We find ourselves in turbulent times with the outbreak of Covid-19 (Corona virus) and it has been fascinating to watch how the UK has responded to the crisis.
I have a personal view that we are all leaders and it is how we choose to behave in these turbulent times that demonstrate the leadership skills we all have.
There are days where I feel we are dammed if we do and dammed if we don’t. The opinions of others across the world over social media and journalists are impacting the decisions that individuals make, which cements my belief we are all leaders and have leadership traits which many will choose to follow.
These are questions that are relevant now, in the future and questions I’ve asked in the past as part of reflection.
What lessons am I taking away by leading through crisis?
None of this is new, we just don’t consciously bring it to the forefront of our minds when we are busy.
What opportunities does crisis bring?
How is the current crisis affecting me & what am I doing about it?
All in all, I have a lot to be grateful for. My health which is my wealth, a family who love and support me even when I’m not firing off all cylinders and being my best self as well as a fabulous support community that I can pull on in times of crisis. I’m living life true to my family and company values and beliefs.
Please feel free to reach out to see what solutions I may have at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading this blog and let’s lead the way
International Women’s Day 2020
Sunday 8th March 2020 is International Women’s day and 18 months ago, Joanne Outram & I collaborated with 10 other women to bring ours and their stories together in a book titled Inspirational, Fabulous and Over 40.
I want to recognise these amazing women by giving you a snippet of their journeys.
Jane Dyer – A lady faced with a disability from birth who has never let this get in the way of success. In fact, she is determined to succeed no matter what and embraces the challenge of her situation by working with people who are in similar situations and demonstrates that through her business, Tudor Rose Business Services, where she provides her clients with solutions to their problems by being able to walk in their shoes “Empowering YOU to focus on YOUR dreams”.
Debbie Inglis – I’ve known Debbie for the last 7 years and have the privilege to be an associate coach for her through her company Square Two. She lives and breathes her brand because Square Two is all about not going back to square one. Her chapter is called “Mentally Tough Me” and her story clearly demonstrates this as she shares her 7 learning points of her “Life CV”. If you asked her if she was “Mentally Tough”, her response would be “I’m working progress” which I think we all are.
Sarah Jones – The co-author that has not yet reached 40, however found her courage to “Break the Taboo” and follow her passion from being a brain surgeon to a self-employed funeral director! What a shift. I totally resonate with her journey of leaving a safe and secure environment with a regular income and final salary pension scheme, dealing with the challenges of others thoughts and feeling whilst knowing you have the support of those who love you, willing you on to live your true purpose with passion. As she says “If you never risk more than you are willing to lose then what is the worst that can happen?”
Katy Mason – I met Katy when we both started our coaching journey in 2011 and I smile when I read about “Chaos the chimp” because we all have one that sits in our head that triggers our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Sometimes this chimp can be helpful other times it can be a hindrance. Thankfully Katy has found “Anotherway” to help herself and her coaching clients move from “Middle of the Road to Loving Boot”
Ali Moore - Ali certainly “Finds her roar” as she shares her emotional story. The driving force being to learn to “trust” again. I love her mantra of “Dream more, See more & Be whatever you want to be!”. It’s good to talk and when the going gets tough, don’t be afraid to reach out for help & support to “Reconnect” with that is important in your life right now.
Michelle Oxley – The title of Michelle’s chapter “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is so true as she shares her life of abuse resulting in turning the highly confident, full of life woman into a woman full of self-doubt, low self-esteem and lack of self-worth. Thank goodness she found the light and has gone on to huge success in her business and been a role model for her family.
Sam Parsonage – I’ve had the pleasure of working with Sam for many years and see her grow on her transformational journey. She “dares to be different” and I was so proud when at 50, she chose to follow her passion of vintage and sell pretty dresses in her own shop “Miss Samantha’s Vintage” which turns 2 later this month.
