Is your team not operating well? Do you seem to have ongoing people issues in your business? Here’s some bad news, that may turn out to be good news: Often your team is a reflection of you.
Leaders set the tone and a team will take their standards and even their ethics from you. The standard you walk by will become the team standard.
We all have a need for self-awareness; especially as leaders. In my experience and opinion, high EQ and a willingness to be vulnerable goes a long way to learning how to be an effective leader. The core of that journey is embracing your authentic self.
As Dr Brene Brown eloquently puts it, “Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be; embrace who you are.”
It behooves us to take personal responsibility, and recognise that our team’s seeming dysfunctions, may be rooted in our own behaviour. The team is watching for behaviour cues, and as the cliché somewhat painfully says the fish may well...
Today, we are going to talk about values.
I sometimes think that when we talk about values, we tend to think of that group of words sitting on a wall and yes, they’re values. However, if they’re not activated, they’re not really true values.
And a word that hasn’t been used a lot recently is Virtues.
It’s kind of gone out of vogue, but if you think about values as virtues, those things that drive us and our personal way of doing things, it’s a lot more personal.
Values can be a bit company-driven and impersonal. However, if we think of our values as virtues - the way we operate, the way we choose to treat people with integrity and passion and whatever those values might be in your company - then it becomes a lot more personal.
Because, values are only valuable if they are true virtues and if they are impacting the way that we think and the way that we operate everyday.
Often, values are thought as a nice-to-have or just a soft set of...
We’re talking about transparency and you can’t talk about transparency without talking about Openness and Trust.
It’s really the core. It’s really the definition of being transparent. It’s that willingness to be vulnerable and to be open and, ultimately, I think transparency, and I’m a great believer in this, transparency builds trust.
If you want to have a high-performing team, if you want to have an environment where people do well and things happen, you have to create a culture of trust, an environment of trust where people genuinely believe that you have their best in mind, and transparency is a great way of doing that.
So, be open. Be open to listening to people, be open to their ideas, and that’s your responsibility, really, to remain the student and not the critic.
But, there’s something more around transparency, the flip side of that, and it’s that whole notion of you not having any kind of secret agenda.
Transparency builds trust, as we’ve said. But, why would you want to do that? Really it’s around Leveraging Potential.
We have a lot of people in our organisation and we can be the one smart person doing all the thinking or we can leverage the potential of those that are around us. For instance, I do a lot of strategic planning and we put 20 people in a room and you literally have couple of hundred years worth of commercial experience, and not only commercial experience, but a whole life experience. And diverse people bring you all sorts of different backgrounds and perspectives to issues and opportunities. It’s so much more constructive than one person coming up with a random idea. Could be a good one, could be a bad one. We don’t know.
But, if you have a number of people, you can collaborate.
And transparency is very important around leveraging the potential and the experience of those around you, because if you have transparency and you’ve...
I wanted to talk a moment about Leveraging Diversity.
Often, when we go out and hire people, we like the people that are like us and I see it often in teams that I deal with where everybody’s kind of the same.
You have this sort of homogenous group of people who think alike, do alike, play the same sports. They’re very, very similar. And whilst that can be a fun environment to work in, it’s very narrow and diverse teams work really, really well.
If you create an environment where diversity is valued, then you really unlock an extraordinary amount of potential.
I have no idea, for instance, why we still have this debate around women on boards. I mean the science is there, the stats are there. If you have a diverse board from a gender perspective or race or background or religion or whatever it might be, all that diversity creates a melting pot of ideas and background and perspectives.
And I think the reason it works is this perspective’s piece: ...
Sounds a little wussy, sounds a little soft, and yet it is and continues to be, more importantly now than ever, the most effective way of leading an organisation.
Serving those around you, putting others before yourself. It’s been around for a couple of thousand years. Western civilization, the idea of it was really built on the back of the individual having sanctity and serving those people around us. And creating a Culture of Honour is paramount, I think, in an environment where the momentum of the marketplace is so quick that you have to leverage the collective experience and intelligence of those around you or you’ll fail as an individual. So it’s about serving the team.
The team is more important than the individual.
You can have a very high-performing individual who’s bringing in all the sales. I had a sales manager for a company that I ran. You know what? He was the samurai warrior. He was kicking down doors for a living, doing a...
Don’t talk to the CEO or the CFO, in particular, about risk.
Risk one of those things where, particularly in large organisations, people don’t like risk. They have risk committees. We try to work out what the risks are and we avoid those things and I’m not talking about health and safety. Safety first. A hundred percent. Always.
However, from a business perspective, if you don’t risk, you don’t innovate. If you don’t innovate, you die. It’s as simple as that
So we need to get our head around creating an environment where risk is part and parcel of the things that we do in order to be able to innovate. So no risk, no innovation. No innovation, no differentiation. No differentiation, you get to play a different game because you have no clients left.
So we need to think about risk but, I think, within a box. If we just create risk for no sake, you know, there’s all sorts of downside for that. People innovate around...
Passion and Purpose.
Two things that are very aligned.
We talked about vision where you create a sense of direction very much around the same thinking around purpose.
A sense of purpose. Something that’s important to us that we can activate in our workplace.
Bring your heart to work.
As leaders, sometimes we think we need to be cold and stoic and just functional. It’s dog eat dog. And yet, you know, bring your heart.
Get emotionally involved in what you’re doing. It’s genuine. It’s authentic. Get excited about what’s happening around you. And other people will catch up on that and it does create a sense of momentum when there’s passion and people have a sense of direction and purpose.
So bring your heart to work.
Daniel Pink, who I really like, he used to be a lawyer but we’ve forgiven him for that. He talks about 3 areas that will create motivation, that will create passion and sense of purpose in your organisation.
Let's talk about momentum. Momentum is very important in organisations. It’s what drives you through the small issues. Once you get up to speed, things really start to roll. You get a lot of things happening and momentum is a fantastic attribute to have in an organisation, particularly if you’re dealing with change. Once you get some momentum, you can kick it out of the park, can take a long time to get it going. And at this stage in the change management process - you’ve got your plan, you’ve removed your obstacles, you’ve got things on, it’s all about how can we get momentum.
Some of it is allocation of resources. Where do we need the resources to be able to do this twice as quickly? We found something here. This is fantastic. Let’s get some more people on that. How can we put some more resources in to get that going? Momentum is really around that.
Clarity. It’s only focused on the things that are important.
Culture of Honour. Oh, I love this. This is really the core of my operating, thinking, my philosophy, is to create a Culture of Honour and it’s a fundamental foundation block for the way that I’ve led different companies over the years and I’ve always tried to operate this way. Sometimes more successfully than others. But really it’s around valuing the individual.
We all have intrinsic value. So each person, regardless of what their role is, whether they’re wrapping parsels or chairman of the board, turning up to the board meeting in a big Merc. Or different roles. Sales. You might be area manager. You could be working on retail. Could be doing a number of different roles, but every single individual, from my perspective, has intrinsic value.
And if you bring that mindset to the table, then you tend to treat people in a different way. You will give everybody dignity and respect and take the time to listen to them.
Everybody has value.