We’re All in This Together

We’re All in This Together

Yesterday I was the Keynote Speaker for one of my favorite keynotes and workshops around Leadership Attitude. Even though the theme was Balance for Better, I focused for Balance is Better for all of us; together regardless on race, gender, age and so forth and to appreciate the uniqueness and talents of us all. Leadership is about being brave and kind – and ultimately if you can inspire someone to do more, learn more and be more; you are a leader. What I loved about the keynote was the number of men and women in the room and the number of men and women in the room who approached me afterward to share how much they got out of my keynote and some had tears (me too by the way…).

However, I was reading that SurveyMonkey and LeanIn released some startling findings recently: men are much more reluctant to participate in workplace activities that have them closely interacting with women since #MeToo and the anti-sexual harassment movement have gained traction. While #MeToo is fantastic for women, the ferocity of support has left many men worried about their actions being misconstrued – and this is causing women to miss out on valuable career opportunities, such as having male mentors and sponsors that can help them advance. In this era of #MeToo, we need to understand that it doesn’t mean we have to be against each other; it’s not men versus women, it’s all of us against inappropriate actions and behaviours that are damaging in the workplace (and all other areas of life).

If men continue to avoid solo interactions with women at work, we’ll only see the gender gap keep widening and the imbalance of power will be even more difficult to address. Men, especially managers, are doing a further disservice to women (even if they aren’t intending to) by hindering their career growth and progression. Great sponsors and mentors can make all the difference to a woman’s success in the workplace, so we must become allies, not enemies. 

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So, just how can we demonstrate that we’re all in this together, especially if we’re men who are concerned about being unfairly labelled? The answer is simple: act respectfully to your female colleagues and be sure to support them wherever possible, to help them grow and advance. Sponsorship is one of the best ways to do this.

A workplace sponsor is someone in the workplace who has power, who can influence decisions made about your career progression, advocate for your advancement and success and allows you to make mistakes (sometimes) and take risks, without harming your career. Sponsors go to bat for you, at the expense of risking their credibility and is a truly important part of your growth in the workplace. They are more hands-on than mentors, but that isn’t to say that mentors don’t have their place in helping a woman’s career.

Fast Company released data that shows that sponsorship is one of the most crucial parts of career advancement. Women with sponsors:

●     Are 27% more likely to ask for a raise than female peers who aren’t sponsored

●     Are 22% more likely to request ‘stretch assignments’ that contribute to their leadership reputation

●     Report that 68% are satisfied with how their career is advancing

Men are much more likely to have a sponsor than women – 56% more likely, in fact (according to Harvard Business Review). This culture needs to be changed, so that more men start stepping up and sponsoring their female colleagues, and that those women are prepared to accept the offer.

Contact the team at LeadershipHQ about how our cutting edge and transformational leadership programs and coaching can change and transform your team and business.

As I said before, we’re all in this together. This means women should accept the help men are offering, and men should be offering more often. When men in the workplace make a real commitment to boosting their female coworkers, by advocating for them and promoting them (when deserved), we’ll start to see unity in the workplace and equality in opportunities and power for women. Respect goes both ways, and if you aren’t behaving inappropriately towards the women in your workplace, then you have nothing to fear.
The 7 Laws of Leadership

The 7 Laws of Leadership

I have put together these laws (when I say ‘laws’, I mean more like guidelines) for any leader who is looking for some direction – however, these are also great for making the most of life in general. I will expand on each one to explain why I believe they’re so important, and what they mean to me.

Without further ado, here are my 7 Laws of Leadership:

  1. Be brave. Be kind.

You’ll hear me speak (and write!) about this a lot, and with good reason; the best leaders are those who blaze trails and are willing to do the things nobody else will. You’ll surprise yourself with what you can accomplish when you take that leap! Always practice kindness and bravery.

  1. Follow your instincts, but don’t discount others’ opinions

If you can’t trust your gut feelings, why should anyone else trust in you and your actions? This doesn’t mean that you should ignore what everyone else thinks; it’s important to seriously consider all options and outcomes before making a decision, but great leaders become known for their instincts when they steer people and companies in the right direction and out of trouble. Trusting yourself can be hard, but it’s what you need to do to become a better leader.

