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Limitless Leadership: Sharing your scars can be beautiful

“Wabi sabi – the philosophy that says the beauty of things are imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, the opposite of our classical Western notion of beauty as being something that is perfect, enduring, and monumental”

In 2016, the notion of “wabi sabi” made its way into home-wares and industrial design. Many Cafes and homes were and still are, being fitted out purposefully leaving cracks in the walls; exposed beams and concrete floors; lop sided sugar jars on tables and earthy elements in their raw state, scattered throughout the space. No perfect lines and polished perfection to be seen anywhere. The scars, rawness and imperfectness is actually the highlight and focus point, not hidden away or covered up.

The Art of Precious Scars – Kintsugi

In Japan there is an art form called Kintsugi: the art of precious scars. By repairing broken ceramics, it’s possible to give it a new lease of life and it becomes even more refined, thanks to its “scars”.

The Japanese art of kintsugi teaches that broken objects are not something to hide but to display with pride. This art form and philosophy got me thinking how alike we are to this as humans with all of our scars, mistakes, lessons and wisdom we learn in this thing called life.

How often, as humans, do we hide the things that make us who we are today? I have always believed that where we are right now, personally and professionally, is a result of all the choices, lessons and mistakes we’ve learnt and made along the way. Our scars make us stronger and more beautiful and why not display these “gifts” in the same way kintsugi displays the art of precious scars.

Being “human” in today's’ world is more important than ever and its now that we need to let our guard down and be more real and relevant than ever, whether you are a leader, business owner or individual leading self.

Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity

The United States Military are committed to leadership training. It uses the acronym VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity). The key elements of VUCA present the context of which organisations view their current and future state.

  • Volatility refers to the nature and dynamics of change and the speed at which this occurs.
  • Uncertainty relates to the lack of predictability and certainty of change, and this is where our sense of awareness and understanding of issues and events is so important and crucial to our success.
  • Complexity applies to the multiple forces, issues, chaos and confusion that can surround the organisations we are in.
  • Ambiguity relates to the haziness of reality and the mixed meanings of everything we face.

To survive and thrive in such a fast-paced and challenging environment we need to adopt “Limitless Leadership”.  I reckon sharing the lessons and wisdom of our mistakes and challenges could go a long way here.

Mistakes and life's hard “gifts” should never define you but instead guide you through. Don’t “awfulize” and dwell on this but instead, map out the lesson you have learnt and be a lighthouse for others who may benefit from what you’ve been through.

“The scars you share become lighthouses for others who are headed for the same rocks you hit”

Many clients I work with share with me the most amazing experiences and lessons they have learnt along the way, but rarely do they they share these with their team or business. I always challenge them on this and ask them to imagine what would be different for them if their manager had shared those same lessons with them earlier in their career? It's almost selfish not to share what you have learnt providing you frame the lesson in a way that is useful and heartfelt with good intention.

A simple way to do this is to take the time to reflect on the 3 areas below:

Awareness

Being aware is like stripping off the outer layers to look at what has really got us to where we are today? Good or bad, happy or sad what have you experienced that could be seen as a key ingredient to who you are today? Like any recipe, it’s the ingredients that determine the end result. Not all taste great on their own but when combined in the right proportions you end up with a dish that tastes great. Sometimes, and I can vouch for this, the less than great people or situations in our life, I call them gifts, are the things that teach us the most. It may take a while to see the lesson or the gift but there is always something there if you look deeply enough. List the top 4 ‘Gifts” that come to mind

Acceptance

Being aware is one thing, but now you need to accept or surrender to what you have become more aware of. Acceptance is part of a cycle and I believe tapping into the benefit for you and others can assist here. If you are creating future leaders, how can sharing this story and lesson benefit others? How will it make you feel to share it?

Developing a different relationship to experience, one that is characterised by allowing an experience and letting it be is really what acceptance is about. Allowing difficult feelings to be in awareness means registering their presence and what will happen next.

A bit like the Kintsugi pottery, do you throw out that cracked piece of art or hide it OR do gild the cracks with gold and make it a beautiful story to share.

Action & Implement

So now it’s about what you will share or keep to serve your self? Not all things have to be shared with the world, you will just know.

At the same time, get out of your comfort zone. This isn’t a comfortable thing to do, and we all know that growth is outside doing what we know.

