The Success Intelligence JournalA place where we share with you news of book releases, media appearances, featured friends, and what is inspiring the team right now.
One of Job's great strengths was knowing how to focus. "Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do," he said. "That's true for companies, and it's true for products."
I love this idea of focus as each year I decide on a theme, which becomes my guiding mantra over the days and weeks to come. 2011 was about freedom as I set out on my own personal inquiry to deepen my understanding and experience of such an illusive quest. I have decided that 2012 is all about enjoyment. In the year of our London Olympics I am going to challenge myself to make this year my best year yet and to enjoy everything I do, all of the time - a big stretch.
To kick-start this focus on 10th February I’m running Your Personal Best 2012 with my great friends Robert Holden and Avril Carson. It’s our annual start-the-year event and will be filled with rich and creative conversations to help you go for gold in your work, life and relationships. Love to see you there. Ben
“Leadership is not a job; it’s a wiliness to be more of who you already are.” Ben Renshaw
What’s your leadership philosophy? Do you think leadership is simply a job grade, role, or title? I find it fascinating that most people I coach in leadership positions have not stopped long enough to work out what real leadership is. Having now run leadership development programmes intensively over the last few years I have arrived at 5 key principles, which I believe are at the heart of real leadership:
1. Having a clear identity.
2. Defining an inspiring vision.
3. Building authentic relationships.
4. Creating great performance.
5. Discovering true meaning.
I recently put this into practice as a result of working with a great person who has just stepped into a dream role. They had a reputation for being a brilliant thinker, however would leave most people feeling incompetent and anxious as a result of their investigative style of working. Our initial coaching was designed to help them think about who they really are, as ‘the only way you can really lead is to be real.’ They then defined an inspirational vision, which helped them to go beyond simply ticking off their ‘to-do’ list. This has allowed them to develop far more genuine relationships, and I know in time will create better performance in their team. The icing on the cake has been their willingness to recognise that life is too short just to have a job. They now get that ‘real leadership is knowing in every moment you can make a real difference.’
Real Leadership Workshop with Ben Renshaw
October 14, 2011
There are four key areas which I believe are at the heart of real leadership:
1. Physical Leadership. The CEO at a company I work with talks about the ‘leaders walk’. He encourages his people to be very conscious about the way they ‘show up’ and to think about how they come across. This point was highlighted to me when I was working with a high performing team and people started talking about the senior leader of their division. What transpired was this guy sat on the left hand-side of the office. Each day he would use his side of the office to walk to and from his desk to the lift, bathroom and generally get around. However, the people on the right hand side of the office felt left out. In order to really make his physical presence felt, he needed to change his ‘leaders walk’, and make sure that he included the right-hand side of the office. Real leaders recognise that a small act makes a big difference.
2. Emotional Leadership. I’ve had the privilege of running the senior leadership development programme for InterContinental Hotels Group over the last 4 years called Leading with Purpose. We always start the event by asking people, ‘Who is your most admired leader, and why?’ 98% of responses from over 400 leaders across the world describe emotional capabilities such as; the ability to be open and honest, communicating with passion, having great resilience, being humble and inspiring others to act. Research shows that once you reach a certain point of recognition in your career, the defining factor that enables you to progress is the degree to which you are able to engage with people on an emotional level. One leader I worked with demonstrated a high level of emotional sensitivity. He made a habit of when someone achieved a notable success to send a personalised ‘thank you’ card to their home address. On one occasion he did this with an Engineer who was an ex-Marine and a tough guy. Having sent the card he was confronted by this employee coming into his office in a manner that left the manager convinced he was going to be beaten up. In fact what happened was the Engineer broke down in tears and said that he had never received a personalised thank you and it had made him feel really valued.
3. Thought Leadership. One of our favourite mantras at Success Intelligence is that ‘Leaders are not paid to be busy, they are paid to think.’ Although people always agree in principle when we share this idea, it doesn’t stop them from keeping too busy. Real leaders ensure that they carve out time to think in order to address a whole variety of challenges such as defining success, strengthening relationships, prioritising workload, communicating clearly. We firmly believe that if you are too busy, you are too busy; therefore real leadership is the ability to stop unnecessary busyness and start necessary thinking.
4. Inspirational Leadership. One of the most exciting projects that Success Intelligence is currently engaged with is running the largest leadership programme in the history of Heinz UK&I called Game-Changing Leadership. Involving 1000 leaders across the business we kicked-off with a company event in which we asked people what is the number 1 quality they look for in leaders. The overwhelming answer was inspiration. However, we believe that in order to inspire others you need to be inspired. Ask yourself, ‘What inspires you?’ Real leaders make sure that they place personal inspiration at the heart of their work and lives in order to authentically inspire others.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you. Traditionally, Valentine’s Day is the day we show our love to one special person in our life. This is a lovely thing to do. That said, I feel that Valentine’s Day would be even lovelier if we made it a day to show our love to everyone in our life. Everyone must also include our self too. Maybe we could start a new tradition. Starting from today. Below is a short poem called “Loving Everyone.”
If you want to find someone
I recommend you start
Love will find you if you are
being the love
If you want to learn how
to love someone
with all your
I advise you to fall in love
a little bit
Loving everyone is the key
And if you want someone
to love you
I urge you to get on with it,
and to start
Someone has to do it.
It may as well be you.
Show us how it is done.
So that you make it easy
for us to love