Monday, August 30, 2010

Ben Cousins' documentary highlights the importance of balance

Irrespective what you think about the content of the Ben Cousins documentary, a powerful message that the program highlighted related to the importance of balance as it relates to success.

Our society often applauds people for 'making it'; whether that be as an elite sportsperson, a rock star, a movie star or in achieving a senior position in an organisation.

Success is defined purely by career success. Yet as Ben's documentary highlighted, career success doesn't necessarily mean that all other aspects of life are in balance.

As the attached illustration highlights, balance consists of a number of elements:

* health & fitness
* career
* education
* establishing a clear plan for personal success
* having the financial capacity to live the life that you desire
* establishing and maintaining relationships for enduring success

If any one of these key elements for success are not addressed, the individual is at risk of becoming stuck; much like the person in the background of the attached illustration. The outward appearance of being successful can be undermined by not having had a truly balanced approach to life.

Balance, in this context does not mean that all the key elements for success are equal. Rather, it means that an appropriate amount of focus is being applied to each key element for overall balance in the context of the life stage that the individual is experiencing. For example, university students will have a much larger focus on their education elements than other people, while graduate employees will have a much larger focus on their career activities than other people when they commence their first job. Likewise elite sports people will also have a much larger emphasis on their career element than the average person.

Where people lose balance is that they tend to completely neglect some of the key elements for success. So, while their career element is being addressed, poor health habits, such as taking drugs as highlighted by Ben's documentary, can undermine their life balance and ultimately, negatively affect their career. For some people it is a complete focus on their career that causes them to neglect the key relationships in their life, resulting in relationships breaking down.

If you are interested in finding out how to create a Plan for Personal Success that includes a personalised approach to Life Balance, please email Gary at .

Gary Ryan has assisted over 500 people in creating a Plan For Personal Success. Gary's clients have included elites sports people and coaches including Troy Simmonds (Richmond Tigers), Kane Johnson (Richmond Tigers) and Darren Harris (Carlton Blues).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Understanding employability skills

In this webinar recording Gary Ryan explains the research that underpins employability skills, what each employability skill actually means, and how to capture your own stories for each of the skills.
Duration 45 minutes.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Service excellence guides resource allocation

Organisations that are clear about meeting and exceeding the expectations of their customers are also clear about where resources should be allocated. Maybe your organisation has discovered that it has a serious Service Delivery Gap. Where would you allocate resources if you discovered such a gap?

Clearly there is more than one answer to this question and the actions that may be taken and the resulting allocation of resources will be guided by the organisations overall business strategy and the level of importance of closing the Service Delivery Gap in the short term. In this example there may not be a long term future for the organisation if it does not address the short term Service Delivery Gap. In this context, a service focus enables short term decisions to be made in the context of achieving the organisation’s long term desired future.

Quote from a research participant
We’re a small operation. Just three of us operate the store. We know everyone who works on the larger site; it’s like we are one community. Rather than spend our money on marketing pamphlets etc we hired a student to work in the store with us. We targeted one who was well connected within the community. It’s amazing how much business she has brought in. It’s the smartest money we have ever spent and all our jobs are just that little bit more secure!

What are your experiences regarding organisational resource allocations?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Understanding expectations - it is where great service starts

This is the starting point for great service. If you don’t understand the expectations of your customers, then everything that you do is likely to contribute to failing to meet them. Customers will have expectations whether you understand them or not.

They usually consist of outcome factors and process factors and have a zone of tolerance for them to be acceptable. The outcome factors relate to the reliability of the service/product and determine whether the service/product meets the customers’ expectations. The process factors relate to the customers experience and will determine if the customers’ expectations have been exceeded or not.

Quote from a research participant
Once you realise that the starting point is understanding expectations, everything else becomes a whole lot easier. All you have to do is ask people what they want, and then do your best to deliver that to them.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Beyond a One Page Plan For Personal Success

Have you completed a One Page Plan for Personal Success? If so, follow the steps below to take your plan to the next level.

When completing your Plan for Personal Success it is critical that you take each of the main strategies in your Prime Chart and create a Support Chart for them. Support Chart timeframes tend to be less than your prime Chart timeframe. So, if your prime Chart is for ten years, your Support Chart may be for three to five years.

