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The New Inspired Leader Key Leadership Skills to Inspire Success

Catherine & Hayden Bell


First Edition Published in 2013 G.M. Publications Ltd. PO Box 22279 Khandallah, Wellington, New Zealand 5010 Copyright Š 2013 Catherine & Hayden Bell All rights reserved. ISBN: 1490357106 ISBN-13: 978-1490357102


DEDICATION

This book is dedicated to the greatest Inspirations we have had in our lives, our Mothers. To the memory of Pamela Bell, who was an inspiration to Hayden, helping him to discover the importance of gratitude, giving and always believing. To Jan Brewster, who showed us what love means; and for always believing in her children and inspiring us to be our best.

To Pam and Jan, we love you both.


CONTENTS

Acknowledgments

i

Welcome

1

1

Why Inspire?

7

2

The Eight Core Competencies of an Inspired Leader

21

3

The Language of Leaders

61

4

The “BE” is the Key

81

5

Building Up Connection

99

6

The Needs That Drive

117

7

What’s Your Why?

139

8

Perform at Your Peak

155

9

Tricky Times

181

Where to From Here?

199

10


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We’d love to acknowledge, with gratitude, all the people who helped bring our vision for this book to life. Getrude Matshe, your support, humour and insight have been extraordinary, thank you so much. Steffie Dawn and Ramona Lever, thank you for helping us put our best face forward. Rebecca White, your dedication and eye for detail are second to none, thank you friend. Glen Murdoch, thank you for sharing so much with us and helping us grow our business, you’re a wonderful Mentor. The How to Write a Book in 40 Hours Authors, your support and collective genius has been nothing less than an Inspiration. We are honoured to know you all. Finally our families, the greatest support network of all; your unfailing faith in us keeps us going.

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WELCOME! Our purpose in writing this book is incredibly simple. We want to re-ignite the conversation about what it takes to be an Inspiring Leader in today’s business world. Thank you for joining us. We’ve noticed that business people from all walks of life – from the front line people at the coal face of business, all the way through to CEOs and Directors, are looking for a new source of inspiration and a fresh way to do business in the post-GFC world. There has been a fundamental shift in the expectations of the modern workforce – carrots and sticks no longer apply! Today’s workers are more sophisticated, plugged-in and informed than ever before and they demand better quality Leadership at all levels. We are seeing a return to the search for meaning and connection in the workplace; everyone wants to belong to something they can really believe in. How does a Leader rise to the challenge of not only providing direction and continuing the tight management of resources - but of bringing inspiration back to life? Of giving people the inspiring touch-points they need in order to keep moving? 1


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It’s time to freshen up our approach and find some new approaches to an age-old question: “How do I inspire my Team to greatness?” It’s a complex question, one that goes to the very heart of how we relate as humans, but it is also the defining question of the moment. We believe that given the right tools and knowledge, anyone can make a shift in their thinking and performance which will unlock the kind of Leadership skills that business needs right now. It all begins with reflection; asking ourselves, “What can I do differently? With my unique skill set and approach, how can I inspire?” In this book, we will share with you a number of models to incorporate into your Leadership style to assist you and your Team to get closer to your goals, faster. In fact, what you’ll find is that you’ll use these models in a variety of situations and there will always be one to cherry-pick and apply for any given challenge. One is not more “right” or “wrong” in any given situation – so have some fun, play around with these ideas and try them on at different times, like different coloured hats. Think of this as an opportunity to rejuvenate your thinking about Leadership and adopt a more flexible, agile approach. You will become a more resilient Leader in tough times, able to look past old limitations and manage your stress and the stress of your Team, much better.

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The New Inspired Leader – Key Leadership Skills to Inspire Success

These are not cold, hard management formulas – they are ways of thinking that instantly broaden your horizons, give a fresh perspective, and allow you to see things with new eyes. Put them all together and you get a unique blend of methodologies to come back to and a Leadership style that is uniquely you. That’s why they will work. Chapter 1, Why Inspire? goes deep into the heart of inspiration and looks at why this skill, above all others, is the difference between a manager and a Leader. Chapter 2, The Eight Core Competencies examines the critical skills and knowledge that an Inspired Leader possesses and shows you how to instantly move towards cultivating these in your own Leadership style. Chapter 3, Levels of Language will help you communicate more effectively with people at all levels in your business. Chapter 4, The Be Is The Key is a simple philosophy to help you and your Team start looking at the world in a different way. Chapter 5, Building up Connection is the key to unlocking great communication with different personalities using deep rapport building techniques. Chapter 6, The Needs that Drive looks at what happens at a deeper, hidden level that drives your behaviour and that of your Team. Chapter 7, What’s Your Why? helps you build a compelling vision that drives your actions in the right direction.

