Words of Wisdom: Accelerate Success

When you involve the organisation every day in defining the required actions, You increase the capability to manage and accelerate success in the chosen area

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Houston, we’ve had a problem

The rather sombre words uttered by Jack Swiggart, Command Module Pilot, Apollo 13, at 21:08 April 13. 1970 shortly after Oxygen tank No. 2 blew up, causing No.1 tank to fail. A catastrophe which left the shuttle and its crew stranded: No electricity, lights, or water; 200,000 miles away from earth, with no way to power the engine to “begin an immediate return to earth”

Thankfully, due to the expertise, courage and sheer blooded determination of the shuttle and ground crews this story ended – as James A. Lovell writes in his book Apollo Expeditions to the Moon, CHAPTER 13.1, Houston, we’ve had a problem, – not as a tragedy but “a successful failure”

How many businesses can say the same thing? You’ve launched successfully and are powering along, nose to the grindstone moving towards your chosen destination. Your dashboard says you are on track – profit is growing, you’ve moved into bigger offices, are hiring new staff. Okay, like Apollo 13 you’ve had a few minor surprises – your top performer quit to join a competitor, you’ve had a few performance issues, all minor trembles but you’re growing and your dashboard says profit is up so you keep going. And then

Bang blog

You find yourself in a space with no resources: you lose your most experienced people through performance and churn issues, leaving you with ‘newbies’ who are going to take at least 6 months to start contributing. The problem as you investigate further is that the newbies are actually not performing, or being as productive as you thought nor are they anywhere near where they should be in terms of abilities.

You desperately need to do something and do it quickly or you and the shuttle might not make it out of orbit.

Luckily in most cases, much like Apollo 13, business owners have the courage, determination and sheer bloody-mindedness to push harder – get training for the ‘newbies’ put in a better performance management system, change the recruitment process and hire more people and slowly the shuttle rights itself and carries on towards its intended destination with nothing more than a stress headache.

Only, it’s slower with a lot of clunking that you hadn’t noticed before and pretty soon you have another…Bang

For those of you out there who have experienced this, I am sorry and hope that you don’t go through this again. If you haven’t been through this yet, lucky you :0)

In either case: How do you (as mush as possible) prevent this from happening and if it does, then ensure that instead of a catastrophe you turn it into a “successful failure”

  1. Identify the warning signs – There are always signs of impending problems, the earlier you recognise and acknowledge them the easier it is to minimise the chance of them occurring
  2. Take appropriate action to correct the warning signs – As with the Apollo mission there were many things that should have been challenged and changed. Unfortunately, time and cost pressures often put a stop to these happening Two very important words around action:a) Take – Action needs to be taken, which because of change can be harder to dob) Appropriate – The right action needs to be taken, it’s no use putting a bandage on a headache.
  3. Recognise that you need help in taking the appropriate action: (Think symptoms vs cause) Most often actions take place which rectifies the symptoms. the problem here is that it looks good at the time but only wears down further later on. True change/ transformation is a complex business with many facets. As a leader/owner, you are a critical part of the change,  however, because of your position and vested interest in the success of the business help should be sought in moving this forward.

Identify the warning signs

Sometimes its hard to see the ‘cracks’ – warning signs that although nothing is obviously wrong, if action isn’t taken quickly and efficiently you should expect a bang. I’ve created a short questionnaire which you can complete. The questionnaire is a short, informal, non-scientific tool I designed from years doing this work.

Want to identify if your business is a “Houston, we’…. candidate” complete this short questionnaire Click on this link

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

To be a successful leader, you need to behave like a great parent

As part of my ongoing learning and development, I am currently making my way through a phenomenal book by Alan Kendrick, Randy Alcorn, and Stephen Kendrick called

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This morning as I studied my new week’s chapter (each week I focus on one chapter, allowing me to truly focus and apply the key message for that week) I had an epiphany about leadership.

RESOLVE TO BLESS YOUR CHILDREN

“I will bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.”

Now to those who know me, me focussing on this area appears somewhat strange, especially as we (my amazing wife and I) don’t have children, and your confusion would be well placed as I too thought ‘why the heck am I reading this and what possible value could it add to my life?’.

Oh ‘me’ of little faith :0) One of my prayers before any kind of activity is to pray for wisdom in any interactions I have so that I hear, see and learn what my Father voice and in this instance, it came out loud and clear.

To be a better leader, you need to become a better parent

The link between parenthood and leadership came about through 2 bible verses/words of wisdom the authors share.

  1. “Fathers do not exasperate your children so that they will not lose heart” Colossians 3:21
  2. “Before training and instructing, it is critical that we do not frustrate or embitter or they will lose heart and not listen to us” the authors

As I read these words the first clear message that came to me was “Parents are leaders, and leaders are parents.” Don’t go away, hear me out…

Below I relay nine things the authors listed (buy and read this great book for all the details) that cause children to lose heart. Alongside each ‘thing’ I have started a sentence which I urge you to complete.

Thing            (Definition)                                        “Complete the sentence…”

A) Absence (Not giving full attention; outright not being there)

“When my boss doesn’t give me their full attention (at the appropriate time) I become …..

B) Anger  (saying or doing things that wound

“When my boss acts out in anger towards me I …”

C) Unjust discipline (unjustified or administered unfairly)

“When my boss mete’s out discipline unjustly or unfairly I …” 

D) Harsch criticism (sarcasm, belittling in private or public)

“When my boss says sarcastic or belittling things to me or about me I …”

E) Lack of compassion (not listening fully, not clarifying)

“When my boss doesn’t listen fully or dismisses my fears/concerns I …”

F) Favouritism

“When my boss shows as if they have favourites I …”

G) Hypocrisy 

“When my boss preaches one thing and does another, I …

H) Misunderstanding (not listening and then disagreeing or sharing opinions)

“When my boss shares their opinion or disagrees with me before having fully listened and understood I …

I) Unrealistic expectations (set up to fail)

“When my boss assigns me tasks or objectives for which I am not equipped or skilled to accomplish, I …”

To conclude,

If you are anything like me and the people I have observed in the workplace on the receiving end of any one of these behaviours, I hope you realise that leaders, like parents, have people who need to be treated and communicated with in certain ways. Failure to do this will and does, lead to resentment and withdrawal most definitely a costly and often painful event.

Would love your thoughts and reflection on the above. How do you as a parent/leader ensure engagement and positive development?

Have a brilliant week

Success and ‘Not Yet’

“Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be. If we do our best, we are a success.”
— Zig Ziglar 

Words of Wisdom from a legend

 

I came across the following clip called Six Secrets to Success which I felt deserved sharing.

Why?

Because the man who shares these 6 secrets has embodied all 6. He is a sportsman, actor, politician and influencer who has entertained, inspired and led millions around the world.

Watch and enjoy

 

 

http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=-0PrTkE5jG4e