Qualities of Highly Successful People

Qualities of Highly Successful People

Success is something that all of us wish to attain. But if it were so easy, everyone who wanted it would have it – it’s relative elusiveness is what makes it special. It’s exclusive to a handful of people who did extraordinary things in their lives to get them to where they are today. And it wasn’t because they were lucky or because it was just handed to them. Being successful is all about how badly you want it and how much you’re willing to work for it – it’s about the qualities you possess to help get you there. Do you have what it takes? The best way to figure that out is to look at the traits of highly successful people and see how you can begin adapting them into your life so that you can eventually end up just like them. Remember success means different things to different people – what does it mean to you?
 

They have a purpose

Clarity of purpose and direction is one of the keys to become a successful person. Successful people clarify their purpose and direction. They figure out what they are meant to do in this life. They build their goals on this purpose. They visualize themselves achieving their goals. They keep their purpose in mind when they encounter problems and setback as they work on their goals. They clarify their personal values. They use their values as guides to decision making in ambiguous situations. They are tenacious, persistent and passionate about achieving their goals and realizing their purpose.
 

Are Incredibly Curious and Eager to Learn

Most people are stubborn; they don’t like to learn or explore new things and are very narrow-minded. Successful people are the complete opposite. They are very open-minded and are always studying something new, learning and constantly asking questions so that they can find out more information.

They know that knowledge is the backbone of success and they are hungry for more information because the more they know the easier it makes it for them. They apply or take advantage of what they learn in life. Successful people want to learn everything about everything!
 

Work On Themselves

Peasants are stagnant, they never grow and they get very comfortable with where their life is. The truly successful people are the ones that are always working on themselves and their lives. They are working on their personality, leadership skills, management skills, as well as every other detail of life. Successful people don’t tolerate flaws; they fix them.
 

Are Extraordinarily Creative

There are those who just accept everything in life and don’t like change and then there are successful people who like to question the status quo and change things that are too consistent. They go around asking, “Why not?” They see new possibilities and opportunities where others see problems. They wake up in the middle of the night yelling, “I’ve got it!” Successful people create stuff and innovate things. They are the ones that change the world.
 

Self-Reliant and Take Responsibility

Many people will find things to shift blame towards or find excuses as to why they are not successful so that they can make themselves feel better about the situation. All they are doing is giving themselves bullshit reasons. Incredibly successful people don’t worry about blame, and they don’t waste time complaining. They make decisions and move on. Extremely successful people take the initiative and accept the responsibilities of success.
 

Live in The Present Moment

They know that “now” is the only time they can control. Successful people don’t waste time; they use it! They understand that the past is the past and they have learned from it. The future is what will happen when they are exceling in their present.

They are always focused on the current moment and don’t get lost in the game of time. They “look over the horizon” to see the future. Extremely successful people live in the present, with one eye on the future!
 

Never Quit

Most people in today’s world will walk away from something because they find it too hard, whereas successful people love challenges. They understand that if it were easy, they wouldn’t want it and sacrifice it all to defeat the challenge at hand. They would rather die than quit at what they are doing. Their goal is to be the best always and to be on top because that is where their ambition and passion lies.

 

About Sonia McDonald

Sonia McDonaldSonia McDonald, CEO and Founder of LeadershipHQ, is an Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Leadership Coach and Author of Leadership Attitude (now on BOOKTOPIA!). She was recently named in the Top 250 Influential Women Leaders across the Globe. Sonia is one of Australia’s Leading Executive Coaches. She has over 25 years’ human resource management, leadership and organisational development experience. She has held senior leadership roles in organisational development, learning and development, human resources and talent management fields across the globe. She is also an inspirational and dynamic leadership and neuroscience keynote speaker.

POWER SESSION OFFER ONLY $95

Due to an overwhelming response to my last Power Sessions I have decided to run more! The focus of these new Power Sessions will be LEADERSHIP brand, how to make yourself shine and how to put yourself out there. Book now!

JOIN OUR FREE SMS LEADERSHIP TOOL! #ATTITUDE

We want to create a world of Great Leaders and that is why this FREE SMS Leadership Tool has been designed for YOU. We would love your feedback on our New SMS Tool – sign up today by sending a SMS #attitude to 0429 398 095 (Australia) and we will make you ROCK as a Leader. Remember #attitude to 0429 398 095

Connect with Sonia at:
[email protected]
www.soniamcdonald.com.au
www.leadershiphq.com.au
Phone: 1300 917 665

5 Tips To Boost Your Productivity

5 Tips To Boost Your Productivity

Friday rolls around quite quickly when you are busy but there is a difference between being busy and being productive. Holding a leadership position is difficult enough, but if you fail to dot the I’s and cross the T’s, then it becomes even more challenging.

Neuroscience has shown us a lot about how the brain works and why some of the traditional productivity boosting tips work better than others. Let’s take a look at 5 tips which work and start to understand why.
 

1. Make a list

At the start of the week or at the end of the previous week (schedule permitting) you need to sit down and make a to-do list. Don’t kid yourself that you will remember all the things that you need to do because that just takes up more of your time. If it is your intention to enable your team or organisation to be the best it can be, then being organised is the best way to achieve it. A list will allow you also to prioritise your responsibilities more effectively.

Why does it work? The conscious mind can only cope with remembering a few items at a time. Add in a new task to remember and an old one slips out of your head. Your subconscious mind will keep niggling away underneath, trying to keep you on track. By writing everything down, you ease the pressure on yourself and your mind can relax.
 

2. Reduce distractions

There are many disruptions during the span of a day that can take your focus off what you are meant to be doing. So if you are working on a project which needs all of your focus, then do just that. Shut your door. Switch off Facebook. Close down your email. Reward yourself with the necessary time to do the best job possible. Your emails will still be there when you are done.
Why does it work? When you try to focus on just one thing, your brain produces a chemical called noradrenaline, which helps you concentrate on the task at hand. In effect, your focus is turbo charged!
 

3. Say no

This can be a big issue for many leaders. You maybe want to please those colleagues above and below and have a tendency to say yes to whatever appears on your desk. But sometimes that can be to your personal detriment, not to mention increase those stress levels. If you are having a particularly busy week or are behind in your projects, then allow yourself to say no in order to give you time to at least catch up or complete a task. Rushing through your day will benefit no one.

Why does it work? It frees your mind to concentrate on the things which are really important. It eases pressure on you which in turn, boosts your ability to be productive.
 

4. Reduce meeting time

Much of a leader’s time is taken up in meetings and many of them are unnecessary or go on for too long. Don’t be afraid to specify a time limit to your meetings so you can get your work done – you can probably find you can halve the time and make them more productive if everyone understands you are time limited to begin with. Or if a meeting can be summed up in an email, get someone to attend on your behalf. You can’t be everywhere or do everything at once, again prioritisation is important.
Why does it work? The brain has an incredible ability to focus when a task must be done within a specific time frame.
 

5. Just do it

Negativity can slow down a task – it may never be as good as you want it to be, or perhaps it could do with some finishing touches. Shut out that negative talk and march on boldly doing the best you can. Negativity is generally followed closely by procrastination which can put a whole damper on a week’s worth of productivity. If you need a second opinion, certainly ask for one, but don’t spend too much time overthinking your tasks unnecessarily.

Why does it work? Taking a physical action is enough to shock the brain out of the mental loop it may be stuck in as it assesses both sides of the argument.

So when Friday rolls around again, this time analyse your performance. If you have applied any of these 5 tips, assess your success and how you feel about it. Remember that, as leader, you are the role model for your team. If you can find a way to boost your own productivity, you’ll find the way to help your team members boost theirs.

If you are looking for even more ways to increase productivity in your organisation get in touch today!
 

About Sonia McDonald

Sonia McDonaldSonia McDonald, CEO and Founder of LeadershipHQ, is an Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Leadership Coach and Author of Leadership Attitude (now on BOOKTOPIA!). She was recently named in the Top 250 Influential Women Leaders across the Globe. Sonia is one of Australia’s Leading Executive Coaches. She has over 25 years’ human resource management, leadership and organisational development experience. She has held senior leadership roles in organisational development, learning and development, human resources and talent management fields across the globe. She is also an inspirational and dynamic leadership and neuroscience keynote speaker.

POWER SESSION OFFER ONLY $95

Due to an overwhelming response to my last Power Sessions I have decided to run more! The focus of these new Power Sessions will be LEADERSHIP brand, how to make yourself shine and how to put yourself out there. Book now!

JOIN OUR FREE SMS LEADERSHIP TOOL! #ATTITUDE

We want to create a world of Great Leaders and that is why this FREE SMS Leadership Tool has been designed for YOU. We would love your feedback on our New SMS Tool – sign up today by sending a SMS #attitude to 0429 398 095 (Australia) and we will make you ROCK as a Leader. Remember #attitude to 0429 398 095

Connect with Sonia at:
[email protected]
www.soniamcdonald.com.au
www.leadershiphq.com.au
Phone: 1300 917 665

Be the Best you can be!

Be the Best you can be!

One of the key components of being a successful leader is knowing when to seek out additional resources to be a better leader. The realisation that one person can’t do it all is a major step in developing personal strength, and for leaders, this means investing the time and trust in a leadership coach to advance personal development.

Looking outside the box to a leadership coach gives a manager the opportunity to reflect and analyse their leadership style and actions with a critical eye, all the while using their discoveries to make even better choices in the future. With a clear goal of self-improvement in mind, each step of the coaching process can bring insight and new avenues of productivity simply by building on the lessons previously learned as well as true self-awareness.
 

