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5 Secrets To Double Your Team’s Intelligence

Multiplier leaders behave similarly in 5 ways: they act as talent magnets, liberators, challengers, debate makers and investors. 

  1. Talent Magnets don’t have a shortage of talent, quite the opposite – people line up to work for them.  They have an innate ability to identify what Wiseman calls the “native genius” in each member of their team, naming the talent and then putting it to work for them.  They are not constrained by traditional job descriptions, but rather seek to apply the talent of their team to the job at hand.  
  2. Liberators free people up to do their best thinking.  Instead of providing all the answers, liberators have learned the art of asking the question, facilitating conversations that encourage people to find their own answers.  Multiplying leaders encourage people to think for themselves instead; those employees quite literally report that they become smarter.
  3. Challengers are up for precisely that – a challenge.  The have the ability to stretch people beyond their current capability, thrusting people out of their comfort zones in such a way that the “stretch is met”. As people step into their new zone, they discover a level of capability that they never knew existed.
  4. Debate Makers create the ultimate democracy, convinced that the best answers will come from the group. Instead of setting teams up to fail and fight, Multipliers who facilitate debate give their teams time to research their position, clearly define the parameters and goals, and then “pit their wits against each other” to unleash the potential of what lies in the realm of possibility.
  5. Investors answer the biggest question of all: how do we get people in the business to be accountable for the outcome?  Investors know that real ownership and accountability only comes when the individual or team have made the decision themselves, what Wiseman terms “giving them 51% of the vote”.  A courageous act?  Maybe, but one that will forever change the landscape of your business.

Do you want to access double your team’s intelligence? Click HERE for more information or contact us at multipliers@brg.co.za to book a needs assessment.

 

Where have the Leaders gone?

 

Leaderex 2016 held in Johannesburg last month posed an important question some of South Africa’s top CEOs, heads of business school and executive teams; “Where have all the leaders gone?”

The question provided a great transition into discussions about the state of leadership in South Africa, and the world in general, and laid the foundation for a host of sparkling debates and frank discussions on leadership. It would seem, from popular consensus, that the demise of leadership in South Africa, whilst a real challenge, may have been somewhat exaggerated.  

A Local View

Prof. Nicola Kleyn, Dean of GIBS echoed the feelings of many at Leaderex – “leadership starts with self”. She highlighted that our own day-to-day lives often demand that we play multiple leadership roles. This message supports conventional wisdom, that no matter who we are, or what status we hold, we all have a leadership role to play. “We have passed the point where we can simply look on and shake our heads. We all need to stand up and be counted” said Kleyn.

But how do we get this right? How do we turn around the confusion to create clarity around leadership? According to Dave Duarte, founder of digital marketing company Treeshake, it’s all about direction. The void is simply because “many leaders are more worried about holding an office than about creating direction”. Duarte’s view was backed by Jonathan Foster-Pedley from Henley Business School who stated that “The point of leadership is to provide people with purpose and meaning, and a sense of integrity and value. A good leader will make you and me give every last thing we have in the service of something we would die for.”

Yes We Can

So the question is, are we even remotely capable?  “Yes!” That was the clear message from the University of Stellenbosch’s Piet Naudé.  “We do have leaders capable of providing direction”. But as events unfold in pre-election United States and post-Brexit United Kingdom, it would seem that we are simply part of a bigger challenge.  “The world is currently battling the wrong kind of leadership. Leaders who use populist language and draw people back into their nationalistic and ethnic self-enclosed lives, whilst [what we need is] more openness and cooperation in a global world,” he said. Leadership is a responsibility, and just like businesses have a responsibility to its own employees, customers and stakeholders, so too is there a responsibility toward playing a moral and socially conscious role in providing direction for people.  When there is political uncertainty, business plays an even more critical role in guiding the performance and morals of the people it chooses to serve and employ.  Yet, to fulfil this role, we all need to be open to learning, change, and trying different approaches to achieve results.

A Lifelong Lesson

There are thousands of books, podcasts, and training courses on the topic of leadership, so many that it becomes hard to know which one to read, believe, implement. But can the skill of leadership really be learned or is this something we’re born with?  For the most part, our leadership lives start out with mimicry. For many of us, leadership skills are acquired from our earliest role models, and we quickly play back the tapes once given to us by parents, guardians, managers, community leaders and professors. So it’s not really what we’re born with but rather how we’re raised as leaders.  A leadership development challenge is figuring out how to break the patterns of the past and provide leaders with a new set of skills, tools and techniques for leading effectively in the workplace. Yet the study of leadership is no more an intervention than winning an election is an overnight game. Leadership is a lifelong study. And it would seem that the earlier in life you start, the better.

Leadership is the pursuit of greatness, achieved through others – a task that mankind may never be able to definitively tick. There is no silver bullet for leadership, but the positive and conscious application of a leadership philosophy can cause an attitude shift that helps you discover some great ammunition for leading along the way.

Whichever leadership philosophy you choose to follow, be mindful that it is just for now. The lessons we need to learn as leaders will continue to evolve, and change, over time. Perhaps our original question is rhetorical.  It’s not “where have all the leaders gone?” but more a statement of fact, that “leadership is forever a work in progress” and we should all be striving to build our own leadership capacity.

The great minds that coalesced at Leaderex offered us some starting points. Ponder these daily, for some time, and see what unfolds on your journey:  Listen. Have strong values. Inspire others. Know your purpose. Be a role model. Strive to achieve the impossible. Be Visionary. Be bold. Be transparent. And, be kind.  We are all living examples of leadership, and we all have the power to make a positive and meaningful difference.   

Performance Management Faces Major Paradox

Gone are the days of performance reviews. Dave Ulrich explains to Alan Hosking from HR Future how companies can resolve the performance management paradox by clarifying expectations, defining consequences, establishing metrics and standards, and bringing it all together through conversation. In what way is the thinking on performance management changing? A senior leader at a company recently said, “We have done away with performance appraisal because it causes so many problems.”

Read More

 

Why neuroscience matters for business

It’s imperative that business leaders can create a lasting environment in which creativity, meaning and purpose can thrive. How and why does neuroscience come into this? Harnessing neuroscience lets us embed sustainable behaviour change in existing leadership patterns, in turn leading teams to be more innovative and allowing organisations to flourish within a culture of trust.

Our brains are by no means fixed or set in adulthood: we are all capable of neuroplasticity, changing the way with think and feel about things.  If we want to make a change, say from fixed to growth mindset, we have to do it consciously and deliberately with awareness, focus and attention. In applying ourselves to a new skill or activity in this way, we can retain the capacity for the brain to change, reformat and potentially grow well into our 60s.

We can of course also help the brain by ensuring that we care for it. When working with new clients, the first thing we tackle is not just their surrounding environment, but their internal environment. Sleep is one of the key factors in neurological health that cannot be ignored. Many executives survive on far too little. What they don’t realise is that lack of sleep can have the same effect on your decision-making ability as being drunk. This is not what executives are hired and paid for. Seven to nine hours of sleep is key for the cerebrospinal fluid that sits around your brain and spinal cord to filter through the brain.  We can also help the brain by resting during the day (short naps, for example) if we want to and are able to.

What we put in our bodies as fuel also has a huge impact on how our brain works. Our body is not just a convenient vehicle for moving the brain from meeting to meeting. We receive a lot of information and input from our bodies. In the stomach and gut, you find almost all of the neurotransmitters – such as serotonin and dopamine – that are also active in the brain, and help us make decisions and function in everyday life.The gut is often referred to as the other brain. Caring for both body and brain with a healthy diet, we can improve our brain’s effectiveness at work. Good hydration is equally important; likewise, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine is ideal.

Senior leaders also need to understand the effect that stress hormones – cortisol and adrenaline – can have on our bodies and on those around us. What’s even more interesting is that cortisol can spread around an office. That’s right. It hangs around the body and can be absorbed by others through the skin; this effect is even stronger is if it is the leader that is stressed. Reducing cortisol and adrenaline are key to a happy and creative work environment. It can be sweated out through exercise. Other things that help include mindfulness, meditation, journaling and coaching – where you can release tension and worrisome thoughts onto paper or to another person.

Sometimes it’s not possible to remove the stressors from our lives. In these cases resilience, or an ability to deal with stress, is key. If we are able to use our brain plasticity to reframe and rethink the stress we’re feeling, we will be more resilient to its negative effects.

