Leadership

Be a Boss

I’m An Introvert – How Can I Be A Good Leader?

When you think of Business Leaders, do you think of Elon Musk, Sir Alan Sugar, and Theo Paphitis?  There is a certain stereotype which comes to mind when talking about the leadership required to run your own business.  And it is a stereotype that holds people back from starting up a business.  And it shouldn’t.

There have been studies done – one by Adam Grant at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which showed that introverts can be MORE successful leaders than their extrovert counterparts. 

Why is that the case?

Well, extroverts tend to like to be the centre of attention and can feel threatened by other people’s ideas, whereas introverts are often better at listening and taking in information from their teams and then letting their teams take the credit.  Which leads to more of the same. 

There is a caveat to that though.  And it comes down to the makeup of the team.  Where the team was young or not proactive – they were waiting to be told what to do – the extrovert manager could inspire them into action.  And in those teams, there was a 16% uptake.

In teams where the individuals were proactive, the introverted leader got more out of them, because they were less likely to need to put ‘their own stamp on everything’ and more likely to listen and encourage ideas from their teams.

The more leaders listen to their teams and empower them to make decisions, the better decisions the individuals on those teams make, and the more time the leader has for reflection and creativity.

Talking of creativity, introverts tend to be very creative. Think Albert Einstein, JK Rowling and Steve Wozniak.  And many good things come from that.  Creativity leads to better decision making and also to being inspirational.  Who doesn’t want to be around someone inspirational?

Introverts also tend to be more thoughtful and prepared, less likely to take unconsidered risks.  Some put the financial crash of 2008 down to extroverts taking unnecessary risks.  Some of the ‘introverts’ who cautioned against certain actions were ignored because they didn’t shout loud enough.

Well, maybe that’s a lesson for introverts. 

And let’s make something clear. ‘Introvert’ doesn’t mean shy.  Shy people fear social judgement.  Introverts don’t, they just get their energy for quiet and calm environments, rather than the parties or social interactions that energise extroverts.

And talking about calmness – that is another characteristic of introverts.

Calmness is a fantastic quality to have as a Leader.

When the doodie hits the fan, extroverts may shout, lose their temper, point accusatory fingers and generally show their frustration.  Introverts remain calm.

Which helps them in several ways.  Firstly, they are able to look at the situation objectively and not make rash or emotional decisions.  Secondly, their demeanour is a massive help to the people around them.  If your boss is showing signs of stress, how much more stressful is that for an employee? 

If your boss is calm when problems arise, then you are more likely to also remain calm and to objectively search for solutions rather then waste your energy coming up with ‘your defence’ (if it is a problem that you might be blamed for) or waste your time worrying about your job or the company. 

Of course, not all introverts are great leaders and not all extroverts are bad leaders.  One thing is true though.  It is easier to climb the ladder in corporate land as an extrovert.  There are estimates that around 60% of senior management are extroverts.  Now whether that is because people like ‘people like them’ or whether it is because extroverts are generally more visible is hard to say.  Probably a combination of both.

Can introverts learn to be more extrovert and vice versa?

Yes of course, and they absolutely should.  Because no one style fits all situations.  So sometimes the introverts need to step up and take charge, and sometimes they need to step out of their comfort zones and go talk to people at the coffee machine or in the network meeting.  Equally, sometimes extroverts benefit from being quiet and listening more. 

But with 40% of current leaders in business classifying themselves as Introverts, we already have many examples of great introverted leaders. 

The ideal may be to strive to be an “ambivert”, someone who is equally introverted and extroverted (even if one of those is learned behaviour). 

So, before your inner voice tells you that you can’t be a good manager or start your own business as an introvert, remember that is just F.E.A.R. (false evidence appearing real).  The truth is you can be the leader you want to be as an introvert. 

Being a great leader has not much to do with being an extrovert or an introvert.  It comes down to some simple leadership principles, like listening, creativity, planning, risk assessment and motivating staff.  Which can all be learned.

If you need some help with that or just a place to exchange ideas – go join the Quiet Leaders With Impact Facebook Group here.