The Leadership Coaching Process

The first step in the coaching process is a careful review of the significant decisions and leadership actions taken in the recent past, looking for elements that not only went well, but those that didn’t work as expected. By identifying these opportunities, a leadership coach can garner a better grasp of the manager’s style within their working environment, using real examples and studies on which to base an analysis of leadership style. It’s all about self-awareness. Gaining an understanding of who YOU are as a leader. Your values, purpose, beliefs, experiences, strengths and philosophy. This drives behaviour and decision making.

The next step is to critically breakdown the actions that led to these decisions, looking for repeatable correlations and how they might better be addressed when a similar situation arises in the future. Though each instance of decision making is uniquely different, the core elements feeding into a decision will remain somewhat constant. By understanding how a situation played out in the past, adjustments and corrections can be made in the future.

Lastly, the leadership coaching process puts in place a series of actionable items from which a leader can draw from depending on the situation. By moving in a positive direction by learning from past choices, a manager builds their knowledge base and by default improves their qualities. A team is only as strong as the weakest link, yet by striving to constantly improve and gain knowledge from the decisions of the past, a team leader finds strength in confidence. The decisions become simpler to make, with a growing retinue of experience to draw from.

Retaining the services of a leadership coach helps to develop a deeper understanding of leadership style, all the while strengthening the foundation of the team – one decision at a time. Learn more about how LeadershipHQ can support you in becoming the Leader you want to be! It will be the best decision you have made this year! Get in contact today!

 

 

About Sonia McDonald

Sonia McDonaldSonia McDonald, CEO and Founder of LeadershipHQ, is an Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Leadership Coach and Author of Leadership Attitude (now on BOOKTOPIA!). She was recently named in the Top 250 Influential Women Leaders across the Globe. Sonia is one of Australia’s Leading Executive Coaches. She has over 25 years’ human resource management, leadership and organisational development experience. She has held senior leadership roles in organisational development, learning and development, human resources and talent management fields across the globe. She is also an inspirational and dynamic leadership and neuroscience keynote speaker.

POWER SESSION OFFER ONLY $95

Due to an overwhelming response to my last Power Sessions I have decided to run more! The focus of these new Power Sessions will be LEADERSHIP brand, how to make yourself shine and how to put yourself out there. Book now!

JOIN OUR FREE SMS LEADERSHIP TOOL! #ATTITUDE

We want to create a world of Great Leaders and that is why this FREE SMS Leadership Tool has been designed for YOU. We would love your feedback on our New SMS Tool – sign up today by sending a SMS #attitude to 0429 398 095 (Australia) and we will make you ROCK as a Leader. Remember #attitude to 0429 398 095

Connect with Sonia at:
[email protected]
www.soniamcdonald.com.au
www.leadershiphq.com.au
Phone: 1300 917 665

Darth Vader of Leadership

Darth Vader of Leadership

Or Why You Should Take Lessons in Leading from the Dark Lord of the Sith this Star Wars Day

 

If you are wondering who the Dark Lord of the Sith is then you have probably never seen any of the Star Wars films. And since that is not illegal (yet), you need to know that the aim of this post is to give you some insight into the skills and qualities of one of the best leaders in the world of fiction – Darth Vader. While it’s difficult to see him as anything other than a fiend, he did have a good side. Read on to see why Vader was a leadership rock-star and what we can learn from him.

Mentors

Vader had great training and qualifications relevant for his leadership role. To put it simply, he learnt from the best. In the process of becoming Darth Vader, he had sought out a variety of influential and powerful mentors who themselves were respected leaders. He backed up his natural leadership qualities with an extensive base of knowledge and experience.

Performance management

“You may dispense with the pleasantries, commander. I am here to put you back on schedule”
Although being usually perceived as the ultimate villain, it needs to be said that Darth Vader was stern but fair. The main virtue he sought in the members of his team was the ability to contribute to the ongoing projects and to always keep a level of high-quality work. Indeed, he did censure those who were not performing well, but he also praised and rewarded those who excelled. In this sense, Lord Vader had a perfect grasp on team management and constantly monitored and evaluated the performance of those around him, taking the necessary measures to improve team work when necessary.

Vision

Join me, and together, we can rule the galaxy as father and son!
One of the reasons why Darth Vader was performing well (after all, within in about 20 years he built an enormous space station with the power to destroy a whole planet), was that he was extremely focused and knew his priorities. He also knew how to communicate his vision to others, and motivate them to join him.

Team Focus

Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate them.
Darth Vader understood that has could not work solo, but needed the support of a team. He constantly assessed the skills and abilities of his team members, intending to build the strongest and most powerful team possible.

Rest and Recovery

No leader works 24/7 without a minute for themselves, not even Darth Vader. When he was sure that everything is under control, Vader usually retreated to his chambers where he relaxed, meditated, re-charged and took some time to clear his mind and give rest to his body. Being a former Jedi Knight and a current Sith Lord (both of which were based on martial arts and the philosophy of Asian spirituality), Darth Vader knew only too well that to be productive and efficient, he needed to restore his organism after a hard day at work. He took care of himself so he could produce the best results possible.

As you can see, Darth Vader is a perfect example of the successful leader with some distinctly ‘winning’ qualities. A great team manager, Vader knew how to establish mutual respect between those involved in the ‘organisation.’ He was a great team manager and a hard worker. His tactics might have been a little ‘dodgy’ but there is no doubt that his purpose was sound. For all these reasons we count the Dark Lord of the Sith high in our list of leaders we can pear from– as long as these do not include building Death Stars or blowing up planets.

 

About Sonia McDonald

Sonia McDonaldSonia McDonald, CEO and Founder of LeadershipHQ, is an Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Leadership Coach and Author of Leadership Attitude (now on BOOKTOPIA!). She was recently named in the Top 250 Influential Women Leaders across the Globe. Sonia is one of Australia’s Leading Executive Coaches. She has over 25 years’ human resource management, leadership and organisational development experience. She has held senior leadership roles in organisational development, learning and development, human resources and talent management fields across the globe. She is also an inspirational and dynamic leadership and neuroscience keynote speaker.

POWER SESSION OFFER ONLY $95

Due to an overwhelming response to my last Power Session I have decided to run more sessions! The focus of these new Power Sessions will be LEADERSHIP brand, how to make yourself shine and how to put yourself out there. Book now!

JOIN OUR FREE SMS LEADERSHIP TOOL! #ATTITUDE

We want to create a world of Great Leaders and that is why this FREE SMS Leadership Tool has been designed for YOU. We would love your feedback on our New SMS Tool – sign up today by sending a SMS #attitude to 0429 398 095 (Australia) and we will make you ROCK as a Leader. Remember #attitude to 0429 398 095

Connect with Sonia at:
[email protected]
www.soniamcdonald.com.au
www.leadershiphq.com.au
Phone: 1300 917 665

What Makes an Inspiring Leader

What Makes an Inspiring Leader

It’s so much easier to achieve our goals, in both our personal and professional life, when we are able to inspire others to help us. Being a leader that is able to motivate and encourage others is not something that happens accidentally. There are key traits which most inspiring leaders share. Cultivating these traits will help you to improve your leadership skills so that you can bring out the best in yourself and others.

Look Towards the Future

Inspiring leaders are known for their ability to “think ahead of the curve.” They are constantly on the lookout for signs of the latest trends before they develop, and always looking ahead to the future. They are open to change and aren’t afraid to try new ways of doing things. This increases their levels of creativity and innovation, which are critical in a competitive world. Thinking ahead also helps them to anticipate and resolve issues before they develop into full blown problems.

Work on Self Improvement

The leaders that inspire us the most are those that excel in their field and have extensive general knowledge on many wide ranging topics and subjects. They are never satisfied with “the way things are,” but are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve things for themselves and those around them. Whether it’s reading online journals and listening to podcasts, attending seminars and continuing education classes or even taking the time to develop a new hobby or skills, leaders are constantly consuming information and looking for ways to grow and excel on a personal level.

Polish Your People Skills

Effective leaders are able to best inspire and motivate us when they understand who we are as people, and use this knowledge to bring out the best in us. They do this by taking the time to get to know us and develop an authentic relationship with us that creates mutual trust, understanding and respect. The more that you can develop your sensitivity to the emotions of others, and understand how emotions motivate others, the more able you will be to harness the talents and skills of others.

Take Risks

Inspiring leaders create an environment where it’s safe for themselves and others to take risks. They give others the confidence to try out new ideas and new ways of doing things and look at mistakes and failures as opportunities to learn and improve.

Make Health and Wellbeing a Priority

Inspiring leaders understand that before they can help others bring out their best, they first must take care of their own essential needs. They adopt healthy lifestyles that ensure that they get adequate sleep and nutrition, as well as take steps to reduce the stress in their lives so that they have the strength and energy that they need to be able to give their best effort each day. These leaders also take steps to promote greater health and wellbeing in those around them, so that everyone has the ability to perform and create at their highest level. Of course, there are other traits that effective and inspiring leaders share in common, but these five are some of the most critical to growing as a person and reaching your goals.

Do you have what it takes to be an inspiring leader? Why not get in touch and find out more about our Leadership Coaching program and how it can make you a happier and more inspiring leader?

 

About Sonia McDonald

Sonia McDonaldSonia McDonald, CEO and Founder of LeadershipHQ, is an Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Leadership Coach and Author of Leadership Attitude (now on BOOKTOPIA!). She was recently named in the Top 250 Influential Women Leaders across the Globe. Sonia is one of Australia’s Leading Executive Coaches. She has over 25 years’ human resource management, leadership and organisational development experience. She has held senior leadership roles in organisational development, learning and development, human resources and talent management fields across the globe. She is also an inspirational and dynamic leadership and neuroscience keynote speaker.

