Tag Archives: Leadership

Born Leader

Born Leadership

Some people seem to be born to be a Leader, don’t they? 

I’m thinking of John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Alex Ferguson. All great examples of a born leader.

For these people, leadership seems to come naturally, it seems like they were always destined for that role and when they get it, it just all fits together, they’re like a swan in the water, majestically floating around.

For others, the ‘born to be a leader’ thing just doesn’t fit.

Maybe you started a business which became successful, and you’ve had to take people on.

Perhaps you worked for someone else and were so good at your job you were promoted to be a leader in their company.

Maybe, for whatever reason, the role of the leader does not come easily to you. 

And that’s a big problem because if there is one thing that all great leaders have in common it is their ability to BE the leader.

What Does It Mean to Be a Leader?

Well, they do NOT spend their time, being the manager, the salesperson, the customer service rep, the accountant and the receptionist.

Do you?

Being a Leader means knowing what it is that other people do well and letting them get on and do it.

It means:

  • Knowing when people don’t have the right skills ad organising training or moving them to another role. 
  • Trusting people.
  • Knowing when and what to delegate.

But above all, it means spending your precious time BEING the leader (not just DOING things).

How well would it work if Richard Branson drove his own trains, or Alex Ferguson had a go in goals, or JFK made lunch for his important guests?

That doesn’t happen, right? 

And it’s because those people know their role is not any of those things.

Now I am not saying there aren’t ANY occasions where you wouldn’t do something that one of your team could do. 

Sometimes it is ‘all hands-on-deck’ and it can be motivating to see the leader joining in with the fun run, or speaking to a customer, or answering an email when everyone else has gone home for the night. 

However, your main job as the leader is to BE the leader – be the inspiration, the motivation, the direction of the company and leave the operational and tactical tasks to people better suited to doing them.

Your job is to translate that strategy, into tactics that they can turn into actions to fulfil the task.

And here’s the thing, they might actually be BETTER at that than you.

And even if they aren’t (yet) they might be good enough, and unless it is something that you LOVE to do and want to do – why would YOU do it, if someone else can? 

We worked with one client who’s challenging and – to some – argumentative style, was not helped by her micromanagement and general interference in unnecessary things. She was feared and disliked in equal proportion. 

Micromanagement brings fear, stress and a lack of risk taking or stepping up to a team.  They don’t want to be seen to do something wrong, so they do nothing, or wait for your call.   This means you will have to get involved when you really don’t want to. It’s a vicious cycle as they do less, and you have to do more. 

Here’s the 10 minute live I did on the subject of why you might end up in the micromanaging trap: https://www.linkedin.com/video/event/urn:li:ugcPost:6930483184308502528/

What we need to do is to create three things in our teams:

  • Engagement
  • Enablement
  • Excitement

We want them to be able to do something, to want to do it, and to know why they are doing it.  

When this happens, we trust them to perform, and they trust us to have their backs. 

This creates Confidence, Collaboration and Commitment and means that your team is going to deliver an excellent product, with certainty and clarity.  You can step back and get on with your strategy and they can help you fulfil it. 

And if you would like some help in developing that Confidence, Collaboration and Commitment in your team, then get in touch and we can show you how we can help. 

Julie. 

Julie “Chief Impact Engineer” Hutchison

Julie@thinkbedoleadership.com

Click here for last week’s blog: Tech leaders aren’t people, people, are they?

P.S. Whenever you are ready…here are 4 ways I can help you increase your impact as a leader:

1. Join The “Quiet Leaders Lab™ Facebook Group and connect with other leaders who want to grow

It’s our Facebook community where those that are The Quiet Leaders can learn and share how to increase their impact, influence and outcomes — Click here

2. Grab a free copy of my leadership impact report: The Team Performance Engine™

It’s the Road Map to your journey to increasing your impact as a leader –Click here

3. Join our Leaders Launchpad™ Mastermind Group Programme

This Mastermind is a selected group of like-minded leaders, in an online community, focused on growing your results.  With training, group coaching calls, guest speakers and more, supporting and challenging you to design and implement real team performance in your business.