Sally Penni – At the time of publication Sally had just turned 40 and what a difference she has made during her lifetime. A barrister of 20 years fighting the cause for others brings a sense of achievement and justice to those deserving of her time, energy and effort. Sally is a professional woman who fights for the rights of her clients whilst recognising there are people in the world less fortunate than her that she can help, support and inspire along the way which is why she raises money for charity and decided to donate all her proceeds from this book to Anthony Nolan and Royal Manchester Children’s hospital. “Whatever your dream, Every Penni counts” was a great title for her chapter and she is certainly living her life on purpose.
Janet Woodjetts – I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Janet for the last 5 years as part of the 3 Shires Coaching group and every interaction that you have with her is “with love, fun and gratitude”. As a proud baby boomer, she shares her challenges throughout the decades and the selfless actions that she took to be the role model that she is today to her children, stepchildren and their partners who now inspire her with their courage, knowledge and humility.
Lynnda Warsnop – A science teacher, who like so many became burnt out and stressed by the job. Lynnda was brave to take voluntary redundancy so she could support her son with his challenges. By doing so she realised she was “by myself, but not alone”. The power of building a team has been her success throughout all her career especially as a self-employed woman who frequently has the support of her “sparkling ladies” as part of “The Sparkling Business Club”
Joanne Outram – A hugely talented and determined woman who has learnt the hard way about the “numbers losing their crunchiness” and in the process found the “Law of Attraction”. Jo now works with women to educate them on their money mindset and from my personal experience can honestly say it’s been life changing. When the going gets tough the tough keep going and that’s what Joanne has certainly done.
Claire Cahill – What can I say about myself that you don’t already know? I’m determined to succeed no matter what. Impossible is I’m possible and failure is not an option, it’s just an opportunity to learn and grow. I have my Mum & Nana to thank for the woman I am today because without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. Continue to “Dream, Believe, Achieve and Make it Happen”
If you have enjoyed this blog and the snippets of information I’ve shared about these truly Inspirational, Fabulous women who are over 40 then head over to Amazon where you can read their full stories on kindle or contact me at email@example.com where you can purchase a signed copy of the book for £10
These are the leaders and coaches that leave no stone unturned, they will make sure all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed. They have fantastic attention to detail and the more detail they have, the more they thrive. If you give them an action plan they will make sure you have every eventuality covered. These qualities are great if you are expecting a visit from an auditor, however imagine being in a meeting where you want to move forward with an action plan and the compliant C keeps highlighting the risk, being cautious and sitting on the fence afraid to make a decision in case it is wrong.
General Characteristics of a compliant C
Their greatest fear is criticism due to their perfectionism and will avoid conflict like the plague. Your intention may not be to criticise or pick fault, however being a reserved individual who processes every detail they will take any form of feedback as potential criticism due to the high standards that they set themselves.
They say that opposites attract and can work exceptionally well together. I know that a lot of my clients are compliant C and we have a fabulous relationship because their strengths are my development needs and vice versa so we end up being each others missing ingredient. I can think of numerous jobs as a leader and a coach that I would gratefully delegate to a compliant C and they would thrive and flourish seeing through to completion. On the flip side I know that I would only be able to tolerate their need for more detail for so long before I would get frustrated.
Part of building effective relationships and having powerful conversations is recognising your own personality traits, accepting them (warts and all), deciding how you best like to receive information and be able to articulate that as well as respectfully realising that you may need to adapt your communication style to get the best out of others and the relationship.
Questions to ask yourself when working with a compliant C
My top tip for engaging with a compliant c is GIVE ME DETAIL, the more the better and consider your INTENT & IMPACT.
For further information about DISC and the personality traits I can recommend you read "Do it or Ditch it" by Bev James and "Empowering Employee Engagement - How to ignite your team" by Claire Cahill. Both available on Amazon
Steady S leaders and coaches are the organisers in the team. They will have a plan and see it through to the end, some people will refer to them as the starter/completer.
Here are the typical characteristics of a Steady S
Imagine you are having a social gathering or team meeting, the Steady S will be the one that arrives with the cake to share with everyone. They will be the one that organises the gifts whether that be for birthdays, anniversaries or leavers. It wouldn't be unusual to hear them say "Sharing is caring". In relationships they will seek harmony and potentially avoid the conflict situation unless they feel capable to use their skills to support a satisfactory resolution for all concerned.
