Success: [noun] the accomplishment of an aim or purpose
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What do you feel when you hear someone talking about the importance of your company values? Do you delight in being part of a business that lives out its standards and follows its values? Or, do you hold back your irritation at such pointless corporate fluff?
Do you remember why you set up your business? It might sound a simple question but over time the running of a business can move those that founded it on to ways of thinking, acting and dreaming that are very different from their expectations in those early days.
Project planning is not the most headline-grabbing business function; that is until the project in question goes wrong! But every business must plan projects, whatever the sector or its scale of operation. And projects involve doing something new or different and therefore create a change. This highlights for me the two critical success factors that ALL projects must consider, the human participation in a project, and the purpose of the project.
A change was forced upon me this week. As I walked into my local train station I was confronted with a seasonal change: the Christmas shopper. As a commuter into a large City, I suffer the inconvenience of this breed of traveller every year. What this all means for me is change. So, when I wrote the term ‘suffer’ above, it is an exaggerated divergence. What I really meant is that my habits have been disrupted and I had to cope with a change in my routine.
Team leaders are responsible for creating the conditions that allow great teams to flourish. Such a responsibility is not fulfilled by just learning a formula. It is a dynamic environment with constant movement, requiring re-assessment of expectations and adjustment if actions. So, to help leaders we share the ‘T.E.A.M.’ model as it enables a plan to form as to how to support a group to work at a higher level together
Last week I attended the Institute of Directors enterprising women in business conference in Salford. Out of nearly 200 delegates I was amongst about 10 men at the day (last year I think k it was just 4 of us!), so I experienced a day from an unusual perspective. Listening to the many female speakers I heard about their views on the challenges of being a woman in business but also the strengths and opportunities.
I remember an occasion when the CEO of a company I worked for addressed their workforce. The tone of voice, style of delivery and body language was so out of place that the people in the audience (including me) literally started laughing at some of the things he said. I noticed that in the Deputy CEO's message, she said very similar things as the CEO. However, it was how she spoke that changed how it was received.
A workplace leader needs to move people through a process so that progress can be made and change can be implemented. If not, a team focused on a problem can stay stuck in awareness of the issue, rather than moving through it into a productive pattern of solutions. The simple, but practical process, I have seen utilised is to move the sharing and response to a problem through 3 stages of questioning:
If you're a senior decision maker in your business you will be someone people look towards to solve problems. With this role comes the responsibility of leadership. You may be able to find answers when you are new to the role or your team but no one person has an endless supply of solutions for all situations. I get to work with many successful leaders and there are a few common traits I've seen in others that enable them to sustain their effectiveness as problem solvers.
I recently attended a well-established business event. There were over 100 businesses in the room. After a reviving coffee, I took my seat to listen to the speakers. By the second one I wished I was elsewhere. Public speaking is not easy but it gets easier the more you practice. In this article I'll show you a checklist to be better prepared for your presentations and encourage you to invest in getting better to be more successful.
We will all be familiar with the well-known cliché companies often share about how, “people are our greatest asset”. Yet all too often see examples of where these words do not get back up by the actions of decision makers in a business. Busy managers, working under external pressures like cash-flow and KPIs can easily put aside good intentions.However, from a logical point of view, creating and keeping highly engaged teams of people, your business is a no brainer.
Last year a company I know well that was growing and achieving high quality was broadsided by an external force that took away its profitability overnight. They had a senior management team of skilled, experienced and clever people. However, that team crumbled under the issue. Eventually just one was left and they've faced things head on and rescued the business.
I recently attended a conference around authenticity in business. There were a range of speakers all offering their view on authenticity in business. I’ll declare now that I find a lot of these sorts of events slightly superficial. Figuring out what makes you truly authentic is a quest. It’s a real deep journey of discovery that requires proper investment of time and challenge to help a person understand who they are. This article will help make you a more authentic leader.
