12 Rules of Kindness

You can be strong as a Leader and always be kind. You can be courageous as a Leader and show fear. Leadership isn’t a role or title, it is a choice, attitude and action. Enjoy my 12 Rules of Kindness and practice everyday.

1. Always put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

Before you react, consider the other person’s point of view. Why are they acting the way that they are? It will help you understand their motivations and respond in a kinder way.

2. Act selflessly, not selfishly.

Don’t trample over others to get what you want. Do the right thing and good things will come your way. People remember those who treated them with kindness.

3. Do at least one kind thing for yourself or someone else each day.

Treating yourself kindly is just as important as treating others the same way. Even if it’s as small and simple as paying for the coffee of the person behind you in line, your kind act will have a positive ripple effect.

4. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

We get taught this as children, but tend to forget it by the time we’re adults. Be kind to everyone; show them how you treat people and how you expect to be treated as well.

5. Manners cost nothing but mean everything.

A ‘thank you’ and a smile can make someone’s day, because manners are a lot rarer today than they should be. Be sure to always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, just as you’d expect people to use manners when interacting with you.

6. Encourage others to succeed.

Sometimes we all need a push to succeed. An encouraging word can do wonders for someone’s self-belief, and help them become even more successful.

7. Celebrate wins, even if they aren’t your own.

When you’re kind, you’re happy for others’ success – and you show it. Congratulate someone on a job well done, and put more positivity out into the world.

8. Remember that even the smallest act can make a big difference.

One kind word or smile can turn someone’s whole day around. Never underestimate the power of the little things.

9. Have the courage to be kind to yourself.

It’s not always easy to show ourselves the same kindness that we show others. It takes bravery to fight off the ANTs and be nice to yourself, and it gets easier the more you do it.

10. Look after yourself first, so that you can do more for others.

Even the kindest among us can get burnt out from being kind if they don’t take time out for themselves. Invest in yourself and your happiness so that you can spread it to others.

11. Always be respectful.

Unless someone has done something drastic to lose your respect, this is a basic level of kindness that we should all employ.

12. Reach out to those who are struggling.

You don’t have to become an unofficial counsellor; simply taking the time to ask someone if they are okay is a kind act that could have a big impact.

About McDonald Inc.

Our Leadership Legacy

At McDonald Inc., we know that courageous leaders inspire courageous action. For more than 20 years our founder Sonia McDonald has been nurturing executives, businesses and leadership teams through leadership coaching, workshops and leadership programs.

We don’t just train your employees we transform them into courageous leaders. Whether you are looking to continue to develop your high performing leaders and teams or need help turning around a poor leadership culture, McDonald Inc. offers in-house programs and coaching.

Mission

To foster courageous leadership in organisations across the globe by training, mentoring and coaching emerging leaders, team leaders, managers and executives.

Vision

At McDonald Inc. we seek to foster courageous and kind leadership so that the people leave work smiling each day, in turn creating more prosperous and successful businesses.

Brand Values

McDonald Inc. develops the skills, confidence, and leadership of leaders at any point in their journey as well as facilitating cultural transformation. We benefit our clients by assisting them to have higher staff retention, improved performance through teamwork and an overall more profitable bottom line.

Contact us

Website – https://www.mcdonaldinc.com.au/

Email – letschat@mcdonaldinc.com.au

Phone – 1300 719 665

About the Author Sonia McDonald CEO of McDonald Inc and LHQ

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.

1. Leadership Attitude

2. Just Rock It

3. Leadership for Small Business

4. Leading the Next Generations

5. Courageous Leadership

6. Future Leaders of Leadership

7. New Kindness of Leadership

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au 

Best Bosses Do These 5 Things Differently

Last week I delivered a leadership workshop with 30 leaders. Probably a little larger than I would normally work with however the Human Resources Director really wanted as many senior leaders in the room. The day encompassed our key themes around Leadership being an attitude, action and choice, the importance of kindness, courage and inclusiveness in leadership which we explored at length, leadership styles and how leadership is about making a difference and impact. We also explored what makes a leader and why great and poor leadership can impact us. During the day I had several emotional people in the room truly get the importance of this action and attitude of Leadership. I really want to explore in this article other things leaders or “bosses” do differently other than being kind, courageous and inclusive.

In turn, when you ask someone who’s unhappy at work what’s causing their dissatisfaction, the answer is often their boss. The way our bosses interact with us has a massive influence on our work ethic, our mood, and even other aspects of our lives. Bad bosses and leaders can really impact your business and organisation.

