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Short on training budget? Get me for free in May!

Alexandria Joy - Tuesday, April 12, 2016

As part of launching her new speaking topics our CEO Heidi Alexandra is offering just 20 speaking spots for corporates looking to Beta Test our new programs and material for FREE in the month of May 2016!

Heidi Alexandra has been running training and coaching programs for over 10 years and yet she's giving it away in May. Why? Well we have a brand new program of topics and workshops and she wants to road test them and make sure she's delivering content that answers your burning questions, inspires your people and gets tongues wagging in your workplace. 

PLUS Heidi Alexandra's key word for 2016 is "generosity" so you'll be helping her achieve her #365daysofgenerosity too!

Topics include:

  • Stealing Startups Culture: What Futurist Companies Do To Unleash Their Employees Hidden Super Powers
  • Corporate Culture Hacking: The simplest secret to transforming a toxic culture
  •  The 4.5 secrets you need to know to become a corporate superhero
  • Body Intelligence – how to have a powerful presence
  • Corporate Superhero – how to become a sought after thought leader

There are just 20 spots available in May in Australia and the USA. To apply to have her speak at your workplace, event or leadership meeting go here now - first in best dressed!

You can read more about her speaking here http://www.uqpower.com.au/speaking 

Balanced Leaders Create Healthy Cultures

Alexandria Joy - Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Most people today could share a story about someone they've worked for who was highly intelligent, highly skilled and got promoted to a position of leadership only to drive their workers around the bend and leave them running for the hills.

This common story told the world over suggests that identifying individuals with the right goods to be a great leader is not an exact science or exercise in who has the best resume. After all, evidence shows that the personal styles of the best leaders vary greatly as seen from my recent list of the 50 leaders I most want to interview.

Some leaders are quiet, conscientious and analytical, others are bold and boisterous preaching their vision and values to the biggest audience they can find. Regardless of their external personality traits however, we have found through our work at UQ Power that the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: they create healthy workplace cultures where their workers feel safe and valued.

In the course of the past year, my colleagues and I have focused on how leaders and managers can create the most physically, emotionally and psychologically healthy workplace cultures. Using our proprietary UQ Powerhouse Blueprint we have worked with numerous public and private organisations and examined the relationship between IQ - innovation and intellectual safety, EQ - emotional intelligence and psychological safety, BODY - cultural presence and physical safety and VISION - clarity of purpose and financial safety, especially in leaders. And we have observed how each of these four dimensions, the quadruple bottom line, shows themselves on the job.

Which is why most people today could share a story about someone they've worked for who had high IQ but low EQ and drove them around the bend. When we study organizational psychology, culture and well being we begin to see that one area connects to another, and another in such a way that it is hard to isolate one without considering the other. Organizations therefore could more appropriately be seen as a complex living organisms rather than simply as an organization.

Identifying what makes an organisation healthy is not a straightforward science as one needs to appreciate the UQ (uniqueness quotient) of each individual employee - basically every worker has different motivators and or stressors and each group or team has its own dynamic which in turn ultimately creates the organisation’s culture.

What we have found through our work is that just like any other living organism, an organisation needs to be nourished, maintained, and experience growth in order to sustain it over the longer term. It also needs some essential nutrients to ensure it maintains peak health including:

Nutrient 1 - Free Flowing Communication: Communication is always a two-way street and requires contextual listening (listening beyond words to what is being said, not said and felt). So many companies are built on top-down communication from management leaving employees feeling there is no point in saying how they feel as they have no direct channel and don't feel they'll have an impact. Effective leaders and managers are those who create an atmosphere that fosters trust and open, two-way communication. Communication can be critical especially during difficult times such as those recently experienced as a result of the economic downturn (Read this article to find out more about leading during a downturn).

Nutrient 2 - People emPOWERment: By understanding and appreciating the UQ (uniqueness) in each and every employee and leveraging their individual talents, a leader will build confidence and trust and empower individuals to self-manage. By empowering employees to be victors rather than victims, to celebrate their uniqueness rather than punishing their imperfections, by owning their responsibilities, a healthy empowered environment is created. Through an empowered workplace you will not only have the benefits of enhanced productivity but you can grow your reputation among your customers and stakeholders.

