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7 Steps to Leadership Mastery

by Brent Filson

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery

Time to Call in the Expert?


Are you discouraged by lackluster results at your organization? Do you want to shake up the status quo and create positive changefast? Want to know how to galvanize your organization for consistent results?
In this special report by Leadership Expert Brent Filson, you'll acquire seven revolutionary ideas on how to tap into your "inner leader to maximum organizational results and career satisfaction. Discover Brent Filsons leadership secrets that have helped thousands of executives and managers worldwide achieve their goals while cultivating working relationships that ensure continual results, day after day, year after year. These are proven, practical ideas you can put into action right awaywhatever size your organization or market you serve. Dont wait another day wondering what you can do to achieve fast, continual results for your organization. Want to find out more about leadership that increases profits? Visit www.actionleadership.com for additional advice, tools, and information.

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery

Contents
Step One: Clarify the Action You Want Step Two: Link Motivation to Action Step Three: Plan Smarter For Results Step Four: Build Your Action Team Step Five: Create a Climate for Success Step Six: Ramp up Results Step Seven: Cultivate Continual Results 1 3 5 7 9 11 13

Brent Filsons leadership methodologies recast the way you think about things; and on a deep and powerful and gentle way, they change the way you do your job. Laura Arling, General Director of New Business, John Hancock

I have applied his tools and techniques in multiple companies and on multiple continents and found universal results. In my latest assignment, I applied his principles to help improve operating margin by over 30 margin points. Paul Conroy, Business General Manager Honeywell Europe.

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery

Step One: Clarify the Action You Want


Getting your team and your company all working together, pointed in the same direction can be a daunting challenge. I dont know about you, but when my kids were still living at home, even getting the crew of four out the door at the same time took a supreme effort. Getting a team or 12 or 100 can be even more daunting. Whats the key to getting your team moving together, moving projects out the door, and improving your companys productivity? Have you ever watched a rowing race with crews of eight oars people putting their all into making their boat fly? In rowing, everyone knows the objective is to get across the finish line first. To make this happen, each oarsperson needs to know exactly how and when to pull their oar. When they do it right, the boat seems to lift off and move forward at amazing speed. In business its the same. To get everyone working together you need to make sure each member of the team understands the goals and the specific actions you want them to take. What action is your team taking this week? Today? Right this minute? A well-defined action plan will help your team focus their time and energy to achieve results. Thats why I suggest my clients create Action Flow Charts that offer a visual roadmap of the path from action to results. For example, think of a recently completed project. On the right side of the chart, write the results you wanted. On the left side, write the sequence of actions that led to the results. Could you have changed the sequence or the actions themselves to get better results?

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery 2 Pay attention to the process. Avoid the conventional, linear approach to action and results. Transform the sequences of actions into action processes that can be used in a variety of settings. When everyone on your team and your company is in alignment with your goals and has a clear understanding of the actions necessary, youll find people pulling together to get you to the finish line faster. Learn more about leadership techniques that help you articulate your vision to your team in a way that captures their attention and focuses their energies for results. "Brent Filson is one of the most talented communicators in the world. If you want to learn to motivate two, two hundred or two thousand people to take action for results, his lectures and seminars are a must!" Joseph Mancuso, CEO of the Center for Entrepreneurial Management.

