“Sorry I cant come back to you with a decision – I have ‘back to back’ meetings all day”.
Have you ever been called to a ‘pre-meeting’? You know, one of these secret squirrel discussions designed to try and manipulate some kind of outcome from the ‘main’ meeting , so that people feel they are making progress or as a defense mechanism to avoid being shown up.
Even worse! When there are a series of ‘regular’ meetings, you get wrapped up in a series of pre-meetings. And then to add insult to injury, the main meeting still can’t find a solution, so the outcome is to create groups of mini-committees (working parties) who then need further meetings to find the solution, pulling in others from the organisation for even more meetings, precipitated of course by a pre-meeting, so that their meeting can show the main meeting they have actually come up with something?
Bill Creech, the retired four-star General who conducted an extraordinary turnaround at the U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Command, framed the leadership challenge this way. “There is a war on…between the people who are trying to do something (usually the workers) and the people who are trying to keep them from doing something wrong (the management). There are times when things do actually get done and the organisation moves forward, despite the leadership and management, who without even realising it, are stifling progress, often on the premise that innovation creates risk and risk is bad!
Leaders today seek control.
Is Tom Peters Re-Imagine! right with his definition of “crappy leadership”- the leader who is only comfortable with their position when they are in control? Being in control = meetings!
Meetings today are a comfort blanket for leaders, manifesting in the following comments I get from leadership teams:
- We have meetings for meetings sake.
- I have to attend yet another ‘bored’ meeting!
- I spend almost half of every business day holding conferences and discussing problems.
- He can’t see you for at least a month as his diary is chocker-block.
- I’m going to be later tonight darling as I’ve been called to a ‘crisis meeting’.
- I’m always running late because my last meeting over-ran.
- Every meeting I go to starts at least 10 minutes late and people seem to wander in and out at random.
- We always spend the first hour or two trying to find out what the problem is.
- I’ve got over twenty mini-actions from yesterday’s meeting, so I had better call all my team in to a meeting to tell them what’s going on.
- Every meeting we have just goes round and round in circles and we walk out scratching our heads – why we have just wasted another few hours debating rubbish?
- If I could work out the cost of every meeting we hold based on peoples hourly rate, it’s costing the organisation $millions.
- There’s never an agenda and we seem to stagger aimlessly from meeting to meeting.
- There’s an agenda but we never stick to it.
- There’s an agenda but we only ever get to the third one down!
Recognise any of these statements. This is a leadership and management issue, so if you have a role to play in this picture – cut it out. STOP. But how?
I wonder what Simon Teague thinks?
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?
Written by best selling author; Jinny Ditzler: Your Best Year Yet!: Make the next 12 months your best ever!
My husband once told someone, “Jinny is fearless in the face of limiting beliefs and negative paradigms.” True. I’ve never met one I couldn’t crack — said with the disclaimer that my own take longer. It’s just crystal clear to me that these limiting beliefs are fabricated nonsense compared to who we really are.
There is only one difference between a negative and a positive paradigm: One is a lie and the other is the truth — it’s up to you to choose which to invest in.
When you master the art and science of the paradigm shift, you’re able to make life as meaningful as you like. You’re now able to clear the obstacles on the path to the results you want and need. You can silence the whining, self-pitying monkey mind any time you like.
Have you contemplated the possibility that anything is possible for you? If your sleeping dreamer was awakened, even slightly, I urge you to go beyond just reading this article to making it happen because it shares the ABC’s of making a paradigm shift — also known as destroying limiting beliefs!
Five steps to a paradigm shift
Here are the five fundamental questions that lead to paradigm shift, leading you through the discovery and obliteration of the biggest obstacle to your success.
- What one issue is causing me the most pain and suffering at the moment?
- What do I do (or not do) that is causing this issue?
- What do I say to myself to explain and excuse why I act in this way?
- Which one of the negative paradigms and limiting beliefs I discovered in question three is the strongest — the one that’s the biggest obstacle on the path to resolving this issue?
