Are you and your team at all times hungry for more success, for improvements, for Innovation? If so, you are a complete exception.
Anyway, with most of the leaders with whom I start a collaboration, I notice rather a medium to strong inertia. What often is behind this is a high level of satisfaction with the current state.
The shortcomings and problems (of course, almost always caused by "others") are accepted as normal.
You can live with this attitude, but here comes the point: satisfaction has little or nothing to do with fulfillment and joy.
From one of the best leadership and success gurus, Brian Tracy, comes this simple thought model to 10x your success: if you just improve yourself by one-tenth of a percent (which is one thousandth), you will be 10x as good in a few years. The underlying reason is the power of the compound effect.
You can be 10x more productive, 10x happier, and 10x wealthier.
And here comes the point: couldn’t you improve much more each day? Let’s say one percent? The effects will be even more breathtaking.
Now you may ask, if this is so easy, why are more people and businesses not living this philosophy? The answer: because it is easy to understand, but amazingly difficult to execute. Why? Because we need to change habits. Each day. Little by little.
Recently, I had launched a survey among my readers and clients with an important question: "What is your biggest frustration in leadership right now? In other words: What is causing you the most problems, regardless of current challenges because of Corona, physical separation, etc.?"
The auxiliary question was, "If you could change one thing in leadership for yourself, what would it be?"
I was overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of responses, and I'm sure we can all learn from them. The good news is that about 80% of the responses fall into three main categories.
Most of the responses revolve around how to influence others as a leader, how to build mutual trust, and how to improve collaboration as a result. Some statements relate directly to the difficulties with physical separation because of Covid, but...
A common challenge for my leadership coaching clients is weak communication. Even among experienced leaders, I notice a high barrier when it comes to producing short videos and writing articles. Both are extremely relevant to effective communication.
I will take up the video topic another time. Today, let's take care of writing articles in less than 30 minutes, from a "blank slate".
It starts in your own head: for many executives, article writing is an unpleasant and energy-sapping task. The root cause is usually a lack of process and, related to that, the idea that writing an article takes hours or even days.
Building on my experience of writing now about 1000 blog and magazine articles, I have developed a process that allows writing a roughly one-page article (about 300-400 words) in under 30 min, starting from scratch.
I recently conducted a survey on leadership and was surprised by the number and quality of responses. Many thanks to all who participated!
Next week, I will present the exciting results in more detail (so that everyone can benefit from them). Today, I'll pick out one point that ran through many of the answers: people's lack of willingness to change.
This topic is as old as mankind: Those who want to change something struggle against the persistence of many.
Except: That's exactly why we need leaders! And here comes the unpleasant truth: Whoever complains as a leader about the lack of willingness to change on the part of others has not done his or her homework.
Here are three fundamental steps for doing so (that most never think of):
As a leader, you have the choice between two fundamentally different approaches to achieving your goals:
First, you can inspire your co-workers to be hungry for your ultimate goals, your vision, your route to success, so that they will be keen to get there with you.
Or second, you can implement a bunch of policies, rules, and processes to keep your co-workers on the route that you have determined to be best.
Here’s the thing: There is not much space between these two alternatives.
Having a great vision, but restrictive policies, makes people cynical. Having neither bold goals nor any policies and rules leads to chaos.
Most organizations opt—often unconsciously—for more policies and less vision.
Managers feel safer implementing the next Six Sigma framework or another set of rules than taking the risk of setting clear goals and leaving it to their people to find the best route. The former requires solid management; the latter, real leadership.
Too many policies...
“We are what we do consistently” is a common saying. In other words: our habits define our identity. And our habits are mainly based on our beliefs and thought patterns, which we have developed over years, often a long time ago.
The same for businesses: all of them run based on the habits of their people, which are rooted in common beliefs.
Now, a question to my advanced readers: is this change of habits easy or difficult? Yes, it’s difficult. This is why so many change initiatives fail or get stuck half way. Next question: what is the best (and sometimes the only) way to get people to change their beliefs and habits? Answer: new perspectives.
Here's a tricky question in leadership, but one that is extremely important: How much of your time do you really spend on effective leadership and how much time on other topics?
In any case, I almost universally hear from my coaching clients that they don't have enough time for their leadership responsibilities. The day-to-day business takes priority most of the time. I call this condition "leadership treadmill" and unfortunately, I see it far too often.
And it's not just my perception. The burden increases not only because of spatial separation, but also because the environment is changing ever faster and we have to react ever more quickly.
Now, for the crucial question: how do you notice that you are stuck on the treadmill?
I don't like to hear it anymore: Hardly any topic is as present in leadership as the question of what will change as a result of Corona and what will remain the same.
And yet, the topic is extremely relevant for many, which is also reflected in the question I am repeatedly asked. For example, just the other day by the author of an article for a business magazine, for which he interviewed several experts, including myself (you can request the article in German from me here).
So: how do the pandemic and its associated consequences affect our corporate culture and leadership? What are the opportunities and what are the risks? How can we even benefit as a company in the area of leadership?
Simply enter your name and email and hit "Submit".
Important: You will receive an email with information on data privacy, which you must confirm in order to register effectively. Please check your email inbox.