All posts by Jan Sargent

engage

I’m Getting Engaged!

No not in the way you’re thinking – that WOULD be news!   No, I mean engagement in terms of being engaged – at work.  Mostly with your team.

There has been a lot of this coming up recently in all sorts of contexts but really – being engaged and getting engagement is crucial to any kind of success in business.

You need to get engagement with your customers and potential customers of course, because the former are what provide your with the funds to carry on, and the latter are your potential future funders!

But here’s the thing.  If you are not engaging with your teams, and they are not engaging with you, then it doesn’t matter how many customers you have or may have in the future, nothing really works.

Engagement is a big deal.  Social media accounts are all about engagement  Did you know the average engagement across Facebook by brands is 0.07% and only 0.03% on Twitter.  But what are the engagement rates in your team?  Hopefully more than the above, but are they 100% – which is what we want them to be?

If not there could be a number of reason but here are possibly the top two.

  • You are not engaging.  By which I mean – you aren’t talking to your team enough.  Perhaps you aren’t sharing the vision and bigger picture stuff, so whilst they know what their tasks are – they DON’T know why they are important and where they fit as individuals and a team, in the bigger picture.  But it could also be that you aren’t very engaging.  How often do you stop to ask how your individuals are/ what they did at the weekend or have planned for the weekend?  How well do you know them as individuals?

 

  • They are not engaging because they haven’t bought in to the bigger picture. Perhaps they know what the bigger picture is but it doesn’t seem relevant to them and you aren’t talking to them in a way that makes it relevant.

You see – most people operate from a “What’s in it for me” perspective.  And if your team can’t see that anything you are saying is relevant to them, then they won’t engage with it.

Engagement and being engaged is an art.  It isn’t something that everyone finds natural in a work environment, but there are some simple techniques and tips that will help you get better engagement from and with your team.  If you’d like to know what they are email me at [email protected] and I will share them with you.

3D Leadership – dynamically enhancing the results of your business’™

At Transforming Performance, we believe that there are 6 crucial areas of Leadership: focus and direction, mindset, engagement, skills, impact and systems.

Transforming Performance can help with our Accelerate Your Business™ and Accelerate Solo™ programmes.

Jan Sargent is co-Director with Julie Hutchison of Transforming Performance, a consultancy which provides businesses with expert support in Leadership Coaching, Team Development and Performance Coaching, Executive Coaching, Mentoring, Training and Behavioural Profiling and help in getting the best from you and your people. If you’d like to have a chat and a coffee to discuss how we can help you, we’d love to talk. Call us on:

07947 823842 or 01722 484155

[email protected]

http://www.transformingperformance.co.uk

promote-300x150

Congratulations You Just Got Promoted!

Have you recently been promoted to a management position? Of course, you are feeling happy and celebratory and excited!   Or maybe not?

You see sometimes when people are promoted to a management position it isn’t as exciting or joyful as they hoped it would be.  What normally happens is that people get promoted because they are great at their job.  You are no doubt great at the job you have been promoted from, and that was a big part of why you were chosen.

The problem is that being a manager and being a technical specialist are two very different things.  And the skill set required for both are very different.

Often though, that is not factored into promotion decisions and you are just expected to somehow know how to manage and get the best out of other people.  Sometimes that’s OK, as you may naturally be a ‘people person’ and be able to get the best out of others without knowing exactly how you do it.

At other times you may have had some management training and be equipped with some of the skills required. But it is still a daunting prospect – having to manage people you worked alongside not so long ago.

And often it isn’t the (just) the management skills that are lacking – it is the confidence that you can make the transition.  I mean – these people might know rather more about you than they would do, were you a newly recruited manager coming into the company for the first time.

Perhaps there are other people who didn’t get the promotion you got and you are concerned about managing them in case they feel resentful.  Maybe you have been out drinking with the team you are now managing, and they have seen you at – shall we say – less than your best.

The fact is, that whether you lack confidence because you have had no training, or because you have previously worked with the people you are managing, there is only one solution.  And that is to decide to be confident.

Easily said I know – but it really does come down to realising that someone somewhere thought you were up to the job, and the people you are managing deserve to have a confident leader.  Now that doesn’t mean that you have all the answers, and in fact you probably DON’T yet.  And that’s OK.  Please don’t pretend you do, or feel you have to go in all guns blazing, because that wont endear you to anyone.

But do be confident, that you are meant to be in this position and that you are capable of doing a great job.

