All posts by LMA1

Finalising Productivity for the E.O.F.Y – Grant Sexton

Being only a couple of months out from the end of financial year (EOFY), now is the time to be prepared. During this time we know your business is already under the pump, but it is important to be on top of everything so that, when the time does come to get your affairs in order, you’ll be prepared. Over the next 3 months LMA will be exploring the different aspects to productivity and preparing for the end of the financial year.  We hope these newsletters will help you get prepared for EOFY, and run you through a few things to keep in mind in the lead-up to EOFY.

It’s a key step for a business to remain on top of this critical time of year. It’s time for renewal, a fresh start and revisiting old goals to set or adjust new ones. Making small steps now can bring up potential problems, allowing your business to be on top of these issues before they arise.

Grant Sexton – Founder and Director

Planning for New Financial Year – Grant Sexton

With the new financial year approaching, many businesses are inundated with tasks to bring the year to a close, ranging from complying with tax obligations to meeting sales targets. However, it can also be an ideal time for businesses to take stock and strategically prepare for a successful year ahead.

There is always pressure on businesses to reduce costs and be more efficient. By taking a strategic approach to planning for the new financial year, these businesses can make sure they are in the best position to do this in the right way.

Grant Sexton – Founder and Director

 

Lead the way with Productivity

FOCUS & LEAD BY EXAMPLE

As Leaders we have the opportunity to set the standard for improved personal productivity by leading by example in our attitudes, actions and communications.  However the challenge is to remain focused amidst all the distractions of the day to day workplace.  When you are focused on the organisation’s direction and the performance goals of your overall team, you are able to identify priorities across your department.  You can then determine the High Payoff Activities (HPA’s) that will help you and the others achieve their priorities and goals.

FOCUS ON HIGH PAYOFF ACTIVITIES (HPA’S)

The quickest and most effective way to increase productivity is to spend time and effort on the activities that create the highest payoff and advance you towards the important goals – your HPA’s.  Pareto’s principle states that 80 percent of our results are achieved through 20 percent of our activities.  The remaining 80 percent of our activities produce 20 percent of our results.  Ensure that you have identified your HPA’s and focus your time on the work that really matters.  Otherwise you may be consumed by trivial activities and details.  As a leader you may be spending time completing tasks or solving problems that can be completed or solved by others.

EMPOWER, DELEGATE AND TRAIN

Empower, delegate and train others to complete tasks that are not your priority and to solve their own problems rather than constantly bringing them to you.  This approach saves you valuable time and gives others the opportunity to develop their own skills.  In the process you will increase their confidence, engagement and sense of ownership when it comes to new tasks, problem solving and the results that they achieve.  Also, as the leader, help others in your team to identify and spend their time on their own HPA’s to improve their productivity.

GET STARTED

There are 2 reasons that account for failure to achieve goals, or to accomplish important jobs or tasks.   People either never START or they never FINISH.

Begin on the important work and continue without relying on the emotion of “Feeling like doing it”.    Getting started is often the most difficult part of the project.  Some people put off getting started as they are waiting to have all of the information and resources available or waiting for the right time to start.  In some cases you may never have all the information and some jobs may never be easy, now or at a later date.  Develop a step by step plan of action by breaking the project down into more manageable logical smaller action steps to achieve at each stage.  As you start achieving each of these steps in a systematic method, you will be able to tick them off and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that enables you to complete the project.

EXERCISE SELF DISCIPLINE

Self-discipline enables leaders to stay focused on the task and work through until it’s completed.  Once you establish your priorities, avoid all distractions or interruptions that sway your focus and concentration from the completion of the task.

Discipline yourself to give the tasks only the amount of time and effort they really deserve from you.  Otherwise delegate them to other appropriate team members.  As a leader, either of these actions will require thoughtful evaluation and consideration as well as the application of strong leadership self-discipline.

ENGAGE YOUR PLANNING SKILLS AND PERSISTENCE. 

As leaders, careful planning and goal setting, combined with our determination to succeed, are vital to ensuring that we maintain and improve our own personal productivity.  This combination of factors enables us to be persistent.

Persistence is always a major characteristic of successful individuals and leaders.   Many people eagerly take on new jobs, new responsibilities or new assignments starting with a great splash of enthusiasm, excitement and progress.  However, they soon lose momentum and focus, never completely finishing the job.  In contrast, productive people set definite goals and priorities, plan carefully and then focus and concentrate their attention on what is required to complete the goal.  Persistent leaders keep their goals in mind and work tenaciously towards achieving them.  Your persistence will also become an important characteristic to model for your team. 

STRIVE FOR RESULTS NOT PERFECTION

For many leaders an over emphasis on perfection can lead to negative outcomes.  Productive people decide what’s important and what’s not.  They set aside a reasonable amount of time to accomplish a specific task and stick to their deadlines.  They are also conscious of the standards and quality factors required.

