Leadership and that ‘vision thing’

It goes without saying that having a vision is a necessary quality of an effective leader or leadership team; followers can’t follow without a vision to follow!

But the best visions that work are the simple ones. They work because they demonstrate three things:

  1. Where we are going and why that is relevent to each individual.
  2. How exactly we will get there and that getting there is possible.
  3. What the vision means to each person and this is communicated well.

A must- have for the emerging leader – positivity

Leadership is a long and never ending journey. A journey of learning, via successes and failures, imitation and study topped off by your own stamp of leadership style and DNA.

We are all familiar with the typical qualities required of the senior leader – vision, decisiveness, the ability to handle crises and integrity to name just a few.

But what about the emerging leader? The behaviours and attributes required of potential leaders are different. They include things such as:

  • Self confidence
  • Adapability
  • Reliability
  • Proactivity
  • Ambition

And the characteristic that underpins this list is positivity.

What are the Six Human Needs and how do they relate to motivation?

We hear a lot these days about motivation, it seems to be the buzzword of the decade, and quite rightly so, highly motivated staff lead to engaged employees lead to a happier working environment lead to higher productivity!

However, the ‘sixty thousand dollar’ question always is ‘What actually motivates someone?’ There are many motivation theories out there but the one I want to highlight in this post is related to our basic needs as humans and what happens when they aren’t met.

In the 1950’s Maslow articulated the Hierarchy of Needs, outlining how our needs change as we evolve as a society and as an individual. A model related to this but with a somewhat different perspective is the Six Human Needs model popularized by Anthony Robbins.

How to influence people in 5 simple stages

I’m busy preparing a course this week on persuasive speaking and influencing  skills. Despite framing up the course as we always do, that we’re concentrating totally on skills rather than teaching English, I suspect some of the participants expect me to wave a magic wand and present them with some set phrases in English that will make the difference between winning a contract and losing it.

How to delegate tasks at work

In order to be fully productive at work and to perform without stress, it is imperative that we delegate tasks. If done correctly, delegation saves us time in the long run and it helps other people in the team grow and develop to reach their full potential.

When delegating, we have to consider three things:

  1. Which tasks to delegate
  2. Who to delegate the task to
  3. How we set up and monitor the delegation process

The most effective feedback question you can ask

We are constantly receiving feedback in every area of our life either directly or indirectly, and this is essential; it tells us how we’re doing, and more importantly, where we can improve.

However, most people will not voluntarily give you feedback. If there are indeed areas where they think you can improve, they’ll be reluctant to tell you, wanting to avoid hurting your feelings or risk your disapproval.

To get honest, open feedback you will have to ask for it  and make it safe for the other person to give it to you.

The most powerful question you can ask in this arena is the following:

5 ways to minimise conflict at work

It is impossible to go through life without conflict. As human beings we are all different, with differing values, perceptions and opinions. Conflict is inevitable especially in the workplace, where in addition to our different personalities and personal aspirations, we have to deal with the pressure of deadlines, office politics and often confusing and inconsistent communication from…

“Stars don’t work for idiots.”

I love this statement, apparently made by HR guru, John Sullivan of San Francisco State University. It comes from a post about the resignation of Steve Jobs in The Harvard Business Review http://blogs.hbr.org/taylor/2011/08/why_steve_jobs_matters_to_you.html and how it encourages us to think about the legacy we ourselves will lead behind.

“Stars don’t work for idiots” a stark sentence yet full of meaning got me thinking about leadership and how many “idiots” there are, unfortunately, currently directing companies.

How many people are in positions of leadership simply because they excelled at a technical skill or because they happened to know someone who provided the famous “enchufe”? It really alarms me when I speak to reputable business people here in Spain who time after time lament that the overall standard of top directors leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to leadership and people management skills.

The Power of Questions

As a coach, trained to ask powerful questions I have no doubt of just that – that questions are by definition powerful.

I had lunch with a friend the other day who is feeling uncertain about her professional future and wanted to chew things over (as well as the lunch) with me. I gently slid into coach mode and she got clarity very quickly. It made me realise that when we speak to our friends and family they automatically start giving us advice and we often come away not feeling any clearer about our issue because WE  haven’t taken responsibility to decide our actions, we’ve just listened to what THEY would do.