Paul Keijzer http://www.paulkeijzer.com Leadership strategies for managing talent in Asia’s emerging markets Tue, 13 Nov 2018 05:30:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 61348136 Innovation Leadership – 3 Practices You Need to Let Go Of http://www.paulkeijzer.com/innovation-leadership-3-practices-you-need-to-let-go-of-2/ http://www.paulkeijzer.com/innovation-leadership-3-practices-you-need-to-let-go-of-2/#respond Tue, 13 Nov 2018 03:30:27 +0000 http://www.paulkeijzer.com/?p=6408 Do you want to become an innovative leader? Here are 3 practices you need to get rid of to become a leader

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There are endless articles and books on innovation leadership – about how the mix of different leadership styles are used to create better teams and organizations. And of course there’s no arguing the concept. But today, I’d like to approach the topic from a different angle, by identifying all the legacy habits that so many leaders, especially those in Asia and other frontier markets just have a hard time letting go of.

1. Autocratic Leadership

I believe that one change we’ll see in leadership studies in the next ten, maybe twenty years is the elimination or at least minimization of autocratic leadership from leadership books and studies. In all fairness, if you consider how the business world works now a days, one person dictating how to complete a project or task won’t work for very long. Of course this varies based on the skills of the individuals involved but for the average business this is true.

Tip 1: You must have faith in your teams and foster a culture of upward communication to be a modern day leader.

2. Laid Back Attitudes

Even as I was writing this point, I was wondering if in fact it should be the opposite. But the doubt lasted for just a few seconds because we all know that truly driven employees actually thrive when they are pushed (reasonably of course) to do their best. I know of one company where when you walk into the office at 8:30 am you can see people working on their tasks for the day with full blown energy. However, at another company the office is still half empty and those who are there are still waking up. I personally feel that a lazy office environment will lead to lazy teams and that just won’t do.

Tip 2: Push people to reach their maximum potential. They’ll thank you for it.

3. Following the Industry

You know that place called your comfort zone? Get out of it. It’s the only way you’ll make waves. It’s far too easy to just follow where the industry is going. It’s safe, if everyone’s doing it, it must be the right way to go. But really it’s the same as the age old saying “If everyone jumped off a bridge would you jump too?”. The natural next question is how do you get out of your comfort zone when it comes to an entire industry? Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne explain how to create untapped market space thus making competition irrelevant. It’s logical. It’s powerful.

Tip 3: Don’t follow other companies, pave your own path and take customers to places they only dreamed of.

Just by definition innovation leadership requires constant work. Once you’ve mastered implementing the tips above you’ll need to move onto other technique that will keep you and your team mates on your toes. After all, being passive is the first step to taking the easy way out and that’s not where you’ll find exciting business victories. Join me in discovering other ways to step up your leadership game and have a great week.

Learn how you can take your leadership teams through a growth model which will help them mature on a personal and professional level by following me on LinkedIn and subscribing to the Keijzer Community.

Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Founder of Engage Consulting and the co-Founder of The Talent Games, which aims to transform HR by digitising talent processes and creating more engaging and productive workplaces through gamification and mobile technology. As a global HR and Leadership Management expert, Paul knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.

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How to Use Your Strategy Stories to Motivate Team Alignment http://www.paulkeijzer.com/how-to-use-your-strategy-stories-to-motivate-team-alignment/ http://www.paulkeijzer.com/how-to-use-your-strategy-stories-to-motivate-team-alignment/#respond Wed, 07 Nov 2018 03:30:09 +0000 http://www.paulkeijzer.com/?p=6402 Do you want to motivate team alignment? You can use these strategy stories to motivate team alignment

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You’ve got your strategy, every body is excited, you’ve got a purpose that everybody can connect to, you’ve identified a number of clear and bold moves, you feel you can live up to your strategy and now …finally … you can’t wait to engage and share it with the rest of the organisation! (Or if you’ve missed, the rest of the series, start by knowing the Right Questions to Ask!)

However before you do that, I would like you to do one more thing and that is to answer the following question:

“If we accomplish only one thing during the next 12 months and be able, with any credibility, to say that we had a good period, what would it be?”

For many leadership teams and CEO’s, this is a difficult question to answers and often puts them off balance. “Really?” they answer, “You just pushed and forced us to select only 5 Must Win Battles out of many and reduced our priorities even further, now you are asking to bring those 5 down to just one?”

The Paradox of Choice: Fewer Choices Yield Higher Clarity

The reason is that by selecting just one thing to achieve over the next 12 months and to be able to claim to have a successful period is that it provides ultimate clarity.

