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Polar Bear Pirates 21 Keys to Great Leadership

21 Keys to Great Leadership

I don’t think there are any secrets to great leadership but I do think there are a few keys…

1) If you want people to get out of bed for you, be more passionate about what they are capable of achieving than they are themselves.

2) Show your people that you care. If they think you really care, they’ll want to take that extra step with you.

3) Don’t try to be perfect. No-one will believe you! Fallibility is the hidden key to leadership and being authentic is the passport to engagement.

4) Make time and space to be with your team to understand their needs, to share visions and ideas – and when listening to them, listen out for what they are not telling you.

5) Make sure everyone is in the right role so that they can use whatever talents they have and take ownership. Productivity will go up and absenteeism will go down.

6) Keep your team fresh and continuously moving forwards by regularly setting new challenges. Having a sense of progress is vital, at the heart of having a sense of progress lies good goal setting.

7) If you want to build a strong team around you, shine the light of recognition on those who don’t want to climb the promotion ladder as well as those who do. If someone wants to stay and develop themselves in their current role they should be regarded as equally successful as anyone heading for the top.

8) Be brave! Making the right decisions for the good of the team will sometimes mean upsetting individuals – if you want an omelette, you have to crack some eggs.

9) Look for reasons to thank people, and when you do, don’t dilute your thanks by nonchalantly thanking them on your way out the door. Be seen to go out of your way to thank.

10) Fully leverage both peer recognition and peer pressure – the two most powerful motivators.

11) Have some fun! Having a laugh relaxes and pulls everyone together, it’s a great leveller and it releases endorphins.

12) Money isn’t the only motivator. Be constantly thinking up innovative ways to incentivise staff, to build a better ‘family’ environment and create a sense of belonging.

13) Be crystal clear in all communications, it’s a common fault of ineffective leaders to assume that everyone around them is a mind reader.

14) Stay focused on the positives. Behind the scenes, every organisation is held together with Blu-tack and sticky paper, they all have their faults. But unless you can change them, don’t waste your time and energy going looking for them.

15) Encourage staff to switch off whilst away from work so that their batteries get recharged. It’s important that you too regularly step back to see the big picture, but no so far back that you lose touch!

16) Regularly spend time on the edge of your comfort zone, exploring, failing and learning. Don’t be frightened of making mistakes – as someone once said “Everybody makes mistakes, it’s why they put rubbers on pencils and bumpers on cars.”

17) If you want your team to think outside the box, get them out of their box! If you’re looking for new ideas, go for a walk together. A different environment is likely to kick start the imagination and induce radical thinking.

18) At all times, no matter what the pressure, keep the shape of your integrity. In other words, never compromise your own values nor sacrifice your principles.

19) Do not ever underestimate the importance of the little things, the TNTs – Tiny Noticeable Things. They may be tiny but they create the biggest, longest lasting images.

20) Never ask or expect anyone to respect you. Respect can’t even be earned. It is a gift that people choose to give you.

21) AND, whatever you do, don’t try and please everyone all of the time – it’s the secret to failure!

To find out more how motivational speaker Adrian Webster can inspire your managers to become great leaders – please contact us.

Copyright Adrian Webster 2017


Grow Your People and Your Business with TNTs

The bigger they get, the more organisations have a tendency to concentrate on big things to engage and inspire their staff, big things to please customers, and big things to gel teams.

The problem being, people can’t see big things! What we can see, and what create instant, lasting pictures in people’s minds, are all the little things that we do, or don’t do.

What I call TNTs – Tiny Noticeable Things.

They may be tiny but TNTs are highly explosive. They are the visible difference between 4 and 5 star customer service; the fine line between a manager and a leader.

They are the secret weapon of highly successful business people, and the wonderful thing is – they cost nothing!

Often regarded as being too petty to mention they are all the little things that please or annoy; the telling snapshot images we take away.

TNTs are the emotional engagers; the motivators that make and break relationships. But what makes a TNT so phenomenally powerful is the emotional attachment it triggers.

Every time a picture springs to mind of a particular past experience, whether it be positive or negative, a gut feeling immediately surfaces. This feeling will continue to be recounted and continue to exert substantial subconscious bias on all future decision making.

Let me explain…

In a world of emails and text messages a TNT is a handwritten note to say “thank you”, it’s as small as a smile, it’s remembering people’s first names, making time for others, listening to people, remembering birthdays, going out of the way to praise staff, phoning back when you promised you would, surprising someone with a small gift of recognition – all the little things that put very big smiles on hard working faces, that show we care, that delight customers – that blow the competition away!

Sadly however, they are all too often the little things that have precisely the exact opposite effect. Why? Because being so small, the difference they make is often overlooked or fatally underestimated.

There are two very important keys when it comes to TNTs. Both are well worth remembering if you want to avoid a well-intended positive TNT backfiring and turning into a negative one.

1). TNTs need to be consistent. If for example you decide that every time it’s someone’s birthday you’re going to send them a birthday card from the rest of the team, you have to make sure that everyone gets a card on their birthday. The day someone doesn’t get one is the day you’ll have someone feeling a bit left out.

2). TNTs need to be relevant. Ask any teetotal person who has experienced either being given a bottle of champagne as a reward for all their hard work or as a thank you gift for being such a loyal customer.

If you are serious about engaging with your people and making your customers feel special, but regard yourself as far too busy to bother with all the small stuff, you do so at your own peril!

I’m lucky enough to speak at a lot of conferences and meet a lot of people. When delegates are chatting to me in coffee breaks they often start talking about their managers, telling me why they love working with them, or on the other hand, why they are thinking of leaving. Either way, it’s never to do with big things – it is always to do with the little things, the TNTs.

To find out more how motivational speaker Adrian Webster can best help you to really make a difference with TNTs – please contact us.