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In the whole new world described by Daniel Pink in the phenomenal A Whole New Mind, the need for empathy by leaders is fast becoming acute.  In my book, The Source of Leadership: Eight Drivers of the High-Impact Leader, I describe empathy as the linchpin of connected communication in leadership, regardless of which role you are playing in the communication. 

I suggest executive coaching clients ask the following questions – at least in their in their minds – about the people with whom they are communicating: Who are you?  What do you believe?  What and whom do you love?  What and whom do you fear?  What do you desire?  The more they can answer these, the more effective they will communicate.

This (TCA_Library_Leadership_Traits and Functions of the High Impact Leader) is the list of traits and functions of the high-impact leader that I created generally over the course of my 30-year career and specifically over the course of the five years it took to write The Source of Leadership: Eight Drivers of the High-Impact Leader.  My book is about the drivers, the deep, personal energies, that enable one to embody the traits of a leader and allow one to perform the functions of high-impact leadership.  I couldn’t very well accurately identify those drivers without first identifying the essential traits and functions.  So I took the hundreds, maybe thousands, of traits and functions and distilled them down into a universal list that I thought would always describe the ultimate leader.  So far, it has held up very well.  I have yet to hear of a trait or function that isn’t on this list or, more likely, embodied in another trait or function on this list.  

In this excellent piece entitled Why Your Marketing Campaign Sucks, I’m reminded that ONLY the sales and marketing campaigns that nail the question to What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) succeed.  Some things never change.

Those of you in leadership, heed this: It says here that ideal results are achieved when your praise-to-criticism ratio is 5.6.

 

 

 

 

We have all been lulled into the comfort of structuring presentations with PowerPoint, and I sometimes think we don’t realize that they are in turn lulling our audiences to sleep.  Lately, I have been using Prezi and having a ball with it.  It’s a lot more fun and much easier to use as a production tool, and audiences love the lively delivery.  If you combine this with The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, I guarantee you will enjoy preparing presentations more than every before and, more importantly, you’ll have more impact than you every dreamed.

Check this out from Steve Tobak in Inc. Magazine.  He says the biggest reason start-ups fail is that they don’t know what they are doing and they don’t know what they don’t know.  And he provides solid advice for overcoming this.

Remember the days of 120-page private placements memorandums, 60-slide PowerPoint decks, and 90-minute investor presentations?  That was way back like, what, five years ago?  Actually longer than that, but the point is that today is a whole new world.  If you have something to sell, you have to communicate it in five minutes.  Sure, if you can initially hook a prospective investor, you’ll get a longer time with him or her down the line, but if you can’t set the hook in five minutes when you first have the opportunity, you are history, at least with that investor.  The “elevator pitch” that used to be confined to venture capital is now de rigueur virtually everywhere.  Investors simply don’t have time for anything else.  And even if they have the time, they demand simplicity in the business or at least that you have the ability to express it simply.  Here is a good guideline for your pitch.

In my executive advisory experience, as well as my experience building several sales organizations, this comes pretty close to hitting the mark: 13 Traits of an Outstanding Salesperson

You’ve heard the old maxim that a leader has to capture his or her team members’ hearts, and their minds will follow.  The best path to their hearts is the old-as-humankind-itself craft of storytelling.  The best leaders can craft a story that pulls their team members into their mission, vision, goals, and strategy.   In my experience, the best instruction is found in Story, by Robert McKee, which is the bible of Hollywood screenwriters.  I just saw this  on leadership and storytelling and it has some good ideas as well.


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