Leadership Is A Contact Sport

Leadership Is A Contact Sport


[MUSIC] I would now like to share with you a
proven model for leadership development, a proven
model for coaching, and a proven model for building teams. This
model is the essence of how I teach leaders to develop themselves,
the essence of how I do behavioral coaching, and the essence
of how I work to build teams. It’s a model that you can
take back home and use with you as well. Step 1 in
that model is ask. Get in the habit of asking
people an important question. How can I be a better?
How can I be a better manager? How can I be a
better partner? How can I be a better team
member? How can I be a better friend, family member?
After we ask, step 2 is listen to what people have to
say. Listen to what people have to say and
fight that urge to talk. Learn to reflect and listen, look
at what they have to say as a gift. Step 3 is
think. Think about their input. Again, what does
it mean? Analyze it. Thank people. Thank
people for giving you the privilege of learning. Ask,
listen, think, thank. Step number 5 is respond.
I’m going to teach you how to respond to feedback in a positive, simple, focused way. Ask,
listen, think, thank, respond, involve those
people, involve the people around you. One key to successful
change is get a support group of people to help you. Then of course, change. You’ve got to do
something about all this input, because you don’t get
better just because you learn things, you get better
because you do things. And then the final key is follow
up. I’m going to teach you the importance of
follow up, and why follow up works, and how follow up
works. So, our simple model for behavioral
change: ask, listen, think, thank. After thanking people, respond,
involve, change, and follow up. [MUSIC]

2 Replies to “Leadership Is A Contact Sport”

  1. Simple but extremely valuable strategy to follow when coaching others or yourself! These videos are a goldmine of wisdom and knowledge. Thanks Marshall.

  2. Leadership is a Contact Sport

    My career as an executive coach began many years ago with a phone call from the CEO of a Fortune 100 company. I had just given a leadership clinic to the CEO’s human resources department. This is what I was doing in the late 1980s – advising HR departments about identifying future leaders in their companies and creating programs to form them into better leaders. The CEO had attended the session and from what I’d said he thought I might be able to help him with a VP who, though smart, dedicated, motivated, hard-working, and creative, was also a stubborn, opinionated, know-it-all. I was intrigued by this challenge.

    I had coached many groups of mid-level managers who were on the verge of success, but never an individual who was already very successful and needed to make a change to be blasted into the stratosphere. I took the job – and I took it on a pay for results basis. If the VP improved, I’d get paid and if not I told the CEO it was free.

    That was a couple of decades ago, and I did get paid. Since then I’ve worked with more than 150 CEOs and their management teams. My job isn’t to make anyone smarter or richer. It’s to help people identify a personal habit that’s annoying their coworkers and to help them eliminate it so that they retain their value to the organization. And, to help them develop their people as well, because you see, without their colleagues, their people and teams, these leaders, as successful as they might be, would have no one to lead.

    Developing as a leader is a difficult endeavor. (If you’re reading this article you can probably relate.) Demands on leaders are increasing, meaning there is less time for focusing on change. And, the catch is that as more is expected of you as a leader, the less time you have for development, and yet improving your leadership skills is more important than ever. It’s a tricky situation. With limited time, you have to learn on the job. You have to make the most of your surroundings and ask those around you for help. You have to enlist their support as you do your best to develop yourself, your people, and your teams – even them!

    It’s not easy, but I’ve developed a leadership development model that has now proven to work with thousands and thousands of people. This model is just eight steps: Ask, Listen, Think, Thank, Respond, Involve, Change, Follow Up. Following is a very short description of each step. I’ll go into more depth in subsequent blogs.

    1. Ask: Ask people “How can I be a better _______ (manager, partner, team member, etc.)?

    2. Listen: Listen to their answers.

    3. Think: Think about their input. What does it mean?

    4. Thank: Thank people for sharing this valuable feedback with you.

    5. Respond: Respond positively when receiving input.

    6. Involve: Involve the people around you to support your change efforts.

    7. Change: Change isn’t an academic exercise. Act on what you learn.

    8. Follow-up: Follow up regularly and stakeholders will notice the positive actions you’re taking based their input.

    This simple model for leadership development works! If you want to get better, at work or at home, try it for yourself and see. And, if I can help you consider the possibility that despite all of your success to date you might have some things that you can change to be “even better”, then I will have done my job.

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