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

Dedicate to Your Craft

Posted: August 31st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, Social | 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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As the Olympics becomes a distant memory to most of us, I thought I would take a moment to reflect back with you, and tell you what really strikes me about the Olympics or for that matter any of these major sports events that take place.

I am always in awe of these people who have an absolute dedication to their craft.  ‘This is what I want to be, this is what I am good at and I am going to be the best of who I can be at doing this, so much so that I am going to be the best in the world at it.’  Even those who don’t make it to the podium, those who have been there and tried to be part of it and put their best into it.  It’s that dedication, it’s ‘what is the best I can be’, and ‘how can I show people what the best I can be is’.  So, they practice and their world goes into it, hours and hours of practice and work.  You know, I can remember reading about many athletes and many sports people around the world and things they’ve done, Jonny Wilkinson as a rugby player, who would spend hours and hours, two to three hours at a time just hitting, kicking the ball to get it in exactly the right position where he wanted it.  You know, Tiger Woods, hours spent on the course, walking the course, planning out games – you know, all of the best people in the world have that massive dedication to what they wanted/want to do.

And do you know something?  Leadership is not really that different.  If you really want to be good at it, it’s about a dedication to: ‘How can I prove myself as a leader?’  ‘How can I improve what I am as an individual?’  The very best I’ve seen in the world are the leaders that really do take it seriously.  They see this is as something that they need to work at, they don’t see this as something that: ‘Oh, I’m a natural’.  The moment you say, ‘Oh, I am a natural leader’, that’s when you’re going to have the ability to ‘fall off the cliff’ if you like, because your over-confidence actually undermines what you are trying to do.  It’s really the dedication and the working at it.

So, my question for you this month really is:

What’s your dedication?  To whatever it is, whether its leadership or anything else, is this something in your life that you’re absolutely dedicated to?  Is there something there that you are really focused on in your life?  Did you want to be the best of who you can be at it, and what are you doing about it?   Is it something that you just casually develop for yourself, or is it something that you really work hard at and focus on doing well?

So think about that this month, take the time, ‘what are you dedicated to improving?  If it’s your leadership skill, how are you going about it and how are you reinventing yourself, because let me tell you something, it is about reinventing yourself as well, those athletes have had to reinvent their style more than once.

Hope you have a great month!  See you again next month!

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Dare to Be Free

Posted: July 31st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, Management, Social | 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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This month’s Thought on Leadership is about “Dare to be Free”.

Dare to be free.  People these days are not free.  They get themselves into a position where they are no longer in control of their lives, and as a result, not free.  What do I mean by that?  They are in debt.  They have got personal issues.  They have guilt that they are trying to overcome.  For a number of reasons we could be held back, and just not free, because we are having to pay back, deal with the guilt, address issues, etc. That is the challenge that all of us are facing, some of course, more than others.

From the point of this podcast what I was saying is dare to be free.  In other words, dare yourself to get to the point where you have got that freedom.  Where you can say; “It’s my life.  I want to get on with it.  I want to do it.  It’s my life.”  Many people don’t even have a plan for it. Many people are not even thinking that way.  In fact, worse than that, people are getting into the habit of being in that trench where they are no longer in control of anything, and once it becomes a habit, it is part of your life, it is what you expect.  I actually had somebody say to me, “Yes, well, everybody’s in debt aren’t they?”  Okay, it’s as though, we all have to live that way.  No, we don’t.  We can choose how we want it to be.  And when you have a choice — that’s when you are really free.  You have the freedom to be able to choose what you want to do in your life.

So this month, I wanted to challenge you and get you to think; are you daring to be free?  Do you dare to be free?  Do you dare to be free from some issues your own business could be holding back?

It can be something that is holding you down and stopping you from being able to go anywhere.  It can be debt, issues that you have, it can be relationships, it can be people you are dealing with, etc.  If that is the case then it is time to say; “enough of that, I need to move on.  Dare to be free”.