  1. Be respectful, always

A leader who doesn’t treat others with respect will never be respected – and won’t be getting the best from their team. Relationships are built on respect, and you’ll need to forge relationships often in the workplace to be truly successful.

  1. Be empowering

When you give those around you the encouragement and tools to succeed, you’re instilling a sense of pride in their work and improving their self-esteem, while pushing them to get the best results possible. Making people feel good will make you feel good too, and will bring a great atmosphere to the workplace. You’ll also improve the culture of the business, which will have positive ripple effects throughout the whole company.

Contact the team at LeadershipHQ for a FREE Leadership or Business Culture Coaching Session 

  1. Be the model of what you expect from others

“Do as I say, not as I do” leaders are not respected, and will quickly sink a positive atmosphere in the workplace. If you want your team to be hard-working, honest, passionate – you need to model this for them and live it yourself. Enthusiasm is contagious; spread it to your team and see the great results.

  1. Be willing to do what is right, even when others don’t agree

Having integrity and doing what you believe is the right thing to do is an important characteristic of any great leader. No real change was ever made without someone taking that risk, standing up and saying “No more. This is what is right!” While others may not like it, you will more often than not gain their respect for sticking to your guns and doing the right thing, no matter how hard it is.

  1. Never stop learning

You’ll never know everything – that’s just a fact of life. But things are always changing; new research comes out, or new technology, and to continue staying on top of the competition, you need to be constantly learning and seeking out new information. Improving your skills and knowledge is never a bad thing

I go by these guidelines every day, and I hope they help inspire you to take the next step and ramp up your leadership. These laws also apply to life in general – who doesn’t want to be the best they can be, whether they’re a leader or not?

I’d love to hear what you think of my 7 Laws of Leadership! Let me know what you think of them, and if you think I should include any other laws. 

 

 

 

 

Can You Afford the High Cost of Poor Leadership?

Can You Afford the High Cost of Poor Leadership?

Many of us have seen poor leadership in action – those bosses that drive away your colleagues and new hires in droves, possibly even forcing you to quit as well. You’re left wondering why the management hasn’t changed, even in the face of such poor employee retention. When leadership in a company is poor, millions of dollars are lost each year due to the way it affects customer satisfaction, staff retention and productivity. When only 30% of your employees are actively trying to do a good job, there’s a problem. We’ve gathered some statistics to show you just how much poor leadership really costs.

  • Between 9-32% of staff, turnover could be avoided with better leadership
  • Poor leadership can cost the typical company up to 7% of their total annual revenue
  • Improved leadership can eliminate the 5-10% drag in productivity that many organisations are operating with
  • 25% of staff quit because they don’t feel empowered by their leader
  • In a company of 250 that has 25% of its staff leave each year, with an average turnover cost of $5500 per staff member, this equals an annual turnover cost of $343,750!
  • These figures are the dollars lost in staff turnover due to poor leadership: Entry level – 30-50% of salary. Mid-level – 150% of salary. High level – 400% of salary

When poor leadership is ignored, every aspect of a company suffers. You’re not getting the best from your employees, many of whom are actively trying to ‘get back’ at their leaders through reduced performance. Customers sense (or can plainly see) staff unhappiness, leading to poor customer retention; it’s not just employee retention that suffers.

The culture of an organisation and business is so important, and ineffective leadership causes damage that cannot be repaired until the root problem is addressed. So how do we start improving the leadership within an organisation, and decreasing its high costs?

Contact the team at LeadershipHQ for a FREE Leadership Analysis at info@leadershiphq.com.au

Start investing in your leaders, and in turn, your employees, by providing opportunities for improvement in their leadership skills. Whether you decide to do this internally with your HR department or outsource to an external company, you’ll soon see the benefits – and so will your bottom line.

Culture changes don’t happen overnight, but it’s worth reassessing your goals, vision and mission to make sure they align with the new culture you’re wanting to introduce and grow – one where employees are led by the best, where they feel valued and appreciated, and want to put in their best efforts for the company. Investing in your leaders means your staff will start becoming more invested in their work, and in the company as a whole.

Companies can’t afford to pay the high prices of bad leadership, so it’s time to be proactive and start facing the problem head-on – can you and your staff continue to pay the price, both monetary and emotionally? Don’t drive away your best employees (and customers) with bad leadership.

About LeadershipHQ

LeadershipHQ have helped 1000’s of small to medium sized organisations (sometimes corporates), teams and leaders. LeadershipHQ partner with businesses and leaders in building & delivering high impact

Leadership, People, Cultural and Business Strategies and Programs that ultimately improve the bottom line. We work with leaders and organisations across the globe transforming their leadership, culture and organisations with our cutting edge and results-driven strategies, assessments and diagnostics, leadership events, coaching and programs. 

We know Great Leadership means Great Results. We have a team of brilliant people across the Globe who work with organisations and clients to deliver great results and leadership. We are the innovators and thought leaders in Leadership and Strategy through our consulting, events, internal and external programs and online resources. 

Our specialities include Cultural Transformation | Business Strategy | Leadership Development | Facilitation | HR Consulting | Executive Coaching | Keynote Speaking | Online Programs | Licensing Programs | Online Resources | Emerging Leaders | Women in Leadership | Leadership Coaching Program | Masterclasses – Half and Full Day Leadership Workshops | Events | Mentoring Programs

LeadershipHQ is the headquarters of Great Leadership. We have our online resource centre and programs, leadership magazine and we have been named in the TOP 50 & 100 Leadership Blogs across the Globe for CEO’s, Entrepreneurs and Executives. 

Our clients include Thiess, Super Retail Group, Coles, Kane Constructions, McConaghy Properties, ARTC, Aurizon, Qantas, Virgin, Origin, Downer, Genie, CQU, Griffith University, Lend Lease, Vic Racing and SEQ Water.

Phone 1300 719 665  www.leadershiphq.com.au www.soniamcdonald.com.au

Bullying in the Workplace – Why is it Still so Common?

Bullying in the Workplace – Why is it Still so Common?

The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept.

I am incredibly passionate about anti-bullying and stopping poor leadership. Imagine if it was your son, daughter or someone you loved that was being bullied at work. It is unacceptable and it is up to us to combat it.

You’ve probably heard on the news that Westmead Hospital in Sydney’s ICU had their training accreditation revoked, once bullying allegations came to light. The culprits? Senior medical staff who should definitely know better! As Brad Hazzard, NSW’s Health Minister put it: “There is absolutely not one millimetre of room for a culture of bullying or failure to provide respect to every staff member.”

Then, after the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Cricket Australia just a few days later, an independent review noted that employees were using bullying tactics and ostracising other team members in efforts to get their own way.

Safe Work Australia and the Fair Work Commission have been working hard for over 10 years to raise awareness of (and try to eliminate) workplace bullying, but it is still rife in workplaces all over the country – and the world! So why is bullying in the workplace still common?

Let’s take a step back and look at just what workplace bullying is defined as by Safe Work Australia:

● Victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening behaviour

● Repeated over time

● Excludes reasonable management action like speaking to someone about poor performance

● Can dovetail with sexual harassment or racism

The impact on the victims of this bullying (and any form of bullying) is huge. Victims can suffer often debilitating distress, take more days off ‘sick’, avoid the workplace as much as possible, and can’t complete their duties as effectively. In dollar form, lost productivity as a result of bullying costs up to $36 billion each year.

It also damages a business’s reputation, which can make or break an organisation. If the media gets wind of a bullying story that will sell, then the incident is broadcast to a large audience and makes it hard for the business to recover from – who would want to buy from or work for an organisation that is so publically plagued by accusations of bullying?

A study completed this year said that one in five workers have been bullied in the past twelve months, which is completely unacceptable.

There are some shocking statistics from a 2016 study of 34 European countries and their workplace environments, and Australia was found to have had the sixth highest rate of workplace bullying compared to the rest of the countries studied.

Within the previous six month period, 37% of respondents said they had been sworn or yelled at, 23% had been humiliated in front of others and 22% had been threatened or physically assaulted by clients/patients.

Workplace bullying is rife in health care, defence, electricity supply and government administration, but places that should be more progressive, like universities, are not exempt from bullying in the workplace.

