All posts by Emmpressit Dev

Santa has a sense of humour!

A man snuck down in the middle of the night to find Santa placing some pressies under the tree.  Taking advantage of the opportunity the man badgered Santa to grant him three wishes.

Agreeing reluctantly, the man thought about his first wish, and asked, “I would like one million dollars deposited into my bank account”.  And with a twinkle of Santa’s nose, Poof! it was done.

Next he wished for a red Ferrari, and Poof! it was in his driveway.

Then he asked for his final wish, “I wish I was loved by all.”  Poof! he turned into a giant box of chocolates!

Merry Christmas… and may all your wishes come true.



Craft a better workplace with LMA’s Increased Performance and Productivity tips.

The clock is ticking! With only a few more weeks left until EOFY, it’s time to make some positive changes for yourself, your team, and your workplace.  These outlined processes can help you to obtain Increased Performance and Productivity, impacting your business in new and exciting ways through the new financial year.

LMA’s tips to Increase Performance and Productivity:

  • Make the best use of the resources you have– most people harbour great ideas that can improve productivity. They’re just waiting to be asked to offer them. To drive performance and productivity, expect big things from people in terms of them offering up their ideas, improvements and changes.  These instincts from your team are often the perspective that is needed to make the workplace better. Look to make improvement conversations a regular feature of your interactions with the team.
  • Get to know your people better– work out what makes each person tick and how you can best tap into their needs and motivations to drive performance and productivity by spending quality time with them. Work hard to understand the needs of different generations and look to create an environment that encourages engagement and commitment at all levels, not just your own.
  • Lead everyone to focus on goal setting and High Payoff Activities (HPAs)– look to develop individual and team goals to drive performance and productivity. Build goal setting and goal reviewing activities into every aspect of your role, your department and the organisation as a whole. Make discussions about goals a regular feature of team meetings, work-in-progress discussions and toolbox meetings. Look for opportunities to celebrate the successful accomplishment of goals – be they big or small.  Additionally, develop an obsession with what LMA calls High Payoff Activities (HPAs), whereby you devote the bulk of your time to the key activities that generate the biggest return for you, your department and the organisation overall. Start the day with a plan and regularly check that you’re sticking to it. Regularly ask yourself “Is what I’m doing right now the best use of my time?” If you answer yes, keep doing it. If you answer no, stop and move onto something that delivers a higher payoff.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate– commit yourself to listening to your team more than talking to them. Make giving and receiving great feedback a key activity and look to communicate clearly and fully at all times. Recognise that communication is never-ending and unrelenting and is the lifeblood of effective managers. It must be developed, practised and honed to encourage personal and team performance and productivity.
  • Build the Wall, One ‘brick’ at a time– break big challenges and issues (walls) into smaller, more achievable tasks (bricks). Set about gaining momentum by completing a series of small steps on the way to achieving the big goal. Look to involve others at every step and take time to reflect on and celebrate the progress being made in order to drive further action.

As EOFY approaches, it is a good time to think about your impact on your business or workplace and how you might make positive changes. LMA offer a full breadth of courses that can give you the leadership edge in business.  Alternatively you can click here to contact us directly or call:  1800 333 270

When Did You Last Take Time Out to Balance Your ‘Work Life’ Scales?

What happens when work and family commitments collide? What gives? What prevails?

Over recent years, an increasing number of high profile public figures (including CEOs, MPs, sporting figures, celebrities and others) have elected to disengage from their daily activities to seek better balance or fulfil other commitments that have taken on greater significance in their lives – commitments often involving family, partners, children and friends.

The importance of balance in one’s life cannot be overstated. The adage, ‘all work and no play makes John a dull boy (or Jenny a dull girl)’ remains as relevant today as ever. But the notion of work-life balance is deeper than this simple saying suggests.

Balance provides the opportunity for individuals to analyse and review the extent to which they are a total person, a rounded individual, productive AND content.

An understanding organisation, an empathetic boss, a supportive co-worker – all are increasingly demonstrating that our workplace has changed forever in response to a very different view of work and what it means in our lives.