This month I ask you to think of a few questions, consider for yourself:

What am I doing about claiming freedom?  How am I going to get to the point where I can claim freedom?  How do I get to where it has become “my life”?  I dare you to be free.  I dare you to put yourself in a position where you are free because once you get in that position, just think what you could give back to life, think how much you can do with your life, how you can move forward in constant leaps and bounds.

So, give it some thought and by the way, this applies not only just to you personally, it applies to the people that work for you, your family, relations and friends.

I will be going into this in more detail in the subscriber section.

I hope you are having a great month, that you are busy and that all is well.

See you again next month.

Bye for now!

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Pick a Lane

Posted: July 4th, 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.

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Welcome to this month’s Thoughts on Leadership. This month is called “Pick a Lane”.
Have you ever met someone on the highway, they are in front of you, first they are in this lane, then they’re in that lane and they seem as though they are not be able to pick which lane they want to be in? I can be a bit like that!!
Sometimes we start down one road then go down another road, but then we want to go back there, and it gets all very confusing and the end result is you get nothing done.
There are people that you look at, and they seem to be able to do a number of things at once. Take for instance Richard Branson of the Virgin Group. Yes, he seems to have this business and that business, and yes there are a number of businesses that he is operating in and he seems to be able to do all of them, but does he really? He really has people in those businesses operating for him.
I am sure you know people who try and get themselves involved in too many things especially when they are starting out in business, or when the business needs their full attention, they are over here, they are there, over here — and they haven’t got the support around them to do that …….. that is like swapping and changing lanes. These people will never be really good at anything. They will always going to be pushing around and concentrating on switching lanes instead of finding the best way to get to where they need to be.
The question I want to ask you this month is:
Are you somebody who is switching lanes? Are you constantly trying to jump from one thing to another thing to another thing? Or are you focused?
There is a time where you may be able to switch things because you have the right people in the right places, because the circumstances are right, the business is mature enough — whatever — you could do a number of things at once. You can juggle, but there are going to be times when you cannot juggle — you are going to have to pay attention. You are going to have to strip yourself of things that are just getting in your way and holding you back. In other words, you could do really well in this lane but because you are trying to go between this lane and that lane, you are not good in either of them.
So, I wanted you to think about your life for this month. Check in with yourself.
Are you trying to do too many different things in too many different lanes? Or, are you somebody who is so focused on one lane that you get piled up in the traffic because you are just saying ‘I’m going to stay in this lane and nothing moves’?
There is a balance; there is a time to be in one lane and stick with it, and there is a time to be able to move across lanes, and you have got to be in control of that rather than it being in control of you.

That is it for this month. I hope you have a good month. I hope you’ve enjoyed this months Thoughts on Leadership.
Have a great month ahead of you and I’ll see you again next month! Bye for now!

– Paul

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Promise to Yourself

Posted: June 1st, 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.

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As most of you know, I was born in Africa and I was brought up, really I suppose what’s now viewed as an old fashioned way.  I was taught that when you gave your promise to somebody that was binding.  It was like it was written in blood.  In fact, I remember this as a child in school amongst us, just as kids, somebody would say, “Promise?”  Okay, came things like “cross your heart and hope to die” that sort of thing but once you said, “Yes, i made a promise” then people would believe you and this was the issue, the moment you broke that promise, you got a reputation around the school as somebody who breaks their promises.  Whether it be being there for somebody, whether it was doing something that you promised to do whatever it is — from that moment if you broke your promise you had a reputation of being unreliable.  In other words, it affected your whole being.

So I got to thinking about this this month.  I wanted to talk about a promise because somebody said something very interesting to me the other day and this is what got me thinking.  If you can’t keep a promise to yourself then how good are you going to be in making a promise to others?  You see, if you make and can’t keep a promise to yourself then when it comes to making promises to others it’s easy to break.

What I am talking about is your integrity about the relationship that you have with people.  If I came to talk to some of your people, would they say, “Yes”?  If that person says something, they’re a person of their word.  Are they the type of individual who would say, “Yep”?  If he says this or if she says that, you can take it to the bank?

