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 »

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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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Challenging – The Way to Move Forward in Business

Posted: March 29th, 2013 | 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.

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

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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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Encourage Being Knowledgeable

Posted: January 30th, 2013 | 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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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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Building Trust

Posted: October 31st, 2012 | 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.

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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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Dedicate to Your Craft

Posted: August 31st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, 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 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 »

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.

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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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