We help leaders and businesses to grow by building World Class teams
Don’t come up too fast
An experienced diver will know that they can’t come up to the surface too quickly. They need to let their body adjust to the changes in pressure. The same is true with regard to your return to office working. Many people will be feeling anxious about leaving the safety and security of their homes. So take your time, try to manage a phased return to work. Transitions are challenging, try be purposeful and strategic about the way you construct your new working rhythm. Don’t come up too fast. #returntooffice #returntowork #transitions
Your business needs hunters and farmers
People who are great at going out and starting new relationships, and people who are great at cultivating existing ones. A well balanced growth agenda will drive penetration and frequency, it will focus on recruitment and retention. There are some special people who are as gifted at generating new business as they are at harvesting organic growth, but most of us will be more effective at one or the other. So make sure you have enough hunters and farmers. #recruitmentandretention #growthstrategy #newbusiness
It’s important to set realistic targets and be kind to yourself
As the week’s blend into each other, and we are denied many of the freedoms that help us to cope with pressure, just getting through another week is an achievement in itself. An elite athlete understands that in a 4 year cycle they won’t get ‘personal bests’ in every training session. They understand that rest, recovery and pacing are all part of managing sustained performance over the long term. This can be counter intuitive because it sounds like you are lowering standards, when what you’re really doing is proactively managing your energy. So look after yourself, we still have some distance to go. #bekindtoyourself #settinggoals #manageyourenergy#sustainedperformance
In high performing organisations Teamship matters just as much as Leadership. Teamship requires you to put effort and energy into your horizontal as well as vertical relationships, into your peers and direct reports. These are the first skills that we learn in the workplace, but they are easy to neglect as we get more senior and focus increasingly on Leadership. Good Teamship demands a generosity of spirit and a willingness to listen, support and challenge positively. Are you as good a Teammate as you are Leader?
#teamship #leadership #teammate #listensupportchallengepositively
Are you saving some positive energy for the other teams you are part of?
Much of the discussion about wellbeing, teamship and energy is focused on the performance of the individual in a working context, but we are all part of multiple teams. Many of us have partners, families and friendship groups who need us. Try to make sure that your loved ones are not at the back of the queue when it comes to your energy. Make sure that they get to see your best self too.
Your Winter 5 a day
1. Do something exclusively for you that invests in your physical and mental health. 2. Embrace a problem or task that you’ve been putting off. 3. Connect with someone who will give you positive energy, then pass that energy on to someone who needs it. 4. Create, develop or build something. 5. Decompress, record the achievements of the day, and get ready to repeat.
Keep asking good questions
If you don’t go through the pain of ‘the muddle’ then either you’re not asking good enough questions, or your team is lacking cognitive difference. Leaders understand that the quality of their questions, their team, and their listening, will always define the quality of their answers. So hang in there, be patient, and the answers will reveal themselves to you.
It’s ok to have some days when you’re not ok
Winter is coming, and as the days get shorter we need to think carefully about our energy, our wellbeing and our mental health. We won’t be able to get through this on our own, so generous and empathetic teamship has never mattered more. We will all have good and bad days, what matters is that we all try to make more investments of positivity into the team than withdrawals. A good teammate will step forward when you may not be able to, knowing that you will do the same for them in return. It’s OK to have some days when you’re not OK.
Don’t forget about your transitions
Nobody is missing their commute, but plenty of people are missing their moments of transition and decompression. As the barriers between work and home continue to break down, we need to bake time into our schedules to switch gear. It doesn’t take long to move physically from our home offices to our kitchens and living spaces, but the mental transition can take some time. It’s very hard to walk from a stressful zoom call into a family meal and be mentally or physically ready. So try to create some end of day decompression. Maybe a call that you know will lift your spirits, or some reading that will engage and inspire. Don’t forget about your transitions. #dontforgetaboutyourtransitions #decompression #remoteworking
Human contact is different to human connection
In an office environment there are many people who enrich and lighten our day. It could be someone in security, reception, or in another team or division. One of the challenges of remote working is that our networks have shrunk, and despite having lots of human contact, most of us have had less human connection. So try to find some time in your week to reach out to the outliers in your working network. People who will raise a smile, people who will invest in your reserves of positive energy. We can’t get through this on our own, so keep connecting. #humanconnection #keepconnected #remoteworking
Extraordinary work requires physical presence and proximity
As companies all over the world try to define their new working protocols, the question of our time is this: “What kind of work will we do face to face, and what will we do remotely?.” I like the idea that our ‘extraordinary work’ will be done together. Our idea generation, our white board sessions, our complex problem solving. The most energised types of ideation require proximity and they require physical presence. They need to allow for people to build on each other’s ideas and finish each other’s sentences. All the things that are hard to do on a zoom or webex. These are the meetings where the real magic happens, and they are worth travelling into the office for. #extraordinarywork #proximity#physicalpresence #newworkingworld
Working remotely presents a triple threat
Many people are battling with macro and micro anxieties, the days are becoming ever more like each other, and there is a cumulative fatigue that is building over time. So think about how you can shake up your working week. Try to seek out different stimulus, different collaborators and different locations. More variety will help you to create more positive energy, and that’s a resource that is needed more than ever right now. #remoteworking #anxietymanagement #monotony#fatiguemanagement #positiveenergy
Let’s create a new blend
Lockdown has shown us that in many roles we can work very effectively at home, but it has also shown us that we miss the company of being with our company. Human beings are naturally social, we crave human connection and a sense of tribe. The opportunity now of course, is to take the very best of home and office working, and create a new and better blend. #homeworking#remoteworking #humanconnection #letscreatenewblend
How are you and your team emerging from lockdown?