Elon_Musk_

Quiet Leadership?

“Quiet” might not be the word you would associate with a successful leader. The business world has a tonne of stories about big brash leaders – LOUD leaders – from Elon Musk to Donald Trump, running companies with an iron fist.  These leaders get results through fear in most cases.  Or at the least through having such strict structures in place that people don’t have to use their own initiative at all.  They also have (at least in the above cases) a sizeable ruthless streak.

It can be intimidating to a new leader who might be naturally more introverted – to look at these examples.  They can feel like they are ‘not leadership material’.  But the truth is that in today’s workplaces, people are much less likely to respond to being ‘told what to do’. 

There is a new and powerful leadership style emerging.  It is what I call – quiet leadership. 

What is Quiet Leadership?

Let’s clear up one misunderstanding about quiet leadership.  It doesn’t mean they are necessarily timid, just that they are more likely to take action than talk about it. 

They are quietly confident rather than having a high ego or arrogance.  They would rather solve problems through logical thought and encouraging ideas from their teams, rather than imposition or micro-management. 

Quiet leaders are open and approachable and tend to generate a lot of loyalty in their teams, as they have earned respect, not fear.

“My way or the highway” is the opposite of what quiet leaders do.  They will often take longer to make decisions than more ;authoritarian’ styles, as they ant to get all the information first in order to make a better decision.

Leading by Example

This is a characteristic of quiet leaders.  They won’t ask anyone to do something that they are not prepared to do, and they will stick to the ‘rule’ – company policies and procedures, so that they can lead by example.

These leaders have a natural empathy which cannot be manufactured.  They are genuine and they care.  People sense this from them – but the difference between an effective and an ineffective quiet leader is probably the leading by example. 

This builds the trust that leads to highly effective teams.

Examples of Quiet Leadership

Bill Gates is a good example.  He has this quiet style but its totally confident in himself – in fact he is purported to enjoy it when employees challenge him – even the most junior employee

Jacinda Arden – New Zealand’s premier – is an example of this leadership style.  She has had a very effective first term – passing more laws in New Zealand than the last 4 governments, mostly due to her ability to listen and bring people together.  She is visibly empathetic which makes her popular with the general public.  It would be difficult to imagine her losing the upcoming election (though anything is possible in politics!).

Of course – there is no single style of leadership that always works, and leader have to be able to flex, given circumstances and what the people they are managing need.  If there is a fire in the office, you won’t find a proper leader asking peoples opinions, they will be leading the way out of the building. 

However, the quiet leadership model is one that fits our times far better than autocratic leadership.  You don’t have to worry as a manager if your style is ore ‘quiet’ than loud.  In fact, it is often the case that you will be more emotionally intelligent than your louder compatriots!  Your team may perceive they are self-led, because of how your style impacts them.  As long as you always lead by example, stand up for them when it is right to do so, and are authentic, you will be seen as a great leader and not a ‘weak’ one.

There is a fine line between people thinking you listen to their feedback because you can be manipulated, and understanding that you listen to them because it makes perfect sense to do so. 

Feel free to reach out to Julie to discuss further on julie@thinkbedoleadership.com or connect with her on LinkedIn here

Feedback

Harsh But Fair?

Harsh But Fair?

With this skill, you will be able to positively affect your team’s performance and also their morale.  You will be able to speed up their development in their role or encourage them towards the next role.  Your company, turnover, and profits will all grow, and you will be able to sleep at night knowing that your company functions well, you have competent people and you don’t need to be there every second of the day 

Without this, you are likely to be pulling your hair out about your teams seeming inability to do anything without you.  Your team may think you are “too nice” or equally they might think you are a bit of a tyrant.  Mostly they won’t know what to think or expect from you, and people might be walking around on eggshells. They certainly won’t be growing and developing into their best versions of themselves.  And your company won’t be achieving all that it could. 

What am I talking about? 

I am talking about feedback. 

Feedback is the breakfast of champions, so the saying goes.  But it isn’t always easy to give, is it?

