Become a better leader in 5 minutes

Want to become a better leader REALLY quickly?

Then watch this short video:

 

CoverAnd If you’re ready to take your leadership to a whole new level make sure you grab my book The Enlightened leader, New leadership for an uncertain world,

It’s available on Amazon right now and when you order your copy you’re really supporting my channel and the message: BUY HERE NOW!

You’re also getting a book that will reveal to you how the current consensus on leadership will not be able to survive in the world we now live in. Leadership needs to evolve, by changing the way we perceive it… This book does exactly that AND shares the fundamental building blocks of how your leadership can thrive in this environment…

It’s called The enlightened leader, new leadership for our uncertain world… it’s available on Amazon right now, so order your copy now! Get your copy now!

Six Reasons Why Your Team Don’t Respect You

“Everything would be okay if it wasn’t for her.”
“She is fine to my face, but then stabs me in the back.”
“She thinks she is better than me.”

This is what I was told repeatedly yesterday… I was facilitating a high performance coaching session with an emerging  manager about her leadership – however, all she wanted to talk about was how one of her assistant managers didn’t respect her – as she said, “She doesn’t have my back, I can’t trust her.”

Respect is important to us all. As a leader. As a manager. As a human being. Respect is vital.

We all want it, the question is, are you willing to do what it takes to get it?
Respect is not given to you. Even when you are in a senior role at work, that doesn’t mean you automatically receive respect. People might work for you, but they don’t have to respect you.

Respect has to be earned. If you want more respect in your life and are prepared to put in the hard work, then here are six reasons why there could be a lack of respect in your life and what to do about it.

1.You Don’t Respect Yourself

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Yesterday, the manager I coached lacked self belief. The way she talked about her situation and her job, was like she didn’t quite feel like she deserved it. She didn’t think she was good enough or capable. 

In simple terms, she didn’t respect herself as a manager and her Assistant Manager knew it. Speaking to her, all she really needed was to understand that she had been given the job because her boss believed she was good enough. That simple realisation was all she needed.

If you lack respect for yourself, here is my advice: 

To purposefully review all the good you have done, you are an amazing person who has been through a lot. That deserves respect.

2.You Talk Behind Their Backs

Here is some very simple advice – Talking negatively about your team to other people in your team NEVER ends well. They always find out and you lose the respect of almost everyone in that team. If you have a problem with someone’s behaviour, feedback to them, not their colleagues!

3.You Don’t Treat Others The Way You Want To Be Treated

How you treat others will directly link to how others treat you in return. This means you should take care and attention when you decide how you want to be treated. Then give those behaviours to those around you, allow them to feel the way you want to.

For example, the manager I spoke to yesterday, liked to be the ‘mother’ figure within her team. Taking on all of the motherly duties and treating her team like her children. So guess what happened? Her team were treated like children, so they acted like children.

No surprises, but that is not what you want as a manager. What she has now done is identified that she would like her team to be respectful and honest. She now has to answer the question: What are the behaviours someone would have to show for you to treat them as respectful and honest?

4.You Act First, Then Think

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Something happens in a situation that you perceive as a lack of respect and then fire back in an emotional manner. Then later will think ‘Why did I say that?’

This is an emotional reaction that it is highly unlikely you will get the response or outcome you want. This is because the response from those around you is likely to be an emotional one too.

If you want to ensure that you get respect, thinking about how you feedback is critical. This takes planning, not much, but it will take a moment or two for your to gather your thoughts and remove the emotion.

If someone is disrespectful to you, think about how you will respond. It doesn’t need to be a fight and it doesn’t need to be emotional. What needs to happen is that behaviour is modified going forward.

What specific behaviour and situation are you discussing? What was the effect of this behaviour? What would you like to see in the future?

5.You Hold Back Your Concerns, Until You Explode

This is the opposite of acting first, thinking later! These are the times you will effectively ‘bottle up’ all your feedback and emotions, as the lack of respect builds and builds. Until, one day, all the emotion and feedback comes flooding out… probably for something and nothing!

If you let this happen, it is not the perpetrators fault, it’s yours. Allowing poor behaviour or emotions to build and then exploding into an emotional feedback volcano, guarantees a failure to get respect.

