Business challenges are ever-present. Read on to view a simple, three-step process that uses the principles of Creative Tension, to help you to overcome any challenge.
Successful people regularly report they are lifelong learners. I want to think that I am a lifelong learner too.
Shayne Elliott, CEO of the ANZ Bank recently shared in a LinkedIn video post that he is “#always learning“. In it, he speaks about a book that has provided great value over many years, Execution – The discipline of getting things done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan. It is a terrific book and worth the read.
The ability to learn is essential for success. I argue that today, oxygen and learning are equally important for humans. Without them you are physically dead, or your career is dead. However, are followers tolerant of leaders who are learning? I’m not sure they are, which creates a significant problem for leaders.
Here’s a formula.
High-quality conversations lead to high-quality decisions, which lead to high quality actions and ultimately, high-quality results and performance. The reverse is also true. Low-quality conversations eventually lead to low-quality results.
Achieving high quality results and performance are worth the effort to learn how to conduct high-quality conversations.
The point of leverage in this model is high quality conversations. But what is a high quality conversation?
Earlier this year he was flat. He was frustrated with his boss. Despite his success, he wasn’t sure if his boss had his back or understood what frustrated him.
“Have you told him?” I asked.
“No, not really.” he replied.
“Why not?” I implored.
He had a lot of reasons. The biggest one was that he didn’t want his boss to see him as being paranoid. As we explored this issue, he shared that his frustrations were affecting him at home, and he had been less motivated than usual about his exercise and health program. This issue was affecting his entire life.
You know how it works. You are good at what you do, so more people keep being ‘given’ to you to lead. Not only that, but you are relocated to corporate headquarters and most of the people you lead aren’t co-located with you anymore. You have more meetings than ever to attend, yet you genuinely care for the people you lead but don’t have anywhere near the time you used to to lead them.
What do you do?
This dynamic is very common for the people I coach. Flatter organisations means higher spans of control, which means more direct reports to lead. Below are three tips for leading a growing team that isn’t co-located.
This Sunday it is Father’s Day. When collecting my two youngest sons from school yesterday, my seven-year-old son, affectionately known as ‘D-Man’, was covering a paper bag with a drawing he had just completed in class.
“Dad, you can’t see what’s inside the bag because it has the presents I bought for you from the Father’s Day Stall.”
“Okay, don’t worry I promise I won’t look.” I said.
He then went on to say, “Dad, when we get home, can you give me ten dollars?”
My eldest son is 17 and is eagerly searching for his first car. We have two parameters for his search. The first is his car must have a 5 Star ANCAP Rating, and the second is our budget.
Prior to facilitating a Safety Conference for Programmed with my good friend Jock Macneish in 2011, I would have shared different criteria with you regarding a first car for my son. He was only 11yo at the time so my criteria were somewhat premature, but a story shared by Programmed’s Managing Director Chris Sutherland changed my mindset.
When working for Commercial Services at Monash University which had 750 staff over 28 sites providing a wide range of services for the students and staff of Monash University’s nine campuses, the CEO asked me to lead a recognition and reward project called Project Grateful.
He was a fan of Disney and had previously attended the Disney Institute’s leadership programs.
He handed me a ‘Star Card’, a card the size of a business card that read, “You’re a Star!” on one side, and had room for an employee to identify a colleague and create a short hand written note to either thank them or congratulate them for doing something useful, on the other side of the card.
If you want your team to be fully engaged and successful, below are five questions that you ought to consider. It is best if your team are included in the conversation to answer the questions.
Continue reading Five questions for your team
Your mental models are your theories about how the world works. They come from your life’s experiences, your education, your family, your cultural background, your work experience, your religion (or no religion if you don’t have one). For most people, your mental models are sub-conscious – they affect how you behave but you aren’t aware of the impact that they have.
For example, if you had a mental model that as a manager you should have all the appropriate knowledge of someone in that role to justify your title and the money you are earning, and a staff member asks you a question to which you do not know the answer, then you are at risk of responding with a lie. You will simply make up an answer that will re-enforce your view of yourself as a competent manager.
This short video explains this concept in more detail.