28 Jun

Selecting and developing future leaders in your organisation

What is your organisation’s leadership development acceleration plan? What programme is your business establishing to ensure that you capture the right talent to grow and develop the future leaders of your business?
I recently spoke on this topic at a leadership summit. My focus however was on the developing and grooming of future leaders as opposed to the selection of potential future leaders.
The reason for this is quite simple. Businesses can spend a huge amount of time, energy and money on selecting the right people with the right leadership traits and experience, but what happens to them when they arrive in your business? As Jim Rohn so aptly said   “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”, so it is quite obvious  that these new future leaders will not be operating in a bubble. On the contrary, they will be constantly interacting with their team members and colleagues.
So let’s paint the picture. These new leaders of the future come into the business with their own set of traits, but they are also unavoidably adopting new traits as they engage with other employees, customers and suppliers. This could be very beneficial for their development and the future of the business if they were being exposed to sought-after leadership traits from their working environment, or it could destroy all of the hard work and effort that was spent on the initial selection process if they are constantly being bombarded by undesirable behaviours.
So before you spend time and money on expensive assessment models and recruitment services, think about the existing people and culture of the business. Think about who these future leaders will be spending their time with and evaluate those people’s leadership and management abilities.
Also, where do you stand with your leadership traits? The long list of non-negotiable traits which have been set out in the future leaders job description, how well do you match up to them?
It’s about accepting that future leaders will not function in silos and that the people they are permanently working with within your organisation will influence their behaviour and belief system in some shape or form. Besides building a future leadership programme spend time on your existing team members and the future leaders supervisors. Build their skills and capabilities, build their soft skills and build their leadership skills. Adopting the mindset that everyone within the business has the ability to grow and develop themselves is your first win.
Create an environment in your business that will nurture your future leaders, not chew them up and spit them out at the first chance it gets.
19 Jan

Labelling employees can lead to negative behaviour

To get the best out of a team, to keep things fresh and to avoid the uninspiring practise of “group think”, organisational teams these days are purposefully constructed with a mix of complimentary talents, thinking styles and competencies.

Playing to your individual team members strengths is key to achieving business goals and keeping  your team motivated, however be careful not to fall into the trap of stereotyping your team players. Boxing them into set characteristics and personality styles can stunt their growth and development.

Many years ago I worked with a chap who was brilliant at coming up with unique ideas. He had the ability to dream big, motivate the team to buy into his unique concepts and get everyone charged up to turn the dream into a reality. His talents according to himself ended there.

Here’s the thing, he kept getting told and labelled by his managers that he was strong at creative ideas and big vision , but rubbish at working out the final details and follow through. He wasn’t taken to seriously in the planning phase as everyone was told where his talents lay. He then started to exclude himself from the planning sessions and follow-through phases.  He started believing he was given the green light to be rubbish at certain skills. “My boss tells me I’m poor at planning, so therefore I am poor at planning”. He stopped trying, he stopped stretching himself.  This mindset then started filtering into other areas of his life. “People tell me I’m rubbish at being a good communicator and sympathetic to my peers needs, therefore I am no good at those touchy-feely skills.” 

Constant repetition of the same action, self-talk or feedback will result in permanent results. Eventually you are totally convinced and accept that your weaknesses will and can never be changed or there is some else who can perform the skill for you. In some instances, yes we can ask a colleague to assist, as they are brilliant at said skill, but unfortunately for other skills, especially the soft skills, we are on our own. If you think that you should only play to your strengths and ignore your weaknesses then you have lost.

Our weaknesses are generally skills we don’t like to perform. We often find no pleasure in doing them and quite frankly would rather do without. That I understand and appreciate, however by telling yourself that you don’t need to work on them is foolish and limiting.

Ask yourself, “If you never tried to improve yourself and work on your weak areas, what would your life be like?”

Then ask yourself, “If you changed the way you thought and you started to work on your weaknesses. What would your life be like?”

By just trying, you never know you may find a new strength buried amongst the weaknesses.

Acknowledge your weaknesses, but don’t let them hold you prisoner. Take control.

Need assistance? Contact Nicole to book a  professional coaching session. nicole@tikumu.co.nz