Public Sector Leaders

Public Sector Leaders

So you have come to the right place if you’re a director, head of service or aspiring manager in a public sector organisation.

These days being politically astute and being able to get the job done is great but the world is changing, budgets are tighter and tighter and greater commercial acumen is needed to adapt to a more innovative environment – AND empower teams in a radically different way.  Being a public leader requires significantly more than just being able to play policitcal games.  More of you is required!

You may want to transform your leadership behaviour, be better at working across organisational boundaries or be able to make a real difference to delivering whole community benefit – under pressure and whilst creating a better work/life balance.

You get the job done well in your social enterprise or charitable sphere, you have all the relevant expertise and to date this has carried you through.  You’ve made your way up, your team appreciate you and yet you know you can have much more impact if you reduce that self doubt or are able to engage staff and partners in a more powerful way.

In this arena of austerity, how can you bring teams and others on board into a sometimes ever changing agenda? You can do the usual, but this usually ends up with you working silly hours and still you don’t seem to be making the impact you know you are capable of.  You don’t know where to start to reduce working hours or stop the inner critic that is swirling around in your head.  You’re feeling de-motivated, frustrated, put upon, stressed, confused and certainly pressured.

My powerful individual and group coaching leadership programmes will help you develop vital purpose and personal skills that will give life to your leadership and team.  You will find the passion, motivation, release to be the leader and person you are – not fitting a mould or political persona but developing how to build a powerful purpose and emotionally compelling communication techniques that will transform your professional impact.

To find out more about my Public Sector Leadership Programme click HERE or contact me about behaviour change coaching programmes email me: nicci@awareleadership.co.uk or call me on 07817 246930.  OR you can pop a question or comment into my live online chat box!

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Public Sector Leadership Programme

Welcome to this transformational 18 month behaviour change programme…

This is an intensive, bespoke experiential programme for executive and senior public sector leaders who want to revive or transform their leadership behaviour and develop the ability to adapt to their ever changing organisational context.

This programme is centred on both individual leadership and group learning for 10-12 people.

Purpose: To explore where leaders are in their leadership, their defining style and how current challenges can propel leadership growth. To define a series of proactive choices about their leadership and vision for the future, developing emotional resilience and inner strength to bring this to the fore. Building leadership behaviour changes that will support them as a team to continue to adapt to their wider organisational purpose and context.

‘When you change your behaviour, you have the ability to transform your experience – including how people respond to you’

Programme Highlights
• 18×1:1 online behaviour change coaching sessions
• 8x ½ day face to face group training sessions*
• Online platform to collect and share notes
• Online forum to connect and share learning

Programme Outline
1:1 Behaviour Change Coaching – exploring personal challenges in leadership and empowering leaders as individual’s to bring forward their best. Propelling and dovetailing growth as individual’s learn from group sessions
Current Leadership Capacity* – exploring where leaders are currently in their leadership individually and as a team, including challenges and perceived capabilities. Benchmarking areas for growth or behaviour change
Flexing Leadership Style* – exploring leadership style and how this impacts the day to day environment and results. Learning how to adapt and flex style according to the context
Team Engagement* – exploring how the leadership team is engaged and motivated, and, in turn how their teams are motivated. Exploring how achievements are celebrated and building mechanisms to create a open feedback culture
Purposeful Leadership* – exploring where our inner critic may hold us back as individuals and as a team. Developing mindful techniques to facilitate behaviour change. Learning transforming tools to highlight and build emotional resilience
Personal Integrity* – exploring what it takes to be a public sector leader in the current climate, including how to honour personal integrity in difficult times. Exploring personal and collective values that can be sustained over time
Continuous Improvement* – exploring what it takes to create a culture of continuous improvement, including giving and receiving open and honest feedback. Building a culture which embraces learning and change
Leadership Team Vision* – exploring your individual vision for your leadership and identifying key barriers. Identifying key qualities that you can develop to build capacity and sustainable growth.
• An Inspired Vision for the Future* – exploring the organisational vision for the future and how leaders can make this emotionally compelling and engaging. Identifying how to inspire hope and commitment from teams and other stakeholders.