- What new positive paradigm would describe life beyond this issue?
Here are my current responses to these questions:
- The fact that I’m still working so hard at my age and spending too much time at my desk.
- I don’t limit the amount of time I work. I try to get as much done every day as I possibly can. I get lost in my email. I don’t pay enough attention to the weekly goals in my BYY plan. I respond to anyone who asks for my support.
- As soon as I get a few of these big projects completed it will be better. I’m not ready to pull back and stop making a difference. It’s too hard to figure out how long something is going to take. I don’t have time to stop and check my weekly goals. It’s not right to refuse anyone who needs my support.
- I’m not ready to pull back and stop making a difference.
- Everything I do makes a difference — as if by magic.
Interestingly enough, my first four responses are real-time, but the response to question five is the paradigm on my 2012 Best Year Yet plan. We don’t choose our new paradigms by accident. I believe it’s some form of divine intervention or magic at work because it becomes the answer to so many issues throughout the year.
The ABC’s of a paradigm shift
A. Remember your new paradigm must be personal, positive, present tense, powerfully stated, and pointing to an exciting new future for you.
B. Write your new paradigm in a way that it’s not sourced by anything other than you, e.g., “Being organized is giving me the freedom I want” vs. “I am free.”
C. To confirm that you have the right paradigm, be sure you feel a zing of excitement when you read it.
D. If you feel that it can’t possibly be true, you’re on the right track.
E. Remember the true source of your new paradigm is your own heart and spirit.
F. Bring your new paradigm to life by repeating it to yourself until you have an experience that it is the truth, and that your strongest limiting paradigm is the lie. Repeat as often as possible.
G. Be diligent, disciplined, and strong about manifesting your paradigm as the truth within you.
H. Stay awake to miracles that are an external demonstration of your paradigm — and celebrate them.
I. Relentlessly train your mind in the same way you’d train a dog.
J. Trust that your new paradigm is connected to your true purpose in life — the reason you’re here.
A Moment of Inspiration
We recently watched Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning film Hugo. It’s the story of a 12-year-old boy, orphaned and living alone in the clock tower of a Paris train station. In one scene, Hugo talks with his new friend Isabelle about life and what he believes it all means.
“Everything has a purpose, even machines. Clocks tell the time, trains take you places — they do what they’re meant to do. Maybe that’s why broken machines make me so sad. They can’t do what they’re meant to do.”
Isabelle asks, “Is that your purpose, fixing things?” Hugo says he doesn’t know, and then she wonders aloud if she has a purpose.
His response, “Maybe it’s the same with people. If you lose your purpose, it’s like you’re broken.” He continues:
Imagine the whole world is one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured if the entire world is one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for a reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.
Here is the clip of that moment. It’s a wonderful scene.
Thanks again to those of you who have shared yourselves as we continue on this journey of personal transformation. Here are a few of your responses to last week’s question: “In what ways has predicting success worked for you?”
- “A few years ago I decided that I could at least make a dent in the litter around our neighborhood pond and woods, so I got into the regular habit of taking gloves and a bag with me and picking up trash on my walks there. Within a few months, there were a couple of other people who noticed what I was doing, and they began to help with the project.”
- “Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy and what you focus on is what you get are the things that I have really been focusing on in my own life. So thanks for the reinforcement.”
- “The Chairman of Governors of my school always made the same speech on Prize Giving Day. The “strap line” was aim as high as you can. Don’t try to work it out, just aim for the best you can imagine. He was way ahead of his time.”
- “Dale Carnegie How To Win Friends And Influence People was big on this subject. He referred to it as “The Power of Positive Thinking.” Things like — Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic. I liked the man. Got to know him when I worked in Cleveland, OH.”
The next article in this series is called “Personal Transformation: Keeping Control Once You Get It.”
As a partner on this journey, this week please share your answer to this question:
What do you believe is your purpose in life?
For more by Jinny Ditzler, click here.
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.
