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Leadership – How it Impacts Performance

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/leadership-how-it-impacts-performance/

This month we are focusing on Performance and how Leadership plays a critical role in its success.

Why it Matters

Leadership is the most important ingredient to increase the performance of any organization.

You can tell the level of leadership by the overall success the organization is generating. They are producing consistent, repeatable, and reliable results.

Leadership Strategy

Leadership and performance go hand in hand with trust. The more leaders both demand and demonstrate their trustworthiness by being sincere, competent, reliable, and involved, the better results they will see from employee performance.

Leadership Challenge

Start to measure your team’s level of trust that improve performance by answering these questions:

  1. Integrity (Sincerity) – How well do we follow through on our promises?
  2. Competency – How well do we provide feedback for improvement?
  3. Reliability – Are we meeting our timelines?
  4. Involvement – How well do we show up for meetings to participate fully?

Answer the questions above and start building trust to improve performance, a key tool to being a great leader!

Awesome Watch (3 min)

Leadership vs. Performance

Have an Awesome Month Leading with Impact!

Strategic Execution – Feedback Conversation

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/strategic-execution-feedback/

This month we are focusing on Strategic Execution, and the conversations needed to support the success of any Strategic Plan. One of these conversations is feedback and, more specifically, what “breakdowns & struggles” have been seen that need to be addressed by having a feedback conversation.

Why it Matters

Feedback is a fundamental leadership practice for improvement! To improve organizational performance, we have to deal with the areas that have low workability. Could you imagine a football team not looking at the game last week to make adjustments for this week? 

So, what stops leaders from receiving or giving feedback? The biggest reason is that we have learned from an early age that feedback is negative, demotivating and possibly hurtful. In most cases, the view of feedback is that it’s bad news, wrong or even career-ending – so let’s just avoid it altogether.

Leadership Strategy

As leaders, we have to be comfortable with giving constructive (useful, beneficial and purposeful) feedback and using it as a tool for improvement versus making others feel small, wrong or judged.

Remember, when you have leaders who are open to giving and receiving feedback, overall performance will improve!   

Leadership Challenge

In the next few weeks, ask 4 people to give you constructive feedback on your leadership. By modelling to others that you are open to receiving feedback, it will impact others’ listening for receiving feedback in a positive way, and as an important tool for success!

Awesome Watch (9 min):

The Joy of getting Feedback by Joe Hirsh

Have an Awesome Month Leading with Impact!

Strategic Plan Execution

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/strategic-plan-execution/

This month we are focusing on Strategic Execution and what it takes to be successful at executing a strategic plan.

Why it Matters

Some recent findings show that 70% of well-formulated strategies fail due to poor execution!

Companies tend to spend more time planning and building the plan rather than implementing and executing the strategy and, more specifically, don’t plan and design the proper conversations needed for success.

Leadership Strategy

Take the time to plan your team’s communication and engagement around your strategy.

Four intentional conversations that your leaders need to be having to ensure the organization’s strategic plan is being executed per defined timelines:

  1. Clarity of specific actions and next steps
  2. Follow-up and accountability for these actions
  3. Acknowledgement of success in completing the actions
  4. Space to deal with breakdowns and struggles completing the actions

Leadership Challenge

In your “Strategic Think Time” this week, reflect on which of the four conversations are happening by your team and which ones need to be upgraded to support the execution of the organization’s Strategic Plan. 

Awesome Watch (7 min)

The Strategy Implementation Challenge

Have an Awesome Month Leading with Impact!

The Importance of Leaders Creating Time Weekly for “Strategic Thinking Time”

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/the-importance-of-leaders-creating-time-weekly-for-strategic-thinking-time/

This month we are focusing on Strategic Design by creating time in your schedule for Strategic Thinking.

Why it Matters

As leaders we create our future, we do not predict our future. Therefore, if you are not intentional about creating time for strategic thinking your future will be the same as the past.

Leadership Strategy

Successful Leaders start by planning their time for strategic thinking. At Awesome Journey we call this “Strategic Thinking Time”, time for reviewing data, time for research, time for thinking about how to connect what appear as unconnected opportunities. It is also a time to challenge your thinking by being in conversations with others who can ask you thoughtful questions to poke at your thinking.

Leadership Challenge

Take some time and answer the following questions:

  1. How much time are you spending on day-to-day operational issues vs time for longer-term strategic thinking and planning?
  2. Are your decision-making efforts on short-term issues or on long-term strategies?
  3. Who are you involving in your strategic thinking conversations?
  4. Is your strategic thinking time focused on rigorous analysis or on hunches & gut feel?
  5. Who are your thought leaders you learn from to cultivate your strategic thinking?

Awesome Read:  Six Essential Skills of Strategic Thinking

https://hbr.org/2013/01/strategic-leadership-the-esssential-skills

Have an Awesome Month Leading with Impact!

Making the Switch from Perfection to Excellence

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/making-the-switch-from-perfection-to-excellence/

Over the next couple of months, we will be looking at different roadblocks to leadership. This month we invite you to look with us at the drive to be perfect and how it can limit us from leading. 

Why it Matters?

In the article The Problem with Perfection by Mel Schwartz he states, “The pursuit of perfection limits our ability to be present and literally robs us of the vitality of life.” Meaning, when we are not present as leaders, we stop listening as leaders, we start to get transaction focused and stop being people focused which can limit our team’s growth.

Leadership Insights

When a leader is in a Mindset of Perfection, they see mistakes as final and as a judgement on performance, viewing a lack of perfection as failure. “Who’s at fault” is a common phrase used and an example of this way of thinking.

When a leader is in a Mindset of Excellence, mistakes are viewed as learnings and an important pillar to improvement and achieving sustainable excellent results.

