WISDOM IN A NUTSHELL

Be the Leader
Make the difference

By Paul B. Thornton
Published By Griffin Publishing Group 2002 ISBN 1-58000-091-6 178 pages Businesssummaries.com is a business book summaries service. Every week, it sends out to subscribers a 9- to 12-page summary of a best-selling business book chosen from among the hundreds of books printed out in the United States. For more information, please go to http://www.bizsum.com.

bizsum. or the sincere effort to achieve. Leaders Challenge people. Leaders must remind people of their previous successes when challenges become overwhelming. rewarding accomplishments. Coaching opportunities are when leaders use “teachable moments”. Leaders tend to see something positive where others see only the negative. Challenges also come in the form of new assignments. even if the effort may fail. Leaders set an example and leave their own comfort zones. Leaders give frequent. solve problems and develop strategies. Build confidence in others. this book guides potential business leaders on how to tap into their leadership roles and realize their visions. Leaders challenge by creating tighter timetables and stretching goals Leaders ask provocative questions.Be The Leader Page 2 The Big Idea Based on Paul Thornton’s Three C Leadership Model: Challenge.com © 2001. Challenge Approaches leaders can use to challenge followers: • State a challenging vision • Demand the impossible • Ask challenging questions • Create a culture of continuous improvement • Benchmark the best • Argue with Success www. 2002 Copyright BusinessSummaries. enabling people to reach successes that they never thought they could achieve. Challenge the status quo. Coaching. Leaders Coach the people they lead. and transferring responsibility. Leaders are demanding and maintain high standards. Leaders challenge people by bringing them out of their “comfort zones”. 1. Leaders coach by asking the right questions so people can focus on their areas of improvement. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Leaders are essential for setting the company vision. Leaders boost confidence and put their faith in their people to deliver the goal. Leaders reward intelligent failures. new positions. Confidence. and Coaching.com . Leaders must be able to pull a team together. Leaders build confidence by affirming people’s talents. Complacency and mediocrity are not allowed. It is at these times people are most open to learning. Leaders continue to challenge people even after they achieve success. Leaders build their people’s Confidence. candid feedback and learn by coaching. Leaders show people what great performance looks like. Continuous challenge produces continuous improvement. training people continuously. Confidence. they often ask “Why?” and “What if” Benchmarking challenges people to find and learn from best practices. assessing where the company stands and making difficult choices. and new projects. Coach people on what to do and how to do it. Leaders communicate a clear and compelling vision to challenge people to think and act differently as they pursue a new agenda. 3-C Leadership Model: Challenge.

com © 2001. • Leaders focus on what will be gained. time-bound. these steps help create a clearer picture of the future: • Visit top companies • Talk to key customers and suppliers • Identify technology trends • Analyze trends in other industries • Identify current and future business challenges Leaders and Vision • Leaders must also look within themselves to see what they value. makes it clear he has confidence in his people. and a television commercial. and empowers them by assigning authority. a picture. and reminds people why they must not quit. measurable stretch goals. motivates. • Organize your vision into a summary. Ask challenging questions • • • • • • • • • What question will help people face reality? What question will energize people? What new question needs to be asked? Leaders often ask why? Leaders ask questions to get to the root of a problem.bizsum. • Communicate your vision through large and small group meetings. videos. 4. It can be quantitative. a slogan. memos. (achieve 20% average annual return on stockholders’ equity) or qualitative (help consumers have a better quality of life guaranteed in the American dream). Demand the impossible • Leaders must worry less about people liking them and focus more on creating a challenge. • Selling the vision involves overcoming objections from people who fear change. obstacles to confront. State a challenging vision A vision expresses a desired future state that is better in some important way than what currently exists. letters. What is our mission/purpose? What is our vision? What are our key values? Is this the best we can do? 5. • Effective vision inspires. Leaders’ stories usually have these elements: (A challenge) a case for change. • Communicate your vision by providing compelling stories. a metaphor. while others around are focusing on what they have to give up.Be The Leader Page 3 2. and what they are willing to risk. Create a culture of continuous improvement www. an expressed belief in people.com . • Effective vision fires people up with passion and enthusiasm. but if the leader establishes specific. the people will rally around the vision. 3. (confidence building) and lessons or morals (coaching). articles in the company paper. • Winning leaders are never satisfied with the status quo. and celebrates every little triumph along the way. 2002 Copyright BusinessSummaries. and guest speakers. When creating a vision. People may resent a tough leader who asks for the impossible.