Professional Coaches Needed.
Do you want to become a qualified, executive coach either within your organisation or in a self-employed capacity? If so, read on…
Coaching is the science of asking the right questions in the right way in order to effect real and lasting change. Coaches ask great questions that unlock limiting paradigms, go straight to the heart of the matter and make the individual or team sit up and challenge their own thoughts and actions. As a consequence of great coaching, they apply changes in their behaviour and activity, in order to reach their full potential.
Coaching is also the art of believing in someone and making them have total belief in themselves.
Great coaches rely on tried and tested systems to apply effective and powerful coaching intervention and deliver the results that the individual, team and organisation want and need.
Best Year Yet® is such a system. Its been around for 25 years with amazing success. Used by over 800 companies and 1 million individuals world wide it does exactly what it says on the tin – deliver a plan for success that enables you to experience and deliver your best ever year, year after year. Best Year Yet is the combination of powerful coaching intervention and an online goal setting and performance tracking system that offers a fool-proof guarantee of success.
Over the past 25 years $millions have been invested in developing and enhancing the live, Producing Results Online System.
Consequently, Best Year Yet is transformation for an individual. It creates unstoppable teams. It delivers results that give organisations the edge over their competition. It can and has been used in the sporting arena, business and corporate world and with non profit making institutions and even with expeditions with amazing results:
Best Year Yet is part of a bigger US organisation, but our company owns the UK licence.
In the UK, many blue chip organisations are moving away from traditional ‘training’, where people go away on courses, come back to 2 weeks of emails – their course binder ending up on a shelf gathering dust, while the day to day challenges of the business take over. (Sound familiar?) Consequently all the good intentions and best practice they learned on the course is forgotten. This is called the Ebbinghaus Effect.
My team are having huge success in the UK with Best Year Yet® because it consists of a full twelve month programme with monthly coaching intervention that creates ‘moments of change’ in individuals and teams. Their results and development is phenomenal. BYY has a direct positive impact on their attitude and their action. For British companies and SME’s it offers a clearly defined return on investment and tangible measurable results. One team has just delivered £36million against an original objective for the year of £12 million. This is truly their best year yet. The very essence of Best Year Yet delivers:
Moments of Change
Personal and Team Development
The feeling of success
This system, skillfully applied by a good coach is transformational.
Consequently, Best Year Yet in the UK and countries such as India and Africa is growing rapidly and to cope with this demand we need coaches. So if you are thinking about becoming a self-employed coach; a recognised, qualified coach within your organisation; or you are already a coach but would like access to:
- our growing, international support community
- A UK Best Year Yet license and training
- Be on our list to be called upon for National/Global contracts, and be able to use Best Year Yet as a proven model for you and your existing clients/teams.
Then please contact me asap at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Included within the Best Year Yet programme:
- Initial assessment and comprehensive training programme leading to the five steps to transformation.
- 10 questions detailing your accomplishments, limitations, ambitions and goals.
- Production of your own one page plan for success, so you become a product of the product.
- 12 month online goal setting and tracking programme
- Coaching support for BYY community by audio/conference call and/or face to face every month (3 hour coaching sessions)
- Monthly leadership skills audio programmes.
- Monthly behavioural skills learning toolkit
- Your own personal copy of the book Your Best Year Yet!: Make the next 12 months your best ever! written by Jinny Ditzler.
- All our training materials.
- We are also currently working with the ILM to gain their endorsement, thereby giving individuals a worthwhile Leadership & Management Certification.
If you were considering setting up your own coaching business you will need to consider the following:
- The need to develop your own coaching proposition and purchase a license for any material you use.
- Starting from scratch with no support, marketing or testimonials is one of the biggest challenges facing all new business coaches.
- Purchasing an existing coaching franchise for anything upwards of £15,000 plus a percentage of your fees.
