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

         

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

What Kind Of Leader Are You?

What Kind Of Leader Are You?

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

What Kind Of Leader Are You? Well, let me ask you a question. If you had a choice, what kind of person would you want to follow? It is a good question to ask yourself if you are leader in any capacity. That means from leading a hobby group, a small work team or even a major corporation.

There are some obvious characteristics in our “good leader”, aren’t there? For example, we would all want a leader who acted with integrity. Integrity is the very bedrock of trust and we all hope that we can trust the person who is showing us the way ahead.  As for me, I want to follow someone I believe when they tell me it is safe to take a risk. I’m not going to walk across that rope bridge to a what you tell me is a bright future unless I believe that it really is strong enough to keep me out of the river. Sometimes of course you won’t know any more than I do – but you will certainly know how to find out as much as possible. And you’ll tell me clearly what the facts are and why I should take the risk anyway, if I should.

Of course, we want a leader who has a clear vision of where we are trying to go And their works can paint it so that we can see the destination too. We want someone who can paint the future in colours that lead us to have enough faith to step out with them. We need a message that gets us all turning in the same direction – marching along together. The vision needs to be bright enough to illuminate the way.

What Kind Of Leader Are You?

Most of us would like to follow a leader who wasn’t working for their own ends but for ours. That is a servant leader who is prepared to act with compassion. John Maxwell put it this way: “Servant-leaders never pursue a mission at the expense of their people. Rather, servant-leaders earn the loyalty and best efforts of their people by serving the interests and investing in the development of those they lead. A servant-leader wants to see others succeed.”

Good leaders know that they’re only as good as the people who support them. They invest time and energy in ensuring the well-being and success of their team.

So, what kind of leader are you? Are you demonstrating integrity, vision and compassion? If not, what changes do you plan to make? You will need to change something won’t you? That is if you are serious about your career and expect others to follow you.

If you would like some help in developing your leadership skills please get in touch. Good leaders are modest enough to know that working with a coach really can make a difference.
Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

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

 

What is leadership

Leadership – What is leadership and have you got it?

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

What is leadership – well, what do you think? The whole world seems to be talking about leadership right now.  How good is it? How bad is it? How to improve it?  But let us think a little about what it is.

At its most basic, leadership is simply one person leading another.  Think of someone in a blindfold being led by another.  If that is going to work, the person doing the leading needs to have some idea where they are going. They need to have some conception of the obstacles on the way and how to overcome them.  Of course,  the person doing the leading needs to be able to inspire confidence in the person being led.  That confidence needs to be strong enough for them at least to take the first step.

What is leadership  in organizations?

Leadership in organizations is the same really.  A leader sees a problem that needs to be fixed or a goal that needs to be achieved. It could be something that no one else sees or something that no one else wants to see because the sight is uncomfortable. But whatever it is, it becomes the focus of the leader’s attention and they set out with determination to deal with it or to achieve it.  Then of course the leader needs to be able to bring others along with them.

This kind of leadership can be at any level in an organization.  Most successful organizations today recognize that and set up systems which empower leaders at all levels.  With information technology it is easy to give people throughout an organization the information they need to become leaders and the tools to lead.  But of course if this is to work well, leadership does need to start at the top. Then leaders throughout the organization will set out in the same direction, supporting each other. They will not be tripping each other up.

If you are supposed to “lead” your organization how a good a job are you doing at setting out a clear vision for the future?  Do the other leaders throughout your organization know where you are going so that they can lead in the same direction?  Do they have the knowledge and information to take your vision forward? If not you have a problem. What are you going to do about it?

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

Giving Feedback to an Unsuccessful Candidate

Giving Feedback to an Unsuccessful Candidate

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

Giving feedback – in all kinds of situations you may need to give feedback to someone about something they have said or done. This could be an employee, a work colleague or a business partner. Here the  advice is targetted at giving feedback to an unsuccessful candidate. But most of the advice holds good in other work situations.