POWER SESSION OFFER ONLY $25

Book in now for our POWER session! This very exclusive offer ends on Friday (5th May)! I have decided to offer this at only $25 to give everyone the opportunity to see what it can do for you. I am Sonia McDonald a leader in coaching CEO’s, Entrepreneurs, Executives and Emerging Leaders – and I help make them rock! Do not miss this opportunity and join the many people who make me proud to have made a difference to their lives. Do not hesitate and book now!

JOIN OUR FREE SMS LEADERSHIP TOOL! #ATTITUDE

We want to create a world of Great Leaders and that is why this FREE SMS Leadership Tool has been designed for YOU. We would love your feedback on our New SMS Tool – sign up today by sending a SMS #attitude to 0429 398 095 (Australia) and we will make you ROCK as a Leader. Remember #attitude to 0429 398 095

Connect with Sonia at:
[email protected]
www.soniamcdonald.com.au
www.leadershiphq.com.au
Phone: 1300 917 665

Leadership Strategy and Why Your Organisation Needs One

Leadership Strategy and Why Your Organisation Needs One

Great leaders know that planning is an indispensable process that can improve their organisation’s growth and sustainability. This is why many companies devote so much time and resources to developing plans for every major component of their business.

Your business plans shouldn’t end with corporate budgets, sales projections, hiring policies and marketing practices. According to research conducted by Development Dimensions International (DDI) and reported in their Global Leadership Forecast 2014|2015 over 14,000 business leaders and HR professionals were surveyed and fewer than 15% reported that there companies have a “strong bench” of candidates to fill leadership roles in their organisation.

The same research found that the number one challenge facing leaders today is learning how to attract, recruit, develop and retain top people as well as inspiring them to become and remain engaged in the workplace. To overcome this obstacle, the study found that a greater focus is needed to develop and “improve leadership development programs, enhance the effectiveness of senior management teams, improve the effectiveness of frontline supervisors and managers, and improve succession planning.”

Based on these statistics, it’s readily apparent that developing an effective leadership strategy is just as critical to your company’s performance and long term success as any other business plan!
 

Building Your Leadership Pipeline

At some point, the current leaders of your company will leave. While some will retire, others will move on to new opportunities so you must take steps to plan for the succession of leaders at every level of your organisation. As a driver of change in your company, it’s imperative that you create a leadership strategy that will increase the depth and diversity of your pool of potential leaders. To be effective, your leadership strategy should include, at a bare minimum, a plan to identify individuals with leadership potential.

Today’s workforce needs leaders that can facilitate trust, co-operation, collaboration and creativity. So, when your organisation begins its search for leadership candidates, as much attention should be given to individual personality traits as is given to individual skillsets, experience and background. An emphasis should also be placed on finding candidates with high degrees of emotional and social intelligence as well as integrity and creativity.

Once candidates are identified for potential leadership roles, you can strengthen their skill development by providing additional training, and offering new assignments of increasing responsibility. As each candidate grows in their ability, your organisation can prepare them for greater leadership roles by pairing them with mentors and coaches.

Mentors and coaches are a cornerstone of any effective leadership development strategy because they are invaluable to leaders at all stages of their career. These specialists help leaders by offering practical advice and guidance that help leaders to acquire the traits and skills that they need while also challenging leaders to continue to push towards excellence in multiple areas.

In addition to providing opportunities to identify a greater number of individuals with leadership potential, an effective leadership strategy will include plans to increase the diversity of both your workforce and the individuals that lead them. Your leadership strategy should include a plan for auditing your company processes to identify and eliminate areas of gender and ethnic bias that might hold back potential leaders is imperative to increase fairness and balance in your organisation.

You can encourage leadership diversity by seeking to eliminate practices and policies that “hide” potential leaders due to the lack of visibility in specific roles, cut potential leaders out of the loop of communication channels, or that create unfair conflicts in work/life balance that might be resolved with greater flexibility in scheduling and commitments.

How deep is your organisation’s bench? Do you have all the people that you need to fill key “linchpin” roles in your company? Do your current leaders have what it takes to be effective in their current as well as future roles and move from “good enough” to great? If your answer is “no,” or “not quite,” why not get in touch today, and let us help you improve your leadership strategy?
 
 

About Sonia McDonald

Sonia McDonaldSonia McDonald, CEO and Founder of LeadershipHQ, is an Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Leadership Coach and Author of Leadership Attitude (now on BOOKTOPIA!). She was recently named in the Top 250 Influential Women Leaders across the Globe. Sonia is one of Australia’s Leading Executive Coaches. She has over 25 years’ human resource management, leadership and organisational development experience. She has held senior leadership roles in organisational development, learning and development, human resources and talent management fields across the globe. She is also an inspirational and dynamic leadership and neuroscience keynote speaker.

POWER SESSION OFFER ONLY $25 Book a POWER session in with me today https://lnkd.in/gXVAXm8. I have decided to offer this at only $25 to give everyone the opportunity to see what it can do for you. I am Sonia McDonald a leader in coaching CEO’s, Entrepreneurs, Executives and Emerging Leaders – and I help make them rock! Do not miss this opportunity and join the many people who make me proud to have made a difference to their lives. Do not hesitate and book now https://lnkd.in/gXVAXm8

JOIN OUR FREE SMS LEADERSHIP TOOL! #ATTITUDE We want to create a world of Great Leaders and that is why this FREE SMS Leadership Tool has been designed for YOU. We would love your feedback on our New SMS Tool – sign up today by sending a SMS #attitude to 0429 398 095 (Australia) and we will make you ROCK as a Leader.
Remember #attitude to 0429 398 095

Connect with Sonia at:
[email protected]
www.soniamcdonald.com.au
www.leadershiphq.com.au
Phone: 1300 917 665

7 Top Tips for Self Leadership

7 Top Tips for Self Leadership

Leadership is an Attitude. Not a Role or Title. Leadership starts with YOU.
 

Tip No 1 – Self Awareness

We spend so much time trying to be successful or climbing the ladder; when we should spend time getting to know who we are. Our strengths, passions, dreams, triggers, faults, styles and continuously learning about ourselves. This is where we can truly be a leader and build our brand. The more aware we are of ourselves, the more aware we are of others. This awareness is the birthplace of kindness, curiosity and compassion. We discover we are only human and it builds courage.
 

Tip No 2 – Believe in Yourself

We spend so much time trying to be competent at something to feel confident about ourselves. I get it. Sometimes we don’t put our hand up, go for opportunities or take risks as we want to feel 110% competent at it. Be confident, say yes, take risks, go for it – confidence and self belief will take you far. It’s okay if you only tick 7 out of the 10 boxes, you can do it, you will learn and you will make mistakes . Believe in yourself.
 

Tip No 3 – Be Compassionate

Why are we always so hard on ourselves? I remember when I was younger, I used to put so much pressure on myself. When I made the occasional stuff (maybe not so occasionally); I would beat myself up for days around it. We are all human and yes sometimes we forget this. Give yourself a break, love yourself completely as you deserve it, always learn from your stuff ups (best learnings come from this), and remember it will pass. Thing is; when you are compassionate to yourself, you are more aware and able to be compassionate towards others. Focus on empathy, kindness and gratitude always for yourself and for others.
 

Tip No 4 – Get a Coach or a Mentor (or both) – and find a Sponsor

Without a doubt the one area that has had greatest impact on my life and career are my Coaches and Mentors. Some of which have been formal and some informal. Think about this – all great sports people and executives have coaches. They have mentors. The people who are your trusted advisors; the ones you go to for guidance and advice. Some of these people are now my sponsors where they advocate on my behalf to put me out there. INVALUABLE! Do not be afraid to ask someone you admire and trust to be your mentor, coach or sponsor. Do it! Go for it
 

Tip No 5 – Be Humble

Humility as a Leader is critical. No matter what you are doing, where you are going, what you have and don’t have, where you are, what title you have, who you are; you are not more or less important than anyone else. We are all human and we all have our own struggles. Always be humble. Always think about what might be going on for someone else. Always help others where you can. Be grateful for being who you are and what you have. Humility to get you a long way….
 

Tip No 6 – Lead by Example

Integrity is the centre pole of leadership. It is crucial that you follow through on your promises and you display behaviour and action which is aligned to your words and values. This starts with knowing yourself, what is important to you, why you do what you do, what you stand for and your values. The leadership example you espouse and demonstrate can set you up for success…and failure. The only way to lead is through integrity, honesty and by example. If you say you will do something, do it. The more you know yourself and the impact you have on others, the more you will find leadership within you.
 

Tip No 7 – Never Stop Learning

Jack Nicholson once said “The minute you stop learning I believe you are dead.”
This is true. Never stop learning, open yourself up to feedback, read those books, watch the TED talks, attend those educational opportunities, get a coach and a mentor and open our mind, heart and soul to continuous learning, knowledge, growth and awareness. Life is always a wonderful journey of self discovery.
 
 

About Sonia McDonald

Sonia McDonaldSonia McDonald, CEO and Founder of LeadershipHQ, is an Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Leadership Coach and Author of Leadership Attitude (now on BOOKTOPIA!). She was recently named in the Top 250 Influential Women Leaders across the Globe. Sonia is one of Australia’s Leading Executive Coaches. She has over 25 years’ human resource management, leadership and organisational development experience. She has held senior leadership roles in organisational development, learning and development, human resources and talent management fields across the globe. She is also an inspirational and dynamic leadership and neuroscience keynote speaker.

