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Friday Focus

Friday Focus – 23rd April

This week’s Friday Focus, here are five updates from brilliant leadership coach David Marquet.

I highly recommend reading Turn the Ship Around, it’s a must-read for leaders and will improve how you think about being better communicators, being more impactful and respected at a deeper level.

The Five Leadership Gems:

A leaders job:

Open & Curious

A Leader Is A Farmer

Teams: Happy Then Success

Leadership Principles

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Friday Focus

Friday Focus – 16th April

This week’s five for Friday to focus on breaks down 5 things you are told are bad ideas or silly but are essential parts of the business world.

Ask The “Stupid” Question 

Why? Very often in a meeting with more than three people, there is a fear to appear stupid or ask the most obvious question no one else is asking. Ask it, stupid questions clarify situations.

State The Obvious (when no one else is

Why? In busy environments, it is essential you have a centre point, an agreed place where you are operating or the problem you are tackling. Very often the obvious needs stating to align and drive projects and campaigns forward.

Think Bigger & Longer Term

Why? In the majority of businesses they are often only thinking of the next few weeks (aka the tactical level), businesses commonly operate with a few weeks cycle, you should know to drive a business forward you need a couple of smart future seers to think and plan while others action.

Remember the Focus approach to company strategy:

  • Think 5 years ahead
  • Plan 3 years ahead
  • Action 1 year ahead

Ask If Your Boss Is Ok 

Why? It is rare unless you have a direct or personal relationship that you ask the boss or your boss if they are ok. This will likely come as a shock to most leaders (they are just not used to being asked) however it helps to understand how your boss is feeling and if they need to talk or run things past you. Company culture and organisational health have to work for everyone from the least experienced to the most experienced and most senior.

Say “I Don’t Know, I’ll Come Back You”  

Why? Not knowing an answer is completely ok, not wanting to make something up or take a guess is completely acceptable and responsible. Often coming back with the right data, the correct information and being a few steps forward will ensure progress. Many businesses are powered by the quick answer, not the right answer or smart approach.

Looking to become a better or more thoughtful leader? Sign up to the Focus Newsletter

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Recent Focus Blog Articles To Help Your Business

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Friday Focus

Friday Focus – 9th April

This week’s Friday Focus includes five books we always recommend but the kicker is the quick-fire book review by YouTube channel Productivity Game.

How To Decide – Annie Duke

Annie Duke is my go-to author, her previous book think in bets is probably the best book on decision making with real-life examples out there.

Grit – Angela Duckworth

Angela’s TED talk is also a brilliant watch.

How To Negotiate – Chris Voss

Chris’ masterclass is a brilliant workshop from his book and years as an FBI negotiator.

Deep Work – Cal Newport

Cal is a brilliant thinker, author and podcaster, his latest book dives into why email breaks the hive mind and is not fit for businesses.

Atomic Habits – James Clear

Student of habit building and habit forming, James Clear is a brilliant writer and a one-person media empire. My go to resource for James Clear is 1% better everyday video, a must watch.

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Friday Focus

Friday Focus – 2nd April

This week, here are five podcasts from the brilliant leader and researcher Brene Brown.

Here are the five best Brene Brown podcast – Dare to lead. Grab your phone, put in your headphones and take a walk and enjoy these powerful podcasts.

Brene with former President Barack Obama

Armoured Leadership & The Power Of The Right Questions

Adam Grant & Brene Talk The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

Dr. Sarah Lewis & The Uncontrolling Power of “Failure”

The Heart of Hard Conversations

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Anonymous Career Advice Friday Focus

Friday Focus – 26th March

This week’s five for Friday, aka Friday focus, we showcase our five anonymous career advice articles, we have written helping those who people who completed our anonymous career help form.

Anonymous Career Advice Must Reads

  1. Disconnected from my team, what do I do?
  2. How to prevent burnout and working when my team are sick?
  3. I’m failing to get my message across, how do I improve?
  4. I feel like my career is going backwards, what can I do?
  5. My colleague keeps stealing my ideas, what should I do?

Need some of your anonymous advice?

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Friday Focus

Friday Focus – 19th March

This week I offer five podcasts you will want to check out to help improve your business culture and company performance.

The 5 Podcasts

1/ Hitting The Wall Podcast

I join Ash Taylor to talk leadership, company culture, why the arena as an office will help improve connection, why the future of work is hybrid and work will be flexible for the employee, not the employer.

Key Quote:

Yeah, so there’s a is a combat and conflict, which a lot of people teach.

