For nearly 20 years, "Leadership FIRST" has been among my most frequently-requested presentations. This clip illustrates how I use the introduction to pre-frame the heart of the message.
After decades of speaking around the world, the opening of one keynote still stands out as my absolute favorite. Here's a five-minute clip that encapusulates it. But first you should know the backstory.
This was a keynote on cultural change presented to the entire corporate leadership at Idearc Media. They had met to realign strategically due to growing obsolescence for their flagship product, the Yellow Pages book.
This intro was literally impromptu. The idea for it popped into mind just 60 seconds before I stepped on stage. The "man in the pink shirt" had no idea what I was about to do. Only the woman who handed him the microphone was in the "know."
The scene could not have played out better had we rehearsed it repeatedly.
And speaking of "favorites," here's a short clip which centers on a story that my audiences always enjoy as an opener. I like it in large part because the central character happens to be one of my heroes.
(Tap or click on speech titles for expanded descriptions.)
Most of us immediately recognize the difference between reporting to a good manager and reporting to a genuine leader. In this presentation I highlight the distinction between good management and solid leadership.
I look at five vital qualities which true leadership brings to the table, using a simple acronymn (the word "FIRST") to help the audience remember them. The presentation examines each of the five qualities and uses unforgettable examples to show how they reinforce one another.
People commonly use the words "leadership" and "management" interhangeably, as though they are one and the same. But most of us instinctively recognize the difference between reporting to a good manager — perhaps an exceptional one — and reporting to a genuine leader.
In this presentation I delve into the distinctives between leadership and management. I show how they should work in tandem, like the two pedals of a bicycle. And I describe the kinds of situations which call for the leadership pedal to carry the load and the ones which call for the management pedal to do so.
I then explore the contrast in outlooks, priorities, and focus which set leadership and management apart.
If trust is to prevail in any group, leaders must assure that their people feel individually safe, informed, respected, valued, and understood.
In this presentation, I demonstrate that trust becomes robust within a group — or even exists at all — only to the degree that everyone feels these five assurances. I build my case by drawing on examples not merely from anecdotal evidence and common sense, but from the latest research on the neurology of trust-formation.
Trust in leadership has added dimensions from interpersonal trust in social or professional settings. In fact, there are three critical arenas in which leaders must demonstrate credibility if they are to be fully trusted. I refer to being credible in all three arenas as "the leader's trust trifecta."
This keynote explores how trust in leadership differs from other types of trust. And it details specific things which leaders must do if they are to build credibility in all aspects of the trust trifecta.
The dividing line between success and failure in today's hyper-competitive marketplace is often the ability of a corporate culture to embrace agility, speed, and innovation:
Agility, speed, and innovation have thus become the king-makers for modern businesses. Failure to pay them homage can be fatal.
This keynote presentation offers proven, practical insights into building a culture which pays these king-makers their due respect.
Marketing continually labels some product or service as "innovative." On closer examination, however, it turns out not to be an innovationat all. It's merely an example of striking ingenuity, inventiveness, or imagination.
I refer to such products or services as "pseudo-innovation." And there's a certain danger in not recognizing them for what they are. If we settle for ingenuity, but call it innovation, we will never be inspired to truly innovate.
In this presentation, therefore, I outline five criteria which a breakthrough must satisfy in order to justly deserve the title of "innovation."
In today's topsy-turvy marketplaces, transformational change is often the only choice for survival. The change process itself, however, puts added strain on organizations. And with that strain come increased demands on leadership. Unfortunately, the entire process easily goes awry because leaders overlook pivotal considerations for managing change.
I know the challenges of change management well. For decades people have looked to me as a "go-to" person for organizations wanting to turn around or get back on track. In this presentation I lay out five of the most important lessons I've learned for effecting lasting, dynamic change. And I tie each lesson to unforgettable examples and illustrations.
In particular I address the following dynamic of change management.
All of us reach our fullest potential and maintain our highest motivation in settings of high trust. Trust frees us from fears, anxiety, misgivings, and guarded communication that otherwise thwart performance. This presentation provides solid "know-how" for creating a high-trust culture. It also explores the vital link between organizational performance and trust.
Even in organizations where trust is otherwise low, it's common to find a particular leader who is widely and thoroughly trusted.
What's the difference that leads to some leaders being trusted, others distrusted? In his book Leadership and the Power of Trust Dr. Armour identifies seven qualities of highly-trusted leaders. In this keynote presentation he revisits these seven qualities and explores them at greater depth.