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. 

 

 

 

 

The HR Problems 8 out of 10 Businesses are up against

The HR Problems 8 out of 10 Businesses are up against

A survey held by the Association for Talent Development that looked to discover what executives thought were their biggest HR concerns in terms of the skills their future talent will need to help them survive in the business world. 83% (or 8 out of 10) are facing a skills gap at present, and 78% foresee it occurring in the future. So, what are the skills that are in high demand now, and in the coming years as well?

Leadership

50% of the survey respondents expressed that they knew their organisations didn’t have adequate leadership strength to call off the bench, while 47% mentioned they were expecting, in the future, a gap in executive and leadership skills.

The fact is that companies still aren’t giving their employees adequate preparation for advancement into executive and other senior positions of leadership. It’s time to start investing in training and empowering staff so that they flourish in senior leadership roles, and that the company is in safe hands as each leader is succeeded.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the process of analysing an issue without emotion, looking at all the different perspectives and angles to get to a conclusion that is logical and sound. Critical thinking doesn’t happen automatically – after all, humans are emotional by nature – which is why it’s an extremely desirable and valuable skill that employers are looking for in their staff, whether current or prospective hires.

When team members have well-honed critical thinking skills, there’ll be a noticeable improvement in productivity, teamwork and employee relationships. It’s difficult to consciously disregard your irrational feelings, biases and self-interest, but you’ll be making yourself irresistible to employers.

Communication

Effective verbal and nonverbal communication is critical in any employee and organisation’s success. Positive communication helps with forging beneficial relationships with peers, leaders, clients and customers; encourages and improves teamwork, and ensures clarity with any ideas, suggestions and feedback.

Not a day goes by where we don’t communicate in some form or another, so building and improving on communication skills is essential in the business world.

It’s important to identify and close skill gaps as they are found, but things won’t really improve unless all key personnel, especially those in HR and senior management, are committed to the process. Don’t become part of the statistics; solving this HR problem is easier than you may think.
If your company needs help identifying and filling skill gaps in your organization, contact us at LeadershipHQ today for a consultation and see how we can help.
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

My Wish for 2019 – Being Human

My Wish for 2019 – Being Human

My wish for 2019 for the leaders (remember leadership is an Attitude, Mindset, and Action) of the world – let’s be Human. I think this is what the world is craving for – Connection and Compassion as human beings.

At this time of year, I watch all those cheesy and wonderful Christmas Movies. One of my favourites is Love Actually. I love the scene at the airport where all the people are arriving at Heathrow and they are so excited and happy. They are hugging and embracing their loved ones. It occurred to me that this is a place where you can say that is love all around – and connection is all around. Don’t you agree? We might say we are all different however we are all the same – we need connection. Did you know we are social beings and this is important in leadership?

The business of business is relationships; the business of life is human connection. Robin S. Sharma

I always find the week before Xmas is interesting. There always seems to be this mad panic to get everything done before the holidays. Everyone was racing around, walking faster along the streets, checking their phones was more evident and in a rush to have meetings and conversations. In turn, so many of my clients were canceling meetings and coaching as they got just too busy. I was really conscious of not being caught up in the busyness and crazy rush of closing the year off for the upcoming Christmas break. So I don’t buy into it – ever.

Why? It stops me from being in the moment and connecting with those around me and being compassionate to them and myself. It is this time of year we need to take care of ourselves and others.

And are we really that busy? Are we? What happened to being in the moment and being human?

Thing is regardless of what time of year or where we are at (we don’t need an airport to feel connection) – we need to start being human.

So imagine the simplicity of just saying hello and asking a stranger at a coffee shop how they are, calling someone to say hello instead of an SMS or being truly present when we are with our loved ones or with the people around us. Saying thank you for making my coffee, being there for me and asking if someone needs help.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

Imagine the power of letting go of judging ourselves or others, being kind to ourselves when we fail or letting go of any expectations of the world and being grateful for what we have and where you are at. Imagine talking to ourselves like we would to someone we love. Imagine if we embraced this connection, compassion, and kindness as leaders in 2019. Where busyness or being on 24/7 is just a fad.

