• Hennie Brittz

One of the many things this year has shown us is that change is constant, disruptions are everywhere, and stress is unavoidable.

The good news? Despite the tough environment we find ourselves in, creating success doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. You can take control and even master using stress and volatility to your advantage. It starts with rewiring your mindset to one of growth and possibility.

In a fascinating TEDx Talk, Dr Alia Crum, Associate Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, shares resounding proof that what we think and believe about something has more influence on the outcome than any other factor.

But changing our mindsets doesn’t happen overnight. Shaped by our upbringing, education, opinions and beliefs, our mindsets result in deeply ingrained ways of thinking that determine how we will interpret and respond to situations.

This is particularly challenging when our mindsets become negative and we view the world around us in a limiting way. It takes attention and deliberate effort to adjust how we perceive and react to things. In particular, we need to learn how to recognise situations in which our mindsets are holding us back, limiting our ability or making our lives more challenging than they need to be.

How to reset your mindset for growth

  1. Become aware of your mindsets What beliefs do you have about yourself, your stress and your capabilities? Are these mindsets serving you well or making life harder? To get started, increase your awareness of your mindsets by paying attention to your thinking. Before you react to a situation or make a decision, think about the lens you are using to see reality.

  2. Clarify your ‘why’ Give yourself time and space to ask the big questions. Think about what you want to accomplish in your personal and professional life. Use what you’ve learned in this reflection time to set your goals for the year. Determine what success looks like to you and write down the mindsets that will help you get there. When confronted with obstacles or stressful situations, try to select the lenses that will help you achieve your life’s purpose.

  3. Turn negatives mindsets into positive ones Around 65 000 thoughts go through our minds daily. Unfortunately, for many, the majority of these thoughts are negative, or limiting. In fact, “Automatic Negative Thoughts” (ANTs) occur so often that you’re probably not even aware of them. To turn this around, challenge your existing mindsets. Pay attention to negative or limiting beliefs and thoughts. Once you’ve identified limiting thoughts, look for evidence that contradicts it and reframe the negatives to positives. For example, stress can be harmful but it can also enhance performance. Both of these mindsets are true, but which one will serve you best?

  4. Start small, practise daily As John Maxwell once said, “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” Begin with small exercises that help you adopt and apply the new mindset. For example, reframing the physical sensations of stress – racing heart, knotted stomach, sweaty palms – as your body’s way of letting you know something important is on the line. Then unpack why this is meaningful so that you can take it on with a ‘challenge stress’ response that opens you up to learning and development.

  5. Get comfortable with the “F” word Embracing a growth mindset means being comfortable with the F word: FAILURE. Reframing challenges as opportunities and pushing the limits of your abilities can be daunting. When we face challenges, receive criticism, or fare poorly compared with others, we can easily fall into insecurity or defensiveness. This response inhibits growth. Rather, it is about acknowledging failure, learning from the setbacks and doing things differently next time.

How we can help

At the heart of 2Collaborate is a growth mindset. Our purpose is to create value for businesses and their people by focusing, aligning and unleashing their potential for high-performance. We transform the ordinary into the extraordinary through our dynamic High Performance Formula.

Whether you're looking to develop your own Growth Mindset or embed it into your company culture, one thing is clear: learning and change readiness are key to growth.

Explore how our high-impact leadership, engagement and change readiness programmes can help your employees master these skills and unleash their full performance.

About the author: Hennie Brittz, Director and Head of Marketing and Technology at 2Collaborate

Hennie has spent 13 years in business and consulting conceptualising, designing and implementing large-scale performance improvement processes. An entrepreneur at heart, he founded the design and internal communications agency, Elevate, in 2019. Shortly, thereafter he co-founded GameChangers, a business consultancy that brings you the best from the sports field and boardroom.

Get to know more about Hennie on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/henniebrittz/

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Updated: Nov 26, 2021

Businesses invest substantially in people, processes and systems to define their destination and develop the roadmap to get there. While sound business philosophies and plans are vital, effective strategy execution on the front-line is where the difference is made.

Not only do first-line leaders engage directly with customers and key external stakeholders, they also manage up to 80% of the workforce. They, therefore, play a critical role in aligning employees’ efforts with the company’s vision and values and inspiring and mobilising their people around common goals.

To do this, first-line leaders must be equipped with a deep appreciation of the company’s purpose and be able to communicate and collaborate with their teams and others within the organisation to achieve this purpose. This is particularly important during challenging and disruptive times.

Despite the important role they play, first-line leaders are often the least experienced and most neglected tier of leadership. In fact, it is estimated that less than a third of leadership development efforts are focused on first-line leaders and only 10% feel equipped for their role. This is because they are often promoted due to their technical expertise and individual ability to deliver but are ill-equipped to lead others and develop the behaviours needed to build a long-term, thriving culture.

Simply put, when first-line leaders are ineffective, your organisational culture, workforce productivity, cost quality and customer service suffer.

Challenging times on the front lines

In response to the rapidly changing environment, businesses are increasingly reliant on leadership to align the operational, people and digital resources the organisation needs to succeed.

The stark reality, however, is that 2021 marks the biggest leadership capability gap in a decade – amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing increasing operational pressure and constant change, an overwhelming number of first-line leaders are struggling to lead effectively.

Where are the biggest gaps?

In terms of current supervisory training practices, a big part of the challenge is the disconnect between the concepts and principles learnt in the “classroom” and integrating these into the workplace. To be successful in the current and future environment, first-line leaders need to bridge these urgent skills gaps and make the mental, behavioural and competency-based shifts required to lead change and achieve results through others.

Our approach to bridging these gaps:

  1. Create a leadership and management standard for the role; Define a perfect ‘Day In the Life Of’ (DILO) standard for the role of your first-line leader. This involves identifying their daily operational actions as well as the knowledge, skills and tools required to do the job.

  2. Perform competency assessments; Assess the competency levels of first-line leaders against the DILO standard, using psychometrics or on the job observation. This identifies where the gaps are and what needs to be done to bridge them, laying the foundation for individual learning objectives and development plans.

  3. Champion a blended learning approach; Leadership development should move quickly out of the classroom and into day-to-day work, where first-line leaders can learn from each other and their managers. Build a learning journey around your blueprint for the ‘perfect day’, one that blends hard (operational) and soft (people) skills. This creates a balance between operations and people and ensures an exact understanding of role effectiveness.

  4. Provide on-the-job coaching; The biggest behavioural and performance shifts often take place on the floor. Coaching first-line leaders against the DILO standard ensures that the principles are internalised and integrated into their daily routines. This on the floor application is key to improving their execution of daily tasks, helping with the adoption of tools and growing accountability.

  5. Up-skill line managers as coaches: The role of a first-line leader’s manager, as a mentor and coach, is vital to their development and to sustainability. All too often training happens in isolation with line managers barely aware of the programme components and outcomes. Making line active partners in the process by equipping them with the skills to support their leaders, is key to the success of any front-line intervention.

  6. Measure and improve; Throughout the journey improvement in competencies, role execution and performance outcomes are monitored. Improvement assignments are used to target specific growth areas and ensure the practical application of learning. These projects are invaluable, and the improvement results often yield more value than the cost of the training. After the post-assessments, there is a handover to line management to continue the development process through ongoing coaching.

Ready to take the next step?

For more on how to bridge the gap in your first-line leadership and develop the right kinds of competencies to unleash people performance – talk to us.

If you’ve enjoyed this read, be sure to sign-up for our quarterly newsletter bringing you tips, tools and the latest industry thinking https://www.2collaborate.co.za/subscribe

About the author: Tjaart Minnaar, CEO and Leadership Development expert at 2Collaborate

Tjaart has spent 35 years in business and consulting conceptualising, designing and implementing solutions to improve business and individual performance. The success has been highlighted by several of his clients winning Deloitte’s Best Company To Work For Survey, overall or in their industry categories.

Get to know more about Tjaart on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/tjaart-minnaar/

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Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Keeping teams motivated, productive and collaborating optimally after 18-months of pandemic-related pressure and fatigue is tough. An alarming report by McKinsey & Company found that 49% of employees are burnt out – and that’s likely an under-representation of the true number.

As the custodians of culture and employee engagement, leaders play a key role in supporting and easing the burdens employees face. One of the biggest challenges leaders are facing is how to effectively support their teams while energising, engaging and aligning them to common goals.

The key is understanding what tasks will have the biggest impact in driving your business forward and aligning, mobilising and supporting your people to achieve them. It is this clarity of vision and focus on doing the right things at the right time that has seen Red Bull dominate at the Formula 1 with its seamless pitstops.

Essentialism: a key tool in your toolbox

Essentialism is a philosophy that involves taking the time to pause, question and evaluate before taking action. It was popularised in business by the well-known author and strategist, Greg McKeown, who explains:

“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean doing less for the sake of less either. It’s about making the wisest possible investment of our time and energy to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.”

With this in mind, here are six key principles for leaders

1. “Do less, but better”

Define a simple yet compelling vision, underpinned by your purpose and values, and simplify this to a single page. Articulation is key. Everyone in the organisation needs to understand the vision, be clear on what the end-goal is, and know what success looks like and how it will benefit them.

Make this a part of your daily team conversations and regularly communicate progress.

2. Focus on the highest point of contribution

When juggling the boundaries between work and life, it is easy for employees to become burdened by their growing list of ‘to-dos’. Approaching the day overwhelmed, negatively affects their ability to focus, prioritise and execute tasks effectively.

To set your team up for success, it is important to determine where each team member’s highest point of contribution lies and then empower, develop and enable them to focus on and take ownership of this.

This involves defining clear roles and responsibilities with measurable goals and targets. Performance scorecards are a valuable tool that set a clear agenda and ensures that employees focus on the right things. It further involves having targeted performance conversations and providing coaching on areas of development.

A key question to ask your employees is; “Are you investing in the right activities?” Regularly evaluating and reviewing performance against your business goals and values allows employees to choose wisely and make the highest level of contribution to their team and the business.

3. Build team fitness

A team with too many priorities usually gets very little done. Be absolutely clear with your team about what is most important to accomplish and how it fits into the vision.

Create clarity by breaking down your goals into 12-week horizons with weekly targets. To help your team focus on doing the right things at the right time, adopt a motto of “WIN” – What’s Important Now? Ask this question during your weekly operational check-ins and if there’s uncertainty, clarify the objectives and reprioritise.

HOW your team works together to achieve performance is as important as WHAT they get done. Your team must understand the behaviours required to get the results. To keep your team future fit, ensure that meetings focus on goals versus achievements as well as the values demonstrated during the process.

4. Eliminate the non-essential

It takes discipline to not get sidetracked by daily pressures. Accountability is essential to maintain a clear line of sight between team goals and outcomes. Encourage your team to look at their daily tasks and ask: is this essential and does it create value? If it does, prioritise it. If it doesn’t, discard it.

Regularly engage with individual team members to get their input, discuss progress, identify the obstacles distracting or slowing them down and understand how you can support their performance.

Communicating frequently with your team to create alignment and clarity will simplify and focus their efforts on what matters most in the business. This unified direction and understanding of what creates value have a tremendous effect on employees willingness to think out the box, embrace change, step up their contribution and deliver excellence.

5. Celebrate small wins

When we celebrate small and simple wins, it builds momentum and healthy internal competition to get to the winning line. These small steps forward, shared by many people, accumulate into excellent execution.

Leaders need to be on the front lines, getting to know their people and ‘catching’ them doing the right things. Celebrate success and have fun doing it. Celebration lays the foundation for recognition and appreciation, a key to driving workplace engagement.

6. Seamless execution

High-performance teams are built by design, not by default. To turn these principles into highly effective team habits requires a process that eliminates obstacles and streamlines efforts so that your team is as productive and focused as possible.

Building High-Performance Teams is a practical learning programme that can help your leaders energise, align and engage their teams behind what REALLY matters to your business. Underpinned by an outcomes-driven high-performance formula, this blended learning journey equips leaders with the skills to:

o Set their teams up for success

o Increase the effectiveness of team meetings

o Strengthen commitment and engagement

o Take accountability

o Lead performance conversations effectively, and

o Coach for performance

Together these skills will help your leaders build the desired culture and ensure that teams achieve their goals through effective teamwork that supports simplicity, agility and continuous improvement.

About the author: Hennie Brittz, Director and Head of Marketing and Technology at 2Collaborate

Hennie has spent 12 years in business and consulting conceptualising, designing and implementing large-scale performance improvement processes. An entrepreneur at heart, he founded the design and internal communications agency, Elevate, in 2019. Shortly, thereafter he co-founded GameChangers, a business consultancy that brings you the best from the sports field and boardroom.

Get to know more about Hennie on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/henniebrittz/

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