The vast majority of managers don’t set out to intentionally make their staffs’ lives miserable, of course – but that doesn’t excuse it. Poor leadership is poor leadership, no matter what end of the scale. Even if you’re not shouting and being mean, you’re still doing a disservice to your team (yourself) if you’re not actively working to be a better leader.

It all comes down to leadership; we know that the ‘best’ bosses get the most out of their staff and make them happier, but how do they do it?

Well, you’re in luck! I’m going to share with you five things that great bosses do that keeps their staff happy and enjoying their work.

Are you a leader? If so, are you doing these five things?

Treat your staff like the individuals they are

While older styles of leadership look at managing people as a group, this does nothing for keeping employees satisfied.

When you don’t get to know those on your team individually, discovering their learning styles, skills, goals, abilities and interests, you can’t customise the way you interact with them. This personalisation is key to helping your team members achieve their goals and feel more valued and respected.

Celebrate your Leaders in the LeadershipHQ Outstanding Leadership Awards! 

Push the purpose

If your people don’t know what they’re working towards, or what the end goal is, their enthusiasm is quickly going to wane. Your organisation should have a clearly defined mission and purpose – and as a manager, it is your job to convey this to your team, and inspire them to achieve it.

A clearly defined purpose, giving their work meaning, is what drives engagement in a workplace. It also shows your team that you believe they’re capable of achieving the mission, empowering to do just that.

Regularly give personalised feedback

When you’re only giving your team annual performance reviews, you’re not allowing them enough opportunities to actually better themselves.

Feedback doesn’t have to be as formal as the traditional yearly performance review; even organising a weekly ‘catch-up’ with each team member will be incredibly valuable to their development.

Regular coaching is crucial to demonstrating to your staff that you’re invested in their growth, making them feel valued. Feedback should always be constructive and honest, and presented in a way that shows the opportunity rather than the negative.

Encourage collaboration and discussion by listening

When team members feel that they can’t contribute their thoughts and ideas, they tend to shut down and lose enthusiasm for their role. As a boss, you need to provide direction – but that doesn’t mean imposing your own ideas and views without allowing for input.

Listening is one of the best ways to make your team feel happy and valued. Encourage them to discuss and collaborate, and be sure to really listen to what they have to say.

Be consistent in your leadership style

Would you be happy if your manager was unpredictable in their leadership style? If you didn’t know how they were going to act on any given day? Probably not! That’s why it’s important that above all, you’re consistent in your leadership.

Change is inevitable, of course, but as long as you quickly embrace it and acknowledge it, you can make it your new ‘normal’.

Satisfaction is never guaranteed, but you have the best chance when you do the above

Sometimes, no matter what you do, a person isn’t the right fit for your organisation, or there may be another reason why they aren’t satisfied in their position. The things I outlined in this blog are practices that will drive your employees to be happier, more productive and more engaged. When you break them down, they all come from a base of being attentive to each team member individually.

Be consistent, champion your organisation’s purpose, give regular feedback and really listen to your staff. None of this is easy, but it’s what the best bosses do!

About McDonald Inc.

Our Leadership Legacy

At McDonald Inc., we know that courageous leaders inspire courageous action. For more than 20 years our founder Sonia McDonald has been nurturing executives, businesses and leadership teams through leadership coaching and leadership programs.

We don’t just train your employees we transform them into courageous leaders. Whether you are looking to continue to develop your high performing leaders and teams or need help turning around a poor leadership culture, McDonald Inc. offers in-house programs and coaching.

Mission

To foster courageous leadership in organisations across the globe by training, mentoring and coaching emerging leaders, team leaders, managers and executives.

Vision

At McDonald Inc. we seek to foster courageous and kind leadership so that the people leave work smiling each day, in turn creating more prosperous and successful businesses.

Brand Values

McDonald Inc. develops the skills, confidence, and leadership of leaders at any point in their journey as well as facilitating cultural transformation. We benefit our clients by assisting them to have higher staff retention, improved performance through teamwork and an overall more profitable bottom line.

Contact us

Website – https://www.mcdonaldinc.com.au/

Email – letschat@mcdonaldinc.com.au

Phone – 1300 719 665

About the Author Sonia McDonald CEO of McDonald Inc and LHQ

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.

1. Leadership Attitude

2. Just Rock It

3. Leadership for Small Business

4. Leading the Next Generations

5. Courageous Leadership

6. Future Leaders of Leadership

7. New Kindness of Leadership

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au 

Literally How to Show Kindness at Work (or Anywhere)

“BE KIND WHENEVER POSSIBLE. IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE” Dalai Lama

Why do we find Kindness so challenging when it is so easy. Are we so wrapped up in our own bubble or world that we forget that we are all connected and leadership is about others?

