Friday, March 31, 2006

Paddles, Portages And Pings On Leadership

Author: Kerri Salls

After 3 long days of a very intensive workshop in Toronto, a group of us decided to go canoeing for a day, up in Barre, Ontario (an hour north of Toronto) on the Nottawasaga River. It was a warm day, the water was warm, and no one else was on this pristine flat-water river winding through a protected swamp.

We had idyllic moments out of time, we had mishaps and laughs, and we had the slogs of carrying canoes and gear (called a portage) around logjams in the river more than a few times, as well the insufferable companionship of mosquitoes.

Why am I sharing this with you? I want to share some of the pings of the day, and the pings were all about leadership and the dynamics of leadership. It was reassuring and inspiring to see leadership arise from a number of different people in the group adding strength and depth all around.

Great leaders are always working on themselves. In this case, the leaders never stopped paddling. They led by example. In spite of the mosquitoes, they stayed focused on the objective of the day, 19 km through utter wilderness.

Exemplary leaders don't push or manage a lot. They problem solve, then inspire and motivate the team. You can be a strong leader without being impolite. When a canoe capsized, a leader didn't wait for the organizer to suggest it, a leader just handed people life jackets and said ""Put it on"", because it was the right thing to do. Another leader figured out how to recover, right and empty the canoe.

Leadership means learning to be bold without being a bully. To build your influence, you've got to walk the talk in front of your group, team, or clients. You've got to tackle the first problem, seize the moment and make quick decisions. In our case, it was a leader choosing the portages.

Leadership also means learning to develop humor - but without folly. It's OK to be witty but not silly, to have fun and be funny without being foolish. A leader's response to the first person getting dunked in the river was to put a positive spin on the slight mishap -- just like we all do for a baby learning to walk or a child learning to ride a bicycle. This leadership skill was brought out in many of our leaders later on the trip when we kept sinking into the mud, or shoes got stuck in the mud. One leader unabashedly sang old songs on the portages as a distraction from mosquitoes feasting on us.

Leaders are good at dealing with reality. They accept life as it is. This is not fatalism or the opposite of optimism. It's practicality. It's a constructive approach to the truth. On the river, when the mosquitoes and logjams got to us all late in the day, there was a dramatic switch in group dynamics. Leaders recognized what had to be done, picked up the pace and just did it without discussion, negotiation or complaining.

In the end, I think we had more fun and the adventure was more memorable because of the challenges that brought out the strengths in each of us. As leaders, we want to inspire the people around us to bring out their strengths too. So what adventure will you organize to inspire the people around you?

About the author: Kerri Salls, MBA runs a virtual business school to train, consult and coach small business CEO's and entrepreneurs in 10 key strategies to make more profit in less time. Learn more at or sign up for a free weekly newsletter at

Leadership Power Stress: (Part 2) Three Keys to Renewal

Author: Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D.

"Power stress is part of the experience that results from the exercise of influence and sense of responsibility felt in leadership positions." - (Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, Resonant Leadership, Harvard Business School Press, 2005)

Leadership requires the exercise of influence or power. It involves responsibility for the organization, and it requires the sacrifice of personal needs for those of company. Leaders are under continual scrutiny and evaluation. All these things increase the pressure and leads to power stress.

Without awareness of power stress, and what is needed to renew oneself, leaders are vulnerable to burnout and dissonance with the people they lead.

The Leadership Paradox

Daniel Goleman, authority on emotional intelligence in organizations, calls this the leadership paradox: "For leaders, the first task in management has nothing to do with leading others; step one poses the challenge of knowing and managing oneself."

This includes:

- Connecting with the deep values that guide us

- Imbuing our actions with meaning

- Aligning our emotions with our goals

- Keeping ourselves motivated

- Keeping ourselves focused and on task

When we act in accord with these inner measures, we feel good about what we do. Such emotions are contagious. When we as a leader feel positive, energized, and enthusiastic about our work, so do those we influence. But we can only maintain high effectiveness when we are able to manage the cycles of sacrifice and renewal.

Three Keys in the Renewal Process

Step one is to be vigilant and aware of when we are out of touch with ourselves and those we lead. We can't know this without having a highly developed sense of self-awareness and other-awareness, two key elements of emotional intelligence.

Honing the skills of awareness leads to mindfulness - becoming aware of what's going on inside and around us on several levels. Mindfulness is living in a state of full, conscious awareness of one's whole self, other people, and the context in which we live and work.

Two other elements contribute to recuperation and renewal: hope and compassion. Hope enables us to believe that the future we envision is attainable. Closely tied with an attitude of optimism, hope helps us to move toward our goals and visions while inspiring others.

The third critical element for renewal is compassion. Connecting with other people's wants and needs gives us another source of energy and recuperation. Compassion lifts a leader out of the small-minded worries that center on oneself. It expands our world by putting the focus on others. It is such connection and compassion that will prevent leaders from falling into the trap of arrogant self-absorption. That shift allows leaders renewal of spirit. And renewal of spirit is not only crucial for leaders in sustaining themselves, but also for maintaining the efficacy of leadership.

The Brain and New Age Rhetoric

Before you dismiss the concepts of mindfulness, hope and compassion as being new-age rhetoric, pay attention to the research. Recent studies in management science, psychology and neuroscience all point to the importance of the development of mindfulness and the experiences of hope and compassion. These practices are supported by scientific evidence.

It boils down to the brain. The brain processes information and sends signals to the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous systems. These two systems create bodily reactions of either fight, flight, or relaxation and calm.

Optimal functioning involves both systems, those that lead to action, and those that lead to recuperation. Unfortunately, in organizations little emphasis or encouragement is given to renewal and recovery activities.

Here are some common recovery rituals that involve the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for renewal:


Walking (also a way of meditating)

Yoga and stretching

Sports (either team or individual, competitive or not)

Dancing and singing

Humor and laughing

Listening to music

Seeing films

Reading books (novels as well as business related)

Doing volunteer work

Teaching classes

Participation in religious or philosophical groups


Family projects

Of course, each of these activities involve the whole body and both nervous systems. The key is in one's attitude. It is possible to let ambition and competitiveness interfere with the relaxation and recovery processes at any time. Again, the key is in being aware and mindful of how we manage our thoughts, our bodies and our spirits.

There is a big difference between good leadership practices that can be defined and tracked, and trendy, empty words commonly found in popular magazine articles. These ideas - that leadership power stress can be managed by employing mindfulness, hope and compassion for renewal - are not only logical, but validated by scientific research.

As relevant practices, they are also applicable. They not only make sense, but they can be easily adopted in the context of a leader's work world. There are several exercises one can engage in to develop self and other-awareness, to increase mindfulness. Like many leadership development tasks, it is best to engage the services of a qualified executive coach.

This is part 2 of a 2 part article on Leadership Power Stress by author Patsi Krakoff. In part 1, we examined the causes of power stress.

About the author: Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D. writes articles for business and executive coaches and consultants. She provides articles on leadership and executive development for sale, and formatted into customized newsletters. Get Patsi's Secrets of Successful Ezines 7-Step Mini-Course to learn what you need to know to publish a successful ezine. ne_MiniCourse

Three Key Elements To Improving Leadership

Author: Kerri Salls

Great leadership is the key to success. Great communication is the key to great leadership. Think of any great leader in modern time: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr, and John F. Kennedy come to mind immediately. They were powerful leaders because they could inspire people to follow them. It was their ability to articulate their vision that made them successful in achieving their goals.

In your organization you must be the leader who inspires the team to great heights. To get them to follow you, be sure they are listening to your values and your vision, and then establish the right environment for them to thrive and grow.


When I mention values, everyone nods their heads as if of course, Kerri, that's obvious. But, when I check up on this piece, I find the last time they discussed their values - personal and professional - with their team, was often in the interview before their people were even hired.

You must clearly know your personal values and your organization values to lead effectively. For example, do the answers to these questions come readily to mind?


1. What do you stand for? 2. What is most important to you? 3. What would you like your life to demonstrate? 4. What is your personal mission in life?


1. What do you stand for? 2. What are you willing to do to get new business? 3. What are you not willing to do? 4. Do you have a professional mission statement?

Quality leaders don't change their values over time or to achieve short-term success. Consistent core organizational value systems form the strong foundation for long-term success.

A simple definition is that your values are the rules by which you play the game. A well-defined value system makes all decisions easier and encourages your team to go where you lead.


It's easy to say you have a vision for your business. It's your lifeblood. You know it inside out. Writing it down is the next step. Sharing it widely with your team is imperative too. Even more importantly, your vision for the business must provide a unifying picture so that everyone on the team - regardless of job function - can see exactly where you're going and the importance of their role in getting there. Therefore, the clearer the concept and the clearer (i.e., short and simple) the message is, the more likely you, and your team, can achieve the goal. Your vision needs to answer three questions. And it must answer those three questions for everyone on the team.

1. What do we do? 2. How do we do it 3. For whom do we do it?

As Jim Collins proved in his book, From Good to Great, this is not a 30 minute, one meeting exercise. This requires 100% participation. It can't be a top-down decision. It must be iterative and inclusive.


