Stress is inevitable – how you respond to it is not

3 years ago 0 0 1041

Stress is inevitable, but can it enhance performance or does it always harm us? Stress is reported as one of the significant ‘modern diseases’. People are reporting feeling so ’stressed’ from their work and private lives that it making them physically and psychologically ill. When you consider performance, stress plays a massive role in dragging people out of their peak performance states into less resourceful ones. Stress is almost contagious, with people being influenced by stress that others experience to become stressed themselves. Have we created a world where stress is inevitable, and we are all just victims of our circumstance – or is there more to stress, and can we do more than just manage it? What is stress? Stress is the body’s response to being forced to operate outside its comfort zone. When we are in our comfort zone, we have the belief and expectation that we can

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Leadership in the dark – leading in tough times

4 years ago 0 0 1501

When things are going well, leadership can be a joy. The conversation is mostly about enhancing performance, how to build people into their capacity and drive success. We see those we lead reach for their potential and grow personally and professionally. No wonder people aspire to leadership. But it is not always like that. There are times of crisis, tragedy and difficulty which require outstanding leadership to manage. Leadership will stop being fun, but it never stops being critically important. In leadership programs the focus is heavily upon how an individual can be a great leader, and creating extraordinary success. Often the ‘dark side’ of leadership is either glossed over or simply ignored. It is not fun, or sexy, to lead at such times, and the importance of it is rarely reflected upon. Sometimes the best that leadership can offer is just to help others cope, to get them through

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

4 years ago 0 0 1509

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

4 years ago 1 0 1120

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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The Path Back – 5 Steps to Happiness in Leadership

4 years ago 0 0 923

Life provides us with challenges. Sometimes we suffer circumstances that leave us in a bad space. We may have lost a loved one, come to the end of a relationship, lost a job or had a major change. The only truth is that you cannot control what happens to you, only what you do about it. Every day we can be exposed to bad experiences. Every day we can suffer minor or major set-backs and traumas. The key to getting beyond these circumstances is to be aware that you can, and apply these five quick lessons from positive psychology to help you get back to your best. When I am coaching executives, I see that this group are often suffering and stuck, and searching for a path ‘back’ to feeling good and high performance. Here are 5 steps that they can take on this path: Step 1: Purpose. Having a

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Melbourne’s Chief Resilience Officer: A big step and big challenges

4 years ago 0 0 2153

We can build resilience at a personal level, in teams, organisations and communities.  I applaud the City of Melbourne for seeing the importance of resilience, and implementing the role of ‘Chief Resilience Officer’, supported as part of the 100 Resilient Cities Project of the Rockerfeller Foundation. I therefore read with interest the article in the Age (http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/four-big-problems-for-melbournes-478088-chief-resilience-officer-20140730-zyf3p.html) talking about the challenges that Melbourne’s incoming ‘Chief Resilience Officer’ will face. In fact, the challenges are at least three times bigger than what is mentioned in the article. Firstly, the article really only covers preparation and management of crisis scenarios that impact upon the city.  Of course, the role of the Chief Resilience officer must encourage proper planning and preparation for crisis and stress events, but this is just the start. For Melbourne as a city, as a community, and a network of businesses and organisations, the new Chief Resilience Officer will

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Deciding to play a bigger game

4 years ago 0 0 681

When do you take the step to play your ‘bigger game’? – You know, the one free of the fears and habits that hold you back from what is really possible.   For most people, it is a realisation that the current way you are doing things is not enough any more.  Something drives us to see that things have to change if we are going to get a different- better- outcome. Because they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.  Whilst as we keep doing what we have always done, we will only get what we have always gotten. The realisation that its time to play a new game often emerges because something happens- either something in you changes, or something external to you changes- and you realise that you are not in the bigger game any more. Perhaps it

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Building resilience in our communities

4 years ago 0 0 1232

Our world seems to be getting faster and faster, with more and more stress and pressure being applied to us all.  With so much stress – and the continuing emergence of crisis – how do we build resilience in our communities, so that together we can face the bigger pressures and help each other?  How do we help our communities to ‘spring back’ or ‘spring forward’ with resilience in response to stress or change? In previous posts, I have discussed resilience in individuals, teams and organisations.  However, resilience spreads beyond the ‘working world’ into the broader communities in which we exist.  We can read in the newspapers about how we are constantly under threat – weather, fire, floods, changes in economic conditions, unemployment, food, water and climate issues, war, terrorism, economic downturn and technological change. Our circumstances are always changing, and it seems that are always under constant stress (and

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Building Organisational Resilience

4 years ago 0 0 1062

Is your organisation resilient?  How have you build adaptability, and even the power to transform under stress, into the fabric of your business operations? In my first post on resilience, I covered the concept of personal resilience and the core skills that someone would need to be resilient.  In the second part of the series, we looked at how a resilient leader can create resilient teams. In this third part of the series, I want to take the idea of resilience into the context of organisations. Commonly, resilience in organisations is often equated to risk mitigation and continuance.  This forms a significant part of what resilience can be in organisations – and yet this is not the end of it. Risk mitigation and management forms a ‘context specific resilience’.  Generalised resilience is a deeper concept, where resilience forms part of the fabric of the organisation and is the standard way

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Resilient teams – thriving in crisis

4 years ago 0 1 3223

In a previous post I looked at resilience in individuals and the core skills that a leader needs if they are going to be resilient.  All teams, organisations and communities are made up of people, and a ‘utopia’ would be where every person had the coping and adaptation skills, so that their resilience would reflect in the teams, organisations and communities that male them up. However, it is true that even in teams with resilient individuals, this does not translate into the team being resilient with them coping and adapting in productive ways.  In this post, I would like to take a look at teams and how they can become resilient. Often the stress or change leads to the team  ‘breaking down’ into smaller cliques or into its individuals, that pull back from the greater group concept in attempt to personally cope.  Whilst this defensive strategy may appear appealing for

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