Thoughts on Leadership is the brain child of Paul Bridle. This is the place that Paul shares his monthly thoughts.

The Language we Use

Posted: January 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, Management, Social | No Comments »

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 12.55.31

The other day I was talking with a friend when I said “That’s cool!”.  The reply took me by surprise;

“Well that dates you”

“How?” I said.

“Nobody says ‘cool’ anymore”.

As you can imagine, this started my thinking about the language we use in our businesses.  We all have our own phrases, saying or words that we use everyday.  We have common phrases, saying or words within our personal lives and businesses.  These phrases are used so much that they have lost there meaning.  They’ve been diluted so much that they are ‘throw away‘ comments. For example, “Awesome“, the original concept was striking fear or awe into someone.  Now it’s been used so much that it no longer conveys the same feeling.  This happens everyday, buzzwords come to life, get used so much that they mean nothing, or fall into the background that it’s no longer, empowering or motivating.  Words like ‘Quality‘, ‘Innovation‘ or ‘Creativity‘ have been used so much that no one really listens.  Think of your customers or clients, these words could be going ‘in one ear and out the other’ without making any impact on the way through.

I feel that some phrases or words, started with no meaning at all, like ‘Thought Leaders’.  Does that mean there are leaders who do not think?  Maybe we shouldn’t answer that one!  What is a Thought Leader?  Did it having meaning in the beginning?

The challenge this month is to think about or even discuss this with others in your business.  What Language are we using? What is important to your business but has lost meaning?

It’s no longer an influencer in creating an empowering culture, motivational environment or providing focus.

Ask yourself;

“DO WE HAVE THE CORRECT LANGUAGE?”

Hope that his has given you something to think about.

Have a great month

- Paul

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Who’s Killing the Innovation?

Posted: November 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Leadership, Management | No Comments »

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Starting this year we have split TOL into two sections.  The basic short question your thinking we have always done, and now the TOL extra.  So go sign up over at http://bridleinfocus.com.

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It seems every time I pick up a magazine, read an article, or view websites on my iPad, the word ‘INNOVATION’ is being used.  This got me thinking, everybody wants to improve innovation within their company, organisation and business.  However, what I see in organisations is plenty of innovation, there’s just a lot of people killing it before it gets into ideas that can flourish.

So let me explain to you where I am coming from.  Just imagine your somebody working in your company and you strike upon an idea.  Now I have this idea where or to whom do I take it to?  Let’s keep in mind that these people maybe the best people to come up with ideas as they are on the front line, they’re doing the work and they can give insights that you and others may not have.

The number 1 issue is; Where do they go?  Who can they take this to?

Number 2; Have they got the confidence in whom ever they go to? Do they ‘get on’ with their manager?

Number 3; Is the manager doing something with it?  And do they understand the idea?

There are more people killing the innovation due to not getting feedback on their idea, not getting encouragement and then the issues around trust and confidence in management.

A recent study I read stated that a lot of ideas are killed because manager are either too scared to take it to the boss just incase they get the blame for it messing things up.  Or they have designs on a pet project that they want to push above other people’s ideas.

So ask yourself the question:

Who’s Killing the Innovation?

 

  1. Management
  2. Lack of ability
  3. Lack of Trust
  4. Lack of direction

There are people all over your organisation, in your office killing it.  They have great ideas but they need a pathway!

Have a great month.

- Paul

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Succession Planning

Posted: September 27th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Two hands passing a baton

Handing Over the Baton

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Starting this year we have split TOL into two sections.  The basic short question your thinking we have always done, and now the TOL extra.  So go sign up over at http://bridleinfocus.com.

Also please take a moment to subscribe to our YouTube channel and get more video interviews, ask paul etc.

Main Feature

Welcome to this months Thoughts on Leadership.

Over the last few years more and more Baby boomers who have built up their business have suddenly looked in the mirror and said “I’d like to retire” or “I’d like to move on now”. Of course there are those not doing this but that is a different story!

I want to challenge your thinking about succession planning and retirement.  Waiting until you are 65 or at the point when you want to leave is not an excellent idea.  So, what are you doing for succession planning? Are you even thinking about it?  It doesn’t matter where you are in your life, it’s about planning and knowing where you need to be.

