Tag Archives: Effective leadership

Turbo Charge Your Career With The Most Powerful Leadership Tool Of All: The Leadership Talk: Part 2

In Part One, I described the Leadership Talk and how it is a much more effective leadership tool than presentations or speeches.

I also described two fundamental premises that the Leadership Talk is based on.

In Part Two, I will show you the purpose of the Leadership Talk. You won’t be able to give a Leadership Talk effectively on a consistent basis if you misunderstand its purpose.

The Leadership Talk doesn’t drive purpose. Purpose drives the Leadership Talk. There is one and only one purpose of the Leadership Talk: that’s to motivate people to be your cause leaders in meeting the challenges you face.

This is important in understanding the difference between Leadership Talks and presentations/speeches.

You’re a leader. You have a task to complete. Do you want the people you lead to simply do the task? Or do you want those people to actually take leadership of accomplishing the task? For the difference between doing and leading in terms of accomplishment is stock car and a formula 1 racer.

Clearly, you can order them to accomplish the task; and if you’re in a position of authority, they will most likely carry out the order. But they might not do it with full commitment. Or they may resent being ordered. Or they may be inclined to do nothing unless ordered, and so after accomplishing the task, they do little else but wait for the next order.

However, their committing to take leadership involves your establishing a special relationship with them.

For instance, going back to the example I used in Part One, if one is a floor sweeper, one does the best floor sweeping, not simply by doing it but by taking leadership of floor sweeping.

Such leadership might entail: taking the initiative to order and manage supplies; evaluating the job results and raising those results to ever higher levels; having floor sweeping be an integral part of the general cleaning policy; hiring, training, developing other floor sweepers; instilling a “floor sweeping esprit”that can be manifested in training; special uniforms and insignias; behavior, etc.; setting floor sweeping strategy and goals.

Otherwise, in a “doing” mode, one simply pushes a broom.

You may say, “Listen, Brent, a job is a job is a job. This leadership thing is making too much of not much!”

Could be. But my point is that applying leadership to a task changes the expectations of the task. It even changes the task itself. Think of it, when we ourselves are challenged to lead and not simply do, our world is, I submit, changed.

Furthermore, though you may order people to do a job, you can’t order anybody to take leadership of it. It’s their choice whether they take it or not.

This is where the Leadership Talk comes in. Using it, you set up the environment in which they make that choice.

The Leadership Talk is not only the most important way to get cause leaders; it is the only way to get them on a consistent basis.

In the final part of this three part series, I’ll show you how to develop and deliver a great Leadership Talks.

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

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: brent@actionleadership.com

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 http://www.actionleadership.com. For more on the Leadership Talk: [http://www.theleadershiptalk.com]

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Brent_Filson/1911


What Leaders Are Not: Flexible Leadership Fundamentals

To say that leadership is important for the success of a company does not mean that a chief executive can single-handedly determine the fate of the company, as suggested by some journalists and leadership gurus.

By now we are so used to seeing corporate leaders described in such terms that we hardly even notice it. But when you stop to think about it, there is something a little askew about that assumption. Any transformation, any turnaround, depends on many people. The future of a large organization does not depend on a single leader, however powerful, clever and visionary.

The Myth of the Heroic Leader

Depicting a senior executive as a heroic individual is a dramatic, romantic notion of leadership, similar to that of other stereotyped heroes in our culture, such as the lone cowboy who single-handedly vanquishes the bad guys or the secret agent who saves the world from nuclear destruction. We saw this perception when the new Target CEO Brian Cornell took the reins in August 2014. He immediately began making sweeping changes, including closing all Target’s Canadian stores and offering free shipping on online orders during the holidays. He made an effort to meet with customers and rejected a large and newly refurbished office for a smaller one closer to the data center. This caused the media to wonder out loud whether he would be the one to re-energize sluggish sales and re-ignite growth.

