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The Dale Carnegie Leadership Mastery Wo r k b o o k 

“The rules set down here are not mere theories or guesswork. They work like magic. I n c redible as it sounds, I have seen them literally revolutionize the lives of many thousands of people, and they can do the same for you.” 

C o n t e n t s 

Session One — What Leaders Do 3 Session Two — Motivation and Mentoring 8 Session Three — Hallmarks of Leadership Ta l e n t 1 5 Session Four — Embracing Risk 2 2 Session Five — Inspirational Leadership 2 6 Session Six — O rganizational Leadership 3 0 Session Seven — Finding Your Leadership Style 4 0 Session Eight — Leadership in Balance 4 8 Session Nine — Leadership in the New Wo r k p l a c e 5 3 Session Ten — Practical Tactics and Te c h n i q u e s 5 6 Session Eleven — Dealing with Crisis: The True Test of Leadership Mastery 6 7 Session Twelve — Putting It All To g e t h e r 7 3 

Copyright © MM Dale Carnegie & Assoc. 


Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc. 

1475 Franklin Avenue 

Garden City, New York 11530 

Session One – What Leaders Do 

Welcome to The Dale Carnegie Leadership Mastery Workbook. In the pages that follow, you’ll be engaged in a very ambitious and extremely important undertaking. You’ll be exploring a concept of human behavior—l e a d e r s h i p—that is very misunderstood and often devalued in today’s world. You’ll investigate your own view of leadership, and you’ll see how it may need to be re c o n s i d e red, reinvented, and re b o rn in order for you  to achieve your personal and professional goals. In short, you’ll learn why Leadership M a s t e ry is so important; you’ll discover what you can do toward becoming a Leadership Master yourself. 

B e f o re going any furt h e r, let’s take a look at your ideas about leadership as they exist right now. 

Positive Courageous 

Resilient Hopeful 

Insightful Intelligent 

Restless Moody 

G o o d – n a t u red Energ e t i c 

Overbearing Curious 

Spiritual Skeptical 

Spiritual Eloquent 

Relentless Resourc e f u l 

S e c retive Sensitive 

Tenacious Reflective 

U n p redictable Humoro u s 

Vi rtuous Single-minded 

A rgumentative Impulsive 

Zealous Cautious 

A s s e rtive Decisive 

Boastful Even-tempere d 

Caring Fair 

Daring Genero u s 

Elusive Intuitive 


In the space below, write the names of the first five public figures who come to mind when you think of the word l e a d e r. These can be men or women from politics, the art s , or business—they can be from the present or from the past—but they should not be people with whom you are personally acquainted.  

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As you look at the names you’ve selected, what qualities do they seem to have in common? A re they people who have overcome adversity and risen to positions of influence? Are they notable for their wealth, their genero s i t y, their courage, or their perseverance?  

When you’ve identified attributes that your five leaders appear to share, write them in the spaces below. 

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Now that we’ve thought a bit about leaders from the world at large, let’s focus on people from your own world. Who are the individuals in your life—including business associates, family members, and friends, who seem to stand out as leaders? Write their names in the spaces below.  

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N o w, just as you did with your list of public figures, identify the principal leadership qualities shared by the people on your personal list, and write them below.  

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Are the leadership qualities of the public figures the same as the people from your personal experience? Do you look for entirely different things in “large scale” leaders than you expect from individuals in your own life? Or are there certain traits that you expect all leaders to have—whether it’s someone you see every day or someone you’ve only read about or seen on television.  

N o w, with this information in mind, focus on the qualities that you yourself share with the people on your two lists. In the unlikely event that you don’t see any such qualities in yourself, write the ones for which you believe you have the greatest potential, and which you would most like to develop in your own personality. 

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Now let’s see how your thoughts about leadership among public figures, about people f rom your own life, and about yourself relate to contemporary definitions of leadership in successful organizations.  

As you’ve heard in Chapter One of the Leadership Mastery audio program, the Levi Strauss Corporation stresses ethics, flexibility, effective communication, and human relations’ skills as key measures of leadership. Did any or all of these qualities appear in what you’ve written so far? If not, don’t be surprised. The fact is, most people still think of leaders in terms of charisma or personal power. But achieving Leadership Mastery in 


t o d a y ’s world means letting go of outdated ideas and embracing new concepts of what leadership really means. The exercises that follow can help you do that. 


Unethical behavior may be motivated by the desire for personal gain—or perhaps it just seems like a way to get things done faster and with fewer complications. But over time the secrets, hidden agendas, and contradictions begin to become heavy burdens in themselves. 

In the space below, please describe a situation from your personal life in which you confronted an ethical dilemma. For example, this may have involved a decision to  tell the whole truth about an important matter, or to reveal something less than the 

whole truth. What choice did you make? Are you satisfied with that choice now? Based on what you learned from this and other related situations, include your thoughts on how ethical questions can provide opportunities for self-leadership,  as well as leadership for others.  

Flexibility can be defined as the capacity to adjust to rapidly changing and unforeseen  c i rcumstances. In the space below, please describe a situation f rom your career or work l i f e in which you were unexpectedly called upon to alter your plans or responses. How well do you feel you met this very common leadership challenge? Is there anything you wish you had done diff e rently? Do you feel that your behavior influenced the people aro u n d you? If so, how did this influence show itself? Was it generally positive or negative?  

In terms of leadership, communication refers to how well you can move your ideas and intentions into the minds and hearts of those around you. In the space below, please describe a situation in either your business or your personal life in which  your communication skills played an important role. Perhaps you had to write an important letter, make a difficult telephone call, or speak to a group of people under sensitive circumstances. When you think back on the incident you’ve chosen, try to recall exactly how you felt, and how you transformed your feelings into words. In  


the days that followed, how were you able to judge the effects of what you’d said  or written? Did anyone directly comment on your ability to communicate? What  was their feedback—both positive and negative? 

Human relations is perhaps the most important and all-encompassing category of Leadership Mastery. Simply put, it is the ability to positively and proactively interact with others—or, as Dale Carnegie put it, “ win friends and influence people.” In the space below, please describe a situation in which your abilities in this area were put to the test. Perhaps you were called upon to work closely with a difficult person, or family obligations may have put you in a situation in which your patience was strained. At the time, were you aware that your behavior under these circumstances was an indication of your level of Leadership Mastery? Now that you have this awareness, would you act d i ff e rently in any way? Try to make your response as detailed and exact as possible. 


Session Two – Motivation and Mentoring 

Chapter one identified communication as an all-important element of Leadership M a s t e ry. Now let’s look more closely at the objectives that good communication means to accomplish. At the simplest level, of course, there ’s the straightforw a rd exchange of i n f o rmation. All leaders must provide the necessary practical tools for accomplishing an objective. They must be able to say what needs to be done, when, and how—and it’s surprising how difficult even t h i s seems to be for many people. But beneath the surf a c e , or between the lines, of truly masterful leadership communication there is a deeper purpose. In a word, it’s m o t i v a t i o n. 

Real motivation re q u i res a c t i o n…plus e m o t i o n…plus i n t e l l i g e n c e. To but it another w a y, motivation must engage the b o d y, the h e a rt, and the m i n d. Leadership Masters have the ability to touch all three of these elements. They have the power to engage us at every level of our lives. 

The following exercises focus on the diff e rences among these three kinds of motivation. 

Motivation for physical action 

Suppose you were speaking before a group of people who were about to undertake a  serious physical challenge. It might be a marathon or ten-kilometer race, or climbing a mountain, or even building a house. How would you express yourself to motivate them for this particular kind of activity?  

In the space below, first write the specific kind of physical challenge your audience might be facing. Then write a brief message designed to maximize their motivation for this kind of undert a k i n g . 


Motivation for intellectual focus 

Suppose you were studying for an important examination…trying to bone up on a fore i g n language before taking a trip abroad…or making an crucial business presentation that includes some difficult concepts. How would you motivate yourself to achieve the neces s a ry concentration and clarity of thought? How would your “self-talk” differ from what you might use to achieve peak perf o rmance for the kind of purely physical challenges we discussed in the previous question? In the space below, write a brief motivational speech for someone facing a difficult intellectual challenge. It may be directed to you, or to some i m a g i n a ry audience. 

Emotional Motivation 

When we think of motivation in the truest sense, it usually includes an appeal to feelings deep in the heart of the listener. Imagine that you were talking to someone—or perh a p s to a number of people—who were facing an emotionally complex situation. It might be a serious illness, a problem within a marriage, or even a graduation from high school or 

college. Pick one such situation, and in the space below express yourself in a way that touches the heart and soul of the listener. Make your writing as emotionally powerful as possible. If this exercise brings tears to your eyes, you’ll know you’re on the right track! 

In terms of pure technique, the process of motivation can express itself in three basic f o rms: negative motivation and positive motivation in motivating others, and the unique, highly individualized techniques you need to motivate yourself. It’s important for a Leadership Master to understand all these categories, so let’s look at them one by one. 

Although all forms of motivation have their place, negative motivation is the most limited form—which is a bit surprising, since it’s the approach that many leaders  tend to rely on. They rely on it heavily, and sometimes even exclusively. This is a big mistake. True, criticism or the threat of punishment can be somewhat effective tools. The possibility of firing someone or demoting him or her can get their attention. But much research have shown that negative motivators have very serious limitations, especially over the long term. In the past, loudness was often equated with toughness. S t u b b o rnness was equated with superior knowledge. Willingness to argue was equated with honesty. We should all be grateful that those days are coming to an end—and  as a leader, you should make it your business to see that they don’t come back! 


Negative Motivation 

Have you ever been the target of negative motivation? This may have included punishment or the threat of punishment—or perhaps just the withholding of some highly desire d re w a rd. In the space below, describe the situation, how you felt at the time, and the e ffectiveness of the negative motivation both immediately and long-term. 

Positive Motivation 

Dale Carnegie believed very deeply in the importance of positive motivation. He once said, “There is only one way under heaven to get anyone to do anything, and that is by making the other person w a n t to do it. Remember, the is no other way!” 

So what do people really want? Dale Carnegie listed several specifics: “Health and the preservation of life. Food and shelter. A certain amount of money and the things money will buy. The well being of their children. And a fundamental sense of their own significance.”  

“All these things are relatively easy to gratify,” Dale Carnegie continued, “except for the last one. This is a longing that is almost as deep and insistent as the desire for food and water. John Dewey called it the desire to be important. Freud went furt h e r, and called it the desire to be g re a t. ” 

In the space below, recall a circumstance in which your own “desire to be great” was fulfilled by positive motivation. What was the exact form the motivation took? How did it make you feel at the time? Do you still feel that way as you recall the situation? Try to make the description of your feelings as vivid as possible. 

In recalling your experience with both negative and positive motivation, the superiority of the latter approach has no doubt become clear to you. In your own life, there are undoubtedly many settings in which you can act as a leader using positive motivation. In fact, there are probably many more such instances than you might at first suspect. Use the rest of this page to list as many of these situations as possible. Once you’ve done so, start putting your ideas into action as soon as you can. 

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Goals and Self-Motivation 

So far we’ve given considerable attention to motivating others—to the limits of negative motivation, and to the benefits of more positive approaches. We have stressed the ways a leader can use these principles to motivate others. It should be clear, however, that Leadership Mastery also includes the ability to motivate y o u r s e l f. 

Dale Carnegie had a great deal to say about the process of self-motivation, and he very clearly identified the single most important tool for bringing this about. That tool is the c reation of clear, realistic, and worthy goals. It’s no exaggeration to say that goal setting 

is the magic formula for optimum self-motivation. With well-defined goals, your full potential is brought into play and almost any reality-based objective can and will be achieved. In the absence of such goals, however, very little can be accomplished, and most likely nothing at all. 

Goals give us something to shoot for. They focus our thoughts and eff o rts. They also allow us to track our pro g ress and to measure our success. 

So as a Leadership Master, you simply must make goal setting a top priority. Goals that a re challenging but also achievable—that are clear and measurable—and goals that take the form of short – t e rm plans as well as long-term objectives. 

When Leadership Masters reach one goal, they take a moment to enjoy what they’ve achieved, but they’ve mastered the art of quickly moving on to the next objective— emboldened, strengthened, and energized by what has already been accomplished. 

H a rvey Mackay, author of the best selling book entitled Swim With The Sharks, has defined a goal as simply “a dream with a deadline.” As you begin putting this definition into action, it’s important to recognize the diff e rent kinds of deadlines that may apply. For example, there are certain goals that you may need to achieve before the end of the d a y. Others may have the end of the year as a target date. Still other goals may include the entire rest of your life for their implementation. 

In creating your goals, it’s most useful to work backwards. In other words, we’ll begin with very long-term objectives. So in the spaces below, list ten goals you would like to achieve before the end of your life. Try to make them as specific as possible. Don’t just say you want to travel. Mention the specific destinations. If you write that you want to see your children graduate from college, make the vision as clear as you can. Write the name of the college and the year in which you anticipate the graduation would take place. 

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Now identify ten intermediate goals. These can cover periods of time from two to  ten years.  










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S h o rt – t e rm goals are those that will re q u i re less than two years to achieve. List ten in the spaces below. 










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Immediate goals are those that you can realistically expect to achieve within the next y e a r. There should be quite a few of these, drawn from both your personal and your p rofessional life. List twenty short immediate goals in the spaces below. 










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Review your lists of goals at reasonable intervals. Feel free to edit and adjust your immediate and short – t e rmobjectives, but your intermediate and long-term goals should be much less flexible. If you’ve created those two lists pro p e r l y, they will include the most important things you want to accomplish in your life. Make them happen! 

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Session Three – Hallmarks of Leadership Ta l e n t 

Recognizing talent is an important aspect of Leadership Mastery—first, recognizing it in other people, but also identifying the unique talents that you yourself have to offer the world. 