Send me a message or email julie@thinkbedoleadership.com with “IMPLEMENT” in the subject line and we can discuss how you can join us

4. Work with me and my team privately

If you or your team just need a little more one to one attention to make change happen in your business… just 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!

wrong way road sign

The Massive Cost of Getting It Wrong

Getting things wrong is an inevitable part of life and business, and in many situations getting something wrong can be a positive and lead to a better outcome. 

For example, you try a new process on customer support, and the very first customer you try it on – the brown stuff hits the fan.  Well, that’s not great but as a result of that one bad experience, you change the process and now it works great. 

However, there are sometimes you really don’t want to get it wrong if you can possibly avoid it.  One big example of that is hiring and/or promoting.

You see, there is ONE crucial aspect of being successful as a new manager – whether that is from an external OR an internal hire.  And that is …..BUY IN.

And Buy In needs to be understood and gained in 3 crucial areas.  If any ONE of these is missing then it won’t work.  We will get to that in a minute – but lets just look at the results of getting it wrong.

What Does It Cost When Hiring Goes Wrong?

The real cost of hiring / promoting someone who fails to get buy in upfront and early, is immense.  Estimates range between 50%-150% of annual salary (PWC) and 300% of annual salary (The REC).  And not only that.  The but more importantly, the REC have stated that failure of a middle management or senior hire can be a major liability to the future success of the business.

What Support Should be in Place?

Having said all of the above – the question then is why so many companies leave it to chance that their new hire will be immediately successful in the role.  Why is that?  It may be that they assume, having had a senior role before, or having been through the mill at their current company – they are all perfectly equipped to get it right from day one. 

But here’s the thing.  That is often wrong.  And especially if you are hiring or promoting a technical person.  You know – the one who is so good at their technical job function that they seem the obvious choice for the next role?  Their loyalty and track record of going above and beyond is exceptional. And so why would you worry about how they will perform in the new role?

But if you really think about it – how is a technical person – however great their skills – supposed to know how to manage a team and the 3 essentials of buy-in!

What Are The Three Essentials of Buy In?

When you get these right then you will have a participative, focused, capable group of people working together, and with you, to move heaven and earth to make things happen for you and the things you stand for.


To avoid getting things wrong, they have to:


· Agree with your cause
· Want to work with you (on a personal level)
· Believe and be aligned with their own capabilities to make it happen

New senior execs who don’t get buy in often upset people with new ideas etc and frankly turn people off.  The solution is of course, to not assume that your new manager or Director, knows how to manage their new role and to put some support in place. 

If this makes sense to you, I’m running a virtual workshop next week called The New CTO Buy-In Accelerator which is all about how to get your team to buy in to your vision without having to micro-manage, force or beg!

It’s free for the first 20 people.  Email me on julie@thinkbedoleadership.com

If you liked this blog; check out last weeks’s edition on Why Telling People What To Do Doesn’t Work

Or if you’re more of a video person, you can watch my latest videos on my YouTube Channel

Stages of Competence

You Know Too Much!

After years of hard work and acquiring knowledge, you are now the one in charge.

The Manager, the Leader, the Boss?

Great, right?

Of course, but as they say, ‘With great power comes great responsibility’. (I think that was Spiderman, wasn’t it!).

What I mean is that you now must be that person who cannot just do it yourself, but you can step back and help others to do it instead of you. You have to teach!

To show others the way and pass on that (hopefully) great depth of knowledge that got you in this position in the first place!

This might seem straightforward but, as I have mentioned before, experts can’t always translate their genius into effective leadership.

This is because You know too much!

And if you get it wrong, you will likely demotivate, undermine, de-skill and terrify your people into not performing, rather than unleashing their brilliance.

So, you need to understand what helps people to learn and what stops them, then you need to know how to make sure we do it properly.

And there is an easy way…

That is to understand and utilise the competency model.

Simply put, there are four stages of competence, starting with…

Unconscious Incompetence – or blissful ignorance

This basically means you don’t know what you don’t know.

I always like to use the example of learning to drive.

You’ve just turned 17 and you want to get behind that wheel as soon as possible.

You’ve seen so many people do it, so how hard can it be?

