Are you Accepting Good Enough?
Are you a Leader who accepts Good Enough?
If you are accepting status quo as good enough then you can bet that you are leading your team to nowhere. Challenging the current state of affairs and questioning the way “it is normally done here” attitude is the only sure way to improvement and remain competitive.
Whether you wish to improve your professional leadership at work or your personal leadership with your family, we invite you to use CLI’s phenomenal scientific brain game called “The Brain Walk®“ to identify immediate solutions to challenges that are hiding in your subconscious mind. We call these blind-spots. Got any of those? We all do!
True leaders at any rank within the organization, love themselves and their organization so much that they are committed to going inside self and finding the courage and the ability to suggest and implement change. They simply do not accept Good Enough in the workplace. Even if something is working, it can always be improved.
Betska, The Guru Coach™
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What did The Buddha say about Teamwork?
I was coaching a European Executive late last year who told me that while 30 people are supposed to show up for a monthly Senior Management Team meeting, often only 4 people show up. And, if they do show up, some don’t actively participate in the meeting but busy themselves by taking notes on their iPad’s. What do you think is happening here? Perhaps the following thoughts are also going through your head:
- Leader (will call him Joe) is unable to engage his management team in dialogue.
- Leader is unable to engage his team in taking responsibility for decision making.
- Team has lost respect for the Leader (because they don’t show up).
- Team does not trust the Leader and therefore members are afraid to speak.
- Leader’s negative subconscious beliefs are many such as, “I am a lousy communicator and therefore I don’t deserve respect and trust from my team members” and, “I don’t believe in my people”.
So what did The Buddha say about Teamwork? Buddha said that a Leader must be an exemplary figure, someone we can respect and emulate. Buddha, like all fully enlightened Teachers, was extraordinary, virtuous and righteous in every thought, word and deed. He did what he said he would do. Such integrity and consistency won him the trust of his followers. With such leadership characteristics, teamwork naturally happens.
These flowers to the right are from my garden. As an avid gardener, I learn a lot from nature. These three different flowers are sharing the same small space. Note how the blue bells are growing in between the yellow buds of this wallflower? And a yellow tulip is also delightfully sharing the same space. I don’t remember planting them this way; they just showed up this Spring – to my delight. These three plants are harmoniously and happily sharing the same space – not fighting each other, but complimenting each other.
This is how our corporate teams should also function. By practising team principles, we can harmoniously and happily share the same space. Instead, as you well know, jealousy, judgment, lack of confidence, hunger for power and ego, among other things, get in the way. Instead of complimenting each other we disperse our energies and fail to accomplish tasks in a cohesive manner. It is during these moments, we could remember, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.”
“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”
DEFINITION OF A ‘TEAM’
16 CHARACTERISTICS OF AN EFFECTIVE TEAM
Imagine if Joe embraced and acted on the following characteristics of an effective team …
- Clear understanding of the organization’s Mission, Vision, Goals and the Values needed to achieve the Vision.
- High degree of communication between members.
- Effective decision-making methods.
- High degree of trust between members.
- High level of support between members (no back-stabbing but verbal and spiritual recognition).
- Flexibility in procedures.
- Good balance between productivity as a group and as an individual.
- Good balance between logical and relationship-based behaviours.
- Sensitivity to each other’s feelings.
- Understanding of each other’s strengths and areas of improvement.
- Shared leadership among the members – no one member is more important than the other.
- No cliques or domination by any one member.
- Utilization of each member’s experience and unique resources.
- High degree of cohesiveness.
- Constant evaluation of their progress as a team.
- Members know how to ask tough questions (have taken a coaches training program).
When customers sense poor teamwork, they may take their business elsewhere. And so it’s quite important for Joe to reap the many benefits from team planning:
- improved teamwork
- mutual understanding
- better knowledge of company vision
- issues are addressed
- you see the total business
- improved communications
- puts life into the evaluation process of issues
- improved attitudes
- more fun.
There’s that three letter word again — fun! Teams can be fun and productive at the same time.
TEAM GROUND RULES
There are certain ground rules that need to be followed for effective team planning. If Joe set the ground rules with his leadership team, their achievements would be extraordinary:
- attendance is mandatory to show respect to the team;
- everyone contributes;
- everyone listens and understands (iPads are set aside and full attention is on the team);
- everyone listens with their eyes, ears, heart and with undivided attention;
- conflicts between ideas are welcomed but we need to be nice about it – ego should be in the back garden;
- focus is on achieving a positive result;
- avoid arguing to “win” (the world is full of people who surface think);
- avoid voting, averaging and random choice, think things through;
- use logic and the most recent, relevant information available as well as the heart for balanced decision-making;
- each person takes responsibility by engaging in self development tools in order to strengthen the team’s output;
- leadership training programs are well attended by all in order to understand the components of personal and professional leadership;
- everyone is responsible for the decisions and results.
During Joe’s team planning-sessions, he could use good brainstorming techniques:
- leader ensures everyone is engaged in the discussion;
- no criticism allowed (or they will be asked to leave the room);
- try for quantity and quality ideas;
- combine and improve on each other’s ideas;
- try to be different and creative, be meditative for the highest frequency ideas;
- reach for the new and unfamiliar — be courageous! Take risks!
- use exaggeration and humour to push ideas beyond familiar limits.
Buddha was a great manager of his teams. With deep knowledge of human behaviour and enlightened intuition, he knew the strengths and areas of improvement of those around him. He delegated duties in keeping with the abilities and temperament of each disciple. Of particular note was how he showed his appreciation by recognizing their efforts.
