Goals 2014: What Leadership Lessons Will You Take From #TBS2014 ?

The Business Show 2014 Guide - watch out for the #TBS2014 trending on Twitter

The Business Show 2014 Guide – watch out for the #TBS2014 trending on Twitter

Hopefully what I wrote about the Business Show 2013 – on 30 November and 3 December last year – inspired you to go online, to see what you could learn from the coverage of that event.

I’m refining my strategy for The Business Show 2014 , which starts tomorrow.  Why not take a few minutes to look at the site and see what’s on offer (The Twitter hashtag #TBS2014 will be in heavy use over the next few days. too).

This time around I have highlighted the Business Show presenters I want to listen to, as they deliver a service to others by sharing their stories.  I’m sure they will generate plenty of questions from their audience, and there are a few questions I would like to ask them too.

As the roster of Keynote speakers includes Brad Burton, Karen Darby, Kate Hardcastle and Will King I will have plenty of chances to:

  • Capture leadership insight from people whose authenticity inspires followers to change their lives
  • Connect with attendees whose goals include improving their leadership practice
  • Share my key learning with you by blogging and by posting more widely across social media

Watch this blog space to see what you can take away from the Business Show 2014 and keep an eye on Facebook and Google+ as well.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can visit View Roger Dennison’s profile

Goals 2014: 3 Questions To Help You Get The Leadership And Management You Deserve

What Connections Do Leaders And Managers Inspire?

What Connections Do Leaders And Managers Inspire?

How confident are you about the effectiveness of your organisation’s senior leadership? What rating would you attach to your manager’s skills?

I ask as an article by Liz Ryan for Forbes online concerning Bad Managers has triggered my post (there are other Liz Ryan articles on LinkedIn ).

I had the privilege last week of sitting in on an Enterprise Nation Webinar, at which serial entrepreneur Doug Richard talked about the goal of Improving Leadership and Management.  My favourite quote from that conversation is shown above.  The post Liz wrote reminds me that Bad Managers leave a trail of angry and demotivated employees in their wake.  The Bad Manager helps create disengagement and they are a liability to their team and their employer.

One of the least inspiring managers I ever worked for had two operating modes. One with senior colleagues, involved smiling and kissing up. Mode Two, with team members, involved micro managing and being divisive. I remember once mentioning some of the valuable lessons I’d learned from my degree course and the Manager’s response was a classic: “Oh, you have a degree. That does surprise me!”

Needless to say I was never happier than when I left that part of the organisation.  I wasn’t the only one.  Effective management binds teams together and adds value to the connections between team members.  Bad management sows the seeds of disruption.  The manager I encountered clearly needed support to improve their practice. I only hope that they received it, before their behaviour triggered a complaint.

Here are 3 questions for your consideration this week:

  • How content are you that your job goals are being supported by your current management?
  • How congruent are your values with those of the organisational leaders who have the most influence on your work?
  • What actions will you to take this week because of your answers to the 2 preceding questions?

Feel free to look at the further ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here, on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or you can always View Roger Dennison’s profile

 

Goals 2014: 3 Questions To Help You Advertise A Vacancy Or Select Your Next Job

Is searching for a new job on your Spring To Do list?  Perhaps you are a recruiter whose goal is to fill your post with the ideal recruit.  Neither goal is easy, is it?

Cufflinks For Work

What Are The Essentials For Your Job?

As an applicant you have your check list of what you want (which might include a role that is a good match to your skills; the right salary; a workplace culture you like; a happy work -life balance).

Meanwhile the advertisers are picturing their ideal candidate, someone with the Essential Qualities for the vacancy. They might have in mind someone: aggressive about getting results; assertive without being cocky; independent yet a team player, where necessary.

Here’s the thing. The language used in adverts themselves may be off putting to some potential applicants.  Why?  Time magazine’s online edition shared some German research this week, suggesting that women do not apply for male sounding jobs.

Some terms, like ‘aggressive… assertive… independent’ could be sending unattractive signals out about the vacancy.  They could also be saying something unintended about the organisational culture too.  As the global economy starts to recover from the shock of 2008 there is strong competition to secure the right talent.  Getting it right promotes business growth.  Letting applicants know you are a good organisation to work for is a quick win.