The advice is the same as before – when witnessing disrespectful behaviour, take a moment to remove the emotion and approach the situation factually. Then take the appropriate action as soon as you can.

6.Your Deeds Don’t Match Your Actions

One of the quickest ways to lose respect of the people around you is to say you will do something or say that you stand for something and then don’t. The best approach is to be mindful. To think about what you say and how you say it. The more people you lead, the more mindful you have to be. 

Be clear and check understanding. If you do what you say you will do, respect will follow.

Putting it all together

We all want and need respect, especially in a management or leadership role. If you want to change the behaviour of the people around you, then you must change your behaviour first.

Remember, respect is earned, so transform your behaviour and you will transform the respect you receive.

Why Motivational Videos Just don’t Work

I believe that YOU have unlimited potential.

The purpose of this website is to inspire those who visit to reach for their potential and become the very best version of themselves.

However this won’t happen if you just watch motivational videos… Watch the short film below to find out why and what you can do about it:

(Yes – I have made a motivational video about motivational videos not working! The irony!)

The Three Most Important Lessons In Life That My Children Taught Me.

When you first commence parenthood, you will probably expect to learn a lot, just like I did. 

What I didn’t realise when I became a father was that my children would teach me about how to live a fulfilled and successful life.

My children, who are now 6 and 4 years old, have taught me the most fundamental and critical factors that determine the quality of life.

These factors will absolutely have a dramatic effect on your life, if you choose to follow what I have learnt. This has nothing to do with parenthood and everything to do with how to live a fulfilled life. 

Here is what I have learnt from my children:

1. Don’t care about trying to fit in.

shutterstock_85725160In our society, the idea of not fitting in and being different can be quite terrifying! We are taught throughout our lives that fitting in and compliance are positive attributes. On the most basic level, look a school uniforms, we make unique and special individuals look identical.

 

We do this in our society consistently, slowly removing our individuality and building the concept that being different is bad or negative. After all we know what happens to those that are different… they are laughed at and made fun of.

Young children on the other hand simply do not care – they are absolutely true to themselves in every way possible. They are not bothered if other people see them differently, in fact it doesn’t even enter their minds! They live and embody the person they are with pride and passion.

Here is the kicker: It is IMPOSSIBLE to be truly happy when you compromise who you are. Spending your life trying to ‘fit in’ means that you will never give the world your full potential. We are ALL different, none of us ‘fit in’ to the stereotypes we have created.

You can stand out. You can be exceptional. You are amazing and full of huge potential. Be like a child and let the real you shine like the sun – The world deserves the very best you, You deserve the very best you… Be brave, stand out!

2. Live in the present moment.

“Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path to joy”

Sarah Ban Breathnatch

Children enjoy the magic of now. They see the world with wonder, savouring everything around them.

As adults we tend to spend so much time either worrying and thinking about the past or planning and worrying about the future. So much so that we neglect the beauty and magnificence of right now!

The feeling of being absorbed in the present is wonderful. Children do it all of the time and remembering we have this skill is a fundamental building block of happiness. Read any book on how to be happy and one of the key factors will be about enjoying and being grateful for the present moment.

Here are the facts: You can’t change the past, it has gone. You can’t control the future either, as you will never have complete control of all factors involved.

What you can do is control yourself and the actions you take right now – If you think about it, the present moment is the only real moment you ever have – use it, enjoy it, live it and love it!

This doesn’t mean you should completely ignore the past or the future. Respect and learn from the past and have goals for the future. Just don’t spend all your time there. 

3. Don’t worry about failing.

216Children keep on taking action, they keep on trying until they win. It is as simple as that – Learn to walk? Keep on taking action until they win. Learn to stack building blocks? Keep on taking action until they win.

The concept of failure isn’t even in their minds – they don’t worry about looking silly, they don’t quit or concern themselves with what other people might think. They don’t care if they fall, it is just a part of the process. So they fall, they learn, they take more action…until they win!

Yet in our adult lives the fear of getting something wrong can be terrifying – So rather than take a risk, we will play it safe. We won’t take the action we need to take… instead we will take the action that is easiest to do!

