Sunday, September 26, 2010

AFL Grand Final Draw Calls For Simple Leadership

As a guest of the AFL Coaches Association for their annual Awards Dinner during the week, little did I realise that I would hear some fateful words of advice for the 2010 AFL Grand Finalists.

Legendary coach Ron Barassi was being inducted into the AFL Coaches Association Hall of Fame. As part of his induction, premiership player (and later a coach in his own right) Stan Alves was delivering a speech regarding the special characteristics of his former coach.

Part of Alves' speech focussed on the 1977 drawn Grand Final. Alves shared the absolute confusion that swept the players and officials immediately after the final siren sounded.

"We were spent. I was spent. None of us knew what we were supposed to do. It was absolute mayhem."

Alves shared that when the players, officials and supporters made their way into their rooms, the confusion seemed more intense than out on the ground. Then Ron Barassi did what he did best. He focussed everyone on what needed to be done.

First Barassi asked the players to go into the meeting room and to sit in the order in which they had played.

"Henshaw, you were in the back pocket so you sit here, now everyone else sit in your playing positions."

Club officials were then invited into the room and Barassi instructed that the meeting room door be left open so that all the supporters who had entered the rooms could hear what he was about to say.

Alves reported that this is what Barassi instructed his players to do.

"If you do the two things that I am about to tell you, and then you turn up to training in the morning, we will win the premiership. Number one, turn up to the club function tonight. Number two, go home at 10pm. Do these two things and we will win the premiership."

Alves reported that immediately upon Barassi finishing his short speech, the sense of confusion evaporated.

Barassi was able to get everyone, players, officials and supporters to focus on some simple actions. Doing this enabled everyone to have clarity about what they needed to do. In many ways the simplicity of the actions enabled everyone to say to themselves, "Yeah, I can do those two things."

Barassi's actions highlight that keeping things simple and helping people to focus on what is doable are magnificent leadership traits in the face of confusion and uncertainty.

For those of you who don't know, Barassi's North Melbourne went on to win the Grand Final Replay the following week.

I wonder how St Kilda and Collingwood are coping with their current situation? Will similar leadership to Barassi's example be present?

What are your examples of leadership that enabled people to focus on simple actions that helped them to cut through complexity and confusion?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Secrets of Young Achievers Exposed - Two Free Chapters from Best Selling Author Dale Beaumont

Secrets of Young Achievers Exposed is a book featuring 12 of Australia's brightest young talent. This free ebook includes two chapters of the book and features Amy Wilkins creator of Active Kidz and Hugh Evans, founder of the Oaktree Foundation.

Learn about the success secrets of these two inspiring young Australians.

Download your free copy of this ebook here.

Dale Beaumont, one of Australia's most successful author's is one of my mentors (even though I'm ten years older than him!). Dale provided direction and guidance in helping me to publish my first book What Really Matters For Young Professionals!

Please enjoy this free gift that Dale has allowed me to pass on to you.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Why low risk projects are a smart leadership tool

As a People Leader/Manager do you have more ideas than you can implement? Are you frustrated by not achieving as much as you would like?

My experience shows that one of the Top Ten motivators for employees is 'opportunities for improvement'. Imagine if you joined these twofactors together; your frustration with not getting as much done as you know needs to get done, with your team members desire for opportunities for improvement.

Below is a four step process for creating low risk successes from this situation.

Step 1
List all your ideas/actions for things that you believe need to be done.

Step 2
'Chunk' these ideas/actions into groups - these groups of ideas/actions form the basis of possible projects.

Step 3

Using the attached matrix, identify whether or not your projects are:
  1. High Risk - Hard Implementation
  2. Low Risk - Hard Implementation
  3. High Risk - Easy Implementation
  4. Low Risk - Easy Implementation

High Risk means that if the project fails there will be a significant and negative impact on the organisation.

Low Risk means that if the project fails there will be no major negative impact on the organisation.

Hard Implementation means that the resources required to implement the project involve both a lot of people and a lot of money/assets to successfully complete the project.

Easy Implementation means that existing resources with minimal budgetary impact can be used to successfully complete the project.

Step 4
Low Risk - Easy Implementation projects are your gold. These are the projects that you can easily provide to your team members. Should the project be a success then the organisations benefits (because it gets something useful that otherwise may not have existed), the staff member benefits (because they have implemented something that didn't previously exist) and you benefit because a number of the ideas/actions that you had on your original list will now have been implemented.

The beauty of creating low risk projects is that they generate opportunities for people to shine. If you have never tried a system like this before, try it out and please let us know how you go.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What are you excited about?

This week my ten year old son headed off for his week long Year 5/6 school camp. His week will be filled with hiking, canoeing, ropes courses, flying foxes, storytelling, drama and all sorts of fun activities to thrill a ten year olds soul.

For weeks all he could talk about was his upcoming camp. he was packed (mostly) days before he was due to leave. He couldn't get to school early enough on the day the camp was to begin. His excitement was tangible; you could feel it.

Watching him got me thinking. Short term goals are incredibly motivating. Having something to look forward to generates the energy to sustain many of the more mundane activities of life. For example I have recently launched my first book What Really Matters For Young Professionals! and welcomed my fifth child to our family, another son. Both experiences involved a long build up and great joy was experienced when both our son and my book arrived.

Life is not just about achieving short term goals for the sake of achieving them. Rather, the short term goals should be in the context of a bigger picture. For example, my book is part of my career, business and finance strategies. Clearly my son was about completing my family.

In this context, what are you excited about? How do your short term goals relate to your bigger picture?