Category Archives: Better Leaders

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End of Financial Year: Review, Plan, GO!

The end of financial year signifies more than just an opportunity to close off another official tax year; it presents the perfect opportunity to review the year that has been.

Analysing the performances that got you there provides you with the opportunity to develop plans for further success in the next financial year.

 

In order to carry out an effective analysis of the previous year’s performance and results, you need to review your business performance against very clear measures; measures that give you an understanding of every relevant aspect of your business.

Review

Different businesses spend the lead up to June 30 in a variety of ways. However, there are some close to universal actions which all businesses can apply to successfully review the undertakings of the year and apply these finding towards analysis and planning for the future:

  • Review your actual business performance against your budgeted performance, including all your known variables. There is no better place to start to improve than by knowing exactly how well you did, according to how well you thought you would perform.
  • Review the key drivers of the business and compare how these may have changed according to the previous five years. Have you been doing something differently that may have spiked or slumped your performance this year?
  • Prepare a forecasted budget for the coming financial year, including your known variables as far ahead as you can see them. It’s impossible to predict the future, but you can forecast into the year by looking back on what you know has happened in the past.
  • Consider the current state of your business plan and strategy. Has the core nature of your business shifted, either slightly or dramatically? Are there gaps in the market you can take advantage of with a clearer business vision for the New Year?
  • Review your key staff and their performance. Your staff members are one of your most important assets. Are their performances in the expected range, or is extra training and support necessary to achieve your individual and collective goals? Review if you have been checking in with them regularly about their role, or decide whether you may need to review how you are tracking performance for the best information. This essential staff member review stage can be actioned through the engagement with The Performance Edge course, which will enhance existing capabilities of your high-performance team members as it focuses on crucial interpersonal and professional skills such as productivity, performance and personal leadership.

No one is capable of growth or improvement without self-reflection. Businesses are no different; they require constant maintenance and reflection to be able to plan for a better and brighter future.

 

Plan

Once you have reviewed the technical and operational aspects of your business leading up to the end of June, you can proceed to the planning stage.

 

Set your priorities

No matter what type of business owner you are, narrowing down your ideas from among all the worthwhile possibilities (whether it’s an opportunity to expand to a new market or choosing a better time management strategy), it can be difficult to focus on one thing at a time.

At the same time you review and update your business plan for the coming year, focus on what are the most important things for you to achieve this coming year. With your new priorities in mind, break them down into written goals, and then break them down again into smaller milestone tasks. By following this priority setting pattern you will maximise productivity, and enjoy the little successes that lead to big changes.

 

Think outside the box

Your priorities in the coming year may be to hit an ambitious revenue target, tap into a new market or relaunch your brand with a fresh new face.

Whatever they may be, an important thing to keep in mind, as you make plans to move your business forward is how you’ll stay relevant and engaging in an increasingly competitive market.

As part of your planning process, spend some time on market reconnaissance and research. Look back into previous SWOT analyses and see how you can plan new business moves that swing success in your favour. Understand what your unique selling position is and include it in as many plans as you can for your future moves.

 

GO!

At this stage you’ll be excited to get your ideas out there and enact all of your carefully considered plans. While you can do much as a one man band, you can’t do it all alone. Before you can really hit the ground running you will need to rally your team, no matter how large or small, to drive the best performance you can into this coming year.

How are you managing motivation in your business?

Motivating staff at any time throughout the year is a bit of a management art. However, the EOFY time is a perfect one to check in with what is driving your staff members to perform in the roles, and see how your new plans for the year can fit into their own individual goals.

  • Have one-on-one meetings with all of your staff to communicate any new points of direction with them that may be happening in the business, as a result of your reviewing and planning stages
  • Provide an opportunity for staff members to express their concerns and ideas coming into the New Year
  • Determine what are the internal drivers of each of your staff members and allocate new or changed tasks from your review process, to better suit team members’ different strengths and interests

By properly reviewing the year that has been, planning ahead with priorities and focus, and engaging your team in your plans for the future, you will truly be ready to hit the ground sprinting towards your goals for your business.

 

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Get the most out of your people

In a time where a business can thrive or falter depending on a few vital decisions, it is important to be aware of what proactive moves you can make to stay ahead of your competition.

 

To remain competitive, a business must continually search for ways to improve it’s overall bottom line. Most companies aim to improve their position through two simultaneous methods; growing revenues and increasing efficiencies.