I mean, it is fine when everything is going well.  You have learned how to be specific in your feedback and NOT say things like, “Good job Jeff”, but to instead say, “I really liked the way you handled that customer query.  You made the customer feel important and he will come here again.  Keep doing that!”.

And, as I said, that’s great when you have good feedback to give.

But what happens when you need to tell someone something that they may not want to hear? 

What happens when they haven’t done a particularly good job, and it’s up to you to deliver the bad news?

What I often see, if managers and business leaders who ‘don’t want to upset the apple cart’ or would rather ‘let sleeping dogs lie’.  They hope that if they don’t ‘make a big thing of it’, whatever “it” is will just go away.  It was a one-off wasn’t it? 

Maybe they are a bit overwhelmed with work, and ‘can’t find the time’.  Perhaps they don’t think it is that big a deal, it will only take them ‘5 minutes to put it right anyway’. 

Here’s the thing.  That never works.  What generally happens is you get so sick of the poor performance (that is a secret, because you have never mentioned anything about it), that your elastic eventually snaps and you start shouting the odds.  The person you are shouting at (rightly) feels offended and confused, and probably upset.  I mean, they had NO IDEA that you felt that way – because you have ‘put up with it’ and never said a word. 

And it really isn’t helpful. 

How can anyone who works for you, learn how to be the best version of themselves if you never tell them what they could be doing better?  If you allow poor performance to go unchecked you are being unfair.  You are being unfair to the person who has made the mistake, or underperformed.  You are being unfair to the rest of their team, as people aren’t stupid.  They know what’s what, and may wonder why you are allowing this to go on. 

And you are definitely being unfair to yourself and to the company.  Poor performance that is allowed to continue sets a precedent, and you will find your team may lower their standards to the level of the underperformer.  Which means YOU have more stress, more sleepless nights and are working much longer and harder than anyone else.  Does that sound good to you? 

No?  Well alright then. 

So, what should you do instead?

Well, the other day I was online in my coaching group.  One of the women in their asked for feedback about something she had created.  And before I had a chance to respond, one of the other group members gave her the asked for feedback.  And it was HARSH.  But it was fair.  Now it made me suck my teeth in when I read it, because it was raw and gave no quarter.  I might have delivered it with a little more love. 

However, it was absolutely spot on and exactly what that person needed to know. 

I was proud of her for being brave enough to ask for feedback and I was in admiration of the boldness of the responder.  There will not be days or weeks of wasted effort, the feedback will be put into practice and serve its purpose of moving that person on in a positive way.  She was grateful for the honesty, and that honesty allowed other members of the group to also be honest (if a little less harsh!). 

It is not an easy skill to develop for most people and if you feel like you could do with some help on your feedback skills then drop me a line to julie@thinkbedoleadership.com  and let’s talk!  I am happy to give you my feedback – anytime !!

Too much of a good thing

How Much is Too Much of a Good Thing?

Well, here I am in Tunisia, and I’m not sure where the time has gone or whether I am more happy to be going home, or more sad to be leaving.  And it made me ask the question – how much is ‘too much’ of a good thing. 

I don’t know about you, but 7 days never seem long enough, and sometimes 14 days seems too much.  On the other hand, I remember a friend saying that on her honeymoon she was so pleased at the end of 2 weeks in paradise – to be waving off the other honey-mooners who were leaving.  But less than 48 hours later they started pining for home and were finger tapping (metaphorically) for the last 5 days.

We are coming home tomorrow and I’m happy with that – especially as we then have the weekend for all the washing and mail opening etc.  But it made me think – it’s a bit like managing staff (except for the sun and beach of course).

When you are trying to keep your team productive, happy and busy, it is important not to give them too much to do.  Too much work, and the inability to complete it, is vastly demotivating and will lead to LESS being achieved not more, as people are trying to deal with a feeling of ball-juggling and overwhelm.

Recognising Burnout

If you have some Type A’s in your team, they will be only too happy to take on more and more tasks, more and more responsibility.  And they will be the last to see they are in danger of or suffering from burnout.  As the leader, you need to recognise the signs and take action. 