  • You need to access what to share and who will benefit.
  • How you will frame the story and the lessons.
  • What the recipient can do to apply and discuss what this means for them.

Recently I’ve been sharing more of my story with clients and in keynotes and the response has been profound. Knowing what to share and the intent is vital. Don’t share for the sake of being “vulnerable”. Make sure you share with integrity and a rawness that encapsulates what happened, the result and the lesson that you learnt, good or bad.

I’s love to hear what you do with this and the outcomes for you and those around you.

To being “limitless”

Renée Giarrusso

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Map and Design Motivated Performance

“PEOPLE ARE COLORS, BE A RAINBOW”

Motivation is a simple and often underestimated topic, and it has fascinated me for over a decade. It is the fuel that lights people up. Many executives are unaware of what motivates them both at in intrinsic and extrinsic level. How many people do you know—this could be you—who are competent at their jobs but are never totally fulfilled, happy or living on purpose? It is important not to do only what you are good at but also what you enjoy. There is a big difference here.

While working in corporate organisations, out of numerous roles, there was only one role I never really enjoyed (although I was good at it). Thankfully, all my other roles lit me up and energised me. I was more productive in these roles as they didn’t feel like work. I call the role I didn't enjoy, a gift. I discovered that what didn’t make me happy was a valuable insight for my future to ensure I took on only roles and job functions that I enjoy. You know you are doing what you love when you go to bed Sunday night and look forward to the next day. That’s how I feel now that I am running my practice, but there are others who experience the ‘Sunday-night dread’. You know, that feeling where you don’t want the weekend to end, you’ve had your dinner, and you are still looking to fill the rest of the night up, so you don’t have to face the week that looms ahead.

“Research shows that attitude and motivation can account for more than 60 percent of the formula for job and organisational success.”

As a leader, you need the skill and knowledge, but these wear off if you are not truly motivated. People think they know what motivates them and others, and they simply manage this. What they really need to do is identify and map motivation, then feed, and satisfy these motivations. Find them, feed them and flourish and not only will people be happier but also more productive therefore maximising performance and engagement. In my practice, I have briefed hundreds of executives and SLT teams on what motivates them using the iWAM profiling tool to map motivation. The iWAM (Inventory of Work, Attitudes and Motivations) tool recognises that we have 48 different motivations at work, and it identifies these in order of preference. (I call them tapas plates—some are prawns, and some are jellyfish.) Aside from using a tool to profile motivation, it comes down to building rapport and understanding the individuals you work with. Ongoing open conversation, coaching and mentoring can open this space so you map what truly lights them up and can, therefore, leverage and compliment this as a team and organisation.

There are many neurological drivers of human behaviour that work in conjunction with understanding your motivations and attitudes. When I visualise these, I see a person holding a marionette in front of them with all the drivers sitting behind the puppet, resulting in what we see as behaviour and action. Some of these drivers include values, beliefs and your model of the world. We have our own references and see the world based on our own perspectives and experience. We all have knowledge and skills in certain areas, and these can be developed, changed and evolved depending on our focus. We also have our own identity, which can change depending on where we are in our journey. Be mindful that we tend to base our beliefs and values on how we see ourselves. If we go from working in a team to working on a team, we need to view our identity differently as we have essentially evolved from employee to employer. Don’t hold on to your old identity. Be mindful that as you grow and change so does your identity, and how you and others see yourself. Find out what lights you and others up and revisit this regularly, as it will change over the course of a role and career.

The first step is to take a step back to understand what motivates us at a deep level. What fuels us to do what we do every day? Only by having a deep awareness of this can we can delve into and understand what motivates those around us, including internal and external stakeholders, our team and the clients with whom we may interact. By understanding motivations, we can compliment and leverage strengths, match language to build subliminal rapport and influence and create a high performance culture.

I look forward to hearing about your map and track motivation and how this leads to energetic performance of your team, self and organisation.

Renée

Renée has published her first book “Limitless Leadership”- A guide to leading from the inside out. Order your copy today! www.reneegiarrusso.com or www.amazon.com

Renée Giarrusso is an accomplished author, facilitator, speaker, trainer and coach who works with high performing leaders and their teams across a myriad of industries and organisations. She passionately helps leaders fulfil their full potential resulting in increased motivation, communication and connection. Working with executives and SLT teams, she maps and designs motivation to maximise performance and engagement.

