October 18, 2019
Yesterday Roisin and I recorded episode 3 of ‘So What About Leadership?’. In this edition we talk about goals and goal setting.
I used to not like goal setting at all. It felt forced and restrictive when I prefer to be relaxed and spontaneous. Turns out I was just not using goals very well! Goal setting is simply the practice of deciding what’s important to you (in all areas of life) and setting a course in that direction. I love it! Hope you enjoy our conversation.;
October 16, 2019
A short but important learning…
Yesterday I was leading a meeting with two members of our team via Zoom and I was having some connection issues as I was out at a client site. After a while trying to make it work I decided to bail out and leave the two others to continue the conversations themselves.
Guess what? I had messages later in the day from both about how great their conversation had been, how inspired they both were and how some great ideas had been hatched as they spoke. It was clear they had connected and opened up to each other in ways that wouldn’t have happened if I’d been leading that call.
It’s great to play a role and contribute where required…but sometimes the best thing you can do as a leader is get out of the way and let people get on with it!
I’m challenged by this. How many occasions are they where my involvement may hinder or stifle others? I’ll definitely be thinking lots about this. When is it best for me to get out of the way, trust others more, empower them fully…and be there to hear about the great results that ensue?
I think the answer might be ‘often’. How about you?
September 18, 2019
I have been having some really interesting conversations with my counterpart leading the LMI organisation in Ireland…so good in fact that we decided to record them and join the podcast revolution!
It’s called So What About Leadership? and we’ve done two episode so far:
- Personal Productivity
- Personal Leadership
You can listen to both here:
August 13, 2019
Imagine that you had an amazing leader.
Someone who is always able to inspire you. Someone who deeply understands your own drives and desires and always knows how to motivate you to great effort and exploits.
Someone who knows just what to say when you are really going through tough times that will help you through. Someone who is able to give you just the right support to help you carry on with determination.
Someone with vision for a great future that seems to match just right with your own hopes and dreams. Someone able to give you exactly the right tasks and responsibilities to bring out your very best.
Now imagine that someone is you.
Be the leader you need you to be.
January 25, 2019
Do you use phrases like these with the people you lead? Does your manager use these with you?
“My door’s always open”
“Come and find me anytime you need help”
These are great sentiments, genuinely appreciated and, for sure, sincerely meant…but I do regularly encounter some problems with this approach. Here are three common ones:
- team members don’t seek out their leader as often as they should, wasting time and effort ‘working it out themselves’ when they could have really been helped (we don’t want people to become leader-dependent but regular effective guidance can help a lot).
- when the leader has to instigate a conversation about some kind of correction / refinement / improvement, it feels like a big deal, akin to being called into the headteacher’s office!
- opportunities to praise, encourage and recognise progress and victories are missed.
I think the last of these points is huge and is a major reason why I am a huge advocate for ‘keeping it regular’. There is so much to be gained by the simple act of setting up regular, routine communication both one-to-one and with the whole team.
And what should be first item on the agenda….every time?
- Progress & Victories
Both the team member and the leader can contribute to this agenda item. Team member shares what they think they’ve achieved, has gone well and moved things forward positively. The leader also shares from their perspective the progress and victories they’ve noticed, tangible results-wise as well as attitude and behaviour.
If you’re not already doing this, I’d urge you to try it and see what impact it has. I’ve seen many managers and leaders instigate this as a regular practice and report back staggering results in terms of trust, motivation, positivity and productivity.
If you’re the leader, make it happen. If you are the team member, suggest to your boss that you give it a go.
It doesn’t have to be hours out in meetings. 20 minutes once a fortnight might be enough!
January 3, 2019
As the New Year gets under way I have, as I’m sure you have also, been thinking about what lies in store for 2019.
There are the ‘business as usual’ things that just carry on. Wheels set in motion that need little or no extra effort to make happen. None of us begin with a completely blank canvas.
But what of the other?
There are, for sure, plenty of areas when we have scope to make changes. It may be tweaking things slightly, stopping some things completely or beginning something new.
I find it very helpful to use a simple two column format to focus my thoughts: More of… and Less of…
What happened last year that I’d like more of?
What happened last year that I’d like less of?
It’s a great way to stimulate the goal setting process. Here’s a few examples for me that may help get you started:
- more helping people achieve meaningful goals
- less time in rush-hour traffic
- more fun with my kids (especially memorable trips)
- less of the admin work involved with the management apprenticeships
- less time wasted on my phone (be a better example to my kids!)
- more discipline, especially in writing blogs/articles etc
What is it you’d like more of / less of in 2019?
Write it down. Share it with others…and if you need some help (sometimes we know the changes we want to make will require some rigorous, impartial accountability), feel free to drop me a line.
July 11, 2018
We easily get into ‘getting on with it’ mode. Days and weeks go by. Months pass in multiples. Suddenly we’re more than half way through the year, it’s nearly (or already for some) the summer holidays, then September and we rush headlong towards Christmas.
I’m in the ‘relaxed and positive’ rather than the ‘doom and gloom’ camp when it comes to the passing of time, with one caveat. Am I doing worthwhile things with all these hours or am I just busy with activity that, on review, will count for very little.
It all comes down to whether we have clear definitions of what success is and how to measure it. Answering this question is a crucial aspect of leading yourself and leading others. Once that’s done, here’s a few questions that can help keep us on track:
- What progress & victories have we achieved today / this week / this month that are in line with our definitions of success?
- What have we done that’s contributed most to those victories that we can do more of?
- What new things can we try to achieve more?
- What have we done that’s not contributed to our success that we can do less of, or stop doing entirely?
All seems a little bit simplistic when we put it like that, doesn’t it? Regardless, it works incredibly well. It’s often the simple things that do.
If it’s been a while since you reviewed what success means to you, can I strongly encourage you to do so? And not just at work or in business by the way. At home, with your family and friends, your health, your contribution to society and your giving to others. Your success needs defining for all of these. I’ve got plenty of simple tools to help you do this so please do get in touch if you need a hand getting started.