What many people don’t see is that the people you have working with you are the common thread that links these two methods.

When your people are performing at their highest level, they are working to achieve both the aims of increasing revenue and increasing efficiencies. Your people are your brand, your reputation, your networks and the future of your business. Luckily, if you invest in their skills and future you will also be investing in the continued success of your business.

LMA’s The Performance Edge (TPE) course is the ideal way to invest in the essential skills your people require to perform at their very best. The TPE course will enlarge the already existing capabilities of your high-performing team members, while opening them to new possibilities in their own performance, both in their professional and personal lives.

With a unique focus on The Total Person® Concept, the TPE course allows participants to achieve results in all areas of their lives. Previous participants of LMA’s TPE course have said they felt happier, less stressed and achieved a healthy work/life balance as a result of their engagement with the course. All have noted the considerable ROI that comes as a result of the TPE, with many gaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in measurable productivity improvements per year.

The TPE successfully brings out the best in your people by focusing on essential interpersonal and professional skills such as:

  • Productivity and Performance
  • Organisational Skills
  • Communication
  • Team Development
  • Personal Leadership

By helping your people focus on these key areas, you can experience a Slight Edge – oftentimes that small difference in performance that makes all the difference in results.

A proactive business is a business that has that Slight Edge. A proactive business is one that knows that it’s employees are it’s greatest assets and that they can generate this Slight Edge.

The TPE course is one that works to improve the existing skills of your team members, while also ensuring they are prepared to take on any future challenges.

Knowing that you value the improvement of your bottom line and the continued security of your organisation’s future, you might consider the TPE course as an ideal investment for you and your team members.

Gain that Slight Edge – check out the TPE here.

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Empowered people. Better results.

Today we are embracing a giant milestone event! We have refreshed the LMA brand and we are announcing the creation of Thrive Alliance, a brand joining together our group of companies.

A message from our Founder – Grant Sexton

On the 24th of May 2017 we celebrate LMA’s 45 years in business. What started in a small office in Wellington Street, St Kilda in Melbourne, has grown to become a recognised and respected provider of training and development services throughout Australia and New Zealand. From 3 people, with very little business experience, but an abundance of enthusiasm, passion and hope, we now have over 140 passionate and professional people involved in our business across both countries. We have evolved as an organisation that truly understands its destiny and its mission – “Creating exceptional results through people”.

It has been a very long journey, during which we have been privileged to partner with incredible people in our team to assist over 120,000 people in their personal and leadership development journeys. Obviously, there have been many changes in the training and development sector across Australia and New Zealand over those 45 years. We have adjusted to many changes, and often initiated positive changes within our sector.

Many of those positive changes and improvements that have shaped our progress were initiated by ideas and feedback from you, our clients. Our individual clients who, as participants, enrolled in LMA and Think Perform programs, and our corporate clients being the employers who understand the importance of creating great learning and development opportunities for their people. Amongst the thousands of small incremental innovations and improvements, we have also achieved many large quantum leaps and milestones.

Many people are aware that the reputation of the VET sector in Australia has been severely damaged in recent years with abuse of government funding by unscrupulous operators, especially the VET Fee Help Scheme in the Business to Consumer (B to C) market. Substandard training and unearned certificates and diplomas became the norm for a large number of the providers in our field. As a result of much closer scrutiny, many high profile providers, predominantly in the B to C market, have now closed their doors, had their RTO status revoked or gone into voluntary administration.

However, we believe that the major problems, dramas and difficulties that the VET sector has been experiencing over recent years are coming to an end.

THE STORM IS OVER!

We at LMA, see a very bright and exciting new future. Our high quality training and development solutions will be sought after by individuals and organisations who understand the real value of investing in people’s potential.

We are modernising our blended learning model to meet your requests. As of this week, LMA Participants will be able to access the new FBOL App via their Apple or Android device. These apps will be available in the Apple and Google Play stores, and download links will be available on the login page of the Feedback Online website.

In addition to audio streaming, participants will be able to view and update their win/win agreement goals and personal goals as well as communicate with their Facilitator and Manager/Mentor.

There are many more improvements and new innovative initiatives scheduled for release in 2017-2018. Over the next 5 years, we will build a true “RTO with a difference”. An RTO committed to developing individuals and organisations towards their full potential.

