, Management, Sales and Team development. Working from Senior Director to first line manager, his clients stem from Professional and Financial services, IT, education, creative sector, media, manufacturing, the public and voluntary sectors.



10 Flaws of a Bad Leader

10 Flaws of a Bad Leader

A recent study revealed the top 10 flaws of a bad leader. Although a leader may think strategically and drive for results, it’s a common occurrence for the very same leader to reach a success plateau where cooperation thins and frustrations escalate. Leaders can become stale and their boss sees results decline and information silos start to drop and absenteeism begins to soar. 

The study analysed the behaviour of 30,000 managers and close to 300,000 360 degree evaluations of their peers, reports and bosses. By analysing the top 1 %, bottom 10% and recently terminated executives they looked for warning signs that predicted failure. What they found was that bad bosses stem from signs of omission, lack of commitment and a lack of leadership development programmes.

What makes a “bad leader” is they could be doing more in the eyes of those below and above them. These “bad leaders” require leadership development programmes so that they can accurately be in tune with what’s going on internally, and so they can better articulate a clear vision and purpose to teams. By investing in formal leadership development of themselves they get a clear understanding of what it takes to personally inspire the leadership of others. Before you can lead other people you must first be able to lead yourself.

Some of the leadership development needs can commonly be identified from the following key 10 flaws of a bad leader.

1. A failure to inspire and a lack of enthusiasm and energy

A number one reason sited by their peers labelling them as unenthusiastic and passive.

2. A failure to improve and learn from mistakes.

A large reason why leaders fail is because they have reached a level where they no longer need to learn more about leadership training. They feel that leadership development programmes are below them when in fact by participating in a leadership development programme they display to peers and colleagues that they are willing to learn from their mistakes and willing to grow.

3. An acceptance of mediocre performance.

Poor leaders do not attempt to make goals long term and as a result employee’s coast – feeling that mediocre performance is acceptable.

4. No vision or direction

Poor leaders are unsure of what the future holds and unsure of what decisions need to be made, and what direction needs to be given. Because of that, transparency levels are low and employees feel that they’re not working towards a common goal, or any goal for that matter.

5. No desire to collaborate or to be a team player.

A successful leader has frequent communication with his or her team, they don’t avoid interaction with peers or subordinates and they work to develop personable relationships. Poor leaders view work as a competition and colleagues as opponents.

6. Walk’s the walk. But doesn’t talk the talk

Leaders’ not accountable for their actions is the greatest way of losing trust amongst peers. Poor leaders make bad leadership practices acceptable.

7. Unable to lead, innovate, or share new ideas.

Poor leaders are unimaginative and closed minded and as a result training programmes become stale and disengaging.

8. Failure to develop others

By not participating in or providing leadership development programmes, then leaders are seen as self – centred and uncaring for their peers / colleagues. The greatest thing a leader can do for a peer or subordinate is to demonstrate care and a want to develop their skills.

9. Poor interpersonal skills.

Poor leaders talk down, be rude, are abusive and insensitive of those around them. Because of this fear and pressure among subordinates increases whilst respect and admiration for their leader decreases.

10. Bad judgement and poor decision making.

The worst of all leaders are those who have no care whatsoever and just jump into the fire without considering the consequences. They fail to see the long term implications of not developing leadership in their team.

So now you must be thinking well how can I avoid becoming a bad leader? What can be done to ensure leaders stay focused and inspired yet in a unique way that also inspires and engages others?

At Leadership Management International UK Ltd we have been developing leaders for over 40 years and in 60 countries worldwide to live their lives to their full potential and to achieve measured success results both in their business and personal lives.

We have many leadership development programmes that over time can develop the “Total Leader” in the four key domains of leadership, namely; executing, influencing, relationship building and strategic thinking.

In my experience many companies fall into the trap of sending managers on conferences and courses for education and networking but do not give them a tool kit to use as a process for implementation and changing their habits.

As with top level sports people, managers also need but rarely get, personal coaching to learn new techniques, gain feedback on their performance and improve their mindset. In sport this is the way in which performance is continually improved to keep up with and beat the competition. The coaches work on improving knowledge, skills and motivation.

The key leadership characteristics that need to be developed in people are:

  • The ability to vision the future and set goals (desired outcomes)
  • The ability to have written plans and targets in place to reach the goals
  • The self motivation and desire to reach the set goals
  • The supreme self confidence and self belief to reach the set goals
  • The dogged determination and persistence in spite of obstacles and set backs to reach the set goals.

The need for leaders to be able to set goals and shape desired outcomes for their companies cannot be over emphasised enough. The leaders in future who can develop themselves in the following personal skills and habits will bring continuing and sustained success for themselves, their teams and the wider business in which they operate:

  • Build and create a high performing team
  • Create a vision and articulate the purpose for their teams.
  • Connect every team member to the Big Picture
  • Confront realities, dump baggage, and make the appropriate changes to drive forward.
  • Motivate and engage teams to enhance results.
  • Determine the right process for team effectiveness and team morale
  • Develop individual clarity of personal leadership drivers.

And who do we need to expand leadership through? It will be through people with the right attitude who have passion and enthusiasm and want to realise their true potential. These people will have self confidence and a strong self image and self belief based on a set of values they have received through their upbringing and education. They are pro active and team players who want to see both themselves and others succeed.  They are self starters with a positive mental attitude and can do spirit.

There is currently an imbalance of leadership in organisations still weighted towards command and control rather than building collaborative relationships and expanding leadership through personal example. Organisations are people. People are emotional. Leadership is therefore about dealing with the emotions of people so that the goals of the organisation are achieved.

Thirteen Attributes of Leadership

Leadership is not about popularity.

Leadership is not about charisma.

Leaders, like the rest of us experience moments of self doubt and inner turmoil. This results in questioning their own character and judgement with honest reflection and a commitment to action.

As the ethic says “He (sic) who does not increase his knowledge, decreases it.” And this applies to leaders too because we live in a world that does not stand still and changes constantly.

Use these thirteen attributes to find one small way to become a better leader tomorrow than you are today.

  1. A focus on Goal Directed Actions.
  2. Self motivated with an understanding of how to motivate others
  3. A capacity to develop an effective vision of the future with crystallized Goals, and a Plan for their achievement
  4. A belief in constant learning rather than assumed mastery
  5. Development of high self esteem in others
  6. A willingness to ask questions, admit weaknesses and listen to answers
  7. Strong and sincere interpersonal skills, including an appreciation of other people and sensitivity towards individuals
  8. An ability to bring about TRUST, build relationships and inspire others.
  9. The ability and desire to develop leadership in others
  10. The capacity to handle criticism by listening and drawing out people’s concerns
  11. An approach that possesses, values and nurtures innovation and initiative
  12. The ability to communicate well at every level
  13. Integrity and trustworthiness

Leadership challenges are constant and form the basis of dicsussions at my Leadership Lunches. My next lunch takes place in Manchester on Thursday 25th April 2013. An invitation only event. Please get in touch if you would like more information.

Michael Levy 0161 980 0780 / 07903 183931