What is True Leadership?

December 1, 2017

It was an honour to write the first guest blog for the DCCI.  My desire to do justice to this question was high, so I ‘asked a friend’.  In fact, I asked nearly everyone I met last week and several I didn’t.  And the answers were surprising, both in content and in consistency.  Virtually everyone from the UK to Australia said the same thing – “true leadership is not about the individual – but what happens around them.”

True leaders put service above self. They transport us to somewhere else in our heads. Everyone around them gets smarter, more capable, and they achieve extraordinary things from ordinary people.

True leadership it seems is a powerful blend of ambition and humility.  Their ambition creates a relentless drive to achieve the best possible results for the greater good, and their humility never lets their ego or personal ambition get in the way and yet is never downtrodden.  A combination that inspires, motivates and drives them and their people to give, be and achieve more than they thought they were capable of.

True leaders possess a clarity of thought, a certainty in what needs to be achieved.  They are slow in planning and fast in implementing – bringing their team aboard early to debate key decisions vigorously, before making the final decision.  They are unafraid to make tough decisions and have difficult conversations – even when it hurts. And yet they will act consistently and fairly with respect and empathy for all.  A true leader can also time travel; they can race ahead to check out the future, and they can walk with someone in pain.

In short – true leaders are hard but fair, great communicators and listeners, trust others and know there is no blame, only learning and ownership.  They are decisive and collaborative, inspire greatness in others and laugh at themselves. They support and challenge, and they attract talent and help them move on.

And the litmus test of a true leader?  It’s the legacy they leave – were they a genius, or a genius maker?

Stephen R Covey said “People are often overworked and underutilised.  Organisations that figure out how to better access the vastly underutilised resource won’t just be more enjoyable places to work; they will outperform their competitors.”

By Susannah Brade-Waring, Managing Director, Aspirin Business

NEW: Developing Strategy in Volatile Times Course

December 1, 2017

Our Learning & Development partners at Mindshop have created a new course, based on the knowledge gained by Mindshop Advisor, Mike Burke’s successful completion of the ‘Strategy in Competitive Markets’ course at the HAAS School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

We’re looking for three business leaders to trial this 15 module online course.  Each leader must provide us with constructive feedback based on how they applied this course to their business.

You will consider the global impacts of change, including technology, competitive landscape, cost reduction and opportunity.  You’ll learn how to test the strategy, increase the likelihood of successful implementation.  The 15 modules include:  Share of Market Spend, Technology Impact, The Blank Canvas, Future Competitors, Standing out from the pack – Developing your SCA, Global Opportunity, Change Success Model and Measuring and Policing your Strategy.

If want to help Susannah trial this course, get in touch.

Aspirin’s 2017 Roundup

December 1, 2017

Wow! It’s been a very busy time at Aspirin Business in 2017.  Over the past few months, we’ve created and hosted the UK Conference for Motivational Maps, repositioned the business, updated our brand and launched a new website.   And of course, continued to create high-performing cultures for our ambitious big-hearted clients!

Our global employee engagement project for Merlin Entertainments, whose attractions include LEGOLAND and Sea Life, will start to be rolled out over the next few months, with the objective of embedding employee engagement into the daily activities on each site.  We’re in our 8th successive year of delivering Leadership and Management Development for the John Lewis Partnership.  We’ve delivered 8 Motivational Map Accreditations, increasing our total to 50 Map Practitioners, and we’re delighted that, with Heath’s TLC, over 80% of the organisations we’ve accredited over the past 7 years are regularly using Maps.

We’re delighted to be working with both existing clients and new clients.  December brings our 7th quarterly Leader’s Academy, and the opportunity to recognise and share achievements with a delicious meal at The Tickled Pig, before visioning for the success we each want in 2018.

Our ‘Junior Aspirin’, Kyle Brade-Waring, has re-joined our team having completed his volunteer year in South-east Asia and started his degree in Biological Sciences at Brighton Uni.  Kyle’s eye for detail is a fantastic help with our accounts and client support work.  And, of course, our Map Practitioners provide us with many strong coaches and consultants who’d love to work with us, and we have no shortage of Associates with a range of specialities – including, of course, Paul Kinvig.

Hot off the press! We can also announce that – with one of our Practitioners, we’ve collaborated and secured an order for 600 Motivational Maps with a well-known large organisation.  This further affirms Motivational Maps rising position as a breakthrough development tool.

Have a wonderful Christmas break and we look forward to us all having a prosperous 2018.

Best wishes from Heath and Susannah.

Why Culture Eats Strategy in Dorset!

October 5, 2017

Ian Girling, Chief Executive of DCCI, recently joined Aspirin Business Leaders’ Academy to explore why 60% of leaders think culture is more important than their strategy (according to a PwC study). Aspirin Business was formed in 2008, by Susannah Brade-Waring to take the headaches out of growing and managing successful business. Their Academies bring together leaders and managers to learn, share and encourage each other in this pursuit.

 

A number of organisations including Waitrose, Poole Housing Partnership, ESET and Douch Family Funerals, came together recently to explore how change is affecting organisations of all size and type.  Together they discussed and shared ways to change their culture (aka – the way things are done around here), and how to adapt their leadership and management styles for each individual and situation.  And they had fun developing their abilities to coach and ask great questions – all skills essential for managing change.

” I thoroughly enjoyed the morning session (including my interview!) and found it very useful share thoughts and ideas around the importance of culture. This is an area that I find extremely interesting and where I have tried to focus in my own role as Chief Executive of Dorset Chamber. It was a very informative and interesting morning.”  Said Ian

Susannah explained.

“Being a leader and manager can be tough and lonely, and I love seeing our leaders generously share insights from their own lives and organisations to help each other – both inside and outside of the Academy. We really enjoyed having Ian with us and our members appreciated the insights Ian provided of the challenges and opportunities Dorset business are facing in 2017. It was a great example of the Chamber actively engaging with its community.”

When the Senior Team Doesn’t Want to Lead

September 11, 2017

Have you ever considered how your business would run without you?

People often ‘joke’ how their work would be much easier without their bosses (or customers). But the reality is the business would soon founder without the direction the Senior Team provide. Read more

The Business Leader of the Future

September 11, 2017

The Business Leader of the Future – Do you Have what it Takes to Succeed?

World strategy guru and author, Gary Hamel in his best-selling book ‘The Future of Management’ points out that traditional ways of managing a business are coming to an end. To quote him directly:

New problems demand new principles. Put bluntly, there’s simply no way to build tomorrow’s essential organizational capabilities—resilience, innovation and employee engagement—atop the scaffolding of 20th century management principles.

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Winner of the 2017 Mindshop Rising Star Award for the UK

September 11, 2017

Sue Mindshop Rising Star Award - CroppedAspirin Business has been awarded the prestigious ‘Rising Star of 2017’ by Mindshop, which supports a global network of over 1,000 leading business advisors.

This prestigious award was received by Susannah Brade-Waring, Managing Director of Aspirin Business at the annual UK Mindshop Conference. It is awarded by Mindshop to a stand out business leader that has demonstrated excellence in business advisory, value to others and financial success leveraged with the effective use of Mindshop.

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