Following my two earlier articles about Northern Power Women’s excellent report, “Levelling Up by Powering On”, here is the second half of my baker’s dozen of foundational principles that I continuously rely on in my work with leaders across a broad demographic spectrum.
My first article in this series concludes with a model that highlights the need for concepts to possess rigorous research underpinnings and to be practical. It is vital these can be implemented. It may not necessarily be easy to do this. However, through diligent endeavour they can be learnt, understood, practised, and competence deepened by ongoing coaching. Combined, rather than any one in isolation, these faculties represent the hallmarks of great leadership.
When exercised, these principles deliver a humane, compassionate, and purposeful style of leadership. This imbues organisations, large and small, for and not for profit, with a fit and healthy climate. Employee engagement and well-being will rise, the customer and citizen experience will improve, the environment will be protected – the triple bottom line is maximised.
The sustainable outcome is that we won’t just level up, we shall power forward into a new and better community.
What behaviours do you need to deploy consistently and constantly to strengthen trust and act as a vaccine against its mutated forms of distrust (usually based on experience) and mistrust (a general sense of unease)?
Last week, my good friend and business colleague, Gary Winter (see the post script to Harvard Business School article, “The Great Training Robbery”, which concerns the famous turn-round at Asda during the 1990s in which Gary was deeply immersed), told me about a programme he listened to on BBC Radio 4. In this, a prominent CEO spoke about doubting the necessity for their employees to remain working from home (WFH). The CEO felt they should be “keen and willing” to return to the workplace and their fears and concerns about Covid-19 were both mis-guided and misplaced (so singing from the same song sheet as President Trump uttering, “Do not be afraid,” upon his return to the White House from hospital). To us, it sounds as though this CEO does not trust their employees’ commitment.
The regular interactions between leaders and team members are what form the foundation for an engaging workplace and yet it is an area with room for improvement.
In our team we will soon receive our annual employee engagement survey results. This a regular exercise in many companies and one that sheds light on dynamics of team performance, culture and wellbeing.
It is however only providing a snapshot. A moment in time with limited scope for understanding nuance, personal differences and context. The feedback is highly important and the initial response rate also provides an interesting insight, yet this data must be used as part of a wider approach to engagement if we are to truly create aligned & high performing organisations.
We continue to follow the fortunes of a senior leader in Northern Europe over a six year period as he applies his coaching skills in new and more challenging roles.
We last checked in with Hans Augusteijn on the progress of his personal coaching journey back in 2016. A lot has happened with him since then in terms of career progression and taking on bigger and more global leadership challenges. In 2017 Hans was promoted to Global Head of Intermodal Transport for Maersk Transport and Logistics Division. And recently this year he became Global Head of Delivery.
I went back to three key questions I asked Hans in my 2016 interview to find out where he is now on his continuing coaching journey.
Choosing words wisely increases our chances to get heard and foster an environment in which our colleagues will feel safe to speak their mind – bring new ideas and suggestions etc. We will get their attention!
It’s been a while but today I am gladly resuming my publications. Today I will share something about feedback and how the selection of our words is important.
I once read somewhere that around 250k people die in the US every year as result of medical mistakes. Investigations found that more than a third of these fatalities could have been avoided if doctor’s assistants had spoken when noticing that something in the procedure was incorrect. The fact, apparently, was that most of these assistants don’t speak because of the negative reaction (even aggressive) from doctors.
Have you ever experience a situation in which you were in doubt whether you should speak or remain quiet afraid of being shut by someone who believe to ‘know-it-better’?
My personal experience has taught me that if I haven’t received from life what I think I deserve, it is most likely because I need to do a better job at earning it.
I was resting before my next fight during my latest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament when a mother of one of the kids, who was competing in the children’s competition, approached me, looking quite desperate, looking for feedback she told me that she needed my help. Her son had just lost his first fight against a more skillful kid and she insisted on showing me the video of her son’s fight to see if I could give her tips on how to improve his technique. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a sport that does not believe in talent. One improves by training constantly. There is no secret formula for overnight improvement, just like life. I looked at her and noticed that she was very concerned and recommended that she should have a talk with her son’s coach to understand the process and let him take care of his progress. She replied, “I want to help him but I do not know how”. I am also a father and completely understood her position. We do not want our kids to go through unnecessary hardship.
Need some inspiration on creating opportunities for coaching sessions? Coaching doesn’t just happen. You need to decide how you will invest your discretionary leadership time to carry out the coaching.
Back in the summer of 2016 I wrote two articles about Preparing & Planning for Coaching. One of the delights of Blogging is to see which articles stand the test of time and are regularly being read by visitors to the website. Such is the case for ‘Preparing & Planning for Coaching’. Here is the next article in the series: ‘Creating Coaching Opportunities’.
“I want more leaders in this Company join this great journey; once and forever this will change our way of leading people and managing business. As a coaching ambassador and trainer, I aim to help more people become professional leaders, to use these great tools in their daily life and become great coaches”.
I first started working with the Top Team at the Far East Asia Liner Operations Cluster (FEALOC) in Shanghai when I visited them in January 2013 to kick off the Coaching Master Class program. Michael Han was a member of the senior management team and had already made a start on his coaching journey.
Michael turned out to be one of the bright stars of the coaching work I did in 2013 in eight different worldwide locations. He is a great coaching ambassador and trainer. His humbleness meant he often used to hide this brightness. Here is an example. In one of our coach-the-coach sessions I gave Michael positive feedback on the great results he was achieving with his coaching. Then came the humble bit from him: “OK Trevor – that’s all bright side. But what can I do better?” In another example I observed this characteristic again in group sessions where he instinctively held back from offering his views on a topic to allow others to contribute. He was making sure others were able to shine.
Michael became a facilitator for Coaching Master Class program and rolled it out to the next leadership level in China and in Japan. He is a bright shining star for coaching in the Far East.
Here Michael reflects on his journey three years on. I took Michael through four stages of his coaching development journey to find out what he has discovered along the way, and what can we learn from his experiences.