Even on genuinely significant projects, truly productive individuals strive for results, not 100 percent perfection.  Effective leaders recognise that some tasks are simply not important enough to require their time or effort.  When you focus on improving your own productivity through focusing on priorities, delegating, getting started, exercising self-discipline and demonstrating persistence, you role model the behaviours that you want your team members to emulate and copy.

Leading by example and improving your own personal product performance and productivity is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that your individual team members and the team as a whole becomes more focused and more productive.

The majority of our readers enjoy either an informal or formal leadership role.  However, every single leadership role is unique.  Titles given to leaders vary substantially and the responsibilities vary from department to department and organisation to organisation.   But, no matter how different the title, the job description or the nature of the product or service of the organisation, all leaders have one important common responsibility.  They are all responsible for achieving certain results, performance and productivity with and through other people.  It’s the leader’s role to harness the unique potential of those they lead to bring about exceptional results and achieve the team and organisational goals.

Leadership goes beyond management.  Genuine leadership involves gaining engagement and commitment from those you lead so they, like you, understand and willingly play their part in the overall purpose and success of the organisation.  Leadership involves the ability to communicate, to enable and to empower people to take meaningful and productive actions.  Leadership is the ability to take others to new heights.

Successful leaders recognise that the outcomes they achieve are determined by the quality of their leadership, the clarity of their communication and the strength of their relationships.  Leaders who develop their skills in these areas the most, achieve the highest productivity and produce the most outstanding results.  However, most leaders are focused on and concerned about improving two different kinds of productivity and results.  Their own personal performance, productivity and results as well as the performance, productivity and results of their team.

Although these two areas of focus may at first seem unrelated, in a practical sense, personal and team productivity are intertwined, synergistic and cannot be separated.  A leader must demonstrate and model the attitudes and behaviours that he or she expects others in the team to follow.  These team members’ attitudes, behaviours and activities determine the success of the team.  By developing the correct attitudes and behaviours in each person, the overall team productivity and results will grow.

Over the next 12 months, our communications will be focused on providing insights and valuable suggestions for developing leadership skills, improving results and achieving greater success.

In each calendar quarter we will focus on one particular aspect of developing personal and team success. 

July – Productivity

August to October – Communications and Relationships

November to January – Continuous Improvement

February to April – Culture

May to July – Leadership

At LMA we are totally committed to providing you with valuable information and insights that you can translate into actions and activities in the workplace to achieve greater results and success.

Spotlight on an LMA Graduate – Sue O’Rourke, Flourish Australia

Building her ‘slight edge’ was clearly not enough for Sue O’Rourke as she returns to fine tune her sales skills in 2018 with LMA.

Sue complete her first course with LMA last year – The Performance Edge – and instantly saw the improvements to her productivity and planning.  Sue says, “So many of the LMA tools have helped me on a day-to-day basis improve my use of time –  I use discussion planners for key people I need to share info with, I use my diary so much more effectively now dividing tasks into important/imperative. So many other things!”

“Continuous reflection about whether I am working on a High Payoff Activity, whether tasks could be delegated and implementing strategies to reduce interruptions,” she adds.

Flourish Australia, a charity that supports people with the lived experience of mental health issue, saw the improvement in Sue’s management of one of Flourish Australia’s social enterprises, Figtree Conference Centre, and signed her up for The Sales Edge program in 2018.

Sue’s experience as a mental health worker plus her experience managing her own business assisted her managing the tension between the two goals of the business; financial sustainability given high wages due to lower productivity and supporting our employees with their wellness and transitioning them to open employment. However, the Sales Edge program is helping her build on the sales and growth of the enterprise.

“As a result of what I learned during The Performance Edge in regards to productivity and the sales skills I have fine-tuned in The Sales Edge, I have achieved so many Win / Win goals – purchasing new venue management software to more efficiently handle quoting and venue enquiries and better CRM input. Improved financial reporting was a Win/Win goal I have achieved, as was sending out quarterly newsletters to customers.”

And where to from here for Sue? “My manager had previously done TPE with LMA, hence his suggestion I do it. I have since enrolled the supervisor in our venue in the Success Strategies for Team Leaders and Supervisors (SSTLS) course. So LMA language and tools are becoming part of Flourish Australia.

And…LMA have become my customer. They now run many courses out of Figtree Conference Centre in Sydney Olympic Park. Definitely a Win/Win!”

Spotlight on a Manager/Mentor – Jim Mildren – Boral

Jim Mildren from Boral has worked with LMA over many years mentoring many of Boral’s operational staff through our LMA courses. If you’re looking for someone with great mentoring experience, Jim is your man!

As the Concrete Operations Manager – Country North for Boral Construction Materials.  Jim is responsible for concrete production in Cairns, the Tablelands, Townsville, Mount Isa, Weipa. In total, Jim’s area employs 53 staff in total, including 4 direct reports.

