Spike! The Power and Simplicity of the Strengths based Revolution

Savannah Slides

During this webinar interview with Catherine of MBA World, I explore the reasons why the leaders and organisations who focus on their Spikes do better than those who focus on their weaknesses; and offer advice as to how you can discover your own outstanding strengths.

Below is given the transcript.

Transcript

Catherine:

Hi, good afternoon everyone. I’m sorry for the short delay, but thank you very much for joining us in today’s webinar, Spike: The Power and Simplicity of a Strengths-Based Revolution. Spike can be described as a sharp increase in the magnitude or concentration of something. And when we think about this in terms of personality or ability, we might be aware of things we excel in. This could come in the form of creativity, discipline perhaps, or relationship building. The world’s best leaders from Bill Clinton to Richard Branson aren’t flawless all-rounders, but they have two or three outstanding strengths or spikes. They expose, exploit or capitalize on these to set them apart from the rest.

Catherine:

But for some reason, we seem to have this ongoing obsession with our limitation or our weaknesses, which usually begin at school, and this continues through our working lives. Our strengths seem to be sometimes forgotten as we are all encouraged to be that unattainable perfect performer. But nobody is or can be flawless, but we can all be brilliant at something.

Catherine:

So, how do we know what we are great at, and how can we use this to our advantage? How will this change our views of leadership style as well as our views on colleagues and teams? So, during this webinar, we will be exploring the reasons why the leaders and organizations who focus on their spikes do better than those who focus on their weaknesses, and offer advice as to how you can discover your own outstanding strengths. And who better to show you how than leadership guru, Rene Carayol. Rene is one of the world’s leading executive coaches drawing much from his own unique experiences on the boards of some of the biggest international organizations, from Marks and Spencer’s to Pepsi. Rene has built his reputation on getting to know the culture of businesses better than they do themselves, and providing answers and solutions no matter how big or small the problems.

Catherine:

So, he will hope to cover today what Spike is and all about and why is it so important now more than ever the power and simplicity of a strengths based revolution, how Spike can help positivity, transform individuals, teams and businesses, insights and pragmatic tips and tools on how to identify spikes. How to enable your spikes whilst collaborating with others, and explaining how developing your own Spikes can boost leadership credentials.

Catherine:

So, without further ado, I’d like to welcome Rene to begin today’s presentation.

Rene Carayol:

Fabulous Catherine, thank you very much indeed. I was wondering who you were talking about there. So look, today we’re going to talk about Spike. Spike is quite simply strengths positively identified to kickstart excellence. We live in a world today where everyone is obsessed with each other’s limitations. Everything has that slightly negative spell to it. We’re forever being told what we’re not so good at, what we should work better at, how do we hone our weaknesses. This obsession pays a price, and that price is confidence. So, I want to talk to you today about the strengths-based revolution and how we can make everyone good at something, and not necessarily brilliant at everything. As long as you’re brilliant at something, you’ve got a fabulous career ahead of you.

Rene Carayol:

And let’s start with a story. Not that long ago, I was asked to compere host a conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The keynote speaker was Rudolph Giuliani. Rudolph Giuliani had been the successful mayor of New York and had confronted some of the huge crime statistics and  had taken them down. He’d just stood to become the Republican Party’s representative for President of America, and he didn’t make it. The audience was going to be a typical Atlanta audience. It was going to be very mixed with a significant number of African Americans in the audience.

Rene Carayol:

Giuliani had had a mixed reputation with his work in New York. Some felt it was a little too confrontational, maybe a little too assertive. The organizer of the conference asked me to introduce Giuliani and to step in if it didn’t go quite to plan. That stage I sat down with Giuliani and I briefed him on the audience and he said to me, “Introduce me,” and he was going to tell an opening story that was going to set the scenes appropriately.

Rene Carayol:

I introduced him on, he came on quite diminutive. Not the most charismatic person I’d worked with. But one of the most impressive. He came out to the audience, and he told this story. He grew up in New York in the early 1960s. He told a story about his father, Giuliani Senior. His father said to him at the time that, “Son, these Civil Right activists are a bunch of Communists and they’re dangerous for America. And by far the most dangerous of the lot is Martin Luther King.” And at the time, if we go back to the time in the early 60s, Giuliani was about eight years old. Martin Luther King was leading a big struggle for civil rights. Young Giuliani didn’t really know what his father meant.