It takes courage to be kind and kindness is not a weakness; it is a super power. It’s a super power in business, teams, children, life, leadership and so forth – especially for yourself.

I want you to try at least one of the below each act of kindness and everyday and see the difference it makes at work (and anywhere and everywhere for the matter). In turn, I know you will see a difference in trust, engagement, motivation, connection and performance too – which I know is important in business and life.

  1. Inclusiveness. Workplaces can be ground for unkindness and being excluded but they are also places for life changing and acts of leadership where you take notice of of people and help them feel included and welcomed. We need to embrace everyone as we are all different and unique. Being non-judgemental and inclusiveness is the keys to kindness.
  2. Praise. Notice the good in your workmates and colleagues and go the extra mile to acknowledge and praise them. Take joy in the happiness and achievements of others as you would like for yourself.
  3. Respect. Be kind and respectful to your co-workers and colleagues. Everyone matters and everyone’s time and feeling matter.

The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  1. Integrity. Lead by example always and live by your values. Show courage and kindness by dismissing gossip and small talk. See yourself above such unkindness and be courageous to pursue higher conversation, thoughts and ideas.
  2. Initiative. Take initiative by offering your help and support to others without being asked. Everyone benefits from receiving support yet few of us feel comfortable asking for it. Be attentive and you will spot many valuable opportunities to offer kindness. In turn, you will find others are more readily available to support you.
  3. Connection. We can all past each other and one another in the corridor or lift without saying hello or knowing each other. We enrich our own and each other’s lives when we can enough to greet each other and ask how are going. Also get off your device! I am not perfect at this however I am getting better everyday and I am seeing a massive shift in my mindset and connections. In turn, acknowledging the efforts of others, offering genuine compliments (I do this all the time) and providing positive feedback are other ways to connect and show kindness. A more connected workplace is a happier workplace which is a more high performing workplace!
  4. Commitment. When we bring our passion and dedication to our work, we do kindness unto ourselves and others. Half-hearted work or an unmotivated attitude and effort will never change the world or our lives for the better. When you use your leadership, focus and kindness to make positive change you spread joy, no matter what you do. You will soon find and see more fulfilment, excitement and potential in your life and work.

What are your thoughts on the above? What can you start doing? How else can we show kindness at work or anywhere?

If you would LOVE to know more about our work, awards, keynote speaking, coaching, workshops and programs please see below. I know we offer SO much for your clients and organisations as we know courageous and kind leadership has the greatest impact today for our businesses and lives.

Courage & Kindness Movement – How you can help

Can we make a difference by being kind and courageous. We know we can and there is research behind this.

The day my 13 year old daughter Abby came home from school in tears because her best friend started bullying her was a day I will never forget.

Only a few weeks prior her best friend had lived with us for a week due to issues with her own family and we offered our home and kindness to take her in. She wanted to stay longer but as a single mum I couldn’t take her for longer.

The day my 13 year old daughter Abby came home from school in tears because her best friend started bullying her was a day I will never forget.

Only a few weeks prior her best friend had lived with us for a week due to issues with her own family and we offered our home and kindness to take her in. She wanted to stay longer but as a single mum I couldn’t take her for longer.

She had decided to start bullying my daughter and then started paying her friends to bully her too. Abby was devastated and then it started to become cyber-bullying. No-one could help us – her parents, the school or even the police did nothing. I had taught my daughter about kindness and courage – and it made no difference – they did not understand kindness nor being inclusive.

It became worse and she started self-harming.

At 14 she left school and had her first suicide attempt a few weeks later. It was an incredibly tough time and she has come out of the other side.

Her story is not uncommon. In turn, even today we hear many stories of bullying and poor leadership – and the impact it has on people’s lives, mental health, families, businesses and so forth.

In turn, we hear so many stories of poor leadership in the news and media and this impacts how our future generations see and feel about leadership. We know of many amazing people, unsung heroes and organisations who are doing remarkable things by their truly kind and brave acts of leadership. There are lots of great leaders out there and we need to share their stories and celebrate their leadership. This is why we are working very hard to bring to Australia our Outstanding Leadership Awards to inspire everyone to change – we need more kind and courageous leaders.

This is why we are on this movement to build a world of courageous and kind leadership. We know without a doubt that courageous leadership inspires action. We know kindness builds trust which is the missing link for Executives today. This is why in our leadership work, programs, awards and coaching it is a fundamental focus as we have seen the transformation.

There is research that proves this.

Harvard Business School’s Amy Cuddy, along with her research partners, have demonstrated that even before establishing their own credibility or competence, leaders who project warmth are more effective than people who lead with toughness. Basically, kindness and warmth appears to accelerate trust.