“The people I’ve mentored with through LMA have generally been direct reports.  I’ve tried to be a guide and sounding board rather than taking a directive approach as I’ve found that people get a lot from the course when they assess their own attitudes and make their own decisions.”

Jim’s experience mentoring people was generally focused on the Challenge of leadership course. Quite a few front line staff from his organisation have completed LMA programs after his encouragement.  Jim believes LMA courses gives his staff a good grounding in people management skills, but more importantly it teaches people to critically evaluate their own performance and to make improvement plans for themselves.

All of our participants have been able to make improvements to their businesses that more than paid for the cost of the course.  In addition to that we receive the intangible benefits that a more confident manager is able to provide.  I find that my people are more likely to let me know about a solution than a problem.

Jim feels that the best part of the experience is the satisfaction of helping someone get closer to their potential and has witnessed this first-hand time and time again with LMA Participants. 
We tend to have people come through the ranks to our front line management positions and it is a great feeling to be able to assist someone to transition from a hands-on role into a position of responsibility,” he says.

After seeing the benefit Jim’s mentee’s received, Jim decided to enroll in his first LMA course, the Effective Personal Leadership program which focuses on developing personal motivation, emotional intelligence and self-image to improve how you perform, respond and lead. Jim is eager to embrace this new challenge, “It has been some time since I participated in formal study so this is an exciting opportunity for me.”

 

Coping with Change in the Workplace

Change, and our ability to make it work for us rather than against us, has become a defining characteristic of successful individuals, teams, departments and organisations.

Our ability to cope with change has been forced to strengthen, as change has become the very essence of a thriving organisation. Despite knowing all this, change is still often greeted with fear and avoidance. Why? We fear change at work for a variety of valid reasons. Many of these fears are associated with a fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of criticism, but more often than not, fear of the unknown.

The existence of change is inevitable and necessary, and isn’t going to go away by simply ignoring the issues as they arise. Instead, by being prepared to take on the many changes that can present themselves along the way, everyone in the organisation can learn to overcome the fear and embrace the changes ahead with positivity and intention.

For the forward-thinking leader or manager who seeks to make the most of the future, change is the vital ingredient that must be present, welcomed and nurtured. Below are a few suggestions on how to help your team tackle change better, and how you can lead them through change with skill and prowess.

Recognise that change does happen and it has a purpose

The first thing to address is the attitude toward the presence of change. Renewal and growth through change has meant employees and leaders at all levels of organisations have become accustomed to change in the form of restructuring, reinvention, decentralisation, centralisation, the creation of multi-disciplinary teams, and forms of flexible work practices.

Whether it be a staff reshuffle, a merger or a budget dilemma, there is nothing to be gained in denying that the change is happening. Instead, by recognising the presence of the change, fear of the unknown is addressed in the early stages. By coming to terms with the situation, encouraging optimism around it and discussing the next step, change can be approached more positively, and in turn more productively.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

In a situation of organisational change, communication cannot be an afterthought. It has to be a core component of the steps toward incorporating the presence of change into future actions. Periods of change require an effort by everyone involved to be on the same page. Any communication gaps can immediately be filled by rumours and speculation, which create even more fear around the idea of change. If employees are given the opportunity to effectively communicate their fears to co-workers, leaders and managers within their organisation, their concerns can be better addressed and alleviated. Empathy can be the greatest communication tool you have.

Acknowledge that incorporating change happens in stages

Often change in the workplace can simulate the same stages as grief – shock, denial, anger and finally, acceptance. In order to reach the point of acceptance (and the end goal of moving forward) the previous stages will need to be progressed through, both individually and as a group. The progression from one stage to the next may not be a smooth one, nor may it happen at the same rate for everyone involved. Have an understanding of the stages that you and your team will need to progress through in order to reach the final positive position of acceptance. It will help you to have more empathy for those around you, and to be able to provide support when required.

Be flexible, be realistic

In essence change is about being flexible. By being inflexible with how you approach a changing situation, you are diminishing your chances of being able to cope with the end result of the change. Instead, your ingrained thinking patterns will be out of step with what the new situation requires and you will be left behind.

Take a good look at the requirements of the new situation. You may need to learn new skills, integrate different processes or redirect resources. Be honest with what is required and see the change as an opportunity to streamline and learn. Come up with a plan to deal with the change for yourself and for your team and begin executing it as soon as possible.

Remember that a change in organisational structure can also present a perfect opportunity to shake things up individually and at a team member level too. Incorporate feedback on individual staff members to encourage performance through the transition time, but keep your expectations within the parameters of what is possible.