There is something satisfying about the fairy-tale character of the knight on the white horse who ensures victory for the organization. But like any fairy tale, this heroic conception of leadership does not quite align with reality; it greatly exaggerates the influence of a single leader on organization performance, and it has some negative consequences.

One consequence is over-reliance on the leader to make decisions and solve important problems. No single leader has the necessary knowledge and expertise to solve difficult problems for an organization-it is essential to involve other people with relevant knowledge and diverse perspectives.

And it is by no means clear that today’s employees really want to be led by a figure on a white horse. In today’s world, a model of leadership in which leaders guide the organization through enlisting cooperation and consulting with others, rather than making unilateral decisions, may be more appropriate.

The Myth of the Born Leader

One danger of viewing senior executives as heroic leaders is that it makes leadership sound like it is innate in certain people, rather than anything people simply do.

For decades, leadership scholars have been trying to define which traits are associated with effective leadership. But despite hundreds of studies over the past 80 years comparing more and less effective leaders, researchers have failed to identify any specific traits that guarantee leadership success.

To understand the reasons for effective leadership, inherent traits and abilities are much less useful than observable behavior and concrete knowledge. When the focus is on what leaders actually do, it is easier to understand the situational nature of leadership and the importance of flexible leadership. It’s not that personality traits and inherent abilities are irrelevant for understanding why some people want to become leaders or which people are most likely to be successful as leaders, only that traits are less useful than concrete behaviors for understanding what leaders must do to be effective in a given situation.

The Myth of the Celebrity Leader

How powerful is the impact of a celebrity CEO? Several examples over the years would indicate that investors put a great deal of faith in the CEO as savior.

However, in a company with a celebrity leader, a single highly publicized mistake or misdemeanor by a senior executive can have a catastrophic effect on a company’s profits. The case of Martha Stewart, who built a lifestyle empire that includes magazines, cookbooks, television shows, designer sheets, and endorsements of other domestic products, is a perfect example. When it was learned in December 2001 that an insider-trading charge was being brought against her for selling her shares in another company, her own company’s stock plunged by 54 percent and profits declined by 45 percent in the third quarter of the fiscal year.

A more common side effect of the celebrity leader is unrealistic expectations. When a celebrity leader is appointed to a troubled company, expectations (and stock prices) are dramatically raised, only to be deflated if no miracles occur. We’ve seen this with Marissa Mayer, who became Yahoo’s new CEO in 2012 after tremendous success at Google. During her first year at Yahoo, its stock almost doubled from $15.74 to $28 per share. However, in September 2015 the stock began to drop after many of Ms. Mayer’s decisions did not meet expectations and it was determined Yahoo would have to pay taxes on the sales of its stake in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba. In recent months, top leaders have begun to question her strategy, employees have lost trust amid recent layoffs and others are even calling for her to be replaced, according to a recent Business Inside article.

The idea that leadership is something provided only by those at the top is dangerous for another reason. In today’s volatile business environment, the need to be responsive to rapidly changing conditions is too urgent to wait until all the information possessed by those at different levels of the organization filters up to the senior executives and penetrates the cocoon in which many such figures live. If people depend entirely on top management to identify emerging problems or threats, or to recognize promising opportunities, it may not be possible to make a timely, successful response.

The Myth of Leaders and Managers

Many scholars and practitioners view leadership as a different and more important process than management. Some contend that the two processes are mutually exclusive and cannot occur in the same person, because the values and personality traits essential for leadership are incompatible with those essential for management. Managers value stability, order and efficiency, whereas leaders value flexibility, innovation and adaptation. Managers are concerned about how things get done, and they try to get people to perform better. Leaders are concerned with what things mean to people, and they try to get people to agree about the most important things to be done.

Other scholars view leading and managing as distinct processes or roles that have some incompatible elements that are difficult to reconcile. Strong leadership can disrupt order and efficiency, and strong management can discourage risk taking and innovation.

A broader perspective is needed to understand how leaders can influence organizational processes and outcomes. To be effective, managers must also be leaders, and leaders must manage. Misconceptions about leading and managing have impeded progress in understanding how to integrate the two types of processes and balance the inherent tradeoffs.

