Navigating Leadership with Katie Banham

Twenty years ago, globally regarded consultants McKinsey & Co coined the term ‘war for talent’ to highlight the importance of recruiting and retaining high performing employees. Today they describe a new war for talent that seeks ‘learning workers’ with entrepreneurial drive and resilience to navigate a constantly evolving landscape.

Empowering others to deal with uncertainty and change can be difficult, even for business leaders with a strong track record of doing it themselves. Profiling leaders who’ve nailed this ability in organisations such as BP, Diageo and HSBC has led me to develop the Navigator Mindset®. This involves three key psychological characteristics and a toolkit for developing them:

  • Compass orients individual personalities around the business vision to spark initiative, confidence and determination
  • Radar tunes people into opportunities and rigorously calculates the best ways to build resources, relationships and resilience
  • Tracker evaluates progress to motivate self-directed learners to keep pushing their boundaries


Andy is an executive in a multinational corporation. I first worked with Andy and his team in 2005 and core to his leadership success has been empowering ‘learning workers’ with a navigator mindset. He combines a relentless focus on operational excellence with a passion for innovation and finely tuned antennae for the human dynamics of his teams. In his drive for his people to become more inventive, he has used psychometrics and personality profiling, leadership training and coaching to stretch and develop his team.

When I ask him about his leadership, he is quick to deflect attention from himself and instead to focus on the agile, self-reliant communities of learners and ‘culture of sharing successes’  that he and his people have created. But,leading by example in actively navigating change has been critical to the confidence and freedom of his team to unleash their creative talents and ‘do their magic’.

Building resilience for change is critical for employers today and a navigator mindset is, without doubt an easy and simple way to get your people started on the journey.

About the author: Katie Banham, Learning to Flourish

Learning to Flourish is run by Katie Banham, who has over 20 years’ experience in business and education. Katie is recognised by BBC Scotland as an expert on the Psychology of Potential and is a Past Chair of Occupational Psychologists in Scotland. Additionally, Katie has worked with clients such as Deloitte, Diageo and Standard Life.

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