Category Archives: Leadership

Why Chief Executives fail……….

  • ARROGANCE: you are right everyone else is wrong. 
  • MELODRAMA: you want to be the centre of attention.
  • VOLATILITY: your mood swings create business swings. 
  • EXCESSIVE CAUTION: the next decision may be your first.
  • HABITUAL DISTRUST: you focus on the negatives in others.
  • ALOOFNESS: you disengage and disconnect.
  • MISCHIEVOUSNESS: rules are made to be broken.
  • ECCENTRICITY: its fun to be different just for the sake of it.
  • PASSIVE RESISTANCE: allowing your silence to be interpreted as agreement.
  • PERFECTIONISM: get the little things right even if the big things go wrong.
  • EAGERNESS TO PLEASE: being popular matters most.  

If the cap fits……………………….?

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Pointless Stress Creation

Analyse your day. 

How many productive decisions have you made? 

How much time have you spent dealing with complaints, sorting out administrative mistakes, dealing with employee problems, production problems, customer/client issues, etc. 

How much time have you spent procrastinating about important task, avoiding it completely perhaps?

Why?  What delayed you?  Was it because you were nervous or lacking confidence?  Were you worried about new challenges.  Or perhaps you feel you have inadequate skills to complete the task to the required standard.  

Thinking we can do it all is where most of us cause our own problems  –  both in life and in running our businesses. 

The short answer, if we are honest enough, is that we know we can’t do it all.

Support is critical, and when we recognise this, the benefits are substantial – less stress and much greater productivity. 

The Cardinal Rules of Management

Experience shows that there are seven cardinal rules which form the nuts and bolts of successful businesses. Every Manager should have these as a mantra for their business activity: I will……

1. Communicate and build trust

a. Have an overall goal with repetitive communication.

b. Treat internal departments as you would your best customer.

c. Grow trust internally using your relationship building skills.

d. Focus on customer and joint goals.

e. Use every communication tool you can – frequently and effectively.

2. Set goals jointly.

a. Have an overall goal with repetitive communication.

b. Make them SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time framed.

c. Encourage individuals to set their own stretched targets.

d. Reward achievement.

3. Track progress publicly.

a. What gets measured gets done!

b. Measure weekly or monthly against quarterly or yearly.  Direct comparisons of week on week, or year on year don’t necessarily show underlying trends.  Use MAT’s ( Moving Annual Totals) for trend analysis c. Feedback at regular short intervals.

4. Plan and anticipate the future.

a. Plan what you need to happen – set the intended outcome.

b. Anticipate what needs to be done.

c. Activate the Action steps needed.

d. Always play “what if”.

5. Place and coach winners.

a. Focus on winners.

b. Put people in their best jobs.

c. Show people how their piece fits.

d. Actively encourage people to excel.

e. Exemplify service from the top – lead by example.

6. Organise myself and others.

a. Implement tools to increase productivity.

b. Turn effective into efficient.

c. Don’t assume it still works now.

d. Look at what used to work.

7. Celebrate successes!  People need six things in their jobs:

a. Compensation.

b. Recognition.

c. Fun.

d. Personal growth.

e. Challenge

f. Convenience.

The Difference Between a Leader and a Manager – Which are You?

Leadership has been defined as being about influence, and Management has been defined as being about authority.  Which is right for your business?

John Kotter, the Harvard Academic, maintains that Leaders are inspiring and successfully promote new directions whereas Managers take care of today’s business, getting things done by executing the directions.

People choose to follow Leaders who are seen as inspiring and people orientated but are required to follow a Manager who is seen as controlling and task focused!

But surely this view is over simplistic?!

The qualities required by both Leaders and Managers are not necessarily mutually exclusive for one or the other.

boss v leader

To be a good Leader or Manager both need to have a degree of inspirational skill.

Whereas, an inspiring Leader might move people to change direction, an inspiring Manager will move people to exert more effort to get a job done!

As a Manager you do need to be a leader to get things done and as a Leader you do not need to be a manager to motivate and get people to follow. Realistically it all comes down to the individual’s personality and how they interact with the people.

Leaders can inspire and get people to follow, however without the skills to get things done, everything will be just words.

Managers on the other hand, with or without the qualities of Leadership are still able to maintain the important tasks at hand.

One could argue that it is better to be a Manager with the qualities of a Leader, who will create the better task force – Leadership qualities being the added bonus to have, but you don’t necessarily need them.

The key element is the individual characteristics of the individual involved and how they influence their people and the people around them, and in turn how those people respond.