leader Archives - The Performance Biz

Engagement The Secret Ingredient

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Employee Engagement

Do you find employee engagement difficult? Get your own team engaged by discovering the Secret Ingredient. It costs nothing, yet once you have the secret ingredient, you will transform your team performance.

Albert Einstein is famously quoted as saying “If you can’t explain it to a 6 year old, you don’t understand it well enough.” Well, if you have any 6 year olds in the house, perhaps you’ll try it out for us.

Find out how to engage with your employees by downloading this short e-book.

Lucy Windsor is available for speaking, consulting and troubleshooting.

Call on 00 44 1932 888 885.





Do YOU Have Confidence?

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Do YOU Have Confidence?

What does that even mean? We all have confidence in our ability to do something.

Some people are confident when they stand up and give presentations. Some are confident looking after small children. Some are confident riding a horse, or plumbing a house.

Confidence means that you have enough knowledge, experience and skill to perform or execute something successfully.

So, what does it mean when we describe someone as a confident person? This suggests that perhaps they were just born with the gift of being confident. A confident person is a broader description. It is not pointing at a skill or task. It is simply stating that this person, more often than not, approaches life ‘confidently’.

It means this person faces challenges in life with a determination to succeed and the inner belief that they will find a way somehow. This mindset leads them to do one thing repeatedly. They take positive action.

When we believe that we will find a way and be successful, we automatically do things that will take us there and it doesn’t matter a fig if we know how to do it to start with. Nor does it matter if we start off down one route and then change tack, as long as we are moving in the direction of success, we are building momentum. This type of confidence does not lie in our knowledge, skill or experience of the task. It lies within us.

Confident people are not defensive because they have nothing to defend. They will succeed, at some point, at some time, they know they will achieve what they set out to do and they know that they will have setbacks and challenges along the way.

We all have times when our sense of confidence leaves us, momentarily. Maybe having received shock news, being made redundant, learning of the death of someone close. It is during times like these when it is easy to start believing you can’t instead of can. It is incompatible to hold onto the belief that we will find a way somehow and succeed, when we are consumed by a sense of failure and loss.

I believe that we are all born with confidence. We learn to walk, despite falling many, many times. We learn to talk, use a crayon, read a book. We delight at our small achievements along the way, and we very quickly shake off our failures, even if we hurt ourselves when we fall. Even if our fall was caused by someone pushing us over.

To be a confident person, you just have to know that you will find a way and be successful and when you do that, you will take action. If that action does not deliver immediate success, you will make an adjustment and go again, and you will keep adjusting and taking forward steps until you succeed.


This coming week, spend time each day telling yourself, ‘I know I will find a way and succeed.’ If someone knocks you back, tell yourself, ‘I know I will find a way to succeed’ and be ready to learn, adapt and change your tack if necessary. If one door closes, go and find another to open. In fact, find another 10 doors. Before you know it, your confidence will be shining through.

By the way, it doesn’t matter which doors shut and which ones open. Confidence can bloom even in the face of rejection when you know that you will find a way and succeed.



When and How To Delegate Up

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‘You can help your manager to help you by communicating when you notice a problem or oversight…’

In a recent Insight, I talked about the art of Managing Up. This Insight is about Delegating Up, which is slightly different in my view.

Let me define what I believe Delegating Up to mean. You are at work and something has landed on your desk that you:

a) Are not equipped/skilled to deal with

b) Don’t have the authority to deal with it

c) Don’t have the capacity/resources to deal with it

d) It is someone else’s job

This matter will have come to you either direct from your manager, or through another route.

These are typical circumstances where delegating up to your manager might be appropriate. So how do you do it effectively?

1. Objectivity

Your initial reaction may be to feel dumped on, frustrated, stressed, angry, resentful, anxious at the thought of taking on this task. Your physical and emotional discomfort is a great indicator for you. As soon as you feel it, ask yourself, why do you feel that way? Which of the 4 reasons above are causing you such discomfort? Or is it something else?

OK. So now you have identified the source of the problem. And in knowing that, you have objectivity. You can go to your manager with a clear head and purpose.

2. Communicate

Arrange an appropriate time (bearing in mind any deadlines) to have a conversation with your manager. The purpose: to share that something has landed on your desk that requires action and you are not sure if (a, b, c, d or another). You would appreciate help or guidance on how best to proceed.

This provides the initial opener for a useful conversation. Notice, that the language used brings you along side your manager, rather than being combative. Humans by their very nature like to help when they are needed and your manager is likely to want to help you.


