Professor Grace McCarthy, Dean of The Sydney Business School , presented an interactive and enlightening workshop on the theme of Coaching for Managers, presenting the concept of coaching managers, instead of those who purely manage.
The LIP were challenged in a series of practical exercises, which focused on the often overlooked but highly essential skill of active listening, and through this process, not only were able to practice their skills but spend some one on one time with each other hearing about their individual work place challenges.
The skills of coaching are ones we might actually be using as managers but do not recognise as coaching.
• We Observe, Listen, Ask Questions, Set Goals and Give Feedback and these skills were touched upon in the 3 hour session excluding goal setting, which is a session in itself.
After being amusingly being put on the spot by Rod Clark, to make a valuable point and answer a question, Zahra was put on the spot again by Susan, and capably offered a vote of thanks to Grace, for her time and support of the LIP in this session and as part of the program in her role as Dean of The Sydney Business School.
“We judge ourselves by our intentions and others
by their actions” (Pronin 2008)
‘Sometimes knowing how to do something is a disadvantage’. Steve Sammartino
Thanks to our relationship with The Illawarra Connection, the LIP had the rare opportunity to chat over breakfast with Australian Futurist, Author, Technologist and Speaker, Steve Sammartino, https://stevesammartino.com/, a keen surfer and devoted family man, who also loves trainers and busted out some gold ones for the morning’s event.
The conversation was varied and fast, jumping from subject to subject with animation and authenticity. If Steve didn’t know the answer to a question, or doesn’t know quite why or how he achieved something, he’s not afraid to admit it. When Michael McKeogh asked how he builds and prepares a product or company to sell, Steve advised he doesn’t. Steve never starts a project with the end goal of selling, and when he has sold in the past, Rentoid for example, the offer has come to him at the right time and for the right reasons. In the case of Rentoid, it was the backend and the technology that was attractive to the purchaser, as Steve said he was a little too early for the Sharing Economy to really take hold for the top end to be lucrative enough to hold onto.
One of this years big projects for Steve is a TV show, and he has set up a production company but hasn’t actually made TV before, and uses this to his advantage to question why things happen and who they benefit to shift the paradigm and in the process pave the way for others, which he has done consistently in his career.
Talking regional was a focus of the mornings chat, and Steve encouraged the Illawarra to undertake a Regional Renaissance and gave the following advice. “Ignore politics. If you’re waiting for a change of government to change your fortune you are already lost”
Steve recommended we identify and sell our regional selling points, and stop thinking small. Technology is the greatest tool to grow business, and with the right marketing angle you could sell your product globally. Big ideas can come from regional areas and can be talked about internationally if you have the right communications strategy and create interest and excitement.
Steve believes we should “get paid for the value we create not the hours we work” and when he’s contracting someone to create or assist on a project he cares about how much it will cost and when the goal will be reached, not the hours it will take to produce.
Stacey C eloquently delivered the vote of thanks on behalf of the LIP, sharing she would be extra motivated at some well timed meetings she was returning to the office to conduct thanks to Steve's motivating words about focusing on the outputs instead of the hours.
The final gold of the morning was the observation from Steve that “if you can live on half your income you only need to work one week in two” meaning you could spend half your time just living and enjoying life instead of working so hard just to over consume. This was great advice to end with, but I reckon Steve wouldn’t want to give up his trainers.
(A big fan of podcasts, Steve recommends the following:
Recode Decode, Pivot, Planet Money. Harvard Business School and Future Sandwich)
Giving up a Saturday is not to be sneezed at, but thankfully the LIP not only enjoy each others company enough as well as learning from Eleanor Hayman of Illawarra FlameTree Coaching that it was well worth the sacrifice.
Building on the previous workshop on Adaptive Leadership, this session focused on what motivates people, how to identify the degrees and barriers of motivation in ourselves as well as our teams, and what we can do have an impact when motivation is low.
Eleanor introduced us to the concept of 'flow' where you can be absorbed in a task and hours fly by, and this is where our skill level and motivation are equally high and we perform at our best.
The session was concluded by the distribution of the second part of our DISC profiles, and the rooms went silent, punctuated by outbursts of surprise or agreement when something was read that really resonated or we found surprising.
Rod Clark gave a great vote of thanks to Eleanor, who deserved the gratitude for another workshop well presented. Rod also issued a challenge for his fellow LIP to make a further sacrifice and review their clothing for some warm items to donate to the Warming Hearts project.
Flagstaff are collecting for St Vinnies and items can be dropped into the Flagstaff Collection bins at their Unanderra Headquarters, or by contacting Rod for pick up. Rod will also happily accept donations at the upcoming LIP events including coffee this week. Rod didn't need 6 hoodies and he challenges you to make the same donation.
Blog posts written by the Leadership Illawarra Program Cohort.