Andrew Carnegie said: ""You must capture and keep the heart of the original and supremely able man before his brain can do its best."" When you understand what is at the core of your team members, you can serve them and allow them to reach their full potential. Value their uniqueness. Your team members are your internal customers. You must treat them at least as well as your external customers. This is the highest level of customer service.

Shape the right work environment and you'll have loyal team members to lead. That means, you have to create a work environment that respects each person, appreciates them and rewards their effort, and encourages an openness to change. Make it a safe environment, one which encourages trying new ideas. When you unleash personal creativity, each team member has a stake in the outcome. It's an environment that promotes growth at all levels. Combine all three elements and you have a formula for inspiring greatness and leading to breakthrough success. Do it now!

About the author: Kerri Salls, MBA runs a virtual business school to train, consult and coach small business CEO's and entrepreneurs in 10 key strategies to make more profit in less time. Learn more at or sign up for a free weekly newsletter at

Do You Have The Leadership Trait In You To Pick The Right Player For The Right Job? Learn To Be an Ace with Mind Mapping

Author: Dr. Vj Mariaraj

An important aspect of leadership is having the ability to choose the right people for the right job. This is a vital role that leaders will invariably be called upon to perform. In any team sport, a great deal of time is spent in picking the right players for the game. Selection is done keeping these factors in mind as player's skill, form, the right place in the team and the likely opposition that the team will confront. As in sports, in business too, leaders need to select the right team and players for a particular job, assign them specific tasks in line with their skills and proficiencies. To field a match-winning team, you first need to understand the game to be played and the skills and abilities required to play it. A football team cannot play baseball if you aim to win at the top. Also, you have to place the right player at the right position.

In order to make the right choice, you first need to simplify the broader team goals into specific, individual tasks. You can write down the task list and rank them in the order of priority. You then have to analyze the competencies required to undertake each task. Weighing the competencies of each team member and assigning tasks that matches their competencies, will help you in selecting the right candidate for the right job.

However, more often you will find that a person may excel in certain areas but may be found wanting in others. Or you may find an employee at a lower rung exhibiting similar skill power. You may find such gaps and overlaps, revealing the need for providing training in those areas where they are deficient. Having back-ups for important tasks in case you lose key people, and ensuring to have a diverse team than with similar background are other critical factors involved in the process of selection.

Thus it will be obvious to you that recruitment is often an elaborate process that begins with advertising, screening resumes, administering test, interviewing candidates, selecting the best candidates and giving them needed training. But the whole set of tasks can be made simpler by using Mind Map.

Using Mind Maps you can clearly outline the specific job position under a main heading and note down all the tasks that the job entails under it. You can then explore at length the traits that will be required for each of the tasks relating to the job assignment. You can use particular color to distinguish fundamental abilities/traits from the general qualities.

Similarly, you can frame a simple outline on those skills and traits for testing the candidates. Highlighting these in a different color, you can decide on the possible methodology that will best bring these out from the candidates, in order to make a proper evaluation. You can then have the basic criteria, not just in terms of test ranking, but also in the soft skills that the candidate brings in, such as communication abilities, confidence level, attitude, disposition, etc.

Matching the hardcore competencies of a candidate with the soft skills, you can set a minimum standard to be eligible for interview. Ranking the candidates on all criteria and choosing the best among them can be greatly facilitated by using Mind Map. Utilizing symbols you can group all those candidates revealing the need for training, and those excelling in most areas for direct task handling.

When you integrate all these entire process of recruitment into one major Mind Map, you will, at a glance, gain a comprehensive picture of the full procedure involved. You will have complete grip over your recruitment process of picking the right person for the right job. Whenever you have new thoughts or ideas on a particular aspect, you can easily incorporate them and comprehend the links and associations between the various stages of recruitment. All these and much more are possible with Mind Map. Mind Map helps you to fine tune your recruitment process and ensure you are on the right track to pick the right candidate for the right job.

About the author: Dr. Vj Mariaraj is a Mind Map enthusiast and has been using Mind Maps for the past twelve years. He has created over 5650 Mind Maps. To learn more about mind mapping send an email to . He is the founder of that creates Mind Map Summaries of Businees Books. To learn more visit

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Leadership Formulas

Author: Mike Beitler

Do we really believe outstanding leadership is so simple that we can boil it down to a simple formula? Could any single formula explain the likes of Gandhi, Jack Welch, and Bill Gates? Of course not.

Individual human beings are amazingly complex. Interactions between individuals and groups are even more complex. Leadership represents one of the most complex forms of human interaction. In any given leader-follower relationship countless things are happening simultaneously: ego needs, security needs, needs for power, needs for approval, needs for affiliation, needs for achievement, etc., etc.

Nevertheless, many authors continue to offer simple formulas for leadership success. John Maxwell alone has written enough leadership books to fill your garage. Maxwell's ideal leader would, no doubt, be effective in the church where he is the pastor. But, could you imagine a Maxwell-like leader being taken seriously in the business world or in the military?

Jim Collins, after writing his extraordinary book ""Good to Great,"" decided to simplify the leadership phenomenon to a few paradoxical combinations: humble and willful, or shy and fearless. He calls these paradoxical combinations Level Five Executive Leadership, ""a necessary requirement for transforming an organization from good to great.""

Collins uses Abraham Lincoln as an example of a Level Five Executive Leader. While we all admire Abe Lincoln, could you imagine Lincoln as CEO of Microsoft or

In my own articles and books, I offer a leadership model that is more complex than the ""pop"" models. It is more complex, but it also offers some practical guidance. My leadership model considers the characteristics of the leader, the characteristics of the followers, and the characteristics of the task.

In any leadership situation, of course, we want to look at the characteristics of the leader. My argument with the leadership characteristics described in the ""pop"" literature is against the tendency to be overly simplistic.

We must also consider the follower characteristics in a leader-follower relationship. An interesting body of literature about follower characteristics emerged several years ago. Unfortunately, this type of study has not been very popular because it does not appeal to the people who seek simplistic ideas about leadership success.

Finally, in my work, I have urged individuals and organizations to consider the characteristics of the task at hand. The highly effective tank commander in combat situations may not be the best choice to lead the new Sunday School at your church.

Leadership will continue to be a fascinating topic. Some of the best research on leadership is being conducted right here in Greensboro, North Carolina (where I live) at the Center for Creative leadership (CCL). The findings of CCL's research may not be found at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, but reading CCL's research is well worth the investment of your time.

About the author: Dr. Mike Beitler is the author of ""Strategic Organizational Change."" Read 2 free chapters of the book right now at

Your Leadership Style

Author: Eric Garner

If you want to succeed as a leader, you need to be comfortable with moving around the spectrum of leadership styles. Sticking with just one style means that you become predictable and hence, as a leader, dispensable. It also means that your style of leading may not fit the needs of the team or task. So, learn what the 4 leadership styles are and develop yourself to become skilled in each of them.

1. The Directive Style. The directive leadership style is the style most people equate with ""strong"" leadership. When people say they want more leadership, they usually mean they want more direction. In military terms, this is leading from the front or by example. Although the directive, -- or command-and-tell -- style, is out of favour today, it is still the style you must use in new, unfamiliar, or critical situations when the team face a threat.

So, if the directive style is not your natural style, how do you become more effective at it? Here are 7 quick clues:

1. put more effort into planning so that you look ready

2. look the part: dress confidently; make every move count; avoid hesitation

3. rehearse your performance so that you look authoritative in front of others

4. master assertive language: talk clearly and a little louder than normal

5. keep your communication short and to the point; cut out the use of descriptive adjectives.

6. get active; look busy; be a good time manager

7. be decisive; make up your mind and go with it.

One other useful pointer: it is easier to start with a hard impression and soften it later than to start with a soft impression and harden it later.

2. The Consultative Style. If the directive style puts task before team, the consultative style puts team before task. This is the style you'll use when you need to talk to the team, hear what they have to say, understand them, and take them with you. If the directive style calls for a typically masculine approach, the consultative style calls for a typically feminine approach: hard versus soft.

To master the consultative style, you need to master team meetings. Use the following approaches:

1. get the team together, if necessary, off site

2. avoid too many meetings with individual team members or you will create mistrust and suspicion

3. involve the team in the planning of meetings

4. be prepared to hear things you don't like 5. decide where on the scale you want to be: at one end, the purely consultative in which you listen and then decide; or at the other end, the consensual where you and the team decide together

6. practise concentrated listening

7. give everyone a chance to talk. Notice who doesn't speak readily. Find a balance. Seek contrary views to the loudest.

3. The Problem-Solving Style. The problem-solving style of leadership goes under various names. Ken Blanchard calls it the ""selling"" style (in contrast to ""telling""). Other writers call it the participative style or negotiating style or the win-win style. If the directive style is top-down (ie from you downwards) and the consultative style is bottom-up (ie from them upwards), then the problem-solving style is sideways: us together as equals working things out. The problem-solving style is the right style to use when there is conflict in the team.