This is something I am truly committed to and passionate about. Compassion, kindness, and connection. You can read more about this in my latest book JUST ROCK IT!

In turn, I highly recommend you watch Brene Brown’s TED Talk called Power of Vulnerability too. Brene studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. Dalai Lama

Imagine a world where we truly appreciate and love the element of being human and we can create moments where we can make a difference to humanity by connecting and being compassionate. Where time and love are our most precious resources, not money, power, titles or things. Imagine leaders of the world being human. This is leadership.

It starts with us.

Below are My Top My Top Twenty 2019 Affirmations for being Compassionate to YOU.

1.    I am worthy.

2.    I can do anything I set my mind to.

3.    I am stronger than I think.

4.    I am the master of my own life.

5.    I cannot control others’ actions, only my reaction to them.

6.    I am me. I am unique. There is nobody else like me.

7.    Nothing has beaten me yet; I can overcome any obstacle.

8.    Who I was in the past does not reflect on who I am today.

9.    I take each day as a new chance to do and be better.

10. I will always make the best of a situation.

11. I will look for the positives in everything, even if I can’t immediately see any.

12. I am grateful.

13. I am proud of myself and all I have achieved.

14. I have many talents and skills.

15. I can and will harness my power to make the life I want.

16. I know my worth, even if others don’t see it.

17. I deserve happiness.

18. There’s no limit to what I can achieve.

19. It will all turn out alright in the end.

20. I can do IT.

Author – Sonia McDonald, Keynote Speaker, Executive Coach and CEO of LeadershipHQ

Sonia McDonald is one of Globe’s leading leadership executive coaches and keynote speakers, as well as an advisor, thought leader, and author. She’s also CEO and founder of LeadershipHQ, and through this, she empowers people to discover their own innate talent and strengths.

Named as one of the Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs and Top 250 Influential Women in the world, Sonia is shaking up the traditional view of leadership, and along the way she has uncovered some outstanding leadership talent which had previously gone unnoticed.

Sonia is internationally recognised as an expert in leadership and strategy, organisational development, workplace diversity and the neuroscience of leadership.

Sonia has also coached people around the world, encouraging them to succeed by reaching their full potential. She has helped hundreds of people build their brands, grow their leadership and business strategies, increase their confidence, build awareness, increase their business revenue, connect to the right people, build exceptional skills and achieve brilliant businesses and careers.

Sonia has written several books on leadership: Leadership Attitude, Just Rock IT! and Neuroscience of Leadership, and she writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. She has been published in BBC Capital, The Australian, HRD Magazine, Business Insider and Richtopia.

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

www.leadershiphq.com.au

10 Ways to Be an Authentic Leader + Infograhic

10 Ways to Be an Authentic Leader + Infograhic

To truly build a sustainable team, leaders must strive to not only be effective, but authentic as well. Jumping onto the latest management philosophy without truly buying in to it is a sure way to lose credibility, so careful and conscientious mindfulness is the key to any worthwhile team management plan. Team members can smell insincerity a mile away, so a leader’s first steps are to understand their own motivations and beliefs.

