Posts Tagged ‘learning’

Why Great Leaders Are Amplifiers

February 6th, 2018

‘Amplifiers are the rare and extraordinary leaders who amplify the best in themselves and others. They amplify the messages that matter, amplify the positive mood in a culture and amplify the results achieved.’

– Matt Church

In a world that seems to feed off of negativity, drama and hype our ability to amplify the positive stories, opportunities and results around us has never been so important. Unfortunately for many, living and working in environments that predominately focus and feed on the failures and barriers that get in the way of success is all too familiar. The reality though is that there are many extraordinary events happening, results being produced and opportunities arising every day. We just need help in seeing and hearing about them – especially with the pace and diversity at which we have now become accustomed to operating in.

Great leaders know this. Not only do they recognize their occurrence but they proactively seek to highlight them and in doing so have a significant impact on those around them and their outcomes. Great leaders are like amplifiers who know how to effectively increase the volume and quality of sound whilst minimizing distortion and unwanted feedback.  They amplify the highest of qualities and eliminate the distractions and unwanted noise.

Leaders who can help others recognize this, be it for themselves, their teams or their customers and clients are invaluable. People feel more energized by their presence and more confident that success can be achieved with the right focus. They are driven to put their best foot forward and be a part of the ‘extraordinary’. Just as success creates success so to does the habit of belief that extraordinary results are possible.

To build high performance, we as leaders we need to ensure that our focus is on amplifying the individual strengths, extraordinary results and constructive behaviours that contribute to ongoing success. To do this we need to make sure we are attracting and employing the right people for our organisations and teams; that we are creating workplace cultures that recognise individual contributions and reward healthy positive behaviours (and importantly remove that are not); and that we give people the freedom to operate from a place of strength.

However as Jon Stewart so aptly notes ‘if we amplify everything, we hear nothing’. As such we need to learn to be discerning about what constitutes the ‘extraordinary and successful’. We also need to be brave enough to address the results and behaviours that detract us from achieving what we set out to do. Failing to do so results in a culture of ‘anything goes’ where the lines between success and status quo or healthy and unhealthy prevail.

As leaders I would encourage you to reflect on how you amplify the following 5 areas in order to build individual, team and organisational success:

  • Strengths: Tom Rath & Barrie Conchie, authors of Strength Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams and Why People Follow – conducted studies that revealed engagement increased eightfold when leaders focused on their employee’s strengths as well as their own increasing from 9% to 73%.
  • Behaviours: How we act and behave in our workplace is fundamental to success our individual and overall success. Invariably they are the ‘linchpin’ not only in our abilities to deliver but in the timeliness and quality the results produced.
  • Results: Recognising and applauding results – both incrementally and at the point of final delivery – is important in helping to define what ‘great’ looks like. Amplifying great results also helps drive engagement, energy and productivity.
  • Contributions: Often success is the ‘sum or parts’ where a number of individuals have played a role in supporting the overall delivery. Learning to acknowledge the contributions of others is fundamental to elevating healthy workplace performance.
  • Learning: Not everything we undertake is considered a success. How we embrace failure, recognise it and learn from it is fundamentally important to creating healthy environments that encourage us to step out of our comfort zone. It also supports our efforts to create new ways of working, innovate and problem solve.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts.

Margot

Why Great Leaders Are Amplifiers

July 19th, 2016

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“Amplifiers are the rare and extraordinary leaders who amplify the best in themselves and others. They amplify the messages that matter, amplify the positive mood in a culture and amplify the results achieved.” 
– Matt Church
In a world that seems to feed off of negativity, drama and hype our ability to amplify the ‘good news stories’ and positive opportunities around us has never been so important. Unfortunately for many, living and working in environments that predominately focus and feed on the failures, problems and barriers that get in the way of success is all too common. The reality though is that there are many extraordinary events happening, results being produced and acts of genuine kindness being delivered every day. We just need help in seeing and hearing about them – especially with the pace and diversity at which we have now become accustomed to operating at.

