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Limitless Leadership™ – It’s the small things…

Great things are achieved when a series of small things are brought together…

Recently I spent three glorious weeks in the most sense-awakening, colourful and vibrant country that is Vietnam. One week into my trip I was hit with a nasty flu. Me being me, kept going until it was all too much and I had to surrender to Doctor's orders to rest and dose up on antibiotics.

VIetnam angelsVenturing out for a hotel dinner we sat down to order when a delightful cup of fresh ginger and lemon tea was placed in front of me. I was taken aback as I hadn’t ordered as yet.  Through my fluey, blood-shot eyes stood a waitress, almost angel-like, saying she had heard me say I was really ill, and that this tea would fix me.

Small things are important

What a blessing I thought, and in that moment I couldn't have been happier. A small gesture yes, but it was such a thoughtful one feeling as ill and vulnerable as I was. She had noticed I was sick and went out of her way to let me know, to make me feel important and cared for.  The biggest thing deal was, it was unexpected. I started drinking fresh ginger tea as of the night and totally recovered within 4 days.

This small thing lead me to making a bigger change that impacted my holiday and health in a great way.

It got me to thinking how sometimes the smallest things can have the largest impact. It’s all about taking action and making a start.

I thought about this later and was reminded just how much impact small words or actions can have.

As a leader serving your team and organisation, you can make an impact with not a lot effort:

  • Praise and recognise others and be specific on what you are praising so that particular behaviour continues
  • Take the time to say thank you
  • Encourage others no matter how small the step they have taken, one small step is a start
  • Empower the space for others to dream big…one small idea can equate to a big change, if one step is actioned in 24 hours the rest will follow
  • Have regular one on one catch ups, some with no agenda or purpose but a personal check in

Human being…or doing?

I still remember a one on one or WIP (work in progress) as we called them with my manager many years ago back in my corporate life. I kept talking about work, where the team was sitting against budget and everything else work related. My manager looked and me and said “Renée, how are you?” again I kept talking about the team's results – he asked me the same question again, “Renée, I’m asking how you are?”

I was taken aback, he had the time to actually ask of how I was going personally, when my next break was and how my partner was.  We chatted for 15 minutes and it really recalibrated my mindset back into a “being” mode opposed to a “doing” mode. It showed he cared about me, not just the results my team and I were achieving. It made me realise, as leader I needed to do the same with my team.

So simple. So small. Outside of the normal day to day work related conversation.

That one conversation made me look at my work life balance and the ripple effect meant I was even more productive and successful in my role in the time to follow.

...sometimes the smallest things can have the largest impact. It’s all about taking action and making a start. Click To Tweet

Small signs of progress are important

In the busyness of our work life it can be easier to put off making that big change or implementing that idea. It's the little things that can create action and momentum and as a leader of self and others we can contribute to “the little things”.

There is a great book Small Moves, Big Change (Arnold, 2014). The argument in this book is, our good intentions often fail because they involve large scale change and big steps and therefore we can often miss doing the small things. Small micro steps, what Arnold terms ‘micro-resolutions' are much more doable, confidence building and therefore more likely to be implemented. And when momentum begins, further change and movement is much more possible creating a reinforcing cycle of progress.

Small signs of progress are more important than we might think in building motivation and commitment“making progress in meaningful work is the most powerful stimulant to great inner work life.”

Facilitating progress is one of the most effective ways for leaders to build motivation and commitment in those people with whom they work.

What “little thing” can you share today?

To being limitless

 

 

Renee Giarrussso Director RG Dynamics Pty Limited Limited Leadership

For more of my tips on how change can equate to growth, get in touch. I look forward to working with you in the future!

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits, so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’. Follow Renee on FacebookInstagramIGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here.

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Limitless Leadership: Cross Leadership – are you across it?

let your team interview you

In any role we need to lead self and master our leadership from the inside out.  Self-leadership is the centre of our success irrelevant of whether you are leading a direct team or not. Too often we can get caught up in the sole responsibility of what we are doing and only believe we are leading those directly reporting to us, this is not the case.

