What is leadership? Leadership is influence. “He who thinketh he leadeth and hath no one following him is only taking a walk.” For you to be a leader, someone has to be following you. How do you Lead in 2021? Support your employees to develop Capacity development is the key to a performing and […]
Success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react, and reinvent. Bill Gates
For new businesses and start-ups, agility can be easier because they are more flexible. They don’t have many processes and are not more traditional in their ways of doing compared to more established businesses.
We are not saying that well established businesses cannot be agile. It’s very possible for them if they are strategic in doing so. They can even become more agile than expected.
Agility has been embraced by various organisations to drive change across their people and their leadership structure. In one global study, 94% of companies say that collaboration and agility are critical to their success. Another report shows that companies with highly-agile executives have 25% higher profit margins than their peers.
So, what is agility?
As defined by Agile Alliance, agility is the ability to create and respond to change in order to succeed in an uncertain and turbulent environment. It means organisations that are dynamic and move along with the changes in their industry.
An agile organisation is one that is stable at its core but can quickly change to meet any needs of the environment.
What is the importance of agility?
- An agile organisation is more likely to be innovative. This is because they are more likely to think outside the box and outside the established ways of doing things. A lot of businesses will focus so much on attempting to be innovative, but they don’t think about agility. To have one, it’s almost always necessary to have the other.
- Creates an agile culture in the organisation. Employers need to work on ensuring that they cultivate behaviours that exemplify agility. For example being adaptive to change, creative and easily able to move along as change occurs are all values of an agile organisation.
- Leads to better organisation of staff. This is a concept important to agility in the workplace. Staff come together when needed and in ways they see appropriate for specific situations rather than following the traditional ways. They create an opportunity for brainstorming and discussions.
- Helps organisations stay focused. Sometimes a business isn’t able to be agile nor innovative because it’s so bogged down in the details. Rather than focusing so much on the unnecessary details, it can be valuable to focus on a few primary, critical objectives. These don’t necessarily have to be long-term. Often in agile organisations, the approach is more short-term when it comes to specific objectives.
- Leads to accelerated delivery. They say if you want something done fast, give it to a busy person. How many of you need to get things done faster? Now significantly multiply that need for speed when you’re dealing with a crisis scenario. Agility helps us deliver faster and efficiently because people look for faster and easier ways of handling tasks.
- Agile organisations increase their productivity. Many of us are trying to do more with less. When times are tough and budgets are cut, agile and lean businesses can still deliver on their promises.
Agility and Growth Mindset
For an organisation to achieve agility, there is great need to adopt a growth mindset, which is very different from a fixed mindset. Here are some differences between the two:
|Avoids failure||Desires continuous learning|
|Desires to look smart||Confronts uncertainties|
|Avoids challenges||Embraces challenges|
|Sticks to what they know||Not afraid to fail|
|Feedback and criticism is personal||Puts lots of effort to learn|
|They don’t change or improve||Feedback is about current capabilities|
Agility for Individuals and Teams
Organisations need people in order to succeed. In the same way, agility in organisations cannot be achieved if the individuals and teams in these organisations are not agile. Below is an outline of ways an individual can integrate agility in their daily life:-
- Set goals. Give your life a direction by creating and setting goals. Ask yourself what you want to achieve at the end of every week, month, and year.
- Be flexible and innovative. Identify the barriers that prevent you from hitting your target and change your strategy if there is a need to.
- Plan ahead. Spending a few minutes managing your schedules and checking your progress won’t hurt your time. Planning ahead can be a life-changing habit, so make this a routine!
- Manage goals. Make your goals manageable. By breaking your goals into chunks, you’re making them more realistic and achievable.
- Be committed to your tasks. Block out a specific time in a day or week to work on your tasks. Know what needs to be done, what needs to be fixed, and what your goal for every task is. Make this a habit and stick to it.
