Are you Leading or Following?

It looks like this time next week the Australian state of NSW will be lifting restrictions and starting to move toward normal, with Victoria not far behind.  In speaking with many leaders that have become quite exhausted with all the virtual working as well as the uncertainty that they have been facing.  

The challenge with uncertainty is that many leaders stop leading.  I had an interesting discussion with a leader this week around their vision and the way forward.  Whilst looking at what they wanted to do to help their people start making the transition to a hybrid workplace (with a mix of home and office work) they realised that they have been waiting for things to change before working through their strategy.  It was almost as if they were waiting for 100% certainty, which is a dangerous view in business and life as nothing is that certain!

Many leaders have become followers.  They are waiting to see what happens and not putting plans in place to help their people move forward.  

Unfortunately, this creates even more uncertainty from staff as they are looking for leaders that have a clear vision and help them stay active on the next step to move beyond the current limbo that many people have been stuck in for months.

So I have some questions for you:  Are you leading or following?  What have your actions and communication been demonstrating to your people?  Are you looking toward the brightness of the future and willing to map the way forward with your people, or are you waiting until ‘next year’ to start leading?

If history teaches us anything, it is that there are windows of transition that the leaders with foresight can see and take action on, before the rest of their industry or competitors.  This provides them with a massive competitive advantage by being in front and spring boarding forward.  So what is it that you could be moving forward on?  What opportunities are starting to emerge that you need to step up to and start leading your people toward?

If you are looking to provide something that will give your people a bit more support and bounce in their step, you may be interested in my How to Get Your Bounce Back:  Building Resilience in Uncertain Times Online Keynote, please Click Here for a Free 10 minute Consultation to find out more.

 

 

 

Are You Sharing Lockdown Love?

So Sydney is now approaching the 9th week of lockdown with no end in sight to us being able to get back to normal.  Melbourne is also in lockdown as well as the entire state of NSW and ACT.  And in looking at the numbers of COVID cases continuing to climb, it does not look like we will get out of lockdown until November – bugger!

With this dragging on and on, and the politicians saying that they are doing everything they can without success, things are starting to feel a bit harder.  I am noticing that many people are starting to feel the impact of this lockdown and it is affecting their work, mindset and energy levels.

So what can you do?  I think that we need to start sharing some Lockdown Love!  We need to look for ways to let other people know we are thinking about them.  Here are a few ideas:

Play an Online Game With them.  There are a lot of great free online trivia platforms that you can use to play a game with other people you know online at the same time.  We often link to them on Zoom and then go to a trivia site that will run the questions for us and allow us to have some fun competition.  A couple sites to check out include:  Kahoot – which has a range of different types of Trivia games like geography, sport, movies and more.   Skribblio – which is an online version of Pictionary.  One person selects what they need to draw and the others have to guess it.   

Send Someone a Simple Gift.  It can be something that they may appreciate and something that  brings a little smile to their face.  One option is to find something simple and order it online and have it sent to their home.   This could include flowers, chocolate or even a hamper.  I recently sent a gift  hamper from The Hamper Emporium that had some food and champagne to one of my staff that is making a bigger difference – thanks Kat! (www.thehamperemporium.com.au)  

Send Someone a Unique Gift.  Sometimes you may have a relative or best friend that just needs something a little more.  Often you want to find something a bit special that may not be found in every retail store.  I recommend checking out Dirty Janes Vintage.  They have physical stores in Bowral and Canberra, however they ship across Australia.  They are filled with unique vintage and recycled gifts that are really unique and will definitely make a positive impression and some lockdown love – (www.dirtyjanes.com/shop/)

I think if more of us shared some Lockdown Love with others, it would just make things a bit easier for everyone.  To gather some insights that you can use as a leader and provide some leadership hacks to help you and your team get through lockdown, please Click Here for a Free 20 minute Consultation.

Are 1/3 of Your Staff About to Leave?

It is an interesting question isn’t it. According to the latest salary guide by Hays Recruiting, 38% of Australian employees plan on looking for a new job in the next 12 months. This is a shocking statistic that shows the fear of keeping a job in the pandemic is now a bit of a distant memory, and now that we are in a new financial year it is time to take a look at your workplace.

So my question to you is how are your staff feeling? Are they exhausted? Running on empty because they have had to do more with less over the past 12-18months? Do they feel under appreciated? How many may be planning to leave because the culture is draining the life out of them and are not feeling supported in their role?

As a leader, one of your biggest responsibilities is to create a culture that is inclusive and supports your people. With the challenges from COVID, many leaders have not focused on building up their people’s skills or recognising them for their hard work and efforts that they’ve put in. In addition a lot of leaders are exhausted and don’t have time to develop and coach their staff in the skills they need to perform at this new intensive pace. So what can you do to keep them? Firstly, start giving them the recognition that they deserve and start doing things to improve their capabilities and your team culture, so they want to stay.

