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Podcast

Fixing The Broken World Of Work Podcasts

Welcome to the podcast series fixing the broken world of work, it has been a mission of Focus to deliver the best content to business leaders and managers so they can make their workplaces better and help to develop their teams and departments.

Season 1 is action-packed with brilliant stories, tips and actionable advice.

Each Fixing The Broken World Of Work Podcast is broken down below with why listen and the important topics we discussed, this should help you decide which podcast to start with.

Listen to the podcasts below and don’t forget to follow on your podcast app of choice:

Sharon Aneja

Sharon Aneja – Founder @ Humanity Works Consultancy

Why Listen: Sharon takes us on her incredible journey and why being a Positive Psychology coach is so important to her and for any workforce. Sharon shares a couple of brilliant frameworks and practices to improve any business.

Connected with Sharon on:

What Sharon and I discuss:

  • The importance of mental health and wellbeing
  • Why psychological flexibility is so important
  • Why command and control management fails their people and their business
  • Why businesses and managers wait for people to get stressed and burnt out rather than proactively addressing such important topics
  • The awakening businesses require
  • Why gamification can be negative
  •  the opportunity to be able to partner with organizations who are courageous enough to want to get to the heart of issues
  • How a routine operation changed Sharon’s life completely
  • And why every “leader” should have therapy

Read Sharon’s recommendations, full transcript and links


Jo Twisleton

Jo Twistleton – Director @ Twist Consultants

Why Listen: Jo has over twenty years in helping to transform businesses and business leaders. Listen to hear how to help shape organisations and make businesses more successful.

What Jo and I discuss:

  • Why a client that actually want to do change better are the best clients
  • Why coaching and mentoring is invaluable
  • Why the next phase of return to the office is so important to set company culture
  • What leaders need to remember – leveraging other people’s skills when they are better at things than they are
  • Why there is rarely a stupid question
  • Time management & reducing meeting culture
  • If you nail collaboration you win business
  • When team responses are so important

Connect with Jo On: 

Read Jo’s recommendations and full transcription


Andy Reid

Andy Reid – Founder @ Genius Box

Why Listen: Having helped some of the biggest names in business Andy will help you understand that business is about people and why workshops are so powerful for businesses that want to succeed.

What Andy and I discuss:

  • Leadership and the challenges of leadership
  • The lack of joy in work and bringing it back
  • The science of how the mind works
  • The power of storytelling
  • The art of running brilliant workshops for executives
  • Faciliaitng the right environment for the best ideas to flourish
  • Creating voices for everyone not just the HiPPO
  • Why leaders has to inspire

Connect With Andy On:

Read Andy’s recommendations and full transcript


Matt Roberts

Matt Roberts – CEO @ Zokri

Why Listen: As a multi-time business builder, Matt provides unique insights into how his leadership in the software space can help to improve conversations and goal setting not just through software but a combination between software and people.

What Matt and I discuss:

  • The power of the conversation
  • Importance of communications and priorities
  • Setting people up to have the right conversation with the right frameworks
  • Structured conversations having better organisation outcomes
  • Building software to empower teams to have the most important conversations and the resistance when software tells you what you should prioritize
  • Workplace safety “where people feel in a safe place to say what needs to be said to share their ideas, to disagree, to, problem solve, to innovate, to share ideas”
  • The best managers and teachers lead with trust
  • Why transparency should build confidence

Connect with Matt on:

Read Matt’s full recommendations and full transcript


Luke Kyte

Luke Kyte – Head of Culture @ Reddico.

Why Listen: Luke has helped to transform his agency Reddico company culture from struggling to hire to becoming one of the best places to work in the UK and why company culture and self-management is so important.

What Luke and I discuss:

  • How company culture should be shaped
  • Why self management system can and does improve agencies and businesses
  • What it took to get to a world class 96 NPS score
  • Empowering individual’s to do a really amazing job is a key factor to success
  • Why circles (like SWARM’s) helps to get the best work done
  • Company culture is the marketing tool, not a PR tool
  • How word of mouth can be the best hiring tool
  • How to win the Hybrid workplace

Connect with Luke On:

Read Luke’s recommendations and full transcript


Remember to follow on Apple podcasts and Spotify podcasts

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FYI: The intro music and outro music is from pixelbay.

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Podcast

Fixing The Broken World Of Work With Luke Kyte

Luke Kyte – Head of Culture @ Reddico.

Luke and I have been connected since 2020 and the work he and Reddico are doing to place culture and performance at the heart of everything their agency does really has enabled them to become one of the best places to work in the UK and win company culture awards.

Luke has helped to move Reddico to a self-management model and they have made it work which is a huge feat. This is a must-listen if you are looking to transform your business, help to improve your company culture and think more clearly around how performance and company culture works together.

Listen On

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Podcast

Fixing The Broken World Of Work With Jo Twiselton

Jo Twistleton – Director @ Twist Consultants

I was introduced to Jo through a work project earlier this year and Jo and I hit it off instantly.