Not all customers are happy. • High expectations of themselves and their people. Develop good questions. and you must be able to determine your own answers. explain your purpose. • The ability to learn from both success and failure. ask for a referral. Study your competition. • Commitment to self-assessment. • The ability to lead by example. Talk to the unhappy customers and see what improvements need to be made. Benchmark the best • • • • • • • Understand the way you do business. Determine which organizations excel at the target process. training and providing new information.bizsum. and then improve on it. you’ll keep on being successful. Industry associations also provide good information. Research. relevant. Success is seductive. • Willingness to experiment and try new approaches. • A constant benchmarking approach • The desire to learn from best practices • Measurement tools to mark progress • The ability to teach lessons learned from mistakes. Ask suppliers and customers for their opinions. Contact the human resources or public relations department of the organization you wish to benchmark. www. monthly. Point out other companies (benchmarking) that are making significant improvements in their operations. have follow-up questions as necessary. • A strong curiosity. Be open to change or undo what you previously created. Use metrics. Demand higher performance to fight the tendency to become complacent. they must be specific. Adhere to your agenda and make sure everyone who participates understands why you are there. The organization becomes more difficult to change. quarterly scoreboards of your company progress. Argue with success • • • • • • • • • • • • Successful companies tend to get complacent. They don’t realize until it’s too late that the marketplace has changed. Make the most of the site visit. Past success will not guarantee future success. Use this time to review successes and failures from the previous day. Focus on change happening all around you. weekly. Avoid happy talk and generalizations such as “We had a great year”. Basically benchmarking means find the best. 2002 Copyright BusinessSummaries.com . to study best practices. The marketplace is changing.com © 2001. Study your own company to be able to find what you are looking for when you study other companies. Successful leaders keep updating their ideas and business strategies to keep up with an ever-changing marketplace.Be The Leader Leaders with a continuous-improvement mindset have: • A strong desire to be better. Daily. Page 4 6. 7. What is the new technology available and what is to come? What changes do you need to make to keep up? Hold morning meetings dedicated to teaching. Companies must “reinvent” themselves constantly. • A non-defensive response to negative feedback. Success can make an organization more bureaucratic and less entrepreneurial. It creates the illusion that if you keep doing the same thing.

but what you can do for your country. 10. Leaders help others discover their own inner greatness. and authority to act like business owners. freedom. Leaders may fall into the temptation to do the actual job. Don’t interfere. Confidence How leaders build confidence: • Expand people’s self-image • Keep ownership where it belongs • Empower your people • Recognize good or improved performance • Drive out fear 8. If people understand the sales and costs of a business. Keep ownership where it belongs • • • Effective leaders hold people accountable for results. Have people meet with customers on a regular basis. provide challenges. challenge people to think of new approaches. justice. and the required support for them to be able to perform. Be sincere in showing you have confidence in your people. blame another person or group. 9. Page 5 Challenging the status quo Below is a list of leaders who challenged and made people think and act differently: • • • • Dr. Thomas Edison –Prolific inventor who was always looking for a better way to do things. 2002 Copyright BusinessSummaries.com © 2001.com . www. Make positive statements.bizsum. –Equality. Even when things are going great. opportunity for all. Jr. Ask employees for ideas and suggestions. Let people see the financials. then they can see how their work affects the bottom-line. Each one must be bigger than the last.” Challenged a nation to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth by the end of the decade. skills. This affirms a leader’s belief in employees. Empower your people • • • • • Empowerment is about helping people gain knowledge. President John F Kennedy – “Ask not what your country can do for you. Provide encouragement on a regular basis. Give people the quality and operational data they need. Let people who are assigned to their roles run the business and make the decisions on their end. Holding people accountable to make their own decisions says you have a lot of faith in their abilities. Expand people’s self-image • • • • • • • • Leaders can build self-esteem in their people by allowing them to succeed. Bill Gates – A computer on every desk and in every home. Ask subordinates to represent the group at an important meeting. and takes on the work the employee was supposed to do. Leaders give people the opportunities to be successful. Remind people of their previous successes when they need a jolt of confidence. Martin Luther King. Motivate people by telling them how you can picture them performing in a bigger role.Be The Leader • • Set challenging objectives every quarter.