Let’s celebrate Joe’s imminent success as a Team Leader!
What did Steve Jobs say about Leadership?
In my latest book, The “God” in Coaching, a personal development book, I declared that I was a rebel! My entire life I have been the curious cat … driving people crazy with my questions … challenging people to rise up and truly be the best that they can be.
Guess who else was a rebel? Steve Jobs. My hero. As one of the most creative minds of the 20th and 21st century, and a brilliant visionary, he forever changed how we think about innovation. Like me Steve was a vegan. It seems the vegan diet greatly lengthened his life because I understand he had pancreatic cancer for 30 years.
During one of his speeches, Steve made a provocative statement, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Love that quote!
So the question is, as a leader how do we encourage innovation?
I have a firm belief that if a leader creates a family atmosphere in their organization, the employees will feel safe which then creates a playground for creativity – in other words they take risks, think outside of the norm and do their work without fear of reprisal or getting fired and so on.
There are numerous ways to create that playground, to breathe life and fun into the organization, many of which you will find in this chart — 27 Ways to Create a Family Atmosphere for Creative Thinking. For example, it is conceivable that Steve encouraged his employees to also eat vegan because his cafeterias were stocked with vegan foods. There is no doubt in my mind that a vegan diet helps us be innovative. Why? Because we think more clearly. We don’t have the karma from eating flesh and dairy to clog up our cells. We are not filling out bodies with the animal’s fear. Incidentally, Google employees can also enjoy free vegetarian food every day!
When you see your staff smiling constantly, when they accomplish their jobs with zest and responsibility and when they go that extra mile to make the organization successful, you know they’re happy.
“When your staff succeeds, so do you.”
What does the COO of Facebook say about Leadership?
This is a continuation of Application #2 on Developing and Communicating Goals for Creating Champions in the workplace, part of a series of blog articles with the overall theme of “When your staff succeeds, so do you.”
7 Steps to Planning Your Future
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook,
is very clear about authentic communication as a Leader.
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Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, opens the hearts of all leaders in her book “Lean In”. I highly recommend this book where Sheryl invites us to dig deeper and self-reflect on what is really important in our organizations. It is a blueprint for personal growth. Watch her Ted Talk which, to date, has garnered close to 5 million views.
Sheryl writes, “Authentic communication is not always easy, but it is the basis for successful relationships at home and real effectiveness at work. Yet people constantly back away from honesty to protect themselves and others. This reticence causes and perpetuates all kinds of problems: uncomfortable issues that never get addressed, resentment that builds, unfit managers who get promoted rather than fired, and on and on. Often these situations don’t improve because no one tells anyone what is really happening. We are so rarely brave enough to tell the truth.”
In these 7 Steps to Planning Your Future, we lay the groundwork for authentic communication. In future blog articles we’ll provide you with more tools with which to bravely communicate and then you teach your employees/colleagues to do the same. Stay tuned!
1. Develop Your Departments Mission, Vision, Goals and Values.
Reference my last blog article on the difference between a Corporate MVGV and a Departmental MVGV.
• Every employee should understand the Mission – what your business is all about.
• Every employee should be able to repeat your Vision statement by heart – because they should all be working towards achieving that vision.
• Every employee should know the top 3 Goals of your organization and have written personal goals on how they can help the organization achieve these three goals.
• Every employee should demonstrate the Values such as Understanding, Acceptance and Faith. If they are not demonstrating them, this should be brought to their attention during their annual performance review.
2. Do A Quick Review of the Past and Present.
• External Analysis – Check out the factors such as political, economic, social, demographic, technological, lifestyle and competitive trends which could affect your business.
• Internal Analysis – Study trends in sales, profits, customer satisfaction. Study the people that work with you. Look at company ethics, pricing, product quality, manufacturing, customer service, market share, opportunities for personal growth of your employees, training and your role in the market place.
3. Think About Future Changes to the Business.
• Based on your external and internal analyses, what possible changes could you plan for? For example, who would have predicted a social media explosion 10 years ago?
4. Where/What Do You Want To Be In One Year? 3 Years? Up To 20 Years?
• Based on the possible future changes, what could be some plausible future alternatives for your business?
5. Draft The Plans To Help You Get There.
• Put your creative hats on – fire up the right side of your brain. Come up with ways in which you can meet your goals. For every objective, there must be plan. From each group assign one person responsible for obtaining results from these plans. They will be the drivers to completing the plan.
• Do The Brain Walk® everyday to help you think like Einstein every day. Now available on the Apple Store. Click here.
6. Sell The Plan.
• Your most important job is to sell all leaders and employees on the Mission, Vision, Goals and Values. Tell them how important they are to the achievement of the Vision. Don’t let them leave the room until you have a feeling of commitment from them. If you don’t have a feeling of commitment, ask some tough questions such as, “What fears are coming up for you right now?” Be prepared for some honest answers. Consider their suggestions.
7. Check Your Progress. Communicate the progress.
• All disciplined managers already check the financial numbers on a regular basis. On a semi-annual basis, take a closer look at your objectives and plans. How close are you to meeting your goals? You may have to be “adding a little there, altering this a bit and that a bit…” all the while, though, you are steadily building.
• Sheryl will thank us when we courageously and bravely tell the truth.
Whatever you do, don’t put the plan on a shelf.
“Don’t lose sight of your goals!”