Who's in charge around here?

If you have followed me for a while you’ll know that the inspiration for the Reluctant Leader Academy was my own experience of not wanting to be in charge.

There is no doubt we need people to step up and take charge, every team needs a manager, If they are motivated to be there and have the right skills all the better.

When we say someone is motivated to be in charge, essentially they enjoy making decisions on behalf of others and like being in a position of influence.

In Motivational Maps language this is the Director motivator and is rewarded by giving responsibility and a title that indicates authority. Other strategies to fulfil this motivation would be to give them a mentor or allow them to deputise before taking a permanent role

Because of their desire to be in charge they could encounter difficulty when is come to managing people if they are not aware of their motivations. This could be from someone who is motivated by freedom and not want to be managed, a creative...

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How to write goals that you are much more likely to achieve

#motivation blog goals Dec 27, 2020

A goal is essentially a desired result or anticipated outcome that a person imagines, plans and commits to achieve, it must have a deadline or time-frame or else it is simply a wish

You can set goals in many areas of life, they can be centred around career, health, relationships or learning. They can be linked, so you may decide to take a leadership course (Learning) to improve your career opportunities.

Be sure to consider how your goals are congruent with each other, for instance, if you commit to take a course that will need to be done in your spare time and you have also want to spend more time with your family, is that actually goes to work?

When setting your goals it’s important to know what’s important to you and where you are heading. This is where a motivational map will help you set goals in line with what’s motivating you.

Once you have set your goals, use you motivational map to link to why that goal is important to you. For instance, if one of your...

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How are you?

When was the last time you asked your team how they are? Are you genuinely interested in the answer? Are you prepared for an honest answer?

The likelihood of getting an open and honest answer will depend on your relationship with each team member, your reaction to the answer you got last time you asked and whether you were listening.

Staff surveys are often used to gather feedback about important issues that indicate how the feelings are across the business.

The trouble with these surveys is we don’t know how important each issue is and so whether it’s an important issue to address.

Motivational Maps not only highlight what’s most important to every one in the business and whether they fit with the business objectives but also how they are feeling they are being fulfilled.

So we gain 2 valuable pieces of information about the people in the business in one go. We can then use the information to focus on what’s most important and which needs addressing first


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Can we ever be balanced?

#motivation balance blog Dec 18, 2020

I went to The Glove Factory in Holt for a talk by Simon Tyler a few years ago, Simon talked about the impact we all have on others when we don't even realise it which was very thought provoking. I can recommend his book, The Impact Code, which is full of useful ways to enhance your presence and impact at work.

During his talk he mentioned balance and an experience he had when he stood on 2 scales, with each of his feet on different scales, to see how his weight was distributed. The purpose was to improve posture and subsequently better body balance. His body was compensating for his weight being unbalanced by making adjustments in another part of his body. This got me thinking about whether it's possible to be perfectly balanced and how could it be achieved day to day.

This example was about physical balance but what about how we see the world, can that ever be balanced? We are all influenced by many things, family and friends, what we read and watch, our surrounding, our past and...

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Do you get energy from being noticed and recognised?

When asked why we go to work many will reply "To pay the bills" which is, of course, a basic need that needs to be met. If we assume you have enough money to pay the bills, what will make work more enjoyable for you and what would make you stay with your current employer or seek another opportunity? 

In this post I'm going to explore the need for recognition, or in motivational maps language, the Star motivator. If this is one of your key drivers you are looking to be noticed and held in high esteem. You will want to know you are doing a good job so any positive feedback will be highly motivating. If you are looking to gain some recognition for your business, a Star will be a great person to put in charge of that project and don't forget to give them a great title and lots of praise when the goal is achieved.

If you are managing someone with a high Star motivator you'll need to plan how they can receive the recognition they are looking for. This could be as simple as a regular...

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Not all carrots are orange

#motivation blog rewards Dec 15, 2020

It's not going to come as a big surprise to you that we are all motivated in different ways which is one of the biggest challenges for Leaders when it comes to offering performance incentives. Getting your strategies wrong can lead to losing key people and the added cost of replacing them.

I was feeding back some motivational maps a few weeks ago and the conversation was around their role in the organisation and how they contributed. The message coming down from above was all about the financial success of the business which is important but the message wasn't motivating the team because they weren't motivated by money. However they were motivated by security which a financially successful organisation gave them but unfortunately that message wasn't landing. Just changing the language to include a mention of the stability of the organisation would have had greater impact down the line.

We all tend to offer incentives that appeal to ourselves, I was as guilty as anyone of this...

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It’s tough at the top especially if you don’t want to be there!

blog Dec 03, 2020

When I joined my Family Business it started out as great fun, the business was growing fast and to keep pace with the changes in the business we had to be creative and push some boundaries. I particularly liked to problem solve and got stuck in and take charge whenever there was something that needed sorting out, it was when I most enjoyed my work.

As time went by I was trusted more and more to take a problem area of the business and come up with a solution that worked for the business. Inevitably this then lead to more responsibility for the day to day running of the business because my actions indicated I wanted to take charge. This continued until one day I ended up in the position that I was making the majority of the decisions.

For a while this wasn’t a problem, it felt daunting but anything that is new generally does until you get used to it. I invested in some training and support which gave me new skills that helped me understand my role better but I wasn’t...

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Do they work for you, or do you work for them?


If your mindset is they work for me then I think you could be making your life easier by turning that upside down.

By starting by asking what can I do for my team you are taking the pressure off and you are more likely to get back what you want as a result

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How do you give Freedom and Autonomy?

autonomy blog freedom spirit Oct 10, 2020

Everyone wants it, apparently, but what does giving freedom and autonomy mean?

For me its a step by step process, give some, see how it works and then review.

What experience have you had with giving a bit of freedom in how something is done?

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The trouble with Appraisals


Whether you’re the appraiser or appraisee the process can often be stressful and not lead to a useful outcome.

Putting the focus on motivation by using Motivational Maps can transform the process for both parties.

For appraisee they can use their Map to focus on what they  need from their role by using the included strategies and action plan. 

The appraiser can then focus on what they need to do to support and motivate the appraisee

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