Rene Carayol:

But as history would have it, that Sunday afternoon, Martin Luther King was coming to Central Park, New York, to address thousands of people live. His father said, “I want you to come down with me to see how dangerous this man really is.” They’re standing in the burning sun on a Sunday afternoon, Martin Luther King is on the pulpit. He’s electrifying the audience. He’s holding his father’s hand, and after 15 minutes he feels his father’s hand go cold and sweaty. After 30 minutes he looks up. There’s a tear falling down his father’s eye. As they’re walking out together, his father says to him, “Son, we’ve just been in the presence of greatness. I now know what that man stands for. But I know what his followers stand for.”

Rene Carayol:

And in those dark days, and they were dark days, with the beatings, the shootings, the lynchings, no matter how bad things got, Martin Luther King and his followers always managed to turn the other cheek. So much so that they went on to shame a nation into changing its stance on civil rights. We all know what Martin Luther King stands for. I want to challenge every one of you listening to this webinar, what do you stand for? How are you recognized? Are you recognized by the things you’re not so good at, or are you recognized for the things you’re outstanding at? This is a change we need to make. As we all hit education that continues into corporate life, we tend to get labeled by the things we’re not so good at, as opposed to standing up clearly for the things we’re brilliant at. Until Spike.

Rene Carayol:

Johnny goes to school for the first time at the age of four years old. At the first parent teacher’s evening, two proud parents turn up to hear how Johnny’s doing. And the teacher says, “Johnny’s not so good at spelling. We’re going to give him four extra spelling lessons.” How different would the world be if they said, “Johnny’s fantastic at arithmetic? We’re going to give him extra arithmetic lessons.”

Rene Carayol:

How does our world change then? The simple things, the things I tend to do well are the thing I tend to enjoy. The things I tend to enjoy, are the things I tend to do well. I’m not saying ignore your limitations, I’m saying focus on your strengths. The beauty of Spike is, it’s all about your strengths, and we all have strengths.

Rene Carayol:

I spent three years advising the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim. He describes wonderfully the power of Spike.

Jim Yong Kim:

And Rene also has been with us through some extremely challenging times. And his wise counsel, and wise council is always a wonderful thing, but for Rene, he has been through difficult situations and challenging situations, turned around, changed processes with some of the greatest leaders in the world. Some of the not-so-great leaders in the world as well, Rene, which is at times why Rene was called in. But I worked so intimately with Rene. But I don’t recall sitting back and having a talk with him about his overall philosophy and approach to leadership and organizational strengthening. And so, it was new to me when I read Spike. But it made such perfect sense, and it explained to me why we’ve had such a good working relationship.

Jim Yong Kim:

Because the approach that he’s taking is very similar to an approach that I was taught early in my career, around the early 2000s. I’d been interested in leadership for a very long time. And I went on to a place called the Gallup Leadership Institute. At the time the Gallup Institute, it started off as being the folks who do the Gallup Polls. But then, what happened was that the Gallup Polls were done by lots of folks who had degrees in psychology, for example, and they began becoming interested in leadership.  And so, when I went out there, they gave us all a book, and the title of the book, and I’m sure Rene knows it well, Don Clifton Soar With Your Strengths was the title of the book.

Jim Yong Kim:

And it was just a complete mind frame shift for me, because when I went out there, normally what I felt leadership was was that you identify your weaknesses and that you work and work and work to transform your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. And when I read this book, I thought, well of course, we got along so well and of course it worked out so well and he was so helpful to us as a group. Because this is sort of the way that I had been taught now, gosh, 25 years ago, about how to think about leadership. So, this is an extremely important book. And it’s an extremely hopeful book, because when Rene talks about spikes, his basic assumption, his fundamental assumption, it’s almost an act of faith.

