Monday, October 27, 2014

How are you helping others to change?

This Sunday's sparkenation.

Unfortunately old management still has a hold on many people. It's about control and the functions of planning, organizing, directing, controlling. Most people have had enough of this.

See here for what management in the 21st century is really about.

Modern leadership is about inspiring, influencing and impacting people. It's about helping people to change, never telling them or directing them to change. As Peter Senge says “People don't resist change. They resist being changed.”

One way to help people is to give them tools for change. I provide many such tools for my clients.
The key though is not my tools, rather it's people using them in their own way.

"You can’t change the way people think, all you can do is give them a tool, the use of which will change their thinking."
Buckminster Fuller

How are you helping others to change?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.

More sparkenations here.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Please join me online at the Global Impact Summit

I’m thrilled to be speaking at a very unique online event in November as one of 30 thought leaders.

It’s called the Global Impact Summit and it gets underway on the 10th of November and is LIVE online for 15 days.

All the Summit delivers is impact. And ONLY Impact. No selling of stuff. Just impact, pure and simple.

Since registration opened a week ago there's already been 59,069 giving impacts including…

•    360 days of education support were provided to children in Botswana.

•    58,400 days of access to life-saving water were given to people in Ethiopia.

•    68 coaching sessions were given to Social Entrepreneurs in India.

•    240 children received improved learning environment for a year.

Please click here to find out more, to register, and make your own impact.

Even if you can’t get to every one of the sessions live, register now. They are being recorded so you can watch the replays. It’s a wealth of inspirational business insights for you to keep!

Be the difference you want to see in the world.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

5 Tips to Revamp Your LinkedIn Strategy

5 Tips to Revamp Your LinkedIn StrategyLinkedIn has added so many features recently that it's easy to get confused about how it works and what to do with it. But if you focus on the things it does best, you can get a lot of value from it.

LinkedIn is one of the oldest social networks. It's often not even mentioned when people talk about social media, but it is a social media platform.

It started life to help you get a new job. You would promote yourself as an employee to future employers and recruiters. You could also broaden your network by asking for referrals through people you know. It's still a powerful job/career network, but that's not important to us as business leaders and business owners. But some of the other things about LinkedIn's past are still relevant:

  1. You can show yourself in your best professional light.
  2. It's a great network for professional networking
  3. You can say nice things about others in your network
  4. You can ask people you know to introduce you to others in their network
  5. It's a network of peers and colleagues, not necessarily customers and suppliers

Let's look at each of these in turn.

1. Profile

Use LinkedIn to post your "CV" or "resume", so people who do want to know more about you can find something. This is not a traditional CV you would write when seeking a job. Rather, it's a promotional profile piece that positions you as an expert and authority. It's more marketing-oriented than a traditional CV, but isn't full of hype.

2. Networking

Think about going to a business networking function. The people you hate there are those that are too self-promoting and just interested in taking without giving. The people you love are those who take an interest in you and genuinely look for ways to help you - even without an immediate benefit to them. They do win in the long term, though, because people like them and genuinely want to help them in turn.

LinkedIn is the same. Don't promote yourself too much. Instead, use it to connect with people, answer questions, solve problems, and in general be helpful rather than pushy. Position yourself as a trusted advisor, not a pushy salesperson.

3. Testimonials

If somebody does a good job for you, you naturally want to tell other people - especially friends and other people in your network. In the physical world, you might write a testimonial (which they use in their promotional material), or bring it up in conversation with your friend. But what if you don't know your friend is looking for that service? And what if the supplier hasn't promoted your testimonial well?

LinkedIn solves both these problems by letting you put testimonials (LinkedIn calls them "Recommendations") right there on the supplier's profile. It also encourages the supplier to reciprocate by writing a testimonial for you as well.

4. Introductions

The world works on recommendations, referrals and introductions. If I introduce you to somebody I know, that person already trusts you (to some extent). In fact, wouldn't it be great if the only people we worked with were people who had been referred or introduced by somebody else?

LinkedIn works the same way in the online world. Use it to reach out to people you would like to reach, not just by contacting them out of the blue, but through somebody who knows you both. Because that person in the middle is trusted by you and the other person, the initial connection is far warmer than just a cold contact.

5. Peers and colleagues

Finally, keep in mind that most of your LinkedIn connections are not your prospects. They are peers and colleagues who are connected to you for mutual gain. Think professional association, not marketplace.

That doesn't mean you won't get any business from LinkedIn. On the contrary, LinkedIn can be one of your best sources of businesses. But think of it as getting business through your connections, not from them. In other words, they are more likely to refer you than to buy from you. But that referral - to a key person in their network - might be worth much more to you than selling directly to the referrer.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The challenge of leadership

This weeks sparkenation.

The late Jim Rohn was a hero of mine. His words below sum up for me the challenge of leadership.

The challenge of leadership is 
to be strong, but not rude;
be kind, but not weak;
be bold, but not bully;
be thoughtful, but not lazy;
be humble, but not timid;
be proud, but not arrogant;
have humour, but without folly.

How well are you meeting the challenge? Could you be better?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.

More sparkenations here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

What you don’t know that you must do

This weeks sparkenation.

Over the past 25 years I have had the honour and privilege to be a mentor to more than 1000 business leaders in over 40 countries. Without exception their journey has been one of doing what they know that they should do that they were not.

In this doing each person (at unique turning points for them) has discovered critical actions that they didn’t know that they must do. Herein lies the key to optimum performance.

Are you doing what you know you should do?

If not I can help you.

My promise to you is that through working together you’ll do what you know you should and discover what you don’t know that you must do. Imagine that.

From now until the 1st February 2015 there’s a window of opportunity for you to join a Maverick Thinkers Farm for a very special fee. 

As well as doing what you know you should, and discovering what you don’t know that you must do, you’ll increase the number of your employees bringing their best to their work. 

Imagine that too.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Would You Give Up Two Days Of Your Life For This?

Would You Give Up Two Days Of Your Life For This?A few years ago, when I switched from Outlook to Gmail, it took me about two days effort (spread out over a week or so) to get back to my old level of productivity.

When I recently switched from MYOB to Xero for my accounting software, again it took me about two days effort overall.

When I ran my "Build Your Web Site In Two Days" workshop, the participants built their Web site from scratch in (surprise!) two days.

Two days sounds like a lot of time, especially in today's busy world. How can you afford to find two days in your schedule to learn a new e-mail system, use a new accounting package, or build a Web site???

But the real question is: If it has a long-term benefit, how can you NOT afford the time?

Will you bite the bullet and find two days?

According to NASA, the Space Shuttle uses up most of its fuel in the first 8 minutes of its flight. After that, it escapes the Earth's atmosphere and sails along with very little effort.

You might have been putting off something because you know it takes some effort to get started. It's definitely not easy to make the time - especially when you think of all the other things you could do with that time (most of which you're not doing!). But weigh up the short-term pain with the long-term gain.

The two days I invested in Gmail and Xero have repaid me many times over - and usually within the first few weeks.

Two days is a long time!

The good news is that if you do set aside the time, you can get a lot done. Two solid days of work is a long time! You don't have to lock yourself in a room for two days and do nothing else. It's OK to spread out that two days work over a week, and you'll still be amazed at what you can achieve.

The bad news is that if you don't make the time, you might never get around to doing it. And if it's a worthwhile goal, it will cost you a lot more than two days in the long term.

So bite the bullet and do it! Your Future You will thank you for making the effort!

Monday, October 6, 2014

The meaning of life

This weeks sparkenation.

I reckon this talk by Tim Minchin is brilliant. You?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.

More sparkenations here.