May 17, 2018
Most are familiar with the concept of CPD – continuous professional development – the practice of continually improving your knowledge and skills in your field of work.
I was with some colleagues yesterday and one shared the thought that whilst we mostly talk about our LMI programmes as professional development tools, the greatest impact for anyone who has the privilege of going through one or more of these programmes is always personal.
Having coached many people through LMI programmes in the last decade, I absolutely agree.
It’s how people change in attitude, confidence, motivation etc that makes the biggest difference. It’s these personal growth factors which then cause someone to implement the management and leadership behaviours that are taught within the programmes with purpose and consistency. Personal growth leads to professional impact.
This is why Personal Leadership is the foundation element of LMI’s ‘Total Leader’® Concept and the starting point of all effective leadership development initiatives.
If you want to lead, begin with leading yourself.
“Personal leadership is the most important element of institutional transformation.” Lou Gerstner, Former CEO – IBM
“If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time leading yourself – your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct.” Dee Hock, Founder – Visa International
Download your own Personal Leadership Self-Evaluation here and do something significant about your own professional (personal!) development.
April 9, 2018
I’m in the middle of a great book at the moment. ‘Think Small: The surprisingly simple ways to reach big goals’ is a really interesting read around reaching goals. Not your typical ‘dream big and believe in yourself’ stuff, rather some very simple, practical advice based on the research of the UK Government strategy unit, The Behavioural Insights Team.
They suggest that there are five factors that have been shown to most improve your wellbeing… great areas to start setting some ‘small goals’. These are the five areas:
- Strengthening your social relationships
- Getting healthy and active
- Learning something new
- Being more curious
- Giving to others
Why not choose a small, achievable goal in just one or two of these areas and take some first steps towards them over the next few days!
I’m writing more specifically on goal setting over at https://goalsclub.info/ Check it out!
April 4, 2018
Change is easy. Make a decision, then go do it…and keep on doing it and, hey presto, you have the change you decided you wanted.
Except we all know it’s never that simple.
Change is flippin’ hard. We decide, then we try, fail, forget and eventually move on to something else with the scar tissue of another good intention that was going to improve our business, our life, health, or relationships in some important way but ultimately never came to anything and we live with the fall-out which will make us less up for trying the next time round.
I hate it when people in my industry make out that change is easy. It’s not. We get rooted into habits, conditioned into behaviour and ways of thinking that take concerted effort to get out of.
So what’s the answer?
I don’t want to fall into the same trap of now saying I have the simple answer which will solve everything! However, there is an important step that will help massively.
Think about the change you want to make and then build around it. Build in a fitness class to your weekly schedule. Build in accountability by signing up with a few friends. Physically build a door or a wall or something else that’s within your control if it’s about getting more focused time on your top priorities. If it’s reading more, spend some money and put a whacking-great reading chair in the corner of your lounge and always leave an open book on it ready for you to pick up!
Whatever your goal, build something into your routine, your work, your team or your family that will mean you continually stumble over that thing and it whacks you in the shins every time you try to move so that you remember why you took that decision in the first place and have a much better chance of following through on the action required to secure the change needed.
March 8, 2018
Fit rarely comes easy.
My right foot is slightly bigger than my left, hence finding shoes that are super comfortable for both feet can be a bit tricky. I’ve had to try on lots of pairs and discover particular brands that work for me.
Similarly, I didn’t instinctively know what kinds of work would be a good fit for me. I’ve had to try things out, take assessments and profiles (I’ve just about done them all!), consciously reflect on my experiences to identify when and where I’ve felt best about my work.
Here’s a few questions that you can ask yourself, or as a manager you can ask of your team members, to help discover their best fit:
- What parts of your work do you enjoy most?
- What areas of your work do you feel most enthusiastic about?
- What do you care most about achieving?
- What do you think you do best?
- What do you find most stressful?
- In what tasks do you procrastinate most?
There are plenty of others, but these are a good start.
