At this time of year many people begin the process of making individual, business or corporate plans for the forthcoming year ahead.
Greater success comes to those who take time to carefully consider, plan and make goals for the future. Even greater success comes to those wise few amongst us who write those goals down, track and measure them every week/month, review and adjust our strategies/actions accordingly, never losing sight of the goal we have set ourselves.
The combined process of positive thinking, leading to positive action is the cornerstone to transforming the results you want in your personal and business life.
“If you want to be happy, seek a goal that commands your thoughts, unleashes your energy and inspires your hopes.”
Over the past 30 years, over 1 million people have set and tracked their plans using a system called Best Year Yet. This online results system is incredible and the testimonials are endless.
So, are you looking to make 2013 your best ever year. how many times have you promised yourself you would sit down and make a plan for the next 12 months, but never got round to it and, before you knew it, another year has passed you by and things you have always wanted to achieve keep alluding you?
Change your life. Join a million other successful people who use the Best Year Yet online goal setting and tracking system to set up your annual plan and learn to become a master of producing breakthrough results in both your personal and business life. This system is really easy to use and will prove to be one of the best investments you have ever made in yourself.
Recommended by Leadership Expert, the Best Year Yet system brings you a secure, easy to use, cloud based online goal setting and tracking programme for only £100.00. Thats less than the equivalent of 30 pence per day, to experience your Best Ever Year.
Simple to buy and simple to do – make your own Best Year Yet Plan today:
1. Ready your business for expansion – evaluate strategy & financing.
Access to capital and funding alternatives and how a business owner navigates and negotiates that process is one of the biggest issues facing entrepreneurs today. Linking strategic growth to your short, medium and long term funding needs is key to your success. Having a robust business plan is essential.
There’s lots of capital out there to be deployed – finding the right funding/equity partner and high growth business coach can resolve all your issues. It’s important to leverage your networks and advisory boards.
2. Think big and be bold.
Think about scaling, not only your service and product offerings, but also vertical opportunities that you could move into. Think outside the box about partners that you could team with to be innovative. There are a lot of conversions happening across sectors, don’t think in only your one particular sector or about just your product and services. Make plans based on achieving your Best Year Yet® year after year.
3. Build a public profile and strong brand image.
Revise your website and social network sites such as Linked In to include information on your achievements, vision and insights. PR and testimonials can put you on the map, what are you doing to increase your visibility?
4. Work on the business, rather than in it.
Think about how to build your team, remembering that a diverse team is critical to winning. Critically evaluate where you are today, and where you will be in five years and build a team that will take you to the five year mark and beyond.
Make sure you are tapping into people’s passion and to critically evaluate if you have the right people in the right position. If they have the passion and you like the raw material, tap into that and put them in a position to help you grow your company. And if someone is not working out it’s important to have the confidence and awareness to make critical decision to move on and the courage to do it quickly.
5. Establish key advisory networks.
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to draw on the experience of peers, mentors and business and personal advisers. The right networks can yield both new opportunities and a new way of thinking. When you get into groups and are around mentors and advisers you can address the issues you are facing with people who have experienced a similar set of problems; you will see things in a different light. This will help you to develop the awareness and confidence to make tough decisions. Reach out to others; successful people want to help and give back to support the next generation of business owners – don’t worry about approaching someone you admire as an entrepreneur.
If you would like any help or more information on finding the right funding partner for you post a comment or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Doing dangerous things for the hell of it is part and parcel of being human
Don’t be cynical about Felix Baumgartner. His parachute jump was extraordinary
Daredevil Austrian born Felix Baumgartner has safely jumped out of a balloon 24 miles above New Mexico, becoming the first skydiver to break the speed of sound by traveling over 833 miles per hour. His ascended the rooftop of the world, just inside the outer edge of the stratosphere, in a specially build rocket capsule, hanging underneath two million cubic-foot polyethylene balloon filled with helium. from their he opened his capsule, hung in the doorway uttering something about suddenly feeling very small and bravely jumped to earth.
In total, it took him just under 10 minutes to make the record descent – it was also the highest ever freefall – and he opened his parachute with just a few thousand feet to go.
With the waiting over and Baumgartner safely back on terra firma, reaction to his stunt seems to be polarising. There are those who say that, although clearly brave, the Austrian is also clearly stupid, selfish or both.
“Jumping from a balloon won’t cure cancer or reverse the global economic meltdown”
After all, they argue, this was largely a stunt for self-aggrandisement and little else. Baumgartner spent a lot of money and presumably tied up quite a few emergency personnel because he wanted to show off. And he could easily have died – like others who have recently tried to break this particular record.
Jumping from a balloon won’t cure cancer or reverse the global economic meltdown, so why is it afforded so many column inches in newspapers and celebratory pieces on the news?
“Baumgartner’s death-defying jump was sensational, and it showed something good about the human spirit.”