Today we are embracing another giant milestone event, as we prepare for the future. LMA is the RTO within the Thrive Alliance group of companies which provides much more than the delivery of high quality, life-changing leadership development and transformational change programs. For this reason, we are launching a new look and feel in our branding for this exciting journey into the future.

We are proud to introduce to you…

Thrive Alliance
Thrive Alliance
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Brand refresh and Thrive Alliance information:

Thrive Alliance is the umbrella brand that joins together our group of complimentary and specialised brands, all with the same purpose – creating exceptional results through people.

In itself, the name Thrive Alliance speaks to the vision for our group of companies and brands; an alliance of people, brands, products and services which empower our Participants and Client Organisations to thrive.

The launch of Thrive Alliance and the development and additions to the products and services offered, is a result of ongoing feedback from our Clients and Participants. We believe it is our responsibility as your trusted training and development partner to provide tried and tested development programs which deliver measurable results and R.O.I whilst innovating and releasing new tools and courses which satisfy a broader range of your needs and requirements. The Thrive Alliance Framework allows us to do just that.

So how does it all fit together?

LMA – Leadership and Performance Development.
Empowered People. Better Results.
Leadership Management Australasia is the proven best choice for unlocking the potential in people to positively impact results and the bottom line.

 

THINK PERFORM – Empowering Continuous Improvement.
Sustainable Change. Better Results.
The proven best choice for empowering people to drive continuous improvement and to positively impact culture, results and the bottom line.

 

THRIVE MORE – A range of best-in-class courses, tools and solutions to positively impact your people’s performance.
As opposed to the Premium Programs offered by LMA and Think Perform, Thrive More will offer short courses and workshops predominantly delivered over half, one or two days. At this stage, our Thrive More products include:

· Emotional Intelligence
· Productivity and Performance Improvement
· Lean Foundation Workshops
· Sales Foundation
· ….and many more to come

 

THRIVE PARTNERS – A network of complimentary trusted partners adding value to your business.

 

Our success over the years is because we have not tried to be all things to all people. However, we have many clients that ask us for recommendations to providers of products and services which are outside our offering. Over time, we will be growing a network of trusted Partners which can provide quality products and services to our clients when the need arises.

To find out more, call 1800 333 270 or click here to visit the Thrive Alliance Website.

There are many more improvements and new innovative initiatives scheduled for release in 2017-2018.

Stay tuned for more exciting news from LMA and Thrive Alliance!

Understanding the stages of team development | LMA

Embracing Positive Change

As a decision maker and problem solver, you must be prepared to embrace all of the risks associated with change.  There are common pitfalls that often ride on the back of both proactive and reactive change.

 

However, you can avoid these pitfalls if you are willing to pay the price of disturbing your own psychological comfort when choosing to change.

Listed below are a few challenges that should be considered when making a move towards change:

  • It will become necessary to defend yourself against traditional ways of thinking “We have always done it that way”. You may have to do without social approval for a time. You may also encounter resistance, especially if you are young or new at the job. Not only do some people instinctively resist change, they may actively insist that they are unable to learn a new procedure or change an old habit. When you believe in your decision, be consistent, stay firm and reinforce the need to change, even if you must do so repeatedly. Remain calm and unemotional, but determined. Be confident and lead by example.
  • People will be more likely to accept change when they see you embracing it with enthusiasm. When they see you not only survive, but thrive in a changed environment, they will be more willing to take the risks associated with a given change. Let your team members know that change is inevitable, and that your organisation will find a way to capitalise on change to succeed.
  • Sometimes, when seeing the scope of change in its full extent, it can seem completely overwhelming. Often change cannot be made in one easy step. Usually multiple areas of change happen concurrently or in gradual steps. It is easy to forget, that in life we rarely make entire changes in one attempt. One of the best ways forward is to break larger change projects down into smaller pieces that can be undertaken one piece at a time.  As a guiding rule for most people– ‘It is easier to embrace change when that change is gradual.’
  • Don’t be afraid to try new ideas or processes. However if you fail, fail in a correct way. In many organisations, people don’t understand the value of a failure. This is unfortunate because failure when innovating or experimenting with change, can be a good thing.  When implementing change, the correct way to fail means doing it quickly, at a low cost and never the same way twice. You don’t want to have too much money or time hinging on any one outcome. If you do, then failure is harmful, taking time and money away from other opportunities.  Testing your process on smaller scales projects allows for the risks to be lessened and the flow on effect to other areas is reduced.  Don’t forget to learn from your failures so that you don’t repeat them in the future.

