Category Archives: Better Leaders

Importance-of-Effective-Communication-and-Relationship-Development

Importance of Effective Communication and Relationship Development

Leadership roles vary considerably, with variances in titles, organisational structure, industry type, working environment and a myriad of other differences that exist in our workplace today.  However, even though the titles and position descriptions may vary widely, in reality there is one common denominator and responsibility for all leaders.  They all depend upon the fundamental need to work with and through other people.

Generally, leadership involves gaining commitment from those you lead so that they understand their part in the overall vision of the organisation and are committed to achieving its success.  Leadership involves the ability to communicate, to persuade, to encourage and to inspire people to take meaningful and productive actions.  Leadership involves developing trust through positive and open relationships.

Peter Drucker said, “Leadership is not rank, privilege, title or money.  It is responsibility”.  To achieve the best results with and through others, all leaders must be willing to take on the responsibility of developing effective communication and relationship development skills.  Leaders who develop these skills and work effectively with and through others, produce the most outstanding results.

The importance of effective communication across all levels and organisations has never been as profound as in today’s fast changing diverse and multicultural workplace.  Effective communication and relationship development is the lifeblood that flows through the organisation’s arteries keeping it functioning, healthy and alive.  The pace of modern business means that people are sending and receiving more messages, instructions and other types of communication than ever before.  People are also under greater pressure to understand and implement new processes and changes whilst being expected to fulfil higher standards.  At the same time team structures are changing frequently, requiring new team member to be brought up to speed as quickly as possible and new relations developed for optimum performance. Customer relationships can also be made or broken by communication.

You and other members of your team and organisation share a unique relationship based upon common goals for the organisation.  Effective communication binds all of the members of these complex relationships together enabling everyone in the team to achieve the desired outcomes.

Constructive communication and persuasion saves time and effort, encourages co-operation and reduces stress.  Developing these kills enables you as a leader to prevent difficult situations, communicate team goals, foster self-esteem, generate mutual respect and enrich the relations that underpin a positive working environment conducive to high performance.  In other words, good communication and relationships improve the productivity and performance of the team.

On a personal level, communication is the first interaction when meeting new people.  It builds and maintains relationships.  In fact, the quality of communication is typically the underlying reason for all relationships succeeding or failing.  Communication is the glue that binds friendships together and fosters caring family relationships.

The fact that organisations require effective communication skills from all leaders and managers cannot be over emphasised. 

Everything they do involves effective written and verbal communication with others at all levels within the organisation to achieve a number of primary objectives:

  • To gather information
  • To impart information
  • To provide instruction
  • To provide data throughout the various levels of the organisation
  • To provide feedback
  • To praise and discipline
  • To train
  • To control
  • To enable emotional expression
  • To engage, empower and motivate

As a leader consider the impact your communication has on the relationships within your team.  Engaging and motivating your people to perform at their best requires meaningful communication.  However, the first step in developing effective meaningful communication is to understand that it is a two-way street and, as the leader, you must be sensitive to and aware of other’s needs and perspectives.  Too often, average leaders adopt the approach that “people need to do what I say as that’s my role”.  In today’s world, where employees are volunteers, they choose to work within organisations where they are both wanted and appreciated, that old school attitude barely achieves average results.

Successful leaders of today are sensitive to the needs of their people, understand what motivates them and use their communication skills to align the needs to their team member’s goals with the goals of the team.  They know the value of building respectful and positive relationships.

During the September to December 2018 quarter, The Leading Edge will provide tips and ideas on how our readers can develop their leadership through improved communication and relationship development.

I encourage all leaders to set a goal to commit themselves to improve their communication skills and build stronger and more positive relationships at all levels.      

Grant Sexton
Founder and Chairman

LMA-and-LMI-FINAL

Building Real Leadership – That Works | Breakfast Seminar

When it comes to leadership – what used to work before, simply isn’t working now and certainly won’t work in the future.

Following on from his international 2015 – 2016 presentation tour “Broken Leadership”, Randy Slechta, CEO of Leadership Management International (LMI) will present the next chapter in the evolving changes in organisational leadership capabilities – that work.