The key 3 symptoms of physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism and detachment and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment – can be further broken down. 

And here’s what to look for regarding burn out. 

If you have someone who is always tired – and talks about not being able to get to sleep, or waking in the night and not returning to sleep – this is a classic.  Lack of sleep exacerbates the problem (the underlying stress) and leads to other symptoms like forgetfulness and lack of attention to detail.  If someone who previously had the memory of an elephant, starts to forget things – this is a red flag. 

Under this category comes physical symptoms – dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches for example, and also real illnesses.  This is because prolonged stress weakens the immune system. 

Irritability and anger outbursts are another common sign of burn out. 

Under ‘cynicism and detachment’, you’ll find signs of pessimism in a previous optimist, and signs that they are not enjoying their work anymore including ‘Thank God it’s Friday’ syndrome, and dreading Mondays.

Feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment are signaled by poor productivity and performance, and again, signs of irritability or picking arguments. 

Burnout is a real and present danger in every workforce, especially in our “ever on, 24-hour” world.

Recognising Disengagement

However, not giving your team enough responsibility or enough work to do, can also be demotivating.  They will potentially feel bored, undervalued and unmotivated.  And then they disengage from the job and from you.

Signs of a disengaged workforce can be similar to signs of burnout above, but there are differences. 

Here is what to look out for.

There are some obvious signs like rudeness, absenteeism, lateness, low energy, bad attitudes and lack of enthusiasm.  But people don’t suddenly one day decide to stage a coup from their desk.  There are signs that come before this, that give a clue to employee disengagement.

Firstly – don’t make the mistake of thinking because someone is hitting goals that they are engaged.  They might just have a high sense of personal responsibility and work ethic. 

When I was in the police force, I knew several people who performed their job very well, from a sense of civic duty and personal pride.  But they hated their manager who didn’t trust them to do their job and didn’t make them feel valued, or that their career ambitions mattered. 

What you will find with this kind of person though, is a lack of initiative.  They won’t suggest any improvements or innovations, they won’t take part in team days or out of work activities.  They have disengaged from the process.

The second sign to look for is an overindulgence in something.  Are they going for a fag more often, or a coffee?  Are they gaining weight?  Do they come into work looking the worse for wear?  Often people who have lost their mojo, fill the gap with something else – and not always a healthy something else!

If people are dis-engaged, you might also notice a lack of enthusiasm for things you would hope people would be enthusiastic about – company or team wins for example or lack of interest in training.  And also – watch out for people who do ‘nothing’ at the weekends or in the evenings. 

When you are demotivated at work, it can infiltrate into all parts of your life.  This is not always the case of course, but certainly, if someone is becoming depressed, these signs are far more likely to be apparent.

Getting the balance right, like everything in life, is not easy but it is possible. 

In order to get the balance between giving too much work and responsibility, and not enough, you need 3 things:-

  • Understand your staff
  • Know what they want
  • Be clear on their skill level or training needs.

If you have staff who know where they are going, and their goals are achievable and in line with company goals.  If those staff feel important, listened to and understood.  And if they also have the skills, experience and/or knowledge to complete the tasks, and understand the upside of doing so (and downside of not doing so), then you can strike that balance between ‘too much’ and ‘not enough’. 

If you need any help or inspiration with that email me at julie@thinkbedoleadership.com or visit our Facebook Page here.  

bottleneck in your business

Bottleneck to Boss. Why Are You Holding Your Business Back?

Bottleneck to Boss.  Why are you holding your business back?

Are you looking to grow your business?  If the answer to that is ‘yes’ but it isn’t happening, then the next question is – ‘are YOU holding your business back?’

What often happens in small businesses is that the owner naturally does everything – at first.  There is only you right?  Or maybe you start as a partnership, so there are 2 of you – Yippee!  And you do a great job, so your business naturally grows. 