The fact of the matter is that Baumgartner was not alone in this quest – just like any incredible feat of human endeavour, the achievement comes through a strong support network and great teamwork. It is a story of NASA proportions where everyone has a crucial role to play in order to demonstrate the capacity and capability of the human spirit. After all, why does anyone want to break any record – because they believe they can. This story is a testimony in self belief, the achievement of goals and the celebration of success. Baumgartner’s death-defying jump was sensational, and it shows something incredible about the human spirit.
There was, of course, some scientific justification for the jump, though it has to be admitted that any data that comes from it on high-performance, high-altitude parachute systems feels rather secondary to its real purpose.
Which was simply to go to where no man (or woman) has gone before, and do something nobody else ever has.
Why is that worthy of celebration? Because it’s what human beings do. Along with big brains and opposable thumbs, what separates men from monkeys is a desire to understand our world and explore beyond our natural boundaries. Baumgartner is undoubtedly a bit of a show-off, but then he also follows in a long tradition of those who push the limits of human experience for its own sake.
“Though Neil Armstrong collected some interesting rocks, the abiding intent of the Apollo missions was not chemistry or geology but to… prove it could be done”
If you think Baumgartner shouldn’t have bothered, would you rather Sir Edmund Hillary or Ernest Shackleton had also been shackled by health and safety concerns? What about Captain Scott, a tragic British hero celebrated in print and film who died attempting to walk to the South Pole?
Scott died in Antarctica simply trying to find out if something difficult could be done (it could, but mistakes were made, which of course were learnt from), which seems to me like justification enough.
And though Neil Armstrong collected some interesting rocks, the abiding intent of the Apollo missions was not chemistry or geology but to show man breaking free of the constraints of gravity, and to prove it could be done. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon to help satisfy man’s natural curiosity about what he can achieve.
And that really is a good thing. It may eventually lead to human settlements beyond the solar system, or the discovery of alien life, or the seeding of the deepest oceans for human benefit.
As the story captures the imagination of the world we will all feel a sense that there are fewer and fewer things we cannot achieve when we build top performing teams of people with incredible skills, knowledge and tenacity, not to mention bravery.
It says a lot of good things about our insatiable spirit of adventure, and a can-do attitude that bodes well for our collective future.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? WAS BAUMGARTNER’S JUMP AN EGOTISTICAL WASTE OF TIME, OR AN INHERENTLY GREAT THING FOR A MAN TO DO?
There are 5 BIG reasons why leadership and management is failing in many organisations right now.
I call them the five harbingers of doom.
Your about to discover exactly what the 5 harbingers of doom are – although you’ve probably seen some of them in action and you are seeing evidence of their handy work day in and day out – if not in your company then in many you interact with.
The five harbingers of doom lead to:
- Low staff morale
- Reduced productivity
- Poor customer experience/rising complaints
- Lost sales opportunities and revenue streams
- The best staff leaving…
The monster which has plagued both household names, global organisations, long standing local family businesses and one in three start-up businesses in the UK (3 in 4 in the USA!) – LEADERSHIP. The five harbingers of doom which feed the monster are:
- The autocratic leader
- Leadership teams who don’t listen to their people
- Transactional as opposed to transformational leaders
- Corporate bullies
- Leaders who don’t do as they say and fail to deliver on their promises
Ring any bells?
If you’ve worked in any of these organisations I’m sure you will agree:
Clinton Cards; Kodak; Enron; DeLorean; Pan Am; Woolworths; Royal Bank of Scotland to name but a few. There are tens of thousands of smaller businesses and organisations that have faced the same fate. Are you working in such a company right now?
If so, its time to break out from the norm.
The change you want to see in your organisation begins with you.
You can change the environment, the atmosphere and the culture. Yes, I know it sounds incredible – it might even sound ridiculous for someone who feels entrenched in an organisation which seems hell bent on self destruction, where staff morale is at its lowest ever.
So whats the secret?
The secret to making the changes needed to turn your company into an:
Iceland; Pets at Home; PWC; UKRD; Admiral Group; or a Shine Communications (source: The Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to work for 2012).
What you must do is focus on the following five long term traits and turn them into daily habits and actions:
- Become a leader who constantly seeks to develop and fine tuning your skills, using self development tools and practicing a wide repertoire of leadership, management, coaching and mentoring styles at every opportunity.
- Become a leader who is open to and constantly seeking feedback from the people you interact with. This includes your boss/senior stakeholders, your immediate leadership team, staff you interact with, suppliers, partners and customers. Using 360 degree feedback in this way will helps you to …
- Self reflect. Leaders who invest time in reflecting and considering the impact of their actions, who are open to admitting their mistakes along the way and showing some humility, always win the respect of the people they work with.
- Be a Leader who takes the view that your staff don’t work for you – you work for them. Acknowledging that you can only ever be as good as your team. ..
- Nurture and develop your people, acknowledging their talents, inspiring and leading from the front. People respect this kind of leader and will follow them anywhere. This kind of leader no longer has a ‘morale’ issue, because people love working for him/her.