Change IS necessary and it’s NOT evil. Learn to love change and you will be in a great position to succeed.  Leadership Management Australia has a variety of complementary resources which can be used to help support any change environment.

Better leaders | LMA

Are You a Valuable Leader?

How can you tell if you’re a valuable leader? In an effort to be more valuable, have you tried doubling your knowledge, increasing your hours on the job by 50% or enhancing your personal skill set?  Did you achieve the results that you intended? Did you add value to your organisation?

Sometimes it only takes a slight edge to become more valuable.  The sports world provides many clear examples of the “Slight Edge” it takes to increase your value as a leader.  The difference between Gold, Silver and Bronze in swimming is measured in hundredths of a second.  The top two or three golfers in the world earn 10 to 15 times what the golfers ranked at 50th would earn. Yet the difference between them is only a little more than one stroke for 18 holes of golf.  Making the right small (“Slight Edge”) changes can improve your performance and value as a leader dramatically.

Seriously consider the following 7 small changes you can make to achieve an increase in your value as a leader:

  1. Maintaining a climate of open communication and a spirit of cooperation enables you to maximise the interests and strengths of each team member. Not only do good human relations skills help you prevent problems, they can help you transform potential troublemakers into team players who are personally productive and exert a positive influence on other members of the group.
  2. Making sure that work is done on time is one of your most important functions. A relatively small improvement in planning and scheduling could enable you to meet every deadline, prevent overtime, unjam bottlenecks and reduce the frustration related to working from a crisis position.
  3. Controlling your time frees the critical hours required for planning and scheduling. Effective time management enhances performance, increases productivity and adds momentum to your pursuit of long-term goals.
  4. Improve decision-making and problem-solving skills and you gain a slight edge that pays enormous dividends. A decision correctly made at the right time, or a problem solved when it first surfaces, is far more valuable than trying to put the pieces back together after a crisis. Preventing a fire requires far less time and effort than fighting a blaze raging out of control.
  5. The members of your work group, department, or division bring a variety of talents, training, interests, and commitment to the goals of your organisation. Learn to meld your team into a smoothly functioning unit and to focus the resulting synergistic force on the accomplishment of organisational goals.
  6. When you improve your ability to think of the potential of the organisation as a whole, you enhance relationships with people at every level of the organisation. You make more effective decisions and increase the value of your contribution to the overall objectives of the organisation. An important part of your contribution is your ability to train others and get them to accept responsibility so they become increasingly effective team members.
  7. Demonstrate in your words and actions an “attitude of ownership” toward your work. When you encourage an attitude of ownership among employees, they gain a sense of belonging and importance, and the quality of their work reflects this. An attitude of ownership creates stronger engagement and causes you and your staff to take pride in what you do.

 

At LMA we are passionate about developing Australasia’s next generation of leaders.  Our DIY Leadership Analysis is an example of this commitment.  Simply click on the link, fill out the questionnaire and receive a tailored report that will help you to determine your areas for improvement and identify strategies to help you improve your leadership style.

Two businessmen going over ideas together at the office

Learning to Work with the Digital Age

Many industries have already started to ask key questions:  What will the workplace look like in an age of disruption from the status quo? What will employees be doing and how will managers be able to best guide those around them through a digital transformation? How many of the roles around us will be automated, or obsolete? What will ‘work’ look like in the next 10, 20, 30 or even 50 years?

Although these may seem like abstract questions to be asking, they are in fact pivotal questions for any forward thinking organisation and industry to be asking now. While a complete digital transformation may yet be decades away, those who start putting into place policies and practices now are more likely to be ahead of the pack when the disruption does come.

According to many experts in this area, there are a few fundamental forces that are driving change in the workplace:

  • There has been a notable shift from traditional hierarchies and social contracts to more flexible working arrangements. Also, work is becoming more project based and collaborative across various teams and networks.
  • With the rise of diversity in our professional vocabulary, we are experiencing an increasingly inclusive workforce with individualised work policies to support the diversity around us.
  • Increasingly more work is done virtually or remotely.
  • Instead of changes taking years to enact, industry has become used to adapting on a continual basis, rapidly reinventing itself as necessary.
  • We have accepted that automation is now a part of our lives, and we have developed work around the presence of the automated processes around us.

