Are you Sharpening your Saw?

16 Nov

In his seminal book, ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, Steven Covey exhorts his readers to take time to sharpen the saw. I was reminded recently of just how important it is for leaders to find space for self-reflection and development. Covey’s message is that, as leaders, if we are unable to prioritise our own self-development it is inevitable that we become rusty, blunt and ultimately unproductive. Taking time out to sharpen my saw, I recently participated in the development day for accredited Tetramap Facilitators, hosted by O2 Leadership and Talent Development senior executives.

Having qualified as a Tetramap facilitator earlier this year, it was great to get together with about 80 facilitators to exchange insights as a community of practitioners. There were some amazing stories of the different ways Tetramap can be used to transform individual and team behaviours.  If you haven’t heard of Tetramap have a look here:

Tetramap is a simple, yet highly versatile tool that helps our understanding of self and others. O2’s session on how they use Tetramap, was really impressive. The story revealed how Tetramap techniques are threaded into all levels of leadership development initiatives igniting “performance conversations” across the business; a key vehicle for spreading their commitment to nurture talent across their multi-generational workforce.  With the vision of becoming world class technology leaders, investment in talent development is taken very seriously. They have, for example, some 43+ Tetramap accredited facilitators across their UK operation. 

A few insights I was reminded of on the day were:

  • It’s not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can adapt (I think this is Darwin’s idea)
  • The new normal in business is volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity
  • If you cannot influence, motivate and enable, ask yourself, ‘what sort of a leader am I’?
  • Apathy and fear, the emotions we have to constantly square up to as we drive towards success
  • Being agile is the most effective way to respond to uncertainty
  • When one is equipped with the right tools to generate quality conversations, even a seemingly recalcitrant work colleague can reach new heights of productivity.

On a final note, Tetramap is a powerful framework that uses metaphors from nature to map behaviour characteristics.  Simple, yet lends itself to resolving complex behavioural issues. As Einstein said, if you cannot explain it simply, you haven’t understood it!

This powerful framework is also used by Lotus HR to help our clients build their teams.

Dr Yvonne Foster is the Director of Lotus Human Resource; helping businesses solve HR conundrums.  Have a peak at our 2 minute HR risk profile.