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How’s Your Crisis?

By now, we should all know something about how we’d do in a crisis. How’s yours going?


What’s been your experience of this crisis – and what are you learning about yourself as a result – good and bad?

Please leave a comment below if they’re still open at the time of reading, or tweet me @nickrobcoach

Ever wondered if you're a good person to have around in a crisis? Now you should know! Click To Tweet

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What we *DO* will be consistent with our beliefs about *who we are*

The single biggest predictor of people’s action and behaviour – what they will say and do – is their internal view of who they are

Think you’re a good leader? Then that will shape how you behave towards the people in your teams.

Feel like you’re organised and capable? Then that will influence how much work you take on and what you can cope with.

Do you regard yourself as someone who gets up early and pushes themselves? Then that’s way more likely to shape your motivation than ability, experience and resources.

And the converse is true as well:

  • If you feel that you’re not good leader or that you’ve let people down in the past – and you don’t take steps to focus away from that belief – then your leadership will fall short in future;
  • If you think you’re a disorganised, haphazard person – and you don’t acknowledge where your strengths really are – then your effectiveness at work will suffer;
  • If you tell yourself you’re a lazy person who doesn’t try hard enough – and that’s all you do, without properly examining what you want to achieve and why – then it’ll be doubly-hard for you to create momentum.

Rigorously examine your beliefs about who you are.

What kind of person are you – really?

Strip out all of the negative judgements. Nobody is perfect. We all fall short of the highest standards in some areas, some of the time.

It’s so important to guard against self-beliefs that limit us. Be careful about who you think you are. For example:

“I am a failure”

is 100% NOT the same as: “I am someone who has tried and failed.” Someone who has repeatedly tried and failed is a “Tryer”, not a “Failure”!

Someone who has repeatedly tried and failed is a 'Tryer', not a 'Failure'! Click To Tweet

Whenever you can, sculpt your self-identity to be totally honest and true and all-inclusive. Not rose-tinted, but not judgemental either.

Above all, our beliefs about who we are should support our higher purpose.

What are you here to achieve?
Who will benefit from you being at your best?
What are your efforts in service of?
And in the context of those answers – who do you choose to be?


What do you notice about your own self-beliefs about the kind of person you are? And how do they influence what you say and do, day-to-day?

Please leave a comment below if they’re still open at the time of reading, or tweet me @nickrobcoach


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Smarter, Stronger, Completer

You are Smarter than you think, Stronger than you feel, and more Complete than you imagine

One of my purposes in life is to someday get to the point in my work where I can convince people of the truth in that with just a simple word, or a look or a touch. Or maybe even to the point where it doesn’t need me at all. Wouldn’t that be fantastic!


As usual, please leave me a comment if they’re still open below, or tweet me @NickRobCoach. And always remember how brilliant you are.


Great One-on-One Meetings for Busy Managers




A Stake in the Game

Musings on the structural factors that help people feel ownership of their work

One of the most important tasks for any leader is to make it possible for people to feel that they have a real stake in the success of your organisation.

In my experience, not everybody is ready to take proper ownership of the outcomes they are working towards and so part of a leader’s job is to prepare them for that. It’s also a matter of belief for me that almost everybody will actually want that stake in the game – when they are ready. A great leader will help connect the dots for you, so that you know how your effort leads to a positive outcome and how it’s possible for you to feel ownership of that outcome.

These last two years or so I’ve also become interested again in the more structural factors around feeling that you have a stake in the game. In particular, about actual ownership.

There’s a growing Employee Ownership movement here in the UK, including some of our most successful and resilient companies. In other European countries this movement is already even bigger and is a growing force in the USA. Recent events at the Co-Op, the pioneer of shared ownership, have reminded us how important that idea is as well.

I wonder if we’ll look back at the 20th Century corporation as something of an aberration and be puzzled why anybody with the choice would ever have worked for an organisation that they didn’t directly own a part of?


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Three Leadership Lessons Inspired by Long Walk to Freedom

How do we apply the kind of strength and courage that we know is inside us, and lead other people to victory, when it’s not clear at all who or what the enemy is?

I watched “Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom” recently (great film and book) and thought about Mr Mandela’s early decision to stop being a lawyer, join the ANC and take the fight to the enemy.

For some men, including me, fighting against something is a very energising and satisfying thing to throw yourself into. But for most of us, not living under oppressive regimes and in a time of peace – who is the enemy?

What do you fight against? Who do you resist with the kind of positive intention that Mr Mandela found? How do you gather and lead other people in that kind of selfless resistance when things aren’t so ‘black and white’? How do we apply our full strengths in the workplace?

I think it begins with three relatively small steps, which together are a real leadership tipping-point:

1. What do we stand for?
It’s not enough to resist for the sake of resisting. Find what it is that you believe is worth defending or fighting for. It might be a belief in the way that things should be done or a situation that needs correcting. These are perfectly valid things to tackle in the workplace or outside it.

2. Define the battleground
We may not live under something as malign as the apartheid regime, but injustice, wasted opportunities and distress are around us, if we choose to look. Your battleground need not be a whole nation, but we do need strong people to raise their gaze and see where the fight is.

3. Be like a magnet: Resistance + Attraction
I loved how Mr Mandela used his charm and personality to draw people to him, and it was this charisma that the ANC knew they needed. He made the decision to join an armed resistance and to fight against the regime. But it was his force of attraction that gave the movement its strength and which ultimately enabled him to win over guards at Robin Island and the ruling National Party.


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Get together with others to help leave your legacy

Legacy

What do you want to leave behind?
And who do you need to get together with to make it happen?

Years ago I took a personality profiling test that told me I was: “the kind of person who can’t walk past a patch of waste ground without wanting to build something useful there, like a hospital”.

The test was called the Enneagram. I came out as a Type 8 and you can find out more about the system here: Enneagram Institute

The results of the test felt true, but I actually found it a bit overwhelming. How was I supposed to leave a big legacy like that!?

Which is why I feel so lucky that I got to be a member of my local NHS hospital board. It was the first time I’d been part of a big team again for quite a while, and I was really ready for that (despite it being an uncomfortable constraint at the same time). We had to face down some silly opposition to change and stand up to some bullying by the NHS authority, to get this hospital build going in my home town!
Gives me a smile whenever I go past.

Here’s the “before” picture:

20131215-172619.jpg

What do you want to leave behind?
And who do you need to get together with to make it happen?


Great One-on-One Meetings for Busy Managers

Having Purpose

Most people seem to want an answer to the “why am I here” question – what’s my purpose in life?

It makes sense that we would want there to be some meaning to what we’re doing with our limited time and effort. It helps when the going is tough to know that there is a purpose. And it gives direction so we can choose the right path when we have options available.

For some people, their purpose seems to have always been there, and they slip into it naturally. For most of us, I think that purpose is actually a choice.

There’s no magic answer to why you’re here, you actually have to decide for yourself.

You may even find there are several options to choose from – don’t get hung-up on picking the right one. If you want purpose, then purposefully choose to have it.

“A hero is someone who has given his life to something bigger than himself”
Joseph Campbell.


Great One-on-One Meetings for Busy Managers