Book Review - Coach Wooden's Leadership Game Plan...
"Each member of your team has the potential for personal greatness; the leader's job is to help them achieve it." - JOHN WOODEN
A classic that deserves far more attention, this book will be of interest to managers and leaders in any organisation. Practicing character-based leadership before the term was invented, John Wooden consistently led his legendary teams to victory and has since taught countless business leaders his fundamentals for achieving and sustaining success.
Wooden reminds us of the fundamentals that underpin success which we so often forget in the busyness of getting on with what seems important in the moment.
It was a delight to go back and review this book - it is good and it is easy to read.
We highly recommend you read the review to get a feel for this masterpiece.
Regardless of their actual success, the vast majority of organisations are driven to increase productivity in the workplace. Innovation is the buzzword, as they constantly seek new ways to do the same thing better (differently, more accurately, faster, cheaper, safer, etc). The question that comes to mind: what motivates staff to consistently perform better – whether it is the task of production or the task of supervision?
Countless studies leave no doubt that engaged employees are productive, and perform better. Harter and team in a meta study of 32,394 business/work units, with a combined workforce of just under one million people found:
- an 18% drop in productivity between top and bottom performers; and - a 60% drop in quality (measured by defects in products).
So we asked the question: what are the drivers for better engagement? Our answer: personal alignment with purpose and appreciation. Get these two right and the rest will follow.
1. Personal alignment with purpose “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” Friedrich Nietzsche
We have a capacity to endure hardship if it aligns with our personal purpose. Athletes and adventurers are regularly demonstrating enormous capacity to repeatedly suffer pain and sacrifice, to achieve their goals. Simon Senek (How great leaders inspire action) has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership, all starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?" (we recommend you take a look at Simon on the TED website - www.ted.com).
2. Appreciation “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Theodore Roosevelt
Appreciation is about valuing individuals as a person (done correctly it is making them feel worthy) and acknowledgement.
There is much in literature about caring teams, bosses etc, however a very recent study by Dan Ariely (What makes us feel good about our work?), gives hard evidence on Acknowlegement. In a telling experiment, three groups of people were asked to select paired letters from a random group on a page. The setup was:
Group 1: Wrote their name on the front of the page and when completed the supervisor gave acknowledgement with a “huh huh” before placing it on the table;
Group 2: No name on the sheet and when completed the supervisor placed it on the table silently; and
Group 3: No name and when completed the supervisor shredded the sheet in front of the person.
As would be expected, the group whose work was shredded stopped way before the group whose work was acknowledged (that is, Group 1 kept on working for less money than Group 3). Now Group 3 could have cheated, (obviously no-one was looking at their work, so why not just go through the motions). The interesting thing is Group 2 pulled up at almost the same time as Group 3. Acknowledgement proved to be as powerful motivator as meaning.
We do suggest you hop onto the TED website and look at the recently released video of Dan explaining his work in this area.
Eric Beinhocker from McKinseys suggests barriers to effective performance are deeply rooted in the Inflexibility in the mental models of their managers and organisational complexity, driven by the demands of execution. Over the years we have developed simple procedures which assist teams perform more effectively. These are summarised below.
1. Casading goals and actions aligned with strategy As noted above, people need meaning. Lack of visibility about purpose and outcomes is a big one. Linking strategy directly with performance assists to break down the whisper system, which has outcomes distorted by the time they hit the factory floor. We cascade the plans at each level of the organisation to arrive at a Work Plan on an individual level.
2. Team monitoring tools and processes Through provision of supporting implementation tools and processes, we measure the success of each initiative that supports the strategy providing tangible facts to work with. Our shift is to monitor INPUTS and IMPACTS - far too many teams are focused only on outputs and miss the importance of inputs. As any sports coach will tell you; "winning is a function of the quality of your inputs - in training and on the day".
3. Selective Behaviour Modelling™ to forge winning behaviours Many training programs frame their definition of success in terms of “things we want people to know” rather than “behaviour we want to see.” (McKinsey Quarterly, May 2010). Effective performance however, is as much a function of the right behaviours as it is the knowledge people have.
SBM™ enables a team to review on mass and instill concrete, specific behaviours. It provides real-time, behaviour focused outcomes with strong empirical evidencee
4. Team communication procedures Unfortunately 80% of meetings waste enormous amount of people's time through poor structure and disciplines. Our meeting formats have demonstrated improved satisfaction and individual delivery effectiveness.
The Gibb River Challenge - supporting Royal Flying Doctors
By the time you receive this email both David Hanlon and Jill Rigney will be on their way to complete the Gibb River Challenge in support of the Royal Flying Doctors Service.
This is a 700km mountain bike challenge from Derby in WA to El Questro Station along the Gibb River Road. It will be challenging however we are sure it will also be a lot of fun (there will be stories to tell!!) and it is in aid of a most wonderful organisation which we at TRM enjoy supporting on an annual basis.
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