Tag Archives: 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.

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….

ghandi

Should You Be More Like Mahatma Ghandi?

Good Leaders have continuous learning and development plans for all their staff.  The best leaders follow the teachings of Mahatma Ghandi and take this a step further.

Ghandi always told his followers that if two of his sentences contradicted each other, and if they thought he was sane at that time – they should please ignore the first one and accept the second one.

This shows several traits of a great leader.

Firstly – Ghandi was very self aware.  Rigid consistency was not one of his values as a leader and he knew that about himself.  Knowing yourself well – your values, vision and beliefs is a necessary trait in a leader.

Secondly, Ghandi was anticipating the future needs of his followers.  If you can know what your team needs, before they know they need it, and provide that information upfront then not only do your team feel empowered by you, they know you care, and perhaps most important of all – you save yourself time by not having to answer lots of questions from individuals.

Thirdly, Ghandi was showing great communication skills – both in terms of timeliness and clarity.  Leaders communicate freely and as soon as they become aware of the need to communicate.  They don’t wait till a problem has presented itself.  Ghandi’s communication was very clear and had a built in caveat (if they thought he was of sane mind).

Lastly – and perhaps the one most likely to be missed in the busy-ness of everyday work life – Ghandi recognised the need for and value of his own learning and growth.  As a leader YOUR learning and development should be of the highest priority.  If you don’t develop YOU, then how can you develop your team.  Equally if your team develop themselves and you do not, perhaps they will grow to need a different leader!  (Which explains some staff turnover figures).

If you would like some free leadership tips – click on the link to pick up your free reports on How to Get Your Teams To Do Anything And Still Have a Smile on Their Face!

 

 

 

 

Leadership Tips – Are You M.A.D. or Are You Mad?

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You’re probably thinking – “Actually, I think You’re the Mad one Julie – what are you talking about?”

Well what I am talking about is something that was very topical when I was talking at a leadership event for middle managers, and one of them asked me what he should do about HIS manager. The conversation went along the lines of – we get more done when he is not here as he is always interfering and criticising and yelling at people when he is here and everyone is frightened to do anything.

Well, that manager was clearly M.A.D. – he was Making A Difference. But not in a good way.

So let me ask you this – are YOU making a difference or would it not matter if you weren’t there? And if you ARE making a difference – is it the sort of difference you want or intend to make. Leadership comes in many shapes and sizes and from many backgrounds. As such leaders can have different problems.

For example – if you are a forward thinking, visionary, bigger picture leader – the charismatic inspirational type, then very often your main problem may be that you expect the highest (ie YOUR) level of competence from everyone, and therefore perhaps don’t spend enough time ensuring people actually know what they are supposed to do.

Assuming a greater level of competence than actually exists is a very common leadership problem and therefore the delegation you think you are doing is actually dumping. You are dumping tasks on people they are not skilled enough or confident enough to produce at the level you are expecting.

Alternatively, if you are a massive people person and care deeply about each individual on your team, you may be smothering them with too much love and NOT delegating because you think it would be kinder to not overload them, and do it yourself.

You can see all the minefields that can occur when we are ‘trying to make a difference’.

If you want to create a difference that actually makes a (positive) difference on your team then you need just 6 things. And rather than me detail them here – why don’t you join me for half an hour tonight – Thursday the 31st March 2016 – on my free webinar “Just 6 Things” – where I will be sharing the only 6 things you ever need to know about being a successful leader, making a difference and transforming your teams performance. Register here

For more on leadership see my blog – What Are You Most Frightened Of?

leadership - mind the gap

Leadership Tips – Mind The Gap!!

Are you a professional in a leadership position? If you are, it may have taken you 5 or 10 years to become an amazing expert in your field. You might well be the ‘Go To’ person in your field, or at least in your company.

But I often find, especially with my clients who are professionals in a NEW position of leadership, that there is a gap.

There is a gap in either confidence or knowledge. Not in your area of skill you understand. No – technically you ARE the expert. No, the gap is in confidence or knowledge (or often both) around leadership.

Do you find there are team members who are not as expert as you and you find yourself wishing they could just get on with it and do what you can do, and you are not sure why they can’t? Perhaps you have been a member of a team that just seemed a bit disjointed? You knew the team had the skills to do a much better job but for some reason, they just never quite hit the mark?

Well there are some key principles of leadership which can be learned which will help you to turn unproductive team members into high performers.

You can learn the principle of this in about 10 minutes, on my “Just 6 Things” webinar on Thurs 31 March at 7.30pm. Just click this link to register and learn the leadership secrets to transforming your teams performance.

For more on leadership see last weeks blog – Do You Know Who You Are?

Leadership Tips – Do You Know Who You Are?

If you are an entrepreneur you probably do know who YOU are, but do you know who your TEAM really are?

You see, last week I was talking to 40 solicitors, 10 police officers and over 65 women in business.  But whilst those 3 ‘teams’ of people have a lot in common they also have many individual differences.  And that made me think.

You see entrepreneurs like you, create stuff.  You are pro-active, a problem solver, decision maker, self motivated, intuitive, creative, high energy, innovative.  Wouldn’t it be great if your team was more self motivated, more able and willing to make decisions, more pro-active, able to solve their own problems.  Wouldn’t it be great if they were more like you?  Wouldn’t it be great if you had a bunch of INTRAPRENEURS in your business?

Well – you quite possibly have.  I am betting that somewhere in your office you have an ‘eBay business owner’ or a ‘Amazon reseller’ or a ‘network marketer’.  And if only they would put as much effort into your business as they do yours – how great would that be?

Did you know there is a tool you can use to understand your people and what makes them tick – to identify the ‘Intrapreneurs’ in your business – the people who can be moving things forward for you – if only you knew who they were and allowed them to do it.

But it will also tell you about the other people in your business who you need just as much.  It will tell you who is in just as happy delivering the day to day “stuff” your business does, who will make sure all things add up and that the delivery of your product or service happens again and again.

It is just like finding the key to how best to use your people to make the most of their skill, genius and talent.

Click here to watch a short video where I share with you what that tool is and how you can access it today…..

Watch here

Leadership Tips – What Are You Most Frightened Of?

Perhaps you don’t like Spiders? Possibly you are scared of flying. A friend of mine is terrified of needles and faints every time she has blood taken.

But actually there might be something more frightening than any of those for you. An amazing 74% of people (well American’s probably – think that’s where the survey was done) are more frightened of public speaking than ANYTHING.

Yes I mean anything. They would be less frightened about dying! How crazy is that?

 

Here are the top 10 fears people have:-

1. Public Speaking or Stage Fright – 19%

2. Death and End of Life – 16%

3. Spiders and other Arachnids Creatures – 13%

4. Darkness and Twilight – 12%

5. Heights, Altitudes, and Elevations – 11%

6. People and Social Situations – 10%

7. Flying in Airplanes – 7%

8. Open Spaces and Squares – 5%

9. Natural Thunder and Lightning – 4%

10. Confined Spaces and Small Rooms – 3%

 

Public speaking is clearly number one. Which is a shame really – for everyone – but especially if you have to speak up for your business. If you are a leader in business and can’t speak – then you are not as effective leader as you could be. There are many circumstances you may need to speak in – one to one meetings, client or supplier meetings, board meetings, team meetings, conferences, networking, speaking to the press. The list goes on.

So, let me invite you to join me next week on March the 18th at my Speak Up For Your Business Event. Here’s the link.

And in case you missed it last night – here is a link to a short masterclass about just ONE super effective technique you can implement right away, to improve your speaking. I promise you – 20 minutes of your time invested and you will walk away with a skill for life.

Here is the link to the online masterclass training

And this is just ONE of the topics you will learn about on the 18th March. So if you need to speak in your business – and you have it on your list of ‘things I would rather walk over hot coals than do’ – please come along. It will be fun I promise!

Leadership Tips – Want People To Listen To You? Read On…

If you are in business – whether you are a Manager or a Business Leader (or want to be one day), you are going to be doing a lot of speaking.

You might have to speak at board meetings or team meetings. Perhaps you have to speak to the media. You almost certainly have to speak to clients and suppliers. Or maybe you just have to speak to your team, or your boss. But whoever you are speaking to you, need to try and motivate them to do, understand or believe the things you want them to.

So why is that sooo difficult to get your boss to listen to you and understand they need to allocate proper budget for the things you believe are important – maybe staff development or marketing? Or why is it so hard to get some staff members to understand the need to make changes within your business – whether that is implementing new systems which will make it easier for everyone to work effectively, or whether it is new software to speed up processes.

It seems that being heard is quite difficult in business. And it is certainly true that most problems and bones of contention within a business can be traced back to lack of communication – lack of understanding or lack of motivation (which are all inexorably linked).

So what is the answer?

Well – it is a big issue, and too big really for this blog. So instead here is what I am going to do.

Would you like to know the ONE thing you could do tomorrow to immediately have an impact on these problems – to immediately know how to get people to actually listen, understand and buy into what you are saying?

If the answer is yes – then this is for you.

I am putting on a FREE Solutions Masterclass next Weds 9th March at 8pm. It will be just 20 minutes long and you will come away from that session with something you can IMMEDIATELY go and implement the next day. Does that sound good?

I am keeping it brief as I don’t want to overwhelm you with lots of strategies, I am just going to share this ONE thing – which you can do straight away.

Oh – and I will leave 10 minutes at the end for any questions you might have.

Just click this link to register for the free Masterclass, that will give you an immediate Solution to not being listened to.

Click here to register

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Trap Door

Leadership Tips – When To Use The Big Trap Door

Have you ever found yourself putting up with behaviour that you really shouldn’t have put up with? You know the people I mean. I call them ‘mood hoovers’ – because they suck up all the positive energy in a room and spit out negativity dust.

It’s really damaging isn’t it? Either the situation gradually gets worse until you reach a point when it feels as if it has gone too far for you to be able to change it, or perhaps you ended up snapping at or screaming at that person and then YOU end up looking like the bad guy.

Don’t you just wish for a Big Trap Door, that you could open up and just nudge someone into? It’s why ‘Room 101’ got instant popularity on the Graham Norton Show.

However, maybe the reason why we are putting up with the bad behaviour is because we never made it clear in the first place what the expectations are. Often it goes back further than that. Many times, the culture of a company is not given the top priority it should have when hiring staff. Most people hire off a job spec, but the reason most people leave or get sacked from companies is NOT because they cannot do the job. As my good friend and recruitment coach Carole Fossey will confirm, most people who leave companies CAN do the job, they just don’t fit in.

And that’s YOUR fault.

If you haven’t identified and communicated the culture of your team / company – right from before day 1, and continued to communicate what is and isn’t acceptable, then perhaps it is time you started!

You also need to be aware of the impact YOU are having and be a big enough person to take constructive feedback that maybe it is YOU that is the “mood hoover.”

If you think you have someone on your team like this and you want some new ideas about how to deal with them then click here for free information on How to Get Your Teams To Do Anything You Want – And Still Have a Smile on Their Face.

Warmest Regards

PS – If you, like most people, have a fear of public speaking and know you need to get better at speaking up for your business – join me on March 18th for my Speak Up event where you will learn to Present With Power and Inspire Your Audience – details are here.

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