At some point though, you have run out of hours to do any more work, and so the only solution is to outsource or hire staff.  Either way with this one, it often doesn’t work out.  And the reason is potentially, that you don’t trust anyone else to do the job right.  Or sometimes – you haven’t briefed them properly.  But mostly the first one.

The problem with this is it inhibits your growth. 

If you find that all the decisions land at YOUR feet, and that is a customer has an issue they only call YOU, then you aren’t managing a business, you are managing yourself.  And there is only one of you, and there are only 24 hours in a day.

If you try to control everything then you create a bottleneck in your business.  And no-one will help you to solve it – because you have made it very clear that you want to do everything, so why should they help?

At some point, you need to make a decision to let some stuff go.  Yes – you might be the best copywriter in your business.  But if all the publication and marketing team are sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for your copy, which you haven’t written yet because 3 customers have contacted you today and you had to deal with that, then nothing is getting done is it?

You might have to decide to let something go, and see what happens. 

If you take the time to hire or train someone to do some of the work you are currently doing, it may feel painful.  It may give you a sleepless night even.  But just imagine how good it will feel when you have people who can take stuff off your shoulders so that you are not working 18 hours a day 7 days a week. 

You can still work those hours if you want – but it is your choice and not because ‘no-one else can do it’.  Here’s the thing.  If there is a job that someone else in the world CAN do, it means you don’t have to do it.  You may choose to do it, but please don’t kid yourself that no-one else can, because that is just not true. 

The only reason someone else cannot do a job is that – you don’t trust them to do it, you haven’t trained them to do it, or you haven’t hired the right people yet.  Your job should be to find the right people, train them and then trust them.  Not to do everything yourself.  Or your business will never grow.

So – is it time to stop being the bottleneck and start being the boss?

If you know it is, but you are not sure how to do that – email me on julie@thinkbedoleadership.com for a no-obligation strategy call. 

bob

Can We Do IT? Yes YOU Can!!

Have you got a ‘catastrophe’ friend?  Or work colleague?  You know the sort – everything is always a drama.  Nothing goes smoothly for them and they always have a story to tell about the latest major trauma!

I get it, really.  Sometimes life can throw you a curve ball that you weren’t expecting, and as human beings we are pre-programmed to resist curve balls.  Our brains job is to keep us safe.  And therefore it likes predictability, routine and to know what is happening.  Because when it knows what it happening, when the day / the person / the activity is familiar, then it is not a threat.

Think about it like this. 

In caveman days – if you went out of your cave in the morning and looked across the savannah and you saw everything you expected to see, then there was no immediate danger.  BUT.  If you looked out and saw a herd of animals running your way – then chances were there was big predator behind them.  Then you had to take evasive action.  Run and hide or stay and fight. 

Well, your brain still thinks like that – at least your subconscious – some call it – reptilian – brain. 

So, it is kind of understandable when your ‘catastrophe’ friend sees everything as a catastrophe.  But the problem with that is, you are likely to feel the associated stress.  And when you feel stressed you are in foveal vision. 

That means you are concentrating on the problem.  When you focus on something – that thing is all you see, and if that becomes your ‘norm’ then you will likely see the catastrophe in everything. 

And that’s a problem if you are a leader in your business.  Because, here’s the thing, your team will take it’s lead from you.  If you see ‘the new changes’ as a bad thing – so will they.  EVEN if you have not said that out loud.  90% of communication is non-verbal. 

But there is another way.

Because life IS literally about how you see it.  Where some see problems, others see opportunities.  It’s all about perspective.

This morning our builders turned up to do some work on the house.  We had planned what they were doing and the kitchen was definitely the last thing on the agenda.  For reasons best known to builders – turns out they started on the kitchen.  Which means that I have no kitchen now and no running water downstairs.  Unplanned.

I could see it as a disaster, and I would certainly be “justified” to do so.  Your “catastrophe” friend definitely would.  However, what I actually found was that it was exciting.  I had to choose a new kitchen today!  And now I am very excited to see what my new kitchen will look like. 

