Politics

Clash Of The Titans…Or A New Bromance?

It can’t have escaped your notice this week that Donald Trump #POTUS and Kim Jong Un, Supreme Leader of North Korea, have historically met this week in Singapore.  Up until this point their ‘relationship’ has been a bit like The Clash of The Titans.  2 (self proclaimed) Gods, making lots of noise and sounding off about and against each other.  Who has the biggest sword.  

This week they have made history.  It is the first time the leaders of the two countries have been in the same city, let alone the same building or the same room.  After all the chest puffing and aggression, they both have needs that were not being met with the pontificating.   

It remains to be seen where it will lead but it reminded me very much of a situation with a client where a new manager was brought into an organisation and had to deal with some very negative anti feelings and forge a new working relationship.   

This new manager came to me when he had just moved to another company.  There was ill feeling he said, because another manager thought his ‘protege’ should have got the job.  And at first there were a few clashes with both the established and the new manager standing their ground and refusing to give way or negotiate on the (fairly irrelevant) things in question.   

The manager – we’ll call him Ken – had tried appealing with logic to the other manager – on a ‘we need to work together or it will be bad for both of us’, level.  That didn’t work.  The problem is when someone already has a negative feeling towards another person, logic isn’t going to fix it.  The emotions need to be dealt with.  

The first thing I advised him to do was to meet the other manager on neutral territory – perhaps taking him for a lunch at a favourite eating place.  Neutral ground always works best in these scenarios.  A bit like Trump and Kim meeting in Singapore.  

The second strategy is to redirect the bad feeling.  So for Ken, that was about saying – look neither you nor ! have put us both in this difficult situation, the Company did that.  I wasn’t in the meeting with Kim and Trump but I could imagine that maybe some reference was made to the past as the cause for the current problems.  

This redirects the emotion to a third party.

The next step is reciprocity and giving first.  Ken discussed that he was looking for a lead for a project involving both their teams, and proposed the ‘protégé’ of the other manager.  The role would involve the protégé being included in high-level meetings which would spotlight him and certainly aid his career ambitions.  It would also highlight the skills and importance of the other manager’s team and therefore give him some reflected glory.

By giving first – Ken cleared the way for the other manager to ‘give back’ without having to actually DO anything except for supporting the initiative – which of course he was happy to do to help his protégé.

In a similar way, Donald Trump has agreed to stop all wargames in the Korean Peninsula.  This is before Kim has actually done anything – but it clears the way for Kim to comply with The Donald’s wishes without losing face.

There is one more stage that is necessary for this strategy to work long term and that is about being clear about the relationship going forward.  The other manager needed to know that Ken valued him and his team but that he was not indispensable and that the offer was time limited.

So, the conversation went something like this “I think Ben is ideally suited for this project and I would love to have him on board.  I intend to speak to him tomorrow before the board meeting on Friday – but I need to know right now, whether you support him as the lead for the project and whether you can release the time he will need to be involved.  If that is not going to be possible I have 2 other names on my list of potential project leads and as the board meets Friday you can see the urgency.

Again, not being party to the conversations I can’t say whether this strategy was used in the meeting of the Titans, what I am sure about is that there would have been conversations about next steps and there would have been urgency introduced by POTUS.

If two of the worlds most dangerous men, and most unlikely looking world leaders, can turn their Clash of The Titans into a bromance, then it is possible for anyone!

If you have this sort of situation in your business or you can see it happening in the future – feel free to email me on jan@tansformingperformance.co.uk  This is just one of the potential strategies we can implement to help with difficult relationship issues at work.

3D Leadership – dynamically enhancing the results of your business’™

At Transforming Performance, we believe that there are 6 crucial areas of Leadership: focus and direction, mindset, engagement, skills, impact and systems.

Transforming Performance can help with our Accelerate Your Business™ and Accelerate Solo™ programmes.

Jan Sargent is co-Director with Julie Hutchison of Transforming Performance, a consultancy which provides businesses with expert support in Leadership Coaching, Team Development and Performance Coaching, Executive Coaching, Mentoring, Training and Behavioural Profiling and help in getting the best from you and your people. If you’d like to have a chat and a coffee to discuss how we can help you, we’d love to talk. Call us on:

07947 823842 or 01722 484155

jan@thinkbedoleadership.com

http://www.transformingperformance.co.u

 

 

pot

It’s All Gone to Pot

Did you see the news today?  Some politician has caused a ruckus because she has been in Israel on holiday and at the same time meeting with various officials from the Israeli government without telling the government she was going to do so.  As a result she has resigned.

Now you and I might think that’s all a big fuss about nothing but it broke ‘the rules’ and that’s something that is unacceptable in the business called ‘the government’.  And it made me think – because this kind of thing happens all the time in business.  And what appears to happen might not be what actually is happening.