With Best Year Yet UK, you can obtain all the benefits of the BYY UK community, marketing, technical support and three and a half days training, together with a license to sell Best Year Yet individual coaching programmes. You will also make your own Best Year yet plan and receive 12 months professional coaching, so you become a product of the product. All of this will require an initial up-front investment from you, the majority of which can easily be returned through your first client. With an investment of only £3,498.00 all this can be yours and all you pay for thereafter is the cost of the Online programmes, NOT a percentage of your fee income.
- From time to time, you may need our existing highly qualified and experienced coaches to support you to win large corporate contracts and deliver coaching programmes for you.
- We in turn may have work for you from our existing and growing contract base, in your particular field of industry/coaching expertise.
In this respect, we are urgently seeking 12 new coaches for the UK. If you are interested please email your CV right now to email@example.com
Today, leadership skills are in great demand by employers who want to make sure the men and women they hire are able to help their businesses grow. Students who want to secure the best positions following graduation should take advantage of situations during college that will allow them to develop the type of leadership skills employers are most likely going to be looking for. College jobs provide an ideal forum to develop leadership skills and to show off those skills as they are built. While the types of skills most in demand may vary from employer to employer, college jobs and internships generally are diverse and flexible enough to build the leadership characteristics most employers are sure to be seeking.
Most employers will appreciate employees who show the following types of leadership skills: vision, and an ability to set goals and reach them; ability to motivate others and build a team; the ability to take direction and ask pointed questions; the ability to synthesis experiences into improvement and action; the ability to work independently when required; and the ability to deal with setbacks and use them as opportunities to move forward.
Leadership skills can be developed in several ways through “on the job” experience. Because they are usually supervised, part-time jobs while at college, allow you to voice your independent ideas and thoughts without risk to the company. This type of experience is essential in learning how to translate and communicate your own ideas and vision to superiors on the hunt for positions such as marketing jobs who are looking for ways to help a company move forward.
One of the keys to developing leadership skills while at college is to observe the leaders around you, who can serve as powerful examples of what works and what doesn’t. Look for opportunities to volunteer for duties and tasks that will allow you to observe leaders directly, and to aid them in their own work. Using this type of mentor-ship approach can be a valuable tool in developing the types of leadership qualities prized by employers in todays’ marketplace. While looking for opportunities to showcase your abilities, don’t hesitate to ask for help when needed; a good leader knows that asking for help is part of building an effective team and establishing trusting relationships with other employees.
Another advantage to being at college while working and developing leadership skills is that it is an ideal place to ask questions about how you can improve your performance. Don’t be afraid to ask supervisors about what they consider to be valuable qualities in an employee, and how you can improve your ability to lead others.
In addition to providing work experience and income, a college job is a great place to practice and develop all the skills you’ll need to be a valuable and effective employee. Use the time to gather information, observe actions and reactions and ask questions that can help you become a better leader and make you more in demand when you being your own search for the ideal job.
My own view is that our future leaders will not only possess the academic skills that colleges provide for students, but they will need emotional intelligence as well. Working and learning provides students with the opportunity to develop both skills in equal measure. So, if you are at college, you will stand a much better chance of success in today’s working world, if you make good use of your time and seek out part-time local employment opportunities near you. And all you need to do is get out and ask…
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.
With the economy picking back up, it’s only a matter of time before job turnover also starts speeding up again. Unsatisfied workers will begin looking for a better job environment and if your office morale is lacking, your company could be the one losing team members. But making some tweaks to your office and work culture can turn the tables and make yours the company that people are dying to work for. Try these techniques suggested by Business Insurance Quotes for boosting office morale and you may see your employees’ satisfaction soar. Alternatively you may not, because I don’t actually agree with this list of 8, so see my alternative list at the end. What do you think?
1. Get a dog
Not every work environment may be suitable to have dogs running around, but research has shown that dogs in the office can help boost the morale and improve work relationships. Whether it’s one office dog or many dogs brought by the employees who own them, the furry co-workers somehow build trust between employees and encourage collaboration. If you allow workers to bring their own dogs from home, it also keeps them from wanting to leave work right at 5 to get home to their pet.