And because I was excited rather than upset and stressed, Ronnie and the kids also got exited (well as excited as kids can get about a new kitchen).

Which made me also think about decision making and procrastination.  You see – we hadn’t made a decision about a new kitchen, because we thought we had plenty of time, and didn’t NEED to make the decision yet. 

I have a friend who runs her own business.  Mostly she is very quick to make decisions regarding her business.  But put her in a bookshop or a supermarket, and she won’t be able to make a decision to save her life and will end up buying nothing or buying twice as much as she actually needs!  Because there is no urgency.  There is no reason why she MUST decide now. 

So, if you find you are a natural procrastinator – it is vital that you set yourself deadlines AND that you have someone to hold you accountable to those deadlines.  Otherwise – guess what – you’ll still be wandering round that proverbial bookshop, when it’s locking up time, with nothing to show for it. 

Need some help with overcoming procrastination or catastrophe mindsets in your team? Email me on julie@thinkbedoleadership.com

About Last Night…

Last night we spent an amazing 90 minutes working with a group of leaders who were there to grow their impact, get more out of their teams and to get more time for themselves. 

Maybe you weren’t there to see it…… 

One of the themes that was coming over was that everyone works long hours, although some enjoy it more than others. 

And this got me thinking about how we need to stop and take some time to get off the hamster wheel and give ourselves the benefit of looking at things from a different perspective. 

If you are anything like me, you’ll often get quite engrossed in what you are doing at times and forget to think about why you are doing it. 

I must stop and “regroup” and so do you…

Now, of course we all do this at least once a year when we are in a planning phase for our businesses.

However, a year is a long time to keep going without understanding how we are doing against a target.  And the longer we leave it the further we are away.

It is a bit like steering a course on a ship and then forgetting to adjust the steering as you go along to account for the wind and the waves. 

And that applies to the impact you and your leadership team have in the business.  The so-called soft skills of motivating and inspiring people to get the best from your team.

So, on the masterclass we looked at what it takes to create a clear route map to creating a higher level of impact in your business, so that you can have more time to yourself and get better results. 

This meant that instead of looking outward, we asked everyone to look inward – and to be honest about their capabilities and perspectives.  To look at how skilled and comfortable they are at each of the 3 foundations of leadership and the 9 elements to a higher level of impact. 

I find, as a coach and Chief Impact Engineer here at Think Be Do, if we are really honest and open to looking at ourselves from that other perspective – what impact we have on others, then we start to realise quite quickly what is going to help us take our results to the next level. 

But it can be hard to do that, I know. 

And that is why I have a coach that does it with me (keeps me grounded, makes me honest, calls me out on my excuses and generally makes me a better coach, leader and business woman). 

So, maybe that is why we all need some of that.   Inward looking is super tricky when we try to do it on our own.  

That is why the masterclass was so useful. It starts that process.

But the next level is to find your coach.  You need to find your person who can get you to see what needs to be done, work with you to make it happen and help you create the impact you need as a leader to create engagement and focus in your business.  This will ramp up your results and give you trust, confidence and delight in your team who produce the goods without needing you to poke around and get involved. 

And if you would like to talk about what that might look like then give me a call or reply with IMPACT in the subject line and I will get right back to you. 

Have a wonderful weekend. 

Julie “Chief Impact Engineer” Hutchison

P.S. Whenever you are ready…here are 4 ways I can help you increase your impact as a leader:
1. Grab a free copy of my leadership impact report: The Team Performance Engine
It’s the Road Map to your journey of increasing your impact as a leader — Click here

2.Join the Leaders With Impact group and connect with other leaders who want to grow
It’s our new Facebook community where smart leaders learn and share how to increase their results and get more free time —  Click here

3.  Join our Leaders Mastermind Group Programme
The THINK BE DO Leadership™ Mastermind is a selected group of like-minded leaders, in an online community, focused on growing your results.  With trainings, group coaching calls, guest speakers and more, supporting and challenging you to design and implement real team performance in your business.  Reply with “Implement” in the subject line and we can discuss how you can join us

4. Work with me and my team privatelyIf you or your team just need a little more one to one attention to make change happen in your business… just reply to this message and put “Private” in the subject line… tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details!
If not now, when?