That will, of course, limit us.

It will affect the quality of our lives dramatically. Take your current life as an example – Once upon a time you had a dream (maybe you still do). To achieve that dream you will have to take risks, you will have to fail lots of times and you will have to show real grit and determination to keep on pressing forward until you win.

If you are fearful of failing, then you simply won’t take the action required to win.

However, if you do take the action required everyday… Then you will experience hardship, BUT over time, you will become significantly closer to your dream. 

This is true with ANY goal… Take the required action… everyday… no matter what… and one day you will win!

Children know this. Maybe we should all be more like them?

The idea that you can formulate leadership is quite simply ridiculous

I am in the process of writing a book about leadership and, within the research, I have been blessed to have interviewed some fantastic leaders, within well known brands and companies across the UK.

These leaders have unearthed some amazing insights and observations into the art of leadership. However the most powerful thing I learnt while conducting these interviews is:  Never ask a leader what leadership is.

I discovered that when I  asked this question, almost every leader jumped to a generic answer.

“Set a compelling vision”, “Lead by example”, “Be inspirational” are some of the answers you will get if you ask a leader what makes great leadership.

63b737bebb922844d37a5b3a99751f5fConversely, when you ask about their memories of the best leader they ever had, a completely different set of answers emerge. You see, they start thinking like a follower and because of that their answers then link directly and deeply into their core values and to the type of leader they aspire to be.

It’s the same for us all, rather than thinking leadership is a formula. Instead think about the best leader you have ever had and why you decided to follow them. This is the key to you becoming the best leader you can ever be, because the reason you followed was intrinsically meshed with your values and beliefs. 

Your values and beliefs are the reason why others will follow you.

The fundamental truth is, there is no formula for leadership. If there was, it would be common knowledge by now and we would all have cracked it.

All we can ever do is be the best version of ourselves. The best version of you is the best leader you will ever become.

The idea that you can formulate leadership is quite simply ridiculous. Examine the greatest leaders in history. They all did different things, acted in different ways and communicated uniquely. The only thing they have in common is authenticity. They stuck by their values and beliefs… and people followed.

values_beliefsThe fascinating thing that we tend to forget, is that to be a leader you need followers… not employees… followers. People will only follow if they choose too. People will follow you if they connect in an authentic and compelling way to you. It cannot be forced. 

You know this to be true because you have been a follower at least once in your life. And when you followed you did it because you believed in that person, not because you were told to.

Therefore, if you want to be a great leader, all you have to do is become the best version of yourself… and when people decide to follow, you become a leader.

Don’t follow a formula. Instead ask why you decided to follow. If you can understand why you followed, then you will have the key to unlocking your leadership potential.

If you want to learn more about reaching your leadership potential Click here.

Be Phenomenal

I believe that life is about reaching for your full potential and becoming the best version of you. You have the power to achieve amazing things, however your choices  determine what you achieve. Choose to be phenomenal!

This is a short video that shares why I know you can reach greatness:

Ego is The Mortal Wound in Your Leadership

We have all, at some point in our lives, had the unfortunate experience of working with a boss who has a big ego. About five years ago I worked on a project with a chief operating officer of a global company and she was totally in love with her ego.

She consistently told me how great she was. I remember the stories now, ranging from her exceptional performance at school, to becoming a ‘big player’ in the business world. According to her, she had done it all… perfectly… every time.

The thing is, she is not the only one… If we are honest, finding a manager or leader with a big ego is not a rare occurrence. In fact you can probably think of a leader in your life who has a massive ego. Or even worse… maybe, just maybe, someone reading this would think of you?

“Our ego hinders our ability to influence more than anything else under our control. Ego is the biggest reason leaders fail.”

Michael McKinney

When a leader’s ego grows to the point were they believe they always have the right answer… a leader will fail.

When a leader’s opinion matters more than their follower’s opinions… a leader will fail.

When a leader stops listening and stop learning… a leader will fail.

When a leader surrounds themselves with people who continually confirm and conform to their will and pander to their self-worth… a leader will fail.

Ego is the mortal wound of leadership. It distracts you from the foundational truth of leadership… The best leaders in the world, bring out the best in other people.

