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Leadership

It’s estimated that around 75% of change initiatives fail. A failed or interrupted change program is really just disruption. Disruption is costly –  to the bottom line and to the emotions, energy and engagement of all involved.

Change fails because we start in the wrong place

Most change programs start with a reaction – to the market, to what is happening “out there.” Senior management or HR departments see other companies doing this or that and decide, “that’s where we need to be. Let’s get a plan together, let’s add some targets – some carrots and sticks – and let’s get our leaders to sell this vision.”

Wikipedia summarises the literature more formally:

“Regardless of the many types of organizational change, the critical aspect is a company’s ability to win the buy-in of their organization’s employees on the change. Effectively managing organizational change is a four-step process:
1. Recognizing the changes in the broader business environment
2. Developing the necessary adjustments for their company’s needs
3. Training their employees on the appropriate changes
4. Winning the support of the employees with the persuasiveness of the appropriate adjustments”

Change fails because it’s reactive and focused on selling a vision

Vision is incredibly motivating in getting us to move from where we are to where we really want or need to be. But you need to know EXACTLY WHERE you are starting from.

Imagine finding yourself in a strange city where you can’t speak the language, or read the signs, and you’re hungry. You find a wonderful restaurant on Google maps but GPS can’t locate where you are. Knowing where you want to be, and being highly motivated to get there, is not going to help.

For lasting change you have to start with the present – where you are right now

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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Motivation – it’s time to kill those sacred cows

Motivation – it’s time to kill those sacred cows

by Moyra Mackie on November 14, 2014

We know what motivates people at work.  We’ve known for a really long time and we’ve got an increasing amount of science to back it up.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that this knowledge is rarely passed on at school, not taught on business school programs and only occasionally encouraged and rewarded in companies.

Carrots, sticks and sacred cows

Organisations cling to policies, processes and habits that actively undermine or distort motivation and kill engagement.  Here are just a few:

  • Individual bonuses, prizes or incentives
  • Written performance appraisals
  • Forced or stacked ranking
  • Hot desking
  • Travel bans
  • Infrequent one-to-one meetings
  • Lack of verbal feedback

It’s by no means an exhaustive list but it would be helpful if you notice how you react to certain items – which ones are your sacred cows?

Have you ever thought what it would be like to get rid of those things?

The problem with the first three items on the list is that they are extrinsic motivators – carrots and sticks.  Each one involves an element of win/lose.  Temporarily motivating the “winners” and de-motivating the “losers”.

What we really want to foster is intrinsic motivation, which must not involve a sense of winning and losing

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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Close encounters with elephant:  A lesson in leadership

Close encounters with elephant: A lesson in leadership

by Moyra Mackie on September 20, 2014

“The role of a great guide is to get clients as close to the animals without fear.”

Said the man on the right of this picture as he described Nic Polenakis, (centre above) a Zimbabwe guide selected by National Geographic Traveler as one of the “10 Great Tour Guides Who Can Transform Your Trip”.

Watching Nic in action certainly transformed my trip, giving a demonstration of leadership in action

Zimbabwe guides hold Professional Guides Licences, one of the most difficult, extensive and well-respected qualifications of its type in Africa.  Qualifying takes 4-5 years, including 2 years’ apprenticeship with another pro guide and a 2 day written exam.  The pass rate is around 5%.

I confess that in the moment that we came across that bull elephant standing between us and our tented room, the only thing that mattered was how Nic handled the tension – ours and the elephant’s.

Leadership is about how you show up

I had only met Nic an hour before, but I trusted him implicitly.  His rigorous training and extensive experience gave him the courage to handle our fear. He easily modelled the way he needed us to respond. read more…

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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In praise of gatekeepers

In praise of gatekeepers

by Moyra Mackie on August 16, 2014

Whenever you see managers who are really leading, who are able to prioritize their time and focus on the strategic and people aspect of the role, the chances are they have a great gatekeeper working for them.

Whether you call these gatekeepers Chiefs of Staff, Personal Assistants or – not a favourite word of mine – “admins”, they are essential to the high performance of their bosses.

Gatekeepers help managers to lead

In the fifteen years or more that I have been helping managers and their teams, I believe that I can predict how able a manager is to adjust to change by the quality of the gatekeeper who works for him or her.

After all, in a change process you need to protect and manage your time in order to focus on new ways of doing things and not fall into old, easy habits.  Whoever has control of your diary has the power to make or break that change.