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Chapter 8, Perform at Your Peak introduces tools and techniques to help you to keep moving forward regardless of what falls in your path. Chapter 9 – Tricky Times looks at specific ways you can stay inspired and keep your Team on track when the going gets tough in business (‘cause we know it’s not all roses and picnics out there!). Chapter 10 – Where to From Here? is about the next level of your development and a chance to plan your next actions. At the end of each chapter, you’ll also find Inspired Actions and Quality Questions for further extension of the material. Inspired Actions are actions that we have designed that can be applied immediately in the workplace to increase your aptitude as you work – kind of an additional “learning on the job” which will support your learning from the chapter. The Quality Questions are questions you can ask yourself to stay on track as you become more comfortable with each of these concepts. This is a useful Self-Coaching habit to build and will assist you to take the knowledge further and apply it in new ways. Use them both to help you easily apply what you’ve read and start noticing the difference it will make for you and your Team. We’ve applied these ideas and actions many times over our Leadership careers with great success – and we want to help you do the same. We know you’re going to enjoy inspiring yourself to new heights and uncovering new approaches to make a real difference. Let’s get started!

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The New Inspired Leader – Key Leadership Skills to Inspire Success

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Catherine & Hayden Bell

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1. WHY INSPIRE? People follow what they feel. Look at anyone taking action in the world - businesses achieving great things, individuals working on their own projects every day, people interacting with each other and you will find that they’re motivated on some level by emotion. Sure, there’s necessity and survival, logic and habit – but even within these reasons, people are still following what they feel. We follow inspiration, not instructions. If we are moved by a great cause, an incredible person, a compelling need, then we will put far more effort into whatever needs to be done than something we are indifferent about. It’s the simple truth of being human. When we are emotionally engaged, we fire up and take action before we even know it. Think about the last time you were really motivated to do something. What were the emotions you were experiencing at the time? Chances are that you were feeling very positive towards the goal you were moving to (or very negative about the thing you were moving 7


Catherine & Hayden Bell

away from) but there was definitely an emotion involved. Emotional payoffs are found in everything we do – and that goes for the workplace as well. In order to elicit certain behaviours that will lead to the desired outcomes, Leaders have two choices. We can choose to manipulate the emotions of our Team through bullying, intimidation and fear (which is illegal in most places) to get the outcome we need - or we can take the high road. We can choose to inspire, invigorate and coach, assisting others to find positive emotional outcomes through their work. In the following pages, we want to share with you simple and effective ways to take that higher path, to harness the power of the emotions that you and your Team feel every day. Focusing on inspiration will be an eye-opening experience for yourself and those around you. As you shift your focus to what inspires people, you will come to understand the best parts of human behaviour; you will also discover and bring forth the best parts of yourself. Inspiration is a lofty idea - it appeals to the very highest parts of who we are. It reveals to us the strength to do things we never imagined were possible. Inspiration is a far more effective tool to assist your Team than simple “motivation”. We know that emotions drive human behaviour - this is the current reality for your Team and your workplace every day. Let’s explore the way to long-term, sustainable success for yourself, your Team and your organisation. Consider your own current situation in the workplace. What are the tasks that you feel compelled to do; the ones you can perform with ease? What are the positive emotional outcomes for you, when you complete these tasks? A feeling of achievement; the emotional payoff of a pat on the back for a job well done. 8


The New Inspired Leader – Key Leadership Skills to Inspire Success

On the other hand, what are the tasks that you hesitate to do, put off or even downright refuse to do?

Are they the ones that

perhaps you have no real connection to, that you’re just not all that interested in because they don’t “float your boat”? Do they fail to fire you up, get you going or inspire you? Examine your current situation and we think that like most people, you too will find this to be true.

This now leads us to a very interesting

question What emotional tools are you using in encouraging and Leading others around you? Are you using fear? Is your Team motivated to action by the need to comply or be part of the group, in response to intimidation tactics or micro-management? Or are you speaking to the higher purpose of your Team and using a combination of methods and tools to assist them to get a positive outcome? Are you providing rewards in a variety of ways, in ways that matter (emotionally) to your staff? Whatever the system you’re currently using, the results will speak for themselves. If your Team Members barely do the minimum required to get the job done, there’s room for improvement. If your Team is performing well and occasionally showing signs of going beyond, then you already have some degree of inspiration already working for you - and we want to help you take it to the next level! If your Team is dysfunctional, with poor results and little commitment, then hold on, you’re in for the ride of your life as you move them from tired to inspired. We believe inspiration is essential for business success. In today’s business world, success means doing far more than just what’s 9


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required. It means going beyond our customer’s expectations, developing outstanding and innovative products and providing service levels that are second to none. This cannot be achieved without people at every level in the organisation feeling energy, enthusiasm, passion and inspiration, on a regular basis. Inspiration is what leads people to innovate, to create results that are far beyond what anyone could have imagined. It’s an absolute must in an organisation that wants to keep moving forward. Inspiration is what connects people to their projects. It lifts the daily routine of activities into something exceptional and allows people to imagine something greater than what has been before. In inspiration lies the seeds of greatness, creativity and effort that drive performance. It helps us overcome old barriers, pulling together as a Team to work in new ways and create something truly magical. At its heart, inspiration is driven by a giant, clear vision of the dream that is powerful enough to take on an emotional life of its own for your Team to relate to, in all kind of ways. Connecting people with the dream and allowing them to truly participate in its creation is key in inspiring great performance. When our people are inspired, their actions take a life of their own. They move in creative, spontaneous and deeply personal ways we could have never have dreamed of, contributing to a richer, fuller picture than any Leader can create alone. Inspiration is the magical part of people’s performance where connections that never previously existed suddenly materialise 10


The New Inspired Leader – Key Leadership Skills to Inspire Success

and new thoughts and ways of being and doing business are created. Inspiration doesn’t ask how or why, it simply says, “let’s go”. It fires up action and re-ignites the sparks of greatness. The business world today requires us to make massive efforts on a nearly minute-to-minute basis. Re-imagining of products and services, creation of new ways of doing business, forging our way ahead into markets we would never traditionally have entered requires a sustained effort from many people in a focused way. The only thing that can assist us to achieve this consistently, whilst rediscovering meaning and enjoyment in our work, is to work consistently from a place of creativity, effort and focus. Throughout history many Leaders, famous, infamous and unknown, have all possessed the ability to inspire others action. They present a vision so compelling it assists us to overcome any fears we have about taking action and we simply choose to believe. Through that belief we form the energy and commitment to move forward into a new unknown. We say goodbye to the comforts of the present and look with hope to the future for an even better reality. We apply our efforts, our energy, our intelligence and our hard work to be a part of something great. The ability to create a vision and harness people’s deepest wants and desires is essential for any business Leader wanting to achieve

something

great.

The

opposite

approach

(fear,

indifference or manipulation) will work for a time - until people become intolerant of mistreatment and demand more, or simply give up and leave.

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The business Leaders who continue to matter for decades - and who leave indelible footprints on our hearts and in our world are the ones who inspire us. They transport us beyond any current reality and create a ripple effect that reaches far beyond the office or the boardroom. Great Leaders help us see potential within ourselves that we never knew existed until they called us to action. Inspired Leadership is a simple and heartfelt call, ‘Come with me, because I am dreaming of something great. I don’t know exactly how we will get there, but let’s go together.’ This message must be woven into the everyday fabric of business and our interactions with others in the workplace. It must become a central part of who we are and what we do to lead. By failing to fire up inspiration in our workplace, we leave our Team wanting for emotional drivers in their everyday working lives. They will seek to satisfy their emotional needs through other behaviours at work which are not necessarily focused on your goals and may even be counter-productive. Behaviour like gossiping, over-achievement, under-achievement, even sabotage, can be driven by the emotional vacuum that failing to inspire may leave. In the void created by absent or indifferent Leaders, we allow other factors to drive Team dynamics and outcomes. We create a workplace where “going home” becomes the best part of everyone’s day - and success is enjoyed by just a select few employees with the individual drive and tenacity to make things work. There is a better way. We can become inspired by our work (even the humdrum and boring parts of our work) when we view it 12