When the going gets tough, you and your teams know what to axe and what to uphold to achieve your strategy. If budgets need to be cut, you know which one will go and which one stays. If you need to focus all your resources and time on that one thing, what is that it. What is the most important priority for the next period?

To give you a personal example; after a long and intense debate my team decided that the single most important thing for my social media strategy was to increase the number of followers. What we found was that it was not simply identifying what was most important. What was even more powerful was to understand WHY this was the most important and we discovered that focusing solely on more followers would yield the following results:

  1. enhance our reputation,
  2. increase the number of referrals,
  3. attract publishers for book deals and extend our business outside Pakistan and as a result of all these reasons we would be able to increase our fees and revenue.

Cascade your Strategy to Communicate Better

The other reason why it is important to identify ‘what is the most important thing right now’ is that is helps communicate your strategy and cascade it to the rest of the organisation.

I still remember a story from Phillips, the former Dutch consumer electronics giant, in the 90s whose leadership team was going through an extensive 3 months strategy session. Phillips came up with an agreed grand plan for the company’s strategy which only took one week to cascade it to the company.

After a couple of months the CEO noticed that the strategy was not gaining traction and most of the people were continuing to do their own old work. He asked him team to find out why. What they found was that where they had taken three months to understand and mold the strategy ), they had expected their employees to understand and achieve buy-in of the strategy after a 30 minute town hall session. No surprise it didn’t work.

To bring the point further home; Vanson Bourn in a 2011 study of 450 enterprises found that 80% of those companies felt their people didn’t understand their strategies very well.

Cascading the strategy is as important, if not more important than identifying it. The reason is simple. It is in the execution that the rubber hits the road and you can gain traction and translate your strategy into action.

To help you cascade your strategy, I would strongly advise you to stay away from the PowerPoint presentations or even worse the emailed PowerPoint presentations in which you are supposed to read the strategy yourself to creating a strategy story that will help bring to live your purpose, your bold actions and the reason why you are embarking on this grand new plan.

In a great white paper by Shawn Callahan: How To Make Your Strategy Stick, Shawn mentions that it requires an executive team developing the strategic story themselves so that they can own it. It involves the team being comfortable with telling the story and weaving their own experiences through it. And most importantly, it involves everyone in the organisation learning and telling their own versions of the strategic story so that they all own it and act to support and build on it. You can also check out this article from Phil McKinney (ex-CTO HP) on the 6 lessons ruled on strategy storytelling.

So to engage your organisation and cascade your exciting new strategy to the rest of the organization and ensure people are motivated, please take the first steps to implement your strategy. Make sure you’re clear what your most important target is right now and share your strategy story in as many different ways as there are people (and from personal experience if you think that people should have got it by now, double your effort and triple the number of times that you will continue to share your story).

Good luck sharing your strategy story and, as always, I’m keen to hear yours.

Learn how you can take your leadership teams through a growth model which will help them mature on a personal and professional level by following me on LinkedIn and subscribing to the Keijzer Community.

Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Founder of Engage Consulting and the co-Founder of The Talent Games, which aims to transform HR by digitising talent processes and creating more engaging and productive workplaces through gamification and mobile technology. As a global HR and Leadership Management expert, Paul knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.

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3 Effortless Communication Secrets of a Leader http://www.paulkeijzer.com/3-effortless-communication-secrets-of-a-leader/ http://www.paulkeijzer.com/3-effortless-communication-secrets-of-a-leader/#respond Wed, 31 Oct 2018 03:30:40 +0000 http://www.paulkeijzer.com/?p=6395 Here are 3 secrets a leader can use for effortless communication

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I’ve been known to tell many people that confidence is the key to landing your dream job. Personally, I believe that conviction in your personal communication skills makes up at least 80%, if not more of that overall confidence. In countries, where English is usually the second and often the third language, communication skills is something that most Westerners take for granted.

So, let’s look at some tips to communicate like a leader. It’s not about whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, whether you speak English with an accent or not – it’s about how well you’re able to groom yourself to speak with certainty.

1. Bullet Points in Your Head

I know a number of people (and I’m thinking its most of us) who have conversations in their heads, either with themselves or with someone they’re about to have a big discussion with. Some may argue that’s a sign of impending health issues, I actually think it could help you organize your thoughts.

Practically, this means that before you enter a meeting and especially while you’re waiting – bullet point things in your head. You should literally be able to see a bullet point with a word, a one liner about how your discussion will proceed and what you’re going to say. I was once told that a great writer outlines his article before getting started because it organizes their thoughts into a logical flow. The same goes for a great communicator.