So, here’s the first step you must take, right from now. From this very moment. I strongly encourage you to create time to begin at STEP 1 – self development.
This issue is so important to leadership and management in the current global climate that I spent over 2 years traveling the world and seeking out the best leadership and management tools to help you to become an accomplished and authentic leader. In that time I had the pleasure of meeting the late, great Dr Stephen Covey, Jinny Ditzler, Andy Lopata, the team at Charterhouse, Profiles International and many other influential people engaged in thought, study and publication on Leadership and Management today.
Combining all their experience, talents, success and I have produced the following leadership toolkit. This is one of the most powerful self-development leadership programmes on the market. This is an exclusive offer specifically to help readers of Leadership-Expert.co.uk. The beauty of it is…
It doesn’t cost thousands of pounds. It doesn’t mean your company has to commit to sending you off on a 6 week course to learn everything there is to know about successful leadership. This is something you can do for yourself – no-one at work has to know. This is your gift to yourself to enable you to become 100% more effective as a leader in your workplace, whatever your current role.
The Ultimate Leadership Toolkit is ideal if:
- You are a business owner who employs staff.
- You are new to leadership – perhaps you have just gained your first management promotion.
- You are ambitious and want to progress in your organisation by building a strong reputation for leading people.
- You want to develop top performing teams.
- You want to learn, find out what you don’t know and apply some staggeringly simple but hugely effective techniques.
To start you off I am offering you an exceptional leadership and management tool – which will give you the answers to some of the fundamental problems and challenges all leaders face, but sadly too many do not know how to respond to them. This tool will give you the edge.
- The Ultimate Leadership Guide – secrets to success at work and in business. This compendium contains 32 of the worlds most powerful leadership concepts and open up a whole range of practical tips and tools you can implement in the day to day situations and challenges you face. Do you want to build an incredible reputation for developing top performing teams, who will follow you anywhere. Do you want to learn some of the secrets of how and why the British team did so well at the last two Olympic games? The foreword to this compendium, comes straight from Steve Backley OBE, British Olympic Silver medalist in Sydney 2000 and commentator on London 2012. Value £35.99
That’s just £35.99 (plus postage) to invest in making yourself 10 times more effective than you currently are, because you don’t know what you don’t know. The Ultimate Leadership Guide tells you all you need to know. At the moment Amazon are offering a 15% discount, but this is bound to be for a limited period only.
So dont delay – if you’ve got this far all you have to do is click here and order your copy of The Ultimate Leadership Guide.
Transform your leadership skills right now – don’t let the harbingers of doom feature any more in your working world.
Featured by The Daily Telegraph Business Club – oh and here’s some of the feedback from people who have already started using this toolkit:
“It’s more than a guide – it’s an inspiring instruction manual to help you motivate and lead your team.
Simon Teague has sifted through techniques, treatments and tips from prominent experts around the world to deliver bite size pieces of management good sense.
It’s a must for every desk top.”
Graham Miller, CEO
“Whether you are newly appointed, a developing manager or an experienced executive this guide will provide you with a tantalising toolkit of best practise tips and techniques that will help you to become a more effective leader who motivates and inspires his / her people to deliver outstanding levels of performance”
CMS (GB) Ltd
“A sensible choice for any Leader or Manager who is looking for a guide of proven work place techniques to use as building blocks for self development and longevity of high individual and team performance”
Royal Bank of Scotland Group
‘I know how important it is for managers and leaders of business to develop their skills in order to stand out in the marketplace. The tips and techniques revealed in the Ultimate Leadership Guide come from some of the World’s leading experts and Simon Teague has designed the Guide expressly to make it easy to read, learn and apply the powerful strategies within. The rest is up to you.’
Author and expert on business networking strategy.
In the business world today we are experiencing many challenges: Change; Competition; Communication; Motivation and Morale. For leaders to see their way through this multifarious range of concerns, they need to quickly diagnose and apply the right remedies. Having the specialist desktop guide at your side will provide the support needed to tackle these challenges head on.
Sales and Marketing Director
Peter Thomson International PLC
What I love about The Ultimate Leadership Guide is how it simply and visually explains complex leadership principles in a way that enables the user to instantly apply the theory into practical work based issues and see measurable results. It is the one piece of armoury in 21st Century leadership you simply cannot afford to be without.
Corporate Responsibility Manager
Ernst & Young LLP
This Guide is a fabulous resource, containing a wealth of information that no self respecting leader can afford to be without.
Peter Thomson International PLC
“If you would love to know all the tried and tested leadership and management skills but don’t find the quality time to read, take in and apply the plethora of information that’s available, then The Ultimate Leadership Guide is just what you need. Written in a style that is easy to read and comprehend, you have at your fingertips all the answers you need to be a successful and highly respected leader.”
Director, People Development, Holtby Turner
‘The Ultimate Leadership Guide’ is the most user-friendly, practical and results-orientated reference guide for all businesses that I have seen in a very long time.