Here are some techniques to use to make you a better problem-solving leader:

1. believe that in every conflict with the team, there is a solution in which both sides (you and the team) can get what you want

2. state your own position clearly and consistently. Listen carefully to theirs.

3. focus on issues not personalities

4. find the emotional blocks such as their fears and anxieties. These often result in people playing games. Knock these down by building trust.

5. seek common ground

6. battle on to find a creative solution based on principles

7. summarise frequently.

4. The Delegated Style. For those who are not used to the delegated style of leadership, it first looks like an abdication of leadership. It's the style where you take a back seat and appear to do nothing. In reality it is one of the hardest of styles to use. It means letting go of control so that the team can make their own decisions. You trust them and first time round that can be hard.

Here are some ways to develop your delegating style:

1. Make it safe for the team to try things out. 2. focus on them: ""What would you do?"" ""What do you think?"" ""What do you feel we should do?""

3. resist the temptation to jump in and rescue them when things go wrong; they can learn so much more by sorting it out themselves.

4. move gradually. If people aren't used to this style, they may suspect your intentions.

5. praise every success

6. find the right distance: not too close that you are seen to be checking them, not too far away that they feel abandoned.

7. check back regularly that things are OK.

Your ability to move around these four styles, and the shades in-between, will tell others just how good a leader you really are. You won't always get it right. Sometimes, you'll call the team for a chat when they want decisiveness. Sometimes, you'll try to sell your ideas when what they want is for you to leave them alone. But as you develop your reading of situations, you'll come to know instinctively just what your best action should be.

About the author: © Eric Garner,

For instant solutions to all your management training needs, visit ManageTrainLearn and download amazing FREE training software. And while you're there, make sure you try out our prize quiz, get your surprise bonus gift, and subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter. Go and get the ManageTrainLearn experience now!

A Leadership Secret: Replace Goals With Processes Using The Shared Dream

Author: Brent Filson

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to:

Word count: 1082

Summary: Most leaders have been taught to set goals for their groups. However, the author asserts that goal-setting is not the most effective way to lead. He suggests that turning goals into processes achieves more results, and he details a step by step plan to do it.

A Leadership Secret: Replace Goals With Processes Using The Shared Dream by Brent Filson

I bring leadership processes that help leaders get more results faster continually. The results will come in a specific length of time. The results will go beyond what the leaders are achieving now. The results can be measured, validated, and used as springboards for even more results. The results can be translated into money saved/earned. The results can't be achieved without the help of Leadership Talks. And yet ...

Yet ... getting this big jump in results scares many leaders and can lead to burn out in the people they lead.

You'd think leaders would welcome such results. No such luck. Here's why: They see results as a point not a process.

Seeing results in this way prevents you from getting the more substantial results you're really capable of. Look, results are limitless. Those who don't know that don't know much about leadership. Those who believe that must believe in the process-reality of results.

Let's look at the difference between a goal and a process. You've been dealing with goals and processes your whole career, but it's important to your success to see the difference in leadership terms.

A goal is the result or achievement toward which effort is directed. A process is a continuous series or actions or changes. A goal can hinder results. (The word goal derives from an Old English word, ""gaelan"" meaning ""to hinder."") A process can multiply them.

I worked with the head of the head of manufacturing of a global company. Responding to relentless cost cutting pressures, he was continually setting formidable quarterly stretch goals on quality and productivity.

The line workers were meeting the goals; but upon reaching one summit of goals, they inevitably faced another (the next quarterly goals) and were getting burned out.

I suggested that to avoid this burn out, they look at the results not in terms of quarterly goals but in terms of processes. I gave him a two-step process to do it.

(1) Define your goals. The manufacturing division had to deliver numbers to corporate, productivity increases, quality advancements, etc. Those numbers were goals they had to absolutely meet. Meeting them was vital to their jobs and careers.

Viewing them as the right goals and adhering to their commitment to meet those goals are necessary first steps in translating those goals into processes.

2. Apply the Shared Dream. The Shared Dream can be one of the most powerful tools in leadership. Yet few leaders I know are aware of it, if not in name at least in activity.

Leadership processes are the best processes, and the Shared Dream is one of the best of the best. Because it is one key way we can translate results into processes.

Translating results into processes involves: *a team effort; it cannot be done simply by fiat. * the ardent commitment of all parties concerned, people can't be left out or left behind. *continual and systematic support, evaluation and monitoring of the processes. *the application of the Shared Dream.

What is the Shared Dream? It is simply the uniting of your vision as a leader and the dream of the people you lead then using the union to get great results.

For instance, the manufacturing division was supposed to get 3 to 5% reduction in costs per year, irrespective of inflation.

To make the yearly goals, the division had to meet quarterly benchmarks. The problem was that the cost reductions were the division's and the company's vision, not really the line-workers dream.

The employees dream, we found out through a number of facilitated on-the-site meetings, was predominately job security. (That was a pretty obvious finding but one we needed to nail down with interactions with the employees.) Lower cost overseas manufacturing was cutting into the company's margins. The threat was real that they would close shop in the states and take the manufacturing overseas.

So, there was a gap between vision of the division leaders, constant cost reductions, and the dream of the division workers, job security.

Of course, you might say that cost reductions were in fact all about job security. But the employees didn't see it that way. ""That's the malarkey the suits feed us,"" said one worker.

The idea was to have them move from being goal-oriented to being process-oriented. That change of viewpoint needed a change of commitment.

Without a Shared Dream, with the goals not transformed into processes, people were getting burned out, going through the motions, anger, suppressing, tired, wanting out.

The division leader got together with the employees in a number of on-the-job meetings and talked about their dream. They came up with the idea that if their manufacturing was competing in the world market place, the best way to compete was to become ""world class"" manufacturing enterprise.

The people researched the requirements of being world class manufacturing, using top world manufacturers are benchmarks. They came up with eight quantitative measures that defined ""world class."" These measurements included continual productivity and quality increases, speed of throughput, etc.

By the way, when I say ""people"" I mean this came from the rank and file. Representatives of workers groups participated.

Together, the leaders and rank and file, put together action programs to meet those targets. Those action programs were processes. In essence, they put together a Shared Dream. They changed results into processes.

""Let's meet those targets together!"" is a Shared Dream if they and you want it badly. It's not a Shared Dream if it's your vision -- you have to get quarterly decreases.

Your vision is not motivational unless it matches their dream. Just because it is your vision does not mean it is their dream. Don't confuse your order for their dream. A gap between vision and dream handicaps organizations.

Here is the Shared Dream process. -- Define Your Vision -- Define their dream. -- Combine the vision and dream to get the Shared Dream. -- Test the Shared Dream. -- Describe the rewards and punishments of achieving or failing to achieve the Shared Dream. -- Make the final cut at describing the Shared Dream. -- Implement the Shared Dream as a trigger for turning goals into processes. -- Monitor and evaluate the progress.

One might say, ""That's a lot of trouble to go through. Why don't you just tell them what they have to do and make them do it?""

But that's the point. Your ordering them is far different in terms of results outcomes than their motivating themselves to make it happen. And it won't happen unless you go through the rigorous process of turning their goals into processes using the Shared Dream.

2006 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the author: The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. - and for more than 20 years has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: ""49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results,"" at ww

Leadership by Persuasion - Four Steps to Success

Author: Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D.

As a leader, your success depends upon your ability to get things done: up, down and across all lines. To survive and succeed, you must learn four essential skills of persuading people. You must convince others to take action on your behalf even when you have no formal authority.

Persuasion is an essential proficiency for all leaders, requiring you to move people toward a position they don't currently hold. You must not only make a rational argument, but also frame your ideas, approaches and solutions in ways that appeal to diverse groups of people with basic human emotions.

Preparing the Way

Any direct attempt to persuade may provoke colleagues to oppose and polarize. Because persuasion is a learning and negotiating process, it must include three phases: discovery, preparation and dialogue.

Before you even begin to speak, consider your position from every angle. Presenting your ideas takes planning to learn about your audience and prepare your arguments.

Dialogue occurs both before and during the persuasion process. You must invite people to discuss solutions, debate the merits of your position, offer honest feedback and suggest alternatives. You must test and revise ideas to reflect colleagues' concerns and needs. Success depends on being open-minded and willing to incorporate compromises.

Four Steps to Successful Persuasion

Leading through persuasion requires you to follow four essential steps:

1. Establish credibility. Credibility develops from two sources: expertise and relationships. Listen carefully to other people's suggestions. Establish an environment in which they know their opinions are valued. Prepare by collecting data and information that both support and contradict your arguments.

2. Understand your audience. Frame your goals in a way that identifies common ground. Your primary goal is to identify tangible benefits to which your targeted audience can relate. This requires conversations to collect essential information by asking thoughtful questions. This process will often prompt you to alter your initial argument or include compromises. Identify key decision makers, stakeholders and the organization's network of influence. Pinpoint their interests and how they view alternatives.