The New Inspired Leader – Key Leadership Skills to Inspire Success

through the lens of contribution to a greater goal. We can, on a moment-to-moment, day-by-day, year-by-year basis become excited again about what we do! The contribution we are making to our business, our customers and the well-being of those around us, matters at a deep level. At the Seattle Fish Market, the Team that inspired the worldwide phenomenon, Fish! A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results1 get up in the wee, small hours of the morning to prepare for their day doing what they love. Famous the world over for their energy, drive and passion, they spend their days…selling fish. This kind of enthusiasm requires a grand vision, plenty of energy, fun and group movement towards a common goal, with individual contribution being recognised and valued along the way. Providing inspiration is a foundation of great Leadership - but the seeds of inspiration can be found amongst your Team; it’s not just up to the Leader. In fact an atmosphere where inspiration is found in all kinds of places is infinitely richer and more rewarding than a culture of inspiration that relies too heavily on a singular source. Ultimately, what a great Leader does is creates an environment where inspiration flourishes all by itself in big and small ways. What? No more carrots and sticks? The over-simplistic and largely ineffective “carrot and stick” approach is dead. It doesn’t work anymore – and it never really has, beyond prodding and pushing those who are unwilling or unlikely to move themselves. Punishing or rewarding behaviour leads to people blindly “obeying” – not the kind of performance that will cut it in today’s business world! If businesses are going to “innovate, evolve and improve or be left behind”, we all need to put our best foot forward and take the journey together. A great Leader knows that the only way is to help their people achieve 13


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outstanding performance, think for themselves and truly shine! A common approach in recent years has been to engage in bigger, better and more elaborate Employee Incentive Schemes to incentivise and reward great behaviour. Whilst these are a step in the right direction (depending on how they’re put in place) incentive programmes can only go so far towards inspiring performance. Are the incentives on offer held in high esteem by the Team? Do the incentives really increase overall performance – or are they just visibly recognising those who would usually excel anyway? Are they effective in the long term or does the novelty eventually wear off? In fact, we’ve heard from some of our clients that generous rewards schemes have after a time, simply set the bar of expectation higher – and employees have grown accustomed to a new level of reward as the “norm” just to even do the basics. In many cases, rewards offered on top of salary are not even held in particularly high value by Team Members. Some have reported a slow creep of cynicism amongst their people – who are starting to view incentive programs with suspicion as just another device to squeeze more effort out of an already overburdened workforce. At the other end of the spectrum, disciplinary procedures have become increasingly complex and structured in order to meet legislative requirements and protect all parties involved. In many companies, disciplinary measures have become more of a burden than a help to Leaders, requiring so much time and attention that many will avoid them altogether where at all possible, preferring instead to turn a blind eye to unacceptable or unwanted behaviour.

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The New Inspired Leader – Key Leadership Skills to Inspire Success

Today’s employees rarely find true inspiration in their working lives. Many have given up on fulfilling their emotional needs between Monday and Friday, preferring instead to be emotionally connected to something meaningful outside of work. For all of these reasons, the ability to inspire must become a new core competency for the Leader of today and tomorrow. Throughout this book we will share with you ways to become an inspiring Leader and get your Team actively supporting your business goals - because they want to. Why is inspiration so essential now? The global financial crisis sparked in 2008 has changed our values and society in so many ways. In addition to the pain of company collapses, higher unemployment and an uncertain economic future, the way we do business has also undergone a radical transformation. Traditional business models are being replaced by a faster-paced, more dynamic and ultimately demanding style based around connectivity, personalisation and instant service through the internet. The effect on the average employee has been exhausting. If they have been lucky enough to survive the waves of redundancies, then they have had no choice but to take on the extra work left behind by colleagues who were not so lucky. Working patterns have changed and in many cases job responsibilities dramatically increased. At the same time, organisations have pulled back on spending and increased their focus on cost cutting. Many companies have had no choice but to ask employees to accept pay cuts, reductions in incentives, increases in work load or decreases in valuable working hours. In fact they have never fully reinstated the previous levels of 15