Nutrient 3 - Spreading PositivityIn The Happiness Advantage, former Harvard professor Shawn Achor argues that people who start off happy are more likely to succeed and using stories and case studies from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in 42 countries, Achor explains how organisations can gain a competitive advantage by shifting employees to become more positive too. Similarly Professor Richard Boyatzis' Intentional Change Theory states that intense positive emotions will have a contagion effect on others. Likewise we must be conscious of the negative emotions one emits as well, Boyatzis suggesting that for every negative thought three positive thoughts are needed to counter the affect.

Nutrient 4 - Cool Collaboration: In short, teams that play together, stay together. A leader's job is to ensure everyone in the organization must work in solving problems while adapting change together. Cohesive organizations build unity toward improving and resolving issues as a team and not as isolated units. Simon Sinek frequently cites the Marine Corps for having found a way to build a culture in which men and women are willing to risk their lives, because they know others would do the same for them. It’s not brainwashing; it’s actually based on the biology of how and when people are naturally at their best. If businesses could adopt this supportive mentality, employees would be more motivated to take bigger risks, because they’d know their colleagues and company would back them up, no matter what.

The best company cultures are vibrant, healthy ones where the well being of individuals and the sustainability of the organization go hand in hand. It is ultimately a place where individuals are inspired to work, trust, and value the uniqueness in one another, while reinforcing the mission of the organization.

What interventions, improvement programs or cultural reviews have proven to work well for you and your organization?

What other nutrients do you believe support a healthy organizational culture, not listed in the list above? 

Feel free to share a comment or two about your experiences below, I'd love to know.

References
Achor, Shawn The Happiness Advantage
Adelson, S. and LaRoche, G . (n.d) The Power of Positive Emotional Attractors. Boyatzis, R. E., Soler, C. (2012). Vision, leadership and emotional intelligence transforming family business, Journal of Family Business Management.
Sinek, Simon (2014) Leaders Eat Last
Topping, Peter, (2002), Managerial Leadership. McGraw-Hill.

The Best Leaders Embrace Imperfection

Alexandria Joy - Friday, January 16, 2015


I have a dream.

I imagine a world where everyone has an opportunity to love their work and do their best work using their unique strengths every day.

Sadly many modern workplaces with their rigid policies, procedures, measures, position descriptions and obsessive overwork cultures are doing little to encourage individuals to embrace their uniqueness and quirky ways.

In my experience the most important people in organisations are not the executives at the top but the team leaders and middle managers as they are the catalyst for every success or failure a company has. Everything from communication, innovation, and change to productivity and growth, flows through the team leader or line manager.

We all know the old saying that people join a company but leave their manager and through my work I speak to lots of leaders, supervisors and line managers and they all say they want to build a great team culture – but they don’t always know how or where to start.

One of the first steps in becoming a great Expander Leader is to stop beating your self and your people up for not being perfect.

Perfectionism is not healthy striving. When we aim for perfection we focus on the negative, on what’s not working and what we are lacking.

Perfectionism is crippling. It’s the vice of a Container Manager. It comes from a place of low self-worth, of controlling, insecurity and devilish detail.

Imperfection is freeing. It’s the joy of being an Expander Leader. It comes from a place of growth and expansion, of delighting in possibilities and being comfortable with emotions and being authentic.

Think of the bristle of a paintbrush left stranded in a painting. The uneven glaze of a Japanese ceramic cup. The delightful quirkiness of a homemade go-cart.

Perfection comes out of moulds or off assembly lines.

Things made by nature or by hand, like us are imperfect. It’s the little things that make us unique and unlike any one else that allow us love our work and give our best performance every day.

The same is true for leaders, companies and workplace cultures too. There is no one perfect way to build a great culture or team or business. There is no best structure, framework or performance management system.

What makes Expander Leaders great is that they:

  • Are not the strongest, they are the ones who are honest about their weaknesses
  • Are not the smartest; they are the ones who admit how much they don't know.
  • Are the ones who can't do it all; they are the ones who look to others to help them.
  • Are the ones who don't try to be perfect, they try to be themselves.

If you are a manager, supervisor or team leader what's one thing you can do to celebrate the UQ (Uniqueness Quotient) in your people? Remember to #StartwithU

Now it’s your turn. Tell me, where has perfection held you back from progressing from doing your best work?

