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Book Quotes Coaching High Performing Teams Influence Judgement Leadership Mentoring Networking Personal development

Why Dale Carnegie’s How to win friends and influence people is my all time favourite book?

I was 20 years old working for a US software company in the Uk and I was lucky enough to land a boss who was keen for me to develop. He recommended a 12 week Dale Carnegie course based around the book: How to win friends and influence people. The book changed my life and my career trajectory.

I have read the book numerous times and even thought the book was written in 1936. The lessons are as relevant today as they were then.

Each chapters headings are critical leadership skills and life skills. We should teach this to children at school.

My favourite chapters of all is don’t criticise, condemn and complain, followed by seek to understand before your understood.

The book is full of real life stories, that really challenge your thinking and actions. A must read for enjoying life and really developing great friendships and rapport.

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Book Quotes Coaching High Performing Teams Judgement Leadership Legacy Mentoring Personal development

How do you develop a high performing team?

Are you in a team where you feel you belong? you loved getting out of bed every day and connecting with your peers, they inspired you, you felt safe to share your vulnerabilities, felt safe to challenge the norm and together you delivered outstanding results?

Patrick Lecioni’s story of the Five dysfunctions of a team, is about the foundations that have to be in place to be a high performing team. As a leader your role is to create a safe environment for the team to express themselves without judgement and actively encourage the team to challenge, so the team can develop and remain highly engaged.

Here are the seven steps for you as the leader to build a high performing team:

  1. Build the strategy for the year ahead together with the team. Why is this important? buy in, engagement, influence, debate and ownership. https://angelalovegrove.com/2019/11/25/how-do-you-construct-and-deliver-strategy/
  2. Once the strategy is in place. Reviewing progress(monthly/quarterly): what’s working and not working, is essential with the team. Celebrate every success along the way, as the motivation for the team is critical. When parts are not working; Ask the team why they think it’s not working? what should we do? Amend the strategy and don’t forget to share the learning. At the back of the book 5 dysfunctions of a team, there is a survey and action plans on each of the 5 dysfunctions, use this with your team quarterly to see which area of the 5 dysfunctions need attention.
  3. On the bus/off the bus. If the commitment of an individual or individuals is not there, tackle the situation head on. What is the issue? Is it behavioral? Get on top of this quickly as having a detractor in the team can slow the whole team, even if they are outstanding performers. Toxic individuals can bring a whole team down.
  4. During Covid19 my business coach delivered a 6 week team coaching session on resilience. The lessons from these sessions was it created psychological safety for the team, we all shared more that we had done in the last 6 months, the result was more trust than you can ever imagine. https://angelalovegrove.com/2020/06/03/just-completed-a-6-week-resilience-team-coaching-during-the-pandemic/ Highly recommend running or getting an external facilitator to run team coaching on resilience.
  5. Another lesson during Covid19, the importance of regular 30 minute check ins without an agenda. Time to catch up and share, more recently the challenges for the team in Melbourne.
  6. Personal development plans for each team member. Tailoring to the ability and need of the individual. This is critical for motivation and development. Being able to clearly articulate the difference between average, above average and excellent with clear examples of what they need to deliver helps them understand how they can be more successful.
  7. Work with your team members to find internal and external mentors. This is so powerful, there are many times I have had individuals looking to move into different areas of the business and I have found them a mentor in that area and within 12 months they have secured a role.

Diversity is key to the above being successful. If you have inherited a team with poor diversity, here are some additional steps that you will need to take:

1. If you are in a corporate with a graduate program, go and introduce yourself to the Graduate talent manager, find out why graduates would find coming to your part of the business interesting and become a “destination for graduates”. They really know how to shake up a culture with their drive and curiosity.

2. Find talent in other parts of the business looking for a challenge and secure them on a secondment to deliver key components of the strategy. This is a true win/win in business for the individual and for the company.

3. Ensure the minorities are well supported and take time to understand any poor behavior. In my experience where you have low diversity of age, culture, gender and LBGT, you will have behaviors that will not be acceptable.

4. Expect to take 12-24 months to fix.

There are many leaders who believe the term “high performing teams” is overused. For me it is absolutely essential as a leader to create the environment that people can thrive and deliver outstanding results and that by definition is High performing teams.

I wish you all the best with building a high performance team.