Unappealing language is easily fixed, if advertisers take a few minutes to think about the most appealing / inclusive wording they could use, before signing off their recruitment text and posting their vacancies.  That simple adjustment might broaden their reach and result in a better hiring decision at the end of the recruitment process.

As you are thinking about the psychology of changing your job here are 3 questions for you to respond to.  They are ideal whether you are seeking a job, or advertising one:

  • What language in the advertisement attracts your interest / best represents your vacancy?
  • How many of the Essentials Qualities do you have to offer / do you really want candidates to have?
  • How will this job help you achieve your personal goals once you get it / how will filling this vacancy help your organisation’s goals?

Good luck taking action which moves closer to your recruitment goal.  Feel free to nose around the Archives here and look at ideas I refer to relating to your work and life goals on Facebook and Google+ too

Goals 2014: Here’s 1 Action To Help You Improve Your Personal Presentation

Here are some questions for you to reflect on over the weekend.  How much effort do you put into the visual side of your personal brand?  Could your choice of work wear represent who you are more effectively?  What action will you take to improve your personal presentation this Spring?

What Does Leadership Look Like?

What Does Leadership Look Like?

Not too sure how to answer? No worries.  Here is a short video you can watch now as part of your personal improvement goal.  It was filmed at Ad Week Europe and in 4 minutes Gok Wan, Kathleen Saxton, and the Guardian’s John Plunkett outline some useful key presentation concepts.  Could this be another theme for you and your coach to explore when you discuss your goals and your values?

Feel free to look at the further ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section on Facebook and Google+ too

Is Improving Your Work Your 2014 Goal? Here Are Your 3 Key Actions To Take In The Next Week

Was your week a mix of Highs and Lows?  Was one low your boss telling you that your
performance ‘must improve’?  If the answer is ‘Yes’ here are 3 actions to help you move forward in the next week, towards your performance improvement goal:

  • Review the evidence of your previously Successful, or Excellent, reports.  This helps you top up your self-esteem.  Positive customer feedback has always reflected the quality of your work.  Cultivate it from this point
    Your Improvement Strategy Will Move You Forward

    Your Improvement Strategy Will Move You Forward

    onwards.  Also plan how you will add to your key strengths, respect your values and earn more feedback.  Remember your boss’s view is probably changeable.  If not your psychological contract with your team may have ended.  Other bosses are out there.

  • Record the specifics of your next steps strategy, so you identify an immediate, positive, action you will take to start moving forward.  Call this Phase One of your plan.  Make it something constructive, that you know you can do well.  If that is not possible within your present role find another role that allows you to reassert your ability to do good work.  Outline what you want to accomplish in Phase Two of your plan, at the same time.
  • Recruit a skilled ally, ideally an experienced coach who: understands the significance of your work goals; recognises the importance of your values; will remain supportive as your performance rises and you start to fill in the detail of your Phase Two outline.

You are now good to go for Phase One of your plan.  Take these 3 constructive steps and your week ahead will be focused on improvement and positivity.

Good luck and feel free to get in touch with me to talk about your coaching needs, beyond the #MustImprove stage:  use the Contact tab above or visit me on Facebook  and Google+ too.

Goals 2014: When your manager says your work must improve which 3 steps should you take?

Is Your Performance Going Up Or Down This Year? (Image under creative common licence from Morguefile.com)

Is Your Performance Going Up Or Down This Year? (Image under creative common licence from Morguefile.com)

This year, like every year, thousands of civil servants made the Government’s presentation of the Budget seem effortless.  Behind the scenes collaborations, across the various departments, over many weeks came together smoothly yesterday.  Meaning that as the Chancellor sat down, a comprehensive suite of Budget publications appeared online .

How will some of those civil servants feel, should they now learn that they ‘must improve’ their performance to meet their work objectives?  It is a knock to one’s self-confidence to be judged in that way by a line manager.  More so if that outcome bucks the trend of years of evidence-based good performance.

Guidance on ranking staff for appraisal purposes

This year a ‘must improve’ judgement will flow from the strict application of guidance in the new Civil Service Appraisal system.  The system is one part of Civil Service Reform (whose goal is delivering better services for less money).