I'd love to know. Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Your Pay Reflects Your Personality Type

Alexandria Joy - Monday, February 10, 2014

Want to know why you can’t seem to breakthrough your current income level? According to a study conducted by CareerAssessmentSite.com, your personality has a significant impact on your earning potential.

Is Your Personality Holding You Back?

Before we jump into self-diagnosis mode, let’s first get real about the benefits of understanding how personality impacts your performance, career opportunities, and earning potential.

When managing a thriving business, we leverage organisational strengths to ensure continual growth and profits. We also shine the spotlight on the organisation’s weaknesses to tighten up ship and minimise unnecessary costs (in terms of resources, time, or money). Continuous improvement is a common movement in the business arena, but not so much when it comes to personal or employee growth.

If businesses are run by… people… how could you ever blossom your organisation into its full potential if your people don’t develop and grow?

Just like in business, being aware of your personal strengths allows you to make full use of those to your advantage. Likewise, understanding your weaknesses will allow you to work on them, or if needed, stop you from fighting a never ending battle by delegating things to people who excel at whatever it is that you suck at.

When you focus on your strengths and continue to stretch and build that muscle on a daily basis, you end up stepping up into your full potential. As an aside, you’ll also position yourself as a guru in your area of expertise. You’ll stop struggling and you’ll have better clarity in how to build your career.

What Personality Type Earns The Most?

Busting to know aren’t you?!) Studies show that people with a pragmatic approach to life and business out earn all other types. They are excellent custodians of money, see criticism as an opportunity to expand, and set goals and take daily action to achieve them.

One the flipside, these people sometimes seem controlling and intimidating. Their ability to make decisions and act quickly may come across as impulsive.

What’s Your Personality Type?

You can read more about the different personality types tested in the study here.

Or, you can contact us at UQ Power to help you uncover your personality type, how you can leverage your UQ Power (your unique strengths) and how to go about addressing your weaknesses.

Our Founder and CEO, Heidi Alexandra Pollard is a certified Myers-Briggs facilitator who can help you to discover and bring out your UQ Power. All you have to do is fill out this form and we’ll start the process for you.

How to master any skill

Alexandria Joy - Sunday, December 29, 2013

When you want to learn a new skill, how do you usually go about it? Learn first and then practice?  If that’s your method for becoming a genius you’re on the right track, but you’re only half way to becoming a Legendary Master.

Psychologist, Dr Anders Ericsson did a study revealing that those who practiced a skill for at least 10,000 hours were more successful than those who didn’t. No surprises there as “practice makes perfect” right? Well… to a point.

Emotional Intelligence expert and Psychologist, Daniel Goleman explains the problem with this single method:

 “Ten thousand hours of practice may or may not bring you to the top of your game, and the reason is this: if you are a so-so golfer and you have a so-so golf stroke and you practice that golf stroke in a so-so way, in 10,000 hours you are still going to have the same poor golf stroke,” Daniel Goleman

Here at UQ Power, we believe that success is driven by four keys: Vision, Body, Intelligence Quotient (IQ), and Emotional Quotient (Emotional Intelligence or EQ). (We call this the UQ Power House). And when it comes to powering up your IQ muscle, it takes more than repetition to build strength.

Focus is key to boosting your IQ

As we’ve become more digitally connected, we’ve also become more distracted. We suffer from multi-tasking and undertake it with a matter of pride. Even when we’re performing just a single action, our brain remains in multi-task mode; distracted by other thoughts, sensations, and mental to-do lists. 

Continual multi-tasking has led our brains to reconfigure its neurons (the “hardwiring that sends messages”) to cope with only that sort of thinking. So when it comes time to focus… well… we simply can’t.

To become a true master of any skill, you need to focus when you practise. No distractions, no mental checks of what you need to do afterwards – full, present focus.

“Learning how to improve any skill also requires top-down focus. Neuroplasticity, the strengthening of old brain circuits and building of new ones for a skill we are practicing, requires our paying attention. When practice occurs while we are focusing elsewhere, the brain does not rewire the relevant circuitry for that particular routine.

Daydreaming defeats practice; those of us who browse TV while working out will never reach the top ranks. Paying full attention seems to boost the mind’s processing speed, strengthen synaptic connections, and expand or create neural networks for what we are practicing,” Dr Goleman.

