How to Improve Teamwork?

There are many ways, many frameworks, many tips.  Here I share one simple, easy to implement change that you can begin to use today.

Sometimes the best way to allow your team mates to ask for help is for you to ask for help first (and especially when you don’t necessarily believe that you need help).  Allow others to have an impact on you, they will then open to allow you to have an impact on them.

This video is about learning the humility as a leader to ask for help, not when you need it, but at times where you don’t feel you need it – at times where you are not struggling, at the times where you would tend to just get on with it and solve it yourself.

If you liked this post, you will also like 6 Question to Ask Yourself Every Day to be a Better Leader and 12 Vital Questions for Any New Business.

Are you a Business Leader?

I’ve been part of Entrepreneurs’ Organisation for the last 10 years and for almost any significant decision I have taken in the last decade, there are 9 people in my forum group who have helped me take a better decision.  I would share with them:

  1. the background to the decision
  2. the why of the decision
  3. what I’m seeking to achieve in my life

There is no major decision I’ve taken in the last 10 years that has not had at least those other 9 wise brains also looking at it.  They are also giving me different perspectives, helping me think through:

  1. Who I am
  2. What what my strengths are
  3. What my company strengths are and
  4. How I can better play into the opportunities that I have

My question to you: “how many brains do you get involved in the big decisions you have to make?”

If it is just one brain (your own) then you are really going to struggle over your life as a business leader.   Join Vistage, join EO, join Young Presidents’ Organization…  Get into a peer group where others can give you multiple different perspectives, different ideas, different experiences that have worked for them in the past.

Get as many brains as you can to help you take important decisions, to help you think through the problems you face, to see how to seize (or say no to) the opportunities coming into your life.

Get access to brains to share your problems. Ask lots of questions and get as much coming back from other’s life experiences as you can.

There is a saying: “if you’re the smartest person in the room, find another room.” 

Are you the smartest in the room?  If you find that you are often the smartest person in the room, you’ve got to expand your network.  Get out of that room and get yourself onto a bigger playing field.

Peer Group Organisations

 

 

“Some People Go 24 Hours Without Hearing a Single Positive Thing Said About Them” Coach George Raveling (on the Tim Ferriss podcast)

Coach George Raveling

I was struck by this sentence.  I was inspired by Tim Ferriss’ interview with Coach George Raveling.  George speaks so clearly and concisely about life and learning and our role.  His life has had some amazing adventures that came from him being open to the advice and suggestions of mentors at a young age.

So I made a video…  back again after a couple of months away from video making for YouTube.

Who will get a positive word from you today?  Don’t forget the power we each have with our words…

Leadership is about raising up those who follow you. Leadership is not so much about doing, but about having an effect on how others do.

The Tim Ferriss podcast episode: https://tim.blog/2018/08/09/george-raveling/ Great episode, loved listening to Coach George Raveling

Subscribe here to my channel http://cono.rs/utube I upload videos every Tuesday about leadership, personal development, entrepreneurship and the power of communication to drive change.

Check out my online course: Speaking as a Leader, 10 weeks of lessons on becoming a more impactful speaker https://conorneill.com/improve-your-speaking/

And you can message me and connect via Facebook: http://facebook.com/rhetorical

I was on the road for 8 hours over last 2 days, lots of podcasts.

I listened to Tim Ferriss speaking to Jason Fried.  Jason seems an interesting character – professes to have no goals as he learnt at a young age that setting and aiming at goals only served to detract from his joy of life.  I don’t think his approach works for everyone, but I do think I have something to learn from his attitude of learning to enjoy and contribute rather than focus on task completion.

One sentence really hit me as he said it:

“In schools, you don’t learn to iterate. You complete the task, you hand it in, and you are done. In life, iteration is everything.” Jason Fried

When I heard this I repeated “iteration is everything” over and over for a few miles… because I completely agree.  Why am I good at giving a speech?  Iteration.  I get to speak hundreds of times every year.  Writing?  this blog.  I write hundreds of posts, edit them, improve them, republish them… each iteration is a slight improvement.

