Time for Change

Time for Change

Good morning to you all. I believe you had a good weekend, well I did (in case you wanted to know) really busy but good.

I’d like to share something with you today that I’ve noticed for some time now.  There seems to be a shift happening in different organisations. I don’t know if it has to do with the year coming to an end or not but whatever the case is, I can sense a shift and a need for change happening in various organisations. I perceive a yearning for something more (from the leaders and team members) and a readiness and willingness from the leaders to take their teams to the next level.

With this yearning comes a need for change.

Some leaders might be experiencing some challenging times like: a decline in commitment, enthusiasm, growth, development, etc., of team members/employees. Or maybe a decrease in the number of team members/employees as a result of relocation, retirement, new births, losses, incompetence or plain old “I’ve had enough of this job”. Other leaders might just be ‘sailing’ smoothly at this time with no challenge whatsoever. Whatever the case may be, realize that change will always happen. Challenges will always come and so will good times. Team members  will always come and they will also leave; some with valid reasons and others with not so valid reasons.

As a leader who is currently facing challenges and understands the need for change; this is the time for restructuring. A time to implement new things, a time for reinvention. It is not a time to sit, wallow and yank out your hair unproductively but a time to take stock of the journey so far and do something to make the journey ahead productive.

The simple solution is a change: a change in the way things are currently done, a change in expectations and above all, a change in  attitudes and perceptions (both team members/employees and leaders). Change is one thing that is bound to happen whether we want it to or not, we may not like it or even respond well to it but that will not stop it from occurring.

If you need to hire professional help for this (which I strongly advice) then do so because an outside perspective might be all you need, more so if its from a professional.

Below are some steps to follow, to turn your challenging times to times of productivity:

1. Revisit the vision of your establishment.

2. Review the mission of your establishment.

3. Identify where your team/organisation is at the moment.

4. Identify what the next level is and what needs to be done to get to the next level.

5. Review the policies, procedures, rules, regulations and adjust them accordingly to fit with the updated mission and vision.

6. Make provision for continuous development for yourself and your team.

7. Have a structure in place for how your organisation/team should function.

8. Communicate all changes to your team effectively and start implementing them.

9. Seek ongoing support and help from a mentor, coach, consultant, etc.

These are the foundational steps you should follow to turn your current unproductive situation around; and please, remember to ask for help and support as you go on (you’ll need it).

When it seems like the challenges just seem to be mounting, it’s time to create (or recreate as the case may be); it’s time for change. When people walk away, don’t sink into despair. Pull yourself together and focus on those you have left; those who have remained with you. They are probably still there because they have some passion and loyalty left; work with that. Make use of those resources you currently have, it might seem like it’s not enough but trust me; its just enough to get you to the next level.

 

To your higher level of success;

Belinda

Productivity Decline? Try this…

Productivity Decline? Try this…

Have you been experiencing dry spells recently? Does it seem like your creativity is slowly deteriorating? Is it becoming increasingly difficult to reproduce previous successes? Are the results you’re producing desired results or more of a hit and miss? Do you feel tired all the time? frustrated? stuck? ineffective or even empty? If you find yourself in one or more of these situations–or any other closely related situation–then you my friend, are in a period of drought.
What exactly do I mean by a drought?
I’m talking about a period of dryness. A time when nothing substantial is happening. An interval devoid of excitement. Tiny moments that slowly add up to a rather large space in time when nothing tangible or profitable has been achieved. I’m referring to nothingness. I’m talking about a period of No-Flow; a period where nothing seems to flow through you. A time characterised by little, insignificant movements. Times of not good, not bad, just…nothing.
For those of you leaders who cultivate your creativity for different productive purposes, you most certainly understand what I’m talking about. My guess is that you’ve had periods when your creative juices just didn’t seem to flow as they normally would. Or maybe you’ve had periods characterised by disengagement or disconnection from the things you’d normally be happy doing.

When these situations arise, what do you do?
How do you get your drive back?
How do you carry on being productive?
My answer? Here it is:
1. Time-out
2. Time-out
3. Time-out

Time-out is my answer to getting your energy/mojo/drive–or whatever else you choose to call it–back and I’ve written it 3 times to make sure you don’t miss it.
You need some time away, end of. Whether it be from the desk, the laptop, the tablet, the meeting room, the writing table, the brain storming sessions, the classroom, the baby cot, the kitchen, the pulpit, the lecture room, the laboratory, the theatre, etc., you need to take T-I-M-E – O-U-T! There is no getting round this one if you want to function well, retain your sanity and stay productive.
Your time-out should be a period to rest, refuel or reconnect; or maybe all three.
No one ever remains productive without taking out time to rest and be refreshed. The reason you’re irate, frustrated, experiencing a mental block or being a right ol’ pain in the back side is probably because you’ve not had any time-out recently.
When you notice that the things which used to give you joy and cause you to experience fulfillment now make you angry or frustrate you; it’s probably time for a time-out. Your creative mind will only function well when the principle of time-out and common sense is applied.