I visually see leadership in any role as a cross with self-leadership positioned and embedded in the centre. We cannot lead others or influence decisions without a clear purpose, self-belief, commitment and motivation, all the key ingredients that make up the recipe for strong self-leadership.

“I believe the choice to be excellent begins with aligning your thoughts and words with the intention to require more from yourself.”

Self-leadership is forever evolving and we need to learn and unlearn to take this to the next level and not maintain the status quo.

From there we can look at leading in a cross functional sense.

Cross-leadership focus points

As leaders there are three non-negotiable areas of focus, in the below order:

  • Focus on people
  • Focus on process
  • Focus on progress

By focusing on people before progress and praising process, I strongly believe we can build a limitless culture, where everyone is realising their full potential as one team resulting in performance that is on purpose.

Too often, there is a focus on progress and the people, their strengths and contributions get left by the way side with the outcome results in being less than desirable, morale is low and the cultures become soulless and empty.

I ask you…”How can we best help such collaborations address our pressing challenges at the magnitude and complexity at which they exist?”

I believe we need to be cross-functional in our leadership and invest time, energy and headspace into our peers, managers and indirect and direct reports.

The Leadership cross involves:  I believe we need to be cross-functional in our leadership and invest time, energy and headspace into our peers, managers and indirect and direct reports. Click To Tweet

Leading Peers

Take the time to share and collaborate with your peers, not only in your division but also across the business. Add value by sharing best practice and asking them to do the same. Many of us are time poor so start with an area or person you believe you could contribute to the most and go from there. Many organisations I am working with have started to do monthly catch-ups under 40 minutes sharing key insights and learnings and adding value to each other. Don't make this a time to show case your achievements, the focus is on learnings, lessons and adding value to each other. Keep the conversations laser focused and with intention.

Leading upwards

If I had a dollar for every time a client asked me to manage upwards, I would be a very wealthy person. Firstly, a reframe of ‘Managing upwards” could be helpful. Maybe you could ask, “How could I stretch myself to connect even better with managers?”

Many times managing upwards is another way of saying, “How can I push back or ask for more help or support so we are both on the same page”. We have all had amazing managers and then we have had those managers I call “The Gift”. The ones that teach us how not to be. All teach us something and it’s what we do with these lessons that counts. To be on the same page be open, honest and ask yourself ‘What will it cost me not to connect and be on the same page as my manager”?

Managing up could be up to your manager’s peers so don’t discount this also as a portal to growth and learnings and exposure to build on your strategic agility.

Leading direct and indirect reports

Whether or not you have direct reports you are leading and influencing decisions and those around you.

Remember, your role is to build and be part of a team, achieve impact and make decisions and solve problems. Coaching and mentoring others is imperative as a leader as by doing this you are delegating thinking (which is coaching when you think of it) and then you can focus on what matters and create the space to empower and grow others, in the process, creating future leaders. Those people reporting through to your peers are still part of your team and also those 2 layers down in your direct team. So often people dismiss investing time and energy in this area due to lack of time and awareness of the pay off of doing this.

By being across those in other teams and in your indirect teams you can foster a highly collaborative culture and encourage peer coaching, sharing of best practice and limitless possibilities.

Remember…

Long term consistency beats short term intensity-Bruce lee Click To Tweet

I’d love to hear how you go applying cross leadership and what you have done so far in your role and what has and hasn’t worked?

To being limitless

Renée

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Limitless Leadership: What we feel and action comes back to our thoughts

The New Year has arrived and I hope you got to take the time to enjoy life with loved ones and recharge and reset for a sparkly you in 2019! After a much needed break to re-energise we can’t wait to continue working with our amazing clients and also look forward to all the new and exciting clients and projects 2019 will bring!

Control your thoughts – Mindset Matters

Holidays are a great ‘circuit breaker” and a good time to set a new normal that serves you and those around you for even more success. Too often we default straight back into the “doing” after a week back at work as we are challenged by time constraints, conflicting priorities and the general juggle of life. I challenge you to control your thoughts and the mindset you adopt in the coming weeks and moving forward.

