Category Archives: Business

Federal Politics! What is a Real Team.

“The fundamental rule for any team is to place the interests of the team above the interests of any of the individual team members.” (“Absolute Leadership” by Joseph Tigani, page 147.)

He goes on to say, “An Absolute Team comprises of individuals who are guided and united to willingly act to achieve collectively shared and valued outcomes.”

There is a story that suggests that one of Australia‘s greats in Rugby league saw himself above fitting in with the Team process and was let go, much to the disgust of the followers, yet the team performed far better when all agreed to conform to the team requirements.

As I watch the processes of Federal politics, I can’t help question what true Leadership is all about and how a real team performs in the present scenario.

It has been said that a media mogul had called for a major attempt to totally destabilize the Labor party.

The role of the opposition in a game of putting the main team off their game.

We have just seen the Queensland State of Origin Rugby League team making sweeping statements about the New South Wales team.

We will in the actual game, usually quite near the beginning, both teams rough each other up to attempt to force them to  lose focus from the game in hand.

The art form of the team is to work together to prevent the loss of focus. To continue to keep fully focused on the task at hand:- to win the game.

It was quoted by a politician that: “Divided we fall” . If only the individuals within the team could defocus from their own personal agendas and unite behind the teams singular objective.

Unfortunately, I am not in the position of being able to coach any of the politicians in Federal politics. It would be a great challenge to have that opportunity, the only issue is whether any of them would listen.

Coaching can only occur when the person who is in need of the coaching is open to being coached. How willing are you to be open to changing the way you do things.

How well does your team actually work together? Are you truly focused on the teams agenda or on your own?

In politics it seems like a dog eat dog world. The team seems to only have validity when it serves the individuals needs, rather than the other way when the individual serves the teams needs.

Maybe we are not able to instantly change our political system, even though it is worth attempting to do so. Similarly it may have value to convince the team not to succumb to the media’s attempt to disrupt the team. Or even to flag to the media that we question their agenda.

However, the most important lesson to me is that we focus on the teams that we are part of in our daily life and work. Ensuring that our major focus is on bringing about the agenda of the team, rather than our own personal agenda.

If your team is not working as it ought, contact me, there are a variety of things that can be done to get the team running as it ought.

If you have the chance to influence the political team similarly, go for it.

Thanks for listening. Catch you soon.

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Are you the Leader you could be? Would you like to be?

How good are you at being the Leader?

Do you achieve all you wish to achieve and more in your business?

Do you know how to take your business to the next level?

It is so easy to dream about where you would like things to be! Yet so hard to know what to do to get them there. Isn’t it?

If only everyone would play their part in the business seriously. Take their roles responsibly. Wouldn’t it be great? Then you wouldn’t have to get so frustrated, checking on everyone all the time, to make sure everything is done.

What can you do to show everyone that you are the Leader, that your business has great value and that it is a great place to work?

I actually use a method defined in “Absolute Leadership”, by Joseph Tigani.

There is only one way to truly get it and that is to experience it. Until that happens, here is an overview of the process

However, the steps are put together to assist you to work out where you are at this moment, what is working and what is not. Also where you actually want to go and whether there is congruence between the two.

Having found where you really want to go, the question is, “what needs to change to achieve that end result?”

How open are you to brainstorming your present environment? It can actually be fun to do that in a none threatening environment, where no one will pay out on you for the fault and failures of the past, but rather compliment you for being willing to be so honest.

With that under our belt, we take a short journey to see what it is that truly excites us. The motivation for change comes from the excitement that is created by a new vision. What is it about your new vision that gets you revved up and willing to put time and effort into an activity?

So you have this small group of people who work for you? How well do you know them? How well do they know you? Do they trust you? How well do they understand your motivation for running your business? Do they know about your passion?

What can you do better to improve all these things? What processes can you put in place, within the team, to improve their understanding  of what you are all about? There are lots, believe me, we just need to work out the best for your situation.

This understanding will lead to a better team, where all are working with a common vision, a common purpose. So that the business will begin to hum along brilliantly.

Finally, what do we put in place that measures the movement and growth?

What do we put in place to make sure that everything is monitored to see that all is running smoothly?

Each business requires specific feedback to be put in place so that the system is monitored in such a way that you can let it run on automatic, relying on the checks and balances that you have put in place assure you that all is running smoothly.

This is real Leadership, Absolute Leadership, where the business runs like a well oiled machine with minimal interference from you, but where you still know what is going on at any time.