POWER SESSION OFFER ONLY $25 Book a POWER session in with me today https://lnkd.in/gXVAXm8. I have decided to offer this at only $25 to give everyone the opportunity to see what it can do for you. I am Sonia McDonald a leader in coaching CEO’s, Entrepreneurs, Executives and Emerging Leaders – and I help make them rock! Do not miss this opportunity and join the many people who make me proud to have made a difference to their lives. Do not hesitate and book now https://lnkd.in/gXVAXm8

JOIN OUR FREE SMS LEADERSHIP TOOL! #ATTITUDE We want to create a world of Great Leaders and that is why this FREE SMS Leadership Tool has been designed for YOU. We would love your feedback on our New SMS Tool – sign up today by sending a SMS #attitude to 0429 398 095 (Australia) and we will make you ROCK as a Leader.
Remember #attitude to 0429 398 095

Connect with Sonia at:
[email protected]
www.soniamcdonald.com.au
www.leadershiphq.com.au
Phone: 1300 917 665

Top Tips for Building Your Brand Identity

Top Tips for Building Your Brand Identity

If you think you can get away without clear branding today, you need to think again. In the legal profession, it’s becoming more and more important to build a clear brand identity. Your brand is what sets you apart from others in the industry and, importantly, what connects you to your potential client.
When it’s consistent, your brand reflects your area of expertise, your “business personality” and your integrity. It makes you attractive to your market, convincing potential clients that you can give them the help they need. They can trust you to deliver.
How do you build your brand identity? These tips will help you.

1. Define what you do.
You know your area of expertise, but how would you express it in terms the average person would understand?

2. Define your ideal client.
Who is likely to need your services? What do you know about them? What might they be asking you? What help will they need? Where will you find them? More importantly, where will they be looking for you?

3. Define your point of difference.
What makes you or your firm different to any other? If someone was to refer a friend to you, what would be their ‘selling point’? For example, your approachability or your knack of putting legal jargon into plain English. Perhaps your point of difference is in your area of speciality or the sector of the market you deal with.

4. Apply this to your marketing.
Branding isn’t just colours and logos. It’s the message you weave through every piece of communication you create. If you’ve answered the first three questions, it will be easier to create an ad or a promotion that speaks to the right client in the language they will understand.

5. Get online.
Build a website, develop your LinkedIn Profile, rewrite your bio or start creating articles that reflect who you are and your area of speciality. Make sure the messaging is consistent across every channel you use. It’s the consistency of the message that will become the cornerstone of your reputation.

6. Consider social media.
Social media usage is increasing. There are now 16,000,000 users of Facebook in Australia alone. That’s 65.8% of the total population. If social media is where people are looking for information and word of mouth recommendations, you need to be there. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are very popular platforms so it is worth your while to develop a profile on each site.

7. Build a portfolio of success stories
No matter how powerful your branding message, you still need to be able to back up your claims. Gather together stories of how you have helped people similar to your ideal client. If you can, ask your clients to give you testimonials or be part of case studies you can write and add to your site. It’s called social proof and it’s one of the biggest influences on your potential client’s decision making process.

8. Interact with your professional colleagues.
Building your brand means spreading your brand message to your colleagues and industry influencers. Teach them what you stand for and about the kind of work you prefer to do. These will become referral sources for future work.

9. The power of an image.
While logos are important because they can be easily identified and recognised, don’t overlook the power of the headshot. In the legal profession, trust is vital, and a good photo can say a lot to the right person. Be sure to present yourself in the way your clients expect you to look. Depending on your market, that may not mean collar and tie. The more consistent your appearance is with your message, the more believable you will be.

10. Never stop promoting your brand.
Repetition is part of building recognition and trust. The more often your clients see your branding, the more they will feel at home with it. Promote yourself and your brand identity regularly across all your marketing channels. Be memorable.

The key to successful branding is being confident in your message and expressing it in the language or format your potential clients will be comfortable with and able to understand. That’s how you will establish a solid basis for your business success.
Stand out, and shine out in the crowd with clear brand identity.
 
 
 

About Sonia McDonald

 
Sonia McDonaldNamed in the Top 250 Influential Women across the Globe, Sonia McDonald is an internationally recognised speaker, entrepreneur, leadership expert, coach and thought leader. Having over 25 years experience in human resource management and organisational development, Sonia shares her leadership wisdom and knowledge in her highly sought after book, Leadership Attitude.

Sonia believes that leadership is not simply a role or title, it is about one’s self; how you think, feel, see yourself and behave as a leader. It is ultimately an attitude! If you want some attitude in your life, Sonia can give you the guidance you need on your journey to self-discovery and to helping you ROCK IT as a leader! Head to the LeadershipHQ website where you can purchase Leadership Attitude, read more on our blog, or find out more about our coaching programs.

Confidence – it’s so HOT right now

Confidence – it’s so HOT right now

Confidence is a critical ability that one must possess if they are going to achieve anything in life, whether it is being an effective leader or merely trying to ask a special someone out on a date. Confidence goes a long way with people because it shows that you are bold and willing to go the extra mile to get things done. Furthermore, confidence often coincides with competence. If you have the skill to perform a certain action well, like oral presentations, then you have the competence to be a great leader. But, how does someone get this type of competence? They get it by having confidence in themselves and in their work. Without this confidence, they won’t have competence and will ultimately fail. This is why competence and confidence are truly interchangeable.

Remember when you were in primary school and you had to give an oral presentation in class? Most kids in primary school dread these presentations because they get nervous when having to speak in front of a lot of people. I know I did when I was younger, and it took a long time for me to discover the way to overcome it. I remember one time in high school when I had to give a presentation in my History class. Instead of illustrating my speech on the whiteboard and being an enthusiastic speaker, I was one of those speakers that just stood behind a podium and read my speech from a piece of paper. I didn’t even look at anyone else while I was speaking because they all made me nervous. I always wondered why I got so nervous in front of people. Teachers would often tell me that I was too shy and I needed to simply overcome my shyness. But, it was not that simple. Overcoming shyness is not as easy as flicking a switch in your brain. Nobody ever told me how to effectively overcome shyness or what the real secret was to being a better public speaker. It was only later on that I found the answer to be “confidence.”

So the big question is, “How does someone overcome these obstacles and gain more confidence?” I recently read a new book called the Confidence Code By Katty Kay and Claire Shipman and loved it! They researched and talked about confidence genes – yes we are born with confidence genes. They discovered they did not have the genes but appear to be confident women. However, they also discussed the Neuroscience of Confidence and how confidence can be learnt. I know it has been a long journey for me and my ability to be more confident. There have been plenty of times that I have doubted myself and let my ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) cloud my mind. But I have learnt to be the director of my brain, focus on my successes, focus on my strengths, learn from my mistakes, empower myself and others and only focus on the positive! I surround myself with great peers and supporters who only want the best for me. There were times where I have been truly vulnerable, I tested myself, overcome challenges and got a lot of knocks, but it didn’t stop me and I got back up there!

Now I am a great public speaker (well I think I am!), and love to get up on stage and share my knowledge, humour and insights. Yeah sometimes the butterflies are there, and I feel like that little girl standing behind the podium. I give that little girl a hug in my mind and tell her, look at far you have come! Now I am a confident person and leader who is following her purpose and dreams – and I learnt how to do it. And I can do it, you can too! It’s so hot right now!

Put Yourself Out There

Put Yourself Out There

Let’s ignore the Tall Poppy Syndrome shall we?

“If people are trying to bring you down it only means that you are above them.”

I love this quote; doesn’t mean I feel like I am above anyone. However; I am over something. Have you heard of this thing called Tall Poppy Syndrome? Well I refuse to let it stop me.

This silly and REAL syndrome where we try and pull people down. We don’t particularly like people who put themselves out there or we try and pull them down. Does this syndrome stop many of us shining or standing tall? What concerns me is how we are leading the way for our future and emerging leaders? Don’t we also want them to shine and speak up? This syndrome is real. I have seen it and also experienced it.

As David Beckham once said; “When people criticise you, it is not a reason to give up, but to work harder and believe in yourself.”

I say bring it on and my advice is to ignore it; big time. It really says more about them than it does about you. Stand tall, own it and put yourself out there. Easier said than done.

Now as you can tell I put myself out there. I am passionate about my why, purpose and work; so to me it seems like a natural thing to do. My mindset around putting myself out there is; you only live once. The world is filled with opportunities. So why wouldn’t you put yourself out there? You ONLY live once!

We work with many leaders who are too afraid or don’t want to put themselves out there. They are scared of failing, won’t put up their hand, don’t want to be noticed or don’t believe in themselves.

Maybe you could start small. What does this look like? Maybe comment on some posts on social media? Write a blog? Connect with some new people on LinkedIn and ask them for a coffee? Get active on Twitter? Ask about opportunities or development at work? Start a small business? Speak at a conference? I could go on and on…

I remember last year being asked to speak at a Women in Technology breakfast on Mentoring. The room was packed and interestingly enough I noticed the women were not networking. I was told I couldn’t use the slides I had brought so had to speak off the cuff. Oh well I thought I will share my thoughts on mentoring and how to put yourself out there to find a mentor; I didn’t need slides (even though I had awesome ones). There I was at the PwC building with the most incredible views of the city talking to a group of amazing female executives.

After I shared all my tips (plenty of them), I picked up a coffee cup and spoon and told the group we were going to play a networking game. The organiser of the event had the funniest reaction and said “Are we ready… NO?”. Everyone bursted out laughing. I smiled and said yes we are. I banged the spoon against to cup and said let’s do some networking speed dating. The energy in the room was contagious. It was a great success. Let’s just say the organiser regretted her reaction and loved that we did it.