1. Prepare for the discussion. Be clear about what you want to say and make sure you can support it with evidence.
2. During the discussion think before you speak! Don’t make ad hoc remarks that imply, for example, that you personally would have made a different decision.
3. Stay positive. This doesn’t mean not giving constructive criticism about gaps but do make sure you balance criticisms with clarity about what you did like.
4. Be specific. Avoid general comments and try to be as clear and simple as you can!
5. Focus on evidence presented of competence and not the person and their personality.
6. Stay in the neutral ground emotionally but accept that it is reasonable for the candidate to feel disappointed.
7. Own the feedback. If you have been part of the interviewing panel, then own the feedback, it is about “we” not about “the panel.”
8. Empathize. Always put yourself in the other person’s shoes! Think how you would feel receiving the same information! No room here for humiliation!

Giving feedback – are you advising a job seeker?

Are they stuck in their job search? Have they have been out of the job market for a while? There are new techniques to learn and some they will need to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket book.

giving feedback
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL

Remember working with a career coach can really help job search. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book your free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy Smith now at this Link 

Leading Teams Through Conflict

Leading Teams Through Conflict

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of How To Get On With The Boss and The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

Leading Teams Through Conflict – when a new group comes together all kinds of tensions may arise. Team members will begin to debate how to go forward. What are the priorities going to be?  Who is going to take which role in the team? What systems and processes will you put in place? At this point your leadership skills are important.

Differences of opinion and beliefs can lead to conflict. And team members may begin to jockey for position. Power struggles can break out, particularly if you have a number of strong personalities vying to lead. They may begin to challenge you as group leader. And cliques may form. 

Leading Teams Through Conflict – where to start

So what can you do? The team needs to be focused on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationship and emotional issues. Some compromises will need to be made. You will need to help them find the middle ground. 

A good way to start is to make sure that all are clear about the goal. Show them the real benefits of what you are trying to do. There needs to be lots of communication. The group has to understand the importance of the task, the processes needed and their roles. 

If all is going well, the group will move on to agree some “norms” for working together.

If you still have tensions

But, if you still have tensions, set down the ground rules for group behaviour.  Get the group to agree that they should treat each other with respect. You will need to keep a close eye on the debate. If it is about ideas, that is a good sign and they can be left to work it out if time allows. But, if the debate becomes personal then you will need to intervene. Don’t suppress conflict completely because the group will stagnate. They will not learn to work together very well if you suppress debate. This is where planning social events can help. These give people an opportunity to see each other in a more rounded way. 

If necessary, tighten up the goals and targets. Get the group to focus very sharply upon them. Make sure they understand the benefits which will be lost if people are not ready to compromise and reach agreement. If cliques have formed, try putting people to work with others outside their chosen subgroup. This is so that new relationships can be established. 

With your leadership, the team will come together and meet their goals. 

Other resources to help you

You will find lots of other tips on team leadership on my blog. Try this link.”

Leading Teams Through Conflict
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

If you are looking for a new job, you can find help for your job search in the “The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book: How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters.” Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL .

Remember working with a career coach can really help you be successful. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype. Meanwhile I wish you every success in your job search.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

 

Job Interview – Say Thank You After

Job Interview – Say Thank You After

job interviewJob Interview – say thank you after by email, letter or even by text but you can’t avoid it.  It has become so much of a custom that some employers think less of you, if you don’t do it.

Send your thanks within 24 hours of being interviewed, if you can, and you need to tailor your letter it to suit the organization!  The style should reflect the kind of organization and the type of interview you’ve had; a formal process requires a formal response.

If you are not sure what to write, then you can use a thank you letter template as a guide.

Your letter is a chance to emphasize what a good fit you are for the job.  Even, if you have decided the organization is not one you want to join, still send polite thanks. Who knows what the future holds?

You can use the letter to reinforce what a good fit you are for the job, now that you know more about it.  And your letter is a good opportunity to flag up things they need to know but didn’t ask at the interview. You can add what you didn’t mention or make something clearer.

If you have some information that might be useful to them or thoughts on helping to solve an issue they raised, that can make you to stand out from the crowd.

Some people recommend writing to everyone you spoke to in the organization. But, personally, I prefer to write to the person who is leading job search within the organization.

Remember to proof-read your letter carefully – nothing is more off-putting than reading a letter from a candidate that includes typos. If you are not sure of the spelling of names and the correct titles, then ring the organization to check.

Timing comes before creative brilliance – get your letter in as soon as you can – most organizations make their minds up about interviewees pretty quickly.

Working with a coach really can make your job search zing! Get in touch at the email address below.
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

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

         

Bringing in a new team leader

Team Work – bringing in a new team leader

Bringing in a new team leaderThere will be times when you need to bring in a new team leader. This can disrupt an existing team and impact on their performance. Here are some tips for a smooth transition.

