Leadership Tips for Discovery in Action Alumni + network
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July 2016

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

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

What frustrates employees most about their managers

Employee engagement can quickly turn to ‘enragement’ when managers commit certain mistakes – and these mistakes are a lot more common an occurrence than they should be! In a blog from HR daily (What frustrates employees most about their managers) sharing research by James Adonis, we learn that the following actions / behaviours / situations, rank highly on the list of a survey of employee frustrations (interestingly : 40% of the respondents were Australian!):

  1. Spending time on lazy and underperforming employees at the expense of paying attention to more talented ones.
  2. Failing to appreciate or recognise the effort that team members put in 
  3. Failing to communicate effectively
  4. Imposing unreasonable deadlines
  5. The appearance of favouritism or inequity
  6. Micromanagement
  7. Ignoring problems
  8. Delaying decisions

Click here to find out more about the essence behind each of these 8 frustrations, and some suggestions for practical actions and behaviours that work to have the opposite effect on employees. This blog also has a link to the very powerful message from Australia's former Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison about unacceptable behaviour, and how the standard we walk by is the standard we accept.

"What if now...I choose it?"

In some recent DiA small group sessions, we have been exploring the importance of people being able to make progress in meaningful work. And how some of the most important work of a leader can be finding ways to get anything out of the way of this progress, so their people can move unemcumbered, towards something important, that matters to them. (See here for previous posts on 'the progress principle'.)

One group focussed very heavily on the key word of 'meaningful' when exploring this concept. Said one participant, 'I know I personally make progress in work each day, crossing lots of things off the to-do list, but now I am questioning if this progress is in 'meaningful work', the things that really matter to me?'

When people reflect on the really satisfying work days, they typically make progress on things that enable them to make a contribution to something important, to make progress on things they buy-in to and believe in, where there is alignment in some way to their values, to things they enjoy doing, or things that they are good at. On these days, things feel easier, we feel 'lighter' and 'happier'.

In another small group, a participant asked to share a short video that he thought reflected another view on this concept. It also offered another perspective on the impact that having success in things that matter can have on our motivation levels and our 'mood' - of our own mood and those of others (contagion of 'mood'.)

He shared a short 3 minute video of Andre Agassi reflecting back on his career during the 2012 Australian Open. (Thanks David K!)

Click here to watch this video and read the rest of this blog.

Leading people when they know more than you!

Does this sound familiar? People perfect their areas of expertise, perform well as individuals and get rewarded with promotions. And for some, they may reach a point, where their expertise is not what they are paid for anymore – instead they are there to lead others, sometimes in areas that are outside their area of expertise. So now, these leaders might have direct reports who ask them questions that they cannot answer – or worse still – may not even understand!

Understanding, and then accepting what it takes to be an excellent leader of others – can be challenging for many. The things that made us who we are, that form a key part of our identity, may not be what is critical to success in our new leadership role. In fact, the things that made us successful before, might be the things we 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.

Click here to access our blog with a link to this HBR article, and our info-graphic sharing the 4 skills to develop.


What drives you or members of your team?

Many leaders struggle with engaging their team. Have you sat down and talked to them about motivation?

What motivates you? What do you need in your role to feel satisfied and engaged? Do you get the chance to do the things at work that make you feel good every day?

We have made a simple card game that explores some of the motivators posed by experts such as Herzberg and Daniel Pink, and applies some thinking adopted in ‘Agile’ methodology for ways to talk about them. This might help you to have a conversation about the ‘hot buttons’ to push for individuals in your team.

We have shared this link before, and many of you who have received this newsletter for some time, or who have participated in our DiA or EI programs may have used it for yourself - or with you team.

For some of you, this will be the first time you have seen it.

Regardless of whether it is new, or you've used it before, when might be a good time to sit down with your team and do a temperature check? Many of you are coming into development and goal discussions for the new financial year. Maybe this tool might be a good touch point to explore how to keep or improve engagement levels in the team.

Click here to access the 'game' and the instructions on how to use it.


Some recent assignments

  • Ran a DiA mid-point session interviewing senior leaders about their leadership journey
  • Ran a number of skill development workshops - including coaching skills + emotional intelligence
  • Ran a 'communities of practice' design workshop
Click here to access the Eyres & Associates website to find out what else we do!

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