• Publications

Thought leadership from Spearhead Executive Coaching

Leveraging her extensive experience in human resources and leadership coaching, Katherine Craig continues to provide thought leadership in these areas and has written a number of published articles covering actionable insights for leaders of all levels. Building on many of these themes, a new book from Katherine titled "Power Tools for Leadership Success" is available now. More details on this exciting new book can be found here.


Focussing on Performance

By Katherine Craig

What are you focused on at work? Are you focused on the day, the moment, the achievement of the day, or are you thinking, "the best is yet to come?" A few months ago I was listening to an interview with Patrick Chan and he was asked about his headspace with respect to the Olympics in Sochi. He noted that to be focused on the medals means that one isn't focused on the performance. I reflected on how true this is with respect to anyone's work.
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Dealing with The Trough: When Work Sucks

By Katherine Craig

Ottawa Human Resource Professionals Association, Up-Date Magazine, March 2014

When we get our first 'grown up' job we veer between fascination and dread. Movies about young titans in the corporate world dance in our heads like the Sugar Plum Fairy. What doesn't play in that vision is "The Trough", those times when work leaves us feeling like we're drowning. Don't worry, though, there are ways to stay afloat and make it to shore.
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Are You A Ferrari At Work?

By Katherine Craig

Ottawa Human Resource Professionals Association, Up-Date Magazine, November 2013

Have you been told you're tough to lead, and to follow? Do you struggle with what appears to be a lack of drive in your team? Don't despair: you might be a Ferrari, and that can be a very good thing if you adjust your perspective.
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The Science of Change

By Katherine Craig

Ottawa Human Resource Professionals Association, Up-Date Magazine, May 2013

"People don't resist change, they resist being changed." (Peter Senge) So what's going on here? Is the modern workforce hopelessly apathetic? Great news: there is hope! There's nothing wrong with the spirit of your workforce, they're just waiting for an invitation.
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What to do after a sh##ty meeting with your Boss: Surviving Corporate Disgrace

By Katherine Craig

Ottawa Human Resource Professionals Association, Up-Date Magazine, January 2013

Making a good impression during a presentation is important, but it's vital to maintain a good rapport with your boss in all situations. What happens when you've "crashed and burned" during a meeting with him or her? In this piece, I explain how you can recover from the crash.
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Who's Afraid?

By Katherine Craig

Family Services EAP Ottawa, January 2013

As a coach, much of my work is one-to-one, but I frequently find myself at the front of a room full of people, whether I'm pitching a new service, conducting a workshop or delivering a keynote address. You'd be hard-pressed to find an office environment in which you were never called upon to make a presentation. Check out this article, and learn some valuable lessons for honing your presentation skills.
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Models Schmodels (One Size Never Fits All)

By Katherine Craig

June 2012

As I was doing research this summer I got entirely aggravated with business models that promised to solve every workplace woe. I spent a lot of time pinning my hopes on these promises for a lot of years then just gave up on them entirely for a while. Neither was a particularly smart path. The road to enlightenment lies in between buying the goods lock, stock and smoking barrel and total denial. Actually, you know the catch already. Read Model Schmodels and make the business models serve you instead of you serving them.
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Managing Virtual Teams

By Katherine Craig

Ottawa Human Resource Professionals Association, Up-Date Magazine, May 2012

The corporate world has seen an explosion of virtual teams: departments whose members are scattered in branches across town, across the country, around the globe. The exponential advancement of IT has facilitated this phenomenon, however not all the stakeholders in this new "office" environment have adapted to the changing climate. Is your workplace suffering because of a poorly functioning virtual team?
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Recognition & Rewards: Inspire, Engage, Retain

By Katherine Craig

Great leadership requires disciplined, consistent effort and a willingness to innovate. When striving to take your leadership practices from good to great, it's vital to consider the concepts of rewards and recognition and their role in the engagement and retention of your workforce. This is the perfect time to examine the ways in which you can develop and implement a solid R&R program that will benefit both your team and your company.
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Putting an End to the Blame Game

