Saturday, 31 December 2011


Noble Leadership Message for 2012

We hope you are enjoying a peaceful break from the workplace and that your return in 2012 will be filled with much positive inspiration, success and fulfilment.
A fresh start, a new beginning, the New Year is full of possibilities. With New Year’s resolutions in mind, we have selected some Aspirations that you may care to consider as a Resolution to be implemented in 2012.
Remember that Noble Inspirational Leaders:
ü  Give Hope to Others
ü  Share themselves with others
ü  Clearly demonstrate the Values to which they aspire particularly under the most demanding conditions

We urge you to consider these as your options for a New Year Resolution.
During 2011we expanded our Programs and our delivery options. Our range now includes Self-Leadership workshops and programs for individuals, teams and in-house executive groups. Our new focus for 2012 will be on Change in the Workplace and how individuals can not only survive but also thrive in what is now a constant changing environment.
Within this constancy of change many people will lose their sense of motivation and even lose their sense of belonging in their organisations.
Our Programs can help both organisations and individuals reaffirm their roles and their values and become even more productive than before.
On behalf of Bruno and I and all of us involved in the Noble Leadership Programs we wish you a most Rewarding and Fulfilling New Year.

Anthony Foster & Bruno D’Aprano

Monday, 12 December 2011

Qualities of a Noble Leader-Integrity

There are many qualities of a Noble Inspirational Leader but in this article we are going to focus on only the one quality. This is called Integrity.

It is a much used word in the business world and also the political world but when we want to look at the environment in which we can least find that quality then of course we only have to look into those places. Integrity is often spoken about but not very often practiced.

So where does it begin and how does one get to it. Where can start from various points to achieve any objective and in this case we will start with the ideal of being Authentic.

The basis of Trust can be founded in Authenticity because if one is not truly Authentic then it will be very difficult to generate Trust in the eyes and minds of others. The absence of Trust and the failure to be Authentic will result in the loss of Integrity.

As a Leader you can see that this is a very simple equation and it can be measured in a variety of circumstances. There has been extensive research to show the reasons why most people leave organisations. In simple terms most people leave because of their Boss or their Leader. They do not like their Boss, they do not like the way they work and they do not like the way their Boss makes them feel. The complaints are all about communication and treatment. Failure to be trusted, failure to be accepted as an equal, failure to be respected, failure to become a part of the team, lack of inclusion and lack of understanding. These are just some of the complaints as to why people leave organisations.

If this is the impact of the Leader on their staff what does it then tell us about that Leader. Firstly it shows that they have failed in a number of key ways. Did they chose the right staff member in the beginning. Did they pay careful attention to the qualities, values and professionalism of the staff member. If the staff member was chosen for all the right reasons then the failure falls on the Leader. They have failed to communicate, failed to inspire and failed to lead the staff member. Usually we can see a track record of poor perfomance of staff

The costs of replacing a lost employee can be staggering. Costs can be as much as 3 times base salary for a mid-level manager amd so it is very important that no only are the right staff selected but most importantly that the right Manager or Leader is in place and they are fully equipped with all the necessary skills.

These are now the top 5 reasons why people leave organisations:

1) Employees feel unrecognised and unappreciated. Employees believe they are not only expendable pawns in the greater game, they believe they don’t even receive a simple “Thank You” when they’ve performed admirably. The lack of appreciation is also often displayed in the level of compensation offered.
2) Employees believe there is little hope for career advancement or career growth. Unlike some years ago, they feel that there are distinct “classes” of employees and many jobs offer little opportunity to advance with their employer or with their career while they remain in this job.
3) Employees believe that their current position is not what it was represented to be during the interview phase. Many employees believe they received an unrealistic or incorrect job description when they applied for their position. Many employees have responded that this was a critical reason they began to test the market again as they felt a general lack of trust in their employer.
4) Employees are overworked and totally stressed out at their jobs. Many people perceive an overwhelming lack of respect for themselves and their work/life balance issues. It is ironic that this perception is one of the primary reasons for leaving employers when so many are publicizing the fact that work/life considerations are a priority for them. Employees, apparently, have decided that, in many cases, this is more rhetoric than fact.
5) Employees perceive a serious lack of coaching and/or mentoring from their employers. Some experts believe this is a classic case of a “perfect storm” situation. The rapidity of technological changes and the focus on short-term success has caused increased competition for the best jobs and the requirement for ever more talented employees. This has spurred the increased need for more feedback, training, and mentoring, which many employees feel is lacking at their current employer. A related common employee complaint is that the majority of feedback they receive is negative in content, neither encouraging nor enlightening.

Trust and rapport with employees is something that takes time to develop. This is especially true if there have been problems in the past. In these instances, the manager must operate while experiencing open and unconcealed mistrust of his or her words and actions. However, trust and rapport can be established, and in certain cases reestablished, by using the guidelines below.

So how can Integrity be established by using the above formula?

A Leader's behavior must be consistent. If they don’t want their motivations questioned, they must treat all of their people equally. Developing consistency can be achieved through:

Setting and Uniformly Applying Equitable Standards

Leader's must establish consistent performance standards that apply to each individual member of their team. The standards must be applied equally to all without favoritism, and all must be evaluated without bias.

Communicating and Providing Feedback

Leader's should be openly and frequently communicating with their employees, sharing insights and expertise and helping them achieve their goals. They must provide frequent feedback regarding their individual performance. Feedback should be based upon facts and free of subjective judgments regarding personal behaviors or attitudes.