Her expertise in growing and developing capability and behavioural change around leadership, communication and transition leave her clients inspired, re-energised and with improved results.

Work with me! 

Contact us today at admin@reneegiarrusso.com to discuss how we can collaborate on your business success. Learn more about our in-house Limitless Leadership, Mapping Motivation for Performance and Presenting to Lead and Communication workshops and mentoring programs.

“The Top Fifteen Percent Leader” A dynamic, interactive leadership program, run as an openly facilitated in-house program 3 hours a month over the year!

Download our FREE whitepaper and program details

http://thetopfifteenpercentleader.com

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Effective leadership in business-My interview with ANZIIF

After speaking on “Motivation for Collaboration” at two ANZIIF events I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Rita Loiacono, ANZIIF writer.

The reality all but a few industries face today is the constant threat of change —usually in the form of ever-evolving protocols, practices, tastes or technology. In such a reality, it’s no coincidence that those businesses that invest time and resources into maximising the potential of their employees through high-calibre leadership are the same businesses that are at the forefront of innovation and are enjoying the most consistent success.

While good leadership is not an insurance policy against failure, bad leadership is almost certainly an insurance policy against success. More and more businesses are realising this and, to their credit, are taking steps to help their leaders evolve. Such growth can often be an integral factor in whether or not businesses take that constant threat of change and instead see it as a constant opportunity.

In her own words, Renée Giarrusso is “obsessed with seeing people grow”. That obsession was the impetus for her decision to step away from the corporate world following 12 years in senior sales, marketing and leadership roles, and instead start her own business, Metamorphose Consulting.

Since starting that business nine years ago, Giarrusso has worked to help leaders, teams and organisations in over 24 industries to maximise their connection, collaboration and leadership. With a wealth of experience and having just written a book, Limitless Leadership — which looks at leading self before being able to lead a team or a decision-making process — Giarrusso’s work is underpinned by her belief that all industries face the same challenges around leadership, but with self-awareness and commitment to improvement, those challenges are certainly not insurmountable.

“Leadership, if you dissect it, is really around collaboration, motivation and communication,” Giarrusso says, noting that there is often a misconception that leaders and managers are one and the same. “Managers work in their teams day-to-day — I liken it to doing maintenance-type things like cleaning your house. Leaders do progressive things like renovating your house,” she says.

But how can managers move beyond the often overwhelming and seemingly never-ending nature of day-to-day tasks and make the leap to progression and innovation? According to Giarrusso, it’s all about delegating more, empowering more, and identifying the strengths of team members and giving them more tasks that maximise those strengths. “That frees you up a bit to be able to do things such as setting vision, strategising and building a strength-based team,” Giarrusso says.

Asking your team to articulate their strengths and weaknesses, and what they like and what they don’t like, can be a powerful motivator, as it enables leaders to help energise their team members by giving them opportunities to do what they’re good at, as well as what they enjoy. However, such an exercise can be futile if the person asking those questions lacks connection with the people they’re asking. “The manager’s got to build rapport,” Giarrusso says. “If you’re not respected and you sit down and you say to your team, ‘So what are you good at, what do you enjoy?’ you’ll get nothing. I believe rapport equals influence. If you’re in rapport and if you’re deeply connecting, people will be more honest with you and more open.”

While Giarrusso does believe part of being a good leader is innate, she also believes it can be learnt — provided there is a will to learn. Often, though, employees are elevated to managerial positions because they’ve been with the organisation for a significant period of time or because they are technically brilliant. And while these are valid reasons for promoting people, they aren’t necessarily indicative of their leadership potential and can often result in managers being unaware that they’re missing the mark when it comes to truly leading their teams. “I think, too, we are wired to think that if you manage a team, it will help you move up, so everyone thinks they have to manage a team, but not everyone is wired to do that,” Giarrusso says.

Another prohibitive factor to good leadership is a misguided view on what actually constitutes a strong and effective leader. Aside from a belief that a long tenure makes them the best person for a leadership role, bad leaders tend to be ego-focused: They often believe they are the only team member who is genuinely busy, they fail to delegate because they believe no-one will do things as effectively as they can, and they tend to have an overinflated view of how important they are to a team’s function. On the contrary, Giarrusso says, “If the team doesn’t need you and you can go on holidays and come back and things functioned well without you, that’s a good leader.”

