7 things that blah blah…………

The art of the head-line, the grab words: New; Now you can; How to get; The secret to; You can be like… and then there are the numbers.  7 is the magic number allegedly – why? Anybody’s guess. One absolutely indisputable fact in a word awash with sages, advisers and experts who espouse removing your ‘pain’, is that those who have at least a basic understanding of how to ‘grab’ attention are much more likely to be seen as the ‘experts’.

There are two problems with this, firstly, ‘credibility’ in the virtual world is measured by ‘hits’, ‘likes’, ‘comments’ and ‘shares’ and pretty much in that order – albeit there is a push for ‘likes’ being more important than ‘hits or views’. So how do you get ‘hits’ with your ‘post’ regardless of how banal is it or how much is regurgitated content (plagiarism was seen as bad form – now is seems to be encouraged)? With human attention shrinking seemingly by the hour these days – literally no-one reads things through anymore, if they do they ‘speed read’. That means skimming through the content which from a ‘brain processing’ perspective has a ZERO chance of being comprehended. The only thing that will ‘stick’ is the headline or bits of the headline which further reinforces the ‘attention’ words as something readers ‘grab’ hold of – oh and the number of hits, likes etc stick, further reinforcing the ‘measures of credibility’. This is how we have become programmed to consume content, lots of hits – then it must be good or important or interesting or maybe even funny – we crave being entertained.

The second thing and one that quite frankly I find simply mind-boggling – is this seemingly insatiable addiction to being ‘seen’ and heard as some sort of expert and usually in something that ‘is popular or a buzz word concept, the latest fad. I think the phenomena of ‘career development’ is driving this, as allegedly numbers on LinkedIn for example, are ‘important’ for career growth. Recommendations, endorsements, posts, likes, followers, the LinkedIn experts tell us are the way to get ahead. The cacophony of noise out there is SO loud that the chances of ‘genuinely’ (a whole other post) being heard are very, very slim.

The real experts who are most credible and dedicate their lives to their craft or area of passion are the ones who are more likely to not be barking about themselves and their ‘expertise’. These experts are also quite satisfied with their lot, they have a job, or  clients, customers who are so ‘delighted’ by their services (this also apply’s to employee’s) that they talk about their experience with friends, family, colleagues in conversation (this includes bosses talking about great employees). Conversations, F2F or phone, brings so many rich elements to light that ‘are absent’ in the social media realm. There is an increasing realization that whilst technology has radically increased ‘connectivity’ were are actually less ‘connected in a real human way that ever before’.

Just think about looking for a service or product and how much more convinced you are ‘hearing F2F or by phone about the experience from someone, as opposed to reading reviews. You can ask questions – get a deeper sense of whether the product, service will meet your needs and also gauge the feedback for ‘fit to you’, because you ‘know’ the person you are speaking with. The real experts I describe above exist in a community of experience, where they ‘get what they want’ – doing satisfying meaningful work that is appreciated by those they do it for. At the end of the day is what we all want, we actually crave being appreciated for what it is that we do in our way – that no one else does because we are all unique. BTW the brain is hard-wired to seek this level of satisfaction – if we are really smart then we will  ‘get with the brain program’.

People in authority have POWER over other people’s behaviour.

Two things occurred this week that compelled me to pen this post. Both these occurrences are directly related to how much more powerful ‘imprinting’ has become with people’s behaviours as our world gets busier.

When I went to ‘psychology school’ a long time ago ‘imprinting’ was a phenomena that was associated with animals and how they learned to behave by watching their parents and other members of their herd, flock or troop (baboons). Humans were considered to be more sophisticated. I would argue otherwise, particularly currently in our world of overload where more than 60% of everything we do is unconscious, autopilot behaviours. Further, we are seeing significant increases with ‘social default’ behaviours, where people defer to what people around them are doing without ‘consciously making a choice’.

So what has prompted me to write about this? I reside near a busy precinct of cafes, restaurants, bars and shops. The main road is a clearway in the morning’s and two lanes of traffic relentlessly hurtle down this road in peak hour. What has been happening in the past few months is that increasingly vehicles are pulling into the side street stopping illegally in the no standing zone whilst theimportant drivers go and get a coffee. This blocks the entrance to the street for vehicles trying to enter as well as exit the street. My neighbor has almost been hit innumerable times trying to squeeze past these illegally parked vehicles.

