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

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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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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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 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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Work Out Of Your Job

Posted: August 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

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Hi and welcome to another Thoughts on Leadership.

I’ve often used the expression “Leadership is the art of working your way out of a job.” It’s one of my favourite definitions of leadership.

Leadership really is about finding a way of extracting yourself from your current job and allowing the people around you to be effective, in other words, operate without you.  If, the business depends upon you as, an individual and you solely, that is actually putting the business in a very unsafe position.

Recently, I got to think about this a little bit more than that, instead of just seeing it as leadership as in running a business, what about leading our own life?  How good are we at working our way out of our current position?  Now that doesn’t mean I am saying work your way out of your marriage or work your way out of your relationship with your children or anything of that nature.  That’s not it at all.  What I am saying is what are you doing about getting so close, and getting so close to ground that as a result, you don’t take time to step back.  You don’t take time to really look at things and move away from things.

Really thinking about: “How can I work my way away from this?”  “How do I give myself some time to just relax and enjoy and do what I do?”

So this month, what I want you to do is to think about your life.

1. What are you doing and how much of a rut are you really in?

Are you taking the time to work your way out of the situation you are currently in?  For example, if you think about your wife and your children, your partner, etc. Your relationship with them will change as the years go by, if you are going to remain the same then you are probably not going to be the most effective in your relationship whether that be as a parent, or son/daughter, or husband/wife, friend, whatever it is.  So what are you doing about adapting and moving in that relationship, in a positive way?

2. In terms of business, what are you doing about taking time out?

Just go out and take some time to think, and think differently, think beyond where you are at this moment in time.

What are you doing about that and how you actively working at it on a day-by-day basis?  Don’t let yourself get so close to the ground that you just don’t see anything outside of your world.  Take the time to step back.

I hope it’s been interesting for you all this month.

I wish you all the best and we’ll see you again next month!

Bye for now!

– Paul

P.S – Please check out our new ventures, Bridle Infocus and Quota Sales UK

 

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Integrity

Posted: July 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

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Welcome to this month’s Thought on Leadership.  This month I am returning to one of my favourite subjects and that’s the subject of integrity, something I feel strongly about.

What do you stand for?  What are you really – what are your principles?  Those are the things that I want to really focus on.

I think it was Groucho Marx who said: “I have got principles; you don’t like those, I’ve got more.”  And that’s what I find in people, they say they have got principles, they say what they stand for, but when it actually comes to the test, you find that they are different people altogether.

As a leader we cannot afford this.  Integrity is too important.  Integrity is constantly building that relationship with people, making those deposits in their emotional bank account, building that relationship with them, so that the integrity between the two of you is strong.  This enables you to be a more effective leader.

So what are your principles?  Do you really think about it?  Because often we say: “Oh, we’ve got our principles, we know what we stand for” etc, etc, etc, but when it comes down to it we find that we give way.  In fact, I sometimes joke with people, those I hear saying “I stand by my principles” and then actually what I find is that they spend their time ‘sitting on them’.

So what I ask you to do is really think about those principles.  What do you really stand for?  And are you true to these principles?  You know how it can be – to give you a silly example if you like – you are approaching a set of traffic lights, they go from green to yellow, do you put your foot on the accelerator or do you put your foot on the brake?  Ok, if you are a person who abides by the law then you put your foot on the brake so then you stop and you wait until the traffic light turns green again.  But if you are that person who goes: “Oh no! I have good principles, but on this occasion I am in a hurry.” Is that what you’ve ended up doing?  If you have, I can tell you what’ll happen, you will be in a hurry this time and then you’ll do it again and then you’ll do it again and the next thing you’ll find is that you are doing it out of habit, and not really realising what you are doing.

So the question is; what do you stand for and are you still standing for what’s important to you?

Think back to the way you were ten, fifteen years ago – what was important to you then and is it still important to you now?  Have you allowed it to slip away from you?  If you have deliberately stepped away from it well that is a different situation.  But if you have allowed it to just slip away from you that is not good.

So questions for this month, think back, what do you stand for?

  • Do you still stand for what you think that you stand for?
  • What are you doing about demonstrating it?
  • What are you doing about showing people because it’s alright saying “Oh I have these principles”, but if people don’t know what they are then they don’t really know the real you.

I hope this has been helpful, have a tremendous month enjoy the summer.

Look forward to seeing you next month, bye for now.

Paul

P.S – Check out our new website; Bridle Infocus

 

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Integrity and Honesty

Posted: June 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

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Recently, I got asked the question what is the difference between honesty and integrity?  And I thought it was an interesting question so I am going to make it the thoughts for leadership this month.