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Coaching High Performing Teams Leadership Legacy Personal development Resilience

Just completed a 6 week resilience team coaching during the pandemic

Building TeamResilienceJust completed a 6 week resilience training with Phil Crenigan a leading executive coach and my team. I have personally worked with Phil for many years as a business coach, so the opportunity for team coaching during covid19 on resilience was a unique opportunity.  There were many learning’s from our journey.  

Three weeks into working from home the team were overwhelmed by workload due to covid19 and the many challenges Covid19 posed. The resilience team coaching was timely as they faced new challenges working from home, concerned for family overseas, financial challenges and motivational issues.  The team shared vulnerabilities, what they were implementing from their leanings on the resilience g training, they supported each other and trust was built.  Patrick Lecioni would have been proud of us. 5 Dysfunctions of a team

Personally there were many reflections, honest conversations with myself and recognition of what was needed to move forward. 

  1. Developing resilience means I can move on quicker from situations that challenge me, spend less emotional energy on catastrophizing, and move to action swiftly.
  2. Building trust in the team is critical for people feeling comfortable talking about something that is so personal. The team have been amazing at sharing and supporting each other
  3. Doing the self-assessment on resilience, I started by putting top marks in all the boxes. That is not being honest with myself. When I revisited I realized I need to ask for Support more.
  4. Tools that I learned or re learnt:
    1. When catastrophizing, what is the worst that can happen?
    2. Asking for help more, working with peers and people outside the team
    3. Greeting people in the lift, supermarket, waiting for a coffee: Lighting up their day
    4. Revisit the team feedback about what I do well, keep doing it

Team coaching is critical to bringing the team together and during Covid having a forum to learn together really makes the difference.  Resilience is critical during these uncertain times. Even if you think you can handle uncertainty well, there is always room for improvement. 

I can recommend Phil’s Resilience team coaching as a way to build trust, accountability and most of all Resilience in the team.  https://www.execturningpoint.com/

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High Performing Teams Laughter Leadership Personal development

Lessons in leadership with Covid 19

My team are spread across multiple regions Queensland, Victoria and NSW. Since working from home, I have set up 30 minute coffee catch ups over Microsoft Team daily. We have been joined by the pets and children and the chat has been varied, but nothing to do with work.

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The team are closer, have more fun and know each other far better than any team I have ever led. In the past I would get the team together weekly and discuss business and quarterly to review the plans and progress, with a dinner to socialise once a quarter.  Fortnightly I would have 1;1’s where I would get to know the individual and what motivates them and how to challenge them to achieve new things. 

These daily coffee catch up sessions takes “norming”  to a whole new level.

five stages of team development

30 minutes daily allows the team to connect on a whole new level and more importantly I have learnt so much more about the team, personal situations and what makes them tick. I look forward to the call as the banter and connection is like nothing I have experience before.

When you have remote team members, they miss out on the office conversations and the relationship building with other team members is more challenging. These 30 minute daily sessions has created stronger rapport and the team work is now at a whole new level. 

There is a silver lining in every situation and for me I have learnt more about the people I work with than I would of done in the way I operated previously. If there is a silver lining with COVID 19 its about how to lead in more connected way. 

This way of working will continue beyond COVID19. 

 

 

 

 

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High Performing Teams Personal development Strategy

Strategy: how do you know you are on the right track?

When do you know strategy is working? When all roles in the business can articulate the goal and how they are getting there. At Salesforce Marc Benioff used the V2MOM https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2013/04/how-to-create-alignment-within-your-company.html to align individual and team goals to strategy. This method is the best I have seen in alignment in an organisation

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With Strategy, there are four scenarios that play out in a any organisation.

1. strategy from the top is non existent or is not delivering, so teams create their own.

2. Strategy from the top is interpreted in so many ways that teams are disjointed, failing to align to deliver the outcomes.

3. As of 1, but results from one section leads to strategy formation from the top, creating alignment and delivery of results

4. Strategy set and goal clear, driving teams to work together to get the outcome.

The sad truth is that many organisations try lots of tactical activity delivering nothing, it does not need to be this way

How do you know your strategy is on the right track?

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High Performing Teams Personal development Time Management Work life balance

How to improve productivity?

Being productive and feeling a sense of achievement at the end of the day or week, is critical to feeling successful and high performance.

Here are four performance rules I live by every day.

1. Todo list management

TODO lists are critical, as none of us can remember everything we need to do in a work context. Covey 7 habits of highly effective people is a great way to prioritise what is important as opposed to interruptions and time wasters. Use the four quadrants to section your todo list. That way you focus on the right items first.

