Category Archives: openness

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.

What is Real Leadership for You?

Recently I have been involved with different people who all seemed to have their own ide as to what being a Leader was all about.

One seemed to feel it was getting everyone to follow, without question, the directions that they were giving as to how things ought to be done.

It was also interesting to observe those who were being given these directions. There we a great vacuum in the area of passion, nobody seemed to be motivated, at all, to respond to the directions, they did, however, it was with a cool detachment, even a sort of passive resistance response.

Another was extremely open with what they expected, a very vague communication of requirements. ‘Just do what you feel is best to achieve so and so’, was the directive.

Interesting to observe that in this case there was still a great deal of frustration and questionable energy. People were in a real state of loss and confusion about what was really being expected of them. Total uncertainty, total lack of productivity, what got achieved was more good luck than good management.

Are these two your model or have you another possibility in your stable as to what good leadership is all about.

 

I will awair comments as to your perception of good leadership and come back with other thoughts soon.

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.

I once thought I knew what a Leader was!!

There was a time in my life when I truly believed that all I had to do as a leader was to have the answer to the questions I was being asked. What do I do here? Go and do such and such!. End of story. I even thought that as long as I kept people happy with directions as to how to do life then they would appreciate me.

I came unstuck early in life when at 12 years old, I attempted to tell the kids around my area, (I lived in a large block of  flats with a lot of open space and numerous families surrounding our flats), as they gathered to play cricket on our disused tennis court how they would do it, guess what, they all knew better, even though I knew my idea was better than theirs and it was their solution to their issue.

It was suddenly back to the drawing board. I had not even found out if they had a problem with how they would play their game. (I always volunteered to keep the score), So what is it that I could do to help? Maybe if I asked what was the issue.

So I did. They told me what was going on. I asked some questions around what I heard. They answered those questions, I thought and asked more questions.

Obviously I had thought I knew what their issue was and got it wrong. So I needed to find what their issue was and as I wasn’t able to second guess it, then I needed to put a far greater effort in having them define it for me.

That process was a lot slower and a lot more frustrating, however it was a lot more successful. It achieved what I had not been able to achieve.

I could work at giving people the answer to their problem, as I saw it, or I could seek to find just what the problem was that they had.

Funny, in so many case I have now been involved in, the answer was the same. What then was the difference?

I was a bit of a slow learner, however, I finally realised that the person who had the issue seemed to feel happier when they came up with the answer themselves. They also seemed far more committed to making it work whenthey believed it was their solution. So I learned to let them and in fact complemented them when the Ah ha moment arrived.

This was the beginning of my journey. When I realised that people responded better to their own contemplations of the problem that to my telling them what they needed to do.

Some 50 years later I found that this is the essence of coaching. The consultant and sometimes the therapist come in and tell one how to run the business, how to solve the problem, basically how my answers will deal with your issue, even though I have no idea what the real issues are.

Rather, the question asks, tell me about your issue? How is it truly an issue for you? It then goes on to ask questions about how else is it an issue for you, searching to find how this issue can truly cause you a problem.

It then searches for how, you may consider, the problem could be dealt with. Challenging the client to stretch at finding possible responses to the issue. looking at those responses and contemplating the value of each considered response.

By a process of elimination and brainstorming, somewhere, the real answer to the issue appears to turn up, out of nowhere.

It didn’t turn up out of nowhere really. I turned up within the process of searching ones own data base and being willing to be open to the searching process.

Rather than be driven by the fear of not knowing what to do. There was an openness, a vulnerability, to allow oneself to be in a searching role but not yet have an awareness of what the answer may look like.

This is the creative role, the leadership role. To be willing to sit within the space of not knowing. Not needing to answer any questions. Just being open to the realisation that the answer will arrive, as long as we are faithful to the process and to trust it, letting go of any desire to control the outcome.

Sometimes very hard to sit there and shut-up when others started solving the problem that I believed I was the one who had the answer to it.

My response. Let it happen, after checking if there were ways I might be able to be involved.

I had achieved the miracle. I now saw a Leader in a different light. A new role, to facilitate, empower, stretch people to come up with their own solutions.

Interesting when this happened, I could actually take a breather because I was no longer needed to be the person who had to have all the answers. I could delegate to others and forget about the issue until they reported in later.

One of the last businesses that I led was one where we were all leaders, sharing the roles, bouncing ideas off each other, all coming up with ideas, all taking responsibility for where we were heading. It was really quite fun.

The Leadership Journey

I have sat painfully observing so many Leaders both in business and government.

My observation is that they believe the process of Leadership is just being able to strongly claim that they have the answer and tell people to follow it.

There is little consideration as to what other peoples point of view may be, except to rubbish it because it is not like theirs.

The polarity style of Leadership appeared to work somewhere in the past. On deeper study of history it probably only worked because those who were pushing thier particular point of view, riding rough-shod over large numbers, were also writing the history.

As long as I tell the story about what happened, I can explain how those silly people who did not follow orders, ended up being removed.

In 1969, I was dismissed from my role as assistant priest in a Queensland Parish when I disagreed with the authority who told me I needed a haircut. I and numerous others did not believe I did, or that it was the authorities role to dictate that.

That is minor compared to the narrow minded and bigoted beliefs that influence so much of the leadership directions of government and business officials.

