Leadership Tips for Discovery in Action Alumni + network
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May 2016

Welcome to our May edition of our Discovery in Action - Monthly leadership tips,  your 'once a month'  'bite-sized' chunks of practical leadership wisdom!

Thanks for the positive feedback on the April newsletter. We are delighted with how many people have been sharing the 'wheel of change' blog with their colleagues, and the value you have found from applying the TCV Smart Meetings ideas.

In this edition of our newsletter 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

Effective Management v's Micro-Management?

When touching base with those in your team – do you find you ‘check in’ or ‘check up’?

In some recent DiA small group sessions, we have been exploring the difference between ‘micro-management’ and ‘effective management’. We all appreciate how important it can be for our people to feel empowered and have opportunities to be autonomous. And we HATE it when other people ‘micro-manage’ us, so we do our very best to make sure that we don’t micro-manage others.check up or check in

But such a strong belief about empowerment and autonomy can actually mean we DON’T  give people want they need to succeed! It can mean we

  • don’t set them up for success
  • don’t give them the appropriate support to help them achieve, and
  • don’t let them know how they are performing – so they can feel recognised for their achievements and so they can learn and grow

Sometimes people think that doing the opposite micro-management, actually ends up looking more like NO management! And this isn’t the most effective way to lead either!

Let’s look at some differences:

People who ‘manage effectively’ tend to…

  • Focus on results (the why, what and when) – they clearly define expectations and accountabilities. An employee who clearly understands the purpose and timeframe can more easily make the ‘right’ choices and take appropriate action on their own. Effective managers define work to be done in terms of the outcomes rather than the process.
  • Share information and provide plenty of context. This is important because it not only helps to build trust; it gives employees important information that will allow them to make the best possible decisions in critical situations. It can also help them to develop their own plans to achieve the vision.
  • Give the right resources and information for people to achieve the desired outcomes. Resources include people, budget, tools, authority, etc. They also connect or link team members with others in the organisation that can help them on a particular task or development journey.
  • Ensure there is clarity around decision making. They ensure their team member knows what they can decide for themselves without seeking manager approval or input. By eliminating unnecessary approval steps, other mechanisms such as post-action monitoring and feedback will be enough.
  • Hold people accountable and determine the appropriate time for follow ups. This is the difference between a check-in and a check-up...

Click here to read the remainder of this blog...

One questions to help you make a decision

Dan Pink has started sharing a 1 minute video each fortnight with some really practical – and powerfully simple – ideas. We thought we’d share his first one – which gives you an idea for ‘how to make a decision when you are stuck!’ It helps you see the ‘forest’ rather than the ‘trees’.

Click on his picture to watch the video.

How to lead your former peers

Many of us have been in this situation… We are chosen to take a step up in the organisation, and suddenly, someone that was once our peer is now our direct report! Research suggests at least 90% of middle managers have been in this situation, and regardless of the type of organisation we work for, it can be a challenging time!

A post from Harvard Business Review offers some tips for making this transition a little easier on everyone:

  1. Signal the transition – make sure someone announces that a change has happened. Ideally this should be from someone else, but if this hasn’t happened, you’ll need to do this! Do it respectfully.
  2. Tread lightly at first – identify a few small changes to make in the early days. For larger changes, make sure to seek input from others.
  3. Establish your authority – take actions that establish your credibility. Make time to talk to the team about your approach to leadership. Talk to people – but listen just as much. And ask “What can I do to make you more successful?” This question shows that you’re in charge, but also conveys that you’re there to support your team.
  4. Distance yourself – ...
Click here to view the full blog

4 ways managers unwittingly drain work of its meaning  

In their May 2011 HBR article entitled, ‘The Power of Small wins’ – the progress principle, Professors Amabile and Kramer share their findings about what actions can unwittingly drain work of its meaning.

how managers destroy ownership

Most of us would be guilty of each of these unwitting ‘sins’ at some stage in our career.

So it is important that we better understand the possible consequences of these actions on an employee’s sense of ownership, value and satisfaction :

  1. Did you take the time to really consider the idea presented by a team member today – before you dismissed it or chose your own?
  2. Did you take someone off an assignment that they had been working on for a while / felt a strong connection to – and reallocate them elsewhere?
  3. Did you change the priorities in some way – even subtly? Did you direct your attention to the ‘new’ shiny thing?
  4. Did you explain to the team the reasons behind the shift in customer priorities?


Some of these changes make good business sense. There may be times when we need to alter our focus to help achieve our outcomes. We may need to reprioritise and reallocate resources to help us move closer to achieving our goals. But make sure we ....

Click here to see more...

Some recent assignments

  • Finished a 'mini-refresh' of the DiA program with one of our earliest DiA cohorts
  • Facilitated a range of Business planning workshops for teams inside larger organisations
  • Held our annual DiA Networking lunch. Thanks to all of those who attended!
  • Multiple one on one coaching assignments
Click here to access the Eyres & Associates website to find out what else we do!

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