Tag Archives: Management

Binoculars looking at a sunset

Looking For the Good…

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying “to know something like the back of your hand”, right? Well, recently I’m starting to think that knowing something “like the top of your shoes” might be more appropriate!

There seem to be so many people just walking around looking at their feet and not stopping to see the good around them.

It’s like your first time going out in new shoes.

Of course, they were bought to be worn, but from the first time you step outside in them, every scuff and scrape pains you; “Not my brand-new shoes!!”

But what if, rather than dwelling on each new mark, you took a moment to stop and admire just how great they go with your outfit, just how cool you look in your shop window reflection, just how right you were to choose the white ones and not the blue pair.

As leaders, we are constantly making decisions and so always looking for the ‘what’s wrong with your team, your business, your clients’ is a sure-fire way to hold yourself back. It pays to be positive, to look for the good, in people and in life!

Look for the Good…

So, you have a top and a jacket that may as well have been made for each other, but none of the trainers you have quite go. That’s why you bought the new shoes, to cap off the perfect look. This is what positivity can do to your business!

It allows you to see what is working well (your top and jacket combo) and build on that success (the new shoes)! It gives you the drive to want to improve and embrace your team and your business and further your future ambitions.

Now you have the outfit in place, you can start looking forward to events where you can show off your new ensemble!

And this enthusiasm, this positivity, is infectious.

People see how good those new shoes look and now they want some, too!

You start to breed your own fashion trends (not something I thought I’d ever be able to say!) and you create connections within your team, and we all know how important that is for the continued success of your business!

If Not…

Well, if you don’t look for the good, you won’t find it!

All you will see are those scrapes and those scuffs, scrapes and scuffs, until you can no longer wear those shoes and, in turn, that whole outfit falls apart.

Suddenly, as a leader, you are no longer wearing the trousers in your business, but rather the sweatpants and, however comfortable you may feel in these, I don’t think anyone has ever set a trend in their loungewear!

To look for problems is to be a negative leader, and to be a negative leader is to lose all influence in your team.

It’s a fast-track to demotivating and disengaging those around you.

There is no longer a vision to build as you are still choosing between the white and blue shoes.

White or Blue? White or Blue? Scuffs and scrapes. Even I’m bored of this now! Imagine being a team member and hearing this all day, every day.

As positivity is infectious, negativity is contagious, and once you pass it on to your team, soon you are all wearing sweatpants and bemoaning those marks on your shoes!

Lift, Don’t Drift, Through Life

Staring at our feet serves no purpose but to draw us away from the good going on around us.

It is easy to drift through life, absorbed by what is happening around our shoes but, in doing so, you can lose sight of what is important.

I mean, try doing anything whilst staring down, it’s all but impossible!

Succeeding in business, especially as a leader, is hard enough as it is without blinkering yourself to see only what you don’t want to!

Just throw on what makes you feel great and go and show others just how cool you are!

Leadership is about recognising when other people have become zoned in on their own footwear and showing them that, despite this, they are looking great!

Ignoring this and letting them drift is to hold them back.

If you aren’t willing to, not only be positive with yourself, but help lift others, you may as well be filling their sweatpants’ pockets with rocks!

Leadership can be stressful, but when look for the good in your work, it makes your job a hundred times easier and, in turn, your life even more so!

So, pick your head up and take in the faces and places around you, rather than the condition of your shoes…

Disengaged man with a hand over his face

How to Ditch Disastrous Delegation

I love cake. I mean, I reaaaally love it!

But say I am given a cake that serves twelve and I try to eat it all myself, I’m going to feel pretty sick. That’s not to say I don’t love cake anymore, but too much will leave anyone wiped out, lethargic, or just ill!

You know that, just by sharing a few slices, you could have avoided feeling totally rubbish but you really wanted it all.

And now you’re feeling awful, and your mates think you are totally selfish.

By giving away even just a bit, this whole situation could have been avoided.

So why are we talking about this?

I know it sounds obvious, but so many leaders want to just dive in and take on their version of the whole cake.