As a team, agility can be achieved through some of the following practices:
Acceptance — As teams work on new projects or solutions, there can be a lot of challenges on the way. If things don’t work out the way they should, it’s important to identify the reason behind it, accept the failure and then think of a new way to avoid the same failure from happening again. Don’t hesitate to change approach if required.
Trust —Team leaders can help establish trust by creating a workplace where everyone feels comfortable about sharing their new ideas, and giving their opinions with openness and respect.
Communication. Agile teams don’t think alike and everyone has a different idea. When these ideas are shared and discussed in one room, it can spark curiosity and creativity to the team.
Patience. Agile teams do not need to rush into things at the expense of seeing the greater outcome. They should trust the time and the process as they are working on a common goal and success.
Learning. Agility is innovation and openness to new information. Agile teams should be encouraged to think outside the box and work closely with their clients so that they can innovate and find better solutions to the clients’ needs.
Our goal is to increase your organisations ability to adapt to the changing times and prepare teams to respond to these changes.
How is your organization fostering agility?
High level of self-awareness means really understanding who you are, why you act, communicate and respond as you do, truly knowing your strengths, weaknesses, positive and negative emotions and what motivates you.
When you are self-aware, it is easier for you to understand other people and be aware of how they view you. It also allows you to notice how your behaviour impacts others around you so that you can adapt accordingly. High levels of self awareness equals high emotional intelligence and that is one of the most important factors to success.
Improving self-awareness is a life long journey, but a journey you can accelerate at any time. One thing for sure is that throughout your career you will either work as part of team or you will lead a team. Self-awareness can be a game-changer for either!
Self-awareness for leaders
High levels of self awareness as a leader is the foundation of a strong character, where leaders lead with purpose, trust, authenticity and openness. Leaders have a clear understanding of who they are and what they need most from other people to build a successful team.
Self-awareness ensures leaders can identify the gaps and weaknesses in their management style, clearly shows up the areas in which they are effective and where they might need additional effort and focus. Such leaders positively motivate their employees, inspire and engage their teams to perform better, are constantly looking at ways to improve their leadership skills and nurture a more supportive and effective business culture.
Self awareness for teams
Teams with high levels of self awareness feel accountable for each other’s success, and willingly provide support and candid feedback to help each team member be their best.
Self-aware teams are:
- More likely to spend time debating, discussing problems, and making decisions
- More likely to address unacceptable team behaviors promptly
- More likely to give each other tough feedback
- Less likely to have “undiscussables” that the team can’t talk openly about
These team members talk honestly and openly about team and individual team members’ strengths and challenges. And, because team members trust each other, they assume positive intent when the tougher conversations happen. Therefore, authentic and candid feedback is more easily heard and valued. It feels okay to be imperfect or to experience setbacks. It is less scary to be vulnerable.
Creating these teams takes time, but is well worth the effort! Think about how your team is going to pull together through our current crisis and invest in raising their self awareness now.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What is workplace diversity?
Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between individuals in an organisation. Diversity not only includes how individuals identify themselves, but also how others perceive them. Diversity within a workplace encompasses race, gender, ethnic groups, age, religion, personality, sexual orientation, citizenship status, as well as other distinct differences between people.
Importance of workplace diversity
- Mutual Respect Among Employees
Whether employees work in groups or teams comprised of co-workers with varied work styles or who represent different cultures or generations, a synergistic work environment should become the norm. Employees who recognise the many strengths and talents that diversity brings to the workplace, gain respect for their colleagues’ performance.
- Conflict Reduction and Resolution
Employees who acknowledge others’ differences often find similarities, particularly when there are common goals, such as production and quality. Respect for co-workers either reduces the likelihood of conflict or facilitates an easier road to conflict resolution. Workplace diversity preserves the quality of employees’ relationships with their co-workers and their supervisors.
- Business Reputation Enhancement
Diversity in the workplace is vital for employees because it manifests itself in building a great reputation for the company, leading to increased profitability and opportunities for workers.