One of my most popular programs has been my Leadership Hacks Fast Track Program that enables people to get more things done in less time and build this stronger, more supportive culture. The feedback from the leaders, managers and staff that have completed the program (virtually and in person!) has been how practical and easy it is to implement these new techniques.

So do yourself (and your people) a favour and look into how you can get your people to increase their effectiveness and their influence with others by using these practical Leadership Hack techniques.  

Please click for a Free 20 minute Consultation where I will show you some of the strategies that could be used to help you build this positive culture and provide strategies and techniques that engage your people and help them keep up and stay in front.

Remember to be the leader that people admire and look up to based on what you say and what you do!

Are you being decisive?

I have a question for you, are you a decisive leader? Do you gather the information, check with your people and then make a decision? Or are you one of those leaders that seems to sit or put off making a decision?

In a coaching session I had with a senior leader this week we were discussing his approach. Because many Australian cities have gone back into lockdown, he was reflecting on the impact that this was having across his business nationally. Whilst we spoke, it was clear that he had not communicated to his people about the way forward and if anything needed to be altered due to this situation.

So I asked him, what do you think your people want? No communication or reassurance of the way forward? He quickly realised that it was better to give them an update that their current strategy was still on track. He also realised that he had failed to be decisive and was waiting too long for every possible scenario to be over analysed before communicating to his people.

So what do you need to make a decision on? Is there something that you should have addressed as a leader that you have been avoiding? Are you not sure how to deliver the message to someone that could be challenging? Are you trying to decide on how to achieve more with your people?

One of my most popular programs has been my Leadership Hacks Fast Track Program that enables people to get more things done in less time and influence others to do the same. This includes quicker ways to influence, respond to requests and take action. The feedback from leaders, managers and staff that have completed the program (virtually and in person!), has been how practical and easy it has been to implement these new techniques.

So do yourself (and your people) a favour and look into how you can get your people to increase their effectiveness and their influence with others by using these practical Leadership Hack techniques.

Please Click Here for a FREE 20 minute consultation where I will show you some of the strategies that could be used to help your people keep up and stay in front.

Also the Future of Leadership series is starting later this month and as a reader of my newsletter, you are able to receive a 15% discount when you book by using the code SCOTT15. Just head to the Future of Leadership website to select your city, put in the promo code.

Remember to be the leader that makes these important decisions and communicate them to your people!

Are your people keeping up?

I was speaking to a number of CEO’s & mid-level managers about the current pace of business and on the back of the pandemic (with a few rolling restrictions predicted to continue over the next 6-12 months), the pace of activity has gone up.

If you think back to a little over a year ago, almost everyone was bunkered down and working from home in lockdown.  Everyone was racking up the Zoom meetings to connect (I even delivered almost 25 virtual training sessions in June/July last year!)  Things were very uncertain and only a few industries were still trading.

Fast forward to today and things are very different.  Almost all of the clients that I am working with have mentioned the same trend; not enough time or people to get through the current workload.  This is happening across industries with many people spread thin and exhausted from the changes over the past year.

So my question is what are you doing to help your people fast track their activity?  Have you put strategies in place to enable them to complete their role and still not feel overwhelmed?

One of my most popular programs has been my Leadership Hacks Fast Track Program that enables people to get more things done in less time.  This includes quicker ways to influence, respond to requests and take action. The feedback from the leaders, managers and staff that have completed the program (virtually or in person!) have commented on how practical and easy it has been to implement these new techniques.

So do yourself (and your people) a favour and look into how you can get your people to increase their effectiveness and their influence with others by using these practical Leadership Hack techniques and what better time to take advantage of being EOFY.

Please Click Here for a Free 20 minute Consultation where I will show you some of the strategies that could be used to help your people keep up and stay in front.

Also the Future of Leadership series is starting in a month and as a reader of my newsletter, you are able to receive a 15% discount when you book by using the code SCOTT15.  Just head to the Future of Leadership website to select your city, put in the promo code.

Remember as a leader your role is to ensure that your people can keep up!

Are you ready to be inspired?

If you think back over the past 12 months it has been a real roller coaster.  The uncertainty of the pandemic, lockdown and toilet paper shortages have rocked our world.  For some industries things are going great and full speed ahead (electronics and bitcoin millionaires are smiling), whilst other industries are still struggling and in desperate need, including the charity sector.

Rather than asking for a handout, the charity Hands Across the Water does things a little differently.  Initially, founded by Peter Baines to assist a few Thai children, it has grown to supporting over 350 children and their communities in Thailand at 7 different homes on an annual basis.  The pandemic has hit the charity as it has not been able to run its fundraising events or Thailand bike rides.  The tourism industry has also had it very hard and in the Phuket region of Thailand (where the first home is located) they have experienced a 60% reduction in the economy due to the loss of tourism, with many people’s salaries down almost 90%.  