This is Unconscious Incompetence.

You think there is nothing to it and it is going to be a doddle. So, you feel confident, perhaps underestimate the trickiness of it all and think it will take a couple of days to learn.

You might be missing a skill, but you don’t even know what that skill is.

And if you have an employee in this phase, you may be given a false sense of security that all will be well….

But, once they are enlightened to the joys of a clutch and a handbrake by a driving instructor or parent or whoever, we suddenly, and maybe devastatingly (if we are not careful), move onto the next step that is…

Conscious Incompetence – you now know you haven’t a clue!

So, you get in the car, and you don’t know your brakes from your full beams.

Now you can see all the wheels, knobs, and handles, and you begin to recognize that there is more to it than you thought.

You have an awareness of what it is you don’t know and what skills you need to develop. And you are now “terrified” that you won’t be able to do it.

You know that you need to use the clutch and gear stick in some capacity but aren’t too sure how.

And this is where the learning comes in and your driving lessons really start.

But as a leader, if you are not careful, you can break your team member, right here.

Because they are at their lowest here.

They thought they were great and now their head is telling them that they will “never learn this” or “I must be stupid” and this is where they can procrastinate and faff, because they don’t know how but they maybe don’t trust you well enough to tell.

So, you need to make sure you help them in this stage, to be safe and certain in their learning that it is OK, not to know.

If you don’t, they will never take the risk, but if you do, they will start to get the hang of it and move onto the next stage…

And this is where the driving instructor really comes into play here, actively teaching you how to drive, what foot goes where when and all the technical stuff! Making it OK to learn.

Conscious Competence – or should I say clunky!

At this point you begin to progress slowly. Driving starts to make sense but is not yet natural or entirely comfortable.

This is when your Mum will still grab dramatically for the handle anytime you approach a roundabout or your Dad has his foot on those imaginary brakes!

At this point, you need to be determined to prove them wrong and stick at it. You’re learning, and the more you do this, the more likely it is that driving will become second nature and soon enough you’re taking your test.

And if you are the “driving instructor” in this story you need to let your team member get used to driving.

That may be frustrating for you. It may mean it is slower than you want it to be, takes longer, is laborious and you could have done it quicker yourself.

Well, of course you could. But that is not the point. Because eventually you want to move on through this to get out the other side.

But if you keep poking your nose in and micro-managing, they will never be confident and never get the real hang of it. They won’t make good decisions and they will just defer to you.

So, hang on in there! Be patient and show you people you believe in them, and their learning and you trust them to try, to learn and to make (hopefully not too many) mistakes.

Because if you persevere your team member will start to build confidence and move on to…

Unconscious Competence

You pass that test and master the skill!

Of course, your driving will develop more as you are let loose on the roads, but at this point you are no longer practicing.

You are developing on the foundations that were set in your driving lessons. You are confident to get in that car and know that when you do, there will be no more dramatic grabbing of handles!

A year later, you are driving to work, listening to the radio, going through the motion as if you had been doing it your whole life.

And as the boss of the new driver, you are now able to trust them to do the right thing, not crash the car or do something silly.

You are still there on the end of a phone or for some advice (on parallel parking perhaps), but you don’t need to be there, watching their every move.

It starts to feel like you can let go and reap the rewards of that patience you showed.

They are confident, capable and they know you are a great boss because you trust them, and you made them feel it is ok to learn.

So, what does this mean for you as a leader?

Well, once you understand the process of someone who is learning something for the first time, whether it is driving, or creating widgets in your business, you will be able to see how to best break down the information you’re giving them to make the whole thing easier for everyone.

They won’t really know anything about how you operate or your expectations of them. So, first, that’s what you need to tell them!

Once this is clear they will move into the second stage. Here you can get more specific in outlining tasks and roles. Whilst they still won’t be comfortable, this enables you to move into stage three and get them learning some tools and techniques.

Here you can offer training and give out jobs without blowing their minds! And in doing so, you are building up teams that will not only be capable, but way more confident too.

It’s like swimming.

Throwing a kid in at the deep end is not developing a good swimmer, in fact it likely to scar them and make them scared of the water.

