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Collaboration High Performing Teams Influence Leadership Personal development Strategy

6 tips for optimal collaboration

What does it mean to collaborate? Dictionary definition:  the action of working with someone to produce something.

Collaboration has become overused, poorly implemented. Leading to collaboration fatigue!

Here are my 6 tips for optimal collaboration.

  1. Define the problem statement as a group. Ensure everyone is aligned on the statement: we all love getting to the solution however, this is unhelpful and can limit creativity.
  2. Educate on the impacts of the problem and why its important. Data is key to presenting the facts of the impact. Don’t assume your audience understands the context, history or challenges the problem represents. The more time you spend here the better the creativity re the results.
  3. Black hatting is a great way to ensure all voices are heard especially people who are not convinced about the problem and reluctant to work on a solution. The purpose is take the role of all the internal and external stakeholders and role play their position on the matter, including any risks or opportunities
  4. Ensure all parties that are impacted are included in the collaboration. The last thing you want is having to bring someone on the journey when a recommendation is made.  
  5. Don’t be afraid to lead. I am often asked why are you doing this? In the absence of anyone owning, it is impacting my team and I therefore I am happy to lead to find a resolution. You can lead as an individual contributor. Regardless of where the process lands, leading change is critical and very fulfilling.
  6. Have fun. Get to know each other. Don’t launch into a session, socialise with each other for the first 5 mins.

Have fun Collaborating!

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Book Quotes Coaching Influence Leadership Personal development

You can learn from good and bad bosses.

You can learn from good and bad bosses. None of us are perfect, everyone deserves the best support, if there are behaviours you find offensive, call it out in private.  https://angelalovegrove.com/2020/03/04/taking-responsibility-to-how-we-get-treated/

You can help your boss and they in return will help you. Judgement is the worst human trait. https://angelalovegrove.com/2018/06/04/dont-speak-ill-of-others/

Stay always true to your values. You don’t have to compromise, you need to share what is important to you, so you can build rapport and trust. In return you need to take time to understand the pressure and behaviours that result in your boss’s behaviour. Always seek to understand before being understood, one of my favourite Dale Carnegie sayings. https://angelalovegrove.com/2020/11/24/why-dale-carnegies-how-to-win-friends-and-influence-people-is-my-all-time-favourite-book/

Personal growth occurs when we push ourselves outside our comfort zone. This is the opportunity to push yourself beyond where you have operated before.

With the open honest feedback about your bosses behaviour, you also get it back in return. This has been some of the most transformative coaching I have received in my career.

You can learn from good and bad bosses

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Coaching Influence Leadership Personal development Resilience

Take the emotion out of it

As a women in Corporate and wanting to succeed in leadership, you cannot display an ounce of emotion, you are expected to be cool and calm.

I am passionate about my work and heavily invested in my team, working with colleagues and creating great outcomes. The passion drives emotion and that comes at a price in the eyes of the leaders of the business. With passion often comes outwardly expressed emotions, express at your peril! For me it can be cynicism, poor choice of words, frustration with progress and a feeling I am not being listened too.

A raft of academic research suggests that women are under pressure to maintain a cool exterior. Source:https://www.marketwatch.com/story/serena-williams-got-angry-at-the-us-open-final-and-paid-a-heavy-priceworking-women-say-this-sounds-eerily-familiar-2018-09-10

Here are some tips on taking the emotion out of your work:

  1. Exercise or meditate before work. If I have an important meeting or presentation I ensure I practice yoga, go for a walk or Surf. Surfing puts me in the best in mental state and I find I am exceptionally calm. The day ahead is always balanced and definitely makes a difference.
  2. Ask your peers to hold you to account. One of my peers gives me feedback constantly and I help him. He tells me I am far more powerful when I am calm. My messages are clear and land exceptionally well. Having an accountability partner definitely helps.
  3. Never speak to anyone when you feel frustrated or annoyed. Take time to meditate or pranayama breathing(Yoga breathing). Only speak when you have managed the emotion.
  4. Write and communicate facts only, remove anything that reads as emotional. Use read aloud to check what you have written or write save in draft and read later. Even better leave what you have written for 24 hours and return to assess facts from emotion.
  5. Listen to others who are emotional, how do you react? Looking in the mirror is powerful for me and understanding how I feel listening to someone who is emotional. Ask your self do the messages land? are they believable or do you sense attachment, that might affect their judgement?
  6. If I feel that I wont be able to control my passion/emotion, then I ask colleagues to step in and I remove myself. Don’t be afraid to explain why, as this builds trust and rapport and also helps with accountability.