I have been pondering why it is that this worrisome behaviour has seemed to have increased recently. A few months ago I noticed that an emergency vehicle began stopping in this no standing zone while its occupants went and sat down to have a coffee in one of the cafe’s. I have observed that this occurs on a regular basis. This week a very, very senior and recognisable politician came out from the cafe and proceeded to get into the chauffeured car that was parked in the no standing zone, and it quickly sped off. A few days later a different emergency vehicle was stopped in the no standing zone and its occupants were in the cafe. Whilst they were in the cafe an elderly man with a cane had to go around this vehicle to cross the street, and as he did so a car entered the street at a great rate and just managed to brake before hitting the old man. The occupants of the emergency vehicle inside the cafe were oblivious to what had just occurred. The old man was quite shaken up and luckily was helped onto the footpath by a passerby.

I realised that the reason for the recent increase in ‘cars’ stopping illegally ‘just for a minute’ to get a coffee was that the message from seeing ’emergency vehicles and officers’ and a senior politician just stopping to get a coffee was that this behaviour is OK. Well its not OK, as no standing zones exist for safety reasons – to protect pedestrians such as the elderly man, and for vehicles to turn safely from a busy road into a side street. The message to everyone who ‘see’s these vehicle’s parked in this manner is that ‘it doesn’t matter’ about the no standing zone – it is OK to stop for a five minutes to get a coffee. What these behaviours are essentially about is that ‘other people’ are not considered. Increasingly we see these sort of behaviours where people seem to be oblivious to the impact and potential consequences their actions have on other people. It is as though they exist in their own universe centered around their own needs.

This is the case, and in defense of all of those people who just ‘stop for 5 minutes’ they are not thinking about other people. As I pointed out above more than 60% of what we do each day is on autopilot, these people who ‘stop for 5 minutes’ are focused on getting to work – they are thinking of saving time, they don’t want to be late and other people and ‘consequences of their actions’ are not even on their radar. In short they are experiencing the debilitating effects of Busy Brain Syndrome – which reduces their awareness of their environment to their own insular little universe. This is why if the old man had been hit by the car – the occupants of the emergency vehicle would have been completely mortified, devastated that their ‘non-thinking’ and non-consideration of the possible implications of their actions led to possibly the serious injury or death of a pedestrian.

Leading Change – A New Approach

Change failure or ‘paralysis’ has reached such levels within organisations, that many businesses are in a state of chronic dysfunction where they are falling behind and some may simply fade away, unless ironically – they change. There is a way, and it begins with decisive leadership. The most critical role of a leader and why they are paid as they are, is to take responsibility and make timely decisions.

I prefer to use the word ‘paralysis’ rather than ‘failure’. Both words imply the same effect – change not being successful – but have very different perceived causes. Failure implies that lack of success was ‘invariably’ someone’s fault, which leads to further dysfunction as most organisations still operate on last century’s management paradigms where ‘people (particularly leaders) are responsible for increasing predictability ‘. Paralysis, on the other hand suggests there are factors inhibiting success, that if addressed and removed will see change succeed.

Change paralysis is caused by the disconnect and misalignment between a consistently fluid market and ‘old organisational management structures’ that follow ‘good management practices’ rather than adapting to meet market demands. A rapidly moving customer driven market has created a chronic sense of urgency within businesses, where ‘reacting’ is the typical response as an attempt to alleviate and control the chronic anxiety that ‘urgency’ creates. This has resulted in exhausted, burnt out leaders who have developed decision paralysis and thus, business inertia exists where they fail to keep up with change.

This paralysis has no relationship to a leaders ability, experience or knowledge about how to lead effectively. Overcoming decision paralysis requires a paradigm shift where leaders develop a new way of leading and being decisive in a world of complete uncertainty.

That new way is for leaders to ‘let go of the expectation and need for certainty’. Easier said than done, but ironically in our personal lives we have a much lower stranglehold on the ‘expectation of certainty’, particularly with disruption from technology. In fact we expect uncertainty with technology because new things appear all the time and we embrace them.

Letting go of certainty and predictability in businesses is a two step process. Firstly, understand that our organisational structures still operate on the premise that ‘we respond to all demands’. More importantly whilst leaders may know ‘intellectually’ that they cannot possibly respond to the ‘insane’ level of demands currently, they are still hard-wired ‘unconsciously to react to perceived urgency’. This is why ‘self-awareness’ is the most important skill for leaders to develop and master in a fast moving world.