So, start internally thinking about who are you?  Who am I?  Am I somebody who keeps my promises? Or am I somebody who says a promise to myself but then when it gets down the road I break it saying, “Oh, wow, maybe just today.”  The moment you allow yourself to break promises to yourself, then the danger is that you would do it to others as well.  And you’ll justify it because you’ve learned to justify yourself.

So, the questions that I am asking you this month are;

  • How good are you at keeping your own promises?
  • How good are you at keeping the promises you make to yourself and building the groundwork to be able to keep your promises with other people?

It starts from within folks.  So, this month I want you to catch yourself out, just try it yourself.  When you say that you’re going to do something and you promised to do it. Are you somebody who follows through or are you somebody who finds a reason not to?  When you commit to doing something, are you somebody who follows through and does it at all costs or do you back away from it?  Because I guarantee you, if you’re getting it wrong here, you’re probably being ineffective out there.

So, this may be a bit deep this month but I hope it’s given you something to really start checking, “Who am I?”  “How real am I being with myself?” as foundation towards being with others.  Have a great month, see you again next month!  Bye for now!

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Making Assumptions

Posted: April 30th, 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.

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Hi and welcome to another ‘Thoughts on Leadership’.  This month we are talking about “Making Assumptions.”

I got to thinking, if we assumed that everybody else is inspired by what we were inspired by then we are in danger of treating them the way that we would want to be treated.  Think about it.  If, I am inspired by money, and I have somebody working for me, then the assumption is that, that person is also inspired by money – what motivates that person? What makes them come to work?  Its – okay, job satisfaction may have little to do with it, but that’s not a big thing.  What is important is obviously the money.  That’s me putting what gets me going and assuming that it is what makes that person the way they are as well.

And then the danger becomes that once we do that, we treat people in a certain way.  Having then treated them in that way, if they aren’t inspired or motivated in the same way we are, then the situation changes – “what’s wrong?  Why didn’t you feel like that?  Why aren’t you reacting the way I want you to react?”

To recap, the danger becomes that we start to try and treat other people the way we want to be treated instead of really understanding what it is that gets them going?  What is it that would really inspire them?

My question for you this month is:

Are you the type of person who is assuming you know what motivates you and using that on everybody else?  In other words, are you taking what gets you going and assuming that everybody else is going the same way or do you take the time to check it out?  Do you take the time to really discover what it is that makes that individual come to work, do a good job or whatever?  And we can’t assume that everybody is going to be the same.

As a leader it’s a constant process of trying to find out what really gets everybody going, as individuals – what inspires them, motivates them, etc.  So, we establish what gets John going, what motivates him, inspires him and everything else, and then Jane, and so-on.

This month what I want you to do is take time out and look at yourself and the way you deal with other people.  Catch yourself out; do you know what motivates you?  Okay, that’s the first question to be asking yourself.  Do you genuinely understand yourself?  Then, are you putting that on other people?  Are you treating other people in the way that you think you would want to be treated and so assuming that they are happy with that.

As always, we are going into more detail now in the other section; the subscribe section, but I hope this is giving you enough this month to get you thinking

I wish you well and I hope you are having a tremendous year!

All the best and thanks!

Bye for now!

Paul

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Know or Willing to Learn

Posted: March 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, Management, Social | 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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Hi!

You’ve caught me looking at a book, trying to find a bird, we have a beautiful bird flying around the building and I was wondering what type of bird it is.  This brings me to this month’s Thoughts on Leadership, because there is a lot of difference between wanting to know something and being willing to learn.  Many people have a desire for knowledge, desire for knowing something but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are willing to learn.

Take me for instance, I do enjoy birds and when I see a bird that is interesting, I like to know what type of bird it is.  I have no desire to be an expert on birds.  I have no desire to go bird watching.  I am just really interested in the different types of birds.

This is useful in terms of business these days.  Why do we want to know something?  Is it something that we need an in depth knowledge of, or is it something that we just need to have some general information about?  Would this be useful to us?

Most important from a leader’s point of view is understanding your people.  There are people out there who just want to know.  They are thirsty for knowledge about things, but there are ones that want it for the wrong reasons.  In other words, they are desperate to know anything and everything and they have got to know what is going on and what is happening and all these sort of things, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a genuine desire to learn.

