High Performers Need To Have Confidence

09/08/2011

Confidence is a key element to high performance and going the extra mile. When you have confidence you feel that you can take on the world – but be careful that this confidence does not come across as arrogance – always underpin outward facing high energy with humility.

Confidence can be viewed in context of three dimensions – inner self, external you and your profession or vocation:

Inner confidence – your game plan for life should be clear and you are comfortable with the direction in which you are heading. By setting personal intentions and putting energy into moving towards them you achieve a clear sense of purpose, it makes getting out of bed a pleasure. When you have a real meaning to what you do, you feel energised and motivated to get on with things

Outer confidence – physical well-being and feeling comfortable with our appearance does away with any inhibitions that we may have about ourself. If you feel over weight, unfit then this can have a negative impact on confidence. Take time for regular exercise, this is both mentally and physically stimulating.

Professional confidence – being the master of your trade, career, vocation or profession makes you confident when interacting with others. When you know your stuff and you are well prepared with your knowledge and expertise you do away with nerves associated with lack of understanding.

Communication with others whether that be one to one or to a group becomes easier when we can tick each of the confidence boxes. When any element is out of sync we end up with an uncomfortable feeling that manifests itself into lack of confidence. When these three areas are aligned we become comfortable with who we are and we reach a state of being confident in our own skin. We connect more effectively with others and take on new challenges far more easily.


Why do staff just not get it?

23/03/2011

I wish I had a tenner for every time I heard a business owner, entrepreneur or manager say this. It often relates to must do tasks such as bringing in projects in on time and budget, managing costs, chasing money or outstanding quotations, getting out important messages to customers, following up on important leads, getting quotations in on time, sorting out the hospitality of guests. Executing key business priorities that seem so obvious regularly remain a blur to those we expect to just get on with it. Well the first lesson is dont make the assumption that others do actually understand what is expected.

I believe effective leadership is all about helping staff to understand what and why certain tasks are important. It’s all about communicating the consequences of not fulfilling certain duties and the potential impact of not doing them. Communication must be delivered with clarity and candour.

Here is how a friend of mine who runs a small creative business delivered a communication to her sales manager “if you don’t hit the sales target for the next six months the business will struggle to deliver on revenue and profit targets, this has implication on the teams viability and jobs will be at risk, including yours. We will be reviewing performance every Friday afternoon”.

Seems such an obvious thing to do but the reality is many growing companies lack this discipline, much to the frustration of the entrepreneur. Being too busy is often cited as the excuse – there should be no surprises when the wheels come off. Fire fighting becomes a way of life

For businesses to succeed this level of focus is vital. Good leadership is about communicating with clarity what is expected and the reasons why. Ensuring conformity to the KPI’s and values is a leaders job.

So why do so many entrepreneurs live with lack lustre and mediocre performance, then fail to address important issues head on – they just moan about it and give themselves high blood pressure….



The Power of Focus

13/03/2011

The ability to remain focused is a key ingredient for anyone who aspires to achieving more. All too often we can be side tracked by ideas or pet projects that don’t contribute in any way to the personal intentions we have chosen to pursue. When presented with set backs or difficult situations that require attention it can be easier to default to tasks that are hassle free or easier to fulfil.

Pet projects often come in the way of achieving what we want. Always remind yourself of:

“Must do” – what are the activities vital to accomplishing your intentions? Implementation must involve doing the things that directly align to your ambitions and desires. By keeping a journal or completing a daily to do list you remain focused on the critical essentials. Such simplicity ensures clarity remains the priority. Your direction becomes very clear and success prevails

“Nice to do”- most of us will be clear on what is required for success. However, all too often we get distracted by more enjoyable activities, equally we can we tempted to pursue things that require less effort.  Pursing nice to do projects will move you away from what you set out to achieve, they divert energy and you lose focus. Continuous attention on the wrong things will lead to ineffective performance. You will delay the process of success or as a worst case never get to the destination. Too many people become very easily distracted and forget what is important.

Be aware of what you are doing, keeping asking yourself – is what I am doing going to give me what I want? – Such consciousness allows you to do away with non value added activities. Time is the most precious commodity for anyone who wants to achieve more. Thinking in the must do nice to do way will help you to do the right things at the right time. Momentum results from focusing on the activities critical to success. Don’t be distracted.

 


Effective Decision Making – Rational vs Intuitive

07/11/2010

Success in life is highly dependent on the decisions we make, period! This means it’s vital that we nurture a strong sense of resolution when faced with evaluating options. Our inner voice has a major role to play in guiding the decisions we make, you must trust your intuition. Its effectiveness and benefits to us are maximised when we believe in ourselves and we know exactly what we want out of life. The successful people I have interviewed over the years use their gut feel to make important decisions, however they only mobilise action when all rationale thought has been exhausted and a final decision has to be made.