Secondly, leaders need to get to being OK with ‘uncertainty’. What I mean by this is the natural progression with mastering ‘self-awareness’ is the ability to ‘create space’ with decisions. This ‘space’ enables a considered ‘conscious response’ rather than an ‘unconscious reactionwhich is caused by the brain being hard-wired to ‘control and avoid anxiety’.

What also occurs by default when leaders learn to get ‘OK with uncertainty’ and master ‘controlled conscious responsiveness’, is that their energy becomes very clear and focused, whereas when in the ‘reacting to excessive noise mode’, their energy is scattered, which is exhausting. This means they make decisions that are right for the moment and have a cascading effect throughout the organisation. Strong decisive leadership makes for a strong decisive business where people feel ‘secure and stable’ and readily change to meet changing demands.

Political Correctness is Causing Business Dysfunction in a VUCA World.

Decision paralysis with leadership is a fallout from a VUCA (Volotile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world, just as failure to change is a fallout with teams. Whilst there is a significant debate and discussion about the ‘VUCA’ caused problem of people and teams failing to adopt and sustain change in the longer term, there is little discussion by comparison on the impact of decision paralysis in businesses.

The irony is that decision paralysis from leadership leads to and exacerbates change sustainability failures with teams of people in organisations. If we drill down to the root cause of both these business challenges, they stem from the same cause, overload and an inability of businesses via their people to keep operations on par with fast moving, fluid market demands.  The beginning point to resolve this challenge is to ‘fix’ decision paralysis with leaders, because this perpetuates failure of teams to sustained change.

Decision paralysis presents in business in its most disruptive and dysfunctional way as changed purchase processes. For business leaders to keep their businesses operating at current levels and stop them going backwards in a fast moving world, they need to be continually implementing improvement solutions. These solutions invariably involve purchases of some description, be that an external system or process, more people, consulting expertise, new machinery or products.

Business decision making which includes purchasing process, has slowed by a factor of 4-5 over the past few years. Meaning urgent problems that need a decision to ‘fix’, are now stalled in no-mans land whilst a ‘decision’ takes five months rather than one. And we wonder why ‘people’ within organisations ‘struggle with change’. The apple doesn’t fall far, imprinting or ‘do what leaders do, not what they say’ is the ‘actual driver of behaviour’. People within organisations ‘see’ this indecision and mimic it, albeit unconsciously.

So what factors are contributing to this decision paralysis? Firstly there is an ever expanding array of stakeholders with often competing agenda’s changing purchase criteria which with any decision by ‘committee’, ends up with the lowest-common-denominator behaviours. This expansion of stakeholders is driven by collaboration and diversity agenda’s which is not a bad thing in terms of ‘contributing’ to the decision making process. However that is just it contribute to, rather than be directly involved in, is optimal.

Political correctness has railroaded the most important function within any business – timely, confident and committed decision making. To my mind CEO’s and other heads of businesses are paid ‘well’ because they take on the responsibility of the viability of the business. How does that responsibility manifest in business success? By MAKING decisions in time, that lead the business to success. What we have now is RISK gone mad, with people involved in decision making when they really should be contributing information needed to support the decision, because they are not experienced in decision making. They have other functions to perform in the business and endless ‘decision meetings’ are a complete waste of their time and expertise.

So rather than the business leader receiving relevant information in a timely manner, that he/she can sort through with ‘trusted advisers’ and MAKE workable decisions, there is an abundance of largely irrelevant information that tends to bury the core issues. Time is added completely unnecessarily, the value of the solution is watered down, and in cases eroded completely.The business is left with the same original problem, a devalued solution that is invariably not fit for purpose and is doomed to be ineffective. Employee’s get to be right again – ‘this won’t work just like last time’.

So how has overload contributed to business decision paralysis? Overload is caused by Busy Brain Syndrome – which for the purposes of this discussion locks people into a negative state unconsciously. BBS causes people to view everything through a negative lens. For example collectively we are fixated on negative statistics – rather than viewing something as having a 90% chance of success, we focus on the 10% chance of failure. This has caused leaders to focus on ‘fear getting decisions wrong’ rather than focusing on the fact that they will get it right, nine times out of ten. In the same way people and teams ‘fear change’ because of what they ‘could lose’ rather than focusing on what they gain. Most of these fears can be controlled with efficient, timely and effective decision making.

What our businesses need is strong decisive leadership supported by stakeholders supplying the right information at the right time. The business leader is then armed with salient information to make decisions in a timely manner, enabling the business to keep up in a VUCA world. Nobody wins with decision paralysis.

