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Saturday, April 17, 2010

UK General Election 2010: Nice Nick Clegg can't believe his luck

From Simon Heffer’s column in today’s Daily Telegraph:

‘As Dave, in particular, has learned in the past 36 hours or so, the big problem with the "historic" leaders' television debate was that it was preceded by expectations. Gordon Brown, who I thought was mad to agree to take part, had everything to lose, and jolly nearly lost it after a wooden, aggressive, boring performance; Dave was expected to wipe the floor with him; and as for Nick Clegg, who was he, other than Vince Cable's valet de chambre?

We now know exactly who Nick Clegg is: he is Mr Integrity, the nation's sweetheart, the only honest man in politics. I had thought the public were a bit brighter than that, and would see through his pious, sanctimonious, oleaginous, not-me-guv display of cynical self-righteousness: but they didn't. And for that we can only blame the two inadequates with whom he had the good fortune to go in front of the cameras: for they were shocking.......

Mr Brown's impersonation of a robot, and his projection of all the charm of a caravan site in February, were pretty predictable: but the place where hair was really being torn out yesterday was around poor old Dave. The attempt by this trust-funded Old Etonian (and Old Bullingdonian) to come over as Mr Ordinary was rather tragic: if we have to hear much more about his children's state school and his family's experience of the NHS, some of us will need medical attention of our own......

It is a long haul from winning a beauty contest to winning a general election, and one imagines Nice Nick won't do that. But Dave now goes into next week's bout as the underdog. Mr Brown can't really get any worse, and has few expectations riding upon him: but if Dave underperforms again, he will be in very serious trouble. To land five years in No 10, he does not just need to squash an already imploding Labour Party: he needs to win a pile of seats from the Lib Dems. On last night's show, that is going to be a tall order: and if he fouls up again, the Lib Dems might even start winning seats from him. Still, it could have been worse: just imagine if he had had to debate with Ukip, too, about the real meaning of conservatism.’ 


Sharing Your Positive Leadership Vision With Your Team

Many of us like to contemplate and reflect on the future of our business. Some of us even articulate a vision for our organisation or team: how we would like the future to be in, say, three or five years from now. By opening your mind to the possible and, yes, dreaming a little, you will be amazed at how much creativity you will bring out of yourself and your team.

One of the best ways of getting your team members on board and passionate about working with you is to get them to share their thoughts and dreams with you. If you want them to be passionate about their work, show them that they can be a part of creating the future.

Here are some ideas you can use to develop a sense of excitement and buzz within your organisation about its future:
  • Put aside some regular contemplation time for yourself to think about the future of your business and what it could be like in the coming years.
  • Sit down with your team members and stimulate a discussion about what they believe is possible for your team to achieve.
  • With your team, identify the goals that need to be reached in order to realise this vision.
  • Encourage your team members to talk with each other about the future and how they can continually improve performance.
The benefit of this exercise is twofold. Not only will it help you to create a more passionate workforce, you are also very likely to uncover some latent talent within your team - adding more substance and new perspectives to your vision.

By opening up a discussion in this way, suddenly you will have transformed "my" vision into "our" vision. 


Coaching Teams for Success

It is interesting to study the leadership strengths and strategies of coaches who inspire teams to succeed. Those strengths and strategies are applicable in any work situation and provide the same results — continuous success.

But first, here is a look at what manipulative coaches/leaders do as opposed to what inspirational coaches/leaders do. Manipulative leaders want people to know who the boss is, and they use their positional power to make people do things. They boast of their education and achievements. They intimidate people and point out what is wrong with other people. People are on the team or work for manipulative coaches/leaders because they have to. Work/playing is a task the team players/employees don’t look forward to because it’s not fun.

However, inspirational coaches/leaders have seven proven attributes that inspire teams/employees to perform to the best of their potential. 

Here are the key attributes:

• They influence people with their 'personality power' but not with their position or knowledge power.
• Their talk and actions reflect their deep conviction that they are not above the team. Instead of saying, “You go do this and that,” they say, “Let’s all go and ...”
• They create a positive team or work environment with their positive influence.
• When things are wrong, they point at what’s wrong, not at individuals.
• They inspire people for maximum productivity (play/work) because they help others want to succeed.
• They encourage people with timely feedback, whether encouragement or otherwise.
• They develop people for success in life, beyond a given task. They are interested in an individual’s overall success.

Bonus: They make people feel valued, important and positive contributors to the organisation’s bottom line. 


Resilience and Courage

Resilience and Courage are two values of Positive Leadership.

‘Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.’ Confucius

‘Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.’ Winston Churchill

Here are some reference materials which speak to these values: