Archive for November, 2010

BluePrint tip: Goal setting, one step at a time

November 25, 2010

We all know it is import to set goals to provide us with direction and purpose in our careers. Many of us however make the mistake of making our goals too big and we never actually reach them.

Remember success is counterintuitive. Re write your goals, taking one step at a time. Try making your goals 50 percent smaller, you will be surprised by the results and will be motivated to continue achieving.


7 tips for leaders as the year wraps up

November 23, 2010

Christmas is fast approaching and with that comes invitations to work Christmas parties and celebratory events. As a manager and leader, these events cannot be seen as a chance to go crazy, rather an opportunity to reinforce a culture of engagement says the HR Daily.

It is important to see end of year events as a springboard into the year ahead and realise that any out of the ordinary behaviour can damage future relationships. The HR Daily recommends that managers lower their risk by taking a leadership mentality into the party to show that you are an effective, open, responsible and caring manager.

The following seven tips were offered to help managers through the festive season:

1. Understand the guidelines and have a clear mind.

2. Set expectations for staff and deliver on them.

3. Show your commitment by turning up and engaging with staff.

4. Be a role model for the behaviour that your expect.

5. Be aware of what is happening and remember you are ultimately responsible for the welfare of attendees.

6. Be prepared to act on bad behaviours.

7. Implement the boundaries of the function to attain the outcomes you want.

Read the full article

BluePrint tip: Leadership is all about learning

November 18, 2010

In a position of authority you have the opportunity to lead, supervise, mentor and motivate others. Your ability to do so makes a huge difference to your company’s overall success as well as the overall happiness of those you lead.

Many people are convinced that leaders are born and not made, however it is quite possible to turn yourself into a successful leader. Born leaders who lack drive, enthusiasm or the practice won’t remain a respected leader where as someone working hard to becoming an effective leader will.

Truly successful leadership is only developed by those who continually work and study to improve themselves. It is a good idea to read books on effective leadership, attend seminars and talk to colleagues or study leaders you admire to see what works for them. The more knowledge you acquire the better leader you will become.

Bosses Overestimate Their Managing Skills

November 16, 2010

A new survey of 1,100 front-line managers conducted by Consulting firm Development Dimensions International has found that many managers are over estimating their skills, and are often over confident.

The survey asked managers about their first year as a manager and found:

  • 74 percent of managers didn’t regret being promoted
  • 72 percent never questioned their ability to lead others

Managers were also asked to rate their skill level out of development area, proficient and strength and found the following percentages for those that regarded the indicated areas as a strength:

  • Work standards – 62 percent
  • Planning and organising – 58 percent
  • Decision making – 53 percent
  • Communication – 50 percent
  • Professional skills – 50 percent
  • Initiating action – 46 percent
  • Adaptability – 46 percent
  • Coaching – 36 percent
  • Gaining commitment – 33 percent
  • Delegating – 32 percent

The results show that front-line managers believe their biggest strengths are in setting work standards and planning and organising, but need to work on areas such as delegating, coaching and gaining commitment. However no more than 15 percent pointed to any of these areas as a “development area,” demonstrating that a large percentage of front-line managers are over confident in their positions.

Read the full article

BluePrint tip: Communication is the key to managing change

November 11, 2010

Change is a tiny word that can cause a great deal of fear within many of us. However, we have to remember that life is full of change, especially in the business world, so it is important to understand the best way manage it.

Managers need the skills and confidence to lead during times of change. Being change savvy leads to greater success both personally and professionally.

As a manager it is important that you understand why you need to change. If you don’t, no-one else will. Being able to effectively communicate is one of the key factors in the successful implementation of change.

Make sure you explain the reasons for the change and provide people with the opportunity to ask questions and clear up any misconceptions. By increasing people’s understanding you will help people to become more receptive of the changes.

The more open you are as a manager, the more trust will be built, which will ultimately lead to a more successful and quicker changeover period.

Making tough decisions

November 10, 2010

In today’s tough business world it is important for leaders and managers to make decisions quickly and implement them to ensure they cut through the clutter and get things done.

In a recent Dynamic Business article titled Making decisions and being accountable they explain that business leaders often have difficulty making decisions which can often lead to drastic problems. They explain that the four areas that often cause the most difficulty are the following:

1. Being able to give and receive constructive feedback when needed and/or regularly.

2. Facing up to removing people who everyone knows are not performing and/or the terrorist who is always undermining the efforts of the leader or the organisation.

3. Delegating and empowering people; giving them the responsibility, authority, and accountability and holding them to it.

4. Keeping strategy at the forefront and actually having a real strategy, not just a ‘list of things to do’.

To overcome making difficult decisions it is suggested you follow the following seven brief tips to help you not only make a decision, but make a good decision that will give you the end results you need.

1. State the issue clearly.

2. Why is it significant?

3. My ideal outcome is?

4. Relevant background information.

5. My options are.

6. Direction I am heading.

7. Input I would like.

The case for behavioural strategy

November 5, 2010

McKinsey & Company have recently conducted an interesting survey, reported on in their latest McKinsey Quartely business journal. The survey focused on the lack of awareness of behavioural economics from corporate strategists when making important decisions.

Of the 2,207 executives surveyed only 28 percent said that the quality of strategic decisions in their companies was generally good, 60 percent thought that bad decisions were about as frequent as good ones and the remaining 12 percent thought good decisions were altogether infrequent.

Your personal or company’s subconscious biases could be damaging your company’s performance and damaging the reputation of the leaders within your company.

Read the full article

BluePrint tip: Put yourself in another’s shoes to manage conflict

November 3, 2010

Conflict is a natural part of life. It is essential to help us grow and develop. However, conflict in the workplace can be a major challenge in our lives and can often be very stressful.

When we experience conflict we often shift the blame from ourselves onto other people and no matter what, believe we are in the right. Next time you find yourself in a tricky situation at work take a step back and think about where the other person is coming from and what is important to them.

By putting yourself in the other person’s shoes you will gain an insight into why they are reacting the way they are and can help you better manage yourself, the other person and the situation.

By taking the time to learn how to see the situation from another’s perspective you will not only help smooth out tricky situations but gain increased respect as a leader.