Great gatekeepers show great leadership

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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The most important hour in every manager’s day

The most important hour in every manager’s day

by Moyra Mackie on July 26, 2014

Do you manage a team but feel you never have time for everything you have to do?

Are you concerned that your team doesn’t really seem to be a cohesive, aligned team?

Do you have someone in your team who just doesn’t seem to “get it”?

Did you know that there’s a  really simple solution to address these and most other managerial challenges?

Have regular one to ones with every one of your team

Yes really, it’s that simple. If you’re a manager you should be spending an hour a week with all your direct reports.

Surely one to ones can’t solve all my managerial headaches?

If done properly – and we’ll come to that later – your one to ones are precious moments to:

If all of those things are being nurtured on a weekly basis, most of your managerial headaches will subside.  And those that don’t, can usually be helped by making sure YOU have regular one to ones with YOUR boss.

But an hour a week! Does it really have to be that often?

read more…

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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In the absence of other metrics on leadership effectiveness, let’s take employee engagement levels as a way of working out how well managers are leading.

Given that record numbers of staff are disengaged, we can safely say that current leaders are failing on a massive scale.

But what to do about it?

Spend on leadership development continues to rise.  Yet according to many surveys, including a summary of research by the Corporate Research Forum, dissatisfaction with results is also on the rise.

From the mountains of research and 15 years of helping organisations to develop leaders and their teams, I would summarise the reasons as follows:

  • A confusion with the difference between training and learning
  • Too much or too little “classroom” learning
  • No scope for individualised learning tracks
  • Lack of management buy-in and involvement
  • Too much focus on strategy and not enough on measurable skills
  • Inconsistent follow through
  • Lack of focus on the science of change

The red herring in the room: 70:20:10

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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Are you and the people who work with you engaged?

When I say “engaged”,  are you engaged as in focused and connected with others? Or are you engaged as in busy, behind locked doors, not available?

Being available?  Is that not touchy-feely stuff?

The hard facts are that Gallup has just analysed 25 million responses to their employee engagement survey and found:

“Of the 100 million people in America who hold full-time jobs,  30% are engaged and inspired at work, so we can assume they have a great boss.

At the other end of the spectrum are roughly 20 million (20%) employees who are actively disengaged. These employees, who have bosses from hell that make them miserable, roam the halls spreading discontent.

The other 50% of American workers are not engaged. They’re just kind of present, but not inspired by their work or their managers.”

See what happened there? It’s not about employee engagement it’s about leaders

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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Accelerate your leadership development

Accelerate your leadership development

by Moyra Mackie on May 3, 2014

Leadership development matters

If every manager has a team of six or eight direct reports, it’s easy to see how many people can be motivated by effective leaders or demotivated when they are neither led nor managed.

Effective leaders develop high performing teams that produce results.  Ineffective leaders manage disengaged teams.

Disengaged teams are sadly more common than high-performing ones, leading to lower productivity, more sicknesses and absences and higher turnover.

Increasing engagement means improving leadership skills

Which is why I am so proud of the leadership development program the team at Mackie Consulting has created.

The design principles underpinning the program are that leaders need to:

We believe that training doesn’t work, learning does

Watch the video below to find out more.

Then contact me to find out how Mackie Consulting can help your managers achieve leadership excellence.

 

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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How kids build our leadership muscles

How kids build our leadership muscles

by Moyra Mackie on April 5, 2014

This weekend my eldest son turns eighteen.  So I’m in reflective mode.

Of course it makes me feel OLD.  And I’m asking myself, “How on earth did that happen?  How can I be the mother to an adult when I still feel like I’m finding my way?”

It makes me think that the most important leadership role we ever take on is the one we have as a parent

Just like leading in corporate life, we get a real live person to take care of without a manual, a training course or a coach to help us out.
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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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The three things every great boss does

The three things every great boss does

by Moyra Mackie on March 22, 2014

It’s not rocket science this leadership stuff. Admittedly there’s a bit of science that comes in handy.

Like the science of how to motivate people

And it’s not what you think. Whilst money matters, we’ve got seventy so years of research showing that bonuses contribute to the quality of work going down and risk taking going up. Sound at all familiar?

So away from the science, what can you do that is guaranteed to improve your effectiveness as a leader of people?

And I do mean people. Not resources, or human capital.

In order for people to be resourceful they need these three things from their boss:

Great bosses make these three things a habit

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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