how can you appreciate others? Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless. Effective coaches realize that every person is different and unique. Eye contact. they cover up mistakes instead of learning from them. –Mother Teresa 12. not be inhibited by fear. Leaders/coaches need to be more succinct. Acknowledge fear and insecurity during times of crisis (mergers. Use “Creative.com . Be open and candid at all times. Don’t shoot the messenger! The bearer of bad news is normally the one the boss pounces on. Balance learning with unlearning. Breakthrough thinking!” and more meaningful words. Encourage preparation. Praise yourself. Drive out fear • • • • • • • • • • • When people are fearful of the leader. Help someone discover what he needs to unlearn. a sincere smile.Be The Leader 11. There should be no fear of criticism for submitting a crazy or outrageous idea. like the loss of a major client. Each person needs a different level of guidance. If you can’t praise your own work. etc) Allow people to express their negative feelings and discontent. Focus on results and skills that made the person successful. Innovative. When you’ve done your homework. you are less afraid.com www. and enthusiasm show how much you value a person. Coaching How leaders coach people to achieve top performance: • Find the right balance • Make people think for themselves • Show people what good performance looks like • Be a facilitator • Give feedback 13. Provide ongoing education and training opportunities. layoffs. Focus on the positive of every risk. more than a cash reward or bonus. Too little coaching can be disastrous.bizsum. Upgrade skills and knowledge. 2002 Copyright BusinessSummaries. Coaching means listening first before speaking. Your praise vocabulary should not be general words like “Good”. © 2001. Stop people during critical points and ask them why they are doing something. People should work with desire to pursue a goal. and what is appropriate for one person is overkill for the other. Leaders must be open about their own mistakes to foster an environment where people are not afraid to come out and say they made a mistake. a firm handshake. Don’t overlook people who quietly and effectively do their jobs. Don’t punish risk-takers! Create an atmosphere where it’s safe to fail. complaints and concerns. Find the right balance • • • • • • Too much coaching or help destroys initiative. Recognize good or improved performance • • • • • • • Page 6 Words of praise have a lasting impact on a person’s self-esteem. Fear of the competition maintains a healthy passion. How you deliver the message of recognition or praise is important. Appreciate employees who report problems.

Be The Leader • • • • • • Page 7 Teach people to examine their behavior on a regular basis. Build on comments by asking others in the group what they think of each other’s ideas. make connections. Observe how he gets people to stick to the agenda. Challenge people to continuously improve on their last performance. Keep the group focused on the task at hand by framing questions or putting parameters on the topic being discussed. www. Ask questions to draw people into discussion. Probe for feelings behind the facts. Brainstorm to find several different ways to solve a problem. analyze data (how coaches playback videotapes to their athletes to analyze performance. analyze. and then implement the chosen alternative. It can produce some really creative ideas. Hold meetings to discuss lessons learned from the recent project.com © 2001. and understand. rotate them around departments or projects.bizsum. Break down complex tasks into pieces to be tackled one by one. Make people think for themselves • • • • • • • • Ask questions that challenge people to think.com . 2002 Copyright BusinessSummaries. Be a facilitator • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Coach the group through a process or systematic method Challenge the group to set higher standards and goals Show faith and confidence in the group’s ability to succeed Help define the problem. Require periods of reflection and participation. Ask them how they feel about things. Allow the mind to wander. Show lots of confidence in your words and actions. Effective facilitators bring a group together and keep track so everyone goes through the process at the same pace. Require people to make connections between what they learn and how it relates to their work. Leaders/coaches facilitate so the group stays focused. Encourage debate Sign people up for weekend programs for team-building 15. not to judge them. 16. Provide candid and useful feedback and pinpoint where performance can be improved. Clarify comments to make sure you all understand the ideas and their interpretations. 14. Record all ideas on a flipchart or whiteboard. Solicit feedback from the group on what it is accomplishing and how it is working together as a team. probe for meaning. Show people what good performance looks like • • • • • • Offer specific examples like “Bob runs a great meeting. for instance) generate alternatives. Intelligent conversations should be focused on character building. Help people understand who they are and what they believe in. Assign people to new jobs. Take a consensus to determine the degree of general agreement among the group. Write down key words and comments on a flipchart or whiteboard.” Encourage practice along with observation. A leader’s job is to help people along. follows a systematic process. and taps into everyone’s ideas. evaluate and select an alternative.

