Tag Archives: Leadership

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….

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