Stephen Covey, author of First Things First, offers these suggestions for balancing your life and work:

  • Spend less time on unimportant activities, no matter how urgent they may seem
  • Don’t be a deadline addict – someone who procrastinates until the last moment, but seems to thrive on the adrenaline rush they get when racing to the finish line. In this process they neglect important life roles.
  • Work effectively and plan to meet deadlines by doing the work at the proper time.
  • Consider what people will say about you on your 86th birthday. Then, decide what you want them to say.
  • Find ways to make the favourable description of your life come true.

LMA courses explore the importance of work in the context of other aspects of our lives through the ‘Total Person Concept’ – a visual expression of the multi-dimensional but highly integrated elements of our lives. Through a guided activity, participants are able to prioritise what’s important to them, identify where they are spending insufficient time or focus in one or more of the important aspects of their lives and set new goals to correct the imbalance.

Ultimately though, individuals must take charge of their own lives. It’s their choice whether or not to make work-life balance a priority for themselves.

Look out for the signs of a lack of balance in yourself, and your people, and be prepared to flex and provide support to meet the needs of those who are seeking greater balance in their lives.

Do Even The Best Leaders Have a Use-By Date?

True or False: The optimum period of leadership is stated to be between six and nine years.

Many of our best and most effective leaders have served for much shorter and indeed much longer terms at the top. So how long is too long for a leader to lead?

There is no true or false answer to a question like this. When the effectiveness of the leader is called into question through a lack of innovation or the appearance of stagnation, the writing starts to appear on the wall and it becomes the leader’s duty and responsibility to prepare and hand the reigns to a successor who can take up the charge.

However many leaders fail to recognise the early signs that their effectiveness has begun to wane and they need to move on and move out.

Current and aspiring leaders should recognise that they may well have a ‘Best Before’ date (perhaps even a Use-By date) and must be regularly checking that they are still palatable and effective in their role as a leader.

If you doubt your current leadership skill set – LMA can help! 
Click here to take our FREE DIY leadership analysis to gain some valuable information about your current leadership skills.  Additionally LMA has many leadership focused courses available here.

Lead by example – walk the talk AND walk the walk

All too often leaders say one thing and do another – and then in the same breath they ask their people to do as they say, not as they do. Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you’re walking the talk…

1) Clearly identify and document the attitudes and behaviours you desire and are prepared to model to the organisation – establish what walking the talk properly looks like.

2) Establish the situations and opportunities that exist for these attitudes and behaviours to be showcased and reinforced – maximise opportunities to walk the talk.

3) Take the time to plan communications, interactions and to make the most of opportunities that present themselves – be prepared and ready to walk the talk.

4) Document decisions and actions taken to enable ready reference at a later time to enhance consistency – keep good records of walking the talk to ensure consistency.

5) Don’t take the easiest way out or the way that ruffles the fewest feathers – be willing to walk the hard walk and talk the hard talk to get the desired outcome.

6) Fulfill your own expectations and promises and be true to your word through your actions – follow-up when you’ve walked the talk to make sure everything is as you’d like it.

Leading by example means reflecting on actions and behaviours and asking – “Are these the attitudes and behaviours I want my people to exhibit in order to achieve optimum results?”

LMA’s complimentary and confidential DIY Leadership Management Competency Analysis is a great tool to brush up on your current situation as a leader.  It can be found here.

Develop The Top Five Leadership Skills

National, state and local governments across Australia and New Zealand are currently being roundly criticised for a lack of proper leadership and direction. So what does it take to be a leader in this era?

What are we looking for in our leaders and why is true leadership in such heavy demand yet such short supply?

Complexity, globalisation, competition, technology, social media, regular media – so many dimensions of life place increasing pressure on leaders. In playing a leadership role, many struggle with the weight of expectation to be exemplars of attitudes and behaviours that are above reproach.

