A Leadership Development Methodology

There should be some structure for the plan and the coach

There must be structure and a methodology in a leadership coaching relationship if you want to maximize your chances of success. A leadership coach must have a personal organizational structure and a methodology in order to be successful in their own leadership role. And they must be able to communicate that methodology or advocate for one more suited to the client if they are to be a successful leadership coach.

Create an Organizational Context 

Writing a guide or creating a framework that essentially cobbles together the best ideas from multiple bestselling business books is not a plan. And it does not do the client nor the organization any good. It would be better to just buy the books and let your client read them. Organizational development needs to focus on how ideas apply to the individual organization in very specific ways: first honing them for general leadership, and then applying those skills to the local organization. Successful organizations with good strategic plans include very prescriptive language about how they differentiate themselves in the market. Leadership training should be an output from the strategic plan. If organizations can’t tie leadership development to furthering the organization’s strategic goals, then that needs to be either dropped or reworked until the right links can be fashioned.

Reconcile Management and Leadership 

Many secular organizations create frameworks, competencies, and guides intended to help employees see a broader world beyond their jobs, and to help move them progressively through more responsibility, and hopefully, more pay and benefits. Management is dramatically and fundamentally different from leadership. Most leadership clients that be candidates for some leadership development or coaching will have subordinate staff. They will, at a minimum be surrounded by others that they must continue to “manage” in some form or fashion. Therefore, ensure that leaders know they remain responsible and accountable for their management assignments as well as their influence (leadership).

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A Problem, A Tool, & Three Principles for Mentoring

The TEAL Methodology Utilizes a Mentoring Model

Mentoring - A Problem, Tool, 3 Principles

Leadership is not taught. It is modeled. Therefore, it must be lived out and demonstrated before our very eyes in order to be able to impact followers and those who yearn to be leaders. In other words, it is “caught” and not taught. If it is true that leadership must be modeled, and I believe it is, then it is incumbent upon me to provide information to help you to model mentoring with intentionality. 

Mentoring is not a mass production process. Rather, it is done more in the style of an artisan or craftsman who painstakingly creates works of art one at a time over a substantial period of time. Not that we are “creating” a leader. A mentor cannot make a leader out of a person with zero aptitude for leadership. It is akin to the old sports analogy that says: “You can’t coach speed. Either you have it, or you don’t.” A coach can make you faster. But a coach can’t make you FAST. There must be some inherent speed abilities with which the coach can work. Likewise, as mentors, we can’t make our protégés leaders. But, if they are willing to follow and learn, we can make them better leaders tomorrow than they are today.

Mentoring to become an Emotionally Agile Leader is a six-step process with some basic principles undergirding the process. At the very highest level, it can be summarized in the following manner. I will talk about the six steps in a future article. But, for now, let’s look a problem, a need, and the three principles.

The Problem with Mentoring

One of the ways to make the mentoring experience more productive is to address the frequent problem in many mentoring relationships. The problem is that protégés get super excited about mentoring. Often a book is recommended by the mentor and commitments are made to read it faithfully and come together each week to discuss a topic each week based upon the material covered in the assigned chapters. And then life gets in the way. Even the most committed protégés face timing and prioritization challenges. 

This is most certainly true of leaders who have existing and ongoing leadership responsibilities.  We cannot call a halt or press the “pause” button on life while we work on something that will inevitably make us better. This results in the mentor and the protégé coming together for a session and facing the awkward reality that the protégé has not read the required material. Reasonable discussions on the material are difficult. All that is left to discuss are politics or sports. And that is frustrating for both parties.

The Need for a Tool

The TEAL Methodology has acknowledged that reality and addressed that through the use of “TEAL Topic Cards.”

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Leadership Development Plan

What are the key components of a good plan?

What are the key components of any good and well thought out plan? Surely there would be some components to all leadership development plans that would be universal and common regardless of the specific leader being developed. And there are. There are components that are common whether you are a CEO, a front-line supervisor, departmental manager, a military officer, or the pastor of a small church. So, let’s identify what those components would be.

I am approaching this from the perspective of someone who is a coach for individuals who are seeking to become better leaders. So, all of my thoughts and words are based on the premise that I am engaged in a coach and client relationship. It may be a formal paid engagement. Or it may be an informal or ad hoc conversation where someone is coming to me for advice. However, for purposes of this article, I am going to use terms that indicate a coach and client scenario.

So, what are the common components?

Is there a current assessment? — Is there some assessment, either a self-assessment or a 360 assessment, that can be used as a baseline for where the leader is today? If not, why not? If we don’t have a baseline, how will be able to assess progress?

What are the strengths and weaknesses? — Every leader has both strengths and weakness. Great leaders strengths more than overshadow their weaknesses. Poor leaders weaknesses overshadow their strengths. So, let’s identify what those strengths and weaknesses are.