 

You see, honesty, I look that up in the dictionary and honesty used the words here: “The quality of being honest, upright, fair, truthful, sincere, and frank.”  I think the operative word there is about “being”.  In other words, it’s about the way you behave, it’s about who you are as evidence by the way you behave.  Either you are somebody who is honest or you’re somebody who isn’t always honest and so, as such as “being” there becomes the operative word.

 

So what is integrity?  Well, integrity is really – it comes from the Latin word, and it’s about “soundness” – it describes it as “soundness”, I have character and so forth.  But what’s really interesting is how the word integrity has developed.  You see, we would’ve talked years ago about the integrity of the empire or we would’ve talked about the integrity of the ship’s hull or whatever it was.  In other words, we are talking about its “wholeness”, about its “soundness”, about how it keeps itself together regardless of what’s being thrown at it.  So trying to preserve the integrity of the empire, would’ve been about trying to keep the empire together.  Talking about the integrity of this ship’s hull – it was about how it keeps it together.

 

It’s evolved in its usage and we use it in terms of human beings.  And it’s about – integrity’s about as an individual and about how we hold ourselves together against all the adversities being thrown at us.  Which is interesting because it means the recognition of integrity actually comes from other people.   In other words, we can think we have integrity, but the test of it is how other people view us.  Do other people see us as having integrity?  Because if you are like, that’s the real stamp of approval, that’s the sign of who you are is what other people say about you.  So, do we keep ourselves together?  Are we consistent, in other words, in the way that we behave and in the way that we deal with things?  Because that consistency builds the integrity with other people.

 

And that’s what one of the key aspects of leadership is, is that ability to consistently behave in a manner with people and consistently build and develop that integrity.  So let’s go back to that ship.  Keeping the ship’s hull in integrity will be about constantly looking after it.  It will have to be cared for.  It can’t just be allowed to be battered and worn away, it needed to be cared for, painted, restored, and constantly monitored.  And so are leaders.  It’s about a constant process of ensuring that we are keeping it together, ensuring that other people see us as keeping it together and being able to, no matter what the adversity coming at us is, that we are managing to hold the whole process together.

 

So, this month the question I want to ask you is, what about your integrity?  What are you doing in terms of feeding that integrity?  What are you doing in terms on ensuring that you are keeping it together, that you are holding it together?  Is that closeness about you which allow you to have integrity in other peoples’ eyes?  Integrity is something that you constantly working at, the way you deal with others, the way that you respond to others, the way they see.  So it is about behaviour, yes, honesty is an element of it.  But honesty is about you in one particular area.  Integrity is about your whole interaction with the individual and it’s a constant process with a leader’s case, of building that integrity — very quickly lost but very on going process of keeping it together.

 

So, I hope those questions are useful to you this month and I hope it gives you really something to think about.  Have a great month and I look forward to see you next month! Bye for now!

 

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Listen to the Chatter

Posted: May 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

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You see there’s always chatter going on, there’s always conversation going on and there’s an expression that has been around for a long, long time about bad news travelling faster than good news. If there’s some gossip or something’s gone wrong in the world or there’s issues happening somewhere, people are very quick to tell everybody about it.  That’s one of the problems we probably have with the media.  They are always quick to tell us about all the bad things that are going on but not necessarily there to tell us about the good things. So, what are we looking for here?  We are looking for an organisation where people are talking the organisation up.  But in order for them to talk the organisation up, they need to have the information.  They need to be able to have something to say, to think about other than everything that’s going wrong or is bad about the organisation.  How many times have you been into a shop or a restaurant or wherever it is, and the people — you hear them talking about “Oh this is not right” and “that’s not happening.  And if you really want to challenge things ask people:  “what’s great that’s happened in the last month?”  And when they go and can’t answer you, that will tell you a little bit where they’re focused on and what information is freely available to them.

Think about the chatter that is going on in your organisation.  What is it?  And most importantly and here’s the killer question:  what are you doing about ensuring that the right chatter is getting through?  What are you doing about giving them information that they can talk up about?  Are they saying: “Did you hear about such and such happening?”  Or are they saying: “Hey, did you hear we got a new order?”  “Hey, did you hear we got this customer?”  otherwise they will be saying:  “Did you know we’ve lost this customer?”  That’ll come very quickly, you need to give them that information, they’ll find out and they’ll talk about it.  So think about in terms of what information you are sending out and how do they get hold of that information.  And what are you doing about encouraging them to talk about the stuff that’s going up.  So simple things that I’ve seen business leaders doing is going to people saying “Have you heard about X?” and letting people go: “Oh no I hadn’t!”.  And the way they do it makes the person go: “I wanted to tell somebody the good news.”  Instead of: “Oh I wanted to tell somebody the bad news because bad news is exciting.”  So what are you doing about it, how do you have systems in place to ensure the information getting out there is positive.  Don’t tell me it’s your news letter because people don’t read that anyway.  I’m talking about actively managing, getting up there and talking about these things.  I hope that gives you something to talk about this month.  Bye for now!


