Monday, 11 May 2015

Engaging as a Leader

The speed, shape and size of change in business today means that how organisations survive and thrive requires a completely different set of rules. If economists are to be believed, we are (slowly) emerging from the sharpest economic downturn since the Second World War, however, employees are less engaged; competitive pressure is intense and budgets remain tight. So against that backdrop, how do leaders engage, ignite and drive their talent to consistently achieve, exceed, transform and excel? I see amongst my clients some common themes. Namely:
  • A relentless scrutiny of what is working well. It’s all too easy to focus on what’s failing. Problem solving makes sense when everything else is nearly flawless. However, it fails in times of change and when we have a range of challenges or problems across the board. Who’s still succeeding? Who continually exceeds expectations, despite facing the same issues as everyone else? How they do it? And what they do? These questions are all pursued with unending curiosity so that success can be replicated, magnified and extended across the business to where performance is lower.
  • Modelling the right mindset. As leaders, if we operate from a mindset of scarcity, in other words, we believe that resources are limited (which at one level is true with budget cuts etc.), it quickly engenders a bunker mentality. In addition, we fall back on a reliance on winning by purely cutting our prices plus negativity, defeatism and a lack of energy and pace all become the norm.
  • If, however, leaders operate from a mindset of abundance, then things appear very different. An abundance mentality is simply choosing to believe that we have available whatever we need to succeed; and our challenge is to work out how to get what we need, then the results can be transformative. 
This isn’t ‘woo woo’ thinking based on a simplistic ‘positive mental attitude’. It is the behaviour of leaders who continually engage, motivate and drive their talent to succeed.

It also works for entrepreneurs too. On May 9th, I celebrated 10 years of running my own business and from personal experience – and without the protection of a large corporate behind me, I can honestly say that the approaches I’ve described simply work. Fact.

Here’s to the next ten years…….