One of the world’s foremost authorities on leadership, Randy will draw on, and share, leading international and local research to provide attendees with insights into:

  • Why most current leadership practices are faltering and / or failing
  • Creating a new Real Leadership culture and mindset to capitalise on current and future changes and opportunities
  • Ensuring the success of young and first time leaders – your leaders of the future
  • How to capitalise on individual and organisational capabilities
  • Developing agility, adaptability, resilience and creativity across the organisation to seize tomorrow’s opportunities
    today.

As an accomplished international speaker and CEO of LMI, Randy regularly addresses and meets with business and political leaders worldwide to develop strategies to capitalise on current and future business trends.

Click the links below to book online now and access a special discount for LMA clients and Participants.

Melbourne: 29 October  |  Brisbane: 30 October  |  Sydney: 31 October

More Information on the speaker – Randy Slechta

7:15 am registration for a 7:30 am start and finishing at 9:45 am 

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About Randy Slechta – International speaker and CEO of Leadership
Management International (LMI)

Since becoming CEO, Randy has led LMI to 20 years of double digit sales growth and worldwide expansion, to where it now has representatives in over 70 countries and its programs are marketed in 25 different languages.

Randy has degrees in Psychology and Business. He is also a best-selling co-author of The 5 Pillars of Leadership with LMI’s founder Mr Paul J Meyer which has already been translated into 8 languages.

About LMA

Leadership Management Australia (LMA) has been creating exceptional results through people for over 45 years.

LMA is an Australasian business that works with organisations to boost their bottom line by developing the leadership of their key people and improving their employees’ performance and productivity. Our courses have already enhanced the leadership skills, team dynamics, performance, productivity and sales skills of over 130,000 people from thousands of organisations across Australia and New Zealand.

About LMI

LMI’s mission is to develop leaders and organizations to maximise their full potential, whether it be on a personal, family, or organizational level. Backed by over 50 years of global experience,
they offer a number of products and services supported by a proven system that can make a measurable impact on both individual and company performance, as well as the profitability of your business.

Their products and services are accessible in more than 25 languages, and they rely on independent representatives to make them available in over 70 countries.

LMI

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Tips to Help Leaders Understand their Impact on Others

American author and management expert Kenneth Blanchard once stated: “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” The best leaders are those who understand how they influence others and are able to manage that effect strategically.

The goal of any leader should be to affect people in a positive way for the betterment of the organisation. A really good leader needs to understand how their behaviour and their leadership style affect others and learn how to deploy both to get the best out of their team.

Understanding the effect you have on others is a kind of emotional intelligence. A good leader should view emotions as a useful source of information to help one make sense of and negotiate interactions with others. Leaders who can use their own and others’ emotions to navigate an organisation’s social environment are going to be more powerful than those who are “out of touch” with social cues.

Let’s have a look at some traits of leaders who understand their impact on others. These people tend to:

  • Ask for feedback on what they can do help their team succeed
  • Regularly and comfortably engage with team members in both professional and casual situations
  • Check in with the team to assess culture and morale
  • Spend effective time with team members teaching, listening and learning
  • Understand the strengths of individual team members
  • Willingly and regularly provide feedback and mentoring
  • Be aware of how their emotional state affects others
  • Maintain their composure and be able to manage negative or emotional situations
  • Proactively seek communication
  • Admit mistakes and show humility
  • Comfortably engage staff in social situations

Time and place

Differences in behavioural style mean that some leaders will be more effective in some situations than others. The best leaders understand their own behavioural styles and work traits and are aware of the situations best suited to their tendencies. That means they are able to tailor workplace situations to suit their management style so as to get the best results from their team.

Know your people

The best leaders understand that no two people are the same. Everyone likes to work and communicate in different ways and the best leaders almost instinctively understand this and tailor their communication and management styles to best suit the person they’re interacting with.

Knowing employees’ work and communication preferences, understanding how they prefer to be managed and how they respond to authority, enables the best leaders to shift how they manage rather than forcing their employees to change to suit management.

Test your people

Consider having your HR team do some psychometric testing across your organisation or within specific teams. This kind of testing can help team members understand their own and each other’s working traits and preferences. For leaders, understanding how your team members prefer to work can offer invaluable insights into how to manage them to get the best out of them.  Profiles International Australia provides The Profiles Performance Indicator™ – a DISC-type assessment that reveals aspects of an individual’s personality that could impact their fit with their manager, coworkers and team as well as their job performance. An extremely powerful tool for motivating and coaching employees and resolving post-hire conflict and performance issues.