The work Jo has rolled out over the last two decades really stood out. Not only does Jo help businesses to improve company culture, but she also coaches leadership teams and helps to collaborate when businesses are merging and being acquired some of the most challenging and difficult times for businesses to communicate and connect their teams.

Jo shares some of her learnings from her career and helping leaders to actually lead and many of these tips will help you in your role and develop your own business.

The Podcast:

Listen On

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Podcast

Fixing The Broken World Of Work With Sharon Aneja

Sharon Aneja – The Founder @ Humanity Works Consultancy

Sharon Aneja and I were introduced back in 2020 and I was lucky enough to have a number of conversations with Sharon about her journey and why she is fixing the broken world of work.

Sharon’s journey is a must listen and I highly recommend listening all the way through to hear her story, how Sharon and her firm’s work to improve the workplace, why positive psychology is so important and why we recommend every leader goes for therapy.

Listen On

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Podcast

Fixing The Broken World Of Work With Andy Reid

Andy Reid – Founder @ Genius Box

Andy Reid is one of those people you work with once and you collaborate again and again.

Andy’s style is one of a kind, he and his team help to facilitate change within businesses from global household brands to brands that are looking to innovate or change the direction of their company. Andy and I dive into a number of brilliant topics, including why leadership is more than just being the person at the front barking orders, why storytelling works and why we have to bring joy back when fixing the broken world of work.

Andy drops some brilliantly nostalgic references so get ready to laugh, nod along and take numerous notes to help improve your workplace.

Listen On

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Podcast

Fixing The Broken World Of Work With Matt Roberts From Zokri

Matt Roberts – CEO @ Zokri

Matt is the CEO of Zokri, a software that is helping to shape goal setting and improve managers. Matt and I have known each other for over a decade and our careers have overlapped on a number of projects.

When Matt and I recently caught up and discussed goals and OKR’s and the power of conversations I knew he was a must listen for the Fixing the broken world of work podcast series.

Matt and I dive into the importance of setting the right goals, why management teams aren’t always set up to succeed and why your business and career can be improved by the right feedback and the right software.

Listen On

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Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 60 – Danny Meyer’s 6 Qualities

Dear Leaders, Happy Monday!

Today I have a Leadership Lesson(s) from the chief executive officer of the Union Square Hospitality Group Danny Meyer’s.

Danny is well known for having some of New York’s best restaurants and is well known for creating Shake Shack.

Fun Fact: Danny spent $1m searching for the perfect freshly cut fries and found out frozen were best.

Danny has spoken openly about his successes and failures, I want to share the 6 qualities Danny Meyer’s and his team look for when hiring.

FYI this interviewing training and practise letter pairs very well.

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Anonymous Career Advice

Leadership Team Issues

This week’s anonymous leadership advice comes from a new leadership team member who is struggling with the purpose of the leadership team and their role on the leadership team:

Dear Focus, It’s the first leadership team I have sat on and I’m struggling to work out the dynamics and what’s important. There’s a lot of talking and not much action. What should I do? 

Management teams can be hard work. They can be exhausting. 

S-Teams can seem daunting, they can seem aggressive, typically passive-aggressive and create an atmosphere where many appear not to like each other personally or professionally. 

It is rare these are friendly but asking difficult questions are essential to make progress. 

Many start out with good intentions, unfortunately, many turns into environments some thrive and others struggle with. 

This is where game playing has a huge step change and understanding the rules of this game is critical to your success. 

Something to keep in mind in your situation is what function are the meetings serving and what function am I serving on this leadership team? 

It is important to remember most Management Teams are particularly bad at onboarding their colleagues on the leadership team and worse at explaining the what, the why and the how.  

The essential factor in MT’s or ELT’s is not to condition those around and below you to copy your behaviours and roll out this into the company wide culture.

Management Team Buddy

One important lesson I learnt and recommend to businesses of any size is to create a buddy system with someone else you trust on the leadership team and build upon that relationship and understand the unique set of rules you have in your meetings and understand how you add value to the meetings and to the company as a whole. 

Understanding the unique dynamics and the HiPPO rules will be important milestones for you to set out and understand. 

New Management Team Member Guidance

In your role as the newest member of the LT or ELT is holding your colleagues accountable and ensuring the business delivers guidance and keeps ahead strategically. 

This can often be lost in the noise and the routine that management team meetings can become. 

Tip To Keep Front Of Mind

One tip you will struggle to find elsewhere is to remember not to become too defensive or protective of your team or business line and allow the numbers to do the talking and introduce your team members to present their numbers, their feedback or ideas to the group where possible. 

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Over Indexed Voices

Something I have observed on different leadership teams is if you are a sales-driven business, you will over-index too much into the sales team voice without balance.  

if you are a product based company (driven by product direction and usage) you can lean into the product teams vision and “their strategy” too much without hearing from valuable partners like Marketing or customer service and success. It is important to keep on top of this and ask for more input from those partners.

If the CFO / FD or CEO / MD speaks too much, you will be part of a HiPPO driven business and this will cause numerous friction points within the leadership team. 

I recommend reading is it time for management pods article. 