2. Summarize the End of a Discussion

Have you ever had the experience of walking out of discussion, thinking you understood one thing, only to realize that the other communicator expected something different from you? It’s all too common in miscommunication – both in the business and personal worlds. It’s because even though you’ve made the effort to list to what the other person’s saying, your perception may be different.

Other than proving to the other person that you’re really listening (and comprehending) what they’re saying this tip is going to make you way more efficient. Imagine walking out of a meeting every time, knowing what is expected of you and the other participants. It’s like the perfect ending for the formula which makes a great communicator.

3. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Body Language

Body language – it’s so important that there are courses which teach people in all industries about the subtle nuances. From making eye contact, to sitting straight, to using the appropriate hand gestures, it’s all important. Think back to the last time you talked with a sloucher. Would you not have taken them more seriously if they were sitting straight, more professionally?

The same goes for you. The more professional your body language, the more seriously you’ll be taken when communicating. Don’t just listen to people, look like you’re listening by looking at them rather than your phone, notebook etc. Think tall and your posture will automatically straighten out giving you a more authoritative appeal. And above all, relax with confidence Sounds contradictory I know but believe me it works.

There are a few more key Secrets to Being Seen as a Leader. If it seems overwhelming to you, consider putting them together in list and checking them off one week at a time. If you do, you’ll see a slow but visible change to your behavioral pattern. I believe that anyone who truly wants to can become a leader – you just have to live and breathe the desire. What other tips would you provide to an aspiring leader? Please share them below!

Learn how you can take your leadership teams through a growth model which will help them mature on a personal and professional level by following me on LinkedIn and subscribing to the Keijzer Community.

Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Founder of Engage Consulting and the co-Founder of The Talent Games, which aims to transform HR by digitising talent processes and creating more engaging and productive workplaces through gamification and mobile technology. As a global HR and Leadership Management expert, Paul knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.

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5 Ways to Stop Leadership Teams from Self-Destruction http://www.paulkeijzer.com/5-ways-to-stop-leadership-teams-from-self-destruction/ http://www.paulkeijzer.com/5-ways-to-stop-leadership-teams-from-self-destruction/#respond Wed, 24 Oct 2018 03:30:55 +0000 http://www.paulkeijzer.com/?p=6389 Do you want your leadership teams to be successful? Here are 5 ways to stop leadership teams from self-destruction

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Building high performing teams is one thing, building high performing leadership teams is a completely different kettle of fish! If you’ve worked anywhere near a leadership team before, you know that getting the synergies of key thinkers aligned is a pretty difficult task. So how do you build high performing leadership teams? Your first understand why they’re inherently on the path to self-destruction.

The 6 Steps of Self-Destruction

Let’s first identify why leadership teams are different from ordinary teams. There are many reasons but the ones that stick out for me are:

1. Most executives are appointed on the basis of:

  • Individual leadership skills
  • Their professional competency
  • The results they have delivered

They’re almost never assessed on their ability to

  • Be a constructive team player, or
  • How their style compliments the rest of the team

2. Executive leadership teams are often not “real” teams since they have members that are either there on historical, temporary or worse political reasons. CEO’s usually take the easy way out by letting people join a leadership team without having an actual reason to be there, just to avoid confrontation.

Spot Check: Ask your CEO and each executive team member how many members they think are on your company’s leadership team. I promise you that the answers even from the people that are on the team will vary wildly.

3. Leadership teams don’t untangle the different functions they have (decision making, coordination, information sharing) and combine them into one meeting. They assume that every team member needs to be present in each meeting, creating confusion, boredom and often frustration amongst its members.

4. Executive leadership teams are often either bogged down by the operations of the business or have the opinion that they should focus solely on strategy. Few leadership teams create a clear division between their two main roles: delivering results today and building capabilities to deliver results tomorrow.

Spot Check: Ask each individual top team member what the purpose of their leadership team is. Don’t confuse the team purpose with the company’s strategy. See how many different answers you get.

5. Most leadership team members are like the United Nations and see themselves as the representative of their function/division/department. Few see their main role as leading and making the best decisions for the entire company.

6. Few CEO’s understand the power of a high performing team and see little value in investing in team building and creating conducive team dynamics. Building a high performing team is hard work and requires significant conviction and investment from the leader as well as other members.

Spot Check: When was the last time your company leadership team spent a significant amount of time together, not talking about the company’s results or strategy but how they as a team could lead the company better?

What Leadership Teams Should Be Doing

Now that we know why leadership teams are so different than “regular” ones it becomes easier to identify what they should be focusing on. Being able to check off the 5 points below will ensure that your leadership team is on its way to success rather than destruction.