If you would like to be this Leader with a business that pleases you, with everyone working together as a happy team and you are making money with far less stress than before. Get in contact with me.

Let us have a chat to see whether you qualify to be one of my clients and whether I believe you have what it takes to create the ideal business.

My email is austin@austinparry.com

I work anywhere in the world by phone or Skype. If you are in my local area we can do face to face.

Here’s to your success as a Real Leader.

Leadership according to Steve Jobs

To start with this is not a summary or a synopsis of Steve Jobs life and works. It is another of my ramblings, kick started by stuff that I have read in the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

You may or may not have seen my Facebook or Twitter posts on my perception of Steve’s approach to Leadership and achievement. If not, a summary of what I said is that when one has a vision, one has to be courageous enough to go out on a limb to proclaim that vision, not giving a stuff about what others think about it.

The visionaries of this world, the gurus of this world, the dreamers of this world who had enough belief in what they possessed that they were willing to put their future on the line, were the ones n general that were recognised. The Edison’s, the Faraday’s, the Freud’s the Columbus’s and so on.

To be willing to be seen as arrogant. To be open to criticism for not fitting into the status quo. To be willing to sacrifice popularity for the sake of achieving the dream. To be willing to head out with absolutely no proof that you were going to achieve, purely because  you knew deep inside that that was the direction you needed to go.

I am only half way through the book, so there may be things I am not yet aware of, however I have become aware of some great options from what I have read.

What are they?

Number one. Be possessed by your vision that you have a burning desire to follow it.

Number two. don’t ever entertain that it can be done differently.

Number three. Take on board your team those who can capture the dream that you promote.

Number four. In the face of adversity search for the people who still believe in your vision.

Number 4. There is always a better way. No matter how well you define your way, someone else can improve on it.

Number 5. Don’t allow the negative/conservative people to steal your vision.

Number 6. Do it anyway.

Edward de Bono did some work 9n the 1980’s and wrote a book on: The Six Thinking Hats this is a way to still hold strongly onto the dream/vision, yet at the same time do what Jobs did not do.

Jobs was brilliant with new ideas, not very good at listening to other ideas, some of which were “Black hat” ideas. Reason’s why it might not work. These people should not control the ideas, however, they should be available for involvement in the assessment process. It could have helped him achieve more easily. Who knows?

How willing are you to step up to the plate and own totally your dreams, vision and beliefs. Then follow through, no matter what others may think.

That is Leadership.

I have had the privilege to have worked for two persons who had that single mindedness of purpose. They did what others said could not be done. They followed  their visions, beliefs and dreams. They were the epitome of Steve Jobs, willing to be different, and were. One has since died and his presence lives on, the other is still continuing to break new ground.

Are you? At Austin Parry: “Your Journey to Extra-ordinary Business Results”, we work with you to achieve that position, where you are able to stand out and become who you believe you can be.

Thanks Steve, thanks to Noel, thanks to Greg. Thanks to those others who would not believe that it was not possible and did it anyway.

The future is created by those who can not conceive that it could not happen, so continue to move forward.

Mindset of Leaders

I have been reading a book by Carol S. Dweck called “mindset: the new psychology of success.

Dweck differentiates between two types of mindset. 1. Fixed mindset and 2. Growth mindset.

Initially she suggests that depending on our early influences, birth, family, educators.

From a leadership point of view, I am intrigued that both of these group have within them people who have become identified as leaders. Yet the leadership that is given can differ quite dramatically.

One leader can believe that things all have a place and ought to be in their place. Many of these leaders are influenced majorly by fundamental belief systems that proclaim this is the way things are intended to be. This is the fixed mindset leader.

Their leadership is fairly dogmatic, though it could be very benevolent and caring. However, there is no room left for questioning or offering a different option.

Another can be a the growth mindset leader who is aware that today failures pave the way to tomorrows successes. There is an openness to new possibilities. This form of leadership is always open to doing things better.

Which of these is correct?

A fixed mindset leader I would be going all out to prove to you that I was correct, the growth mindset leader, in their wisdom, would not attempt to change a fixed mindset person. It appears unfortunately the there is a, “No correspondence will be entered into”, policy. The jury for the fixed mindset leader is not “Still out,” but rather has passed their verdict and gone home.

A growth mindset leader is one who does not believe they have all the answers and as such will be open to consider options, there is no need to prove they have all the answers as they don’t believe they have. The belief is that development can occur, growth is possible, new awareness’s and ideas will manifest.

There is a massive optimism for the growth mindset leader. There is always a better way and we will search for it.

