Words of Wisdom: Mentor Leadership

Engage, educate, equip, encourage, empower, energise, and elevate. Those are the methods for maximising the potential of any individual, team, organisation, or institution for ultimate success and significance. Those are the methods of a mentor leader

Picture 1

What’s the state of your ‘Heart’

The Heart is the engine room of the human body. Within in it is found the spark that starts and maintains life. It is the place which feeds and nourishes the rest of the body. If it is performing poorly the body suffers. If it stops, the body dies.

There is a saying “The Human Body is made up of many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body”.  So it is with an organisation – a body of people all together making up one body.

Leadership is the Heart of the organisation

Leadership feeds and nourishes its people. It is the spark which nourishes and drives the body. If Leadership performs poorly the organisation suffers. If Leadership stops, unless there is swift and effective action, the organisation will die.

 

How do we spot and identify the state of our Heart? With the human heart, there are a number of different ways –

Early symptoms are usually experiential and could include things like shortness of breath or pins and needles. Of course, these could be attributed to other problems, not heart-related so you could then go to diagnostic practices.

When I first was diagnosed with my heart condition H.O.C.M back in 2001 the doctors used an Electrocardiogram (ECG) which read my heart rhythm and allowed them to pick up irregularities which definitely indicated heart trouble. They then used an Echocardiogram  (an ultrasound machine) to look at the structure ad function of my heart.

Symptoms in the Human Body are all good and well, but how does this tie in with  identifying the shape of our organisation’s Heart?

Through my years of experience in helping sports people and organisations perform I have observed and learned that the early warning symptoms we see in the human body are similar to the ones of the organisational body so I thought I would share them with you.

Note – Although Poor Performance is a symptom, it is unfortunately usually a sign that the Heart has been performing poorly for a while. Below I have listed the Human Heart symptoms and causes along with Organisational Heart symptoms and causes.

Picture2

In reading the above you may have noticed it reads ‘Potential Causes’. This is intentional!

As with my Heart symptoms I described at the start, my GP didn’t just listen to the symptoms (which combined are very highly Heart related) and give me a prognosis that it is my Heart, as there are other things that could cause the symptoms. First, they ran Heart-specific tests to make sure it is, in fact, the Heart.

It is similar in the organisational context. All the symptoms above are strongly indicative of Heart problems however it is critical before any corrective action takes place that a deeper investigation of the underlying causes takes place.

As I wrote in a previous post “Organisations rise and fall to the rhythm of its Heart” Make sure you are aware of the state of your Heart

Leadership in Motion is your organisations Heart Health Specialist. We prefer to prevent the symptoms you may face by developing up and coming talent in our Developing Leaders who are World Changers Program. However, we are as also highly skilled at identification and cure. Want to know more about our Developing Leaders who are World Changers Program? Click Here. Are you seeing any of the above-mentioned symptoms or are experiencing these for yourself and are concerned Click Here

Performance Management, not quite dead

I had the privilege of attending an excellent Business Transformation Networking event www.thebtntv.com hosted by Annapurna Recruitment a few weeks back with the title ‘Performance Management, Not Quite Dead Yet”. Informative and highly relevant, given the current economic landscape, it gave me a good opportunity to pause and reflect on what and who owns and drives organisational performance.

My key takeaways from this interesting and engaging talk were as follows

1) Myth – Performance management is dead

A popular concept that started making the rounds in the popular press a number of years ago

Fact – Performance management is still alive and kicking. All that has happened/ is continuing to happen is that the P.M. manner or process has changed.

2) Myth – HR owns performance management

Fact – HR does not and definitely should not own performance management. The truth is that every single stakeholder, starting with Senior Leadership, is accountable for performance and that leaving it to ‘a department’ like a pet project is exactly the type of practice that results in ‘poor performance’

3) Myth – Lack of leadership capability, financial incentives, products, services, strategies, performance management processes, etc are the reason for poor performance

Fact – Although these all play a part, the foremost reason poor performance is occurring is that the culture of the organisation is not one of accountability ”

“Each and every stakeholder is clear about their role – as part of a wider organism –  and are wholly and fully committed to owning their part in delivering on the objectives of the organisation in the time and manner required and agreed”

From my experience, ‘accountability’or lack thereof is not as easy to identify especially if the operational and strategic elements are not right. As Roger Connors and Tom Smith share in their book Change the Culture, Change the Game

“To generate cash you need to *optimise operations (sic) and to do that, you need to be able to identify sloppy process/procedures” You then need to have the abilities and resources to implement these changes. This all takes a lot of energy and focus and because it is our instinctive ‘go to’ we are so focused on plugging this hole that we fail to see the real leak – the lack of accountability.

 

Here’s a scenario. Your business is not achieving what it should be so you take a look a little deeper and uncover one or more of the following symptoms –

  • Revenue, customer base, market share, and/or profit growth has slowed, has stopped, or worse is shrinking
  • You are struggling to outperform your competitors
  • You are struggling to beat the economy
  • Organisational objectives are not being achieved
  • Agreed objectives are not being delivered
  • Churn (unwarranted leavers) has increased

If you or somebody you know is experiencing any of the above – STOP

Before you rush and sign off on a new CRM/Performance Management/Training Program take a moment and look at the list below. Reflect on the overall behaviours of the business and answer each statement

culture

A high number (greater than 40%) of Yes’s would indicate that although there may be operational issues, there is also a cultural issue and that changing the way people act (through operational/technical/strategic/people improvements) without a change in beliefs will result in – 

COMPLIANCE NOT commitment

INVOLVEMENT NOT investment

PROGRESS NOT lasting improvement

Which, in turn, will be costly and frustrating for both yourselves and your people

I understand the challenges leaders go through, I’ve been in the business of organisational performance a long time. Leadership in Motion was formed to help organisations flourish by developing their people into strong, confident leaders: Leaders who recognise their purpose and authority; and who have the tools and means to equip, enable and empower others to realise their full potential. Find out more