Turbo Charge Your Career With The Most Powerful Leadership Tool Of All: The Leadership Talk. (Part Two)

The author asserts that presentations and speeches are the least effective means of leadership communication.  There is a much more effective way: the Leadership Talk.  In this three part series, he describes underlying principles of the Leadership Talk and ways to help develop and deliver it.

By Brent Filson - 2005

In Part One, I described the Leadership Talk and how it is a much more effective leadership tool than presentations or speeches.

I also described two fundamental premises that the Leadership Talk is based on. 

In Part Two, I will show you the purpose of the Leadership Talk.  You won’t be able to give a Leadership Talk effectively on a consistent basis if you misunderstand its purpose. 

The Leadership Talk doesn’t drive purpose.  Purpose drives the Leadership Talk.  There is one and only one purpose of the Leadership Talk: that’s to motivate people to be your cause leaders in meeting the challenges you face.

This is important in understanding the difference between Leadership Talks and presentations/speeches.

You’re a leader.  You have a task to complete.  Do you want the people you lead to simply do the task?  Or do you want those people to actually take leadership of accomplishing the task?  For the difference between doing and leading in terms of accomplishment is stock car and a formula 1 racer.

Clearly, you can order them to accomplish the task; and if you’re in a position of authority, they will most likely carry out the order.  But they might not do it with full commitment.  Or they may resent being ordered.  Or they may be inclined to do nothing unless ordered, and so after accomplishing the task, they do little else but wait for the next order. 

However, their committing to take leadership involves your establishing a special relationship with them.

For instance, going back to the example I used in Part One, if one is a floor sweeper, one does the best floor sweeping, not simply by doing it but by taking leadership of floor sweeping.

Such leadership might entail: taking the initiative to order and manage supplies; evaluating the job results and raising those results to ever higher levels; having floor sweeping be an integral part of the general cleaning policy; hiring, training, developing other floor sweepers; instilling a “floor sweeping esprit”that can be manifested in training; special uniforms and insignias; behavior, etc.; setting floor sweeping strategy and goals.

Otherwise, in a “doing” mode, one simply pushes a broom.

You may say, “Listen, Brent, a job is a job is a job. This leadership thing is making too much of not much!”

Could be. But my point is that applying leadership to a task changes the expectations of the task. It even changes the task itself. Think of it, when we ourselves are challenged to lead and not simply do, our world is, I submit, changed.
 
Furthermore, though you may order people to do a job, you can’t order anybody to take leadership of it.  It’s their choice whether they take it or not. 

This is where the Leadership Talk comes in.  Using it, you set up the environment in which they make that choice.  

The Leadership Talk is not only the most important way to get cause leaders; it is the only way to get them on a consistent basis. 

In the final part of this three part series, I’ll show you how to develop and deliver a great Leadership Talks.

 

2005© The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. – Celebrating 25 years of helping leaders of top companies worldwide achieve outstanding results every day. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get his FREE report "7 Steps To Leadership Mastery"