Monday, February 24, 2014

Resource for Team Leaders : Teams365 Blog

This year I have embarked on a new blogging adventure - the Teams365 blog. The blog is geared for
team leaders and team members. Every day during 2014 I will be posting a question, quotation or other resource to stimulate thinking and action for teams and team leaders to do their best.

You can follow along daily at our Potentials Realized Facebook page, or follow the Teams365 blog at our Potentials Realized site.

Here are some of the most popular recent posts:

Team Leader Behaviors that Build Trust (a five minute audio). Click to listen in here.

Posts around teams and strengths: Read them here.

10 Essential Teamwork Skills - Read them here.



I will continue to post several times at month at this blog, and  if you are interested to join us for the daily Teams 365 blog posts during 2014.

Enjoy!

Best wishes,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPT
Potentials Realized - Leadership and Team Development, Coaching, Retreats
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Email us to find out how we can support you and your team in getting your best results through coaching, training or a retreat program
(416)996-TEAM (8326)




Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Leadership a - z : V is for Vision


Creating a shared vision in your team is part of the foundation of any high-performing team. What is the vision for your team?



"There is no more powerful engine driving an organization toward excellence and long-range success than an attractive, worthwhile, achievable vision for the future, widely shared."
— Burt Nanus, Visionary Leadership

Vision work can be foundational to a staff retreat, or strategic planning process.

As Seneca wrote centuries ago,

 “To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind.”

  
Questions to consider when exploring vision with your team:
  • What do we want to be known for?
  • If we could not fail, what would we accomplish?
  • What values underpin our work - customer service, integrity
  • What are our major goals?
  • In order to achieve our vision, what do we need to say no to?
  • What is the core of our vision?
  •  
At your next staff meeting, it may be useful to have some dialogue around your vision as a team. How does this connect with, and support, organizational goals and strategies?

What's that compelling vision for your work, which will pull you through the peaks and valleys of business today?

With best wishes,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching and From One to Many: Best Practices of Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Phone: (416)996-TEAM
Learn more about our retreat and leadership development offerings and support 

Visit our daily tips for teams and team leaders at the Teams 365 blog
 
As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training. 






 

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Leadership a-z: U is for what makes you Unique



We each bring our own uniqueness as a leader. Becoming more self-aware of who we are, what be excel in and how we need to adapt to the things we don’t do so well, is an important part of emotional intelligence. As we have seen in other posts, EI is a critical skill set for leaders.

How do we explore what makes us unique?

Some of the things that make us who we are include:
1. Our values - What are the things you hold as important?
What are the things you will go to bat for - integrity, quality, excellence? We sometimes become aware of our values when they are compromised or stepped on.

2. Our strengths - I’ve written past posts on Strengths and working with strengths on your team. You can read them here.

Gallup outlines the business case for working with strengths. As Marcus Buckingham states, “Team members who are encouraged to use their strengths regularly at work are

  • 38% more likely to be highly productive
  • 44% more likely to have high customer satisfaction scores
  • 50% more likely to have high employee retention” (http://www.tmbc.com/offer/strengths)

What would that translate to your organization?

Exploring strengths can be done using a couple of online assessments, including:

1. Via Strengths - Emerging out of the positive psychology movement, the VIA Strengths Profile has been taken by millions around the world. IT will identify some of your top signature strengths. It is a free online assessment

2. StrengthsFinder - I widely encourage leaders to look at StrengthsFinder 2.0 as a great resource to invest in in their team as it provides an important conversation starter at the team and organiatonal level. It is also linked into Strengths Based Leadership Model. You can learn more about the assessment here.

The more aware we are of our own strengths and others the more we can leverage them with the leadership and team context.

3. Explore styles - A third way to open the dialogue about uniqueness for yourself and/or team members is exploring styles. I continue to do a lot of work using the Everything DiSC suite of tools. The 363 for Leaders provides a useful 360 along the leadership vein. The Everything DiSC Work of Leaders also provides valuable feedback on leadership styles when we lead MANY. Contact us for more information.