But, the link between kindness and great leadership extends beyond just the relationship you have with employees. Interestingly enough, it could also increase employee performance.

Consider this. Researchers at Oxford University analysed hundreds of published papers that studied the relationship between kindness and happiness. They uncovered 21 studies that explicitly prove that being kind to others makes us happier. Add to that research from the University of Warwick that revealed that people are 12 percent more productive at work than unhappy people.

Interesting isn’t it? Imagine how this would impact in our everyday lives if our leaders and future generations embraced kindness and courage.

The impact on kind and courageous leadership does not only make a difference at work but in every aspect of our lives. We need our children to see that as fast as the world is changing and as scary it seems, that we are all human and there is hope. It takes kindness, leadership and courage.

Wouldn’t we want them to embrace that and show this in their everyday actions and words. Wouldn’t we want our people within our teams and organisations to embrace Leadership where they see this word about how they can make a difference and impact.

Remember we can be strong as leaders and show kindness. We can be courageous as leaders and show fear. We can all be leaders without the title or role. It’s an attitude, choice and action.

It only takes one act of intentional kindness and courage to make a difference.

Tomorrow my daughter is starting her first day at University to study social work as she wants to make a difference with disadvantaged people. She wants to study her PhD eventually and she is the kindest and bravest person I know. I am so proud of her and she is proud of the work we do as well as she wants that kind and brave world for all.

Learn more about our Awards here and how you can become a partner or buy a ticket and even nominate.

Find out more about our leadership programs, workshops and coaching here at McDonald Inc.

Stay tuned for my 12 Rules of Kindness and 12 Rules of Courage soon.

Please share below what you can do today or tomorrow to be kind and courageous.

Let’s start a movement and see where the Kind, Courageous and Leadership ripple effect takes us.

Leading Our Children with Kindness and Courage

How to be a great leader for yourself and your family

You might be wondering what being a parent has to do with being a leader – after all, leaders are usually talked about in a business or civil/social setting, aren’t they?

But if you think about it, what we should strive to do as parents is also what great leaders aim for. Leaders lead organisations and the people within, and isn’t that what you’re doing as a parent? You’re working to mould your children into successful people, inspiring them to unlock their inner greatness. Without leadership, things go off the rails and potential is squandered.

The key to being an effective and great leader for your children is to be one for your self as well. Here are my tips for improving your leadership, both parental and personal.

Work on your self-awareness and personal growth

We must always be aware of our actions and behaviours and how they are affecting those around us. For example, if we want to see certain behaviours in our children, we must model them ourselves. Being a great leader means making time to grow and reflect; looking at the present and thinking of how you can use your current situation to work towards your future goals.

Practise communicating positively

Successful parents and successful leaders both know how to use positive communication, even in the most strained of circumstances. Working on taking the time and responding to a situation instead of instantly reacting (often negatively) is a trait of effective leaders and parents alike.

Taking a pause and thinking about how you’re going to respond helps to diffuse situations and makes them easier to handle. Instead of instantly yelling in response to your child misbehaving and making the negative situation worse, think about how you can respond instead. Give your child choices and show them how to handle responsibility and consequences. Acting with kindness makes an incredible impact on a child and allows them more opportunities to succeed and grow.

Learn more about our Leadership Awards and McDonald Inc. Programs and Workshops to make you a Great Leader in all aspects of your life for yourself and your leaders!

Look at problems as learning opportunities instead

No family goes through life without encountering problems, so it’s important you learn how to handle the tough times – not just for your own well-being, but your family’s as well. When you can change your attitude towards the problems you encounter, changing your perspective, the stronger you will be. Look at how you can solve the problem instead of stressing over it, and find the lesson in each situation so that you become more confident in dealing with them.

It takes courage to try and solve things instead of resorting to stress and worry; show your children how to handle problems effectively and you’ll teach them something invaluable that they will use throughout their lives.

Learn and practice emotional intelligence, and teach it to your children too

When you can confidently identify, assess, manage and control your own emotions, you have developed a high level of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is made up of self-awareness, motivation, managing your emotions, social skills and empathy, all of which you need to practice to develop your emotional intelligence.

By providing your children with opportunities to learn these skills, whether you’ve manufactured the situation or have encountered a ‘teachable moment’ outside of your control, you are setting them up for success.

Strive for balance

When there is balance in your life, you’re better able to cope when negative situations occur. There needs to be equal time for your family and your other commitments so that you aren’t over-committed and overwhelmed. This helps you be a better role model for your children, and shows them that fostering relationships is just as important as other areas of your life.

Bring out the best in your children to bring out the best in yourself

Great leaders want to inspire those around them to do great things, and the same can be said for parenting. Encourage your children to continue to learn and grow, to do the best they can at all times, and you’ll be a great parent leader.

Be the best family leader you can be

Even the greatest leaders get it wrong occasionally; you don’t have to be a perfect parent, you just have to do your best and encourage that in your children as well.

Now that you’re more aware of your role as a leader in your family, is there anything else you do as a leader that I haven’t mentioned in my tips? And are there any leadership lessons you learned from your own parents? Let me know in the comments!

The Author – Sonia McDonald

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’.  She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of human resource management. She has held leadership positions around the globe and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly effective leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, who puts people at ease and starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Contact Sonia or her team at McDonald Inc. at https://mcdonaldinc.com.au/ or https://soniamcdonald.com.au/

What We Can Learn the World’s Youngest PM

*image credit Wikimedia Commons

We follow Leadership in politics across the globe and we love that Sanna Marin is not only the world’s youngest government leader; last year, at 34 years old, she was also elected as Finland’s Prime Minister. So, what can we learn from her?

She leads Finland’s biggest party, the Social Democrats. Finland has a five-party system, and four out of five parties have women leaders who are under 35 years old. Women are well-represented in politics in Finland and other Nordic regions and have been for years.

In contrast, women are woefully underrepresented in Australian politics, as are young people. This is common around the world – and in many areas, not just the political arena. Any sort of decision-making in public tends to lean towards sexism and ageism, marginalising both younger generations and women in particular.

This is why we are hosting the Outstanding Leadership Awards so we can change the face of Leadership in Australia. We are seeing too many examples of poor leadership in our politics and we want our future leaders, young people, women and everyone for that matter see that there are great leaders.

In turn, that’s not to say that we don’t have women involved in our government here in Australia, but the fact is that older males are the overwhelming majority. There’s an inherent bias against younger people, with the idea that you aren’t wiser until you’re older. What this attitude does is exclude young people from important conversations and takes away their ability to contribute to decisions that directly affect them and their future.

Older generations believe that due to their age they know what is best for everyone – which just isn’t possible. Government bodies are making decisions and policies that don’t take into account the actual experiences, views and voices of young people, especially women.

Younger people are starting to push through this barrier and become the leaders of causes that matter to their generation. Whether it’s protesting governments for various types of reform, climate marches or for women’s rights, young women are becoming the face of movements around the world.

Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai are two of the most prominent young women leaders in recent history, but that’s not to discount the myriad of other women stepping up and fighting for change.

The important point to note about this, however, is that the common link between these young women is that they are leaders in an ‘informal’ way. They are not noticed by the more formal hiring systems, which value traditionally male traits, favouring older men in particular. This system sees the tradition of mainly older men hiring and promoting those who closely resemble them. The cycle continues, and diversity remains underrepresented in formal systems.

If our governing bodies and other influential agencies aren’t made up of a diverse range of people, how can they be expected to truly represent their people and act in their best interests? After all, how can policies reflect a community when that community isn’t reflected?

Young women, and the younger generation in general, don’t know everything, of course. Nobody does. But that’s also the answer – by coming together, sharing our knowledge and skills, and recognising the value that each generation has, particularly as leaders.

Young people, especially young women, face discrimination on two fronts: their sex and their age. They make up a large section of our society, but have to fight to be seen and heard even in a civil setting.

Let’s shake up these traditional views and get rid of them once and for all. This is why we are incredibly passionate about our Emerging Leaders and Women in Leadership Programs at McDonald Inc. Let’s allow diversity to improve things for us all. Let’s really start embracing our young people as the leaders they can be – and that some already are.

The Author – Sonia McDonald

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’.  She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of human resource management. She has held leadership positions around the globe and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly effective leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, who puts people at ease and starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Contact Sonia or her team at McDonald Inc. at https://mcdonaldinc.com.au/ or https://soniamcdonald.com.au/

Leadership Through a Crisis

Nothing prepares you to lead when faced with a crisis. The current bush fire crisis across Australia is just heartbreaking and it is times like these we need great leadership. In turn, while a majority of the country remains engulfed in smoke and flames, the other topic on everyone’s lips is how prime minister Scott Morrison has been leading (or not leading) during this crisis. Like I always say, “Leadership is not just a title or a role, it’s an attitude and a mindset.” What I have seen is a number of people who have been incredible leaders during this crisis who don’t have the title of leader. However, I am in two minds when it comes to our leaders with writemypapers titles showing courageous leadership during this crisis. This article is about how to show courageous leadership during a crisis.