Have the desire to lead. 19. Give feedback • • • • • • • • • • • • Page 8 Successful leaders are candid and direct. understanding how to use performance feedback. Communicate clearly. learning to be an effective team player. • Before I can teach others. Volunteer to be part of a community project. Take a course and learn a new skill outside your area of expertise. I must build my own. prepared and challenged. Mahatma Gandhi – He taught through example. Visit other companies and identify one new approach you will try back on your job. They do not criticize behind people’s backs. Ask people if they are open to receiving feedback. I must first learn new skills and techniques. Be realistic. When people are trained and coached in how to apply new skills. Don Shula –former NFL coach of the Miami Dolphins said he made sure his players came out of every meeting a little more intelligent. acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses. observe. and do not wait for “the right time” to talk to someone. they become more confident and feel more prepared. Lead yourself and others • • • • • • • Challenge yourself by trying new approaches at meetings. As confidence increases. End with an affirming statement. and discern where people need help.com . • Before I can build someone else’s confidence. Offer suggestions for improvement. Influence people in a way that they become more receptive to new ideas and options. or in giving feedback. www. the diagnostic skills to listen. Setting the example: • Before I can challenge other people. Applying the 3 C Leadership Model • • • Tough challenges often affect people’s confidence. Socrates – His basic method of teaching was asking questions. Listen and learn to evaluate body language and read between the lines. Follow up! What’s the action plan? When is the next meeting to check on progress? Below is a list of leaders who coached people how to be more effective and successful: • • • • Jesus – He taught his followers through stories and parables. concisely.Be The Leader 17. He “walked the talk”. Be prepared to change. and completely. the better. making presentations. Keep your emotions in check! Be specific. Confident leaders are willing to ask others for guidance. listening skills. Focus on observations and not inferences.bizsum. The sooner you discuss the problem.com © 2001. Be a good student by developing organizational skills. 18. Cite examples. people are willing to take on bigger and bigger challenges. 2002 Copyright BusinessSummaries. I must challenge myself.

com. and Be The Leader Associates. iofl. Effective leaders appreciate people’s talents and skills. refresher.com. Effective leaders motivate people so they become excited and challenged. leadersandleadership. Self-evaluate regularly. Tell stories to explain your vision. and direct reports. Harvard Management Communication Update. emergingleader. Effective leaders are deeply involved in all aspects of the business. peers. Read books/magazines/journals like Fast Company. Effective leaders communicate honest. leadershipnow.com. Effective leaders are committed to their vision. They are not afraid to ask for help and guidance. Set a standard of excellence.org.Be The Leader • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Page 9 Confident people clearly see the challenges ahead of them.com Take seminars from the American Management Association.bizsum. and frequent information in a way that motivates people. Across the Board. Find and utilize mentors. Look at the following websites: gradschools. Effective leaders trust people enough to empower them. Effective leaders know how to develop people to unlock their hidden potential. Center for Creative Leadership. Effective leaders set the example for everyone in the organization. Educate yourself. Interview leaders you admire. factual.com . team members. managementfirst. 2002 Copyright BusinessSummaries. perdidomagazine.com. Your leadership development program: • • • • • • • • • • Reflect on your core values and beliefs. energizeinc.com.com. customers. and tompeters. Effective leaders ask the right questions. Be proactive and try to predict future trends. Effective leaders are stable emotionally and serve as role models for grace under pressure. Effective leaders communicate clearly and know how to get people fired up about a vision. Effective leaders have the intelligence to connect the dots and see patterns in a rapidly changing business world. People know where their leaders are going and their strategy for getting there. SkillPath.com. smartleadership. and Industry Week Volunteer to coach an athletic team! • • • www.com © 2001. mgeneral.com.com. Effective leaders are decisive and confident in taking risks for the sake of the vision. Harvard Business Review.com. Write down 5 accomplishments you are most proud of at least once a month. Leader to Leader. leader-values.com. Receive regular feedback from bosses. Leadership Journal. Effective leaders have a clearly defined set of goals and do not change their vision constantly.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful