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Creating a Powerful Guiding Coalition

Creating a powerful group to lead your change

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Creating a powerful guiding group is perhaps the most challenging element of leading change. No one person on their own, however competent, is capable of completing all the tasks required in leading a large organisation through change. The tasks include;

 

  • developing the right vision,
  • communicating it to vast numbers of people,
  • eliminating all of the obstacles,
  • generating short-term wins,
  • leading and managing dozens of change projects
  • anchoring new approaches deep in an organisation’s culture.

Putting together the right people to lead and manage the change is critical to its success. It needs visible support from key people throughout your organisation. You must find the right people, instil in them a significant level of trust and develop a shared objective.

Those people need to have the right credibility within the organisation.  Otherwise things will go limp and the change will simply go to pieces and fritter away. This will leave the organisation weaker than it was before.

Create a team of leaders and managers that can act in concert and make productive decisions. The decisions need to be taken seriously by all the group! Managers in the team will keep the process under control, while leaders drive the change. Sometimes people can both lead and manage but don’t assume you will find both talents in the same people.

An effective guiding coalition

An effective guiding coalition should have;

  • Position Power:  Enough key players on board so that those left out cannot block progress.
  • Expertise:  All relevant points of view should be represented so that informed and intelligent decisions can be made.
  • Credibility:  The group should be seen and respected by all so that the group’s pronouncements will be taken seriously by others.
  • Leadership:  The group should have enough proven leaders able to drive the change process.

Creating a powerful guiding coalition means the team needs to develop trust in one another. They need a shared goal so that they can make the needed change happen, despite all of the forces of inertia and resistance they may find. If you need advice, get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy’s books on Amazon at this link

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Night, night – my poem of Remembrance

I have a new poem on my Dreaming in Purple and Grey poetry site. It is written in remembrance for the 100 years’ anniversary of the First World War armistice.  You can find it at this link.

I wanted this poem to sound like a nursery rhyme despite the gruesomeness. For us growing up in the fifties, the First World War was not very far away. My Grandad was a wagonner when the war began. He was called up with his horses. My Mum could remember those horses being dressed in horse ribbons to be paraded through the village before they made their journey to France. Grandad drove a water wagon at the start of the war and a water truck by the end. I don’t know what happened to the horses. I know he lost a brother and, I believe, a brother-in-law, on the Somme. All they told us kids about his experiences in the war was about the lack of clean clothing. And,how each night in the trenches, Grandad and the other soldiers would kill the lice in their vests by running a candle flame up the seams. Each night Grandad would send us to bed with the words, night, night, sleep tight, mind the bed bugs don’t bite. For me as a young child, the memory of killing lice and the poem got mixed up.

Sunday Reflection – Just Listening

There’s a new post on my Lifestyle blog, Your Happiness Factor. It describes how to meditate on sound.
Your Happiness Factor: Sunday Reflection – Just Listening:   When you think about it, it seems strange that so many people use sound to help them sleep. Surely most people prefer silence. But d…

 

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy’s books on Amazon at this link

Happiness is When the Cat Purrs

Happiness – a new post from me on my lifestyle blog; Your Happiness Factor.

Here it is,  Happiness is When the Cat Purrs 

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

Contemplating Not Ruminating

Contemplating Not Ruminating – there’s a new post on my lifestyle blog, Your Happiness Factor, at this link.

Saturday Reflection – Contemplating Not Ruminating.

It talks about the difference between contemplating and ruminating and how ruminating is often a sign of stress.

Stress is a very common experience. Often, I work with clients who feel stressed. Learning how to bring themselves wholly into the present helps them a great deal. In this other post on Your Happiness Factor I explain what I teach them.

Feeling stressed? Learn to be present!

Coaching can help when you feel stressed. If you are thinking about coaching, I would love to talk to you. You can book a free discussion  here.

In the meantime I wish you a very happy weekend

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy’s books on Amazon at this link

Advice to New Leaders

Advice to New Leaders

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

New leaders – leadership is about creating positive change in a group or organization to achieve some long-term objective. It involves having a vision, new leaderssetting goals and knowing how to move  the organization and its people towards them. The key skill for new leaders is learn how to best use your resources. And that includes  your people and using their talents to get you to where you need to be.