1. Real Team: Make sure you only have people on the team that need to be there, have the motivation and skills to add value to the team. Take out (no matter what the short term consequences are) people that don’t add value, are de-railers or are in the team for the wrong reasons.

2. Team Charter: Create clarity on the roles, responsibilities and what your team’s purpose is. Agree on how you’ll work together and how you to hold people accountable for delivering on their commitments and behaving in the agreed manner.

3. Team Governance: Discuss and agree how you will make decisions, involve and inform stakeholders, prepare for meetings, set agenda’s, follow up on results and how you will structure your meetings to ensure you delineate the operational, strategic and team maintenance components

4. Team Meetings: Structure your team meetings around the different functions you play. My favorite meeting structure is Patrick Lencioni, who in his book The Advantage advocates to have:

  • Daily 10 minute huddles to discuss issues
  • Weekly ops meetings to discuss results and operational items
  • Ad-hoc specific topic meetings, and
  • Quarterly ‘feet-in-the-air’, how-are-we doing, what is happening in our industry discussions and are we on the right track conversations.

5. Invest in Team Dynamics: At a regular interval, ideally a 2 day session once a year and quarterly 1/2 day follow up sessions, talk about how you as a team are performing, investing in forging personal bonds and discussing how you are leading the organisation. Do a pulse check of all your stakeholders (not only employees) to understand how they assess your team performance and get clarity on future expectations.

Let me know how your company’s leadership team is performing on the spot checks above. As always you are invited to leave your thoughts and personal experiences below.

Learn how you can take your leadership teams through a growth model which will help them mature on a personal and professional level by following me on LinkedIn and subscribing to the Keijzer Community.

Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Founder of Engage Consulting and the co-Founder of The Talent Games, which aims to transform HR by digitising talent processes and creating more engaging and productive workplaces through gamification and mobile technology. As a global HR and Leadership Management expert, Paul knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.

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3 Secrets to be Seen as a Leader Today http://www.paulkeijzer.com/3-secrets-to-be-seen-as-a-leader-today-1/ Wed, 17 Oct 2018 03:30:23 +0000 http://www.paulkeijzer.com/?p=6372 Do you know how to be perceived as a leader? Here are 3 secrets for you to be seen as a leader.

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When shifting into a new job people often wait to establish their position before displaying their leadership skills. Instead, I say grab the bull by the horns and jump into the deep end of the leadership pool because a leader is created through people’s perceptions. You may intrinsically have leadership qualities but they don’t mean much if people don’t perceive you as a leader. Also, let’s face it – actions speak louder than any trait a leader may have. So today, I’ve put together a few ways to kickstart being perceived as a leader. They’re especially relevant if you’re starting a new job or are at the beginning of your professional career.

1. Voice Your Ideas Immediately – Don’t Stay Quiet

One of the most common mistakes newbies make is staying quiet rather than speaking their mind. People often do this because they’re afraid of being perceived as a know-it-all. It’s especially common when the workforce of an organization is primarily Generation X and earlier.

Instead of staying quiet, speaking up when you have something to contribute may show your boss and peers that you’re a smart cookie – someone who has ideas that can improve the way things are done. Any leader knows that they have to be the problem solver, to discover solutions outside the box. And that can only be achieved by talking about your ideas.

2. Be Confident That Success Will Pave The Way – Don’t Worry About Intimidating Others

I’ve mentioned before that the Asian culture can be tricky, primarily because there are so many different nuances at play. One of the characteristics of many Asian workplaces is that people are quickly intimidated by the success of others and because of this, new hires often keep a low profile until they’re better known.

However by being confident in your success you not only break down barriers created by others, you just may end up being the fresh perspective that the organization needs. And even though it may cause difficulties for you in the beginning, the rewards will be worth the effort.

3. Network Outside Your Comfort Zone – Don’t Spend All Your Time with the Inner Circle

Most people naturally levitate towards spending time with people in their inner circle, ultimately staying away from those who are outside their comfort zone. It’s only natural. However, it’s the latter group that needs to have their perceptions changed about you. Obviously to be seen as a strong leader you need to spend time with them to show your leadership capabilities.

Networking with people, especially those who need to be convinced that you’re a good leader is not an easy task. Also, there are many out there who would argue that a good leader shouldn’t have to convince anyone. However, I think as great leader you absolutely need to be able to attract people to your side.

Three actionable steps. That’s all it takes to be perceived as a leader. It’s far easier said than done but that’s what a successful leader is all about!

