How united leadership builds high performing teams

united-leadershipSince joining BRS earlier this year I’ve been working with some fantastic senior leadership teams who are really driving high performance initiatives throughout their organisations.  A common theme throughout these teams has been their commitment to united leadership including the coming together to work through challenges, drive alignment on key messages and the commitment to developing close working relationships with each other based on trust and mutual respect.

Each of these teams has shown a willingness to challenge, debate and then align on strategies, plans and actions – including what needs to be communicated and how – in order to effectively convey a united approach across their organisations.  Most begin with a deep and shared commitment of the purpose, principles and objectives most commonly expressed as a vision statement, objectives, principles or a charter.   The value of these tools extends beyond the visual representation and lies in the leadership team’s ability to align, understand and communicate their importance across the organisation.   I’ve also noticed a real willingness to challenge and shift views based on the inputs, feedback and perspectives of other team members.  This ability to actively align and openly debate comes more naturally to some leadership teams than others. It’s definitely more prevalent in teams with high levels of trust where people have taken time to build relationships through open and upfront conversations. Continue reading

It doesn’t have to be a trade off

trade-offOne of the things I observe in life is the inherent belief that there is automatically a trade-off when there are two stakeholder groups at play.

In employer/employee relationships there is often a belief that if one party succeeds the other suffers.  In other words if the company makes a profit, it’s at the expense of the employees, and vice versa.

People often argue that if we spend more on services we will get a better outcome, and likewise if we spend less, we will get a worse outcome.  Why can’t we spend less and achieve better outcomes? Continue reading

Don’t wait for someone to select you, select yourself

select-yourselfPeople often make excuses or act like victims when they don’t get the opportunities they want. Whether this opportunity is the ability to work on a challenging project, get promoted or simply learn, too often we find people blaming their peers or boss for a missed opportunity.

This victimisation occurs in all areas of life particularly in sporting environments where players get upset when a coach doesn’t select them in the team.  Whilst some react to their missed selection well, others perceive that the coach has treated them harshly rather than reviewing their own inputs, work ethic and gaps in the game. Continue reading

Key tips to turning your life around

100747469-turn-around-sign-gettyp-2_600x400I am very fortunate to be able to coach people in my role as a Consultant.  It is a privilege to be able assist people in fulfilling their dreams and reaching their potential.

Sometimes I feel guilty that I don’t always practice what I preach.  Whilst much of what I have learnt as a coach comes from my own personal struggles and triumphs, a great deal has come from research and the observation of other successful and fulfilled people.   As a coach it is common for someone to not necessarily be an expert at performing the skills they are teaching, although they are always working hard at the fundamentals of it.

I have recently realised there are a number of common areas that come up in a majority of coaching conversations when someone is trying to shift their thinking. Most of these relate to personal resilience which I have found to be the most important aspect of coaching. These include: Continue reading

It’s not your people that are the problem, it’s your system

people not problem, it's your systems gPeople often refer to culture as the only element driving performance in people.  Ultimately this is true although there is a bigger picture to look at. In my opinion it is the system that drives performance, including the people you recruit as part of this system.

It’s important to recognise that leaders have a number of roles to play.  In the traditional context of leadership and culture they act as role models for behaviour in terms of demonstrating what is and is not acceptable. This aspect of leadership attracts the greatest attention as it is the most personal element of leadership that we easily connect with.  However, there are many effective leaders who are not always the most inspiring people.  Importance lies with a leaders behaviour as they build trust with their staff, investors, and customers through their character, competence, and their response to threat. Continue reading

Living life with a ‘White Line Fever’

white line feverWhite line fever; a term commonly used amongst athletes. It’s the passion, the preparation, the adrenaline of a particular moment and how it can consume you. It’s that moment when an athlete hits the court and their mind is subconsciously present in performing to the best of their ability. It’s being present in that very moment, focused with a tunnel vision for the task at hand.

From a young age I have struggled with the ability to accept and respect my white line fever in a sporting match. Something overcomes me on court, the adrenaline, the passion and the hunger to do well for my team and for that very moment I am purely focused on the task at hand. My passion and excitement for a game can too often be associated with aggression, and an unnecessary amount of energy and effort. Whilst these negative perceptions of white line fever are considered the norm, there is another more positive side. Continue reading

You can’t force people to be high performing: they need to be connected with their own inner ‘why’

connecting to purposeHigh Performance has become the latest buzz word in management circles. I see this word used a lot however I question whether you can force high performance on a team.

What if people’s hearts aren’t in it and for them it’s just a job?  If they are not passionate can you really create a high performing environment? Continue reading

Moving Through Fear – 3 Steps to Using Fear as your Fuel

moving through fearSome people say we need to be fearless, or that fear isn’t real. I absolutely believe fear is real. We feel it. It impacts our behaviour and can cause paralysis, stopping us in our tracks, regardless of how ambitious or determined we may be. Fear turns up to keep us safe and while it may be inconvenient at times, it’s our reminder to ourselves that we’re playing outside of our comfort zone. And what happens when we play outside of our comfort zone? We grow.

Instead of letting fear control us, we can re-frame fear and use it as our source of motivation. Our mindset is one of our most powerful tools. When fear shows up instead of letting it get in the way of where you want to be, ask yourself, “What if I had no fear”? It’s an interesting and powerful question. What if you had no fear? I’m not suggesting you should become a fearless robot who doesn’t feel, my point is that yes there will be times in our life when we feel fear, but instead of letting it consume us, we can choose to feel the fear, but take action anyway. Continue reading

Managing Expectations – is it ever too late to do so?

Managing ExpectationsWe all know that sometimes living up to others expectations isn’t exactly easy. All too frequently we hear “It’s always been this way and it’s too late to say anything now” or “I just don’t know what they expect of me” (despite the fact that you’ve worked with the person for three years). So should you continue to bury your head in the sand and suffer whilst trying to reach some unclear expectations that may be correct or assumed (or that may in fact be self-inflicted)? Continue reading

The Importance of Speed in Decision Making

speed of decision makingHaving spent the last two years working on a large infrastructure project being delivered through an alliancing model, I am a little disappointed in myself for only just ‘clicking’ on one of the great advantages to this approach. An Alliance is subject to the corporate processes and procedures of a number of organisations meaning that the Alliance itself can pick and choose which processes to follow, eliminate those that are not efficient and/or appropriate, alter others to suit their needs and get on with the business of producing a fantastic outcome. Continue reading