One thing we all have a choice of, is what we tell ourselves, that’s right, our thoughts. In life we all have the choice to create our thoughts and these thoughts and beliefs associated with them will dictate the way we feel and what we action or not. Like a badly created foundation of a house, if our mindset isn’t solid the actions we take and the results we achieve will crumble over time, as a house will not stand the test of time.

Make the ‘snooze button’ redundant

At home you may plan to go to 6 am yoga, all booked in with your Lorna Jane gear laid out and your water bottle topped up and ready to go. The alarm goes off and that luxurious 10 minute snooze button is hit more than once as you snuggle into the doona to continue dreaming, telling yourself sleep comes first. Before you know it, the alarm goes off and you’ve missed the yoga class and you’re mad at yourself, guilty for not going and the tone of your day is set.

What could you have told yourself that would have changed this situation? A simple thought such as “I’ll feel better and more balanced after this class” may have made the difference and the your belief in this thought may have made you get out of bed on time.

Change your energy – change the outcome

Imagine a professional scenario such as walking into a meeting and thinking to yourself “I’m so busy, so much to do, I can’t be bothered with this meeting”, you will naturally FEEL disengaged, unmotivated and therefore your actions will not be congruent with your message to the team and the outcome will be ultimately flawed. Thinking about adding value to your team and valuing their time may have changed the outcome of this meeting and the energy you portray.

I’ll be the first to say it’s not always easy to control your thoughts, often we “awfulise” things (not a real word) and our minds spiral downwards and it’s hard to change our thoughts. My question to you is “What will it cost you not to have quality thoughts that serve you?” What will it cost your team, your business those around you?”

It is good to be human and let your guard down at times, it’s not normal to be happy happy-joy-joy every minute, but this isn’t about positive thinking. This is about creating and controlling thoughts that result in the best possible outcome.

Take responsibility for your thoughts:

  • How do you want to feel?Shape your thoughts to get to the outcome you after
  • Let go of other peoples’ words, beliefs, actions, ideas and mistakesEnsure you believe in the thought you are telling yourself
  • If not, visualise it and the feeling you would love to experience
  • Remind yourself of thin gs you have done before
  • Let in the new and embrace possibility
  • Let go of what hasn’t worked and replace this with something new and different
  • Let Be of what is working for you.

A new year deserves new thoughts and ways of thinking.

Remember, what you tell yourself will set your mind up to what it believes, sources and invites in. The power to have a Limitless Mindset is within all of us, you just need to choose it.

To being limitless

Renée

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Limitless Leadership: Giver or taker – which are you?

It has been a massive year for RG Dynamics with a diverse array of clients coming on board; the creation of new programs, keynotes and workshops and the lovely Nia starting with us in April as our Client Services Manager!

I am so very grateful for all of our amazing clients and we look forward to continuing to collaborate on your success in 2018! Thank you!

Before we all head into Christmas festivities I felt a real need to download these thoughts and share these with you as we close off the year.

2018 – a year of blessings

When I look back to the year that has been, I feel proud and blessed to do the work I love with people I like.

Everything I’ve done and the choices I have made have led me to where I am now. From 12 years in senior sales and leadership roles in the corporate world to assisting the long term unemployed when I first started my practice and then building sales capability across numerous organisations.

Coaching and mentoring and running hundreds of workshop programs around leadership, communication and motivational mapping to publishing a second collaborative book “Leaders of Influence” with 5 other amazing authors, and speaking at a range of amazing events.

Value time

All of these things have required a sacrifice, time and commitment and I wouldn't change a thing except for the fact I could have valued my time more.

Something I have been guilty of that I have to consciously control, is giving too much. What I mean by this is I love to give and make a difference and in the last 5 years in particular I have had to be mindful of my time even more, in order to look after myself and my clients. Self-care takes constant work and focus and the benefits far outweigh the cost!

We all like to make a difference in some way, whether it be through our profession, role in the family, in society or simply by just being who we are?