How can we ensure our ego doesn’t get in the way of being a great leader?

Ego isn’t a real thing. It is just an idea. An idea of who we think we are and who we believe we are.

This idea tells us:

“Who I am is what I have.”
“Who I am is what I have done.”
“Who I am is what other people think of me.”
“Who I am is how much stuff I own and how much that stuff is worth.”

An ego, in the simplest of terms, believes that it is separate from everything else and in competition with everything else.

As leaders we need to be aware of our own ego and evolve it, so we become great leaders that serve our followers.

The three levels of ego evolution

Dr. Wayne Dyre, explained that there are three stages of ego evolution in adulthood and I think these have clear links to leadership.

The Athletic.

23119634This is based on “What you look like, is what you are”. It is simply a narcissistic view on life. It is about looking good, rather than doing good.

You will see this in leaders that will attempt to take the credit for other peoples’ ideas and work, in order for them to be seen in a positive light. You will hear these type of leaders continually discredit other people too. This is to make others look bad, in order to elevate their own status.

It is clear that possessing this type of ego will detrimentally effect your leadership. It will erode trust, loyalty, respect and authenticity. All of which, I hope you agree, are critical to leadership.

The Warrior

Guild-Wars-2-WarriorIn my experience, this is the most common version of ego you will find in leaders. This is all about being the best. It is about competing, fighting and being the number one.

In moderation, this can be beneficial to leadership. But when it grows into a self-fulfilling, ever growing and unstoppable ego, then it becomes disastrous.

Believing you are always right and surrounding yourself with only people who say you are right, is frighteningly bad leadership.

Logically, how can any one person be smarter, better and more intelligent than a whole team of people? The simple answer is they can’t. Yet with a warrior ego, a leader won’t listen to others’ opinions. They will lose engagement, value and commitment from their teams.

The Statesman

This evolves from ‘What can I get’ that you find in the first two stages, to a ‘How can I serve?’ focus.

What-is-servant-leadership-ghandi-help-others-1024x576At this stage a leader understands that they are connected to their teams and followers. Their success is the growth and development of their people.

As a servant, a leader will gain: Trust, loyalty, respect, authenticity, engagement, value and commitment from their followers.

They will also instantly tap into the collective mind-power and ideas of the whole team, which the Statesman leader, understands is far greater than their own individual intelligence.

Why does leadership fail?

An Athletic or Warrior ego is the most common reason why leaders fail.

What level of ego evolution do you live and work at?

Are you in it to look good? Are you in it to be the number one, have lots of power and make all the decisions?

Or are you in it to serve those around you? To create the environment for people to flourish and grow?

If your friends don’t push you, they limit you.

I believe that to reach our full potential and allow others to reach theirs, we need to be able to raise our standards and rise to challenges faster than ever before. To become the best version of ourselves, we need to surround ourselves with people who push us hard.

This is a short video that shares my philosophy on how why we should all be pushy friends:

How To Win Hearts And Minds

Imagine if you had the tactics to connect successfully with all of those around you. To win over their hearts and minds.

It is not as easy as it would seem. I recently worked in collaboration with a CEO of a well-know company, he was struggling with motivating and engaging his team. This gentleman was an extremely talented and intelligent person, with an academic history that most people only dream of. Yet his wider team, although they understood his goals clearly, were lethargic and disengaged.

Looking from the outside, the problem was simple. He was a logical, evidence-driven communicator. This was the style of communication he naturally preferred and therefore that is how he communicated. In effect, he won the minds of his people, but not their hearts.

I am the opposite in the the way I communicate, my natural preference is to communicate to the heart, with passion and enthusiasm.

However to be an effective leader, we need the skills to communicate in a compelling manner to both the head and heart of our followers. We need the ability to adapt our style dependant on our audience and the subject matter.

The chances are you will, like me and the CEO, have a preference on how you like to communicate. If so, then the ability to consciously identify what style to use in each situation will be invaluable in improving your leadership.