Learn how you can take your leadership teams through a growth model which will help them mature on a personal and professional level by following me on LinkedIn and subscribing to the Keijzer Community.

Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Founder of Engage Consulting and the co-Founder of The Talent Games, which aims to transform HR by digitising talent processes and creating more engaging and productive workplaces through gamification and mobile technology. As a global HR and Leadership Management expert, Paul knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.

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How To Exponentially Create The Most Powerful Company http://www.paulkeijzer.com/how-to-exponentially-create-the-most-powerful-company/ Wed, 10 Oct 2018 03:30:17 +0000 http://www.paulkeijzer.com/?p=6381 Learn how you can exponentially create the most powerful company that the world will take notice of.

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Most people use the end of a year for contemplation and reflection. It’s a unique time to step back, take a look at where you are, see what’s happening around you and how to move forward in the future. It’s especially important for leaders to use this time to see how they can create a stronger, more powerful company. And though new year resolutions exist for a reason, there’s no reason we can’t do the process during any time of the year. Like right now!

To dream about creating the most powerful company in the world is to give breath to a strong vision. For any company, I believe there’s hidden power in the ability to create an organization that people want to be part of, not because out of loyalty or out a need for necessities and comforts of life. But because they would want to be part of an organization driven by unwavering principles – principles that they themselves can pass on to the next generation or inculcate at home.

There is a way to do this. And there’s no better time than the present to get started. I’ve outlined steps you can take to start reflecting and acting on what you can do now.

1. Imagine the Future

Imagine an organization where each individual is at the center. Their creativity, talent, inspiration hopes, dreams and excitement are the core of the company. This company would have the ability to provide meaning and purpose, a context and framework to encourage the individual to achieve their personal best every day. It becomes a place where they flourish and grow. In such a company, individuals are more important than the business, they are valued.

2. Understand What it Means

Though many of us would hope that the imagined organization about already exists, we sadly have to snap back to reality. To create a people focused organization, you have to shift the relationship between the company and its people from parent-to-child to an adult-to-adult one. That creates a deep-seated shift of behavior and mindset. Individuals no longer feel that their future lies solely in the hands of their boss, rather they are able to make choices and take the responsibility for their career and its consequences in the true sense of the word. They become the elements that keep the company and its individual members together through a shared belief and purpose.

3. Consider the Present

You know that you’re not where you want to be yet. Presently, most likely, the company still makes many decisions that within this philosophy the individual should make. And the individual still loves the fact that the ‘company is taking care of them’ but also often fumes about a decision the company makes with regards to people and their careers. Moving beyond this situation isn’t easy, but you want to create a delightful organization it’s essential to start taking steps to create adult-2-adult relationships. To build an organization where people are autonomous in their ability to exercise power and where the company helps its members to become more self-aware and provide choice.

4. Unravel What’s Next?

All of these may be great words but what now? We often talk about ‘people taking responsibility for their career’ but many of us miss a few mini steps. For me the big first step anyone can take is to buy in to the underlying philosophy. The best way to do this is to get feedback on how to create the ability to make decisions and put this squarely in the hands of the individuals.

As with any reflection based project, and especially one that creates a powerful company, this is not going to happen overnight. But as I mentioned before, you can get started today and start creating a company whose key strength lies in the simple yet powerful fact that people actually want to go there and work. It’s not just a job for them but a personal ambition to collectively succeed.

Learn how you can take your leadership teams through a growth model which will help them mature on a personal and professional level by following me on LinkedIn and subscribing to the Keijzer Community.

Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Founder of Engage Consulting and the co-Founder of The Talent Games, which aims to transform HR by digitising talent processes and creating more engaging and productive workplaces through gamification and mobile technology. As a global HR and Leadership Management expert, Paul knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.

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4 Signs You Aren’t An Exponential Leader http://www.paulkeijzer.com/4-signs-arent-exponential-leader/ Wed, 03 Oct 2018 03:30:17 +0000 http://www.paulkeijzer.com/?p=6351 Do you know what it takes to become an exponential leader? Here are 4 signs that can help you understand why you’re not there yet.

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I’ve had so many people ask me advice on how to manage their teams and honestly, what comes to mind are the words of S. M. Stirling where he states “Leading means running fast enough to keep ahead of your people.” If leaders don’t get what I mean, then I’d know we’re in trouble. And so is their aspiration to be an exponential leader.

The reality is that we all may go through phases of being a bad leader. It could be because the challenge the team is facing isn’t our cup of tea, or maybe we’re just going through a bad phase in life. Or that we’re just not ready to be an exponential leader. It’s okay to sometimes be a bad leader – so long as you realize what’s going on. During these phases, rather than pointing fingers at your teammates, the organization or the leadership, accept that you have a personal challenge to overcome.