Great leaders know this. Not only do they recognize their occurrence but they proactively seek to highlight them and in doing so have a significant impact on those around them and their outcomes. Great leaders are like amplifiers who know how to effectively increase the volume and quality of sound whilst minimizing distortion and unwanted feedback.  They amplify the highest of qualities and eliminate the distractions and unwanted noise.

Leaders who can help others recognize this, be it for themselves, their teams or their customers and clients are invaluable. People feel more energized by their presence and more confident that success can be achieved with the right focus. They are driven to put their best foot forward and be a part of the ‘extraordinary’. Just as success creates success so to does the habit of belief that extraordinary results are possible.

Interestingly our minds seem to work a lot like amplifiers– whatever we choose to listen to and focus on, the more enlarged the sound and impact seems to become in our mind. This is why it is so important to ensure that we focus our energy on amplifying the right things. Dwelling on the wrong things can set our career (and life) on a very different path or trajectory to the one that is possible if we choose to focus on the right things.

To build high performance, we as leaders need to ensure that we are focused on amplifying the individual strengths, extraordinary results and constructive behaviours that contribute to ongoing success. To do this we need to ensure that we are attracting and employing the right people for our organisations and teams; that we are creating workplace cultures that recognise individual contributions and reward healthy positive behaviours (and importantly remove that are not); and that we give people the freedom to operate from a place of strength.

However as Jon Stewart so aptly notes ‘if we amplify everything, we hear nothing’. As such we need to learn to be discerning about what constitutes the ‘extraordinary and successful’. We also need to be brave enough to address the results and behaviours that detract us from achieving what we set out to do. Failing to do so results in a culture of ‘anything goes’ where the lines between success and status quo or healthy and unhealthy prevail.

As leaders I would encourage you to reflect on how you amplify the following 5 areas in order to build individual, team and organisational success:

  • Strengths: Tom Rath & Barrie Conchie, authors of Strength Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams and Why People Follow – conducted studies that revealed engagement increased eightfold when leaders focused on their employee’s strengths as well as their own increasing from 9% to 73%.
  • Behaviours: How we act and behave in our workplace is fundamental to success – both our individual and overall team and organisational success. Invariably they are the ‘linchpin’ not only in our abilities to deliver but in the timeliness and quality the results produced.
  • Results: Recognising and applauding results – both incrementally and at the point of final delivery – is important in helping to define what ‘great’ looks like. Amplifying great results also helps drive engagement, energy and productivity.
  • Contributions: Often success is the ‘sum or parts’ where a number of individuals have played a role in supporting the overall delivery. Learning to acknowledge the contributions of others is fundamental to elevating healthy workplace performance.
  • Learning: Not everything we undertake is considered a success. How we embrace failure, recognise it and learn from it is fundamentally important to creating healthy environments that encourage us to step out of our comfort zone. It also supports our efforts to create new ways of working, innovate and problem solve.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts.

Margot Andersen

If you would like to explore ways to amplify your leadership capability or that of your team, please contact Margot on 0400 336 318.

Why You Need To Be A Questioning Leader

October 14th, 2015

1042″]“Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions and as a result they get better answers. ”

– Tony RobbinsGreat leaders know the value of quality questions. They recognize the power of asking the right ones to unlock new ideas, build connection and shift perspective. Most of us are familiar with the saying ‘there is no such thing as a silly question’ but my question (excuse the pun!) to you is: Are we asking productive questions? Ones that lead to discovery, enact change, increase productivity and build relationships and collaboration?

All to often I meet with business leaders whose questions are firmly anchored in frustration, judgment and blame – either in themselves or their team members. Why is this happening to me? What’s wrong with me/them? When will my life or career improve? Why can’t they just get on with it? What on earth is the problem now?

When we ask negatively framed questions we yield negative responses. Answers such as: Life isn’t fair, I’m just not lucky enough, or I’m not good enough seem to abound. They keep us stuck and cause us to focus on the hurdles and ultimately disempower rather than empower. They have the potential to send us into a tailspin of self-doubt and self-sabotage. Whilst great care needs to be taken in how we ask questions we also need to consider how we pose them so as to ensure we are moving towards a solution, removing roadblocks and acting as catalysts for change – both for ourselves and the businesses we lead.