The fixed mindset leader is a very limiting place to be as there is no room for change, growth, development and new ideas. it is a very negative place to be as in essence there is no chance of anything different occurring.

Personally, today’s climate in business, politics, relationships, religious faith would be a better place if the focus of our leaders was on what could be, on growth and development.

As I continue to listen to the political debate in Australia, the UK, Europe, New Guinea, the USA, throughout the world; as I listen to the religious debate similarly throughout the world, I hear so much fixed mindset leadership, all fighting to preserve the status quo.

My prayer is that people as a whole will search for growth mindset leaders. leaders who will listen, question, ask why this way, could it be that way? Open to rethinking ways to do all that we do, so that it is more relevant, more efficient, more humane, more in touch with truth, honesty and integrity.

We are getting better and more of these leaders are materialising, however, the more of us who get on board, the soon it will reach a tipping point.

What about this Leadership thing

There has been a long running discussion about what Leadership is:

Some would feel that it is the ability of the few-given at birth by some choice of a raffle wheel.

Some would suggest that if your parents took you under their wing at an exceptionally early age and gave you special training and mentoring then you would automatically show leadership traits.

Still others would say that anyone could learn to apply the skills of Leadership to their life and apply them in their day to day activities.

Interestingly there is probably some truth in all of these, however, none of them are the only way.

Yes your genes, your DNA, your experience in a past life, (if you want to go there) may have certainly started you out well equipped for a life of Leadership ability.

Your parent early on in life could similarly have given great example, introduced you too the correct role models, encouraged you in the skills that go to make a great Leader.

However, even if both of these were missing, the ability to become a Leader is not lost. There are countless examples of people in history who had absolutely none of the first category of being born a leader, nor the second category of being mentored as one. Yet became important critical Leaders in their neighborhood, their business, their country.

 

What they did have was the desire to be the best person that they could be. The willingness to do whatever was necessary to be that person. The discipline it would take to keep working at being the best they could be, even when it was a hard task.

All of this is motivated by a desire to be an objective person. One who cares for others and desires to nurture them and also the desire to serve. All genuine Leaders are out to serve their fellow humans in the belief that this will bring about the best outcomes.

There are skills in learning how to implement the art of leadership. There are really not very hard at all. However, the desire to implement them has to be there.

Are you truly serious about becoming the Leader that you have the potential to be. Let me know. I may be able to help you. The results could be astronomical.

Traits of a Great Leader- number 3

In the list of traits of great leaders that Facebook friends suggested another was “Unwavering Vision”.

I agree wholeheartedly with this suggestion, I will add a little rider later.

In conventional coaching language, Goals would come close to covering this. However, there is more to unwavering vision than just goal setting.

This is all about having such strong vision, such strong goals that the focus never strays from where one is going.

The image that pops into my head is that of a GPS system. You set the destination to which you are heading, then the GPS begins and continues to issue directives that are totally focused on getting you from where you are to where you want to go.

In fact it is so unwavering that if you err slightly the voice will let you know and begin issuing directives to bring you back on track.

A great Leader needs to be absolutely sure of where they want to go. This may require a large amount of interaction with all the key stakeholders, a large amount of research, checking out all the possibilities and options, fine tuning choices till finally a single choice has surfaced as the goal for which to strive.

Another issue which many overlook is the need to know where you are starting the journey from. Until that is known, there is no way of setting the GPS, of plotting the course. The two critical things that go hand in hand are where are you starting from and where are you heading to.

Unless you know both the GPS cannot be set, the journey cannot be defined and created step by step.

To have unwavering Vision it needs to be defined and there needs to be a surety that this is truly where you need and want to be heading. Unless there is that surety, that certainty, then there may definitely be a lack of commitment.

It is very hard to follow a leader who is forever changing their mind about where they are heading.

One comment I said I would come back to is the only downside about “unwavering”.

What happens if somewhere along the way their arises an awareness that this is not the correct direction, that the goal needs to be redefined.

It is useless putting time and effort into a goal, if it becomes obvious that it is no longer the correct goal.

Steven Covey’s “wrong forest” comment in his Seven Habits book illustrates this. If you are heading in the wrong direction them working harder, working longer will not get you there.

In my model there is a constant requirement of checking in to see that the direction we are going is truly still where we want to go.

Part of this is feedback, part is regular assessments, another part is truly listening to all comments and assessing their validity in relation to vision defined and actual vision required.

