presenters

I learned about leading from: that presentation

A couple of weeks ago I had the wonderful experience of attending a great executive programme at a rather famous business school.  I was blown away by the quality of many of the delegates with all they had achieved with their businesses and I felt quite humble in their presence.  The discussions and insights we got were great and very helpful, but two of the academic teaching team had a massive impact on us all…

“We want to learn how to have IMPACT”

This is one of the most common things we hear from so many of the individuals and teams that we work with.  They want to learn how to be heard, how to get their message across in a way that resonates and sticks.  If you are one of those, then read on…..

The first of these two waltzed in with an air of familiarity about her being.  She started her lecture in a way I can only describe as “here we go again”.  In her opening she said “I know a few of you here are business owners” to which we all looked at each other, as the qualification to attend this course was that you owned your own business!  Then she started using slides and the programme title on the bottom of each slide was for a programme (for another organisation) the previous week!!  The session continued with her going about her talk without really listening to any answers to her questions, answering every question she was posed with “I’ll come to that later” (and then didn’t) and with a level of complacency we really were not expecting.  She had indeed created an impact as the subsequent delegate scores and feedback demonstrated, but sadly these memories will forever tarnish some potentially useful lessons in what she spoke about.

The very next Professor started in a different way.  He was in the lecture theatre early and greeted each delegate with a big smile and handshake and introduced himself on first name terms as we entered after coffee.  He gave us a huge welcome, told us what he was going to talk about and how it would be relevant to running our own businesses.  Then he did something I’ve not seen before…

  • “who are the two people that run car dealerships?”
  • “where are the three jewellers?”
  • “and the 5 from family businesses?” etc…

It was clear that this guy had done his homework.  He had looked through all our bio’s and understood his audience.  Throughout his double session he extracted learnings relevant to our positions and to different businesses and geographies present in the room.  He had us captivated.  We all made so many notes and the discussions for the rest of the week almost always included his insights.  He too had made an impact and his scores were very different.

…know your audience and…speak in THEIR language

This experience got me thinking that one important lesson in having positive impact is to really know your audience and remember to speak in THEIR language and make things relevant to them.  These days my kids speak to one another and sometimes to me in a language I do not understand.  I also have failed to comprehend the lyrics to some of their favourite songs!  If I was to do a session with a group of them it might be good for me to swat up on some of these phrases and incorporate them.  The point is, when we simply make it easy for our audience to understand and use the information we are giving them then they will thank us for it.  This is especially true when we are talking about things that we often talk about to different groups…be mindful of complacency and check the slides!

Good luck and have some great impact!  After all, iTS Leadership!

~Author: Antony Tinker
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WHAT A WEEKEND!

Last weekend!  An absolute scorcher, the hottest Bank Holiday weekend since records began and like so many others, I made sure that I enjoyed the sunshine, had some time with the family and generally relaxed.  Well, generally relaxed, except for the 90 minutes during which my football team, Stoke City, managed to get themselves relegated from the Premiership.  They moved from a position of providing hope of survival (false hope as it turned out) to a position where not only did they become the first team to be relegated but also planted themselves firmly at the foot of the table.

This day has been coming for a while and now that relegation is confirmed a few things that many supporters had suspected are being openly discussed.  One area that two players have now spoken about is how many players were farmed out overseas on loan in spite of the large transfer fees they had commanded and that the Premier League 25 man squad contained players who were not making a meaningful contribution.  One of them declared that 4 or 5 players had been “getting away with murder for a long time” and further added that some were “conning themselves, their teammates and the club.”  The Chairman and Board members have also released a fulsome and heartfelt statement in which they noted that:

“we lost some of the core values that have served us so well [and] we need to regain our identity and focus over the summer.”

And there you have it – a perfect illustration of the importance of the three elements of great team-working and performance that we at iTS-Leadership are so passionate about.

We summarise them as ME, US and IT :

  • ME – Knowing our own truth and being honest with ourselves as a means to finding greater clarity, sharper focus and more control.  The 20% of Stoke’s players who were conning themselves clearly did not know their own truth.
  • US – Teams are built on a foundation of trust that comes from credibility, reliability and honesty within a safe and secure environment and is often destroyed by self-interest or ego.  If players were “getting away with murder” and “conning their teammates and the club”, trust and selflessness could not truly exist.  Self-interest was winning the day.
  • IT – Success in execution comes from the traction that is found in clarity, alignment and a unifying culture that is lived by everybody at all times.  By losing sight of their core values, and their focus and identity, Stoke City lost the ingredients that had made them a team and had served them so well when facing difficult and challenging times in the past.

If only they had called me!!

Oh well, I suppose I now have the excitement of a promotion push to entertain me.  C’mon Stoke!!!

If you are drifting towards relegation or beginning to lose your way, feel free to contact one of us to see what we can do for you.  After all, iTS Leadership

~Author: Tim Sandiford