It is increasingly clear now that executives are coming out of lockdown in very different states of physical and mental health. Some people are emerging having recharged their batteries, they are refreshed, energised and ready to go. Some people are feeling the exact opposite. It’s important that leaders take the time to listen to how each member of their team is ‘turning up’. The new working normal needs to take account for a workforce in very different states of wellbeing. Policy should not be set exclusively by, and for, those who are feeling the freshest. #taketimetolisten #physicalhealth #mentalwellbeing #newnormal2020
Individuals in strong teams know whe to come together and when to stay in their lanes
A great team will be connected in its purpose and specialist in its execution. There will be shared commitments and deliverables but there will also be a clear demarcation of roles and responsibilities. Effective teammates will know when to come together and when to stay in their lanes. #whentostayinyourlane #sharedpurpose #specialistexecution
Remote working is efficient but isn’t always rewarding
Most of us are sociable animals and we crave human connection. Lockdown has denied us of ‘the quick coffee’ and ‘the corridor conversation’. But we can still reach out to our colleagues, ask good questions and listen. It is often the smaller interactions that are the building blocks of teamship. #remoteworking #humanconnection #reachout
Are you treating your partners and suppliers the way you like to be treated?
Most businesses buy and provide services, most of us wear different hats when we are acting as client vs supplier. What matters of course is that we handle ourselves with the same level of respect and fairness in both modes. We need to treat partners the way that we all like to be treated. If you’re big, try to remember what it felt like when you were small. Good manners have never been more important, so try to be the kind of customer that you most admire. #clientrelationships #suppliermanagement #respectpartners
Remote working requires leaders to evolve some enduring skills
High performance teams harvest the collective wisdom of the group to make better decisions. Whatever your chosen platform for remote working, make sure that all voices are heard and that all perspectives are reviewed. The person speaking least might be making the biggest point. #highperformanceteams #betterdecisions #collectivewisdom #differentperspectives #remoteworking
Leaders need the telescope and the microscope
The Telescope is required for identifying the destination, defining a winning strategy and building the capabilities needed for sustainable growth. The Microscope is for delivery, for reacting and responding, and for surviving the weekly fire fights. A good leader will focus on the big picture and on the small detail. They will execute short term decisions with one eye on their longer term strategic agenda. #shortandlongterm #longtermstrategicagenda #strategyandexecution
Let’s create a new normal
As the weeks in isolation pass, it’s appropriate to start to think about the things we might do differently, and better, once the lockdown is over. Can we spend less time commuting and more time being productive at home. Will the shape of our day and week evolve into times for solitary working at home and times for team working at work. Will this stronger sense of community last? Things don’t have to go back to the old normal, let’s create a new normal. #anewnormal #thingswedodifferently #lockdownlearning
Irrespective of the shape of this crisis and recovery, we are all going to be asking the same questions
How can we use this opportunity to accelerate our plans for transformation? And which costs should return and which shouldn’t? All leadership teams are assessing their fixed and variable costs and looking for savings. They will be identifying resources that no longer feel business critical, and that expensive office has never looked dearer. This is a break in series moment. Don’t waste it.
Don’t neglect your peers
Sometimes you can get so used to leading, that you can forget what it means to be a great team mate. It takes some skill to listen without automatically offering a solution, or to challenge without damaging confidence. Great teams support each other from every angle, up and down and left and right. Please take a moment to think about how you can become a better team mate. #leadership #followership #teamship