Leadership Tips for Discovery in Action Alumni + network
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September 2018

Hello and welcome to the September 2018 edition of our Monthly Leadership Tips: your 'once a month'  'bite-sized' chunks of practical leadership wisdom!

We have started some new DiA programs recently, and these discussions have prompted us to select some blogs to feature that be relevant to our other readers too. This month we share :
We often post the blogs in this publication on Linked In.

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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!

Melanie and Paul Eyres

Is it worth it? Questions all leaders should ask themselves

Those of you who have been reading our posts for a while now will know we are very taken with Marshall Goldsmith! We are happy to admit he is a bit like ‘Yoda’ to us; always wise words that we can practically implement.

We came across a recent clip of Marshall sharing some of the concepts he has shared before, but this time some of the most helpful tips are captured in a simple 4 minute video. (See here for previous post and video link on ‘Adding value – an annoying habit of leaders’)


If you have a few minutes, hear what he had to say for yourself…

Marshall says:

  • The best leaders don’t make it about them!
  • Effectiveness of execution is a function of two things – a) the quality of the idea – times – b) the commitment to make it work
  • If you try to improve the quality of an idea by a small amount by offering your idea – you are risking decreasing the ownership and commitment of the person who had the original idea in the first place!
  • As you become more senior, your ‘suggestions’ suddenly turn into ‘orders’ – and people think they need to take them on. It is no longer ‘their idea’


  • So make a habit of stopping, taking a breath and asking yourself – Is it worth it?
  • Does my need to ‘add value’ have unintended consequences?

Click here to see the original post for this topic and the video link.

A really quick, simple version of coaching

People sometimes worry that ‘coaching’ needs to take a long time. Here is a quick tip for something to try next time someone pops their head in the door and asks you to solve an issue they have…simple coaching when people pop their head in your door

This blog also has links to our other blogs on coaching and the GROW model.

Developing your power and influence

During our Discovery in Action sessions the issue of power and influence often emerges during discussions.  This can be in the context of leading staff, managing up or influencing and leading peers and stakeholders inside or outside the organisation.  An interesting question we sometimes explore, especially when people feel they don’t have a great deal of power, is: Where does your power come from?  This often elicits a deeper understanding of how you can become more influential by drawing on a range of ‘power bases’ that don’t necessarily derive from organisational position or authority.

We were excited when we recently come across a Marshall Goldsmith video and blog that describes a simple model on the seven bases of power.  These seven bases of power are described as:

  1. Coercive – based on fear
  2. Connection – based on the leader’s connections to powerful individuals
  3. Expert – based on knowledge and skill of the leader
  4. Information – based on the leader’s access to valuable information
  5. Legitimate – based on the position held by the leader
  6. Referent – based on the likableness of the leader
  7. Reward – based on the leader’s ability to hand out rewards, both, monetary and non-monetary

We have captured these in this simple info-visual – 7 ways to leverage power.

Click here to access it, and see ideas about how to put some of these bases of power into practice.

Daily questions - a template for personal change

One of the key challenges that leaders (or anyone for that matter) face is trying to make new actions or changes to their day-to-day behaviours and practices ‘stick’.  We’ve previously written a blog post about this challenging issue: DiA Discoveries – making those personal changes stick.  Since we wrote that post we’ve come across a fantastic and simple concept that has been popularised in Marshall Goldsmith’s latest book Triggers.  In that book and other blog posts by Marshall he talks about the power of asking yourself a series of active questions each day around the specific behaviours, actions, attitudes or mindset that you are wanting to improve.  It has its basis in taking personal responsibility – if it’s to be it up to me – for the things you would like to be better at.  Most importantly these questions are focussed on your effort (rather than results) with each question commencing with the phrase:

Did I do my best to…

These questions could be anything something work related – to listen more attentively, to find more opportunities to give positive feedback, to empower your staff more.  They could also be something a lot more personal – to exercise more, to drink less, to be more affectionate with your family.  Marshall himself has six core questions that he uses and then adds some additional questions for other matters he is specifically working on – his core questions are:

  1. Did I do my best to be happy?
  2. Did I do my best to find meaning?
  3. Did I do my best to be engaged?
  4. Did I do my best to build positive relationships?
  5. Did I do my best to set clear goals?
  6. Did I do my best to make progress towards my goals?

Once you have identified your own set of things you really want to work on and converted these into a series of Did I do my best to… questions, then the task is to rate yourself each day on a simple 1 – 10 scale.  Over the course of a few weeks you may find yourself giving low ratings for the first few days, but over time as you become more conscious of it (or perhaps more guilty about it) you may start to see a gradual or even sudden upwards shift – you really start to make progress and feel good about it as a new habit is being formed.  Of course, if you just find yourself continuing to rate yourself lowly on some questions, it provides you with some really useful data – you can ask yourself what is going on for you, why is it not shifting, is it really important to me?

Click here to see the full post, and a link to a template you can download to take advantage of this great approach.

Some recent assignments

  • Worked on a number of one-on-one coaching engagements
  • Ran a number of customised team planning days
  • Facilitating some focus groups to help an organisation better understand its staff survey results
  • Facilitated a corporate plan development workshop for a legal services organisation
  • Started designing some customised coaching extension workshops
Click here to access the Eyres & Associates website to find out what else we do!

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Visit www.eyresandassociates.com.au to find out more about what we do in our consulting business.
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