Their greatest fear is loss of security and change. That isn't to say that they cannot adapt to change, just that you will need to give them sufficient time to process the change and be prepared to discuss the change without judgement.
Imagine you are in a group and someone gets upset, the steady S will be the first to comfort them by putting an arm around them, demonstrating empathy and sympathy, wanting to listen to the problem and seek a solution. They are nurturing with their kind nature and can be viewed as the mother or father in the group. Mother Theresa pops into my head when I think of a Steady S character.
Questions you may want to ask yourself when dealing with a Steady S leader or coach
My top tip for engaging with a Steady S is MAKE ME FEEL SECURE & SHOW ME YOU CARE
If you want to learn more about DISC then I would recommend reading "Do it or Ditch it" By Bev James or "Empowering Employee Engagement - How to ignite your team for peak performance" By Claire Cahill. Both available on Amazon.
Influencing I leaders and coaches engage you with their story telling. They will create an impression as soon as they walk into the room. They will inspire you with the actions they take and always have others at the heart of all they do.
How to spot an Influential I in the room
Their greatest fear is loss of popularity so not unusual for them to talk their way out of any situation for fear of rejection.
When faced with problems I style leaders and coaches become active, verbal and persuasive. They respond actively to challenges and may try to reach an agreement. Great when you are seeking a win/win solution for the team.
The energy and enthusiasm that is created by an I leader and coach is infectious and it's not unusual for them to have their fingers in every pie and will be juggling the balls. Some people may refer to them as magpies, always going after the shiny objects, however they will always hit a deadline and perform at their best when everything is last minute. (Not a surprise as a high I and wanting to get this blog on my website before the day ends, I'm rapidly typing at the speed of light!)
Questions you may ask yourself when working with an I as a leader or coach
My top tip to engage with an influencing I is to INVOLVE THEM and MAKE THEM FEEL VALUED
For more information on the influencing I you can read "Do it or Ditch it" by Bev James or "Empowering Employee Engagement - How to ignite your team for peak performance" by Claire Cahill. Both available on Amazon
Inspirational, Fabulous and over 40 is also another great read of 12 women who decided to be brave and courageous to live their dreams by being influential. Also available on Amazon
You can normally spot these people as soon as you walk into a room or feel their presence before you see or hear them. They will ooze confidence which may border on arrogance. They will not shy away from expressing how they feel and typically have a large ego that needs to be stroked. They will want to be in charge, even if they don’t know what they want to be in charge of, so it wouldn’t be unusual to see them in a leadership role.
These individuals would display the following characteristics
Imagine you are stood waiting for a lift and the person in front of you consistently pushes the button believing that the more they push the button, the quicker the lift will arrive! There in front of your eyes is a dominant D person.
Failure is their biggest fear so it wouldn’t be an option for them to fail & you may hear them say “this is what I’ve learnt” or “let’s move on and try something else”. They will never stop trying to achieve their hopes, dreams, aspirations or goals and would always want to be the best, encouraging others to do the same. They would want to lead high performing teams and failure for the team would also not be an option for consideration.
When under pressure the dominant D leader and coach may not be sensitive to others feelings and are motivated by results, power and authority.
Questions you may ask yourself when interacting with a dominant D leader and coach are: -
In every team, you need a mix of people so please do not shy away from employing a dominant D or interacting with a dominant D. As I have found out from my client’s, opposites attract and they may be the missing ingredient that you need to build a winning team.
My top tip for engaging with a dominant D leader and coach –BE BRIEF, BE BRIGHT, BE GONE. Don’t use 500 words if 5 will do because they don’t need that level of detail to make effective decisions and have valuable conversations.
Thank you to Bev James, CEO of The Coaching Academy for teaching me all I know about DISC. If you want to learn more, you can do so by reading “Do it or ditch it” By Bev James or “Empowering Employee Engagement – How to ignite your team for peak performance” By Claire Cahill. Both books are available on Amazon.