I’m too busy to change

eally? What are you ‘busy’ doing? This is a question that high achievers, successful entrepreneurs, sports stars and the like don’t even have to ask themselves – and is the reason they are successful. For them change is something they do every day and it is an expectation that they continually need to adapt to presenting circumstances in order to maintain success. This group is definitely the minority and for the rest of us change can seem to ‘get in the way of our busyness’.

The average person spends at least half their time at work being distracted or recovering from distraction. This is a complete productivity and efficiency ‘killer’, as most people don’t fully recover from distraction and get back to the ‘train of thought’ they were on before they were distracted. This further exacerbates the ‘busyness’ problem because the work we produce whilst being constantly distracted is never our best. This is very unsatisfying as most people have high standards for their own work. Distraction means it takes longer to complete work because when people are not happy with their output, they continually make modifications hoping to make something they know is not their best work, look better.

Being busy recovering from distraction and patching up work that we know is not our best because the deadline is looming, is not being efficient.  We associate busyness with activity, and we tend to think that the more active people are the busier they are, and that they are efficient. Busyness is not proportional to efficiency by any stretch of the imagination, and the reality is that those people who ‘are frenetic’ at work, are in fact the least efficient people.  Ironically, ‘inefficiency’ is what drives change in the first place, as change in organisations is driven by the need to improve output and efficiency. So therefore when confronted with the need to ‘change’ people who are too busy, are ‘actually busy’ recovering from distraction which caused the inefficiency, which has effected the need for change.

An excellent strategy to overcome this objection to ‘change’ is to ask the question – what am I ‘busy’ doing, and am I being efficient?  If people get into the habit of asking themselves this question everyday (in particular, when they notice they are being distracted), they will find two things occur. They will realise that they are not in fact being efficient whilst being distracted, and more importantly they will begin to get ‘control’ over distraction, because learning to ask this question brings it to ‘top of mind’.

Will they be too busy to change? If they learn to take control over distraction – then chances are the need for ‘change’ will become redundant.

Unpacking RESISTANCE to Workplace Change

The age of unpredictability or our VUCA – Volotile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous – marketplace of incessant ‘disruption’ is alien to the way we are programmed to behave at work and get things done. You don’t have to be a Neuroscientist to work that out.

I am not interested in revisiting this ‘problem’ as I don’t see it as a problem – in fact I don’t SEE anything as a problem – merely a distortion, which in effect is  identifying a need to adjust or adapt. Everything I do with my work I framed this way – eventually. When I meet with clients I first have to engage in the ‘problem’ discussion – and luckily for me most of my clients are leading edge thinkers and also ‘see’ that the problem is a distortion highlighting the requirement to make an adjustment. However they have peers and managers who generally see things more as a problem and have passed this to my contacts to solve, and together we do.

What our VUCA world has done is taken away ‘time’. We used to be able to deal with things and work through ‘problems’ in the past much more easily than we can today because we had time to think things through. Now we don’t, as the level of demands placed on us to ‘do things’ in any one moment are ridiculous. Do we take a step back from these demands and calmly work through each demand at a time? NO. We revert to habit and our programming when faced with a request to do something at work – and respond, or attempt to respond, which simply fails – period.

You see the problem is not the amount of stuff, or the VUCA world, or the disruption or anything external to us – it never is. The problem is how ‘we react and ‘perceive’ the situation. We are programmed to ‘respond’ and attend to requests or things that come our way. You can probably see why email has been demonised so much – it is once again not the ’email’ that is the ‘problem’ – it is the CC’ing in of people and other practices where ’email requests’ are not requests at all but rather noise – but to our ever vigilant habit of responding – we can’t help ourselves but to perceive these as requests for our attention.

What has happened as a result of failing to adjust and adapt our ingrained ‘way of working habits’ years and years ago, is that new stuff that comes on to our horizon incessantly, is put into the OMG more things to do bucket. Change is on the top of the OMG list because not only is there an expectation to respond – but an expectation or even a demand to change the way we do something. What is required is a shift or adjustment in how people work that is aligned to a VUCA world rather than reverting to habits that no longer work. This is a major factor contributing to the root cause of resistance to change. We will look at more factors contributing to change ‘resistance’ next time.

Maybe – just maybe some will learn from Nokia

These comments from Ziyad Jawabra on his post concerning Nokia – are common sense.

