Something to make you think – a leader is….

Something to make you think – a leader is….

Desmond Tutu, Jack Welch, John Chambers on leadership

A leader is…

  • A servant?
  • A collaborator?
  • A team worker?
  • Someone who grows people

What do you think?

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project.  Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  She believes coaching requires compassion, warmth and empathy. Wendy helps people reach their career goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. You can contact Wendy at and find out more at

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Leadership:Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action!

Leadership:Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action!

Here  Simon Sinek presents a simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers — and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling.

Here is a link to Simon Sinek’s popular book – “One of the most useful and powerful books I have read in years. Simple and elegant, it shows us how leaders should lead.” William Ury, Co-Author of  “Getting To Yes”

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Leadership Theories – The Three Levels of Leadership model

Scouller, J. The Three Levels of Leadership: How to Develop Your Leadership Presence, Knowhow and Skill (2011)

Leadership Theories – The Three Levels of Leadership model

Three Levels of Leadership

The Three Levels of Leadership is a modern leadership model. It was introduced in a 2011 book, The Three Levels of Leadership: How to Develop Your Leadership Presence, Know-how and Skill, by James Scouller. You can find a link to it below.

The model is designed as a practical tool for developing a person’s leadership presence, know-how and skill. It summarizes what leaders need to do, not only to bring leadership to their group or organization, but also to develop themselves as leaders.

The Three Levels of Leadership model combines the strengths of older leadership theories; for example, traits, behavioral/styles, situational, functional models; while addressing their limitations. It offers a foundation for leaders who want to apply the philosophies of servant leadership and are committed to “authentic leadership”.

It is often classified as an “Integrated Psychological” theory of leadership. And it is sometimes known as the 3P model of leadership (the three Ps standing for Public, Private and Personal leadership).

The first two levels – public and private leadership

The first two levels, public and private leadership, are “outer” or “behavioral” levels. Scouller distinguishes between the behaviors that are related to influencing two or more people at the same time, simultaneously. This is what he calls “public leadership” to distinguish it from the behavior needed to select and influence individuals one to one. Influencing people one to one he calls private leadership.

He lists 34 distinct “public leadership” behaviors.

The third level – personal leadership

The third level, personal leadership, is an “inner” level and concerns a person’s leadership presence, know-how, skills, beliefs, emotions and unconscious habits. “At its heart is the leader’s self-awareness, his progress toward self-mastery and technical competence, and his sense of connection with those around him. It’s the inner core, the source, of a leader’s outer leadership effectiveness.” (Scouller, 2011).

He lists 14 “private leadership” behaviors.

The idea is that if leaders want to be effective they must work on all three levels in parallel.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at and find out more at

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  • Leading With Style – What Is Yours?

Leading With Style – What Is Yours?

Leading With Style – What Is Yours?

Leadership style is the way that a leader provides vision and direction for a group; how that leader oversees plans and goes about motivating people.

Before World War II, Kurt Lewin led a research project to identify different styles of leadership. He identified three major styles of leadership and blends of  these have influenced leadership thinking ever since.

The three main styles are:

  • Authoritarian or autocratic – “I want you to….”
  • Participative or democratic – “Let’s work together to….”
  • Delegative or Free Reign – “You take care of it while I…”

Most modern analyses of leadership describe a blend of these three styles but the underlying themes remain the same. Good leaders use all three styles with the most appropriate dominating at any particular time, depending on the situation. For example, in a crisis, there is little room for discussion – clear orders, well given, can save lives. The time taken for participation or giving inexperienced people free reign could be dangerous.

Most of us are drawn to one of three styles as the most comfortable for us to use. But each one has disadvantages if used on all occasions.

Being told what to do all the time in an authoritative style is demeaning and demotivating. This style also means one brain finding solutions rather than having access to contributions from the group. A participative style gains more commitment; it raises motivation and morale.

When using a participative style, the leader retains final responsibility for any decision made and “carries the can” if that decision is not the right one. But all the group can be engaged and contribute. Using a participative style shows confidence and it is a sign of strength. This is the style of leadership that most employees respect above all others. But, as I’ve suggested above, it isn’t appropriate in all circumstances; among other things, participation takes time.