  • Truthfulness: Perhaps one of the strongest indicators of an authentic leader is the ability to honestly present information without injecting any ‘dazzle’ to motivate employees. Speak the plain truth to garner results.
  • Confidence: You own confidence is a sure fire way to share your authenticity with the team. Being assured a project is going as planned with the expected results on the horizon is something that can only come from a competent leader who is sure of their choices.
  • Mentoring: A great leader looks to build a team from within, and nurturing talent from the members of the team is a positive way to reinforce authenticity. Helping employees to reach their potential is the surest way to experience continued success.
  • Accountability: Taking credit when things go right is the hallmark of all leaders, but for those who step forward when things don’t go as planned… that’s the sign of a great leader. But don’t simply take the blame and shrug your shoulders – have a plan to avoid similar issues the next time around.
  • Support: Look for ways to give assistance when it’s in your power to do so. It may be offering creative insight into a project, or even providing moral support when a team seems down. Your investment into the wellbeing of your work group is a sure way to validate your authenticity as a leader.
  • Comprehension: Being a leader means delegating responsibility, but it also means knowing the detailed ins and outs of the project at hand. When a team member approaches you with a consultation, be sure you know what they are referencing so as to give the best possible guidance.
  • Action: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Your strength as a leader resides in your ability to make decisions based on your ongoing analysis and information. Decisive action takes skill, and being competent in this arena will go a long way to demonstrate your authenticity.
  • Reaction: On the other side of the coin, reacting in just as quick a manner with the right tools places you in the pantheon of great leaders. This relies on carefully balancing the facts at hand and making solid judgment calls in order to react effectively and decisively.
  • Communication: Rendering information as soon as it is practical to share with the team is a steadfast hallmark of an authentic leader. Providing team members with the appropriate resources when they need them and not when it’s convenient to you goes a long way.
  • Accessibility: Last but not least, an authentic leader is available to their team when needed, not when it’s convenient for the leader. An open door policy, no matter the source of the conversation, is a strong way to instil your participation and reliability where employees are concerned. Be open, and be sincere. If you can’t help with the issue at hand, be honest and ready to help find someone who can assist.

10 Ways to Engage Your Team

10 Ways to Engage Your Team and (more importantly) keep them engaged!

“My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs

Ask almost any manager “What is the most difficult thing about your job?” Many of them will answer employee engagement, motivation, team chemistry or something to the effect. This quote by the late Steve Jobs perfectly articulates how balancing teamwork and production can be a delicate process.

So, what are some ways to engage your team? Let’s discuss 10 things that you can do or say that will create some spark in your business.

Ask

No quicker way to find out what works for each individual than to simply ask. Those with an introverted (thoughtful, solitary) side will probably not like the loud, “rah-rah” environment. People with an extraverted (energetic, outgoing) side will likely not respond to an email of congratulations. It’s about finding balance.

Embrace change

Accept and encourage ideas as part of your team culture. Nobody likes archaic, static environments, so seek to build a culture of innovation and creativity.

Give feedback

Feedback is necessary, even it is less than ideal. Performance will always be the primary driver in business, so be willing to take someone (including you) outside of their comfort zone. Honest and frank feedback is key to employee, team and company growth.

Resist the “golden rule”

Treat people the way that they (not you) want to be treated. Remember (this is key) that each individual’s personality, communication style, and other work preferences are likely to be different. Understand each person on your team and engage them according to these preferences.

Give credit

People should be given credit for a job well done. Even a simple “Thank you” or “I appreciate your effort” will go a long way in making your employees feel positive and motivated.

Show interest

This means showing employees that you care about them personally, specifically about their life, goals, and any challenges that they are facing.

Develop strengths

Gallup, the data-based news and research company, states that focusing on your employee’s strengths is likely to increase engagement. Focus on what each individual brings to the team and develop them accordingly.

Focus on new team members

Research indicates that employees are most engaged during their first six months. Use this knowledge to implement and execute a plan or initiative that will build on their morale.

Incorporate new training

Use tools and learning programs to further your team’s knowledge and track progress. Budgetary constraints are likely to prevent a large and elaborate program, so use some creativity to do this.

Keep employees informed

There is perhaps nothing more frustrating than a new initiative, policy or program that employees are informed about at the last minute. As soon as feasible, let your team in on any developing trends that may impact them.

So there you have it! 10 things to help you engage your team and lead them to the next level. Want to take your leadership further, well that’s where we come in! Get in touch with the LeadershipHQ team to discover how we can help you engage your team and kick goals in your workplace. 

About LeadershipHQ

LeadershipHQ have helped 1000’s of small to medium-sized organisations, 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

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