Jim Yong Kim:

Rene believes that everyone has a spike, and some of you might not think you have a spike, but everyone does. And then to think about not only the spike, and the way Rene took this beyond the Leadership Institute in Gallup was Rene talks about how to understand what your own spike is. But then, understand how you can take your spike and find others who either have very different or similar or compatible spikes and then build that team together. So, his impact on us and on me has been tremendous. I know that he has worked with now groups throughout the World Bank Group, with now the African Development Bank. I am certain that he’s going to continue to have a big impact not only in the corporate world but in this world where we’re trying to do something that’s not a foregone conclusion, which is to make multilateralism work.

Rene Carayol:

So, Jim nailed that. It was quite fascinating working with Jim. Jim had inherited a team that wasn’t working at its optimum with him. Why should it? It was built and designed for someone else. They’re at different strengths and different weaknesses. Just like in sports teams, everyone plays a position because it’s what they’re brilliant at, not what they’re good at. It’s what they’re brilliant at. What they’re superb at. What they’re great at.

Rene Carayol:

And working with Jim, I had to get to know Jim to understand what were his spikes. What was he outstanding at? But far more importantly, working with Jim and he had the humility to share with me what he was not so good at. Instead of getting Jim to spend his time focusing on the things he’s not so good at, instead we put people around him who were brilliant at the things that he’s not so good at. And we now live in a world where not so long ago, the boss could answer every question. The boss would have every initiative. The boss initiated everything. That’s no longer feasible today. The world is far too fast moving, far too complex, and the markets are too unforgiving. It’s impossible for one person to know everything. It’s no longer feasible for the boss to be that broad, but it is totally feasible for the team to be that broad.

Rene Carayol:

Just imagine if everybody in the team is coming into work every single day only doing the things they’re brilliant at. So, therefore we are stronger together. There’s no more only space for just for an individual working on their strengths and weaknesses on their own. The team covers every base.

Rene Carayol:

Ross McEwan is the Chief Executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland. If we take our minds back not that long ago to 2007, the Royal Bank of Scotland was the largest bank on the planet bar none. A powerhouse of success. How the mighty fall. Only five years later, the Royal Bank of Scotland had to be bailed out by the British government. Today, it’s still running at a loss. In fact, this is the first year it’s traded a profit for seven years. Ross McEwan was promoted to Chief Executive to manage the transformation of the bank. Like many multi-national organizations, Ross has something called the SLG, the Senior Leadership Group. It’s traditionally the top 200 people in the company. It’s the Chief Executive there reports to the Executive Committee, and the direct reporting Executive Committee. In most organization between 150, 200 people, and this is the group that truly runs and steers the organization.

Rene Carayol:

Ross decided that for the different world that the the Royal Bank of Scotland was in today, it needed a different makeup. He knew what he was outstanding at. He now needed a team around him that perhaps compensate for the things that he wasn’t so good at. The 200 needed to change. Far too many chief executives find that 200 in a too difficult box. We daren’t touch it. They’re the power brokers of the business. But far too many businesses have the top 200 who may be way out of date with contemporary practices today. Ross decided he was going to take this on. He was going to shrink the size of the 200 to 100. But more importantly, 150 of those were no longer going to remain in the team. And he was going to bring 50 from lower down in the organization because they were more better equipped to deal with the modern digital world. This is a powder keg of a problem.

Rene Carayol:

The first thing Ross did, he went to see face-to-face around the world the 150 who were no longer going to be on the top team. The avoidance of doubt about his leadership. He wasn’t going to send out a note. He wasn’t having clear internal communications. He was going to see them face-to-face and tell them precisely why he was making the changes. The new 50 and existing 50 were coming down to London for one day to be given their mission statement. This wasn’t announced, there would be no signage, there would be no badges. It was private and confidential which is why it was held in London, not in Edinburgh where the head office is. They were flying in from all around the world.

Rene Carayol:

I was going to work with Ross on this one day. We’re on the East Southbank in a fantastic room at IBM’s head office in London. By eight o’clock, everyone had gathered, and 8:39 they’re coming in through the door. I’m already in the room, and Ross stood by the door and did something I’ve never seen anyone do before. Each of the 100 as they were coming in, he stood at the door and he shook their hand. He knew their first name. He had no notes. Not only knew their first name, he had a unique sentence for every one of them. “David, I’ve really enjoy what you’ve done with the retail products down in Australia.” It took 45 minutes as he shook everyone’s hand and had a unique word for each one of them. You can guess what the atmosphere was like in the room after he’d finished. I’ve never experienced anything like it. This is leadership. This was playing to his spike, his strength. By the time he started off, the energy in the room was incredible and unmissable.