The desire to learn is what is really key, particularly in certain areas of your business.  For example, you may have a situation where you want somebody to know something specific about the product, the wiling to learn bit is ‘how’ they are able to explain that product to the client.  So, if there if you have somebody who is quite happy to know about the product, but are not willing to learn ‘how’ to sell it to the client, then they are maybe the wrong person for that job.

As a result, the key is really getting to understand that there is a difference between ‘wanting to know something’ and ‘willing to learn’ and both are needed and at times we are going to need to do one or the other.  Have we got the right person for the right situation?

We have just started a business, which is in the sales training arena and it’s about “yes, we can give you the knowledge to things” but taking it that step further and getting you to be able to apply it, that requires you to have a willingness to learn and many people have a desire to know but not necessarily a willingness to learn.

This month I am asking you some simple questions here:

I want you to think about your own people and once you do, look at some of the people you’ve got working for you and ask yourself, “Is this somebody who has a desire to know something or is it somebody who is really willing to learn?”  The depth comes in the willing to learn.  The knowledge is just a veneer, very useful, very important and in some cases – all that’s needed.  However, in other cases, it is the depth that’s needed.  In my case, knowing about the different types of birds, that is great, but the depth would come in actually understanding them, their habits, etc. so that I could have an in depth knowledge of them and I could recognise them when I saw them and realise when they are out of place or where they might be nesting or whatever is required.

Think about it in your business.  What do you want people to know and what do you want them to be able to apply with that knowledge?  When you have those two differentiators then start to ask yourself the question with regards to some of your individuals; ‘Is this somebody who just wants to know or is this somebody who is willing to learn?’  If they only need to know and they are willing to know, well then that is great, you can deal with that.  But if they are somebody who you needed to be able to apply and go a stage further, then they have to have a willingness to learn.  The learning takes them from the knowledge into application.  It is that different.

I hope that has given you something to think about this month, I will go into more detail on the website, if you want to know more but there is something for you to go and think about this month.

I hope you are having a good month and a good year!

See you next month,

Bye for now!

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Tapping and Sharing Knowledge

Posted: March 1st, 2012 | 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.

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We all attend events.  We sit in an auditorium, we listen to a guest speaker, you listen to the event.  And I do a lot of them; often I do the speaking part.

The question always is ‘what do you take away from it?’  And most of all what do you do as a result?  I find that a lot of people attend, they listen very attentively, they are making all these notes and they put the notes with every intention of doing something but do not follow through.  Worse than that, the organisation does not follow through either.

So, I got to thinking about it in terms of getting the best out of our people.  It’s also them getting the best out of the events and things that they are doing.  Whether it be meetings with clients, whether it be coming to a session such as this or whether it just be a day to day activity, how are you getting them to ensure they are drawing the best out and then using it for the benefit of the organisation?  Do you have, as part of your team meeting, a round robin discussion from everybody?  Who have you met this week?  What work sessions have you been to?  What learning have you undertaken? And how can you share that with other people in the team?

That’s the way learning and development is these days.  It’s about people taking ownership for their own development and it’s also about them sharing that with each other and within the teams that they work.

So, this month I got to thinking and challenge you with a question.

Are your teams;

  1. Taking ownership for their development?
  2. Are they sharing everything they learn?  And w

When we talk about development, I’m not using the word training deliberately.  I’m not talking about training sessions; I’m talking about development as in; what have you read?  What conversations have you had?  What sessions have you been to?  What online stuff have you been reading and studying?  And is there stuff that you can share with the team?  Because if you’re the leader aren’t encouraging this, proactively with them, then they’re not necessarily going to be doing it on their own accord.

So, the question, what are you doing about getting your team to think about taking ownership for their development and then sharing with each other?  Development in the widest sense of the word.

I hope you’re having a good month.  See you again next month.  Bye for now.

