Categories
Personal development

Daily Stoic journal

If you enjoy journaling then this book will take you to another level. Since my 20s I have journaled to release frustration, learn from my poor experiences and practice gratitude. This book is thought provoking, combined with meditation and you will become focused on those areas of development, that you have not recognised previously or you have chosen to ignore.

If you love yoga you will know that your practice changes all the time due to different parts of the body reacting differently to the moves and stretches. With practice you are highly tuned to your body and where it does not feel normal to you. The stoic journal taps into you subconscious in the same way.

Each day it gives you a question to ponder and then note section for morning and evening reflection. The discipline is addictive, as it channels your energy into those areas that you need to focus on.

The writing creates a calmness and for me, as well as detachment, something that I am challenged by, being a passionate and driven individual. In a years time I know I will look back at my entry’s in the diary and know that I will have moved on, driven to be a better person and leader.

Learning is a life long journey, being open and challenging yourself everyday, is life. My purpose: sharing the journey with others, warts and all. I want no one to believe they have arrived, there is no such thing, until we leave this world.

Today’s question: What is the real cause of my irritations – external things or my opinions?

Categories
Personal development

To be a great leader you have to love developing others

Many people believe leadership is the way to get on in life, but unless you love people you cannot be a successful leader.

The very heart of leading any organisation is its people. Unless you genuinely care about the people and you demonstrate that care through your values and how you show up everyday, you are not a leader you are a manager.

Categories
Career planning Coaching Leadership Personal development

How to get on in corporate?

There are some unwritten and unspoken rules to getting in incorporate. Here are 10 things you need to nail to get on.

1. Get on with everyone. You cannot afford to have any detractors. Always look at how you can help others be successful.

2. Deliver results. Focus on the inputs to deliver results not the outputs. Energy placed in the right place will deliver the outcome

3. Get great at PowerPoint. This is key with point 5. Being succinct on your delivery of information, content for a decision or content for collaboration, be clear on your asks as this is where most presentations fall down.

4. Dont talk too much, learn to ask questions, be the third or forth person to contribute

5. Learn to speak in public and be on point. Remove the waffle

6. Always give execs a heads up on things that may get escalated. A key skill is making sure stakeholders understand a risk of escalation. Content needed what have you tried to mitigate the risk, what you are doing next and the next update.

7. Be a great project manager. Key skill to delivering plans

8. Have great Business process skills. Never bandaid, always find the root cause and fix process

9. Collaborate to deliver great strategy, resolve issues and creating plans.

10. Communication is critical to keep everyone across what you are doing and get feedback.

Corporate is where you accelerate your personal development and develop skills that are critical to driving business success.

Categories
Personal development

Don’t trash the past

This is a key learning in leadership. Many leaders come in and to make themselves look good, they need to talk about the past in a disingenuous way. This is demoralising for staff who have been part of the journey.

Many years ago I managed a turnaround for an under performing sales team, I made the mistake of trashing the past, three years later I was reminded of how demoralising it was by my peer. I had no idea the impact I had.

With this approach you treating everyone the same, when it may be due to poor leadership, poor culture and any number of factors that the individuals have been subjected to.

Recently tasked with turning around a team, I recalled those important lessons, ensuring the team where recognised and that the transition was no reflection on the team. A critical lesson for taking people on the journey.

With a different perspective I could see the commitment and effort of each member of the team and appreciate their individual contribution. I felt for each and everyone of them, as the situation was not of their making.

Don’t ever trash the past.

Categories
Coaching Leadership Personal development Work life balance

Finding motivation in difficult times

There are multiple factors at play when it comes to motivation. Even in Covid19 times, staying motivated is critical to well being.

motivationI am addicted to change, moving countries, roles, places to live. Each change brings about new opportunities to start, stop or continue what you are doing.  I remain motivated when there is something new to explore, challenge to overcome or learn something new. My motivation slows down with humdrum existence.

Covid19 is an opportunity to learn on so many levels. Learn about what you need to do to be successful in these challenging times, learn and develop leadership skills, then ensure you team remain motivated and delivering success.