For many who study the field of digitisation in work, the last point seems to be the catalyst for the previous four. As automation takes over more jobs and more industries, we can tend to think negatively about how many people this will put out of work.

We recommend approaching it from a different angle. Instead of focusing on the loss that comes from automation, we can start to think about the space that is opened up to personal and professional development, ongoing rigour in our pursuit of meaningful, even joyful work, and the possibilities that can come from a digitally agile business.

While this all sounds extraordinary in principle, the real challenge is putting this attitude and the policies that come with it into practice. In an age when technology reigns supreme, people will still remain a company’s greatest asset. After all, collective knowledge, collaboration and innovation are fuelled by people, not algorithms or disruptive technologies.

So, how do you embrace the technological onslaught while still maintaining the strong position of your people? In short, not without a lot of planning and with digitally agile people at the helm. Research suggests that it will take a few key underlying capabilities to succeed in this task:

  • Hyper-awareness – the ability to gather and analyse data from employees, contractors, customers, competitors and the changing marketplace. For us in the field of developing people, this means gathering as much information as we can through in-depth surveys such as the annual L.E.A.D. Survey to inform future decisions according to the changing market. How are you staying in touch with your industry and the changes that are happening within it?
  • Informed decision making – namely, the ability to use the collective intelligence, talent and creativity of the workforce to make good strategic and operational decisions. How are you using the talent around you to hone decision making for the future?
  • Execution with agility – the ability to act quickly to find the talent needed to elevate the organisation to the next level and ensure that those loyal to the company are given the tools and training to continue to work to achieve the strategic goals of the company.

While it sounds like a lot to be aware of, there is one underlying factor that can assist in facilitating any amount of change or disruption: that is the willingness to change. New capabilities call for a fundamental desire to listen to those around you and accept the need for change. Digital changes emphatically insist on a willingness to accept them. To be able to face the coming changes, the way we work on a daily basis needs to be examined and adapted, and new ways of thinking need to have the space to come into our workplaces for the better of everyone involved.  LMA offers a wide range of courses related to this field, click here to check them out!

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Managing for Year-Round Performance

Current wisdom in human relations management concurs that employee performance management is or should be a year round activity, not once a year or twice at most.

Below we’ve outlined a few strategies that you can put in place starting today that will allow you to properly monitor and evaluate the year round performance of your team members.

Regularly keep notes on your team member’s performance

Don’t shy away from keeping detailed notes throughout the year on individual performance. Unless you’ve kept detailed evaluations throughout the year, writing a performance review at the end of each year tends to skew the evaluations, for the detriment of yourself and the team member.

Be sure to jot down notes on milestones, accomplishments, successes and challenges as they occur when the details are fresh in your mind. If you note a drop in performance or a change in attitude, be sure to make note of it too and investigate if there may be an opportunity for development or mentoring.

These details provide invaluable material for feedback for the employee as ongoing development opportunities, not once off throughout the year. Keeping these types of notes also helps managers to monitor their own behaviour and see where there may be opportunities for development in their own skills.

Regularly monitor progress on goals

A goal is only as effective as its action plan to achieve it.  At LMA, we preach the importance of having S.M.A.R.T. goals, meaning that they have to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and tangible.

Being ‘measurable’ means that there should be steps along the way that count as progress points towards the achievement of a major goal. Your team member’s goals should not be established and then put away in a drawer to be forgotten – they need to be looked at regularly, almost daily, to ensure that these goals are being actively pursued.

In a rapidly moving business environment, it is imperative for managers to stay on top of each of their team member’s goals and progress on a regular basis to ensure they are still appropriate and achievable in the context of the rest of the team member’s responsibilities. That way, goals can be adjusted at the time they need to be, not just once a year. This will ensure the goal is still S.M.A.R.T. and connected to the employee’s own sense of achievement and development.

Provide ongoing development opportunities

In some organisations, team member development is only addressed once, maybe twice a year. To properly manage year round performance, the year round development of the individual needs to be at the forefront of the manager’s mind.

To ensure team members are consistently developing, they need to be given the opportunity to pursue new skills and hone existing ones at regular intervals throughout the year. By providing regular opportunities for personal development, one-on-one coaching and feedback throughout the year, managers are facilitating this growth pattern on a consistent basis, not just sporadically when a need for training presents itself in a problem situation.