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery 3

Step Two: Link Motivation to Actions


What do most people do when they get hungry? Their hunger prompts them to seek out food. Cavemen went hunting for bison or looking for berries. Today, we open the refrigerator, hit the cafeteria or a restaurant. Three times a day, your hunger motivates you to take action. Similarly, a different type of hunger motivates people to take action. Its the hunger for achievement, recognition, autonomy and increased income. The key to motivating people is to tap these inner needs and make sure they understand the connection of their needs to specific actions. So how can you, as an effective leader, help them satisfy that hunger and accomplish your own goals as well? Lets say youre charged with increasing the margins for a specific product line. You might point out to your team, that should they accomplish this objective within a certain timeframe, a bonus (increased income) tied to a percentage of the profits earned for a month. If thats not feasible, maybe youll recognize their achievement by promising a dinner celebration or free vacation incentive. Youre probably thinking, Why cant I just order my team to take action? You could try acting like a general in the army, barking orders and making threats, but few adults in the workplace respond well to that kind of treatment. Would you? Of course there are people on every team who want to be ordered to act. In this case, its best to give them what they need while weaning them off their fears of decisionmaking and autonomy. But generally, youll find that if you appeal to your employees inner motivation and help them get what they want: achievement, recognition, autonomy and increased
Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery 4 income, youll find that youll get what you want too: commitment, responsibility and performance. Learn more about how to lead your team onto success while creating mutually supportive and beneficial business relationships. "Brent Filson's Three-Trigger Motivational Process makes the Leadership Talk all the more concrete. I keep and refer to the wallet card frequently to keep me on course. His two-day intensive is a winner!" Mark Goldman, Office of Career Development and Employee Work Life, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery 5

Step Three: Plan Smarter For Results


It might be a clich, but If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. A strategically consistent, focused, and actionoriented plan can determine the success or failure of your organizations goals. But its not enough to get the plan on paper. How can you get your team to do more than read, file and forget your plan? How can you motivate them to take the necessary incremental steps every day, every week, every month to ensure your organization achieves its goals? Great leaders cultivate a culture of action. You can too. Start by revolutionizing whats often the greatest impediment to tangible action: the office meeting. How many meetings have you attended where the agenda is abandoned within the first 10 minutes? How many times have you left a meeting wondering if any of the action items agreed to would actually be implemented? Heres one solution: At your next meeting, the first agenda item should be an Action Report. Its a firsthand, five-minute account from someone on your team about how he or she recently (since the last meeting) motivated someone to take action. Forewarn your team ahead of time that any one of them might be selected for this task at the last minute. That alone serves two functions: Itll ensure that not only everyone will be prepared with an action item, but it also gives your team an added incentive to be focused on action during their workdays to ensure they have something to talk about at the next meeting.

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery 6 To maintain the momentum of your meetings, be sure to conclude them with highly defined Next Steps, i.e., when the actions will happen, how the actions are monitored and evaluated. Want your meetings to yield fast, continual results? Discover proven action triggers in The Leadership Talk. I've been using Brent Filson's methodologies for more than seven years. And they get results! They not only get results on a tactical level but a strategic level too. Richard Brown, President and Global General Manager, Fortune 100 Company.

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery 7

Step Four: Build Your Action Team


If you know your audiences needstheir problems, their interests, and their valuesyou will have a far better chance of successfully soliciting their cooperation. That way, you can present your goals in the context of their needs or their concerns or their problems, so your chance for success increases. Say your teen-age children resist doing their chores. (Just imagine!) The lawn is overgrown, the sink is piled high with dirty dishes and you know the big football game theyve been eager to attend is this afternoon. Using this example, you might convince your son or daughter to complete their chores, because doing so frees you up to drive them to the football game on time. Otherwise, if you have to do their chores, theyll have no way to get there and might be late or even miss the game. So its important to not only explain the purpose of a particular action (clean kitchen, mowed lawn, happy parents), but the meaning the action has for them (they get a ride to the football game!). In addition, action plans must be consistent with your teams confidence, abilities and your organizations available resources. What happens if you have a history of not following through on offers to drive your son or daughter somewhere, or your family car is known to break down frequently? Your proposal will be greeted with understandable skepticism. Will they really get to the game? Similarly, if you want your team to agree to your plan and see the outcome relevant to their needs, your plan must be consistent with your resources and your track record or integrity.
Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery 8 Want more on how to develop a successful action team at your organization? Learn how to achieve critical confluenceuniting your needs with those you lead in the Critical Confluence. Brent Filson's leadership methodologies continue to be foremost in helping me get far more results at our power generating organizationand get those results in the best possible ways, by establishing an environment by which people at all levels are continually motivated to do their best. Ashton Harrilal, Supervisor, Powergen, Trinidad, West Indies.

