Tag Archives: Leaders

Transformational Leadership | North Wales

Gone are the days when leadership resided only in the offices of Senior Management Teams and other upper echelons of the organisation. These days we need to be developing leadership capacity throughout organisations – and especially in the middle. It’s never been more vital to business results to harness the knowledge, skills and leadership potential of the people who are close to your customers, competitors and employees…harnessing the potential of other is what transformational leadership is all about and it begins and end with self-awareness.

These days the quest for leadership is first an inner quest to discover who you are. Through self-development comes the confidence needed to lead. Self-confidence is really awareness of and faith in our own powers. These powers become clear and strong only as you work to identify and develop them. Learning to lead is about discovering what you care about and value, about what inspires you, about what challenges you, what gives you power and competence, what encourages you. When you discover these things about yourself you’ll know what it takes to lead those qualities out of others. Sometimes liberation is as uncomfortable as intrusion but in the end when you discover things for yourself you know that what’s inside is what you found there and what belongs there. It’s not something put inside you by someone else; it’s who you discover for yourself.

Please note that Transformational Leadership is a 6 day programme and the date above represents the starting date:

Module One: 15th -16th May 2017

Module Two: 7th – 8th June 2017

Module Three: 6th – 7th July 2017

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Transformational Leadership | South Wales

Gone are the days when leadership resided only in the offices of Senior Management Teams and other upper echelons of the organisation. These days we need to be developing leadership capacity throughout organisations – and especially in the middle. It’s never been more vital to business results to harness the knowledge, skills and leadership potential of the people who are close to your customers, competitors and employees…harnessing the potential of other is what transformational leadership is all about and it begins and end with self-awareness.

These days the quest for leadership is first an inner quest to discover who you are. Through self-development comes the confidence needed to lead. Self-confidence is really awareness of and faith in our own powers. These powers become clear and strong only as you work to identify and develop them. Learning to lead is about discovering what you care about and value, about what inspires you, about what challenges you, what gives you power and competence, what encourages you. When you discover these things about yourself you’ll know what it takes to lead those qualities out of others. Sometimes liberation is as uncomfortable as intrusion but in the end when you discover things for yourself you know that what’s inside is what you found there and what belongs there. It’s not something put inside you by someone else; it’s who you discover for yourself.

Please note that Transformational Leadership is a 6 day programme and the date above represents the starting date:

Module One: 4th – 5th May 2017

Module Two: 5th – 6th June 2017

Module Three: 4th – 5th July 2017

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Inspiring Leadership | North Wales

For enlightened businesses and individuals that have the courage and vision to join our revolution and put self-awareness at the heart of their development activities.

Inspiring Leadership is delivered one or two days a month, over approx 4 months. Participants can register for all seven days, or can choose to undertake the programme as one or more of the stand alone one day programmes.

Please note that Inspiring Leadership is a 7 day programme and the date above represents the starting date, the course will run on the following dates:

 

6th April 2017 | 15th May 2017 | 16th May 2017 | 7th Jun 2017 | 8th Jun 2017 | 6th Jul 2017 | 7th Jul 2017

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Inspiring Leadership | South Wales

For enlightened businesses and individuals that have the courage and vision to join our revolution and put self-awareness at the heart of their development activities.

Inspiring Leadership is delivered one or two days a month, over approx 4 months. Participants can register for all seven days, or can choose to undertake the programme as one or more of the stand alone one day programmes.

Please note that Inspiring Leadership is a 7 day programme and the date above represents the starting date, the course will run on the following dates:

4th April 2017 | 4th May 2017 | 5th May 2017 | 5th Jun 2017 | 6th Jun 2017 | 4th Jul 2017 | 5th Jul 2017

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Thriving through Change

It is fairly obvious that companies that manage change well will continue to grow and thrive, those that don’t become stagnant and fail.

But what is not so obvious is the difference that makes the difference when leading through change. In our experience the difference that makes the difference when leading change depends on the levels of self awareness and maturity of the leadership in the organisation.

The truth is change is scary. Change evokes fear and when fear is evoked we become ‘needy.’ Specifically, our psychological need for Certainty, Connection and Credibility is heightened.

