There is no right leadership style. People learn to be leaders by studying other leaders and developing their own approach to leadership. This requires developing a leadership style that is adaptive to any situation. Leadership styles consist of three basic elements. These are six leadership strategies, nine leadership traits, and four core actions (the topic of this presentation). It is essential that leaders develop the ability to mix and match these strategies, actions, and traits to each situation they face. In this presentation the topic is the four core actions:
- Intense listening. In this world of constant interruptions, it is increasingly difficult to intently listen to people. Active listening is a start but becomes too mechanistic, people need to listen with the goal to understand. This requires empathy and knowing when to suggest solutions and when to ask questions.
- Enabling dialog and discussion. How many times are you baffled at how a decision could have been made? This is often because leaders have not done dialog and discussion. Dialog, as the word implies, is to talk over the breadth of a topic. Understanding its pros and cons and key emotions tied to a decision. Dialog does not result in making a decision. Discussion, on the other hand, has the goal of breaking a topic apart, quashing certain options, and picking the best one. Discussions result in decisions. Leaders need to conduct both types of conversation and ensure that people know what phase of the decision process they are in.
- Selling a vision. Even though a leader works with his or her core team to develop a vision, the leader is accountable for the vision's success. This means he or she needs to either sell people on the vision or tell them they must follow. The latter, telling, rarely brings long-lasting support. Selling gets people to understand the vision's value in their own terms and generates a genuine following. Selling, though, is not natural for most people. It requires developing skills in the art of persuasion and influence.
- Eliminating of blame. Nothing will destroy a team faster than blame. It is amazing how many people agree that blame is destructive, yet when they realize that accountability has to take its place, they understand the ultimate challenge. It becomes even harder if you are working inside a culture of blame, say running a project, and trying to remove blame in your part of the organization.
This presentation discusses how all four of these actions can be performed inside your organization.
The objective of this presentation is:
- Develop the attendees as leaders by having them understand the importance of these four actions.
- Have the attendees practice these actions in the session.
- Helping the attendees understand that there are many ways to address these action by being engaged in an active dialog on the topic.
Customize for your theme
This is a 60- or 90-minute session.
It is easily coupled with the Extreme Leadership: A Matter of Life and Death keynote as it is a deep dive into one of the three topics of that keynote.
The discussion can be changed to match a conference's theme or a specific professional domain.