Rene Carayol:

We’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the best brands around the world. We’re not working with any organization in any sector, any geography, that isn’t going through constant transformation. Standing still is death today. We’re privileged enough to work with some of the best leaders on the planet. We’ve yet to work with an all-rounder. We’ve yet to work with a leader that’s flawless. At the very top, I mean, this is the Fortune 500, it’s the FTSE 100, it’s heads of state. They have the humility to know the two or three things, the only two or three things they’re really good at, and even more humility to understand the things they’re not so good at. Every one of these we’ve worked with, we’ve left them understanding they can’t do it on their own, and using the strength-based philosophy, surrounding themselves with people who do the things they’re not so good at. Let me say it again: Sports teams have been doing this forever.

Rene Carayol:

So, I was speaking at a conference in Dublin, Ireland. I’m speaking for Ahead. They’re a federation of disabled charities. And I’m the last speaker before lunch. It’s a pretty dark auditorium, and I’m focused on someone in the center as I always do. The first rule of public speaking, find that person in the center of the auditorium who’s smiling with you, affirming with you, giving you confidence, giving you energy. And there’s a wonderful lady attendee right in the middle, and she’s smiling, she’s affirming, she’s laughing at my poor jokes, and she’s energizing me.

Rene Carayol:

And I’m ramping up to speed, and just as I’m getting up to speed, the door to the right opens in the auditorium, in walks someone being led by a guide dog. The guide dog doesn’t take her into the auditorium, it takes her to the edge of the stage right next to me. She sits down next to me. It throws me for a moment, but I just continue. As I’m getting up to speed again and I’m nodding and affirming with my lady in the middle, the dog next to me growls softly. Before I could turn to look at it, another dog had growled softly. This dog was sitting at the seat of my brilliant attendee who’s affirming me. She couldn’t see me. It really struck me: She couldn’t see me. Yet she was still nodding, she was still smiling. She was looking at me in the eye.

Rene Carayol:

When I finished, I had to know more. I went on over to her and we went to lunch together. And I did what probably all of us would do. I took out a tray for her and I took out a tray for me, and I said to her, “Would you like the broccoli? Would you like the salmon? Would you -?” No, no, no Rene, I’ll have the tuna. I’ll have the spinach.” But she couldn’t see me. Her senses had compensated for things she wasn’t so good at. Her sense of smell was outstanding. I needed to know more. We sat down to talk. She was amazing, but what did I see first? Where did my implicit bias take me? Where did my unconscious bias take me?

Rene Carayol:

The first thing we tend to see are people’s limitations. What if we paused there and just waited and thought? What are your spikes? It changes the experience of everyone we meet. If we expect everyone to have a standout strength, we’d change our world. The packaging doesn’t matter. The gender doesn’t matter. It’s beyond ethnicity. It’s beyond religion. Everyone has a strength. This is the world of Spike.

Rene Carayol:

I’m the son of immigrants. My parents came over to the U.K. in the early 1960s from the wonderful country of Gambia. It was a British colony. We didn’t have much. We had primary education, a little bit of secondary, no tertiary, no university education. My parents left their middle class lives to come to London to give their children a chance to get educated. But their dream turned into a nightmare early on. London was the most expensive city in the world at the time. We didn’t have access to the best housing, we didn’t have access to best school. But sometimes adversity can be the biggest driver of success. And I was very, very lucky to get to university, and then much later on to have the appointment to meet the Queen and be awarded an MBE.

Rene Carayol:

By this time, I was getting to know what my spikes were. I wasn’t the best student. I didn’t get the best degree. I’d spent ten years at Marks and Spencer and I wasn’t the best at my level. But I did know what I was brilliant at. By sticking to that on a regular basis and building a team around me that did all the things I’m not so good at, things started to happen.

