Coaching has been shown to enhance performance, but is it enough? The article at the link explores the question: Do We Need More Leadership or More Coaching
I recently asked some of the groups I follow on LinkedIn to consider British Values (“list five words that describe the essence of ‘Britishness’”). The results are described and discussed below, they capture some values, principles, ideals, and characteristics of ‘Britishness’ as perceived by the sample population. The sample population were Director level individuals and leadership practitioners. The exercise has as much scientific validity and statistical significance as your average TV diet supplement ad, however, I hope it, and the discussion it generates, prove to be thought provoking. Read on: What are Contemporary Core British Values
Authentic Leadership – ‘You’ve Gotta Dance Like there’s Nobody Watching’
No matter how authentic we try to be in our leadership style, we must remember that other people will only see the person standing before them. They will not see our beliefs and values unless our actions are genuinely authentic. Method acting does not cut it. Research into anti-terrorist investigations has proved that tiny facial muscle movement exposes true emotions and although invisible to our conscious awareness, these movements are ‘seen’ by the viewer on the same subconscious level.
During this exchange, the viewer (employee, follower, boss, customer) will form a subconscious judgement compared against their own value set. They will ‘see’ the incongruence in your face and will behave accordingly. What we see in their response, is a reflection of our own leadership.
How people behave around us, therefore, is a direct consequence of our own beliefs, values and attitudes. Taking the time to examine our values empowers us to understand what is really driving our behaviour and that of those around us. In order to be an authentic leader you have to embrace your values and:
‘You’ve Gotta Dance Like there’s Nobody Watching’
(W. Purkey et al.)
Value Added, Employing Ex-Army Commanders to Boost Performance
Tim Cain MBE MPhil FInstLM
Perceptions that see the Army as an autocratic culture that relies on harsh discipline and unquestioning obedience are outdated. They reflect a lack of awareness of the contemporary reality. Since the Falklands in the early 1980s the British Army has undergone a transformation in response to the Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous, (VUCA), world in which both the military and business exist.
Army commanders, at all levels are educated to meet the operational challenges of the networked environment, the methods that prepare them for War have been scientifically developed to equip them to thrive on responsibility and challenge. The traditional chain of command has transformed to ensure that ‘response-ability’ is delegated down to confident commanders at every level. One must remember that this responsibility is in the context of routine life threatening consequences and limited resources.
To coin a phrase: Improvise, Adapt and Overcome.
Army commanders are, as one might expect, developed during formal training courses where tactics, decision-making, critical thinking, administration and a myriad of people management skills are taught. However, the key to their self-confidence comes not from their formal education, but from their internalisation, over a period of years, of the Army’s values-based culture. This internalisation of the Army’s ethical core values comes from observation of leadership by superiors, peers and subordinates, ‘doing the right thing on a difficult day, when nobody’s watching’. Personal evaluation of this role modelled behaviour leads to embedded personal values. It is these internalised values which represent ‘value added’ when hiring ex Army commanders.
The Army has six interdependent core values, which as virtues are equally desirable in business:
Selflessness. Task comes first, team comes a close second and self comes last. Soldiers are imbued with the concept of selflessness and teamwork: ‘We’ not ‘I’.
Integrity. Trust is key to success in war. Trust is built on foundations of integrity, and reciprocal expectations. Your life depends on other people doing what they say they will do and you returning the commitment. The greatest fear for soldiers is letting their comrades down.
Loyalty. Trustworthiness within the team is essential. Commanders are responsible for building team social and task cohesion. Army commanders pride themselves in reinforcing a sense of belonging and commitment to the team.
Discipline. Self-discipline comes from shared adversity on operations and in training. High performance expectations have to be the norm in War if teams are going to win. High performance expectations of self first, then of others.
Respect for Others. Teams are made up of interdependent individuals. Diversity is a strength in high performing teams. Army commanders learn to embrace equal opportunities for team members to use their unique qualities and they also to take into account human frailty. Maximising individual and team potential comes from individual consideration.
Courage. Doing the right thing and doing things right requires courage of conviction. Combat requires physical courage. Army commanders are expected to lead by example and shy away from taking the path of least resistance.
Of course, Army Commanders are human, and as such are rarely perfect, however, the culture in which they have been grown aspires to be values based, the majority of commanders are, therefore, a product of that culture. This is most evident in commanders who have served for over 8 to 10 years; it is these individuals who offer most to business.
Hire an experienced ex Army commander and you will get a values based role model of sound morals, who will subconsciously role model transferable values which will enhance the performance and well-being of your team.
Please follow the link to a Survey Monkey questionnaire seeking feedback from our workshop the other day. I’d appreciate it if you could give me 5 minutes of your valuable time to tell me what you thought. FEEDBACK
A new and functional application of values. What are they and how do they impact on our lives and our performance? Click here: What are Values and How do they Help Us
Leaders Connecting to Leaders – Everyone Working for Everyone to make Leeds a City where Communities Flourish Together.
What is Leadership?
Leadership in the context of this blog means the ability to act and influence action in others. It assumes that all the people of Leeds have ‘Response-Ability’ to lead. They are empowered to act as individuals and co-operatively toward a common purpose, identified through acceptance of city values. Leaders for Leeds is everyone working for everyone, it is the vibrant energy that innovates and inspires, within and between communities, guided by shared city values.
What are the City’s Shared Values?
The city of Leeds is a reflection of the values of: Diversity, Unity, Innovation, Endeavour, Honour, Honesty, Respect and Selflessness. These values are the core values of the city that resonate with everybody regardless of community. There are many other values within communities across the city, but the core values are implicit across all communities. Leaders for Leeds are role models of these values, regardless of social position. Their actions inspire others to live the values, creating a living, learning and ethical values-based culture.
How Does a Values-Based Culture Get Things Done?
The Leaders for Leeds values-based culture is about leading by example, energising creativity. It is achieved through individuals and communities helping each other to grow their ideas and foster opportunity, creating a climate of reciprocal trust. This creates a ‘contagion effect’ where innovation creates inspiration empowering communities to develop their own unique identity, connected by the City’s shared core values. The core values provide a guide for innovative action.
Leaders for Leeds are those people, from top to bottom across the City, with inspiration as well as those who help them innovate and achieve. The core values cannot be taught, nor can they be laminated, but they can be lived.
The Fifth Leadership and Command of Multi-Agency Critical Incidents seminar will take place in Catterick North Yorkshire on 21 and 22 October 2014. Click the link for details and booking: B20141021_Leadership and Command of Multi-Agency Critical Incidents_Flyer_October.
Attached is a really good piece by Mark Fernandes of Luck Companies on Applied Values Based Leadership. it touches upon the requirement for leadership by example where ‘The Leadership’ leads first, and through authentic actions and words develop trust. It talks about modelling the way and holding leaders to the highest standards in order to continually transform performance. Read Here.