Communicating well to internal audiences and externally comes to the fore when one takes on management and leadership responsibility. Yet, despite the growing awareness of the impact of engaging presentations the message is not getting through. So, I thought I’d share my 4 tips to improving presentations.
The fact is that at different times in our lives we could all achieve more with effective coaching. That’s not to say you wouldn’t achieve it without a coach, but many of my clients point to the fact that coaching helps them achieve much more in a shorter space of time.
I’m often asked what I do when I’m coaching. I’ve written some earlier posts that cover definitions of coaching but some people just want a layman’s answer. One of the ways I describe what I do is ‘I create a space for reflection’.
As a coach, one of the main issues individual clients share with me is procrastination. It’s defined as ‘the action of delaying or postponing something.’ We’ve all experienced some form of procrastination from time to time. However around 1 in 5 of the population are labelled chronic procrastinators.
Businesses now find themselves increasingly operating in an era of global, information technology driven markets. Success will depend on how efficiently and effectively organisations can apply new information to current systems and processes via its people. The issue is how to ensure you have a learning organisation; one that can respond to the ongoing challenge of change.
Managing people is a constantly evolving task for any leader, whether you work with just 2 people or 2,000. As leader, you have a responsibility to create the right conditions for your teams to flourish, to facilitate their success. I learnt some years ago 4 words that can guide a leader to transform a team of people.
As mentioned in previous posts there seems to be some confusion about what coaching is and isn’t. The International Coach Federation reported that this is still seen as a major barrier to the industry moving forward. Personally, as a qualified coach, I’m not too hung up on the ‘industry’ as it doesn’t provide me with my work. For me, I’m much more interested in helping clients understand what they need and how coaching can support them and their businesses.
The coaching world has lost a great character and driving force with the passing of Sir John Whitmore. Throughout his career he was a tireless advocate for the profession of coaching, and ensuring quality and rigor in its application. Outside of coaching his name might not be instantly recognisable but his legacy is assured as the co-creator of the GROW coaching model.
In my previous post, I introduced the notion of differences between coaching, mentoring and other related disciplines. I’ve had several comments from people asking to help clarify this further. There are plenty of books that deal with the subject in-depth and my intention here is to provide an overview to help position where coaching sits.
I meet plenty of people who describe themselves as business coaches but in reality, they are more consultants or business advisors as opposed to coaches. There are also many different techniques being promoted by different coaches. For me personally, the core aspect of coaching is based on the premise that the person being coached (coachee) has the answers.
A successful business strategy is not attained from a team sitting around a table writing, reading and then refining a plan. Successful strategy has to be turned into action for a company to achieve its maximum potential.
I have the pleasure of teaching sales to SMEs through the Business Growth Hub in Manchester. I say pleasure as I really enjoy exploring the subject and helping others to engage with ‘sales’. For me it’s an area that has been misaligned and conjures far too many negative connotations and images, especially around the salesperson.
Last week my colleague shared how great questions help develop success, this got me thinking about the impact of such reflection. When you’ve decided on your goals in business and in life you then need to work towards them. In other words, you need a successful strategy to back-up your ambitions.
The twist in this blog is that instead of asking these questions of someone else, I’m going to show you how you can ask better questions of yourself. The power of a great question to reframe a situation never ceases to amaze me. It’s incredibly powerful and yet very simple as well.
Successful businesses need to be successful at marketing. There is a famous quote: "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." To start to tackle this conundrum the key question to ask first is: Who are you trying to engage with?
The late great Jim Rohn, was hailed as America's foremost business philosopher and the post title reflects on one of his most popular books Seven Strategies for Wealth and Happiness. For Jim, wealth and happiness were intertwined and not an either or scenario.
Everyday life can easily create habits in our responses that mean rather than shaping the world around us we are defined by our environment. In such a place success is harder to define, find and keep. To change such circumstance starts with our attitude and that is something we can learn from a skilled coach.
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