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The REAL International Gold Standard: The Leadership Talk

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to: brent@actionleadership.com Word count: 2400 Working with thousands of leaders during the past 21 years in the global economy, I have found that most of them don't have a clue. They may know to some extent how to do business on a global level. But to exert the right kind of leadership on that level eludes them; so when I first meet them, they're usually getting the wrong results or the right results in the wrong ways. Of course, there are many successful global companies and leaders, but my experiences teach that they are successful not because of but in spite of their leadership activities.

They may do things right; but they are not doing the global leadership things right. If they got that leadership right, they'd be getting a lot more results. Clearly, the challenges of leading on a global scale are daunting. Differences in time zones, cultures, currency dynamics can be vexing. But one thing is the same.

It takes leadership for organizations to succeed leadership that must drive results, not now and then, not ad hoc, not in patches but consistently in all cultures simultaneously. First, let's understand what kind of leadership is needed to achieve such success. Then I'll give you a powerful tool to make it happen. Leaders do nothing more important than have people get results. There are two ways for leaders to get results, order people to go from point A to point B or have the people want to go from A to B. Clearly, the latter is more effective in getting results. Today, with speed, flexibility, and teamwork being driving global competitiveness, the order-leader who tyrannizes and micro manages can't compete against the leader who can build motivated teams to get results. The days of the order-leader are not just numbered. They're over. Today, leadership is motivational or its stumbling in the dark.

Because in terms of achieving more results faster continually, the order is the lowest form of leadership. Here's why: Until recently, ever since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the order-giving way of leadership has flourished. Order comes from a Latin root meaning "to arrange threads in a woof". In the Revolution's early years, captains of industry dealt with the uneducated country folk in their factories by ordering them where, how and when to work. The most efficient and effective production methods were created when workers were "ordered" or ranked like threads in the woof of production lines. Refined and empowered by the Victorian culture, with its patriarchal power structure and strong links to Prussian military organization and dictates, the culture of the order-giver reached its zenith in the United States after World War II. In the following decades, with most of the industrialized world recovering from the war, many U. businesses were like ocean liners plowing through relatively calm seas, their leaders, like liner captains and mates, running things by getting orders from superiors, giving orders to subordinates and making sure those orders were carried out. But with globalization, businesses worldwide are undergoing changes as radical as any since the Industrial Revolution.

With competition increasing dramatically, with the volume and velocity of information multiplying, with information becoming accessible to more and more people, with the traditional, pyramidal structures of order-giving flattening, leaders today need skills akin not to ocean liner piloting but white-water canoeing. Order leadership founders in an environment where lines of authority are dynamic, information widely disseminated, markets rapidly changing, and employees empowered. In such an environment, new leadership, motivational leadership, is needed. In short, the leader who can "have" others get results. That means global leadership is essentially motivational leadership. That's the kind of leadership needed to achieve such success. Now, here's the tool to make that leadership happen. That tool is The Leadership Talk. Here's what the Leadership Talk is all about. When it comes to realizing motivational leadership around the world, there is a hierarchy of verbal persuasion.

This hierarchy extends to people everywhere, no matter what their culture, what job they hold, or what ambitions they have. The lowest levels of the hierarchy are speeches and presentations. They communicate information. The highest level, the most effective level is The Leadership Talk. The Leadership Talk not only communicates information. It does something much more. It establishes deep, human, emotional connections with people. The question isn't, "Why is this connection necessary in terms of getting organizational results?" (After all, the answer is obvious.), the question is, "Why is the Leadership Talk the gold standard for international leadership?" For one thing, I've had top leaders in top companies worldwide applying it for more than two decades, and it simply works.


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