Rene Carayol:

So much so, I found myself on the board of Pepsi. When the phone rung for the opportunity, and Pepsi were looking for a Board Director, I honestly thought they’d called the wrong person. I couldn’t understand why they were interested in me. In retrospect, it’s all very clear to me now. I came from humble origins. I’m about as humble as it gets. I needed something recognition. I needed validation that the investment my parents had made in me was correct and appropriate and I could pay it back. Pepsi was the ultimate challenger brand. They were taking on the most recognized brand I the world every single day, Coca Cola. They couldn’t beat Coca Cola on hand-to-hand combat, but they could beat them if they had the appropriate culture. They wanted people who were hungry, people that had energy. Maybe not the cleverest, maybe not the smartest, but they wanted the hungriest. They wanted people who were comfortable taking risks, people comfortable running fast.

Rene Carayol:

For me, this was everything. I was welcomed into the world of incentives and bonuses. And many people decry them today, but at the time, that meant a meritocracy. Tough measurements. Clear KPIs. As long as you delivered, you were recognized. I fitted their requirements beautifully, as did most other people. My very first day was a board meeting. In those dark days in April 1992, B.G., before Google, I was the only non-American on the board. They were all male. The world has changed very much since then. As I’m getting to know my colleagues on the first day in the middle of a board meet, I’d never been in a boardroom before. The door opens and in walks Larry, the Chief Executive. Larry was to soon let me understand, I’d never met the leader before.

Rene Carayol:

Larry walked in and said, “Gentlemen, let me introduce you to our new Board Director Rene Carayol. Let me tell you a little bit about Rene.” He had no notes. He had no Google. “Rene came from Gambia with his parents in the early 1960s to London.” To this day, I don’t know how he knew that. As far as I was concerned, that wasn’t something I was going to put on my CV, on any application form. I wasn’t sure that was ever going to help me. He talked though my infant school, primary school, secondary school in chronological order. No notes. No Google. Guess how he was making me feel? He went on to talk through my university degree. I’d spent ten years at Marks and Spencer, I had nine different roles. He talked them through one after the other in chronological order. No notes. No Google.

Rene Carayol:

It couldn’t have lasted more than three minutes or so, but believe me, it’s lasted me a lifetime. When I think of Larry, I think of leader. Larry was fantastic at catching people doing things right. Larry used to say to me that he needed to understand what my spikes were. My outstanding strengths, the things I was great at. Larry felt his roles as Chief Executive was to design and craft a position for me that continuously and constantly utilized my strengths. Wow. That’s lasted me a lifetime. I still work for Larry, and I learned to focus on my strengths.

Rene Carayol:

So, let me as you the question: What are you great at? Not what you’re good at. What are you great at? And on this journey of discovery of your spikes, step number one, ask a loved one. Don’t ask work colleagues so much. Ask someone with unconditional love for you. Mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, niece, nephew, partner, wife, husband. Someone who’s desperate for you to succeed. And just ask them what they think you’re outstanding at. They won’t use management speak. They’ll use their own language. “You’re always there for me. You’re generous. You got eyes in the back of your head. You go the extra mile.” Or however they put it, listen, and listen well. The more people you ask, the more you understand, the more you start to mobilize, energize and practice your spikes. They are the root to your career success.

Rene Carayol:

So, leadership. Leadership is not a rehearsal. I want to play you a little clip here of a young lady with the voice of an angel. She’s applied for a singing competition and she’s won. The prize is to sing on national TV in America on Saturday afternoon during the NBA game, the National Basketball Association game. She’s sung the national anthem of America many times before. She can do it with her eyes closed. She does it at home, she does it in her bedroom. But this is in front of millions of people. She freezes. Anxiety. Nervousness. The audience is feeling for her, but nobody moves. Only one person moves. And they save the day. I’m going to play a clip you’re not going to forget. And then I want you to try and work out what is the spike of this amazing person? This amazing leader comes to rescue her.

Announcer:

And now from [inaudible 00:28:58] America and solute the men and women serving our country with our national anthem, please welcome as voted by you the fans, our winner of the Toyota Get the Feeling of a Star promotion, Natalie Gilbert.

Natalie Gilbert:

[sings] Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,

Natalie Gilbert:

What so proudly we hail’d at the star’s last, stars …

Mau Cheeks:

Stars last gleaming

Natalie Gilbert:

[sings] Stars last –

Mau Cheeks:

[sings] Stars last gleaming.

