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Unlocked: Practical Leadership. Get it or be Left Behind

Book, Featured, Leadership Insights Oct 06, 2014 No Comments

Bob - ShoesPractical Leadership.  What is it?  Why do we need to pay attention to it?  How is it going to change the way we lead?

A whole bunch of factors are lining up to form the perfect storm for leadership in the business world right now.  The financial “situation” that started in 2008.  The continued flattening of the world caused by better access to communications, the Internet and transportation.  Highly educated emerging economies.  The vastly different expectations of the Millennial Generation in the workforce from that of the retiring Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y.  And… the extreme shortage of skilled labour.

Results?  Leadership is not anymore logical and based on mainly data and key performance indicators.

Leadership now is based more on making emotional connections with customers AND employees.  Leaders now need to focus on developing a deeper understanding of consistent value delivery to a changing demand from all stakeholders.  As leaders, we used to only think in terms of delivering value to customers or clients.  Now that that ever changing demand on value delivery needs to extend to employees and partners as well.

This change is going to be extremely hard on most organizations that spend an inordinate amount of time running their business based on the financial demands of the Board and market analysts.  Becoming ‘emotionally connected’ to employees, let alone customers, is a truly foreign concept.  Thinking in terms of differing employee needs and wants usually extends to the mentality that “Employee needs and wants are taken care of every two-weeks in the form of a pay-cheque.”

To compete against a world that is now flatter, faster and more connected, leaders will need their teams to be more creative that ever before, deliver more value and build deeper customer connections.  And to do this with a new generation of employees that do not respond to traditional reward and recognition systems, requires leaders to throw away the old model.  Leaders now have to be completely comfortable with flex-time, working from home, time-off in leu of pay, access to technology, different ways of problem solving, lack of loyalty, social media and just about anything else that was not even thought about 5 years ago.  Never have leading by values been more important.  Never has the culture of your organization been more attractive to potential employees and customers.

Are you up for the change? Or is your organization still thinking this “crazy period we are in right now will soon pass?”

Robert Murray is a Passionate Leader, Stark Raving People Apostle, Turn Around Mercenary and the author of the critically acclaimed book; “It’s Already Inside: Nurturing your innate leadership for business and life success.”  Watch for Robert’s new book; “Unlocked: Finding the key to practical leadership” coming out in October 2014.

Unlocked: Leadership can be found in Passion and Authenticity

Featured, Leadership Insights Sep 15, 2014 No Comments

PianoI was blessed enough to be able to take my family last night to see legendary rocker Elton John in Vancouver.  Wow!  What a night of memories.  So cool to see my young adult children experience a legend and enjoy the music!

What’s this got to do with leadership though? Easy.  As Elton on his grand piano and his band were pounding out hit after hit, it was obvious that the 67 year-old rocker was having the time of his life.  The energy was infectious.  In between songs at one point, he spoke to the audience about why he was there.

He quite simply said that he was finally comfortable in his own skin enough to be himself without caring what others thought and that he LOVED being on tour because he got to be with people that loved his music.

Well said Sir Elton.  The essence of leadership and succession life for that matter, is ALWAYS chasing your passion (not your pension) and being yourself while you are doing it.

Passion for what you do is infectious.  Other people can see it and feel it.  Your passion for what you do will produce better results and garner you more recognition.  If you find yourself in a role that you cannot get excited about each and every time you arrive at the office, then you are killing your career and probably yourself too through the stress of it.

Authenticity is easier than you think.  Elton said it perfectly.  “Comfortable in my own skin.”  All through our lives, we are faced with pressure from parents, family, friends, teachers, coaches, employers, etc., to be this or that.  The problem is that for the most part, this ‘helpful’ advice we receive is based on two things…

  1. Other people’s values not yours.  We all have a value set.  Our values make up our guiding principles.  The issue here is that ‘helpful’ advice we often get is based on someonelse’s values not ours.  Do some soul searching on your values.  Write down which ones are the most important to you.  Live them.  By doing so, you will begin to live authentically.
  2. Your weaknesses.  We all have weaknesses or blind spots.  And, we all have a long lineup of people that are more than happy to point them out for us.  I have lots of weaknesses.  “Attention to detail” is one of them.  That is why I make a great strategy developer because I can see the big picture.  However, get down into the tactical details and I am a disaster.  Living authentically means living your strengths as it is your strengths that have got you to where you are today not your weaknesses.  Embrace who you are and nurture your strengths.  You will happier and more aligned with who you really are.