Activity:
Select one of the assessments/tools identified in today’s blog post. Complete it. 
What do you recognize about what makes you unique as a leader?
What have you learned from this process?
Consider what adaptations you can make, and want to make, in becoming more effective in your interactions.

Have a great week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching and From One to Many: Best Practices of Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Phone: (416)996-TEAM
Learn more about our retreat and leadership development offerings and support 

Visit our daily tips for teams and team leaders at the Teams 365 blog
 
As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training. 


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Leadership a-z: T is for Time Management



Doing more with less is a key mantra of today’s business context. At the same time, most of us are
Time Management Wordle - Jennifer Britton, 2014
inundated with email.

Consider these factoids:

  • Managers may spend up to 40% of their time in managing email - more than 2.5 or 3 hours a day (hamsterrevolution.com)
  • You may face up to 56 interruptions per day (read the article from Wendy Cole in Time)
  • Information overwhelm - Today an issue of the New York Times contains more information than the average person was likely to encounter in their lifetime during the 17th century (Elaine Biech, 2007)


What are the implications for leaders? A constant barrage of information and communication, and the potential to quickly become overwhelmed with information and communication.

Today’s post provides four tips for time  management:
1. Know where your time actually goes. A lot of us “think” we know where we spend our time, when in fact it many not be representative of really where our time is being spent. A tool I share with leaders I coach is the Time Tracker. For the span of a week (or longer if your schedule varies greatly) track where your time is going. It may be useful to do this in 15 or 30 min increments. Electronically or on paper, note each block and categorize it into common categories (meetings, commuting, email, time with staff, reporting, relationship management etc). At the end of the week, summarize where you have spent your time.
As you review your schedule that week ask yourself:

  • What do you notice?
  • Where are you spending the bulk of your time?
  • What results are you getting from this? (Consdier the 80/20 rule in this context)
  • What changes are needed to support you in maximizing your productivity?


2. Prioritize - In a recent post, Leadership A-Z p is for prioritization, I shared four tools for prioritization. We have a fixed amount of time, so it is important to consider what really key in our work. The four tools I explored in the post include:
1. The Urgent/Important Matrix
2. the 80/20 Rule
3. Prioritization Matrix
4. Strategic Issues Mapping

These tools may be useful in supporting you towards more effective time management

3. Delegate - Delegation is critical for any leader’s success. Taking a look at your priorities, what are the things you really need to do and what can be handed off to others.
A recent blog post addressed the topic of delegation - which you can read here.
What tasks do you want to delegate?
 
4. Manage Interruptions: 
  Every time we get interrupted we need to stop what we are doing, refocus, and then start up again. We often don’t factor in the cost of “start up” again. While we may not be able to completely erase interruptions, we are able to manage them more effectively.

Some possible options for managing interruptions include:
- Keep an interruption log - like your time in general, where do your intrruptions come from. Which ones are “really important, and couldn’t be handled any other way”
- Create a dedicated focus time - this may require a change to the way you work. What time of day could you “close your door” for a centralized focus time. Communicating this time to other team members, or instituting it organization wide, can support more focused work, which may in fact shorten the time it takes you to get things done.
- Schedule times when you will check email and/or the phone. Depending on your role, email may be a constant interruption. It may be useful to experiment with creating dedicated email time, and turning it off at others. Communicate this to others so that they are aware that you will not be available or online at certain times.

A 2005 article by Spirex and Feintuch of BASEX estimates that interruptions consume 28% of a “knowledge workers” day, a cost of $588 Billion a year in the US (estimating a 28 Billion lost person hours and a cost per hour of $21/per worker). You can link to their article here.

Consider these questions:
What is the cost of interruptions in your day? 
Which type of interruptions do you face?
What approaches can you use to minimize interruptions?

Which of these four areas is priority for you? What resources would you recommend to others?

Best wishes,
Jennifer


Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching and From One to Many: Best Practices of Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Phone: (416)996-TEAM
Learn more about our retreat and leadership development offerings and support 

Visit our daily tips for teams and team leaders at the Teams 365 blog
 
As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training.