Natalie Gilbert:

[sings] Stars last gleaming.

Natalie Gilbert:

Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,

Natalie Gilbert:

O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?

Natalie Gilbert:

And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Natalie Gilbert:

Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.

Natalie Gilbert:

O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave

Natalie Gilbert:

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Rene Carayol:

Everyone’s frozen. Everyone’s emotionally wrought feeling for her. Leadership is not a rehearsal. Leaders go towards the issues. His name is Mau Cheeks. His spike, coach. his job, coach. He’s the coach of the Oklahoma basketball team. His natural response to someone struggling is going towards it, help. He was tactile. He said the words, he coached her through it. Magic happens when your spikes meet your role in the organization.

Rene Carayol:

Just imagine how wonderful it would be if as you came in every day only doing the things you’re fantastic at. The things you’re not so good at are being performed by other people in your team. Because those tasks, those activities, those requirements, meet their strengths. Welcome to the world of Spike.

Rene Carayol:

So, I’m coming towards the close now. I’d like to close off with a story, a story that brings out yet again the power of your strengths matching your role. The power of being clear about your spikes. The power of being chosen for your spikes. On the tragic day of 911, when the second jet went into the second building, there was a British lady on the 12th floor trapped by falling machinery. Her bank was First Direct. She banked with this small online bank from the U.K. called First Direct. Let me tell you a little bit about First Direct. It’s only 31, 32 years old, but for five years on the trot been voted the number one financial services business I the U.K.

Rene Carayol:

It started off as the first ever bank without branches in the U.K., the 24/7 telephone bank. It had one thing that made it stand away from the pack, that made it unique, special and different. You had a human voice answer the phone after three rings. Before three rings were up, you always had a human voice. It was their promise, and it made them famous and everyone wanted to bank with First Direct. It’s a wholly-earned subsidiary of the monster HSBC. After ten years, they decided they’re no longer going to be the telephone bank. They’re going to be the online bank. You know what happens when most businesses go online? They hide all the telephone numbers so they can shrink the size of their call centers and makes it cheap for everyone.

Rene Carayol:

First Direct decided they’re not going to shrink the size of their call centers. The human voice within three rings was everything. Our lady’s trapped on the 12th floor under the fallen machinery. The only thing she’s got to hand is her mobile phone. She’s losing consciousness. She makes one call. Who does she call? She calls First Direct. It has no North American business. It’s only serviced in the U.K. why does she call them? A human voice within three rings. The operator answers, “Yes, Madam?” She says, “I’m on the top floor of the second tower. I’m trapped under this fallen machinery. Could you please contact my husband?” The operator says, “of course, Madam. One of my colleagues is calling your husband as we speak.” “Could you please contact my children?” “Of course, Madam. Another one of my colleagues is calling your children.” The operator’s sensing that she was losing consciousness, kept her talking for 45 minutes. Because a third colleague had contacted the emergency services, and she was rescued.

Rene Carayol:

Now, do you think that was training? Do you think that was development? Do you think that was KPIs? Or do you think that was playing to her spikes? Do you think that’s something that she’s fantastic at, that operator? I’ll put it to you again: When we put our spikes to the fore, we change our careers forever. Just imagine coming into work every single day only doing the things that you love. Do a job that you love, you never work a day in your life. So, no one ever needs to be a failure anymore. Everyone can be a winner.

Rene Carayol:

I’m going to close off with ten tips. Ten top tips for getting to know your spikes and changing the way you operate and changing your lives for the better. The first one is lead by example. Think about what you’re doing. Not what you say. Think about what you’re doing. What you do is ever so powerful.

Rene Carayol:

Assemble a band of believers. There’s no room for cynics. And when you’re assembling that band of believers, think about your spike, the things you’re not so good at, and their spikes, and shuffle the deck so that everyone’s focused on doing the things they’re brilliant at.

Rene Carayol:

Share the plan. Most people at the top of an organization understand the strategy, have so much information, but rarely is it shared. The more we share with our team, the more they believe they’re trusted, the more they give us. The default is transparency. Any information you’ve got, share nearly all of it.

