Steven


Interview with Bruce Whitfield on my book “The New Manager”

This interview took place on the 6th Feb 2017 and was broadcast on 702 and Cape Talk in South Africa. I really enjoyed the questions Bruce asked me and it was seriously a privilege to be interviewed by someone that is such a well known professional in their field. Truly grateful for the opportunity.


Be a Visible Leader 46

Leadership is effective when a leader spends time with those they lead. Reflect on all the great leaders that have led you. Why were they great? How much time did they spend with you?
Now reflect on all those leaders that were your leader but never spent any time with you. Are they in the “great list”? It is highly unlikely as what did they actually do for you? If you claim “I am self-managed” then it is true, you actually need no leader. However this statement borders on arrogance.

How can a person improve their effectiveness if they only have themselves to rely on? Surely their ideas will eventually become saturated? A great leader will spend time even with those that seem to be “self-managed” and encourage and inspire them to greater heights. The leader may plant a seed that could produce a hundredfold, yet if they never spend time with you how can any seed be planted?

A visible leader is far more effective than an invisible leader and logic alone proves this to be true. Today may you change your ways and stop looking at emails, decline some internal meetings and rather spend your day with a team member. This is where change begins……

God bless


Neglect

Its amazing how easy it is to fall into neglect. There is a proverb that I love that says, “a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and so poverty will come upon you like a robber and your want like an armed man (Proverbs 23 vs 33)

It is not the BIG things that cause us to fall into difficulties, it is the “little things”. If we neglect to do something small that we should be doing that thing can snowball into something massive. Most neglect happens because we were sleeping. This does not necessarily refer to actual sleeping but also that our mind was sleeping. We were just not alert enough. In the job you have how many things are you supposed to be doing on a daily basis? If you are the leader of a team what are the things you should be looking at daily? Are you sleeping in any of them? Have you started to neglect the small things?

I am considering building some sort of chart highlighting all the “chores” that should be done daily. The reason for this is that in my work environment there are many emails, phone calls and spontaneous meetings that take place that can quite easily cause me to neglect something as I get so caught up in the moment. What is your strategy today?

Have a blessed day

Steven


Be brave

On this beautiful day my challenge to you is “TO BE BRAVE”. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines brave as “having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty”.

Mental strength is needed if you are going to step out and take a risk. Define your risks, those things that you fear, the difficulties, it will help you understand what they are in order to confront them. Dale Carnegie has some sage advise in his book “How to stop worrying and start living”, in one of the chapters he advises that if you are struggling with a fear you have, then define the worst possible thing that could happen and then think of what you would do if it did happen. This way you have in essence assessed your greatest fear and how to overcome it. In this process it may give you assurance that the risk is not as great as you once believed and you also may realize that you can actually overcome the challenge if your greatest fear fell upon you.

In writing my first book “The New manager” I had many personal doubts and fears. I mean I had invested many years into that book. I delayed and delayed completing it making many an excuse whereas the true reason was that I was afraid it would not be that good. What would the backlash be? I had told so many family members, friends and colleagues that I was writing a book, how would they respond? What if it was a complete failure? Yet at some point my wife got me into completing the book. She managed to get me out of my fear and apathy and into completing the book. The passion I had to finish the book was greater than my fears and the great news is that none of my fears realized. Not one of them.

To date around 1100 copies of the book have been sold and it has received many great reviews. The best of which was that it was chosen as one of the top 6 business books in 2016 by Ian Mann (a best selling author).

I am sure there is something burning in your heart that you want to do, why not be brave and just do it?

God bless

Steven


2nd hand information

This is a massive challenge that we are facing today. How much information is second hand? What I mean by this is that we hear something from someone who heard something instead of hearing it from them ourselves.

As a child I remember the broken telephone games we use to play. It starts off with someone whispering a sentence into someones ear and that person whispering the same sentence until the last person hears the sentence. They then share the sentence with the entire class and everyone bursts into laughter due to the massive change that has taken place. Key things get lost, people misquote, the understanding is somehow changed.

If you are a leader today please ensure that you hear the information first hand. Don’t rely on someone telling you what someone else said, make sure you check with the source and ensure the information is accurate. Many a leader has made an incorrect decision based on incorrect information.

May you commit to get the information first hand.

 

God bless

Steven


Do today what you wish to become tomorrow

So many people have wonderful dreams and hopes for their future. They plan to become something wonderful and get all excited about the future.

How do they fulfill those dreams? The answer lies in what they are doing in their today’s. As I write this I have a dream of loosing weight, gaining muscle and getting a lot fitter. At the age of 44 I somehow feel things a lot more than I use to. The muscles ache easier and to gain weight is so easy yet it is not healthy. I now have to watch what I eat and exercise daily which is no easy task especially with my screaming body and mind. The senses pick up every smell, the eyes see every cake, the mind tries to convince me that it won’t make a difference if I have one bite. Yet I know that in order to achieve my dream I must discipline this body today, one second at a time.

Its only been a couple of days but I have set the plan in motion and made myself accountable to my wife and kids, so that they can also help me keep on the straight and narrow. I also remind myself of a time in the past that I went through this and how I overcame the challenges. I can do it again.

Yes you can only achieve your dreams through the things you do in your today’s.


Updated cover for my book

Ian Mann has graciously voted my book as one of his top six business books of 2016. This is the updated cover that will appear on ebook sales as well as when there is a reprint of the book. Why not get yourself or a loved one a copy if you are new to the management role?


Silence

In the new year how much time are you going to give yourself to be silent?

It is very easy to get busy doing stuff and to fill your time. Last night I was sitting on the couch watching a movie that I had seen before when half way through the film I suddenly stopped watching and thought to myself,”what are you doing?”. I mean I have seen this film before so there was no need to see it again. It was simply stealing time from me that could be better spent. So I went to bed and had an excellent sleep instead.

What does this have to do about being silent? Everything really as I realized today that if I stepped back and thought about things more clearly I would have been able to prevent such time wastage. Some of you reading this may say to relax and watch a film is a good thing as we need to relax and I would agree. However what is better? To relax and watch a film or to sit back and spend time in silence thinking about things. To meditate on your options and select the most productive or urgent one. How many of us loose time because we haven’t thought things out properly.

Preparation for your week cant happen when it has already started it should have been done before the week started. Also when you think more you will put yourself in a better position to make the right decisions. How many are watching films when what their body really needs is sleep? How many are watching films when they should be exercising. It need not be a film that is wasting your time it could also be spending time on social media that is wasting your time.

I honestly believe that in our world today more time is wasted looking at screens than ever before and we don’t spend enough time having a time out to meditate and plan what needs to be done.

May you have a silent week

God bless

Steven


Follow through

It’s now the 14th January and the question I ask today is a simple one. Have I followed through on my commitments to myself this year?

The truth is that it is easy to commit but very difficult to follow through on the commitment. The reason is that habits that are deeply entrenched have to be broken. We have to discipline our bodies to do what we have committed them to do.

This is no easy task, but hey, great challenge equals great reward. Small challenge equals small reward.

May we not give up so easily  on our commitments this year.

God bless

Steven