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L.E.A.D Survey 2018

Following the Leaders or Leading the Followers

Developing Effective Leadership in the 21st Century

New information to help leaders understand what is expected of them in their roles and how best to identify and develop future leaders with confidence and success.

The Whitepaper delves into the most profound issues to emerge from this wave of the L.E.A.D. Survey, issues that implore leaders and managers to invest the necessary time and energy to understand and leverage the leadership potential that exists within their organisations.

Download the L.E.A.D. Whitepaper to view the issues, needs and expectations of over 4,000 employees, managers and business leaders.

Use the form above to download this handy resource, feel free to share it on social media.

Back to LMA library

Spotlight-on-an-LMA-Graduate-–-Christian-Gibbs,-AKD-Softwoods

Spotlight on an LMA Graduate – Christian Gibbs, AKD Softwoods

There are many people being promoted into management roles each year, and the transition from successful employee to successful manager is a difficult one, requiring a completely different skill set. Many are set up to fail by not receiving adequate training but Christian Gibbs and AKD Softwoods in Queensland provide a perfect example of management development that works.

Christian had been in supervisory roles for many years due to his experience in technical roles within the Sawmilling Industry, however he had never received any training or development opportunities in either leadership or his own personal efficiency. He completed the course “The Performance Edge” as part of a broader professional development plan in 2018.

In his role as the Greenmill & Sawshop Supervisor for AKD Softwoods Queensland, Christian oversees the Greenmill and Sawshop staff. The company processes logs and produces mainly structural timber for house framing.

When Christian started the course he found the content familiar but the delivery and application extremely powerful, he said, “The content that is delivered can be broadly described as something we’ve all encountered in one format or another before. However, the beauty of what LMA provides is the format of the delivery and the environment that they foster with the participants. The facilitators and support staff are driving you to really be honest with yourself, and actually implement the tools which are available to us. I found LMA to be a much more interactive experience, rather than the traditional method of education, where someone talks at you.”

The course had a strong impact on Christian due to the unique delivery and interactive experience and he feels that he has grown as a leader and also as a productive person, with increased personal efficiency which has given him the time to be a more productive leader.

The Time Analysis tool, where participants are encouraged to dissect and analyse the use of their time during a work week, was the real turning point for Christian’s performance and the overall performance of his team as it made him realise the value of his time, and the time of his team. As a result, he began challenging some of the tasks that they were performing which were about providing information or which were simply done because that’s what they had always done. As a result Christian was able to reduce his hours of work from approximately 82 hours per week, which was a lot of time spent working at home after hours, down to the current level of 50 hours per week.

 “Previously I was caught up in the fact that I was just so busy. In reality, I was inefficient with my time, and working on too many projects at once, with a low completion rate. Being as “busy” as I was, I wasn’t spending the time with my team and understanding their challenges and motivating factors,” he said.

“My base team has seen increased productivity and improved morale, as a by-product of my increased interaction with the team and high level of focus on their wellbeing. We have been able to effectively implement regular performance reviews for the entire team, which has given us an opportunity to really understand what our team members want from the workplace, and where possible to be able to accommodate and develop them professionally as well, whether in the form of more training or simply sharing of operational information which they would of otherwise not been privy to. “

The results have spread further within the company as they prompted the rest of the team to assess some of the tasks they were doing, and the method of how they were structuring their work day. Christian’s team members were able to adopt some of the practices and tools he had implemented as a result of what he’d learnt with LMA. The end result is that the whole team are all far more effective and productive in their roles, with the team realising the results of our productivity.

Recently, the Team Leader in Christian’s team, Dan Wall, has commenced the Success Strategies for Team Leaders & Supervisors course. As his supervisor, Christian now has the chance to act as a Mentor for Dan and is already seeing Dan starting to make the connection with some of the actions and tools Christian previously implemented, and the change in mindset which he’s been using to lift the morale of both our Leadership Team and also their Crew on the floor.

“With Dan undertaking his course with LMA, it is continuing to build on the improvements we have realised as a result of my course completion, and it is capitalising on Dan’s differing viewpoint. He is considering angles which hadn’t occurred to me, and further enhancing our productivity and effectiveness, whilst continuing to really build and nurture the culture of our workplace.“

Discussing his LMA experience, the two main highlights for Christian was the exposure to the other course participants and the terrific facilitator, Nikki Watson. “What I appreciated most about her as a facilitator was her ability to push past the normal “excuses” and really get us to challenge ourselves to take an honest look at the situation and make a decision on actionable steps, rather than excuses about why we can’t complete that task.”