A lot of people believe that the true leadership capacity of a person is tested during times of crisis. Leadership, courage and performance under stress can show how level-headed a person is, or on the contrary, it can show where their weaknesses lie. It is important that you always keep your wits about you and stay cool in challenging situations. In turn the importance of emotional intelligence and resilience are critical in times where we need to show great courage.

These are the a few key things that every courageous leader does in times of crisis, and traits you should always keep in mind when running a business.

Courageous Leaders are Honest and Transparent

Courageous Leaders know that the centre pole of Leadership are integrity and honesty. They are honest and transparent regardless of what people might say and think. Personally, I am seeing a lack of this leadership at present and this fundamental in building trust and safety with those around you. How do you build trust which is EVERYTHING in leadership – lead by example and be honest.

Courageous Leaders Don’t Let Their Emotions Get In The Way

The most important thing to do during a crisis is to maintain an example for your people by keeping cool, calm, and collected, which will allow you to think about the curveballs being thrown your way. This can be challenging and something we coach in a lot. I know when I can feel the pressure impacting me – it is important to ask for help, take a breath or look at the bigger picture. I am also one who embraces vulnerability and at times I am comfortable sharing how I am feeling and where I am at. Remember you are not your emotions.

Courageous Leaders Are Truly Brave and Face Fears

Many people respond to a crisis by being overwhelmed by stress, which turns to fear. It is easy to be afraid when you have a crisis situation in your life but if you remain brave, then the people around you will be too, and together a strong team will be able to turn anything around. I know when I feel fear that I embrace it and share with my team that we have got this.

Courageous Leaders Are Accountable For Their Victories And Their Losses

Courageous leaders own up to when they make mistakes. After all, we are all human, and someone who is too proud to admit their own mistake is not likely to be someone that others will follow. Taking responsibility for any actions that you have taken that could have contributed to the crisis will be a good way to prompt the people around you into working on the situation with you wholeheartedly, instead of just because they have to. Courageous leaders also don’t make excuses!

Courageous Leaders Don’t Take Failures Personally

By separating your personal feelings from the matter at hand, you are better able to focus on what is happening and take care of it in a manner that is going to be most successful for you and those around you. I find that I learn most from when I stuff up and even though it is tough not to take it personally

Courageous Leaders Possess Positive Attitudes From Start To Finish

The end of the crisis is not just when you pull yourself out of the muck that it had put you in. The end of the crisis is those around you have started to recover and are moving on, which might take a bit. Keeping a positive attitude on your face and pushing through any challenges will keep morale high, which will put things right back on track in no time at all, and will also earn you the trust and respect from those around you.

In times of crisis, great leaders are needed

When we think about examples of great leaders that truly embody leadership, we immediately think of the Jacinda Ardern’s, the Martin Luther King, the Nelson Mandela’s, the Rosa Parks; the people who wanted to make a difference in the lives of others, while demonstrating kindness, compassion, courage and other fantastic leadership qualities.

Followers look to see whether a leader is courageous before they’ll fully accept that person’s leadership.  If they see courage, it feels safe to ‘sign up.’ People need courageous leaders in order to feel there’s someone to make the tough calls and to take responsibility for them – they need to know that the buck truly does stop with the leader. With a courageous leader, people feel protected – not that they’re helpless, but they know the person in charge really has their back.

Empathy, courage, decisiveness and the willingness to take action, no matter how hard it may be, are the leadership qualities Australia needs right now to lead us through this catastrophe.

If you would love to help please click on this link to support or donate below.

 

Kindness will be your secret weapon in 2020

Kindness will be your secret weapon in 2020

Did you know Kindness will your secret weapon in 2020? If you’ve read any of my previous content, you’ll know that I preach being kind, courageous and authentic. Not just in your leadership, but in your business and life too.

I’m putting the spotlight on kindness for this blog, because it’s such a huge part of my message. You might know that one of my goals is to eradicate bullying and poor leadership in our time, and what is the opposite of being mean or aggressive? Being kind.

Even the smallest act of kindness, however insignificant you think it may be, could make someone’s day that bit brighter. Making others feel good for no reason other than to be kind is such a rewarding feeling.

The trouble is that we seem to have this idea in our society that being kind is being weak. We think to be kind means to let people walk all over us, and not challenge or voice our own ideas. Where do you think the stereotypical ‘horrible boss’ comes from? It comes from this frankly ridiculous notion that to be strong, you can’t be kind.

Kindness is the secret weapon.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Kindness is the Ultimate Strength

People should always come before business, and what better way to foster positive relationships than by simply being nice?

Having compassion and empathy for those who don’t treat you the best shows that you care about the person underneath. If you care in a genuine, selfless way, your reputation is going to soar and you’re going to be opening yourself up to more opportunities.

‘Treat the janitor like you would the CEO’ is one of my favourite sayings when it comes to respect and kindness. Because showing kindness is also showing respect. And you never know who you’re interacting with on any given day – the woman you gave your seat to on the train could be the hiring manager at the company you’re on your way to interview at.

Letting the harried-looking man ahead of you in the coffee line could open up a conversation, and help you make a valuable new connection.

What else does being kind do? It encourages your team to stick with you for the long haul. Being shown kindness and knowing they’re valued is one of the main reasons employees stick with their companies.

The Outstanding Leadership Awards 2020 are COMING!

You might see ‘successful’ people being jerks, and mistakenly think that they’re being ‘strong’. These are the worst people to emulate. Nobody wants to stick around for long when they’re working under a big old meanie, do they?

It actually takes incredible strength to be kind, especially to those who may not seem as if they deserve it. It’s the strongest of us who can be kind without expecting anything in return. Being strong enough to show kindness even in front of those who you know see it as weakness is what we should all aspire to?

Basically, we should all live by these words:

Have courage, and be kind.

–      Cinderella (2015)

Imagine how much nicer the world would be if we all thought and acted this way?

About McDonald Inc.

Our Leadership Legacy

At McDonald Inc., we know that courageous leaders inspire courageous action. For more than 20 years our founder Sonia McDonald has been nurturing executives, businesses and leadership teams through leadership coaching and leadership programs.

We don’t just train your employees we transform them into courageous leaders. Whether you are looking to continue to develop your high performing leaders and teams or need help turning around a poor leadership culture, McDonald Inc. offers in-house programs and coaching.

Mission

To foster courageous leadership in organisations across the globe by training, mentoring and coaching emerging leaders, team leaders, managers and executives.

Vision

At McDonald Inc. we seek to foster courageous and kind leadership so that the people leave work smiling each day, in turn creating more prosperous and successful businesses.

Brand Values

McDonald Inc. develops the skills, confidence, and leadership of leaders at any point in their journey as well as facilitating cultural transformation. We benefit our clients by assisting them to have higher staff retention, improved performance through teamwork and an overall more profitable bottom line.

Contact us

Website – https://www.mcdonaldinc.com.au/

Email – letschat@mcdonaldinc.com.au

Phone – 1300 719 665

About the Author Sonia McDonald CEO of McDonald Inc and LHQ

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.

1. Leadership Attitude

2. Just Rock It

3. Leadership for Small Business

4. Leading the Next Generations

5. Courageous Leadership

6. Future Leaders of Leadership

7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

Great leaders

7 Ways to be a Great Leaders

It seems that just about anyone can be given the title of ‘leader’ these days, doesn’t it? But you know what I say about leadership being an attitude, not a title? It’s all too true. Great leaders are not just leaders because of their position, but because of their attitude. These leaders also have other things in common; they do these 7 things, and if you do them too, you can be a great leader as well:

Challenge your team to get creative

Leaders who support their teams in thinking outside the box, encouraging creativity, are great leaders.

They encourage their teams to try new solutions and ideas, while providing the support to overcome any obstacles in their way. Knowing they have someone behind them empowers teams to try different things.

Be the leader and team member you want to see

Great leaders understand that they are role models to those around them, and act accordingly.

This has a large amount of influence on staff; they almost always respect a leader that doesn’t follow the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ school of thought, and try harder to model those same behaviours.

The three most important ways to lead people are:… by example… by example… by example.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

Show your enthusiasm

Leaders who are passionate about their work spread that enthusiasm to their team. They work harder, and so does the group. They get excited about the achievements of those around them, not just their own.

Just remember that you don’t have to go overboard, or you’ll come off non-genuine and have the opposite effect.

Grab my books Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It! Grab them HERE. 

Be optimistic, and share your positivity

This doesn’t mean you have to be unrealistically happy all the time, it just means that a positive attitude will help carry you and your team through the harder times. People are inspired and motivated by positivity; great leaders are optimistic even when things are tough.

Promote team involvement

Team members who are encouraged by their leaders to have a say and put forward their ideas feel respected and valued. Great leaders know that, while they make the final call, their team’s input can be invaluable.

Learn more about my Team and Leadership Workshops HERE

Recognise and reward your team

Great leaders understand the power of recognition. Teams who have their efforts recognised and rewarded feel valued; when they know their hard work is appreciated, they are happier and their performance improves.

Never stop looking for new things to try

Feedback from your team about your leadership will help you determine what’s been effective, and what can be worked on. Use the feedback to inspire you when searching for other ways to recognise and encourage your team.