Let’s look at where you sit as far as giving and taking and what this means for you…..

We are coming into the Christmas season where for many of life’s givers, this can be a challenging time. We all give and take but I am sure you can think of someone, maybe even yourself who leans more to one side of this equation.

Are you the one over the festive season who is forever cooking, entertaining, loading the dishwasher, shopping and basically facilitating other people’s pleasures throughout this time? You may take pride in doing this but at this time or other times in the year there can be a huge personal cost of being drained physically, emotionally and sometimes even financially.

Compulsive givers console themselves with the belief that this selfless behaviour is a positive trait. Takers, on the other hand are usually unlikely to notice the effort – they view standout meals and so on as a natural part of the festive season.

Don't get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t give or receive for that matter, but it should all be about balance.

Emotional or Material

The giving and taking relationship is present in all relationships and the exchange can be emotional or material.

Extreme givers offer up their time and energy and also their emotional support as well. Takers on the other hand tend to focus on their own needs and enjoy each “gift” meanwhile the giver is always on the look-out to improve and add value to the lives of others.

Often, I see that people who like to give will gravitate towards those people who are very comfortable with receiving. It is not a surprise that giving (not always) is a female trait and this can come from early in life where we are taught and see things that we instill into our behaviour as we grow older.

Giving is a good thing and as long as you are not an extreme giver, it obviously has a positive side. It has been researched, on a biological level, giving to others has stimulates rewards in the pleasure centres of the brain. This has even been linked to prolong life expectancy.

When you give to your family you are ultimately protecting your own genes, this is known as “kin altruism”.

When you give to friends this is known as “reciprocal altruism”. It’s like a sort of social karma “whereby you do something for another on the understanding that one day they’ll do something back for you”.

Emotional reasons and your personal beliefs and values can also be linked to how you act.

So, are you more of a giver or taker?

When in balance you will be doing this in a way that is resourceful and you will feel empowered as you will be on both ends of the spectrum.

If you feel unbalanced in this area here are a few techniques to balance your giver or taker role:

Be aware of your reflex actions

  • Be aware: if you are an overly giving or receiving person this will present itself a number of times of a day. The trick is to be aware of it.
  • A simple way to check this out is to pass around a plate of food or a box of tissues and see what happens. Some people will offer this on to others, some will thrust it upon the next person and others will grab what they want themselves. I’ve seen this in meetings when sharing the load, interesting to observe.
  • Watch your behaviour over 12 hrs and be aware of your actions!

Understand your emotions

  • How do you feel when giving a receiving? Keep a record of this for a few days
  • Write down when you gave or received something emotionally or materially –this could be a your time, a present or even a compliment.
  • Each day summarise how you felt, how intense it was and how often you felt that way.

Identify the root of your behaviour

  • Giving or taking – ask yourself why?
  • Was there something lacking in your past, were you given too much? Do you feel that “you” aren’t enough and you need to add to this?
  • Spend a full day giving and receiving at every opportunity, think about how this makes you feel.

All you then need to do is introduce some of your new actions and emotions into your life. This will give you a more balanced approach to things and will allow you to be an even better person, for you. It all starts with you and a great way to enter into 2018!

Have a brilliant and safe festive season and we look forward to collaborating with you in the New Year!

Be limitless!

Renée

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Limitless Leadership: How healthy is your leadership mojo

This week we are going to delve into a topic I am extremely passionate about, and that is how to master and maintain what I call your leadership mojo! In such a fast- paced time we need to be at our best and balance our leadership to be able to do the things that really matter. Doing all that you are doing is great but if you don’t have the energy to be the best you can be it won’t matter what you do, say or act.

With the year-end fast approaching I can say I have never seen many of my clients more frazzled, overwhelmed and caught up in the “busy-ness” that can be all consuming.

“Be the energy you want to attract.”

