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

No Triangle Rule

triangleI recently read a fantastic blog from Rachael Robertson who is an Antarctica explorer discussing the difference between harmony and respect in your team.

The blog is an excellent read on a number of counts. The overall theme around looking for and building respect in your team where everyone plays their role, delivers outcomes and challenges each other is strong in comparison to the alternative of having artificial harmony and Pleasantville that does not benefit anyone including the individuals. Given that the context of this is around a nine month expedition to Antarctica with 19 team members, it really brings home the importance of setting expectations around how the team operates effectively together. Continue reading

What the four constructive styles mean to a leadership team?

constructiveAt BRS we are passionate about Human Synergistics.  It is a life changing model and we have a strong belief that organisations who live the constructive styles will achieve long term sustainability better than those who don’t.  Having a constructive culture doesn’t guarantee success but in our view it does improve your changes.

When I coach leadership teams people often seek to understand on a more practical level as to what this means. In simple the four constructive styles focus on: Continue reading

Trusting your Values

valuesEach day many of us take risks and develop certain opinions or behaviours whilst being unaware of the internal drivers that these decisions are forming from. Defining the distinct reason that drives our ability to make a decision is not known to the untrained eye, though we settle for the understanding that it just ‘feels right’.

When we are confronted with unfamiliar or hostile environments many of us fall into the trap of blurring the lines of what really is the ‘right thing’ to do to ensure we live by our values. We begin to doubt ourselves and our perceptions of the ethical standards in our surroundings. Continue reading

Thinking like an elite athlete

curryjames-NBAOver the past 12 months I have been working with a number of people from a sporting background teaching me a great deal about an element of leadership not learnt in the professional work environment.

A key learning from this experience is understanding that great leaders don’t tie their sense of self-worth to the results they achieve. They are humble when they win and persistent when they lose.  After winning they recognise they are potentially only one game away from losing, and likewise when they lose they recognise that with hard work and persistence they have the ability to turn their performances around.

Elite thinkers place a high level of importance on getting their Continue reading