Recognizing Performance

Leader's should use the standards they have established as a benchmark and openly recognize the performance of the members of their unit or department. A simple word of acknowledgement and appreciation can go an extremely long way towards maintaining enthusiasm and motivation.

Keeping Commitments

When dealing with subordinates, it is easy to let commitments slide. While many Leader's feel there are no consequences to such actions, if they cannot be counted on to keep their commitments, they cannot be trusted. Their employees’ motivation will suffer, which will then foster a negative and unacceptable atmosphere. Leaders creating these problems for themselves can use the following techniques to help overcome them:
  1. Leaders should think very carefully about each commitment they intend to make. They should make sure adequate time and resources are available to meet the commitment.
  2. Once a commitment is made, Leaders should make sure it is completed both as and when promised.
  3. If a commitment cannot be completed when promised, the Leader should not wait until the last minute but let their employee know as quickly as possible and revise the schedule accordingly.

Developing an Open Management Style

Developing an open and trusting management style might require a shift in thinking and attitude on the part of many managers. This includes:

Remaining Impartial

Before a Leader deals with any employee or situation, they must avoid making rash judgments, eliminate all emotion and gather all pertinent facts.

Trusting Others

Leaders must learn to take employees at their word until the facts prove otherwise. A Leader who cannot trust either his people or customers will in turn fail to earn their trust.

Listening and Being Open

Leaders must be able to listen—not only to gather facts and information, but to hear issues and concerns that may arise with their employees and customers. Listening includes empathizing and showing care and concern about their problems. They must be open to new ideas, concepts, feedback and criticism. Trust is earned when employees and customers understand that the Leader is available and responsive to them.

By following the above Managers and Leaders can be welldevelopment, practice and cultivation of Integrity.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Hardest Hurdle

After many many years of research and thinking I have come to a conclusion that possibly that hardest hurdle for most people is to truly be themselves. What do you think?

Are you really yourself or do you try and play roles in the various aspects of your life. When you think about it we can all see that we do play roles -we play the role of being someones employee, someones employer, someones husband or wife, someones son or daughter, someones friend or colleague. With each of the characters or broad personalities that we adopt to fulfil the expectations in each of these roles we also draw on a range of differing emotions which will dictate our level of involvement.

You could say that in many respects we are like a Chameleon. For some this way of being can be dramatically different in each role but for others the differences may still be very subtle but essentially we are all changing our roles depending on the circumstances and environment.

What happens therefore when we are alone? Do you like being alone and are you comfortable or do you need the company of others to give you a sense of identification?

Many people suffer from emotional loneliness and so they turn to their workplace and their role to provide that meaning in their life. In fact they need to be recognised for the job that they hold. This for them serves as a constant reminder as to who they are. For many people this is very important and it is recognised that in the longer term this may cause psychological difficulties. Why? Because what we do is not who we are and until we find who we are then we will always feel ultimately a lack of self understanding and fulfilment.

So what does it mean to be truly yourself and how do you get there?

One of the first issues to contend is the ability to find self acceptance. Self acceptance is one of the main criteria in finding oneself. When you consider your own self talk or the internal dialogue in which we all indulge you need to watch the words you are saying about yourself. Considering the fact that you are the only listener and it is coming from within you these words can have a very powerful impact because they effect the way you think and feel and essentially you may believe that in spite of what others tell you the fact is that you know yourself better. 

Self acceptance is the first step.

One of the major obstacles in finding self acceptance is the view that we have of ourselves which of often tainted by our past thoughts, actions and failures. We all fail-we all do things the wrong way, we all say the wrong thing at the wrong time and we all do things that we don't really mean. We all hurt others who are often the ones that mean the most to us. Essentially we are not perfect and yet our own internal dialogue delights in the constant reminder that it is because of these things we either do not deserve what we have or in some way we are a fraud.

The first step then to self acceptance is to forgive oneself and to recognise that we are all the same-everyone is the same and no one is really different. We all carry emotional baggage and our internal assassin will not let us forget it. We need therefore to constantly forgive ourselves and every time we find ourselves indulging in this kind of negative self talk we need to stop -breathe in and then clearly in our mind forgive ourselves. Maybe we will need to do this thousands of times but in the end we are becoming the master of our mind and refusing to allow such self talk to influence the way we are.

Rather than constantly tell ourselves that we are a fraud or a failure we need to pay attention to forgiving ourselves because we are human and as such we are all the same. The big secret is that we are all the same and that we all have doubts and uncertainties and now that we know this information we can get on with our lives and become our own Leader by taking the first step towards self acceptance.

With Self Acceptance being the first step then we can move on to the aspect of Forgiveness. Who better to forgive ourselves than us. If we are the one that is constantly self talking in a negative destructive way then we need to change this habit and then this can be achieved by constant forgiveness. By forgiving ourselves we are then creating the environment for greater Self Acceptance.

Having practised Self Acceptance through forgiveness and our deeper understanding as to how to control our self talk we can then begin to see the impact that this has had in the past on our emotions and our lives. We can now turn this around so that instead of our way of being and thinking having a detrimental effect on us we can now use the same methodology to improve our lives and to therefore begin to see a bit more clearly the way to be truly our self.

When we can accept ourselves for what we truly are in this fashion then we are well on the way to overcoming this first great hurdle to better self awareness.