My Leadership Fails: Team Failure & The Abilene Paradox

TSS Toxic Workplace

“When performance drives relationships business success is inevitable. However, when relationships drive performance, the urge to maintain the status quo will lead to  failure”

“More teams (and businesses) are ultimately destroyed by unhealthy people-pleasing than by overt hostility and aggression”

A boardroom drama I will never forget: “What do you mean ‘we may be insolvent’? How much cash do we need? Why did we all agree to pay a dividend at the last board meeting if cashflow is so poor?” This team of directors was in trouble! Yet they were all highly competent, capable and overtly supportive of each other.

How did they get into such a mess? The answer lies in an insidious strain of conflict avoidance known as ‘people-pleasing’. This form of conflict avoidance has contributed to a range of major disasters including financial catastrophes, major industrial accidents, plane crashes, shipping disasters and company destroying product failures. [Read more…]

My Leadership Fails: Soft vs Kind

Courage Sailor“Smooth Seas Do Not Make Skillful Sailors” African Proverb

I have confessed to a life of ‘people pleasing’ at work – giving in to the demands of others – rescuing them from their problems – only to be hated and vilified when eventually I put some boundaries in places and said ‘no’. I felt confused and bewildered by this until recently, when I got to spend the day with Liz Wiseman – HR Guru and author of ‘Multipliers’ and she shared some insights that dramatically changed my approach to leadership at work! [Read more…]

Mythbusting Resiliency & Burnout

Resiliency

“Be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle” Plato

“Life is both ‘simple and hard’ but becomes ‘complex’ when we try to make it  ‘easy’” Dr Pete

I am a fool. After all these years of research and clinical practice I still fall into the trap of thinking that people who are fit and healthy, good-looking,  have extraverted personalities, shiny sport cars, happy families and an apparent lack of any personal problems, are role models of what it means to be resilient – but I am completely wrong! The notion that resiliency means you don’t have any personal problems is a myth!

I am also a fool when it comes to the subject of burnout! For years I thought burnout was some disastrous, slow-moving, hidden disease that was unstoppable once it started and only inflicted upon those Mother Teresa selfless type caregivers. I thought there would be no chance of recovery or return to health but rather a gradual slide into self-sacrificial oblivion which was only rewarded in heaven. The notion that burnout is both a complex irreversible phenomenon and only affects the selfless caregiver type is also a myth! [Read more…]

Success Secrets 7: Busy is Better Than Boredom or Burnout!

Endless Summer

If you want something done ask a busy person! Benjamin Franklin

Have you ever asked someone to do something for you only to have to eventually do it yourself – often in a last-minute rush? At work I have suffered the ‘delegation curse’ of assigning a task to someone and then either not having it done properly and/or unexpected delays in it being completed. I then find myself either re-doing the task, (often when I don’t have time) or nagging and micro managing to get things done by due dates – only to damage relationships with my colleagues! [Read more…]

Stress Wipeouts & Self Awareness

TTS Image WipeoutHave you ever been stressed out to the max? What happens when you are fully stressed out? Do you feel extreme levels of tension, anger or sadness? Do you want to run away and escape or confront the situation as soon as possible?

In order to ride the challenging Waves of Life as opposed to Wiping Out we need understand our own body’s reaction to stress, and control the stress response to make it more helpful than harmful.
In order to understand our stress response let’s first explore the concept of Wiping Out for Surfers.  [Read more…]