Now there are skills, techniques and tactics you can use as a Manager, that we teach in our Think, Be, Do Leadership Model.  And if you think you could benefit from some help in this area, why not book one of our free monthly strategy sessions where we will share with you some things you can implement right away to help your confidence and results as a new leader.

Email me on [email protected] and let’s get you booked in!

3D Leadership – dynamically enhancing the results of your business’™

At Transforming Performance, we believe that there are 6 crucial areas of Leadership: focus and direction, mindset, engagement, skills, impact and systems.

Transforming Performance can help with our Accelerate Your Business™ and Accelerate Solo™ programmes.

Jan Sargent is co-Director with Julie Hutchison of Transforming Performance, a consultancy which provides businesses with expert support in Leadership Coaching, Team Development and Performance Coaching, Executive Coaching, Mentoring, Training and Behavioural Profiling and help in getting the best from you and your people. If you’d like to have a chat and a coffee to discuss how we can help you, we’d love to talk. Call us on:

07947 823842 or 01722 484155

[email protected]

http://www.transformingperformance.co.uk

Be a Leader

Were You Born To Be A Leader?

Some people seem to be born to be a Leader, don’t they?  I’m thinking of John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Alex Ferguson, Attila the Hun!  (I’m not comparing Alex Ferguson to Attila the Hun – just saying – they are both ‘born leaders’).

For these people, leadership seems to come naturally, it seems like they were always destined for that role and when they get it, it just all fits together, they’re like a swan in the water, majestically floating around.

For others, the ‘born to be a leader’ thing just doesn’t fit.  Maybe they opened a business which became successful and they had to take people on.  Perhaps they worked for someone else and were so good at their job that they were promoted to be a leader in their company.

For whatever reason, the role of the leader does not come easily to them.  And that’s a big problem because if there is one thing that all great leaders have in common it is their ability to BE the leader.

What Does It Mean To Be a Leader?

What I mean by that is that they spend their time being the leader.  They do NOT spend their time, being the manager, the salesperson, the customer service rep, the accountant and the receptionist.

Do you?

Being a Leader means knowing what it is that other people do well and letting them get on and do it.  It means, knowing when people don’t have the right skills ad organising training or moving them to another role.  It means knowing when and what to delegate.  But above all, it means spending your precious time BEING the leader.

How well would it work if Richard Branson drove his own trains, or Alex Ferguson had a go in goals, or JFK made lunch for his important guests?  That doesn’t happen, right?  And it’s because those people know their role is not any of those things.

Now I am not saying there aren’t ANY occasions where you wouldn’t do something that one of your team could do.  Sometimes it is ‘all hands-on-deck’ and it can be motivating to see the leader joining in with the fun run, or speaking to a customer, or answering an email when everyone else has gone home for the night.

However, your main job as the leader is to BE the leader – be the inspiration, the motivation, the direction of the company and leave the operational and tactical tasks to people better suited to doing them.  Because, here’s the thing, they might actually be BETTER at that than you.  And even if they aren’t (yet) they might be good enough, and unless it is something that you LOVE to do and want to do – why would YOU do it, if someone else can?

Often when people see their profiles (which we create for the clients we work with), they are horrified.  We worked with a client whose challenging and – to some – argumentative style, was not helped by her micromanagement and general interference in unnecessary things.  She was feared and disliked in equal proportion.

When she saw her profile and how she was coming across to others, not only was she horrified but she also understood how her personal style was contributing to poor performance and to staff turnover.  She was not BEing the Leader, she was being the supervisor – and a bad one at that.

If you are interested in profiling yourself and your team and looking honestly at how much you are being the Leader in your business, then drop me a mail on [email protected] – as this is just one of many tools and structures we use to help you to develop yourself and other leaders in your business.

 

3D Leadership – dynamically enhancing the results of your business’™

At Transforming Performance, we believe that there are 6 crucial areas of Leadership: focus and direction, mindset, engagement, skills, impact and systems.

Transforming Performance can help with our Accelerate Your Business™ and Accelerate Solo™ programmes.

Jan Sargent is co-Director with Julie Hutchison of Transforming Performance, a consultancy which provides businesses with expert support in Leadership Coaching, Team Development and Performance Coaching, Executive Coaching, Mentoring, Training and Behavioural Profiling and help in getting the best from you and your people. If you’d like to have a chat and a coffee to discuss how we can help you, we’d love to talk. Call us on:

07947 823842 or 01722 484155

[email protected]

http://www.transformingperformance.co.uk

 

goals

Goals – What’s The Point of Them?