The best decisions are made when we ask the right questions, without being armed with the information we are unlikely to make the best judgement calls. Just going on what our inner voice is telling us can be dangerous so we should probe on both rationale and intuitive levels. By asking three questions we arm ourselves with the insights necessary to set a course of action. Before the next big decision, ask yourself:

  1. Do the facts make sense? This requires you to assemble all the intelligence you have on the matter in question. This involves reading and speaking to people that you trust.
  2. Does it feel right? This means that the decision should feel well connected to your personal values. If it does not feel right it probably isn’t.
  3. Does it sound right? Does it resonate in the right way? Does the verbal articulation of the decision sound right and comfortable. If the words don’t feel right again its probably not right

These three questions will help you to blend the very best of logical and rationale processes with intuitive feel. We must cover each of the three questions, failure to do so potentially leaves the decision down to chance.


Making decisions

16/08/2010

Success in whatever we do is highly dependent on the decisions we make in life, so it is vital that we nurture a strong sense of resolution when faced with evaluating options. Our inner voice has a major role to play in guiding the decisions we make, however we must trust our intuition if we are going to make best use of its power. Its effectiveness and benefits to us are maximised when we believe in ourselves and we know exactly what we want out of life. Successful people talk about using their gut feel to make important decisions, however this is only mobilised when all rationale thought has been exhausted and a final decision has to be made.

The best decisions are made when we ask the right questions, without being armed with the information we are unlikely to make the best judgement calls. Just going on what our inner voice is telling us can be dangerous so we should probe on both rationale and intuitive levels. By asking three questions we arm ourselves with the insights necessary to set a course of action. Before the next big decision, ask yourself:

1. Do the facts make sense? This requires you to assemble all the intelligence you have on the matter in question. This involves reading and speaking to people who you trust.

2. Does it feel right? This means that the decision should feel well-connected to your personal values. If it does not feel right it probably isn’t.

3. Does it sound right? Does it resonate in the right way? Does the verbal articulation of the decision sound right and comfortable. If the words don’t feel right again it’s probably not right

These three questions will help you to blend the very best of logical and rationale processes an intuitive feel. You must cover each of the three questions, failure to do so potentially leaves the decision down to chance. Great quote I picked up the other day – Never override your gut feeling!


Challenge conventional wisdom

23/07/2010

Wisdom is the term used to describe ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public or by experts in a field. The term also implies that the ideas or explanations, though widely held, are unexamined and, hence, may be reevaluated upon further examination.  Many of us conduct and live our lives within the framework of established principles of wisdom. They can govern our personal life, relationships, work and professional advancement. For many of us they can have an overwhelming influence on the way we think, and behave, this applies to both individuals and organisations. However we must acknowledge that conventional wisdom can limit our thinking and create boundaries to our aspirations. They can misguide our intentions and infer that some things are not possible – when in reality they are! We must question – is it true wisdom or dogmatic views on how things operate or how things are done. It is vital that we don’t take at face value the wisdom that applies to our own particular situation – it could be wrong.

Successful and ambitious individuals will if necessary contest conventional wisdom that surrounds their circumstances. A burning desire to pursue a dream or satisfy a need that is not being catered for can lead us to challenge a preconceived ideology that masquerades as wisdom. Don’t take the words of experts as being that of the Oracle, whilst their wisdom may have value and may have a role to play – it does not automatically mean they are right and their word is final. Listen to your inner voice, does it feel right, if it doesn’t, then ask Why? Why not? What if? What about?

We can run the risk of our creative energy and new ideas being misdirected by people supposedly in the know. Don’t think twice about challenging views. Breaking new ground often means “Creating New Wisdom”


Get the right people doing the right things

22/07/2010

A highly effective team is built when a group of individuals are all playing to their own strengths. All to often the wrong person is doing the right job. In building a team we must strive to place people in the correct position allowing them to do what they do best. When there is a mismatch in a person’s skills and role under performance should not come as any surprise. Great care must be taken to ensure we don’t shoe horn people into situations and roles that don’t align with their capability. This will invariably lead to discontent and disconnection with the teams overall purpose. We should seek alignment between a person’s passion and their ability with the aims and objectives of the group. An important task for all leaders is to keep close to both the individual and team mindset. This is dome by gaining insight into an individuals:

  • Personal and professional ambitions
  • What do they excel at?
  • What they don’t do too well?
  • What motivates them?
  • What turns them off?
  • Training and developing needs

We must be clear on what we want members of our team to do, this needs to then be articulated with clarity.

The reality is that whilst people maybe good at specific tasks they may fall short on others. Or maybe as the ambitions and aspiration of an organisation grows, those of an individual may change or their own priorities may shift. This can often result in a person either outgrowing a position or in ambitious environments people can’t keep up – the issue to address is whether to redeploy an individual or support them in gaining new skills and competencies. Successful people remain connected to the emotional, personal and professional needs of their team. By doing this become hard wired into individual and team dynamics – it also helps you to judge and decide on what if any changes are needed. Make sure you have the right people doing the right things, this will only happen when you stay close to individuals in your team.