You must start off in the kiddy pool with the armbands if you want the next Michael Phelps on your hands (or in your team!) until they trust you and get them in the position to learn.

And following these steps, breaking down your knowledge into manageable pieces, not only will you build proficient teams, but you will also be forming ready made managers and leaders for your business in the future!

To me that sounds great, don’t you think?

And if you feel like you’re in a little bit of a ‘Conscious Incompetence’ stage with growing your teams yourself, why not get in touch by emailing me at julie@thinkbedoleadership.com and see if we can begin your journey to Unconscious Competence in Team Performance!

P.S. Whenever you are ready…here are four ways I can help you increase your impact as a leader: 

  1. Join The “Quiet Leaders With Impact™ Facebook Group and connect with other leaders who want to grow 

    It’s our new Facebook community where those that are The Quiet Leaders can learn and share how to increase their impact, influence and outcomes –  Click here 
  2. Grab a free copy of my leadership impact report: The Team Performance Engine™ 
    It’s the Road Map to your journey to increasing your impact as a leader -Click here 
  3. Join our Quiet Leaders Launchpad™ Mastermind Group Programme 

    This Mastermind is a selected group of like-minded leaders, in an online community, focused on growing your results.  With training, group coaching calls, guest speakers and more, supporting and challenging you to design and implement real team performance in your business. 

    Email me with “IMPLEMENT” in the subject line and we can discuss how you can join us 
  4. Work with me and my team privately 

    If 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! 
Black and white instruments held up

You can’t harmonise with yourself!

More or less, everyone has a favourite band, a group of people who just come together and make music that instantly makes you happy.

As kids we often idolise that group, but more often we love that lead singer (or is that just me? 😉).

Many of us look to the lead vocalist as the leader, but the reality is, that they would be nothing or a lot less, without the rest of the band.

A lead vocalist, a front man or frontwoman, without the band is just a person singing on their own.

For the band to work you need the bassists, the guitarists, the drummers, and the backing vocalists.  All these people need to come together to create the songs, the music, that you know and love.

And in business, your team is just like a band.

Unless everyone comes together, works together, then you will always struggle to produce anything of value. The talent of one individual cannot be brought forward to its full effect without the support of those around them.

You cannot harmonise with yourself!

Conflict

Without wishing to state the obvious, teams that do not work well together will not stay together. Sure, they may achieve some success, but in the end it is unsustainable.

Just take Oasis.

Disputes between brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher were regularly documented in the press throughout their time together, Noel even quitting temporarily as early as 1994.

Working together in such close quarters for many years had soured their relationship and they now have little to no contact with each other even twelve years after the bands break up.

Now, drawing parallels between rockstars and business teams may seem a stretch too far, but again, the basic principles are the same.

Not everyone is always going to be best friends but that does not mean they cannot be successful provided they learn how to work with each other.  We just need to understand how to walk in each other’s shoes, appreciate the genius and accept the differences.

Teamwork

Everyone in a band has a particular skill or talent, be it for keys or strings, vocals or percussion, each member has different strengths.

So, we can look at our team in the same way, you may be the lead guitarist, someone else may be on keyboard, and so on. We need to celebrate those differences as well as wanting to get along.

Good bands have also identifiable sounds, or could we say “culture”, and these may evolve over time as members develop their talents.

The Cure went from eccentric, post punk sounds to more gothic stylings. Fleetwood Mac started as a blues band before moving more and more into pop-rock. Radiohead started with a distinctive guitar rock sound and diversified into more experimental music.

Good bands will make good music, no matter the sound or the members, there will be no reliance on one individual to pull it all together.

A good team will work effectively towards whatever that big goal is, and when each member is playing their instrument, the leader can be replaced, if they are just wailing into the mic randomly.

Often the leader can think that they are irreplaceable and feel that they are more important than the rest. They can forget that they are there to enable the whole team to achieve their best.  But that is dangerous, and mistaken.

For example: Genesis went from strength to strength with Phil Collins at the vocal helm, but before him the band was fronted by Peter Gabriel. Gabriel left amid an accumulation of tension within the band.  They didn’t need him to succeed.

