It’s A Trust Thing

Over the last few weeks it seems that news broadcasts have been dominated by breach of trust issues whether it’s the questionable ethics of politicians, the BBC’s phone-in policies or most recently the Tour de France doping problems.

The pre-Tour favourite Vinokourov suffered a nasty crash, damaging his prospects, but was then found to have had an illegal blood transfusion, which ended them. His entire team went home, along with another eight riders forced to leave after one of their colleagues was found to have cheated.

In an unexpected move the Yellow Jersey wearer found himself fired by his team. The sponsor, who had paid millions of Euros to see their man in yellow, didn’t want him representing their brand when he was demonstrated to have lied to them and his team mates. They didn’t wait for a drugs test, lying was unacceptable to them.

It’s hard for people to trust others in a climate where cheating and lying become the norm and in businesses it’s hard to have real passion about what you do if you’re working in a culture where your ethics are compromised.

People need to trust their leaders, without trust they won’t follow willingly and won’t fully commit to their goals. They may show up for the money, but will remain detached from the business.

Truly successful leaders inspire trust, and create an environment where doing the right thing becomes the norm, whether or not anyone is watching or there’s a chance of being caught out. The difference hits the bottom line, not just in the short term. Businesses which operate on a clear basis of trust and values have demonstrably more sustainable success.

To talk about how your business can build its own strong leadership calibre and create a platform for sustainable success contact us.

A Flood Of Talent

Here in the middle of England we’ve been experiencing bizarre weather conditions. Flood waters have affected everyone, whether to an extreme degree or simple inconvenience.

Everyone has a view on what’s causing the weather, or what should be done about it, yet how this is expressed and what people are doing varies:

  • There’s the angry citizen who knows what’s causing the problems and knows how the situation should be tackled and tells anyone who will listen, at length, whilst maintaining a simmering frustration that no-one is actually doing anything.
  • There’s the practical citizen who really wants to help and is out wading through the water looking for someone to help, or something useful to do, but isn’t sure about what that could be.
  • There’s the supportive citizen, standing by with cups of tea, ready to listen to the concerns of people, letting them vent their anger or express their grief, quietly and without judgement.
  • There’s the concerned citizen, worried that people will take advantage, wanting to make sure that everyone gets fair treatment and that there’s no profiteering or stockpiling.

All of these citizens want to make a positive contribution, and together they can and do, but alone they struggle to make an impact. The same can happen in any business, in order to lead effectively, particularly in a crisis, individuals need not only to understand, but to demonstrate all of the citizens’ characteristics.

Predaptive’s 4SLeadership™ approach helps potential and existing leaders to identify their key strengths, and provides them with a framework to develop the core elements of leadership. To find out about how Predaptive’s 4SLeadership™ could help your organisation contact us.

What We’re Reading – The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership Powered Company

Title: The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership Powered Company
Author: Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter, James Noel
Publisher: Jossey Bass Wiley (16 Jan 2001)
ISBN: 0787951722
Price: £11.89
Reviewer: Claudine McClean

A re-read this month of a modern leadership classic. The Leadership Pipeline looks at how successful companies work to create their own leaders from within the business. Yet as with many books which select successful business and write up case studies around them, many of those businesses have since seen their fortunes slide.
The Leadership Pipeline highlights the many facets of the step up that good managers need to make in order to become good leaders. In some businesses these steps are expected before someone takes a broader leadership role, in others managers are appointed and then expected to demonstrate a wider skill base. It’s rare that someone who has demonstrated little leadership will suddenly make the transition on receipt of a new job title.
The Leadership Pipeline does contain a useful section on diagnostics which can help individuals to reflect on their behaviour and make choices for the future, using case studies to make key points, yet its emphasis as leadership as a senior job role within an organisation rather than way of contributing at all levels seems dated now.

Management Development

Most organisations recognise that their success is dependent on having a pro-active, value adding management population. However fewer organisations are actually able to translate that aspiration into a really effective management development programme.

What will a Structured Training Management Development programme deliver for you?

  • Strategically aligned performance improvement
  • An operationally effective and results driven management population
  • A stimulating, challenging and verifiable learning experience
  • A framework upon which performance improvement can be sustained and built on.

Executed properly, Management Development can be one of the key drivers of competitive advantage. Market pressures are increasing the need for managers to work smarter, faster and more innovatively – all at the same time. As the War for Talent continues to intensify the need to recruit, select, develop, promote and retain high quality managers needs to become a conscious core competence. Despite this, only a few organisations actually translate these environmental dynamics into a holistic, robust, management development framework; the majority simply delivering a patchwork of unconnected initiatives usually built around event-led training programmes.