Leadership Strategy

To start shifting your mindset from perfection to excellence, start thinking differently about mistakes and/or breakdowns, and ask a different set of questions like…

1. What was missing?
2. What did we learn from this? 

Our Relationship to Breakdowns Affects How We Lead

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/our-relationship-to-breakdowns-affects-how-we-lead/

We learn from a young age that breakdowns shouldn’t happen and are bad events in our lives to be avoided. At AJ, we tell a different story; breakdowns are the key to improvement. No matter your experience level, you’re bound to have breakdowns, especially if you are taking on something big at work or in life.

Why it Matters?

Breakdowns are a tool for improvement. How much game film do the great teams watch after their performance? Yes, they celebrate what they did well, but they also look to see what they can improve on. Even after the best of wins, the greats are looking for breakdowns to upgrade for the next game and show up better.

Leadership Insights

As a leader, can you let go of seeing a breakdown as something is wrong that needs to be fixed, determining whose fault it was? Will you try on seeing a breakdown as an invitation to discover what is missing for us to create the outcome we desire for the next time.

Leadership Strategy

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” — John Powell

Over the next few weeks, get into a conversation about breakdowns and the opportunity to learn to see what’s missing to apply for next time by:

  1. Planning time to identify and discuss breakdowns after scheduled events (look at game film).
  2. Identify what was missing to put in place to ensure success next time.

The link below offers some more practices that can support in reversing burnout in yourself and others.

Awesome Reference

5 Failure: The Secret to our Success is one of our favourite videos on learning from breakdowns.

Have an awesome month, leader! 

Getting Back in the Game

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/getting-back-in-the-game/

As we approach the second anniversary of COVID-19, more and more professionals are “hitting the wall” and burnout is at an all time high across all market segments.

Toss on top winter, cold weather, and January’s shorter days with less sun and you have the instant cherry on top of a doom and gloom recipe for burnout.

Why it Matters?

It is no secret that burnout has a direct impact on your ability to produce results. Not to mention, it impacts how effectively you lead others, who are likely burnt out as well and will need extra motivation from you to perform.

Leadership Insights

Burnout is different from stress. Stress can be managed by tactics like taking time off, going on vacation or rest. Burnout is a type of exhaustion that can be very difficult to turn around or recover from and does not go away on its own.

Leadership Strategy

Burnout can be transformed through the following set of practices:

  1. Prioritize self-care – make time for self-care and add to your calendar so its reliably in existence.
  2. Set firm boundaries and agreements – it’s ok to take a knee and shut it down.
  3. Get support – find an accountability partner that can pull you to the surface (presence), so you can pause, breathe, reset and start winning the race again.
  4. Change your mindset – reframe something that shows up as a negative/bad/wrong. Ask yourself, what is the learning in this?

The link below offers some more practices that can support in reversing burnout in yourself and others.

Awesome Read

5 Things to Do When You’re on the Edge of Burnout

Have an awesome month, leader! 

2022 Leadership Book List

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/2022-leadership-book-list/

The Awesome Journey Team would like to wish you a wonderful holiday season and thank you for having us as part of your transformation and growth in 2021.

As we move forward into the new year, we invite you to take the time needed to rest your mind, expand your resilience, allowing openness to change and new possibilities to emerge.

Check out our 2022 Book List for the leaders in your life. Click HERE to download.

 

Responsiveness: The difference between Succeeding and Failing

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/responsiveness-the-difference-between-succeeding-and-failing/

With the amazing advancements of technology, we receive more messages than ever before that allow us to get connected, get updated and receive requests almost immediately, from both clients and team members. How do we respond effectively?

Why it matters
Running a great business is about so much more than offering a great product or service. Your responsiveness to prospects, clients/customers and others can be a huge difference-maker in whether you succeed or don’t succeed as a team or even a business.

Leadership Insights
Responsiveness is absolutely critical for creating better relationships, trust, and rapport with clients and the people on your team. Responsiveness doesn’t necessarily mean immediately; it means having a system or structure in place so you can respond to inquiries within a reasonable time frame.

Leadership Strategy
3 practices to improve responsiveness:

  1. As a team, create an agreement to what your standards need to be around responding to clients, team members and other stakeholders.
  2. As leaders, scan through your e-mails received in the last 24 hours before you shut down for the day to make sure you didn’t miss something. At Awesome Journey, we call this Completing Your Day.
  3. Determine priority. We get more messages than ever before, but don’t let the overwhelming number of non-essential messages get in the way of healthy and necessary responsiveness.

Awesome Read:
The Importance of Responsiveness

Have an Awesome Month Leaders!

Why Giving Feedback is an Essential Leadership Skill

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/why-giving-feedback-is-an-essential-leadership-skill/

One key characteristic of a good leader is that they are able to reach organizational goals by motivating others. Giving constructive feedback helps individuals grow by learning how they can improve and by reinforcing the activities they are doing well.

Why it matters?

  • Feedback supports employees to see their blind spots that impact their performance
  • Feedback helps employees achieve their goals
  • Feedback builds trust between the leader and employee
  • Feedback influences employee engagement
  • Feedback reinforces individual accountability

Leadership Insights

If I asked your leaders what they are working on, their gifts and/or areas of opportunity, could they answer? Would it match what you would say? The answer should be the same and if its not, you have some work to do (feedback).

Challenge: Have ongoing conversations with your leaders to provide feedback like someone did for you in your leadership journey. It may be a difficult conversation, but the benefits are endless to them as a learner, you as leader and your company in achieving awesome results.

Awesome Read:

How Successful Leaders Give Honest Feedback That Inspires People and Does Not Hurt Their Ego

Have an awesome month leaders!

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