Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership, motivation

Focus on habits…

This year focus on your habits and rituals don’t get fixated on goals and outcomes.

James Clear author of Atomic Habits says

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems” 

Whilst we set a desired outcome it is our daily habits that lead us to it.

Make sure you do not let an identity from last year or even further back restrict your progress.

  • I’m terrible at strategy
  • I don’t speak up at meetings
  • I am disorganised

Take on a Growth Mindset (Carol Dweck)

  • I will think strategically
  • My voice will be heard in meetings
  • I will have a clear desk every night

Megan Hellerer career coach to high flying women in the US, talks about the approach of being Destinational or Directional.

She describes Destinational – I want to be CEO (very clear goal and outcome).  The route to this  might be copied by others who have done it before eg. a very well known path, however somewhere along that route you loose control.  You take on the habits of others and you don’t allow for deviation.  You reach the desired destination but is it what you wanted or desired.

The Directional approach allows for changes and deviations you have total control, you make your own decisions and create your systems to compliment your route to your goal.  You know that the world is not static and you move with the times.

Hellerer uses a road trip as a metaphor, Destinational follow a set road trip, they follow the guide exactly and might have a great trip, however they have not made the trip their own.

Directional co-create the trip depending on the weather and circumstances, they make their own decisions.

To summarise a quote from F.M. Alexander:-

“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures..”

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Habits and Rituals bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Leadership, motivation, Relationships

Strong culture…

The way we do things around here… is the best definition of a culture.  The sum of values, habits and rituals coming together to form a way of being together.

Why is a strong culture so important?

There is a direct correlation between performance, retention and recruitment.  John Kotter and John Heskett collated statistics to prove the strength of culture.

  • Revenue is 4 x faster
  • Job creation 7 x higher
  • Profit performance 750% higher

The culture needs to be able to move, when there are changes to leadership, or mergers and acquisitions and there could even be sudden growth.  Any changes can lead to an old management structure creating sub cultures, which can be very unhealthy for the overall culture.

Sticking with your culture and values takes guts and it is about everyone have a conviction of a core ideology.

The story that makes this seem so simplistic is the Olympic rowing 8 who simply coined the phrase and ideology “Will it make the boat go faster”.   All behaviours were accountable to that one sentence.

Sustaining the culture 

Commit to regularly communicating at team meetings and having visuals around the office that support the core ideology.  Ensure that you hire to fit your culture, within the recruitment and selection include questions that explain how things get done around here.   Promote your culture by rewarding members who support it, this will embed the habits and rituals you want to see.

Cultural fit will make life easier.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on “Understanding culture” – bev@nuggetsoflearnign.co.uk

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness

Out of the Maze…

The follow up to “Who moved my cheese…?” has arrived, and what perfect timing for me personally and for the world in general.

For those of you who have not read the bestseller “Who moved my cheese…?’ the theme is that cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life and the maze is where you look for what you want.  The book emphasises the need to adapt to change and move with the cheese.

The new book asks the question what if you don’t know where to begin.

The central character is locked by the fact change has happened and the belief that things will never be the same.  However he meets the character “Hope” who says “Maybe they can turn out better than they were…”

We have beliefs that we get locked into and they can hold you prisoner in a mindset.  A belief is a thought that you trust is true, which can be either hold you down or lift you up.  Therefore you can change your mind if you choose a new belief.   You must not become the belief, you are the person who chooses your beliefs.

This links very closely to the work of Carol Dweck who talks about giving our children a growth mindset and not a fixed mindset.

An example:- if you have a belief that you are bad at public speaking  you will never put yourself in a position to speak.

If you change the belief that you are good at speaking in small groups, therefore you will be just as good public speaking.

The book “Out of the maze…” goes even further by saying – there are no limits to what you can believe.   You can simply change your mind by having new beliefs.

Sometime we have to believe before we can see the result so that we get into the right frame of mind.

An example:- believe you can sell your business before you have put it on the market and then you will do all that is necessary to get it ready to sell

On the journey to get out of the maze the character had to lose old baggage which is a metaphor for old thinking and beliefs.   We often on the journey have to seek out the very things we have always avoided.  Explore what has until now always seemed impossible.

The reflections at the end of the book, put it very succinctly “The Maze I need to get out of? is my own thinking”

Please do get in touch for a 90 minute workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, personal impact

Become more original…

Original ideas drive creativity and change, a sudden inspired thought a flash bulb moment.

Ironically Adam Grant’s TED Talk says that “Originals” people with creative ideas are normally procrastinators.  They are slow to start and their opposite precrastinator the person who dives straight in with an idea, might not be that original.

Moderate procrastination allows divergent thinking to occur.  The “Panic Monster” of the precrastinator just comes up with one thing.  Putting an idea to one side and then revisiting gives you new insight and thinking.

Famously Martin Luther King worked on his speech into the early hours and on the morning of his address.  At no point was the line “I have a dream…” on the first script.

If you look back at products and services that were the first movers they are not always the best.  Facebook was able to learn from MySpace and Google learnt from Yahoo.