Busy people don’t want to have to allocate significant tranches of time and money for them or their staff to increase their skills, effectiveness and profitability. ULG is the solution. Simon Teague – like many great ideas – has come up with a really simple answer to the question of, ‘How do we ensure our people keep on track, self-motivated and with a minimum of supervision?’
A distillation of many of the best ideas from many of the leading gurus, this Guide can save you years of research and reading to track down the answers you want to the challenges you have.
QJ, Inspirationist, Quite Stunning
‘The Ultimate Leadership Guide’ offers real insights into some of the greatest authorities and experts in leadership and their tried and tested principles. If you apply these principles rigorously you will certainly reach your full potential.”
Steve Backley OBE
Leadership-expert will shortly be releasing a subscription membership model which will release significant on-line leadership learning modules for a monthly investment of only £8.66pm. This is currently under development and will transform the world of leadership and management, because the very people learning these modules will become incredible, inspirational leaders across the globe. If this interests you, make sure you join our current community of free subscribers as these will receive the first offers with many bonus leadership development programmes up front.
Market analysts in the world of finance have perhaps the most high pressure jobs in the world. Deals are made and broken on their recommendation. They are often responsible for incredible amounts of money on behalf of a company, with risk always around the corner. Sometimes it doesn’t go to plan, and when this happens, the impact can be huge. It takes a certain type of person to be able to operate with the weight of this responsibility, but the rewards can be great.
The ideal market analyst…
- Has a head for numbers – It’s obvious really, but this isn’t an industry you can be successful in if you aren’t at the top of your game. Just turning up for work won’t get you far – impressive financial results will. There’s a lot to be considering at once, with one eye focusing on dozens of terminals housing signals, streaming data and information from various trading platforms and the other on the news. A strong financial education wouldn’t go amiss either.
- Has an eye for detail – The little numbers are just as important as the big ones. One thousandth of a unit in a currency pair or share price could be just as decisive as the billions a bank turns over. Nothing should pass unnoticed.
- Is both charming and hard-nosed – The very best analysts have a practical, shrewd and stubborn attitude to their work. Hard work and perseverance are certainly valuable qualities. While risk is an integral part of the job, it should be addressed and mitigated.
- Rules with an iron fist – The world of finance is a cutthroat one at best. You can’t let anyone get ahead of you and control is everything. Some of the most successful in this industry are known to be aggressive dealers. This can’t be taken too far though – Bob Diamond of Barclays oversaw fraudulent manipulation of Libor rates and paid for it with his career.
- Is thick skinned – Let’s be honest, those in the financial industry aren’t always the most popular members of society. You need to be ready to take the heat, especially when things go wrong.
No More Mr Nice Guy?
The qualities don’t necessarily paint a picture of a particularly pleasant person, but that doesn’t have to be the case at all. The most successful investor of all time, Warren Buffet, is a great leader and has the ability to predict market fluctuations like nobody else, but is generally regarded to be a ‘nice guy’. He’s extremely economical with his wealth, despite being one of the richest people in the world, and has pledged to give nearly all of his money to charity.
It takes a strong person to excel in finance during the bad times though. When things begin to take a turn for the worse, it can bring the worst out in people. Nick Leeson for instance, who caused the collapse of Barings Bank, took bigger and bigger risks with money when he realised he could hide losses from his employer. He ultimately lost control and served time in prison.
Those who can balance all of the qualities needed for success find themselves highly sought after by employers. Track records of accurate analysis speak for themselves, but only the very best will get to where they want to be. Some of the richest people in the world are or have been market analysts, but some of the biggest scandals of all time have been their doing too.
In this guest blog post by Jorge Rogers, he asks if you think you have what it takes to become a successful Market Analyst?
Conflicts are inevitable. No matter which industry you belong to, conflicts are bound to happen. You can try to avoid it but they will surface nonetheless. If left to simmer and boil, conflicts can decrease employee productivity and destroy teamwork.
Conflicts shouldn’t come as a surprise to someone working with a team. As good as you are at managing people’s emotions, egos, and team chemistry, conflicts will eventually arise. The proper mindset is not in avoiding it at all costs but in using conflict to strengthen your team. But that’s another topic altogether. For now, let’s talk about a few tips in handling conflicts within your company.
1. Address conflicts immediately
As people always say, nip it at the bud. When conflict arises, talk to the parties involved right away. Listen carefully, intently, and take note of information that will help you find out the cause/s of the conflict as well as possible solutions. Until you meet with all the parties involved, never make any conclusions. One person’s point of view is always wrong from the other person’s until a third party comes along to find the proper balance between the two. Remind them that these are normal and in fact healthy when handled properly. Conflict simply means two people are looking at the same thing from different angles.
2. Find common ground
Look for those things that both parties agree on and work from there. When people are at odds with others they often see where they both disagree and then focus on that. What they don’t realize, or often tend to forget, is that they have more in common than they think. If you ask them what they want to happen, you will almost certainly notice that they agree with the end result but they disagree on how to get there.