Structured Training’s approach is different. Before we even think about design and delivery, we begin by looking at the organisational and business context. Our methodology then follows a simple structure; need centred, effective design, practical implementation, business impact focused and value for money.

Structured Training’s Management Development programmes focus on the delivery of:

  • increasing operational effectiveness whilst building broader contribution capability
  • developing managers that can add greater value to creating empowered, productive teams
  • creating a management population that can act as agents of change
  • providing role model exemplars for managers to orientate their own behaviours and performance towards.

Organisations would benefit from a Structured Training Management Development framework who are trying to:

  • equip managers with the skills, knowledge and behaviours to more effectively deliver on their organisational objectives
  • articulate and demonstrate what it means to be an effective manager within their organisation
  • support and develop managers who have been promoted on their technical rather than managerial ability and now need to ‘step-up’
  • equip managers to deal with the downward demands from senior management and the upward pressure of their team members.

Structured Training’s approach is different. We begin by looking at some of the underlying organisational pain points. Below, we have outlined some of the most common ones we have found in our management development work. Take a moment to reflect on how relevant they are to your own organisation:

  • Managers are promoted on their technical rather than managerial ability – we can show how to create two mutually enhancing career paths for managers
  • Some managers can become irrelevant with people working around rather than through them – we can increase the value of all management roles
  • Many managers are either great at the people stuff, or really good at focusing on delivering results, but few managers actually do both consistently – our development processes focus on combining the two
  • The management team consists of very little leadership – we can generate real leadership momentum
  • Managers are great tactically, but don’t seem capable of communicating and contributing to the overall vision – we can increase strategic capability.

In-Company tailored courses are bespoke skills based solutions providing a highly interactive and participative environment to address your training and development needs. They offer a cost effective and personalised approach to development. For more information contact us.

Help Your Colleagues G.R.O.W.

One key role of any leader is to coach team members to achieve their best. As “coach”, you will typically help your team members to solve problems, make better decisions, learn new skills or otherwise progress in their role or career.
Whilst some leaders are fortunate enough to get formal training as coaches, many are not. They have to develop coaching skills for themselves.

A simple sequence to follow when conducting a coaching session, whether formal or informal, is identified by the mnemonic G.R.O.W which represents:

  • GOAL setting for the session as well as for the short and longer term performance issues
  • REALITY checking to explore the current situation
  • OPTIONS and alternative strategies or courses of action
  • WHAT is to be done, when, by whom and the WILL to do it

The aim at each step in the sequence is to raise awareness through developing the clear perception of the relevant facts and information and determine what is relevant.

Responsibility is the other key concept in coaching. Responsibility is crucial for high performance. When we truly accept, choose or take responsibility for our thoughts and actions, our commitment to them rises and so does our performance. When we are ordered to be responsible, told to be, expected to be or even given responsibility, if we do not fully accept it performance does not rise. Doing the job to avoid a threat does not optimise performance.
Anybody interested in improving organisational performance should be coaching as a matter of habit. Everybody interested in improving their personal performance should be receptive to coaching. These two points look self evidently true, so why is so little coaching going on?

Because the most important contextual factor for coaching to flourish is a real understanding of the relationship dynamic between coach and coachee. There are some powerful enablers and inhibitors to an effective coaching relationship, when these are understood Total Coaching can really take root as an underpinning foundation to achieving higher performance.

How Can I Make Thoughts Visible?

Preparing And Presenting PowerPoint Slides


Preparing a PowerPoint presentation is all about the purpose. All of the audience must be able to recognise and read the information easily. Glamorous works of art are not necessary. The following points are important:

  • The pitch must be large enough, do not use ‘normal’ pitch (up to 14)
  • Use capital and small letters
  • If using drawings, draw the contours, not the details as this becomes illegible and confusing
  • Make the slide clear
  • If possible, use different colours but don’t overdo it
  • Put only a few points on one slide. Rule of thumb: a maximum of seven points, of up to six words, per slide
  • Make your slides visual: combine text and pictures / graphics.

Presenting The Slides

In order to make the preparation worth it, slides must also be correctly presented and used. Here are a few tips:

  • Pictures / graphics which need completion are tempting and encourage participation from the group
  • Highlighting points, key words, graphs etc. should be done from the projector / computer rather than the screen
  • The speed of slide change has to be kept in check when using prepared slides; it is tempting to go fast and this rapid change distracts the participants’ ability to remember things
  • Speak to the participants and not to the screen / computer
  • Be sure that what you say complements the slide being shown; avoid keeping a slide on show when the topic has long gone by.

For more information on effective presentations skills contact us.