Robert Murray is a Passionate Leader, Stark Raving People Apostle, Turn Around Mercenary and the author of the critically acclaimed book; “It’s Already Inside: Nurturing your innate leadership for business and life success.”  Watch for Robert’s new book; “Unlocked: Finding the key to practical leadership” coming out in October 2014.

It’s Already Inside: The Problem with Communications

Featured, Leadership Insights Sep 03, 2014 2 Comments

Cover Design - Final - August 2014Most of the problems businesses and organizations face today are relatively easy to fix.  At the top of the list is communication.

And leaders lead the way when it comes to communication issues.

It seems so basic to all of us.  As senders of a message (In whatever form be it verbal, written, email, etc.) what we want to say is amazingly crystal clear in our minds.  And then we get results that are far from our expectations.  Most leaders I see will then point the finger at the receiver of the message as the one to blame when they should be looking in the mirror.

Try this very simple exercise with your team or group of friends to see what most communications in businesses that are struggling are like…

  • Give everyone a single piece of 8.5 x 11 inch paper (A4 size in Europe)
  • Give your team or group the following instructions.  Do not explain more than what is written here.  Do not answer any questions…
    • Fold the paper in half and tear off a top corner
    • Fold it in half again and tear off the top corner
    • Fold it in half again and tear off the left corner
    • Rotate the paper to the right three times and tear off the bottom corner
    • Fold it half again and tear off the middle piece.
  • Ask everyone to open up their papers to reveal the results.  You should see a myriad of wildly different looking snowflake designs however, like snowflakes in winter, not one will look the same.

Why is it that even though everyone received the same directions, not everyone had the same outcome?

What would have changed if you would have allowed the group to ask questions?

In the real world, have you ever had someone deliver something different than what you expected?  How did you deal with it.

There is so much we can do as leaders to improve communications in our company’s, teams, with our customers, vendors and every other stakeholder.  Effective communications lead to better cultures (Happy, engaged employees), better planning and execution, satisfied customers and world class results.  And it starts with you.  As a leader, coach, teacher or parent, if you are not getting what you expect, you are probably the reason.

Robert Murray is a Passionate Leader, Stark Raving People Apostle, Turn Around Mercenary and the author of the critically acclaimed book; “It’s Already Inside: Nurturing your innate leadership for business and life success.”  Watch for Robert’s new book; “Unlocked: Finding the key to practical leadership” coming out in October 2014.


It’s Already Inside: Leadership = Humility

Featured, Leadership Insights Aug 05, 2014 1 Comment

HumilityMuch is asked about what makes a great leader.  Of all the things I hear from people describing the attributes of leadership greatness, the one I hear missing the most is Humility.”

The word humility gets its roots from the medieval saint by the same name “Saint Humility.”  The word comes from the Latin humiliates meaning “Humble.”  Humility  in the dictionary is described ‘as the act of lowering oneself in relation to others, or conversely, having a clear perspective, and therefore respect, for one’s place in context.’

The majority of the senior leaders I see and unfortunately, their resultant impact on junior leaders, put himself or herself above the team they are leading.   In the past couple of weeks I witnessed a couple of situations where businesses were struggling significantly in the marketplace and the leaders were extremely busy making sure that their needs were being served.

Arrogance and pretentiousness are the kiss of death for a leader and the business they are leading. Here’s the thing though…  Leaders that lack that humbleness to put their personal interests and unfocused priorities ahead of the customer, the team, the brand, the culture and the values of the organization NEVER see what they are doing and, when questioned about it will always say they put everything else ahead of their personal agenda.