A few months later I was hosting a stand at the Women in Technology Xmas party; I spent the night talking to a number of women however I was exhausted. I started to a pack up early and got to chatting to two women. I was packing my books away when in the corner of my eye this women comes up to me. She says I was at the breakfast a few months back and are you leaving? I reply yes as I was shattered. She says to me I just want to let you know that you changed my life and she gave me this massive hug. I was in shock and ask how? She said after she heard me speak about putting yourself out there and finding a mentor; she found the courage to do it. She found a great mentor and she now feels so much more courageous and confident. I had tears streaming down my face and the women beside me who were listening were in awe. They said to me; I bet that is a the reason you do what you do. I say Absolutely!

Thing is, if I can do it; you can! I refuse to go through life and no give it 110%!

Put yourself out, ask for the new role, put you hand up, ask him or her to be your mentor; just do it. If you get a no, say next until you find that YES. Always find that Yes. You are in control of your life, put yourself out there. NOW!

If anyone tries to pull you down, be kind and compassionate and always remember it is about them. Not you. Be you, own it and go for it! Cut down the poppy and truly shine bright.
 

Remember you ROCK! You got this.

100 Years Away from Gender Equality in the C-Suite

100 Years Away from Gender Equality in the C-Suite

Various studies have long shown that women are underrepresented in top leadership roles in business, academia, government and NFP organisations the world over. Just last year, a 2015 study conducted by the non-profit LeanIn organisation, in conjunction with McKinsey & Company, looked at the roles women fill in hundreds of top companies in corporate America, and found that they remain marginalised and suppressed at every level of leadership.

The Campaign for Greater Gender Balance and Diversity
At that time, the results of the study indicated that when it comes to serving on the board, and assuming other top leadership roles in the c-suite, it will take over 100 years for women to achieve gender parity with men. These findings are especially disappointing given the widespread ‘He for She Campaign’ created by UN Women in 2014 to raise awareness about the consequences of gender imbalance in the lives of growing girls and women, their families, and humanity as a whole.

As part of the He for She campaign, numerous prominent male allies from the business world, including Virgin’s founder, Richard Branson, Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, and the CEO and the Chairman of Kering, Francois-Henri Pinault, have been pushing for organisations to adopt policies that would make it easier for women to enter the leadership pipeline at the top levels of our world’s institutions. These policies include initiatives to help identify women with leadership potential at every level of an organisation, more flexible family leave time and scheduling, equal pay for equal work and other efforts designed to uncover and eliminate hidden bias and discrimination.

Little Progress Made Towards True Gender Parity
Despite these efforts, top executives now say that gender balance is a top priority for their organisations, but little has changed. Barriers to gender balance and diversity remain, and it is still just as hard for women to stand out and advance in their career.
Last month, the latest update to last year’s LeanIn.org-McKinsey& Co. study, was released. The findings in this year’s study seem to indicate that at the current rate of female advancement, even 100 years might not be enough time for women to achieve true equality in the workplace.

Latest Study Indicates Even 100 Years Will Not Be Enough Time to Achieve Gender Balance
Highlights from this latest study indicate that while women make up a little over half of the population, and account for 46%of the new hires in entry level positions, their participation rate up the corporate ladder declines from day one, until they represent less than 19% of the positions in the c-suite. Despite efforts to increase gender balance in the workplace, men continue to be promoted into top leadership roles at a 30% higher rate than women, regardless of their level of previous experience.

According to the same study, when people are brought in from the outside to be the director of a company, men are tapped for the role 50% more often than women. Men from outside an organisation are also selected to fill the role of Vice President 75% more often than women. The rates for promotion among women are even worse when companies promote from within. In fact, over 90% of the CEOs that were hired last year were promoted up from other top leadership roles within their companies, and every single one of them was male.

Remaining Obstacles to Achieving Gender Parity and Diversity in the Workplace
With sobering statistics such as these, one must ask, just what must women do to be able to overcome these significant and obvious hurdles to gender balance? In a recent article n The Australian, the COO of Facebook, author, and founder of the LeanIn organisation, Sheryl Sandberg, discussed the results of the study’s new findings.

One obstacle that Sandberg focused on is the apparent fact that when women really “lean in,” go after the career that they want, and attempt to negotiate terms that will help them to be able to advance their careers, they continue to be labelled as “bossy,” “arrogant,” and “pushy,” and these labels hurt them in their efforts to advance. Sandberg points to the lack of gender bias training, and the failure of top leadership to set the tone by setting goals and targets to improve gender balance and diversity within the company as leading causes of continued gender imbalance.

Sandberg also points out that many women in the workplace have difficulty in receiving appropriate direction and feedback that could help them improve their performance. They are rarely given challenging assignments where they can learn and practice leadership skills, and they often lack access to senior leadership to act as sponsors and mentors, and pave their way for entrance into the leadership pipeline.

With the Benefits of Gender Balance and Diversity So Obvious, what are We Waiting On?
Numerous studies have shown that increasing the number of female leaders is a goal that will benefit not only women and their families, but also the organisations for which they work. A B Team report, The Business Case for Diversity, discusses how organisations that achieve greater gender balance experience dramatically increased financial performance, better customer interactions, higher morale and employee satisfaction, greater creativity and more novel, groundbreaking solutions. With the benefits of gender parity so obvious, it becomes apparent that neither women nor the world can afford to wait 100 or more years for gender balance to arrive.

The Importance of Women Actively Helping Other Women
The results of this year’s study on women in the workplace make one thing abundantly clear. While the assistance of male allies will always be welcomed, if women do not want to break the proverbial glass ceiling in greater numbers, it will be up to women to help themselves and their fellow women to do so.

If we want gender balance, we must look to ourselves and other women, our sisters in the workforce, to help us overcome the obstacles stopping us from achieving top leadership roles.

While there may be little that women can do directly to change organisational policies when they are not in positions of power, they absolutely can, and must, be proactive and make a greater effort to reach out to other female leaders for mentorship. Women who have made the climb to the top must fulfil their duty to themselves and their organisations and actively reach out to other women. They need to help them advance their careers by providing the opportunities, feedback, guidance and support that they need to improve their performance so that they can stand out and advance.

If we continue to simply wait on our “turn,” our “chance” to shine, even 100 years will not be enough for us to ascend to the top leadership roles. Should we continue along this same path, and at this same rate, it will not be only women and their families that suffer and miss opportunities for growth and development, but the whole world loses as well.

Entrepreneurs and Testosterone

Entrepreneurs and Testosterone

Does testosterone impact a person’s ability to run a successful business and if so, does that mean that only men are suited to becoming entrepreneurs? Given that power positions in the world of business have traditionally been given to males over their female counterparts, you have to wonder how big an impact the hormone testosterone has on whether men or women become successful entrepreneurs.

study undertaken by the University of Western Ontario shares some interesting facts and findings when comparing male and female entrepreneurs and the direct relevance of testosterone. With testosterone being a hormone that induces risk taking, it stands to reason that successful entrepreneurs, to some degree, have a higher than average acceptance level of risk.

The journey into entrepreneurship is one that isn’t easy and often requires a great deal of risk be it socially, financially or emotionally. It is on this basis that perhaps men are seen to be more likely to become entrepreneurs. The number of female entrepreneurs, however, are certainly on the rise so one has to question whether there are other hormones at play; whether female levels of testosterone are high enough to induce the risk taking needed.

Of course, the other consideration is the definition of an entrepreneur in regard to any such studies. The study uses this definition which is fairly broad:

“Entrepreneurship occurs at the conjunction of the opportunity and the individual. It is the individual who identifies, pursues, and exploits a new business opportunity.”

When we think of people like Richard Branson or Steve Jobs, we know that their success was linked directly to the amount of risk they took in the early days. What we don’t know was whether or not their testosterone levels were the driving force behind them taking those risks. If so, how do we replicate that in today’s world, many decades after these men began to make their marks?

Whilst the link between successful male entrepreneurs and testosterone seems obvious at first, there is a long way to go to be able to determine the true result of this connection given how many variables are encountered along the way.

Given that every person’s journey is taken at a specific time, in reaction to a specific set of circumstances and with a different set of qualities and skills, the link between testosterone and success would be almost impossible to narrow down unless comparing two equal counterparts in every aspect of their journey.

Without conclusive proof, it is still an interesting subject to consider when studying leaders and entrepreneurs and their success and failures.

What is your opinion? Is testosterone really so significant in entrepreneurial success?

The Art of Not Giving a Crap

The Art of Not Giving a Crap

As I sit here and my mind wonders about how to start this post; I remember all these funny, heartbreaking and beautiful stories about my life.

Where do I start. I feel maybe the book is a good place to start as an analogy.

So I finally publish a book. One of the best things I have ever done and also one of the most challenging. Well I made it the most challenging in my own head!

The one question I get asked about all the time after I published the book is “How long did it take me?” I published a book, does it matter how long it took! I felt like it took BLOODY FOREVER is what I want to say; however I always reply with – a few years and I wish I knew it was going to be as easy as it was as I would have done it sooner. The one thing that made the difference to finally, yes I mean finally after years writing it, was that I did not care what people might have thought of it. Crazy I know! It was the one blocker for me to get it finally finished. Then I decided I didn’t give a crap what others thought, only what I thought and what I accomplished. Easy isn’t it? Maybe not as easy as we think.

So here I am writing a new book, which has nothing to do with leadership. Well kind of does; it is a book about how to rock the world. So yeah it is about leadership. Again.