Benefits
• Increased personal mastery for individuals significantly increasing leadership engagement and capacity
• Increased confidence and purpose in going forward and creating a powerful leadership vision for the future
• Increased ability to adapt to different leadership styles and uphold the context of the organisation’s purpose
• Increased ability for individuals to embrace the leader that they are and build emotional resilience within the current (and developing) culture
• Ability to consciously create a deliberate organisational culture and context which is continuously improving

Quality
The following elements are a core part of the programme to ensure quality of delivery:
• Outline objectives agreed at the start of the programme and reviewed quarterly
• Individuals 1:1 coaching objectives are set at the start and reviewed quarterly
• Evaluations/reviews provided as part of each group session with analysis of participant feedback
• Quantative and qualitative objectives measured and anecdotal feedback sought in all reviews
• Completion review, including measurement against objectives and partner feedback

Commitment/Timings
Commitment and timings are as follows:
• 1:1 coaching sessions – online once a month for 18 months
• 8×3.5hr group training sessions designed to both dig deeper and provide tools to build leadership capacity. Sessions would be spaced over the programme period
• Quarterly review meetings (1hr) – to review progress, outcomes and any adjustments
• Completion review meeting (1.5hrs) – to review programme outcomes and next steps

To find out more about this programme please email me: nicci@awareleadership.co.uk or call me on 07817 246930.  You can also apply for a FREE group taster session HERE.

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The Leadership ‘I AM’ Meditation

The Leadership ‘I AM’ Meditation

Time to – stop – checkin and give yourself 1 hour of ‘ME’ leadership time. Listen to this 30 minute guided meditation designed to relax you and tap into your intrinsic leadership qualities

To find out more about this course please click on the above link.  If you have any questions at all or would like to explore what you would get from taking the courses please email me: nicci@awareleadership.co.uk or call me on 07817 246930.  OR you can pop a question or comment into my live online chat box!

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The Leader Within

The Leader Within

This is a 2 module course designed to raise your awareness of the unique leader within you. This course shares some golden pieces of information and encourages you to identify your key growth area – creating an active purpose and enabling you to create a clear focus on your leadership development.

To find out more about this course please click on the above link.  If you have any questions at all or would like to explore what you would get from taking the courses please email me: nicci@awareleadership.co.uk or call me on 07817 246930.  OR you can pop a question or comment into my live online chat box!

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Conscious Leadership

Conscious Leadership

This is a 3 module course designed to awaken you to the power of your mind. This course shares some precious information about how your mind works – enabling you to becoming powerfully aware – and take radical responsibility for your thoughts/feelings. This will empower you to pro-actively choose your response rather that ‘react’ as you have in the past. This will increase your ability to consciously lead, no longer being at the whim of automatic behaviour patterns that are not serving you…

To find out more about this course please click on the above link.  If you have any questions at all or would like to explore what you would get from taking the course please email me: nicci@awareleadership.co.uk or call me on 07817 246930.  OR you can pop a question or comment into my live online chat box!

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Building Inner Confidence for Professional Impact

Building Inner Confidence for Professional Impact

This is a 6 module course designed to transform your inner confidence. This course shares a wealth of information and transformational tools for you to practise over time – increasing your inner confidence and mastering that sometimes negative inner voice…

To find out more about this course please click on the above link.  If you have any questions at all or would like to explore what you would get from taking the courses please email me: nicci@awareleadership.co.uk or call me on 07817 246930.  OR you can pop a question or comment into my live online chat box!

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Obligation in Leadership – Does it Serve you Well?

Obligation in Leadership – Does it Serve you Well?

There’s a motivational state that has been evident around me the last few weeks and months – and in myself sometimes – obligation.

Do you know this one? It’s the state of mind we can get into with a commitment that sounds like:

  • I have to go along, see this through, keep going…
  • I can’t say no – or what I really think…
  • I’m bored…frustrated…tired…distracted
  • This isn’t working…this isn’t what is should be…this should be…
  • So-and-so doesn’t know what they are doing…
  • I’ve tried to change it but it doesn’t work, if I say anything it won’t make any difference
  • Here we go again…
  • I have no choice…

So you show up for a meeting and this is your state of mind. ‘Going through the motions’ comes to my mind as I’m writing this. I have done this many times! Something at some point may peak my interested, but other than that I’m 50% – sometimes – 25% in.

At some point I said YES to this commitment and now I’m acting out a NO.

And then what most likely nicely piles up is resentment and/or resignation. We then go about (consciously or unconsciously) playing this out with some of the following behaviours:

  • Distracted, disengaged, not giving our full attention (playing with our phone is a popular one)
  • Withholding of information, knowledge or contribution
  • Acting bored or indifferent
  • Not really fully participating or speaking up about what one is unhappy or frustrated about
  • Moaning, complaining – we do like to do that don’t we!
  • Colluding with others outside of the meeting to diagnose ‘what’s wrong’
  • Mentally justifying one’s own disengagement, inactivity or lack of attention

We are literally rejecting or resisting the situation right now – AS IT IS. Well we have tried haven’t we?

The thing is when we show up in a state of obligation, not only are we not taking responsibility for our part – we have also already condemned the situation as ‘over’.  We have closed the door our willingness to see possibility, get creative or be open to the conversation as it is happening. There is nowhere to go after that. Obligation is the path we are on and there’s a perceived self preservation in that – and a nice familiar place to hide out – being a martyr or a victim or ‘knowing better’.