You don’t need to answer that question – though you can if you like!   No, it was a question a client asked me, when we were discussing why his team weren’t performing as expected.

“I’ve worked out Jan, that there is absolutely NO POINT me setting any goals in this organisation because NO-ONE cares about them and they never achieve them – so what’s the point of having any goals?”.

Well, I could understand his frustration, because it is not the first time I have been asked that question, and probably won’t be the last.  You see there is a very big thing missing when goals are not achieved.  Before I tell you what that is let me share with you what normally causes it.

It may or may not surprise you to know that it is almost always the Leaders fault, when their team does not achieve the goals.  And it is caused by the lack of a proper strategy, vision and mission in the business.  You would be amazed by how many businesses do not have a written strategy, mission or vision.  And for those that DO have them, you’d be amazed at how many people do NOT know what theirs is.

And even when employees DO know what the vision, mission and goals are, they often don’t achieve the goals.  And that’s because……(drumroll)…

They don’t mean anything to them.

How Can The Leader Make Goals Achievable?

The common problem that I see with leaders setting goals, is that the goals are THEIR goals.  “So, why is that a problem Jan?”  I hear you saying.  “Isn’t that what a leader is supposed to do?”  Well, yes of course it is.  However, you really need to understand how goals work.

Goals only work if the people delivering the goals BUY IN to the process.

So your wonderful goal of £1 mill turnover – or £50 million or whatever monetary figure you choose, might be hugely inspiring to YOU, but to your team it probably represents a big fat, “So What?”.  And that’s if they even know what the goal is – because often I see goals that are under communicated – so that the teams delivering them aren’t even sure what the goal, the vision and the mission is.

You see, it is the vision and the mission that will inspire people, and that people can buy into.  The money is just a figure, and probably one that is too big for most people to get their heads around.

If you can communicate the WHY – i.e what is the vision of the company – or the team, and the mission, and then break that down into goals, well – that makes more sense.  If you can then communicate to people their place in the vision and mission and what the achievement of the goals means to them individually, and as a team, well that’s when it really starts to work.

So rather than the 5 million pound turnover that my client had as his goal, we got down to the nitty gritty of WHY that was the goal, and here’s where the interesting stuff started.  It turns out this business owner had a passion not just for his business but he wanted to be able to give back to his local community, in the form of funding an annual community event.

The other important thing about goals is – that they work best when set by the people who are delivering the goals.  Now that’s a whole other subject involving communication, collaboration and the thorny issue of how to make sure all the individual goals add up to the company goal.

Well back to this client.  As soon as he was able to communicate the vision to his staff, the magic began to happen re achieving the goals.  They caught the bug and knew what they were aiming for, and how important each and every one of them was in achieving the overall goal.

So, the question is – just how bought in are your staff to your goals?  Do they know what they are and WHY they are?  Do they understand the vision and the mission?  If the plans you set are not being achieved then either the team doesn’t have the skills to achieve them, or they don’t have the motivation.  Either way, if you’d like to talk it through, email me on [email protected]

3D Leadership – dynamically enhancing the results of your business’™

At Transforming Performance, we believe that there are 6 crucial areas of Leadership: focus and direction, mindset, engagement, skills, impact and systems.

Transforming Performance can help with our Accelerate Your Business™ and Accelerate Solo™ programmes.

Jan Sargent is co-Director with Julie Hutchison of Transforming Performance, a consultancy which provides businesses with expert support in Leadership Coaching, Team Development and Performance Coaching, Executive Coaching, Mentoring, Training and Behavioural Profiling and help in getting the best from you and your people. If you’d like to have a chat and a coffee to discuss how we can help you, we’d love to talk. Call us on:

07947 823842 or 01722 484155

[email protected]

http://www.transformingperformance.co.uk

 

leader

How To Have Credibility As A Leader

According to recent surveys* 63% of people do not trust their leaders.  That’s depressing news but hardly surprising.  Quite apart from the recent challenges in social media, there has been a trend over recent years of people putting less trust in politicians and ‘media’ and more trust in social proof.

Interestingly in this years Edelman Trust report – there is less trust in ‘people like me’ and more in experts.  But the point is – overall – 63% of your staff probably don’t trust you.