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Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Agility, and Leadership

Their interconnected nature in a very successful leader

Emotional intelligence is a topic that I have covered many times here in this setting. And I have explored the relationship between higher levels of emotional intelligence and overall success in life. Therefore, it is worthy of some additional coverage because of the major influence it has on your success as a leader. More importantly, it is worthy due to the fact that these are skills that can be learned and developed.

The key to understanding the link between emotional intelligence and leadership is the development of the sense of how our persona and how we communicate our ideas are being received by those that we are leading. Can we agree that most of our communication is non-verbal? A fellow writer on this site and a dear friend for many years has a mirror on his desk that was given to him in a training session more than 20 years ago. It serves to remind him that even when we are on the telephone, when we’re smiling, the attitude transmits and is received by the person on the other end of the line.

Intuitive or Learned

For many leaders, this is intuitive. For many, it is not. This is not to be considered as an indictment against those to whom it is not intuitive. There are many leadership styles and there are many successful leaders who don’t care one whit about “Emotional Intelligence”.

But my point is that as a leader we should want to care about how we are perceived by those we lead. We should learn that part of “seeing the big picture” is being able to communicate that picture in authentic and personal ways to those around us. We should want to use words and approaches that are meaningful to the receiver.

Emotional Intelligence has been likened to the graphic equalizer control in music. It tweaks the sound with a range from high to low and it adds depth and color to the sound. The actual lyrics or the musical melody are only a small fraction of the message in the music.

Emotional Intelligence can be learned, developed and maximized with a little awareness and little more effort. And it is incumbent upon us as leaders to do whatever we can to maximize our effectiveness.

The Leadership Application

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eBook editions of The Emotionally Agile Leader

Kindle and Nook editions are now available!

If you don’t like to buy books in print editions, then I have great news for you! You can now get The Emotionally Agile Leader in Nook and in Kindle versions right now.

These electronic versions have just been released by the publisher and they are in pre-sales mode just like the print version. So, the ebooks will be arriving on your ereaders on October 1, 2018 for any purchases made between now and release date. The book is doing very well in pre-sales and we are processing a couple of bulk orders by leaders who want to distribute this book within their organizations to really impact their leadership teams.

What is the book about?

We live in a chaotic world. Some of us are called to leadership positions in the midst of that chaos. How will we act and react? The leaders who will succeed in these times are the ones who are emotionally agile. That is the basis for The Emotionally Agile Leader. 

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The Emotionally Agile Leader is sometimes a Servant Leader

Thoughts from my recent workshop on Servant Leadership

I had the chance to speak to a small ballroom full of energetic and enthusiastic marketing professionals last Friday. I flew out to San Diego, CA to present a workshop on Servant Leadership to the Society of Marketing Professional Services at their annual Build Business Conference (SMPSBB18). It was awesome! And I hope they invite me back next year.

Is there a connection between emotional agility and servant leadership?

Yes! Emphatically yes!

I began my presentation with a travel story about an experience that I had in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia a few years ago. I wrote about it in an article entitled, Knowing Your Place. Click that link if you want the full story. But, here is a summary:

It was the last night of my stay at the very luxurious Ritz-Carlton in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Apparently, someone had alerted the General Manager that I would be leaving very early the following morning. So, he came to my dinner table in the dining room to introduce himself and to say “Thank you” for my extended stay It had been a 3 and a half week stay at his hotel. It was soon after our brief discussion ended that I saw an extraordinary example of true servant leadership.

A woman was struggling with a large balloon bouquet and a suitcase. In addition to the most senior person in the hotel, there were several other general staff in the very near vicinity. They probably saw her as well. But they did nothing. And then he did it.

Knowing his place in the hierarchy, he was at the pinnacle, he graciously walked over to her and picked up her bag and carried it to the bell captain while she completed her check out routine.

That is what he did. He carried the bag himself. I watched it all happen. At least twice he could have snapped his finger and had one of the junior hospitality staff take the bag. He could have very subtly caught the eye of one of them and asked them to do the menial task of carrying the bag. And he would have been right to do so.

After all, he was the most senior person and outranked everyone else on the staff. His place was at the top. I wonder if he started his hotel career as a bellboy. I wonder if he ever thinks of those early days.

My guess is that he has not forgotten his more humble beginnings. My guess is that he has always had a servant’s heart. My guess is that it was his focus on the patrons of the places that he has worked has been the thing that has propelled his career. He has never lost sight of the customer. Even from his place at the top.

What is the connection?

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Servant Leadership

Servant Leadership Workshop

Really looking forward to talking about one of my favorite leadership topics – Servant Leadership. I have the great opportunity to speak to a room full of marketing professionals about how servant leadership may transform their organizations.

Servant Leadership Workshop on August 17th at 1:30pm at SMPS Build Business 2018 in San Diego, CA at the fabulous Marriott Marquis at the Marina.

 

 

The Emotionally Agile Leader

My Big Announcement

My latest book is about to be published! The book, The Emotionally Agile Leader is the culmination of nearly two years of writing, editing, and preparing to launch my perspective on emotional intelligence as it manifests itself in the life of a leader.

