About Dorrian Aiken

What I do: As a leadership development coach, I make connections for non-academics of a world of discoveries and experiences that help to change lives and relationships for the better. In the world of work, and especially for those in leadership, practical focussed steps help leaders see complexity in their own context – how the pieces of ‘me’, ‘we’ and ‘world’ fit together. The interlocking patterns are obscured to us for a number of reasons, not least because we bump up against a multiplicity of world views, each with its own set of beliefs, governing thoughts and actions – and all of which are present amongst us right now.

It’s Not Me, It’s You. Accountability in the Workplace

Accountability. There’s a loaded word if there was one - and especially in the context of the workplace. If you’ve ever worked in an environment with zero accountability, or been held accountable for the outcome of something you had very little power to influence, then you know first hand how the notion of being held accountable does not generally conjure [...]

Why Leaders need to Adopt a Deep Work Strategy to be Better

How much of your workday is spent reading and answering emails, rushing to meetings - and how much of it is spent making a meaningful contribution to your team, or your career as a whole?   Cal Newport, an assistant professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, and the author of the recent book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success [...]

Beyond the Boardroom: Why Leadership is More Important than Ever

Leadership is often pigeon-holed as a desired skill or attribute in the limited context of the workplace. While good leadership is crucial in organizations, it is also a human quality that should be nurtured in every person. If you are thinking that not all of us can realistically be groomed be President, CEO, manager or team-lead, you are not wrong. [...]

Why your technical expertise doesn’t guarantee you’ll be a good leader

In most organisations, the natural progression for the star in the team is the promotion to team lead or manager. And while that might be a step up, most individuals feel ill prepared for the new responsibility of leading. Old school management styles are no longer relevant in modern places of business - managing a team is not the same [...]

8 Reasons Why Your Team is Resisting Change

It’s not possible to be aware of all sources of resistance to change. But that there will be resistance to change is a sure and safe bet. Expecting that there will be resistance to change and being prepared to manage it is a positive and proactive step from your side as the driver of change. Here are some common pitfalls [...]

How emotional intelligence will set you apart as a leader

For too long, organisations have viewed emotional intelligence (EI) as a soft skill, or a nice-to-have in the candidate who is being promoted into a leadership position. But there is a reason why some people are more influential than others. Once you acquire the education and training required for a particular career path, it’s not your IQ that will set [...]

Burnout: It’s not all in your head

If you are a person with a ‘can do, go- go- go’ attitude at work and at home, then be warned – burnout could be coming for you. Because high-achievers are often so passionate about what they do, they tend to ignore the fact that they’re working exceptionally long hours, taking on exceedingly heavy work loads, and putting enormous pressure [...]

What is vertical learning?

Never heard of the term 'vertical learning'? To put it into perspective, you’re probably already really good at horizontal learning. A good example is learning to drive a car. When you started, you were incompetent, you had to take it slowly and have a lot of instruction. Gradually you became consciously competent, and now with all the driving practice you’ve [...]

What is a leadership development coach?

As a professional coach and lecturer in leadership competencies, I meet people from all walks of life, and the two questions I am most often asked are: What is a leadership development coach? How will coaching benefit me? Usually, the word 'coach' conjures the image of a sports coach – an expert who has the knowledge to instruct you on [...]