The Myth of Easy Answers

An astounding number of books about leadership take a relatively narrow approach to the subject, and few of them are based on solid research. The best-selling books usually offer simple answers for complex problems, such as “one-minute” actions or a list of “leadership secrets” that can be applied in any situation.

Books written by celebrity leaders (and their ghostwriters) also sell well. Readers probably assume that, “if it worked for a famous leader, it must work for me also.” The popularity of leadership books seems to indicate a widespread belief that a few best practices or secret remedies can easily transform the reader into an effective leader. The appeal is not unlike many products and services that promise to make people attractive, healthy and happy with minimal effort.

The reality is that there are few, if any, easy answers. Leadership is difficult and demanding, and leaders must be flexible because the situation is constantly changing. The number of problems is endless, and they seem to appear out of nowhere like waves crashing on the shore. And like waves, they can drag you under if you do not understand the risks or disregard them. Best practices, improvement programs and other remedies can be useful, but they are only tools, not solutions. To be successful, leaders must understand the challenges they face and the relevance of different ways to meet these challenges.

The model of flexible leadership can be immensely helpful to improve understanding and guide action.

The flexible leadership model is based on three distinct determinants of organizational performance: Efficiency and process reliability; innovation and adaptation; and human resources and relations. Each is important to performance, but when to emphasize one over the other depends on a number of factors. To be successful, leaders must have a strong understanding of these factors and be able to adapt their strategy accordingly.

To learn more about the principles of flexible leadership and how to apply them, read my book, Flexible Leadership: Creating Value by Balancing Multiple Challenges and Choices http://www.onpointconsultingllc.com/flexible-leadership-book

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Richard_Lepsinger/1458752


What If We Have This Whole Leadership Thing All Wrong?

Imagine that you just read an article on how your competition is steadily stealing your market share. This is nothing new to you, they have been out innovating you for some time now and it’s now apparent that your current products or services are inferior. Slowly you’ve seen your talent leave for greener pastures as rumors of downsizing abound. There is a fear permeating the organization as people wonder what the future holds. What’s needed is a real leader! Someone who can come in and make things right again. We’ve seen this scenario play out time and again. The Board will likely remove the C-Suite and bring in a leadership savior. Yet, what if we have got this whole leadership thing all wrong? What if the very essence of how we define leadership is no longer serving us?

We can’t really fault why we seek a leadership savior in these scenarios. It’s engrained in our DNA! Adaptive Leadership Theory explains that since the dawn of time we have engaged in a social contract within groups. Essentially when a group member emerged to offer us much needed direction, protection and order, we in turn granted them authority over us. As long as this person kept their side of the bargain, we continue to reward them with increased power. At some point we started calling this authority figure our Leader, Chief, or King which anointed them with title and elevated social status as well. The key distinction to make here is that we started associating the exercising of authority with leadership. This is a huge mistake as leadership is totally different.

Given the above scenario, direction, protection and order is exactly what we crave. We want a new direction and our new leadership should have the ability to see what we cannot. We require protection from our competitors and the threat they present. We desire order as a power vacuum emerges from the loss of key talent. Yet, what if instead of providing the direction we need to go, leadership helped us to figure out where we collectively want to go together? What if instead of sheltering us from our competitor’s threats, leadership exposed the reality that we faced and challenged us to be more? What if instead of returning us to a calm and comfortable place, leadership taught us to embrace the chaos of change and to value living on the edge of constant learning? In short, what might happen if instead of exercising authority, our leadership actually led us?

Intuitively, we get this. While management is an important aspect of a productive society, deep down inside we all want to be led more so than managed. When we experience true leadership we feel empowered to grow to our full potential. Outside of experiencing love, there is perhaps no greater feeling than pushing yourself to be more than you thought you could be. Yet, with the pleasure of growth we often experience loss and pain. We have to let go of a part of ourselves and learn to be something new. Learning then becomes a series of failures until we ultimately get it right. This can be a very disappointing and humbling process. Thus, true leadership requires us to disappoint our followers at a rate that they can tolerate.