In 2011, employees everywhere got great news: there is now scientific evidence that says they should be able to browse the Internet at work. Now, we’re not talking going to any sites you’d be ashamed to show your wife, but in general, if you let employees use their short moments of downtime to look at websites they enjoy, they will feel less tired become more productive when they’re done. Studies have found that workers who use their breaks to goof around on the Internet rather than checking emails or texting friends are also more engaged in their work after the break and less likely to get bored with it.
The trend in employment is to let more and more employees work, at least occasionally, from home. As many as 40 million Americans telecommute at least once a year and that number continues to grow, with some estimates putting the number at 43 percent of the population by 2016 (though that seems a little extreme). But telecommuters in your company might be hurting the morale of the physical office. In-office workers are less satisfied with their work when there are more people working remotely. It may be because they have weaker ties with these co-workers or because they feel like they have less freedom and more work than the unseen workers at home.
In terms of the set-up of your office, what works for one company won’t necessarily work for another. You obviously have to take the space you have to work with and the nature of your business into account, but there are some office layouts that are better for morale than others. Traditional cubicles are the worst, making workers often feel isolated, under appreciated, and depressed. The open layout has less privacy than cubicles, which could be a problem if your workers make a lot of phone calls, but it encourages communication between employees and makes them feel like part of a team. Closed offices, where employees each have their own office, might be the best for morale, offering privacy and satisfaction, but if you can’t afford that, you might look into a mixed office plan, with closed offices, open-office desks, and a common area.
So “That’s what she said” jokes might actually hurt the office environment? Maybe taking management tips from Michael Scott isn’t such a good idea after all. A 2009 study found that even when people enjoy flirtation and sexual innuendo in the workplace, it has a negative effect on the morale of the office. Surprisingly, the effect is even greater among men. So try to cut down on sexual jokes among your employees, even if everyone seems to be laughing along. The office may seem tame at first, but it will boost spirits overall.
Whether you work in a place where suits are the daily requirement or your office just demands slacks and button-downs or dresses, rewarding your employees with a casual day can be a big morale booster. Many offices go with Casual Fridays, which allows workers to relax a bit and gives them something to look forward to throughout the week. You might also want to give dress-down days as a reward for finishing a long project or a special achievement.
7. Swear a bit
You don’t want to swear at someone at work, but mixing in cursing occasionally when appropriate can actually build relationships in the workplace and allow employees to release frustrations. A British study found that profanities that aren’t used in a negative or abusive way can boost morale and decrease stress. The boss should set the tone for the amount of swearing that is acceptable and gauge the comfort levels of employees to make sure no one is turned off by the amount. You should also avoid using foul language in front of clients or senior staff members.
Many companies were discussing cancelling their office holiday parties when the recession was at its worst. Spending money on a lavish affair didn’t make sense when everyone was hurting for cash. But experts warn against nixing parties altogether because it could hurt the morale of employees who have been working hard all year long. Take companies like Iceland Foods, recently voted the best company to work for in The Sunday Times – now they know how to party and celebrate, thereby creating a high value, high performance culture. If you typically have a party around the holidays or for other special occasions, like the company’s anniversary, keep the celebration but maybe scale it back a bit. You don’t always need a chocolate fountain or a ballroom for employee satisfaction.
Thank you to Roxanne McAnn for sending this post.
My personal view however, is somewhat different to all of the above.
What’s written above reflects things from an employee perspective in an economic cycle where employees have power. However, with 3 million people unemployed in the UK, it’s currently the employers with the power. In addition to which, if companies are to survive in this extremely challenging global economic climate, they cannot afford to go all ‘soft’ on their employees.