One of my amazing mentors Carol use to say “take the emotion out of it”.

There are many benefits to working on controlling emotion:

  • it reduces the time spent on mulling over a situation, when you have facts you can see the wood from the trees.
  • expend less energy, more productive
  • approachable by your colleagues, bosses and peers
  • more powerful when you are presenting

There are exceptions to this rule, but use with care and check with peers who know you. The only time using emotion is successful on complex issues that stakeholders do not fully understand the impact even though the facts have been laid out. In these times, emotion can be a powerful vehicle to land the message.

I hope this helps with “Taking the emotion out of it”

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Coaching Influence Intrepenuership Leadership Personal development Strategy

‘I have been asking for this change in the business for two years? ‘

What does this statement say about you?

Way more than you think! Loser not being able to influence to get an outcome. Give up to easily. Victim

Since moving to corporate getting anything done, is infinitely harder than in a small and medium business.

The reason: many more stakeholders with many different agendas. Unless you have the patience, combined with excellent influencing skills and stamina to see it through, you could be the person making the statement ‘I have been asking for this business change for two years? ‘

Is it worth driving for the change? Yes you have your values and none of us come to work to do a bad job. We all want to make difference. So how do you go about making the change?

  1. Really clearly define what you want to change. Put it in simple terms. Test the messaging with peers and team members
  2. Use examples of how it will have an impact, who it will impact
  3. Business case to demonstrate one of the following : revenue increase, cost saving or risk mitigation. If capital is required then their are extra steps re: budget etc depending on budget cycle.
  4. Finally the risks and mitigation strategies for each risk. Clearly lay out and don’t miss any. Be open to receiving more!
  5. Once you have the above nailed, then you need to go to your stakeholders and take them through steps 1-4. Solicit feedback, enhance any of the fours steps with the feedback and continue as you go stakeholder to stakeholder to gain support. Don’t miss any stakeholders. Look who is on the leadership team, do you have them covered?
  6. When someone says “No” they wont support, deep dive on the why? fully understand why they are opposed. If you uncover reasons that you should not proceed, then you are wiser, you can move on. If you don’t agree with their views then proceed to get more feedback, ensure the non supporters risks are captured and you have clear mitigation as this wont be the last time it will be raised.
  7. Once you have done the rounds and you have adequate support,( if not you need to rethink the strategy), take your boss through 1-4 with all the feedback and then all the names of people you have spoken with and who is supporting your recommended change. Agree the next step of approval and implementation.

The above could take significant time, but it is always worthwhile. Being passionate about a better future is contagious and a great leadership trait.

This lesson I am constantly relearning. My personal challenge is flawlessly executing the above every time, as once I meet the person who say No, once I hear this I stop dead in my tracks, especially from more senior leaders and start to reflect on the request, and then eventually I put it in the drawer for another day. With experience and benefit of hindsight I realise that is not what the business needs, they need the challenger mindset and finding support is not far away if you are prepared to look.

Don’t be the victim saying “been asking for this business change for 2 years”. Take action.

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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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Coaching Influence Judgement Leadership Personal development

Three key takeaways from Interview with Jennifer Palmieri

Three key takeaways from podcast interview of Jennifer Palmieri who was Communications Director on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential campaign by Julia Gillard

This podcast was more than a review of the recent US election it was all about why women don’t make it to the top.

https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/a-podcast-of-ones-own-with-julia-gillard/id1466658814?i=1000494895703

There were three great takeaways from Jennifer in her interview related to commentary about women in leadership:

1. There is just something about her.

2. She’s too ambitious

3. Great Number 2

Do these words sound so familiar? The language of bias.

In the last decade the language of bias is being exposed and shamed in social media. Awareness and education is key as we all have bias.

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Coaching Influence Leadership Personal development

When words damage your success

When we are passionate about what we do and I am one of those people, we can become frustrated with the challenges that slow us down or stop us. This will always happen, here are some tips to help you be successful:

  • Read the signs… stomach churning, breathing. Stop breath.
  • Ask questions
  • Soften the words, don’t use words such as “insanity”
  • Attractive challenge v’s Hostile attitude
  • No repetition
  • Ask the team for their viewpoint and if no support move on

These actions are easier said than done. This is the only way to work it through.

Inspired to change.