L e t ’s begin this chapter with a look at what finding talent in people really involves. C e rtainly the ability to simply take a deep and lively interest in others is absolutely essential. This is a basic principle of the Dale Carnegie philosophy. Expressing intere s t in others is the best way to make them interested in you. People literally can’t help responding to people who are sincerely interested in them. 

I t ’s no exaggeration to say that taking genuine interest is the one talent that makes all other talents possible. When you have it, there ’s no limit to how far you can move ahead. When you don’t have it, it’s unlikely any of your other abilities will be recognized. 

T h e re are many diff e rent ways of expressing interest in people, and most of them re q u i re nothing more than a bit of focused attention. The higher up you go on the leadership l a d d e r, the more important these habits become. Showing you care about people is not  a sign of weakness or lack of authority in a leader. On the contrary, it’s evidence of tru e leadership talent. It’s proof that you deserve to be where you are. 

It can be as simple as using a pleasant voice on the telephone—a voice that says, I’m happy to hear from you. Or when you meet people in person, greet them with genuine pleasure. Smile. Learn their names, remember them, and make sure you spell and  p ronounce them corre c t l y. Upon meeting a new person, write this information down as soon as possible. And also be aware when someone shows this kind of thoughtfulness toward you. When they do, they’re not just being polite. They’re showing that they have what it takes to be a leader. 

Above all, don’t limit your expressions of interest to so-called important people. For one thing, they probably get quite a bit of attention alre a d y. For another thing, who’s i m p o rtant today is very likely to change by tomorrow or the day after. Don’t forget t h e assistants, receptionists, messengers, and all the other unrecognized individuals who keep an organization running. And once again, when you see someone else showing this k i n d of consideration, keep an eye on him or her. They may be ready for greater re s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . 

In the space below, list the names of ten people with whom you’re in regular contact in your professional life. They may be colleagues, customers, suppliers, or perhaps even competitors. You may never have thought of these people as particularly gifted, but 

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each one of them has qualities that are very special and unique. Leadership Masters know this, and they are determined to develop the true natural strengths of every o n e a round them. So after each name, write the three unique talents that are strongest in each of the individuals. 



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N o w, after looking at the talents you see in other people, list five of your natural s t rengths in the spaces below—and after each one, describe a specific occasion when you put this talent to use. You may not even be consciously aware of a special gift you have. By focusing on particular situations in which you have perf o rmed well, you’ll begin to gain awareness of similar opportunities as they arise. 

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T h e re ’s no limit to the range of talents you may have identified in the two exerc i s e s above. Research and experience, however, have zeroed in on four very clear traits t h a t characterize Leadership Masters. They are : 

Optimism Cheerfulness Creativity Resilience 

O p t i m i s mAfter the ability to take a sincere interest in others, optimism is the most basic element of leadership talent. In its truest sense, optimism does not mean seeing the world through rose colored glasses. It doesn’t involve ignoring real concerns or glossing over genuine problems. But whatever the current situation, optimists are confident that things will turn out well in the end. They see the twists and turns in the road, but they know that the road will eventually take them where they want to go.  

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Below, list three concerns that you’re presently facing, whether personally or  professionally. How do you see these concerns being resolved? For each item, write an optimistic description of how this might occur—and then take that description  to heart. Lead yourself in that direction. Make the best possible result that one that actually happens! 



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C h e e rf u l n e s sLeadership Masters make it their business to communicate cheerf u l n e s s to everyone in their personal and professional lives—especially when it might seem difficult to do so. 

The importance of this was made very clear in an encounter between the CEO of  successful insurance company and a manager in his organization. At a private meeting in the CEO’s office, the younger man seemed concerned and even glum. “What’s the trouble?” asked the head of the company. “Is there a problem?” “Well, sir, I’m afraid there is,” said the manager. “Sales figures for this quarter are down. Way down.”  

He looked hesitantly toward the CEO, not at all sure what to expect. To his surprise, the man looked perfectly composed and cheerful. “That’s excellent!” he declare d . “ T h a t ’s really excellent. I’m very pleased.” 

The manager looked puzzled. “But how can it be excellent? I just told you the sales figures are way down, and you seem happy about it.” 

“That’s right. I am happy,” said the CEO. “For one thing, I’ve heard this kind of news before, and it’s never been more than a temporary problem. As a matter of fact, it’s usually provided an opportunity for making changes that pay off big in the long 

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run. But even more importantly, it’s a matter of personal discipline for me to always cheerfully react to bad news. Even if I can’t find the silver lining in the cloud right at that moment, I know that a good natured response maximizes my chances of finding 

it as soon as possible. I know it’s there—I know this will make me stronger and more successful over time—so what’s not to be happy about?” 

In the spaces below, list the names of the three most cheerful people you know—and briefly describe an incident in which their cheerfulness was especially evident. 

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What can you learn from these individuals? As you look over what you’ve written, how would you rate yourself in terms of cheerfulness? What opportunities do you see for developing this vital component of Leadership Mastery? Write your thoughts in the space below. 

C re a t i v i t yIn terms of Leadership Mastery, creativity can be defined as the ability to make something of value out of something of lesser value. Or, to go even furt h e r, it’s the ability to make something of value out of nothing at all. 

This principle can express itself in many forms. If someone is angry and insults you, t u rning their anger to friendship could be considered a creative act. A diff e rent kind of c reativity takes place when a dream is turned into a reality—when a thought becomes a tangible object that can benefit yourself, or perhaps the world. Perhaps this really is the ultimate creative expression, since wishes, thoughts, and dreams are intangible. No one really knows where he or she come from, and no one has ever really seen anyone else’s . This certainly doesn’t mean they’re unimportant, however. No one has ever seen atom, e i t h e r, but atoms are at the foundation of all re a l i t y. 

In the space below, describe a situation in your life in which a creative response definitely seems to be called for. How can you use creativity in this situation to bring about the best possible outcome? How can you function as a creative leader in order to transform the apparent obstacles into opportunities for a successful re s u l t ? 

R e s i l i e n c e—This is the capacity to rebound from setbacks, disappointments, and flat-o u t f a i l u res. It’s one of the most clearest and important qualities of Leadership Masters. The fact is, very few people go through life without occasional missteps. In fact, most of us even fall flat on our faces from time to time. There ’s no dishonor in this, and by learn i n g to pick ourselves up we encourage growth and positive change. 

The life of one of America’s most influential men is especially illuminating with re g a rd to resilience. It’s really the story of a man and a mouse—or, rather, the idea of a mouse. A c c o rding to one story, a young artist named Walter B. Disney found a family of mice in his studio, and he eventually decided to make them into cartoon characters. Another s t o ry tells how Disney was kept awake on an overnight train trip by the creaking of the 

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woodwork in his compartment. It sounded to him like a chorus of mice—and in that second Mickey Mouse came into being. No one really knows the truth. But there ’s no doubt of one thing: late in life, after the building of Disneyland and dozens of successful films, Walt Disney liked to remind people that all this was started by a mouse. What he really meant, of course, was that it came from the idea of a mouse. And if ever there was a case of nothing turning into something, it was the idea of a mouse turning into a multi-billion dollar business empire. Perhaps even the word talent does not do justice to that phenomenon. It would have to be called genius. 

This is the capacity to rebound from setbacks and disappointments—or in Disney’s case, flat out failures. Burdened with huge debts after the failure of his Laugh-o-gram animation company in Kansas City, Disney moved to California and looked for a job. He couldn’t find one, but he didn’t quit. Instead, he started a new film company with his older brother Roy. Their first two animated films were commercially unsuccessful, and Walt Disney even lost the rights to the second one owing to a naive business decision. But then came the family of mice in the studio—or the squeaky woodwork on the train—and Mickey Mouse came into being. Or not quite. Disney originally wanted  to name him Mortimer, but his wife talked him out of it—so maybe she was the real creator. In any case, Walt Disney created something that led millions of people, over several generations, to follow where his dreams led. This is Leadership Mastery of a unique kind, especially since the followers had so much fun.  

When have you been able to behave with admirable resilience? What opportunities exist right now for you to exhibit this trait of Leadership Mastery? What can you do today to move in this direction? Write your thoughts below. 

Sincere interest in others…optimism…cheerfulness…creativity…and the ability to transcend disappointment or even failure—these are hallmarks of leadership talent. Learn to recognize them in people. Look for them in yourself. And if you find them lacking, do everything in your power to develop them, starting today. 

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Session Four – Risk 

For almost two decades, The Road Less Tr a v e l e d, by Dr. M. Scott Peck, has one of the most widely read and widely admired books in the English language. The book begins with a very simple but very powerful observation: “Life is difficult.” And when human 

beings are faced with difficulties, they’re likely to make mistakes—not just once, but p e rhaps many times before they find the optimum solution to a problem. Ye t Leadership Masters do not re g a rd this situation as something to be unhappy about. On the contrary, they see mistakes as the price we should gladly pay for gaining wisdom and achieving success. 

Risk, quite simply, is the possibility that mistakes will occur. Risk can be reduced by never leaving your house. It can be even further reduced by never leaving your bed. But, of course, the opportunities for success and fulfillment would also be pro p o rt i o n a l l y reduced, if not entirely eliminated. So Leadership Masters, without being foolhard y, are willing and even eager to embrace risk. They’re in no way frightened by it. They know that the level of risk in an undertaking is an excellent predictor of the re w a rd that awaits us once the risks have been overcome.  

This is not to say that mistakes, which are the manifestations of risk, will be painless. Mistakes can cost you money. Mistakes can cost you sleep. But Leadership Masters know that, if you keep coming, accepting risk and making mistakes will only make you s t ro n g e r. Indeed, Leadership Masters are often people who have made a lot of mistakes in their lives. They see that experience as a basic re q u i rement for gain—not only in financial or material terms, but also for their growth as leaders and as human beings. 

One of the most successful real estate developers in America was famous for asking a few very straightforw a rd questions whenever someone came to him with a pro p o s a l . B e f o re anything else was even said, the developer always inquired, How much could I lose in this deal? How badly can I get hurt? What is the ratio of risk to possible re w a rd?  

And if there was no risk, the developer never needed to hear any more. He wasn’t interested—because he knew, as the saying goes, that there really is no such thing as  a free lunch. If a deal off e red little chance for a big payoff, it wasn’t worth his time or m o n e y. But if it seemed to have low risk but the promise of significant gain, he knew t h e re must be something wrong—because in the real world business things simply work that way, although there are people who will tell you otherwise. So asking about the risk was the best way to “cut to the chase.” If the developer learned he could get wiped out, his attention was immediately aroused. Because the possibility of getting wiped out 

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was a precondition for the possibility of becoming hugely successful. 

This real estate developer applied a similar principle when he interviewed prospects for executive positions in his company. As he described it, “Most people try to make themselves look good, and they do that by telling about all the great successes they’ve had. So they’re quite surprised when I ask to hear about their biggest failures—and they’d better have some good ones if they expect to join our organization. If a person has never failed, it tells me they’ve never taken any risks, and that’s a bad sign. An absence of defeats also means you’ve never had to recover from anything. You’ve never had to pull yourself up off the ground and get back into the game. I don’t need people like that. We take a lot of risks around here, and sometimes we get hurt. When the happens, I need executives who can lead us back from misfortune because they’ve led themselves back before.” 

This is the kind of proactive approach to risk that a prospective Leadership Master needs to develop. When you’re faced with a risky situation, don’t feel you have to  be a daredevil—but if there ’s a probable chance of success, train yourself to focus on that outcome instead of the chance for ruin. Too many people spend far too much 

time worrying about catastrophes that never happen. This is a waste of time and energy. As a French philosopher once expressed it, “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.” 

Practically speaking, a discussion of risk should begin a question. How much risk are you willing to tolerate? In order to answer this question clearly and accurately for the future, it will be helpful to look at your experiences with risk in the past. What are some of the biggest risks you’ve taken in your personal and professional life? How did risk affect you, both at the time and when you look back on the situation from the perspective of months or years. Most importantly, would you accept similar levels of risk again today? In the spaces below, write your thoughts on three different “risky situations” that you’ve experienced. 


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It may surprise you to learn that some very successful people—especially entre p re n e u r s — a re almost oblivious to risk. They simply don’t see their ideas as vulnerable to failure. A study of wealthy entre p reneurs showed that intuition is their primary guide in decision making. Business schools teach sophisticated mathematical approaches to risk analysis, but not a single entre p reneur in the study put those methods to use. 

Sometimes, of course, a risk really will materialize. Leaders accept this. They know it w o n ’t put them out of the game fore v e r, and in fact it will ultimately make them s t ro n g e r. Yes, it can be painful. It can sting. But once it’s happened. Live with it. In Dale C a rnegie & Associates book entitled The Leader In Yo u, they call this approach c o o p e r ating with the inevitable. It means not wasting time and energy on something that is out of your control. Dale Carnegie quotes a successful executive: “There are so many times that I’ve had worries and tension and there were just no solutions,” the executive said. “What do you do when you’re a teenager and you fall in love with a girl and she just d o e s n ’t care about you? There ’s no answer for it. You feel sad, and you feel hurt, but after a while the situation just disappears somehow. You didn’t find a solution. You just lived with it, and eventually it went away.”  

If you accept the level of risk that every leader must learn to take on, a certain number of unpleasant realities will come into your life. Murphy’s Law may not be completely accurate—after all, buttered bread does not a l w a y s fall face down—but Murphy was definitely on to something. There are real problems in the real world. Most of them have remedies. But there will always be issues that are beyond your reach. Learn to 

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accept them, and go forw a rd. As the old proverb says, “The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.” 

In any case, it’s not circumstances themselves that make us happy or unhappy. It’s our responses to them. It’s how we react. Since we have no choice about accepting the inevitable, struggling against it just leads to disappointment and bitterness. As the novelist Henry James wrote, “Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming any misfortune.” 

As a leader, it’s vital that you take these principles heart, and you must also be able to communicate them to others. This is really a thre e – p a rt process. 