This is the very reason why we see more authority rather than leadership being exercised in our world. There is a real art to establishing enough trust with followers so that they allow you to disappoint them. Disappoint them too much and you will soon be looking for a new job. Yet, it’s important to note that if you disappoint them too little, as when exercising pure authority, and you will also be looking for a new job! Exercising authority will not promote the learning needed for organizational growth, and thus results will be the same over time. With consistently poor to average results, you will eventually be replaced as your organization seeks out new “leadership.” Thus, the next time you feel the pull to provide direction, protection and order to your team, take a step back and try to recognize what is really needed in this moment. Start practicing leadership rather than authority and watch your organization begin to flourish.

David understands how effective leadership generates success. He a holds a degree in Leadership Development from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Master of Science in Organization Development from American University. A combat veteran with corporate leadership experience, he now consults to Fortune 500 companies internationally. David is recognized for his creative learning designs and ability to facilitate highly engaging training events. David holds expertise in the MBTI, DiSC, EQ-i 2.0, and PMAI behavioral assessments, as well as in non-verbal (somatic) communication. Learn more at http://www.leadergrowthgroup.com/

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/David_Spungin/1372660


Lessons Learned: Do You Have a Leadership Deficit?

Washington is great at generating deficits, most notably the budget deficit and the trade deficit. Both are bad, but I want to talk about the “leadership deficit.” John Kotter first coined the term in 1990s. Here’s my take on it.

For an individual, a leadership deficit occurs when negative behaviors (those that detract from effective leadership) exceed positive behaviors (those that promote, or display, effective leadership).

For instance, you can have the eloquence of Barack Obama–a very positive behavior- but if the rest of your performance is terrible, you’ve got a leadership deficit.

We can also apply this to the organization. Identify all the positive leadership behaviors we see in an organization, and compare them to all the negative leadership behaviors. Or simply compare the number of leaders with leadership deficits to the number with leadership surpluses.

The Story: A client inadvertently developed a way to do this. After a long afternoon strategy session with the two top people in this organization, we were discussing management and leadership in the organization. Just an informal discussion over beer and sandwiches.

The top guy said, “You know, when you look at the managers we have, most of them are pretty bad.” His deputy disagreed, “No, we’ve got some bad managers, but most are pretty good.”

The top guy said, “Oh yeah? What about John Smith?” The deputy said, “Yes, he’s pretty bad. But we’ve also got Marge Jones and she’s great… ” They proceeded in this fashion, and I started keeping score.

Of the forty managers, 23 of them were pretty bad. They had a leadership deficit-more bad leaders than good.

The funny thing is, they’d never really had this kind of open, detailed discussion with the bad leaders during performance reviews.

And, they discovered that their leadership deficit involved some deficit spending: They weren’t dealing effectively with the negative behaviors, so they were actually rewarding those bad leaders with pay increases and favorable ratings.

Only when they revamped their performance review system did they get rid of this leadership deficit (and some of the bad leaders), and turned their leadership deficit into a leadership surplus.

The Lessons Learned

Lesson 1: You must periodically do an “audit” of your personal leadership to determine whether you have a surplus or deficit.


  1. Simply identify the leadership attributes you think you need to be successful.
  2. Compare those to the leadership attributes you currently have,


Lesson 2: You must also do the same with your organization. Use one of the 2 methods above.


  1. Compare leadership behaviors needed vs. those actually displayed; or
  2. Assess which managers in your organization are “good” managers vs. “not so good.”


Lesson 3: You need to know how much these deficits cost the organization.

Lesson 4: You must develop and implement a plan to improve leadership. Without a plan, it just doesn’t get better.

Lesson 5: Measure results, and adjust your plan accordingly.

What are you doing to make sure you’re running a leadership surplus, individually and within your organization?

