Translating these recounts to the business world is not a difficult leap. Inspiring leadership, trust, a growth mindset, and valued teamwork are all necessary components of a successful business.
In business and in sport, results don’t just happen by themselves but rely on three key elements: performance, opportunity, and engagement.If in the sporting world 90% of time is spent preparing and training, how does this translate?
Ability is essential in sport and is no less so in business. We assume expertise, education, and experience in our leadership but it’s not always the case. Many climb the proverbial ladder with little more than being able to talk the talk.
By impressing the right people at the right time, increasing exposure and perceived capability. They haven’t necessarily put in the work, undervaluing those who have. When staff feel undervalued, they are unlikely to perform at their best and their mental health is certainly likely to decline. Managers and leaders who have not put in the work are less likely to be capable of leading an organisation to success. Developing and honing skills in the business world is therefore as important as ‘business as usual’.
All too often business leaders focus on delivering messages but no time ensuring the message has been received and understood.
Communication in a business environment is no less important. Effective leaders understand that communication is not just about talking (Abraham Mehrabian’s studies showed that over 50% of communication is non-verbal) and that different methods are appropriate for different situations. They listen more, talk less, are aware of their environment and its context; they read the mood. In other words they constantly meet the expectations of the recipient.
Honesty goes far as does dialogue instead of monologue. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” (forbes.com) so leave your ego at the door, it’s not about you, it’s about meeting others’ needs. Leaders who tell employees what their values are or what their culture is are much less likely to engender trust.
It is said that only 6% of what is happening in an organisation is known by leaders. Steering the metaphorical ship is not an easy task and knowing what is happening at every level is nigh on impossible, why therefore do leadership not trust those who do know what is happening to support them and add value to the decision-making process.
Employee mental health is improved when they are empowered to make decisions and control their own work patterns or load. If more trust is shown, more trust is returned.
Remuneration is compensation, not appreciation. Valuing effort collectively and individually is something few corporate organisations are known for. If it’s your job and you get paid for it then why do you deserve additional praise?
Staff costs are arguably the largest spend for an organisation, something we instinctively want to minimise, but we are talking about people, not stationery. Treating people well, valuing their contribution above the concept of payment for services rendered will engender trust, loyalty, boost morale and productivity.
In fact, happy workers are 13% more productive, claims research by Oxford University’s Said Business School. These key characteristics can and do translate well into business, fostering positive relationships, collaboration, innovation, and ultimately individual performance leading to overall business success.
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