Hold more frequent review meetings

By only conducting reviews once per year, you are sending a tacit message to your team members that you are only interested in their performance at that particular time of year. While this may not be the message you intend, it encourages the troughs in performance that you are trying to avoid at slow times of year, such as just before a holiday break.

More frequent review meetings have the benefit of dealing with ‘fresher’ information, facilitating a more open and relevant conversation between managers and team member’s based on behaviour and performance closer to the real time it occurred.

While many managers and team members will be resistant to the idea of more frequent meetings, the key to overcoming this stumbling block lies in the way the meetings are recorded. By reducing paperwork and streamlining the process, the goal of a quarterly review can be more easily completed and the results filtered back into the development of the team member, as opposed to getting stuck in laborious processes and approval pipelines.

Looking for more detail on why regular one-on-one meetings are so important to a well-functioning team? Click through to our longer piece One-on-one Meetings to read more about why they are imperative to both managers and team members.

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Future Leaders: The Generation Y Workforce

We hear a lot about them in different sectors, from the social, through to the real estate market and especially in the workplace. The millennial generation, also referred to as Generation Y, is the latest emerging group of employees. Generally born between 1980 and 2000 (a disputed time line between some researchers), those belonging to this often contentious group are facing a workforce that is vastly different to their predecessors. Not only is it different because of the industries, technologies and fields that are advancing and retreating, it is different for its perception of what leadership is and how to best foster it within an upcoming workforce that is more mobile and looking for the same mobility in their work.

Within Deloitte’s latest Millennial Survey titled ‘Winning over the next generation of leaders’, the survey unearths information pivotal for anyone who is hiring millennials, working with millennials or promoting millennials.

One key element the report shines a light on is that, in general, millennials ‘express little loyalty to their current employers and many are planning near-term exits.’ Whereas previous generations followed a much more secure path from education through to long-term employment, millennials are more short-term focused, choosing their next move with what could be categorised as a ‘one foot in the door, one foot out’ type of attitude. But is it as simple as looking at millennials and categorising them as short-term workers? Or alternatively, do we all need to take a step back to look at how the workplace is geared to support the growth of the next generation of potential leaders and innovators?

In a fast approaching future where millennials will represent the largest segment of the workforce, the challenge of attracting and maintaining a solid workforce has perhaps never been more difficult. As Deloitte’s survey revealed, of the nearly 7,700 millennials surveyed in 29 countries around the world, nearly a quarter of them would be looking to leave their position in a year. That figure increases to 44% when the timeframe is extended out to two years.

In terms of fostering leadership paths and leaders, these figures leave much to be desired in terms of strong retention of millennial staff. If Gen Y are to be the future leaders of both existing and not yet conceived industries, forward thinking organisations need to be strategizing now about how to gain their attention and maintain it beyond the pivotal two year mark indicated by Deloitte’s research.

So, how do employers start to look at this ‘loyalty challenge’ as an opportunity to best utilise their millennial staff instead of a short coming of an entire generation of skills workers?

The report points to some confronting numbers regarding millennials, even if they have reached leadership positions. Of those surveyed, millennials in senior positions express their intention to leave their organisations relatively soon. In the current survey, approximately 1 in 5 respondents were either the head of a department or division, or have a position within the senior management team. This tells us that the issue with retention isn’t necessarily that the opportunities for advancement aren’t there, but must lie at a different origin for many millennials who are leaders in their industries.

Within our annual L.E.A.D Survey, we find that salary is still a fairly strong retention point of difference for many employers, managers and employees. However, is this translating at the same level for the upcoming millennial workforce? According to Deloitte’s research, millennials are less impressed by a business’ scale, age or its ‘buzz’ achievements. Instead, millennials are focusing more on ‘positive energy’ around a business – what does it contribute to the world, how does it align with their values, and what are they aspiring to achieve.

In short, the report points to the fact that millennials are less likely to wish to stay or lead in an organisation that doesn’t support their values or doesn’t make active choices to support them as an individual within the organisation.

Millennials want to contribute to the positive impact they believe business has on a society, but in doing so they wish to hold onto their own beliefs while achieving those of the organisation. Knowing this, current leaders can start to initiate change in their organisation to support these desires of their millennial team members and leaders. Further proof of this is shown here regarding millennials and the beliefs they hold.