There’s a big fat NO in us and the essence of that will trickle out affecting the atmosphere.  And of course the ensuing resentment is like poison, slowing sucking the life out of everything. This may sound dramatic but it’s very real when it happens and can be extremely toxic in an organisational culture.

As Nelson Mandela said:

‘Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die’

My question is: Would you really want to keep this going? We all play a part in the context, what’s created in any given moment. You have the absolute power – at any time – to choose something different.  To choose a different way to BE and behave.

Don’t underestimate how much one person’s willingness – yours – can affect the atmosphere and outcome. As a very wise person once said to me ‘your way of being, your behaviour are like perfume – people can smell it’.

People in high performing, empowered cultures show up much more in a motivational state of willingness. A willingness to be open, to say what is so for them – even if this is uncomfortable. There’s a willingness to be honest, fully participate, focus on the quality of their own experience and that of the team. There’s a willingness to be uncertain, creative, uncomfortable, collaborative. They take personal responsibility for the part they play and how this contributes to the bigger picture.

So here are five suggestions and insights that I’m hopeful will support you (and indeed the bigger picture in your own organisational culture):

  • Purpose – what’s your purpose for being there? For saying yes in the first place. Is your purpose still valid or true? Are you and/or the team getting what you came for? Is your purpose big enough to see you through when things don’t go how you would like? Sometimes admitting to ourselves that we don’t want something anymore or it’s not working out is tough. And letting go can take huge amounts of courage…however it can also create room for discourse, something else, other ideas, people or possibilities…
  • Choice – Is it really true that we have no choice? There may be consequences to making a different choice – however I put it to you that this is not the same as not having a choice. What we can always choose is how we are with the choices we make. There is a big psychological difference and impact between and attitude of ‘obligation’ and ‘willingness’
  • Are you IN or OUT – in light of your or the team’s purpose, do you really to keep going? Is it serving you, others or the purpose to keep going? Are you contributing in the way you want to? Are you creating the results you want? What needs to happen for you/the team to be more engaged, committed…fully IN…100%
  • Tell the TRUTH – if you are not happy or don’t what to be there. Speak up, leave, say no, let go. Tell the truth about how you are feeling and what you’d like to see change. No guarantee of course that you will get what you want! Have your voice though, even if it is not what others want to hear. You do yourself and others a disservice by not speaking up. I can’t count the times I have been fearful to say something and then when I do there are countless others who say ‘yes, I thought that’. And then we have course corrected or cleared up what was in the way. Your willingness to be open and truthful creates the space for others to do the same
  • You – by being in a state of obligation the person who loses out most is YOU. You diminish your voice, you minimise your wants and needs, you minimise that fact that YOU matter and your contribution matters. Avoiding taking responsibility for yourself in this way also diminishes the part YOU can play in creating something different – whether that’s staying where you are or not. Contexts shift constantly – you can choose to change yours proactively and consciously or ‘ride along’ in obligation.

So, as always the choice is yours…

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Leadership Development – What do YOU stand for?

Leadership Development – What do YOU stand for?

I’ve worked with many clients, particularly public sector, who want to transform their stakeholder engagement results, predominantly staff engagement. They want a higher performing culture – a culture where staff are much more empowered, forward thinking and engaged. They want this to transform their organisation, solve their retention or HR issues and lead to significant improvement of services. The ‘golden alchemy’ if you will.

What I’ve noticed is that there’s a big piece missing for me in how this goal is tackled or even debated. I see a kind of flatness, blandness, sometimes a lot of resignation and particularly individual leaders with-holding their individuality. I rarely see a leader truly engaged in their own strategy – where’s the passion, where’s the emotionally compelling vision for a transformed future? For me sometimes there’s a big disconnection in HOW the vision and strategies are put forward.  I want to see leaders take a stand.  I want to see leaders authentically sharing what they stand for and engaging me into a compelling vision for the future – because they are engaged and fired up themselves.

As with all hopes for change, this starts at home – in all of us as leaders. How are you being? What do you stand for?

In the same respect, I have huge compassion that this may not be the ‘done thing’, showing one’s self in this way. It takes courage and the willingness to stand out. It’s more common to portray a ‘persona’ or a culturally accepted norm – to maintain a conscious or unconscious consensus. Completely understandable .

My question is, how can you as a leader expect your teams to BE something which isn’t role modelled in your own behaviour?  Isn’t that confusing and incongruent? The most powerful way we can engage and transform is to role model the courage and willingness to do this ourselves.  Engage yourself first, transform your attitude first.

I hear a lot about different organisational development strategies, all brilliant initiatives that will be part of this or improvement journey.  I am a passionate believer however that creating a coaching culture is one of the most effective and sustainable ways to transform cultures, particularly for organisations that are going for higher performance, empowerment or engagement.