Elaborating further on what makes a good leader, Giarrusso says they realise it’s not about them, but rather, it’s about the team. “Good leaders are empowering, they co-create and involve, so when there are decisions to be made, even if they’ve got the answer, they act like they don’t and make the team feel like they’ve come up with it. They’re coach-centric, so they use a lot of questioning to empower people to come up with what they already have in them. They’re not just complying to be a leader, they’re committed. So compliance is you do it, but committed is you have a jump in your step and you want to be there. They have perspective and respect, and they’re trustworthy,” Giarrusso explains.

Where women in leadership are concerned, Giarrusso does concede that, overall, women are underserved in leadership roles, but she notes that there are certain industries that are consciously making efforts to improve the imbalance, and as EQ continues to outweigh IQ in importance, things will continue to change. “IQ isn’t measured as much as EQ now,” Giarrusso says. “So your IQ is how smart you are and your EQ is how well you read people and understand people, and I believe women have a very strong EQ,” she says.

When asked if she has any advice for women who are already in leadership roles or who aspire to them, Giarrusso says it’s important to be strategically agile — that is, be able to understand and work across all business units — and she encourages women to focus on what they’re good at and what invigorates them, rather than becoming preoccupied with fitting in or proving something. “Be brave, be bold and be yourself,” she says. “I think what’s really important is have a voice, be a ‘no’ leader, so to speak, so don’t just agree with everything. If you don’t agree with something, have a voice and explain why you think what you do. Above all, add value, and learn from others, and find out what you’re strengths are and make sure you’re tapping into them, because then you’ll do what you do naturally.”

Giarrusso encourages businesses to recruit for diversity, likening people to colours of the rainbow — with the inclusion of more colours of the rainbow, the picture looks more whole, it offers greater perspective and inspiration, and the less likely it is to become tired or boring. Ultimately, good leadership doesn’t discriminate: “It doesn’t matter who you are — your age, your gender, your ethnicity — it doesn’t matter; it’s about capability and capacity,” Giarrusso says.

Renée Giarrusso presented at ANZIIF’s Lunch and Learn series events in WA and SA during October and November 2016. To find out how she can assist at an individual, team or organisation level and turn your inner potential into outward results she can be contacted via email, website, or LinkedIn.

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Build subliminal rapport by shaping and shifting your message

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head

If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart”

-Nelson Mandela

Team diversity and the need to shape and shift your message to communicate effectively is a given. Being an effective communicator is imperative to your leadership success and a skill worth investing the time in to master and not just manage. Every interaction you have is with someone with a different view of the world, never assume people see, hear or feel things the way you do.

Being in rapport with individuals and therefore your team as whole is so important. When in real rapport this equates to influence and people will be more honest and open. Keep in mind we go in and out of rapport with people so don’t assume this is a given. You need to work at it and consciously build and foster this.

As a leader we need to step back and ask the honest question “Am I getting the response I need?” Although you may have communicated what you believe is a clearly constructed message unless you are getting back the reponse you are after you need to change something.

Your message is communicated through many factors including your words, posture, stance, voice inflection, silence, gestures, tone, pitch and pace. Even the loudness or the softness of your voice can change your message to mean something quite different, than you set out to communicate. As the old adage goes “it’s not what you say, but how you say it”.

Think of casually asking your team to be on time to a meeting to asking them in a more formal forum with a deeper tone and voice projection? Be open to change and shift one or some of the variables that make up your message until you get the desired response you are after.

A few shape shifting ideas:

Tone:

If you are motivating someone lagging behind be more upbeat and project your message with a bit of “Oomph” instead of matching their laid back approach and encouraging more of what you don’t want. Matching tone can assist in building what I call subliminal rapport. This can be done face to face and over the phone/Skype.

Pace:

Speaking more quickly can convey a sense of urgency when you need to have a task done. It creates energy behind the action you are focusing on. Make your pace congruent with your message. Slightly match the pace of whomever you are speaking with and make sure it is in line with the message you are conveying.

Words:

Be a bit more like John, as I say. If John uses big words match a few, if he speaks in detail and you don’t then match him halfway. Matching similar words and the “chunk” size of information, large or small, can subconsciously change your message and how it is received. Remember, don't match acronyms and words you don't understand, ask what they mean as this in turn helps build rapport and shows a bit of vulnerability from your end.