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery 9

Step Five: Create a Climate for Success


Small start-up companies, established organizations, Fortune 500 corporationsthey all have one thing in common: eventually or occasionally momentum slows, growth stagnates and a pervasive atmosphere of apathy, fear, and failure sets in. How can you best prepare for this profit-threatening problem? What will help your team and your organization maintain confidence, stay resilient, and continue to move forward even in the face of economic downturns, market upheavals, and other challenges? Your leadership can provide your organization with the fortitude to withstand the battering of forces in and outside your control by establishing a climate of success that plans for, rewards, and sustains the process of success. Yes, successthe continual kind of success that serves the needs of everyone in the organizationis a process. Its up to you to drive the motivational imperative into the DNA of your organizationeven in the subtlest of ways. For instance, youll have a far greater chance for success if you convince your team not what they must do, but what they get to do to promote their needs in the context of the organizations goals. Even where you speak to your team influences success. For instance, the team of a manufacturing plant will be more receptive to action requests given informally on the floor rather than in a conference room where layoffs and bad news have been repeatedly announced. As a process, rather than an end goal, success is something your team can strive for minute by minute. So observe their performance whenever possible. Pay

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery 10 attention to what they do and how they do it. Are they doing it on time? If not, why not? Are they eager to report their results to you? These observations will give you an indication of their motivation or frustrations so you can intervene and correct their course or applaud their efforts. Learn more about how to create the process of success and Shared Dreams, one of the most valuable leadership tools youve never heard of. I have applied his tools and techniques in multiple companies and on multiple continents and found universal results. In my latest assignment I applied his principles to help improve operating margin by over 30 margin points. Paul Conroy, Business General ManagerHoneywell Europe

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery 11

Step Six: Ramp up Results


The success or failure of any organization hinges to a great extent on how its leaders deal with the status quo, one of the most formidable foes to action, change and results. Change can be threatening to some members of your team. You may hear some mutter, We tried that before and it didnt work or Its more complicated than you think. How often have you heard, Thats not the way we do things? The status quo is the enemy of the "more results, faster continually" because the status quo is in business to be the status quo first and get results second. Its number one priority is always self-preservation. How can you get your team to keep an open mind? How can you allay their fears of change? What will it take for you to win over the supporters of the status quo? Try The Way of the Question Mark. Practicing the Way of the Question Mark can enhance your relationships with the people you lead so you get a lot more results as a leader. Its simply this: when faced with a status quo supporter, make a conscious effort to put a question mark at the end of what would otherwise be a declarative sentence. Asking the question rather than using a declarative gets people reflecting upon their situation rather than the threat of change. The question prompts people to answer, and when they are answering, they may engage in such reflection. Say you want to introduce a new product. A leader could say, I want your team to launch by September. Practicing the Way, you might ask: Whats the best way to get this product to market by September? Or How can I support you as the team readies the product for launch?

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery 12 You may not like the answer; but often their answer, no matter what it is, is better in terms of advancing results than your declaration. Also, their answering the question may prompt them to think they have come up with a good idea. People are more enamored of their own great ideas than they are of yours. Learn Proven Action Triggers solicited from leaders in the trenches, whose careers depend on their ability to motivate people day after day, week after week, for results. Brent Filson knows how to help others get results! His programs are proven in a variety of settings including industry, government, non-profit and the military proving that the way he practices and coaches leadership can work for any organization willing to invest the time and energy necessary to influence their people to produce at their highest productivity levels. Joe Javorski, Director, Worldwide Staffing, Analog Devices

