Mistakes Leaders Make in Accountability Conversations: And What to do Instead.

Mistakes Leaders Make in Accountability Conversations: And What to do Instead.

Accountability is a mindset leaders look for most in their people. Higher levels of ownership across the organisation so everyone's focused on the right things and resources are utilised efficiently.

But empowering accountability is one of the biggest challenges leaders face. Without the right skills and awareness, it's easy to rely on driving people harder or giving up and overcompensating by doing more themselves.

Stuck in the Small Stuff.

Stuck in the Small Stuff.

It can be easier to stay in the small stuff than turn our attention to the big stuff.

Doing the small stuff means we get to put ticks in the boxes, cross things off the list, feel like we've achieved something today.

We know how to do the small stuff. Tasks related to our area of expertise, practical and tangible things our stressed brain gets a kick-along from achieving.

The Formula for Success with Teams.

The Formula for Success with Teams.

There is a formula for success.

A step by step process.

A plan to follow that will give you everything you need to bring out the best in others.

I cover it in my 10 Characteristics of High Performing Teams.

What's Your Cultural Norm?

What's Your Cultural Norm?

What's the normal in your organisation?

In your team culture?

What's tolerated, ignored, complained about, moved on from in meetings when no-one's arrived at a succinct and accountable solution?

What's the loop that people keep getting stuck in that they can't seem to find a way out of?

The 3 Little Words of Leadership.

The 3 Little Words of Leadership.

A few months ago, I began working with a manager in a medium-sized organisation. She had been promoted to the role about a year ago and although passionate and committed, had been challenged in bringing the team together and empowering them to consistently achieve their KPI's.

This team fed into all other arms of the business and due to the gaps in performance, other teams had created costly workarounds to overcompensate.

Men Mentoring Women.

Men Mentoring Women.

A leader recently shared with me his uncertainty in how to effectively support a member of his senior leadership team, in developing her communication skills and her ability to engage and influence.

He shared that he had tried everything to give her the best opportunity to self-reflect, build self-awareness and perform to the needs of the business. But now he was at a loss to know how to navigate, what felt to him to be a very complex and sensitive situation. And to do it in a way that maintained trust, resolved the challenges and allowed everyone to grow.

Are You Stuck in the Old Way?

Are You Stuck in the Old Way?

It was once enough, or so we thought, for leaders to lead from the front, forge ahead, direct people where to go and performance manage them if they didn't follow. 

It was once enough for leaders to get in the trenches and work beside their people, helping them do their work, sometimes finishing it for them.

What Does a Bully Look Like?

What Does a Bully Look Like?

I was called a bully once. About 13 years ago.

I’d been coaching for 7 years in some form by that time and had gone through the eye of the needle in my personal development, which just means I’d done some serious work on myself.

When that word was directed at me, I was in a support role within the public sector. I was shocked and thought the person must’ve been talking to someone else. I knew myself to be deeply heartfelt on the inside, convinced that if you cracked opened my rib cage and peered in you’d see a cluster of fluffy marshmallows.

Cultural Change - Why Wait?

Cultural Change - Why Wait?

Recently I attended a week long retreat with Dr. Joe Dispenza, lecturer in neuroscience, amongst many other fascinating things.

Joe works comprehensively with people around the world in shifting mindset to shift results (simply speaking), and also runs programs for corporations on cultural change.

Is Your Team Treading Water?

 Is Your Team Treading Water?

When I was 14 I dove into synchronised swimming. It was a sport that swam quietly under the radar back then.  I wasn't very good at it but I loved it.

A crucial skill to master was the egg-beater kick, a way to tread water that freed your upper body for other important tasks, like making fancy shapes in the air. If you've ever seen the impossibly wide smiles of a synchronised swimmer as she or he madly beats their legs under the surface, you may have concluded they were working hard for a disproportionate return.

Being a Leader of Choice.

Being a Leader of Choice.

Where in your work are you half in, half out? Committed in physical presence but uncommitted in mental and emotional attention? It might be on a project, with a particular person or a chronically missed KPI.

We all do it and if you survey your team on any given day, most of your people (Gallup tells us 76%), at some point will be half way out the back door.

How to Not Need a Coach.

How to Not Need a Coach.

The Success Continuum, by Paul J. Meyer, a pioneer in the personal development industry, tells us that the ultimate driver of our behaviour and results is the input we receive over time (see diagram below). 

Unfortunately most leaders and managers have never learned this well-researched fact and so when attempting to influence the behaviour of their people, they focus on trying to change the behaviour itself.

What Men Want.

What Men Want.

Recently I was speaking to a group of women at a women's leadership summit about how to lead through presence, authentic confidence and self-awareness. In the room of 100 women, there were also 6 men attending. Over a networking drink after the event, I asked the men what brought them here and their responses surprised me, more on this later.

EQ: The Trade of the Next Decade.

EQ: The Trade of the Next Decade.

Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur, author and speaker calls Emotional Intelligence (EQ) the trade of the next decade. So valuable that businesses won't thrive without it. In his short video, Gary talks about the importance of internal feelings. In other words, understanding our people beyond our own opinions of who they are, what they need and how they

“You Need to be More Assertive!”

“You Need to be More Assertive!”

Have you ever been told you need to be more assertive?
Or have you ever told somebody else they need to be more assertive?

Those who are told it, have likely heard it many times before. Usually from the same kind of people.

Those who tell it, have usually told it many times before. Usually to the same kind of people.

Engagement vs Commitment – Part 2.

Engagement vs Commitment – Part 2.

Have you ever been told you need to be more assertive?
Or have you ever told somebody else they need to be more assertive?

Those who are told it, have likely heard it many times before. Usually from the same kind of people.

Engagement Vs Commitment – Part 1.

Engagement Vs Commitment – Part 1.

Effective accountability conversations are near to absent in the workplace. In my experience it’s the area most leaders and managers are disempowered, no matter how experienced, intelligent or passionate they are.

One of the key reasons is that we’re trying to force a happy ending without creating a beginning, leaving everyone in hope that it will all turn out.

Your Being Is Your Brand

Being-Blog.jpg

I met Hannah in the women’s change rooms one morning during her first couple of weeks at the club. She was the new General Manager of the yacht club at which I’m a member. I can be pretty talkative after a salt water swim, while Hannah seemed intent on keeping to herself.

As the next few weeks passed I’d see Hannah quite regularly, we continued to exchange polite hellos and then went about our days.  

Months went by and I began to notice something very interesting. Consistent improvements were being made around the club, things that although small, were making a big difference to everyone’s experience.

What was much more interesting to me though, was what people were saying about the changes and about Hannah.


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Many mornings during the after-swim coffee, members would be speaking about our new GM in inspired delight. The things that were finally getting done, how Hannah would be seen taking orders in the restaurant and helping serve. Meeting with members casually to hear what was important to them. Attending committee meetings and putting her hand up to see things through. Little by little this woman was silently, but very loudly, communicating her values, her intent and her integrity.

Whether intentionally or not (and without social media fan fare, premature announcement or expectation of recognition, approval or applause) this leader was creating her brand.

“Whether intentional or unintentional,
all leaders have a leadership brand.” Forbes

As leaders, our brand introduces us before we show up. It’s the thoughts and feelings people connect with our name when they think of us, or speak our name. It’s how they relate and how much they trust us, and whether they even want to.

Harvard Business Review asks…”You probably already have a personal leadership brand. But do you have the right one?”

Providing 5 key questions to help define your leadership brand on purpose, with my favourite question being “What do you want to be known for?”

Being known for something is more a reflection of our state of being than it is the things we do. If we are doing all the right things, but being resentful or righteous, disrespectful or impatient while we’re doing them, who we’re being will communicate much louder than the fact the job gets done.

Consider the simple distinction:

– Who we BE (our thoughts, feelings and emotions), drives
– What we DO (our words and actions) which then produces
– What we HAVE (our things).

We can choose consciously our state of being (for example our mindset and attitude, whether we feel compassionate or judgemental towards another, if we offer or withhold trust), which means we get to choose how we are known as leaders.

In workshops I love to challenge leaders, managers and team members about being the bigger person. This, to me, speaks to the heart of creating a leadership brand on purpose. 

Being the bigger person is not about doing something right or good for the sake of gaining credit. Being the bigger person is about choosing with intent who you want to be and what you want to be known for…

– courage or excuses
– congruence or inauthenticity
– curiosity or judgement
– trustworthiness or doubt.

As Hannah went about being a General Manager worthy of being spoken about with such high regard, the things she did were a natural extension of her state of being – her thoughts, her feelings and her intention.

She didn’t assist her staff in the restaurant with impatience, she didn’t attend member meetings in frustration and she didn’t listen to member complaints with disregard. She showed up as the bigger person. Bigger than her ego, bigger than any doubters and bigger than the job in front of her.

As the months roll by, Hannah continues to quietly, confidently and consistently create her brand.

Just like Hannah, we are creating our own brand in every interaction every day.

“…Everything that we do, say, and embody at work creates the brand for which we become known…” Forbes

As a leader, what brand have you been creating?
And is it what you want to be known for?