Review of “why you never wash a rental car” by Mark Fritz, UP Academy Masterclass 30/11/17

Mark Fritz is not your usual speaker: he doesn’t use a projector and actually gets you to do the work (you might even create your own PowerPoint to share with your team! )

He’s not the average author, he published a book full of daily thoughts in illustration form!

He is no normal professor either: his teaching is based on a wealth of experience and little theory.

His innovative approach to leadership, which explains the name of this masterclass, has helped leaders across the world excel in their businesses.

We tend to pay more attention to daily activities, sometimes losing sight of the objective. The focus should always be on the OUTCOME and to achieve that we must THINK in outcomes. This was the first take-away from the session.

How many times have you planned meetings to discuss an issue with no clear direction, which often result to be a waste of time? How much more effective would it be to clearly define the desired outcome of the issue at hand, work backwards and plan the activity that will lead to that outcome, giving timelines and clear definitions for creativity to flow? It might not even involve you to be present during the entire activity (the meeting), if at all…

“The people who know HOW will always be LED by the people who know WHY”

As a leader you don’t need to know how to do everything. What is fundamental is asking questions and surrounding yourself with people who will have the answers. By asking how something could be done better and giving your team enough space (and not too much) time, they will come up with creative answers which lead to INNOVATION. Maximise your human resources by constantly throwing questions at them. Encourage responses by implementing and acknowledging the selected solutions. Hold back from answering questions yourself to keep your team thinking on their feet !

ASK, offer CHOICE and don’t tell people what to do! Using “Do you want.. ” or “Do you prefer” are guaranteed to get better results (from kids and adults alike) than using a command. Choices spin some fun into the process, incentivise them to weight each option carefully and make people feel empowered to make that call rather than follow a pre-paved path. People will usually make the “correct” choice as they will put more thought into the process.

The infamous phrase from every religious book “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” in Mark’s words “is a DISASTER for COMMUNICATION!” This is especially true when dealing with people from different nationalities, backgrounds and ethnicities or even people with less distinct differences. For instance if you are a morning person and would have already worked out and sent emails before 7.30am, an early morning discussion on a hot topic with a colleague who likes to be left alone during the first couple of hours in the office, could go wrong in so many ways…

The key to dealing with people effectively is finding out HOW that person wants to be communicated to.

Mark’s outlook on the leadership journey in very simple terms (inspired by an Italian from Napoli) is: “You start out your career working very hard. In the next phase, work is replaced by meetings and/or travel. During the last part of your career you do no work at all and just eat and drink!”  The last phase is where we all want to be, which is why we need to empower our team more and implement solutions that will improve the way we work and give us more free time, leading to higher performance at work and more quality of life.

The Masterclass was content-rich, highly interactive and fun. It involved a lot of teamwork, reflection and also one to one peer coaching at the end of the session, because until a thought is spoken or written down it just remains a fragment…The participants did not only take home the key learnings, but also practical solutions they could implement in their organisation and lives.

It was interesting to observe that during teamwork section of the session, which had a competitive element, the largest team in the room, who knew each other so well and worked extremely closely had some great reflections. They were voted as the winners and received a copy of Mark’s collection of Daily Thoughts to continue inspiring them to drive forwards 🙂

The last 3 thoughts Mark left us with to enable success were CLARITY, BUSINESS JUDGEMENT and INFLUENCING SKILLS. The most important of which is Business Judgement or TRUST as this is the one skill that cannot be taught.

A COO commented at the end of the session: “It was the best seminar I’ve been to in over two years, and I attend many of these events”

One of the “take-homes” from the feedback survey was “I have to learn how to give my team members space to take decisions themselves. Nose in Fingers out approach. Ask more questions and give less answers.”

If you would like assistance in implementing an ownership culture in your organisation speak to UP!. There are various ways in which we can support your team through a series of workshops, performance coaching, teambuilding activities or a longer “drip feed” programmes with measurable results that will be designed around you and/or your company to maximise performance.