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery 13

Step Seven: Cultivate an urgency for results


How can you instill urgency in your team? What will it take to get them to not only accept the organizations goals in the context of their needs, but to implement the actions necessary to achieve themnow! Its a matter of habit. We are all creatures of habit. Think about your day and how predictable it has become. You read the paper after your coffee. You read your emails before your morning staff meeting. Youll check last nights box scores right after dinner. Habits are comforting and innocuous and, often, are the biggest threat to urgency. Recognize that urgency comes from solutions. A key way for the leader to speak and act to trigger urgency is to offer solutions to problems. All people everywhere have problems. People will not make the free choice to urgently be committed to the leader's cause unless and until they know that in doing so they are solving their own (not the leader's) problems. One of the most serious impediments to urgency is when you and your team disagree on the stakes involved with the issue you face. The stakes are what are in danger of being lost if a certain course of action is not taken. Simply ask, "What will happen if we don't take this course of action." Their reply can define the stakes from their viewpoint. You can't get cause leaders unless they agree with you on the stakes. Once you agree on the stakes, then a powerful call-toaction talk can jump start your success. Deliver it by framing it with their most urgent need. For instance, say you want them to commit to a course of action by signing their names on a piece of paper. Instead of asking them to simply write their names, say, We know the most important issue is job security. This

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery 14 action plan will help job security. It wont be easy, but well get there together. Discover the single worst thing many leaders do that jeopardizes continual success and their promising careers. And learn about a proven leadership system that delivers a tremendous value to your organizationand to you. I have encountered myriads of leaders and leadership programsbut Brent's methodologies are really special. He not only focuses on having leaders consistently get actual results (not just talk about getting results); but his methodologies have people become engaged in profoundly human ways. Furthermore, he makes leadership and getting results a true joy!" Dr. Jeanne-Marie Col, Dept. of Economic & Social Affairs, the United Nations.

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

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About Brent Filson


Brent Filson honed his early leadership skills as a rifle platoon commander in the U.S. Marine Corp. For the past 20 years, he has helped thousands of leaders in business, government, and non-profit organizations worldwide achieve significant increases in measurable results by enhancing their leadership effectiveness. A graduate of Wake Forest, Brent is the author of 23 books (some one millions copies sold) and more than 100 articles on leadership. His books and articles have been featured in over 300 magazines and newspapers. His latest book, The Leadership Talk: The Greatest Leadership Tool, has been selected as a National Finalist for ForeWord Magazine Book Awards and as "Best Book of the Year" by Independent Publishers Association. He has been a sought-after guest on more than 150 radio programs discussing his leadership philosophy and processes. Brent Filson doesnt just teach you how to lead. He inspires you to do it! Duncan Maxwell Andereson, Senior Editor, Success Magazine

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

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Learn to Lead for Faster Results


Take 20% off the cover price of The Leadership Talk: The Greatest Leadership Tool, while supplies last.

The Leadership Talk: The Greatest Leadership Tool will help you not only understand how to motivate your team to get results, but precisely how to keep them motivated, day in and day out, with powerful, practical steps for linking motivation to continual results.

"Your books are excellent! You offer all sorts of intriguing ideas, which I have not seen in any other books on the subject. Bravo!" Richard Jacobs, Vice President of Executive Communications, The Prudential Insurance Company of America.

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

7 Steps to Leadership Mastery 17 In this essential leadership guide, youll discover: Proven action triggers for leaders who must motivate people to get results. The three indispensable questions to ask when facing every leadership challenge. One simple adjustment in your thinking that motivates people to be your cause leaders. Defining ways to transfer your motivation to the people you lead and having those people feel as strongly as you do about the challenges you face. Unique methods for establishing strong relationships that can enrich your leadership and your life for years to come. There is a hierarchy of verbal persuasion when it comes to leadership. The lowest levels are speeches and presentations, which primarily communicate information. The highest and most effective level is the Leadership Talk. The Leadership Talk achieves more than simply conveying information; it establishes a deep, human, emotional connection with the audience. Its in the realm of that connection that leaders get the best results. Brent Filson

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

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Learn to be a stronger leader. We guarantee it!


This no-risk offer gives you a 30-day, money-back guarantee. If youre not completely satisfied with The Leadership Talk: The Great Leadership Tool, simply return it to us for a complete refund.

Brent Filson's 'Three-Trigger Motivational Process' makes the Leadership Talk all the more concrete. I keep and refer to the wallet card frequently to keep me on course. Mark Goldman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Copyright 2007 Brent Filson Filson Leadership Group, Inc.