3. Reinforce your positions with vivid language and compelling evidence. Persuasion requires you to present evidence: strong data in multiple forms (stories, graphs, images, metaphors and examples). Make your position come alive by using vivid language that complements graphics. In most cases, a rock-solid argument:

- Is logical and consistent with facts and experience

- Favorably addresses your audience's interests

- Eliminates or neutralizes competing alternatives

- Recognizes and deals with office politics

- Receives endorsements from objective, authoritative third parties

4. Connect Emotionally. Your connection to your audience must demonstrate both intellectual and emotional commitment to your position. Successful persuaders cultivate an accurate sense of their audience's emotional state, and they adjust their arguments' tone accordingly. Whatever your position, you must match your emotional fervor to your audience's ability to receive your message.

In today's organizations, work is generally completed by cross-functional teams of peers, with a mix of baby boomers and Gen-Xers who show little tolerance for authority. Electronic communication and globalization have further eroded the traditional hierarchy. People who perform work don't just ask "" what should I do?"" but "" why should I do it?""

Leaders must answer the ""why"" question effectively. Persuasion is an essential proficiency for all leaders who want to succeed in the 21st century organization.

About the author: Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D. writes articles for business and executive coaches and consultants. She provides articles on leadership and executive development for sale, and formatted into customized newsletters. Get Patsi's Secrets of Successful Ezines 7-Step Mini-Course to learn what you need to know to publish a successful ezine. ne_MiniCourse

Tact and Charisma: Required Assets in Today's Leadership

Author: Joy Cagil

Have you ever entered a social gathering, felt immediately drawn to a person, and seen that others also huddle around him? On the other hand, have you noticed yourself feel more at ease when a certain person is present in a crowd? Chances are, the person in the first situation had charisma and the person in the second situation had tact.

The most successful people in starring roles in society have tact or charisma or both. People with charisma immediately secure others' loyalty at first sight, with or without having many desirable assets. People with tact instinctively grasp the situation and put everyone at ease by being able to say the right thing at the right time. Moreover, they lead others into acting in positive ways and they ease sticky situations.

Although a tactful act is instantaneous, tact involves a holding back of judgment and measured action. Charisma, on the other hand, glows with abundant action. Followers of charismatic people trust them full-heartedly, with affection, obedience, and emotional involvement. A charismatic person connects to people right away practically on most levels, physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Yet, tact calms the action down and soothes agitated nerves. A tactful person is one who would most likely put people at ease and stabilize any shaky situation. People are appreciative of tact but are mesmerized by charisma just like the children of Hamelin when they were magically drawn to Pied Piper.

Charisma has been a characteristic of some leaders who had crowds, mobs, or groups following them. People usually feel strongly attracted to a charismatic person.

The idea of charisma, as a God-given gift or talent, first found its place in theology. Charismata (Greek for ""spiritual gifts"") was spoken of by Christians during the early apostolic age when this was considered a sign of grace. Later the word charisma was used in describing some political leaders and popular people in the public eye. Marilyn Monroe, Martin Luther King, F. D. Roosevelt, Leon Trotsky, Adolf Hitler, President Kennedy, President Reagan, and President Clinton had charisma. As the examples of these people show, charisma has little to do with morals or being good or evil. Even today, in the entertainment arts, people attract more attention if they have charisma. Charisma compared to tact is an asset of the façade of personality.

Charisma is more of an external human feature; tact is more of an internal affair. Although some intuition is involved inside, tact may be teachable, but not charisma. The spring from where charisma flows is not clearly identified. Charisma is like a magnet that stirs up emotions, affectionate feelings, and blind trust. The followers of a charismatic person become missionaries in his cause and trust his every word as the members of Al Queda did, following Osama Bin Laden with religious fervor.

Tact develops as an interpretive sensitivity to the other person or situation. As people gain experience and become more reflective, they become more tactful. How can one act with tact if he interprets the other person in the wrong way? For the same token, how can one act with tact if he interprets himself the wrong way? Knowledge of one's own self and one's own vision are factors inside a person who combines charisma and tact, because self-knowledge leads to confidence.

Since confidence inside a situation is a quality of tact and charisma, their combined use shows strength in personal style. A personal style with both charisma and tact has its own components.

One of those components is a person's silent message, the way he carries himself in every way, even before he opens his mouth. Another is the ability to speak well, articulating every thought and idea. If a person can't put forth his ideas properly, who would appreciate them? Another vital asset is listening skills, a key to effective communication. Then, persuasion skills and ability to adapt to others by understanding their situation take the stage. In addition, motivating others to follow one's lead, treating them in a pleasant way, using one's time well, and respecting others' time and personal space are very important.

Our forefathers acted with tact. Some of them also had charisma. Combining the two made them invincible. Theirs will always be a tough act to follow.

As an example, Benjamin Franklin was a person of tact. Through his tactful approach, he was able to obtain liberal grants and loans from Louis XVI of France despite the objections of the France's Finance minister. After the revolutionary war, when United States Delegates (Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay) met with the British John Hartley to sign a treaty recognizing the colonies in the new world as an independent country, Franklin pointed out that the British Empire had made war on the United States unjustly, causing the colonies great injuries. ""Nevertheless,"" he said, ""Now not only peace will be achieved, but also reconciliation."" He added, ""Reconciliation is a sweet word."" Franklin knew what to say, when to say it, and the way to say it. In a high pressure situation, tact reinforces intent.

Tact and charisma spring in unison from highly evolved minds and attractive personalities. A combination of tact and charisma produces winners who act with spirit and heart. When those winners connect to others in a commitment of optimistic acts, they elevate everyone's quality of life.

One day people like that, especially those elected leaders, who combine tact and charisma inside themselves may unite the world into one loving family. Aren't we all after that utopia?

About the author: Joy Cagil is an author on a site for Creative Writing (http://www.Writing.Com/) Her training is in foreign languages and linguistics. In her background are varied subjects such as humanities, mental health, women's issues, and visual arts. Her portfolio can be found at

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Hanging Of Jonathan Wild: A Leadership Lesson

Author: Brent Filson

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to:

Word count: 473

Summary: Most organizations are hampered by the poor performance of some of its members. The author shows the right perspective a leader should have in dealing with them.

The Hanging Of Jonathan Wild: A Leadership Lesson by Brent Filson

Jonathan Wild, notorious English criminal (1682-1725) picked the pocket of the priest who administered the last rites on the gallows at Tyburn. The unrepentant felon triumphantly waved his trophy, a corkscrew, just before he was dropped to his death.

There is a leadership lesson in this. And it's a lesson many leaders miss. When you're leading a group of people of whatever size to get results, understand that roughly about 20 percent of the people will be against you. The 20 percent won't do or at least won't want to do what you require and thus may perform poorly on the job.

One of the most persistent and difficult challenges of leadership is dealing with poor performers. Aside from job-related problems they engender, they also squander time and resources. ""Forty percent of my time,"" a CEO told me, ""is devoted to dealing with ten percent of my employees.""

Mind you, I'm not talking about poor performance tied to ""skill"" issues. People who are not measuring up because they lack skills and knowledge to do well usually need a different intervention than people who have ""will"" issues.

You might make a rough equivalence between the people performing poorly on the job because of will issues with the Jonathan Wilds of the world. After all, as an upright citizen, Wild was a ""poor performer."" But as a pickpocket, he was adroit.

Putting aside the specific kinds of interventions you might undertake, the important thing is your perspective. In dealing with them, you absolutely must not underestimate the skills, talents, and proficiency they bring to poor performance. They can ""pick your pocket"" and you won't even know it.

You have three choices when dealing with them. You can choose to live with them as they are. You can choose to rid yourself of them. Or you can choose to intervene to try and change them. There's no fourth choice.

Or maybe I should say there's no first choice either. The first ""choice"" may be no choice at all. You probably can't leave them alone. Poor performers are usually not content to be one-man-bands. They love company. They need to recruit others onto their poor-performance teams - or at least keep them from joining your team. In this capacity, they're smart, adaptive, innovative, and good leaders. Your underestimating them gives them an advantage against you.

There are many ways to deal with poor performers. (Articles on my web site detail a few.) The point is that in your dealings, keep in mind you could be up against some Jonathan Wilds, those people who may be performing poorly on the job but who perform excellently in their parallel, and maybe to them more important, job -- which is being against you.

2006 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the author: The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. - and for more than 20 years has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: ""49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results,"" at ht

Leadership in Today's World

Author: Carl Hoffman

The most important thing you do is LEAD your people. Every productive activity on your daily agenda is leadership, regardless of what you call it. You manage, advise, teach, decide, and direct. The list goes on but it's all leading.

The most valuable commodity of any great organization is the quality of good people. They deserve the most inspired caring leadership you can provide.

Leaders seize the opportunity and use it properly to attain excellence.