For information on public speaking/presentation skills, check out my next free webinar. The Killer Presentation Skills Webinar will definitely improve your abilities, with immediate improvement through 10 action items.

For details, go to http://www.terrywall.com/webinars-landing-page-ez/

Terry Wall–Accelerating Organizational Excellence through: Leadership Development, Facilitation & Strategic Direction, Team Building, Executive Coaching, Assessments & Surveys

For an Insider’s Report on 7 steps to turbo-charging yourself, your team, your organization, click here: http://www.terrywall.com

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Terry_Wall/2021225


Important Leadership Characteristics For Your Success

Effective leadership characteristics would determine the result of your project or goal in life.

It involves the way you act and react towards events and circumstances in life. It affects the way you handle and deal with other people.

Learn these valuable leadership traits you can develop in order to increase the rate of making better achievement with whatever you do.

Strong Purpose and Will

Handling yourself with whatever you face is first. You must understand and know what you really want to happen in life.

Similar to personal goal setting, this is vital for leadership characteristics so you’ll have a firm direction once you decided on doing something.

You should have the “strength of will” in order to continue what you have decided to do so that your plans will progress and you’ll make achievement through your best performance.

With this, you’ll have respect for your own self and so as other people like your team members if you’re leading a group of people.

Having dedication to your work and firmness to succeed despite the odds and challenges can influence other people.

Your team member will also be motivated and inspired to do their best when they see and feel your “spirit.”

Planning and Direction

Leadership characteristics would involve sufficient planning and a “sense of direction.”

It means you have to prepare yourself properly with the things you’ll do and condition yourself for it. It would be best for you to get organized with your actions so that you’ll not be wasting limited time and effort.

Planning includes listing your tasks and scheduling like using a structured planner for your days of the week. Daily planners, weekly planners and monthly planners can be handy.

You can also use the assistance of a time management software which you can buy or download from local or online stores.

It would be ideal for leadership traits to develop the habit of planning everything you must do before executing your activities.

This can eliminate unnecessary mistakes and unexpected problems along the way which would also give your team members a better sense of security and confidence.

A proper direction can be developed when everything is planned well. It will avoid confusion and productivity will increase dramatically when this trait is developed with your leadership characteristics.

Unity Through Stable Connection

In every social interaction, communication is important. Leadership traits would need constant and open dialogue with your team members.

You should build closeness within the group by being available to them.

You should be easy to talk with and have a “good attitude” towards your team members so that things will be clear and understandable as you do things together.

As part of leadership traits, sufficient communication promotes bonding and better performance when the group is working on something.

Problems and troubles cannot be fully avoided and this is where a stable connection within the group shows its benefits and strengths.

When there’s more trust and comfortable feeling with each other, most of the problems can be overcome with less stress and frustration.

Servant Leadership is Exceptional

While a lot of people would think that being a leader is about getting the following and admiration of other people, this should not be the case.

It is important in leadership characteristics to become a good example to your team members. You should not only give commands and expect results from them.

Servant leadership is about participating in the activities of your team, you should somehow work along with your members.

This way you can build a better bond with them and they’ll be able to see how things are done according to your perspective and ideas.

This could make it easier for you to lead because your members will develop a unique closeness to you and they will most likely follow your examples of action.

As part of leadership characteristics, you’ll be able to show your team that you’re active in participation with them in doing an activity or project.

Being a leader, of course you don’t have to do as much as your members because you have your own responsibilities like thinking and making decisions.

Yet somehow you were able to participate and help your team in a special way.


Developing leadership characteristics can help you in many ways with your living.

It would be a remarkable part of your personal development and it will make you stand out from most people around you because you’ll be capable of leading and guiding common types of people.

You may also want to read “5 Great Leadership Traits” to improve your personal leadership.

Another article that is interesting to study is: “5 Dynamic Leadership Characteristics”

Thanks for your interest.



Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Mervin_G_Simpao/1476085