Support Charts follow the same structure as your Prime Chart.

Step 1
Complete the Title for your chart. This is the name that you have given the strategy in your Prime Chart. Next identify which one of the Six Vital Strategy areas the strategy directly supports, and write that in brackets next to the name of the strategy. This helps to ensure that when you review all your strategies, you can quickly determine if you have at least one strategy for each of the Six Vital Strategies.

Step 2
Complete your Desired Outcome specific to this strategy. Be clear and as specific as possible. As you did for your Prime Chart Vision, keep asking yourself why you want what you are writing. This helps to uncover your real reason for wanting to achieve this Desired Outcome and usually helps to clarify exactly what it is that you are aiming to achieve.

Step 3
Complete your Starting Point/Current Reality section of your chart. Provide as much information as possible that specifically relates to the Desired Outcome that you are striving to achieve. What is positive about your present reality, and what is currently a challenge.

Step 4
Determine your actions that will move you from your Starting Point to your Desired Outcome. Upon brain-storming actions, review your list and identify which actions will provide the greatest leverage. These become the most critical actions to complete because all the actions will tend to fall into place.

Complete this process for each of your Prime Chart strategies and you will take your Plan for Personal Success to the next level.

If you would like to know more about creating a Plan For Personal Success, or would like to be individually coached through this process, please contact .

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Leadership Insights Series Marcus Pitt CEO SOHO Group

Gary Ryan interviews Marcus Pitt, President Director (CEO) of the SOHO Group. Marcus shares some of his insights that have enabled him to accelerate his career to the position of CEO of a US$1Billion company by 38 years of age.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

How 'Leadership moments' can develop your capacity to lead

Recently in the article How 'aware' are you? I explained that awareness is a characteristic of Servant Leadership. Another benefit of being 'aware' is that it opens up the opportunities for you to develop your capacity to lead.

It is my view that too many people see leadership as only being in the realm of formal roles. In that context, many people don't see themselves as leaders nor their own capacity to lead because they have never held a 'formal' leadership role. Of course this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and people who have this view of the world and themselves rarely become formal leaders.

I would also argue that these people also miss opportunities to 'lead' when 'leadership moments' arise. Proimarily because they just don't see them.

What are, 'Leadership moments'?

To me, a leadership moment is any time that a set of circumstances arise that are quietly asking, or sometimes screaming for someone to take action. Just today at my eldest son's Under 10s football match a barbeque had been prepared by two of the parents at the conclusion of the game. Quickly a line formed as the children, their parents and family members queued for some food. One of the 'cooks' was called away due to an urgent issue. Suddenly there was only one person trying to cook and serve food. The 'Leadership moment', while only 'visible' to some appeared. What do you think that 'Leadership moment' was? Not everyone noticed. Would have you? Even if you did notice the opportunity, what would have done?

Stepping out of the queue and helping to cook the barbeque, or at least asking if this action would be helpful, was what this moment was asking to be done.

'Leadership moments' call for someone to take action. Strangely, this can also mean that you consciously choose not to take action (see How doing nothing can be an example of leadership).

Other examples of 'Leadership moments' include:
You may be at work with a colleague who has a presentation and they are expressing their concerns about the presentation to you. They express that they don't think they are 'up to it' and you would do a far better job than them. Either you can be 'caught' in their negative self-talk or you can remind them of the good job that they have done in the past and support them through their presentation, and then remind them at the end that they had not only survived but done a great job. In this example it might be easier to do the presentation for them, but would that really help them in their development?

You might be in the foyer of your office building and you see someone who looks lost. What do you do?

You are out with your friends and you can see that one of them is drinking too much and is getting a bit rowdy. What do you do?

I am not suggesting that you should take action on every 'Leadership moment' that presents itself to you. That might in fact be selfish (others need to be able to take opportunities to develop too). I am saying that if you consciously raise your awareness of the 'Leadership moments' that are around you, and then you consciously decide to take action or consciously decide not to take action, both can be examples of developing your leadership.

After all, participants in the leadership programs that I facilitate often nominate helping, guiding, taking action. foresight etc. as characteristics of leadership.

What are your examples of 'Leadership moments'? How have they helped you to develop?