Sitting here in the office and it’s 33 degrees outside in sunny Perth..
That really is a contrast to watching the TV news over the past few days and seeing not only the incredible damage of the floods in Queensland (and down around my old home town in Bendigo; Echuca and Rochester swimming pools where we used to race are now flooded…) had done but..
THE POWER OF THE AUSSIE SPIRIT IN YOU
But more to the point, the incredible power of the Australian spirit of mateship, community, a fair go, helping out people worse off than ourselves..
20,000+ volunteers lined up to register and help their fellow citizens. The Aussies on the other end of the helping hand just couldn’t believe the generosity of spirit.
There have been outpourings of positive emotion; gratitude and thanks, from thousands who can’t believe complete strangers working all hours of the day and night to help them clean up and get back into their homes.
It reminds me of something I learnt way back in 1992 when I did the ‘Money and You’ programme with Blair Singer..
One of the key flipcharts and lessons was (something like.. and one of you Money and You graduates can correct me here….)
“Leaders Emerge in Emerg-ency”
Something in the human spirit EMERGES when there is an emergency.
People find energy, motivation and power to do things they could never have predicted doing.
Women lift cars off injured children.
Men jump into flooded rivers to save women and children stranded on car rooftops.
People stop thinking of themselves and put other people’s lives and well being above themselves.
Human beings discover what being human is really all about.
HOW DOES THIS APPLY IN EVERYDAY LIFE?
In everyday life, some people even create their own ‘little emergencies’ just to get themselves going.
How many people do you know who when you ask them ‘how’s things?’
say ‘oh mate… I got so much going on.. I don’t know where to start…’
Some people create drama just to keep their lives interesting.
That’s not the emergency I am talking about.
POSITIVE EMERGENCIES FOR POSITIVE RESULTS IN BUSINESS
As a Manager, Business Owner, Parent or Coach, you can facilitate leadership and human spirit emerging with the following techniques and strategies:
1. Goals and Targets
When a person or team has a goal or target to achieve, you get human spirit to emerge.
If there is money or a desirable reward involved, you’ll turn the temperature up even more.
Having a deadline with a consequence creates a ‘mini emergency’.
‘That report has to be done by 10am Monday.’
‘That presentation has to be ready for rehearsal and run through at next Tuesday’s 9am Sales meeting.. If not, we just won’t have a shot at that big contract and we will miss budget… Which means none of us make commission this month.. So let’s make sure it’s well and trully done by then..’
3. Games and Rewards
Make a game of the task.
In media advertising sales, it was ‘Sell the Most Full Pages’ and get a new Flat Screen Big TV.
Sales of full pages went ballistic.
4. Team Games and Rewards
In Retail we had ‘The Bangle Stacking Game’. Where a jeweller set up a game for staff to wear as many bangles as possible then try to sell those bangles as a package to customers.
We had ‘everyone goes to Bali if we hit this years sales budget’ game.
They hit it.. and everyone went to Bali.
5. Threat of external competition or event
Years ago (1986 to be precise) the Government and Telecom management used the ‘threat of Privatisation and Competition’ as the reason to become more customer focused and business like.
In the 1990’s my colleague Dr Grant Donovan used the real threat of Baggage Handling at Sydney Airport being contracted out away from Qantas baggage handlers as the catalyst for massive improvement in on time and handling performance in the lead up to the Sydney Olympics.
This is a strategy that has to be used carefully and sensitively. But it is a strategy that mobilises the human spirit.
EMERGENCIES CAN BE POSITIVE
Not all emergencies are bad.
The emergency of getting home in time to have dinner with your family or the emergency of promising to cook a lovely dinner for family and friends this Friday night, galvanise and catalyse you and I into action.
Emergencies can be good for us.
Just remember, don’t live in a constant state of emergency… but that’s another story..
PS: Congrats to all those marvellous Aussies who are working around the clock as I write this.. and to those who are already rebounding with that fantastic Aussie spirit.
I saw a guy on TV this morning say ‘I’ve started with nothing before.. and now, I’ll start with nothing again…’
What a great response to Emergency..