Leadership Tips for Discovery in Action Alumni + network
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January 2016

A belated Happy New Year to you all!

Welcome to our first Discovery in Action newsletter for 2016!  We hope you have had the opportunity to take a bit of a break over the Christmas period, and feel renewed and energised for the year ahead!

This month, we share :
We post the blogs in this monthly leadership tips publication on Linked In. Please feel free to forward this email to people in your network who you think may find it helpful...

We also use the content we share each month, in the work we do in our consulting practice. Feel free to get in touch to find out more about anything in this newsletter or other blogs on our website.  Enjoy!

Paul and Melanie Eyres

Our Resilience model - including a link to tips and hints on how to manage and avoid fatigue and burnout

Many of our clients are starting to return to work after a hectic lead up to the Holiday season break. For many, prior to their break (if they were lucky enough to have one!) they were personally working long hours and / or leading teams who have been working for extended periods towards a key outcome or deadline. The reality of our busy work lives means there are times when we work with extreme peaks and on the rarer occasions, an occasional trough.

Sometimes these busy periods can be exciting; when teams really gel and find creative solutions, but finding outlets for stress and finding ways to care for the wellbeing of your team members when there are extended peak periods is critical.

This blog shares a link to a DiA Tips and hints guide that offers some practical suggestions for how to deal with this leadership challenge – entitled ‘Avoiding and managing fatigue and burnout’. It gives some suggestions to help people leaders

  • manage the peaks, and
  • rejuvenate a tired team.

It also offers some suggestions to help manage the (rare!) downtimes.

This blog also shares our new 5 Dimensions of Resilience model, which shares practices and habits that resilient people tend to demonstrate – across 5 dimensions : physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and social.

Print out the picture and pick one thing from each of the 5 dimensions to focus on in the coming weeks. January is a good time to set goals…set some goals to help yourself be your best in 2016 – personally and professionally!

Click here to

How to manage and motivate independent contractors

Most of us are not strangers to the idea of keeping employee numbers low. Many organisations have budget / employee number freezes – yet in many of them, the work that needs to be done just can’t happen with those people officially listed on the payroll.

An interesting Harvard Management ‘tip for the day’ published in November 2015 (Nov 19. 2015) offered some excellent ideas for those leaders and managers who have contractors in their team.

Here is a summary of some of the ideas – along with our visual / info graphic of useful reminders:

  • Understand what they want. Ask your contractors why they’re interested in working for your company. Knowing what they’re hoping for in the assignment will help you understand them.
  • Set expectations. Be clear about what you want from them, including deadlines for their deliverables.
  • Build the relationship. Talk to them about their family, their interests, and other projects they’re working on.
  • Make them feel part of the team. Invite them to important meetings, bring them into water-cooler conversations, and add them to the team email list.
  • Give feedback. There’s no need to do a formal review, but telling them what you think of their work will improve performance and your working relationship.

Click here to see the rest of this blog.

New leaders need a philosophy about how they'll lead

Being promoted into a position of leadership is an exciting time! For some, it is a recognition of your experience and achievements, for others, a vote of confidence in your potential.

Understanding, and then accepting what it takes to be an excellent leader of others – can be challenging for many. The things that made you who you are, that form a key part of your identity, may not be what is critical to success in your new leadership role. As we wrote about in a blog entitled ‘Leading people when they know more than you’, the things that made you successful before, might be the things you need to ‘let go of’ to be successful in the next passage of leadership. New skills need to be developed and some of the old ones need to be left behind.

Carol Walker (HBR September 15, 2015) wrote, ‘your job is no longer just about getting the work done. You’re more likely now to find yourself juggling conflicting demands, delivering difficult messages, and addressing performance problems.’ Whilst there are plenty of books, articles and blogs giving you suggestions about ways to handle your new challenges, there is no simple checklist that gives you the easy answer.

As Carol Walker writes in her post, and as we have shared with our Discovery in Action® program participants, ‘having a clear (leadership) philosophy can provide a firm foundations from which to operate.’


She suggests a core belief or philosophy / way of thinking –

that people leadership is not about YOU!


Echoing the principles of ‘servant leadership’ she suggests new leaders ask themselves these 2 simple questions :

What will it take for this employee to be successful?

What does this organisation need to provide in order to hold up to its end of the bargain?

How would you answer these questions? What can you do to help facilitate each team member's success in your organisation?

Click here to access this post...

Excellent Info-Graphic on motivation by the Leadership hub

This excellent info-graphic shares :
  • why motivation is important
  • some statistics on the top motivators
  • what employees are wanting from work, and
  • a checklist - with '5 languages of appreciation' in the workplace.

Click here to access larger copy of the visual.

Some recent assignments

  • helped a procurement unit to clarify its role and critical deliverables
  • facilitated a workshop to help a team develop a collaboration mindset
  • assisted a group to identify opportunities for alignment across 2 graduate programs
Click here to access the Eyres & Associates website to find out what else we do!

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