Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The 3 Eee’s of Leadership...Engage, Empower, Enable

Andre Villas Boas at 35 is the youngest manager to win the Europa League (with FC Porto). “Being a manager is all about emotions. I remember hearing about the Boston Philharmonic maestro whose biggest breakthrough as a leader was realising he didn’t actually make any sound himself; only his players did. He had to lead them but by harnessing their emotions.”

As a leader how do you win the hearts and minds of your team? A common theme I come across is “my team are lazy/I make all the decisions/what’s the point of delegating”.  However if you step back you just might see a different perspective.

Your leadership style is directly reflected back by your team’s performance and overall results.
Louise was excellent at her job and was recently promoted to management. She was fired up with best intentions and ideas to get more out of her team. Within a few months the team were disengaged, she was stressed, working longer hours and doubting her capability as a manager.

Her previous excellent relationships turned to mistrust, the team did not support her or the new ideas. Her boss questioned if he’d made a mistake in promoting her.

During our coaching Louise had time to reflect and see what was going wrong. The old style of management, control and command, is a fast route to a disengaged and demotivated team resulting in lower performance. There are times for this style such as crises or safety issues however, modern day managers lead by engaging and empowering their team enabling their organisation to achieve its objectives.

Louise changed her approach. She fed back to each individual what they did well, asked what were their challenges and what support did they need.

She set up regular informal one-to-ones; she learnt to listen and to give constructive feedback. She led with a coaching style of management, asking questions not telling, opening a 2-way dialogue. Occasionally Louise would fall back to old habits, however trust and rapport was now stronger and her team could give her feedback.

An engaged team become empowered and enabled to make better decisions; they accept accountability and are motivated to do more.

Invest in engaging your team and individuals. What can you do to empower them? Get it right and watch your team and the results soar.


Monday, 13 May 2013

We think we're clever but are we really, Aristotle saw through it all

2000 years ago Aristotle wisely said We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit. So what does this really means?

Our minds think about what it is most exposed to. What most occupies your thoughts shapes your perception and reality.  Your mind will reflect whatever it gets exposed to. 

What are you exposing other people to when they look at your behaviour? Do you pollute your mind with excuses, self pity, lack of integrity, inconsistency, apathy, sarcasm, gossip, procrastination, mediocrity, fear, worry, anger? These all negatively impact your results. 

Your mind thinks about what it is exposed to all the time. What impact does this exposure have on your performance?

Sometimes we can get so caught up in the fast pace of the 21st century, new technology driving our lives but in fact human behaviour has not changed and Aristotle's wisdom continues today.

Consciously take charge and expose yourself to new ideas, stimulating conversation, and good virtuous humanity.  Expose others to your good character, sound judgement and your helpful nature. Expose people to the example you want to see.