So what can we do?  Well, Hands do things a bit differently, to help cover the administration costs of the charity, a separate entity was set up a number of years ago to run events to add value and inspire others.  For the past 7 years (not including last year), Hands has run the Future of Leadership Conference Series across Australia and New Zealand.  This 1 day event allows you to attend and be inspired by some of the leading leadership experts on the planet and help generate funds to cover the staff that ensure the charity survives.

Even more inspirational, all the speakers donate their time to present at the event.  Yep, they do not charge their normal speaking rate of $10,000 per day.  In fact, they also cover their own travel expenses as they see how important the work is that Hands does.  Now that is inspirational!  The speakers include Matt Church, Erika Bradshaw, Justin Jones, Katrina Webb and many more.

So do yourself (and your people) a favour and commit to attending the Future of Leadership Conference in your location (Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Newcastle, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Auckland & Wellington).

Better yet you can book now before the end of the financial year and also get a discount.  As a reader of my newsletter, you are able to receive a 15% discount when you book by using the code SCOTT15.  Just head to the Future of Leadership website to select your city, put in the promo code and you are in!

This is a chance to be inspired by some incredible speakers and make a difference to those in need at the same time!

Are you ready for the Future of Leadership?

Too many things to do and not enough time. This is a common theme that I am hearing from many leaders from all areas. With things moving faster we are looking for how to prepare for the future and what to do about it now. Now more than ever, it is important for a Leader to be aware of their focus, their activity and their impact on those around them. This is not the time to be the one on the treadmill spinning the wheel, and not going anywhere. I believe that there are 3 key roles that a Leader needs to embody:

Simplify: Leaders Must Simplify the Way Forward

Connect: Leaders Need to Truly Connect with Staff

Empower: Leaders Have to Empower People Towards Action

  1. Leaders Must Simplify the Way Forward. We now live in a world that is becoming overly complex with information and options attacking people from multiple directions. This is encouraging people to mix up their priorities and often not focus on the things that really matter. Leaders need to capture the essence of what everyone needs to focus towards and continually broadcast and amplify this throughout all areas of the business. When a Leader simplifies the way forward staff know what to focus on.  
  2. Leaders Need to Truly Connect with Staff. We need to go back to the way trust between people used to be done. Leaders need to take the time to connect with their people. They need to be visible and interact with their staff to let them know that they are not on their own. Too often when I ask staff, when was the last time their Senior Leaders took the time to have a conversation and truly connect, they respond with two words: not enough. When people connect they become committed, which creates a key foundation in any workforce. 
  3. Leaders Have to Empower People into Action. Without action nothing happens. Leaders need to mobilise their people toward results. They have to help identify the opportunities that are available and encourage staff to take action. This needs to involve the internal mentoring that used to occur in the past. Leaders need to take the time to work individually with people to guide, support and challenge their people. 

If you would like to be inspired by a range of incredible leaders, check out the Future of Leadership Conference which will be held in 9 different cities from July through to August. As someone subscribed to my newsletter, I can also provide you with a discounted rate if you use the code SCOTT15. To book a table at a further discounted rate, please contact me and I can help you leverage an incredible day of learning and inspiration.  

Don’t let the excuse of not having enough time get in the way of your learning opportunities. Take the time to develop your skills and your people’s skills to be prepared for the Future of Leadership.

What kind of person are you?

So what kind of person are you? As I look around I often see people fall into three distinct categories when it comes to making a difference to others or taking the time to give to others (not just family but the greater community as well).

The first group are the TAKERS. These are the people that are constantly taking from others. They often mention that work is so busy that they do not have time to help others (including their family!) They often forget about other people, the things that are important to them, as well as their community. They are happy to ‘take’, however when something doesn’t go their way they are often the first to complain.

The second group are the PRETENDERS. These are the people that often say the right things around what is important and how to look after others as well making the world and the communities that we live in a better place. They love to spend time on Facebook typing in their thoughts, however they rarely take action beyond the keystrokes on the screen. Unfortunately often these people may be extremely financially successful, but they do not give back in donations, their time or their expertise to build stronger communities. They pretend to care, however, they don’t take any action.

The final group are the GIVERS. These people are the ones who take the time to give to others. They volunteer at their children’s sporting clubs, they participate in the local schools and they provide their time and energy to help make things a bit better. Givers assist financially through donations or by organising events to raise awareness or gather funds for something that is bigger than themselves. Ask anyone if they know these people and they will tell you, and more importantly they will usually have a big smile on their face and their energy shifts to a more positive place. Some of the most admired people in the world come from this group and the world is a better place because of them.

So what group do you fall into? I admit if I look back through my life I have spent phases in each of these three groups. Usually, it was because I was so busy with something else that I may have mixed up my focus and my priorities. Are you seen as a giver or as someone who is too busy taking, or focused on other things rather than what really matters?