As new leaders, you need to be able to show why you should have the authority. Why should you be in that leadership role? To show that you need to understand the organization and the world in which it operates. That way you can win the confidence and trust of the people you will lead. As new leaders you need the best brief you can get. And then you need to ask questions that will show people you are really interested in them and what they are trying to do.

Create more leaders as you go

If you are leading a team, you will need to develop and motivate individuals and groups. It means helping people find meaning and purpose in what they are doing. That is so that they can see it as worthwhile. And as a leader, you have a responsibility to create more leaders throughout you organization. You can do this by setting a positive example.  New leaders succeed by allowing people to learn and develop on the job. And by encouraging them to be proactive. Let them know they really can influence the way the organization achieves success.

If you are the leader, you need to have resilience and be able to overcome obstacles that others would find daunting.  You need to know how to find new solutions and inspire others to do the same thing. Ensure people throughout the organization know that their ideas are welcomed and rewarded.  Help them to have confidence in you, when times are hard.

Be prepared to recognize and reward positive leadership wherever you find it throughout the organization.  Let some of your own power be passed on to those around you.  Just make sure they share your vision and that you have a way to know whether they are staying on the right track.  Accept, as well, that letting go of power means taking risks and being ready to step when things go wrong. That is part of leadership too. Support your emerging new leaders and what you will win is their loyalty. They in turn will support you.

Good luck with your in your new role and get in touch with me if you would like more information about how to succeed.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy’s books on Amazon at this link

Monday Quotes – Leadership

Monday Quotes – Leadership

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

  • “It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.” Adlai leadershipE. Stevenson II
  • “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.” Dolly Parton
  • “Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.” Robert Louis Stevenson
  • “Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men — the other 999 follow women.” Groucho Marx
  • “You have to be burning with “an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right.” If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” Steve Jobs
  • “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” John C. Maxwell
  • “Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.” Colin Powell
  • “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” John F. Kennedy

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy’s books on Amazon at this link

Competency Based Interviews 

Competency Based Interviews  

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Many job search and promotion interviews are now competency based. Competency based interviews provide the interviewer with a quick way to assess whether you have the knowledge, attitudes and skills to do a good job. And competency consists of these three elements;

  • Knowledge – how much you know about something,
  • Attitude – how you approach something
  •  Skills – how good you are at applying your knowledge

A competency based question will usually ask you to take something from your Competency Based Interviews  own experience. This could be, for example, how you managed a difficult situation or how you showed leadership. You will then need to explain how that demonstrated your competency. And the easiest way to do this is to use the STAR format.

Competency Based Interviews  – using the STAR format

The situation, task, action, result (STAR) format may be used by the interviewer to gather all the relevant information about a specific capability that the job requires. But you can use it yourself to help you answer questions.

  • Situation: The interviewer will ask you to describe a recent challenge or situation you encountered. You will need to explain the context; your role and what the work was about.
  • Task: The interviewer will want to know what you needed to do and what you wanted to achieve.  Sometimes you may be asked about a “Target” that you set yourself rather than a “Task.”  This will illustrate the strength of your motivation and, for example, your commitment to self development.
  • Action:  You will need to describe what you did, why and how? Were there alternative actions that you could have taken and why didn’t you choose them.  Set out the steps you took in logical order.
  • Results: What was the outcome? What did you achieve and did you meet your objectives? What did you learn and how have you used that learning since.

Be concise, crisp and clear

Make sure that your answers are concise, crisp and to the point. Be careful not to meander away from the main points. Make sure the interviewer understands the situation and the action you took clearly. Be sure you don’t blame anyone for the problem you faced.

Competency based interviews give you a good opportunity to demonstrate what you can offer to an employer. And they are something for which you can prepare. Read the job specification carefully and identify the competencies required. Then, find examples from your own experience and think them through using the STAR structure above.