There are 4 signs that indicate that you need to work on your leadership skills, particularly if you’re aiming to be an exponential leader:

  • People stay for money
  • They confide in other leaders
  • You feel like you’re not heard
  • You feel threatened

You’ll notice that the first two reflect how team members are acting whereas points 3 and 4 show how you feel because of these actions. To recognize that you need to improve as a leader you’ll see the signs in others and yourself.

1. Your Team’s in it for the Money

It’s the first sign. When you feel like you need to increase people’s salary to get them to stay with the company. There’s still great truth in the belief that money is the least important motivator when it comes to retaining employees. If you’re able to engage them, challenged them and make their efforts feel valued, money is going to be the last thing on everyone’s mind. Of course that doesn’t mean you can underpay them – doing that shows you don’t value their input. But, it should never become a salary bidding war where employees are challenging you to increase their pay because of other “opportunities”.

2. People Don’t Come to You with Their Problems

Have you ever been in a situation where you find out something about a team member from another team lead? Do you wonder why they went to another leader rather than come to you? Well it’s usually a pretty straight forward answer: Either they don’t respect you as a leader or they feel threatened with the information they need to share. In either case it’s something that needs to be “fixed” in you as a leader. You need to provide an environment where people feel safe sharing their most scary secrets.

3. You Feel Like You Have to Raise Your Voice

This is more an analogy than really thinking that some of my readers out there actually are shouting in the office – I really hope you’re not. This sign of being a bad leader is that people just don’t seem to listen to you. This translates into deliverables not being produced on time, lack of synergy in the team and people just kind of doing their own thing. No matter how hard you try, it feels like your team is just not listening to you. And you know what? They’re probably not. Why? Because they don’t value what you’re saying – either because of its lack of technical worth or because of how you deliver the message. You need to get down to the core of the problem and figure out how to communicate more effectively.

4. You Feel Threatened by Your Team

To know whether you’re going through this sign, you really, really need to be honest with yourself. After all, very few, if any of us, will admit that we’re threatened by someone junior to us. It’s probably the greatest and most threatening of all insecurities a leader could have. Rather than thinking that you’ve done a good job in grooming and growing your team, you’re feeling like they could take over your job. To solve this, you need to do a two way reflection of yourself:

  1. If you’re growing your team well enough to take over your job, isn’t that a good thing, and,
  2. Are you grooming yourself to grow as well? Obviously the second reflects on the person who’s leading you. It all needs to be a healthy circle of growth for everyone involved.

If you’re willing to accept that you’re not ready to be an exponential leader then you can open yourself up to healthy self-criticism – then you’ll be able to grow and strengthen your leadership brand. Anytime, anyone thinks they’ve achieved their maximum, is where the danger lies. Have you ever been brave enough to accept that you’re going through a bad leadership phase and improve on your weaknesses? Share your thoughts below.

Learn how you can take your leadership teams through a growth model which will help them mature on a personal and professional level by following me on LinkedIn and subscribing to the Keijzer Community.

Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Founder of Engage Consulting and the co-Founder of The Talent Games, which aims to transform HR by digitising talent processes and creating more engaging and productive workplaces through gamification and mobile technology. As a global HR and Leadership Management expert, Paul knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.

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6 Essential Traits Every Exponential Leader Needs To Master http://www.paulkeijzer.com/6-essential-traits-exponential-leader/ Thu, 27 Sep 2018 03:30:16 +0000 http://www.paulkeijzer.com/?p=6348 Learn how you can really make an impact in the business world by incorporating these 6 essential traits into your leadership style.

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I’ve written several blogs on exponential leadership and exponential organizations and often get asked, what’s the difference between leaders and exponential leaders. There’s a fine line that differentiates the two, however, the line does exist. And that line is mainly drawn by some key and essential traits that exponential leaders possess, giving them an edge over just about any other leader. And with this edge, exponential leaders have the ability to be more successful, build a resilient leadership brand and are able to navigate through the rapidly changing environment with much ease.

What are these essential traits that exponential leaders possess? Here’s an outline of 6 of them.

1. Adaptability

The business world is so fluid that what makes sense today does not have to make sense tomorrow – every day is different. To succeed leaders must be agile – they anticipate and adapt to different circumstances. Government policies change regularly, security situations can cause lack of access to large swaths of customers in the blink of an eye and currency fluctuations can render your imported goods inventory worthless in weeks.