But business is no different. You need to share the workload. You need to DELEGATE!

Here’s the thing – something weird stops us

We must ask ourselves this first question – Why are we taking on too much in the first place?

This could come down to a number of factors, so let’s take a look at what they may be.

Need for Control

As a leader it is easy to feel like, as everything your team does ultimately falls back on you, it is best done yourself, isn’t it?

But, before you know it you can slip into one of two things – the micromanaging spiral, or the “I’ll do it myself” drama triangle.

It is natural to want to know what your team is doing at any one time, but you have to allow them to operate in their own space within your wider leadership.

I don’t know about you, but when someone is on my shoulder all the time, watching what I am doing, I end up telling them to do it themselves because I don’t feel trusted. 

And if you are already doing it yourself anyway, their confidence is going to be shot to pieces so then they probably would just end up fulfilling your fear of not doing it as good as you.

But you may have just created that yourself.

The reality of that need is often fear. The fear of failure and lack of trust that your team can support your aims. 

This is where you have to look at why you brought this team together in the first place.

You assembled this group to do a job for you and you must trust them when it comes down to distributing and delegating your workload. It will also help keep them engaged, interested and motivated.

Guilt

I hear it all the time, “Giving people work makes me feel guilty”.  “They will think I am lazy.” 

But this should be exactly the opposite.  That is your job.

Many of us have been brought up with a really great (too great) work ethic and have been taught that things should be hard work, or we should work hard.

So, when we start to delegate it feels like we are putting on others and shirking our responsibilities.

But we need to remember our role – To enable a team.

And forget that ingrained behaviour and belief system for the new one that recognises that real success is where we all play a role, not beat ourselves up for not being the hardest working person in the room.

Frustration & Disappointment

Oh, we’ve all been there when we get up the confidence to delegate and then Bam! 

Terrible result. ☹

We then go through the emotions of frustration, disappointment and beating ourselves up because of the good old “told you so, that was a bad idea. Should have done it yourself”.

But hang on a minute, we need to look at that in a different way.

Did we set them up to succeed or fail?

Did we make sure they had the skill, the will, and the way to achieve what we asked them to?

If not, then that’s our fault and, not only that, but we can also do a great deal about it.

And we must.

This is the art of delegation and of leadership.

To take our team from can’t do, won’t do, or don’t do, to can do, want to, and will do.

We need to help people see why they should do a task, why they should do it for you and how they should do it.  Then they can just get on with it with certainty and belief in their own abilities.

Because of course, no one will have the exact same vision or way of working within a group, unless we explain why it should be this way.

So, we need to be able to communicate and inspire those around us to see our vision and the output that we are looking for.   

Individuals may need a few attempts to get a task right but if you, as their leader, jump in too soon or too often and take over, you are robbing them of the opportunity to develop and save you work in the future.

And remember, they may even have a better way of doing something than you, if you would just trust and let them!

Over belief in our own abilities

Just because you have been doing this for 20 years, doesn’t mean that no one else could be as good as you. 

If you gave them the chance they would develop. 

But if they are better than you, then where does that leave you?

Maybe for some of us, ego gets in the way of developing others to a point that we can step back. 

We don’t want it as much as we need it!

So, we must see the bigger picture.   Remind ourselves, it is not about us, but about the greater good.  And we need to leave our ego at home, or we will be a very busy person indeed.

So next time you are worried about delegating, just think “how can I make this work” with three questions.

Is it can’t do, or won’t do or I don’t want to do it for you?

Then once you know, you are halfway there, and you can work on each one of these differently.

Then you will be able to have your cake and eat it!

If you would like to find out about that then that is exactly what we teach on our leaders’ development programs. 

Drop me a line to find out how you can get some help with implementing better delegation strategies and mindset for a happier, more confident team and a more chilled you.

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

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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knee bone

Leadership Tips – The Knee Bone’s Connected To The Thigh Bone

Do you remember that old song… “The Knee Bone’s Connected To The Thigh Bone”? Well the relevance of that will become apparent in a minute – bear with me.