So a lot of the time it’s done to sentiment, right. So being combative tends to mean sort of banging heads and enforcing something conflict can be, and it can be enabled to have in a conversation and the right conversation. I think it comes down to you as a, like, if you’re a leader trying to trying to address it.

Or trying to move things forward. I think you need to understand people at a human levels. You need to understand them individually and you need to know their motivations. If I was ever going to say the best way to, to understand people is just to know how they’re motivated. So if you’re an introvert and ambivert or an extrovert, everyone’s going to be motivated differently.

So I would say like no people stages, so know how they can be on stage. So some people are extroverts what love and argument, because it enables them to step up and perform and be this different person. Whereas introverts can be the greatest people when it comes to conflict or combat, because they’ve taken a step back.

They’ve digested, what people have wanted to say, and then they’re, they can be far more articulate. When it has to, when they want to be able to, it has to happen. Now I know I’m, I’m the ambiverted when I need people, I’ll go to them. And when I don’t want them, I’ll run away and get back in my shell. And, and that’s, you know, some teams needs an extroverted leader because they need someone who’s going to put on a performance and be strong and talk it through.

So for me, it’s a way of enabling the right conversation, but also telling people that we. It’s been able to be confident enough to say we’re going to have this conversation. If you’re confident now or comfortable now it’s, it’s the right time to be able to come back and have your say and it’s it’s for a chairperson to go around and ask everyone’s opinion.

Yeah. So, you know, Dave, what do you think, Ahmed? What do you think, Sarah What’d you think? Zara, what do you think? Is important, you go around, you know, and you ask people their opinion. Some people aren’t ever going to be confident, or comfortable in talking in front of a group, but you can always say here is thirty minutes where you can go away digest it.

A conversation with Danny Denhard of Focus Hitting the Wall

In this week’s episode I chat to Danny Denhard from Focus who’s on a mission to change the world of work. We discuss all things culture and leadership, digging into how businesses thrive when they put culture in the workplace first. You’ll learn about the power of creating personal eco-systems, and why enabling conflict in the workplace is a good thing. We talk about business being a badge of honour, prioritising culture before the workplace collapses, and why gossip is so important. Danny also takes through his personal manifesto for change, why being back-to-back is damaging productivity and whether the new habits we’ve created in the last 12 months are beneficial to people and businesses A fascinating discussion Weekly digest Of the best articles from the week you likely haven’t read – https://mustreads.substack.com Weekly inspiration every Monday on improving leadership – https://blog.focus.business/leaders Focus aka fixing the broken world of work Website https://www.focus.business/ Manifesto – https://www.focus.business/manifesto Connect on social media with me https://dannydenhard.com/linkedin https://dannydenhard.com/twitter

2/ The Science of Networks

Marissa King joins host Patrick on Invest Like The Best and discusses her book Social Chemistry: Decoding the Elements of Human Connection and the three types of social networks.

Key Quote: “What we know from close to three decades of research in the social sciences is you can break down social networks. What’s common to all of these is they propagate on social networks. So we can think about our networks, just the traces of interaction that connect us all. And those traces can actually be boiled down into three fundamental elements.
So I call these in my book brokers, expansionists, and conveners when you’re applying them to the individual. But by starting to understand those three very basic fundamental pieces, it’s really what makes the world small.

Marissa King – The Science of Social Networks – [Invest Like the Best, EP. 217] Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy

My guest this week is Marissa King, a professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management. I was fascinated by Marissa's work after coming across her book, Social Chemistry: Decoding the Elements of Human Connection, earlier this year. Our conversation covers the three types of social networking styles, the surprising impact of COVID on social networks, and what her research tells us about building high-performing teams. This episode covers many topics I haven't explored before that I find fascinating. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Marissa King.      For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here. —— This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus has built the most extensive primary information platform available for investors.   With Tegus, you can learn everything you’d want to know about a company in an on-demand digital platform. Investors share their expert calls, allowing others to instantly access more than 10,000 calls on Affirm, Teladoc, Roblox, or almost any company of interest. All you have to do is log in. Visit tegus.co/patrick to learn more.   —— This episode is brought to you by NordVPN. NordVPN is the best VPN to keep your internet experience private.   It has over 5,500 servers in 60 countries to ensure super-fast internet while protecting your information no matter where you are. As working from home and remote work become more prevalent, now is the time to protect your personal and business information without any data logging.   NordVPN works on all popular platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, and supports up to 6 simultaneous connections across your devices.   To get started, go to nordvpn.com/patrick or use code PATRICK to get a 2-year plan plus 1 additional month with a huge discount and a 30-day money-back guarantee. —— Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.  Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.   Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus   Show Notes [00:04:04] – [First question] – Origin of her career and topics she is focused on [00:04:06] – Social Chemistry: Decoding the Patterns of Human Connection [00:04:09] – Priya Parker Podcast Episode [00:05:41] – Why the focus on Autism and some of the trends around it [00:08:07] – Prevalence of mental health and substance abuse vs. raised awareness [00:09:16] – The eureka moment for her in this research [00:10:16] –  Pattern in growing large social movements [00:11:43] – The Expansionists group and their role in large social movements [00:14:31] – Acid test for the Brokers group [00:15:35] – How she developed the categories of people that drive social movements [00:17:35] – Most memorable moments of discovery in the development of these categories [00:18:58] – Important categories for overall network science [00:20:20] – Behavioral changes we can make to improve the nature of our social connections [00:23:21] – The pitfalls for each group and how they can invest in their own network [00:25:29] – Conveners and what they need to improve  [00:26:34] – Downside of being a broker [00:27:58] – The attachments styles of secure, anxious, or avoidant [00:30:07] – Velocity of interactions possible today and what it means for research [00:32:02] – How men and women develop networks differently [00:33:55] – What is unique in organizational behavior through the lens of her research [00:36:19] – Best practice for creating high output interactions [00:37:33] – Putting together the perfect team [00:38:42] – Largest pitfalls in putting together a good team [00:40:00] – Role of conversation in effective network building [00:41:15] – Being a great listeners and distractions [00:42:47] – Eric Maddox Podcast Episode [00:43:41] – Good policy for running a network, being attentive to the network [00:46:40] – The power of touch [00:48:39] – How movements become societal and what role technology has played [00:52:46] – How this applies to a business [00:53:34] – Biological underpinnings of Dunbar’s number [00:57:13] – Kindest thing anyone has done for her  

3/ Eat Sleep Work Repeat – Ripping Work A New One

Scott Galloway Joins Bruce Daisley on Twitter Spaces (so has more beeps than typical podcast) to discuss the importance of cities, the office for the young and why the power of touch is so important in the workplace.

Key Quote:
“There’s usually three people up for a promotion, it’s usually the person who has the strongest relationship who gets it”

Scott Galloway rips work a new one Eat Sleep Work Repeat

A recording of a Twitter Spaces discussion with Scott Galloway. We talk remote working, why cities will never die, why working hard is Scott's top career advice. Along the way we talk about the power of touch, Goldman Sachs, missing humans and what will come next for work.The Twitter Spaces app also blings a lot too, sorry about that. I've edited about 200 of them out.Scott's book Post Corona is a bestseller.Sign up for the newsletter.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

4/ Finding Your Own Superpower with Jo Malone.

Jo Malone CBE talks candidly about her career, how dyslexia helped guide her thinking, her fight with cancer and why people’s energy is so important.

Key Quote:
“I still didn’t let that define my dreams, I am a dreamer, I dream big

Jo Malone: Finding your own superpower The High Performance Podcast

Jo Malone CBE, is the Founder & Creative Director of Jo Loves, a household name and one of the world’s most successful businesswomen. There aren’t many people who haven’t had a product of hers in their home at some point. From modest beginnings, Jo fell in love with fragrance and built an incredibly successful brand, Jo Malone London, that she eventually sold and left the business before launching her ‘Jo Loves’ range inspired by the memories and moments in life that she loves.But there have been periods to her life that have been challenging to say the least. From cancer to career upheaval, and a set of decisions and dilemmas on a scale most of us are never faced with. Listen to the lessons Jo’s learnt from an extraordinary life. We absolutely loved this conversation!A big thanks to our partners Lotus Cars. Remember, you can get extended episodes of the podcast on our YouTube channel bit.ly/HPPYouTube and follow us on Instagram @highperformance.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Here are Focus’ favourite must listen to high performance podcasts.

5/ Annie Duke: Decision Making Secrets

I am a big fan of Annie Duke and her books, thinking in bets is a great read and the way Annie challenges how you think and record good and bad decisions is invaluable to business leaders.

Key Quote:
“lets think about what a great decision is and a great decision is the forecast of the future,”

Annie Duke: Decision-making Secrets from a World Series of Poker Champion Starting Greatness

(04:51) – Explaining what makes a decision good or bad (6:36) – On how memory creep impacts our view of Hilary Clinton’s 2016 campaign (11:30) – On the use of a knowledge tree to inform decision making (16:59) – Looking at Pete Carrol’s controversial decision in the Super Bowl   (26:16) – On founders falling into a trap around pricing their product (38:08) – When to make informed decisions and follow a process
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Friday Focus

Friday Focus – 12th March

Today’s Five things to focus on this Friday and the week ahead is answering five important questions that will challenge and improve you and your business for the next quarter months ahead.