2. Networkers

Getting things done is more personality driven rather than process or systems driven. There’s much strength in the business world that can be drawn from the people you know. These can be powerful and useful allies, partners and associates to further your cause and promote your business. Getting the right talent in the organization is linked to who you know, getting licenses is linked to who you know. You must have the right contacts and keep developing your network to succeed.

3. Street Smart

Leaders who have a strong understanding of how things work at an operational and basic level can grow their companies exponentially. Conceptual frameworks are limiting in today’s workplace. Even if you work from a conceptual framework successful leaders know they can only succeed if they translate them in how the ‘rubber hits the road’ and the impact it has for people.

4. Imaginative

One of the core characteristics of exponential leadership is the belief that everything is possible (this is different from everything is easy!). Leaders who understand this have the ability to imagine a bold future and are able to translate how to get there. They’re the ones who are truly able to capture the growth potential that their company and talent have to offer.

5. Take and Hedge Risks

Huge growth requires you to be able to take large risks, understand the potential pitfalls and take measures to hedge your bets. You have to be willing to take the risks and accept that there may be consequences to pay. Successful exponential leaders aren’t afraid of failure. If it’s to come, they accept it, get over it and move on quickly to their next adventure. Fear never slows them down.

6. Perseverance

Whether you call it will power, perseverance or grit you need a huge dose of it to succeed in these rapidly changing times. As much as everything is possible, everything can go wrong. In order for you to stay the course you have to be obsessed, intense and willing to sacrifice other things in order to make it work. Working in today’s business world isn’t for the faint hearted. Finding success (and exponential growth) is only for the strong willed.

Getting the job done is easy. Creating a successful business, isn’t all that hard. However, exponentially growing your business is a real challenge. By incorporating these 6 essential traits into your leadership style you’ll ensure your company does just that.

Learn how you can take your leadership teams through a growth model which will help them mature on a personal and professional level by following me on LinkedIn and subscribing to the Keijzer Community.

Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Founder of Engage Consulting and the co-Founder of The Talent Games, which aims to transform HR by digitising talent processes and creating more engaging and productive workplaces through gamification and mobile technology. As a global HR and Leadership Management expert, Paul knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.

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How To Build Capacity To Succeed During Exponential Times http://www.paulkeijzer.com/build-capacity-exponential-times/ Wed, 19 Sep 2018 03:30:34 +0000 http://www.paulkeijzer.com/?p=6343 Learn how you can truly grow your business exponentially by building capacity that can support your vision and purpose.

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You may have a stellar strategy and vision to exponentially grow your company into something that’s larger than you and your leadership. However, all your efforts would be in vain if you don’t have the capacity to implement those strategies. Does your organization really have the capacity to achieve your vision? Is there depth in your leadership team to see your vision come to life?

1. Recruiting and Retaining A-Players

The capacity to deliver hinges on your ability to recruit, develop and retain A-players. Take Netflix’s success story for example. A large part of it can be traced back to the culture they have developed and their talent philosophy. They only hire people that are responsible and possess the following characteristics:

  • Self-motivating
  • Self-aware
  • Self-disciplined
  • Self-improving
  • Those who act like a leader
  • Those who don’t wait to be told what to do
  • Those who pick up the trash lying on the floor

Netflix believes that responsible people thrive on freedom making them more creative. They are also able to respond and adapt faster to changing situations.

2. Picking the right Line Managers

Line managers collectively have the largest impact on the performance of the organization. The better your line managers are selected, trained and guided the greater the performance of their subordinates. The difficulty of course is that every company has many line managers each with their individual styles, preferences and habits. Your success will depend on your ability to get line managers to consistently display the following behaviors:

Grow People

  • Demonstrate a credible commitment to an individuals development
  • Leverages employee “fit” and get the best out of each individual
  • Provide fair and accurate informal feedback and emphasize employee strengths in performance reviews

Drive Performance

  • Put people in the right job at the right time
  • Clarify performance expectations and hold people accountable
  • Connect employees with the organization and its success
  • Provide solutions for day-to-day challenges

Build Teams

  • Commit to diversity and team building where trust, honesty and integrity are the main characteristics
  • Recognize people daily
  • Help team members to build a high quality network of colleagues

3. Resources

One important component required to deliver on your organization’s aspirations is the availability of resources. This includes financial resources, machinery, plants, tools, IT systems and offices as well as the infinite availability of information and the ability of a company to share it across the organization.

Organizational knowledge in my experience is the least valued asset of any company, even though it should be the highest. An organization should be able to capture knowledge and share it with whoever needs it. Of course with web 2.0 technology such as MindTouchWikispaces, and MediaWiki, there are no reasons why your organization should not be able to leverage its most valuable asset and safeguard it for future generations.