We talked last week about the need for leaders to leverage, to delegate, to be free from the day to day, and what happens to teams when the leader does not do the above.

But what if it all goes wrong?

What if you leave it to the team and it doesn’t happen? What if it is not as good as your work? What if they mess up?

Do you know what? It is highly likely they will – and this is why many leaders who have tried to delegate take back control. If you want to be able to do this properly and with the right results then the words of that old song are very relevant. It is all about connection, and more specifically the connection between the 4 points in my L.E.A.D process.

* Leverage

* Enable

* Assure Trust

* Develop the Mind

Now you have to work backwards with this – you can never leverage unless you have first enabled your team. You cannot enable them unless there is mutual trust and you cannot develop that trust unless you have the mindset of a Leader and are on top of the other 5 points of the Team Performance Engine.

If you can get L.E.A.D right, then you are on your way to creating the space, time and performance you want from your team / business.

If you want to find out more about the 5 essential skills that make up the Team Performance Engine then go here www.teamperformanceengine.uk for some free stuff.

PS – If you missed the link last week – one of the other critical factors in being a leader is being able to speak up for your business. If you are free on the 18th March – have a look at this link to find out more about my next event on Presentation Skills.

Leadership Tips – Knock Knock – Who’s There?

Do you find that your staff are constantly coming to you with questions that you KNOW they are capable of deciding about themselves?

Are you positive you have already answered most of their questions on more than one occasion?

Do you sometimes wonder why they just can’t get on with it without bothering you over minutiae?

Well – it’s could be your fault. You may have inadvertently set them up to fail at decision making.

 

 

bubbles

But it doesn’t help you much does it – if all your team are in the first 3 bubbles? How can you get things done? Perhaps you find it quicker to do it all yourself.

If you want to know how to move your people into the right 2 bubbles, give me a shout and I shall let you in on the secret.

Meanwhile – here are a few tips to start you off:

* Do your team members know what their individual level of responsibility is?

* Do they know what they have authority for/what they can say yes to?

* What happens if they stick their necks out and make a decision – what happens now?

* How is that communicated to other team members?

If you don’t know this then the chances are you are creating the situation yourself (of them being in the left 3 bubbles). You may not be not enabling them to make a decision themselves, not enabling them to move to the right hand bubbles. And what you end up with is ‘dumbed down’ staff who are not trusted, just about coping but not caring about what they do. The are not bought in to the company or the goals, with a high risk of leaving, a high probability of being unproductive and basically they are costing you money without giving back.

But if you can learn to LEAD them then you get effective, confident, productive staff who are in it for the long haul.

If you want to know how YOU can change this for your business then see next week’s blog.

Thanks for reading this weeks Blog. As a Thank You – I would like to give you my Free Report – ‘How to Get Your Teams To Do Anything You Want and Still Have a Smile on Their Face’ – www.teamperformanceengine.uk

oh no not again

Oh No Not Again!

What’s happened – you might be thinking? Actually it’s not so bad. I have been asked to speak – again – for the 7th time in 6 weeks. Which is actually brilliant – because I love that interaction with a live audience. I have been speaking / will be speaking at a conference for dentists, a chamber of commerce event, my own events, a multi speaker event for tradespeople in Heathrow on January 26th, and at a women in business conference – to name just some of them. I am not telling you that to brag. I’m telling you because it made me think – about how important it is to speak up for your business.

We all think we know what other people do for a living, but actually every business is unique and we mostly never know about that because we don’t have the chance to hear what most people have to say about their businesses.

But it is SO important to be able to speak up for your business. And most people have a morbid fear of public speaking that stops them ever volunteering to speak at any kind of event. A lot of people WANT to be able to do it, but they just lack the confidence – or they think no-one will be interested – or they don’t know how to structure the talk and what content to give or at what level to chunk the information (more about chunking in another blog).

