Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A massive career development opportunity


Despite releasing my book I had a problem (fortunately it wasn’t selling the book). You see  I had originally written over 600 pages of content for my book but the market was saying that people wouldn’t buy a 600 page book.

YFCS Colour logoASo I trimmed my book down to 128 pages and even included a number of pictures to help the reader get from cover to cover. This meant that I had just under 500 pages of high quality content that hadn’t been used. Why not create an online course to support the book?

Did a better way exist to share my knowledge? At the time I couldn’t think of one. 

My work had seen me bridge the gap between university student development programs and corporate staff development programs. I was addressing educational needs about what to actually do in the real world that wasn’t being addressed at university. Time and again students (from both undergraduate and postgraduate programs) and graduate program employees would tell me, “Gary, we just don’t get taught this information at university. I know what you are teaching isn’t rocket science, but I didn’t know about it before and I wish I did. At least I’ve learned it now and can use this information about developing my employability skills to my advantage.” 

As my work evolved into Executive Coaching roles, even these people would tell me how they found the material enlightening and helpful in their roles, even though I hadn’t written the book or designed my course for them.

I’ve now been delivering these programs for over eight years in university faculties and schools as broad as business, law, education, pharmacy and even higher degree by research programs.  Universities don’t keep asking people who are teaching non-academic programs to come back year after year if the program isn’t any good and isn’t getting outstanding feedback from students.

At the start of 2013 I launched the Yes For Success Platform and included a new version of my book’s online course on that platform, except this time I gave it a makeover and called it Yes For Career Success. The course now includes 21 Modules, the extra five modules all being designed to help folk improve their formal leadership skills either at work or outside of work. You see, leadership is one of those skills you can’t learn by theory alone, you must do it. So I show people how they can develop their leadership outside of the work environment if necessary so that they can advance their career over time. I provide the tools so that you can consciously rather than unconsciously develop your skills. Conscious skill develop outstrips unconscious skill development any day of the week!

Those of you who know me personally will know that I genuinely want to help people to be the best that they can be. I am literally putting my money where my mouth is to back up that statement. For less than the price of two coffees I am providing as many people as possible (including you of course) with the opportunity to get access to the entire 21 Modules of the Yes For Career Success Program for under $10 for a full 12 months.  
The content on Systems Thinking alone  is worth many times your fee to get access to the program. If you aren’t aware, Systems Thinking is a critical leadership skill that despite being identified by the Australian Government, the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry as an essential skill for effective leadership, is not being taught in any academic programs of Australia’s Group of Eight Universities, arguably the top universities in Australia. 

This means that my program is providing you with an opportunity to master critical skills that aren’t being taught anywhere else. Clearly this gives you a significant advantage over your competition.

My offer is valid until midnight on Friday 31st January, 2014 and once again I am offering you 12 months full access to the entire 21 Module Yes For Career Success Program for just $9.97.

You can download the entire Course Outline here.

There are no bells and whistles about this offer. No marketing hoopla. It is a straight offer and that’s it.

I’m not going to repeat this offer again (those of you who know me will know that statement is true too). Click here to accept this offer.

Finally, too many people leave the responsibility for their development to someone else. Please don’t be like them. Take control of your career and learn how to master the employability skills that will separate you from the rest and enable you to have the career you desire.

If you have any questions or comments about the program, please leave a comment below.

Gary Ryan enables leaders and their teams to move Beyond Being Good™.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Creating Life Balance in 2014

Life Balance should be judged over a year. Not over a day. Not over a week and not over a month!

Hopefully you are using the festive time of the year to take stock and re-energise. Reflect on your successes, achievements and challenges from 2013 and then look ahead to 2014 and beyond.
14 
No doubt many of you have created New Year Resolutions. If creating more Life Balance is one of those, here are a few tips to help you achieve that goal.

1. Understand that in creating Life Balance you have many periods of being ‘out of balance’
When you judge your Life Balance over a year you will be okay with the fact that at various stages you will be ‘out of balance’ for periods of time. If you have been in a job for a while, or are studying then you will know the peak periods for your work or study. During these periods going on holidays is out of the question and your social life may take a backward step too. This is okay. Take note of when those ‘busy’ periods will be occurring and plan for them. In doing so you can be proactive with your friends and let them know that you may be hard to catch for the time that you have identified.