Rick Smith, founder of World 50 – a premier senior networking organization for global executives – believes that we live in a world where today’s leaders are addicted to answers. He advocates for the need for leaders to shift this addiction to asking the right questions. As he notes, in chaotic and ever changing competitive business landscapes, success requires focus, and knowing where to focus will be determined by the questions you are asking.

Not only does asking the right people the right questions drive great answers and outcomes for your business, it can also deliver great benefits to you as a leader. Innovation, confidence, capability, engagement and productivity levels all stand to be enhanced when the right questions are asked. Demonstrating a genuine interest and care of concern for the individuals and the outcomes fosters loyalty and commitment. Of course the key is to ask questions in a way that seeks to deliver insight, learning and support rather than acting as a trigger to defensiveness. To do this we need to not just ask the questions but also demonstrate the ability to listen to the answers provided and suspend judgment. It is about really listening to understand and discover the meaning behind what is being said.
I would encourage to you ask yourself the following questions about you as a leader, your team and your organization?

1. What Must I Do To Lead Myself Successfully? Great leaders take the time to ask themselves questions that raise their own self-awareness and examine ways that they can improve or adapt the way they do things.

a. What are my blind spots?

b. What daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly actions can I take to strengthen my knowledge, capability and insight as a leader?

c. Who can I collaborate with to compliment my strengths and gaps?

d. Who can I engage with to provide candid and constructive feedback?

2. What Does My Team Need To Achieve Success? Great leaders know how to probe the thought process of their team members to uncover how they are individually and collectively performing and what roadblocks need to be removed, gaps need to be addressed and relationships need support.

a. Do I have the right people in the right place at the right time to ensure success?

b. Are people clear on what they need to achieve and by when?

c. Who are they key influencers in my team?

d. Are there any individual coaching requirements needed to elevate performance and or new learning opportunities? Who is the best person to provide that?

e. What conversations are needed to ensure that performance and behaviors support success and am I prepared to have them?

f. Am I available enough / too much to support productive, timely outcomes?

3. How Can The Organisation Function More Successfully? Great leaders recognise their obligation to contribute not just on an individual level but also at a whole of business level. They examine the ways their organization functions to ensure cultural alignment, maximum efficiency and productivity. They ask questions about behaviours, practices, processes and structures.

a. Why do we do things this way?

b. Is there a better, more streamlined way?

c. What are the risks and benefits of changing the way we do this?

d. Who is impacted most by this change and what needs to be done to ensure a smooth transition?

Ultimately the reason we ask questions is to build meaning and to ‘connect the dots’. Learning to ask empowering questions will ultimately shape the meaning we create and the quality of our success. As leaders we need to be doing this at all three levels: self, team and business if we are to create a lasting impact at an individual and business level.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts below.

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Margot – The Career DiplomatIf you would like to explore ways to build confidence, clarity and choice in your career please contact Margot on 0400 336 318.

Does Curiosity Really Kill The Cat?

November 19th, 2014

[vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none” image=”352″]
Curiosity is the engine of acheivement

– Ken Robinson
[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vcex_spacing size=”20px”]This age old adage seems to suggest that curiosity is a dangerous thing – that it leads us down a path of danger, that it is fraught with hurdles and is an unnecessary use of time.

Have you ever noticed though that the truly great leaders are curious leaders?

They seem to be in possession of an extraordinary curiosity for exploring ‘the new’; for learning and discovery; for the possibility of what could be and not merely what is. They are motivated by the desire to improve and better their own lives, careers and the organisations that they lead. They are not satisfied with maintaining the status quo.

Being curious does not mean being distracted. In our hyper-connected world it is indeed a challenge not to become overwhelmed and distracted with the never-ending amount of information that is available at your fingertips. The ability however to effectively channel your curiosity to the things that matter is what defines a ‘healthy curiosity’ and sets those that are truly successful apart.