• F i r s t, make it very clear that mere f a i l u re avoidance is not a worthwhile goal. F a i l u re is certainly not desired, but r i s k of failure is perfectly acceptable as long  as there ’s a greater probability of success. 

• S e c o n d, if and when something does go wrong, examine what happed in a p roactive framework and with a focus on the future. 

• T h i rd, encourage yourself and others to take risks again if the odds seem favorable. 

In addition, If and when a risk does go bad, a leader should help clarify what happened in a way that avoids punitive judgments. Unless someone really acted irre s p o n s i b l y, t h e re ’s nothing to be gained by finger pointing—especially since leaders themselves always accept overall responsibility for everything that happens on their watch. In  discussions like this, it’s important to identify the things that went wrong as accurately as possible. it’s rarely real negligence that allows risks to go bad. Often there were good intentions that were simply impossible to fulfill.  

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Session Five – Inspirational Leadership 

After listening to Session Five of the audio program, what do you see as the positive and negative aspects of inspirational leadership. Please list them in the spaces below. 

P o s i t i v e N e g a t i v e 

N o w, from the following list, select the five individuals who you personally find the most inspirational. After each name you select, briefly describe the specific qualities of the person that you’ve chosen.  

Bill Gates Steven Spielberg Rosa Parks  Elvis Pre s l e y M a rtin Luther King, Jr. Vince Lombard i Walter Cro n k i t e John F. Kennedy Steven Jobs Walt Disney Bill Clinton Eleanor Roosevelt Ronald Reagan Michael Jord a n H i l l a ry Clinton Wa rren Buff e t t Muhammad Ali M a rtha Stewart Ralph Nader Christopher Reeves Jim Henson 1 . 

2 . 

3 . 

4 . 

5 . 

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Next, write the names of five inspirational individuals you have personally known or worked with. These are not necessarily people who have occupied official leadership positions—but they should be people who, simply by being themselves, energized and motivated those around them. Once again, after each name briefly describe the qualities of each person that you found most inspirational. 

1 . 

2 . 

3 . 

4 . 

5 . 

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The two previous questions include your impressions of both public figures and people you’ve personally dealt with. Drawing on both these categories, which of the people do you feel you would most like to emulate in your own life? Select three names—then describe the specific circumstances in your work or personal life where you might be able to emulate the people you’ve selected. These descriptions should be more than just d a y d reams. They should be action plans that you can actually undertake immediately. 




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Don’t go any further in the workbook until you have put your ideas in the pre v i o u s question into action! Think of this as an experiment—with the goal of discovering your personal leadership style. 

Once you’ve done this, describe the results of your experiment in inspirational leadership in the space below. How did others respond? Were you pleased or disappointed with the outcome? Most importantly, consider whether you felt comfortable in the role of inspirational leader, or do you suspect this is not your natural leadership style?  

In the next chapter, we’ll look at a very diff e rent kind of leader, and one that may be m o re much more common at the dawn of the twenty-first century. For example, when Lou Gerstner became CEO of IBM, the company was in a prolonged downward slide. There was even talk of breaking up IBM—it was simply too big unwieldy. Amid the talk of a breakup, Gerstner was asked to describe his vision of the company. His reply would make any inspirational leader cringe. “I don’t have a vision,” Gerstner said. “At this point, the last thing IBM needs is a vision.” Instead of inspiring the troops with high-minded rhetoric, one of Gerstner’s first acts was to ban the use of o v e rhead projectors in staff meetings. This proved to be an effective move, but it was hardly inspirational. Instead, it was organizational, and organizational leadership mastery is our next topic.  

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Session Six – Organizational Leadership 

The inspirational leaders we spoke about in the previous chapter are like rock stars. T h e y ‘ re most at home at center stage, exciting the crowd to new heights of passion and devotion. Inspirational leaders can achieve huge popularity and success. They can re a c h the heights—and they can also fall very fast and very hard. All in all, it’s a risk they’re glad to take. 

In this chapter our topic is a very diff e rent kind of leadership mastery. If inspirational leaders are like rock stars, the organizational leaders we’ll look at now are like music company executives or theatrical agents. Organizational leaders don’t crave adulation or applause. They’re often uncomfortable in the spotlight. They’re not eager to accept 

the scrutiny and second-guessing that comes with spectacular success or failure. For their re w a rds, organizational leaders look inward at the solid foundation they’ve cre a t e d . They let others lead the parade through the outside world. 

Although truly inspirational leaders are still exciting and charismatic figures, they may be a vanishing breed in today’s environment. As the world becomes more technology oriented and market driven, the importance of personal magnetism is diminishing— while the need for technical expertise and organizational competence continues to gro w. This seems to be a long-developing historical cycle. Someone like Ted Tu rner would p robably have been a leader at any period of history: an empire builder in the ancient world, a crusader in the middle ages, a railroad baron at the end of the 19th century. On the other hand, many of today’s most successful organizational leaders might have been far less influential. Would Steve Case of America Online have been a cupbearer for Phil Knight of Nike or Steven Jobs? Perhaps—but now things have definitely changed. Lou Gerstner of IBM, for example, is a superb executive and corporate  t u rn a round specialist. But when he became head of IBM—at a time when plans were a l ready in place to break up the once proud company—Gerstner did something that would have been anathema to many business leaders of the past. He did nothing, at least not immediately. Although Gerstner has described himself as “intense, competitive, focused, blunt, and tough,” he might have added restrained and realistic. At an early p ress conference, he refused to present his vision for the future of the company, and in fact he said he didn’t have one. Instead, he quite predictably undertook some downsizing of the company and began to re-orient it toward customer service. He banned the use of overhead projectors during meetings—which fostered better communication, but could hardly be interpreted as a battle cry. Yet Gerstner did eventually create viable  

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l o n g – t e rm goals for IBM, and his success speaks for itself. This is way of the org a n i z a tional leader, and the organizational leader is someone whose time has definitely come. 

In the past—whether 50 years ago or 500—large organizations were shaped like those symbols of early civilization, the pyramids. There were large numbers of people on the bottom, followed by layer after layer of supervisors and managers in ascending ord e r. Each new layer had more authority than the one below. This many tiered stru c t u re ro s e 

ever higher until it reached its pinnacle. That’s where the king, or the general, or the CEO, the Chairman, and the Board of Directors got to sit. And that’s where the classic inspirational leader was also most comfortable. 

Was this the best way to stru c t u re an organization? Perhaps it was in many cases at and many times—especially when the leader was well suited for it. But until quite re c e n t l y, no one really bothered to ask whether it was best. The pyramid-shaped org a n i z a t i o n was just the way things were. 

As the twenty-first century begins, however, the pyramids have come tumbling down. Borders, ranks, and lines of demarcation are steadily evaporating. Every day, new technologies are equalizing access to information and making rigid bureaucracies obsolete. You don’t have to have a deep voice and a big biceps to be a leader anymore . You just have to be fast, flexible, and first with a new idea. 

O rganizational leaders are very comfortable with these changes. Their authority doesn’t depend on force of personality. Their first priority is the strength and success of the o rganization—its size and shape are much less important. That’s why org a n i z a t i o n a l leaders are comfortable, and sometimes even ruthless, about downsizing. In fact, e x t reme versions of the organizational leader would just as soon employ three people as t h ree thousand, if the bottom line could be improved. This is a serious mistake, as we’ll discuss later in this chapter—but even the most moderate organizational leader puts p rofitability first. 

And if it means less glory for the leaders themselves, they see this as progress also. Rigid chains of command stifled creativity and the development of new products or services. Over time, this can weaken any organization—a development that organiza tional leaders would take very personally. They want their company or their school or their football team to function as smoothly and as efficiently as possible—not because they’re humanists or progressive thinkers, but because it’s in their nature to create streamlined organizations.  

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If this is your leadership style, you welcome changes that eliminate the old rigidity. Yo u want people to be free to do their best. You re g ret the many years in which their talents w e re forced to lie dormant. The renowned management author Peter Drucker perf e c t l y 

e x p ressed the point organizational leader’s point of view when he said, “The modern corporation cannot exist on the model of boss and subordinate. It must exist as a coop erating team.” The CEO of a large multinational company put it even more concisely when he declared, “The Lone Ranger is just no longer possible.” 

As an organizational leader, you want to eliminate not only departmental rivalries, but even the departments themselves if it will nurture success. By the same token, you want to get rid of automatic promotions, seniority-based pay scales, and other fru s t r a t i n g vestiges of the old days. In old pyramid companies, engineers spent all day cooped up with other engineers. Bookkeepers sat next to other bookkeepers. Middle managers r a rely interacted with either the CEO or the shipping clerk. But an organizational leader d o e s n ’t hesitate to throw an engineer into a group of salespeople, with instru c t i o n s to make the product more attractive to the customer. Or to figure out how to build it faster so that margins will rise. Or to use technical expertise in order to get around a marketing glitch. In eclectic groups such as these, it’s almost impossible to determine who’s where on the corporate hierarchy. 

As Peter Drucker has pointed out, the world is no longer made up of privates, off i c e r s , and drill sergeants, and modern organizational leaders thoroughly understand that. A rmies were traditionally organized along a paradigm of command and control, and o rganizations in other fields simply copied that model. But today, with the new org a n i zational leadership leading the way, groups are stru c t u red more like soccer of tennis teams than like infantry divisions. Every team member is now empowered to act as a d e c i s i o n – m a k e r. Everyone must see themselves as both an executive and a line worker— and organizational Leadership Masters are very comfortable with that. They don’t care about emptying their own wastebaskets, as long as the strength of the team is enhanced. 

These flattened organizations are turning up in every field—from steel companies to educational institutions. As the principal of an East Coast elementary school pointed out, “There ’s now a real incentive to build teams and lead people from a horizontal 

rather than a vertical perspective. There ’s much less emphasis on titles, hourly pay, or other incentives. The team’s perf o rmance and the strength of the organization are their own re w a rd . ” 

This kind of effective teamwork doesn’t happen overnight, and the leader needs unique skills to bring it into being. It’s a different kind of leadership than the old fashioned pep talk in the locker room. That kind of inspirational leadership can still 

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work in the hands of a uniquely gifted person, but fewer and fewer people are aspiring to it—and wisely so. Bill Gates in his cardigan and Steve Case in his khaki pants are the role models now. Ve ry few of the new organizational leadership masters are comfort a b l e in a helmet or a pair of shoulder pads.  

To d a y, successful organizations are fluid and flexible, and leadership of those org a n i z a t i o n s re q u i res those same qualities—and then some. Right now, let’s look at some of the essential i n g redients of organizational leadership. 

S h a red sense of purpose—any organization, first and foremost, is a group of people with a team identity. Nurturing that sense is the primary task of an org a n i z a t i o n a l l e a d e r. People working together can accomplish extraord i n a ry things—so the essence  of an organization depends on the unified vision of the team members. 

Once that vision is in place, the ideas, cre a t i v i t y, and innovation will come from the team itself. But the leader still plays an absolutely essential role. He or she must direct and focus all that energ y. Leaders must keep the team members informed about how their work affects the organization, its customers or clients, and the outside world as a whole. The president of a mid-sized electronics firm described what this means: “You’ve got to c reate the emotional and intellectual environment. You‘ve got to zero in on the corporate objective. You’ve got to provide the stimulus and encouragement so that individuals and teams can truly think of themselves as world class. Recognition, feedback, shared purpose make that possible—and those are what the leader needs to pro v i d e . ” 

So creating a shared sense of purpose is a key element of organizational leadership—but t h e re ’s another way to make the same point. Leaders must make it clear that success is a g roup experience, but so is anything less than success. 

The meaning of this is very simple. Unless the whole team wins, no one wins. Individual records are fine in history books or almanacs, but they’re seriously out of place in today’s most competitive organizations. What matters most—in fact, the only thing that matters at all—is the performance of the whole group. 

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In the space below, describe three specific steps you can take toward creating a gre a t e r sense of unity among your colleagues—or even among your family and friends. This may involve planning a group event such as a picnic or a trip to an educational or an inspirational location—or it can mean putting your logo on some T- s h i rts and caps. Be cre a t i v e ! 

A sense of wort h—People need to feel important. If they’re denied that feeling, they’ll give less than full eff o rt to the project at hand. So an effective organizational leader allows as many decisions as possible pass through the entire group. Let the ideas bubble up all the members of the team. Don’t dictate solutions. Don’t insist that things be done a certain way.  

Masters of organizational leadership use words like w e and u s a lot more than I a n d m e. Leadership Masters always emphasize how every o n e ’s contribution fits in. If the ad man does great work but the packaging specialist fails, that’s not success. If the marketing d i rector hits a home run but the production people strike out, the whole team loses. But when everybody contributes to the best of their ability—from the person who answers the phones to the person who signs the checks—that’s a win for all of them. 

If leaders do their jobs correctly, the individuality of the team members remains intact. They still have different skills. They still have unique personalities. They still have different hopes and fears. Talented organizational leaders recognize those differ ences, appreciate them, and use them for the benefit of the group. Leaders, for their part, believe firmly in every member of the team and they’re eager to express that belief whenever possible. On the other hand, they avoid pointing the finger of blame at any one individual. If there’s a problem, they speak privately with team members about how results can be improved. There’s no singling people out, no talk about the “weak link” in the chain.  

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As a leader, what practical steps can you take right now toward building a sense of self-worth in the people around you. This is more than just ego-stroking. It’s really looking at the hopes and dreams of others, showing that you value those aspirations, and finding ways to bring them into the real world. Write your thoughts in the space below. 

Focus on more than one objective—Organizational Leaders are aware that at least two objectives must constantly be serviced with every team member. The first goal is successful performance of the job at hand. But that’s not an end in itself. Every job should also be a training experience leading to even better performance and greater responsibility in the future. In other words, leaders must strengthen the organization by developing new business and getting jobs done on time—and they must strengthen it as well by honing the skills of all the org a n i z a t i o n ’s members. The political columnist Walter Lippman expressed this principle very eloquently: “The final test of leaders is imparting to others the conviction and the skills to carry on.” 