Then my sister says to me that I need to read this book called the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fu*k by Mark Manson. The title intrigued me of course, and I read it. Yes there are a lot of Fu*ks in the book and it pretty much covers what I thought about life and yet had not been able to put my finger or maybe that word on it.

Thing is; it is true. Let me explore this with you as it is something I practice (well most days) and something I teach and coach in all my work. Essentially it is learning how to focus and prioritise your thoughts effectively – and how to pick and choose what matters to you and what does not matter to you based on your finely honed personal values? In turn, it is about the choices we make everyday. Bingo! Easy…

However, what resonated to me was the way he talks about how we NEED the negative experiences and struggles in our lives. Sometimes we need to get off this ban wagon of everything is perfect, let’s dance on the positive life of rainbows and post the 80,000 great things we have and do each day on Facebook – and maybe focus on the struggles and negatives. We are human if you had forgotten. We need the negatives to truly appreciate the positives. Side note – If you have not been exposed to Brene Brown’s work please google her too.

Let me share this with you, the most negative and devastating thing that happened in my life 13 years ago; ended up being the most defining and powerful change in my world. It was that day I made a choice to reinvent myself and reframed the experience (yes I did spend days crying in a corner grieving as well) as one which will make me. Have this ever happened to you? A negative experience ending up being a powerful or life changing one? However we don’t take risks or even believe in ourselves, as we fear the one thing that could shake us up?

In turn, there are days where I feel building and growing an amazing business whilst being a full time solo mum is such an incredible and exhausting struggle, but I get up and do it everyday. Why? Because it is my life and there are many great positive experiences that come out of it.

Let me share how I see myself. I am courageous and brave everyday. I am different and unique and I embrace this everyday. I don’t compare or try to be the greatest. I am enough and I am great already. I don’t think I am special or better than anyone else; I am living my life to the fullest to make a difference. Thing is; we are all special and we are all great.

So here I am, trying to make a difference to the world. Okay maybe not trying, I know I do. The one thing that has made the biggest impact to me making a difference is this – I don’t give a crap. I don’t give a crap with what people think that don’t matter to me, to the thoughts that don’t serve me, the worry and stress about things I have no control over and I don’t give a crap on the little things that don’t matter. I give a crap about my purpose, what makes me different, why I make a difference and how, my daughter and her well being and those people and parts of my life that mater. Truly matter. Yes holy crap; simple.

So where am I going with this. Yes it is about not giving a crap, it is about focus and choices and being the unique person you are. What it is really about and something I speak about all the time in my speaking and leadership work is –

We are going to die. Yes all of us.
I want to focus on only giving a crap about what I can do each day to be the best leader and person I can be. This is what leadership and life means to me. Not giving a crap about all the bells and whistles; but giving a crap on how I can make a difference to those and the world around me. How I can be the ripple effect.

Mark Twain once said –

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at anytime.”
I am not prepared to die anytime soon, however I know that I am not afraid to live life and go for it.

As Mark states in his book –

“You only have a limited about of fu*ks to give. So you must choose them wisely.”

That’s why I am writing my second book. I really give a fu*k about it.

Give this a go, and watch your world transform. Practice the art of not giving a crap or giving a crap on what matters and let me know how you go!

Don’t be afraid. You got this.

Reach out if you want to talk some more…..

The Importance of Board Engagement: Part 3

The Importance of Board Engagement: Part 3

A board of directors serves several purposes in your organisation.  The corporate board’s roles and responsibilities include hiring and assessing the performance of the CEO, creating the culture of the board and the organisation, as well as providing governance and oversight functions.

In this last capacity, the board is tasked with watching over and assessing the organisation’s direction and strategic plans. The board identifies the vision, mission and goals for the organisation and makes policy decisions.

Each of these roles and responsibilities is equally important, and in order to be effective, boards must be actively engaged in fulfilling the duties required of each of these roles.

Does Your Board’s Performance Add Real Value?

Whether it’s a for-profit company or non-profit concern, boards and their members have a vital role to play in their organisation’s survival and development. An important question for leaders to ask is whether or not their board’s performance truly benefits their organisation?

Are your board members actively engaged in discussing critical issues that affect growth and sustainability? Are board sessions filled with open dialogue, where members are free to ask questions, consider options, and make strategic plans for the future?  

Without open discussion, it is impossible for board members to gather the intelligence and information that they need to provide guidance or take action.

Do board Chairs and members work together as a team and in partnership with the CEO, or are meetings filled with rancour and power struggles? Alternatively, does your board seem to not get any real work done because members are too afraid to ask questions for fear of interrupting the proceedings and being seen as rude? Possibly worse, is your board’s agenda simply a list of seemingly endless presentations of reports that in the end do little to provide good governance and improve oversight?  

To be effective, board members need to be actively engaged in their roles, and discuss real issues. They must also take care not to overstep their authority and take steps to work with and support the CEO rather than attempting to assume control over the day to day operations of the organisation.

Steps to Improve Board Engagement

Several leadership skills are needed to increase board engagement and effectiveness. Communication is perhaps the most important, as it supports open dialogue as well as relationship development and team building. Cooperation and collaboration are powerful multipliers that directly increase the results of any one individual’s efforts.  

Increase Dialogue, Focus on Relationship Building to Foster Greater Understanding and Cooperation

Nearly every one of us becomes more open to hearing others out, and working together in a spirit of cooperation, when we have developed strong bonds of respect, trust and friendship with one another.  Steps to improve your board’s engagement and effectiveness should begin with seeking ways to improve communication, facilitate open dialogue and increase camaraderie and collegiately among board members.  

Including social events that allow board members to unwind, connect and get to know one another so that they are able to see one another as individuals will go a long way to breaking down barriers and improving communication. Consider having board meetings that are multiple day events. Hosting a dinner on the night before the meeting, is a great way to help members break the ice and get to know one another better before they sit down the next day to work together on the issues.

You can also foster greater team building by bringing board members together to support a cause outside of traditional board meetings. Consider hosting an auction or gala for a charity.

When planning social activities for your board members, don’t forget to include plans for a little fun, such as offering an evening of music and dancing at a company party. Members of your board are also likely to bond together if you inject a little friendly competition into your board’s social activities, such as a night of bowling.  

The idea behind planning social activities for your board members is that you are providing an open and safe space for people to meet, connect, mingle and bond with one another prior to working together. This is especially important for boards that are large in number, comprised of individuals that normally do not work with one another on a regular basis, and for boards that tend to meet infrequently throughout the year.

Focus Agenda Priorities on Strategic Plans and Action Items

Unfinished business and dwelling on the past tend to be the bane of many boards. You can help your board become more strategic and effective simply by changing up the priorities of your board’s agenda.

Allow strategic plans and action items to take centre stage, by placing them at the top of your board’s agenda. Schedule time for others to ask questions and offer differing viewpoints to ensure that you are encouraging open discourse and increasing the opportunity for members to come up with creative solutions.  

Save the reports, committee assignments, and unfinished business for last so that your board can tackle the truly big issues facing your organisation first, while everyone is fresh and more open to discussing critical issues.  

Increase the Strategic Capacity of Your Board

Your board’s effectiveness and engagement will increase as you help your board move towards a more collaborative and strategic body. As part of this process, you will want to take steps to encourage and increase the development of your board’s strategic capacity.

To be effective, your board must be able to develop good strategies. There are three things that your board needs to do very well in order to develop sound strategies: identify problem areas for action, investigate the problem to increase understanding, and institute thoughtful analysis, including identifying diverse perspectives, in order to come up with multiple creative and effective options so that they can develop a strategy that effectively resolves the problem.

While most boards tend to excel at the first two items, they tend to run into difficult implementing the third step. You can increase the strategic capacity of your board simply by encouraging board members to seek multiple options, rather than just voting on committee recommendations.

You can also improve the quality of your board’s strategy by making the effort to ensure that before your board members meet, that board books contain the data, information and diverse perspectives that members will need in order to have a total 360-degree view of the problem, its underlying issues, and potential remedies.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of the board comes down to the leadership skills of the CEO, Chair and individual board members. When leaders actively work to facilitate open dialogue and greater camaraderie among board members, help the board to revamp its agenda to focus on strategy and action items, and help the board improve its strategic capacity, they can improve both the engagement of individual members of the board as well as the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the board as a whole.

The Importance of a Great Board Culture: Part 2

The Importance of a Great Board Culture: Part 2

Every organisation, regardless of its size, and whether or not it is a for profit concern, has its own unique set of rules, both written and unspoken, that create the protocols and establish the traditions, of how each member of the organisation expects others within it to act. Culture is the direct offspring of an organisation’s purpose, mission, goals and values, and the leadership of each organisation sets the tone and creates its culture.

Culture is more than an organisation’s mission statement, or a values statement that is written and published by its CEO and board of directors. It is also the actions of the board and other members of management and leadership that either support and substantiate these statements and policies, or undermine them.

While most of us tend to think of governance and oversight when we think of the roles and responsibilities of the board of directors, establishing and enforcing cultural norms is equally important. An organisation’s board of directors, Chair, and CEO are the creators, as well as the ultimate guardians and gatekeepers, of its culture.

 
The Benefits of a Great Corporate Culture

Culture driven companies gain several advantages over their competition, particularly in the areas of innovation, the ability to recruit and retain top talent, employee morale and engagement, and customer satisfaction.

Companies that focus on their values and their purpose, and that actively take steps to create a more humane workplace where associates have greater freedom, autonomy and authority reap a wide variety of benefits, including greater creativity, sustainable growth, lower costs, higher revenues, and higher profits.