As the year draws to a close, evaluate yourself and figure out if you’re due a time-out. Maybe you need a rest; then schedule some time to do so and arrange for someone to cover your duties.
Maybe you need to refuel; then find people who are achieving the kind of things you want to achieve and receive valuable knowledge from them.
Maybe you need to reconnect; then dig deep and stir up that passion that motivated you to land a role as CEO, manager, team leader, mother, father, teacher, entrepreneur, doctor, author, accountant, minister, coach, mentor, consultant, artist, chef, etc.
If you need to join a network, association or support group to help you refuel and reconnect; then do so. If you need to take a course, be mentored or coached; then please do so.
Don’t let your self go to waste by becoming unproductive. Don’t buy your own narrow narrative of being stale.
The problem is not with your passion, your purpose or even you per se; the problem is that you’re drained.
And here’s the solution: take T-I-M-E O-U-T.

 

Lead right and Live light;

 

Belinda

3 Characteristics of a Highly Productive Team

3 Characteristics of a Highly Productive Team

How many times have you looked at another team in another establishment or even within the same environment and wondered why your own team could not just be as productive as them? Maybe you’ve even gone and sought counsel from a flourishing colleague to find out what he/she is doing to achieve such great results but you’ve come back feeling that your colleague is holding back on some valuable information.

Nothing can be so frustrating for a leader than having a team that is unproductive. An unproductive team can have a ripple effect on an establishment as a whole never mind the affected department. It’s effects are huge and can lead to financial and intellectual decline within an establishment.

What we ‘see’ as productivity when it comes to teams can be broken down to mean: when team members give you their best and the outcome is of greater or equal value to their input. On the other hand, when a team is unproductive it can be broken down to mean: when team members give you their ‘left over crumbs’ and the outcome is much less or of equal value to their input. Now when I say ‘left over crumbs’ I don’t just mean what is remaining from a certain amount of whatever resources they have. What I mean is the broken fragments of whatever they have left, after they have used up their resources somewhere else or for something else. Notice that an unproductive team does have resources (contrary to what you might think), the only problem why those resources are not being invested in your establishment is because they are giving you the broken pieces of what they have left after they’ve exhausted it elsewhere.

What every leader should be concerned about is not to find more team members externally who have more skills and abilities. Leaders should focus more on getting their existing team members to give their best to the establishment. Doing this will save establishments a lot of time and money.

I have put together 3 main characteristics of a highly productive team. I’ll also give you some brief insights on steering your team towards high productivity further down this post.

The 3 main characteristics of a highly productive team.

  1. Passion: team members who give their best have a genuine passion for what they do and this is why their approach to their job is very different. They are willing to sacrifice–within reason–in order to achieve team and organisational growth. They are also focused on achieving good results and remaining productive.
  2. Investment: team members who give their best are known for their investment qualities. Their investment of time, skills, ideas, effort, support and sometimes money. They give because they understand the importance of the outcome and they know what role their input plays in the scheme of things.
  3. Motivation: a lack of motivation is like ‘spanner in the works’ for any establishment. Teams who give their best are usually known for their level of motivation which keeps them active, innovative and productive.
Insights to help you steer your team members towards high productivity.
People usually take on job roles for three main reasons: if they are passionate about your cause, if they are passionate about what they do, or if they are happy with what they’ll get in return for their input. Shockingly, a lot of team members these days have no passion for their jobs. Hence, the decline in team members who give their best. If a team member has no passion in the cause of their establishment or for what he/she does, it’s only a matter of time before such a team member starts giving ‘leftover crumbs’ rather than his/her best. If you are in the process of recruiting, look for passionate individuals. If your team members seem to have lost their passion for your cause or for what they do, take necessary measures to help them back up. If you’ve genuinely done all you can to encourage a team member to stir up his/her passion and it’s still not working then remember that it’s better to release people rather than keep them trapped.
Team members stay committed and engaged when they feel like they are regarded and treated as partners of the establishment where they work. Partnership could be in terms of building good relationships, making shares available for them to purchase, involving them in certain strategic planning, creating opportunities for them to contribute ideas towards the advancement of the establishment, etc.; it doesn’t have to be overly dramatic, keep it simple but inclusive.
In as much as passion gets the productivity ball rolling, motivation is what will keep the ball rolling. It is a common truth that nobody works for free (this has nothing to do with being selfish). The return on one’s input does not have to be in monetary value in order for one to feel rewarded. The return could be in terms of: recognition, exposure, experience, fulfillment, referrals, development, etc.; the undeniable truth is that we all feel motivated to give our best when we know that we’ll get a satisfactory return on whatever input we have made, monetary or not. Highly productive teams are known to be motivated individuals who are catered for in terms of rewards and/or incentives.