Many simply don’t grasp the full extent of true leadership – “the ART of getting someone else to do something you want done because they want to do it”. A leader’s role is clearly defined as determining the strategy, communicating the direction, building confidence and driving results for employees and business alike.

So with this in mind, consider the assessment from the Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D) Survey of the essential competencies leaders should have if they wish to successfully lead organisations and people:

Top five critical leadership competencies

  1. Communication skills
  2. Planning and organising
  3. Problem solving and decision-making
  4. Developing and coaching others
  5. Building relationships (external and internal)

Importantly, those further up the organisation (middle managers/supervisors, leaders/senior managers) held similar views in relation to the most important leadership competencies (although leaders placed greatest importance on Strategic Thinking as a core competency).

The critical focus on communication skills highlights why so much emphasis is placed on leader ‘performances’ – in the media, at Annual General Meetings, in company videos, in company presentations, and in the boardroom.

Only through effective communication can leaders hope to convey their messages about plans and directions, how they are problem solving and making decisions, how they are developing and coaching others and how they are building relationships – the other critical leadership competencies craved by those they hope to lead.

Today’s leader must be talented in a number of ways that go well beyond simply running the organisation from an ivory (or mahogany) tower and barking orders for the minions to follow. To attract and retain the talented personnel needed to be competitive and to generate efficiency and productivity at individual, team, department and organisational levels, they must be a true all-rounder and be willing to continue learning better ways to lead.

As the second most prominent area of current skills shortages in organisations across Australia and New Zealand (behind technical skills only), the pressure is on for leaders to acknowledge the need for them to grow and develop to fulfill the leadership expectations of their people – or risk losing them to leaders who can and do show true leadership.

If you doubt your current leadership skill set – LMA can help! 
Click here to take our FREE DIY leadership analysis to gain some valuable information about your current leadership skills.  Additionally LMA has many leadership focused courses available here.

Workplace Skill Shortages – Is Your Organisation Being Caught Short?

We’ve heard it all before… “can’t get the right people for the positions I need to fill”, “too many of the wrong type of person in the market”, “don’t have the resources to develop the people I have to fill these positions”.
But what is the real story when it comes to skills shortages in our workplaces?

The extent of the skills shortage problem is around two-thirds of organisational leaders, managers and employees can identify skills shortages in their own workplaces. That’s two in every three workplaces operating with a workforce that does not have the right mix of skills to function effectively!

So where are the skills shortages most prevalent?

Disturbingly, beyond the expected shortage in technical skills related to specific industries and sectors, two of the top six areas of skills shortage relate to leadership and management – two areas that are often under-resourced in terms of ongoing learning and development…and two areas that are often considered to be of secondary importance in the hunt for skilled personnel.

The message here is clear – organisations (and leaders and managers in particular) need to be investing in the growth and development of the people they already have as the primary strategy to deal with a shortage of skilled and highly effective people for their organisation. Through formal training, structured mentoring and coaching activities and through the creation of a learning environment, organisations can head off the talent war and continue to fund their leadership and management talent base to operate their organisations effectively.

Leaders and managers also need to examine their own skills and identify whether they are equipped to play these roles effectively in the ever-changing environment. If not, they should be looking to enhance their own skills through leadership and management training whilst targeting those around them who will provide for the next generations of leaders and managers.

If you doubt your current leadership skill set – LMA can help! 
Click here to take our FREE DIY Leadership Analysis to gain some valuable information about your current leadership skills.  Additionally LMA has many leadership focused courses available here.

Your job – love it or hate it? The word on job satisfaction in the workplace

Almost 60% of the workforce either hate their jobs or have a ho hum attitude to their work. The rest really love their work or gain satisfaction from it. What does this mean for today’s leaders and managers – especially when they exhibit similar views of their own job satisfaction?

One in six leaders (17%), managers (16%) and employees (16%) hate their jobs but have to earn a living according to the our L.E.A.D. (Leadership, Employment and Direction) Survey.

Nearly half the leaders and senior managers in organisations have a very neutral view of their jobs – 48% look for fulfillment in other parts of their lives or find their job OK but would prefer to be doing something else. A sizeable proportion of managers (39%) and employees (38%) also feel this way.