I have been teasing this announcement for several weeks while I have been taking a break from regular writing and posting on the website. And today I want to announce that the book will soon be available in several outlets. Final distribution details are still being finalized. But, we are just a few short weeks away from The Emotionally Agile Leader going on sale!

What is an emotionally agile leader?

The best way to understand the basis for the book is to realize that we live in a chaotic world. Some of us are called to leadership positions in the midst of that chaos. How will we act and react when that happens? The leaders who will succeed in these times are the ones who are emotionally agile. That is the basis for The Emotionally Agile Leader. 

As emotionally agile leaders, we must not merely adapt. We must be agile. Being adaptive does indeed indicate a change. But the change can be imperceptibly slow. The change can be evolutionary and not revolutionary. It can be like a giant battleship or aircraft carrier. These ships must have the ability to turn and maneuver. And they do. They just can’t do it fast. It takes time and distance to turn a giant ship around. 

Contrast that with the image of a Vietnam era “swift boat.” These boats were small shallow-draft vessels used to patrol the coastal and inland waterways of the Mekong Delta. As their name would indicate, they were small, fast, and highly maneuverable craft.

In the pages of the book you will get:

  • A refresher on Emotional Intelligence
  • A call to introspection as a means of identifying the key emotions that drive our behaviors
  • Tools to manage your own emotions that affect your leadership abilities
  • Habits to form to increase your leadership abilities
  • And an invitation and methodology to create more emotionally agile leaders as you mentor other leaders around you

What are folks saying about the book?

What are folks saying who have read the advanced reader copy (ARC) of the manuscript?. I have gotten overwhelmingly positive responses from folks who have received and read the ARC. Friends, business leaders, academics, entrepreneurs and fellow leaders are saying great things about the book. Just take a look at the book launch trailer video and get a sense of what some are saying about The Emotionally Agile Leader. 

Would you like to be a part of the Launch Team?

I already have a launch team of more than 50 folks who have seen the value of the material in The Emotionally Agile Leader and who are committed to helping spread the word via social media. Would you like to be a part of the Launch Team? If so, click this button below and send me an email and I will add you to the team. I will be sending the launch team a dedicated message and will be giving them some advance content not yet available to the public and will have some special gifts for those who rise to the challenge to help spread the message via social media and other channels of communication with their circle of influence.

Will you help me launch The Emotionally Agile Leader? Will you be a part of the team? Will you start by clicking one of the buttons below and then will you come back here and share this big announcement to your social media network via one of the social media icons above the article or that are on the left side of your screen if you are on a computer and across the bottom of the screen if you are on a mobile device? That is what I need to start generating some excitement and to make this book a big success.

Thank you!

I want to be on the Launch Team!

Click here to visit the book launch website!

Still on a bit of a hiatus

And still working on the details of the big announcement


I hope that you and your family have had an opportunity to take some time this summer and get away to rest, relax, refresh, and revitalize the most important relationships on the earth. I have been very fortunate to have taken some time to be with family in a spectacular setting. And I have been enjoying doing some work in the background on a big announcement.

Thanks for being patient with me as I work through some details and logistical matters. My hope is that it will be worth it and that the time working behind the scenes will have been well spent.

Have a great week and I will be making the big announcement soon.

By the way, I have given you a clue in the graphic image in the last post. And there is another clue in this one. Some of you may have picked up on it. Some of you may not. But, I hope it will make sense to you soon and you will see the clues in the light of their obvious meaning after the announcement.

Have a great week!

Even Leaders Need Help

Or, maybe I should say, especially leaders need help.

With as much humility as I can muster, I will say that I am a very comfortable public speaker. It is one of my strengths. But, there are a lot of areas where I have weaknesses. The older that I get, the more that technology has become a weakness.

More than admitting a weakness

There is more to this little moment of transparency than just admitting a weakness. This is about being self-aware enough to know your strengths and weaknesses. Clint Eastwood gave us a memorable line from his 1973 sequel to Dirty Harry, entitled Magnum Force. He said in that movie, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” It seems the older that I get, the more in touch I am with my limitations. 

Knowing one’s limitations is just another way of expressing one of the key components of emotional intelligence. Knowing our limitations is being self-aware. And self-awareness leads to being able to self-manage.

What does this look like from a practical standpoint?

I am in the midst of some very significant changes in my writing and coaching practice. Some of those changes are requiring a huge technological component in order to support my mission and goals going forward. And I do not have the skills necessary to perform much of the work that will need to be done. 

That is a hard thing for me to admit. I have more than 20 years in various areas of the IT industry. I have managed areas of a data center, I have managed software development teams, and I have managed It operations. Unfortunately, the last time I had a real IT job was 17 years ago. And yet today, I am totally out of my depth when it comes to technology. If I stray too far from my Mac and iPhone, I am in unfamiliar territory. And, truthfully, I don’t know a whole lot about my Mac and iPhone!

What is the practical application of this self-awareness?

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