All effort was initially invested in defining the vision, however as new light is shone on the vision it is more than possible, after discussion and consideration, that the vision may need to be redefined.

As long as there is a proviso for revisiting the original vision, checking to be sure it truly represents where you want to go and being humble enough to admit you got it wrong and being willing to redefine it, then “Unwavering Vision” is truly a powerful trait of great leaders.

How well have you defined where you want your life, your business to head? How well have you assessed and defined exactly where you are at this moment?

Unless you have seriously worked on both of these equally, you may have issues of wasting a whole lot of time, energy and money heading down a dead end track.

If you haven’t then your leadership is being called into doubt. Be sure you have done what is needed so that you can lead with Unwavering vision.

 

Call me if you need to do some work on this. 61 (0 in Oz)419 701 608

 

Traits of a great Leader. Number 2. Passion.

Following on from last weeks post on the first trait of a great Leader. Today’s trait is passion.

All great leaders show an incredible belief,  a drive that is overpowering. Their motivation is unstoppable. They eat sleep and breath their major focus. They are passionate.

There is an awareness that “there is no way the world could exist without this”.

Passion does not emanate from left hemisphere thinking, it is not logical, analytical, structured or controlled. Rather it has a high emotional drive associated with it.

This kind of drive defies logic. The logical mind has a great deal of challenge dealing with anything that is passionate. We ask, “how can someone be so driven that they would override standard rules”? “Why would someone work 18 hours a day on some silly project”? How come someone would be willing to keep changing the way things are done in the search for their dream”?

Passion drives us on when we have reached the point of giving up on a project, yet somehow still keep working on it with a renewed vigor.

Passion has us continue to work through the challenges of a project when, no matter how many hurdles we have jumped, we are always ready and enthusiastic to jump the next one and the next one, knowing that sooner or later we will reach our goal. We will achieve.

The journey to achieve the impossible has been inspired by passion. Interestingly enough, if the passion is great enough, somehow, the impossible becomes attainable.

Without passion there is a temptation to give up so much sooner. Somehow, the limitations are accepted much easier if there is no passion in the mix.

The passion to achieve an Olympic medal can drive an athlete to achieve above and beyond the realm of usual achievement.

You are a Leader. How passionate are you? Do you inspire both yourself and those you lead to look within and achieve above and beyond the standard response?

Do you inspire those you lead to look deep within themselves and find that extra that they were unaware was there?

The beauty of this is that when trait two, passion, is linked with trait one, humility, we can see that the great leader is so totally focused on task at hand that there is no ego drive involved, the total energy focus is on empowerment, not on self aggrandizement.

Passion powerfully focused nurtures others, it encourages others, it excites others, the dream is caught, owned and acted upon.

Passion is contagious.

How passionate are you about the tasks you are involved in. If not, as Zig Ziglar said, “Maybe you need a check up from the neck up”. Maybe you need a coach who will work with you to assist you to find and name you passion?

Drop me an email. austin@austinparry.com

Traits of a great Leader. Number 1

The other week I posted a question on Facebook asking what people believed were the traits of a good leader.

I received six responses which was great.

They were: humility, passion, unwavering vision, integrity, ability to lead and inclusiveness.

Each of these has very good value.

The first one mentioned is humility.

One of the biggest challenges for people working in an organization is to have a manager, an overseer, a leader who is so caught up with looking good, impressing their next level of management, needing to affirm that they know it all.

Especially when they know for certain that the decisions the person is making are totally focused in the wrong direction.

It is a bit like watching the majority of politicians of all persuasions and from most countries, so caught up in looking good, sounding definitive, appearing in control, creating assurance, yet as the observer, it being so easy to see through the bluff, through the BS, the waffle, the half truths spoken in hope, the “fingers crossed” proclamations that rely on no-one calling them to task. Their inability to admit to making a mistake.

A bit like proclaiming that black is white and then when someone categorically points out that black is black and white is white, stating that they never really meant that black was white and how they had been misrepresented.

Elusive in their dealings with the truth!

I would place this trait of humility high on the agenda. When someone is humble, there is an honesty about them. There is no BS. What you see is what you get.

If there is a stuff up, then the humble leader will acknowledge what has gone wrong. If there is misunderstanding then the humble leader will be totally open to re-expressing the concern so all understand.

Humility stands high on the requirement list for a leader. As a leader where do you stand on that specific trait? Can you in all honesty admit to being humble?

Probably for the first time this year I actually watched a game of Rugby League.

People have been talking about how Darren Lockyer, who plays for the Brisbane Broncos, truly is a great footballer.