A strong culture serves to unify groups of individuals who have different backgrounds, experiences and skill levels, helping them to increase their focus and marshal their efforts to work together in cooperation and collaboration towards common goals and objectives.

Efficiency is increased, as well as performance, providing greater value not only to employees, leadership and shareholders of the company, but to all stakeholders, including vendors, clients and customers, and the community at large.

Even in non-profit organisations, the ability to achieve goals and objectives, secure funding and achieve sustainable growth, as well as the ability to increase the level and number of services offered within the community, are all directly tied to the non-profit’s culture.

 
Changing Corporate Culture

Changing the culture within an organisation begins with its leadership. The CEO, board Chair, and board members are equally responsible for creating and communicating the organisation’s culture. Leaders that want to change the culture of their organisation, must first change the culture of their board and lead by example.

Leaders that want to increase the engagement, morale, collaboration and effectiveness of their organisations must first begin the hard work of changing board culture so that it models the actions, values, traits and behaviours that it wants and expects from the rest of the organisation.

 
Actions Speak Louder than Words

For example, if leaders are serious about increasing diversity and gender balance within their organisations, they must first show that these are goals and values that truly matter to the board. Mere words, policy announcements and press releases are not enough, but actions must match speech, beginning at the board level. If you want a more diverse, gender balanced organisation, the makeup of your board should match this value.

In a similar way, if you want to encourage greater autonomy, engagement, creativity, morale, collaboration and problem solving within your organisation, the board must first model this behaviour for the rest of the organisation. Actions speak louder than words.

 
Communication is Key to Changing and Improving Corporate and Board Culture

Increasing engagement and collaboration within your organisation as a whole begins with increasing communication and relationship building on the board. CEOs, board Chairs and allies for change from among the members of the existing board must work together and lead by example to move organisational boards and its members from static, passive positions to more independent and dynamic ones.

CEOs, Chairs and board members must develop and then use their bonds of mutual respect and trust to create open dialogue where significant issues are identified, researched, and discussed. The board’s agenda must be revamped so that the board transitions from a passive body that seeks recommendations to an active one that seeks diverse opinions and perspectives and looks for multiple options to solve key issues.

The strategic capacity of the board and individual board members must be developed and increased in order to improve decision making and learning processes that develop policies and best practices for the organisation.

As boards become more engaged, and their actions become more transparent, board culture improves, and directly influences corporate culture for the rest of the organisation.

 
Recognition and Other Rewards Reinforce Culture

In addition to creating and communicating cultural standards and norms, the board is also responsible for monitoring adherence to their culture. Boards can strengthen their corporate culture by taking steps to recognise and reward those who model the behaviours and standards that reflect the preferred culture.

Salary and bonuses tied to performance can go a long way in influencing the adoption of culture, other rewards such as publicly recognising those who model appropriate culture, and offering perks such as greater freedom and flexibility in the way that work is accomplished in the organisation, and even using the intentional design of the workspace to be more open and encouraging greater communication among colleagues, can also reinforce and strengthen culture.

 
Creating Greater Opportunities for Learning and Development Help Strengthen Great Culture

In addition to facilitating open dialogue and offering recognition and rewards to those who adhere to appropriate culture, boards and other leaders can strengthen great culture on both the board and throughout their organisation by offering more opportunities for learning and personal and professional development.

There is an old saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and this adage is very true when it comes to the performance and effectiveness of boards and their organisations. If you want a culture that supports growth and performance, you must give people the tools and training that they need to develop the skills that will support their expertise.

Skills that can be learned and developed are wide ranging and run from key leadership skills such as improving communication to skills that improve computer literacy and knowledge about cyber security and risk management.

As opportunities to learn and develop increase, leadership and other skills are developed and honed. This increases the performance and effectiveness of both the board and organisation as a whole. As individuals on the board and throughout the organisation grow and develop on personal and professional levels, both competency and morale are increased, improving co-operation, collaboration and adherence to cultural norms established and modelled by the board.

 
How strong is the culture of your board, and your organisation? Does everyone feel comfortable enough with one another to work together to tackle tough issues and truly debate and discuss key facts and possible solutions, or do factions, territorial behaviours and passive members continue to hold your board, and organisation, back from achieving its full potential?

Do you and your board need help creating a strategic plan for incremental cultural change, or, do you need help starting a true cultural revolution? Regardless of the level of change that your board and organisation need, we’re here to help you develop the skills and leadership attitude that you need to effect change and develop a strong board culture!

Board Leadership: Part 1

Board Leadership: Part 1

The ability of to oversee and govern your organisation, define its values, mission, and goals, and also create its culture, comes down to your board’s relative strength. Building a strong board is a difficult task for CEOs, board Chairs, and allied board members, but it is more important than ever.

Over the past several years, news reports from around the world have been filled with stories of various financial scandals, including product liability lawsuits, insider trading, internal theft and business failures. While the names of the institutions involved change, and the specific details differ on a few points, the one constant thread in all of these situations is a failure of leadership, an absence of integrity in the culture, and a failure on the part of the board of directors to actively provide direction.
 

Challenges to Effective Board Governance

One reason why we are seeing more boards that are weak and lack strength is because the challenges that our top institutions face are rapidly changing. In addition to traditional governance and oversight areas such as strategic planning, recruiting top talent, and weighing in on potential mergers and acquisitions, organisations now contend with a host of other more complex issues.

These issues are wide ranging and include dealing with the effects of technological advances that both improve and disrupt the way that we live and work, seeking options for how to succeed despite increased competition from domestic and international rivals, and even how to survive actual battles for control of the direction of the organisation from activist investors.

To meet all of these competing demands, it’s imperative that boards intentionally move from traditional, passive roles and embrace a more dynamic and active approach. The following are four core areas that your board must focus on improving in order to create a stronger and more effective board.
 

Lead by Example and Start at the Top – The Case for Ambition

If you want a stronger board that is more engaged and directly involved with providing governance and oversight, you must literally start at the top. Boards must appoint Chairs that will push themselves and their fellow board members to take a more active role in investigating the key challenges facing the institution and developing strategies and solutions to these challenges that remain consistent with the organisation’s core values, mission statement and goals.

The Chair sets the tone and the pace for the rest of the board, so ideally boards need Chairs that are ambitious and that will actively seek out new ideas, diverse opinions, multiple options and even contrarian viewpoints in order to find the best direction in which to guide the organisation.
 

Cooperation, Partnership and Collaboration

One of the greatest challenges to effective board leadership is a lack of trust and mutual respect among its members or between the board and the CEO and other management. In order to have a strong board, the board Chair and CEO need to be able to work together in partnership and cooperation, rather than in competition with one another.

Board Chairs need to able to work with their fellow board members, and their CEO, and each must facilitate more frequent opportunities for communication and more open communication styles.

Boards must do the hard work of taking an active approach to developing relationships with one another, their Chair, and the CEO, so that they are able to more freely discuss all issues that the institution faces and have frank, direct and sometimes even pointed discussions so that they can make better, more fully informed decisions.

Strong bonds enable boards to be able to get to the heart of the matter without fear of causing offense or otherwise stepping on anyone’s toes. In the end, this more active, direct, and dynamic approach helps boards to develop better strategies for dealing with all of the changes and disruptions that are taking place within their organisation and the marketplace.
 

Dive Deep and Encourage Diverse Ideas and Perspectives

Building strong bonds between the Board Chair, the CEO, and the board members, and facilitating more open communication is just one part of strengthening the strategic capacity of a board. While the board Chair and CEO must cooperate and work in partnership with one another, boards and their Chairs must still maintain their independence from the CEO and other management.

As part of their oversight and governance duties boards and their Chair must actively seek out alternative viewpoints and ensure that they have a full and unobstructed view of all of the issues and details surrounding a specific challenge. Oftentimes this means that boards will need specific training and development in order to be informed and competent in specific areas.

Rather than serving as a rubber stamp for the CEO and management of an organisation, boards and their Chairs must dive deep into issues and challenges and the organisation’s comprehensive strategies. From IT and risk management to digital trends, media, marketing and branding and even the safeguarding of the organisation’s reputation, nearly every performance area of an organisation should come under the oversight of the board.
 

Make Meetings and Agenda Items Count

Many boards only meet a few times a year, but strong boards make these meetings count by getting actual work accomplished. Board Chairs can strengthen their board and increase its impact and effectiveness by setting an aggressive and ambitious agenda.

Ideally, board meetings should first begin with a short reception that will allow members to mingle, connect and bond with one another before getting down to business. This sets a collegial tone for the rest of the meeting and helps put everyone in the right frame of mind and be more willing to cooperate and work with one another.

Next, the key challenges facing the organisation should become the focal point for the rest of the meeting agenda and should include potential options for strategy and other action items. To keep the board’s morale and momentum moving forward, Chairs should allow strategic thinking and planning to take up the lion’s share of the agenda, and save old business and follow up reports for the end.

As boards become more actively engaged in the governance and oversight of the organisation, they should periodically review their performance, as well as that of their Chair and their CEO, to see how well they are doing at transforming their board and the organisation as a whole.

Setting ambitious goals for organisational change and comparing the results against industry metrics can help boards to evaluate their performance in a more unbiased manner and help them to be able to identify and focus on new areas for improvement.

How active and strong is your organisation’s board and how effective is your board at managing change? Do you know in what areas your board excels and can you identify what areas your board should focus on to improve its effectiveness? Get in touch today to learn more about how executive coaching can help you to develop the leadership skills that you need to help you strengthen your board and increase its effectiveness.

Future Leadership – Globe’s Most Critical Issue?

Future Leadership – Globe’s Most Critical Issue?

