Posts tagged: Self Leadership

Success Needs a System – Here’s How to Create Yours!

By , February 20, 2013 5:01 pm

We all have ideas right?

Some of us have LOADS of them!

You may see yourself as an Ideas Person. Ideas just pop out of your mind all the time and it’s hard to keep track of them all. You feel like you might burst with excitement! But how many ideas actually leave your mind and make it into the real world?

Many of our ideas float around like untethered kites and never crystallize into anything tangible. The latest idea just becomes another distraction as you continue generating more and more of them. They stack up in a holding pattern waiting to come in to land. This stack can become exhausting and overwhelming because you don’t know where to start or what to do with them all.

I often coach creative clients who have loads of ideas. Every coaching session, they arrive with another one (yes… I’m guilty of this sometimes too – you ask my mentor!). And of course, this latest idea is the best one yet! …Until, the next idea comes along a few days later! Months can be wasted dreaming but nothing ever gets done. There’s no action, there’s just the next idea coming along…

 

IDEA          IDEA          IDEA          IDEA          IDEA          Another IDEA

 

If this sounds like you, then you need a formula to create some momentum…

Without a having a system it’s difficult to take an idea and make it happen (even the good ones).

I’ve learned that there are three elements to taking an idea an making it real:

Your idea needs to become grounded if you want to give it a chance of becoming reality.   Creating a system or process helps you to take your idea and plan HOW to create some momentum. You then need to take specific action to make it real.

Here are a few tips around each of these elements:

IDEA

I’ve sat in daylong leadership strategy meetings where loads of ideas are shared and everyone is very excited and enthusiastic. A year later the same ideas are still being talked about, because nothing happened in between.

We often see the IDEA as the sexy exciting bit because it’s fun being creative. There’s nothing quite like that adrenalin rush when you think you’re on to something new and great!

Get clear about your idea understand WHY you want to make it real.

Sometimes we stop at the idea stage because we’re frightened to take the next step and make it happen. If you don’t start then it can’t fail, because you didn’t have to try. Your idea needs your energy and belief if it’s going to germinate into reality. You have to take a few risks and step out of your comfort zone and do some things scared.

SYSTEM

For an Ideas Person, the SYSTEM bit is the painful process of planning and working out how it’s all going to happen.

For some of us planning, thinking it through and then creating a stepped process to make it work is the tedious bit… YAWN!

Why?

Because it involves sitting down and working it out a step at a time. THIS STAGE is hugely important because it’s the difference between your idea staying just a dream or becoming real…

Creating a system/process for implementing your idea will save you a lot of time and energy. Get some help from someone who can help you create a framework for what you need to do if this is not your GENIUS work!

Here are a few tips:

  • Create an Ideas Book if you’re always having loads of ideas. Write each one down in a paragraph as you think it.
  • Re-visit your book every one-two weeks to re-read each idea and cross out any that no longer feel like they are do-able or ‘have legs’.
  • Schedule time to take your idea and break it down into doable steps.
  • See your idea as the vision and the system as your tactical plan:
    • What tactics you will employ to make it happen?
    • What’s specifically involved in making this become real?
    • What individual steps need to be taken?
    • Who else needs to be involved?
    • When to you need to do it?
    • Where will it happen?

Work backwards on a timeline to identify some milestone dates and will help you to break down what needs to be done. Remember, big things are done in small chunks! Breaking it down will make it doable.

Creating a framework and then working through a process gives you clarity and direction. It helps you to feel more confident and in control.

ACTION

This is where the rubber hits the road. You have to actually show up and do the work! Just talking about it doesn’t make things happen – You have to DO it!

  • Schedule small pockets of time in your calendar and take one step at a time.
  • Commit to making it happen
  • If you decide to delegate or outsource part of the work then you’ll need to commit being responsible for leading them to do a great job. There is a difference between delegation and abdication!

Take conscious, deliberate action regularly and this will help you to create momentum towards your outcome. Building momentum will encourage you to keep taking action, as you move towards your goal. You’ll also start to feel a sense of completion.

Review your progress regularly, so you can tweak and modify your plan if necessary.