A critical factor in the exercise of leadership is the adaptability of the person in charge. Whenever any of the variables change, the necessarily ""right"" style must change. The leader must then adjust his or her approach. The style that worked yesterday may not work tomorrow--but the leader will adapt. It takes time for a new leader to identify the ""right"" style of leadership. By the time that leader discovers the correct approach he or she may have damaged his or her credibility. The leader may then have established a pattern of behavior that will stick with him or her for the rest of their lives.

Another component of good leadership is caring. Good leaders care about and take of their people. They help them deal with stress that arise both from the job and from external sources.Leaders never let the pressure of their job interfere with taking care of their people.

What your members of your team or organization say is important. Without exception every group complains to some degree. But this is not always bad. Quality of leadership must be assessed by looking at where the irritants lie. If discussions generally dwell on internal issues within the team or organization, leadership might need improvement. If they focus instead on internal issues at a higher level such as company or corporate headquarters, there is a chance your people are satisfied with your leadership.

Equally important in the assessment of leadership is how participants interact in sensing sessions. This is commonly seen as an indicator of morale--how they feel about themselves. It is also a broad indicator of how they feel about their organization.

Cooperative groups generally come from good environment. They talk about anything. At times they even complain but they also frequently recommend solutions. The tone and body language of these group suggest that they are basically satisfied with their leadership. The willingness to recommend improvements suggest confidence in their leaders to listen to opinions and to act on recommendations.

Vocal, hostile groups generally come from poor environments. These groups use sensing sessions to vent their frustrations. They don't sense that their leaders understand or care enough about them to deal with their problems. In most cases, these groups see their leaders adding more to their burden than they take away.

Reticent groups also generally come from poor environments. They hesitate to say anything. These groups demonstrate the resignation that sets in when they feel no one cares about their problems. Alternatively, they may respresent teams that work under repressive leadership that is intoleratnt to ""whiners"" or threatens retribution for complaining. A good senior leader can do things to overcome poor leadership below them. The converse is not true . Even the most inspired junior leaders cannot compensate for the ""wrong"" style imposed upon them and their team from above.

So far we've dealt with selection of leadership style, based on individual and organizational varibles . Another way to look at leadership is to consider how it is used. We will explore the leader's selection of the ""right"" approach to running an organization in my next edition on leadership.

About the author: Carl Hoffman has over 20 years of sales and marketing experience and is owner of many online business ventures. He has authored numerous business related articles. If you are looking to start your own on line business or build on an existing one visit him at Best Work at Home Ideas and Opportunities:

Looking for a gift they have over 5,000 ideas.

Leadership Skills

Author: Chris Thomas

Recent studies have shown that industrial supervisors are working at less than 60% of their potential. Basic management skills training is guaranteed to change all this and at such little cost . Introduction

There is no doubt that the single most important aspect of a manager's job is the management of people. Of course, a supervisor must manage resources other than people. However, none of the other resources compare in importance to PEOPLE. The challenge to manage people effective is unquestionably the greatest of all the challenges that face all managers.

The problem with people

It is estimated that there are over 6 billion human beings presently living on our planet and there are not two of us who are exactly alike. In other words every one us is unique. One of the greatest mysteries has been, and still is, to fully understand how we work. It has obsessed scientists and the great thinkers since the beginning of mankind. Our progress has been minimal and maybe we will never know. A simplistic way for us to understand this complex issue is to consider a human like an onion with many layers. For example:

1. Hereditary traits

These are our genetic strings (DNA) that are passed down from generation to generation.

2. Personal values

These are created when we are children and are heavily influenced by our parents, etc.

3. Attitudes and beliefs

These are influenced by your personal values. It is what you think about things, situations and people. For example, you may enjoy romantic music but dislike noisy people.

4. Feelings

Feelings follow attitudes and beliefs. For example, you feel good when you hear romantic music.

5. Behavior

This is directly related to your feelings. For example, romantic music makes you smile, and people shouting makes you react angrily. One of the important challenges for the great thinkers has been to determine to what extent can the features of each layer be changed or manipulated. This single study area has proved to be minefield of differing views that has resulted in enough books to fill many warehouses.

For our purposes, we will assume that once someone has reached working age then he has unchangeable values, attitudes and feelings. In consequence, the only layer that we can work with as a manager is the final layer - our BEHAVIOR.

However, it is important to understand how behavior has been influenced by the other inner layers.

Now that scientists have defined human DNA it is possible that future mankind can develop the perfect manager and then clone millions. However, in the meantime you will need this training manual!

The final factor in our simple equation is EMOTION, which has a profound effect on our behavior. It stimulates our love and caring behavior but also invokes violence and cruelty.

Statistic analysis

A lot of work was done in the 1960's to evaluate what really motivated workers. The responses of thousands of workers were tabulated and ranked in order of motivational influence. Not only did these studies solidly support the basic theory but an unexpected phenomenon appeared.

Although the relative rankings were consistent, there was always large gap between the top six factors and all the others.

These statistics are quite remarkable and have never been seriously contested. However, it is very important to realize that the above list is not based on importance because the low scorers are high potential de-motivators if not at acceptable levels.

Another important factor is that many of the early studies and the resulting statistics concentrated on what made people feel good and maintained morale. This has now become more objective with more emphasis on what motivates people to be more productive.

What is leadership?

It is a natural requirement of human beings, like most other animal groups, to have leaders. There are many excellent wildlife films that show the dramatic and tragic process of leadership challenges in the animal kingdom.

In caveman days we probably did much the same. Although the group was not directly involved in these struggles they obviously supported the outcome. When mankind developed from being hunters to being predominantly farmers the leader role became more sophisticated and different qualities were required.

The Holy Grail of management Throughout the history of management science there has been an unrelenting quest to find the holy grail of management success - a one best leadership style. As a result several main theories have emerged: trait theory, behavior theory, X-Y-Z theory and contingency theory. The toolbox style

I like to imagine all the theories like a toolbox where some jobs need a delicate instrument but others a heavy hammer. The choice is dictated by the job you have to do and your knowledge and skill. The tools that you have and choose and the way that you use them will determine the success of the work, and management is exactly the same. Let's look at the toolbox that you could have available if you choose to put them together and learn to use them.

About the author: Chris Thomas is the author of the Managers Toolbox training material located at http://www.managers-toolbo and runs the very successful Basic Management Course for new leaders and supervisors.

Leadership Power Stress: (Part 1) Sources

Author: Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D

"Power stress is part of the experience that results from the exercise of influence and sense of responsibility felt in leadership positions." - (Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, Resonant Leadership, Harvard Business School Press, 2005)

Leadership requires the exercise of influence or power. It requires having an impact on others to make things happen. It involves responsibility for the organization. Leaders are under continual scrutiny and evaluation. All these things increase the feels of pressure and stress.

For people who head organizations, choices are rarely simple and clear. Communications and decision making are incredibly complex. Worse, leaders are often called upon to get results and lead people over whom they have little authority.

There is no doubt that it is lonely at the top. Affiliation with others is known to relieve stress, yet leaders are selected for their high need for power and achievement. Under pressure, a leader will work harder rather than reach out to others.

Furthermore, the higher one is in position, the less authentic the feedback. Leaders are prone to CEO disease, where the feedback going upwards is distorted or diluted.

Sources of Leadership Power Stress

Here are a few sources of stress that are unique to people in leadership positions. Leaders experience increased stress because they:

- Must make important decisions with conflicting and complex data

- Must influence others over whom they have little authority

- Have a high need for power

- Are driven by power and achievement over affiliation with others

- Must continually get results no matter what

- Lack realistic and authentic feedback from others

- Constantly fight fires, solve problems and crises

- Must take responsibility even for uncontrollable events

- Are more visible to stakeholders, the public and customers

- Are subject to unrelenting evaluation from peers, boards, and competitors

- Must exercise constant self-control

- Must place the good of the organization above personal impulses and needs

- They work for organizations that encourage self-sacrifice and long hours

- They work for organizations that undervalue renewal, recuperation, and relaxation

Such high levels of stress have deleterious effects on the immune system, leading to physiological states that cause diseases. Worse, power stress leads to destructive psychological states.

A leader may withdraw unto him or herself in an effort to protect from stress. Conversely, he or she may strike out at others in inconsistent ways, with inappropriate expressions of anger or emotions. The leader may double up his or her efforts to achieve results, and in the process, miss important information from people. This further alienates people, who may begin to perceive the leader as arrogant and no longer receptive. There is no doubt there is a substantial cost incurred as a result of leadership power stress.

Power stress causes a leader to go from resonance to dissonance. Once this happens, there is a lack of trust, and consequently, a lessening of influence over the troops. Results falter, and the leader becomes ineffective in a downward spiral to burnout.

The Cycle of Sacrifice and Renewal

The problem is not simply power stress. It has always been a part of leadership reality. The problem is too little recovery time. There is no half-time on the field. While the pressure and stresses will not relent, there must also be greater attention to recuperation on both a personal and organizational level.

Leaders sacrifice themselves continuously on the job. Some leaders have learned skills that deliberately and consciously step out of the destructive patterns to renew themselves - physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Leaders who manage the cycle of sacrifice, stress, and renewal are mindful of what it takes to turn situations around. They are able to motivate themselves and others by being optimistic, focusing on values, and connecting with others.