Environment:

If you are communicating the same message in the same room sitting at the same boardroom table change it! I always think of open plan offices (which I love) where people seem to have certain types of conversations always in the same place. or the same meeting room. Change it up and see what happens!

Physically match your message:

Be an observer of you…that’s right…disassociate yourself and look at how you are standing, leaning and what your gestures and expressions are conveying. Are they in line with your message?

Stay open, flexible and adaptable, people are like colors, you need to be a rainbow!

Have fun with this and build your shape shifting muscle and leadership at the same time. Don't change who you are, instead dial your communication style and words up or down in a subtle way and create subliminal rapport.

Renée has just completed her first book “Limitless Leadership”- A guide to leading from the inside out. Order your copy today! www.reneegiarrusso.com

Renée Giarrusso is an accomplished author, facilitator, speaker, trainer and coach who works with high performing leaders and their teams across a myriad of industries and organisations. She passionately helps leaders fulfill their full potential resulting in increased motivation, communication and connection. Her expertise in growing and developing capability and behavioral change around leadership, communication, transition, presenting and sales effectiveness leave her clients inspired, re-energised and with improved results.

Register and join us: 5 PLACES LEFT

Limitless Leadership Master Class- 2 day Public Workshop!

Melbourne October 10th & 11th

2017-Melbourne February 27th & 28th

Limited to 14 places per program.

www.reneegiarrusso.com

Contact us today to learn more about our in-house or public programs

“The Top Fifteen Percent Leader” A dynamic interactive leadership program, run as an openly facilitated program 3 hours a month over the year!

Download our FREE whitepaper and program details

www.thetopfifteenpercentleader.com.au

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Shape and Shift your Message

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“People are like colours, you need to be a rainbow”

Team diversity and the need to shape and shift your message to communicate effectively is a given.  Being an effective communicator is imperative to your leadership success and a skill worth investing the time in to master and not just manage.  Every interaction you have is with someone with a different view of the world, never assume people see, hear or feel things the way you do.

As a leader we need to step back and ask the honest question “Am I getting the response I need?” Although you may have communicated what you believe is a clearly constructed message unless you are getting back the response you are after you need to change something.

Your message is communicated through many factors including your words, posture, stance, voice inflection, silence, gestures, tone, pitch and pace.  Even the loudness or the softness of your voice can change your message to mean something quite different than you set out to communicate.  The common aphorism relating to this says “it’s not what you say, but how you say it”

Think of casually asking your team to be on time to a meeting to asking them in a more formal forum with a deeper tone and voice projection?

Be open to change and shift one or some of the variables that make up your message until you get the desired response you are after.

A few shape shifting ideas:

Tone: If you are motivating someone lagging behind to be more upbeat then project your message with a bit of “Oomph” instead of matching their laid back approach and encouraging more of what you don’t want.

Pace: Speaking more quickly can convey a sense of urgency when you need to have a task done.  It creates energy behind the action you are focusing on.  Make your pace congruent with your message.

Words: “Be a bit more like John” as I say.  If John uses big words match a few, if he speaks in detail and you don’t then match him halfway. Matching similar words and the “chunk” size of information, large or small, can subconsciously change your message and how it is received.

Environment: If you are communicating the same message in the same room sitting at the same boardroom table change it! I always think of open plan offices (which I love) where people seem to have certain types of conversations always in the same place. Change it up and see what happens!

Physically match your message: Be an observer of you…that’s right…disassociate yourself and look at how you are standing, leaning and what your gestures and expressions are conveying. Are they in line with your message?

Stay open, be flexible and adaptable, people are like colours, you need to be a rainbow!  Have fun with this and build your shape shifting muscle and leadership at the same time.

Kind Regards

Renée 

Renée Giarrusso is an accomplished Lead Coach, Trainer and Keynote Speaker who works with high performing leaders and their teams across a myriad of industries and organisations.  She passionately helps leaders fulfil their full potential resulting in increased motivation and performance.  Her expertise in growing and developing capability and behavioral change around leadership, communication, transition and sales effectiveness leave her clients inspired, re-energised and with improved results.

Drop into our website and contact us for a chat and see how we can collaborate with you for even more success!

 “The Top Fifteen Percent Leader”

A dynamic interactive leadership program, run as an openly facilitated program 3 hours a month over the year!

Download our FREE whitepaper and program details

http://thetopfifteenpercentleader.com.au