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Confident to Deliver

Posted: May 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

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This month we are talking Confident to Deliver.  You see, we’ve got people that are working for us that we expect them to deliver a level of service.  Particularly if they are dealing with the customer, but even if they are not facing the customer themselves.  They are somewhere in the system and what they do has an impact on the customer.  Question is, do they have the confidence to deliver.  How can we get the very best out of people unless they have the confidence to be able to deliver the best? Think about some of the people that work for you.  Do you think they have the confidence to deliver what you require of them?  Because you can do all the training you like, you can do all the pushing and shoving and incentivizing you like but if they haven’t got the confidence to deliver then it all can be a waste of time.  So lets examine what the makeup of confidence is.  There are three things.  First of all the person has to have the knowledge and skills, but they have to believe that they have those knowledge and skills.  Do I have the requisite knowledge, skill, the ability to be able to do what is being asked of me.  So that’s one of the first things. Read the rest of this entry »

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Leading from a Distance

Posted: April 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

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Hi, and welcome to another Thoughts on Leadership.

 

A lot of people are finding that they are leading a team, where the people are not based in one place.  They have to lead their people remotely, due to them being scattered around the globe, around the country, or simply, in different places/locations.

 

As a result, I thought I would take a few moments this month just to look at what we need to do in terms of making sure we relate well with those people and lead them effectively.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Performance Reviews

Posted: February 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

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One of the questions I regularly get asked about is how do you go about conducting an annual performance review?

Come on guys, its 2011, the start of a new decade.  Surely at this stage we should understand some basics about performance reviews.  I mean talking about an annual performance review puts us back in the 80’s, or maybe 90’s at the best!  You mean you just praise your people once a year?  Its like a sausage factory, people come in, you spend an hour with them, they go out and that’s it done for another year?

Performance review is an ongoing process.  It’s not a once a year, end of year event.

Secondly, lets just think about this whole thing.  One question is; who owns the review?  If the performance review is you reviewing the person, its like I’m doing something to you, which is completely different from; this is my part, which I own, but you also have a role in it with me.  Good leadership is about getting people to that point, the point where the individual owns their own performance review.

A few years ago, I came across an organization, which had four different ways of running their performance review system and the individual decided the approach to be taken.  In other words, ‘I own my own review and I have four ways of approaching it.  I involve my manager, my peers, my subordinates, my superiors; everybody I could relate to in different ways’.  And it wasn’t a once a year thing, it was an ongoing process.

So, the question is:

How do you conduct a good annual performance review?

  1. it’s not annual;
  2. make sure that the ownership of it is right.

Once you’ve got those two things correct then there are loads of books on the subject, giving you different ideas.

I’m going to give you a few questions to think about.  Questions that will help you think about whether you’re doing it right or not.

  • Your role as the leader, are you making sure that they (the individual) understands that it’s their responsibility to own their performance?
  • The moment they are relinquishing that responsibility to you, puts them in a position where they are not going to be getting the best out of the review.  More importantly they are subjugating themselves to you, rather than taking ownership for their own development and performance.  So what are you doing about that?
  • How are you working with your employees?
  • Are you providing the necessary training, to ensure they understand what is necessary so that they can take ownership for it?

Secondly, make sure that the individual understands what is important from you.  Your role in the process is to have agreed with them, at some stage, their targets and how they are to be measured:

  • How good are you at putting those criteria in place, so that the individual really does understand how they are to be measured?
  • Do they know what’s important, what they can benchmark themselves against and how to monitor progress?
  • Do they have fixed targets set along the way, which they are working towards?
  • So, the question is, have you agreed with them, those parameters, those targets, those goals and how they will measure their progress along the way?
  • Thirdly, is around measurement, possibly, the hardest to master.  How are they conducting that measurement and reporting it back to you?  Again, the measurement should be something that is owned by them.  If the performance review is owned by them, then the measurement should be owned by them.  As a result, what you want is them measuring themselves and reporting to you, not you measuring them.
  • How have you gone about ensuring that they own that measurement as well?

One of my favorite questions is; how do you know you are doing a good job, how do you know you are progressing?  That means that the person knows that information and that’s helping them perform at a higher level.

I hope those three points have really got you focusing on the process in terms of; who owns it and how you can get the best out of the process with the individual.

MORE

It has been an incredible year and we have worked on a lot of new projects.  I would like to highlight a few to you here; first is our collection of business case study DVDs.  They are meant to inspire your thinking and help you along with your business.  Go check them out at http://theleadershiplounge.com.  More are planned for next year and some improvements to the existing ones based on what we have learnt this year.

