Categories
Personal development

When you are angry, there is something to learn

Anger is associated with being attached to an outcome.  We become angry, when we don’t feel listened too or we are fobbed off. 

Even when we are conscious that we cannot achieve our outcome and we are better to shut up and just listen, the overpowering instinct is to speak up.  Colleagues of mine practice leaving the room as they need to calm down.

For me 90% of the time I can keep quiet, but every now and again I am asked a question directly and I cannot hide my displeasure or views. As soon as I start I wish I had remained stum, its too late! I then spend the next few days mulling over what happened and why I spoke up!

On a recent leadership course, I was advised there is a fine line between challenging and being disruptive. The difference is if you ask questions from a point of no attachment and positively seek out the alternative view you can gain a far better outcome.  https://angelalovegrove.com/2020/05/10/attractive-challenge/

Making a statement with passion and conviction only stops others from challenging as they can see you are far too emotionally attached to the outcome. 

So take time out when you feel frustration or anger, reflect on what is driving this, then write down questions that can support a better conversation and seek the alternative view. This may seem counter intuitive, but it definitely works. It also teaches you not to be attached to the outcome and seek out alternative views. You never know you could change your mind.

Categories
Coaching Influence Strategy

Why I can’t get cut through on my strategy?

strategy4This is a question I am often asked by mentees . My answer today is very different to a few years ago.

When we are attached to an outcome our strategy, we are so focused on ourselves we don’t listen to others, we don’t hear the objections and therefore don’t address the concerns head on. Ignore objections at your peril, as these are the opportunities to engage and path the way to cut through.

Here are the 5 things you need to do to sell your ideas or strategy:

1. Connect with stakeholders, build trust. It’s not about you, it’s about them. Understand their drivers and needs before sharing your strategy. As Dale Carnegie wrote in how to win friends and influence people ‘first seek to understand before you are understood’.

2. Ask questions of stakeholders, present your thoughts on the strategy, draw out their concerns, what they like and what is not clear. Collaborate to evolve the strategy. No one person can come up with a strategy on their own, its always the culmination of many inputs, experiences and knowledge

Don’t present at a Fait Accompli

3. Address every objection. Ignore objections at your peril. Objections show an interest, but never move on, without enquiring, why are you asking this question? go deep, as the objection raised often masks the real concerns.

4. Challenge your own thinking. Attachment without being open to others views can be career limiting.  Thank others for their contribution and ensure you acknowledge individuals for their valuable input and evolution of the strategy

5. If you are unsuccessful, learn and move on. I mean move on, let it go, what did you discover along the way.  Journal or share your leanings .

Success takes patience and time.  Take others on the journey, collaborate, acknowledge inputs of others into the strategy.

Categories
Coaching Collaberation Influence Laughter Leadership

Laughter the best tonic for stressful situations

I published this article last year, and given the Current crisis thought it would be a great reminder of why laughing is so important.

My team are great fun and they make me laugh daily with the challenges of working from home. We have a Online coffee catch up in the morning as a social check in.

Mondays conversation was about how is the Italians ran out of coffee first and the Australians toilet paper! It seems that many in my team are stockpiling Nescafé for when the coffee pods run out.

Tuesday the conversation turned to getting comfy with a chair and desk at home, so there was trips to office works and IKEA! Apparently some love building flat packed furniture. Ummm..

Wednesday the teams attention is now on the lack of steps one reported 66 in a day. One of the team chose to post a video of mini home workout, starting with a set of 5 press ups, etc. adding one on each day. Great video! Everyone very happy with wearing activewear. Started online meetings with some yoga stretches… Fun on video!

It is important that we laugh at ourselves and with others. Laughter will ease the stress and pain of this situation.

Here is the original blog on laughter is the best tonic for stressful situations.

As a teenager I was told off when telling a funny story about my auntie at the tea celebrating her life, post funeral. Everyone was laughing, then my mum pulled me aside and I was told it was inappropriate to laugh, I needed to be solemn as a mark of respect. My Auntie would have been laughing with me if she was alive and celebrating life is very important.

This learning about being more solemn did not just play out at the funeral, but in the school and the workplace. In the UK it was often frowned upon in business meetings to be laughing and having fun.

That belief stayed with me until 6 years ago when working with my business coach, Phil recommended a class with a comedian, on how to release tension by laughter. I had feedback that I am very serious at work and quite intense. We were told on the course that in the work place when their is stress that making a self deprecating joke or having fun, will release the stress and it does. Learning to have fun and laugh at work, makes the place a great place to be for everyone.

Just completed jury duty and we were able to laugh inspite of the stress of deciding a verdict. I am not sure how we would of got through without the laughter and fun, it relieved the tension and helped people not stress about the task at hand.

