With a passion for increasing the quality of life for every child, Lynne Peyton - a Change Management Consultant is making a difference by strengthening the leadership skills within organisations working with children and families. Having worked for many years as a Senior Manager with responsibility for strategic planning children’s health and social services, Lynne pivoted into independent consulting, determined to influence service delivery.
Her sole aim was to help organizations get better results in the lives of vulnerable children. What evolved from initial exploratory reviews and audits, was a realisation that even senior managers often lacked training, mentoring and support for their busy managerial roles. Lynne has created a leadership development programme, which can be tailored to the needs of individual organizations and provides coaching and mentoring to top teams as well as managers at more junior levels. It includes guiding them in basic leadership skills and systems, including ways of embracing and getting ahead of change.
The 3 Leadership Principles Lynne abides by:
- Success is a combination of all the choices that we make. Understanding this key principle puts us back in the driving seat as we are in charge of our own destiny. It is not what happens to us that matters, it is what we choose to do in any given set of circumstances.
- Leadership is about influencing others to maximize their potential in pursuit of a common goal. To empower as a leader, you have to be clear on your purpose, be an excellent communicator, work with and through relationships and keep evaluating the impact of strategies adjusting appropriately. Lynne summarises this in her CORE Leadership Development Programme which builds skills in Communication, Optimization, Relationships, and Evaluation.
- Leaders must continually focus on developing a strong mind and a ‘can-do’ attitude. They must be emotionally intelligent and resilient and should learn to not take things personally.
The Nature of Success
To be successful, leaders have to maximize their own skills and those of others. While leadership comes more naturally to some, everyone has to work on developing a strong mindset of positivity, focus, self-belief and confidence in their abilities, as well as great organizational and time management skills and the art of effective delegation.
Leaders also need tools and strategies to bring out the best in people and to overcome their limiting beliefs. They have to have excellent change management skills, be proficient in project management and understand the power of language. Being able to appreciate someone else’s model of the world is key to influencing them.
Effective leaders have systems for everything they do and to ensure those systems are followed. Systems can include policy and procedures, checklists, reporting arrangements, and trackers.
Lynne works to the following formula when coaching organizations. Step one is generally to be clear on how they define success in their agency – often it is about a combination of a highly effective, committed workforce who get the desired results and enjoy the process.
Breaking this down into component parts Lynne believes success comes from a strong Mindset + Appropriate Skill set + Strategies and Tools and a commitment to take timely Action.
Step 2 is about making best use of everyone on the team which is achieved by aligning people to tasks in which they have the relevant skills and knowledge as well as interest.
Talking about Setbacks
Failing is part and parcel of every journey, development, and learning. Looking back, Lynne recognises that her past failures have one thing in common – not changing strategy soon enough or continuing to try and fix something that was not able to be fixed. Hence, Einstein’s principle of “if you want a different outcome, you have to do something different” stands valid in any given situation.
Here are some of Lynne’s Clients’ take on her consultancy and leadership style
- Paul Gilligan, Chief Executive Officer, St Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin
“I have worked with Lynne for many years on a variety of different projects including service reviews and the design of new facilities. Her gifts are an ability to identify the core issues, challenge assumptions and work collaboratively with staff at all levels to come up with ideas and solutions which achieve buy-in from staff and service users alike.”
- Dr. Tracey A Monson, CEO, Daughters of Charity Child and Family Services
“Lynne’s skill in challenging motivating and maximizing results from individuals and groups is unsurpassed. She brings a unique highly expert approach to all her work and has an amazing ability to unlock individual potential and bring out the best in people and organizations. I cannot recommend Lynne highly enough.”
- Regina Hamilton, PSW, Assessment & Intervention, Tusla Child and Family Agency
“As a new Principal Social Worker, I had just stepped way out of my comfort zone when I began my coaching journey with Lynne. Working with Lynne allowed me to slow down, really consider the beliefs I held about myself, and realize how some of the less helpful ones were holding me back. Lynne helped me change the narrative and stop making excuses which in turn freed me up to take different actions and grow as a leader.”
- Ryan Cassidy, Intake Team leader, TUSLA, Dublin South Central Area
“I found Lynne’s C.O.R.E. Leadership Programme very empowering and challenging. It helped me clarify and take responsibility for my role as Team Leader and to be more confident about how I delegate tasks and responsibilities to others. My communication generally is more clear, concise, and effective.”
A Distinct Characteristic of a Leader
Lynne believes the true hallmark of a leader is emotional intelligence and resilience so they can bounce back in the face of adversity, reframe things more positively, and inspire others to see the potential and the opportunities.
Nelson Mandela said he was not surviving in prison for 23 years, he was preparing to lead his people.
How can one become Resilient?
Lynne acknowledges that becoming resilient is not easy. Developing emotional intelligence requires self-examination and will always be a work in progress. Some of the techniques one needs to practice are:
- Learning to respond rather than to react. Victor Frankl, an Austrian Holocaust survivor said, “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”
- Not taking anything personally as advocated by Don Miguel Ruis author of the Four Agreements
- Taking a breath is a refreshingly good strategy as it slows everything down, pumps oxygen to your brain, and manages the adrenalin rush. Tony Robbins calls it managing your physiology first by regulating your breathing.
Preparing for a recent interview for a series on successful leaders, Lynne listened to some of the earlier broadcasts and was particularly struck by the advice of a successful serial entrepreneur who said, I only do what only I can do and delegate the rest. Since then, she has been implementing that advice and passing it on to others.
The Future lies in Strengthening the Present
There is increasing recognition of the need to support managers at all levels to become effective leaders for building and sustaining their teams. During the pandemic, there was even greater responsibility on team leaders to empower staff members to cope with the additional pressures of remote working and isolation. Lynne advocates keeping self-care on the agenda and encouraging everyone to find a healthy, efficient way to integrate work and family responsibilities.