Has your existing team leader had to leave suddenly?  Perhaps they have found a better opportunity elsewhere?  You might have decided it was time to make a change? Whatever the reason, now, you have to bring in someone new to lead the team.

The top priority is to explain what is happening. You don’t want to paint the old leader in a negative light – you know there are loyalties. But you want them to accept the change and the new leader.  Here are some top tips for bringing in a new team leader.

  1. Give the team a clear and honest explanation for the change. If things have not been going well, be careful about attributing any failure specifically to the old team leader. But you can be clear about why a new approach is needed. Then emphasize the background and experience of the new team leader.
  2. Honor the past. If good progress has been made and the old team leader left on good terms, there is something to celebrate. This should be done as part of the change to the new team leader. Again, if the old team leader has been taken ill, it is important to recognize the contribution that they, and the team, have made so far.
  3. Tell the team about the new team leader before they arrive. Give them as much information as you can on why this person has been chosen. Show that that both the team and the new team leader have your confidence. Make sure the team are clear about their roles and your expectations.
  4. Make introductions. When the new team leader arrives introduce them to the team yourself. It is great if this can be over coffee or lunch so that there is an opportunity for some informal chat as well as formal introductions.
  5. Have an induction program. Make sure someone takes responsibility for showing the new team leader round. If you want to minimize any glitch in performance make sure that there is an induction program. The new leader needs to meet key people and know why they are important.
  6. Follow-up. Remember to check back. Don’t wait for the next formal board or project meeting to find out how the new leader is settling in. A short phone call from you asking how the new team leader is settling in will make them feel them feel appreciated. It will also give you early warning if all is not going well. Touch base with the team themselves sometimes to show you haven’t abandoned them. But be careful not to undermine the new team leader when you do it.

If you need support transitioning between team leaders, get in touch. Working with a coach can help a team make the change without disruption.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

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

         

How do people engage at work?

How do people engage at work?

How do people engage at work? Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Kingston University Business School’s Centre for Research in Employment, Skills and Society (CRESS) has shown that people engage for vastly different reasons. The research has emphasized the distinction between people who do their job mainly to earn a living and others whose emotional attachment is much wider. Their engagement can extend to the organization itself and to colleagues, line managers and customers.

Those engaged primarily with their jobs may well enjoy and take pride in their individual work. But they just want to do it and get on with rest of their lives. It is interesting that the study found that these people who are mainly interested in the technicalities of own work (transactionally engaged) report higher levels of stress. They seem to have more difficulties in achieving a work-life balance than those who are emotionally engaged with the organization.

It can become more complicated when, for example. someone is emotionally engaged mainly with their profession and perhaps even their clients. However they are only transactionally engaged with their current role and the current organisation.

This presents some interesting challenges for those leading change. How they communicate about the change to meet the needs of such a complicated audience.

A change that is being made for the perceivable good of the organization is more likely to be supported by someone emotionally engaged with that organization. The well being of colleagues may well be will be seen to be a priority and so will a clear commitment to manage the change well.

However, a change that threatens the work of an individual who is transactionally engaged may present a much greater risk. Most change managers have encountered the committed and brilliant technical specialist who decides they have no alternative but to subvert a change for the good of their work.So how can you respond?

Well, for a start you need to understand your group. Have a care with the results of engagement surveys which may not distinguish between different kinds of engagement.

What kind of people are in your group and what kind of work do they do? Walk the talk – get out there and meet them. Have conversations and be prepared to listen and to deal with feelings and anxiety.

When you communicate the change be aware that the impact will be different for different kinds of people. Take those different needs into account when you are planning the message. Then recognize the risk that different kinds of engagement might present. If your change threatens the organization itself then you need to manage the risk that presents for those committed to it. But handled the right way they will come with you on the journey.

Those committed mainly just to the job may well simply remove themselves. You risk losing their precious technical skills if they can see nothing in the change for them. If their skills are critical to the organization you may need to consider incentives to stay. These could range from money to opportunities for professional development or even enhanced technical facilities.

As with all change programs, success lies with inspiring people to follow the vision. But that inspiration may come with different strokes for very different kinds of folks

If you need the support of a coach in developing your career as change leader or change manager, then get in touch.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

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