So, how can employer’s best facilitate the right environment for Gen Y to be leaders themselves? A few key suggestions may be:

  • Focus on team building to foster greater loyalty

While many millennials will still feel loyalty towards an organisation, increasingly more are reporting loyalty as a result of being in a team that is productive and like-minded. There is a greater responsibility than ever for team leaders and department heads to consciously and proactively develop and maintain team cohesion. By using this to your advantage and focusing on building strong teams with enhanced interdepartmental interaction, you will be encouraging bonds to be made that are focused on group achievement and team directed innovation.

  • Encourage a mentoring program amongst millennial staff

Mentoring doesn’t have to necessarily be between staff of different generations, it also has a place between millennial team members. For the mentor, the opportunity to demonstrate their values as they see them operate within the organisation will solidify their own position and reasons for remaining loyal to their team and mentee. For the mentee, they will have a light of influence to look to who can directly relate to their perspective and ideals, but can also facilitate the alignment of these values alongside those of the organisation.

  • Demonstrate the organisation’s values in action

Millennials, particular those in more senior positions, are no longer just looking for that foot in the door. They are looking for purpose in their work and in the organisation they work for. Authenticity and the demonstration of this from their organisation is perhaps the greatest retention strategy for millennials in any industry. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk wherever and whenever you get the opportunity to.

LMR

Leaders versus Managers: Spot the Difference

As those in the business of developing managers and leaders, we talk to a lot of people who are in the throes of mastering many of the skills associated with being a manager and a leader. While many of the skills required cross over between the two, it is also imperative to take a step back and think on this important question: What makes a manager, a manager, and what makes a leader a leader?

While some people will definitely be both, there are some telling differences between managers and leaders that can set them apart in the eyes of those they report to and in the eyes of their teams.

Managers

By definition, managers have subordinates who report directly to them. Most managers will have a title that denotes a sense of automatic authority, normally of a more formal variety. In response to this formal arrangement of management, most managers will have people who work for them in response to a direct chain of command set by their workplace.

Normally, this type of management style results in working relationships that are largely transactional, in that the manager tells the subordinate what to do and the subordinate does the task, namely for an incentive (most likely a salary, as in common with most transactional forms of management).

Although normally based on this transactional style, good managers need to have a particular set of skills to be successful in their role.

  • They need to have strong organisational skills to balance their own workload alongside the tasks that can be best delegated to their team to improve operation efficiency.
  • They need to possess excellent communication skills to be able to successfully manage different personality types within their team and be able to combat issues as they arise.
  • They need to be process focused to ensure the time management for themselves and those around them is at optimum requirements to ensure peak productivity from everyone under their management.

Mastering these skills is imperative to the success of any manager.   Here are some examples of The 15 most common mistakes managers make.  However, the skills that make a manager a good manager do not necessarily all fit under the same skills that make a good leader.

Leaders

Leaders do not have subordinates, they have followers. And while many leaders will still have a ‘management’ title, the sense of authoritarian control is replaced by a different form management style that encourages results and performance at a whole different level.

When leaders want to lead they employ a different set of skills to accomplish their goals. They give up their authoritarian style of management and instead turn to a more transformational style of management based on relationships and connections.

They will appeal to those around them based on personal integrity and determination, not authority or power. Leaders will be able to rally those around them to a cause based on their own personal appeal and demonstration of honesty. Leaders with a lot of charisma find it easier to attract people to their cause. As part of their persuasion they offer more transformational incentives rather than transactional such as personal development.

They will be people focused and able to relate to those around them on a variety of levels. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be loud and gregarious to be everyone’s friend, rather they are able to employ skills such as asking questions and listening to make those around them feel heard.

They want to try new things and aim to get others involved in these developments. Leaders do not silo themselves away and work alone. Nor do they always play it safe to avoid confrontation or potential failure. Instead, they include others in their brainstorming and search for new approaches. They are problem solvers who appreciate the perspectives their team members can offer to assist with informed risk taking.

Can you spot the difference?

While this is in no way an exhaustive list of manager or leader attributes, it should give a clearer idea of what separates a manager from a leader with excellent managerial skills.

Instead of counting value according to a transactional style of management, leaders focus on what value they can assist to add to their team by setting good examples and acknowledging independent thought and good work ethic.