Australian managers have unfortunately been taught that tough leadership is the best form of management and that the US culture of ‘management by fear’ is a legitimate way to motivate a team. It’s a quick slide from this type of management to straight up bullying behaviour.

It’s not just managers and bosses that are bullies, peers are also engaging in workplace bullying at an alarming rate. Whether they just don’t like a person or are acting out of jealousy when someone achieves more than they do, especially when managers use extremely competitive reward and incentive systems, bullying often becomes their way of expressing their jealousy and/or dislike.

You may be wondering what you can do to help stop this, and we have three suggestions for you and your company:

● Lead by example – have a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to bullying. Those at the top set the example for those below.

● Regularly communicate, review and enforce complaints procedures and anti-bullying policies.

● Empower your employees to speak out – let them know they shouldn’t fear retribution, and that all concerns will be taken seriously.

In turn, we have found that organisations and businesses who invest in leadership coaching and training with a focus on personal leadership and social intelligence have had great results and performance with an increase in retention, engagement and productivity. Also they have been able to overcome bullying and poor leadership within their cultures.

It’s not always easy, but change never is. We all need to be more active in stamping out bullying in the workplace, so we can turn around the startling statistics and make every workplace a welcoming and comfortable environment, increasing employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity.

If you are interested in finding out how we can partner with you and build great leaders, leadership and cultures where your leaders are leading by example; contact LeadershipHQ for our cutting edge and high impact programs and strategies.

To speak with someone about any workplace bullying you’ve seen or experienced, you can contact:

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Beyond Blue – 1300 22 46 36

Safe Work Australia – they’ll direct you to the relevant body in your state

5 Habits of Bad Leaders + Infographic + Free Plan

5 Habits of Bad Leaders + Infographic + Free Plan

Is Bad Leadership impacting you, your team and your business? Almost all of us have worked under a leader who, to put it simply, wasn’t very good at leading. When you’re dealing with a leader like this, what are the effects of their bad leadership on their team and organisation? Poor leadership ultimately impacts the performance and bottom line of your organisation and business…

The true measure of the value of any business leader and manager is performance.

Brian Tracy.

Birgit Schyns and Jan Schilling conducted a meta-analysis (referenced here) on the effects of bad leadership, and found the following:

  • Bad, abusive supervisors are not trusted and their requests are resisted by followers.
  • Bad leaders create dissatisfaction in followers and de-motivate them.
  • Followers of bad leaders are less committed to their jobs and organizations, look to leave the organisation, and may even engage in counterproductive work behaviours.
  • Bad, abusive leaders create stress in followers and can have adverse effects on their health and well-being.

Let’s take a look at some of the behaviours bad leaders exhibit, and how they can be corrected.

1. Being Hypocritical

If you don’t practice what you preach, then it’s no surprise that your team lacks respect for you as a leader.

Be fair, be consistent, and lead by example – none of that ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ nonsense.

2. Being Unclear

Bad leaders tend to be bad communicators as well, and aren’t clear when expressing expectations of their team.

If your team isn’t sure of what you expect of them, their performance is going to suffer. It’s hard to be efficient when you’re unsure of what you should be doing.

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3. Not Recognising Team Members’ Efforts

Nobody likes to be taken for granted at work, but it happens. And if it’s happening consistently, then you’re working under a bad leader.

Bad leaders don’t acknowledge or recognise their team’s achievements, so their team stops working as hard – why would you keep putting in so much effort if it’s never even mentioned?

4. Passing Blame

Leaders are accountable for their team, and this is something that many bad leaders struggle with.

If your team is getting bad results then you need to look at yourself, because you are their leader. Bad leaders will blame anyone but themselves, even publically. Why would you do your best work (or stick around at all) for a boss that passes blame?

5. Being a Micromanager

Bad leaders are awful at delegating; they don’t leave their team to work autonomously because they don’t believe the job will be done. If a leader isn’t allowing their team to use their skills and talents, and prove themselves, then the work being turned out isn’t at the highest quality it could be – the thing that bad leaders believe micromanaging will solve!

If you’re a leader and you’ve recognised yourself in any of these points, it’s time to do some self-reflection and empower yourself to become a better leader. However, any leader should always be mindful that they aren’t falling into these bad habits, so that they can lead their team to success.