Rene Carayol:

The four most powerful words on the transformation journey we all have to go on in our organizations: What do you think? The more we ask of our colleagues what are their opinions on just about everything, the more we engage them. If you just ask the question, you’ve created a connection. If you listen to the answer, you’ve created engagement. You act on the answer, you’ve created trust.

Rene Carayol:

The last thing we need for our teams today is people that are just like us. What works best is quite the opposite. Find those people whose strengths are different to yours. They may irritate you occasionally, they may not be just like you, they may speak a different language. But cover all bases with everyone’s spikes to the fore.

Rene Carayol:

The illiterate of the 21st century won’t be those who can’t read and write. It will be those who can’t learn, unlearn, and relearn. Learn, unlearn and relearn. Values are everything today. Circumstances change, values don’t. Sometimes the only thing left for the boss to do is get out of the way. If you’ve chosen the right team with their spikes to the fore, you may not need to get involved in everything. Sometimes you’ve chosen the right team, let them get on with it. Just get out of the way.

Rene Carayol:

This is the Spike message that you must not forget. It’s no longer about the lone wolf. We hunt in packs. Great players don’t win trophies, great teams win trophies.

Rene Carayol:

Most of all is this should guide you in everything you do, just remember: Be the leader you want to follow. Be the leader you want to follow.

Rene Carayol:

And a message to leave you all with, if you’re bold, you might fail. If you are not bold, you will fail. Welcome to the world of Spike. Do yourselves, your friends, your families a great favor. Go and buy yourself a copy of Spike. It’s a very simple and compelling read. We’re out to change the world. We’re out to change the world for the better. Welcome to the strength-based revolution. Thank you very much for listening.

Catherine:

Thank you so much, Rene. Incredible presentation, extremely positive. And I’m sure that we can all take something away and learn something about ourselves and our own strengths. And I’d like to very quickly open up the chat for any questions. If you can send them in. And also, any feedback as well. And we’ve had lots of messages come in, Rene, saying how beautiful the presentation was and how amazing it was. So, thank you so much.

Rene Carayol:

My pleasure, Catherine.

Catherine:

No problem. Well, we’ll give people a couple of minutes if they do have any questions. But then, we’ll close shortly after.

Catherine:

So, there’s a question about Spike, is it available on Kindle or Ibooks?

Rene Carayol:

It’s definitely on Kindle. You’ll get it on amazon.com, amazom.co.uk. And WH Smith and all good retailers have it.

Catherine:

Excellent. And we have another question here. So, someone has asked what’s the easiest and fastest way to identify our spikes?

Rene Carayol:

Speak to a loved one. They just talk to someone whose known you for a long time, and just ask them what do you think I’m fantastic at? They won’t use management speak, don’t worry about that. But your loved ones who have unconditional love for you, they’re a little bit more objective and a bit more positive than if you went to your head of HR or your lecturer. I’d go to those who really love you and have known you for some time. Because your spikes haven’t, they’re not today’s spikes. They’ve been with you forever. So, get those bothers, sisters are great. Aunts and uncles, nieces, nephews, they’re fantastic sources. They know you and they want you to succeed.

Catherine:

That’s great. And someone has also mentioned, so they get a few conflicting strengths. So, it’s hard for them to identify what are the real strengths. So, how can they kind of differentiate the different views from people?

Rene Carayol:

So, look, you’re not going to get exactly the same answer from a bunch of people. Because people see different sides of you. Every piece of feedback is helpful. But the more people you ask, you start to build a consensus. And you’ll start to see, and I would say the feedback, try and cluster them. Some people will say that you’re really good with people. Others might describe that saying that you’ve got a lot of time for people. They’re one and the same thing, cluster them. That no feedback is negative, but you will get some people that disagree. That’s okay. But just keep asking those who you know. The more you ask, the more powerful it becomes, and then you’ll start to see a rhythm.

Rene Carayol:

But the thing that, the most important thing of the lot is you’re the adjudicator. When people start to give you feedback on what your strengths are, you’ll know, deep down inside you will know, you’ll know what you’re not so good at. But we’re not always great at identifying what we’re good at. And many of us have been brought up to be so humble, to be so self-deprecating, that we don’t really know how to talk ourselves up. Let’s change this. This isn’t a moment for arrogance, it’s a moment for confidence. And there’s a difference. When someone’s given you positive feedback, be grateful, take it, go away and digest it. The more you get, the more firm it becomes.