If you are reading this and you cannot remember the last time you laughed, its time to take stock and ask yourself what did you last laugh at? Who makes you laugh? Watch something that makes you laugh. If your beliefs are that it is inappropriate to laugh in certain situations then rethink that belief, as the relief from those around you will lead to greater collaboration and teamwork.

Laughter is a tonic and you need it like you need food and exercise. Let go of inhibitions and have some fun.

Categories
Coaching Influence Leadership Personal development

Great Leaders ask Great questions John Maxwell

Just finished reading this amazing book. https://www.amazon.com/Good-Leaders-Ask-Great-Questions-ebook/dp/B00I829QJ8. Thought provoking and some sage advice on Leadership. John’s curiosity in others, inspires great questions. This is a must read for anyone looking to grow in their career or find telling is their default mode or fail to influence others. Great questions are the key to influence.

The highlight: the structure of each chapter, the great questions and answers were insprirational. The latter sections on succession, how much time to spend on leaders was particaully useful and validated many on my own thoughts.

Did not agree with the section on trust with a leader, that there is no going back. Great leaders forgive and hold no grudges. It’s never personal.

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 the leader and take action to remove them. Self serving leaders have a short shelf life as staff turnover is inevitable. They are also seseptable to yes men that never deliver results, because their is no diversity of thought.

Categories
Career planning Coaching Mentoring Sponsor

The difference between a coach, mentor and sponsor

What I am about to discuss I wish someone would have told me when I was 21 years old!  This is definitely one of the most important drivers for an accelerating your career.

I was discussing the topic with two graduates who joined my team after completing the graduate program and they could not believe I was discussing this with them. They thought this was a Taboo topic!

I am going to discuss the following:mentoring, coachng, sponsorship

  1. Difference between Sponsors and Mentors
  2. Perception of women regarding sponsorship
  3. Role of a Sponsor: Relationship with Succession planning and sponsorship
  4. Role of a Sponsoree

Difference between Sponsors and Mentors

What is the difference is between a sponsor and a mentor?  Mentors act as a sounding board or a shoulder to cry on, offering advice as needed and support and guidance as requested; they expect very little in return. Sponsors, in contrast, are much more vested in their protégés, offering guidance and critical feedback because they believe in them.

Perception of younger women

Research from the Center for Work-Life Policy, a New York-based think tank, quantifies the power of the sponsor effect. Sponsorship provides a statistical benefit of up to 30 percent when it comes to stretch assignments, promotions, and pay raises—a boost that mentoring alone can never hope to match.

Many junior women entering the corporate workforce still underestimate the crucial push sponsorship can contribute to a high-potential but unrecognized employee. According to a study performed by the Centre for Work-Life Policy, a New York-based think tank, 77 percent of junior women believe that hard work and long hours, not connections, contribute the most to their advancement. There’s an overwhelming sense by these junior women that getting ahead by any other means is unscrupulous.

I was 22 and applied for a role head of training for the software company I worked for. I had taught more courses and could teach across the breadth of business and technical, in my view that’s why I should have the role. My new manager Andrew had the where with all to explain why I did not get the role? And more importantly what he was going to do to help me. He sponsored me and put me on a 12 week Dale Carnegie course, which taught me about the importance of making and impression, I still quote from the book today. He left a lasting impression on me as did the course.  https://www.amazon.com.au/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/146075266X

This is also true of women of all ages. If you have a boss that is not coaching you or giving frank feedback on a regular basis, allowing you to represent them when they are on leave or other occasions and you want to move up in leadership and they are not preparing you as a successor, you may need to consider looking for a new boss!

A colleague of mine at Telstra, a high achiever did not get her bosses role after years of commitment and excellent results. She was very disappointed and only learned in the interview process what she needed to get to the next stage. As a leader it is our role to coach and ensure that when the time is right our successor, whom we have sponsored, achieves their goals and secures your role.  As a sponsoree commitment in this is to be open to learning and achieving the results needed.

As the saying goes people don’t leave companies they leave bosses.

When searching for roles in corporate after 20 years in the tech start up space, my number one criteria was who I was going to be working for. I was looking for someone who could coach me to be a better leader and sponsor me to successful next career step.

The role of  Sponsor

Having a Successor is critical in business, to de risk the running of the business, but also an opportunity for you to move on.  Successors and Sponsorship are essential together to deliver leadership from within the organisation, without going outside the company.