We have found that the following three steps are critical when leading through change because these steps meet our three psychological needs head on.

  1. To meet the need for certainty it is critically important to limit the fear. It is the responsibility of leaders to help the team understand that the change is a positive necessity and ensure that everyone understands why the change is happening. If everyone is sure why the change is happening this can help in protecting the team from external and internal threats and in maintaining a confident attitude.
  1. To meet the need for connection it is critical to provide informal ways that the team can connect with each other through change. Change can often result in people ‘keeping their head down’ and hiding from what is happening around them. The underlying fear can create an atmosphere that leads them to become quiet and uncommunicative. If left unchecked this can result in a toxic culture in which things do not get done.
  1. To meet the need for credibility the most important responsibility of a leader is to have clarity around everyone’s part to play in the process and to make people feel a hero in the journey. This seems obvious but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes leaders think they are ensuring people feel valued, but this can sometimes be more of an assumption than reality. Consistent praise and affirmation is critical to ensure that all team members know the plan and more importantly that they sense their role is critical for contributing to the overall success.

At the core of leading change is the necessity for leaders to stay visible and available and making their primary role that of communicating and connecting with those around them.

‘Courage to Change’ 1 Day Programme:

Chester: 9th May | Cardiff: 10th May

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The Trust Effect

Let me ask you a question?  As a leader do you think that you should show your vulnerability to your team?  By this I mean letting them see your humanity by saying things like; “I don’t know”, “Can you teach me that because you’re much better than me at it”, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that”, “I’m not so good at this and I know I need to get better”, or “I need some help”.

I recently asked this question of the Managing director of a small but fast expanding business with whom we are doing some development.  The response was “No, never.  It’s important that the team sees that I am in control at all times.  However, I am very open with my team”.

When I later observed his team meetings it was interesting to see how his team members responded to his request for feedback and openness on his leadership style.  Nobody said a word, the silence and awkwardness was palpable in the room.  After the meeting I asked the team members (away from their leader), why had nobody raised their concerns (of which there were many).  The common reply was that they did not wish to be the one who put their head above the parapet to be shot at.  It seems that despite the leader’s attempt at openness (to his credit), there was an element of fear that was holding people back.  When team members are weighing up the potential social and political cost of expressing themselves there is an absence of trust.  As the leader had never previously shown his vulnerability the team members were not going to risk it for themselves.

When there is a vulnerability based trust in a team people are free to express ideas, joy, concerns, dissatisfactions without fear of reprisal.  This is the trust effect and the cornerstone to any strong, supportive functional team.

From our experience, there seems to be a commonly held myth that leaders show no weakness.  We have found this to be especially true in the more male dominated workplaces such as heavy industries, engineering and mining.  This apparent ‘weaknesses’ includes showing how you really think and feel and who you really are.  Here at Learning to Inspire we believe that there is a growing consciousness of leaders showing their humanity to others and that this is a great strength, not a weakness.

Here are some questions for you to consider:

  • How might you be contributing to a climate of trust or mistrust?
  • How are you at being challenged by team members?
  • What might you gain from some feedback from your team?
  • How might you show your humanity to your team?
  • Do we ever really have control and is it not just an illusion?  Might our teams see beyond our own illusions?

These are the kind of questions we will be exploring on our up and coming ‘Team Health Check’ days…….. where we help you to create high functioning teams.

Cardiff: 3rd June 2016     |    Chester: 10th June 2016

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Adding Drama to Meetings

If I were to ask you what springs to mind when I use the word ‘Meetings’ what would you say? As organisations, we seem to have resigned ourselves to the notion that meetings are unavoidably painful and unproductive – one of the necessary evils of organisational life. But the fact is, bad meetings are a reflection of bad leaders.

According to Patrick Lencioni author of ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’, leaders who are willing to challenge the notion that meetings are unfixable, are able to transform what is a tedious and debilitating process into something productive, focused, even energizing.

The key to improving meetings, however, has nothing to do with better preparation, agendas or minutes, in fact it is our contention that it is the opposite that is required. To address the problem of boring meetings, leaders need to be ready to let go of the control and the hiding place that overly prepared agendas offer.

