Category Archives: Better Leaders


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.


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.


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.