In sum, neuroscience turns out to be far more important for business than we might first imagine. Neuroscience-based coaching, and drawing on the remarkable plasticity of the brain, helps create the ideal environment and mindset in which business leaders can thrive, enjoy their work, and build happier teams too.
Tara Swart, CEO of The Unlimited Mind, is a medical doctor and neuroscientist. She will be speaking at South Africa’s only ‘Happiness-at-Work’ event this December. Learn more here.

Leading Like a Multiplier

As the knowledge economy takes hold, companies around the world are rapidly realizing that the future value of their business no longer lies in the ownership of infrastructure and technology, but in intangible assets such as brand, intellectual property and people.  And those people all report to someone, a leader.  So how do leaders get more from their existing assets?

In 2013 Peter Bregman, a leadership development consultant writing for Forbes magazine, suggested that “there is a massive difference between what we know about leadership and what we do as leaders”, adding that “I’ve never seen a leader fail because he or she didn’t know enough about leadership”.  Yet knowing, without doing, isn’t knowing.  

Leadership development is an industry in its own right, with numerous emerging development programmes punting their own unique formula about “what to do”.  There are many to choose from, and some fail dismally, leaving companies floundering about what to do next.  Yet some leadership development techniques stick and get traction – not just at a business level, but at a global level.  Liz Wiseman’s research on “Multipliers” exemplifies this kind of traction.

Listed on Thinkers 50 as one of the top 10 leadership thinkers in the world, Wiseman reflected on her 17 years of experience at Oracle and embarked on a research project focusing on the question, “How do some leaders seem to get more out of their teams than their counterparts?”.  The global project was conducted across 4 continents and 120 companies.  The result was astonishing and yet simple: great leaders do 5 things well, so well that they double their access to their team’s intelligence than their diminishing counterparts.

Every company out there would be thrilled to get double the value from their existing assets.  Wiseman’s research demonstrates that leaders who act as “multipliers” are not only successful, but they have a resoundingly positive and profitable effect on organizations—getting more done with fewer resources, developing and attracting talent, and cultivating new ideas and energy to drive organizational change and innovation.  Most importantly, multiplier skills can be learned and developed. Quite simply, Wiseman’s Multipliers approach tells leaders what to do to get more intelligence out of their existing teams.  Here in South Africa, companies like SAB, SAsol, Atlas Copco, Old Mutual and Standard Bank are already putting multiplier theory into practice, with good effect.

5 Secrets of Leading like a Multiplier

Multiplying leaders do 5 things: they act as talent magnets, liberators, challengers, debate makers and investors.

Talent Magnets don’t have a shortage of talent, quite the opposite – people line up to work for them.  They have an innate ability to identify what Wiseman calls the “native genius” in each member of their team, naming the talent and then putting it to work for them.  They are not constrained by traditional job descriptions, but rather seek to apply the talent of their team to the job at hand.  

Liberators free people up to do their best thinking.  Instead of providing all the answers, liberators have learned the art of asking the question, facilitating conversations that encourage people to find their own answers.  Multiplying leaders encourage people to think for themselves instead; those employees quite literally report that they become smarter.

Challengers are up for precisely that – a challenge.  The have the ability to stretch people beyond their current capability, thrusting people out of their comfort zones in such a way that the “stretch is met”. As people step into their new zone, they discover a level of capability that they never knew existed.

Debate Makers create the ultimate democracy, convinced that the best answers will come from the group. Instead of setting teams up to fail and fight, Multipliers who facilitate debate give their teams time to research their position, clearly define the parameters and goals, and then “pit their wits against each other” to unleash the potential of what lies in the realm of possibility.

Investors answer the biggest question of all: how do we get people in the business to be accountable for the outcome?  Investors know that real ownership and accountability only comes when the individual or team have made the decision themselves, what Wiseman terms “giving them 51% of the vote”.  A courageous act?  Maybe, but one that will forever change the landscape of your business. 

Written by Nicola Tyler

Why Happiness Matters: Workplace Productivity & Profitability

South Africa’s only happiness-at-work conference to reveal how and why happy employees affect the bottom line

 

15th October, Johannesburg. There is compelling evidence that it pays to invest in your employees’ happiness. Research findings are clear that happier employees are more productive, which improves your bottom line. The happiest employees have 65% more energy, spend twice as much time on task, and intend to stay in their job 4 times longer, according to the iOpener Institute.