In short, organizational leaders should take genuine responsibility for the lives and c a reers of the entire team. “How would you like to improve?” is a question the leader should frequently ask. “Where do you want your career to go from here? What kinds of new responsibilities would you like to be taking on?” It’s the leader’s job to ask those questions and to respond in ways that help team members achieve their goals. 

In other words, communicate the confidence you have in their abilities. Provide standard s for the organization to meet or exceed—and publicly show your appreciation when that happens. And remember: for an effective organizational leader, team success equals personal success. Anything else is unacceptable. The greatest reward these leaders can achieve is a group of talented, confident, motivated, and cooperating  people who are themselves ready to lead.  

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In order to make this happen, the leader has to be a constant presence. In old-fashioned pyramid style companies, it was easy for the boss to remain relatively aloof. After all, a group of subordinates was always hovering around, eager to do whatever the boss wanted done. That’s all changed in today’s most effective organizations. Leaders have to be there physically, and they must be intellectually and emotionally tuned in. To some extent, this can be reduced to the management of a very simple but supremely import a n t commodity: t i m e. 

Time is really the most valuable resource a leader has. It’s also one of the most  challenging and the most interesting. For one thing, no matter what your net worth or annual income or job title, you have exactly the same amount of time as everyone else—not a minute more and not a minute less. Good time management is simply the art of using each 4 hours as effectively as possible.  

Whether we’re trying to build an effective organization, plan a vacation or build a successful marriage, hurry seems to be a common condition. Again and again, we simply don’t have enough time. It happens at all ages and income levels. Students  

juggle homework and part-time jobs. Parents struggle with the competing demands of career and child rearing. Today many people even find themselves in doubly pressed for time, caring for aging parents while also trying to raise a family. The following simple guidelines can serve as a starting point for re o rganizing your time if you find it keeps “getting away from you.” Feel free to add your own successful methods for getting the most out of the time you do have available. 

First, get into the habit of using an organizer or day planner of some kind. Keep it with you so that changes in schedules or ongoing commitments can be re c o rded right away. Then sit down at least once a week and see where your time is actually going. Pay  p a rticular attention to the way you spend the hours that you’re not at work. 

Second, avoid energy-draining, time wasting black holes—and watching television is p robably the most common example. While TV can be a relaxing or educational activity, it can also steal precious hours that are better used for something else. If you’re a habitual w a t c h e r, use your organizer to determine how much time you’re actually spending in f ront of the screen. Then make a plan for reducing your TV time to a minimum level. 

T h i rd, be realistic about what you can accomplish in the time you have. Overre a c h i n g beyond what you can possibly get done can keep you stuck in a permanent time cru n c h . Even if you apply every skill you’ve learned in this program, you can still encounter p roblems by scheduling ten hours of activity in seven hours of time. For many people, a key step is learning to say n o to additional obligations whenever possible. 

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Next, remember this important principle: when it comes to being organized, every little bit helps. Chaos wastes time. Order re s t o res it. As you begin implementing a time management program, start small and keep at it. Identify three or four problem  a reas at home and at work—then commit fifteen minutes to addressing those specific p roblems. Even if it takes you a week or a month, don’t go on to anything else until those issues are resolved.  

Fifth, make your “down time” count. There are moments of uncommitted time in e v e ry o n e ’s day. They may not be more than a few minutes, but you can use them to chip away at things that need to be done. Waiting in a doctor’s office and sitting at the car wash are cases in point. By using just ten minutes a day more eff i c i e n t l y, you can almost add full hour to your life over the course of a week. 

A final point about time management concerns the concept of synergy we discussed  e a r l i e r. A l l of the ways you develop the qualities of a leader in your personal life work t o g e t h e r. You don’t manage your time in a vacuum. When you’re fit, full of energ y, and sleeping well, for example, you’ll find time management to be much easier. Ultimately, this chapter on creating balance is about one simple principle—it’s about being in contro l of your own life, and not letting it control you. All of the tools at your disposal will be i m p o rtant if you’re going to accomplish that goal. 

Over the next two days, use the opposite page keep a simple log of how much time you spend with various members of your team. It does have to be anything elaborate; just indicate the beginnings and endings of meetings, what was discussed, and when the result can be expected. At the end of the week, look over your log to learn whether y o u ’ re playing the hands on role that’s so essential to organizational leadership. Yo u should not be spending a dispro p o rtionate amount of time with people only at your level of the organization. It’s important to create a balanced mix of relationships, and this should be reflected in your log entries. 

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Two Day Time Log  Day One  

9 am 

10 am 

11 am 

N o o n 

1 pm 

2 pm 

3 pm 

4 pm 

5 pm 

Day Tw o 

8 am 

9 am 

10 am 

11 am 

N o o n 

1 pm 

2 pm 

3 pm 

4 pm 

5 pm 

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Dale Carnegie, a natural teacher, liked to use to word enrollment to describe the  relationship between leaders and employees in the creation of a successful org a n i z a t i o n. Leaders must offer their team members the chance to improve themselves, just as a university offers new skills to students who choose to enroll. Team members, by their own choice and for their own benefit, enroll in the strategy, tactics, and principles of the leader. This does not necessarily have to happen at the moment of hiring, but the leader must see potential that it will happen sooner rather than later. Enrollment requires focused effort and continual reinforcement, but there’s no shortcut. Masters of organizational leadership do not dictate. They enroll. 

At its best organizational leadership means showing people that you trust, respect, and c a re about them. Great i n s p i r a t i o n a l leaders have the ability to make people follow them. This is a unique gift and even a form of genius. The gift of the organizational leader is m o re subtle and perhaps just as great. It’s the ability to get people moving forw a rd not because of the person leading them, but because they’re leading themselves. 

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Session Seven – Finding Your Leadership Style 

In the previous chapters we’ve explored inspirational and organizational leadership styles. Now that you’re getting a feel for the diff e rent ways Leadership Masters operate, i t ’s time to take what you’ve learned and apply it to yourself. This chapter presents 12 self-assessment questions to help you identify your own unique leadership style. Be s u re you’ve listened to Session Seven of the audio program before you begin work in this c h a p t e r. And as you respond to the questions, please remember that nothing is “written in stone.” This self-assessment questionnaire is not destiny. In fact, it’s something very much the opposite. Like a snapshot, this is simply a picture of where you are right now, at this moment in your personal development. 

What if you don’t like the picture? Well, you’ve got the power to change it. You’ve got f ree will, imagination, and the capacity to gro w. And if you d o like the picture, you can gain insights to expand on your stre n g t h s . 

As we consider the twelve questions, there are two key points to keep in mind. 

First, be honest with yourself. This assessment is for y o u r benefit, and no one else will see it. The more honest you are, the more life-like your verbal snapshot will be. In par t i c u l a r, avoid the temptation of second-guessing yourself to create a “better” answer— because for this exercise, the best answer is the t ru t h, just as it occurs to you. 

Second, try to avoid brief, generalized answers. Write as much as you can for each response, including circumstances, thoughts, emotions, people—internal and extern a l details that will flesh out your answer into something useful for you to work with later. The more you write, the more you’ll get out of the process. 

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With these things in mind, we’re ready to begin: 

Question One—What is the biggest career or work-related decision you’ve ever made, and how did you make it? 

Question Two: Are you a concept person or an execution person? 

Question Three: Are you inspired by detail or impatient with it? 

Question Four: Are you a conservative or an aggressive leader? 

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Question Five: Do you use your emotions in your work-related decision making? Question Six: As a leader, do you try to build consensus, or do you “go it alone”? Question Seven: How do you feel about confro n t a t i o n ? 

Question Eight: Are you a scientist or a magician? 

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Question Nine: How do you re g a rd your competitors? 

Question Ten: How do you feel about grooming a successor? 

Question Eleven: If you could eavesdrop on a conversation about your leadership, what would you most want to hear? 

Response Key 

Question One—Experience with making hard or important decisions has nothing to do with the length of your resume or whether you’ve ever been interviewed by CNN. No matter where you are in your professional life, whether you’re an administrative assistant or a CEO, you’ve already made some very big career decisions. If you make decisions i n t u i t i v e l y, and if your central concern is the immediate benefits of you choices rather than the long range consequences, you decision making style is congruent with inspira tional leadership. But if you are more analytical than intuitive, and if you give more weight to the long term effects than to the re q u i rements of the moment, you are more  of an organizational decision maker. 

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Question Tw o —Concept people see everyday objects with fresh eyes. They’re masters at f ree-association. Their talents are what spark new trends, inspire innovative pro d u c t s , c reate fresh approaches and cause new services to be born. Execution people play a much diff e rent role. Without them, clever ideas that never manifest themselves in our daily lives. They fiddle with ideas until they can be realistically turned into pro d u c t s that hit the shelves at cost and on time. Both talents are necessary. Neither could accomplish much without the existence of the other. Both are potential Leadership Masters. But conceptual thinkers are most often inspirational leaders, while an  orientation toward execution suggests an organizational leadership style. 

Question Thre e —Detail-oriented people thrive in situations that allow them to delve into the process, taking things one step at a time with methodical concentration. They find no appeal in a broad, generalized approach to things. If this is your style, you are most likely an organizational leader. Other people have the capacity for great commit ment and hard work, but when it comes time to dive into the smaller parts of the p rocess they’re already on to the next order of business. Their strengths don’t lie in c a refully fitting together the smaller pieces of the puzzle, no matter how critical those pieces might turn out to be. For them the devil that’s is in the details. If this describes you, you are almost certainly an inspirational leader. 

Question Four—Do you play to win, or to prevent yourself from losing? Do you think that the best defense is a good offense, or is it the other way around? In any case, don’t make the mistake of thinking one of these styles is somehow better than the other. 

Imagine that an armed robber has taken hostages in a bank. Time ticks away as gunmen inside the building remain in a stand-off with police. The public may be crying out for action, but more often than not, it’s the coolheaded, conservative approach that saves the people inside. It may not make for a great movie adaptation, but that matters very little to the families of the hostages who are released unharmed. In this sort of instance, i t ’s easy to see that an aggressive move could quickly turn into a violent and needless d i s a s t e r. At first glance, aggressive thinkers (and inspirational leaders) might seem like superior individuals. But don’t be fooled. Depending upon the circumstances, conserv a t i v e thinking (and organizational leadership) can often save the day. 

A g g ressive leaders are not daunted by risk. They are creative strategists, and often t h e y ’ re at their best when their backs are against the wall. Conservative leaders limit damage. They anticipate way to avoid unnecessary losses in order to protect the larg e r o rganization. Diff e rent kinds of people have diff e rent strengths. Your task now is to identify where your own strengths reside. 

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Question Five—In other words, do you trust your gut or trust the numbers? When y o u ’ re faced with a tough choice, do you respond intuitively or analytically? This  question is a reprise of Question One, but the distinction it makes is so important  that it deserves revisiting. 

Steve Jobs of Apple Computer is a similar example of instinctive decision making. When he re t u rned to lead the company he had co-founded, there were serious problems such as Apple had never faced before. Sales were dismal. Other brands had caught up with Apple in ease of use, and many were significantly less costly. The numbers were definitely bad, but Jobs remained passionate about Apple’s strength as a market innovator, and as a company that had its finger on the consumer pulse. He had strong instincts about what was missing from the home computer market—and the iMac model proved him right. Small, easy to operate, portable and fun to look at, the candy-colored iMac is the re s u l t of Jobs’ faith in his own instincts and his abilities as an inspirational leader. 

Yet a less emotional approach to decisions is also a valuable approach. For many people, the notion that “the numbers don’t lie,” has served them very well when it comes time  to make a tough choice, re g a rdless of what’s happening in their gut. They are pure o rganizational leaders, and often very good ones. 

Question Six—O rganizational leaders favor consensus, and consider it the optimal g roup dynamic. They feel that the rightness of a decision is validated when most of the g roup agrees with it. It’s a harmonizing process. Consensus builders are convinced that going forw a rd as a team will increase an org a n i z a t i o n ’s overall effectiveness. Even on a personal level, they’re most comfortable in this sort of atmosphere . 

Being a consensus builder, however, takes considerable skill and tenacity. It re q u i re s knowing how to interact with all sorts of personalities. It means being an astute judge of others. These kind of leaders are tireless negotiators, constantly readjusting their mental balance sheets while they edge everyone closer to the middle. Like a cat that always lands on its feet, a consensus builder knows how to stay in control while navigating a fluid situation. 

At this point, you may be wondering: who in their right mind would be against consensus? After all, what could possibly be wrong with everyone being in agreement? But every aspect of leadership has a flip side, an opposite style that can be equally eff e c t i v e . Inspirational leaders intuitively reject the idea of committee decisions. They will even deliberately subvert a consensus that seems to be naturally evolving. While this can be s e l f – d e s t ructive, it can also bring about creative and innovative solutions to pro b l e m s . How would you react to that sort of style? Are you a consensus builder, or a someone who likes to puncture balloons to hear them pop? 

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Question Seven—As a leader, do you see yourself as a straight-shooter or a diplomat? Do people describe you as easygoing and a team player—or do they use words like frank, direct, blunt? Looking back on conflict situations, organizational leaders may believe that they failed by just letting things go that far. But many inspirational leaders have fond memories of their confrontations—of not backing down, of speaking out, of asserting control. Do you see confrontation as a breakdown of leadership, or as a fundamental expression of it? 

Question Eight—This is really a question about the importance you assign to consistency. How much weight do you give to tried-and-true formulas? Are you most comfort a b l e sticking with what’s worked in the past, or do you like to see things happen in unexpected and unexpected ways? 