3. Look for the win for both parties
Stephen Covey’s 4th habit in his best-selling book, “The 7 Habits for Highly Effective People”, is “Think Win-Win”. If there’s a way for both parties to reach a compromise where they both win, then go for it. Sometimes it’s not a matter of someone winning the argument and the other losing. Oftentimes conflicts can be resolved with both parties winning. If it’s possible at all to get them both to win then negotiate with them to make that happen.
However, there are times when someone is completely wrong about a matter and has to apologize to the other person for his wrongdoing while the other party never contributed at all to the conflict. Everything came from one source. In this case, you need to correct the wrongdoer for creating the conflict using the factual information. It’s still a win for both because if the conflict is resolved, there will be no more animosity from within the team and the negative emotions each one feels about the other will disappear.
4. Understand how to deal with private conflicts versus public conflicts
If the conflict is a private matter, deal with it in private. If the matter has become public, deal with the parties involved privately but don’t forget to address it publicly, as well. Gossip can continue to disrupt team chemistry even though the issue has been resolved between the parties. Just remember to talk to the team in general terms that don’t require you to go into the details of the conflict. Say only what is necessary to inform the team of the resolution and close the book on it.
During times of conflict there is the tendency to wish that you had employees that were easier to handle. Take heart! In reality, you have passionate employees that want to do well at work. Conflicts are actual team-building exercises to prepare your employees to succeed.
Alexis Thompson is a former Mountain Backpacker, Real Estate Sales Personnel and a 26 year old mother of 2 daughters, Sophie and Rhian. She is into almost all types of Music especially The Fray and Hillsong. She also has a passion in Singing and Scrap Booking. Follow her escapades on her Twitter.
Are people more complex than they used to be in our Grandfathers day? Or during our Fathers working lives? What do you think? Or is it just that people are savvier than they ever used to be? Are the waves of technological change that engulf us, advancing or confusing us?
We are living in a moment of flux. There is a new economy – a global, diverse and multicultural melting pot of disaster and opportunity combined. At the same time, there is a workplace revolution taking place. Out go the jobs for life, loyalty and dedication; in comes insecurity, change and manipulation. And the pendulum swings between employer and employee as to who is manipulating who?
So why do so many leaders fail to see the writing on the wall and keep up with this pace of change? Because they are confused, ill prepared and using out of date leadership models and leadership practices to deal with the ‘new world’ situations they are now facing. They think they have all the answers and they operate under the misapprehension that their employees expect them to have all the solutions. Power takes hold. Greed fogs the mind and social responsibility goes out the window. But this kind of leadership from on high in a hierarchical command and control structure is obsolete – dead, buried. So too is the ‘house of change’ – used as an excuse by leaders to blame and make excuses for the apparent poor behaviour of their employees.
What leaders don’t seem to be grasping is the amazing ability of the worker to adapt, survive and embrace both technological and corporate change.
Yes. More and more people are experiencing the power that comes from grabbing hold of their working and social life by the scruff of the neck and taking individual responsibility for their personal and professional lives. As Peeta proclaims in the film ‘The Hunger Games’ “I won’t let them change me”. Leaders have forgotten that employees think – we are like the ants that rebel against the grasshoppers in the film ‘Bugs Life’. Workers are beginning to see more of what’s going on in the world. And what we see we don’t like:
- Crass leadership decision making which has flushed many previously great organisations such as General Motors, Royal Bank of Scotland, Kodak and Woolworth down the toilet.
- Corruption in organisations such as Lehman Brothers, News Corporation and FIFA to the extent that there are no longer any institutions exempt from scrutiny for their strategy and their actions.
- A dangerous tussle is taking place where employers or employees are seeking to impose a pace of ‘continuous improvement’ when what’s needed today is wholesale, cataclysmic change if old generation organisations are to keep pace with new entrants on the world stage.
- At a more local level, overloaded leaders are failing to delegate effectively, because they don’t trust their own people and then they fail to make decisions, holding endless committees, with meeting after meeting. To justify their existence they wrap their employees up in countless email traffic, action plan upon action plan and top down communication dictates.
- As the world marches on and leaders are then forced into making decisions (which usually affect the employees or customers first!) they do so with ill conceived, knee jerk reactions.
- One of the most profitable professions emerging in the world is that of the employment law lawyer – the courts are bulging at the seams with case after case and fundamentally the reason they got this far is due to a total failure of leadership use the full repertoire of leadership styles needed in todays complex and diverse humanistic environment and address issues in the right way, by simply treating people like human beings.
In the words of Tom Peters Re-Imagine! “Free the cubicle slaves!”
What does Simon Teague think?
Surely, the primary role of the leader of any organisation, establishment, business, college or team should be to create a culture where people are inspired to deliver their very best, develop their skills and collaborate to win, every day. Such leaders will focus on 3 key measurements:
- Living and breathing the vision of the business to such a degree that every employee, partner and customer of the whole organisation can feel it and want to be a part of it.