So why is curiosity important?

  • Curiosity showcases your personal brilliance

Asking why or how helps us clarify situations and issues. It encourages us to adopt a proactive solution oriented style of thinking rather than a reactive problematic view of the world.

Who doesn’t want to surround themselves with people who adopt this positive view of their situation and environment?[vcex_spacing size=”20px”]

  • Curiosity underpins the cycle of learning

Your own curiosity helps you become better at what you do. It encourages critical thinking, mastery of skill, development of new skills and confidence. The cycle of learning is underpinned and ultimately perpetuated by curiosity as this table so aptly demonstrates.

  • Curiosity acts as a great source of influence, inspiration and motivation

Not only is this true for our own individual careers, but as leaders your ability to spark an interest and make your team more curious will increase everybody’s chances of success.

As individuals and teams learn, grow and actively seek out the best way forward, the operating environment becomes more engaging and attractive to those around you.

  • Curiosity leads to agility, innovation and creativity

The ability to think creatively, take on new knowledge and readily adapt requires a high degree of mental fitness. Just as physical exercise is required to keep our body in shape, curiosity is required to keep our mind in shape.

Individuals and organisations that are stronger, more agile, have the ability to think laterally and who more connected to their markets achieve far higher results and levels of satisfaction than their counterparts. It provides the additional competitive advantage that sets them apart in the market place.[vc_single_image image=”354″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”][vcex_spacing size=”20px”]

  • Curiosity helps us maintain relevance and purpose in what we do

To maintain relevance and purpose in this rapidly changing world we need to adopt a curious mindset. Without it we lose our place and our perspective – be it in the workplace or our community. Curiosity opens us up to a world of possibilities and brings new levels of excitement and engagement to what we do.

How do we build curiosity and embrace it in our own lives?      

  • Commit to an open mind

Not only do we need to commit to learning and embracing the new, but also to unlearning and relearning. Our ability to change our view on the way that things have always been done and embrace new ways can be a continual challenge, however a curious mindset will actively support the embracing not only of new ideas but also new ways to approach things.

  • Ask questions – lots of them

Your outcomes and direction are greatly determined by the quality of the questions you ask yourself and those around you. Seeking understanding and not merely responses will help create and open up new opportunities, solutions and pathways.

  • Don’t accept the status quo

Challenge the norm – ask why? How many times have we heard the response ‘because that ‘s the way we’ve always done it’ or ‘that’s just the way we do things around here’ only to discover that the blind acceptance of the status quo is what is holding us back from achieving great things.

Creating a safe environment that encourages exploration of the ‘why’ is a key part of developing critical thinking and action oriented outcomes.

  • Adopt a healthy regard for learning

Successful individuals and great leaders are never satisfied with what they know. They advocate the need for life long learning and recognise that learning does not stop with the acquisition of a certain role or title. Seeing learning as fun and a source of motivation and knowledge will make you naturally want to dig deeper.

  • Collaborate

None of us have all the answers. Seeking out new relationships and engaging with those around you will ensure that the ‘ideas bank’ remains a rich resource to tap into. Not only does it make what we do more rewarding, but it also provides you with fresh thinking and different perspectives.

We all need to encourage and celebrate curiosity. We need it for both our own careers and the businesses that we lead. We need to see our organisations filled with people who know how to ask questions and who are experienced in finding answers and creating solutions; people who aren’t’ afraid to fall or fail for they know that they have the ability and confidence to stand and continue seeking out the best possible path forward. People who don’t want to settle for ‘what is’ but want to explore the ‘what if’ moments both for themselves and the organisations they work for.

I would love to hear your thoughts on ways you build curiosity into your own career and the businesses that you lead.

Margot – The Career Diplomat[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”126″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”]If you would like to discuss ways to build curiosity into your own career or develop it with your team, please contact Margot directly on margot@talentinsight.com.au or +61 3 9866 3842.[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”88″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none” link=”http://talentinsight.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=961a17dac8287c94458c7983d&id=f81e0aac65″]

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