Five key strategies to managing motivation:

  1. Look after your well being by exercising daily and meditation
  2. Look for learning opportunities
  3. Stay connected to your friends, family and colleagues through video calls
  4. Practice appreciation. Think of three things daily that you are grateful for
  5. Set goals and plan for success

Stay motivated in these challenging times.

 

Categories
Coaching Leadership Mentoring Personal development Work life balance

Over thinking

Why do we read more into a situation than we need to? Why do we play the victim when we perceive we are being hard done by?

The emotional drain of overthinking can lead to a reduction in productivity as you become preoccupied by over thinking a situation.

In 100% cases when you ask questions, your misunderstanding of the situation becomes very apparent. Yet we ponder and posture on the unknown, only by asking questions does the situation become clear,

It is seen as a weakness, insecurity, time wasting and a loss of productivity by the leaders. So the simple answer is get over the situation and move on in seconds and not hours. The swifter you move the more resilient you are seen.

A male colleague of mine who has been a leader for many years says the difference between career women and other women is their ability to manage emotions in the work place. He sees a stark difference between the two.

As you age your ability to move on and not dwell on situations has shortened to a point and I can move on in minutes instead of days. Yes you will be much more productive.

Are you reading too much into a situation? have you asked the questions to understand the circumstance? Or are you playing the victim?

Top tips to help:

1. Finds mentor

2. Read mental resilience by Kamal Sarma https://www.amazon.com/Mental-Resilience-Clarity-Develop-Warrior/dp/1577316258 

3. Don’t die wondering, ask the question

4. Move on from overthinking to liberating your emotions.

 

 

 

Categories
Coaching Judgement Leadership Mentoring

Feedback is critical for growth

Feedback is critical for growth, yet often leaders are not comfortable sharing the feedback  with the individual, often discussing individuals behaviour and performance behind their back. Frustrating if you are always working on being the better version of your self.

You may have a boss who shares remarks about your team, when you ask have you given the individual the feedback they says no. When you ask why, they say ‘ I don’t want to hurt them’. Hurting them is not having the conversation with the individual. 

Be very wary of leaders who gossip about others behaviour, but when you question them, have they had the conversation with the the individual and they say No. What are they saying about you? Worse still when the comment is a “perception” and their are no facts to support.

I treat others the way I wanted to be treated my self. Transparency and truth is a key value, therefore I will share observation for improvements because I care and I want them to improve. Always give feedback within 24 hours of the observation.

When we genuinely care about others you help them, not judge them. When we speak about others failings without them being present, ask yourself, how would I feel if I heard what was being said about me behind my back. The answer is simple don’t do it! Have the guts to have the conversation with the person you have the observation about, show them you care about them, be genuine with your conversation.

There is a great article written the Harvard Business review on What to Do If Your Career Is Stalled and You Don’t Know Why?  This goes to the heart of poor leadership, when the right coaching is not taken seriously enough and a high performer misses an opportunity on a behaviour that could have been coached to success.

https://hbr.org/2018/11/what-to-do-if-your-career-is-stalled-and-you-dont-know-why?utm_campaign=hbr&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin

Feedback is critical for growth

Categories
Personal development

When passion is dangerous at work

I’ve had personal experience and witnessed too many highly-passionate people risk their relationships, risk their reputations, and neglect to appreciate the people around them in order to pursue a dream. I’ve seen too many fail–because their focus on the future makes them oblivious to the present. https://www.inc.com/todd-nordstrom/how-passion-can-destroy-your-potential-according-to-5-experts.html

There is so much written about pursuing your passion at work. There is a health warning that comes with it in the corporate context. In the wrong environment, over used passion is seen as emotion that represents in an imbalance in the person. In startups and entrepreneurial organisations it is celebrated and rewarded.

So why the extremes of perception. I have worked in both and seen it from different lens.

Corporates are looking for calm leaders, who never get emotional or passionate, (may be beneath the surface) just calm and considered. Gravitas. In start ups and SMB, passion is seen as essential to drive success and the team.

When passion is dangerous at work?

Categories
Judgement Leadership Mentoring

How quickly can you forgive?

forgiveness-300x199How quickly can you forgive?