Feedback makes perfect

When your golf swing is consistently causing the ball to veer left, it’s time to get expert feedback. A skilled golfing coach can tell you that you’re stance is affecting your swing and that you need to practice standing with your shoulders in alignment to your feet.

While you may learn a new skill quickly and easily, it’s likely that you’ll plateau. To get past it and to continually improve, you need feedback to help you see where your opportunities are and how you can strengthen your game.

In business, a team that performs well consistently still needs feedback. Progression and continual improvement will only happen if the team has an objective view of opportunities and strengths from which they can leverage.

How is your game? Is it time for you to get some feedback and guidance?

Here’s a story of how UQ Power helped McCulloch Robertson lift their game, increasing their cash flow by half a million dollars within a month.

 

Office Christmas Party Ettiquette

Alexandria Joy - Sunday, December 15, 2013

From hitting on your boss' wife to humiliating party games and the indignity of forced merriment, office Christmas parties are a minefield when it comes to maintaining your personal brand.

Here's four office party mistakes we suggest you don't make:

1. Singing karaoke

Regardless if you have a voice like Celine Dion, never partake in singing karaoke if you are in a Western workplace. In the days of smart phones your rendition of "I'm too sexy" could end up on You Tube or Facebook well before Monday morning's Board meeting.

2. Drinking in excess

Obvious, duh, however the most common mistake made by up and comings. While many organisations offer a full bar at their party, many people take advantage and don't realise the number of drinks they've had. If you don't want to make any career limiting moves like chatting up the bosses partner or urinating in the hallway pot plant, limit yourself to 2-3 drinks all night.

3. Finger food faux pas

Picture this: sticky spicy chicken wing in one hand, wet drink hand in the other, your boss crosses the floor with the Chairman of the board in tow, to introduce you. No napkin in sight you have to choose...shove the sticky wing in your pocket, drop it into your cup or offer a kiss on the cheek to the Chairman. (Oh yeah and one other food tip - don't double dip).

4. Whining while dining

The office Christmas party is meant to be a time when everyone can celebrate the successes of the year. That means a cheerful mood. If you feel yourself or the conversation slipping into whingeing, whining or bitching territory about work, colleagues, clients or anything switch topics before the complaints gather momentum.

Stick to these basics and you should find the Christmas party provides a boost to your brand rather than seeing you slipping off the potential promotion list. And if you think we're being conservative check out this top 10 list of the most embarrassing moments. This may be enough to put you off partying for life!

Leave a comment below and tell us your most your or "your friends" most embarrassing office party misstep!

While we're on the subject of Christmas check out our UQ Power Christmas video here. Did you photobomb us in 2013?


How To Find A Job Or A Business Venture You Love

Alexandria Joy - Monday, October 21, 2013

Why did you pursue a career or business within your chosen industry? Why did you leave your last job and why did you change companies? If you can answer these questions, you now hold the secret to finding a job or business venture that you love.

In this very short video interview with Simon Sinek, he touches on the one and only key to finding a job that is the perfect fit for you.

For some, answering “why” will come easy, but sadly for many it will be a difficult thought to contemplate.

When you were child and even through your teenage years, it’s likely that your “why” was at the forefront of your mind. Even though you may not have become a fire fighter or a superhero with x-ray vision, you were probably clear about wanting to help people, to save them from disaster and to fight off villains.

As you grew older and played out your career for some time, did you get caught up in the routine and stresses of life, get bogged down in detail, and forget about your “why”?

Every job has its grunt work. Even the most energetic and enthusiastic worker can suffer bouts of procrastination. When you’re clear about your “why”, your motivation for doing the most mundane tasks will remain consistent.

The core of “why” you pursued a certain career path or business is the same thing that will keep you fulfilled in your job or business while your earn an income.

Do you love your job or business?

Share with us “why” you chose the job, career, company, or business that you’re in, it will help you remember and recommit.

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Heidi Alexandra has been the source of much information strategy and innovation that has seen me push the boundaries on social media internally and improved my local and national profile and that of my firm tremendously. Jeremy Kennedy, Director, Australian Business Lawyers and Associates
I would recommend UQ Power to anyone that is seeking support, guidance and growth in their business. Catherine Miller, Human Resources Manager, Allightsykes