Sometimes we just need a little bit of inspiration from other leaders about some of the projects that they have undertaken to stretch themselves.  

If you would like to be inspired by a range of incredible leaders, check out the Future of Leadership Conference which will be held in 9 different cities from July to August.  As someone subscribed to my newsletter I can also provide you with a discounted rate if you use the code SCOTT15. To book a table at a further discounted rate, please contact me and I can help you leverage an incredible day of learning and inspiration.

Are You Focusing on the Activity or the Result?

In a meeting with a CEO last week, we were discussing some of the challenges he was noticing around his people achieving targets.  He was frustrated that the results were not where they should be given all the opportunity that they have had this year.  The question I asked him was “what activity targets do you have them focusing on?”    

If we want to get our people to achieve results we need to get them focused on the activity that they need to take.  When we don’t, many of them fail.  It;s similar to someone who has decided to lose weight.  They step on the scales and decide to lose 10 kilos.  Then they talk about all of the things that they are going to do (like exercise, eat healthier and reduce their alcohol consumption).  They may do a few of these activities and then ‘get busy’ at work.  After a couple weeks they step on the scale and they notice they are at the same weight.  The problem is that they are focusing on the result, not the activity.  

What they should be doing is identifying the specific activity that they are going to take and how often they will do it.  This could be something as simple as running for 30 minutes five times per week, reducing the amount of food that they eat by 25%, reducing evening snacking by nothing eaten after 7pm and limit alcohol to 2 drinks per week.  All of these are measurable and by focusing on this activity they would start noticing the goal of losing weight start happening.

The same is true with people at work.   Work with them to clarify what the expectations are around their activity.  It can be something as simple as that they will send 25 emails per week, make 15 phone calls per week, have 7 meetings per week with a goal of generating 2 projects or proposals per week.  

All of these KPI targets give them something to focus toward and are easily track-able.  You need to ensure that they also take the right approach with the right skills in the right way to ensure quality as well (make sure you train them!)  This is much more realistic than giving someone a target to achieve and then just waiting week by week for the results to come in.  

A few things to remember to focus on:

  1. Create Work Activity Targets.  This could be around specific activities that you need to take in your role around phone calls, meetings, projects or proposals.  For managers internally it could be a target around staff 1:1 sessions per week, team meetings, coaching staff or other activities that will benefit the business.
  2. Create Home Activity Targets.  You can also use this process at home to help you remember to do the small things that matter.  It could be a number of date nights for a couple that have a busy family or it could be about ensuring that you have some personal time on your own every month.  

Sometimes we just need a little bit of inspiration from other leaders about some of the projects that they have undertaken to stretch themselves.  If you would like to be inspired by a range of incredible leaders, check out the Future of Leadership Conference which will be held in 9 different cities from July to August.  As someone subscribed to my newsletter I can also provide you with a discounted rate if you use the code SCOTT15.  To book a table at a further discounted rate, please contact me and I can help you leverage an incredible day of learning and inspiration. 

Are you a leader others would follow?

I have a question for you, do your staff follow you because they want to or they have to?  It is a good question to ask when looking in the mirror and seeing what others see.  With the pressure to perform and make things happen with tighter and tighter deadlines (and with less staff), many managers have been buckling under the pressure.  Rather than connecting and engaging with their people, they are reacting and for some not being the leaders they want to be.

I often see this expressed in their attitude, their approach or their impact on others.  So I’ll ask again, if you did not have the title that you currently have, would your people still follow you?  Would they put in the additional hours and creativity because of their commitment to you?  What does it take to be a leader that others want to follow? 

How to be a Leader others will follow:

  • Inspire.  When a leader inspires others they create a connection that is deep and personal.  Staff admire the way that they think as well as the way that they treat others, regardless of position or title.  These leaders encourage others to be better people, not just better employees.  What are you doing to inspire your people?
  • Teach.  Leaders that take the time to teach and share their wisdom with staff are the ones that are remembered.  Taking the time to coach someone or provide them with additional support when they are doing something new (or when they make a mistake!) is key to being an effective leader.  When was the last time you taught your people?
  • Lead. Taking action as a leader is not always easy.  Sometimes there can be some difficult decisions that need to be made that some leaders shy away from.  A true leader leads by taking action and by walking the talk.  This also includes taking responsibility for mistakes and being accountable to their staff when things do not go as planned.  What can you do to show that you are leading?   

During this post COVID pandemic we need strong and engaging leaders that others will follow now more than ever before.  If you would like to learn some insights from the best leadership experts in the country, please sign up for the Future of Leadership Conference which will be held in 9 different cities from July to August.  

If you would like to organise a table at a special rate, please contact me and I can help you bring a number of your staff, your team, or your entire organisation for a day of learning and inspiration.