November 24, 2010

Key 1: Opportunities are all around us

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a standup comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

We all have our comfort zones whether they be where we choose to live, our job, our friends, even our weight!

Management theorist, Alasdair White describes the comfort zone as,

“a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.”

Now of course operating within your comfort zone is a very sensible idea, no anxiety, no worries about failure, and a steady level of performance.  But what if we need to improve our performance, or get out of a rut, the truth is we have to change something, which may be uncomfortable!

White in his article “From Comfort Zone to Performance Management” goes on to say,

“ …to move a person out of their comfort zone and so enter the optimal performance zone, it is necessary to increase the level of stress they face, either by increasing the anxiety or increasing the motivation, but, at the same time, ensuring that the increase in stress does not become disabling.”

So we need to find the balance between feeling anxious and uncomfortable and complete paralysing fear.

The truth is real change only occurs when we are outside our comfort zone, when we try to learn something difficult, change the way we do something, or take on a challenge.

Now I’m not suggesting you go completely out of your comfort zone. When I took my Edinburgh challenge I was completely out of my comfort zone and on more than one occasion I was actually sick with fear. I’m not suggesting you should be faced with the same level of nausea, but I am suggesting you try something new. By far the best strategy is to move slightly outside your comfort zone and build on those experiences.

When we were children we all fell off our bikes a lot when our parents removed the stabilisers, but as we watched the older boys and girls whizz by on their big bikes we were determined to catch up. The prize of new games, new adventures and increased speed overcame the fear and pain of falling off.

So the next time you are faced with a new challenge you might want to ask yourself,

“Am I turning down this challenge / opportunity because I’m afraid I’ll fail or find it uncomfortable?”

The truth is, fear of failure and feeling uncomfortable is part of life. Trying to avoid those feelings is avoiding life…

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

  • Filed under: Blog Posts — marchogan @ 12:58 pm
November 23, 2010

The Funny Roundabout Comedy Gig

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Still “Editing my Editor!”

Compering at the Funny Roundabout Comedy Club , Thursday November 25th at Indy Jax in Hemel Hempstead  with Paul Foot, Ant Dewson, Phil Higgins and William Lee!

Paul was on “Never Mind The Buzzcocks” a few weeks ago and stole the show!

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/event.php?eid=125488454176522

Advance Tickets available £10 from Indy Jax or Online:

http://www.wegottickets.com/event/92757

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

November 19, 2010

Key 3: Ask and you’ll receive

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a standup comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Key three is not just about asking for help, it’s about asking the right questions…

Last week I was presenting to a housing association who really understood the importance of innovation and implementing change to ensure that they continue to deliver the best customer service and ensure the future of their organisation. It was clear to me that they answered some serious questions before they embarked on their change process.

So before you begin change for change’s sake you may want to consider your answers to the following questions:

What are the signs that change is needed?

For example:

.  Are we losing sales?
.  Are we off target in our attempts to achieve our goals?
.  Have customer complaints risen?
.  Are we losing good staff?
.  Have costs risen?

If you have the evidence for any of the above, and you want to introduce change you should then ask:

1) Will this change make a significant difference in our ability to achieve our business goals?

2) Have we given our people a compelling reason for this change? Do they see what’s in it for them?

3) How soon will this change pay for itself?

4) Is there a more cost-effective way to deliver this change?

5) Will our people approach this change was excitement and enthusiasm?

6) How do we communicate this change inspirationally?

As I have said in many of my previous blogs, perceived or actual loss of control will be a major cause of stress for your people.  Before you embark on any change programme, you need to involve your people and listen to them, whilst at the same time ensuring that they fully understand the importance of the change – I never said it would be easy.

You may also want to check out my blogs in June and July which discuss how to implement change…

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

November 5, 2010

The 7 Keys and Leadership

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Leadership and management are not one and the same. Leadership is about influencing people to follow, whilst management focuses on maintaining systems and processes. In my experience leadership is about generating the “will” in your people to achieve a goal, whilst management is about supplying the “skill” (training, equipment, processes) to achieve that goal.

I could spend the next year writing on leadership, but instead here’s a quick overview on how really effective leaders work with their people:

1) Opportunities are all around us

Great leaders, rather than being frustrated when team members have issues preventing them from doing their job effectively, see these issues as opportunities to serve (yes I really did say serve) and help those people. They look for ways to make things better for their people and get personal satisfaction from doing it!

2) Edit your Editor

The Editor is the niggling voice we all have in our heads that tries to protect us from making mistakes.  As a leader you need to recognise when that voice is correct and when it’s not. Leaders understand that change is necessary and though it can be difficult and frightening, maintaining the status quo is not always the best option. They then go about explaining (in person, not via email), as many times as is necessary why it’s important to change and the benefits of such a change. They share successes and get other team embers to share success stories, because they realise that they have to help every other team member edit their own Editor.

3) Ask and you’ll receive

Have you developed a personal connection with the people you lead? Do you know their hope stories and dreams? Have you built a relationship based on trust and respect? If people like and trust you they will be more inclined to help you! Furthermore, when you are faced with a challenge your first thought should always be, “who can I enlist for help and advice?” Do you have regular brainstorming sessions and ask for ideas (large and small) on how they could make working there better? Leaders do all this and more.

4)   All the world’s a stage

If a leader observes an undesirable action or quality in a team member,  they must first make sure they are not exhibiting the same trait before they address it with the team member. Leaders continually work to ensure their words and actions are consistent with one another, and more importantly they do what they should rather than what they want because they are setting an example to others.

5)
If first you don’t succeed

Every past success and failure you’ve experienced is a valuable source of information and wisdom. Success teaches what you are capable of doing and gives you confidence. However your failures teach you greater lessons. They reveal wrong assumptions, character flaws, errors in judgement and poor working methods. Rather than try and cover up your mistakes, analyse them. If you fail to learn from your mistakes you are going to fail again and again…

6) Take risks… little ones

Leaders understand that the best way to inspire and engage a person is to empower them to make decisions; they understand that they cannot micromanage. They understand that the benefits of a fully engaged team member far outweigh the risks. Leaders also understand how a big change can be paralysing for a team who are very set in their ways. They know by breaking down big challenges into more manageable goals and building on those successes will mean your team will have faith in you and their abilities when even bigger challenges come along.

7) Be a compass not a weathervane

Leaders look at trends and try and spot problems that will impact the outcomes on initiatives. They examine the conditions and understand how factors such as resources, finances, talent, timing, morale and culture will effect an initiative. By understanding these issues they can help navigate the ship through choppy waters. They understand that whilst the ship can be occasionally blown off course, they continually communicate with their team to ensue they are always heading towards the ultimate goal.

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

  • Filed under: Blog Posts — marchogan @ 12:37 pm