When you meet, this is your opportunity to share the problem with your manager as you see it, and round out the detail:

a) Lack the Skills

If you believe you are not equipped or skilled to deal with it, share your concerns with your manager. It may be that your manager can coach you through so that you feel confident and capable of taking on the matter yourself. Or, it may be that the manager will reassign the task to someone who is better equipped. This also opens the potential for discussion around future development. Is it a skill you need to develop? If so, you can put a plan together so that you are equipped next time around.

b) Lack the Authority

If you believe you don’t have the authority to undertake the task, this is something to discuss. Either you will need to be given the responsibility and support of the manager and business, or if that is not possible, hand the task back to your manager. Delegate up.

c) Lack Resources/Capacity/Time

If you are genuinely maxed out and you don’t have the resources or capacity to tackle the matter, you can explain the situation to your manager, outline what you currently have on your plate and what is the likely impact of this task on your other workload. Ask your manager to help you to decide on the most important tasks to prioritise, or reassign the task to a team member who has more capacity.

d) Not My Job

Finally, if the task belongs to someone else, you can ask your manager to reassign it to the correct person/department. It might be just as simple as sharing with your manager that you think it has been given to you incorrectly and ask for their help to ensure it is picked up by the right person/team so it can be properly actioned.

(I have shared more about why this is so important to you, your manager and the business in the attached video).

In Summary

Your manager is responsible for ensuring you are working to a manageable capacity on tasks that you are equipped for and paid to do. You can help your manager to help you by communicating when you notice a problem or oversight. This is far more constructive than taking on work-load that you shouldn’t be doing and either failing to deliver or busting a gut and resenting others.

I hope this has been a useful insight and offers a helpful strategy for when and how to Delegate Up appropriately.

If you like it and can see its value, please share your enthusiasm with your friends and colleagues so that they may receive Insights too.

To speak to one of our consultants, please call us on 00 44 1932 888 885.

Gain Attention

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pb02_website_banner_bluemike-gain-attention‘I paused and thought for a moment – rather than joining the masses, what about if I did the opposite?…’

I start with a story.

When I was young and naive, I remember being coerced into going up to London for the January Sales, when the January Sales started on Boxing Day, and not in September.

That was my first mistake.

I remember queuing outside Selfridges in the freezing cold in London’s Oxford Street and then the doors burst open like an overripe haggis and we all fell into the warm and fuzzy madness that some people get rather excited about. Amongst the carnage, all sense of courtesy and patience was lost in the buying frenzy that ensued.

People were pushing and shoving at each other and at the shop assistants as they clamoured for help to make their purchase and get back to their homes for the Boxing Day snoozathon. The poor shop assistants were bewildered and buffeted by the hordes and I had no hope of gaining the attention of anyone, having miraculously found a pair of jeans that were heavily reduced. I attempted to join the scrum but there were far more determined shoppers than I.

I paused and thought for a moment – rather than joining the masses, what about if I did the opposite? What effect might this have? So I calmly and deliberately retreated to the edge of the scrum and stood, stock still, holding my jeans in one hand and fixing my gaze on one of the shop assistants.

‘Be patient’ I told myself ‘sustain your gaze’ and within a short period of time the shop assistant returned my gaze. Like a scene out of West Side Story, we walked towards each other while the mayhem continued and eventually we stood face to face. ‘Can I help you sir?’, she purred. ‘yes could I buy these jeans?’. ‘Certainly sir; that will be £5 please’.

Translating this story into the world of communication, it points at 3 elements that can help you draw the attention of your audience:

1. Do the opposite of whatever is happening around you. This immediately creates a counterpoint and will guarantee that you draw the attention of your audience.

2. Sustain the action. Hold it for as long as you dare. This will draw the flow of attention to you, minimising all that is going on around you.

3. Be at ease. Conduct the whole action with a feeling of ease, breathing in synchronisation with your actions. Good luck!

To find out more about how to be an EPiC leader, click here to arrange a conversation with one of our Consultants or call us on 00 44 1932 888 885.

Consistency Is Life’s Great Desire

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Well, maybe not, but being consistent might give you more time for what you really desire in life! How consistent are you? How do you even feel about that word? The word ‘consistent’ conjures up for some a feeling of security, order, structure and calm. Others believe it to mean boring, relentless and lacking in adventure – and they will want to run away fast!

If you find it hard to be consistent, this Insight is for you.

I can confess to being in the latter category probably until my late 20s. Loving jumping into projects that have an exciting potential, a defined lifespan and, of course, an end. The thought of having to be ‘consistent’ at one thing day in, day out, for an undefined length of time would have me resisting from the outset. It felt like a sentence, something that drained the passion. I never saw it as the platform that allowed me to develop my passion.