In a previous company I had a team member that just didn’t have good connections and the only barrier to them being a successor were the detractors. When I started at Salesforce, I had an experienced ex CIO, with a consulting background who applied for the role that I was appointed to. When we met, I asked why he did not get the role and he did not know, I said I would find out and then we would start work on what he needed so when I moved on the role would be his. I remained true to my word and sponsored him as my successor. During that time, we had to deal with the detractors, this meant sharing their perception with my sponosree and then me coaching him to turn it around.  He responded well, but there were times he was close to giving up, as we overcame one hurdle to find another. The feedback can often be intense and not always that palatable.   He secured my role when I moved on.

Sponsorship within an organisation starts with Senior leaders  who are prepared to become sponsors to support and promote top talent (sponsoree). For the sponsoree, similar to selling, they need to provide a point of view and insights that are valuable to a your sponsor. Delivery of insights, consistent achievements to an agreed plan  is very important to building trust and rapport between the sponsor and the sponsoree. Women often lack the confidence to speak up and challenge the way business is operating or strategic direction in a positive way, and because of this would particularly benefit from a sponsor relationship.

As a sponsor your role is ensuring that you help your sponsoree navigate the organisation, communicating who the detractors are and assisting your sponsoree in establishing the rapport and trust needed to progress relationships and advance their career.  This includes setting up meetings with senior execs, briefing them on how to manage the situation and insights into the individuals needs and characteristics.

Inexperienced and less self aware leaders who don’t engage in sponsoring judge others when what the individual needs is coaching. Worse still, the non sponsoring leaders speak to other leaders rather than engaging sponsorees, which would give the sponsoree the opportunity to learn.

This is not easy as you need to have critical conversations, my sponsorees have been eternally grateful and recognise the act of the conversations is because you care deeply about their success. Over time the sponsoree recognises the commitment needed to create the path to success.

Role of a Sponsoree

For the sponsoree, they need to provide a point of view and insights that are valuable to a your sponsor. Delivery of insights, consistent achievements to an agreed plan  is very important to building trust and rapport between the sponsor and the sponsoree. Women often lack the confidence to speak up and challenge the way business is operating or strategic direction in a positive way, and because of this would particularly benefit from a sponsor relationship.

If you want to progress in leadership then become a great sponsoree, what are you doing to make your sponsor look good, what insights can you deliver and what is your plan, have you shared it? Are you asking for feedback?

Sponsoring is like your most challenging sales campaign… there are times when you are not sure you going to win, but you remain committed.

My business coach explained that with no sponsor at an exec level, it is hard to succeed in the corporate world. My boss at the time Janice – asked Phil my coach what does Angela need to help her be successful? That was her first question to my coach. He was blown away by her question.

You need the mentorship and support to navigate the organisation.  As a Sponsoree in I have had many people helping me, it’s overwhelming and very different to my previous experiences . Given the size of the organisations I have worked in Salesforce, Telstra and nbn Business, you cannot believe the accessibility and openness, truly refreshing and for someone who has spent most of their working life in the entrepenuarual world very surprising.

If you are leader, who are you sponsoring? Who is talent? And are you doing all you need to ensure they are successful.

If you want to progress in leadership then become a great sponsoree, what are you doing to make your sponsor look good, what insights can you deliver and what is your plan, have you shared it? Are you asking for feedback?

Categories
Book Quotes Judgement Leadership Legacy

Eckhart Tolle New Earth

Just finished reading this life changing book. Understanding ego, how it works and why we get ourselves into situations where we are unhappy. https://www.amazon.com/New-Earth-Awakening-Purpose-Selection/dp/0452289963

Our ego is our identity, without it we believe we are nothing. The reality without it we are happy people who can be present. So how does ego show up?

Eckhart Tolle uses examples and stories, that help you recognise where ego gets in the way of happiness.a new earth

Our image of ourselves is derived through where we live, the car we drive, the gym we join, telling others who we know, our celebrity encounters, what we know, our experience, qualifications and the list goes on. We believe we need these to be successful, but what is success if you get there are you are having no more fun!

“Nonresistance, nonjudgement, and non attachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.” Summarised beautifully by Eckhart.

These are articles previously written on the topics:

How quickly can you forgive?

What am I working on? Judgement

The five levels of attachment

This is a book on spirituality and is not a religious book. There are references to religion only.

Further reading on Ego is the enemy of good leadership by Rasmus HougaardJacqueline Carter. https://hbr.org/2018/11/ego-is-the-enemy-of-good-leadership?utm_medium=email&utm_source=tgr_newnlsignup&utm_campaign=nlconfirm_mtod_notactsub_v20191101&deliveryName=DM60315

 

Categories
Career Change Career planning Coaching Collaberation Influence Intrepenuership Judgement Mentoring Personal development

How do you prepare to move from Small business to Corporate?