The guidance – available to managers across different Departments, Directorates and teams – is to use the sector-wide appraisal system to determine who has had a successful year.  The system seems to mean that appraisal markings can be distributed along a curve.  On that curve approximately:

  • 20 % of staff in a grade will have exceeded their objectives
  • 70 % will have achieved expected outcomes
  • 10% must improve

One appraisal system but two perspectives on how it works

The dialogue around performance management is led by the Head of the Civil Service, Sir Bob Kerslake.  He has blogged about the new performance management system, which he believes, reflects consistency across the organisation and looks at what civil servants achieve and how they achieve it.

Many Senior Civil Service (SCS) staff and their junior colleagues have replied to the blog (although it seems the distribution curve does not to apply to members of the SCS).  In unusually frank replies staff express their views about the system’s apparent use of quotas and its effect on morale.  They also note that HMRC staff downed tools over this issue in February.  So seemingly there is one appraisal system, but two perspectives on how it works.

It is also worth noting there may be an impact on workplace equality, since the sector employs more women than men below SCS level.  Black and minority ethnic staff, and disabled staff, are also concentrated in the grades where must improve ratings will appear.

3 steps to take when your manager says your work must improve

Are you someone whose performance ‘must improve’ this year?  How about rising to that challenge?  Once that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach subsides, you should focus on moving forward.  Here are 3 actions to help you to move forward beyond your appraisal:

  • Review the evidence of your previous successful, or above successful, reports (to highlight your favourable customer feedback, transferable strengths and as a reminder your present rating may be quite subjective)
  • Record the specifics of your strategy to take an immediate, positive, next step to achieve a short-term win (something constructive you know you can do well, within your present role, or one that allows you to reassert your ability to achieve good quality results)
  • Recruit a skilled ally, ideally a coach who: understands the significance of your work-life goals; recognises the importance of your values; will remain supportive as your performance returns to its former state.

Civil Servant or not, how will you improve the quality of your work this year?  Why not dip into the Archives, to the right of this post, to get some inspiration as you move forward.

Goals 2014: 2 Action Points To Add Value To Your Professional Social Media Strategy

How LinkedIn Are You?

How LinkedIn Are You?

How often do you update your LinkedIn profile, compared to your professional Blog, Facebook, or Twitter content?  Go on, be honest.  Here’s another question: What goals are you addressing by using social media for professional purposes?

Don’t worry, you are not alone if you said you: refreshed your LinkedIn presence much less frequently than your other profiles; have no specific outcome related to your social media posts.  With the sea of media out there to dip into focusing on creating content can be difficult.

Recent coverage of professionals use of social media

This week two writers, Paul Boag* and Ross McGuiness** have separately pointed out that LinkedIn can be a real asset to advancing your work life goals, if you use the platform strategically.

Writing as part of the In Focus section within the Metro  Ross’s article highlights the value of building up an organic network of connections, via LinkedIn.  Connecting with people outside your immediate circle, can mean you get to offer your talents to an ever widening pool of curious people, who are already interested in your skill set.  Those connections can be in another city, country or continent.  You get attention in Denver, Delhi or Darlington if you want it.

The blog post Paul wrote reminded me of the advantages in keeping profile content fresh.  Your connections and other visitors like to dip into fresh material.  Your well-presented comments about your latest project, or newly acquired skills are valuable.  So are your contributions to discussion threads.

What actions can you take to sharpen your social media use?

I think there are two actions for you to add to your schedule this year (or focus on if they haven’t had too much of your attention before now).  These actions will help you if your goal involves consolidating your professional reputation on LinkedIn, or other social media platforms in 2014.

  • Update your content on a regular basis, to reflect your recent achievements, your newly acquired skills, or freshly gained qualifications.
  • Connect where possible to others with shared professional interests.  If that is not an option contribute regularly to online discussions about current key topics affecting your work area.  Perhaps you could even start a new conversation, based on your knowledge of upcoming trends?

Good luck with sharpening up your goal and turning your LinkedIn presence to your professional advantage.

Do check out the Archive section for more thoughts on work and life issues and feel free to look at the further ideas relating to your work and life goals on Facebook and Google+ too

 

*Paul is @boagworld on Twitter

** Ross tweets as @McGuinessRoss