We have also just released a new DVD entitled ‘The Principle of Balance’.  It is a 15 min DVD that explains the customers expectation of us and what we need to know if we are to operate effectively.  Go to; http://paulbridle.com/8020.html where there is a short trailer there for you to watch.

Finally, I would like to share with you a few new activities coming in 2011.  Starting in the first quarter of the new year we will be setting up two webinars a month which will have a presentation, and then a Q&A session with the presenter afterwards.  One will be industry specific for the meetings and events industry and the other will apply to business and leadership issues.  We will also be launching the new Business Planning Retreat Session designed to refocus you and your team on where your business is going in the future.

It’s been great chatting to you again this month.

I hope you have a really good month and we will catch you again next month.

We have loads of new things coming your way so watch this space.

Bye for now.

Paul

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What Character Are You?

Posted: February 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

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Who are you? No, I don’t mean that person that you think you are, I’m talking about; ‘who is the real you?’ This month’s ‘Thoughts on Leadership’ is going to be about YOU. It’s going to be about; ‘What sort of character you are?’ , ‘What makes your character?’ I know there are a lot of things that make up a character. Ok, and I know a lot influences it as well, for example, the way you were brought up, circumstances in your life, etc, etc. All of these have a great part in shaping your character, but I want to emphasize and really get you to give some consideration to some different aspects that shape you character.

One of those is about how you get along with people. You see, our character becomes defined when we look at how well we get on with people that we don’t necessarily like, or don’t necessarily agree with. You see getting along with somebody that you like, that is easy and doesn’t require you to be a genius, you can do that easily. It’s about the ones that you don’t get along with. Maybe it’s somebody on the team, or somebody that you’re leading, or even somebody that you just don’t see eye-to-eye. The defining thing is how you actually learn to get along with that person. It doesn’t mean you have to turn them into your bosom buddies, or anything like that. It’s about what you need to do to at least have ‘a relationship’ with that individual. So really a defining part of your character is how well you get along with other people. How well you learn to get along with, and deal with people you don’t agree with.

Secondly, is how you cope under pressure. When everything is going your way that doesn’t define who you really are, because you’re ok, everything is fine. But when you’re under pressure, when things aren’t going your way and when everything seems to be going wrong around you, that’s when you really become defined. As a leader, your people are watching you. When everything is going on, (and we’ve had a lot of it recently with the economic crisis, the ups and downs in the world with wars and so forth), it’s when so much is happening, you don’t know where to turn first, that you are defining your real character. It isn’t that character that you like to put on, or portray, but the real character of who you are.

So, this month’s questions are very simple:
Who are you?
How are you being defined every day and every week under these circumstances?

Think about the times when you are not getting on; when things are going wrong around you, or when you’re not getting on with things very well, when it just seems like the whole world is coming at you:

  • How are you reacting?
  • How are you behaving?

If you are loosing it, particularly if you’re blaming everybody; that says so much to everybody about whom you really are.
Also, day-to-day, even when things are going well, those people you don’t get on with:
How are you approaching them?
You may not like them, you may not agree with them, you may not get on with them; but how are you dealing with those individuals so that you can find the basis by which you can get on with them?

Of course, all of this applies to you, because that’s why I talk to you each month, but it also applies for you being a role model to your people. So the other questions have to be:

  • How good a role model are you being to them?
  • How good are you at helping them be able to do those sorts of things?
  • Are you teaching them?
  • Are you showing them an example?
  • Are you coaching them?
  • Are you making it clear to them that not getting on with people is not an option, (anybody can do that), the skill is, being able to get along with people.
  • So how are you doing in those areas?

It is a real challenge this month, about ‘who’ you are and what is your true character, the character that other people see in these situations.

More

It has been an incredible year and we have worked on a lot of new projects.  I would like to highlight a few to you here; first is our collection of business case study DVDs.  They are meant to inspire your thinking and help you along with your business.  Go check them out at http://theleadershiplounge.com.  More are planned for next year and some improvements to the existing ones based on what we have learnt this year.

We have also just released a new DVD entitled ‘The Principle of Balance’.  It is a 15 min DVD that explains the customers expectation of us and what we need to know if we are to operate effectively.  Go to; http://paulbridle.com/8020.html where there is a short trailer there for you to watch.

Finally, I would like to share with you a few new activities coming in 2011.  Starting in the first quarter of the new year we will be setting up two webinars a month which will have a presentation, and then a Q&A session with the presenter afterwards.  One will be industry specific for the meetings and events industry and the other will apply to business and leadership issues.  We will also be launching the new Business Planning Retreat Session designed to refocus you and your team on where your business is going in the future.

Have a good month, and Ill see you next month.  Bye for now.

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