I thought I was alone on the need to find out how large companies work. After 20 years in tech start ups, small and medium sized business, I had a desire to understand how large business operate, how they scale, how they manage the volume of business.  I secured my first corporate gig in Salesforce.com  in my 40’s!intrepeneruship

7 years on I have no regrets, I have personally grown, I am still an entrepreneur at heart and love the opportunities that present themselves daily. The transition is the hardest personal development opportunity I have ever been through, but worthwhile.

In preparation to going into corporate from a small business here are the five skills you need to perfect:

  1. Stakeholder management:  In small business can you can afford to be dismissive and intolerant of others. In corporate you have to work at every relationship and interaction. If you don’t you can earn the reputation as “throwing others under the bus”, “difficult to deal with” .  The key to success is understanding what your stakeholders want from you, how you can help them through insights and sharing information and working as one.
  2. Judgement: Let go of it. It has no purpose and gets you into a heap of trouble.  Move from thinking about the persons annoying habits to how you can help them.  Build great relationships across the business. you cannot afford to have anyone who speaks negatively about you, as that will stop your career and find it difficult to achieve the results
  3. Job descriptions: In small business you need a versatile team that work across multiple disciplines, Job descriptions are a guide.  In corporate the need for clarity around roles and responsibilities is critical to the growing empires. In rapid growth the land grab is part of the political positioning by leaders.  Be careful when stepping over boundaries that you do it with consent.
  4. Influence: ability to change others thinking. In small business, energy and passion does the trick, in corporate asking great questions is critical to influencing.  You cannot influence by telling. You will fail fast, so learning to ask questions every day in every situation is the key to success. Collaboration is critical to working together
  5. Intreperneurship: your greatest asset to a corporate. Your ability to create and build from nothing. You are not hung up on turning the titanic, Job descriptions, perceived limitations, you bring the can do attitude, glass half full  that makes things happen.  You will inspire others by your enthusiasm and people will want to join you on your expedition. Sell this attribute as this is of great interest to corporate.

Startup opportunities in corporate is the best of both worlds. You can utilise your SMB skills whilst developing many new ones that will accelerate your development.

Today many people with startup businesses at the next stage of growth come and speak to me about how to tackle the transition from small to medium, medium to larger business. Some want to take a step up and don’t have the skills, others want to step back in the business, others want to be on the board and leave exec leadership to transition in to non exec roles. What ever the transition is you are looking to achieve, each needs a transition plan and a coach/mentor to enable the change.

I chose a business coach to prepare for corporate. Without the coaching prior and in the early years I could not have made the transition. Your new leader in corporate may have never experienced a small or medium business so the responsibilities are with you to address your gaps fast, so you can operate effectively.

As a result of developing the skills, I have definitely become a far better leader and coach.  You never stop learning, which is why career opportunities are so much fun and stimulating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Career Change Career planning Leadership Mentoring Personal development

Your Next Career Move

Preparing for your next role, can be daunting. It is certainly a journey not a destination. Here are 7 steps to take charge of the next career move:

1. Take Charge Of Your career pathOwn Career – seek support from an executive coach, mentors and work with people to help you get that next move

2. Stop Over Thinking – take action, fix the situation and move on – over thinking is a waste of time and energy

3. Public Speaking – you can’t avoid it, practice practice practice. Invest in Toastmasters. Start small with internal stakeholder opportunities – put your hand up – put yourself out there and don’t wait to be asked!

4. Step Up – step into the gaps and find the opportunities

5. Be Fearless – be prepared to make the tough decisions and take stakeholders on the journey – face into fear and build resilience

6. Expertise – soft skills and ability to communicate are more important than expertise – don’t rely just on expertise. 70% of women believe expertise alone will secure the next role according to New York Think tank 77.

7. Gravitas – learn when to speak and when to be silent – stop fidgeting and chattering! Have a Julia Bishop moment.

Continue to work on all of the above and opportunities will come your way.  All the best with your next career move.

 

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

 

 

Categories
Personal development

Leadership: Live outside your comfort zone

To live outside your comfort zone you need to be taking part in move out of your comfort zonenew experiences. If you want to be a great leader you need to be someone who challenges others to stretch themselves. If you don’t live outside your comfort zone, how do inspire others? My greatest pleasure from my role today is helping others to realize their potential by challenging them to take on a new activity, develop a new skill, find courage to do something different to achieve a greater outcome for their team.

I have been meaning to join Toastmasters for over 10 years and finally started a year ago. I now speak and evaluate speeches once a month. Three weeks ago I did my first humorous speech and won best speaker. Outside of work I learned to surf at age 45, I love being out on the waves again challenging myself to do something new.

When we learn a new sport or skill or reach a new level of mindfulness, we have to be vulnerable to learn, that’s the mindset of a leader.

What are you doing to live outside your comfort zone?  How are you challenging your team to grow?