Is the development and focus on our Future Leaders the globe’s most critical challenge? I know this might seem to be an interesting question to ask and yes there are many key issues and challenges across the world today. Many of which are fundamentally essential to our globe.

Last year the World Economic Forum stated some key challenges and why they matter to the world such as politics, climate change, equality, poverty, and unemployment.

In turn, Business Insider published The ten most critical problems in the world, according to millennials and as mentioned that despite the dire state of the world today — and the stereotype that millennials’ are selfish and apathetic (I disagree) — the generation aged 18 to 35 cares deeply about global issues, and they’re determined to tackle them.

They state; in fact, 70% of millennials see plentiful opportunities for themselves and their peers, and 50% believe they can significantly contribute to decision making in their home country.

In turn, last month I spoke at Griffith University at their Future Leaders Summit and many who attended were 15-17 year olds. It was one of the most incredible days of my life. I spoke about Leadership Attitude and how those leaders in that room are vital for our world. The insights and questions were mind blowing. One question from a student was – “What do you think is going to be the greatest challenge for our generation in the future?”. I stood silent for a while and said this was another topic all together. I said I think there are going to be a number of challenges; and I see leadership being the biggest and most important issue. To hear them say to me that I changed how they saw themselves, leadership and how they could make a difference, was beyond inspiring.

As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others. Bill Gates

The thing is, in our research and work we are finding many of our future leaders who care so passionately about the globe, and it’s challenges, don’t see themselves as leaders. Why? They see leadership as a role; a leader is a title. Leadership is not about position or title. It is about Attitude, Mindset, Behaviour and Action.

What are we doing today to build and cultivate our future leaders to guide and empower them to have the mindset and courage to lead? To be leaders.

Have a look at politics today. Look at the pool of leaders what are running our countries? Is the calibre of leaders we have to choose from today? Is the best of what the world has to offer when it comes to leadership? No…!

We need to step up. We need to lead.

We need great future leaders who can lead these critical issues. Yes, you might be saying what about the leaders of today, and of course, they matter. However, it is our future and emerging leaders that we need to give them the skills, confidence, courage and mentoring to lead our future.

We need leaders who are authentic, aware and know who they are. Leaders, who have the courage to stand tall, believe in themselves and demonstrate complete compassion, empathy and integrity. Leaders who only speak the truth and walk the talk. Leaders who want to be significant to others and create a legacy of leading the way.

Leaders who are inclusive and embrace the diversity of our world. Leaders who inspire and empower others to be the best they can be and lead change. Leaders are vulnerable and who are not afraid to say I am scared and I know I am going to make mistakes. Leaders who ask for help. Leaders who will keep moving forward and believe they have a purpose on this planet. Leaders who are the ripple effect.

Leaders who see leadership as an action and attitude.

We need leaders who will lead our global challenges with a whole heart, conviction and courage. We need to take care of your future leaders and make sure we are truly connecting with them. We need to be asking them how we can help them be better and be the best they can be.

We ALL have these global challenges. However, it is the small things we can do today and each day to lead the way. It is those things that could have the greatest impact for future leadership and the globe tomorrow.

I am so passionate about Leadership; building leaders of today and for tomorrow. If you would like a Leadership Attitude, grab my latest book on our website or via Amazon, Kobe or Nook – or you can order it via your local bookstore too. Or talk to me or my brilliant team about our Emerging Leaders program – it truly rocks!

Please share with us what you are doing today to make a difference in leadership for tomorrow and why.

First FIVE will receive a FREE copy of Leadership Attitude.

Remember You Rock!

5 Reasons Even Execs Need Coaching

5 Reasons Even Execs Need Coaching

Reaching the executive level on the totem pole in business doesn’t mean you should stop the pursuit of greater knowledge and skills to support you in your role. We can all benefit from additional knowledge and executives are no different.

What is the benefit to executive level coaching?

The benefits for coaching are multi-faceted. Some intertwine and others are very clear but ultimately there are benefits for everyone, regardless of position. As an executive, you not only have company requirements but also personal requirements that coaching can assist with.

Below are 5 reasons we believe execs can benefit from coaching:

1. Life becomes boring without something new. Regardless of where you reach in the corporate world, if you don’t continue to push yourself to expand your knowledge or improve the way you handle your role, then you run the risk of every day becoming ground hog day, and that can only lead to burnout.

2. Personal development. You may be in the top position now but what if your company folds? What if something else happens that means you no longer hold the position you are in? Would you be well enough prepared to move into a new role? Coaching can also help you identify the limiting beliefs which are holding you back in life. He or she will help you break out of the comfort zone you are in and support you while you grow.

3. Times change. It is important to stay abreast of new techniques to being an efficient leader and for how to proactively implement the changes required. If you have been in an executive role for some time, it becomes all too easy to continue as you have been. You do things the way they have always been done without noticing the new and more streamlined techniques you may be able to implement. Coaching can support you in not only learning about the new ways, but providing you with the tools and techniques to implement them. The real pay-off is in your improved productivity and capability.

4. Personal sounding board. Your coach is an impartial, unbiased person with whom you can share the challenges you are facing and who will provide you with the necessary feedback and suggestions to help you navigate those challenges. Your coach will also call you out on thoughts, attitudes and actions that are no longer serving you. It’s true that you might not like everything your coach says, but you will know it’s being said for your benefit, and you have their complete support.

5. Identity. An executive level coach can assist you in not only cultivating, but maintaining a business brand as opposed to your private persona. It is important to have a very clear understanding of who you are as an executive leader, and understand how operate comfortably within your brand. Your brand – your leadership identity – represents your beliefs and values. Your coach will work with you to build a brand you are happy to become known for.

Coaching may seem like a luxury, however, with most executive positions lasting less than three years, it is more of a necessity to ensure your continued growth and continued viability at an executive level. The changes we see in executives in our coaching programs are not only inspiring but crucial to the overall success of everyone at executive level.

If you are at exec level and have not considered working with a coach, ask yourself why not. Don’t hold yourself back any longer, contact us today and make 2017 your year!

Creating a Culture

Creating a Culture

If there’s one thing that today’s leaders understand it’s that you can’t impose a culture on the workplace. No leader can dictate the way the people and the organisation work together. Instead, they need to grow and nurture the culture they want to see flourish in the organisation.

So how do they do that?

Set the scene

We have previously spoken about why reward and punishment doesn’t work when you want to bring about change. Instead we need to activate the part of the brain which makes decisions and helps us think about our actions. To do that we need to set the scene. People need to be able to visualise the scene and experience the change before it happens. Set the scene that you want to reach and together you can analyse what’s happening, how and why.

Write the script

The way you communicate about change has a big impact on whether or not it will be successful. The more you listen to your team members, the more you will understand about what is going on in their minds, and the more easily you will be able to guide them towards change. The more you speak with your people, the more you will develop a common language and expectation. Remember, the fear of being left behind is greater than the fear of change. They will want to come with you and the rest of the team.

Run the rehearsals.

Set the example for the culture you want to create. Modelling the behaviour works because, when you are a great leader, everyone wants to do what you do. Create opportunities for your team to “rehearse” and become used to the new way of doing things. . Remember every repetition rewires our brains into new patterns of thought and behaviour.

Are you trying to create a specific culture in your organisation? LeadershipHQ worked with a leading government organisation this year and we partnered with the Executive Leadership team to create such a culture. It was fantastic to see the turnaround after a few months. We did an analysis of the current state using one of our leading Organisational Cultural Tools, then worked closely with the leaders within the business to create and implement a culture and strategy. It had to be meaningful and high impact for THEM; they had to OWN it, DRIVE it and MODEL it. And it ROCKED! We love our work and these stories, because culture and leadership truly matter.

Try these suggestions and let me know how they work for you.

If you would love to know more about how to create and build a culture that truly rocks, contact the team at LeadershipHQ today [email protected]click here to find out more.

Amplify: Making women leaders heard

Amplify: Making women leaders heard

I recently read an interesting article from Quartz which discussed a communication technique adopted by  women at the White House to make themselves heard.

Politics has long been a man’s game so it’s no wonder that women are outnumbered in the White House, particularly as the President’s Aides. Quartz makes the point that women are typically interrupted by men, no matter what the setting, and that has led to the introduction of the new term “manterrupting.”

However, women at the White House have developed a new technique which they call Amplification, helping each other be heard.

The technique is simple but clever, and it’s one that women could apply anywhere they really want to get their message across.
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The technique

The article says “When a woman made a good point, another woman would repeat it, and give credit to the originator. This made the idea harder to ignore, or to steal. The women called the technique ‘amplification.’”
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Why does it work?

Constantly repeating yourself so your message is heard is a waste of time. All that happens is that the intended recipient switches off. Your voice becomes little more than ‘white noise’ blocking what other people are saying.

The key to amplification is that someone else picks up your message and repeats it, acknowledging that the contribution is yours.

Immediately, your message gains credibility because someone else has recognised its value. It’s much harder to ignore two or three people saying the same thing, than it is to ignore just one.
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What does it rely on?

The technique will only work if you have someone willing to support you in getting your message across.  It’s based on cooperation and not competition. You need an ally at hand. As women, we naturally collaborate well especially when we have a common goal. I would suggest building your alliance before you head into your important meeting so each woman knows what the message is and how best to help you (each other) get it across.

The article comments that “Obama noticed and began calling on women more often.”

So we know the technique works and we understand why it works. Why aren’t we using it?
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Would you use this technique?

Would you consider using amplification in your next important meeting? I’d love to know your thoughts on the subject. Your experience and thoughts might help others who are reading this post. Please leave me a comment below and let’s start a conversation.