“They (Nokia) missed out on learning, they missed out on changing, and thus they lost the opportunity at hand to make it big. Not only did they miss the opportunity to earn big money, they lost their chance of survival.  The message of the Nokia story is, if you don’t change, you shall be removed from the competition. It’s not wrong if you don’t want to learn new things. However, if your thoughts and mindset cannot catch up with time, you will be eliminated.

Failure does not occur instantly, just as success does not occur instantly. We have enough ‘flags and warning signs’ along our pathway yet we choose to ignore many of them, not for any rational reason but generally for something else – fear or fixed beliefs that are misaligned to the actual present reality. We know this is the case because of our post-mortums after the event – I wudda, shudda, cudda done things differently. If we had been fully present and actually ‘engaged with the present trajectory’ (which is constantly moving to a future point in time) we would most likely have made very different decisions.

There seems to be considerable levels of ‘resistance’ to moving forward with many ‘traditional businesses’. This is a worrying trend, particularly given that there is an increasing number of new businesses setting up in traditional industries that are designed very differently. They are structuring themselves to be malleable, movable and agile, and are succeeding in acquiring customers,  because they are purpose designed to be ‘responsive’ to customers needs.  Agile does not apply only to processes – more importantly it applies the entire mind-set of the people within the business. A business is not its product or process – it is the ability of its people to meet the needs of customers, this is what creates its brand, its reputation and by default its success or not.

Many traditional business seem the think that longevity, loyalty and tradition will keep them safe – wrong. The modern consumer is none of these things any more. They are short term, fickle, modern and more likely to decide to purchase according to their ‘friends or those around them’ than for any ‘traditional’ reason. Change is really not that hard – and we do it outside of our businesses and workplaces by default. However at work we seem to morph back a century into old structures and ways of behaviour that no longer fit. Perhaps there is a direct correlation between this and the ‘pandemic’ of workplace unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

We live and work in a two speed world

We live and work in a two speed world: Digital Technology Speed – speed of light (≈3.00×108 m/s); and Analogue Human Information Processing Speed – one thing at a time (0.050-0.01 m/s). Why is it that this is such a challenging concept for us to get?

The thing most people ask me about more than anything else brain related is the usefulness of ‘brain training’. The reason people ask me about this is there seems to be a new ‘paranoia’ concerning ‘dementia’ being touted as the newest condition that one is doomed to be afflicted with.

If we examine how the advent of technology has changed the way we live and work, there is one factor that has had the most impact, yet this factor is largely unknown or ignored. Technology is wonderful with new gadgetry and the speed of ‘tech capability’ having made so many things easier and more convenient, both in our lives generally and at work. However there is a huge downside to the speed of technology, in particular the radical change the speed of information transfer has had on our brain.

We all know about overload and too much information and there is even an International Day of Information Overload day. We know how much information or ‘stuff’ as I like to call it is produced each day – an insane amount. That in and of itself, is not the problem. The problem is the resulting ‘demand’ to DO SOMETHING with the inordinate amount and speed at which this ‘stuff’ comes at us each day.

Let’s unpack this a bit further. Prior to the tech age, workplaces had the telephone, fax machine and snail mail. Stuff would be passed around at a slow rate (analogue), and therefore the ‘demands on us to do something with the ‘stuff’ was minimal. Now what is the single biggest thing people complain about at work? Email. Email is not the direct problem, rather the speed at which emails come at us, the way we react to them and try to deal with their demands simultaneously, IS the problem.

This demanding expectation we place upon ourselves equates to the single biggest contributor to overload, stress, anxiety, overwhelm and all the rest of the reactionary states, conditions, poor relationships, blame cultures we see in our workplaces.

Digital technology, email and other ‘social messaging’ is transferred instantly or the ‘speed of light’ essentially. We like this convenience on the one hand, but know that it is slowing sending us ‘bonkas’ on the other hand, because we never seem to get things done or finished – hence the paranoia about ‘going mad’ and dementia (that is for another day).

So why does this digital speed make us feel so hideous, and why is it so difficult to deal with the demands of email and other stuff coming at us? The answer is simple – the human brain can only process at a speed of 50 – 100 milliseconds. Comparing the human brain processing speed to digital speed of information transfer is like comparing a human brain to a single cell amoeba.

Interestingly the human brain information processing capability is the same as pretty much all other animals on the planet. Information processing occurs in the ‘survival’ part of the brain, the purpose of which is for survival so that we and other species are not wiped out. Perhaps the most critical thing about this survival part of our brain is that it is ‘unconscious’ and therefore we have no idea what is going on ‘consciously’.

