Pitch perfect – get your audience to yes

5 years ago 0 0 1498

The role of the ‘pitch’ has been magnified through such TV shows as ‘Shark Tank’ or ‘Lion’s Den’. These shows put a pitch in the spotlight, with an assessment and investment depending upon the quality of the presentation as well as the product idea. They can often make the process seem as a ‘one shot for glory’. However, if we view a pitch as this, then it can lead to unnecessary stress and worry, and can negatively impact how we pitch. If, on the other hand, we considered a pitch as simply an opportunity to open a discussion and negotiation, to present our position and influence buy in, then we can use the pitch in powerful ways to create successful uptake of our ideas and secure the support that we seek. Everyone has to pitch – maybe not for a major investment, but politicians pitch their policies for your vote,

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Sabotage strategies that derail success

5 years ago 0 0 1003

Are your strategic choices setting you up for success? One of the core principles of leadership is to ensure that strategies are put into action to assist people in creating high value actions which can help the organisation deliver upon its goals.  However, too often we fall into the trap of pursuing strategies which do not lead us to success, but instead lead us away from it.  You may be using ‘sabotage strategies’ – without even realising it. What is a ‘strategy’ anyway? Strategy is often defined as “a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim”.  However, to understand the true value of strategies, we need to start with an understanding of what an individual’s ‘long term or overall aim’ actually is. Strategy which is purely based around an organisation’s purpose or mission allows the organisation to move forward, driving high performance in its areas of

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Who is your coach?

5 years ago 0 2 1775

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?

5 years ago 0 0 1346

 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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Rule 1 For Great Leadership: Don’t buy into the myths

5 years ago 0 0 2567

I was driving my son to a music lesson, and I asked him an interesting question (we always have interesting conversations in the car!).  The question was “When someone says they are a leader, what assumptions do you automatically make?”.  Whilst it is easy to talk about leadership, we rarely look at the assumptions that we make when discussing leadership and how to be a great leader. For example, if you follow any discussion on social media or listen to a presentation at any conference on ‘leadership’, then often the unspoken assumptions about leaders and leadership are trotted out –  and never questioned.   This simply strengthens the myth.  The current political landscape is a clear example of how the ‘myths’ of leadership are simply accepted without question – and can get the leaders, and those they lead, into trouble. The myths of leadership can get in the way of creating

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

5 years ago 0 0 2045

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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Why most sales reps aren’t built to perform

5 years ago 1 0 1275

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

5 years ago 0 0 1466

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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Why I will never be an entrepreneur….

5 years ago 0 0 814

So many people who start businesses love to call themselves ‘entrepreneurs’.  I wonder if it is to make them sound like they have made it, or that they hang out with the cool kids? Reflecting on what I do at The Bigger Game, I realised that I am not an entrepreneur, and never will be. For me, being an entrepreneur is being focused on building a business, any business, to the point where someone else will buy it.  It’s about deciding ‘what can I sell’ and ‘how do I scale it’.  The success of entrepreneurialism is measured in what you have.  Not what you do. A florist who is passionate about flowers does not call themselves an entrepreneur, they call themselves a florist.  Regardless of how ‘much’ they have, it is their passion what what they do, rather than what they have, that makes the difference. Entrepreneurs have to be

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Engaging four people for success

5 years ago 0 0 915

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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