What is important to ask your colleagues: 

  • What are your management meetings for? 
  • Who controls and holds colleagues accountable? 
  • Why are you meeting in this cadence? 
  • Why do we meet for this length of time? Can we optimise this process? 
  • What function are you all serving? 
  • What role do I serve on this leadership team? 
  • How do we inform our colleagues and teams of upcoming projects and campaigns? 

Once you either ask your colleague and answer or undercover and answer the quicker you will feel part of the management team and the closer you will get to adding value. 

Good luck on your leadership team journey. 

Danny Denhard 

If you are in need of management team training or executive coaching or need a professional mentor get in touch below:

Important Leadership Resources:

The Hybrid Work Guide

The top 20 good managers vs the 25 bad manager examples

5 leadership books to read in 2021

Business lesson from Jeff Bezos

Elon Musk’s Business Rules

How to fix bad company culture

Taking over from a bad manager

Do yave your own question you would like answered?

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Focus News Podcast

Introducing The Fixing The Broken World Of Work Podcast

Brand New Podcast From Focus:
Fixing The Broken World Of Work Podcast

I set myself an annual target, it’s a mission really, I challenge myself to speak to as many leaders as possible. 

It has been something I have done for the last five years and it was something I undertook for personal development. 

But when I created Focus, I wanted to open up the conversation, the plan was to invite leaders to write for leaders letters, to interview leaders on company culture, on the future of work, on leadership and on important topics such as well-being and mental health. 

I wanted to help develop leaders and help to grow people who manage to managers to actual leaders and build a better generation of leaders through high-quality content packed with useful tips and takeaways while offering frameworks, coaching courses, management coaching and executive mentorship programmes.

My long term plan was to interview in person (yes, in real life) and ask for Q&A from the audience and build a network of leaders who would support the next generation. 

Unfortunately due to covid, this has not been possible to build, so for the first step towards offering a way to fix the broken world of work, I took my conversations and recorded a podcast series “Fixing The Broken World Of Work”. 

I am extremely proud of the first season, it is packed full of brilliant stories, tips and actionable advice for execs, managers who want to transition to leaders and those wanting to make positive change at work.

It is deliberately binge-able and be able to be downloaded all at once, with no waiting from week to week!  

I want leaders on whatever stage of their journey to be inspired to listen, make numerous notes and share the podcast season with their teams and their managers around them. 

It’s a podcast series that is deliberately different. 

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Company Culture Leadership

Why Sports Clubs Are Using DNA Documents and Team Trademarks As Guiding Principles

Over the past few months, we have seen large companies request staff to return to the office, to a hybrid work environment and suggest culture is impacted by proximity (proximity bias), mere exposure effect and the Allen curve

Whereas professional sports at large has been working throughout lockdowns. 

For front line workers, teams have had to work in brand new and unique conditions, pushing them to record levels of anxiety, fatigue and unfortunately in many cases burnout. 

Every different work environment and industry have had various stress and anxieties to deal with throughout the pandemic, for many it has been a forcing function.  

Enter Agreed Principles

Here at Focus one of the core recommendations, we provide to any business of any size is to have leadership principles. Guiding and agreed on principles that everyone across the business follows to know they are making the right choices and to empower them to make the right decision. 

Recently Rugby league club Leeds Rhino’s stripped their captain for “behaviours not aligned to team trademarks”. 

For many this would seem unusual, trademarks is not a phrase commonly used and sports is typically a winner takes all business and typically captains and stars of the team tend to be given special dispensation vs the rest of the team. 

This is great leadership from the club, poor “leadership” from the ex-club captain. 

Leadership principles are a brilliant way to align management teams and hold yourselves accountable. 

What Leeds Rhinos did here was suggest their club and their beliefs are bigger than any player and their behaviours have to be aligned to their agreed principles. 

New Zealand Rugby has some brilliant rules for their players including:

  • No d*ckhead rules – The All Blacks New Zealand rugby team motto 
  • Sweeping the sheds – leaders clean and tidy the locker room
  • The principle of ‘Whanau’ which translates to ‘our family, our friends, our tribe.’

DNA Documents

We have also seen football clubs like Hibs reference their DNA document, what they want their DNA to be so their staff and their players can understand what it means to at Hibs. 

This also acts as a guiding document and informs some of their most important decisions, especially when to comes to buying players and negotiating transfer fees. 

Company culture is most often the behaviours when no one is watching and the glue helping to make the right decisions for the company. This is where DNA documents and team trademarks really help keep accountability and actionable. 

Guide Behaviours

Businesses big and small need to go over how to be successful, what behaviours are rewarded and those which are not. Creating an agreed guide is essential in the way we working particularly with the move towards the hybrid office and guiding the next generation of leaders within your business. 

Actions You Apply Within Your Own Business

  1. Create your own guiding principles for your business – requires business leads and HR
  2. Create a DNA document of who you are, what you have been and where you are headed – requires the leadership team 
  3. Create leadership principles where you show what leadership is and how you are accountable – requires the leadership team 

Five Related Resources