An organization known for its ethics, fair employment practices and appreciation for diverse talent is better able to attract a wider pool of qualified applicants. Other advantages include loyalty from customers who choose to do business only with companies whose business practices are socially responsible.
- Job Promotion and Employee Development
A global marketplace opens doors for employees of different ages, physical and mental abilities, and ethnic backgrounds to build global profit centres. Employees interested in learning multinational business strategy and who are available for possible expatriate assignments may also find new career opportunities.
- Increased Exposure to Different Kinds of People
Employees learn from co-workers whose work styles vary and whose attitudes about work vary from their own. Traditional-generation workers learn new technology and processes from workers who belong to the tech-savvy millennial generation.
- Variety of Different Perspectives and Creativity
People are more likely to have a variety of different skills and experience.
Employees will have access to different perspectives which is highly beneficial when it comes to planning and executing a business strategy. When you put together people who see the same thing differently, you are most likely to get new ideas thus improving the creativity of your workforce.
- Better Decision Making thus Increased Profits
When employees with different backgrounds and perspectives come together, they come up with more solutions which leads to more informed and improved decisions making process and results.
Delayed processes impact the ways of the business and in turn affect the profits.
- Reduced Employee Turnover
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace cause all employees to feel accepted and valued. They become happier in their workplace and stay longer with the company and in turn, the company has low turnover rates.
Tips for managing diversity in the workplace:
To manage a diverse workplace, organisations need to ensure that they effectively communicate with employees. Policies, procedures, safety rules and other important information should be designed to overcome language and cultural barriers by translating materials and using pictures and symbols whenever applicable.
Treat each employee as an individual
Avoid making assumptions about employees from different backgrounds. Instead, look at each employee as an individual and judge successes and failures on the individual’s merit rather than attributing actions to their background.
Encourage employees to work in diverse groups
Diverse work teams let employees get to know and value one another on an individual basis and can help break down preconceived notions and cultural misunderstandings.
Base standards on objective criteria
Set one standard of rules for all groups of employees regardless of background. Ensure that all employment actions, including discipline, follow this standardised criteria to make sure each employee is treated the same.
Invest time in helping teams work together
Team building, whilst important, has moved on. Invest in developing your team’s self-awareness and helping them to appreciate why others in the team may be different. Globally recognised programmes such as Lumina Learning (https://luminalearning.com/), can completely transform the way your teams work together.
Presenting can be tough especially for those of us not born with natural eloquence. To be a better public speaker, one has to develop a personal speaking style. You can do this by packing the presentations with enthusiasm, unique data and having plenty of jokes and short stories relating to the topic.
How do you deliver a great presentation?
Rehearse your lines in various positions – standing up, sitting down, with arms open wide. The more you mix up your position and setting, the more comfortable you’ll feel with your speech. You can also do a practice run for your friend or colleague and evaluate areas that you need to work on. The more you practice, the more your confidence grows.
It’s always best to allow yourself plenty of time to settle in before your talk, preferably 45-60 minutes before your presentation. Extra time gives you a chance to check the room out and make sure the layout is the way you want it, to test and re-test all the equipment and ensure that everything works for you. Don’t trust the sound guy or computer tech who says, “I checked everything and it works fine.’’You also get a chance to do some meet and greet and this makes the attendees feel more at ease.
Smiling replaces anxiety with calm and makes you feel good about your presentation. Smiling also exhibits confidence and enthusiasm to the crowd. This tip works even if you’re doing a webinar and people can’t see you. Just don’t overdo it!
Work on Your Pauses.
When you’re nervous, it’s easy to speed up your presentation and end up talking too fast, which in turn causes you to run out of breath, get more nervous, and panic! Pausing helps to emphasise certain points and to help your talk feel more conversational. If you feel yourself losing control of your pace, just take a nice pause and keep cool.
Actively Engage the Audience.
People love to talk and make their opinions heard. Asking the audience what they think, inviting questions, and other means of welcoming audience participation can boost engagement and make attendees feel part of a conversation. It also makes you, the presenter, seem much more relatable. Don’t be put off by unexpected questions – instead see them as an opportunity to give your audience what they want.
