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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. 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Coaching Influence Leadership Mentoring Personal development Work life balance

Taking responsibility to how we get treated

treatmentToday I was in a coaching session with a young female I have mentored for over 6 months. She has grown so much in a short amount of time, she is also happier and equipped with skills to ensure her success. Today I asked her about how she is getting on with repair bridges that have been well and truly burned. The same question I ask her each time I see her. She had made no progress.

I asked her what was getting in the way of having the conversation. She opened up and said that it would be too painful. Do you practice forgiveness? She looked alarmed. Forgiveness is the opposite to resentful, when you let you go, the emotion and time spent feeling resentful is released into positive energy that you can use far better.

Holding on to resentment is not helpful or healthy.

It’s too painful, she repeated. I asked Why is it so painful? She replied: It was bullying and it went on for months. What did you do about it? She stopped, I did nothing, I was embarrassed. Did you speak to anyone about it? No. So you suffered not knowing what to do. Yes she replied. She went on to say I want to forget it and move on. I replied, it will happen again, I can guarantee you, so what are you going to do about it when it happens? She looked surprised and taken back. It will happen, I talked through some incidents that I had personally dealt with. As a women, certain leaders(men and women) need to assert their authority and the way they do it, is not acceptable: Humiliating, raising voices, aggressive and threatening. If they do it once they keep doing it as the boundaries have not be set properly.

These are the steps to take post incidents with people who put you down or harass you or raise voices and aggressive:

1. Straight after incident document verbatim what has happened including time and date.

2. Within 24 hours and when you are calm, take the person to one side in a room and not where others can hear

3. This is what you say: The incident yesterday where you said quote un quote, you made me feel inadequate and very uncomfortable. Your actions destroyed my confidence, something that is extremely fragile in women. I dont want you to ever do that again, do you understand me?

Once the accused has acknowledged and apologies. Say this is not going to be discussed ever again, this is between you and me. Lets move on. Confidentiality is critical as it rebuilds trust.

I promise you will never have another incident, with this person.

In that moment the lights came on and she said ” I own this, I can take control”. Absolutely you do! Never let anyone make you feel bad, people who do this are fundamentally insecure. There is no excuse for the behaviour, but you are responsible for setting the boundaries.

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Collaberation Influence Leadership Personal development Strategy

Why context is so important in delivering a message

My coach always reminded me “context equals meaning”. Without context you message is lost and we leave the audience confused.

Context is so important in conversation and in delivering a message. I observe it in others but rarely identify when I am not doing it! It struck me when seeing one of the leaders from our company talking about having the critical conversation the conversations we avoid, it was a great message to leaders, but it lacked authenticity and context as there was no personal story. 

From this I learned  what was missing from my presentations. When delivering the vision for my team for the year ahead at a recent kick off I used a story to describe a customer who has mortgaged their house to set up their business, the stress of a growing payroll and the responsibility of collecting enough cash to ensure all your staff get paid, they have a billing issue that drags on for 6 months and the stress of this large bill which is incorrect. The message: Take extra special care with your customers, get the wider team involved to resolve critical issues for the customer. The feedback from the team was incredible, they said no one has made them think about the customers perspective and what they are dealing with.

Key learning is always spend more time on the scene setting, background and why you want the audience to listen, all these give context to your message.

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Influence Leadership Legacy Strategy

All the focus on rebuilding trust, when the focus should be on how not to lose it in the first place.

Corporate’sTrust need execs to be coin operated to achieve the results, however, this behaviour can completely destroy trust with the customers, so how do you reconcile the situation?

The Royal commission uncovered some awful truths about sales cultures in the big banks. How is this different from any large corporate?  As a non executive director how do you really know the culture of the sales organisation?  As a CEO how do you address keeping shareholders happy by delivering results ensuring the Sales culture is not damaging your reputation and losing business in the long term.

Here are 4 key areas to focus on:

  1. Is there diversity in the Sales Leadership? Without diversity norms can be created that are totally unacceptable.
  2. What are customers saying about the experience?  What are they really saying?
  3. What are the Sales people saying about the environment? What is the staff turnover?  Another key indicator to how individuals feel, are they under pressure to behave in a way that does not sit with their values.
  4. Does it attract graduates?  Graduates are vocal on all fronts about Sales teams and are an invaluable gauge to how a sales team is functioning.

Trust is destroyed quicker than you can build it, ensuring that the sales team behaviour is aligned to a culture that builds trust is critical.

in an article by By Aaron SkonnardCEO, Pluralsight https://www.inc.com/aaron-skonnard/why-sales-commissions-don-t-work-in-the-long-run.html, Aron states: If you’re not doing what’s in your customers’ best interests, your business will ultimately fail. That’s why it’s important to look at the conflicts of interest that arise from driving short term sales v’s delivering life time value of a customer.

One of the many graduates I have hired reminded me the other day of a conversation I had with her about selling. The story was a boutique drinks company in Melbourne who wanted us to modify the code of our mobile application to replication SAP pricing. I explained to the CEO that the cost would be high due to the complexity and the maintenance with every release would also be costly. I can do it, but you will never be happy. My recommendation is that you use a XML call to the pricing in SAP so you are using the standard pricing algorithm in the SAP application, this would be cheaper to develop and lower cost to maintain. The CEO said XXX a competitor said they could do it. I responded, I would love to take the money from you to do the work, but I know you will never be happy with the ongoing costs and overhead, therefore I respectfully decline to bid. The call ended. My Sales person Ryan was in the room when I had the conversation, he was mortified, we have lost the deal. I responded, he would never be a happy customer and he would continually lose money on the deal, believe me we are better off without the sale.

Thirty minutes later the CEO of the drinks company rang, we want to work with you. You are a trusted partner, I want to work with someone who will do the best for the company.

Its time to rethink how we motivate sales teams if you want to build the life time value of customers.

All the focus on rebuilding trust, when the focus should be on how not to lose it in the first place.