The test of a scientific approach is its ability to predict the future. Based on past experience, we can absolutely predict that dropping a stone will result in its falling toward the ground. If your leadership style is to look closely at what’s tried and true, you’re probably closer to the scientist in your orientation. You pay attention to the accumulated data. You study past outcomes as a way of predicting future success. Magic, on the other hand, doesn’t have to work all the time in order for it to still be, well, magical. The magician believes that all the variables in a situation can never be known, and that even the force of his own belief or that of the onlookers can influ ence an outcome. Each new effort has its own dynamic, it’s own set of unpredictable factors that make it a universe into itself. As you might expect, inspirational leaders tend to see themselves as magicians; they believe the rules apply to everyone but them. Organizational leaders, on the other hand, see themselves as scientists. For them, the whole world is a laboratory in which experiments are undertaken only  with great care and preparation. 

Question Nine—For the purposes of this question, the word “competitors” refers to people who are both inside and outside your organization. It may refer to someone at your same level in a company, or it may refer to another company that produces the same product or service as yours. In any case, how you see your competitors is a key indicator of your leadership style. 

Specifically—do you see your competitors as opponents in a battle? This is the case with most inspirational leaders. Or, like an organizational leaders, do see them as basically people like yourself who are doing the best job the can, and who can even help to bring out the best in you through their eff o rt s ? 

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Question Te n —For many inspirational leaders positions—even for some who could unquestionably be called Leadership Masters—the idea that they’ll let go of the reins at some point seems very threatening. After all, grooming a successor is not only about the e ff o rt of finding and preparing the appropriate candidate. It touches on the idea that w e ’ re not indispensable, and this clashes with the way inspirational leaders see the world. 

O rganizational leaders don’t find the issue of “letting go” at all unsettling. In fact, they re g a rd it as an important part of their re s p o n s i b i l i t y, part of insuring the future of the o rganization. And along with the larger gro u p ’s stability, they feel that their own eff o rt s and victories will be protected when such transitions are pre p a red and implemented without diff i c u l t y. As you respond to this question, ask yourself how you feel about  the eventual relinquishing of leadership? Do you see it as a leadership opport u n i t y, or something you don’t even want to think about? 

Question Eleven—This final question is perhaps the most revealing of all. If you could e a v e s d rop on a conversation that complimented or described you in some way, what is the o n e thing you’d m o s t a p p reciate? If you’re an organizational leader, you might like to hear that you’re a team player…good with your staff … a p p roachable and easy to talk to. If you have an inspirational leadership style, you would want to be described as tough but fair, and passionate about your work. You’ll need to give this some real thought. Take the time to do so. You might even like to write your answer to this question is the f o rm of an imaginary dialog. The insights can be very re w a rding—and it’s fun to imagine a conversation in which you hear nothing but good things about yourself! 

Now read over your responses to the eleven questions. This will take you a long way t o w a rd discovering whether you’re basically an inspirational leader, and org a n i z a t i o n a l one, or perhaps in transition toward a clear personal style. 

And remember: this is a snapshot, not a stone sculpture intended to endure for all time. Like the world around you, you’re a work in pro g ress. The purpose of this exercise is to give you an accurate take on where you are right now. 

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Session Eight – Leadership in Balance 

We’ll begin this chapter with an observation that may surprise you. It has to do with the limits of leadership success—or, rather, with the fact that real success should have no limits. We’ve all heard of people who have achieved great things in their care e r s , 

who have become the heads of big companies or who are successful entre p reneurs, but their personal lives are in chaos. Their families have broken up, or they’ve damaged their health, or they never seem able to take a moment away from work. 

It has to be said, unfort u n a t e l y, that those are not successful people in any real sense of the word. Those are not leadership masters, because they have failed to lead themselves e ffectively in the most important areas of their lives. In fact, part of the problem might 

be some confusion about what’s really important and what’s less import a n t — a b o u t what are the means, and what are the ends. 

Someone once said, “No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity, if you can’t look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?” Actually, the person who said that wasn’t just someone—it was 

Lee Iacocca, the former CEO of Chrysler Corporation. He was re f e rring to the need for perspective—for leadership mastery in a l l a reas of our lives. In the next few moments we’ll explore specific tactics and techniques for helping you attain that balance. And s u r p r i s i n g l y, when this is achieved, it will actually generate renewed energy and focus for your care e r. 

You may be familiar with a word that describes this process. The word is s y n e rg y. It refers to the interaction of two or more forces, so that their combined effect is gre a t e r than the sum of their individual effects. In every o n e ’s life, the two major forces are the d e s i res for p ro f e s s i o n a l fulfillment and for p e r s o n a l fulfillment. And they synerg i s t i c . Success in one can—or should—foster success in the other. 

In this chapter, our approach to achieving balance will come in two parts. We’ll first discuss the strengthening of your re s o u rces and developing a balanced perspective. Then we’ll address how all this can be applied in everyday life. It’s a dual process: training and perf o rm a n c e … l e a rning and application. 

A successful life needs to have many dimensions—for your family, your friends, your personal pastimes, and your health. Right now, how happy are you with those dimensions in your life? Many of us are not really accustomed to thinking about that. Maybe it’s a way of thinking that you prefer to avoid altogether—but discipline is needed here. 

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It’s a new kind of discipline, but it’s an important aspect of leadership mastery. It’s a willingness to look at who we really are and to ask, Is this who I really want to be? If the answer is no, then you’ve got some work to do. In fact, you’ve got some work to do even if the answer was not exactly or not quite yet. Because remember: success is not success unless it’s complete—unless it encompasses all areas of your experience. 

Your physical health—A truly balanced life requires, first of all, a certain level of physical well being. Is the way you eat, sleep, and exercise moving you in the dire c t i o n you want to go, or in the opposite direction? What, if anything, would you like to change about your physical self? What can you do to bring that change about?  Write your thoughts in the space below. 

Getting into shape doesn’t mean you have to train for a marathon. It just means doing something that’s physically proactive. Many studies have shown that even a brisk walk a round the block three times a week is of huge benefit compared to doing nothing at all. So you can begin moderately, but with a firm commitment to stick to your goals. As you pro g ress, you can increase your level of activity. But at the beginning, keep in mind that just twelve minutes of exercise four times a week is all it takes to set you on the right road. That’s less than an hour every seven days—the equivalent of watching a weekly sitcom. 

Just as physical activity has many benefits, it’s equally important to stimulate yourself i n t e l l e c t u a l l y, and perhaps even art i s t i c a l l y. Education is a process that should never stop. In fact, many people who were indiff e rent students in their youth find that their real interest in education beginning in their middle years. 

For a leader, learning should have a definition far beyond what takes place in form a l schooling. You can learn from everyone. You can learn from everything. It doesn’t have an obvious application to your care e r. A better understanding of American history, a visit to an art museum, or even reading a trade journal from outside your industry will enhance your interactions with other people, both at home and at work. 

Each month, an attorney in San Francisco borrows four books from the library and reads them—but he doesn’t look at the titles before checking them out. By picking 

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books at random, he’s developed knowledge of philosophy, history, fiction, and even higher mathematics. Sooner or later, these have all helped him in his work. More i m p o rt a n t l y, they’ve helped him feel that his world is continuously expanding instead  of getting smaller and smaller with each passing year. 

A moment ago, you wrote a self-evaluation of your physical health. Now do the same thing for the intellectual well-being. In which areas do you wish you were better i n f o rmed or more knowledgeable? What can you do to achieve those goals? Wr i t e down your thoughts. 

Just as your intellect needs to be cultivated, so does your spiritual dimension. Although this is an aspect of themselves that many people ignore, it is a fundamental part of every human being. You need to give it focused attention. This does not necessarily mean  f o rmal religious observance—although that may very well be your choice. But spiritual a w a reness of some kind is very important. 

The reasons may be difficult to express words, but there’s no arguing with the  abundance of evidence. People who devote some time to their spiritual lives reap many benefits. They divorce less often. They heal faster after surgery. They have f e w e r s t re s s – related health problems. They suffer less from anxiety and other psychological d i s o rders—and in general they seem to be immune to feelings of despair and loneliness. Those are the facts. Use them to your benefit. How can you take time in your life for your spiritual dimension? Answer below. 

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We’ve been talking a lot about how to strengthen your resources. Now, let’s examine the settings in which these resources are called upon in your personal life. For most people, this begins with family. That can mean a spouse and children, although increasingly this traditional model of family is only one piece of a much larger  picture of how people now live.  

So when we discuss family, keep in mind that it embraces all the models of what family can mean: single parent families, unmarried people, extended family, one child, many c h i l d ren, or a group of close friends that functions like a familial support system. How your own family is stru c t u red is much less important than the time and love you invest in it. Research shows that families of all types who come together re g u l a r l y, celebrate milestones and holidays, tend to be freer of dysfunction than those who don’t. So the same energy you use to play a leadership role in your professional life is vital to your most important personal re l a t i o n s h i p s . 

In beginning to sum up this discussion of personal balance, we can ask a very basic question that applies to leadership and to life as a whole: What does success re a l l y m e a n? A successful childhood seems easy to define: it’s protected, secure, healthy, and stable. Superf i c i a l l y, success in adulthood is quantified in terms of money. But is this really useful or accurate? What does money really mean?—what s h o u l d it mean?—and what can it n e v e r mean? And what’s the right attitude for a Leadership Master to adopt t o w a rds money?  

Throughout history, the central issue of life for most people was having means enough to insure survival. A huge segment of the population worried about putting food on the table. Today a too large section of the American population remains below the poverty level, but our most widespread pressures about money have changed. The anxiety of need has largely been replaced by the anxiety of want. 

Dealing with this anxiety can take many forms. On one end of the spectrum, there are people who live by the mantra, D o n ’t worry, be happy. They just don’t worry about money the way other people do—they’re not wired that way. They don’t worry about their spending, or the what-ifs of re t i rement. They don’t lie awake at night. They just  go for it. Period.  

On the other extreme, many people worry incessantly about money and not having enough of it. In fact, psychologists re p o rt that this is the biggest fear that most people c a rry around—surpassing even death or serious illness. 

Do you find yourself taking one of these extreme positions, or are you somewhere  in between? Clearly, the answer lies in striking a balance. A little bit of caution and 

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advance planning can prevent most financial problems. At the same time, knowing how to free yourself from endless worry is equally important. This is one case in which the real leadership position is in the middle, at the balance point. 

In sum, balance and perspective are fundamental to personal leadership mastery. Prudence balanced with freedom…work balanced with rest…career balanced with family…and material well being with spiritual awareness. A leadership role in your personal life just means investing in your own happiness. You wouldn’t expect a large o rganization to run on it’s own with no vision, no direction, no guidelines, no leadership. A corporation is not a self-cleaning oven. By the same token, you can’t expect your private life to run itself either. And if you don’t take control of it, somebody or something else will. 

This idea, of bringing a richness to your life experience, and of taking command of the way your life is run, brings us to the last leadership setting of this second section. Yo u might be surprised to discover that it doesn’t conclude with a bang, In fact, the last component is nothing other than peace and quiet. 

I t ’s solitude. Tranquillity of mind. It’s time and space that you carve out of your busy life in order to think, to reconnect with nature, to develop the ability of being alone with yourself. It’s an ability that many people find very difficult. Noise is an addiction and many of us have a bad case of it. The more electronic our society becomes, the m o re items we plug in that end up separating us from this simple but essential eff o rt to master the skill of quiet contemplation. Don’t shortchange yourself. And don’t mistake solitude for dead time or boredom. With practice, you’ll be able to re s t o re your energ y and quiet everyday stress by insisting on some protected quiet time. 

Above all, remember than when you put your feet on the floor in the morning, you have the power to make it a good day or a bad day. You are either going to enjoy life  in those next 24 hours or you’re not—and those hours are never going to come your way again. There are hundreds of things that can irritate, worry, or annoy us. Don’t let them. Don’t let the small things get you down—and if the big things get you down, take a good look to make sure they’re really big.  

With these strategies to strengthen your re s o u rces and then to use them where they count, you’ll be on your way to the success in the personal side of Leadership Mastery. Without a happy and fulfilling personal life, professional success is just a job. But when the many dimensions of every day are filled with challenge, commitment, love, and humor—then everything isn’t only p o s s i b l e a n y m o re. Everything has been a c h i e v e d. 

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Session Nine – Leadership in the New Wo r k p l a c e 

The world today is no longer an old boy’s club. Of course, it never really was, but there may have been a time when it seemed that way. Now that time is passed—which is a v e ry positive development. Talent, hard work, and character should determine how far people can go in their careers and in their personal lives. The closer we get to that ideal, the better of we’ll be. 

To d a y ’s Leadership Masters must be able to get along with everyone—not necessarily as a best friend, but certainly to the degree that race, national origin, religion, or personal lifestyle choices do not intrude. The chairman of a large manufacturing company puts this principle in perspective: “Only eighty to eighty five percent of the people entering the work force in the twenty-first century will be minorities, women, or immigrants,” he says. “This is not some distant point in the future. We ’ re there right now. So unless you want to avail yourself of only fifteen percent of the talent out there, you’d better get comfortable with diversity, starting now.”  

H i s t o r i c a l l y, ignorance has always been at the root of intolerance. And here ’s the flip side of that sad fact: the best way to gain respect for another culture, or any form of d i v e r s i t y, is to educate yourself about it. The late Arthur Ashe certainly had abundant talent as a tennis player, but that’s not what led him to choose the game as a care e r.  “I knew there was a lot of travel involved,” Ashe once said. “That’s really what I was looking forw a rd to. I wanted to visit all those places. I wanted to see the think I’d only read about in the pages of National Geographic. I welcomed the opportunity to learn about them.” 