Good luck with your interview and get in touch with me if you would like more information about how to succeed at interviews and job search.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy’s books on Amazon at this link

Email Address and Voicemail Message For Job Search

Email Address and Voicemail Message For Job Search

Job Search – Do Your Email Address and Voicemail Message Help Your Job Search?

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Email Address and Voicemail Message For Job Search – your email address and voice mail message are part of your personal brand. They send a message about you to potential employers. When you are applying to jobs you need to make sure that they say the right things.

You should have a professional looking email address and a voice mail message that sounds warm and friendly but also business like. Jokey email addresses, and those which look like they are meant for a family, are not going to work to your advantage. Exactly the same thing goes for your voice mail message . This is not the time for that celebrity voice, nor friendly family greetings or jokes. An employer will consider an unprofessional voicemail message means you are not professional in your approach.

Email Address and Voicemail Message For Job Search – some guidelines

Voicemail message

  1. Before you record your message think about what you are going to say – it can be a good idea to write your message down
  2. Include your name in the message, mention you’re unavailable to answer the phone. Then ask them to leave their name, number and message, and say you will get back to them as soon as possible. (Do that, of course and quickly)
  3. Keep it simple. For example, “Hi, this is Simon Jones. I’m sorry I’m unable to take your call now, but please leave your name, number and message after the tone and I’ll return your call as soon as possible. Thank you.”
  4. Take time and trouble recording your message – find a quiet place with no background noise of any kind
  5. Speak clearly, and sound professional and polite when recording your greeting.
  6. If you want to be taken seriously avoid background noise including the sound of the family, joke messages and any kind of gimmick.

Email address

  1. Consider creating a new email address specifically for your job search. This will help to prioritize your job search emails.
  2. If possible, include your name in your email address, for example firstname.lastname@abc.com. That will make it much easier for a potential employer to find your emails in their inbox or folder.
  3. You could create an email address that corresponds to the work you do or your profession, for example simonjonesprojectmanager@abc.com if is appropriate.
  4. Make sure your email address is as simple, logical and easy to type as possible – long strings of numbers may well generate mistakes. That might mean you lose out on a precious job offer.

Email Address and Voicemail Message For Job Search – your email address and voicemail message are key to your personal brand in your job search. Keep them clear, simple and professional. Then they will increase, not decrease, the chances of you being contacted by an employer.

In job search, paying attention to these small details can greatly improve your prospects of being hired. You are the “brand” so ensure you keep looking and sounding professional. It is up to you to protect yourself. If you would like some more job interview tips or some extra help, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

Looking Professional – Not Your Holiday Photo Please

Looking Professional– Not Your Holiday Photo Please

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Looking professional – have a care with your profile picture. So, there I was sending out invitations to various contacts and I hit on one name I hadn’t seen Looking Professionalfor a while. It was a former colleague. I went to look at her profile to see what she’d been doing recently and, there it was, that same old photo.

Well, you might say, be fair Wendy. There is a certain very flattering photo of you that has been on one website for a very long time. Yes, that is true.  But that isn’t her problem. My old chum has chosen to put on her professional profile, a not very flattering photo taken on holiday. True,  she isn’t looking for work at present. And,  I suppose for her, social media is just a way of keeping in touch.. But what happens when things change?

Think about looking professional

She isn’t the only one, of course, who doesn’t think about looking professional.  I know others who have non-holiday and posed photos on their profile. But, still, they do not look at their best.  Some seem to have been taken with the giggles and others seem to think that looking professional equates to looking grim.

I’m not sure why they have not worked out that looking professional means looking like someone you would want to work with or do business with.

On top of that, remember, that these days potential employers may search social media for more information about you.  Those photos you are tagged in that were taken on the “stag” or “hen” do in Benidorm are not going to work to your advantage.

So,  why not carry out an internet search on your name and check that what comes up promotes your professional “brand”.  Anything that doesn’t  see if you can delete it, or at least, remove the tags!

And in future guard pictures of you that appear on-line quite carefully. You never know what potential employer may be watching. Don’t let your photo “mistakes” come back to haunt you.

In job search and career development you are the “brand” so ensure you keep looking professional. It is up to you to protect yourself. If you would like some more job interview tips or some extra help, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link