If you have an idea that you want to bring into the world, always create a system for it and plan ahead for its arrival!

Success needs a system – EVERY TIME!

 

7 Ways to Become More Effective at Learning

By , December 5, 2012 11:02 pm

“You are the product of your learning. Everything you know, everything you can do and everything you believe, you have learnt.” 

Peter Honey, Author and Speaker.

“I love learning, but I want to read and learn everything.  I feel overwhelmed with all that I want to do, and would like to work out how I can get a better balance with the time I spend learning and doing everything else, and how I should maybe plan how and when I learn.” – A Coaching Client.

I was asked this week for coaching advice from someone who loves to learn, but she was overwhelmed with learning and frightened of becoming obsessed with the feeling of not knowing enough.

The feeling of not knowing enough is common, and it’s reinforced by the abundance of tools and information that is readily available today. Many of us buy learning materials without really having any plan of how we intend to use them. They gather dust on the shelf, as we rush back to our reactive and often chaotic busy lives.  

There’s so much information and inspiration out there, especially with instant access to content just a credit card click away on the Internet. It’s easy to be drawn into buying every book and online workshop available.

You end up with information overload and overwhelm.

You may have invested money in your learning but you’ve forgotten about  two other important key investments: Your time and your attitude towards learning.

Here are some tips on how to apply your learning instead of becoming a victim of Shelf Help Overwhelm!

1. Plan your learning – Set clear learning goals. What do you want to learn? Why do you want to learn it? What difference will it make to you personally or/and professionally? How important is it for you to learn and apply this knowledge/skill/behaviour? Set time in your schedule each week for Personal Development time. THIS IS IMPORTANT – Give it HIGH VALUE on your agenda (Or you won’t do it!). Choose to learn from one resource at a time. E.g. Read one book (not several books and an online programme all at the same time!).

2. How do you learn best? – Improve your own learning efficiency by understanding how you learn.  I use Honey & Mumford’s learning styles to explain how people can best learn. Using all four styles will ensure that your learning is effective:

  1. Have an experience (Activist) – Jumping in and trying it out – Seeking the challenge and having a go.
  2. Review the experience (Reflector) – Standing back to think, gather data and ponder.
  3. Conclude from the experience (Theorist) – Assimilate facts, theorise and pull together themes.
  4. Plan the next step (Pragmatist) – Seek out and try new ideas and applying a down to earth practical approach.

We all have a preference for one of these in the cycle. If you only learn using your preference, you’ll miss opportunities to learn quicker because you haven’t used the whole learning cycle: Do, Reflect, Conclude and Plan. Use a learning log to ensure that all four elements of learning are covered…

3. Create a learning log – Create a simple learning log or journal to help you apply what you’re learning as you go. Answer these four questions: 1. What was your learning experience? 2. Reflect on the experience – What were you thinking and feeling during the learning? 3. Did you specifically learn?  4. How do you intend to apply this learning to your life/work? (What is your first step?)

4. Use it or lose it! – If you only read it once, you’ll forget it because your brain will eliminate the neural pathway, unless you keep using it. If you want the new information you’ve learned to stick, then you have to make learning a continuous practice (Practice makes permanent). Look for opportunities to keep practicing and rehearsing the information. Re-visit your notes, make an audio to remind you of the key points. Refresh your knowledge.

5. Use multiple ways to learn – Don’t just read books. Engage your senses by listening to podcasts or an audio. Look for verbal and visual ways to learn such as drawing a mind map, watching a video or sharing your knowledge with a friend or an accountability partner. Using different parts of the brain helps you to learn at a deeper level rather just relying on memory recall.

6. Teach other people what you’ve learned – When I learn something new I translate it into my own words, this helps me to understand the information. I then apply it to my coaching or training classes or I might even write a blog post about it! Sharing what you’ve learned with others helps you to imbed the new knowledge in your brain. You help other people in the process!