E x p o s u re to anything new can evoke very diff e rent attitudes in diff e rent people. We may feel self-satisfied and even haughty about who we are as individuals and about the c u l t u re we come from. We may look down at people who have had another sort of b a c k g round. Maybe they’re not as technically sophisticated, or as well educated, or even as physically healthy. That’s one way of looking at it. Another is to say: “Yes, their p resent circumstances are not that good—but they may come from a rich theological or cultural heritage. They may have seen things I’ve never seen. They may even know something I don’t know. ” 

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Practically speaking, the first step toward living comfortably with diversity is a very simple one: Put yourself in the other person’s place. No matter what their differences, we’re all living, breathing human beings—and our similarities are actually a lot more pronounced than our differences. We all have pressures at home. We all want to  succeed. We all want to be treated with the same dignity, respect, and understanding.  

Seeing the world through another’s eyes—e m p a t h y is the word for it—is something a leader needs to accomplish on a daily basis. People have always wanted to be treated as individuals—but today they acknowledge their individuality to many new ways. So it’s not just a matter of saying good morning or thank you anymore. A lot of ethnocentric assumptions that have to be put aside, and a lot more awareness has to take their place. In some parts of the world, and within some races and religions, it’s considered rude to seem to friendly or inquiring. There are people who want routine business encounters to be just that, without much small talk or questions asked and answered. It’s not  h o s t i l i t y, it’s just a sense of social distance. Other cultures, of course, have very diff e re n t expectations. It’s considered insulting if you don’t smile, say hello, and pass the time of day for a while, even if you’re pressed for time. If these two viewpoints meet head-on, with neither one knowing much about the other, there ’s going to be problems. That’s what happens when people haven’t educated themselves about diversity, so that re a l empathy can become possible. 

Are you doing anything to put yourself in touch with the vast changes that are taking place in the make-up of the workforce, and of the country as a whole? Are you educating yourself about other cultures’ point of view? At first, this may involve nothing more than watching a foreign language television program, or buying a magazine that’s targeted to a 

p a rticular segment of the population? In the space below, describe your activities in this d i rection. And if at present there are none, describe what you c o u l d be doing—and then s t a rt doing it! 

These issues are n ’t just for top managers. Today everyone must be a leader in addre s s i n g issues of the new workplace. All of us—re g a rdless of job title—will got further and accomplish more by respecting and understanding one another. Although this is perh a p s m o re important now than ever before, it’s hardly a new concept. Years ago Dale C a rnegie was applying it to people all over the world. “It’s strange,” he once said. “People in one country feel they’re superior to everybody in a second country, but the people over there are convinced that t h e y ’ re the superior ones. It’s a situation where both can’t be right, and in fact both are very wrong. Nobody’s superior to anyone else in basic human terms. Leaders should make certain they understand that, and that they get that conviction across to everyone they meet.”  

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Simply put, Leadership Masters in the new workplace are not coming from the same demographic as 30 years ago. Outstanding leaders from every race, gender, and ethnicity have gained prominence in recent years—including the late Roberto Goizueta of Coca Cola, Secre t a ry of State Madeleine Albright, who was born in Czechoslovakia, and the hugely popular Oprah Wi n f re y, who has been called the most influential woman in the United States. Not long after his playing days ended, Michael Jordan became part owner of an NBA team, joining one of the most elite clubs in America. All in all, the p resence of these and many other widely diverse leaders is going to bring big changes. 

For the new groups now taking the reins of influence, the challenge is more complex and perhaps even more difficult than for their predecessors. Unless you’re of Native American ancestry, your forebears were immigrants at one time or another. As leaders e m e rged from what were originally minority groups, they often felt pre s s u re to shed their ethnic identity in keeping with their newfound positions of power. The United States was often described as a melting pot, in which the true expression of Americanism was dissolving into the molten mass. The new group of minority leaders feel no such need. Within the context of their power and responsibilities, most are d e t e rmined to retain and celebrate their diverse backgrounds. It will be interesting to see how this trend changes our expectations of leaders—not only of how they look and of how their names are spelled, but of how they dress, where they went to school, and what messages they send out into the world. 

As you listen to this chapter you may be one of those new leaders. Or you may be one of the people who makes new leadership possible in the changing workplace. Or you may be someone who’s just starting out in this exciting new landscape. In any case, f rom top to bottom, opportunities abound. 

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Session Ten – Practical Tactics and Te c h n i q u e s 

Leadership principles are blueprints for everyday life. Blueprints, plans, and theories fundamentally imprint and necessary—but there comes a time when the rubber meets the road. You can’t get a driver’s license by just by passing the written test. You have to get behind the wheel and show what you can do on the street. As a leader, you live in a results-oriented world. You need to navigate it with speed and skill. 

Strategies are the blueprint, but actions are the hammers and nails of building leadership m a s t e ry. If you want to build a superior organization, and if you want to develop your own full potential, as a leader the tactics and techniques presented in this chapter can be invaluable. They’re a set of tools you won’t ever want to be without. 

We’ll look first at decision making—one of the defining points of leadership mastery. Despite much conventional wisdom on subject, the key to effectiveness here is not so much in making the decision, as in following through on the decision you make. This is our first tactic of Leadership Mastery. 

We ’ re all faced tough calls in our careers and in our personal lives. Decisions with clear pluses and minuses on both sides. There are times when there seems no better way to make a decision that simply flipping a coin. Faced with a situation like these, too many people simply freeze up. A kind of mental paralysis sets in. In large organizations, the final decision itself may even be avoided entire l y, and set aside for “further study.” Ye t when a decision is t h a t close…when there are solid arguments to be made for more than one choice, it’s probably a lot less important w h a t you decide than how you follow t h rough and c o m m i t to the decision you pick. 

Jack Welch is one of the most admired corporate leaders in the world. He’s certainly a long range thinker, but with a Ph.D. in engineering he also has a strong practical orientation. Of all the innovations Jack Welch has brought to General Electric over his 20 years as CEO, the one he considers the most important was a decision making process know as the “work out.” When a group of employees at any level of the company identify a problem, they meet to discuss it and arrive at a proposed solution. They then submit both a description of the problem and the suggested remedy to their supervisor—and the supervisor must give a yes or no answer within 24 hours, with no further discussion permitted.  

Welch believes the workout technique has thoroughly transformed GE’s corporate culture. It empowers people. It gets them thinking proactively about what they can 

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accomplish. It cuts through the bureaucracy and red tape that encumbers most large organizations. After all, if an issue has carefully thought through by the individuals who must deal with it, more time on the part of the leader probably won’t help. If the p roposed solution is accepted, both morale and efficiency stand to benefit. If it’s re j e c t e d , the group retains the power to revisit the problem and arrive at a better solution. 

F rom a leadership point of view, the key element in the workout process is the re m o v a l of the leader from the discussion phase. There ’s no need for a leader at this point, because everyone has learned self-leadership. Even a few years ago, this would have seemed inconceivable in many organizations. Yet it’s proven it’s worth in one of the most successful companies on the planet. In the opinion of Jack Welch, it is literally w o rth millions and even billions of dollars. 

As a leader, what can you learn from GE’s workout process? How can you make the principles of bottom-up innovation and quick decision making by the leader a part of your managerial re p e rt o i re? Write your thoughts in the space below. 

Our second tactic would seem to be pure common sense, yet ignoring it causes  breakdowns in communication, frustration on the part of both leaders and team members, and lost opportunities at all levels of an organization. What is this seemingly self-evident leadership technique? Very simply, let people know what’s expected of them, and be clear about what they can expect from you. And if those expectations change, make certain that the revised goals are realistic, and that they’re clearly  communicated. Objectives should always be re-evaluated and redefined on a regular basis. Avoid situations in which people feel they’re being asked to do things they  didn’t sign on for. And make sure that you’re asked to either. 

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In the space below, write a clear, concise job description for yourself. Make sure it includes everything you can l e g i t i m a t e l y be asked to do in your current position. 

Now list any functions you’re currently perf o rming that you believe should not really  be your re s p o n s i b i l i t y. Many people are actually c o e rc e d into undertaking tasks by an unspoken message—something like, “You don’t really have to do this. But if you don’t , you won’t be re g a rded as a team player.” Once you’ve identified any such issues, make a commitment to resolving this problem as soon as possible. 

Now use the rest of this page to write job descriptions for two of your colleagues  or team members in your work. Begin by indicating their legitimate responsibilities, and then list any tasks that someone—perhaps even you?—expects of them, but on questionable grounds. Again, act on this information immediately. Use what you learn in this exercise as an opportunity for Leadership Mastery. 

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Our third tactic urges you to be very careful about making pro m i s e s. When you do make one, keep it—especially if it’s about salary, a bonus, or any money-related issue. 

I t ’s a peculiar fact about human nature: v e ry few people ever forget a promise that has to do with money. Whether it’s money loaned, money borrowed, the promise of a raise, or other commitment, you can be sure it hasn’t been forgotten. Even if it’s never mentioned out loud, people remember had better remember the money-related promises they make, because people certainly remember the ones that have been made to them. 

An imprint element of responsible promise-keeping is the ability to avoid ambiguity  and confusion. Here gray is the color of extreme danger. Be very careful to make a clear distinction about what constitutes a promise and what doesn’t. As a leader, the things you say really matter to people in very important way. Make your words work for you, not against you. Choose them carefully—as carefully as you choose your pro m i s e s . 

What are some of the promises—explicit or implied—that you’ve made in your personal and professional life? How well are you keeping those promises? Are there any that have fallen by the wayside? If so, make yourself a pro m i s e to clear this up right away. Use the rest of this page to write your thoughts. 

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Tactic number four: Use humor generously but appropriately in leadership situations. Laughter really i s the shortest distance between two people. So why take the long way when the short cut is so much more fun? This technique is best, of course, if you happen to be a genuinely funny person, but it can be used by almost everyone. Even people who are not known for being great wits have their own brand of humor they can cultivate and use to their advantage. Just be yourself. Humor can be defined in a hundred ways, all of them equally effective. For one manager, it’s the weekly posting of a Dilbert cart o o n on the bulletin board outside of his office. For another, it’s a joke at the start of a board meeting, or a humorous email forw a rded around the off i c e . 

In the space below, list three times you’ve seen humor used to enhance either a personal or professional environment, whether by you or by someone else. And if draw a blank in this re g a rd, take some action—because that isn’t very funny! 




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Tactic number five can be put in the form of an old and very significant question in the philosophy of leadership: Is it’s better to be liked or to be re s p e c t e d? The fact is, the vast majority of people in leadership roles would rather have their team’s respect than their affection. But guess what? It’s the wrong answer. More to the point, it’s even the w rong question.  

Framing affection and respect as an either-or dilemma is a misperception of how  leadership actually works. Can you really like someone for whom you have no re s p e c t ? D o e s n ’t lack of respect generate a fair amount of anger, whether not we really choose to display it?  

T h e re ’s a good chance that the separation of liking and respecting is a false distinction. But even if we accept it as valid, most leaders who say they want to be respected re a l l y mean that they want to be feared. And that may be because they themselves a re in some way frightened or uncertain. So “think diff e rent” on this issue. Being liked a n d re s p e c t e d a re simply two dimensions of Leadership Mastery. In the space below, write your thoughts on how you can begin putting that principle into action. 

Tactic six is as important in leadership situations as it is in the National Basketball Association. Master the game of one on one. It’s just a fact that private, face to face conversations are supremely important for communicating with members of your team. Yet many leaders devote much more thought and preparation to public speaking than to private interactions. This is a critical erro r. 

You may be an orator on the level of Winston Churchill, but when you’re sitting alone with a member of your team, you must shift gears for a very different kind  of communication—one that has its own guidelines and pitfalls. By the very nature of the personal setting, there’s an that what passes between the leader and the team member will be important. It won’t be for public consumption. It’s a chance to see one another up close. If you’re not exactly under a microscope, you’re at least under a magnifying glass, with both your strengths and your weaknesses are magnified.  

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The more pre s s u re there is an a workplace environment, the more important it is for a leader to handle these encounters well. In the towers of high volume airports, traff i c c o n t rollers are responsible for hundreds of flights per day and many thousands of lives. Peak perf o rmance is maintained largely through peer pre s s u re and careful observ a t i o n by the superv i s o r. When pre s s u re begins to show itself in a contro l l e r’s perf o rmance, the first response by the leader is a one on one “talk down” with the individual. The purpose is to relieve stress—but it’s also a chance for the leader to determine whether this is just a temporary problem or something that could put people’s lives in danger. It calls for m a s t e ry of personal interaction. A mistake here can lead to an infinitely more destru c t i v e mistake later on. 

In the science of social psychology, there ’s an interesting term for mistakes that occur in this kind of leadership encounter. They’re called “leaks”—little holes that appear in the image of yourself that you’re presenting. In this game of one on one, you definitely want to follow the advice below about avoiding leaks. The mistakes are amazingly common in individual encounters, and no leader gets away with them unnoticed. (Do any of them sound familiar?) 

• D o n ’t sneak glances at your watch. You won’t get away with it!  • If someone who’s supposedly “more important” walks by, don’t let your eyes wander! 

• D o n ’t take unnecessary phone calls! 

• D o n ’t confuse the game of one-on-one with one-upmanship. When someone tells you a problem, don’t launch into a story of how you solved a similar pro b l e m that was “even tougher.”  

Our seventh leadership tactic applies to everything you do, whether it’s private  conversations, public presentations, or the way you sign you name. Be consistent. It’s one of the things we most appreciate in another person, and especially in a leader. 

C o n s i s t e n c y, of course, is not the same thing as dullness. Being consistent does not mean you can’t be creative. Consistency is not being on mental cruise control for lack of imagination or new ideas. In fact, real consistency re q u i res full awareness and conscious e ff o rt. Leadership Masters know that making that eff o rt creates trust and motivates extra eff o rt. 

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Tactic number eight is really several tactics in one. It concerns an extremely useful paradigm of performance that we’ll call the four stages of competence. By making  use of this paradigm in your leadership interactions, you can meet people where they really are in their professional development, and that’s an important first step toward moving them to a higher level.  

Simply stated, t h e re are four stages of competence in any endeavor, whether it’s playing the piano or making a sales presentation. As a leader, you must be aware of where your team members fall along this spectrum, and you must do everything in your power to move them further along it. 