- Delivering staggering results by creating a high value, high performance culture and building unstoppable teams.
- Creating a legacy for long term sustained success through the development and nurture of even greater leaders than the leader himself/herself. Jim Collins Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t calls this ‘breakthrough’.
I have no doubt that when it comes to ticking these three boxes, 95% of leaders will say “Well, of course, I’m doing all these things.” The reality, sadly, is that less than 5% of our current leadership teams globally really measure up. In most cases, all I can hear are leadership teams who blame their staff for under-performance and not living the vision and values of the organisation. Many leaders tell me they are bereft of talent within their company and until they can get the right staff today, they struggle to think further ahead than the current financial year.
Many leaders can’t actually answer the question: “Where does your immediate leadership team stack up against the three key measurements above?” Consequently they do not know where to begin when it comes to addressing these three issues, so they focus on the most pressing one at hand, which is usually the delivery of results (short term ones).
So, how do you know if you are doing a good job and you are heading in the right direction when it comes to bringing to life your vision, delivering sustainable results and nurturing your people? How do you measure up against the five success criteria outlined below? I would encourage you to assess:
- Which boxes would you currently tick?
- What do your immediate leadership team think?
- What’s the view of all the rest of your staff (this view is likely to be closest to reality)
Poor Leadership and Dysfunctional Teams:
The vision lives on a poster or intranet but very few people can articulate it, let alone live it. Ask your immediate leadership board how do they and their immediate teams bring the vision to life in their day to day actions. There will only be a handful of tenuous examples.
The senior leader team cannot articulate the values and there are differences of opinion as to what they are. Few people in the organisation know what they are and don’t buy in to them. This creates dysfunctional behaviour at every level. Meeting agendas rarely focus on strategic values – they mainly focus on tasks and consequently teams are wrapped up in meeting after meeting, achieving little progress.
There is a blame culture, usually senior leaders pointing their fingers at subordinates, peers or other divisions. The organisation is wrapped up in emails. Things don’t get done. Most people are working in the ‘Urgent but not important box’. This is a team of busy fools. Stress is prevalent and there are capacity issues through high sickness, high staff turnover (above 8%) and inefficiencies. HR is ineffective at driving capacity improvement. Action plans have far too many actions on them causing inaction.
The autonomy to make decisions has been removed, because the senior leader team believe they are the only ones with the answers and they want control. Staff work for the leaders. However, they feel disengaged and dis-empowered. Staff meetings are top down cascades. Eventually the best people leave, because this is not an environment in which they can thrive. The leadership is creating a culture of followers who ‘do as their told or face the consequences’. There is an insufficient budget to develop and improve staff skills and what little training that takes place is force fed (mandatory!) and plans for continuous improvement are ineffective. Indeed, leaders feel like they keep asking the same questions over and over again and the organisation is going round in circles.
There are very few decision makers because there is very little delegation from the senior team who don’t have the confidence in their people to ‘let go’. Staff feel they are working in a dictatorship where the consequences of speaking up are dire. There are large numbers of grievances in this organisation and many go right to the very top, wrapping the senior team up in far too many ‘HR issues’ which increase their mistrust of the staff as a whole. Whilst the senior leader team may be doing a good job at convincing stakeholders all is well (because they in turn often only want short term results), there are cracks and flawed strategies everywhere and staff do not feel their leaders are doing a good job. If they could they would fire the boss.
The environment looks like this:
Good Leadership and functional teams
The vision is clear, visible and well communicated at every opportunity. The outcome of all meetings is vision focused. Leaders are constantly asking themselves, how can we bring the vision to life for everyone who touches our organisation? Staff believe in the vision and want to play a part in the organisations future success.
The senior leader team and middle management can articulate the values, but it usually doesn’t go any further than that. There are gaps and misconceptions regarding the future, but there is an awareness and desire to rectify issues and bring everyone on board. There is a real understanding that it is through the vision and values that a high value, high performance culture is developed and a long term legacy is built.
In the main people work together and work towards team interdependence is under way. Everyone is aware of the importance of their roles and responsibilities in such a way that they are encouraged to be creative in finding solutions and taking calculated risks to move the business forward. Staff want to come to work and there is an environment of continuous improvement and fun as well as peer pressure for people to raise their game. Levels of stress are manageable and HR are proactive in supporting and getting the best out of individuals.
Everyone has spans of control. And over 80% of decisions are made quickly, without going through a referral process. People base their decisions on achieving the vision and values and driving continuous improvement. The leaders work with the staff. There is good staff engagement with regular 2 way communication meetings and staff feel they are having a real say in the direction of the business and want it to succeed. Improvements are being made at pace and there is a sense of urgency at every level to want to make things better. Meetings drive change although everyone agrees there are still too many actions to deliver effectively. There is regular training and development opportunity and talent management. Keywords, competitiveness, openness, development.
