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December 2018

Hello and welcome to the last edition for 2018 of our Monthly Leadership Tips: your 'once a month'  'bite-sized' chunks of practical leadership wisdom! Like many of you, we cannot believe how quickly the year has gone! We wish you - and yours - a very Merry Christmas!

This month we share :
We often post the blogs in this publication on Linked In.

Found something useful? Why not pay it forward and share a copy with your colleagues! Forward a copy of this email or send this link to join the DiA Monthly Leadership Tips list!

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

Innovation and Shame

What on earth is the connection between innovation and shame? I would never have previously put these two words together and made a natural connection.

However, having just read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (for the second time in six months), the connection now feels compellingly obvious to me and worthy of sharing with others. Let me set the scene by providing a direct quote from the book¹, attributed to Peter Sheahan, the CEO of ChangeLabs™, a global consulting firm building and delivering large-scale behavioral change projects for clients such as Apple and IBM:

'The secret killer of innovation is shame. Every time someone holds back on a new idea, fails to give their manager much needed feedback, and is afraid to speak up in front of a client you can be sure shame played a part. That deep fear of being wrong, of being belittled is what stops us taking the very risks required to move our companies forward.'

 'If you want a culture of creativity and innovation, start by developing the ability of managers to cultivate an openness to vulnerability in their teams. This requires that first they are vulnerable themselves. This notion that the leader needs to be ‘in charge’ and to ‘know all the answers’ is both dated and destructive. Its impact on others is the sense that they know less, and that they are less than. A recipe for risk aversion if ever I have heard it. Shame becomes fear. Fear leads to risk aversion. Risk aversion kills innovation.' (p.65)

It is worthwhile just sitting with that quote for a moment – it is rich in meaning and wisdom.  I am struck with how obvious the connection between innovation and shame is made and the clarity of the implications for leaders.

Click here to keep reading...

9 keys to successful collaboration

Collaboration is a word that is used very commonly in organisations.  In recent years it features prominently in the strategies and plans of many organisations, and it is not unusual for it to be an explicitly stated organisational value.  It is recognition by many organisations of the inter-dependency of work – individuals, teams and organisations alone often cannot achieve long-term and sustainable outcomes without collaborating with others.

Easy to say, hard to do!

As an organisational strategy or value, collaboration is easy to accept as a worthy intention.  It is, however, a little more difficult to get your hands around in practical terms.  Some organisations, particularly those with collaboration as an expressed value, often describe a set of collaborative behaviours.  This is helpful, but is not always sufficient, to drive collaboration.

Over recent years a few clients have asked us to run workshops to explore the practice of collaboration, often with the over-riding intention of helping participants identify practical strategies, relevant to their particular context, that they can employ back in the workplace.  A very reasonable request!

So, given this challenge, we have designed, tailored and run a number of variants on a collaboration workshop.  There are, however, two particularly interesting features of these workshops that have enabled us to generate some useful insights and knowledge (which we are sharing in our blog):

Click here to keep reading...

Tips for transitioning through Leadership Levels

We shared this post last year, but thought it might be useful for those leaders who are considering a move to more senior leadership roles in the new year.

As this video shares, ‘making the leap from unit-level manager to company-level executive requires some key changes to your leadership style.’

This 7 minute video shares 7 seismic shifts managers need to make:

  1. from specialist to generalist
  2. from analyst to integrator
  3. from tactician to strategist
  4. from bricklayer to architect
  5. from problem solver to agenda setter
  6. from warrior to diplomat
  7. from supportive cast member to leading role

This video suggests skills you need to develop, opportunities to explore, and gives tips for how these could play out.

Click here to see the video and if you are interested in our guidance for people exploring career options...

Quiet Leaders - 5 tips for success

Over the last few years, much has been written about ‘introverts’, and ‘the Quiet Revolution’. Research suggests 1/3 – 1/2 of the population are introverts.

In a post from Susan Cain, an expert in this area, she shares that… “Many people don’t associate introversion with leadership, but quiet leadership is not an oxymoron. In research for my book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking,” I found many examples of powerful quiet leaders—from Rosa Parks to Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates to Mahatma Gandhi and Eleanor Roosevelt—who all succeeded as leaders because of their quiet temperament, not in spite of it. These leaders embody the strengths identified by the research of today’s top leadership experts who have found that when introverts draw on their natural strengths as leaders, they often deliver even better outcomes than extroverts”.

Susan suggests 5 tips for ‘quiet leaders’ :

Here is a brief overview of five tips quiet leaders often find empowering:

1. Know that the force is with you. Quiet leaders often deliver better outcomes than extroverted leaders, according to separate studies by both Wharton professor Adam Grant and bestselling leadership expert Jim Collins.
2. Use your energy strategically. As a leader, you’ll sometimes have to step outside your comfort zone and do things that are exhausting for you...be sure to grant yourself plenty of “restorative niches,” in which you can recharge your energy and be your best self.

Click here to read the full version of the blog, and to access videos and more research on this topic.

Some recent assignments

  • ran a follow up 'High Performing team' workshop for a team 5 months after their intial workshop to assess progress with actions
  • ran workshops using DiSC Management Profile instrument (also available for one-on-one coaching)
  • ran a process improvement workshop for an administrative team
  • facilitated an end of year reflective workshop for a culture group
Click here to access the Eyres & Associates website to find out what else we do!

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