There are two sections in succession planning.  Firstly, you need to make sure you have people prepared for your departure.  Will your successor have the knowledge, skills and ability to lead?  Will the people have confidence in them?  Have you got the business in a strong financial position etc. Secondly, have you got something to move on to?

I had a client who said to me “Paul, I want to leave in about five years”.  I replied “Good, the first thing we need to decide is what are you going to be doing with yourself in five years and a day?”.  To which I got a curt reply “That’s nothing to do with you!”.  It may have nothing to do with me, however, it has everything to do with succession planning”.

If you have nothing to do, then in five years and one month you’ll be under your partners feet.  You’ll be bored, looking for something to do.  Worse, you’ll give up and become lazy.  Even worse still, you’ll try to go back, only to find the business and people don’t need you anymore!

What are you going to fill your life with?  How are you going to lead an active, meaningful and fulfilling life?

Succession planning maybe getting the business into a good shape, but that’s the second part.  Firstly, you need something to move onto.  You need a target, otherwise you could find yourself not willing to leave.  It’ll give you a motivation and then the ability to move on.

Have a great month

- Paul

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Dressing the Part

Posted: September 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

 

suit illustration

Dressing the Part

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Get TOL in three ways; reading, watching or listening. The video and the audio versions are available as a free download either directly or via our podcast. You will find the RSS feeds at either: http://thoughtsonleadership.biz/video for the video version or http://thoughtsonleadership.biz/audio for the audio version.

Starting this year we have split TOL into two sections.  The basic short question your thinking we have always done, and now the TOL extra.  So go sign up over at http://bridleinfocus.com.

Also please take a moment to subscribe to our YouTube channel and get more video interviews, ask paul etc.

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Welcome to this months Thoughts on Leadership.

I am quite alarmed at how people are not taking into consideration how they are dressing for occasions.  I know the standard dress for a man; trousers, tie, shirt, jacket, suit etc. has changed.  Casual dress at work has become the norm.  You don’t see ties, I can’t remember the last time I wore a tie.  Things have changed, however, if we are not careful, with it has come a sense of sloppiness.  Do we really care about what we are?  How you look has an impression on people, especially when you meet for the first time.  If your Richard Branson you have got billions of dollars, then you can pretty much turn up in anything and people will accept you.  Why? … because your reputation comes before you.  That is not always the case.  It depends on whom you are dealing with.  You need a sense of style, a sense of professionalism accompanied with a sense of individuality, and cleanliness.

So my challenge/question for this month:

  1. Do you really think about how you present your self?
  2. Do you take some consideration for your ‘look’?

You have asked yourself the questions, now go look in the mirror.  Seriously, when you go to work in the morning have a look at yourself. How am I dressed? Sit down, Stand up again and look at how your clothes look now.  Creased? Messy?  When you get home at the end of your day, take another look.  See what had changed about you through the day.

Go do some research on how colour affects your ‘look’.  How certain clothes help give you shape or find a look.  Make sure it can hit these points; do you look professional?  Would I take me seriously? Am I consistent?  If I had a surprise customers or meeting would this be good enough?

We can get into a mental trap, where we have this image of how we look, but in reality the day has creased us up, we may have stains etc.  Of course, we are creating an impression through our dress, our facial expression, or gestures etc.  We have control to create a good impression, we can create a style, but also remember we need authenticity.

So over the next week, I want you to come up with a plan to make sure you are creating the right image.  To your customers, clients, co-workers, employees whom ever they may be. So you can get the business, the right mind-set, the reputation and credibility you deserve.

Have a great month.

- Paul

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Defensive Posture

Posted: August 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, Management | No Comments »

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Get TOL in three ways; reading, watching or listening. The video and the audio versions are available as a free download either directly or via our podcast. You will find the RSS feeds at either: http://thoughtsonleadership.biz/video for the video version or http://thoughtsonleadership.biz/audio for the audio version.

Starting this year we have split TOL into two sections.  The basic short question your thinking we have always done, and now the TOL extra.  So go sign up over at http://bridleinfocus.com.

Also please take a moment to subscribe to our YouTube channel and get more video interviews, ask paul etc.

Main Feature

Hi & Welcome to this months TOL.