Until next time, continue to
Lead right and Live light
Belinda
7 Reasons Why You’re Not Making That Big Leap

7 Reasons Why You’re Not Making That Big Leap

Why do people hold back? Why do people shy away from taking up front line positions? Why is it that someone who fits a role (in terms of skills and character) holds back on going for it while a less qualified person goes for it and gets it? Why is it that the passionate and sensible ones get easily side-lined while the lack lustre and brash ones easily get noticed. Why does a student in class who knows the answer to a question never raise his/her hand to say it, while others who are not so bright make unpleasant remarks and are quick to raise their hands and shout it out–in total disrespect to their teacher and classmates?

Belief Systems and Fear, that’s what!

The belief systems you’ve given life to and the fears that have lived with you for a while are the two things that keep you where you are; and that’s what is making you hold back.

Here is a list I’ve made of 7 belief systems and fears:

  1. Fear that you might not meet expectations.
  2. Fear of a negative recurrence.
  3. Fear of being a crutch to others and you can’t deal with the pressure.
  4. Sociological, geographical and cultural peer pressure
  5. Low self-esteem based on stuff you’ve heard and seen within your environment
  6. Trying so hard to maintain status quo
  7. Fear that you might have an exposed life rather than a private life, bringing your vulnerabilities to ‘light’.
In my personal and professional experience, these are the major reasons people with real value to offer hold back from being seen or heard. Maybe just one applies to you or it might even be more. Whatever the case might be, seek help and support.
Don’t sell yourself short by ‘pitching your tent’ where you are now. Don’t hide away and stay buried, never to be seen or heard. If you’ve got something, decide today to use it for the benefit of those around you and for your own growth.
Remember; anything that you do not use will become stunted and will eventually die.
To your growth and well-being
Belinda
The Leader’s Code of Conduct

The Leader’s Code of Conduct

Conduct!

A very important word in both life and leadership that is sadly under-emphasised, yet undoubtedly significant in achieving sound results and becoming a better leader.

Leadership like I always say is basically about 2 things: situations and people. Everything a leader does revolves around his/her ability to effectively manage these two elements.

The greatest disservice a leader can do to himself/herself is to try to control every situation and every individual within his/her environment. In text-book ‘speak’, situations and people can be controlled to fit your agenda once you know the right things to say and do; and you know the exact order in which to say or do them. In reality however, this is very far from the truth. No doubt you can perform certain actions in order to get certain desired results but for those who have been in leadership for a while, you will agree with me that most of your daily functions involve managing situations–for the best possible outcomes–rather than controlling them. Stuff happens and there’s only so much you can control. Controlling people is an even greater challenge and dare I say impossible (except you are a tyrant or a totalitarian) if you want to have a healthy and productive team and/or establishment. It takes immense effort and a totally distorted perspective to control the lives of other individuals. Your ability to control should be directed towards your own behaviour and mannerism; that is the greatest show of your control power.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s take a look at what the dictionary says about conduct. It describes conduct as the manner in which a person behaves. It also describes it as a way of managing/handling affairs. Your best bet at building a highly productive team and maintaining your sanity is to adjust your behaviour so that you can better manage your people and better handle the situations that arise within your environment.

Listed below are 7 codes of conduct I’ve put together to help you become a better leader. They are:

  1. Be careful how you use your words, words are powerful.
    1. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
    2. Do not use your words in a manipulative way for selfish reasons.
  2. Resist the urge to let anger get the better part of you.
  3. Be ready and willing to make things right with someone who has offended you and vice versa (i.e. Do not allow strife ruin the task at hand or stop the emergence of your desired outcomes).
  4. Let your opposition bring out the best in you not the worst (how else will you grow and reach maturity?). When someone gives you a hard time, try not to precipitate an uproar; save your energy instead and stay in charge.
  5. Do not ration your generosity in favour of only those who are nice to you, extend it to all within the same environment (i.e. Don’t engage in tit-for-tat living).
  6. When you do something gob-smacking(ly) good, do not make a show of it; accept any acknowledgements and carry on with your functions without imposing your opinions on everyone.
  7. Do not get carried away and overcome with getting more that you miss out on responding to opportunities or to someone else’s giving.

Until next time, continue to;

Lead right and Live light

Belinda