About LeadershipHQ

LeadershipHQ have helped 1000’s of organisations, businesses, teams and leaders. LeadershipHQ partner with businesses and leaders in building & delivering high impact

Leadership, People, Cultural and Business Strategies and Programs that ultimately improve the bottom line. We work with leaders and organisations across the globe transforming their leadership, culture and organisations with our cutting edge and results-driven strategies, assessments and diagnostics, leadership events, coaching and programs. 

We know Great Leadership means Great Results. We have a team of brilliant people across the Globe who work with organisations and clients to deliver great results and leadership. We are the innovators and thought leaders in Leadership and Strategy through our consulting, events, internal and external programs and online resources. 

Our specialities include Cultural Transformation | Business Strategy | Leadership Development | Facilitation | HR Consulting | Executive Coaching | Keynote Speaking | Online Programs | Licensing Programs | Online Resources | Emerging Leaders | Women in Leadership | Leadership Coaching Program | Masterclasses – Half and Full Day Leadership Workshops | Events | Mentoring Programs

LeadershipHQ is the headquarters of Great Leadership. We have our online resource centre and programs, leadership magazine and we have been named in the TOP 50 & 100 Leadership Blogs across the Globe for CEO’s, Entrepreneurs and Executives. 

Our clients include Thiess, Super Retail Group, Coles, Kane Constructions, McConaghy Properties, ARTC, Aurizon, Qantas, Virgin, Origin, Downer, Genie, CQU, Griffith University, Lend Lease, Vic Racing and SEQ Water.

LeadershipHQ has a range of cutting-edge resources and programs that can help you become a great leader, including our Online Leadership Academy and Diploma of Leadership (BSB51915) that has seen fantastic results for those who’ve taken part. To take your leadership to the next level and iron out any bad leadership habits, find out more here.

Phone 1300 719 665  www.leadershiphq.com.au www.soniamcdonald.com.au

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The Jerk!

The Jerk!

They are real. They are out there. We have worked with them, for them and lead them. For whatever reason provenance has deemed necessary, there will often be that one person in a working environment that no amount of coaching or compassion will breach. These narcissistic jerks cause disruption, anxiety, pressure, and even hostile work environments no matter what others may do to try and alleviate their control issues.

If you have someone in your work arena that fits this description, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to ensure a smoother, though not ideal, working relationship that gets the results you need. It simply is a matter of recognising that not all workmates are created equal, and this one just needs to be handled in a more demanding way. It’s not about YOU, it’s about them, remember this. And only you hold the power over your thoughts and actions.

Be aware of your confidence

One tactic workplace jerks take on to forward their own narcissism is to bully other employees into discrediting their own work. You are the expert in the field and recognise your work has great value and substance, so when the workplace jerk starts knocking it down, realise you have more fruitful avenues for peer review. Seek out those around you who you trust and garner their opinion. Often times you will discover the negative critiques were simply that – negative.

Keep communications open

It is often uncomfortable to discuss just about anything with a demanding jerk in the workplace, but shutting down lines of communication is not the answer. When having to collaborate with such as personality, speak clearly and concisely about your topic. Be aware that a narcissist needs to feel in control, and that they may well try to drive the communication into a light that makes them look better. This is done by introducing red herrings into the conversation – don’t fall prey to dead end roads. Stick to the point at hand and move along.

Watch more here on my Youtube Channel about THE JERK and subscribe to more brilliant videos, tips and inspiration around Leadership, Neuroscience and Mindset!

Don’t just take it

If the office jerk is offensive, bullying, or entering the realm of harassment, you don’t have to take one for the team and excuse the behaviour. Recognise that their actions affect not only your work environment, but also the business image and fluidity as a whole. Report negative behaviour immediately to a supervisor or the human resources leader for resolution, and understand that this has nothing to do with anything you have done. Negative personalities such as the workplace jerk reduce productivity and job satisfaction, and making others aware of the disruption to business will ensure actions are taken immediately to correct the situation.

The Author  – Sonia McDonald

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’.   She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of human resource management. She has held leadership positions around the globe and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly effective leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, who puts people at ease and starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

 

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