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employee benefits, preferring instead the leaner business mode adopted to survive difficult times. What this means is that today’s workforce is more exhausted than ever and operating on less resources in a more demanding environment. Feel a breaking point coming on, anyone? The effects of this can partially be observed in the noticeable reduction in company loyalty. Employees are feeling more like a number and less like a part of the family these days - and they are acting accordingly. Outside of the workplace, there has been a noticeable swing back towards traditional community values, with the re-emergence of cottage industries, craft circles, home cooking, book clubs, gardening…a return to meaningful, productive activities as a vehicle for feeling more fulfilled and a part of something important. Many people are seeing work now as simply a vehicle to earn the cash that sustains them, while seeking to fulfil their social and emotional needs outside of the workplace. People want to feel a sense of belonging again and participate in something they believe in, to contribute beyond themselves to a project that they believe will do good in the world. This is what we are all seeking today – and the sad reality is that we are not finding it in our pared-back, highly-pressurised workplaces that seem to be all about the bottom line. This is the new challenge for all Leaders. The opportunity for today’s workplace is to provide an environment that inspires greatness and allows employees to emotionally reconnect to their work again. In order to fully recover from the tightened belts and the heavy hearts that many of us still wear after the changes in employer-employee relations, this is the only way to move forward: to inspire, to connect again. In order for companies to continue to thrive and grow, they must 16


The New Inspired Leader – Key Leadership Skills to Inspire Success

reconnect

with

their

employees

and

provide

something

outstanding, not just for customers but for everyone involved in the business. We believe that harnessing this need in society for reconnection and meaning is one of the greatest opportunities of our time. Those who can inspire and provide a compelling vision will be able to tap into the deepest desires of their Team and spur them to even greater heights. A business with heart is what people are seeking. There can be no turning back from

the fact that today’s

employees have far more sophisticated expectations than ever before and are unwilling to wait for opportunities to learn, extend themselves or move up the ladder. Everyone wants to grow, improve themselves and better their circumstances on a daily basis. A key skill in attracting, engaging and retaining talent in today’s environment is to provide a place where your Team can feel inspired again. When moved by inspiration, your Team will give their all at work and create something special every day – delivering outstanding results for your customers and at the same time, providing the emotional reward that they are seeking. What if I’m not “inspiring”? If you feel you have never really been inspiring before – or you’re completely exhausted and don’t know where to begin, don’t worry - that’s why we’re here! Throughout our own careers, we noticed there was something “different” about the Leaders who really moved us - and we’ve worked with some of the best. In our own journey to becoming inspiring Leaders, we diligently sought out the best examples to learn from and model, blending this 17


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knowledge and experience with our own studies. The purpose of this book is to spread the word and help you use some of these tools to further your learning, too. Through our years of experience watching managers succeed and fail, we began to wonder - what was the difference that made a difference in the modern workplace? Consistently, we found one standout answer - when Leaders need to connect with today’s workforce and move them in new directions, it’s often the unseen, under-developed “soft” skills that are most crucial. The ability to inspire is like any other ability – it can be learned and cultivated. What seems to come naturally to those inspiring individuals we all know, can be broken down into components to be learned and integrated into your own communication and Leadership style. That’s the purpose of this book – to give you plenty of tools so that you can connect with the feeling of inspiration and spread the message to the rest of your Team. Each chapter in this book is centred around one aspect of “inspiration” and will explore the concept, applying it to an organisational and Leadership context. Each chapter also contains Inspired Actions and Quality Questions to give you approaches and answers to apply in your business, straight away. Right now, we encourage you to grab your diary and look at the following nine chapters of the book. Estimate for yourself how long it’s going to take you to read each one, plan completion dates for each and diarise those dates, so as to plot out your course for success. You could read one chapter a week, one chapter a month or one chapter every couple of weeks; whatever is going to suit 18


The New Inspired Leader – Key Leadership Skills to Inspire Success

your lifestyle and your current time budget. Each chapter can stand alone – so if there’s one that speaks to you, feel free to start out there and work through the others at another time. The complete picture will be gained once you have read all the chapters finishing with the revision in Chapter 10. As you know, every great journey begins with one step, and we recognise you for taking that step now in order to become more inspired for yourself - and the people around you. It’s a great and noble journey to undertake. Welcome to the ride!

To read the rest of this book you can purchase a paperback version at our website http//:www.inspirationleaders.com.au/thenew-inspire-leader/ or a paperback or kindle version on Amazon or through their affiliates.

All references used in this book (including this chapter) can be found in the full edition of the book. We recognise all contributors and respect their need for acknowledgement.

Thanks for reading this section of our book and we look forward to seeing you name on our book purchased list. Although this section is part of our free offer, we do charge a small amount for the full book, part of which goes to our preferred Giving partner: B1G1, through whom we donate 10% of the proceeds to assist children in need to have access to school books and materials. This is true of all Inspiration Leaders products and services. 19

The new inspired leader key leadership skills to inspire success chapter 1  

This is the first chapter of our published book and we want you to have a taste of what is available from Inspiration Leaders. We have the b...

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