Even if your presentation is packed with useful information, if your delivery bombs, so will your session. Include some jokes and light-hearted stories in your presentation to help you feel more comfortable especially when presenting a great deal of heavy information. .However, it’s important to maintain a balance.
Attend other presentations
Attending some of the earlier talks by other presenters give you a chance to scope out their presentation skills and get some context. Deconstruct their speech by highlighting their approach, tactics and execution. You can always borrow something from other speakers that you can use in your own presentations.
We all love a bit of teambuilding! When morale is low, people are a bit fed up, or perhaps the team is just tired, the leadership team might suggest a teambuilding day to inject energy and enthusiasm back into the team.
But just running around and playing games, whilst good exercise, may not change anything.
Teambuilding is a collective term for various types of activities used to improve relationships, break down barriers, give shared experience, encourage mutual understanding of different personalities and define roles within teams. Many teambuilding exercises aim to expose and address interpersonal problems within the group or help find solutions to team problems.
Before investing valuable time and money, it’s important to understand the real benefits, so you know what it is that your team needs.
Team building events create the time to focus on the importance of team work and what is needed to make you a better team. If you can work together better, understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, know what annoys and what motivates your colleagues and appreciate what brings out the best in others, the team is simply going to do a better job!
We communicate with each other every day, whether replying to an email, a speedy whatsapp message, a formal report presented to management, or even our facial expression as we pass in the corridor. Good communication is vital for a high performing team and team-building can help break down these barriers, helping us share information freely and clearly and avoid misinterpretation or confusion.
Some teambuilding activities require us to have a leader. They may be appointed or elected after we identify leadership qualities in individuals. Giving your team the opportunity to be the leader in a fun, safe, yet challenging role, helps them practice the skills they will need and understand how to bring out the best in others.
One of the most important roles of team building is building a person’s confidence. By giving responsibility to individuals to lead activities, coach other team members and solve problems successfully, their confidence will grow. They start to see how their contribution and talents matter and, in time, will feel more confident in contributing ideas or suggestions to help grow the organisation.
Responsibility is understanding that each member’s contribution to the team is important, regardless of their role. We define roles and clarify expectations to ensure the whole team shines and team building can help to reinforce how taking responsibility is vital for team’s performance.
For a team to be effective, trust is essential because it provides a sense of safety.
When we trust each other, we are able to open up to each other and expose our strengths and vulnerabilities. Team building programmes help participants to learn more about each other. If a workplace is able to foster a strong sense of trust within their teams, productivity, morale and team work will improve.
Differences atwork can lead to conflict, arguments, tension and stress. It is important for teams to understand that we need to be respectful, professional and pleasant when discussing these differences. Team building can help to nurture greater respect for each other through communication, sharing knowledge, encouraging and helping each other.
Morale and Fun
We all know the famous proverb ‘All work and no play make Jack a dull boy’.
Team building is about shared experience. Doing things together, outside of the office with no roles or responsibilities can help to break down the barriers, improve morale and create a more positive atmosphere. Teams that enjoy what they do, generally do a better job!
At Lantern, we approach team building days with a difference! We call it Team Build Plus.
Whilst group activities and challenges play an important part in helping to bind and bond teams, if there is no obvious take-out from the day, the team is left with happy, fun memories but nothing has changed!
We work closely with you to understand some of the skill gaps in your organisation and then develop and design a highly motivational and exciting day for your teams, built around some core skills and changes in behaviour.
These themes include:
- Efficiency and Working Smarter
- Creative Thinking
- Presentation Skills
- Understanding ourselves and others
- Problem Solving
Call us today on 0702 369224 or email us on email@example.com and we will help you bind those gaps!