Here’s a Humility Test for you…

  1. Do you know what the values of your organization are?
  2. Do those values align with your personal values?
  3. Do you live the values by talking about them, leading them and recognizing others that are living them?
  4. When things are going less than perfect or off plan, do you make sure your team stays focused and does not panic?
  5. Do you take full responsibility for decisions made?
  6. Do you take full responsibility when things are less than perfect?
  7. Do you regularly give your team credit for great ideas and solutions to problems?
  8. Do you find ways to connect with your team on a regular basis (and by “connect” I mean really working to understand them on an individual basis)?
  9. Do you listen twice as much as you talk?
  10. Would your team answer the same way to all of the questions above?

If you truthfully answered “Yes” to all of the above, congratulations.  Go forth and lead.

If you answered “No” to any of the questions above, thank you for being honest.  If you care about being a humble new world leader, build yourself a plan to increase your awareness so you can make better choices and therefore, become a leader that wins the hearts and minds of your team and customers.

Leadership is a privilege not a right.  As a leader, we will have that privilege taken away from us quickly when we lack the humility to lead.  There is no room in world class brilliance for leaders that work hard to make sure they “Eat First.”

Robert Murray is a Passionate Leader, Stark Raving People Apostle, Turn Around Mercenary and the author of the critically acclaimed book; “It’s Already Inside: Nurturing your innate leadership for business and life success.”


It’s Already Inside: The “Back Seat”

Featured, Leadership Insights Jul 15, 2014 No Comments

PedestalThis may sound obvious however, I see it so often that I must say it… “Leaders need to lead, not gratuitously take up space on a pedestal.”

It drives me crazy when I see people that call themselves leaders and go about everything they do to insure that their people are there to serve them; not the customers, not the business, not the culture or the brand.

Leaders that think they are above their people or customers usually find themselves in a situation where their culture is crap, customers are unhappy, results are behind plan and eventually, they are let go.

So, as a leader, how do you make sure that your culture is one where employees are happy, they keep customers satisfied and loyal and bottom line performance is strong and growing?  Here is my simple, easy to follow plan for you…

  1. WIIFM – Every human being on the planet listens to the radio station “WIIFM” (What’s In It For Me).  The basic hierarchy of needs as described by Abraham Maslow, states that our very primal focus is on Physiological Needs (Breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion).  When a leader creates an environment that is so incredibly stressful, employees will start to fear for their own physiological needs – maybe not consciously however, they will lose their appetites, stress eat, lose their sex drive and not be able to sleep.  Without physiological security, employees have no hope of reaching a state of security for themselves, their job, their family, etc.  It may sound basic however if a leader is busy making sure that their position on the top of the food chain is secure, they will resort to cruel and unusual behaviour that will threaten their team’s basic needs.  My advice?  As a leader, listen to the radio station “WIIFT” – What’s In It For Them.  When you are focused on your team and what their needs are, they will deliver beyond your expectations.  In other words, help your team get what they want and you will get what you want.
  2. Be Aware – Be Present - One of the keys to developing outstanding Emotional Intelligence is developing a heightened sense of awareness.  Awareness of your own behaviour, body language and actions is critical because employees are naturally dialled into how a leader is behaving, what their moods are like and how they respond to certain situations.  Why?  Because they are acutely, subconsciously aware of their own WIIFM.  When their leader is acting irrationally or uncharacteristically, it will determine how they respond.  If crap is hitting the fan with a customer or on the manufacturing floor, this is the most critical time for a leader to be calm and in control.  Followers want to see a leader that is in control, has a plan and gives them direction (Which is really giving them ‘Hope’).  When a leader puts their needs ahead of the team or the customers, it is a symptom of a greater problem – the complete lack of emotional intelligence.
  3. Serve – One of my all-time favourite songs is Bob Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Someone” from the album Slow train Coming in 1979.  I love it because the song talks about the fact that it does not matter who you are, who still have to serve someone.  As a leader, you need to wake up everyday and serve the people on your team.  Throughout the day to the end, your job is to serve your people.  Teach them respect and appreciation by respecting and appreciating them.  In turn, you will inspire a culture of servitude, respect and appreciation.  I don’t think I have to tell you how customers will feel when they are served by that kind of culture.  Put all of your energy and passion into serving and you will be rewarded – not put on a pedestal – but rewarded.  The pedestal is already overcrowded with the countless others out there that don’t get it and will soon find themselves sweeping the streets they thought they once owned.