What Do Policemen and Museums Have in Common?

What Do Policemen and Museums Have in Common? 

This week I have been delivering 2 days of leadership training to a fabulous group of firearms police officers and 2 leadership sessions to a group of conservators (some of the people who work in Museums).

On the outside they couldn’t seem more different as a bunch of people.  One the one hand you have calm and reserved and on the other – direct and outspoken. 

Yet the subject matter was the same for each, because it applies to both.  In fact, it applies to anyone in any field, who needs to take the lead in any type of circumstance. 

Because leadership is not about telling people what to do (although it sometimes involves that specific task).  Leadership is about understanding how different people deal with things.  How people communicate and behave in ways that are different and may be very different from your own.  

Unless you understand these differences, it will hinder your communication and your understanding of THEIR communication.  
For example, a friend of mine has been coaching out in Dubai.

Now over there, ‘touchy feely’ is not culturally acceptable.  Where a warm northerner (as my friend is) might naturally touch someone’s arm when coaching, or even put her arm around someone’s shoulder at an appropriate moment, in Dubai that is a big no-no.  

If she didn’t know that, and touched someone when coaching, her message – however relevant – would likely not be heard, as the person being coached would be concentrating on why they were being touched, and how they were going to deal with that, instead of on the message. 

This week we were also discussing how different types of people deal with things.  How they often communicate and behave in different ways and how this can cause either chaos or massive collaboration in a business.

And we were using a tool called DISC which is one of my favourite tools for massive engagement, reducing conflict and increasing collaboration.  

With this tool it is possible to understand things about people that can massively help in just 7 minutes!  We can find out about how we can better engage with our teams, what motivates them, what makes them switch off and how we can adapt to get better results.   It is almost magic, but not quite.  

I teach this as part of my leadership programmes and on one-off days so if you want to improve your collaboration, and reduce the in-fighting then give me a shout to find out more. 

And if you want to know more about how Leaders use this and other simple tools to find more time for themselves, get better results and make more money in the process, then please join me on my online masterclass on April 3rd at 7pm.  

Click here to register: https://thinkbedoleadership.lpages.co/purpose-profit-freedom-april-2019/

leadership

Leadership – It’s All About You

One thing I constantly hear when consulting with business owners and business leaders, is that they are having problems with their staff.  The job would be so much easier if they had the right staff, or their staff weren’t so lazy/unreliable/poor st time keeping.  Things would be better if only they could think for themselves / take responsibility / step up to the mark.

Sometimes it seems like when you thought you were making life easier by hiring someone to take some of the load – that you have just made your life harder by taking someone on that you then have to spoon feed.  Often it seems quicker to just do it yourself rather than wait for them to do it……wrong. 

Well – I understand all of that.  I really do.  But here’s the thing.

You can almost never (and especially in a small business) hire someone to take some of the load off you without it costing you time and money.  Initially. 

You have to see the bigger – in this case – longer term – picture.   And you have to first understand yourself, and lead yourself. 

Quite often what I see in small business and large alike, is that people hire “mini-me’s”.  The tendency is in a small business to hire someone you like – which is a good idea.  In a small business it is a really good idea to make sure you like the people you work with.  Life is too short….!!.

However, if what you really need help with is putting processes in place because you are great at sales and hopeless at process, and you hire another you, then you will have twice as many sales and still no process. 

Or vice versa (probably worse), great systems and no customers !

So the first thing you need to do is sit down with yourself and figure out what you really need.  Then hire the right person. 

Easy to say – harder to do – but let me know if you need a hand with that! 

Assuming you have now managed to hire the right person with the right skill set AND culture fit, the next thing you need to do is make time to train them.  Yes, they may be the expert at Systems that you are NOT, however, they don’t know you.  And they don’t know your company.

Whatever their skill level you can’t just abdicate all responsibility for their job to them on day one.  You have to make time to discuss your expectations, and you have to have input – at least initially into what they are doing.  You also have to listen to their ideas, and let them have the accountability for their role.  It’s a fine line. 

You must not do their job for them (otherwise what have you hired them for).  Equally you can’t just give them a job description and leave them to it. It’s a balancing act. 

The benefit of getting it right is that you will create more time for you to concentrate on growing the business, and having space to breathe!  Now doesn’t that sound good.

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delegation

The Dreaded D Word

In the office today we were having a debate about what really is the number one issue for leaders.

I popped a question on a LinkedIn post to get some answers and it has over a 1000 views already – I reckon there is an issue!.

And surprise, surprise the biggest issue coming up so far is…

DELEGATION (or rather the lack of it, and being too busy because of it).

Why is this an issue?

Well, most people are saying that they are too busy. When I see their to do lists and in-trays it makes me feel stressed, let alone them. 

So, time is an issue and we don’t have a lot of it.  Many people don’t spend enough time with their kids, families, self and therefore start to fall out of love with their business and sometimes even their partners too.

Often, I find that even when someone is very good at the task in hand, the fact that there are a million other things to do means that they are not performing it very well anyway.

Then there are your employees…

What do you pay them for if not to support you in getting things done? The problem is that if we don’t delegate, then we are under-utilising people, undermining people and probably demotivating them too.

And then, of course, once you have ‘trained’ them that you will do all the work, it is hard to get them to engage in anything except maybe chatting round the water cooler.

So why so we then get annoyed at them and think they are lazy and rubbish when, in fact, it is our fault?

The cost of not delegating is far higher than your own busy-ness. It is your own business!

So why don’t people delegate well (or at all)? 

The big things that come up are:- I don’t want to put upon them, or I don’t think they will do as good a job as me, or it takes too long to show them and to get them up to speed so I may as well do it myself.

That might be true, but then you will never be able to step back. This is a short-term view and you  need to sometimes go through a little “pain” to get the gain, would you agree?

Then there is the biggy …… “IT DOESN’T WORK!!! The staff get it wrong and don’t do it and I end up doing it in the end”.

But, here’s a little secret – it doesn’t work because you have set them up to fail. 

The way you Think and the way you Behave has a massive impact on what you and they do. So if you create an environment that is set up for you to do it all, how can your team get a look in? The trouble is, people are often terrified of letting go!

How can you change this and set yourself and your team up for success?

In order for you to feel confident about delegating you need to do two things: 

1.   Make sure they are technically capable

2.   Make sure they are confident in making decisions

The technically capable bit takes a bit of effort, I agree, but is the simple bit. Fairly transactional.

BUT…

The second part is something that we have to get right before we can trust that things won’t fall apart. Their confidence…

If you think about it, it makes sense. It is often not that that they can’t do it,  it is a number of other thought processes that stop them from grasping the mettle. They may be unsure of what you are trying to achieve. They may be unclear about what good looks like.

A big concern is often that they are unsure if you would back them up if they did something slightly different from your way of doing it. They may fear you will berate them in front of others.

It is all that mindset stuff that stops people from stepping up.  

So, if you can create the conditions of trust and support and give your team the opportunity to start making decisions with your back up then they feel safe and can spread their wings.

As soon as that happens, then you can truly start to trust and step back. You will  know that they know what the plan is, what needs to happen and how to do it. They will be confident to get on with it and willing to take the risk (sensible) rather than knocking on your door all the time to ask you what to do next.

So, delegation, the dirty word, is actually a massively important concept to get right, but there are a few things you need to get right in your set up before it can work as well as it needs to.  

You need to create the conditions for success so that you Think differently, Behave differently so that you can Do differently.

If you want to find out more about how to do that for you and your business then join us in our Purpose Profit Freedom Masterclass next week where we will work out how to give back you more time, bring the love back into the business and make more money.

We will dive into the elements of THINK BE DO leadership, so you can see how you can make the changes you need.

Register here: https://thinkbedoleadership.lpages.co/purpose-profit-freedom/