This is something I have a great deal of experience in. Some years ago I created a ‘coaching for culture’ programme with an awesome educational client. This was a powerful way to not only develop leadership and teams but also create a more purposeful, open, empowered culture where the emphasis shifted from ‘telling’ to ‘learning’. The starting part of course is to role model this through the executive team – through their own journey of empowerment and development. Who knows what’s possible after that!

So here’s my four key steps to creating an empowered coaching culture:

– Live it – have your own coaching, be empowered, see how this transforms your own performance or engagement. This could even be the purpose of your coaching

– Creating a Vision and Purpose – intentionally create a powerful, compelling vision and purpose that engages YOU and sets the context for coaching

– Coaching Strategy – underpinned by your vision and purpose, create a strategy or framework that is going to bring about your coaching culture

– Tipping point – be clear about the ‘how’ in your strategy, how are going to create a tipping point in coaching culture? Who are you going to enrol into your vision, how are you going to engage internal and external stakeholders, how are you going to create the context which will bring about your results (particularly how staff will keep practising and keep their learning going).

There you are. Go create!

 

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Legal Leadership – Visionary or Vacant?

Legal Leadership – Visionary or Vacant?

I was just reading a Forbes article about the top 3 burning issues in law firm’s – highlighted in 2017. I’ve worked with a number of legal professionals and this top 3 really resonated with what I’ve been experiencing and hearing. Here’s my take on the key challenges:

  • Vision and Strategy – gone are the times when being the top fee earner was all a firm is strategically focused on – or indeed extremely reactive leadership which only reacts to day to day events. MORE is required these days to engage firm staff, clients and other stakeholders in a meaningful strategic vision and aspirational brand values.  More forward thinking firms are moving into this evolving paradigm because they recognise the world has moved on. People want a more common purpose, inspiration and fulfilment. Being technically excellent is no longer enough
  • Succession Planning & Developing Talent – many firms are in a new era of leadership transition. They are looking at one or two years ahead where managing partners who have been in the firm for 10-20, sometime nearly 30 years are about to retire. Reflection on the old paradigm of this kind of term is bringing about a realisation that in order for firms to grow, their leadership needs to be more fresh, creative and forward thinking. The old paradigm of long serving partners may be consistent and solid but can also create stagnation and client silos. Firms need emerging partners, associates who have the strategic engagement skills to deliver client development AND bring about a compelling strategic vision
  • Cultural Congruency – the practise in many law firms has been to segregate departments and recruit laterally based on industry groupings or areas of law. However cross cultural alignment can be a big issue across firms. Employment law departments can foster a very different culture in comparison to say conveyancing which can be far more transactional. Firm leaders need to have the aptitude and adaptability to engage and serve clients across the firm. It’s a real challenge for firms to create a common culture when head of departments may be at odds in both their leadership style and their willingness to invest in the firm’s strategic leadership development

I’ve recently been doing some research for a leadership programme – with varied feedback from legal firms of different sizes and complexity. The themes I’ve pulled from this so far, plus feedback from clients, has reflected similar challenges. I think it’s immensely positive that some firms are aware of their barriers to growth – the next step is doing something about it! And of course engaging their firm is key – enrolling themselves, teams, clients and other stakeholders to ‘get on the train’ as it were.

Here are 3 top tips then to reflect on…

  • Leadership Capacity – invest the time to look at where the firm’s leadership is in relation to both current growth and challenges, where’s the gap? What are the challenges telling you? I’m a great believer in challenges being the biggest opportunity for growth. Is the leadership resisting challenges or getting aligned with the reality of change – and most importantly what clients needs are
  • Pro-active Leadership – engage partners and stakeholders in developing a vision for the future – one which is not just about technical or financial growth but HOW this vision is going to be lead. What is it going to take in the existing (or up and coming) leadership to build the firm’s evolving world? Making the time and investment to consciously choose how to lead is very different from batting off challenges as they arise
  • Collective Leadership Vision – invest in the development of both existing leadership and emerging talent. Review how the firm can commit to empowering and harnessing talent, those who are going to be leading the firm into the distant future. Create openness and honesty about the existing capabilities and barriers of current leadership behaviours. Develop both individual leadership visions and a collective leadership vision which inspires, creates clarity and ambition

So there you go! I’m passionate about individual and collective self awareness in firms, mostly because self awareness = choice. The choice to respond differently. The choice to be pro-active rather than reactive. How powerful would your firm be if you were consciously choosing how to behave? Wow!

Want to create that vision or proactive leadership in your firm?

Ask me about a FREE leadership group taster session to propel your greatest challenges into a powerful strategic vision.

I can’t wait to hear from you…

Book FREE Leadership Group Taster Session

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