Business Mentoring workshop – Leaders get above the line!

April 29, 2011Post by Laura Humphreys

I love it when I go to teach and discover something I can use in my own life or business.  This happens to me all the time when I’m mentoring, speaking, or holding a workshop as I did in Palmerston North last Wednesday.  It was a half day workshop on preparing an effective annual business plan.  As always I start by getting business owners to write down their end goal… using my favourite analogy of approaching the building of your business as you’d approach building a shed (over simplified of course, but hugely effective when planning a vision for your business…see blog post Your Business is like a shed…)

Anyway, back to what I learned… prior to my workshop commencing we heard from Brent Dickins at Coombes Smith Accountancy firm in Palmerston North.  Clearly a practice which focuses on much more than the profit and loss statements, Brent showed us a leadership chart which demonstrates an above and below the line position for team members.  Someone above the line focuses on success and uses success related language.  Decision x Action = Results.  They talk of ‘must’ doing something and ‘I will’ get it done.

You can recognise someone operating below the line ‘victim’ position by their language too.. these are the “I’ll try” and “I should” people versus the leaders who just get on with the job.  For those of us who  have built high performance teams, you know how toxic someone operating below the line can be for team morale.  No one likes a victim… or a leader who tolerates a victim mentality in their business.  The great thing about using a chart like this is you can talk to your team about it and create an understanding of the sort of attitude and language that winners have and use.  Put the chart on the wall where everyone can see it.  You’ll be amazed how your own staff will start to question the language and behaviour of someone who is not coming from the leader position.