Getting back to the point of this post – and why people ask me about ‘brain training effectiveness’ – they ask because they are experience the ‘side effects’ of the gross misalignment between digital processing speed and human information processing speed. They are ‘ON’ all the time, have difficulty being able to focus or concentrate, experience varying levels of anxiety,  are forgetful, short tempered, fatigued, have difficulty changing behaviours and habits and perceive that everyone else seems to be more ‘together’ than they are.

All of these symptoms are ‘caused’ by the grossly misaligned speed of technology and human processing indirectly. They are directly caused by the way we “REACT” to the speed of stuff coming at us and our ‘rediculous EXPECTATION to be able to deal with it. WE CAN’T AND NEVER WILL BE ABLE TO

So my response to people is to give them a quick synopsis of this post and learn to get into the ‘zone’, focus’ and learn to ignore the noise. The noise is everything except the ONE thing you are working on in a moment. Thinking logically, I am writing this post now, I have a very long to do list, have to collect children in an hour, start preparing dinner, put the washing out, vacuum and do the bathrooms, how well do you think I would write this if I was thinking about all those other things at the same time? I wouldn’t, it would be rubbish and I would be stressed out.

I am not – and now upon completion will move on to the next thing. We all need to give ourselves a break, understand that ‘brain speed is very different to tech speed and learn how to ‘adapt’ our brain to deal with a tech world.

Productive People Management Systems – Tech solutions for embedding behaviour change using the neuroscience of adapting to thrive in the Age of Technology.

‘Who can we blame – we’ll have an inquiry’!!!!!

“We’ve created a culture where taking responsibility is one of the last sure ways to make a difference. It’s easy to avoid, fraught with anxiety and rarely done, which is precisely why it might be your best available path” – Seth Godin

I don’t know about you but Seth Godin shines a little light in my world each day.  I think that we all need to have our own version of Seth just to cause us to inquire, a tiny bit about the way we think and the rigidity of our beliefs. I completely agree with Seth that we seem to have created a culture where self-responsibility causes intense anxiety – but no wonder because we go after the ‘man’ like a witch hunt – (Shrek comes to mind, got to love the kids movies such great lessons – pity they don’t seem to stick).

Take it from Seth and of course from me as well – not only is self-responsibility your best available path – it is the only path to ‘happiness’, satisfaction contentment’ whatever it is that we are looking for – because hey guess what? you are what you think. If you think that someone else is responsible – then you are never going to control them, and be locked into a world of pain. However, if you decide to take responsibility, you have total control over what you think – and only you can ‘shift’ your thinking. The words of Sir Lawrence Olivier .


P.S. I predict some of you will look up ‘provination’ – add a comment if you do – thanks!!

Factors most likely to increase productivity of people at work

The results are in from the survey we ran in May considering what is key to people productivity in our modern world. Firstly thank you to all everyone who contributed to this small but significant research project. We had over 500 responses and the spread across each of the roles within businesses from Operations through to Continuous Improvement personnel was quite balanced.

The research was seeking to identify from a long list of 17 factors that have been espoused to be silver bullets with increasing the productivity or output of people in the recent past, according to popular and peer reviewed literature.

The findings were a testament to what has always been important with output of people across the ages. They also ring true with the discussion concerning the importance of continuous improvement with humans that I will get back to in time. The results support the fact that humans are hard wired so to speak, to continually move forward and strive to improve themselves.

The factor to be rated the most important to people productivity with 9.2 / 10 was Leaders Walking the Talk. Human history is littered with conquests and empires being built and collapsing – in each case these empires and conquests were led by people who displayed ‘walking the talk’ and people followed them.

In businesses today leaders who ‘walk the talk’ will succeed in inspiring people to follow them and perform as best they can.

Second position was shared equally with a score of 8.8 / 10 by Having a Sense of Purpose at Work, and Feeling Valued at Work. Again this is no real surprise and stands to reason with the first belief that leaders who walk the talk are aspirational and will by default inspire a sense of purpose in those they lead. A leader walking the talk who inspires ‘purpose’ will also give a sense of being valued to people.

These findings are fundamental human values and we believe these results indicate that no matter what changes in the environment – our fast pace busy world and lives – we still hold that the central tenant of our humanness; being led, with a purpose and being valued is motivating and makes us want to achieve.

Of interest the factor at the bottom of the 17 was Encouragement of Career Advancement. What are your thoughts about that?