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2. Track Projects

In addition I track projects. Todo lists are not good for managing projects, so I keep projects seperate and populate the todo list and quadrants with activities related to the projects for the week. This is one of the many take aways from the book “how to get things done”. I use a project tracker, which I keep in a word document. Each project is listed with next steps and a RAG status. I publish the list to my team and peers, which enables them to view progress, but also contribute, ask to participate or lead, ask for prioritisation and help them when communicating with their customers.

3. Weekly set aside time to plan your week

Each week on a Sunday evening or late friday evening to set the priorities for the week using the above techniques. I block time in my calendar for activities. This is good to do for two-three weeks out. That way if you any one “diary dumps” you can decide which is more important.

The other key thing I do, is I was start with the tasks, never email. I am more productive in the mornings, so I get on with the heavy tasks and early.

4. Email

As for email, I only check twice a day late morning and late afternoon. All my CC emails are on Auto direct to a cc folder. I only read when needed. If someone has given me an action, then I need to be in the TO line not CC.

Other tips:

  • Turn off email pop up alerts
  • Make emails short (no more than 5 sentences or 5 dot points)
  • Break the chain – pick up the phone instead of engaging in email trails
  • Text if it is urgent
  • Avoid Reply All and adding ccs
  • Set clear instructions – For Action, For Info, For Approval.
    • Say up front when a reply is needed.
    • “To” means action/reply needed.
    • “CC” means the cc must know this.
    • If neither applies then don’t email!
  • Inbox “Zero” Rules
    • Delete
    • Delegate
    • Do Now
    • Defer
    • Discuss

So here are 4 key productivity activities you can do that will make a difference:

1. Todo list management

2. Track Projects

3. Weekly planning ahead

4. Email

Good luck with achieving more by planning for success. Let me know how you get on?

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High Performing Teams Personal development Sales leadership

Toxic Sales Cultures

Not a day goes by when this topic is not discussed. In the last week I have met with a number of people in the tech industry and the theme is consistent the days of “just get your number” are on the brink of extinction. There are some last bastions of this approach, but they are usually devoid of women, diversity and team work.

Yes coaching for success and making your people feel great so they can be successful is the only way to truly a high performing team in sales. If you work in a culture which is “just get your number”  then its important to know the new world of sales is very different.  The new world is about building a territory plan, working on the execution and coaching for success.

The “bully boy” approach may work with some men and young women who know no other way, there is a far more successful approach. HR practitioners, ensure you are not protecting the bully boy behaviour!

We need more sales people and the “50’s” method of get your number, is a way to put people off sales for life. It does not need to be that way. We could ensure more people are successful, and that will breed more success, Sales can have a great name and thrive in a great culture instead of a tribal culture, where the ones that know how to get results succeed the the others leave. This culture celebrates lone wolf behaviour which is detrimental to the well being of others in the team. The getting results is not by means we all know, they can be gaming the system, favouritism by the boss leading to the best portfolio and other scam that makes you look successful.  These cultures are toxic and lead to what looks like good sales results, but the underlying damage to customers is long term deterioration of revenue and customer satisfaction.

5 signs that the toxic behaviours are embedded:

1. Salespeople are under so much pressure to achieve numbers they create ways to achieving it dishonestly. Here are some of the worst I have personally experienced: photocopying signatures on contracts, selling a lesser product which does not fit business needs in order to sign a new Sale, but destroying the customer experience. Sell products that are later credited due to customer not understanding what they have signed.

2. “Best performing” sales people rewarded with best portfolios when their previous portfolio, signed business which is now hit with credits due to poor selling. The incoming sales person’s performance is radically impacted without the previous sales person being impacted.

3. Lone wolfs are celebrated, as they are seen as successful. One of the side effects of individual targets, is there no such thing as team players, everyone is out for themselves.

4. Gaming of territory and portfolio is rife in order to secure the target. Letters are written from the customer asking for a specific sales person or another person signing a customer knowing they are not in their portfolio.

5. Overcharging, not cancelling products that are not used, not passing on discounts that new customers have access to, all erode the trust with a customer. Not being a “trusted advisor” in account management is only going to result in the customer churning to the competition. In a toxic sales culture, salespeople work on the short term principle on the customer focused principle of Life time value.

The future of great sales cultures, is one that is supportive, nurturing, diverse, customer focused, group targets, to develop collaboration, leverage skills across the team, every success is celebrated no matter how small, lone wolf behaviour is not accepted, diversity is the norm.