Here’s the thing – even though you think your people know the rules and therefore assign a meaning to things they do or don’t do, it is very likely that in fact, they don’t know the rules.

When things go to pot in business it is often the fault of the leader.  What I mean by that is that someone has to be responsible for putting in place a system or systems to handle whatever tasks are necessary to complete a project.

I was in a business last month which was going through a health and safety assessment as part of the process to achieve ISO certification.  And it was a bit of a shambles.  You see, the thing was, the manager really wasn’t interested in health and safety and had delegated the whole area to a junior admin person.

The junior admin person had picked up on the fact that the manager didn’t really care and therefore didn’t understand the importance of the whole thing, or of keeping proper records, or having a proper system in place.

As a result, it was looking likely that the ISO would not be achieved and everyone was blaming the junior admin person.  But really it wasn’t their fault.

This is a case of abdication rather than delegation and an abject failure of leadership.  If the boss doesn’t care about something and hasn’t created a system, or imparted the importance of what needs to be done and WHY it needs to be done, they can hardly turn round and blame the junior admin person who probably never should have been given the task in the first place and if they were, should have been properly briefed and given a process and reporting line.

This kind of failure can cost you dearly – ISO certification is not cheap to go through, but it could have been worse, it could have been someone’s health or even their life that was the actual cost. If something has gone wrong in your business it will generally be because of a breakdown in one of the 6 areas of the Team Performance Engine © – Focus and Direction, Systems, Skills, Mindset, Impact and Engagement.

If you haven’t already downloaded it you can get a copy of ‘How To Get Your Teams To DO Anything You Want and Still Have a Smile on Their Faces’ here.  Or feel free to drop me an email anytime on julie@thinkbedoleadership.com

 

3D Leadership – dynamically enhancing the results of your business’™

At Transforming Performance, we believe that there are 6 crucial areas of Leadership: focus and direction, mindset, engagement, skills, impact and systems.

Transforming Performance can help with our Accelerate Your Business™ and Accelerate Solo™ programmes.

Julie Hutchison is co-Director with Jan Sargent of Transforming Performance, a consultancy which provides businesses with expert support in Leadership Coaching, Team Development and Performance Coaching, Executive Coaching, Mentoring, Training and Behavioural Profiling and help in getting the best from you and your people. If you’d like to have a chat and a coffee to discuss how we can help you, we’d love to talk. Call us on:

01722 484155 or 07947 823842

julie@thinkbedoleadership.com

http://thinkbedoleadership.com

 

 

Leaders Fighting

When Leaders Fight

If you know me at all you will know I am not the least interested in politics. However, from an ‘observing leadership’ point of view the last few weeks has been fascinating in terms of watching the Labour Leadership battle unfold.

The candidates are all different.

Andy Burnham is middle ground, stood and lost against Milliband and states he wants Labour to meet the “aspirations of everyone”.

Yvette Cooper is also more middle ground, married to Ed Balls and has held ministerial positions. She promises a stronger economy and a “fairer, less divided society”

Jeremy Corbyn didn’t plan to stand but after the ‘top 3’ far left candidates dropped he threw his name in the hat. He is a very experienced MP. He is thrice married with 3 kids and backed by the unions. He will “protect public services and increase taxes on the wealthy”

Liz Kendall is ‘the outsider’. She joined Parliament in 2010 and was elected to the shadow front bench straight away. She promises to “regain the public’s trust in Labour on the economy, promising sound public finances and protection of the poor and vulnerable.” Her pitch stresses the need to make the party electable.

What is interesting in this is not the differences in the values and ‘interpretation’ of Labour values of each candidates, but their actual leadership qualities.

Corbyn is certainly seen as the most contentious and the most extreme candidate – the other players fear he will drive the party into a permanent shadow position. But maybe not. Because actually when it comes to leadership people like to know where they stand and they prefer not to have vanilla leaders who do not inspire. Love or hate her politics there is no mistaking Margaret Thatcher for anything but a Leader. Or Churchill.

Now he may or may not win but one of the other leadership qualities which Corbyn exhibits almost to the exclusion of the others – is the refusal to back bite or ridicule the other candidates. He won’t play dirty politics. That is a quality that is essential in a powerful leader. When you point the finger at others it creates mistrust of your own integrity. Be careful about pointing the finger when you are climbing the career ladder.

Lack of respect of your peers sets a tone of non co-operation, lack of trust and encouragement of further ‘back biting’. Not a nice atmosphere to work in.

The moral of the story taught by Jeremy Corbyn is – it might not your skills or experience or even your core beliefs and values that get you the promotion – it may just be how you demonstrate those undeniable and essential leadership qualities.