Unconscious incompetence is the lowest rung. Without making light of this—because we’ve all been there—this is someone whose not only unskilled, but is unaware of that fact. Ted Baxter, the anchorman character on the old Mary Tyler Moore Show, messed his broadcasts night after night, but he strutted through the newsroom  afterward completely unaware of what had happened. Of course, what’s funny on TV can be disastrous in the real world, As a leader, your challenge is to recognize when people are at this point and help them higher level of performance. 

And if you’re thinking that people at this stage of competence are a tiny minority, think again. A recent study re p o rted in the New York Times revealed that a huge segment of Americans consistently overrate their own abilities in a wide variety of areas. It doesn’t matter if they’re estimating their skill with English grammar, sports, or arithmetic—they 

a re unconscious of their own incompetence. Think about that when you find yourself having to evaluate the perf o rmance of your team members. 

The next stage—consciously incompetent i n d i v i d u a l s — a re still not perf o rming well, but they’re not without awareness of that fact. This is a major step forw a rd. C o n s c i o u s c o m p e t e n c e, in turn, re p resents the mastery of a skill and the knowledge of your ability. A leader can rely on someone on this rung of the ladder to get their job done successfully. Their level of perf o rmance makes them dependable. With the right mix of training, d i rection, and good work habits, virtually everyone is capable of reaching this stage. 

Not everyone, however, can reach the final level of intuitive, instinctive mastery that  we can call unconscious competence. Not everyone can be a Michael Jordan or a Ti g e r Woods. When the legendary chess master Bobby Fischer was only 12 years old, he was playing against some of the world’s greatest players. During one game against a much m o re experienced opponent, Fischer made a move that seemed entirely irrational. He gave up his queen with no benefit that anyone observing the game could possibly see. In fact, the final result of that sacrifice didn’t materialize until 12 moves later in the game. 

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Fischer himself conceded that he wasn’t capable of mentally diagramming the outcome in his head in any conscious way. But intuitively he f e l t—rather than t h o u g h t—that this outrageous move was the correct thing to do. No computer, re g a rdless of how much i n f o rmation it was designed to process, could have accomplished the same thing. His brilliance was so instinctive that his play became a completely unconscious pro c e s s . 

As a leader, is your job to apply the formula you’ve just learned in order to assess everyone’s performance level accurately. You’ll quickly see just how useful this frame work is in your everyday decision making. It will help you to determine the kinds of responsibilities you assign, the expectations you have, and the training your team members will need. 

In the space below, write the names of a number of people from your professional life. Think of some important areas of your work together, and decide which of the four categories presented above describes these individuals’ level of competence. You might also want to rate yourself in the same areas. And be aware: there may be some things you’re not doing particularly well, yet you’re not even aware of it. If this exerc i s e helps you to identify even one of those areas, its purpose will have been well serv e d . 

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Our ninth leadership tactic is very time-sensitive. As a Leadership Master, you must have direct contact with all your managers at least once a week. No matter how secure people are, no matter how healthy of an ego they may have, no one likes working in a vacuum. People like having their eff o rts recognized. They want to know that someone notices. Put the two Super Bowl teams in an empty stadium. They’ll still play good  football, but not the way they’d play in front of 100,000 cheering fans. 

At least once during every work week, there should be a one-on-one exchange between a leader and the managerial staff. Actually, this is a minimum goal, and you should strive to have personal contact with as many people as possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean a face to face meeting—phone calls or emails are viable alternatives. But it should be a two way communication. You’ll gain valuable insights—for team members, there ’s immense benefit from knowing that there ’s an appreciative audience for their work. If people feel they’re perf o rming in a vacuum, the leader has missed a key opport u n i t y. 

Our tenth tactic is also time sensitive, but it applies to other forms of communication such as emails, and most especially to phone calls. Always respond to these communi cations within 24 hours or less.  

The next time you’ve got a free moment, take a look around your office. What’s the most dangerous item you see for your business? Even if you’ve got a bear trap in the c o rn e r, the most potentially destructive item in any office is the telephone. Used well,  i t ’s a gold mine for conducting business. Used care l e s s l y, it’s a bombshell.  

We use the telephone for a thousand interactions each day—ranging from ordering out a quick lunch to winning over an important customer. And just like our skills at speak ing to someone in person one-on-one, our phone skills are a subject that very few of us think about. But look at it this way. Even during the very first phone call that was ever made—between Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant, Mr. Watson—a portion of 

their conversation was misunderstood! 

The telephone is dangerous because your interaction with another party is limited in several ways. For example, you’ve got no visual cues to go on. You don’t know if he’s f l i rting with his secre t a ry while you make your pitch, doing a cro s s w o rd, or listening intently and taking notes. All you’ve got to go on is his voice. Secondly, unlike e-mail, which you can access at your own inconvenience, you never know when the phone is going to ring or who it’s going to be. There ’s an element of unpredictability about it. What could be more stress-inducing than waiting for a call that you want or, for that m a t t e r, getting one that you’d been dreading? And in general, there are interru p t i o n s and second lines blinking and countless other small interruptions that make the phone 

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a potentially precarious medium for communication. Several surveys back up the same s t a rtling finding: When companies were asked why they lost someone’s business, the single most cited response was that it was something that happened over the telephone. 

For all these reasons, you’ve got to practice safe telephone use. Once again: A l w a y s re t u rn a phone call within 24 hours! Like promises about money that are n ’t kept, an u n re t u rned phone call is another thing that people are not likely to forget. Whether they acknowledge it or not, failing to get a phone call re t u rned is something people take very s e r i o u s l y. In some corporations, it’s even a firing offense. As well it should be. Perh a p s you think you’re too busy to get back to people within one business day. When the late G e o rge Allen was one of the most successful coaches in the National Football League, he placed calls to rival teams and timed the speed with which they were re t u rn e d — a n d that speed very closely matched the won-lost re c o rds of the teams. 

We’ve now covered ten practical tactics and techniques for you to apply to your  p rofessional life. Acknowledging the eff o rts of others, keeping in regular contact, focusing on the person you’re talking to, re t u rning phone calls in a timely way, using your sense of humor, keeping the promises you make—some of them are easier to incorporate than others, but all of them are within your reach. Practice and commitment are all you need. By turning these tactics into self-perpetuating habits, you’ll be taking a big step toward t rue Leadership Mastery. 

Use the rest of this page to keep an informal log of how your implement these tactics over the coming work week. For each day, briefly note the how you put a specific tactic into action, and with whom. Later, look back at your log and identify any benefits that have come about as a result of your tactical leadership. You may be more effective with some tactics than with others. Emphasize the ones that work best for you, make an e ff o rt to become more comfortable with the others, and at the same time see if you  can create some new leadership tactics of your own! 

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Session Eleven – Dealing With Crisis: 

The True Test of Leadership Mastery 

In the years since John Kennedy occupied the White House, there have been many revelations about him and his administration. The majority have been unflattering. Yet John Kennedy is still considered a highly admirable figure by the vast majority  of Americans. Any shortcomings of indiscretions seem insignificant in comparison  to his successes—and in part i c u l a r, one very dramatic occasion stands out. In the fall of 1962, the United States came closer than every before to a nuclear war with the 

Soviet Union. During this Cuban Missile Crisis, as the incident was called, Kennedy showed real leadership, courage, and creative thinking under the most stressful  circumstances imaginable. And today, when people think of John Kennedy, his  conduct during those 13 October days are one of the first things they remember. This was a defining moment for Kennedy and for his administration. Along with  his tragic death, this is the way we remember John Kennedy. 

With this in mind, we can discover an important truth about leadership and the  evaluation of leaders. Very simply put, leaders are defined and judged by how they respond in a crisis—and the worse the crisis is, the more important the leader’s behavior becomes. Winston Churchill was considered a brilliant failure until the  outbreak of World War Two. Lee Iacocca was a not much more than a fired auto executive until Chrysler needed someone to hold the company together. Once this principle is understood—that success in a crisis equals success, period—a real shift  in our perspective begins to take place. We can still view a crisis as a genuine threat that has to be addressed, but we also realize that it’s an opportunity to really practice Leadership Mastery. It’s a chance to really test yourself in the big leagues—and the purpose of this chapter is to help you bat a thousand.  

In any crisis, whether personal or professional, there are five principles that a leader should put into action. These are five crucial ideas the leader should bear in mind, and he or she should act accord i n g l y. While doing so cannot guarantee that things will turn out exactly as you’d like, it c a n guarantee that you will display real leadership mastery. Most of the time that’s more than enough to solve the crisis, and it can certainly help you avoid similar problems in the future . 

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The first three principles of crisis management are clear statements of instruction: 1 . Be calm. 

2 . B reak the crisis down into manageable part s 

3 . See if there ’s even a small part of the problem that you can solve, and if there are options you haven’t considere d . 

L e t ’s discuss these three principles in ord e r. 

Be calm 

Becoming emotional or excited in a crisis almost never helps, but keeping calm almost always has benefits. As a leader, you must train yourself to resist instinctive emotional responses. Force yourself to think positively, even if you don’t believe your own reassurances. Very few situations are as bad as they seem in the moment—and even of this one is as bad as it seems, your best course is to behave otherwise. Act as if everything is under control, and the chances are it soon will be.  

Quietly ask yourself, “What can I do to make the situation better? How quickly should I act? Who can be of help? After I make the first move, what are the second, third, and f o u rth things I should do? How can I measure the effectiveness of the steps I take? ” 

T h e re are many ways of training yourself to react calmly. There are many techniques for defusing the ticking bomb that a real crisis seems to re p resent. Dale Carnegie used to speak of putting a stop-loss order on your stress. A stop-loss ord e r, of course, is what happens on Wall Street when a trader automatically sells a stock if it falls below a cert a i n price. As a Leadership Master, you can learn to do the same thing with stress, pre s s u re , and anxiety. In a crisis, for example, ask yourself this question: What’s the worst thing that can possibly happen? Thankfully, most of our problems are not really of the life and death variety. So you may blow an account, or you may miss a payment, or you may even lose your job. Will that be unpleasant? Absolutely. But is it worth the price of s t ress that may actually prevent you from avoiding that unpleasantness? Absolutely not!  

Identifying the worst possible outcome and facing it squarely doesn’t mean you have to a c c e p t it. It doesn’t mean lying back and welcoming failure, especially when others are depending on you to lead them toward success. It just means telling yourself, “Yes, I suppose I could accept that outcome if I really had to—but I still have no intention of letting it happen.” 

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B reak the crisis down into manageable part s 

Any serious challenge will seem overwhelming when it’s confronted full force and head on. If we stand at the foot of a mountain and look up at the top, it can seem a long way o ff. It can seem impossible that we’ll ever get there. Perhaps, then, instead of looking at the top of the mountain we should try looking down at the ground. We should watch ourselves take first one step, and then another. This is really the only way of avoiding the sudden paralysis that can set in when a crisis suddenly looms. As a leader, you’ve got to reduce the dimensions of a crisis to manageable size. You’ve got to break it down into bite size pieces, for your own benefit and for the people who are depending on you. 

How do computers perf o rm their calculations with such incredible speed? They re d u c e even the most complicated problems to a series of zeroes and ones—a sequence of tiny calculations that can add up to something very big. In much the same way, when planes fly across the country, the flight plan is a list of small jumps—from Chicago to Des Moines, from Des Moines to Fort Dodge, and so on all the way to San Francisco. The Scottish poet and novelist Robert Louis Stevenson expressed this idea very poetically. He wrote, “Anyone can carry his burden, however heavy, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, pure l y, until the sun goes down. And this is all that life really means.” 

It’s possible, of course, that even after you’ve broken a crisis down into its component parts, you may still find stymied. It does happen—and at this point you may have to recognize something that many people don’t like to admit: not every problem has a complete and total solution. Much as we might wish otherwise, square pegs don’t fit in round holes. Despite the best efforts of some of the brightest minds in history, there’s no way to turn lead into gold. There’s no way to divide a geometric angle into three equal parts. There’s no way to invent a perpetual motion machine. The strange thing is, however, that a lot of important information was learned by the people who butted their heads against those outlandish ideas. The modern disciplines of chemistry and physics came from the pseudo-science of alchemy—and there’s no doubt that the practitioners of alchemy pulled off some remarkable experiments. The point is this: if you can’t see a way to solve a problem, can you at least see a way to solve part of it? Even in the most dire crisis, there’s almost always something proactive that you can do. Focus your attention of finding that something, and then do it, by all means. You can never tell where it might lead. 

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See if there ’s even a small part of the problem that you can solve, and if there a re options you haven’t considere d . 

Good managers and good leaders are not problem-oriented people They are by nature oriented toward o p p o rt u n i t i e s rather than problems. Even when things seem re a l l y bleak, they focus on what can be done rather than what can’t. For these kind of leaders, a crisis is like a cro s s w o rd puzzle. There may be many words they don’t know, but even if they know only one, they realize that this is a step in the right direction. So take that small step, by all means. 

Research on decision making shows that most people consider far too few options— especially when the stakes are very high. There are always positive things you can do, but seeing then is likely to take some focused attention. Here’s a rule to thumb to help with this: in a crisis situation, discipline yourself to make a list of no less than  50 proactive things you can do—and make no mistake, you can find many more than 5 0 if you really get yourself to think about it. What are the small changes you can make that will benefit the situation? Who are the people you can call? How can you minimize the damage? What can you do that will reveal the silver lining even within the blackest cloud? When the times comes for really putting it to use, you’ll be re a d y. 

B e l o w, write a description of a difficult situation you’re facing in some area of your life. In fact, for the purposes of this exercise, the more difficult it is, the better. 

Now describe the approach you’re taking to deal with this problem. In addition, list other options you seriously considered but rejected. (If you’re like most people, there a re probably no more than two or three of these.) 