Robert Murray is a Passionate Leader, Stark Raving People Apostle, Turn Around Mercenary and the author of the critically acclaimed book; “It’s Already Inside: Nurturing your innate leadership for business and life success.”

It’s Already Inside: Getting stuck in an Elevator

Featured, Leadership Insights Jul 02, 2014 No Comments

ElevatorFor some it is their worst nightmare and a paralyzing fear.  Getting trapped in an elevator.

I was having an amazing morning last Thursday.  The sun was waking up to a cloudless sky in Vancouver (A rare occurrence), traffic was almost non-existent and I found a ‘primo’ parking spot.  It was shaping up to be a great day as I was heading into a Board Meeting.

As I was getting onto the elevator, I got a glimpse of a young woman rushing to get to the lift as well so I held the door for her.  With a big smile on her face, she thanked me as she boarded and the doors closed.  We both pushed the buttons to our respective destination floors and off we went.  That was until the elevator passed by my target floor (Floor 5) and lurched to a somewhat bouncy stop between the 10th and 11th floors.

My first thought was about how weird it was that the elevator went past my floor (Human nature in the age of technology when we are no longer amazed by the everyday part that technology plays in our lives).  My thoughts then shifted to; “OK, I’ll wait for the doors to open and then I’ll get out.  Once again, the trust we have in technology.

It actually took me about a minute to realize that we were in fact stuck in the elevator.  I went to the control panel and pushed the ‘Door Open’ button.  Nothing.  Same result for the ‘Ground’ floor button.  Then I was pressing the ‘Call’ button to raise the alarm that we were stuck, I said to the young lady that was with me (Turns out her name is Jacquelyn), and said; “I’ll bet your not happy that I held the door for you now?”  She simply replied that getting trapped on an elevator was her worst nightmare.  My instant thought to that was; “Oh great, now I am going to be late for my Board Meeting and be in here with someone having a panic attack.”

She was amazing though.  We talked about HR( if you can believe it) as she was an HR manager.  We talked about the school that she was about to go back to in order to get her Law degree.  Every once in a while, the intercom would come to life with someone asking us if we were OK and that help was on the way.  It was actually like any other conversation, except that it was taking place in a 5 foot by 6 foot, windowless box that had no furniture.

Here’s the thing though…  In life and in leadership, things happen unexpectedly.  Some say that things happen for a reason (I still haven’t figured out all the reasons if that is the case).  Whatever it is though that happens, as a leader, you get to choose how you respond.  In fact it is your responsibility.  And even the word “Responsibility” can be broken down into the “Ability to Respond.”

When something unexpected happens, you can choose to panic.  Or you can choose to do what great leaders do.  Assess the situation and ask “What does good look like?”  Then lead.

In my case of being stuck temporarily in an elevator (notice I didn’t say “trapped?”), I could have got pissed off about it and worried that I was going to be late for my Board Meeting.  Or, I could have made the best of the situation.  I chose the latter.  The result was that I had a really rich conversation with someone new and (hopefully) made her feel a little more at ease about being in a small, confined space with a total stranger.

Robert Murray is a Passionate Leader, Stark Raving People Apostle, Turn Around Mercenary and the author of the critically acclaimed book; “It’s Already Inside: Nurturing your innate leadership for business and life success.”

It’s Already Inside: The Many Faces of a Leader

Featured, Leadership Insights Jun 23, 2014 No Comments

Sit LeaderAs an effective leader, one needs to be a Councillor, Coach, Advocate, Sponsor, Parent, Priest, Teacher… The list goes on and on.

I see many leaders in my travels.  Young leaders with direct reports for the first time, seasoned veterans and executives that occupy the corner offices with the floor to ceiling windows and panoramic views.  Yet, I similar leadership mistakes from each group.  One of the more common ones I see is the failure of leaders to change their leadership for followers with different needs, levels of confidence, competence or maturity levels.

As humans, we are generally more comfortable with one particular style of leadership that is in line with our personalties or more often, was the style that our most influential leader or mentor used on us when we are developing as leaders.

It is critical though if we are to get the culture we want to build, deliver the distinctive excellence to our customers and, ultimately, success in business, that we as leaders are able to develop different leadership for different followers at different times.

For example, new employees with limited skills and little confidence cannot be left to figure things out for themselves.  Conversely, seasoned veteran rockstar employees do not need constant supervision and interference.   As leaders, we need to respond and behave differently during times of crisis than we would during times of consistent success after success.

Start your journey to being a leader that is capable of morphing into different styles for different followers by using a classic emotional intelligence framework.  That is:

  • Awareness – Develop the consciousness to be aware of how you are behaving during different situations.  When team members are behaving out of character, look for ways to discover what and why.
  • Regulation – Learning how to regulate your emotions and choose your response to changing situations
  • Motivation – Findings ways to motivate yourself to be the leader that you need to be when you need to be.  And… that can be incredibly hard especially when what you need to be is outside of your comfort zone.
  • Empathy – Learning how to understand what people are going through yet being the leader they need at the same time.  This takes practice, reflection, mistakes, learning and, eventually, mastering it.  The one key tool you need though is learning how to LISTEN.

Whether you are leading a team of one or a large organization, get good at being a different leader for different followers and situations.  It is a critical piece to the success puzzle.

Robert Murray is a Passionate Leader, Stark Raving People Apostle, Turn Around Mercenary and the author of the critically acclaimed book; “It’s Already Inside: Nurturing your innate leadership for business and life success.”

It’s Already Inside: The Biggest Weakness Leaders Have

Featured, Leadership Insights Jun 16, 2014 No Comments

Speaker 2About once a year, most organizations on the planet launch an “Employee Engagement” survey.  And… when the results come back, inevitably, the survey will reveal that employees:

  1. Do not understand the strategy and direction for the company
  2. Feel they are generally not recognized for the contribution they give
  3. Do not entirely understand what they are expected to do
  4. Do not feel that they can advance within the organization
  5. Feel that leadership within the company is ineffective.

There are lots more results that get reported from the survey.  However, I find it fascinating that, no matter what country or size of organization I have seen the results from, the outcome is almost identical.

The common denominator is also the biggest weakness that leaders and companies have.  Lack of communication

The simplest of all things to do between human beings and somehow the hardest thing to consistently deliver!


Some will argue that different cultures, languages, demographics, religion, social stature, etc., all play a role in our inability to communicate.  However, as leaders within the same organization, one would think that we could figure out a way to converse, correspond, convey, impart, transmit and connect with each other.  However, survey after survey tells us the same thing… we generally suck at communication.

As leaders then, what do we do?  Well, the answer is less complex than you think.

The first step is trust.  Trusting the people that you are communicating to.  I have talked with an unbelievable amount of executives and leaders that tell me that they do not trust their team with details on strategy, direction and generally what is going on in the business.  I am not kidding.  True statement!  If as a leader, one does not trust their people to hear and act on certain messages then either they have the wrong people or they are the wrong leader (It is usually the latter).

The second step is sharing.  Sharing the vision on a regular basis (Not just putting it on the Board Room wall), the strategies and how individual’s roles and responsibilities actually contribute to the achievement of the vision and the success of the company.  It is shocking how many people want to do a good job but have no idea what good looks like!

The third step is to communicate often (everyday) and through multiple channels – Face-to-face, email, intranet, etc.  There is no such thing as “Over Communicating!”

As a leader, get better at communicating and watch your team engagement and results sky rocket.  Then watch your career and success follow closely behind.

Robert Murray is a Passionate Leader, Stark Raving People Apostle, Turn Around Mercenary and the author of the critically acclaimed book; “It’s Already Inside: Nurturing your innate leadership for business and life success.”

The Leader Within: Stuff Leaders Never Say

Book, Featured, Leadership Insights Apr 07, 2014 No Comments

TheLeaderWithin - FinalThe best leaders on the planet are renowned for being great communicators.  They have, despite all their differences (Like race, gender, religion, education, jobs, etc.), become skilled at getting messages across to other people.  Messages about vision, purpose, strategy, direction, projects are  all clearly and compellingly explained so team members can easily follow.

Interestingly though, you will never hear leaders say certain things.  Here is my list of “Stuff you will never hear leaders say…”

  1. “Try” – The word ‘Try’ is just a convenient excuse for not getting things done.  If mediocre managers are not successful at getting something completed, they can always say; “Well, at least I tired.”  In there any wonder why they are mediocre?
  2. “Hope” – Hope is not a management tool.  Using the word ‘Hope’ in our daily leadership language really means; “there isn’t a plan and I am not completely confident I think this will work.”  People usually follow a manager that relies on ‘hope’ out of curiosity or fear.
  3. “It’s not my fault” – the worst thing a leader can do is not step up to taking 100% responsibility for something that wrongly happened or did not happen.  Not taking responsibility means; “that I cannot be relied upon or trusted.”
  4. “Because, that is the way we have always done it” – When I hear a manager say this, they are really telling me; “that their mind is completely closed to new ideas and ways of thinking.  They do not believe that there is potentially a better way.”
  5. “That’s not fair” – three year olds and teenagers say this – not leaders.  Life is full of up’s and down’s.  Great leaders groove with the ambiguity that life throws at us.  And when life throws us a surprise, great leaders figure out a solution.  They don’t wallow in self-pity – blaming everything and everybody for their situation.

The new brand logo at the top is in preparation for my upcoming book entitled “The Leader Within” and our multi-city workshop tour on developing leadership skills for this new, chaotic business world we are in.  The new brand… The Leader Within is all about developing the power you have within to get better results through nurturing the power of your left and right brain together for a more effective Practical Intelligence.   Stay tuned for more details about the new book and workshops coming your way.

Robert Murray is a Passionate Leader, Stark Raving People Apostle, Turn Around Mercenary and the author of the critically acclaimed book; “It’s Already Inside: Nurturing your innate leadership for business and life success.”

It’s Already Inside: Home is not the place to go to when you are tired of being nice to people!

Book, Featured, Leadership Insights Mar 31, 2014 No Comments

RocksLife as a leader at any level in an organization is hard.  You are faced with unimaginable stress, pressure to perform and unrelenting change in order to stay ahead against competition.

A leader’s life is full of taking the “High Road” in every situation.  Even during those times when you feel like just walking away from it all, you have to  take the high road.  Always.   No matter what.

This can be a real pain in the butt sometimes.  And, it just adds to the stress of being a leader.

And… You cannot take this stress home with you!  As I talk in about in my book, “It’s Already Inside,”  home is not the place to go to when you are tired of being nice to people.

What are you to do then?  Find a way to decompress every day from the pressure of being a leader.  Drinking, cigarettes, drugs and binge eating junk food are NOT THE ANSWERS.  Decompressing from a crazy day in healthy ways before you are with your loved ones at home, comes in all sorts of forms.  For example, you can:

  • Go for a walk.  Take your dog with you.  You will both benefit!
  • Listen to your favourite music on the commute back home
  • Take a Yoga class
  • Go to the gym
  • Sit quietly at your desk and work on your plan for the next day.  NO EMAIL while you are doing this
  • You can quite simply remind yourself about what a great life you have being able to choose freely where you are going to go, do and experience as there many parts of the world where every aspect of people’s lives are suppressed.  Write a daily “Gratitude” list of 3 things each day that you are grateful for.
  • Change the way you look at stress.  Instead of asking yourself, “Why is this happening TO me?” ask yourself, “Why is this happening FOR me?”

The stress of life as a leader is not going to go away.  It is a fact of our lives.  Since 2008, the world has got flatter, faster and more competitive.  Customers want more.  Employees want more.  Shareholders want more too.

Find your way to decompress so that you are a better leader for your organization and a better partner for someone you love.