Great companies, like Iceland Foods, will be seeking to get the best out of their employees, retain and attract the very best people, by creating a high value, high performance culture. I would therefore replace the above eight suggestions as follows:
Organisations who are looking to become great places to work are striving to achieve the right balance between a stretching and demanding work environment and highly efficient, productive workers with a healthy work/life balance. This see-saw is incredibly difficult for leaders to manage. Companies must have the edge over their competition if they are to provide a secure environment for their employees and maintain their morale. To achieve this requires the creation of unstoppable teams, who deliver staggering results, but do so because they work hard and play hard and don’t burn themselves out. Having an external professional coach by their side enables leaders to achieve this balance in the same way top athletes and sports people do.
The problem with an open policy on browsing, as I have so often seen in companies I visit, is that it can become a complete distraction for employees and it reduces overall efficiency. Conversely, one of the biggest issues affecting productivity and morale is when employees feel they are so over-worked that they cannot afford to take a break at lunch. No break = a more inefficient afternoon = mounting workloads. Leaders should set the tone here and encourage staff to take ‘time out’ and rest.
Now-a-days many teams operate remotely. Some in different offices; some in different countries. The key to strong team-work and morale is good communication. Get the team together once a week to discuss and debate issues. This is the key to better decision making. With the explosion in audio conferencing facilities, skype and GoToMeeting this is entirely possible to get everyone ‘in one room’.
In terms of the set-up of your office, you will achieve greater productivity, efficiency and morale by addressing the behavioral and attitudinal issues facing the team each and every day rather than the physical environment in which they work. Here it is the leader who sets the tone. He/She must demonstrate good leadership. They must be alive to the feelings of the employees if they are to win their hearts and minds and create a fantastic atmosphere in which to work.
The key to healthy, open and honest working conditions is to actively promote equality and respect for all and celebrate diversity within the team. the team needs to be able to have their say in a spirit of honesty and openness, without fear of reprisal or blame. Playing to everyone’s strengths you can have banter and fun in the office – but everyone needs to understand the ground rules and the implications of getting it right or sometimes acknowledging if we get it wrong.
Most organisations now provide their employees with uniforms – in the customer services arena this helps the customer to easily identify who is working at the company. Wearing company attire with pride promotes the overall image of the organisation and can lead to a positive brand image – after all, as an employee, you are the face of the organisation. As such, poor dress code or poor (miserable) facial expression and attitude will undoubtedly damage the brand. I have a saying that one of only two things happen whenever you walk into an organisation. Your view of the brand will either be enhanced or diminished by the experience you have – there is no middle ground.
I’m not sure about the swearing thing – the boundaries here are impossible to set. However, leaders should always be promoting the opportunity to have fun. I once visited the guys at Charthouse Learning – their office was full of color, family photo’s, toys and games to play at break time and as ice-breakers for meetings. The atmosphere was electric. There was plenty of laughter, but also a serious undertone of being the best in business.
Surprisingly, many staff are not motivated entirely by money. The bonus culture is frowned upon and research shows that people are far more inclined to work harder and feel greater job satisfaction with a simple “Well done” and a pat on the back. The best blue chip companies I ever worked in knew that if they spent up to £10 million on lavish parties/conferences to celebrate the success of their very top people, they would earn that money back within a month, because it has the effect of stepping everyone up a gear to want to deliver even more and get back on the podium the following year/quarter. Take companies like Iceland Foods, recently voted the best company to work for in The Sunday Times – now they know how to party and celebrate, thereby creating a high value, high performance culture in which to work.
Anyway – that’s what I think – what do you think?
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.
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
Few would say that personal transformation is easy. Or as our friend Lew Epstein put it — “It’s simple, but not easy.” “Simple” because the information about how to transform is available from many sources, such as your spiritual path, articles, books, teachers, coaches, the Internet — but, as a leader, top of the list is your inner wisdom.
“Not easy” because it takes being mindful about the small everyday things, letting go, and shifting our beliefs. The way through is personal responsibility.
Doing so is most difficult when we’re right — I mean really, really right. The evidence is right there before our eyes. It’s obvious.