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Winning Hearts:

This is all about connecting with people emotionally and is particularly effective when:

  • Building interest on a new idea or concept
  • Gaining support for a decision that has already been made (ie launching an initiative that has been signed off)
  • Raising passions and performance on a current way of working
  • Leading a team that is struggling and low on moral

There are many ways to win hearts – my personal favourite is when the communication includes vivid descriptions, so people can visualise. Also the use of metaphors and stories is extremely powerful, as people can empathise, connect and understand in a simple and visceral manner.

Winning Minds:

This is about connecting with people in a logical, well-articulated manner, with fantastic positioning and analysis. The best times to utilise this communication style are:

  • When trying to persuade anyone of anything! At some point in the discussion a logical argument will be required.
  • Persuading a change in direction on something already decided
  • Advocating one decision over another
  • Addressing highly complex or a technical set of problems

When winning minds it is imperative that the message has been carefully constructed. Things to consider would be; describing the situation, why the subject needs attention, the common ground for all parties concerned, proof and the benefits.

Putting it together:

The truth of the matter is that most situations require communication to both hearts and minds. Imagine if you had the tactics to connect successfully with all of those around you. Hopefully this post has given you some food for thought on the tactics you can use.

What do great Leaders actually do?

Leadership is one of the most complex and commonly debated topics in the business and management world today. Everyone has an opinion on what makes leadership and everyone will defend these opinions fiercely.

The fact is, leadership is highly desirable. We all know true leadership can change businesses, industries and the world.

The problem is we can’t all agree on what makes a great leader. The best leaders in the world, any leader for that matter, are all different and that is why we find it so hard to formalise what a leader should do.

Formula for SuccessI think the reason we find it so hard to formalise leadership is because it is not about the leader. Instead it is all about followers.

Followers choose to follow… they cannot be told or forced… They choose.

A leader only becomes a leader if they have followers who have chosen to do so. Without followers, you are not a leader. This is why leadership doesn’t have strict rules or a formula.

Different followers will follow different types of leaders, so the only thing you can do, is be the best version of yourself and if followers choose to follow, then you are a leader…

 

What do followers want?

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I can only answer this question from my own point of view and I am keen to learn what YOU think, so please comment below! Here are five attributes that I believe the very best leaders display in abundance:

Purpose

The best leaders I have ever worked with had a clear personal purpose or vision of who they were and what they stood for. They communicated this purpose as often as possible. If the leader had a purpose that linked closely with my values and beliefs, then I would instantly feel a deep connection and follow this leader with my heart and soul.

Enlist

A leader I know and one I am inspired by, is brilliant at recruiting people who shared the same values and beliefs as he did. As a follower this was a fantastic experience. Being a part of a team who all had a common goal, not because they were told to, but because they wanted to created a huge amount of energy, passion and creativity. I can honestly say that a leader who surrounds themselves with the people who believe in their vision, pushed my performance and results higher than I could have imagined at the time.

Walk the talk

Simon Sinek articulated this beautifully when he described ‘The celery test’ in his book ‘Start with why’. Those leaders who walk the talk, who stand up for their values and will never compromise on those values to get a quick result. These are the type of leaders I love working for, I know they are authentic and I know they will have my back. As a follower I feel trusted, so I give all of my trust freely to them.
Trust – The best leaders I have ever followed have always ensured that I had the skills and capability to do the task in hand and then allowed me to complete that task in my own way. In simple terms they trained, coached, supported and allowed autonomy. The power of supporting people when they need skills and capability and getting out of the way of those same people to allow creativity and ownership is significant. As a follower I don’t want to feel out of my depth and unsupported, yet I also don’t want to feel as though I am being dictated to or controlled. The leaders that have found that balance, I have followed most passionately.

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Encourage and Value

A really simple idea. As a follower I like to know that I am adding value, doing a good job and my behaviours are positive. These factors, being rewarded with encouragement and praise, really boost my confidence and drive me to perform even better. However as a follower this needs to be conducted in an authentic and personal way to get the best out of me, so by that I mean it is not about incentives and bonuses… Don’t get me wrong more money and prizes were nice, but they never made me work harder or inspired me like genuine encouragement would.

Those were the five attributes that I believe the very best leaders display in abundance, what do you think should be in this list? Please comment below!