One of the benefits of coaching is the ability to hold an effective conversation. Knowing what question to ask at the right time and respectfully listening so that rapport can be built and maintained throughout the coaching relationship.
During the first coaching session, I like my clients to complete a DISC personality profile so that I can get to know them in minutes rather than months, tailoring my language to theirs.
During International Coaching Week 2019 I’ll share information about each personality type.
Imagine you had this knowledge to answer these questions through identification of personality types.
Your core values influence the way you think, act and communicate with other people and enable you to make decisions. DISC is a personality profiling tool, also known as a psychometric test. There are several types of psychometric tests that you may have heard of or experienced
The modern day DISC methodology was founded on years of research undertaken by American psychologist and inventor Dr William M Marston (1893-1947). Dr Marston also invented the lie detector machine (the polygraph).
DISC is an acronym based on four core personality groupings. Everyone will fall into one or more of the following categories.
Marston’s DISC behavioural model classifies people primarily as either TASK ORIENTATED or PEOPLE ORIENTATED, and then as either OUTGOING or RESERVED.
Which are you?
There are no correct or incorrect answers, however each will tell you something about your predominant business style and your preferred decision making style.
Thank you to Bev James, CEO The Coaching Academy for teaching me all I know about DISC. If you want to learn more read “Do it or Ditch it” by Bev James or “Empowering Employee Engagement – How to ignite your team for peak performance” by Claire Cahill. Both books are available on Amazon
What I've learnt throughout my coaching and leadership career is, "our health is our wealth" so what can you do to make sure you lead a healthy, happy and wealthy life?
Foresight’s ‘Mental capital and wellbeing’ project considered how to improve everyone’s mental capital and mental wellbeing through life.
Evidence suggests that a small improvement in wellbeing can help to decrease some mental health problems and also help people to flourish. This document, produced by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) on behalf of Foresight, sets out 5 actions to improve personal wellbeing:
What small steps do you need to take each day to improve your current satisfaction levels?
What support do you need and from whom to help you take the small steps forward?
How will you celebrate your success?
What reward will you give yourself for your achievements?
Over the coming weeks I will be sharing with you some ideas on what you could do to improve your current satisfaction levels and also what small steps I have taken to improve my overall health and wellbeing.
What are the benefits of collaborating?
This was a question I asked myself 9 months ago when I entered into a joint venture with Jo Outram - Financial Fitness Instructor to work with 10 other women in business to share their inspirational and fabulous stories about how they have overcome challenges by facing their fears, being courageous and adding value to others in their pursuit of happiness.
Reasons to Collaborate
Share the workload
Whether you are employed or self employed it's far easier to achieve the deadlines, goals or vision if you work with others. Sometimes a project or task can appear so big that working on your own means that you procrastinate, miss the deadline or in some cases, don't even start and hope that by burying your head in the sand the task or project will just disappear! By working as part of a team others can support, encourage and inspire which in turn increases motivation to get the job done.
Play to strengths
We all have different strengths and weaknesses and our confidence is inspired when we do more of the things that we are good at. Whilst I am a big believer in the importance of stepping outside our comfort zones to develop our weaknesses and grow, we should also seek to exploit our expertise especially when working towards a tight deadline or project.
Increase your skills and knowledge
When we work with others we identify our own strengths and weaknesses as well as others. If we work with someone whose strengths are our weaknesses, then we can learn from them by developing our knowledge and then implementing the learning to develop our skills. If we are a subject matter expert then what better way than to showcase skills and knowledge to engage, empower and inspire others.
Working as a team means that we have to think about the intent and impact of our actions whether this be verbally, face to face or written via email. We have to consider the needs of others and how they like to receive information. This was a particular learning curve for Jo & I when we were working together, needless to say the number of times we picked up the phone to talk increased rather than bombarding each other with email ping ping
Increase emotional wellbeing
Working on your own can be a lonely place where you are consumed by your own thoughts, feelings and emotions. This can be healthy if those thoughts are positive, encouraging and empowering, however if you have that self doubt that creeps in and the little voice inside your head continues to tell you that good is not good enough then you can very quickly head into a downward spiral. It's good to talk and share your feelings so don't bottle them up. Build healthy relationships based on know, like and trust.