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On Exhibition

Posted: February 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, Management | No Comments »

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Hello, and welcome to this months Thoughts on Leadership’

At some stage in our lives we all attend tradeshows/exhibition.  When you enter them you can see that people have gone to a great deal of effort to put on a great show.  After all, it is an exhibition; it’s an exhibition of us, come look at us; look at the best of what we can be.  There is a tremendous amount of money and effort that gets put into all of this, for a two/three/four day show, and in reality, we are on show/exhibition every day

Our organisations/companies are being exhibited to our clients, either positively or negatively, everyday.  Whilst, there is a lot of effort going into these two/three/four day events, what is happening every day?   Is there the same amount of money, time or energy being put into how we are exhibiting ourselves on a daily basis.  Do we consider how our people are exhibiting themselves in the way they behave?

When you go to an exhibition, people dress well, people look good, people smile, people – if you’ve ever been to one you all know what I mean – you end up the day with your cheeks been sore because you smiled so much.  Yet we can go into an organisation and people are sat there, looking miserable, it’s hard work to speak to you whereas at the show, it’s out there doing it.

So the question I want to ask you this month is:

Are you thinking about exhibitions as just tradeshows and events, or do you see exhibitions as what we do all day, every day as an organisation?  If you are thinking that way, then what are you doing about getting your people to think like that?  To get into their mind, this is an exhibition, we are on show.  Everything we do is about exhibiting our brand, our products, our philosophy, whatever it is that our business is about.

I want you to really think about; how does your customer see you?  How does your customer see you day-by-day when they visit you?  Not just the times that they visit you on a tradeshow or when they see you first, because it’s being many times I’ve gone to a tradeshow stand and been really impressed and then called the person afterwards and found the real company — the company that doesn’t answer their phone, the company that doesn’t respond very well.  The company where the people don’t smile, they don’t reply, they don’t follow-up.  If you think about it, when you spend all that money on an exhibition, the important part is then following up, if you want to get a return on that money.  It is not just taking all those cards, putting them all in a file and doing nothing with them, you have to do the follow up, you have to follow through and part of that follow through is what you are doing day-by-day in your organisation.

So my question this month:  Is exhibition what you do purely at a tradeshow, or is exhibition what you do every day in your organisation, and if so are your people understanding that?  Are your people rising to that occasion?  In other words, do they appreciate that it’s about the show; it’s about an exhibition every day.

I hope that’s been helpful to you.

I look forward to see you again next month!

Bye for now!

Paul

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Learning and Teaching

Posted: September 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, Management, Social | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

My apologises for the previous update to Thoughts on Leadership.  For some reason we posted up last months information.  Also remember our new site Bridle Infocus

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The Winds Of Change (Storms Of Your Life)Main Feature

Hi and welcome to another thoughts on leadership.  This month we are going to talk about learning and teaching.

You see, when it comes to leadership, there’s a great expression: “No one can teach you leadership but you can learn it.”  People can teach you principles, yes, but in terms of being a leader and developing yourself as a leader, you could only learn that.

It’s a little bit like riding a bike.  I can teach you the principles of it, I can show you how to learn to ride a bike but at the end of the day, your style of riding and the way that you ride the bike is something that you would develop for yourself.   And so it is with being a leader.  We could teach, we could read books, you can find out about being a leader.  It can give you some excellent principles but what’s down to you is learning actually how you are going to apply these principles and developing your style.  Because with different people, different groups, if you’re leading this group – the way that you lead them will need to be different to the way that you lead that one.  No one can say this is what you need to do and applies across the board.

So this month, what I am asking you to consider is this, do you even know what your style is?  Do you spend that time to consider about how you can constantly learn and develop yourself?  Because if you wanting control of that learning, if you want taking the ownership for the learning element on it and instead relying on someone else to teach you, then you’re never really going to be an effective leader.  Great leaders are always learning because learning is an ongoing process, no matter how long we go alive, things will change and we will have to re-learn sometimes what we think we already know.

So the questions this month are;
Are you learning or are you relying on someone else to teach you?

So, I hope that’s giving you something to think about this month.  Really, what is it you are doing?  Are you waiting to be taught or are you learning – are you taking control while learning and moving with your learning?

Okay, have a great month then.  We’ll see you again next month!  Bye for now!

Paul

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