There is good delegation across the organisation enabling people to learn and grow. There is a culture of openness and the sharing of best practice. People know who the senior leader team are and they feel they are doing a good job at driving the organisation forward. There are few grievances as issues are discussed in a spirit of openness and trust and resolutions sought in an effort to maintain a balance of harmony and commitment. HR over 50% of HR time is spent on positive HR issues such as promotions, awards, development programmes and talent. Staff feedback survey results are shared openly and champions appointed to deliver positive change.
Great Leadership and Unstoppable Teams
The vision is powerful. ‘Making a dent in the universe’ or ‘Putting a man on the moon’. Everyone has total belief in it and wants to be a part of it. Everyone knows the role they have to play in bringing it to life. People who walk in the door for the first time, feel the vision and can articulate it themselves within a few moments. You know as soon as you walk in the door you have entered the realm of an unstoppable team.
The vision and the values are inextricably linked through the daily attitude and actions of every member of staff. People passionately believe this is the best company to work for. They love working here. There is a strong sense of community. Few people leave. Visitors can sense the values through the consistent behaviour of every member of staff from the top to the bottom of the organisation.
Interdependence and mutual understanding are the cornerstones of the success of this organisation. Staff are operating at their peak and there is a strong desire for everyone to experience their best year yet, year after year. This team works hard and plays hard. However, working harder does not mean working longer. In fact the ability to work in 5th gear stems from not working any longer than 40 hours per week. There is a healthy work life balance, with regular social activities, celebration ceremonies, recognition schemes and public ‘pats on the back’.
People base their decisions on whats right for the organisation. There is a culture of learning. The leaders work for the staff. 360 degree feedback is the predominant model for driving change and staying one step ahead of the game. Leaders are outward facing – keeping a close eye on the competition and reporting back to staff if competitors develop and edge. Staff have a say in the strategic direction, forming internal boards to champion and drive key areas of the business. Meetings are results and time focused. Consequently the average meeting time is 1 hour. Actions are few. This is a team of snipers – there is no scattergun approach to this organisation – they know what they want and how to get it. There is significant investment in training and development.
This is a bottom up culture thriving in an atmosphere of challenge – stretching people to their full potential and recognition – celebrating success at every opportunity, thereby leaving people want to experience more and more success. This company is recognised externally as one of the best companies to work for in the country, with many awards in this category. This in turn attracts the very best people. There is absolute clarity regarding the strategic aims and objectives which all staff can articulate, knowing the role they play in bringing it to life. The senior leader team have won over peoples hearts and minds and people feel the warmth of success.
The environment looks like this:
Most organisations are on a journey in an effort to become more efficient, results orientated and an outstanding place to work. The leaders of the organisation set the tone and there are huge differentials in leadership skills and performance. The culture is created by the senior leadership team. If, like me, you are a humble servant to the company, feel free to share this article with your Executive – for better or for worse…
If you enjoyed this article:
- Please LIKE Leadership-Expert™ on Facebook,
- Subscribe here
- Sign up to learn many more leadership tips at The International Leadership Conference, London 2012
- Leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.
To answer the question how can I become a leader, it’s important for us to begin with an understanding of what makes a leader, and indeed what makes a great leader?
I recently met Dr Stephen Covey, world renowned expert on personal development and author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. His definition of leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.
Some of you have asked whether leadership is a choice not a position.
Because of the definition of leadership, the ability to become such a leader is a choice that any person can make; any parent or grandparent, any teacher, any coach, any co-worker, and friend. When Dr Covey speaks throughout the world, he often asks audiences:
“How many of you had someone in your life that communicated your worth and potential so clearly that it profoundly influenced your life?”
Inevitably over half the people raise their hands. He walks around the room and asks them to share their experience with how it happened, who did it, the impact that it had upon them, and if they, too, are making the choice to do the same with other people. People often become very emotional when they talk about the parent, the coach, the teacher, the formal leader, the friend, the neighbour, or the relative who really became very close to them and communicated to them their worth and potential. This is always an inspiring experience.
So, is there a formula for becoming such a leader?
From all my research I believe there is such a formula. They are what I will list as the five imperatives of leadership.
In order to fully understand how to be a leader, you must first make time to train yourself in both the art and science of leadership. There are fundamental principles upon which you can develop leadership skills, but you need to know what they are and how to employ them to best effect. The world (and the people within it) is also constantly changing, so it’s important to stay up to date with leadership innovation in order to adapt. Self-development is the key to learning how to be a leader and unlocking the potential within you. This is the cornerstone to your future success.
Action: Bookmark Leadership-Expert.co.uk now, subscribe and place a recurring appointment in your diary to allow just half an hour per week to read, learn and apply all the great tips, techniques and tools I will give you.
The second is to inspire trust. You build relationships of trust through both your character and competence and you also extend trust to others. You show others that you believe in their capacity to live up to certain expectations, to deliver on promises, and to achieve clarity on key goals. You don’t inspire trust by micromanaging and second guessing every step people make.