First impressions create lasting memories, whether positive or negative. It only takes seconds for someone to decide if they like you or not and, on the telephone, these decisions are made simply by what they hear. A pleasant greeting and a positive attitude will set the stage for each call and by speaking positively, professionally and warmly, you create a positive image for the entire organisation. It can be the make or break of a business!
How to get it right:
- Answer all calls with a warm, sincere greeting.
- Be pleasant and interesting.
- Manage expectations and sincerely apologise if expectations are unmet.
- Listen without interrupting.
- Respond with appropriate emotion (show enthusiasm or empathy).
- Be polite and kind.
- Appreciate that a person’s time and respect it valuable.
- Always make the other person feel important.
- Avoid being condescending, even if you are asked silly questions.
- Take time with everyone and don’t rush to finish the call. You want to encourage them to call again!
Remember, people do not remember what you do, they remember how you made them feel!
The Lumina Learning suite of psychometrics is the next generation of personal and professional development tools supporting individuals and teams to work more effectively, to drive performance and improve the bottom line. Lumina Spark is the first step on this journey and provides an accurate, personalised Portrait focusing on increased self-awareness and practical development points to assess and improve communication, teamwork and leadership.
By taking a humanistic approach and viewing people as “human beings” rather than “human doings” we set out to help organisations transform their performance by transforming their people. We are passionate about improving personal effectiveness at all levels within organisations.
Team development programmes are visual, dynamic and can be life-changing. By introducing Lumina into your business, we can guarantee that your teams will never look back!
As the first qualified practitioners of Lumina Spark in East Africa, we are taking individual and team development to an entirely new level. Call us today to help transform your teams to work effectivesly thus improving results.
They say that leaders are born, not made. While it is true that some people are born leaders, some leaders are born in the midst of adversity. Often, simple people who have never had a leadership role will stand up and take the lead when a situation they care about requires it. A simple example is parenting. When a child arrives, many parents discover leadership abilities they never knew existed in order to guide and protect their offspring.
Once you learn the techniques of true leadership & influence, you will be able to build the confidence it takes to take the lead. The more experience you have acting as a genuine leader, the easier it will be for you. It is never easy to take the lead, as you will need to make decisions and face challenges, but it can become natural and rewarding.
So how do you create influence?
1. Serve others before yourself.
The best use of your time and leadership is in the service of others. You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. The growth and development of people represent the highest calling of leadership.
2. Believe in your people.
There is no greater empowerment and support you can give someone than to look them in the eye and with sincerity and conviction say, “I believe in you.” When you believe in someone, they can achieve the impossible.
3. Give trust so you can earn trust.
The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them first. Trust is the glue of leadership, the foundational principle that holds all relationships together. Teamwork builds trust and trust builds growth.
4. Truly connect with people.
Leaders should connect with their people and relate to them in a way that increases their own influence. When you can connect with people, you can begin to form relationships—and relationships are the basis of influence.
5. Invest in the success of others.
The more you invest in people and lift them toward their potential, the more likely they are to view you as their leader. Leadership is not about titles, positions or flow charts but one life influencing another. True leaders bring out the personal best in those around them.
6. Lead with character.
Leading with character means doing what’s right, however hard it is. Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing. People will follow you when you exhibit strong character and integrity.
7. Lead with authority but allow autonomy.
Leaders must be close enough to relate to others but far enough ahead to motivate them. If you truly want people to respect you as a leader, you must prove to them they can survive and thrive even without you.
8. Be kind.
Always show kindness and attention to others. Your words might be filling the empty places in someone’s heart. It does not matter who is assigned to your team; what matters is who they will become because of you.
9. Provide opportunities for wins.
Create circumstances that give your people a series of small wins that will magnify their potential. When challenges are mastered and opportunities turn into wins, people admire the leader who has helped them stretch.
- Update your social media accounts
Decide which social media account(s) you are going to focus on, and delete any old accounts that you are no longer using. Make sure all of your information is complete and accurate. This will help you to build traffic to the networks you want to showcase your work. It can also remove any potential “questionable” content from years past that doesn’t have a positive effect on your professional image.
Use a professional picture. Don’t take a ‘selfie’ in the bathroom and use it on your professional page.
2. Identify your area of expertise.
Everyone’s an expert at something – whether its writing about sports events, working out or marketing certain products or services. Is it time for you to experiment a bit more? What type of content have you created that your followers have responded to most? Can you replicate this with other similar content? The more unique and engaging content you create on your chosen topic of expertise, the more your followers will start to think of you as a leader in your chosen field.
I know that it might seem like you’ll get three times the amount of business if you are promoting yourself as a Photographer/Realtor but the truth is the opposite. People want to work with those that specialise in what they are looking for. They want to see that you’re so good at what you do that you don’t have the time or the desire to do anything else.
3. Use Apps. They make posting easier.
Forgotten passwords, busy day jobs and content creation; maintaining an online presence can be time-consuming; but there are many social media apps at hand to make life easier. These apps connect to your social media networks and allow you to cross-post across different social networks and schedule posts, removing the need to login to multiple websites. Most major social media networks including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are compatible with these applications. Examples of these apps are sprout, buffer and Hootsuite.
4. Share Content On a Regular Basis.
In the early days of social media, the more you posted, the more engagement you could drum up. Today, however, over-posting leads to fatigue and annoyance. You want to keep the lines of communication open with your audience, but you also don’t want to over-share so much that you look desperate. The sweet spot is posting around 3-4 times per week for individuals.
There will be days when you don’t post, and that’s perfectly fine. Analyse the data associated with your posts and identify a pattern that works for you. If you’re having trouble finding content to share and want more insight into what’s popular among users, try searching via ‘hashtag’ on Twitter.
5. Create & Curate Engaging Content.
Creating engaging content means taking a fresh approach to the types of updates you share with your network. Don’t be afraid to occasionally talk about your own achievements, or even add engaging bits about your personal life (topics such as travel, hobbies, etc.are suitable). After all, social media is about individuals first. Sharing some of this information provides your audience with a glimpse of who you really are and what you’re about – just ensure you don’t over-share or make it all about you.
6. Import Your Contacts.
You might be amazed to see how many people you already know on the social media networks you’re using. There may be tens, or even hundreds, of people with whom you haven’t yet connected with. Import your email contacts from Gmail or Outlook, or contacts from your phonebook into your social networks to find out how many connections you’re missing. Linkedin, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all allow for a free import of a certain number of contacts.
7. Keep it Positive.
Think of your social media interactions and content creation as part of a resume of your work and a reflection of your professional attitude and overall personality. Avoid inflammatory religious or racial comments, and be careful when making political commentary that others may consider offensive.
8. Find & Join Groups.
Use the search bar on each network to find groups that are linked to your specific area of expertise, then you’ll be able to share your insights and build authority around your personal brand. Keep in mind that industry groups may be overcrowded with your competitors, so smaller, topic-based groups may be more fruitful in terms of reaching your audience.
Once you’re a member of your preferred social media groups, don’t be afraid to jump into discussions and add your unique insights. Showing that you’re responsive will help you build your personal brand in larger communities beyond your own.
9. Keep Your Brand Voice, Image & Tone Consistent
You’ve probably already figured out that sticking to your defined persona is important. You must also remain consistent with your ideas and the ways you present them so that you’re memorable and trustworthy. If a popular political commentator suddenly and radically switched parties, no doubt he or she would lose a lot of fans overnight.
Following your brand guidelines helps to control people’s perceptions. You can damage an otherwise flawless reputation if one of your profiles shows up with content or images that don’t match up with your brand’s voice.
10. Study influencers
Once you’ve found the top influencers in your area, analyse their networks, posting habits and content to determine what you could be doing better. Notice how their followers respond to what they post, and learn best practices from their personal branding strategies and execution.
Connecting with and collaborating with influencers is a great way to get your brand known, but it does take some time. You have to spend time developing relationships with influencers before they’ll see you as an expert.