There is a story from Toyota in the 1980s.  Globally they decided to implement an employee suggestion scheme, but they left it up to each national leadership team to decide how to implement the scheme.

In the US, the leadership decided to pay 2% of the value of the change once implemented.  Imagine you are working on the factory floor of a Toyota plant in US.  What type of ideas are you looking for?  You will get 2% of the value of the change…  big ideas, huge ideas!

In the US they received an average of 1.5 ideas per employee of which less than 10% were actually implemented.

In Japan, the leadership decided to pay $50 for every idea.  Imagine you are there on the floor of the Japanese factories.  What type of ideas are you looking for?  Small ideas, little improvements, anything that slightly improves the efficiency or quality of life of the factory.

In Japan, they received an average of 55 ideas per employee, of which around 70% were implemented.  Within 2 years the Japanese operations were so much more efficient that they took the new Japanese operations and re-implemented them around the world.

Iteration is Everything

All excellence is from iteration. World class musicians play a piece hundreds of times with small improvements (or just changes) with each iteration. Sports is repetitive. My speaking is repetitive.

What piece of old writing could you dust off and improve 1% and produce a new iteration?  What skill could you focus 5 minutes each day on iteration?  What animal have you always wanted to be able to draw… draw a bad version today and iterate every day for the next month…

How to practice iteration… Check out this from Jason The Writing Class I’d Love to Teach

If you want your kids to thrive in the next decades in the commercial world, internet sage Seth Godin tells us that they need to learn to be good at two (and only 2) things:

  1. Solve Interesting Problems
  2. Lead

If you can raise a kid who can solve interesting problems and lead (which requires emotional intelligence and generosity).  The way you learn to solve interesting problems is by solving interesting problems.  The way you learn to lead is by practicing generosity and kindness for a higher goal.

Everything else, you can look it up on the internet, or you can hire a pay a commoditised skill person to do it for you.

Exams certainly don’t test these 2 skills.  They check whether you can solve un-interesting repetitive problems that have already been solved.  They don’t test how you affect other people and get them to be better because of your presence.

Check out the answer from Seth:

 

This video is from Bilbao in front of the Guggenheim Museum. I was in Bilbao for the launch of Vistage in the region.

In my courses I often have participants who hate following standard processes. Sometimes this is a good thing. When you decide to break the rules, you better do your homework and preparation so that what you deliver is excellent. Too often, “creative” people break the rules of structure… but don’t do the necessary work to be excellent in delivery.

If you liked this video, you might also like Performance Excellence: Deliberate Practice and the 3 Models of Mastery and Self Discipline will make you a Better Leader.

This is a guest post from Joyce Wilson.  Joyce is a retired teacher with decades of experience. I asked her to share her experiences about how parents can contribute to their kids thriving at school.  Joyce has created TeacherSpark.org to share creative ideas and practical resources for the classroom.

Over to Joyce...

Top Tips to Help you Child Thrive in School (from a retired Teacher)

As a parent, one of your priorities is to support your child in ways that encourage academic success.  That success involves more than good grades and scholastic achievements.  It also includes a healthy social life, consisting of positive relationships with peers, teachers, parents, and others.  With some thoughtful considerations you can help your youngster to flourish in these important aspects.

  • Structure Daily Life
  • Designate a Study area
  • Eat Meals together
  • Stay involved
  • Encourage Friendships
  • Model Behaviour
  • Help your youngster thrive

Structure daily life

Providing structure to your child’s days is a key element to success in school.  As The Telegraph notes, a structured upbringing encourages success for children during their childhood as well as future adulthood.  Providing structure and routine encourages confidence and inspires better discipline as adults.  When they reach adulthood, children raised in a structured lifestyle are more apt to be able to find employment, find direction in life, and remain hopeful about their futures.

Designate a study area

Establishing a place and time for homework is a great way to encourage structure and success in your child’s school life.  Allow your child to help decide where she or he will work, which will give your youngster ownership in the decision.  Create a designated workspace based on your kid’s input.  Chicago Parent recommends organizing the area with an assortment of school supplies so everything your child needs is at hand.  If space is at a premium, consider purchasing a corner desk. Corner desks don’t take up much room, yet still provide your youngster with an appropriate place to study.