Many years ago, I could not forgive, I would hang onto situations emotionally where I felt that I was treated unfairly. The situation would play through my mind a million times, always the victim, never once thinking of the other person and what caused them to act in that way. Sometimes I would hear myself bemoaning the individual who had wronged me and hating myself as the words left my lips.  I would then hold that grudge, eating away at me emotionally, but not being prepared to let go.

Taking part in the seven bridges walk in Sydney  many years ago, I was walking with a friend Annet who teaches yoga and meditation. I quizzed her about meditation and how to get started, she said its simple, find somewhere quiet sit on a cushion on the floor, to begin use a wall to prop yourself up, set the timer to 5 mins on your iphone and close your eyes.  We chatted for hours about the how and benefits.

Inspired the very next day I got out of bed at 6am, found a spot on the balcony with the cushion, set the timer and I was away. My monkey mind went crazy with all the things I had to do in the day ahead, but it was ok Annet said it would be like that for a while.  Every day I practised and then one day after 6 months of persistence I found the space she had talked about. Calmness that I had not felt before, but then experienced often after that day. I went to 10 mins a day so I could enjoy that feeling of emptiness and quietness. Today I can meditate for 30-40 mins. Some days are better than others with my thoughts, but what was truly amazing is the time to reflect is the most valuable teacher. So often now in meditation I can see where I am going wrong, whereas before the emotions, inner critic and monkey mind left me with no ability to reflect.

At work in stressful situations I can find that calmness quickly, allowing to expend little emotional energy. Through meditation I was able to let go of the personal pain and really seek to understand the other person. The process of letting go takes practice, Forgiveness is easy when there is no emotional attachment to a situation.

Forgiveness is critical to being a great leader, there are many times when I have almost given up on someone and seen them realise what they need to do to change the future. My experience is that great leaders believe in others and allow people the room to reflect and grow. Poor leaders, see this person is not performing its reflecting on me, so I need to take action. Self serving leaders have a short shelf life as staff turnover is inevitable.

How quickly can you forgive?

Categories
Career Change Career planning Coaching Leadership Legacy Mentoring Networking Personal development

Help your team realise their dreams

There is a lot of discussion on finding work in what you love doing, is it a good thing or not?

I have had the privilege of working with Jane Ron and John (names changed) all had a passion and it was not what they were doing as a job.

John was a cloud specialist and well regarded by his peers and customers. Every hour outside work was spent filming and editing music videos. When I had my 1;1 s I would ask him how the videos were going and his eyes would light up. One day I said to him, I don’t want to lose you, but I sense you are not fulfilled by your role. John said I would love to make the filming and editing full time, but I am scared of giving up my job.  I said what if you could work 3-4 days a week and spend a day on your filming. John was over the moon, this would be perfect, I can see if this works out for me, whilst working in my role.  Within a month John was working 1-2 days a week on his filming business and 6 months late he was full time, doing what he loved.

As a leader there are many lessons here:

  • helping people realise their dreams is leadership
  • this is a true test of Trust between you and your team member, especially if it is not aligned to what they are doing today
  • other employees are inspired by the leadership as it is focused at the heart of any business the people
  • transitioning is easier to manage than someone resigning, you can plan and ensure the transition is seamless.

A few years later Jane worked in one of the sales teams I led and was a Environmentalist to the core. She was in a sales role and successful, but it was not wanted she really wanted to be doing.  In a mentoring session I asked her to bring some of her passions to the role IE getting everyone on board with recyclable coffee cups. She did many side projects but it was not enough to change how she felt. I encouraged to look at a number of organisations where her passion would be fulfilled and introduced her to people I knew in the field. She finally landed her dream job.  I lost a great sales person, but helped someone pursue their passion.   When I read Jane’s post on linked I am so proud of what she achieved and feel good that I was able to assist her on the journey.

Around the same time Ron one of the Sales managers told me he had been doing sales management for over a decade and was looking to the future where he wanted a operational role in the company. I connected Ron with a mentor in Operations, where I thought they would be an excellent fit in terms of personality and temperaments.  A year later Ron secured the role he wanted in  operations. During that time we worked through Ron’s replacement. A 12 month run way is plenty of time to ensure the successor is ready.

Help your team realise their dreams