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Take time out to recharge and tap into new ideas



Following our last blog on the power of self-reflection, I recently took a day out of work to hear from three highly respected business management gurus: 

  • Jim Collins, Good to Great
  • Liz Wiseman, Multipliers
  • Verne Hamish, Scaling Up

Whilst all the speakers had fantastic evidenced based management and leadership key messages, I became aware that what really matters is what we are ready to hear, share and translate back into our own workplace and leadership style – when we get back to the office.

My questions to you are:

  • We can all have lots of great new ideas, so how are we going to implement them?
  • What will we need to do differently and what habits will we need to change?
  • How can we have the most impact for change as a manager or leader within our existing role?

Attending this stimulating event I found myself listening, learning and reflecting on myself, my own business and our clients. Building an organisation or leading a large division can be exciting however it is also hard work so an alignment between values, motivation and skill is essential for success.

As a leader, once you have identified your big, hairy audacious goal (BHAG) your role is to recognise and draw out the genius in every individual in your team. In order to do this, it is essential to understand the unintended diminishers in your leadership style. This all boils down to self-awareness and EQ, the ability to know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses and how your style lands on and with others; the ability to listen rather than tell, to be curious and understand the motivation of others.

What resonated for me from the key messages and the years of helping executives change their behaviour is looking at what works and what doesn’t work.

What works

  • Having alignment with a sense of purpose.
  • Being passionate about what your organisation does and knowing the cause is bigger than yourself.
  • Be willing to be humble, learn, grow and develop.

What doesn’t work

  • In my experience, when people are not performing they have detached from their passion and become too self-focused. As a leader you need to explore why this is happening.
  • Lack of self-awareness and not owning personal accountability.

When reflecting on the past decade and a half of running a leadership development business through the ups and downs of economic cycles – routine has kept me focused. Whilst staying focused with discipline and applying routine can sometimes feel monotonous and boring, it is what is required to build long term sustainable performance and businesses.

Here are my ‘routine’ tips for success:

  • Exercise every morning.
  • Measure outputs not inputs.
  • Continually seek to understand the issues confronting clients and their businesses.
  • Stick to the main thing and don’t allow yourself to become distracted.
  • Constantly draw on new ideas for inspiration and innovation.

Best regards,
Virginia Mansell

About the author: Virginia Mansell, Executive Chairman, Stephenson Mansell Group.

Virginia Mansell is an expert and thought leader in executive coaching, mentoring and leadership.  She is the author of The Focused Executive, an important resource for CEOs and senior executives determined to perform at their very best. The 2nd Edition is now available with a new chapter on high performing teams.

In 1998, Virginia established The Mansell Group to provide coaching and leadership development services.  In 2005, she merged this business with The Stephenson Partnership to create Stephenson Mansell Group, arguably Australia’s longest-established executive development firm.  Over the last fifteen years, the Stephenson Mansell Group has worked with 5000 executives in more than 500 organisations in Australia and internationally including 30 of Australia’s top 50 companies.

In addition to her own experience as a business leader, Virginia brings to her role over 30 years in human resource management, counselling psychology, psychotherapy and organisational consulting.