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How Google’s “Security Princess” Hacks Leadership

One of the leadership development programs of which we are the most proud is our Integral Women in Leadership program. Since it began last year on our Perth campus, it has gained a reputation as an elite resource for women who want to be perceived in the same light as their male counterparts.

One woman who has done a great job of climbing the ladder in a male-dominated profession is Parisa Tabriz, whose business card says she is the “Security Princess” at Google. Ms Tabriz is a hacker, but she is what is known as a “white hat” hacker, working on the “good” side of the firewall to make Google’s systems more difficult to hack.

Ms Tabriz’ team created Google Chrome and they are now entrusted with protecting it from “black hat” hackers. Chrome is currently the browser of choice for over 750 million users. Unfortunately, individuals, groups and even nations such as North Korea are always trying to find and exploit any flaws in the system that can help them mine data.

The Demographics of Leadership in Google

Google has 50,000 employees; 70% of them are male. In the US, 91% of their employees are either white or Asian. 72% of those in leadership positions at Google are male and 79% are white. Ms Tabriz believes that it is a “good time to be a woman in tech because there is so much discussion about it.”

Ms Tabriz on Leadership

Ms Tabriz has a modern approach towards … Continue reading


Are You a “Long-Winded Leader”?

One of the core values of our management courses is that a leader must learn to not only communicate effectively, but to listen to others, too. We have taught numerous Perth executives how to listen more and talk less. Here are some strategies for determining if you could provide better leadership by talking less.

Are You Leading or Monopolising Discussions?

It is easy for leaders to monopolise discussions. After all, they are paid to provide leadership and a major part of leadership is communication. Unfortunately, it is too easy to ramble or provide too much information in the form of a “supporting argument” when communicating a policy or a decision. Eventually, you lose a portion of your ability to lead because your employees are “tuning you out.”

Why it is so Easy to Talk Too Much

When you talk too much, nobody is going to tell you out of fear of your disapproval. In addition, we tend to talk a lot because it feels good. A 2012 study at Harvard University in the US demonstrated that personal disclosure in the form of talking can trigger the same sensation of pleasure in your brain as money, sex or food.

How do You Stop?

First, you need to figure out if you are talking too much. If your “conversations” are usually dialogues, you are talking too much. Pay attention to your ratio of talking to listening. It can be helpful to remember the old adage that we are born with two … Continue reading


Corporate Empathy on the Rise?

Each year that we conduct leadership development courses for businesses in the Perth area, we see the continuing evolution of modern business first-hand. One of the foremost trends in that evolution is towards corporate empathy.

Due to the proliferation of social media, the business world has become increasingly smaller. It has become increasingly interactive, intimate and immediate. Customers and employees are producing more demand for organisations to engage with them in a way that produces authentic dialogue.

The bottom line: savvy organisations and their leaders are becoming more aware every day that displays of genuine empathy towards employees and customers are one of the more powerful and reliable methods of increasing profits.

However, many executives and organisations feel that they are in a quandary because many are still labouring under the common misconception that empathy is tantamount to weakness. This often causes executives and HR departments to dismiss empathy as a core value and perceive it is a “touchy-feely” add-on.

The best way to defeat this perception while evolving parallel to the demands of the marketplace is to embed empathy throughout an entire organisation, from entry-level through the CEO.

Integral Development: Ahead of the Curve

At Integral Development, we base all of our leadership development training on Integral Theory as created by Ken Wilber. We combine this with solid contemporary business and management techniques to develop leaders from the inside out, both personally and professionally.

Integral Theory teaches us to view all people, situations and problems … Continue reading


Does This Recent Study on Mindfulness Prove the Efficacy of Programs Based on Integral Theory?

All of the leadership development programs and courses that we provide to business and executives in the Perth area are based on Integral Theory. We combine the four quadrants of Integral Theory to develop leaders both personally and professionally.

One of the key concepts of Integral Theory is to view all situations from four different vantage points. This creates a state of mindfulness that can have tremendous impact on all aspects of a person’s life.

Recently, we came upon the results of a study by the Chemnitz University of Technology in Germany and the University of British Columbia in which data from 20 different mindfulness studies was studied to determine the effects of mindfulness on the brain. They identified eight different regions of the brain that were affected by mindfulness, but found two that may have a huge effect on business and management: the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the hippocampus.

Mindfulness and the Anterior Cingulate Cortex

The ACC is the portion of the brain which allows self-regulation. This allows people to place an interval between stimulus and response, behave intentionally and be strategically flexible. It helps people learn from past experiences to make better decisions, especially under stress. Those who practise mindfulness, especially via meditation, exhibit high performance in self-regulation testing.

Mindfulness and the Hippocampus

The hippocampus is part of the limbic system and plays a role in memory and emotion. Those who have PTSD or depression often have a smaller hippocampus. Those with a highly-functioning hippocampus … Continue reading


Employee Engagement: a Global Perspective

When we are providing management consulting in Perth, the subject of employee engagement comes up often. Employee engagement is one of the newer metrics for assessing an organisation’s performance, but it is becoming one of the most important ones. As many businesses have gone out of their way to lower expenses, employees have become more disgruntled.

Executives are now beginning to realise that their employees are extremely important to their success. Consequently, many organisations are making employee engagement a priority. A recent piece in Inc Magazine used examples from US and UK organisations and one global organisation to create the new “rules” for employee engagement.

Discover or Re-establish a Sense of Purpose

A sense of purpose will produce a lot of employee engagement. If they feel like they are just there for the money, they won’t be engaged. If they feel like they are doing something important every day, they will be much happier and more engaged. However, the next paragraph is very important.

Pay Your Employees their Market Value

If your turnover is too high and your engagement level is too low, it may be because you are not paying your employees as much as they can get elsewhere. Employees want to feel appreciated. Nothing says “we don’t appreciate you” more than not paying them what they are worth.


Survey employees. Ask them what is wrong and what is right. Then, follow through if the feedback indicates a problem that you can solve. Your organisation is served … Continue reading

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