7. Apply what you’ve learned – Reading and researching is only part of the process, putting new knowledge, skills and behaviours into practice is one of the best ways to learn. Make what you’ve learned real by using it in the ‘real’ world (not just holding it in your head). If you’ve learned about being assertive, then try it out at work or home. Do it imperfectly then use your learning log to build on the experience for next time. Little and often – practice it regularly, form a new habit.

Be deliberate about your learning – Plan, Do, Review, Conclude!

7 Ways to Improve Your Personal Power and Influence as a Leader…

By , October 24, 2012 3:53 pm

“One word expresses the pathway to greatness: voice. Those on this path find their voice and inspire others to find theirs. The rest never do.”

 ~ Stephen R Covey, Author.

Many of us struggle when trying to influence others (sometimes we can’t even influence ourselves!)

One of the key elements of influencing is credibility.

You may have heard the saying: perception is reality – Other people judge you by your actions (what you do, what you say or how you act) and NOT by your intentions. Your behavior has a huge impact on your credibility.

You are your demonstrated behavior…

I’m often asked the question: How can I build my personal credibility?

Just because you’re CEO of your company or a manager/team leader in your department, this doesn’t mean that others will listen to you. Credibility isn’t guaranteed – you have to create it.

Sometimes you can leverage your expertise or use your status to influence others. You also may have witnessed where this power is over used (usually when someone’s ego kicks in and they become power-crazed!).

One often overlooked power-base is integral to your credibility (and authenticity): your personal power. It can be very effective.

I believe that we all are all born with unlimited personal power. Life bestows this gift upon us. As kids, we test it out in its purest form. Over time our personal power is shaped by cultural, social and parental influences around us.

These create layers of structure and conditioning that teach us how to blend and fit in. We unconsciously follow what is ‘acceptable’ behavior for someone in that role being influenced by those who we perceive to have authority around us.

 We are taught to keep our head down, be a ‘good employee’ and we blend into to our surroundings. Our own personal power is pushed down and subdued.

Sometimes we play small, perhaps over-awed by the perceived power of others. We become de-sensitized and numb to our own personal power, falsely believing that others have higher value and worth.

Your own personal power is ALWAYS available to you… You just have to choose to use it by becoming the power point in your life.

Here’s how to develop your Personal Power…

Clarity - People with high levels of personal power are clear and focused on what is important. They know what they want to achieve and can describe it to others. They have clear goals and take deliberate action.

Self-awareness – Most people struggle to allow their own voice to speak out. Finding your voice allows you to contribute, lead and make a difference. It is an evolving process: You don’t just wake up one morning and it’s lying next to you! You have to become a Student of YOU and go in search of it.

There are untapped talents lying dormant inside all of us. Tap into your strengths: What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What are you passionate about? Build on your strengths by looking for opportunities to use them in your daily work. Share them with others: I have value…Here’s how I can help.

Energy and Enthusiasm - Energy and enthusiasm are linked. They feed off each other and are key components of personal power. Successful, positive people have an abundance of energy. Enthusiasm is infectious: What are you infecting the people around you with??

Empathy - Understanding the other person’s map of the world, as they see it, is hugely important if you want to influence them effectively. If I believe that you understand me I will be more open and honest with you. Listening and understanding is important because people buy off people they know, like and trust. Genuinely show that you care. This isn’t about YOU… It’s ALL ABOUT THEM. Tune in to the people you are serving – Get to know them.

By being empathic you are demonstrating that you understand and respect their point of view (Even if you disagree). You are giving them value, showing you care by being authentic.

Self-belief - You are what you believe. Your thinking is YOUR reality. People with high levels of personal power believe in their vision and take deliberate action to make things happen. Learn how to reframe your limiting beliefs and change your thinking. Become the power point in your life. Believing in yourself makes you credible to others.

Lead the way – You don’t need formal authority to lead – Our conditioning just makes us falsely believe this. Stop waiting to be one of the ‘chosen few.’ Decide to step into your power and be proactive rather than reactive. Stop waiting for someone to give you permission to lead. Self-leadership begins from the inside out. Lead yourself and others will follow… Just be YOU!

Look for support  – A coach can help you develop and leverage your personal power. This can make a huge difference to your confidence and success.

Re-connect to your personal power.

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