And just this week I was at a network event where a colleague collared me and said “Julie, When are you running that Presentation Skills Workshop again?”. So I decided to stop procrastinating and put a date in the diary for my workshop

“Speak Up For Your Business – Present with Power and Inspire your Audience”

You can find out about the event here – go on I dare you. Step Up and Speak Up for YOUR Business.

PS – to find out more about the event for trades people click here and read about all 4 speakers

Read, Write, Speak, Lead

Read, Write, Speak, Lead

Read, Write, Speak, Lead 

Do you read a lot?

If not, here’s a good reason to start. Most great leaders are readers.

It has been said that those who don’t read much, often don’t write well or have the ability to speak well either. These people often lack the communication skills that are essential to leadership and also don’t come over as knowledgeable and therefore lack the presence of a leader.

The ability to communicate – verbally, in writing and in body language is a key skill for leaders and reading widely helps communication skills in many ways.

It also helps with judgement. Really ? Yes – absolutely. Research conducted by Anne E Cunningham a visiting professor at the University of California, showed that in a study between TV watchers and readers – the readers knew more and were better able to decipher misinformation.

Being able to make a judgement about a situation – often with limited time and information – is another key skill for leaders. Readers were better able to do this.

Reading has also been shown to keep you mentally sharp as you age – so if you want to continue to be effective as a leader throughout your career – reading gets a big plus.

Reading helps us walk in another’s shoes and understand other people better, and again – whilst you COULD just watch the film – the act of reading has been shown to create new neural pathways which allow us to retain information better. Reading boosts our emotional IQ, and helps us relate better to others.

Finally – as there has been a generally downward slope in the amount of people reading – those of us who DO read regularly – a breadth of subjects, fiction and non fiction – are more likely to have those leadership skills than those who do not.

So – get reading! I would love to know what you are reading right now – please email me on julie@juliehutchison.co.uk

And remember – if you are ‘in practice’ or know someone who is and would benefit from some specific leadership training and motivation this Saturday – 30th January – email me and I will send you details of the event I am speaking at.

Team

Question: What’s the Difference between a Team and a Toothache?

No – I’ve not lost the plot, it’s a genuine question. You see on the 30th of this month I am speaking at an event for dentists. There will be a lot of dentists there. What is the word for many dentists all in one place ? Perhaps – an amalgam of dentists?

Anyway – It made me think of how dentists are leaders. They lead their teams. They lead their clients – by giving advice and support on how to have good oral hygiene and not have to have major work done. Of course one of the pieces of advice is to clean your teeth twice a day and to spot and sort out problems when they are just minor things, rather than wait until you need root canal or an extraction.

All good sensible advice.

And that is a bit like leadership in any type of team / company / business. If you have a quick check over / check in with the team on a daily basis you can often spot little things as they happen and before they become big things.

All makes perfect sense doesn’t it?

So why is it that most people put off going to the dentist until they are in screaming pain, and why is it that most leaders fail to deal with things when they are little?

Is it because they are hoping it will go away and resolve itself (trust me that never happens). Is it because they don’t know what to do about it and so stick their head in the sand (the ostrich principle). Is it because they are scared – doing something about it might be costly or painful in some way (ah yes – here we have it).

Most people ignore little things because we don’t like pain, and we don’t like confrontation or we have other priorities that day and perhaps it will just go away (or perhaps we are just scared of the dentist).

But whatever the reason, leaving things to fester is never a good idea. What was a small pain, given enough time will become a major problem. And then – when it can no longer be ignored – it is dealt with. By then it takes a lot more effort, time, money – or all three. And often it is too hard to resolve and does not end well, where pro-active management could have solved it much sooner.

If you want to know how you can use some proven strategies to deal with issues in your team as and when they arise, and when they are small problems that can more easily be solved – come along to hear me speak at the ToolBox Live event on the 26th Feb in Heathrow. Or if you are a dentist or know a dentist and want to come to the event on the 30th January – email me on julie@juliehutchison.co.uk

And I wonder .…do dentists take their own advice on pro-active (oral hygiene) management when it comes to dealing with problems in their own teams?