We’re absolutely right about the fact it’s the other person’s fault, the company we work for isn’t doing what they promised, or our own spiritual path is the best — right on down to the little stuff like the best way to drive to the store, the fact our spouse doesn’t accurately remember what happened, and our political views. No doubt about it, right?
One of the most challenging things for me is to let go when I am right — even when I know it’s far more responsible and rewarding to do so, and even though I’ve learned that it’s not worth the price when it’s at the expense of someone else’s feelings. Yet every time I just let it go, I achieve another personal transformation. And to be clear, I don’t mean just keeping my mouth shut even though I’m still 100 percent right. I have to let it go completely — thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and all. Poof!
Simply said, follow the advice of Anthony Robbins:
“Whatever happens, take responsibility.”
The Cost of Not Taking Responsibility
Here are some examples of personal irresponsibility. Have you see the cost of:
- Grown up kids still blaming their parents for their problems?
- A team member who gossips and points out the faults of others?
- Blaming our genes, our medication, our lifestyle, or our work for the fact that we can’t lose weight?
- Calling ourselves the victim of mental abuse, when our own rapid response is just as painful?
In what ways are you paying the price for not taking responsibility?
Top of my list at the moment are 1) breaking my workaholic addiction — even though I have way less on my plate these days, and 2) losing the 10 pounds I gained last year. I can see the problems, but I’m not being responsible about solving them, even though doing so would be hugely transformational for me.
Payoffs for Taking Responsibility
One thing I know for sure: The more responsible I am, the more people and things around me transform. The process is automatic and natural — and it begins with me. Here are several examples:
- Taking complete responsibility for our finances has led to our being millionaires — and is enabling us to give generously to others.
- Sticking with the Best Year Yet business, no matter what, has created the possibility of generating transformation for many, many more people.
- Giving up being right with Tim (including my righteous and judgmental thoughts about him) has brought a new level of happiness, partnership, and love.
How has taking personal responsibility transformed your life?
Recently my brother didn’t feel at all well, so bad for example that he couldn’t play golf. As a heart attack survivor, he decided to get an EKG. The doctor reported that he was just fine, no worries. But he still didn’t feel well so he kept checking until he discovered a week ago that one of the main arteries in his heart was 70 percent blocked and another main artery was 99 percent blocked!
Several days later he underwent bypass surgery and is now recovering remarkably well. We’re all so grateful that he took personal responsibility for his health because if he hadn’t, he might not be here today.
Steps to Taking Responsibility
Answer these questions as accurately as you can:
- In which areas of my life am I not being responsible?
- In which of these areas am I going to begin taking responsibility?
- What outcome do I want as a result?
- What step am I going to take today?
Several months ago I was watching a 60 Minutes report on homeless kids in Florida. It was there I discovered a 15-year-old homeless teen by the name of Ariel Metzger — an inspirational poster child for personal responsibility if ever there was one. She’s interviewed twice in this very short segment, near the beginning and at the end. Ariel talks about personal responsibility with clarity and wisdom in such a powerful, yet simple, way.
Thanks again to those of you who have written to join in this journey of personal transformation. Here are a few of your responses to last week’s question: “What am I doing to invest in myself?”
- “One of the ways I am investing in myself is doing vision education to improve my eyesight. In order to do this, I have to be much more relaxed — eyesight weakens with strain, so I am learning to be more focused — taking one thing at a time.”
- “I love getting requests for an article, but soon the request transforms into doubt that I have anything worthwhile to say. What to do? I have decided that the best thing to do is to stop thinking and start writing. I discover again the pleasure of moving from thinking in order to write, to writing in order to think.”
- “I don’t think I have too much wrong with me. Not enough money maybe, but that is all. I like myself — more and more each month lately.”
The next article in this series is called “Personal Transformation: Anything is Possible.”
As a partner on this journey, please share your answer to this question: How has taking personal responsibility transformed my life?
This article is written by Jinny Ditzler, author of Your Best Year Yet!: Make the next 12 months your best ever! as part of a series on The Huffington Post
For more by Jinny Ditzler, click here.