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Now think of 50 other things you could do in response to the problem. They don’t all have to be eminently practical solutions—but just by focusing on the creation a larg e number of options, you’ll see that even the most difficult situations present many o p p o rtunities for positive intervention. Write your 50 items in the space below.  

The fourth crisis management technique is in the form of a question—one that takes you momentarily back into the past: 

4 . When faced with a crisis, ask yourself, “Have I ever had to deal with something like this before ? ” 

Chances are, you have. What did you learn about the nuts and bolts of solving the p roblem, and what did you learn about getting through the emotional turbulence that came with it? And even if the outcome was not what you hoped for on that earlier occasion, this is a new day. That was then, and this is now. Once we learn from the past, we need not relive it unless it suits our purposes. 

This is what Dale Carnegie meant when he re f e rred to living your life in day-tight  c o m p a rtments. So many people waste enormous energy thinking about what happened y e s t e rday or might happen tomorro w. In a crisis situation, this is energy you simply c a n ’t aff o rd to squander. 

“ You and I,” Dale Carnegie once wrote, “are standing this very second at the meeting place of two eternities—the past that has endured fore v e r, and the future that is plunging on toward the end of re c o rded time. Yet we can’t possibly live in either one of those e t e rnities, not even for one split second.” The implications of this for crisis leadership should be very clear. Use your experience to guide you in a positive direction, but re a l i z e that you’re living in the here and now. The past is a re s o u rce we can draw upon, not a ghost that haunts us.  

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A difficult thing for any leader in a crisis is the sense of i s o l a t i o n that often settles in. By their very nature, leaders are people who take responsibility upon themselves. As a result, they’re sometimes reluctant to call upon others for support, especially in diff i c u l t c i rcumstances. If you feel like asking for help somehow undercuts your leadership ro l e , please learn to resist that tendency. Getting outside support is extremely important in a crisis—not only for making decisions, but also to deal with the emotional stresses that a re inevitably present. If you’re facing difficult times, talk to someone you trust about your thoughts and emotions. If you keep these things bottled up, they’ll intrude on your decision-making and your ability to lead eff e c t i v e l y. Focusing exclusively on the pro b l e m at hand will wear you out, and it will wear out the people around you. So find someone with whom you feel safe, and blow off steam! You’ll re t u rn to work with a clearer head and a lighter heart. 

Our fifth and final point about Leadership Mastery in a crisis is probably the most i m p o rtant, and certainly the most profound. It has to do with issues of blame and responsibility: 

5 . Banish all thoughts of blame from your mind, once and for all. 

Blame is simply wasted energy, so let it go. As for responsibility—you’re the leader, so don’t assign responsibility, take it! Whatever happens on your watch is ultimately your doing.  

If people make mistakes, they should have been better pre p a red, and that’s the leader’s re s p o n s i b i l i t y. If someone proves to be incompetent, they should never have been hire d , and that’s the leader’s re s p o n s i b i l i t y.  

And until you’re pre p a red to accept responsibility for literally everything that happens under your leadership, you’re not really ready to be called a Leadership Master. So start accepting that responsibility right now. Your team will respect you for it, and you’ll respect yourself. For a real leader, there simply are no excuses. 

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Session Twelve – Putting It All To g e t h e r 

We ’ re now reaching the end of the Dale Carnegie Leadership Mastery Workbook. In this final chapter , we’ll look back at some of the ideas we’ve covered, and ALSO at the Dale Carnegie principles that are the foundation of those ideas. And we’ll look ahead to how you can put these concepts to use in your own daily life—not just in theory, but in the real world of leadership challenges. 

There have been immense changes throughout our society in recent years, and these changes have had a profound impact on the meanings of and the requirements for effective leadership. It’s very difficult to generalize about the these societal changes— but what can we learn from them? How can we understand them in any compre h e n s i v e way? What is the thread that links the sudden economic r i s e of one country, the sudden fall of another, and the even more sudden disappearance of others still? In a world of so many quick scene changes, how can we grasp the overall plot? 

Actually, there is one link among the unpredictable changes of recent decades—and it is nothing other than their unpredictability. During the boom years of the American economy in the 1950s, there was a sense that things were going to just keep getting better and better. The future looked like a straight path toward an Americanized world—with GM cars in the garage, GE refrigerators in the kitchen, and RCA on the television set. On a larger scale, futurists of the 50s predicted space travel and cities beneath the sea, where new pioneers would feed themselves on algae grown on vast undersea farms. Rocket ships were the coming thing. Computers were not unknown in the era of Sputnik, but they were seen as cumbersome curiosities—at best an off s h o o t of the robots that would soon be doing all our work for us. Virtually no one foresaw what was really going to happen. The world’s best and the brightest minds were totally blindsided by the information revolution. 

Did Carnegie anticipate all the changes that took place in his lifetime? No, he did not— but he did something even more important. He created a set of timeless principles that hold true re g a rdless of the exigencies of the moment. And as things have turned out, they are uniquely suited to our high stress, fast moving, uncertain world of today. 

First and foremost, Dale Carnegie counsels us to look at life from other people’s perspective. This is an absolutely essential quality in a leader, yet it seems to become more difficult as a leader’s authority grows.  

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In ancient Rome, when a victorious military commander re t u rned to a celebration in his h o n o r, a slave was assigned to stand behind him as the general’s chariot paraded him t h rough the streets. The slave had a very important assignment. Every few moments he was to softly whisper into the hero ’s ear, “, you are only mortal. You are no diff e re n t f rom any other man.” To d a y, there are surely people in leadership positions who could use that advice. But Leadership Masters work every day to see life—and themselves— t h rough the eyes of others. 

Looking at things from the other person’s point of view doesn’t happen by itself. It’s a quality of leadership mastery that most of us have to develop with focused attention. It means asking a lot of questions and listening closely to the answers. The questions aren’t complicated, but they have to be asked again and again—at work, at home, with friends and acquaintances. What life experiences do other people bring to this interaction with you? What are they trying to achieve? What are they trying to avoid? What will it take for them to feel that this encounter has been a success?  

The answers to these questions will be diff e rent every time—but they’re all part of l e a rning to see things from other people’s point of view. They all show you’re making a s i n c e re eff o rt to learn what someone else is really looking for—and, as a leader, helping them to get it. As Dale Carnegie said, “If you can learn what other people’s pro b l e m s a re—and help them to solve those problems—the world is your oyster. ” 

Getting in touch with another person’s perspective is largely a matter of listening.  But motivating them to positive action is closely linked to what you say and how  you behave. This is where leadership masters understand the importance of genuine appreciation, recognition, and praise. Whether it’s the president of a Fortune 500 company or a clerk in the supermarket, everyone wants to be told they’re doing a first rate job. Everyone wants to be told that they’re smart, they’re capable, and their efforts are being recognized. A little bit of appreciation at just the right moment is often all it takes to transform an indifferent team member into a star player. 

“Why is it,” Dale Carnegie once asked, “that we’re so often inclined to voice criticism rather than praise? We should use praise at the slightest sign of improvement. That’s what inspires the other fellow to keep on impro v i n g ! ” 

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In today’s workplace, too many leaders fall back on money as their primary expre s s i o n of appreciation. Salary, bonuses, benefits, perks—those are the kinds of re w a rds most people in authority think about. There ’s no denying that money is important—but the t ruth is, money is only one of the things people look for when they go to work every m o rning. Whether they realize it or not, self-respect and the respect of others are every bit as important. 

As a leader, it’s much less important h o w you show appreciation than that you do it c o n s i s t e n t l y—again and again and again. Reward excellence, or even a sincere attempt at excellence. Encourage highly motivated participation wherever you find it—whether i t ’s in an employee’s presentation or your daughter’s play on the soccer field. 

I t ’s really all about harnessing the mighty power of enthusiasm—another element of leadership that Dale Carnegie was quick to identify. As a salesman himself, and later as a teacher of sales techniques, he had minds and hearts swayed by the power of sheer enthusiasm. It’s infectious, and it makes people respond. This is true in the classro o m , in the corporate board room, and on the campaign trail. As a business leader, if you are not enthusiastic about the direction of a company, don’t expect your colleagues to feel any diff e re n t l y. As a parent, if you don’t show enthusiasm about your childre n ’s pro g re s s in school, don’t be surprised if that pro g ress grinds to a halt. And as an individual, if you a re not deeply enthusiastic about the direction your life has taken, you should cert a i n l y consider a going in a new direction that will let you feel diff e re n t l y. 

But on the subject of enthusiasm, one thing must be perfectly clear. Loudness does not equal enthusiasm. Nor does pounding on the table. Nor does jumping up and down and acting like a child. That’s a c t i n g enthusiastic, but it’s not being enthusiastic—and people will very quickly see through the act. Because it’s obvious. It’s fake. It doesn’t fool anyone, and it almost always does more harm than good. Being enthusiastic is an experience that has to come from inside. No real leader should confuse that experience with mere hype. 

True enthusiasm is made up of two elements: e a g e rn e s s and a s s u r a n c e. Neither of those elements has to be strident or overbearing. Leaders know how to convey both excitement and a sense of self-control. If you can bring both eagerness and assurance into your voice, your enthusiasm will come across. You’ll have it, and others will know you have it. 

We’ve spoken about the willingness to praise and the power of enthusiasm on the part of a leader. There ’s no denying, however, that a leader will sometimes encounter people who are lacking in these qualities themselves. As important as it is to be positive, we must also know how to deal with negative people. And sometimes their negativity may 

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be justified. Leaders make mistakes. Leaders are subjected to criticism. Leaders, after all, are only human. And leaders must know how to deal with human mistakes, whether they’re made by others or by the leaders themselves.  

T h e re are two fundamental facts about mistakes. First, everyone makes them. Second, no one likes to admit them. We all bristle when the accusing finger of responsibility is pointed our way. Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of a complaint—especially if it’s justified. 

Leaders, however, balance the fact that nobody’s perfect with the fact that no one likes criticism. It’s not always easy to keep both those balls in the air, but it’s not impossible e i t h e r. And with a little practice this juggling act can be mastered by anyone. 

The first step is to create an environment in which no one is above constructive criticism. Leaders who place themselves on a pedestal will sooner or later be laid low. So spre a d the word again and again that shortcomings—including your own—are a natural part of life. In other words, admit your mistakes. Setting this example is very important for a leader. You can’t expect others to do what you won’t undertake on your own. If you really fumble the ball, live with it. Be pre p a red to say, “This is entirely my fault. I take full re s p o n s i b i l i t y. And I’ll do everything in my power to see that it doesn’t happen again.” 

I t ’s very important for a leader to make these statements as quickly as possible. Admit your mistakes before anyone else has a chance to point them out. It’s all right to laugh about them, but not in an attempt to minimize their impact. Be very clear about that. 

If you can master the art of admitting fault, you’ll find that something very surprising begins to happen. People will rush to re a s s u re you. Everyone will bend over backward s to make you feel better. Superiors and subordinates alike will hurry to lift some of the weight from your shoulders. 

In practical terms, the lesson here is very plain. True leaders always behave like a leaders, whether they win the race or whether they lose it because of their own mistakes. Leadership mastery, ultimately, is less a matter of what you do than what you are. What you do may vary from day to day, but what you are should remain steadfast and unchanging. Dale Carnegie spoke very clearly about this: “Patience, perseverance,  and consistency will accomplish more in this world than the most brilliant transitory moment. Remember that when things go wrong. Of course discouragement will come at times, and the important thing is to surmount it. If you can do that, the world is yours.” 

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That doesn’t mean you can have every single thing you want, or that you won’t have to work for a living. It does mean that you can achieve leadership mastery by putting the principles we’ve covered in this program into action. In final pages of this workbook, t h e re f o re, we’ll focus on creating an action plan for implementing those principles 

Your Leadership Mastery Action Plan 

Write your answers in the space provided—and act on them as soon as possible! 

1 . Who are the individuals with whom you need to communicate more eff e c t i v e l y ? Review the material in chapter one—then create a list of six people whose  relationship with you will benefit from better communication. 







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2 . How can motivation and mentoring can enhance your effectiveness as a leader. How can you help others to make their best eff o rt—and how can you bring out the best in yourself? Is there an area in your life that could benefit from having a mentor—or do you know someone for whom you could play that ro l e ? L i s t e n again to chapter two—then write your thoughts in the space below.  

3 . How can you develop the talents of those who look to you for leadership? How can you use hard work to maximize your own talents—and to strengthen areas in which natural talent may be lacking? In chapter three we spoke about re c o g n i z i n g talent—both in others and in yourself. Review chapter three, then use the rest of this page to put down your thoughts Be specific. Make lists. Set goals. Describe real life situations. Then put them into action! 

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4. Chapter four described the willingness to take risks as an essential quality of leadership. How comfortable do you feel with risk in your own life? Are there a reas in which a more adventurous approach might benefit you and your org a n i z a t i o n ? Or, upon reflection, do you feel you may be a bit too ready to stretch prudence to the breaking point? In the space below, and cite specific areas in which you can make adjustments.  

5. Chapters five, six, and seven discussed two different styles of leadership— inspirational and organizational—and offered self-assessment questions for identifying your own best approach. There’s no right or wrong answer to  these questions. As Shakespeare expressed it, “This above all, to thine own  self be true.” In the space below, describe how you intend to put your personal leadership strengths into action.  

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6 . Chapter nine dealt with the need for leaders to create balance in their lives— a n d the dangers of focusing on professional achievement to the exclusion of personal responsibility and fulfillment. Leadership Mastery means success in all areas of life, for yourself and for those who are depending on you. If you suspect you  may be losing touch with that realization, now is the time to make adjustments. Identify any areas of difficulty in the space below, and indicate how you intend  to deal with them.  

7. Chapter ten offered practical tools you can use to implement leadership mastery. Where can you put these tools to use right now? What relationships can they benefit? What projects can they further? By putting these tools into action,  who are the people you can help? 

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