A compelling message – or just ‘So What?’

6 years ago 0 0 3376

As part of the process of selling a big idea – whether it is a product or service to a customer, or a message to internal stakeholders- we need a value proposition to help make it understandable by those we share it with. However, too many value propositions presented fall flat, with the customer either thinking – or saying out loud “So What?”. Too many value propositions offer no value, fall flat or are simply uninspiring. A great value proposition is meaningful, contains rich value for the customer and provides them with a compelling reason to change. If we are selling something, we are wanting the customer to change from not purchasing to purchasing. If we are sharing a big idea, we are asking our audience to change their minds and adopt the idea as their own. Either way, the value proposition has to overcome the status quo of what

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Are you a ‘self-centred’ or a ‘selfish’ leader?

6 years ago 0 0 1794

Instead of asking ‘how do I become a great leader’, sometimes it is useful, and extremely powerful, to step back and ask ‘why is it important to me?’ Being a purpose-driven leader provides such a powerful framework for becoming (and remaining) a great leader.  Without a true purpose, leadership becomes a material thing, just a title or a comparative score which sets the leader up for failure, burnout, or both.  Leaders without a quality purpose are difficult for others to follow. I see significant numbers of senior executives in coaching interactions with depression and anxiety running beneath the facade of their leadership bravado, because rather than being driven by a clear purpose which motivates them and pulls them forward, they are driven by fear of failure, or they simply don’t know what they really want in their lives.  By helping them discover and define their purpose, their whole leadership approach

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Empowered leadership through storytelling

6 years ago 0 0 1754

A core attribute of outstanding leadership is the ability to tell stories.  Stories are the human currency of social connection, and empower engagement, change and personal development, all which are key aspects of being a great leader. I remember once I was working in a highly technical field.  A bright young ‘up and comer’ returned from presenting to the executive board, looking deflated and dejected. ‘Not only did I not get the project approved’, he said, ‘ they nit picked every detail.’  I asked him to take me through the presentation- maybe I could help him? After the first minute or so it was clear that his 106 slides of data for a 20 minute presentation was probably not the way to go, so I gently stopped him, and said: “It reminds me of a time when I had to ask the executive board for 50 Million Euros capex in

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Who is your coach?

6 years ago 0 2 2397

Who is your coach? A great question to ask anyone who is (or who wants to be) a leader is to ask them one simple question: “Who is your coach”? The question reveals a lot about the person and their thinking on flexibility, adaptability, help-seeking and personal growth focus thinking.  All of which can be critical in the role of leader.  Sportspeople, entertainers and performers all rely on coaching to improve their performance, and keep them at the top of their games – which is exactly what we need from our business leaders. In business, we need our staff and our leaders to be able to step up and play their biggest games.  We know that the organisation that is demonstrating high performance is doing so because its people are not only surviving, but thriving on the challenges of the workplace, are deeply engaged and seeking to make a difference.

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Do you need to change how you change?

6 years ago 0 0 1590

 Are you, and those you lead, scared of the idea change? Do you recognise the need for change, but wonder how you can make your change program successful when so many other change programs, started with the best of intent, simply fail? Why is change so hard, and how can we ensure change programs succeed? Understanding the need to change: Change is inevitable.  Even with a highly successful organisation, change needs to happen as things around them evolve.  Things inside and outside the organisation change, and over time the requirement to change just to keep up, let alone ‘stay ahead’ gets bigger and bigger.  New technology, new processes, new customer requirements, new competitors, new regulations and even new social norms can rapidly turn today’s success into tomorrow’s obsolecence Because change is inevitable, we just need to decide if we will adapt to change, lead change, or become obsolete (there is

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The 8 things which will create a perfect storm in your business

6 years ago 0 0 3018

So you have done the company survey, or listened by the coffee machine.  It seems like the jungle drums are beating, and the natives are restless.  The executive team gets together and asks themselves “How did we get like this?”, and wonder at the emerging signs that the culture and engagement strategies have failed. What organisations often find is that the company is not living its stated values, the staff are hardly engaged and the culture has devolved to something just more civil than a cage fight.  And you wondered where your performance had gone? Does this sound familiar?  Too often issues with engagement and culture are identified after these problems are having a real impact on the business and its results.  So many organisations find themselves in trouble and wonder both how they got there, and how to get themselves out. Unfortunately, many organisations find themselves in the perfect

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Leading tribes: Leadership secrets you need to know

6 years ago 0 0 2517

How do you ‘define’ yourself?  If you were to list five things that describe you, what would they be? It is human nature to want to be in tribes, and to define ourselves by the tribes that we belong to, the ones we aspire to, and the ones that we want to distance ourselves from. “I would not dream of belonging to a club that is willing to have me as a member” [Goucho Marx] Knowing the social psychology of how we behave in tribes can help us really understand aspects of our culture, behaviour and even how we can be better leaders.  It can help us understand what drives extremism, group think, innovation and fads.  We all belong to many tribes and this act of belonging can influence us in powerful ways. Understanding human tribal behaviour is critical for businesses to understand their customers, for leaders to understand their

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Why most sales reps aren’t built to perform

6 years ago 1 0 1528

Our customers today have access to overwhelming volumes of information, have so many choices and are ever more discerning.  The ability for our customers to truly understand what we can offer them can simply be lost in the white noise. How we connect to customers and sell them our purpose, our values and our offerings can be critical in cutting through this white noise and drive business success.  Great sales people are therefore a prerequisite of success – and you need them right across your business. As organisations become more social and customer centric, every person within the organisation not only becomes a brand ambassador, but a ‘salesperson’ of the organisation, and for the organisation, to its customers.  The old days of salespeople on the ‘outside’ and everyone else huddled within are definitely gone. So what really makes a great salesperson? If you had to identify the profile that would

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Crisis communication -surviving the crash

6 years ago 0 0 1669

The recent tragic Air Asia crash is yet to be fully understood, and there are many who are directly and indirectly affected by this terrible event. At times like this, organisations need to respond to what has happened, and how they do this will earn them sympathy or support, or else turn the anger of those suffering, the media and the general public against them. So far, Tony Fernandes, the group CEO of Air Asia, has done an outstanding job.  His communication has been thoughtful, timely and well delivered.  It reminds me of Richard Branson, who was an outstanding crisis communicator during the Midlands train crash a few years back, as well as during the space plane test flight crash in 2014. The truth is that a leader and organisation without a crisis plan, and without a good crisis communication approach, will more than likely be out of business two

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Engaging four people for success

6 years ago 0 0 1163

There are only four people in your business. Regardless of the type of business that you have, your business only contains four people. That’s right – only four. Well, it really contains only four TYPES of people: Leaders, Employees, Customers and Community. To be successful, a business has to engage each of these four types of people. The Leadership needs to be engaged with the purpose of the business, to make the critical decisions that take the business forward in a thoughtful and purposeful way.  Leaders who are engaged with WHY the business exists make purposeful decisions that drive the organisation to be better.  Leaders that are disengaged from the bigger purpose will make short term and self-centred decisions, which often leads the organisation into problems (even crisis). The employees need to be engaged to drive high performance.  The literature is clear that an engaged workforce increases performance above and

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