Catherine:

Thank you. And we have another question here saying should we moderate spikes if they can be considered overbearing or keep true to them regardless? And will it potentially limit career growth?

Rene Carayol:

That’s a great and insightful question. I think that living with your strengths alone and nothing else unchecked, you can lead yourself into difficult places. This is why Spike is really, Spike for yourself gives you confidence. When you start to play amongst the team is where it becomes really powerful, because you naturally build the checks and balances of everyone having their strengths on show, and when we pull them together, it becomes fantastic.

Rene Carayol:

But you’ve got to understand, and if I give an example to bring this to life. Barack Obama was brilliant at some things and not so good at others. His choice of Joe Biden as Vice President was genius. Everything Barack wasn’t so good at, Joe was fantastic at. Barack was a political novice. He didn’t know anything about the White House machinery. He didn’t have a strong network. He didn’t know how to get things galvanized and organized in Washington. He was a brilliant front man. Incredible communicator. Totally authentic. Joe Biden, 40-year veteran of Washington. Fabulous network. Knew how the machinery operated. Together, they’re brilliant, but they needed to learn how to play off each other’s spikes and enable each other’s spikes. It’s not just turn up and it’s going to work. Just like any sports team, you got to work at it in practice before it becomes a well-oiled machine and in the groove. Just doing your thing on your own, not listening to anyone else, not interfacing, mm, doesn’t always work out.

Rene Carayol:

I hope the power of Spike is when we’re in teams. Can you imagine if you spread Spike through all the organization? Everyone walking in everyday doing the things they’re brilliant at. But someone’s going to be picking up the things they’re not so good at. And we all need feedback along the way. We are always stronger together and Spike brings us together.

Catherine:

That’s great, thank you. And another question here, if your strengths are identified as characteristics, how would you transfer them to professional or job level, and how do you correctly translate the characteristics?

Rene Carayol:

Another very, very good question. Remember, the person at home is the same person that’s in the office. There isn’t a difference. Bring all of yourself to work, bring all of yourself home. The delineation between, “Oh, this is me at home, and this is me at work,” mm, I’d slightly want to change that. I’d bring my authentic, transparent self that I am at home into the office. Same strengths, same personality, authenticity counts today. Turn up as who you are. The truth is, the best person we are at being is me. Why don’t you be me every day, 24/7, all the time. I think the danger is when we try to be someone else. We’re not going to work on being a little bit more assertive. No. We’re not going to work on being a little bit more single-minded. No. I would say the best person you’re best at being is you. Be you all the time, every time. Everyone appreciates that.

Rene Carayol:

Catherine ? Catherine, Catherine, Catherine, we’ve lost you.

Catherine:

Hi. Sorry. Just kind of got cut off the line there.

Rene Carayol:

Catherine, you’re back. I can hear you.

Catherine:

Yes, I’m back. Sorry. Slight technical difficulty, but I’m back. So, the last couple of questions before I’m sure we can all go and get some lunch, so someone has mentioned here, point four, he said listening creates engagement. What do you say about acting on the feedback does?

Rene Carayol:

So, like I said, the four most powerful words we can use is when we’re going through transformative times is what do you think? If we ask our colleagues, our team members, our subordinates what do you think, we’ve just created a connection. If we listen to what they say, we’ve created engagement. If we act on what they say, we’ve created trust. It’s trust is the third one.

Catherine:

Excellent. That’s great. So, I think that’s about it. We’ve answered many, or all of the questions now. So, I’d just like to thank you again, Rene, for an amazing presentation. The recording will be available to everyone if they wanted to look back on today’s presentation. And as a quick reminder, our next webinar will be with Dr. John Mervyn-Smith, Chief Psychologist at the GC Index. And also, with all our U.K. and London attendees, we have our event at the Crown Plaza this evening, where I hope to see many of you later. So, once again, thanks everyone for joining us, and thank you again, Rene.

Rene Carayol:

Wonderful, Catherine, and thank you to all of you. It’s great working with you.

Catherine:

Cheers. Bye.

Rene Carayol:

Bye.

 

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