By Katherine Craig

With the New Year upon us, professionals in offices across Canada are penning their personal and professional goals for 2012. Achieving a work/life balance will almost certainly be on the list for a great majority of executives, on all levels of the corporate ladder. What isnít certain, however, is the means by which they'll try to strike this balance. The perception that we are overworked is well-entrenched in office culture, however, not always justified. Sometimes our vision is blurred by the "Blame Game" - blaming outside forces for inner shortcomings; when looking for ways to strike your work/life balance, itís important that you take a close look, not just in a magnifying glass, but also in a mirror.
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'Negotiating' Is Not A Four Letter Word

By Katherine Craig

Like it or not, your daily life is a series of negotiations. Every interaction has an element of bartering: for attention, compliance, understanding, a space in the merge lane. Most negotiations go on so subtly we arenít aware of them, so when we consciously enter into them it is with trepidation. The role of 'negotiator' has been elevated to an area of specialty in the sphere of commerce, so we mistakenly believe we don't possess the ability to navigate the tough workplace conversations. There are some simple steps you can take to have the 'tough conversations' without conflict or crisis, though it's important that you approach each conversation with these basic guidelines in mind.
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Brand Yourself, Brand Your Team

By Katherine Craig

Family Services EAP, Solutions Newsletter, September 2011

If you were asked to identify the company that uses Yellow Arches it would only take you a heartbeat to say "McDonalds". Most people in Canada can identify a Tim Horton's cup just from the colours and the shape of the lettering. Think about it - how did this happen? If you said these companies picked something distinctive and fairly simple to remember then branded everything with it you would be right. While we are quite conversant on company brands, though, we rarely think of how we have branded ourselves. What is your brand, and why is important to have one?
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10 Key Leadership Tips for Creating Engagement

By Katherine Craig

Family Services EAP, Solutions Newsletter, August 2011

No doubt you've been subjected to mediocre management: it's good, but not great; competent, but not inspiring. There is tremendous power in an engaged workforce, and unleashing that power is simpler than you might think. Here are 10 tips you can put into place today that will reap rewards for you and your team well into the future.
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The Three Rs of Leadership: Retreats, Recruit & Retain

By Katherine Craig

Family Services EAP, Solutions Newsletter, September 2011

Corporate conferences have changed over the years; gone are the days of beer-soaked golf tournaments and hours spent listening to the "suits" give pseudo-inspirational speeches. Companies of all sizes and composition are learning about the benefits of an engaging, well-planned, well-run retreat. Whether you offer a week-long program for your entire staff every year, or a two-day event catering to specific departments quarterly, corporate retreats are a valuable tool.
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Onboarding: From Anxiety to Achievement

By Katherine Craig

Human Resources Management Association, PeopleTalk Magazine, Spring 2011

Statistics suggest that it will take six to nine months for a new leader to tip the "Breakeven" scale: six to nine months for your high level staffer to stop drawing down your bottom line and start creating value for your organization. Regardless of their credentials, your new hire simply doesnít parachute into the job and start churning out results. Find out what you can do to speed up their journey to the Breakeven Point.
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Succession Planning

By Katherine Craig

Ottawa Human Resource Professionals Association, Up-Date Magazine, March 2011

A great deal of attention has been devoted to the departure of Baby Boomers from the workforce, and with good cause. Why? Because the gap these Boomers are leaving in the upper ranks canít necessarily be filled by the middle managers coming up behind them. What happens when Boomers leave their corner offices and hand the keys over to Generation X?
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10 Tips for Leadership Success

By Katherine Craig

Family Services EAP, Solutions Newsletter, February 2011

We all know there isn't a 'magic wand' when it comes to effective leadership. It's a deliberate, daily endeavour that requires great effort and creativity. Good leaders can elevate team performance to unexpected levels when they conduct themselves with clarity and commitment. Whether youíre just beginning your career as a team leader or trying to re-energize your department, here are some simple guidelines that can help you to become a more effective and successful leader.
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Smoothing Transitions: Factoring Diversity

By Katherine Craig

Human Resources Management Association, PeopleTalk Magazine, Fall 2010

HR practitioners know that new hires take time to reach full capacity, to reach the "Breakeven Point" when they stop drawing down a companyís bottom line and start generating revenue. There is growing awareness, too, that while executives may come from another country with perfect English and the perfect education, itís very likely that they will lack an understanding of our corporate customs. How can you smooth these cross-cultural transitions?
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