As I said in part one of this series, great leaders are fantastic models for others developing their leadership skills. When I’m talking about modelling here I don’t mean the catwalk kind, although there are many fashion models that are great models of business and leadership.
What I mean, is someone who is a great example of where I want to be or who applies what I want to learn in a way that gets the results I’m after. When I am seeking a model to learn from I find someone (often through reading as well as in person) who has achieved the results I would like in the way I would like to achieve them. In other words someone who has the, values, principles, behaviours and skills that I admire and has used them to reach their goals in a way that I can relate to. For me to be able to do that, the things I admire in the person must be obvious. This means that the person must among other things, know what their values and principles are and live them through their behaviour.
So what are values and principles then?
Values are beliefs we hold that are really important to us. We may not be able to articulate what they are but we know when they have been violated either by ourselves or others because we feel uncomfortable. An example of this is when my daughter was little, she sometimes picked up things from the supermarket and I if didn’t notice and didn’t pay for it, I would feel awful, really uneasy. I would have to queue up all over again – assuming I hadn’t made it home and knew which shop it was from! So a strong value for me is honesty and it keeps me on the straight and narrow because I don’t like that uncomfortable feeling – it is my moral compass if you like.
A principle on the other hand is I think, more about the rules we live by – the rules attached to our values even. For example, one of my rules about honesty is never to take what isn’t mine. That is a strong principle for me and it leads me to be congruent with my value of honesty.
So to live our values and principles in an authentic way and be a leadership model for others, we must understand what they are, we must live them, demonstrate them in our behaviour. To become more aware of what your values are, try noticing when you feel uncomfortable, notice what pushes your buttons. Also identify what you most like doing, who with and why. Make note of the things you notice over time and you are likely to find that your values are within.
Once you are clear about your values, find someone who models how you want to be as a leader, someone whose behaviour fits with your values. Notice how they behave and find out how they do what they do as a leader. You can even adopt the behaviours that resonate with you – do what they do. As you grow as a leader, who knows what you stand for and behaves in a way that is congruent with your values, people will want to model you too.
In my next blog post we will be looking at personal vision purpose and goals.
Strengths Finder Assessment and Feedback
Doing Strengths Finder coaching has enabled me to see how I can make the most of my natural abilities. The test itself outlined 5 particular strengths but it was the coaching that meant I now know how to actually utilise this information. It is going to help me a great deal when it comes to my academic life and in particular how I can study in the most effective way. The coaching helps access the key to knowing your strengths and Deb has helped me devise a plan of how I can move forward with these skills. Her work with me has been vital to the Strengths Finder process and I would absolutely recommend the coaching as vital to finding your strengths.
Family Harmony Workshop for Parents
The course gave a great framework to build a more harmonious family - I find it difficult to explain to my teens why I don't like their behaviour but with this toolkit I am able to articulate this easily and less emotionally, resulting in better communication and a less charged atmosphere. Thanks Deb for the lifeline
Team Building Facilitation and Coaching
As a new Manager to a newly formed team of eight staff, I engaged Deb to facilitate our first team planning day. The objective of the day was to identify a shared vision and to start a process of strategic planning for the next three years. The day was a great success and set the team up with greater clarity of purpose and a framework for future planning.
Deb demonstrated a great understanding of the team, its context and challenges. This was due to her careful and thorough planning and reflections prior to the day. Deb managed the varying levels of engagement among the team exceptionally well; she did this with the establishment of clear ground rules and a sense of trust and respect. Deb listened actively and regularly questioned for greater clarity before reflecting on the team’s contributions.
We ended the day with a clear vision that was shared and in which all members felt they had an investment. Deb followed up regularly after the session to check in on progress and to provide advice about next steps. We were extremely lucky to have been able to work with Deb at this important stage of the team’s development and I would not hesitate for a moment in engaging Deb again.
Angela Hehir, (Manager)
Business Leadership Coaching
Debra's help in getting me to focus on the strategic direction of my business and my work-life priorities has proven invaluable. She has the ability to ask simple questions to create greater clarity and focus in both work and personal goals. Debra is a great listener, follows up on her clients and creates a great support base for her clients through recommending network groups, courses and reading material. For those who want a leadership coach that goes that extra mile,
I highly recommend her.
Yvette Audet, Sport & Recreation Management Services
360 degree feedback and Mentoring
Debra provided feedback on my 360 leader/manger profile. I have taken this style of development tool on two prior occasions and found the feedback underwhelming. This time I found that Debra has an empathetic and approachable feedback style. Previously I have felt very much that I was being placed in a stereotypical box.
I liked Debra,s approach and understood more that the outcomes of the survey reflect a favored management leadership style and this could be flexible. Debra is able to draw out your thoughts on how you feel others perceive you rather than preaching which was a great attribute.
We talked about the outcomes and the way forward and I was left with a comfortable feeling that I could achieve my higher aims. Debra provided positive feedback and kept in contact after the initial interview. Her trouble in organizing some key topic papers and net links was commendable. I hope very much to take Debra up on some future mentoring and would highly recommend Debra’s leadership skill set to you.
Professor Tim Lyons, Newcastle
Concrete personal career goals
I have appreciated my coaching sessions this year more than I can say. Deb has challenged me at every turn which I have loved, making me work hard to find my own solutions during an extremely professionally challenging year. This has been extremely satisfying.
I also now have concrete personal career goals and a plan on how to get there – non existent when I started coaching and really not something I consciously thought I needed. As a consequence I feel more focused and motivated for the next year and beyond.
Finally I would have to say my coaching session with Deb have been an absolute lifeline for me this year, keeping me on track, helping me to grow and learn and ultimately make a monumental shift in my approach and style as a leader. I am very grateful for her time, patience, humor and professionalism – I am certainly am better leader thanks to coaching with Deb.
Bernadette Hollis, Sydney