See the bigger picture

Change is something that is definitely here to stay. The necessary approaches to tough times require new ways of thinking and an understanding of the importance of fluid thinking. Change can be frightening, disruptive and overwhelming. However, with the right attitude and a predetermined set of actions that can guide you and your team through, you can find the opportunity in any situation and learn to embrace change for what it is: possibility.

LMA Take LMA’s Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D) Survey to have your say about what changes most affect the modern workplace.

Industry Consultation Group launches in WA

We know that across Australia, there are many organisations which genuinely understand the importance of developing their people to achieve higher productivity and results. 

As one of Australia’s longest running training and development organisations over the last 45 years, Leadership Management Australia (LMA), in conjunction with Think Perform is fortunate to have many of these organisations as long-standing clients. 

Earlier this month we launched the Industry Consultation Group in WA to give our clients the opportunity to periodically meet with a group of like-minded professionals to share and discuss ideas and issues relating to their organisation and the development of their people.

Held in Perth over two days, the Industry Consultation Group outlined several purposes:

  1. To help develop and sustain a comprehensive understanding of the needs, wants and expectations of organisations seeking training and development support and services for their organisations.
  2. To help ensure current and emerging issues pertinent to the VET sector are voiced, debated and addressed to restore and rebuild the reputation of the industry.
  3. To help create solutions and enable products, services and experiences to be developed and delivered in line with what organisations and the professionals that determine their use require into the future.

More than 20 industry professionals attended the introduction sessions and spent a morning workshopping and discussing issues and trends. We’re excited by the possibilities that will flow through and from the Industry Consultation Group and are eagerly looking forward to engaging with participating organisations and professionals on a regular basis.

This initiative will be launching in other states over the coming weeks. If you would like to find out more about this initiative please contact us.

An Evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton

“In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting my guard down.”
Hillary Rodham Clinton

LMA is delighted to partner with The Growth Faculty in bringing Former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton to Australia and New Zealand for the very first time.

Limited Tickets – Book Now

Free from the constraints of running, Secretary Clinton will share the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules.

“From lawyer and activist, to first lady, senator, secretary of state and presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton’s extraordinary career and story of resilience is one that fascinates and inspires business leaders and people everywhere.”

Karen Beattie, Managing Director, The Growth Faculty

Enter LMA’s FREE Ticket Draw Here For Your Chance to Win a COMPLIMENTARY Ticket.

Don’t miss one incredible evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

BOOK AUCKLAND | BOOK MELBOURNE | BOOK SYDNEY

Auckland – 7th May 2018 | Melbourne – 10th May 2018 | Sydney – 11th May 2018

Hillary Rodham Clinton FREE Ticket Competition

Our competition is now CLOSED.

Winners:

Mel: Mahasen Ganhewa

Syd: John Stewart

If you encounter any issues or have further questions about the giveaway please click here.

Spotlight on an LMA Manager Mentor – Clinton Matthews, Alspec

Over the years Clinton Matthews has been an ideal client; one who understands the importance and value in developing his people, takes a hands-on approach in this process and is a strong advocate for what we do at LMA.

Having been a Manager Mentor for over 40 people through three different programs (Success Strategies for Team Leaders and Supervisors, High Performance Management and the Challenge of Leadership) spanning more than 12 years and three different companies, Clinton knows what he is talking about when he talks LMA.

Alspec is a leading national designer and distributer of aluminium systems for both residential and commercial applications, as the Operations Project Manager Clinton feels that the company has benefitted from the real-time, real-life application of the learnings in the workplace.

“Whilst the process provides benefit to tangible activities applied by the student it also assists myself greatly in identifying my employees’ strengths and weaknesses. The process enables me to better deploy and support them within an organisation so that the employee is able to reach their full potential,” says Clinton.

After initially introducing the LMA process into the Brisbane Operations, Alspec has since utilised LMA nationally for the development of its frontline leaders through the Challenge of Leadership program in that time. This approach has enabled them to standardise their language around leadership whilst providing a supported career path for their employees.

As a result of the training that he and his employees received, Alspec have been able to drive quick and significant changes within the organisation by not only changing the culture for the better but also by developing leaders that are able to become more productive and independent with decision making within the Operational environment.

Clinton highlights the improvements in the area of time management as a key outcome, he says, “Priority and Planning and identification of High Pay Off activities would fundamentally be the most beneficial components for not only myself but my supervisors within a distribution and production environment. I have found that most leaders within such a work environment lack sound skill sets in this area. The LMA process provides the correct tools and training to rectify such shortfalls.”

Talking to Clinton about the value of LMA, he highlights the personal value he gains as well as the professional value, he says, “Over the years I have found that I have had significant success by having the privilege of being able to train, coach and develop in excess of 40 employees in leadership roles. As a mentor I find that for the duration of the course I am able to better understand my leaders whilst building a stronger relationship with the individual as I support them through their personal development within the workplace. It is always rewarding to see junior leaders grow and be promoted within organisations.”