Think Leadership Ideas

Four Questions, Sharper Thinking

Four Questions
for Sharper Thinking and Focused Presentations

How do you even start to organize ideas?

Perhaps you have a complex business you need to describe to potential customers or investors. Maybe your department needs to continually justify its existence to corporate powers that be, or you have to present material about a complicated subject to people from different backgrounds.

What is a Solution?
Here’s a technique for organizing your ideas so you can present a topic meaningfully, whether you have one hour or are limited to one minute. Succinctly answer these four questions: what, why, how, and so what?

Article summary:
What ...a technique to simplify complex information
Why ...lets you communicate clearly and succinctly
How organizing ideas around four questions: what, why, how, so what
So What ...clear and focused communication will accelerate your achievement

See the full article here, and make your own comments. Read More...

Power Up Your Influence

Cultivating Consistency, Congruence, and Coherence

Leadership is about gaining willing followers for a course of action. Influencing how others act, think, or feel is the essence of genuine leadership. Plus, influence is at the heart of outstanding customer service, exceptional professionalism, and enlightened management. So how do you bolster influence?

The quality of how others experience you either amplifies or interferes with what you have to offer in any role, position, or expertise. In seminars and coaching I encourage the cultivation of three qualities that - especially in combination - form a powerful means to build influence with integrity, while demonstrating reliability, authenticity, and meaning. These qualities are consistency, congruence, and coherence.


ABC's of Communicating With Impact

You clearly want to make your message appealing, brilliant, and convincing. You want to make it authoritative and bold… or at the very least, comprehensible.

To deliver a message that sticks, think ABC -- Attention, Brevity, Clarity. This article explores how...


Resisting the Culture of Interruption

In a time where increasingly the value we add comes from brainpower, thinking, and knowledge work, the culture of interruption reduces the value we can add to our businesses and organizations. When we allow firefighting to become a way of doing business we undermine our potential for success.

Like managing a current in a river, we cannot ignore the culture of interruption, rather we must persistently resist it. Key points for managing the mayhem...

Empowerment - When Are You Ready?

Empowerment is a concept easy to embrace and hard to execute. Any organization which relies on knowledge, creativity, and effective problem solving to achieve its purpose needs empowered people to be effective. Leaders are only likely to empower people they believe will make good choices.

So how do you assess the capacity to make good choices? At what point should leaders empower others? What should a person do to demonstrate to leadership that they are ready for higher levels of responsibility?

I coach leaders and high-potential professionals to pay careful attention to three choice points: what kind of action is taken; whose interests are served; and how dissent is managed. The way people handle these choice points are important indicators of the value that they can contribute and the readiness for high levels of empowerment. Read More...

Leadership Tools

I can’t tell you how often I’m asked, “Can you make a leader?” Usually this is expressed as a challenge, immediately followed by, “Aren’t leaders just born?”

Well, consider athletes. Do you think athletes can do their sport significantly better with practice, coaching, training, or proper feedback? Isn’t this as true for recreation league softball as it is for Olympic stars? We could apply this same line of reasoning to art, music, or any number of endeavors? What is worth noting about Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, Tiger Woods, or Picasso is what they did to develop their inborn talent.

Yes, when it comes to leadership I believe there is inherent talent that plays a significant role. Nevertheless, whatever talent you start with, you CAN make a significant (big, huge, gigantic, life-changing, did I say significant) improvement in leadership. Like everything else, it takes the right effort, support, and tools. I don’t know whether you can make a leader, but I firmly believe you can indeed develop leadership. Here are some ways to do it...

EQ Meets Critical Thinking

First the obvious. Given that “knowledge work” is on the rise, the value that people add to organizations increasingly comes from brainpower – the ability to think. It behooves leaders, therefore, to create conditions that enhance people using their brains to the fullest, especially when leading or managing knowledge workers.

What is surprising to many people is that emotions are biologically linked to critical thinking – i.e., to the use of the intellect, rationality, and logical analysis. While conventional wisdom says emotions get in the way of analytical thinking (and certainly they can), or that they are inherently irrational, modern neuroscience appears to embrace the idea that emotions are a key support of intellectual performance.

Expert Performance Is Not What You Think

Conventional wisdom will tell you that you get the best from your expertise by deeper learning your field, by keeping up with new developments and understanding the nuances and intricacies of your domain – in short, investing in knowing more. Conventional Wisdom tells us natural talent is what drives top performance.

Modern research challenges these notions.