And here’s why…

They Feel Unimportant

Something very common seems to happen in a lot of businesses.  They will hire someone they believe is the right person for the job, and then they don’t let them actually do the job they were hired for. Perhaps the leader doesn’t think they have the time to train or delegate – but if that’s the case – what was the point of hiring them in the first place?  If you don’t TRUST your people, they won’t trust you.  And trust is essential for a leader to have credibility.

They Have Been Lied To In The Past

I don’t mean that managers and leaders go around blatantly lying to their staff (although I have sometimes seen this one happening!).  What is much more common but just as erosive to the relationship and to your credibility as a leader, is when promises are made and not delivered.  When things are agreed but then not carried out.

Potentially the worst thing you can do as a leader is not carry out your promises, not deliver what you have announced will be delivered – whether that is to do with pay rises, more support, training or resources.

They Have Been Shouted At or Publicly Humiliated At Work

Oh no, you haven’t have you?  Some leaders think that the ‘ruling by fear’ model is the best way forward.  I can assure you it is not a great long term strategy – unless your company strategy IS staff turnover, in which case go ahead.  Balling people out in public is never a good idea, because – even if it is justified – the rest of the team will always wonder when they might be the next victim of your wrath.  And in many cases, the ‘shouting at’ is not justified, the manager has engaged mouth before brain, and in these cases they have crossed a line that should never be crossed.

They have caused an injustice in the recipients mind, and probably those of all the others who also knew the real facts and therefore the injustice of the situation.  And once someone feels there has been injustice practised against them in a business, it’s the death knell of trust, the leaders credibility and the longevity of that individuals employment with you.

They Don’t See You Walking The Walk

This is such a biggy for credibility.  How can you possibly have any credibility at all in your company if you are not walking the walk?  Remember how Gerald Ratner wiped 500 million off the value of his jewellery company following a speech to the Institute of Directors in which he called his products ‘total crap’.  Not good to hear for customers, but equally disheartening for staff who might think they are doing a great job, to be effectively told they are selling crap to their customers.

If one of your company values is respect for all, but you are continually late for meetings, or talk about other managers behind their back (however frustrating they might be), then it is going to do YOUR credibility no good at all.  People don’t like people who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.  I knew of a director who used to be very good at what they did but had come to a stage in their career where they thought it was OK to take the foot off the break and swan in at 10.30 or 11 in the morning bragging about the alcohol they had drunk with this or that footballer last night.  Far from being admired, his staff thought he was an a**.

Which brings me to my last point…..

 

They Have No Idea What Is Going On

It might have been ok for the director in the last example to come in at 11am every day.  Perhaps he was working from home for the other hours, because of child care responsibilities.  Maybe he worked at the weekend.  Maybe those were just the hours he had contracted with the board.  Who knows?   And that’s the point really.  No-one did know.  And therefore put their own interpretation on events.

And that is what always happens when leaders don’t communicate well.

When leaders don’t communicate the vision, then no-one knows where they or the company are going and may leave looking for opportunities that do/will exist in their own company.

When leaders don’t communicate what is being done about problems or challenges, people think they either don’t know, or don’t care.  Either way, they have no faith in things getting better and become or remain demotivated.

When leaders don’t communicate about themselves, their people can’t really get to know them, and when they don’t encourage their teams to communicate with them – then the leader doesn’t have all the information he or she needs to motivate or develop that individual or have any sort of relationship with them of trust.  And you know what we said earlier – without a relationship of trust, there is no credibility for a leader.

 

There are other areas that help to develop credibility – but the 5 above is a good start.

If you feel you would like more buy in from your team so you can achieve even better results, then drop me an email to [email protected] and let’s chat.

 

*Edelman Trust Barometer

 

3D Leadership – dynamically enhancing the results of your business’™

At Transforming Performance, we believe that there are 6 crucial areas of Leadership: focus and direction, mindset, engagement, skills, impact and systems.

Transforming Performance can help with our Accelerate Your Business™ and Accelerate Solo™ programmes.

Jan Sargent is co-Director with Julie Hutchison of Transforming Performance, a consultancy which provides businesses with expert support in Leadership Coaching, Team Development and Performance Coaching, Executive Coaching, Mentoring, Training and Behavioural Profiling and help in getting the best from you and your people. If you’d like to have a chat and a coffee to discuss how we can help you, we’d love to talk. Call us on:

07947 823842 or 01722 484155

[email protected]

http://www.transformingperformance.co.uk