No one person is bigger than the group and when someone is raised to this position, tension is inevitable. Keyboardist Tony Banks surmised it by saying:

“Pete was also getting too big for the group. He was being portrayed as if he was ‘the man’ and it really wasn’t like that. It was a very difficult thing to accommodate. So, it was actually a bit of a relief.”

This new form Genesis continued to perform until 2000, 25 years after Gabriel’s departure.

If a leader is not working but the team is still functioning, then just take a leaf out of Iron Maiden’s book. Over their duration they have has a number of front men and still remained highly successful.

At the band’s conception, Paul Day took the position of lead vocalist but was shortly dismissed as he did not have the desired charisma and, most importantly, enthusiasm for the project.

He was replaced by Dennis Wilcock who looked to put his stamp on the group, he convinced them to hire and fire members and the conflicts in the band grew, until he left to form his own group.

Then came Paul Di’Anno, and whilst they initially worked well together, addiction troubles made his position unsustainable.

In came Bruce Dickinson for his turn at the head of the band, and even he was in and out of this role due to wanting to go solo.

The job of these men was to help their group and when they were no longer were doing so, moving on was the best thing for both parties.

Dynamics

So, how then was the band “Iron Maiden” able to stay together through the countless member changes over the years?

That comes down to the true dynamics of the group. Bassist Steve Harris was the one who formed the band and, ultimately it was his group. The lead singer is not always the leader. Just because someone is the most vocal, does not mean they are in charge. Leadership is about a strong voice with something to say, not just whoever can shout over the rest.

A successful team is about good dynamics and doing what is best for the project, not just one person’s interests. It is about bringing together all those voices to create harmonies that is the recipe for an efficient project.

Everyone must be singing from the same song sheet and a successful leader will be the one handing out those sheets.

So, if you are the leader of your “band”, ask yourself the question….

  • What do I bring to the party?
  • How to I enable the team to perform?
  • Do I help or hinder the success of the team as a whole?
  • Do they need me?

And if the answer is not what you were expecting, then let’s talk…

Book in for Your Impact Accelerator Session to brainstorm how we can help you be the best front person in your business band.  https://calendly.com/thinkbedoleadership/quiet-leaders-impact-accelerator-session

Email julie@thinkbedoleadership.com

Turn that Yes into a No

I Just Can’t Say No!

I Just Can’t Say No!

I was listening to the radio today and the presenter played a snapshot of Seth Godin’s comment on ‘saying no’.  It totally stopped me in my tracks!

He said that when you don’t say NO, but you should, then you are acting as a “cost-free unprioritised contribution to other people’s work.” 

OMG!!!  He is so right!

So many people I work with are suffering from one of the following because they can’t ‘Say No’. Do any apply to you too? 

  • Too much to do.
  • Feel guilty.
  • Don’t want to let people down.
  • Think I “should” or “must”.
  • Know it “won’t get done if I don’t do it”

However, Seth is right. We have it wrong if we think we are doing anyone a good turn by always saying yes.  And the person we are doing the most harm to is our self.

It could be you are ‘over parenting’.  You know you do it, right?  At work AND at home. Perhaps you are short of time, and so you do whatever needs to be done because you “don’t have time” to show someone how.  Perhaps you do it because you equate doing everything for them to showing them you care. 

But here’s the thing.  If you are doing everything for them you are not enabling them, you are Dis-Abling them.  You are preventing people (including your actual kids) from growing up in the role and in life. 

You think you are doing a good thing, being kind, not putting too much on anyone.  But actually, you are just treating like kids (yes I know your actual kids ARE actually kids, but they will stay kids forever this way!).  

This behaviour just teaches them to keep asking you.

Some might think they are getting a good deal because they can push stuff onto you instead of taking responsibility for it.  But they need to either do it themselves and grow or find the right person to delegate that too.  But that should not be YOU!  

There will be others, who might not say anything, but who are probably frustrated that they are not trusted and they are not growing.  They might end up leaving.  They will certainly end up unmotivated and therefore less productive.  You also are probably frustrated as your own stuff needs doing and what you want to do as a leader doesn’t get done.

So, saying no is a good thing.