What's the most important reason why you should collaborate rather than compete?
A few weeks ago I facilitated a discussion with a group of leaders and asked them to share with me who their inspirational leader was and why in their opinion they are legendary. I asked them 2 questions
1. What makes them special?
2. What have they done that makes them legendary?
I had a variety of names on my flipchart which included Geoff Boycott, Sun Tzu, Britney Spears, Beyone, Sir Alex Ferguson and their best boss! It was encouraging to get someone who wasn't famous, but whom had made a positive impact on someones career.
What I found interesting about all of these people, despite all of the different backgrounds from sports personalities, pop stars and a chinese military general, was the fact that they all shared similar traits. I'm sure when you read these you will be able to think of your own legendary leader and be able to identify the traits. I sure did when I thought about mine!
Top 10 traits of legendary leaders
1. Action Plan - Make sure you know what you want your team to achieve, let them know how they will achieve and if something isn't working, be quick to change it. Think about Sir Alex Ferguson, he briefed his team before the match, observed throughout the match, made substitutions, took stock at half time, continued to observe, continued to make substitutions and debriefed his team at the end of the match.
2. Learn from mistakes - It's OK to make mistakes as long as you don't continue to make the same mistakes and you learn from them. View it as an opportunity rather than a threat. Some of the most famous leaders have nearly become bankrupt, however rather than viewing this as a failure they view it as a lesson. Take Simon Cowell for example, he came close to losing everything and now he is one of the most successful record producers and encourages others to succeed and learn from his mistakes in business
3. Role model behaviour - Don't ask someone to do something that you wouldn't be prepared to do yourself. Make sure you are your brilliant best on a daily basis demonstrating how to behave from the language you talk and the way you walk.
4. Communicate Effectively - The best leaders are great story tellers, they have an inspiring vision and are able to change their language to suit their audience. They listen to what others say, they are naturally curious with their questioning and they engage people by bringing them on the journey. Think about how Barak Obama won his presidency campaign with his "fired up, ready to go" chant
5. Celebrate Success - Whether its winning a cricket tournament, becoming number 1 in the UK hit parade, winning the Premiership league or standing on the podium to receive an Olympic medal every legendary leader has shaken the champagne bottle and had their moment of glory. It's important in business to celebrate the quick wins too because this keeps the momentum going especially when the going gets tough
6. Reward & Recognise - Everyone is motivated by different things and what legendary leaders do is "know their people" and know "how" to recognise their achievements. Some will be quite happy with a pat on the back and a simple well done and thank you. What's key here is that you keep filling the emotional bank account with lots of positive reenforcement
7. Play to Strengths - If your going to WIN, why would you get a defender to score goals and a striker to defend, you wouldn't so it's important that a leader knows how to get the best out of their team and put them in positions where they will shine and grow. This in return will move them from good to great and from ordinary to extraordinary.
8. Stretch Goals - Imagine if you kept doing the same thing over & over again and getting the same results, there would be no room for improvement. Every athlete that I can think of stretches themselves everyday they train so that when they compete they are at their brilliant best and believe they can achieve those stretched goals. They feel challenged and motivated.
9. Stand out from the crowd - If you were to walk into your normal environment would the leaders stand out or would they mingle in the crowd? A leaders image is a key to success. They should have an aura about them which others want to follow. Thinking about Britney Spears, Beyonce, Victoria Beckham, they all have a personal branding and image that makes them unique and special. They stand out in a crowd and get noticed
10. - Respect - This is earned through making the right decisions which will not always be popular. I hear the phrase "harsh, but fair", "not afraid to have challenging and tough conversations", "they may not always be liked, but they are respected through their honesty and transparency"
Thinking about yourself and taking a look at yourself in a mirror