The secret to moving from success to influence

You may be successful, a high-performer even, consistently hitting goals, meeting deadlines and over-performing on “the numbers”.  But are you actually lacking in true influence and significance?

In a previous article, I told the story of the highly competent CFO who was isolated and mistrusted because he was so difficult to get along with, until he dismantled his wall of self-preservation.  I explained how self-preservation makes us step away from genuine relationship and stay at the transactional level.   It’s when we feel we have something to prove, something to lose or something to hide.

Schooled in the transactional

But as I reflected on my own life and career, I’ve come to realise how I was schooled in the transactional. Continue reading

#1 barrier to impact & influence

As I’ve been coming up to speed with the amazing GiANT worldwide leadership consulting organisation, they have helped shine a light on perhaps the biggest barrier that holds us all back from greater influence and impact.

I asked my newsletter readers what they thought the #1 barrier to their own impact was, and got a variety of answers, all of which were helpful: for example, worrying too much about what other people think about you; lack of self-belief or confidence; lack of passion.

But let me get to the deeper barrier to influence by telling a true story.

A friend was consulting at a large organisation.  The CFO was an amazingly competent individual who had saved the company millions over the years.   However, he was extraordinarily difficult to get along with; his peers were struggling to work with him, and every time anyone dared confront him with a reality-check on his impact on other people, he simply threatened to leave .

So the guy was competent, but also an arrogant idiot…

Continue reading

Suzi McAlpine: Why collaborative leadership matters

A few weeks ago I spoke to Suzi McAlpine, a leadership development specialist based in New Zealand who recently contributed to our mega-roundup post of 60 personal effectiveness tips.

Before her current focus as business owner and executive coach, Suzi has been an international executive search consultant and practice leader.

In this discussion we tackle the topic of collaborative leadership, which is what Suzi believes to be the missing component in much of modern leadership approaches.

Continue reading

Why delegation isn’t working, and what to do about it

After my last article on why productivity won’t solve your problems, a reader emailed me with a suggestion:

“Excellent post. How about extending it to cover a third option – not loss or delay, but hand-over to another network. Internet peering and all that.”

To put it differently:

“How about delegating or outsourcing work as a way of dealing with the overwhelm of managing infinity?”

Delegation vs. Infinity.  Infinity wins. But….

Everyone knows delegation is a good idea, but hard and frustrating to put into practice.  So often we feel it would be better and quicker to do the darn thing ourselves!   So we find it hard to decide to delegate, and find it harder to put it into practice.

But even more than that, we find delegation never actually frees us up in the way that we’d hoped.

You delegate something but your day is as hectic as ever.

What happened there? Continue reading

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Productivity doesn’t solve your problem

This week as I was discussing productivity with some Rocket Results students it struck me that the reason why productivity feels so important, and is so difficult, is that we are all operating in a totally new productivity environment.

We are managing infinity.

As you know, only a few years ago things were very different:

  • People had to be physically present to make requests or place demands upon us. Failing that, they had to spend the energy to compose and post a memo or letter and wait for a reply; or they had to phone us, which involved spending both money (calls weren’t cheap) and time (playing phone tag to catch us).
  • Our immediate access to information was limited to the books and the people around us.  Visiting a library was a deliberate step.

And now, of course, everything is infinite: Continue reading

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What is holding you back?

Today my friends I want to ask you a simple but profound question.

What is holding you back?

You’re doing what you do.  You’re getting the results you’re getting.  And a part of you longs for a deeper, more satisfying path.  So what is it that is holding you back?

I’ve been thinking about these questions as my Rocket Results students have been wrestling with these pretty deep questions and getting great answers.  And I observe four major forces that can often hold us back. Continue reading

The Forgotten Secret of High Performance

How can you up-level your results? The secret might not be what you think.

You may have read books on high-performance, taken courses on strategy, downloaded productivity apps, bought multiple courses and information products - and still didn't see the personal effectiveness and business growth you’d hoped for.

You may have had meetings and off-sites, set plans and strategies or agreed new initiatives, and yet realise months later that you are still operating pretty much business-as-usual.

Understanding why this happens is going to be essential if you want to make faster progress in the future than you have up until now.

Continue reading

Feeling stuck? Try the ‘Spice Girl’ strategy

This week I was speaking to a close friend about her work situation. There were some tough things going on. Her manager is controlling-yet-distracted, her colleagues are fearfully hoarding information and being uncollaborative; her career in her current firm seems buffeted by forces somewhat beyond her control.

She asked for my advice on what to do. I offered some possibilities, yet each time I raised an idea my friend explained a whole set of other difficulties and complicating factors.

It felt like the conversation was like a puppy with a ball of wool - going in circles and getting progressively more knotted and complicated.

Time to ask the question to slice through all of that.

Continue reading

The secret lever for achieving your ambitions

This post is part of a series on personal effectiveness and impact. You might like to review the previous articles:

 The most important lever

In this post we are going to discuss the most important lever you have in attaining your dreams and goals without overwhelm and burn-out. But it’s a topic that gets a lot of bad press. For example:

Just yesterday (I kid you not) I was handed a piece of paper.

“It’s the new strategy. What do you think?”

What did I think? Well, let me just say this. If I’d had a long blonde wig and my electric guitar I would have jumped on the desk and treated my friend to an impromptu rendition of that Bon Jovi classic, slightly modified:

“Shot through the heart and you’re to blame;

Darlin’ you give strategy a bad name!” Continue reading

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3 signs you’ve set terrible goals

This post is part of a series on personal effectiveness and impact. You might like to review the previous articles:

“Goal” isn’t a dirty word (is it)?

Security isn’t a dirty word, Blackadder. Now, Crevice is a dirty word. But not Security…

~ General Melchett, Black Adder Goes Forth!

You may remember I talk about 3 main areas of personal effectiveness: Purpose, Plans and Productivity. Of course, the foundation of everything is purpose… because unless we know what are trying to accomplish, we’ll have a hard time accomplishing it!

This moves us on to idea of goal-setting. Now people have mixed feelings here. On one hand, goal-setting is undisputedly used by high-peforming individuals and teams in to get results in sport, business and other areas of life.

However for many of us, goal-setting has almost become a dirty word. We’ve probably set and failed at goals too many times before, and understandably don’t want to Continue reading

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