Global Leadership Network UK & Ireland

GLN UK & Ireland

Life and Leadership – Roger Fairhead – 7

Interview series with leadership specialist, Roger Fairhead

Can you share any challenges you have faced along the way? Any mistakes you’ve learned from?

Growth stops when you lose the tension between where you are and where you could be.  This is John Maxwell’s Law of the Rubber Band. Growth also stops when you stretch the rubber band so far that it snaps.  Genuine growth occurs between these two extremes.

How far can you be stretched to grow? I define the stretched rubber band as being where the Inspiration Zone is found.  When the rubber band is not stretched, that’s the Comfort Zone, and when the rubber band snaps, well, that’s the Delusion Zone!  Knowing just how far you can stretch the rubber band is more of an art than a science, but it can usually be stretched much further than we thought it could initially.  That said, stretch with care! I have found that the most effective way to obtain the best from ourselves and others is to increase the stretch gradually, just like we do when performing stretches physically before and after exercise.

We can either be a victim or a victor.  There is a response which says I’ve done everything I could but THIS prevented me from achieving the objective – I didn’t achieve my objective but It’s not my fault.  A client of mine had a proposal to be submitted by a deadline, and the reason offered for missing the deadline was that someone else hadn’t provided some crucial information in time. At the coaching conversation it became clear that this client knew about the risk of the information being delayed, but hadn’t done enough to address the risk of receiving the information later than necessary.  They could have done more and achieved the deadline, and they had accepted their failure too easily.

Sometimes there is genuinely something that prevents an objective being achieved.  One client had an objective to implement a new financial management software solution, only to find that the product they had chosen was going “end of line”.  At the coaching conversation it became clear that they had no way of knowing about the impending end of line, and that a change of direction was the wise course of action.

Sandbagging can be a root cause of under-achievement.  It happens when easy targets and objectives are set with little or no stretch involved.  This can be down to low motivation or a fear of failure. This might be due to a cultural issue within an organisation when failure has been dealt with badly in the past.  Some organisations are really averse to any kind of failure. On the other hand, I know one organisation that embraced the idea through a monthly ‘failure meeting.’ Everyone was expected to share about a stretch goal they had tried to meet but failed. Imagine the interesting discussion and ideas that arose as a result.

About Roger

Roger is a leadership specialist delivering Leadership for Business Achievement through Speaking, Training and Coaching to business leaders and entrepreneurs.

“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.

Leadership for Business also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.

Visit Roger’s website

GLS Mastermind Groups

Roger is developing Mastermind Groups for GLN Members and GLS attenders. Contact us for more details.

Life and Leadership

– is an interview series with leaders involved in the Global Leadership Network and the Global Leadership Summit. Interview by Will Salmon.