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Learn from Amazon – single-threaded leadership | Issue #165

How ‘single-threaded leadership’ will turbo-charge your business growth

You’ve done everything right so far.  Your Executive Team are all A-Players.  Together, you’ve worked on a killer strategy that you know will lead your business towards your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal).  You’ve prioritised your Objectives and Key Results and all the stars are aligned.  So how do you give your team the best chance of succeeding?  And what are the biggest pitfalls to avoid?

Take a leaf out of Amazon’s book.  They coined the phrase ‘single-threaded leadership’ to explain one reason for their success.  It’s stuck with us because it’s so simple and so obvious.  When something’s a priority, give your best people sole ownership.  Make sure everything else is taken off them so that they can focus on it.  And we mean, EVERYTHING!

How To Become Replaceable with Ari Meisel

If you worry about being irreplaceable in your business, then don’t miss Ari Meisel, the productivity coach entrepreneur, founder of Less Doing, and author of The Replaceable Founder, who’s helped thousands of clients achieve the art of less doing – less work, more results, more happiness. 

At 23, Ari thought he knew it all. He wasn’t open to criticism, he wasn’t open to feedback. Ari was working really hard, 18 hours a day, believing that was the path to fulfilment. He was working in construction, working in property development, was $3 million in debt, and then his world came to a shuddering halt. 

Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, Ari found himself in the position where he could only work an hour a day. He couldn’t rely on his old work habits any more. He had to come up with a new system to keep him moving forward. 

And he did. 

To find out how he teaches coaches, entrepreneurs and CEOs around the world how to do less and live more, and to become replaceable in their organisations, don’t miss this latest episode. This is a fantastic conversation, we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Christopher Lochhead Follow Your Different™

Christopher Lochhead Follow Your Different™ Podcast is a celebration of people, ideas and companies that stand out. A leader in the category “dialogue podcasts,” it feels like eavesdropping on a surprisingly captivating, candid, insightful, no-BS and conversation. Lochhead features legends whose names you will know and everyday legends who you’ll love getting to know. New York Times Bestselling author Hal Elrod calls it “one of the best podcasts of all time”, NBA Legend Bill Walton calls Lochhead “an exploding star – a quasar across the sky”, Fast Company Magazine calls him “a human exclamation point”, The Marketing Journal says he’s “one of the best minds in marketing” and The Economist says he’s, “off-putting to some”.

Grace and gratitude

People want and deserve to be gratified by their work, says Korn Ferry CEO Gary Burnison.

5 Ways Managers Can Stop Employee Turnover

People may give many reasons for leaving a job. Unrealistic expectations. Excessive workload. Lack of flexibility. Unfair pay. But perhaps the biggest reason for employee turnover may be that there was no manager trying to keep them there.

Make better decisions faster: The 6 stages of quick, effective decision-making

Speed is every startup’s biggest competitive advantage. We know that moving at speed is all about making decisions quickly and acting on them – but quick decisions get a bad rap.

The Road Less Stupid by Keith J. Cunningham

Smart people do dumb things. Here’s the proof: How much money would you have right now if I gave you the ability to unwind any three financial decisions you have ever made? Years ago, after suffering a humiliatingly large dumb tax, it dawned on me that I have a seemingly unlimited ability to hit unforced errors and sabotage my business and financial success. I suspect you do, too. It turns out that the key to getting rich (and staying that way) is to avoid doing stupid things. I don’t need to do more smart things. I just need to make fewer dumb mistakes. The vast majority of our dumb tax is a direct result of emotional, overly optimistic and poorly thought out decisions. Every one of those three decisions you would love to unwind was an avoidable mistake. Thinking is critical to sustainable success in business; said another way, business is an intellectual sport. The principles and structure suggested in The Road Less Stupid will enable anyone, (regardless of the size of the business, the currency or the industry) to run their business more effectively, make more money, and dramatically increase the likelihood of keeping that money.

Learn or Die by Edward D. Hess

To compete with today’s increasing globalization and rapidly evolving technologies, individuals and organizations must take their ability to learn―the foundation for continuous improvement, operational excellence, and innovation―to a much higher level. In Learn or Die, Edward D. Hess combines recent advances in neuroscience, psychology, behavioral economics, and education with key research on high-performance businesses to create an actionable blueprint for becoming a leading-edge learning organization. Learn or Die examines the process of learning from an individual and an organizational standpoint. From an individual perspective, the book discusses the cognitive, emotional, motivational, attitudinal, and behavioral factors that promote better learning. Organizationally, Learn or Die focuses on the kinds of structures, culture, leadership, employee learning behaviors, and human resource policies that are necessary to create an environment that enables critical and innovative thinking, learning conversations, and collaboration.


Ask your team what needs to be true in your business to move to a 4-day week

Are you considering moving to a 4-day week? It has to be true that everyone will need to do the same amount of work in four days that you currently do in five. A shorter week could help you with employee retention, but people will ask, ‘how do I know I’ve done the same amount of work?’ You’ll end up having a conversation about how to measure output, not input.

A four day week might sound great, but you need to have the right metrics in place. Has everyone got a daily KPI? Do they have weekly, monthly and quarterly objectives? Is the team set up for individual reporting so that you can see how everyone is doing? Don’t consider such a fundamental change without these things in place.

Quote of the week

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus”

Alexander Graham Bell

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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