5 Questions To Tackle:

  1. What are we doing to improve our company culture?
  2. What are we planning to roll out to help reduce fatigue and burnout in our teams?
  3. How are we thinking about the hybrid office?
  4. How are we setting up our office for return to the office? AKA the office an arena, to ensure we have the right space, the right energy and the right tech in place?
  5. How are we helping to reduce meetings? Have we created a no meeting transitional plan?

Resources that will help you answer the 5 questions:

  1. What makes a great leader
  2. The future of work and the workplace
  3. Create a company-wide decision document
  4. Three questions to build better internal relationships
  5. How to review your working from home with a retro
  6. Proven tips to reduce WFH stresses
  7. Personal and professional SWOTs
  8. Improve fight, flight and freeze reactions
  9. Building strategy right with beliefs and bets
  10. Undercover and embracing your hidden leaders
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Friday Focus

Friday Focus – 5th March

This week’s Friday Focus I will be sharing five leaders letters (the Focus leadership newsletter) you should read to help improve your leadership.

1: One problem two solutions is a letter for leaders to help their teams with problem-solving and being able to present two solutions in an orderly manner to help the business progress.

2: Three questions is a leaders letter to help build better connections between teams and between manager and their teams.

3: Working from home has been a struggle for many, here is a way to run a workshop so leaders can improve working from home and plan for the hybrid office.

4: Soft skills are often seen to have lower importance vs the traditional more measurable themes of work on a spreadsheet, here is a way to measure and improve your business and your leadership by embracing softer skills.

5: Leadership principles are not new but are rarely rolled out in organisations. Leadership principles help shape the future leaders and hold existing leaders accountable for their behaviour(s) and decisions.

Important Follow Up Reads

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Friday Focus

Friday Focus – 26th February

This week’s Friday Focus are five text messages you will have to think about when planning your return to the office or planning the Hybrid Office.

These questions will help you improve your working environment and build a better hybrid workforce.

1/ Fears around returning the office and not liking their colleagues .
Action: think about how you make the office more inviting and applicable to everyone.

2/ Your team’s not wanting to return to a soulless co-working space.
Action: Think about how you reduce the stress of co-working spaces, how you enable better conversation and more deliberate work.

3/ Many colleagues will not want to return to the office.
Action: The office for many builds anxiety and causes stress, how will you be able to improve their experiences and build spaces for better concentration and deep work.

4/ Expecting your team members to come into the office as some managers do not know how to use certain software.
Action: Think about how you will be able to collect training requirements and reduce stresses for colleagues who could have worked remotely or from home to get more work done.

5/ WFH was much easier for some individuals, how are you doing to enable those who found it easier to work from home vs asking them to work back in the office?
Action: Consider how you enable booking in and booking out of the office, how you encourage those who work better remotely to stay connected.

Remote & Distributed Work Resources

For some ways to shape your thinking, we have two dedicated posts that will help and guide you through some of these struggles

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Friday Focus

Focus Friday – 19th February

The High Performance Podcast is one of my must listen to podcasts every week.

The vodcast and podcast interviews successful business and sports people around high performance and what makes high performance to them.

I personally have taken a lot from the sporting episodes as there are so many similarities between sports and business world, particularly with the continued corporate pressures on performance and how it now influences players, coaching and sponsorship within sports.

Here are the best High Performance Podcasts you will want to listen to:

Business

Sir Clive Woodward
Why Listen? Rugby and business and the demand of making individual great

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

For the Sir Clive Woodward high performance podcast listen here

Baroness Michelle Mone
Why listen? For unfiltered personal experiences, on the ups and downs of business and influence of personal appearance

Sports

Eddie Jones
Why Listen? Eddie Jones talks about his successes, failures and knowing what you need to do to as a great coach, motivate individuals and provide a trust based environment.

Rio Ferdinand
Why Listen? On the demands on being the best and sustaining high performance

Steven Gerrard
Why Listen? Talks openly about his slip, the impact it has had, Steven’s approach to being a young coach and the importance of bringing those more experienced around you

Sir Chris Hoy
Why Listen? On having the right mindset in sports, business and creating the right set of guiding values

Dame Kelly Holmes
Why Listen? The impact of being the best of the best and talks openly about self-harm

Happily let me know which podcast is your favourite by