You don’t need to be “ranty” about it.  Saying no in the right way helps people to understand why and what the benefit is to them. Pre-framing will help.  Telling them why before it happens. And getting agreement on their understanding before you do it.

This approach quickly retrains their thinking and will help them enjoy taking responsibility.

And that is what is real leadership is. 

That is something we talk about a lot in the Quiet Leaders Launchpad, as it is a part of the role that those who consider themselves “Quiet Leaders” often struggle with.  And once they have this skill under their belt – boy does it make them feel good! 

But more importantly than that, it makes them a more effective leader, and their teams more productive and happier. 

Lots of good reasons to master the ability to ‘Say No’. Drop me an email if you need any help with this crucial skill! julie@thinkbedoleadership.com

Lead like a Lion

Talk Like A Leader – Think Like A Leader

Talk Like a Leader – Think Like a Leader

Which comes first the chicken or the egg?  In terms of the age-old context of evolution, I’m not sure anyone can say for sure. 

But in terms of leadership – the answer is sometimes the chicken and sometimes the egg. 

What do I mean by that?

Well – in the context of thinking like a leader and talking (or behaving) like a leader – there is no one answer.  Of course, if you can think differently (and you need to as a leader), then that will lead you to do things differently – and then you will end up be-ing different as a leader.

Here’s the thing.  You can start this cycle anywhere.  If you start to do different things, then you will become more skilled or behave differently which will affect your thoughts.  It works both ways.  And sometimes the ‘thinking’ bit is the most difficult aspect to change by just…well….thinking about it.

If the problem with your leadership skills or styles is in some part down to how you think, then it isn’t easy to think your way out of that.

Think back to the first time you were given a  bit of responsibility you didn’t think you were ready for.  It could have been your first team leader or management role.  It could have been stepping in for your boss at short notice due to sickness or emergency.  It could just have been the first time your Mum left you in charge of your siblings.

The point is you survived that – even though you didn’t think you were ready. 

Sometimes in order to believe you can do something – you just have to DO it.  Getting on with stuff, talking like a leader, for example, builds in you the confidence that you can do it.  And trying different things can be the quickest way to learn what works and what doesn’t. 

Specifically, when we are considering how to talk as a leader, you won’t know what works until you do it.  However, there are some general considerations.  Language is very important. 

Some key points about talking like a leader.

Great leaders do not use ‘superlatives’ frequently. 

Unless you are American, “awesome” is something that leaves you in awe.  Like seeing the first moon landing.  Most things just are NOT awesome.  And your team knows that.  So they would rather hear you say they had put in extra effort, or the data on the project was very accurate, than have you say it was ‘awesome’, ‘great’ or any of the other meaningless through overuse, words.

Sound like you mean it. 

If you are empathising – you need to SOUND like it.  Otherwise, it is a platitude.  If you are enthusiastic – SHOW that you are enthusiastic in your voice, otherwise it sounds fake. 

Many leaders worry too much about the content they are delivering and not the delivery.  Public speaking skills are very helpful here and well worth investing in.

Authenticity is important. 

If you say X one day and Y the next you better be prepared to explain your reasoning.  It is fine to change your mind based on data, or circumstance.  But explaining and communicating that are critical.

Having the tough discussions and calling a spade a spade.

I am not talking about being unkind here.  I am talking about being clear.  If you are not happy with a teams performance, you need to explain why, what specifically needs to be improved, by when and how you will support the team to make the changes.   Bosses who expect their teams to infer what you mean by how you behave, are often disappointed, and then blame the team or individual for poor performance, instead of themselves for poor communication.

When you talk like a leader (even if you don’t yet feel like one) people listen to you.  When you convey your values, and vision clearly, then people start to see you are a leader.  And when other people start seeing you as a leader it increases your confidence and belief in yourself as the leader you want to be.

When you haven’t experienced something before it can be really hard to think about it logically, influenced as we are by our entrenched beliefs. Talking like a leader will help you think like a leader and vice versa. 

If you want this year to be your best year yet as a leader in your business or organisation, then come along to our free Kickstarter event and Unleash Your Quiet Leader Brilliance. 

