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Friday, January 29, 2010

People Centred Leadership Delivers Outstanding Performance

The Work Foundation’s major study to reveal the essence of outstanding leadership has crushed the commonplace assumption that powerful leaders with a controlling and target-driven approach are essential in tough economic times. Based on over 250 in-depth qualitative interviews, the two-year study, Exceeding Expectation: the principles of outstanding leadership, provides proof that a highly people-centred approach to leadership results in outstanding performance.

Six high-profile UK organisations took part in the study including EDF Energy, Guardian Media Group, Tesco and Unilever. As data in the report demonstrates, one of the most striking elements to emerge from the research was the stark contrast between how outstanding and good leaders behaved.

Outstanding leaders focus on people, attitudes and engagement, co-creating vision and strategy. Instead of one-to-one meetings centred on tasks, they seek to understand people and their motives. Instead of developing others through training and advice, they do this through challenge and support. They manage performance holistically, attending to the mood and behaviour of their people as well as organisational objectives. And instead of seeing people as one of many priorities, they put the emphasis on people issues first.
Outstanding leaders are focussed on performance but they see people as the means of achieving great performance and themselves as enablers. They don’t seek out the limelight for themselves but challenge, stretch and champion others, giving them the space and support to excel.
The findings strongly suggest that an approach which connects leaders to people and people to purpose defines outstanding leadership. Leadership that focuses on mutuality and respect is not only good for people but good for organisations too.
For the full research findings, see - http://www.theworkfoundation.com/Assets/Docs/leadershipFINAL_reduced.pdf

Removing Negative Self-Talk

As we all know, people talk to themselves.  We all spend the whole day talking to ourselves, even if we don’t realise it.  Self-talk is like having a radio in our heads. We hear it wherever we are, and more often than desired, this voice is a non-stop reminder of how unlucky, bad, or silly we are.  This character in our heads is an expert in getting us down through pessimism and criticism.
This voice can make us feel worthless and can leave us without control over our lives.  It can convince you not to apply for your dream job, or not bother to make that positive change your life needs so much.  Our inner critic feeds on the fear and the doubt it produces in us, but it is up to us not to let it take control.  We can easily control the radio in our heads to play the stations that work for us instead of against us.
There is a way to change the station to a more positive one every time the negative tries to take control. 

Follow these 3 simple steps, and turn the voice in your head into your biggest admirer:
1.    First, be aware of that negative voice talking to you and what it is saying.  Observe the self-talk inside your head, truly listen to it; commonly we don’t pay attention to our thoughts, they just come and go automatically, and equally control our lives.  You must gain awareness of what that voice is saying. Is it saying the same thing over and over again?  How is it making you feel?  Most of us don’t focus consciously on what our inner voice is saying; we simply accept its judgment as the truth, and this is where many of us get stuck, sometimes for our whole lives.  Negative self-talk is, in most cases, only trying to deceive us with feelings of fear and doubt. What it says is not true. Learn to recognise who truly is in control of your life.
2.    Second, assess your inner voice.  Learn to recognise the forms it takes: maybe it gets nervous, mad, or frightened?  Maybe there is a hint of a positive voice trying to gain strength over the negative one; if there is, you should be proud.  Try to focus and listen to that background positive chat more and more every time you hear it. With practice, you will eventually hear it all the time.  The most important thing is that you are aware that your inner critic is just a habit of your mind and that you can easily change the station to listen to a different tune, one that makes you feel good, energised, and proud about yourself and your life.
3.    Now, after consciously recognising, listening, and evaluating your inner critic, you can start replacing negative talk with positive one.  Give the good talk space to speak, and encourage it through positive affirmations, until you feel the change inside yourself.  Affirmations are very powerful; these energise you and prompt you to act positively.  If you feel resistance, try this:  As soon as you identify the negative talk nagging you with something like “I can’t do anything right”, instantly change that into a positive affirmation, like “Everything I do turns out right”.  This is a very powerful exercise because it allows you to assess how each statement makes you feel, and you will want to continue giving yourself bigger doses of positive talk every time.


US Business Leaders Lack Credibility

Only about a quarter of people consider U.S. business leaders to be credible, according to a new global survey. That's markedly worse than the global average and a sign that U.S. bosses need to show more of a common touch, says Richard Edelman, the public relations executive who commissioned the poll. "They need to be talking not just to elites but to customers and employees," he argues.

For more, see - http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jan2010/db20100126_231956.htm and http://www.edelman.com/trust/2010/