These are just 7 of the ways you can be a great leader. Which of these points do you think you’re achieving, and which are you going to work on? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

About Sonia

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.

1. Leadership Attitude

2. Just Rock It

3. Leadership for Small Business

4. Leading the Next Generations

5. Courageous Leadership

6. Future Leaders of Leadership

7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

Overwhelmed and Exhausted

9 Tips for Feeling Less Overwhelmed and Exhausted

No matter what our personal or professional lives involve, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted happens to each and every one of us at many points in our lives. If you ask a group of people at any given moment if they feel overworked, you’ll see plenty of hands go up. I bet yours probably would, too! So how do we work on feeling less overwhelmed and more collected? The answer lies within yourself and how you manage your time, not in anything external.

Here are my nine tips for feeling less Overwhelmed and Exhausted:

Don’t let the everyday things weigh you down and it’s okay to be imperfect!

Understand that not everything you do on a daily basis is essential to reaching your goals. Giving those things an unnecessary sense of importance will only add to how overwhelmed you feel. Remember it is okay not to do it all and be imperfect.

Cut out the unnecessary tasks that have become unquestioned habits

Doing what you’ve always done isn’t going to change anything. It’s time to start questioning why you’re doing certain things, and you’ll often find that you don’t need to be doing them – it’s simply become a force of habit.

Once you stop getting bogged down in the unnecessary, you’ll free up time and become more productive towards the things that count.

Always be ready to reorganise your priorities

Look at what you have to get done today, and what will get in the way of doing it. Choose the most necessary things to do, the things that cannot wait.

But you must also be willing to readjust your priorities (and your calendar) when an urgent task suddenly occurs. It’s great to get through your to-do list, but not if you’re neglecting the essential things as you do so.

Figure out the way you work best

Everyone has a different routine when they work. Maybe you do your best work later in the day, or even at night. Maybe you’re a morning person who works best when you start the day with some yoga and reflection.

No matter how you prefer to work, you must also understand if it’s actually benefitting you. If you’re not doing great work, it’s time to start experimenting with different work rhythms to see which is most effective for you.

Sign up to my Courageous Conversations Blogs and Newsletters to receive a FREE Leadership Action Plan HERE

Less important tasks can wait – do the essentials before any others

This doesn’t just mean for the day; you need to look at what you must prioritise for the week, the month, the future.  Ascertain which tasks are most important, so that you’re working on things that provide you with the most value.

Make sure you ‘switch off’ from time to time

I bet you’re thinking, “Wait, what?? Surely she’s not serious?” Well, I am! Our brains (and bodies) need to go on autopilot sometimes.

Some interesting research has shown that we often come up with smart solutions to our problems by reviewing them, and then letting ourselves experience a period of ‘unconscious thought’.

This essentially means letting yourself ‘zone out’; doing things that don’t require much thought, like wiping down the kitchen or folding washing. When you’re not concentrating on trying to find an answer, you’re much more likely to find it!

Establish your limits

Today’s modern technology means we’re all available 24/7 – or at least we feel like we should be. The truth is, just because we all have those little devices in our pockets that allow us to communicate whenever we want, doesn’t mean we can’t put boundaries in place. We’re allowed to be ‘unavailable’ and make time for things other than work.

Decide when you’re going to stop answering calls and emails, when you’re not going to do anything work-related, and tell people those time limits. When you manage their expectations, people usually won’t mind not receiving a response right away. In fact, they’ll likely respect you for it.

Protect yourself from burning out; set healthy boundaries and stop those overwhelmed and overworked feelings in their tracks.

Really think before saying “yes” or “no”

Saying “yes” to everyone isn’t the way to get ahead and reach your goals. All you’re doing is overworking yourself and lessening the quality of your work (and your life).

Say “no” when you need to, and you can set conditions if necessary. That goes for saying “yes” as well.

Reflect on the impact that accepting the request will have on you and your goals, then decide on your answer from there.

I go further into depth on this in my blog 7 Courageous Conversations You Need to Have, if you’d like to read more.

Minimise the chance of being disturbed

When you really need to get something done, distractions are one of the biggest things standing in your way. A great tip that I often use is putting aside time where my notifications go on silent, so that no texts, emails or calls can interrupt my work. I’m a lot more productive when I’m not stopping and starting, and that’s true for just about anyone!

These 9 Tips for Feeling Less Overwhelmed and Exhausted are easy to put into practice, and are great ways to cope with the exhaustion and overwhelm that we all feel at times. Never feel guilty for feeling overworked or fatigued, just remember that you can do something about it!

Feel free to share any other tips like the ones above(Overwhelmed and Exhausted). I love hearing from you!