They can't do that without mastering stress and renewal. This involves paying attention to mind, body, heart and spirit. These effective leaders know that without attending to themselves first, they won't have the energy to maintain resonance, to manage other people.

This is part 1 of a 2 part article on Leadership Power Stress by author Patsi Krakoff. In part 2 we examine the cures for relieving power stress.

About the author: Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D. writes articles for business and executive coaches and consultants. She provides articles on leadership and executive development for sale, and formatted into customized newsletters. Get Patsi's Secrets of Successful Ezines 7-Step Mini-Course to learn what you need to know to publish a successful ezine. ne_MiniCourse

Making Your Leadership Your Life

Author: Brent Filson

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to:

Word count: 794

Summary: Many leaders think that their leadership is something they do on-the-job and not in their life off-the-job. However, the author contends that the best leadership should be applicable both to on-and-off-the-job activities.

Make Your Leadership Your Life And Your Life Your Leadership by Brent Filson

Companies facing global competition are expecting more from all employees, more initiative, more innovation and more results. Critical to meeting these expectations is leadership. The word ""leadership"" comes from a old Norse word meaning ""to make go."" Leadership is needed in organizations to make things go, to muster and coordinate direction, ardent commitment and resource alignment.

Working with thousands of leaders of all ranks and functions during the past 21 years, I've seen that most leaders deem leadership as exclusively an on-the-job dynamic. They don't see it as a life dynamic.

Companies seeking more from their employees must promote leadership that delivers more, and that leadership can only deliver more if it is effective both on and off the job.

If you don't make your leadership your life and your life your leadership, you diminish both your leadership and your life.

The reasons are simple. The best leaders establish a deep, human, emotional connection with the audience. Why is that necessary to achieve organizational results? Leadership isn't about getting people to do what they want to do. If people simply had to do what they wanted to do, leaders wouldn't be needed. Instead, leadership is about getting people to do what they don't want to do and be totally committed to doing it. These people have a good chance of achieving a lot more results, achieving those results faster, and achieving ""more, faster"" on a continual basis. One may tyrannically order people to get results, but the effectiveness of such leadership is not as consistent nor as substantial as having people make the free choice to get results. And people will make that free choice mainly in an environment in which deep, human, emotional relationships are developed.

Look at the leaders in your life. I'm sure you've been at the receiving end of both the tyrants and those with whom you've had deeply beneficial relationships with. Weren't you more likely to go all out for those leaders who promoted an environment in which those better relationships flourished?

Clearly, that's an environment one should seek to establish in one's life as well. The relationships you develop as a leader can be similar to the relationships you should develop in your life outside your job. In my many seminars on the Leadership Talk, I have seen people use my processes outside their job, with their spouses, friends, and children, etc.

There are many values that should be promoted in our lives: trust, honesty, integrity, coming through on commitments, fairness, tenacity, tolerance, and more. Let's ""trust"" as one example.

I believe we should live a life of trusting others. I call it ""living in trust."" Of course, trust can be taken too far, and we may open ourselves up to be deceived and betrayed. My wife says I often trust others too much; and certainly I have paid in many ways over my life for such a propensity. But I believe that even though we may be deceived if we trust too much; we will nevertheless suffer more if we don't trust enough.

Living in trust means extending trust without conditions until that trust is clearly betrayed. And then, depending on the circumstances, we may continue to extend trust even if it is betrayed. For when it is betrayed, we may not necessarily be the poorer for it. We may indeed be the richer; for without trust, we cannot establish deep relationships.

My view of trust in life can be extended to leadership. Leadership is about getting continual increases in great results. To do that, leaders must engender trust in the people they lead. In fact, great results can't accrue without strong bonds of trust established between the leader and the people.

I've often said that it is better for a leader to have bought the Brooklyn Bridge for a nickel rather than to have sold it for one. People will not be led by you to do extraordinary things unless they trust you; but they won't trust you unless they know you are taking the risk to trust them. In fact, many organizations get into trouble when the people don't trust or stop trusting their leaders; and when their leaders stop trusting them.

So, trust operates both in our lives and on our jobs as leaders and must be cultivated both on and off the job.

There are many other values that should be manifested in both the life one leads and the leadership one manifests. The point is that when you make sure the leadership traits you carry out on the job are the very traits you live by in your life, you enhance the quality of your leadership and your life.

2006 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. - and for more than 20 years has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: ""49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results,"" at For more on the Leadership Talk: http:///

About the author: None

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Your Experience + The Leadership Talk = Great Leadership

by Brent Filson

To best communicate an idea, wrap it in a human being. Words can be superficial aspects of communication. True communication, for better or worse, happens through deep, human interactions that transcend words. Even though words may be exchanged and at times be necessary, they are not sufficient to explain or promote communication’s aggregate opportunities.

For instance, you’re having an argument with someone. You’re getting angry. You’re saying things you’re hardly aware of, things to defend yourself and attack the other person. You feel injured and want to justify yourself and make the other person see your side and maybe even hurt that person. You’re borne along on a current of hot emotion. Later, you may regret the words you used. Or you may get even angrier over the words the other person used. Later, you may think of something biting you should have said. The point is, the words, like froth on the roiling river of your being, were really a partial aspect of your experience. The words may have provoked anger in you and the other person, but the anger itself, the experience of it, the pain of it, the all consuming nature of it, and even quite possibly the perverse pleasure of it, goes beyond words.

This is a leadership lesson. Working with leaders of all ranks and functions worldwide for the past 22 years, I’ve seen that most either misunderstand this truth of human nature or miss it altogether. When communicating with others, they primarily go for a narrow band of information dissemination and overlook what can be of tremendous benefit to them, the broadband of human relationships and the rich development that can take place in those relationships.

The irony is that as human beings, we swim in relationships --good, bad or indifferent relationships --every day. However, relationships are so familiar to us, we ignore their uniqueness and their importance in driving leadership results. We grasp at meager bubbles while all around us and beneath us lies an ocean teeming with results-engendering opportunities.

How do we seize these opportunities? I teach a process to do just that. That process is the Leadership Talk.

The Leadership Talk has one objective: to help leaders get great results -- far more results than if they do not use it. I call it, "More results faster continually." Leaders can only get more-faster-continually by mining relationships through Leadership Talks.

The Leadership Talk is based on the idea that leaders speak 15 to 20 times and more a day: across a desk, at a water cooler, at lunch, in meetings, etc. When those speaking opportunities are manifested through Leadership Talks, the effectiveness of the leader is dramatically increased.

In my articles and books, I’ve explained the inner workings and the personal and professional benefits of the Leadership Talk. Suffice to say, whenever you intend to communicate as a leader, you should assess not only the information you want to impart but also the human relations aspects of how you will go imparting it -- and then use the Leadership Talk to further those relationships and the results they engender.

For instance, the Leadership Talk teaches that the best way to get results is not to order people to do a job but to motivate them to choose to be your cause leader in doing that job. This is an obvious point. What’s not obvious is how you do it. One way is to transfer your motivation to others.

A key Leadership Talk process tackles this challenge. The process is called "the motivational transfer." Its aim is to interact with the people you lead in such a way that they become as motivated as you about tackling the challenge you face. You can make that transfer happen by (1) imparting information to the people, (2) making sure that what you have to communicate makes sense to them, (3) making your experience their experience.

The latter is by far the most effective way to promote a motivational transfer. You have your experience become their experience simply by remembering those experiences in your life that had a strong impact on you and that provided a lesson to solve the problem of their needs -- then simply communicating that experience and the lesson.

When your experience becomes their experience, you are on your way to delving into those deep, human, emotional aspects of their realities, aspects that are triggers for great results.

You are the absolute expert on your own experience. When that experience becomes a solution to their needs, it’ll become their experience too; and when it does, you’ll have laid the groundwork for becoming an exceptional leader.

2006 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson’s recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. Eand for more than 21 years has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at and for more on the Leadership Talk.

Blowing Your Own Leadership Horn

Author: Brent Filson

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to:

Word count:679

Summary: Your career advancement is predicated not only on your being a good leader but also on your being recognized by others that you're a good leader. Many leaders, however, handicap their careers by failing to have this recognition come about in the right ways. The author shows the right ways to cultivate the right recognition of your leadership.

Blowing Your Own Leadership Horn by Brent Filson

There are two streams of competitiveness running through every organization. The first goes outward: It's the organization's competitive activities toward its competitors. The second goes inward: It's the competitiveness of leaders inside the organization who are vying against one another for power, recognition, privilege and promotion.

To be successful in the second, leaders must not only do well in their jobs but they must also be able to have their bosses and colleagues perceive they do well.

In other words, they must be able to publicize themselves -- or, to use the vernacular, blow their own horns.

I submit, however, that if one simply puts lips to the horn of publicity and blows hard -- i.e., makes an outward show of publicizing oneself -- such efforts will turn out to be discordant and counterproductive. The result will be people turning their backs on you rather than having them hum your tune.

