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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Defensive Posture

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

Nekaris_cSubscribe 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.

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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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 »

thinkingSubscribe 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

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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End of Year Message

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, Management, Social | No Comments »

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Mistakes

Posted: December 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, Management | 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.

Main Feature

Hi!  Welcome to another thoughts on leadership.  This one is entitled “Mistakes”.

It’s a look at one of the common mistakes that leaders are making.  Now, I did some research recently talking to a group of managers and owners of businesses, asking what is the common mistakes they see in their leadership.  And it came out with quite a few interesting things.  But what I wanted you to do is — before I say anything – is look at yourself.  What are common mistakes that you see?  And what are the common mistakes that you see yourself making as well.  Do you take the time to look at that?  Because a thing to do is to learn from mistakes, not learning from mistakes is a wasted opportunity, if you like.  So, what are the mistakes?  How do you go about acknowledging the mistake and then dealing with them?  How do you go about capturing them, if you like, and finding ways of addressing them?

So, the questions to you this month is look at yourself and look at your organisation and think about these questions.  Are we actively looking for mistakes that we can learn from?  Are we consciously going out and trying to find, advertise if you like, our mistakes and then being able to do something with it?  Do we monitor for the mistakes that we can?  And then when we find mistakes, do we share the learning within the organisation?  Because it’s when you get that sort of buzz going around which is okay to talk about these things because this is an opportunity to learn, that makes a huge difference in an organisation.

Some of the common things that we are coming out in all of these were things like making decisions without having all the information or the evidence, okay.  And that can be a habit, something that you can get into doing, you don’t think about getting all the information; make snap judgements, so on and so forth.  This is something – this is like a habit that you got into.  This is a pit fall that you’ve got into your organisation is turning to.  And then another was information overload.  It is important to get information out to people.  We’ve had that previous discussions and thoughts on leadership like that.  But it’s the right stuff.  It’s not overloading them with information.  So, there are a number of things there which came out, I’d say about five or six of them there.  We’re going to more detail in the longer session but for this, I wanted to get you thinking about your own mistakes, thinking about your organisation’s mistakes and where is that missed opportunities in being able to work with some of those mistakes.

Remember that we’ve got the membership section now and you can go in there and get the longer version of this in more detail plus you get all the clips in the interviews that I do and so forth.  So, please feel free to join us there if you are interested.  And also I’ve got the monthly, “Ask Paul” section now, if you like.  And send me a question on askpaul@paulbridle.com.  I’ve been getting some really great questions coming through.

I hope you have a good month!  See you next month!

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Connect-ability

Posted: November 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, Management | No Comments »

Connected People

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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

Hi

Welcome to another months Thoughts on Leadership.  This one is called “Connect-ability”.

You see, you want your people to connect and give it their best when they come to work for you.  You want them to be there with you and while they are with you, to give their best.  But the question I wanted to ask you this month is how connectable are you?  Are you the type of organisation that people can connect to it and worse than that, are you the type of organisation only one type of person can connect to it?

There are a variety of reasons why people want to connect with you.  Some people want to connect because they just want to belong; they want to be a part of something, because something excites them.  There are others who want to connect as they have got a unique ability and they want a place to express that ability.  With some people it’s because they want a place where they can learn and grow, others it’s nothing to do with the business; it’s to do with what it can provide for them outside their workplace.

I can remember when I was very much younger, I needed to earn some money really quickly, it was something I needed to do for nine months, as I wouldn’t be in a position to earn money for due to a health problem that I needed to get resolved.  I was stuck in one place for a period of time, about nine months.  I just took a job.  It was a very menial job, I was working in a factory, but I just needed to work, earn money and then be able to move on once I had overcome my health issue.

I went into that and as long as I could do well in that and earn the money I needed in that, I was fully engaged with what we were doing.  I engaged with the people, I engaged with the job and I did very well out of it, I earned a lot of money in a very short period of time and was able to move on.  Would I have wanted to do that for the rest of my life?  No.  If you ask me to do that job today or any other stations then, would I do it? Probably not! But at that time, I connected because it gave me what I needed.