Last year we launched a program “Master your Mojo” and spent the first part of the day discussing exactly what “mojo” is or isn’t. What I found is that we all had varying thoughts and definitions initially but as we delved deeper one commonality from the group is the mojo equates to being whole, being the true essence of who you are and that mojo is an energy, your true energy. The Merriam Webster definition of mojo is “a magic spell, hex, or charm; broadly: magical power”

Your mojo is what makes you-you, your magical power.

Writing this I want to focus on your leadership mojo and what that means to you. Whether you lead a team, are an indirect leader, you lead decisions or lead self, which we all do, I strongly believe we are all leaders in some way. To lead we need energy, we need to be congruent with who we are, and we also need to know what makes up who we are, our mojo. How can you refill it if you don’t know what is required? A bit like making a cake you need all the ingredients to make it rise, that small pinch of baking powder may seem insignificant, but it’s the only thing that will make the cake rise. What do you need to ensure you are all that makes you magical at what you do?

Leading and creating future leaders we need to be real, we need to show what can be and we need to invest in ourselves to do this. We need to be human, the unique individual that we are and this sometimes gets lost in all the people, technology and progress challenges we face. I always say focus on people before progress, and you need to be the first person of focus!

In the model below you can have a look at where your energy sits in each of the three areas of; Reflect, Recharge and Refocus.

Reflect

It’s always good to stop and look at where you are. In the model above your energy to reflect may be a low energy or deception as I call it, it may be at acceptance or it may be at a high energy where you are ready to grow and get your mojo in flow. Right now, as you read this, where is your mojo? I love to rate things, I usually do 1-5. If at 5/5 is you couldn’t feel any better, satisfied and energised and if at 1/5 you couldn’t feel more depleted.

A few questions to ponder:

  • On the above model have a think about where you sit?
  • Why is this so, what has happened or not happened?
  • What has changed since your mojo was in full flow?
  • What is your leadership purpose?
  • Why do you do what you do?
  • Does your leadership represent you and who you are?

Recharge

When our mojo is low we can feel depleted. A bit like cordial that has been diluted we aren’t all that we can be and usually won’t feel as happy, fulfilled or on purpose. You may be feeling like you are dragging your feet, intolerant of things that normally wouldn’t affect you and not as “on” as I call it. Working in such a face paced and complex environment dealing with people issues, achieving results and being time poor and skill stretched can play its toll. Having to evolve, learn, change and unlearn can also zap us. To recharge we need to know what our “mojo ingredients” are when they are in flow and in balance.

For me, I need to be growing, learning something new, making a difference to others and I need a diversity of people and situations around me. To keep my mojo in balance I need time with different friends and people (mojo makers), I need to cook, I need to write, I need my office and house clean and decluttered and I need to regularly be outside walking in fresh air or near water, at the beach. I need new experiences and travel.

  • What makes up the essence of you?
  • What 5 things light you up and help you flourish?
  • Think of your role and what you do that puts a spring in your step?

How can you bring more of that in?

  • What are you good at that you also enjoy?
  • What do people around you give you and what do you give back?
  • As we give value to others, each person around you can contribute to your mojo in different ways, think about who gives you balance, energy, challenges and fun? (more on this in our next series)
  • What makes you smile?
  • What keeps your mojo cup full and in balance both professionally and personally?

Refocus

To re-connect and focus you need a plan. It’s imperative you lead by being the real you. Not only will you feel happier and more fulfilled, chances are you will be more productive and connected to what you are doing. Looking at what came up for you, how can you ensure your mojo cup is full? By checking in and seeing what is working and what is missing you can look at ways to bring in what you need. Simple yes and not always easy to do but think about how you feel when running on “real” and authentic energy. It’s worth the time and focuses on ensuring the magical power of you and all that you are is what the world gets to experience. It also is a way to show others, futures leaders what is possible.

How can you create future leaders if others don’t get to see and experience the real you and all you have to offer? Take that holiday, voice that idea or change you have been holding back on, work on that project that lights you up and be all that you are so others can learn and be inspired from you. The real you!

With the pointy end of the year fast approaching it's a great time to Reflect, Recharge and Refocus!

To being “limitless”

Renée Giarrusso