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    Wednesday
    Nov152017

    Where is your focus - paperwork or people work?

    Busy?

    My guess is that nine out of 10 of you would answer "very."

    I'll even go so far as to predict that you what you are busy with is attending meetings, submitting reports, doing rosters, complying with regulations, reviewing contracts, renewing leases, updating policies, replying to emails etc. You get the drift. Busyness. Kind of finds a way of filling our days, weeks, months.

    I get it. None of us can actually opt out of this mostly paperwork stuff completely, but many of us are risking taking our eye off the most important responsibility we have - to make people better. 

    When we submit to being consumed by the paperwork, and neglect people work, we simply become managers, not leaders. If maintaining the status quo ie being happy with tomorrow being the same as today and yesterday is OK with you, then by all means, keep your focus on the paperwork.

    If, and I suspect it is, you'd rather make sure the future is as bright as it can be, focusing on making people better is the key.

    Leadership is about people work! 
    Wednesday
    Nov012017

    Hey Leaders! You Have Just One Job.

    Want to know the single, most important responsibility of a leader?
     
    It’s easy to become overwhelmed just thinking about everything we, as leaders, should be doing. Becoming a better leader is easier said than done. Some people have given up trying because there is just too much to think about. But what if we distilled being a great leader down into just one thing?
     
    I recently consulted my mate, Professor Google, about a couple of burning questions that I had. I typed in ‘definition of leadership’ - 280 million search results. I also searched ‘what do leaders do’ - 515 million search results. I have a bookcase in my office that is chock full of big, thick leadership and management texts. How did leadership become so complex?
     
    Here’s the one thing that, if leaders focus on achieving, will make a massive difference. Make people better. This thinking was inspired by the 6th President of the USA, John Quincy Adams who said “If your actions inspire others to dream more, do more, learn more and become more, you are a leader.”
     
    Think about this really important question. As a result of your leadership, are your people becoming more, are they remaining the same or have they become less? Sort of tragic if they are less then when they met you. Almost as sad if they have not changed as a result of your influence.
     
    ‘You manage things, you lead people” said US Navy Rear Admiral, Grace Hopper. It can’t be any simpler. Focus on helping your people grow and develop as your number one leadership priority. Do this, and everything else will fall into place, as it will be your people that will step up and, together with you, make your organisation successful.
     
    You have one job. MAKE. PEOPLE. BETTER.

    Thursday
    Sep212017

    The Difference Between a Boss And a Leader

    Boss, manager, leader, supervisor - they all mean the same right?

    You might call me pedantic, but thinking they're just words for the same thing is a big part of the problem. I came across this image* recently and it stopped me in my tracks because it absolutely nails it for me.

    Look at Boss. They've made it and they're happy. Dancing, congratulating them on succeeding. Awesome. Look where Boss' people are though. Still struggling to make it. Oops, some won't make it. No matter, Boss has and that's all that matters, right?

    By contrast, look at Leader. Hasn't made it yet. In fact, Leader seems more concerned with helping others than individual success. My guess is that when Leader eventually does make it, she will be surrounded by her people, all of them, and together they can say "We did it".

    Where is your focus? Individual honors or collective success?

    What difference are you making to your people?

    Friday
    Sep082017

    I PLAYED A TRICK ON MY KID. HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED.

    So, a couple of things about me. I am a family man. Very proud of my four kids.

    While I work with a wide range of aspiring leaders in a range of different contexts, I am always mindful that my number one leadership job is to be the best father possible. I’m not perfect by a long shot, but I am very committed to being the best I can.

    I am pretty hands on with my youngest two. This week I was helping Tully (the toothy one in the middle) with her Grade 1 reading. She is an excellent reader and the book she bought home was what I thought to be way beyond Grade 1. She was going OK, but I played a trick, albeit a daggy Dad trick.

    I feigned amazement that here she was in Grade 1 but reading a book that could easily have been for Grade 6 kids. I pumped her tyres. I praised her for trying hard. I told her that I didn’t believe it was possible that she was reading that well.

    Within seconds, her reading went to another level. Whenever she got to a challenging word, she stopped me from helping her, sounded it out, and (mostly) got the word right. She simply believed in herself more and her performance lifted.

    As leaders we have the same opportunity to build self confidence and self belief in our people. Of course it should be authentic and genuine. People will believe in themselves if you believe in them first.

    Praise and recognition cost nothing, but are powerful motivating forces in the workplace.

    Who can you praise this week?

    Thursday
    Aug102017

    TOP 5 TIME MANAGEMENT HACKS EVERYONE SHOULD DO

     

    It’s a universal problem. Too much to do, not enough time to get it all done. I haven’t met a person who couldn’t be better at managing their time, so here are 5 habits everyone should get into.

    1. Slow down to speed up.  Schedule an hour where you drop everything and focus on what’s going on. Too often we let ‘chaos’ be our normal, whereas we need to get back into ‘control’. Brain dump everything onto a clean sheet of paper – every deadline, tasks, meeting, detail so it is all real and in front of you. You should feel calmer already.

    2. Use a system. It might be as simple as a list, better still a prioritized list. Even better, schedule the highest priorities into your calendar so you can commit to when you will complete them.

    3. Be disciplined. Once a week, review steps 1 and 2. This works well on a Friday afternoon as it sets the next week up for success.

    4. Decide on ‘Three Things Today’. Take a Post-it note. List the three things that you simply MUST get done that day. It will serve as a reminder when you get distracted.

    5. Say ‘No’ more often. We have to accept that we simply can’t get everything done. We need to discern what are the essential, high priority tasks and work on those first. This will require us to say ‘No’ to other tasks. Better to say ‘No’ than to say ‘Yes’ and let people down.

    Bonus tip for leaders: Hands up who’s got too much time on their hands? I thought so. You see, when we are time poor, the operational stuff that screams at us becomes the priority. The ‘non urgent leadership stuff’ often gets put on the back burner. Months pass by and before we know it the culture and the level of engagement have turned. We need to make time to lead!