Many of our graduates reference the experience with other Participants as one of the highlights of their course experience as they benefit from the exposure to other people, who are facing the same or similar challenges in different environments. Christian said, “The really satisfying part of the interactions with other participants, was being able to watch them develop as people, and hearing about the win’s they had achieved that week. Being in an environment where you are surrounded by likeminded people, whom are all able to encourage and offer advice on how to capitalise on the journey we were all undertaking, was something really special.”

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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!”

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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.”

 

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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.”

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The best way to achieve success in 2018

How can you achieve success in 2018?

One of the best ways to achieve success is to develop your own self-confidence!  Start every activity in 2018 without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat.  Concentrate on your strengths rather than your weaknesses; on your powers rather than your problems and on your opportunities rather than your obstacles.

To develop supreme confidence in yourself and your ability to succeed, identify your goals for the year in all areas of life and then outline clear plans of action for each of them.  Nothing gives you more confidence than having clear-cut knowledge of the actions you plan to take and the order in which to take them.  The mere existence of a written plan of action contributes immeasurably to your self-assurance and self-confidence.  The most important source of self-confidence is knowing that you can take the actions and make the necessary internal changes that are needed for your goals to become reality.

Confidence in yourself enables you to deal honestly with your shortcomings and compels you to consistently make corrections.  Confidence comes from experience. Experience comes from know-how.  Know-how comes from having the courage to submit yourself to obstacles, situations and circumstances from which the average person shies away.

Self-confidence stimulates your creative imagination.  No matter what you undertake, you will never do it until you think you can.  You will never master it until you have the confidence in yourself to act first in your own mind.  Anything you undertake must be mentally accomplished before it can be materially accomplished.

The primary element at the beginning of any goal, the one factor which will guarantee its success, is confidence in the beginning that it can be done.  The major difference between high achievement and failure is confidence – confidence builds your self-image.  You either succeed at failure or you succeed at success.  Both of these results are outward expressions of the attitude you hold toward them.  You can either think lack or abundance, poverty or plenty, obstacles or opportunities.  The choice is yours!

The degree of success you achieve in 2018 will be governed by your level of self-confidence and the degree of determination you apply to achieving your goals.  Every time you say to yourself, “I can do it, and I will do it,” you are strengthening your determination and reinforcing your positive self- image.  You are forming a habit of thinking which will manifest itself in behaviour that generates success.  You begin to look for ways that things can be done instead of looking for reasons why they can’t be done.

Determine to be successful in all areas of your life in 2018 by developing your confidence and taking control over your future! An LMA course could be a great first step – Click Here.

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Spotlight on LMA Graduate

Dwight D. Eisenhower once said “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because they want to do it.” LMA Graduate Michael Carnell is a walking testament to this, thanks in part to his professional development during LMA’s High Performance Management course.

Michael is both a Director at South Haven Group and its Director of Investment. In his role, he is responsible for South Haven’s investment strategy, acquisitions, management, disposals, investor relations and major negotiations. He has significant experience in all aspects of real estate investment, development, asset management, construction and business administration. He undertook LMA’s High Performance Management (HPM) course which commenced at Glen Iris in November 2016.

“I was the first person from South Haven to undertake a LMA course. Both the company and I were attracted to the HPM course as an opportunity to invest in a greater understanding of what it takes to be an outstanding leader in today’s corporate environment,” says Michael.

Throughout the course, his colleagues at South Haven were very interested in hearing what Michael was learning and understanding how they could apply these lessons to the betterment of the group and themselves.

South Haven Group is a privately-owned creator, investor and owner of quality properties. It focuses on delivering excellent outcomes for our tenants, investors and partners in all phases of the property investment, development and ownership cycle.

“The course reaffirmed that effective communication is the lifeblood that courses through an organisation’s veins and keeps it alive and functioning. It provided so many useful learnings and tools which I continue to implement and practice with particular focus on the importance of teamwork, communication, delegation and empowerment of others.”

“The combined benefit has been less stress coupled with increased productivity, time to listen, lead and strategise,” according to Michael.