Updated: Sep 24, 2020
How effective would your organisation be if all your leaders had a mindset of being FOR each other and were motivated in helping each other get to the top of the mountain together? This is described in the book 100X Leader by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram as the Sherpa mindset where in today's team based work places is a leadership model that is sustainable and scalable.
When setting up and running my own call centre and recruitment company, the biggest challenges always came from people issues and the more people I employed the more challenges seemed to arise. My days in the office seemed to get longer and longer with the more staff I employed, as I was always taken away from the core tasks of running the business. When everyone went home at the end of the day, I started my work that I was supposed to complete that day. So, being a solution focused person, this was a solution that I needed to resolve, and this is what started me on my journey to where I am today and why I’m passionate about helping others.
If truth be told, in hindsight I realise I enjoyed resolving people issues, building teams, and helping everyone to understand each other to achieve a common goal, more than any other aspect of the business. We helped clients who were vulnerable, and empathy and compassion were always things I had to instil in our internal culture, to filter out to the clients we were dealing with. Our clients were some of the largest Claims Management, Insolvency, Insurance and financial companies in the UK. It meant that all things operational like tech issues, analysing data (as much as I’m data focused) and making up reports for clients along with sales, marketing and much more... all these things that had to be taken care of were clearly not a passion, and therefore got pushed to a time when they everyone else went home and my 2nd shift would start.
When it came to sales and marketing I would apply systems, processes, procedures, and automate as much as possible to make it sustainable and scalable... so the question I asked myself was 'why can I not apply the same logic to people issues?'. The main challenge I came across - and my clients were challenged with whilst running my recruitment business in particular - was variables: people bring a range of variables that made systems, processes and procedures appear one dimensional, without a heart and therefore ineffective, and not providing the required solution needed for success.
This challenge was beginning to consume me as it needed solving, the things I was witnessing were: -
Leaders not realising their full potential
Burn out within senior management due to a lack of effective delegation
Retention issues as organisations were not providing a sense of belonging
Lack of diversity and inclusion
Lack of effective organisational communication
I studied and completed a CIPD diploma in learning and development as well as searching for data driven tools that are sustainable and scalable for today’s work life challenges. The landscape in the working world was changing drastically as teams became more geographically dispersed, and the digital and social age impacted what people wanted from their working life. No longer do people want to sit in an office from 9-5 in return for a pay cheque: instead they want to do work that is meaningful and to make an impact in this world. In fact did you know that in 2020, 35% of employees would change jobs for the opportunity to work remotely full time, and 37% would change jobs to have a mix of office and remote working?...the question then, is 'how do you build effective teams remotely?' I have heard many leaders recently say remote working isn't working for them, but with teams increasingly preferring this way of working, how do you stay competitive in this climate? You need to consider engagement, motivation, productivity and the tech stack you use to achieve your objectives.
Breaking the challenge down I came to understand that as a business leader you cannot directly change the performance of your entire organisation. The key to widespread organisational change is to focus on the teams within the organisation not the organisation itself. Change within an organisation, whether it is an incremental change, or indeed a full culture change, is usually met with resistance. To remain agile and competitive as a successful organisation, there is a need to have employees and leadership teams who are open and receptive to change. As in the article “Cultural Change That Sticks” in the Harvard Business Review (https://hbr.org/2012/07/cultural-change-that-sticks), the biggest thing that supports change is where employees feel heard and appreciated. Surveys, conversations and observations are things that help to create a picture that can lead to behavioural changes, but collective and social learning is something that many organisations are harnessing and building structures around, to effectively bring about change whilst supporting the alignment of the organisation culture.
Knowing now what creates a culture that sticks, it is eye-opening when you then view the 2020 Gallup employee data. Have you seen it? How does your team rank? If you are a leader, then you already know the importance of making data-driven decisions. The report states:
1. Only 50% of employees are clear on what is expected of them.
2. Only 34% of employees agree their managers know what projects and tasks they are working on.
3. Only 30% of employees who believe they are being given opportunities to learn and grow.
4. Only 26% of employees receive effective ongoing feedback and communication.
5. Only 21% of employees have performance metrics they should be, or are being, held accountable to.
Some are calling this the “Undeniable Problem”.
Having experienced these challenges first-hand in my own business, and in my clients' businesses, my quest to solve these issues lead me to discover tools created by Giant Worldwide, the founders who were the same Jeremie and Steve who wrote the guidebook 100X Leader. Being a learning and development professional, I understood the need for tools that were sticky and provided transformational learning to take place with a common language that instilled and underpinned the organisational culture from the top all the way down through the organisation, no matter how disperse it is. The place to start was to find out how I lead, what are my strengths and what are my tendencies: using the 5 voices system was a clear and concise method to do this. You can do this for yourself by taking your own 5 voices assessment here www.giant.tv/5voices/diamond. The 5 voices system focuses on the fact everyone has a leadership voice but not everyone is heard - do you know who you have on your team? Knowing who else is on your team makes sure you have diversity of thought and you can determine if you have any skill gaps to be aware of, and wouldn't that be great if you can see that with a click of a button? Well, you can!! One of the tools that has a huge impact on organisations I work with is the support challenge matrix.
To build and create leaders worth following, it's all about location, and where you would ideally locate yourself for that outcome would be top right in the Liberate quadrant. The old hierarchical organisational structure would create a dominant culture filled with high challenge and a lack of support, and you would find it difficult to multiply healthy leaders - in fact you were more likely to push them into the abdicate quadrant. The Protect quadrant is where there is a lack of healthy challenge, meaning creativity and innovation is stifled and growth is always a challenge with your leaders focused on support. As leaders we are hard-wired to create either high support or high challenge, but to create leaders worth following you need to have equal amounts of high support and high challenge to build healthy leaders who Liberate others.
If you are having challenges with leadership in your teams, then get in contact to find solutions that are both high-tech and high-touch, which are affordable and helps filter your culture throughout your full organisation. Life is too short to continue struggling during change and I am FOR you and your teams who want to make a difference. To book a 1-2-1 via zoom click here https://calendly.com/rachel-342/leadership or send a message.