The first step in transforming meetings is to understand why they are so bad. We believe that one of the key issues is that leaders are frightened of what might happen if they actually let their people loose from the constraints of rigid agendas. If we look deeply at our reasons for tightly controlled meetings we often find fear. It could be a fear of conflict between co-workers, people speaking their minds, or the prospect of ideas that threaten a leader’s credibility. Whatever the cause of the fear the result is meetings that lack what Lencioni calls ‘Drama’.

Lencioni suggests that in order to increase the drama of meetings, leaders need to put the most controversial issues on the table at the beginning of their meetings. In addition, they must insist that their people wrestle with those issues until resolution has been achieved. When they do this they can create genuine, compelling drama, and prevent their people from disengaging.

This level of intense engagement requires high levels of bravery, sourced from equal amounts of self awareness. If you feel you are up to the challenge, then we challenge you to add a touch of drama to your next meeting. Alternatively, if you don’t feel quite ready for this level of risk taking then why not consider attending our Team Health Check taster day….

Cardiff: 3rd June   |  Chester: 10th June

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Do you do what you say on the tin?

Let’s get straight to the point.  If you are a senior manager or owner of a small business there is one thing that people want from you more than anything else.

In fact, if this one thing is absent, even if the leader demonstrates strong leadership characteristics, he or she will struggle to maintain their ‘followership’.

Research shows, and we have found through our work, that the one thing people want is honesty and integrity.  More specifically it is authenticity. Or put it yet another way, you need to do what you say on the tin.

If there are mismatches between words and actions, between message and method, then those following will lose faith and trust.  If you lost faith and trust in a leader will you still follow them?  We think not.

So, if you are a leader or owner of a small business, I would like you to consider one question…’what is written on your tin’?  Just before you answer, you are not allowed to reply with your own name!

This question is designed to get you thinking about what you stand for as a leader.  After all, if people want someone who does what they say on the tin, you had best work out what the tin says. This is not as easy as it sounds, and most training does not help you do it. Most leadership training gives lots of theory but does not help the leader find his or her own voice, or help develop the internal resources needed for when the going gets tough.

Our training is different. Intensely personal and profoundly effective, our training has a focused mission, to give senior/owner managers the self awareness and strategies to lead people in these times of uncertainty and change.

If you would like to find out what you stand for as a leader…

Join us on our taster event: The Quest for Authenticity – Cardiff –April 12th 2016

Our 6 day coaching course:Inspiring Authentic Leadership – starts in Cardiff on May 18th – find out more

Find out about our other one day training events: Upcoming Events Calendar 

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Habit Upgrade Anyone?

How many of you brush your teeth without thinking about it? I know I do, except when I am due to visit the dentist, and then my extra vigilant brushing practically becomes a mindful practice! This is how (Whilst mindfully brushing my teeth) I found myself thinking about habits.

According to Charles Duhigg author of the ‘Power of Habits’ every habit starts with a psychological pattern called a “habit loop,” which is a three-part process. First, there’s a cue, or trigger, that tells your brain to go into automatic mode, second the behavior unfolds and finally your brain remembers everything so that you can repeat it in the future.

What I find interesting about habits is that as soon as a behavior becomes automatic, the decision-making part of your brain goes into a sleep mode of sorts.

“In fact, the brain starts working less and less,” says Duhigg. “The brain can almost completely shut down.” Of course this has its advantages because it means you have lots of mental space to devote to something else. On the flip side though, when we fall asleep to our habits we fail to recognise if our habitual patterns are helping or hindering our growth and development.

Perhaps one of the most useful habits we can cultivate as leaders and coaches is the habit of becoming aware of our habits! The payoffs are immense. When we become aware of how we ‘shut down’ in the midst of a habit we can begin to reclaim the freedom to choose our actions and our responses. As leaders and coaches when we stay awake to our habitual thoughts and behaviours we are noticing what started as an effective way of operating, is still effective.

The truth is whilst some habits are useful, (like breathing for example!) a life filled with habits is often a life spent going through the motions, robbed of joy, excitement and personal growth.

So, why not catch a few of your habits in the act and ask if they have had their day and are due for an upgrade?

Join us on The Quest for Authenticity to find out more about how self awareness could help you develop good habits.

Find out more about Our Development Events & Programmes.

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