“Consistency means FREEDOM…”

So, as life isn’t made up entirely of new and exciting projects, I needed to find a way of being consistent. I found that I was really good at creating processes. I would see how things got done, make connections and links and I would design a process to make it better, more streamlined, more efficient (and – top desire – easier!).

Today, consistency is a word that means FREEDOM. Freedom to do what I do best, the work that I love the most, and it helps me to maintain high standards.

We share this skill with our clients as one of the foundation stones of our EPIC Leader Programme and we watch their results, as they grow their business, boost their brand, and deliver VIP service to their clients.

Are they perfect? No. Neither am I! In fact, by way of example, I noticed only recently that bereavement had a huge impact on my own ability to be consistent and to follow processes and it showed. As our business grows and changes, we look for more and more ways to get consistent in what we do and it fuels, rather than drains our passion.

My clients are still learning and growing, as we all are. As their business gathers momentum, there are new challenges to overcome and new problems to solve. They are continually compelled to grow, personally and commercially.

It is the same for Leaders in businesses everywhere. Whether you are a Director, a Senior Leader, or a new Leader, a parent, leading your family, or even if the only person you are leading is YOU, you will find freedom in consistency. Grab the opportunity to become more consistent with both hands and give it a big kiss on the lips because it really is your ticket to the FREEDOM to do more of what you really desire!

If you would like to find out how the EPIC Leader Programme can bring you more consistency, please click here or call us on 00 44 (0)1932 888 885.

Best wishes

EPIC Insights Team

Naked Intent – Building Trust

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Strong deep business roots as a tree trunk with the root in the shape of a hand shake as a symbol of unity trust and integrity in finance and relationships.

It’s nigh on impossible to hide what we are thinking.  We expose ourselves all day, every day.  That is, what we are thinking leaks out in our facial expressions, our physiology, the language we use and our tone of voice.

It’s not that people can necessarily know exactly what we are thinking, we leak just enough for others to spot something.  An inconsistency, conflict or judgement. We can’t help but put our feelings out there, whether we are face to face, on the phone or in writing and what’s more – like trying to examine one’s own eyeball, it is really hard to see for ourselves the underlying message we are giving out.

Why does this matter?

It matters more now than ever because of the conscious move towards building trust in business. Even if we think we have been really careful about how we phrase something, our true intent is revealed.  So if our true intent is not in line with our stated intent, we risk losing the trust of those we are working with.  Or put it another way, we piss people off.

Have you ever had a situation where you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you just don’t believe someone, or they irritate you and you don’t really know why? Or maybe you feel manipulated in some way?  It might well be that you have subconsciously picked up on an incongruence between your understanding of the situation and what is actually taking place.  The discomfort that rises up in your body draws your attention to it, allowing you to probe a little and when satisfied, feel comfortable again.

Much has been said about emotional intelligence at work and its importance in building trust.  It can be really confusing.  Some people who believe they have high empathy, come out as having low empathy, and there are many who feel inside that they are emotionally intelligent yet, they are told they are not.  Remember the song – ‘I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good, Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.’

There are many schools of thought around Emotional Intelligence.  My belief is that it is primarily a matter of intent.  Get that clear, and everything else follows.  Everyone has the capacity to be emotionally intelligent.  Everyone too has the capacity to be emotionally ‘un’intelligent.  The variable is not the person, but the intention of the person.

Imagine you are in a meeting about a new project, sponsored by the CEO:

Your intention is to build trust between members of the team.  What might you do?  Offer teas, coffees etc…  Outline an agenda… Summarise your understanding of what is being said… Listen intently to what is required of you… Smile and offer your assurance that you have taken the ideas on board… Use open gestures…  Offer your appreciation towards others for their contribution or viewpoint… Freely share your perspective… These are all things you would do naturally, without giving it a second thought.

Imagine now that in your opinion, your colleague is getting too much attention for his mediocre ideas and you want to reassert yourself as the expert in your field.  What would be different in your behaviour?  You are unlikely to offer the drinks, that would be someone else’s role… You will want to talk about solutions, why one will work and not the other.  You will want to be sure everyone present understands the rationale behind your point of view…  And you will look for reasons to promote your ideas and to dismiss your colleagues ideas in favour of your own.

Finally, imagine your intent is to get others to like you.  You might laugh and smile if challenged… You might find it hard to support your own view point.  More likely to be swayed by the arguments of others… You are likely to tell people what they want to hear, even if it is not what you believe…  Perhaps you are keen to take on jobs that others aren’t interested in doing…

The same person with different intentions will behave very differently.  As you will see only one of the three examples is focussed on the needs of others.

Lining up our intent with the aspirations of the task helps to build trust and empathy.

To find out how The Performance Business can help your company, call Lucy on 01932 888885















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