This may be true, however, the greatest awareness that even though he is a great player, he is an even greater leader.

As I watched, I became aware that he is a low key leader, there did not appear to be any need to gain support for his leadership style, rather, he committed 100% to the task in hand and trusted everyone else in the team, they appeared to rise to the occasion inspired by his trust and belief in them.

He appears to understand himself exceptionally well, with a real control of his emotions. No show of emotion at all. No matter what mistakes his players may have made he appeared to be constantly affirming them to get up and move on. “No use crying over spilt milk”, so to speak. There appeared to be nothing in the way of rebuke.

Urging? yes. Empowering? yes. Totally in the present moment with the whole team. The sort of magic that freed his team members to know they are part of something bigger than themselves, yet at the same time be able to make independent decisions that would benefit the whole.

This awareness came to a head when he sustained an injury to his face. He lay dazed for a moment, then sat up assessing what had happened. He could be seen testing his bite and holding his cheek. he then runs, slowly to begin with, increasing in speed by the moment, to get back into the game. Once back he gets straight into the job in hand, affirming to the rest of the team that it was business as usual.

There was no show of anger, frustration, despair or even sadness. No, it was an objective assessment, a decision, then back into it.

The game reach full time as a draw. Extra time was called with a first to score being the winner process.

It was interesting as there seemed to be a “Leadership by Osmosis” process in place. The belief in the team players to know exactly what to do paid off as they positioned themselves to give Darren a shot at field goal. He took it and scored.

They won the game.

The servant leader style of leadership where’ “this is not about me” awareness was shown is massively empowering.

It created such a belief among the players that they all worked totally as individuals, yet totally as one. Each giving themselves to the total good.

I could not help think about so many businesses that could do well to exemplify this style of leadership.

Businesses that cannot work out what it is that does not bring out the best in their workers. That cannot see that the Boss, the Leader is the one who sets the tone.

That if the Boss, CEO, Manager does not show that they care deeply for each and every member of their organisation, ahead of caring for themselves, then the organisation will struggle with apathy, lack of commitment and higher than usual turn over of staff.

It was a great experience to see this example of how to run a successful business using a great leadership style being played out in a game. And being played out so obviously to me.

Checkout your organisation or business. If it is not running like a well oiled machine then checkout your leadership style. That will be what is creating the difference.

The great awareness is that you can change your style, “If you want to”.

So if you want to but don’t quite know where to start, email me, no matter where you are. I would love to be part of your journey.

Good Leaders Lead Themselves First

How well can you answer the question: “Who are you?”

Not: Who would you like to be?

Not: Who do you think you are?

Not: who do I want everyone to think I am?

No: Who are YOU?

Objectively — What are your strengths and weaknesses?

What is you “shown” side and your “shadow” side?

Each of my clients-before I see them for the first time is asked to do two personality assessment. DISC and Enneagram. The reason why these two and not the many others is another future post.

They give me an in depth awareness of how–through a series of questions that you answer– you are seeing the world at this moment.

They do not define you. All they do is tell me how things are at this moment. 12 months ago or in 12 months time the result could be different.

I then get you to look at the summary of awareness that your answers have suggested is you at this moment and ask you in what you have read:

How much do you recognize of you and are happy with?

How much do you recognize of you and are not happy with?

How much would you like to recognize but can’t?

How much do you not recognize and are glad that you can’t?

This is the process of getting to know “who you are”.

In “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves“, the queen had a magic mirror that she was able to ask about who was the most beautiful in the land. It usually answered that she was but once Snow White was old enough it gave her the honest answer. Her step daughter, Snow White was.

How willing are you to allow your mirror to talk back to you and give you an honest answer?

If you asked it: How good a listener am I? How caring am I? How open to ideas am I? How easily do I lose my temper? How arrogant am I?

Would you be open to the answer that the mirror would give you?

To be a good leader one needs to listen to the mirror.

All Leaders definitely need a mirror. Someone to help them to come to terms with what the rest of the world sees when it looks at them.

As a coach I facilitate, for leaders, this process, as the starting off point for learning truly how to be a good leader.

If I may be so blunt as to ask this question: “Do you truly know who YOU are?

If you can’t answer in all honesty yes, then we need to talk.

Drop me an email. Respond to this post. Don’t waste any time.

The rest of the world sees you as you are. You are the only one who may not.

Get some certainty that you are projecting to the world the message that you say you are projecting.

Make sure who you think you are is how others actually see you.

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