Robert Murray is a Passionate Leader, Stark Raving People Apostle, Turn Around Mercenary and the author of the critically acclaimed book; “It’s Already Inside: Nurturing your innate leadership for business and life success.”

It’s Already Inside: Leadership Mistakes – Sweating the Small Stuff

Featured, Leadership Insights Mar 24, 2014 No Comments

Small StuffAs a leader, are you working “in the business” or “on the business?”

I have been writing lately about common mistakes that leaders make.  This week I want to talk about a common mistake that I see leaders make at all levels – Getting involved in every little detail of an organization, department, project or program.  In other words, getting so into the details that you are not leading.  You are actually working in the business.  You have your finger on the pulse of absolutely everything that is going on and most likely, not actually getting anything done and getting in the way of those that are supposed to be doing what you are interfering with.

As leaders, our job is to set direction that will enable our people to deliver on a vision that aligns with the purpose and values.  Working “on the business” allows us to do exactly that.  Keeping yourself out of the weeds of the details enables you to see the big picture and position for corrective action or to take advantage of an opportunity.

When you are working “in the business,” you will discover that you are working ridiculously long hours with a group of people that are not engaged or empowered.  Stress and pressure will be crazy.  By Friday each week, you will be exhausted and your “to-do” list will be untouched.  Your energy will on empty.  Sales will be off target.  Customers will be unsatisfied.  Costs will start to get out-of-control.  Productivity will be low.  To counteract all these negative trends, you may find yourself working even harder and getting more involved in the small stuff.

You will find yourself telling your loved ones that; “This crazy period at work is just temporary.  It will get better.”  Guess what though?  It won’t get better until you stop sweating the small stuff and start working on the business.

Let your team do their jobs.  You need to stand back and lead.  Your job is to make sure the vision is clear, the team know their roles and responsibilities, the strategies (or baby steps towards success) are dear and you are keeping an “Air Traffic Controllers” eye on the progress.  Than, focus on catching people doing things right!

Robert Murray is a Passionate Leader, Stark Raving People Apostle, Turn Around Mercenary and the author of the critically acclaimed book; “It’s Already Inside: Nurturing your innate leadership for business and life success.”

It’s Already Inside: Making Time for Your Team

Featured, Leadership Insights Mar 17, 2014 No Comments

MBWA 2My title above may be confusing in that you “cannot make time.”  You have all the time you are going to get.  You have the same 24 hours in a day that everyone else on the planet gets.  You do though, get to choose how you spend your time.

Common Mistake number two that I see over and over again amongst the leaders that occupy the 97% circle of mediocrity, is Not Spending Enough Time with Their Team.

I know, I know, your day is busy.  Crazy busy in fact!  You have pressures from your boss to get this and that done (Remember last week’s rant about Left-Brain activity?).  You may ask; “Ok Bob, exactly how am I supposed to get all my work done, make a dent in my email and attend all those meetings as well as spend more time with my team?”

My answer is always the same… “The best leaders in the world find time.”  And, they are not all the leaders that have multiple Personal Assistants.  They are quite simply the people that get how important it is.

My favourite thing to do as a leader is walk around and spend time with my team.  It is amazing what you can do by connecting one-on-one with your team.  You get to know them better.  What strengths they have.  What challenges they are facing.  What stupid processes that are driving them nuts.  Ideas they have for saving time, money and serving customers better.  How deeply they understand your strategies.  The list goes on forever!

And… I have had teams that numbered in the thousands of people.  I still make sure that I make time to connect with each and everyone of them.

What does your team get from you being with them?  A feeling that you care and want to help.  Engagement.  Communication. Energy. Belief. Focus.  It gives their jobs more meaning.  It makes them appreciated and respected.

What do you get from being with your team? Trust. Respect. Integrity.  Understanding. Results.

It is a win-win-win all around!

How are you going to make this part of your everyday practice?  Simple!  Schedule it into your calendar like you would a meeting.  And… DO NOT miss this appointment!  Ever!  It will become a habit.  You will become better and better at connecting with your team.  You will be on your way to the 3% circle of great leaders!