Eat meals together

While it may seem unrelated, one of the most important activities you can do to support your child is eating together as a family.  According to some researchers, families that spend time together preparing and eating meals encourages children to do well in school in many ways.  Kids who experience family mealtime develop better vocabularies, higher self-esteem, and have healthier eating habits.  They are also less inclined to abuse substances such as drugs or alcohol.

Stay involved

It’s vital to talk with your children in order to hone in on any issues with their social life or school work.  Ask your child open-ended questions, like, “What happened today that made you happy?”  And ask, “What homework assignments do you have?”  Staying on top of things through these simple queries tells your child you are interested and supportive.  If you feel there is a problem, don’t overreact.  Get all the facts first.  When warranted, reach out to teachers for assistance with school assignments, low grades or other issues.

Encourage friendships

A healthy social life, along with good communication and coping skills begins very early in life.  In fact, some studies show that preschool friendships help kids to start developing emotional and social skills while increasing their sense of belonging and reducing their stress levels.  By interacting with their peers and with other adults, kids gain a foundation they will use for the rest of their lives.  It’s through those childhood relationships children begin to understand the importance of seeing other people’s viewpoints, learning the unwritten rules of conversation, and age-appropriate social behaviors.  Friendships also have tremendous influence over a child’s school performance and encourage or discourage socially unacceptable behavior.  The evidence is so strong that friendships can help children flourish, some school systems are going out of their way to place children in classes with friends.

Model behavior

Your child looks to you for how to act, so being a good role model is extremely important.  Nurturing your own friendships will send a positive message to your children, and modeling good relationship skills provides examples for your child.  Look for teachable moments.  You can share how you feel about a situation, or help your youngster label feelings by asking questions like, “When the butterfly died, that make you feel sad?”

Help your youngster thrive

There are things you can do as a parent to encourage your child’s success, both academically and socially.  Provide structure, stay involved, and demonstrate healthy behaviors.  Your child can flourish with thoughtfully chosen parenting strategies.

About Joyce Wilson

Joyce Wilson is a retired teacher with decades of experience. Today, she is a proud grandmom and mentor to teachers in her local public school system. She and a fellow retired teacher created TeacherSpark.org to share creative ideas and practical resources for the classroom.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

The Top 6 Reasons why Leaders Seek Coaching

  1. Creating a 90-day plan
  2. Navigating Organization politics identifying tactics to deal with “politics”
  3. Managing work and life priorities achieving a workable “balance”
  4. Developing a strategy to grow your leadership presence
  5. Accelerating momentum in your current role
  6. Clarify goals and pinpoint how to achieve them

Be careful what you wish for… In the Zoo, the animals are safe in their cages, they are fed 3 meals a day, the fence keeps out predators and competition (isn’t that what Trump promised?).

We have to be careful what we wish for.

Freedom comes with a price, and that price is called responsibility. We need to practice the responsibility that allows us to deal with true freedom.

From Peter Drucker:

“The Nature of Freedom

Freedom is never a release and always a responsibility.

Freedom is not fun. It is not the same as individual happiness, nor is it security or peace or progress. It is a responsible choice. Freedom is not so much a a right as a duty. Real freedom is not freedom from something; that would be licence. It is freedom to choose between doing or not doing something, to act one way or another, to hold one belief or the opposite, It is not “fun” but the heaviest burden laid on man: to decide his own individual conduct as well as the conduct of society and to be responsible for both decisions.”

If you liked this, you will like reading Freedom is Not Fun.

I spoke with one of my mentors in Madrid this week.  We spoke about success in business.

What is business success?

  • What price is worth paying?
  • What are the ingredients of achieving success?
  • Is Business Success due to Great Decisions, or is it due to Excellent Implementation?

I share his answer in this video.

PS 99.9% of business (and life) success is due to Commitment, rather than Brilliant Ideas or Decisions