Instead of focusing on controlling the day-to-day actions of their teams, leaders focus on developing circles of influence based on their natural leadership qualities. If people outside your direct line of reporting are coming to you for advice or direction, you are demonstrating that you are a leader, not only a manager.

Influence and inspiration separate leaders from managers, not power and control. Like most things worth working for, becoming a leader can be a longer and more complicated road than clocking in and completing a set managerial task. However, the rewards of a more responsive and self-driven team, stronger internal relationships and a less authoritarian driven work environment is definitely worth the extra effort and skill honing.

Are you both a manager and a leader? What would your team say about you if you asked them to rate your leadership style? You can find out how you rate as a leader with Leadership Management Australia’s DIY Leadership Analysis. Take the analysis and learn more how you can improve your leadership style for the benefit of yourself and your team.

influencer

Top Tips to Becoming an Influencer

No matter your field, everyone wants to be heard and respected in their role. While many of us may aspire to be influential in our roles, most of us probably aren’t aware of what it takes to build the relationships that will enable us to reach that influential position in our organisation and industry.

As an influencer, those around you will look up to you for support, advice and direction. You will become a role model for younger members of your team who may be just starting out. You will be known as someone who can get the job done, while also putting their own spin on the work. To achieve this position in your industry, you need to be prepared to put in the hard work so you can respond to the pressures of being an influencer with clarity, honesty and flair.

What steps do you need to take to become a true influencer in your industry? The following are a few key steps to consider when you are ready to work towards this larger goal:

  • Make your presence known everywhere

First things first: try to be everywhere. This extends from being in the right place in the workplace at events and functions, right through to your presence online. Attend events where speakers and current influencers in your industry will be present. Write blogs on topics that are pertinent to your industry. Get into podcasts, interviews and prospective meetings with important clients.

By employing a hustling mindset to your approach, you will be well on your way to taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.

  • Think of your brand

Regardless of whether you are a sole trader or you are a larger organisation, it is becoming more pivotal to be able to stand out from the crowd. More often, highly positioned industry leaders are obtaining the status of influencer because they are thinking of themselves as more than the sum of their current or future positions. Instead, they are thinking of themselves as a brand.

This doesn’t necessarily mean having your own logo or vision statement that you broadcast upon meeting people. It means knowing what your values are as a professional and demonstrating these in everything you produce and engage with. It means having a sense of clarity and consistency in what you produce and how you go about doing it. Being your own brand is about embodying all the best parts of what you do and letting others know exactly what you value in your work and in your role.

  • Maintain your social presence

Whether you are social media savvy or completely lost in a sea of technological chatter, the power of social media looks like it is here to stay. Although it can seem like a time waster for many, social media is a platform that can add untold value to yourself as an industry leader.

If you use social media regularly and in the right way, you can tap into a network of people who share the same values as you and can bolster your own position with advice, support and even mentoring opportunities.

If you are on Facebook, join some authoritative groups that are popular in your industry. If you have a LinkedIn account, make sure it is updated regularly and you are contributing to conversations being initiated by those in your industry. To read more on the value of social media, read our previous post here.

  • Keep abreast of developments in your industry

No matter what stage of your career you are at, there is always something new and exciting to learn.

Self-education can be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal as a motivated industry leader. Make it a personal goal to remain at the forefront of new thinking in your industry. One way to do this is to make sure you are reading a lot of books related to the industry, along with some high quality motivational books to keep you on track.

Ask for recommendations from your colleagues, mentors and current industry leaders to point you in the right direction. They will be able to direct you towards pivotal material that changed their thinking or solidified important parts of their working habits that you can integrate into your own mindset and output.

  • Build on the relationships you have

Becoming an influencer often goes hand in hand with being an industry leader. It can take a lot of time, effort and self-motivation on your part to build on the relationships you already have to reach a point where you can call yourself an ‘industry leader’.

One of the key things to remember is that every industry is made up of one key defining element: people. If you wish to become an influencer in your industry, you need to remember that people are and most likely always will be the core of your business model.

Nurture the relationships you have with those around you. Seek out new ones with those of all levels of experience and expertise. Be open to new experiences and divergent opinions. By doing so, you are always growing as a person and as a professional. This trait of openness will ensure you are on the right path to becoming an influential force within your industry.