Though it is necessary to blow one's own horn as you climb your career ladder, it is also necessary to know how to do it. After all, there is an art to the effort. Here are four steps that you can follow.

(1) Identify an area in your organization that needs better results. The art involves not just selecting the right results but doing so in cooperation with others. Make sure that when you shine light on the lack of results, you do not embarrass somebody who has been tasked to get those results. Instead of making beautiful music, you could end up on somebody's enemies list! Get the responsible person's permission to focus on the area. (2) Put together a team whose task it is to achieve those results. Blowing your own horn means that you want to be seen, not as the Lone Ranger, but as a team player. Ensure the results can be achieved with a team. Enlist members to join the team by giving leadership talks. (What's in it for them to be part of the team?) Be aware, as you form the team, of any hard feelings or rough edges that might surface between and among team members and others in your organization who have a stake in the results. If you lead an endeavor that causes hard feelings, it's better to have never started it in the first place.

Moreover, the new team must be not only be formed, it must be MARKETED. Both of these efforts require communications tools and skills, which can take numerous forms. First, to describe the new team or service, communications must be employed to fully define its purpose and operating principles, and the people who are involved in it. These communications tools are descriptive in nature and may include everything from biographical back-grounders to product descriptions and data sheets.

(3) Achieve the results. Execution and achievement of the targeted results is absolutely critical to this phase of horn blowing. Make sure you score a win even if it's only a partial win. The idea is to get the low hanging fruit at the outset to show others that your team is succeeding, and then go for the bigger results later.

(4) Publicize the results. This is one of the most important steps of all, and it is a step that few leaders follow. They might put together a team that gets a few wins, but they have no idea how to publicize their efforts. The first rule in this is: To blow your own horn most effectively, make sure YOU DON'T TAKE CREDIT FOR THE RESULTS -- YOUR TEAM MEMBERS TAKE CREDIT INSTEAD! Your efforts will get torpedoed if they look at all self-serving.

To highlight the successful products and services achieved by your team, you can put together white papers, data sheets, presentation papers and case-history articles.

Don't make this a one-time effort. You must be continually looking for results that are flagging, putting together teams to achieve the results, then marketing and publicizing the achievements.

In this way, when you blow your horn in your organization, the music you'll be making can accompany you on a fast-rising career-trajectory.

2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the author: The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: ""49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results,"" at

Leadership Lessons: Piloting in Turbulent Times

Author: Eileen McDargh, CSP, CPAE

The pace of change impacting the insurance industry has never been greater. From consolidations, mergers, and acquisitions to re-engineering profit centers, creating new product lines and calming a variety of stakeholders, managers are faced with what often appears to be turbulent situations. And with turbulence comes the fact that colleagues and staff experience anxiety. Performance levels drop. Morale suffers. And all are the off-shoot of fear.

The following vignette offers practical lessons for handling the fear and resultant anxiety that come with unexpected and unwanted change. While this true-life situation occurred in the clouds, the concepts are very much grounded in reality. Its lessons can be carried into the office, the field, or the home.


Sunny skies, light winds, and gentle surf started yet another lovely Spring day in Southern California. Full of optimism, I boarded a flight bound for New Orleans by way of Denver and a major speaking engagement.

I never made it.

Snow intervened in Denver, delaying our 747 while nozzles spewed chemicals onto the wings. The captain explained the procedure as he walked back into the cabin to visually inspect the coating. Once airborne, he told us we’d hear the landing gear go down for a second time as they checked the mechanics. Finally off to New Orleans on Flight #1180.


A freak series of severe thunderstorms blew in from Texas, causing considerable jolting and bucking. The captain’s voice, calm and deliberate, explained each deviation as he attempted to discover a better routing. We couldn’t even get close. “I’m an old captain, not a bold captain”, he explained when he announced we’d be diverting to Birmingham, Alabama. The passengers literally applauded his honesty and his concern for our safety while we all silently and not-so-silently moaned our fate.

The only trouble with the landing was that, for all intent and purpose, the airport was closed. No jetway, no baggage handlers, merely the last remnants of a night staff. The captain’s voice informed us he’d be coming through the jet, out the back stairs, and expected us to wait until his return at which time he’d tell us the next steps in our journey. Birmingham was not this carrier’s hub.

One hundred-fifty people, many with small children, listened patiently when he returned and explained the exiting procedure from the aircraft, where we’d lodge, and when we’d meet and “have another go at it” in the morning. Not one whimper or angry outburst arose. And true to his word, we all assembled after little sleep, no food, and for many, no change of clothes. We had now bonded in the experience and called out to one another, laughing and sometimes gasping as the still rocky air finally parted enough to bring us into New Orleans.

I lost significant income on that flight but I gained a strong metaphor for leadership principles in times of crisis and change. What the captain and crew engendered, by their behavior, was confidence and trust.

The word ‘trust” serves as an acronym for understanding exactly what happened on this trip and what all leaders must do in today’s turbulent business environment.

T: Tell the truth and reveal feelings. Information abounded on Flight #1180. People deserve and need plenty of information about what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what are the next steps-- even if those next steps are to stop, take stock, and develop the next plan of attack. And the information has to be immediate. Waiting while the rumor mill churns out various versions of “the truth” creates anxiety, second-guessing, and sometimes panic. None of these are conducive for productivity or morale. Respond quickly, honestly to every rumor that surfaces. Create a “heat sheet” (e-mail and hard copy) that can serve as a one-page update on rumors.

Notice that the captain also admitted that he was “old not bold”. Consider this the more truthful equivalent of the oft-mocked phrase “I feel your pain”. The captain didn’t like this hair-raising flight any more than we did—and he acted upon that feeling after trying many measures. Leaders are not invincible. Employees can identify with this statement and also become reassured that the leader is not going to do anything foolhardy to jeopardize the organization and its people. Sure, he knew a number of us would “take a hit”, but my meeting was a small sacrifice for the overall welfare of the group. R: Respond consistently. Once the captain and crew established a reporting method, they continued with the updates. Voices never changed. A pattern of zigzagging to avoid storms was followed. Is it not true that businesses often need to consistently be inconsistent in seeking improvements, finding new markets, responding to the marketplace? Just make sure you communicate the why behind every zig and zag. Otherwise, employees will wonder who is running the company.

U: Understand your role. Be competent. Be visible. With voice as well as physical presence, the captain and crew were “out and about”. In times of change and turbulence, seeing and hearing the leader is important. By walking through the cabin and putting a hand on different people’s shoulders, he reassured passengers. The captain also invited people to stay with him and talk about the flight if anyone was concerned. In times of change and crisis, it is vital that leaders be seen and available for questions and feedback. Too often, the leader meets only with senior people or disappears behind closed doors. Get out and about.

S: See people as trustworthy. Share the experience. The captain stated what he would do and that he expected us to follow his instructions. He basically said, “I trust you to do what is right for yourselves and each other.” If a leader wants to be trusted, that presumption must also be present.

The captain also didn’t spend the night in the Presidential Suite of a hotel. He took whatever was available—just like the rest of us. Far too often, leaders proclaim austerity measures and then exempt themselves. One client told of attending a meeting where a 10% reduction in force was announced by the company attorney because the president and his senior officers were in Augusta, attending the Masters Gold Tournament! To preserve confidence and trust, pain should be felt first and hardest at the top. The employee and customer loyalty this engenders will be invaluable when the turbulence subsides.

T: Take action. Take time to laugh. On Flight #1180, passengers were kept appraised of each action step and the results of that step, both positive and negative. Whether in the board room, the marketing department, or the cockpit, an action followed by course correction is a wise mode for handling any change or crisis.

Lastly, the captain and the crew managed to find humor in the situation. “Laughter,” as Victor Borge said,” is the shortest distance between people.” Laughing over what cannot be controlled creates that element of bonding which is fundamental in maintaining trust. Laughter puts situations in perspective. It regains focus. It is also the canary in the mine of commerce. Gloom becomes toxic. One organization started a “frisbee memo day”. Another began holding impromptu ice cream parties. Just because business is “serious” doesn’t mean joy must be absent.

Test your trust quotient by putting asking what would people say about your behaviors during turbulent times. Would there be mutiny and fleeing the ship? Or would people stick with you to the next destination in the organization’s journey? Let’s trust they would.

© 1995 by Eileen McDargh. All rights reserved. Reprints must include byline, contact information and copyright.

About the author: Eileen McDargh, CSP, CPAE, is an international speaker, author and seminar leader. Her book ‘Work for A Living and Still Be Free to Live’ is also the title of one of her most popular and upbeat programs on Work/Life Balance. For more information on Eileen and her presentations, please call 949-496-8640 or visit her web site at

Help Wanted -New Business Leadership required to jumpstart the American Economy

Author: Denis Orme

Help Wanted -New Business Leadership Styles and Practices Needed To Build Confidence and Jump-Start the Economy.