Being original is about having idea doubt and not self doubt.  Change the dialogue in your head, the first ideas are not the best but that does not mean you are not the best.

We should always doubt the default and take initiative to look for a better option.

Original thinking is about fear of failing to try not the fear of failing.  The biggest regret is no action, it is too important not to try.  The more output you generate the more likely you are to hit on original ideas

Motivate yourself by doubting your ideas and think of lots more ideas.

Please contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Goals

Creating good habits

You need to embody the habit, before you have even begun working on it.  So think about what the habit gives you and what your new identity will be if you have been successful and disciplined at applying that habit.

If you want to start running, take on the identity of a runner and think of what a runner does and all the routines attached to it and how they might speak and act. Begin with the end in mind and start by writing what the habit will give you.

You are far more likely to be successful if you track your habits progress.  The journey to a habit gives you a great template for the tracker:-

  • Cue – What has prompted you to want to make a change and create a new habit
  • Craving – Which identity do you want to embody, what will the habit give you
  • Response – The actions/rituals/routines you need to put in place
  • Reward – When you have achieved the habit change acknowledge the result

Example:-

To increase readership of your blog

  • Cue – statistics on your blog
  • Craving – to be read by a wider audience
  • Response – publicise on more sites
  • Reward – business leads from the blog

This blog was inspired by the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.

Please do get in touch for nugget workshops or for coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness, motivation

Balance for better…

Is the environment you work in demonstrating a good balance.

Balance could include gender, skills, and experience.  The first stage is to look at your existing culture, do you welcome balance by having the right set of values.

If you are focusing purely on results then you might not be attracting the right employees.  Everyone wants to be part of something successful, however if they realise that there is nothing underneath the figures and they will feel unsupported and they will not care for the organisation.

Values have to come to life, with rituals and habits attached to them.  If you promote collaboration what does it look like? Cross functional teams working together and meeting on a regular basis.

The balance of giving back to your team and your team giving back to others.  You have the people you want to work with and you are proud to work with others.

The Swedish football team Ostersunds believed in giving its team members so much more than just football skills. They wanted to open their minds to theatre, art and literature.   These experiences were shared and putting them in unfamiliar situations grew their minds and enabled them to think differently.  The team have written book, created art and worked with local refugee centres and put on a stage show of Swan Lake.  They are now in the top league and won the Swedish cup in 2017.

Balance does not have to be seen through the lens of automatically assuming that means a gender match.  We have many layers to our personalities that need to be uncovered whether we are male or female.  The answer is fostering the environment that means you are able to be truly authentic.

An open atmosphere where there is no blame and mistakes are learnt from.

Creating balance is about identifying the things that matter most to you as team and investing together to make them come to life.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on balance for better bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Change management, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, personal impact

Manager to Leader…

Promotion to management is initially great, business is good, new trips, making big decisions and learning a lot. Team are performing well and results being achieved, so much so that you take your eye off their performance.

You try really hard to still be one of the team, you want them to like you, so that they want to work for you. You attend dinner and drinks and even share with the team some of the issues you are facing.

You even comment on Senior Management, saying that they could do a better job.

The economy changes and results are harder to achieve and the performance issues you ignored are now becoming a problem.

You work longer hours to cover the performance issues and your team are unhappy and the results reflect this.

You seek help outside from a business mentor.

The first thing the mentor does is reassure you that you are not alone. Making the transition from Manager to Leader is hard and often being liked has to be put to one side, and instead being respected for the right reasons.

“If you want to be extraordinary you have to stop being ordinary”.

Your team needs to like you for the right reasons, being fair, consistent, empathetic and positive. If they like you for the free drinks and the dinners and the gossip on Senior management, you are in the wrong position. Making tough decisions will get harder if they are your friends.

Remember when you first learnt to drive, naturally you were excited and confidently proclaimed you would be the best driver ever. Sadly that over confident attitude led to an accident, no-one was injured but why did it happen?

It was the difference in responsibilities between being the driver and being a passenger.

Passengers are free to do a lot of things the driver can’t do. As a driver your focus needs to be on the road and not on the distractions. As a driver you no longer have the right to mess around, playing with the radio, texting and eating snacks.

The same principle applies when you become a leader. You are no longer a passenger you are the driver. Even though your responsibilities increase when you become a leader, you lose some of the rights or freedoms you may have enjoyed in the past.

If you want to be successful you cannot join criticisms of Senior Management. You lose the right to blame others for a problem in your department, you are now responsible for everything. You even lose the right to some of your time because you are responsible for other peoples time as well as your own.

The opposite of accepting responsibility is to find some-one or something to blame for the issues you are facing. There is always some-one or something to blame, but a real leader spends his time fixing the problem instead of finding who to blame.

“What happens when you place blame is that you focus on the past. When you accept responsibility you focus on the future and you can create actions to achieve your objectives.”

Be a Driver:

  • Until you accept total responsibility – no matter what – you will not be able to put actions in place to achieve your objectives.
  • Transitioning from Manager to Leader requires that you make different decisions.