Good fit is worth fighting for. It increases productivity, retention, motivation and morale. It reduces turnover and stress. It has a positive impact on mental and physical health.
Good fit is in everyone’s interests.
March 7, 2018
I’ve been obsessing this week about the concept of ‘fit’.
You know those super-comfortable old shoes that you can wear all day and not notice at all because they fit to perfection…
Apply this same idea to what we do each day.
So much in life can seem ill-fitted. The tasks we have to do at work that are way outside our best strengths and our particular interests. The sense of strain because the organisational purpose and values don’t match up to our own. Whatever the particulars, when it’s not right, everybody knows it.
Conversely, when we find ‘fit’, it is heavenly!
The context for my particular obsession has been using job-fit assessments and helping companies to develop job benchmarks – defining the abilities, interests and personality that would be spot-on for each role they are hiring (or promoting someone into). In essence, we have been painting (broadly) the picture of the person for whom each role might be a perfect fit.
Often we think of that as for the hiring company’s benefit – which of course it is – but I’ve been considering it from the applicant’s perspective. Far from being seen as a hindrance or obstacle to the applicant, anything which gives some objective feedback about suitability for the role they may be heading toward must surely be embraced.
Why on earth would I want to apply for and get a job, whether as a promotion or with a new employer, that I was going to soon discover was like a pair of shoes bought slightly too small. I thought they’d expand into comfort over a few weeks but they never did!
I love the concept of fit. I love the feeling of working in a role that’s perfect for me and I love seeing that happy ‘fits like a glove’ outcome when someone starts a new role and both hirer and hiree agree it’s a perfect match!
February 21, 2018
On the radio this morning we heard the news that another cold snap is incoming for next week and we let out a collective weary groan.
My daughter especially is really looking forward to warmer weather and the thought of yet more freezing temperatures after the months of Winter we’ve already had, lowered her mood.
The thing that struck me though as we talked over our bowls of Cornflakes, own-brand Rice Crispies and Gluten-Free Granola was that this was likely to be the last dip before things are well and truly on the up weather-wise.
The mornings are getting lighter, so are the evenings, and we’ve had some warmer days already giving a glimpse of what’s to come. In this context, it was much easier to raise the spirits of the family because they had tangible evidence of things going the way they wanted.
The long, warm days spent in shorts and t-shirts, eating ice-cream after school and water-fights with friends in the street may be some way off yet, but it feels like we’re getting there and that makes enduring the present reality much easier.
The same is true in our work, in our DIY projects, anything really. We function better when we have some tangible indications of progress towards our goals. To do this, we need clear goals of course AND we need to have established definite ways to measure progress towards them. We need regular ‘small victories’ and to get our heads up long enough to notice that the nights are getting lighter and it wasn’t quite so bitter on the platform this morning!
How about taking some time today to pause and notice what tangible progress you’ve made already this year? Share that with your team if you can. Emit a collective sigh of satisfaction….and get back to it… hopefully with a renewed sense of resolve because the end is a little more in sight that you realised.
P.S. I’ve just realised this is one reason I often have the SatNav on even when I know where I’m going – I like to see the progress as the miles are covered and the destination draws closer. Counting down the miles is strangely satisfying!
February 12, 2018
It’s half term so there was no major rush getting everyone out the house this morning.
As I thought about the wonderful opportunity this presented for me to get my kids to do loads of useful stuff whilst they have all this time on their hands, that’s when the jolt of empathy hit! Don’t put adult expectations on 14, 12 and 10 year old children.
I used to love school holidays, especially the first morning. Lazing around…reading a bit…playing on the computer….all with no stress at all. Nothing to do and nowhere to be.
Yet here I was loading them up with my agenda of things to do! Don’t worry, I’ll still get them helping out with stuff…just with a bit more give first! I know that if I’m not so self-absorbed and enter into the joy of their world first, both they and I will get a much better result – more help, more willingness, less resistance, less conflict, more fun etc – than if I just launch ahead with what I want them to do.
I hope the jolt I was hit with might help you avoid making the same mistake I was rushing headlong into.