4. Collaboration

Sports provides ample opportunities to highlight the importance of collaboration and the power of teams. Only a week ago Atletico Madrid, a football team that costs GBP 30 mln beat Chelsea, a team that costs 6 times that much on their home ground by 3-1.  Of course sports analogies do not always translate well into an organization and in my experience silo’s still rule the workplace (though this is such a hot topic that I will spend a complete blog on this in the future). Physical work distance is a scientifically proven barrier to collaboration and common agendas, personal relations, ability to deal with conflict, to hold each other accountable and to ‘take one’ for the team are all components in strengthening teams and collaboration.

With an inspiring vision, clear strategy and capacity within the organization, your company will most likely churn out reasonable results. However, the magic to transform your company into a high-performer is still missing. That final ingredient is Commitment, the desire to achieve the impossible. Add this final ingredient to the mix and you’ll have built a company that can truly grow exponentially.

Learn how you can take your leadership teams through a growth model which will help them mature on a personal and professional level by following me on LinkedIn and subscribing to the Keijzer Community.

Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Founder of Engage Consulting and the co-Founder of The Talent Games, which aims to transform HR by digitising talent processes and creating more engaging and productive workplaces through gamification and mobile technology. As a global HR and Leadership Management expert, Paul knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.

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How To Align Your Team Behind The Idea of Making A Difference http://www.paulkeijzer.com/align-team-making-difference/ Wed, 12 Sep 2018 03:30:34 +0000 http://www.paulkeijzer.com/?p=6338 Learn how you can enhance your team’s commitment to your company as they pursue a purpose that’s making a difference to the world.

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Giving a sense of meaning is becoming more and more important to attract and engage talent. We all want our work to matter. One of the most powerful motivators is knowing that you are making a difference in the world. Of course you can work for a company that:

  • has integrated ‘doing good’ in their business model,
  • exists with the sole purpose of serving the community (government or NGO),
  • has products which play a vital role in health (healthcare or pharmaceutical), or
  • focuses on the development of society (financial institution, education, or art).

However, most of us work in organizations where there is no obvious correlation between the product and services the company provides and the impact it has on society. How would a fast food organization ‘do good’? Shake Shack is trying hard with the Better Burger revolution. Or a cement company? Lafarge is tying it to build better cities. How about your local accounting firm’s contribution to society? EY is aiming to build better workplaces.

So how can you help your team do good by making a difference in the world if you represent a tobacco company’s accounting department, a software company’s developer, or a delivery company’s logistics team? I guarantee you, every company can contribute to society – no matter what industry they work in.

Willingness to Do Good

The first step to align your team to a purpose that’s making a difference in the world is realization. The purpose is no doubt larger than the immediate contributions they make to the organization. But the realization is that not only will society and the organization benefit from it, but specifically the team and its individual members as well.

The second step is then of course to sit the team down and start a conversation on how they want go about making a difference in the world. What will the team collectively do to create a purpose that not only serves the company but also the world.

Defining the Purpose

In facilitating teams to come up with their purpose I follow this process:

First, I ask them to recall a moment when they were proud to be associated with the team and organization. After they’ve shared this I ask them why they would like to be a part of this team’s future. This establishes an emotional connection with the past and the future. I then focus on how each member thinks they add value to the company and what role the team plays in the overall company’s vision. Lastly, I facilitate a discussion challenging them to think beyond the company and conceive ways they as a team can impact the society.

An accounting team can come up with a purpose that aims at being a role model of transparency and hold exemplary integrity in reporting in their business environment. A logistics team can come up with trying to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations. A factory team can focus on supporting communities outside their manufacturing facility. A purchasing team can help develop local suppliers adhere to global standards. A credit card sales team can aim to educate people on being financially responsible. You get the idea.

In my view every team, irrespective of their skill, can make a connection between what they do and making a difference in the world. Maybe the larger purpose isn’t obvious at first. If you keep on peeling the ‘proverbial’ onion, answers will come up. Sure it may not mean a lot to people outside the team, but since they identified and articulated it themselves, it would hold importance to people within the team. It will also have a significant impact on how committed individuals will be to their teams and how engaged they are to deliver on that purpose.

Learn how you can take your leadership teams through a growth model which will help them mature on a personal and professional level by following me on LinkedIn and subscribing to the Keijzer Community.

Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Founder of Engage Consulting and the co-Founder of The Talent Games, which aims to transform HR by digitising talent processes and creating more engaging and productive workplaces through gamification and mobile technology. As a global HR and Leadership Management expert, Paul knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.

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