Personal development

Setting precedence

Throughout my career the lens of setting precedence has been a key to success. I always ask, if I say yes to this what is the consequences? If I say no, what message am I sending?

Every day I apply this rule to whatever I am doing. Generally employees are looking for a yes answer to please their customer. Respect comes from setting boundaries and clearly stating the No position, where the commercial ramifications don’t make sense.

In any business there are bottlenecks, when the process is clear then the process is manageable, when the customer enters the process signing a document that outlines any delays may mean going to the back of queue, which equates to a painful delay, they take the signing of the document seriously. The same message verbally may not have impact. In fact has no impact as they are not committed.

When we make allowances, even when financially it does not make sense, we remove the barrier and the new the standard is set, proving the barrier can move. Now you are in trouble as you have no way of resetting as you have moved it once.

When the requests are financially impactful to your business, you are now in territory known as “what has no price has no value” where you are taken for Granted And the situation is financially unsustainable. The only answer as you now have a precedent that is challenging is to rip the band aid off and have the honest conversation, resetting the boundaries that should have been there from the outset.

The rule of precedent is simple, stick to the position where commercially it makes sense, as when you move, there are no boundaries left and you are now in a disrespectful, subservient relationship, which will result in further requests, as you have shown the boundaries move.

Where have you seen precedents set that are unsustainable? What was the impact? What was the outcome? What was the learning? What would you do differently? what was the impact on the cx?

Leadership Mentoring Personal development

5 Lessons in transformational leadership

Transformational leadership is a key skill in today’s digitally disrupted environment. In the last two and half years I have worked with a sales team in telecom to transition from traditional telecom sales to selling cloud, managed services, applications and professional services.  When I started in the role I naively believed this would be a 12 month process, it took over 2 years. Here are some of the key lessons from my experience:

  1.  Spend time on the Why, no one is interested in the How unless they understand the Why. Ask your team in monthly town halls or all hands sessions why are we changing? It takes time for people to really understand the why.
  2. Regular transparent communications. Weekly updates on progress, recognising any small shift in behaviour, calling it out and celebrating every small change. People don’t change if they feel unsupported, create a safe learning environment.
    • run regular employee engagement surveys on how they are feeling, so you can address concerns in the regular communication
  3. Cadence is essential with any changes: Ensure any new cadence is introduced with a clear expectation of what they need to do, how they can get help to prepare and recognise every improvement they make no matter how small. Coach on the gaps.
  4. Use behavioural framework to help the team understand what is expected of them. This is relevant for cultural change. Culture is underpinned by behaviours that have been acceptable in the past and no longer serve the business. Highlight the 5-6 behaviours that need to change, work out what good, and excellent  looks like for each of the behaviours to change, then ask your leaders where they are on each one. Then coach on achieving the good and excellent.  For example: Excuse behaviour:
    • Excellent: is find solutions proactively and communicate the actions they will take to make it happen and then execute.
    • Good: comes with possible solutions not sure of right option and looks for assistance, then executes.
    • Poor: makes excuses why something cannot happen.
  5. Stakeholders. Keeping your Managers and other stakeholders updated on your plan and progress to the plan is critical. We all underestimate the time to turnaround a situation, so being clear on the plan and where you are on achieving the milestones is key.

What are your experiences?