The question for this month is simply: Do you take the time to understand why people are in your business?  What is the connect-ability of your business that allows you to get the best out of your people?

As always, there’s an extended version of this on our member site.  Please feel free to go on there and be a member and enjoy all of the information that we put on there as well.

Have a great month!

See you again next month!

Bye for now.

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Building Trust

Posted: October 31st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, Management, Social | 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.

Main Feature

Hi, and welcome to another ‘Thoughts on Leadership’.

This month is about ‘Building Trust’.

I want to challenge you this month about building trust.  It is necessary to build trust with our customers, with our staff, in fact with everybody. it’s about building trust. But what does it really require?  There are a lot of things involved.  First of all it starts with being trustworthy.  I know what you are going to say.  You’re going to say, “hang on a minute, I am trustworthy.”  Yes, of course you are, but to whom?  Okay, I am sure that Fagan (from Charles Dickens, Oliver) was trustworthy to his little kids at that time.  You see, trustworthy depends on the person you are dealing with.  Are you worthy of my trust?  Am I somebody that when I place this trust with you, that you are worthy of that trust?

Think about that – think, in the day and age where we are now – where you have a brand, people trust that brand, they trust your brand.  It stands for what you are.  People that work for you trust your brand of leadership.  Your style of leadership is your brand.  So either they trust you or they do not trust you.  And so we’re really going to get down into this and say, “Am I worthy of the people’s trust who I am wanting to lead?”  Whether it be customers, clients, staff, and family members — whoever it is — am I worthy of their trust?  That’s the question I want you to think about this month.  Think about the people that are important to you.  Think about the people who matter to you in your life that will matter to you in the future.

Do these people see you as somebody worthy of their trust?  In other words, can they invest in you by giving you their trust knowing that you are worthy of it and you give them the return on that investment?  That is a heavy thing to think about but it’s important.  So I hope that question has been useful for you this month.

Think about it and have a great month.

We’ll see you again next month.

Bye for now!

– Paul

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The Strategy is Ok, But the Design is Important

Posted: October 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, 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.

Main Feature

Hi and welcome to this month ‘Thoughts on Leadership’.

I’ve bought the following things in the last four to six weeks;

  • back-up drives, small and large,
  • Monocle magazine a fabulous magazine in a time when the publishing world is struggling Monocle has come out with the most fabulous business magazine,
  • An iPhone,
  • Logitech keyboard for my iPad, probably the best that I’ve come across.

These are all great products, but it is more than just the product.  It’s not just about the functionality and what they do, it’s the design, the thinking and putting together the design that has been important, it has been thought through, it’s that attention to detail.

Attention to detail is so critical these days, so many organisations and departments manage to get it pretty good, near enough, etc, etc, and do not appear worried about the details.

One thing that Steve Jobs taught us was that the engineering was as important as the design.  So, whatever we are doing, it’s about getting the product right but also about the design and having the attention to detail.

So, my question this month to you is; great you have a strategy in place, have you thought about how are you going to design that strategy?  How are you going to implement it?  Have you got the attention to detail?

I can remember the very first time I bought an iPhone and it arrived.  My son insisted that I open it.  I said, “Why?  You can open it for me.”  And he said, “No, you’ve got to have the experience.”  And sure enough, opening up the box, the way that it opens so beautifully, the way it works, I could just simply understand it.  The iPad, it’s so easy to use.  This Logitech keyboard that I’ve just brought – there was no massive manual that I had to go through and read, very quickly and intuitively I learned how to put this on so that I could use it with my iPad – such a great little device, great for using on the phone.

So, designing your experience, designing what you do in your organisation – what are you doing about it?

Ask yourself the question, when a customer comes in, is the whole thing a magical experience?  Is the whole thing going the way that you designed it?  If you don’t know what it should be then, if you haven’t designed it – it’s not going to be right!

If you have designed it but you haven’t followed through in terms of training and all the rest of it, then it’s not going to happen.

I hope this is something useful, I hope this gives you something to think about this month and really question yourself on having a great strategy – what’s the design – now that we need to make sure that it is implemented?

Have a good month and see you next month!

Paul

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