2. Book and pay for holidays in advance
I learned this tactic back in the late 1990s when I was suffering from overwork and fatigue. At that time of my life I used to wear my unused holidays as a badge of honour. “Look everyone. I work so hard I haven’t taken holidays for years!” As it turned out it was a silly view of the world to have as I was tired and lacked the energy to do my job properly. A good friend explained to me how he managed his energy by booking for and paying for his holidays in advance. That way both he and his family had something to look forward to throughout the year and because the holiday had already been paid for, it actually happened!


In activating this tactic I also learned that amazing deals are on offer providing you book and pay during the Xmas – New Year period (your holiday doesn’t have to be during this period, you just have to have booked it for some time during the year and have paid for it). This has literally saved me thousands of dollars – which contributes to the financial aspect of my Life Balance too!

3. Set physical goals

Lots of people set weight loss goals at this time of year. Unfortunately most people don’t get anywhere near their target weight because a specific weight is the wrong goal to have as your main goal. It is far better to set a goal that involves the achievement of a physical activity such as playing a sport on a regular basis, completing a hiking holiday or  completing a 20 kilometre walk. This year I will be supporting my wife Michelle as she prepares for her third Oxfam 100 Km Trailwallker in May. As one of her training partners I will be doing a lot of walking with her.


To enhance this tactic have ‘rolling goals’. Set multiple goals that will require you to have to keep fit so that you can achieve them. This helps to cut the risk of achieving a physical goal and then slipping back into bad habits after the goal has been achieved.

Use these three tips to help you to create the Life Balance that you desire. If you would like to learn more about creating Life Balance please visit here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Do High Performing Teams Accept 'Unacceptable' Behaviour?

Whenever I conduct leadership development or my Teams That Matter® program I ask, “Do high performing teams accept or reject unacceptable behaviour?”. 

The answer arrives with a resounding chorus, “They reject it!”.

Yet how can people reject unacceptable behaviour if the team hasn’t made explicit what behaviours are acceptable and unacceptable?

For example, is answering a phone in a team meeting acceptable or unacceptable behaviour? What about not speaking during team meetings? Or the leader who is always late to meetings? No doubt you may think that these behaviours are clearly unacceptable – at least from your perspective. 

You might hold the view that ‘everyone knows‘ that these behaviours are unacceptable.

The evidence is overwhelming that ‘everyone doesn’t know‘. The fact that these behaviours exist indicates that not everyone shares the same view that you have.

Teams need to have an explicit agreement about what behaviours are acceptable, and what behaviours are unacceptable. So how do you make these behaviours explicit?

You host a series of conversations.

First ask, “In any team of which you have been a member, what team member behaviours have really annoyed you because you believe they have detracted from the team’s performance or potential to perform?” Collect the responses and name this list ‘Hindering behaviours‘.

Young business colleagues showing unityI have never had a team not be able to answer this question! Unfortunately this indicates that people like you have experienced your fair share of annoying team member behaviours – which is why the list is so easy to create!


Next ask, “What behaviours should we adopt to help us to be the best that we can be?” Collect the responses and name this list ‘Supporting behaviours‘.

Each list usually has six to 10 behaviours.
Your last question is, “What will we do if we believe that we are seeing the unacceptable behaviours?

The power of this question is that it allows you to define the process that you will take when an issue arises. Yet, because you are having this discussion when there isn’t a ‘live’ issue it enables you to keep the emotion out of this conversation.

When you believe that you are seeing a team member do one of the hindering behaviours, it is important to keep an open mind to their side of the story. Over time I have learned that many people actually believe that they are doing a supporting behaviour when others see it as hindering behaviour. 

These conversations don’t take a lot of time to complete, yet most teams don’t conduct them. Be bold. Be different. Have the courage to make your acceptable and unacceptable behaviours explicit as they will make your challenge of creating a high performing team that much easier!

Gary Ryan enables leaders and their teams to move Beyond Being Good™.