But what does “being happy” at work actually mean? Why is happiness considered the antidote to poor performance? Isn’t “happiness” just a fuzzy concept? Should workforce “happiness” be on your agenda in the current tough economic climate? What does making happy employees mean in real terms for business leaders and managers? What are the challenges faced by South African organisations in particular?

South Africa’s only happiness-at-work conference returns to Johannesburg this December for the fourth time, hosted by Business Results Group (BRG) and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). This year’s event in Johannesburg will bring participants up to speed with all aspects behind workforce happiness – its theory, its value and its challenges – for managers, teams and individuals. Speakers will include Dr Tara Swart, the British neuroscience expert and business coach, Katie Demain, Africa’s foremost expert in workplace happiness, Buyani Zwane, CEO of Breakthrough Development, Dr Barbara Holtmann, social transformation expert, Jayshree Naidoo, who heads the Standard Bank Incubator, Victor Kgomoeswana, business author, speaker and consultant, and lateral thinking evangelist Nicola Tyler. The event will be MC’d by the infamous Lebo Mashile, poet and performer, who will use storytelling to weave a golden thread of happiness throughout the day.

If your employees find joy and meaning in what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis, there are strong odds that this will benefit your profit margin. To shape a happy workforce, you need to listen to them, appreciate them, support them, and empower them to use their strengths,” says Nicola Tyler, CEO of Business Results Group.

The Happiness-at-Work Conference takes place on 4th December at The Forum, Bryanston, Johannesburg. The event content is aimed at line and divisional managers, team managers, HR directors and HR business partners, as well as any other learning and development specialists. Last year’s “Science of Happiness at Work™ ” conference sold out with executives and managers from the private and public sectors participating. Natasha Rudy, Director at The People Strategies says that last year’s event was “Brilliant. Learnt so much. Lots of tools and ideas to implement in the workplace. Very interesting, engaging and brilliant presenters”

The Happiness at Work Conference is brought to South Africa by Business Results Group and the Gordon Institute of Business Science.
Registrations and Further Information

To register for the event or for press enquiries please contact:
Angela Milburn | Email: rsvp@brg.co.za | Cell: 0833271593 | Phone: 0861247328
You can also visit the event listing at //www.brg.co.za/speakers/happiness-at-work-2015

Speaker Bios

About Dr Tara Swart, CEO, The Unlimited Mind
Tara is the only leadership coach with a PhD in neuroscience and a successful career as medical doctor behind her. This unique combination of experience comes together to create an uncompromising and holistic impact on performance optimisation in businesses in the UK, USA, SE Asia and South Africa. Tara is passionate about disseminating simple, pragmatic neuroscience-based messages that change the way people work and sustainably translate to tangible financial improvement in the business. Her neuroscience consulting programme is designed for senior teams in businesses that need their people to do more with less and keep doing it, better and for longer without burning out.Tara is at the forefront of the application of neuroscience to business. She is a published author of 2 books and over 20 articles in journals of neuroscience and coaching. She speaks globally on the brain in business at international conferences, blue chip corporations and at top business schools including Oxford, Stanford and MIT (where she is Senior Lecturer and runs the Neuroscience for Leadership programme). She is regularly quoted in the press and her latest book, Neuroscience for Leadership was published by Palgrave MacMillan this year.

About Jayshree Naidoo, Standard Bank Incubator
As the former Head of Strategy Management and Innovation at DBSA and ex CEO of DaVinci Design, Jayshree now finds herself heading up the Standard Bank Incubator, a creative thinking space that brings together the two works that she is most passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship. She completed her MBA research on in Innovation and Entrepreneurship Capacity Creation, a thesis that capitalised on her 23 years of experience in the field, and across a variety of industries. She has held positions at Discovery, ABSA, Internet Solutions and was a Board Member of Junior Achievement South Africa and former Chair of SAINe (The Southern African Innovation Network).

