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Month: April 2020

What enables people to reach and sustain peak performance? Training and coaching are key development tools but they are not enough.

You cannot realize your full potential alone. The best leaders know this. Throughout history, great leaders have surrounded themselves with intellectual sparring partners, advisers, and confidants.
Yet your inner circle should offer you more than expertise. It must also create trust and an external perspective, to help you see what others around you are missing. But there is one kind of trust that’s less well understood; Structural Trust.

I did not set out to become an adviser and thinking partner. A bit of exposure to some inner circle, and working with business leaders to develop outside insight on the challenges they face sharpened my perspective. I am the person leaders turn to after they have gotten second opinion advice from key people within the organization. I am the third opinion. The third opinion. The person they turn to with their most confidential questions, risk, and uncertainties. As a thinking partner, I provide an outside perspective, which helps test or tear ideas. This process allows for the leaders to vet tough calls while driving a leap in performance.

Outside thinking partners are too important to be left to chance. Seeking advice is as old as biblical times, from Pharaoh’s counselors to JF Kennedy’s, and the missile crisis history is full of wise ones whose primary role was to be a sounding board and intellectual foil for the one in charge.
History is full of business littered with smart executive teams that didn’t see it coming. Leadership in this modern era demands external thinking partners in addition to a top-notch internal team.
For the COVID and Post-COVID Era, my advisory job with boards, C-level organizations, and teams is my job description and most of my work most would be signed with non-disclosures where need be. We all need a third opinion and thinking partner in these trying times and I’m open more to this season.

Ready? Let’s do this!

Charles Umeh

One industry we all should learn from during this global crisis era is the sports industry and how they keep up with star players.  Therefore, this is heads up for talent managers. Every athlete has a routine that keeps him or her fit every day even without showing up in his or her club training ground. So rather than letting your team stay back at home and count the days and you becoming transactional with your demands from them how about your relationship elevates to a transformational state. Every athlete has a keep fit ritual every day that is checked off by coaches assigned to them.  What this schedule looks like is that it mainly focuses on the activities that keep their body I continuously in shape and movement. Some of their checklists include sharing video schedules of their workouts, where they fail it is the role of the teams’ personal trainers to spot it and find out how to help them be on track. 


So you see the COVID 19   stay home  period  is lag time on the project delivery date of most of our work  and the danger of lag time  on the journey to success is detrimental  to everyone on the team hence even in  isolation someone has a job to make sure everyone is in high spirit and is still in sync and aligned hence one weak link  makes  a fool  of our collective efforts

I kind of had a full  DEJAVU  of what this means recently when  I choose to embark on my body fit exercise ritual after a long break and noticed my body was getting heavy and the pains hit me badly. The reality of what a simple break had done to me thanks to my lag time was not good news. Lag time is always normal until your trainer gives you a new prescription to punish your body and let you play catch up. You must make use of your lag time smartly the mind also works that way it needs an intellectual workout.

Intellectual workouts

 In an era of information overload, your job as a talent manager to millennials and Generation  Z is a full hand from giving them routines of books and podcasts to listen to specific skills and checking on the general and attentive to the unspoken word. Keep the mind continuously stretched which always births growth in individuals and organizations. 

Since the internet is a leveler its best to give mind-stretching tasks that help the team stretch and encourage opportunities to share new learning.   Therefore, some global authors have decided to embark on a virtual book club and answering questions from their readers globally this season and it has been a completely new learning catch up with them.   I’ve seen Simon Sinek masterpiece start With Y book club global and  Susan  Cain of QUIET you can try letting teams during your virtual meeting each read a chapter and share insights which are one way of bonding, connecting and keeping the mind safe and sane.  The mind once continuously stretched and engaged never returns to its same spot but the moment you let the mind relapse into idleness,  you create a weak link for a toxic team.  Most millennials and Genz’s have been likened to energy-charged teenagers, which if strength is well-channeled births different versions of magic.

Post COVID 19

You would definitely find out some football league would birth surprising results in the new season because the break sure  fires you up to be an unforeseen underdog or a champion worth the race and that’s what you should make happen for your teams in the workplace.  Let this be your finest moment.

 If you have team members slow on learning digital tools follow them up and offer help where need be the best perks in this era which has always been a driving force for this era could be “Internet data” and anything that helps raise the team’s spirit is a plus.

Have you ever wondered why a bottle of coke to the American soldiers during world WarII was a big motivation and nostalgic for the soldiers to the extent it improved camaraderie? It reminded them of who got their back

You see, at war times when we watch each other’s   back we send a signal to the team  we all are in this together and a loss and win for all affects all. It’s Easter  time you could also put smiles on their faces by finding how you meet their needs half way even in the midst of the crisis you must lead by example and be the beacon of hope  because like we are aware its WWIII  since we are in a new era, the spirit must be high so we come out blazing for the  rest of the year

Charles Umeh

One of the beauties of being a talent manager in the workplace is your ability to understand everyone’s strength on the team and how they function  I am of the opinion that the modern-day talent manager in the workplace must have multi-facet skills with the various generations in the workplace you must understand how each works and make their work tied around their skills set.

The modern world is like a football team where you have a starting 11.

Where you also have a strong bench who possibly must have strongly contributed to the team on the field. 

A client recently showed me his team squad list and job description. He operates a 24hrs team here in Nigeria With clients around the globe so while we were closed for the day the night shift was logged on and closing deals at night because of the different time zone.

It was another clear example of what the future of work really is.  So do you know Kemi on your team does much better if you explain a brief to her using the audio version of your mail than sending her a written email of the brief? You can simply convert written mails to audio for her with tools. Have you asked your team how best they worked and listened to them? you can pair them in symbiotic groups and use the feedback to improve on further understanding of your team’s dynamics? 

Was Listening To the host of the Daily Show Trevor Noah Behind the scenes episodes during Covi19 and he shared a story that got me thinking

fufi & pamper were his childhood dog fufi was deaf but no one in the family ever knew he was deaf until an accident when he goes to the veterinary Doctor and Doctor asks how he had been coping with a deaf dog all these while.  

In the words of Trevor, fufi was fierce and likely very aggressive but even at that he was “tagged dumb”

You must take out time to understand your team more this period and find out how many Dumb fufi’s you still have and complement their strengths else you find out you had diamonds in the rocks teammates you simply ignored all these while.

Connect the dots.

Charles Umeh

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