By: Denis Orme _________________________________________________________________ _____________

America's help wanted ad should read, ""New business leadership needed to build confidence and jump-start the economy. Only those willing to replace stale management styles need apply.""

Business leaders are faced with an unpredictable and frightening economic scenario - one they've never experienced before. First came the crash of 2000, followed by the recent terrorist attacks, frightening investors and crippling the financial nerve center of our country.

Even before recent events American business had been in a twelve-month economic decline.

Each year for the last five years over 45,000 corporate bankruptcies have impacted on the lives of over a million people annually.

Add to that the permanent loss of over 1,000,000 manufacturing jobs since 1999 and USA businesses face serious restructuring in this new one-world market.

Right sizing and scaling down are now normal business tactics. Over 800,000 Pink slips have replaced signing bonuses of just a year or so ago and many businesses are ""encouraging"" employees to use up vacation days or work 4-day workweeks.

No one ever downsized to greatness.

Politicians have their hands full defending our rights. They need the help of strong, innovative senior executive teams and CEO's to rebuild America's confidence and jump-start the economy now.

To do that a new breed of business leader is needed. Old management techniques need to be replaced with new leadership skills and business acumen. Traditional Business Planning Doesn't Work

Too often executives tinker with, add to, or subtract from last year's plan. If you want more of the same, just do more of the same. If you had a poor or mediocre result then all you will get is a similar mediocre result. Looking forward, even if you had a good result, incremental planning will now produce a poor result because the economy has stalled, and recovery is not predicted until mid-2002.

In my direct experience and in observing the planning process in hundreds of companies, an incremental approach to planning occurs just all too often and the approach provides self-limiting outcomes.

The approach is self-limiting in that assumptions (too often based on perception and not fact) are made and self-imposed constraints follow.

Additionally, organizations go through life-cycles, just like the life-cycles people experience.

However, often senior management is not aware of the company's life-cycle stage. If the stage is recognized, management may be unable to get the organization back to the flexibility of a much younger, healthier, growing organization.

Just as a family owned business must successfully transition from the founder to other family members, so too must organizations transition successfully through changes in leadership, economic shifts, or culture in order to get the organization on to a new growth cycle. This requires a vibrant leadership vision, new goal-driven strategies, and implementation of that vision by building and retaining high-performance teams.

However, it is difficult to change an organization. The culture you have today evolved over an extended period and changing it will require a sustained commitment. If you relax, the culture will slip right back to the starting point.

Any transition typically causes conflict that must be managed. Often the organization may not be able to transition effectively without intervention from an outside influence or from the occurrence of a triggering event.

The risk is that without change, you will lose your more dynamic people, lose market share and, unfortunately, in some cases, the organization may die. I have presided over the dissolution of several entities that were unable to make the transition.

Much of the thinking we do is incremental in nature. For example, in business you spend a lot of time reviewing where you are relative to where you have come from, and also spend a considerable amount of energy benchmarking yourselves against your competitors.

While an incremental approach is human nature, it is also self-limiting because as assumptions are made, self-imposed constraints follow.

The Greenfields Planning process ensures you start with a clean slate. A key element in this approach is to avoid incremental, self-limiting thinking.

The Greenfields Approach is straightforward:

· If you were starting this Business or Business Unit today, would you do business the same way?

· If you would not do things the same way, then why are you doing it that way now?

If you are looking for a quantum difference in your business then the planning process should not commence with incremental, self-limiting thinking. Determination of actual constraints or finding ways to work around perceived constraints are the final stage in the planning process #6 - Implementation Action Items. The Greenfields planning process has six key elements to be explored in the context of your business, and it is now time to start rethinking your business and developing plans which need to deliver sustained high-performance results. The planning process is rigorous, urgent, and driven by Results-Based Leaders.

Remember, it is planning without constraint.

1.SITUATION ANALYSIS - Ensure broad participation in the completion of a detailed Situation Analysis to identify all areas in your organization requiring major review and change.

Note that an organization in decline will typically have low-growth or no-growth expectations.

Many of those in the organization will be less likely to want to even attempt to change or recapture market share and will reward those who 'follow and don't rock the boat.' Generally, these organizations are more interested in retaining internal relationships than taking personal risks usually associated with change.

Accordingly, in those cases it will be important to form a more objective Venture Team to carry out the Situational Analysis.

How do you complete a Situational Analysis?

Determine those five or six Critical Success Factors - critical to the success of your organization or functions within your organization, including typical Strategic Plan elements: Market Research and the Opportunity for market share gains; Marketing & Sales; Production & Distribution; R & D; Finance - [new month-by month Cashflow and Profit Forecasting required]; Human Resources; Organizational design & General Management.

In order to determine if they are critical, ask the question, ""If this function or task is not done well will there be a major negative impact on our business result or the functions supporting our business?"" If the answer is 'Yes,' then this should be considered a Critical Success Factor.

Always complete a month-by-month twelve to eighteen month forward projection of both cashflow and profits. Without it you will not know how much time you have to effect change.

Additionally these tools provide an effective way to monitor your progress as you implement plans.

2.LEADERSHIP EVALUATION - Because many of the problems currently facing the organization are rooted in poor or ineffective leadership I have found it beneficial for those in key positions to complete a Leadership Self-evaluation questionnaire and be part of a 360-degree feedback evaluation process.

In my experience, and in order to get an organization on to a new growth cycle changes in leadership or leadership performance may be required. These changes are also included in implementation Action Plans.

3.ACTION PLANS - In each area of focus, outline detailed Action Plans to resolve shortcomings. Responsibility for accomplishing the task; timeline for attainment; players needed to produce the result; and the anticipated result are always contained in Greenfields Action Plans.

If Action Items require a team approach to their implementation, then the composition of the team must be identified and put in place, but remember, responsibility for achieving the result can only be delegated to one person. 4.MUTUAL TRUST - Building trust and respect around the need for change is an imperative because without it, the desired changes simply will not occur. Undertake widespread education on the need for change, and depending on the amount of time you have (i.e., how fast your business or cashflow is slipping), this education should continue over several months.

This will not be the case for those organizations in crisis, and after two or three briefings on the situation or crisis (within a few days) there should be Implementation Updates on a regular basis. In the latter case trust will occur through a combination of initial briefings and the Implementation Updates.

A willingness to trust may have been initially withheld, but once those working with you see the urgency of actions, the results and your willingness to share information, then they will start to develop trust and respect.

5.CONFLICT RESOLUTION - Wherever there is change, poor communication, uncertainty, or poor results, there will be conflict.

Poor results require successful organizations to get beyond the 'blame game' and where there is significant change, the organization must, through this Greenfields Approach, provide support in conflict resolution.

Conflict is healthy when it is channeled towards producing the desired result towards a common goal. That result must be beneficial to the organization and those associated with it, rather than being rooted in the self-interest of just one person.

Another frequent cause of conflict relates to personality or leadership style differences.

Regardless of personality differences or leadership styles it is not just a question of resolving the conflict, but how it is resolved that becomes important.

Wherever possible during conflict resolution mutual respect should be retained, or if this is not possible, work team reassignment may provide the only alternative to retaining an effective implementation program.

6.IMPLEMENTATION COMMITMENT - You have now completed the Greenfields Planning Process without constraint, but as you know all organizations operate with some form of constraint, whether it be cashflow, not having the right personnel, or even time-to-market product issues.

Implementation plans are now evaluated in the context of ""Given our specific constraints""

What is realistic? What is possible and practical?

Action Items are adopted and prioritized according to answers to these questions.

In my experience, over 90% of all plan failures relate to a lack of sustained commitment to implementation, with only 10% of the failures arising from poor strategies contained in the plan.

The Greenfields approach will deliver Action Plans to facilitate the rapid turnaround of your organization and provides you with an effective interim plan. Short-term successes give validity to your overall plan and provide the time required for more sustained implementation through a cultural shift.

Implementation Plans must be managed and require not just the weight of key leaders behind them, but their active commitment and participation.

Without continued open communication and the sustained commitment of your senior management group then the desired results simply will not occur.

After several months of effective implementation, you will be in a position to add the dimension of more long-term thinking to your planning process.

If you want to do something better, then under the Greenfields approach you had better do something different.

If you want to do something different then you had better change your behavior.

Have you: i.Created a sense of Urgency? ii.Created and over communicated your organization's future vision? iii.Built a guiding coalition around that Vision? iv.Provided the opportunity for short-term wins? v.Provided a process to anchor changes in a new corporate culture?

By adopting and implementing the Greenfields Planning method, and by changing your leadership style and performance, you have now set the course for a profitable sustainable long-term business result.

Remember, while you are implementing change the economy will shift further, the market will move, but most of all your people will need strong centrally directed leadership (not autocratic management) to keep the focus and achieve the result.

Based upon today's economy and the prognosis until mid-2002 isn't it time for you to act?

About the author: Denis Orme Is CEO of the Leadership Success Institute, Inc. He has consulted to more than 200 international organizations - from startups to Fortune 500 companies and Government entities.

He is author of the new book Lessons From Leadership Failures: The Greenfields Approach.