Register Here – the date is Monday 18th January.  See you there!

Covid Virus

You Can’t Blame It All On A Virus…

How has your 2020 gone? 

I know – it’s probably not the year you (or anyone) had planned.  Who knew that we would face the situation we have, with a global pandemic and the on again off again tier levels and associated restrictions. 

In the early days of March and April, the world was almost on hold, holding its breath to see what was going to happen.  But very soon after that, businesses realised that life had to go on, and businesses had to keep operating, albeit in perhaps a very different way.

No-one would blame you for failing to make the impact you wanted to in 2020 or failing to move forward in the way you had planned to. 

However, not everything can be blamed on a virus. 

Many businesses have thrived in these challenging times.  And some of that is luck – they were in industries that weren’t as challenged as some others.  But not ALL businesses in a hard-hit industry have struggled and not ALL businesses in unchallenged industries have done well. 

You can’t blame it all on a virus.

There will always be challenges in business.  Some small.  Some – like the 2008 crash or the pandemic of 2020 – BIG.  But there will always be challenges.

Successful Leaders Do This

The leaders who are able to quickly grasp what is happening, who have the ability to quickly see what is needed and then take their people along with them as they rapidly change their business model, offering or processes to fit the new circumstances – they are the ones who thrive in any situation. 

And it takes guts, and leadership to do that. 

The relationship of trust that takes you and your team through a pandemic is the same as the relationship that helps you shine in the good times. 

It is always the time to be a great leader.  It is always the time to make an impact.  And it is always the time to lead by design. 

As we come to the end of another calendar year and get ready to make the best of this weirdest of Christmas times, it is also a time for reflection.

If you haven’t achieved what you wanted this year, if you haven’t made the impact you wanted or gained the ground that you had planned, then it is time to set out your stall for 2021 and make it happen. 

Don’t let your results next year be a surprise, even if they were this year.  Come and join our Facebook Community – Quiet Leaders With Impact – and make 2021 your best year yet, whatever is happening out there!

Merry Christmas and see you on the other side!

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.

Is Training worth it

Leadership Tips – Is Training Really Worth It?

Training is a funny thing isn’t it? Everybody wants training, but as a manager you may sometimes wonder if it is actually worth it? I mean, you can train people up but that doesn’t mean that they are going to stay with you, and for that reason, training is often the first thing to go out of a budget and the last thing to come back.

You see, often people only look at the ‘cost’ of implementing training – the cost of moving forward. They never consider the cost of standing still.

Trained Staff = Happy Staff

You see the thing is that people who feel valued and who are given regular training and therefore the ability to move their own self development forward, are often the most cost effective employees. They are generally happier, more productive, more present (less time off) and more motivated. They produce a higher standard and a greater amount of work and they are more bought in to the company and their team and manager.

Now doesn’t that sound good?

Employees who are consistently trained and developed are also more likely to stay in a job for longer. A recent survey indicates that 40 per cent of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year. They cite the lack of skills training and development as the principal reason for moving on.

And furthermore, studies have shown that although management training alone can deliver significant productivity improvements (more than 20% in some cases); when delivered in conjunction with executive coaching, it can offer up to four times that level of benefit. The whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.

So if you are considering some training for your team, then consider the cost of standing still and make a decision to come along to my ‘Detox Your Team and Refresh Your Business’ event in Salisbury at the Enterprise Network on the 13th July, where you will find out what hidden genius already exists in your team and how you can utilise that to have a more profitable business !

Book here  and put in the code TEAM at the checkout for a special additional discount of £50 off the early bird price.  This discount is only available to my list and until Friday 17th June.  Click this link for more details and to book.

 

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Leadership Exit Strategy

Leadership Tips – Exit Stage Left….

I was working in my capacity as a leadership coach this week, with a client this week who runs a lovely and successful small business.  He is approaching retirement (or rather he would like to retire soon) but can’t see how he is going to do it.  He definitely wants to step back at least partially from the business in the very near future – but currently has no confidence that he would be able to do so.  And therefore the prospect of ultimately being able to sell the business looked to him like a pipe dream…..at the moment. Continue reading Leadership Tips – Exit Stage Left….