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Book Quotes Coaching Entrepreneurship Influence Personal development Strategy

The Challenger Spirt

This book was given to me by one of my team. I love reading and learning, so there is no better gift.

challenger2_smaller

The Challenger Spirit book written by Khurshed Dehnugara and Claire Genkai Breeze, is a book written before its time. The key to being a challenger is ‘does it have to be like this?’ https://relume.co.uk/the-challenger-spirit/

Claire starts with two lasting influences on her life ‘your work is your love made visible’ by Khalil Gibran and the 5th century Philo ‘be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle’

The book is full of gems and sections of questions to ask yourself, very thought provoking. The highlights for me:

  • Our sales teams are service oriented with up selling and cross sale being a spin off from a conversation rather than the purpose of the conversation.
  • Establishment leaders v’s Challenger Leaders: Establishment leaders have four blindfolds: Arrogance, Avoidance, Agreement and Antagonism. The book describes each one and how it shows up.
  • Challenger organisations and their leaders are more likely to fail when they imitate rather than disturb their establishment competitors. They fail when they default to what is already known to be successful.
  • The process of constant feedback and alteration in your brain only begins to slow down in your eight decade
  • Once you have made some positive and bold choices created your dream together and engaged people in it, the uncertainty of the environment quickly becomes much easier to navigate

The chapter on growing old disgracefully is all about staying lean and hungry. And what good looks like: say what you believe regardless of political implications. The way you deliver it is the key to success as I have learnt over the years in corporate.

I have always been a challenger, in every aspect of my life. I live by the saying “if it not scary its not worth doing’ and my purpose is all about challenging others to operate outside their comfort zones.  

This book is all about how to challenge well and even when the norms of the establishment look like a better way to get on in your career, staying true to what you believe and your values is the right thing to do and always deliver the best outcome for your company.

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Book Quotes Career planning Entrepreneurship Influence Leadership Strategy

Your a CEO of business working for the owners of the business and you are ready to move on.

Your a CEO of business with non execs that own the business and you are ready to move on, as you feel stifled. You love the business and you believe the business has great potential. You are restrained by the founders and owners, you are ready to do something else.

Owners who create, built and grow the business after many years decide to step back due to retirement, other business opportunities, personal circumstance and appoint CEO. The CEO is limited by the law of lid. First chapter of John Maxwell’s book on the 21 irrefutable laws of leadership  https://www.amazon.com/21-Irrefutable-Laws-Leadership-Anniversary/dp/078528837621 irrefutable. Often the CEO is restricted in where he/she takes the business due to the founders expectations, thinking and interference in the daily business.

Over time the CEO becomes frustrated and look outside for a new career opportunity, when the answer could be to look at alternative ownership structures for the business. The owners may want to sell out, realise their investment and they are looking for exit, as CEO you can facilitate by an industry buy out, private equity sale or a management buy out.

Each needs a thorough understanding of the market and the opportunity for the buyer. It’s a time to call on your network for assistance, advice and introductions. Once you have researched the possibilities, then approach the owners for their support.

The worst that can happen is the owners are not interested in selling business, the only thing you have lost is time. On the other hand if they are keen you are now running your own business.

The alternative to leaving may very well be the best opportunity to back yourself and give back to the owners.

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Entrepreneurship Influence Intrepenuership Leadership Personal development Sponsor Strategy

Opportunity to work abroad

working abroad (2)At age 44 I had the opportunity to work abroad with an Australian company that I had worked for for 4 years. I set up the European arm of Quofore a mobiles apps solution for Consumer Goods field representatives and we had done very well, so I was invited to come to Australia and become Managing Director for APAC.

Personally I have grown as a result, especially the opportunity to expand in to Asia, where my team landed a large contract with Unilever in China for 10,000 mobile users across 2000 cities. Ten years on, this is the success I am most proud of.  The reason:

  • Setting up a business in China of which I am extremely appreciative of all the advice and support from Austrade.
  • Delivering one of the most successful ROI projects for Unilever globally
  • Delivering a complex project in less than 10 months.

In Quofore I had worked with the global CEO and CFO for over 15 years, I had extreme trust and I was treated always exceptionally well.

Since joining corporate which I did just over 7 years ago I have had similar opportunities. In July last year I was given an opportunity to drive a new segment of the business, something I had been doing as a side project. My new boss backed me gave me a team and said there is no one more driven than you to make it work. This opportunity was to grow a $300 million business from 0 in the next three years.

I was amazed at the number of people who said to me, why are you taking on this opportunity you had a far more prestigious role before managing a team looking after the larger accounts.  Seven months on those same people, now get it. Proving yourself through taking calculated risks that are high profile is a great way to get noticed.  I am indebted to my boss for supporting me and creating the opportunity.