Action: Ask yourself is ‘trust’ one of your core values? If so, consider who in your team you need to be more trusting of. Find out what motivates them. What can you trust them with by delegating or giving them greater responsibility?
The third is to clarify purpose. Great leaders involve their people in the communication process to create the goals to be achieved. If people are involved in the process, they psychologically own it and you create a situation where people are on the same page about what is really important—mission, vision, values, and goals.
Action: Ask yourself “More often than not, do I communicate at my team, rather than engage with them?” Think about how you like to be involved and consider how you can engender that ethos in all your dealings with your team. Do you hold regular ‘short’ team meetings focusing on involving your team in setting parameters and guidelines to bring to life ‘mission, vision, values and goals’? Many teams I’ve met don’t even know what these are.
The forth is to align systems. This means that you don’t allow there to be conflict between what you say is important and what you measure. For instance, many times organisations claim that people are important but in fact the structures and systems, including accounting, make them an expense or cost centre rather than an asset and the most significant resource.
Action: Consider what systems you and the organisation has in place to recognise and reward people’s efforts. Create a simple reward system. For example, the CEO of a company I recently coached, decided to rule out just half an hour every Friday afternoon to phone 3 people in the company who turned in a great weeks performance, or where he had been ‘tipped off’ that they had gone the extra mile for a client/the company. Word soon got round, productivity went up and he eventually found himself phoning up to 10 people every Friday afternoon, because what he had inadvertently created was the beginnings of a high performance, high value culture.
The fifth is the fruit of the other three—unleashed talent. When you inspire trust and share a common purpose with aligned systems, you empower people. Their talent is unleashed so that their capacity, their intelligence, their creativity, and their resourcefulness is utilized.
I would add that these are based upon principles that build upon each other rather than techniques or steps that have to be taken independent of each other. These aren’t “management tricks” but real principles that guide a true leaders character.
Action: Consider what you can do differently from today to unleash the talent of your team.
The world is vastly different today and ever-changing. If we can develop leaders who can withstand and embrace the changing times by deeply rooting themselves in these principles of great leadership, then we can develop great people, great teams and great results.
If you LIKE this article, comment below or click here to subscribe to our free community.
Webster says that leadership is “the position or function of a leader; the ability to lead; an act or instance of leading, guidance, direction.” Do you enjoy leading, guiding or directing? Do you look forward to making decisions that impact the lives of others? Would you rather give the responsibility for making choices to someone else? Most of us have been in a position of authority and all of us have met someone who possesses the qualities of an effective leader.
Being a leader is a difficult task especially if you are given responsibilities that you are not familiar with. If you accept this position, you are going to be scrutinized by how you act, the way you look and the way you talk. It is important to be conscious of your actions because the goal is to project an image of influence. Good leaders possess certain characteristics that can help them gain the respect and recognition of others, these are know as leadership qualities – and the good news is they can be learned and applied to help you become a successful and authentic leader.
Be A Good Example. The first concept is to lead by example. You need to work harder than those who surround you in order to gain their respect. Demonstrate your dedication by being early and staying late. Distinguish yourself through character and integrity when situations are difficult or they are not going your way. Go the extra mile for those who are in your circle of influence.
Be A Good Listener. The second quality of an effective leader is the ability to listen more and talk less. It is more important to listen to the issues that are being raised instead of expressing your opinion about them. Some individuals have the misconception that a good leader talks as much as possible. Effective leaders realize that listening provides them with a deeper understanding of the needs of those that surround them. It also gives them a greater insight into the issues that must be addressed.
Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself. All excellent leaders regularly invest in themselves – they realise that the payoff will always be positive in the long run. Leaders have often sought out useful leadership books and learning material that will help them along the path to happiness and leadership. Leaders also invest in their own leadership training programmes or leadership coaching.
Be Concerned. The third concept for effective leadership is the ability to ask the appropriate questions. Analyzing information provides the opportunity to probe the concerns and issues that confront those around you. Express sincerity and as you examine the regards of others. Asking penetrating questions provides the possibility to discover the root causes of problems so that they can be addressed.
Be Decisive. The fourth quality of an effective leader is the ability to make decisions. Make a choice and stick to the plan. A conscientious leader will have options if the original solution is not working. With leadership comes the responsibility for making selections that affect the lives of others. If one has taken the input of those who surround them before making a decision, other considerations can be developed. It is important to examine all of the options thoroughly to avoid unnecessary mistakes and failures.
Not everyone wants to lead. If you are the owner of your home business, the head of your family or the director of a social group you are wearing the hat of a leader. Effective leadership is not necessarily an inherent quality. It can be learned and applied to the different areas of your life. Consider these four qualities as a foundation for developing your leadership skills.
“People never improve unless they look to some standard or example higher and better than themselves.”
John Fortner lives in Oregon and works from his home through his online pursuits. He is the owner of Best-Income Opportunities which offers free information and proven opportunities for creating work at home businesses. To learn more about this topic please visit his website at: http://www.best-incomeopportunities.com