Here we are, in a time in history, where we consider that so many people are exhibiting enlighten behaviour, contemplating others best interests, working for the good of humanity. Whilst we are experiencing such incredibly strong influences of negative influence.

United States of America houses of government unable to work an intelligent response to the financial crisis that years of turning a blind eye, (on both sides), has created.

All sides so strongly claiming their perception is right and therefore any other perception must be wrong. No one seems willing to point out and no one seems to want to listen anyway, that a perception is just that, a perception. They are only individual subjective points of view, forged in the initial cradle in which we were nurtured, habits of history.

Yet we are seduced by the person who comes on strongest with their definitive belief in their perception. Somehow we are attracted to the one who speaks in a god-like manner with great surety.

With my study of Logic at high school I saw that when what were called the Logical fallacies were used in debates, somehow, people were able to be convinced of the rightness of a issue, even though on fuller examination the presentation was seen to be fallacious.

I have more recently seen presenters of the ilk of Tony Robbins and Christopher Howard, just to mention a couple amongst many, bring a whole room into rapport and then sell to the people in that room, things they may have not purchased when not in rapport. NLP can be used a tool for good, it can also be used a manipulative tool.

However, we a willing to sit mesmerised by the highly definitive leader who tells us exactly what we need and, interestingly enough, we will accept, without question in many instances, exactly what he tells us. Even we disagree, we will only express our disagreement to the TV or radio, not out in public.

I have just found an article on Wellbeing Magazine’s Web site entitled Narcissism . Rather interesting as it is looking at a similar area of interest.

My main focus, as a person who works with businesses and individuals who are searching for how they can grow their business through growing their Leadership, is to get these organisations or individuals to search just what is true Leadership.

Is it to get people to follow, along the lines of the “Pied Piper of Hamelin“, blindly in whatever direction we want them to go. Or is it more. Or could it be more.

I believe true leadership is to empower ownership of the project by all the key stakeholders in such a way that they are working as a team to produce whatever they are all involved in producing in a most effective and efficient way, gaining as much input from all players so that it is truly democratic, that is 100% acceptable, as opposed to political democratic which is 50.1% acceptable.

What kind of leaders are you? Do you manage to get all the ducks to line up and fit into the direction in which you want people to go? Or are you open to looking at a variety of options with an open mind, searching, working at finding the best possible action, at this moment, to go with, whilst keeping open the possibility that new awareness’s may arise.

Ask yourself the question. What kind of Leader am I? and the question that asks, can I do it better? How open are you to looking at your Leadership style?

Message me if you wish to go further in your search to be the best you can be in the Leadership arena.

Leadership is about the Followers

I have recently had dealings with an organisation who trains people in a specific modality.

A friend of mine went along as my guest. They purchased a program from the training for a future training early in 2012. Total money upfront.

They then came upon a hardship where their car needed replacing anmd money was not as present as they would wish.

They asked if the money, less a discount, could be released back to them, to allow them to get to work and that they would arrange a payment program to ensure that they would be able to attend the training when it arrived.

The answer was no way. There was little compassion if any. No opportunity to talk to a decision maker, The gate keeper was brilliant.

The suggestion was to put the request in an email and it would be considered. But probably not acted on.

Now the issue has been resolved but there is a sour taste in the mouth. This business is seeing itself as caring for people but one could be forgiven for questioning that. Money seems to rate much higher than people.

I know a business has to survive. Making money is what it is all about. However, in my constant interaction with businesses in my role as a coach. I am constantly amazed that the ones who truly succeed are those who put people before profit.

My referral has put some $10000 worth of business their way. They will now loose that ongoing referral because i do not appreciate that style of business.

When a business looks after me, I will go out of my way to be loyal. In fact that is what businesses need to be nurturing. If the right thing is done by the client then there is a great chance that the loyal client will never be lost to that business.

Existing clients are worth holding onto.

It costs a large amount to market to gain new clients. One small act of generosity, (There was no money to lose, only the delay in receiving it), was all that was needed.

I had need to go to a conference at the George William Hotel in George St Brisbane. I was early so ordered a coffee. Went and sat down and started reading. 5 minutes later a waiter asked if I was being looked after. I told him I had ordered a coffee 5 minutes earlier. He acknowledged and left, he returned a few moments later with a coffee, apologised profusely, advised it was on the house because of the slowness in it being brought to me.

This was true service. I had not complained, however, there was a perception with the waiter that the organisation had been remiss in its service protocol. I thanked him and acknowledged his actions as being truly admirable.

I have since mentioned that place to a countless number of people because of its commitment to customer service.

I had opportunity to talk with two separate Used Car salespersons. Contrary to the conventional image of used car salespersons. These were exemplary. They went out of their way to be sure that the product they were selling was put in the best possible light. bending over backward to be sure that the customer was looked after. No they weren’t being Father Christmas or the Easter bunny. They were overdelivering.

My recommendation is that if the leader does not care about the followers, then the followers will lose interest in the Leader.

The Leaders main focus is not to be the Leader. It is to be the followers, clients, customers, staff, contractors.

The true leadership model is the one of serving, of caring for the followers.

I have experienced both styles where the Leaders cared and where the Leaders could not care less.

I know which vehicle I will be hitching my wagon too, and, if you haven’t guessed already, it will be with the one that cares.

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