The results reveal that at the opposite end of the scale, over a third of managers (37%) and employees (37%) love their jobs and gain a great deal of satisfaction from the work they do. Even so, fewer leaders are positive about their jobs with only 28% of leaders feeling this way.

LMA’s CEO, Grant Sexton, said having so many people either hating or being ambivalent about their work was a contributing factor to Australasia’s languishing productivity.

“A predominant section of the workforce is performing at a level of personal productivity significantly below their capability,” he said.

Leaders’ dissatisfaction with their jobs appears to stem from a lack of work-life balance, difficulties associated with finding and retaining good staff and higher staff turnover. The pressures of people management weigh down on many and leave them feeling disillusioned.

Managers report many of the same concerns, particularly in relation to their own work-life balance and the dual pressures of finding and retaining the right people for their organisations.

“There are just too many with a ’ho hum’ attitude – too many people just going through the motions and dragging the chain… no wonder we still have 20 per cent of the workforce actively looking for a different role” he said.

Organisations firstly have to motivate and engage their leaders and managers. In turn, a leader or manager who is satisfied with their role in the organisation and their job will influence the engagement, morale, productivity and commitment of the greater workforce.

To help motivate and engage your leaders, managers and employees to measurably improve the performance and productivity of your organisation contact us today to speak with an LMA representative in your area.

Develop the Habit of Winning

“Everyone loves a winner”. However, being a winner doesn’t mean you have to be in first place at a sporting endeavour or achieve the ultimate heights in professional and financial successes. LMA’s definition of being a winner is achieving the goals that are important to you, so that you can be your own definition of success in your life.

At work we all have a choice.  To achieve and win at what we do or to let obstacles and circumstances stand in our way.  Choose to become a winner.

Winners approach life with the confident expectation that they can solve any problems that arises, turn difficult situations into positive advantages and achieve any realistic goal that is important to their success.  Winners have a positive expectancy and radiate the attitude of success.

Winners share some general attitudes that are basic to success. By practicing these attitudes, anyone can develop the habit of winning.

  • Think positively. Winners start each day looking for what can be done instead of worrying about what can’t be done.  Look for ways you can succeed rather than reasons why you can’t.   Hold positive expectancy and develop basic plans for overcoming any obstacle or challenge that you may encounter.
  • Plan and set S.M.A.R.T goals: By setting S.M.A.R.T goals and developing detailed plans and action steps for their accomplishments, winners can make positive progress every day towards a goal. When they meet roadblocks or obstacles they have a plan which accounts for these issues and has outcomes which help to react, work through and overcome them. Winners are confident of their success because they know that by following their plans they will achieve their goals.
  • Expect to succeed: A mindset of positive expectancy is always to the fore front in the mind of a winner.  Winners understand that their attitudes create self-fulfilling prophecies. The powerful goal setting activity of winners transforms their expectations into the realities of success in life.
  • Accept responsibility: Winners adopt an “above the line” attitude. They exercise initiative and do what is needed because they know that it is up to them personally to achieve their success in life. Winners acknowledge their mistakes and failures and learn from them. As a result they grow in their own personal strength and character.
  • Use your creative abilities.  Winners look for innovative new ways to improve their results.  We are all born with the ability to be creative and innovative.  Look for ways to do things better.  Cultivate your creativity, exercise it, and trust it.
  • Make a personal commitment to your goals.  Winners make commitments.  When you decide to achieve a goal, commit to it’s success immediately.  Stick to your purpose until your goal is realised.  Make a definite choice and then commit to following it.
  • Be willing to pay the price.  Winners don’t expect to get something for nothing.  They are willing to invest the time, effort, creativity and money necessary to achieve their goals.  Be prepared to do what it takes to become successful.

If you are looking to create some new goals with a winning attitude check out the 9 steps to goal setting with LMA.  Alternatively feel free to contact LMA for any further information. 1300 333 270.