About Victor Kgomoeswana, Author, Speaker and Consultant
Victor is well known as an African business expert, having published his local best seller, Africa is Open for Business. His exposure to the continent came as he headed up Business Development for PPC, taking him into corners of the continent and unveiling a world of possibility and hope in a region that had historically received scant attention from the rest of the world. As former executive of Ernst & Young, his book brings to life 50 stories of innovation and opportunity behind the business headlines of the last ten years. From the introduction of M-pesa in Kenya to changing the image of Nigeria as Africa’s fraud capital, and from Rwandan coffee farmers to Ethiopian Airlines, and other remarkable stories in between, Kgomoeswana criss-crosses the continent to highlight the most fascinating business stories and their impact on the future of Africa. He is the producer of Africa Business Report, flighted by 702 and SAFM, and is frequently featured on local and international television and radio stations.

About Dr Barbara Holtmann, Social Transformation Consultant
Having completed a PhD in Social Transformation System methodology, Barbara is hailed as an expert in facilitating complex visionary dialogue processes engaging broad stakeholder groups. Her unique approach to “What it looks like when it’s fixed” is also the title of her book, one in which she shares both her research and a deep understanding for the complexities of building communities, businesses and nations in a rapidly changing world. Barbara serves on the board of Women in Cities International and has presented in Mexico, Montreal, Washington DC, Oslo,
Paris, Canberra and London. In Africa she has worked in Kenya, Zambia, Sierra Leone and India and by choice, the main thrust of her work is now being done in South Africa.

About Katie Demain, Consultant, Change expert and Coach
Katie is widely considered Africa’s foremost practitioner in the Science of Happiness @ WorkTM. She is a Global Associate of the iOpener Institute for People and Performance in the UK and with a career spanning more than 20 years, Katie has lived and worked in 12 different countries. With a background in journalism, Katie spent many years leading a team of journalists throughout Africa to research and write economic reports for The Economist, Newsweek, USA Today and other globally recognized publications. Nine years ago, Katie redefined her career to become one of Europe’s most sought after Executive Coaches, working with a number of the world’s top business schools. Her passion is Workplace Happiness and Performance, and her home is South Africa. Today Katie has an enviable client, one that spans continents, countries and companies. She is fluent in French and Spanish and holds a BA in European Business Management.

About Buyani Zwane, CEO of Breakthrough Development
Buyani is an inspiring leader, motivational speaker and facilitator of meaningful dialogue and development programmes for leaders. He has been involved with HR at Shell, Old Mutual, Eskom, Sasol and Uthingo Management. Today Buyani is CEO of Breakthrough Development and a part-time faculty member of the Gordon Institute of Business Science. He is also the winner of the prestigious Black Management Forum’s Manager of the Year, and is the former President of the Black Management Forum in Mpumalanga. He holds a BSc in Industrial Psychology and a number of qualifications in leadership and management development. Entertaining, engaging, committed and passionate about change, Buyani brings more than 20 years of development experience to his presentations.

About Nicola Tyler, CEO, Business Results Group
South Africa’s local expert in the field of lateral thinking, and Founder of Business Results Group, Nicola has presented at conferences around the world. With more than 25 years in the field of learning and development, her experience spans industries and continents. She has shared the stage and conducted Q&A Sessions with great minds and leaders, including Edward de Bono, Robert Kaplan, Dave Ulrich, Martin Seligman, Tal Ben Shahar, Ricardo Semler, Martin Lindstrom, Richard Koch and Dave Norton. Nicola is a popular and sought after strategic thinker, bringing her experience as a trained lateral thinker to strategic conversations across the continent. As a former lecturer on the GIBS MBA, a certified Master Trainer in de Bono Thinking Systems and Practitioner in Liz Wiseman’s Multipliers programme, Nicola is both a popular facilitator and keynote speaker at events around the world.

About Lebo Mashile, Poet and Performer
Lebo Mashile A poet and a performer who is passionate about change, children,communication and collaboration. Lebo is as comfortable on stage as she is behind a camera, having had a career that has spanned scriptwriting, producing, presenting and stage acting. Lebo’s natural talent has now been discovered by the corporate world, where she brings to life her talent for poetry and arts in the workplace. A masterful storyteller, self-scripted, Lebo’s career has seen her named one of New African’s magazines “Top 100 Africans” and winner of the Art Ambassador award for South African Women in the Arts. She holds a Degree in Law and International Relations, is an active ambassador and campaigner for change and has produced two award winning CD’s, Ribbon of Rhythm and Flying Above the Sky.