Keep Your People Focused - Jan 2010 Newsletter

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Keep Your People Focused - Jan 2010 Newsletter

Welcome to 2010.  I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year season.  After an extended break for many businesses, people are starting to get back to work and back in gear for the new year.  Even our Prime Minister, Mr. Rudd, has returned to work and visited Perth to prove it.

In this edition of the Lamplighter newsletter . . .

CONTENTS

Keep Your People Focussed – Consistently Communicate Your Vision

The Perils of Multitasking – Can You Walk and Talk on Your Mobile at the Same Time?

2010 Seminars and Workshops

Authentic Speaking® dates

Fundraiser – SES and Volunteer Fire Brigades

Pet Peeves

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Keep Your People Focussed – Consistently Communicate Your Vision  

It’s the start of a brand new year amid great challenges.  In Western Australia, the world’s most resilient economy through the Global Financial Crisis, we are facing the build-up to another sustained economic boom.  That means that our businesses and people need to be focussed and motivated on the core of our business.

In executive coaching and in our Authentic Speaking® program, I encourage clients to genuinely connect with others and to communicate their vision in a way that also connects with the needs of their listeners.  As leaders, business owners and professionals, we need to realise that stating only what we are concerned about or what we want to achieve does not influence our hearers enough.  It’s true of colleagues, staff, customers and regulators.  That’s because it is their needs that uppermost in their minds, not ours, even if what you have to say excites them and they want it.

Unfortunately, it is far too easy to “hear the call” one day and forget it the next.  This is why leaders are sometimes called the chief vision-caster or cheerleader.  It’s your job to keep the vision in the forefront of others’ minds.  But this also means that you have to overcome all the distractions (like talking on the mobile phone – see the next article).

You also need to find novel ways of promoting your vision.  Human beings attend more to new stimuli than to ones they have become accustomed to.  So your speech, for the 150th time, about everybody “buckling down and getting to work” may not hit the mark.  There’s not enough internal motivation.

I’ve worked with senior leaders and professionals in large corporations who note that they are always expected to use a PowerPoint and always expected to use “that picture” in their presentations.  After the first few times seeing this, guess what happens: your listeners ignore it (it’s the psychological principle of “accommodation”).  If you know and they know that you’re going to show and say exactly the same thing two hundred times, do us all a favour: don’t.

Tell a story, bring in a customer to tell your people about their experiences with your business, bring in a boiling pot of water and a frog and rescue him to show the danger you’re in (we should be nice to the frog), or take half a day and drive your builders to a site to show them what a great job one of the teams did and how you want everyone to keep at it.  Have the same core message, be consistent, but don’t be absolutely predictable.  But make sure you point them towards the vision.

As you take the reins of your business or new project in 2010, you will be facing a welter of competitive forces and distractions to achieving your goals – I guarantee it.  Creating, casting and communicating a Compelling Vision for yourself, your people and your clients will need to be one of your top priorities for 2010.

The Perils of Multitasking – Can You Walk and Talk on Your Mobile at the Same Time? 

One of the principles of high performance and human cognition – evident both in our experience and our own original research, is that high performance requires a person’s dedicated focus and the ability to tap into the brain’s automatic processes.  It’s also one of the principles we advocate in business process and job design.

But have you thought about the dangers of using that mobile phone while you should be paying attention – not to your driving – but to walking on the sidewalk?  This article from the New York Times reports some interesting statistics and research about the dangers of walking and talking on the mobile . . .

“Sometimes, pedestrians using their phones do not notice objects or people that are right in front of them — even a clown riding a unicycle. . . .” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/17/technology/17distracted.html?scp=1&sq=multitasking&st=cse

2010 Seminars and Workshops

Lamplighter Performance Consulting is devising a series of workshops (2-5 day workshops) and short seminars (2 hours) for delivery throughout the year on various performance and leadership-related topics, such as how to become a leader who is able to bring out the best in yourself and your people.  All of our work is focussed on using the best principles of business and human performance to increase your performance and your people’s productivity.  We will be announcing further workshops in due course.

If you have a workshop topic that you would particularly like to see for yourself or your people, feel free to make your requests knownWhat would you really like to hear about in 2010 that would improve your success or that of your people?

Authentic Speaking® dates

Start 2010 with the most powerful public speaking program available.  The next Authentic Speaking® workshop has been scheduled for February 22-23, 2010 at Mt Lawley Golf Club in Perth.  To register, please email us for an enrolment form and additional information.  Private coaching is available for those wanting a long-term development plan to achieve outstanding presence, impact and leadership presence.

“The Authentic Speaking course was invaluable to me. . . . I [now] feel I have the skills and knowledge to speak with confidence and engage my audience on a level I never knew existed.”

 – Stephanie Soter, CEO Joblink Karratha.  November 2009 Authentic Speaking® graduate.

Fundraiser – SES and Volunteer Fire Brigades

Andrew Cox from Singtel Optus is organising a fundraiser on the evening of February 24th to help those who help prevent fires and save people from disasters like the Toodyay bushfires – the SES and Volunteer Fire Brigades.  He has details at http://events.linkedin.com/Perth-Business-Networking-Toodyay-Fire/pub/197872

Pet Peeves

I know this is being pedantic, but you may remember all the debates that swirled around Y2K.  Many were proclaiming the Year 2000 the beginning of the New Millennium.  But others pointed out that 2001 was the start of the new millennium (A.D.), seeing as there is no “Year 0”.  This is why Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke named their movie, “2001: A Space Odyssey” because it was the start of the third millennium A.D.

We work on a base 10 number system – the decimal system.  If you count on your fingers, the last number of the set is the digit “10”, not “9”.  A new set begins when you count 11.  (Unless you’re Count Rugen from The Princess Bride – he had six fingers on his right hand!)

Now, many contemporary commentators – including journalists, business owners, politicians, etc – have hailed the “new decade” starting with 2010.  Sorry, but it doesn’t begin until 2011.  2010 is simply the end of the “noughties”.

Of course, in one sense this is entirely irrelevant if you are a committed Muslim, Jew, Buddhist or member of various faiths, who count their millennia from different starting points than 1 A.D.  Even Jesus Christ was probably born in 4 B.C. (and this is the reason why historians may refer to 2010 C.E. [Current Era]).  But for those of us around the world using the A.D. dating system, it’s good to be consistent.  2011 starts the next decade.

And if you think that’s nerdy, listen to me count in hexadecimal like I could back in my IT days. . . .

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“Know Thyself” Part II – How You Can Use Profiling to Your Benefit

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