Have you ever noticed those people who take that defensive posture?  You ask them a question but they don’t answer that question they immmediately go to the question you didn’t ask them.  In other words, they are making an assumption about what you’re trying to ask them about so they immediately start defending, giving excuses and reasons for why they can’t.  Someone is probably coming to mind already.  This is my thought for the month, it’s very easy to get into and then it’s a habit.  You now just do it and you don’t even realise you’re doing it.  You also get people apologising constantly, “Sorry, Sorry, Sorry”.  The problem is they think it’s an act of being respectful to you.  Actually, it’s annoying and frustrating.

This month I want you to take a little step back from yourself and see if there are any of these defensive posturing acts that your displaying.  If you are, what do you need to do about it?  A defensive posture is not a great way to go about communication or relationship building/maintenance.  It’s ok to challenge, it’s good to look at things to see them from different angles or points of view,  however, being defensive ALL the time will hinder your ability to move on, get on and get along with others.  It’ll be like having an anchor continually dragging you down.

So here’s the thought for this month:

  1. Have you got that defensive posture?
  2. Is there anything about you that can be seen, heard or interpreted as defensive?
  3. Are there people who work with you or for you that display a defensive posture?
  4. What are you going to do to help them?

Think about that for this month, I hope this helps you and your’re having a great month.

One last thing to tell you, as you know we have TOL in video and audio.  We have been adding these videos to YouTube and have had a channel for a while now, but since YouTube have pushed these channels more we feel it’s time to ask you guys to subscribe.  If you want to get these videos easily on your devices, iPhone, iPad, Android etc. then head over to http://youtube.com/paulbridle and subscribe to our channel.  You’ll also get sneak peeks at new interviews, the Ask Paul videos etc.  So please go and sign up if you want more content and feel from to engage with us on Facebook http://facebook.com/paulbridleprofile.

 

Thanks for reading

- Paul

 

 

 

 

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Playing Devils Advocate

Posted: May 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Leadership, Management | Tags: , , | No Comments »

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Get TOL in three ways; reading, watching or listening. The video and the audio versions are available as a free download either directly or via our podcast. You will find the RSS feeds at either: http://thoughtsonleadership.biz/video for the video version or http://thoughtsonleadership.biz/audio for the audio version.

Starting this year we have split TOL into two sections.  The basic short question your thinking we have always done, and now the TOL extra.  So go sign up over at http://bridleinfocus.com.

Mean Feature

Hi & Welcome to this months TOL.

This is something that really interests me because I see it with some people that behave in a certain way, everyone gets upset and they backtrack and say “I’m just playing devils advocate” as a way to reduce the negativity.  Now hang on a minute, if your Playing Devils Advocate then people need to know, either that is who you are, that’s the type of thing you normally do or you’re telling them upfront that that’s what you’re doing.  Just suddenly coming out of the blue and then passing it off because you were rude or too confrontational but now need an exit, that’s not professional!

So what do we mean by “Playing Devils Advocate”?  It’s when I’m going to take a stance on this, I’m going to take a position on this subject but not necessarily one I agree with, but one I can challenge respectfully.  It’s used as a way to challenge thinking, to test the robustness and make sure it’s the direction that we need to take.  If you’re having a conversation and trying to bounce around ideas, it’s always a difficulty when someone is stuck in an idea.  So now if they can answer your questions and thoughts due to you purposely taking the opposite opinion then maybe this is the way forward.  It’s a great way to test and challenge, and also promotes more thinking and maybe even more ideas.

Questions for this month:

1. How good are you at “playing devils advocate”?

2. Who’s doing it?

3. Are they doing it properly?

 

If it’s not you then someone needs to take that position!

So there’s my thought for this month, I hope you enjoyed this and please remember there is much more over at http://bridleinfocus.com

 

Have a great month

- Paul

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The Power of Meaning

Posted: May 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Leadership, Management | No Comments »

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Get TOL in three ways; reading, watching or listening. The video and the audio versions are available as a free download either directly or via our podcast. You will find the RSS feeds at either: http://thoughtsonleadership.biz/video for the video version or http://thoughtsonleadership.biz/audio for the audio version.

Starting this year we have split TOL into two sections.  The basic short question your thinking we have always done, and now the TOL extra.  So go sign up over at http://bridleinfocus.com.

Mean Feature

Hi, this months TOL is entitled, “The Power of Meaning”.  Anybody who has been successful has certain traits/characteristics, for example, sports people or musicians, actors, entrepreneurs.  All of these people have this push.  It’s extremely “MEANINGFUL” to them. It is something that satisfies them from within.  That internal push motivation to ‘Get it Done’, or more famously “Just Do It”.

As a result of that deep seeded desire, they are really prepared to put the effort in, their prepared to get their thinking correct, make mistakes and learn from them. They’ll put in the extra effort, and gp the extra mile.  They’re prepared to get their hands dirty!

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO US IN BUSINESS?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Challenging – The Way to Move Forward in Business

Posted: March 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, Management, Social | No Comments »

Subscribe to TOL

Get TOL in three ways; reading, watching or listening. The video and the audio versions are available as a free download either directly or via our podcast. You will find the RSS feeds at either: http://thoughtsonleadership.biz/video for the video version or http://thoughtsonleadership.biz/audio for the audio version.

Starting this year we have split TOL into two sections.  The basic short question your thinking we have always done, and now the TOL extra.  So go sign up over at http://bridleinfocus.com.

Webinars, Webinars, Webinars!

chessWe are pleased to announce our first series of webinars with Paul Bridle, Leadership Methodologist.  This first webinar will be held on the 17th April at 09:00 (EST) (Check here for your timezone).

Strategic Planning is Not a Business Plan

Duration: 1 hour

Full Details Here

Main Feature

Hi and welcome once more. An interesting title to use I know but I have been really thinking about this recently. I am going to go back slightly to something I have spoken about before.  Think about the top performers, athletes, musicians, actors, entrepreneurs, business people or outstanding teachers etc. They all have a certain trait in common.  They are people who do not see it a a challenge, a limitation, an issue or an obstacle.  They see it as an opportunity to excel, grow and learn.  I have interviewed teachers who say “teaching children is great and very rewarding, but the most rewarding moments are when a child is struggling to grasp the concept and we help them get over the hurdle”.  Those children have an obstacle and they are coached/taught how to get through it.  Athletes, Musicians, Actors etc. all have coaches, they all have someone that supports them and helps them get into the mindset for them to push through a challenge.  This gives them the ability to grow, learn and push forward. The most successful people will tell you they learnt to push through and overcome the challenge, and most importantly LEARN from that experience.

So when we are talking about challenges we are talking about helping people to react in a way that helps them deal with the challenge, issue or obstacle in their path.  In a way that gets them excited, inspired and saying “Wow, here’s an opportunity to learn”.  Here is another way of looking at it in terms of serving your customers.  When you are doing the right thing they take it for granted.  However, when you get it wrong, that’s when they are looking to how you deal with it.  Here’s a little story to illustrate what  mean; I was recently onstage at a major hotels event.  A very large production where everything had to be correct.  Everything had to be rehearsed, checked and checked again.  The cue stand, the lighting, the audio, the marks for the performers EVERYTHING!  Unfortunately something very small went wrong while I was on stage.  A little gremlin had come in and decided to play tricks on us.  When I finished I went to the back of the room and the engineer automatically apologised to me.  I reassured him it was fine and said; “Mistakes happen, it’s how we deal with them that defines us”.  All the rehearsals went fine, but everyone dealt with the problem properly.

Sp my questions for you this month are:

“In your organisation, how do your people view challenges?”

“How do they view these issues?”

And the big one;

“How do YOU deal with it?”

You are the example they look to.  If you don’t deal with it very well they won’t either!

I hope that has helped you this month.  As always please feel free to contact us.  Remember we have my new Knowledge Gateway over at Bridle Infocus, where there is an extended version of this TOL in video.  We have a webinar on the 17th April with a discounted rate for Premium Members of our site.  Go check it out at http://bridleinfocus.com it’s only $99 USD per year.

Thanks and have a great month

-Paul

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Rehearsal

Posted: February 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, Management | No Comments »

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Get TOL in three ways; reading, watching or listening. The video and the audio versions are available as a free download either directly or via our podcast. You will find the RSS feeds at either: http://thoughtsonleadership.biz/video for the video version or http://thoughtsonleadership.biz/audio for the audio version.

Starting this year we have split TOL into two sections.  The basic short question your thinking we have always done, and now the TOL extra.  So go sign up over at http://bridleinfocus.com.

Webinars

We are in the process of rolling out 12 webinars (one each month), where Paul will do a presentation on his work.  The first one will be on the 27th March.  More information will be hitting your inbox next week.

Main Feature

Welcome to this month’s Thoughts on Leadership.

Mark Twain once said that, “it takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good, impromptu speech.”  Get your head around that for a second.  You see I am in the speaking business and I know a lot of people that are and I know the value of being able to get your words right and present yourself in the right way.  In fact, we watch great comedians and many other professions, and we think that they’re just doing it off the cuff.  In fact, everything is rehearsed.  One of the first things my speaking coach taught me was ‘there is nothing better than having a rehearsed, impromptu ready to go’.  In other words, if somebody says something you’re able to respond quickly, efficiently and succinctly.

What’s this got to do with leadership?  It’s got a lot to do with it.  Your employees are going to be asking you questions.  They’re looking to you for inspiration.  They’re looking to you for ideas.  But most of all, they’re trying to look at understanding the way you think.  How do you see the world?  Are you frightened about what’s happening?  Are you worried about what’s going on out there?  Are you feeling confident about what’s happening?  How are we going to overcome this issue?  What happens if we don’t get this and hit this budget or get this contract or whatever it is?  People have things on their mind.  And as a leader, you’re going to have to come over as confident and positive.  Now we’ve seen this – we’ve seen this from politicians who’ve been caught off guard and said things and then once it has been said in the wrong way, there’s no taking it back.  The confidence is lost, the integrity is lost, etc.

So, my thought for you for this month is really to get you to think about how good are you at planning and preparing what you’re going to say?  In other words, what is your ‘impromptu’?

I’ve interviewed many leaders over the last 23-24 years whilst I’ve been doing my research and it has always struck me, it’s the leaders that have got things planned in their mind, they are really the best ones.  Many of them saying, as they’re going to work, coming home from work, in the shower, they’re rehearsing!  If I were asked this, what would I say?  If I were asked that, how would I respond?  They’re getting it clear in their mind, getting their words right, so that when somebody comes up and says something, they can come back and respond to it.

How good are you?  That’s my question for you this month:

How good are you at constantly preparing yourself so that you can express yourself in the right way?

I hope that’s going to give you something to think about this month.  I hope you’re having a great month and a great year.

I look forward to seeing you again next month.

Take care now.  Bye!

Paul

 

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Encourage Being Knowledgeable

Posted: January 30th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, Management, Social | No Comments »

brain

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Get TOL in three ways; reading, watching or listening. The video and the audio versions are available as a free download either directly or via our podcast. You will find the RSS feeds at either: http://thoughtsonleadership.biz/video for the video version or http://thoughtsonleadership.biz/audio for the audio version.

Starting this year we have split TOL into two sections.  The basic short question your thinking we have always done, and now the TOL extra.  So go sign up over at http://bridleinfocus.com.

Main Feature

This month I have entitled it “Encourage Being Knowledgeable”.  That’s a bit of a mouthful but I want you to think about it.

I recently conducted a survey with a group of general managers from different departments of a major company.  One question I asked them was; “What do you do to get people focused and achieve results with your people?”  The answer that came through regularly was how they encouraged people to ‘know’.  They encouraged people to be knowledgeable about what is happening.  They shared the metrics with everybody so they all knew where they were in relation to the overall goal and their specific goals.  EVERYBODY had that information, for their own area and for ALL other areas.   This helped them stay focused and see the results of their labour or the impact of their laziness.

They constantly talked about success, what that success would look like and how to stay focused on that end goal while being focused on their daily/weekly/monthly tasks.

Questions for this month;

  1. What are you doing about your peoples’ knowledge?  By that I mean, their knowledge about the right things.  It’s easy to do the stuff they have to know for their specific job.  I am talking about the knowledge that allows them to measure progress in the ‘big picture’.
  2. How do we create a high level of knowledge?
  3. How do we encourage people to be knowledgeable?
  4. How good of an example are you?
  5. Are there people blocking knowledge?  Are they being a rock in your clear flowing stream?

So there are some questions to get you thinking about this topic.

I hope you have a really good month.

- Paul

P.S – Remember there is TOL extra over at http://bridleinfocus.com, become a member and get TOL extra and other benefits.

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