Archive for November, 2010

Who’s page is it anyway? (2)

Posted: November 23, 2010 in articles

Got some nice questions off the back of the last post so thought I would tackle some of them…

Nice one Trav! I agree that the hierarchal way of thinking in organisations needs to change (My page is not the only page mentality). I think something that scares me about this new team defined page is when the poo hits the fan who is left to clean it up?

Leadership and team roles are still, in my opinion, critical for success of ‘the page’. If something goes wrong, where did it go wrong and who is accountable? The great thing about not ‘owning the page’ means you create space for coaching others into key strategic roles and developing them as you execute.

How much freedom do the team have to paint the page the way they want it? Is it different for every organisation/situation?

It is contextual. A nice set of questions to ask is:

How do we express our togetherness & how do we express our autonomy? There needs to be a balance of loose and tight in this regard. Our expression as team needs to be connected to ‘why’ we do ‘how’ we do ‘what’ we do.  What are our guiding principles? What structures are in place to ensure accountability? Our autonomy gives a little more creative license to individual leadership styles & expression of strength sets.

If you let go of some control then in my mind I would want to lesson my risk. If you share the risks you also have to share the rewards. As owners/leaders do we need to accept smaller rewards or do we just need to learn to trust our teams more and take bigger risks?

Letting go of control yields higher rewards. I know, cause I have struggled with letting go and have seen the impact of a more collaborative approach. What I have seen is a greater degree of innovation off the back of shared responsibilities. I don’t see you as needing to settle for less reward, depending on how you define reward. If the reward is innovation and a result which is greater than your comprehension or individual ability (and therefore more impact!) then it is in fact far greater.

Lastly – trust – is critical for this all to work. What conversations do you need to have to develop trust as a platform to make any of this work!



Who’s page is it anyway?

Posted: November 20, 2010 in articles

Whilst engaged in some team building a team leader approached me with this question:

“Do you think that I will ever be able to get everyone on the same page?”

I was intrigued by his question so asked him what he meant by the same page. He described a scenario whereby ideally he wanted all of those in his team to ‘get what he gets!’.  As he continued to speak I realised the error in this leaders way of thinking. Ultimately what he desires is for everyone to do what he wants them to do. The page he is speaking about is in fact, HIS page.  He is asking why is everyone not on MY page.

Now there needs to be a page, that’s for sure. But it certainly can’t be yours alone. The page represents a place whereby whatever it is you do together is working to its optimum potential. The optimum potential of a team is equal to the sum of the potential of all the individuals in the team. Leaders then need to move away from ‘telling’ their teams about a page but rather involve them in becoming part of the page.

As we spoke I encouraged him to get used to the fact that diversity creates tension. Tension can go two ways. Toward conflict or toward innovation.  He gets to chose which path he wants to take and then act accordingly.

The answer to the first question then is yes. Yes, you will be able to get everyone on the same page. It all depends on your method.

Step 1:  Let go of what you think the page should look like

Step 2: Involve others in creating the page sharing your perspective and inviting the perspectives of others.

Step 3: Allow moments of tension and choose to see the potential amidst the tension

Step 4:  Act

Step 5: Dialogue as you go, continuously.

Then step back and enjoy a page that doesn’t just look and feel like you, but is a result of what is around you.  Perhaps this new page will be even more awesome than the page you so eagerly fought for on your own?

Automatically Stupid vs Very Clever

Posted: November 12, 2010 in articles

In moments of pressure we often become Automatically Stupid.  We say what we didn’t mean to say. We do what we didn’t mean to do. We freeze. It seems that outside of the pressure zone we’re Very Clever. We have clarity of thought, can find the right words, feel calm & seem to be able to see the bigger picture. Much like preparing for a speech versus giving a speech. Perhaps one could look at rugby as a bunch of very clever people shouting the odds at the automatically stupid referee!

I have huge amounts of respect for people who are able to remain very clever in moments of pressure. Their minds seem to be in a state of ‘rest’ or ‘relaxed alertness’ seemingly being able to read the situation, make the right call and be successful.

What if we could get ourselves to a place of doing what we most need to do (very clever) whilst under pressure?

Sportsmen understand the importance of remaining very clever under pressure.  There are consequences for ‘dropping the ball’. It may mean their position or their pay cheque. Hence the ratio of time they spend training versus performing.

So what about us? We have positions. We perform as spouses, friends, colleagues, citizens, employees. leaders, managers, individuals…

What is the consequence of our lack of performance under pressure?

How much time do we spend training versus performing?

The following Acronym is aptly named REST. It breaks building toward the state of relaxed alertness into 4 training methods.

R – References

Commit time to the acquiring of knowledge & principles which we can call on under pressure.  Imagine you have a book shelf in your head. As you engage in learning you fill that shelf with books. You store sentences, paragraphs & insights which you can call on in moments of pressure in any given context. I once read a powerful sentence which said ‘people don’t need to have their way, their just need to have their way considered.’ I have used that often in moments of pressure in dealing with people.

E – Energised

Remaining energised is essential to avoiding being automatically stupid. Engage in spiritual, mental, emotional and physical activities that you know work to keep you energised. (click here for related article)

S – Self Talk

Negative self talk is a powerful way of putting pressure on yourself. Often we take our own ‘limiting beliefs’ into situations. “I can’t do this!” or “I am going to fail!” These limiting beliefs rob you of the positive foundation that you need to be very clever under pressure. Speak positively over yourself. (click here for related article)

T – Triggers

Triggers are those things around you which always put pressure on you and cause you to be automatically stupid? Triggers could be words people say, or particular individuals, situations or simply the taxi drivers.  Being aware of them allows you to consciously approach them differently slowly breaking the power they have over you.