Anrah News - December 2015
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Have you noticed that in modern organisations where teams are spread across countries and even continents, where people have an array of job titles: Director of Collaboration Solutions, Vice President of Innovation Management or the enigmatic Genius, there is more focus on bottom up rather than top down 'command and control' type leadership. Every member of the team is expected to play a significant role.

Terri Kelly, CEO of W.L.Gore is one of the few people in her multi-billion dollar organisation with a title. She said in Harvard Business Review:

“Leaders.....recognize that they are only leaders if they have willing followers, and that this needs to be earned every day. Ultimately their contributions will be judged by the people they lead."

Leaders have to have “willing followers“. In this new world, the people who stand out from the talented crowd are the ones others want to follow.

In Strengths Based Leadership from the Gallup organisation's extensively researched profiling of leadership, the authors look at how to attract followership. They identify four distinct values followers need, to be committed and willing:

  1. Trust: Trust has to be earned. Leaders who demonstrate consistent respect, integrity and most of all, authenticity are trusted. They acknowledge their flaws and admit mistakes, especially when delivering difficult news. They commit themselves to their followers. The chances of employees being engaged at work when they do not trust leaders are just 1 in 12. When they trust them, that engagement increases sixfold.
  2. Compassion: Mounting evidence shows that a caring manager means people stay with their company longer, are more productive and produce more profit. One of my clients takes each of his team members out for an evening meal every month, another is happy to let her colleague work from home regularly because she has a long commute. By listening, taking interest and support followers' happiness and wellbeing, leaders demonstrate that followers matter to them.
  3. Stability: Followers need a leader they can count on who buffers them from threats, maintains discipline and provides consistency. Everyone knows where they stand. As Simon Sinek asserts in his TED Talk  "Why good leaders make you feel safe" "When we feel safe within an organisation we naturally combine our talents and our strengths and work tirelessly to face the dangers outside and seize the opportunities." 
  4. Hope: Frequently leaders fail to realise how deeply followers need something to look forward to that helps them see a way through the chaos and complexity. Knowing things can and will get better is a powerful motivator and when absent, people lose confidence and feel helpless. To keep on being the best they can be, followers need to believe in a brighter vision of things to come.
Who are your followers you need to build trust with, show compassion towards, provide reassurance for and inspire hope within? They may be your Board members, your senior management team, your line manager and your team at work. And as importantly during this Christmas period, they may also be your partner, your friends, your parents and especially your children.

Merry Christmas!


US Admiral Grace Hopper (1906 - 1992) was one of the first programmers in the history of computers. A favourite story was when in the 1940s,she and her team were having a hard time working out what caused a glitch in the Mark ll computer. Finally they discovered the problem - a live moth stuck in the one of the electrical switches controlling a circuit. This is how the phrase 'de-bugging' became popular.

When Grace Hopper was seven she decided to take apart every alarm clock in her house to discover how they worked. When her mother found out, instead of scolding her, she suggested Grace choose to dismantle them one at a time.

Her parents committed to giving her the same opportunities as her brother. With their help, she got to Vassar to study Maths and Physics and eventually she was teaching Maths there. During World War 2 she took leave of absence to join an all-female Naval division and was immediately assigned to work in research programming on the Mark l computer at Harvard. She became so committed to her research she turned down a professorship.

In the '50s she was appointed senior mathematician developing a new computer and evolved a "compiler" - changing source code from a complex language to a simpler, more understandable one and by the late '50s she had designed COBOL - COmmon Business Orientated Language. This is still used in today's computers. By the '70s she pioneered design and technology standards we use now.

She tried to retire twice and both times was recalled for indefinite active duty. By the time she retired for a last time in 1986 at the age of 80 as a Rear Admiral she was the oldest active duty officer in the US Navy having shaped the future of programming. 

She said, "Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on the wall that runs counter-clockwise."
Anrah News
May I and my associates wish you and all who matter to you the very best happiness for Christmas and the coming year. And like Mr and Mrs Fezziwig (A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens), you enjoy festivities, dancing and jollity. As Scrooge says,

"Mr Fezziwig has the power to make us happy or unhappy. His power lies in words and looks: things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count them up. The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune."

Hoping you are happy and fortunate in 2016.
Last call for “Stand Out from the Crowd: Leadership and Gravitas Training” workshop on on Friday January 22nd 2016 at my office at  Sandford Gate, Eastpoint Business Park, Oxford.
The event runs between 10am and 5pm and will have a maximum of five attendees. The morning will focus on growing your gravitas and the afternoon on identifying your leadership skills and how to develop them. Lunch is provided. For more detail please email me or give me a ring on 07939 261743. I have one last available place.
Do you want coaching and training on developing:
  • credibility
  • gravitas
  • influence
  • increased reach
  • stakeholder buy-in
  • leadership authority
Please email me or call 07939 261743 to discuss your objectives for yourself or your leadership team and how I could help you achieve them.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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