Commitment

I’m sure all of us can to relate to making decisions but then not committing to making them happen. There is a very real difference between a decision and a commitment.

I certainly have made many decisions in my life time but never followed through to making them happen. In fact making decisions is very easy. It’s just words. But making a commitment is very hard. It requires action and it often means stepping out of our comfort zone into a place where we feel very unsure of ourselves.

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Leaders listen, employees engageTeamwork

What are the most important skills that enhance leadership in these times? I absolutely believe that good communication skills are crucially important. Too often, however, we tend to think that communication is all about what we say, but listening is a very important part of good communication. From my experience, when leaders listen employees engage. They feel valued and feel that what they have to say has value for the leader and the organisation.

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We Make The Road While Walking

There has never been another time in my life where I have seen leaders so challenged from so many sides. They are being called upon to lead in the most unpredictable and uncertain times and, of course, unprecedented times.

They are having to make decisions quickly without all the facts. They have to trust their judgement and draw on their inner resources, acting courageously and without fear or favour.

While they are being advised by experts in every relevant field, there are no guarantees that the decisions they make will take us where they want to go.

They have no idea what the road ahead looks like because they can’t see very far ahead at all. They can’t see around the corner.

I recall what Paulo Freire said decades ago when we don’t know what is ahead of us: We make the road while walking. That’s what our leaders need to do in leading through this crisis.

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Create the Future

Who would try and predict the future at the moment? So why try? Why not do what the late management expert Peter Drucker said many years ago and create the future we want and desire?

Is that a fantasy dream, a pie in the sky hope? It doesn’t have to be.

From day to day our reality changes. Yet we so often think that if we can’t predict our future with some degree of certainty we are in big trouble. We are now living in a very different world and uncertainty and change are its middle names. Any future we might have lies in being able to live with those two realities, in fact embrace them and make them work FOR us not AGAINST us.

It’s all about the mindset we bring to our lives and work, whether we have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

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Control the impact of COVID-19

Controlling what we can control, and letting go of what we can’t, can make us feel we are making a difference. What we can control is what is happening in our own lives, making the practical decisions that reduce our stress and empower us.

I’ve created a checklist of decisions we all need to make and/or consider, especially if we are experiencing great stress, worry and anxiety at this present time.  They are decisions around our finances, our work, our health and well-being, our housing, our overall life-style and around our businesses if we have one.

Some of these decisions may well be difficult because they are usually the areas of our lives which we don’t want to change. They are where we are most settled and comfortable.
These are considerations that were not even on our agenda before this pandemic hit. In other words they weren’t on our agenda even 6 months ago.

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Recruit the Right People

This guest post by Jacqui Edge, recruitment consultant, follows an interview I did with her on how leaders can recruit the right people for the right positions in their organisations and why this is so important. I asked Jacqui to outline for you, my readers, a process that needs to be followed to achieve that. Jacqui highlights and develops out the 4 steps leaders need to go through. 1. Define the roles, skills and experience you need. 2. Develop a campaign to attract talent. 3. Determine the right fit for you, your business and your team. 4. Set up your team for success. And if you find that daunting, engage a recruitment consultant to help you.

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Leading through Uncertainty

Leading through uncertainty is the challenge of our times for leaders. It’s times like this that we all look to our leaders to restore certainty, to bring back equilibrium, stability and normality. We see their role as seeking out the facts, discovering the truth and taking action to make things happen. But that was before COVID-19 imposed itself upon us.

Because of the threat to many parts of our lives, especially our health, leaders have had to make decisions quickly and more often than not the information they needed to make those decisions was not there. They have had to act with the most current information and facts at hand only to discover later that there was information and facts they didn’t have at the time. If they had had them they would have made a different decision. They have then found themselves having to say something like: “In retrospect I would have made a different decision” or “In retrospect I could have handled this differently.”

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Good To Great

A significant part of my work involves helping leaders and managers develop and enhance the performance of their people. When they have a team that is engaged, committed and intrinsically motivated they can do great things together. The challenge, however, is to build such a team. The crucial first step is to recruit the right people for the right positions.

Jim Collins made a strong point of this in his classic, all time, bestseller book, “Good to Great”. While it was written in 2001, these comments he made have resonated with so many leaders ever since and have been constantly quoted. He said that the first thing great leaders do is get the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus), and then get those right people in the right seats. Those leaders together with their people, he said, will move their organisations from being good organisations to being great ones.

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From reactrive to Proactive leadership

In the unpredictable, uncertain and changing times, even before COVID-19, being proactive was a most significant and important skill for all of us, especially for leaders. I’ve always called on people to be proactive. I’ve always believed it was a matter of mindset. By changing your thoughts you could change your behaviour. It was a shift that was possible if you developed some self-awareness of what was happening within you. You could see the considerable benefits of being proactive as compared with being reactive.

Yet here we are now caught in this unprecedented reality of the COVID-19 pandemic that I feel challenges those beliefs.

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Networking

Networking, for me,  is first and foremost about making connections and building relationships with people – the more high quality and targeted to my work the better. It’s about staying connected to these people over the long term developing a mutually supportive relationship where I can get to know, like and trust them, and they me. I believe that what happens, as I authentically engage in doing that, is that we begin to build our personal brand, our profile and our reputation.

No amount of money can buy those three things. We have to earn them and networking is one of the most effective ways of doing that. Only then will we be ready to do business together, refer clients to one another and work on joint projects together. Networking is as much about what we can give as what we can get.

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