Using a delegative style means the leader leaves those led to make the decisions. Of course, the leader is still accountable for the decisions made. This style is used most often, and most constructively, with well established groups who are quite clear about their roles, as well as the task and they have full information. They are then able to determine what needs to be done and how to do it. The leader needs to have confidence in the group to use this style comfortably. And, the leader still needs to set priorities and ensure the risks associated with the task are properly managed.

What style of leadership do you use and how do you ensure that your style is appropriate to the task?

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at and find out more at

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Starting a new project – are you a good team leader? Take my test and find out.

Horse-race at Auteuil hippodrome Français : Co...

Starting a new project – are you a good team leader? Take my test and find out.

Starting a new project? See how well you are doing in the leadership stakes. If you are serious about being a good leader, then you should be able to provide serious answers to all these questions.

  1. There is no “best” style of leadership. How prepared are you to be flexible? What do you think this means?
  2. The most successful leaders adapt their leadership style to the capability of the people they lead and the needs of the task. Do you know what those are? How will you find out?
  3. At the start of a task, good leaders explain what, how, why, when, where and what to do to start the task. Do you have that information ready for your team? How will you get it?
  4. Good Leaders recognize that competence and confidence can wax and wane over a project. How will you monitor those variations? How will you be prepared to intervene?
  5. Good leaders share leadership when the group is mature. This helps to keep morale and energy up. How strong is your ego feeling today? How will you share leadership?
  6. Enthusiasm and confidence can take a knock when the group realizes just how complicated the challenge is going to be. How are you preparing to monitor this, then step in and support?
  7. A good leader develops the competence and commitment of the team so that they become self-motivated. Have you got the resources available to do this?
  8. Good leaders share the vision-making, as well as the vision. Do you have a process in place to do this?
  9. A good leader refreshes the vision on the journey. Have you made plans for this?
  10. A good leader communicates clearly and listens well. Are you prepared to ask your team how well you are communicating?

A good leader should come up with good answers to all these questions. But lots of us would like to be better leaders. If you want somewhere to start, the books at this link come very well recommended.

Wendy Mason is a Career Coach with Life Coaching skills and expertise in helping people have the confidence they need to be successful at work while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason

The Leader's Way: Business, Buddhism and Happiness in an Interconnected World – Leadership Lessons from the Dalai Lama

Effective leadership is an underlying theme throughout the teachings of the Dalai Lama.

Cover of "The Leader's Way: Business, Bud...

International managerial consultant Laurens van den Muyzenberg identified the business leadership undercurrent in the 1990s after he was hired to advise the Dalai Lama.

Realizing the great potential in combining their respective expertise, van den Muyzenberg and the Dalai Lama co-authored The Leader’s Way, applying Buddhism to business practices.

“Most of my clients do face difficult ethical problems,” says van den Muyzenberg, who consults leaders. “It’s hard to find somebody with the kind of ethical prestige that [the Dalai Lama] has.”

Professor  C.O. Herkströter, former CEO of Shell and Chairman of the Board of ING wrote this when reviewing the book.

“This book examines capitalism and Buddhism in a fascinating way. Everybody in business who is seriously interested in responsible entrepreneurship will recognise the issues. The book adds a valuable dimension to the values and ethical standards that form the basis for responsible leadership in business.”

The approach represents the synthesis of East and West and provides an inspiring manifesto for business change. The first part of The Leader’s Way two-part message is this: in order to lead, you must understand the reasons for our actions then you can act to  solve problems through integrity, respect and sensitivity toward others.

Leadership Styles – Now Discover Your Strengths

For decades, Gallup scientists have researched the topic of leadership. They’ve surveyed a million work teams, conducted more than 50,000 in-depth interviews with leaders, and  interviewed 20,000 followers to ask what they admired in the most important leader in their life.

The results of that research are set out in the book, Strengths-Based Leadership.

Using Gallup’s discoveries, authors Tom Rath and Barry Conchie identify three keys to being an effective leader

  1. The most effective leaders are always investing in strengths. In the workplace, when an organization’s leadership fails to focus on individuals’ strengths, the odds of an employee being engaged are a dismal 1 in 11 (9%). But when an organization’s leadership focuses on the strengths of its employees, the odds soar to almost 3 in 4 (73%). When leaders focus on and invest in their employees’ strengths, the odds of each person being engaged goes up eightfold.
  2. The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team. While the best leaders are not well-rounded, the best teams are! Strong, cohesive teams have a representation of strengths in each of these four domains: executing, influencing, relationship building, and strategic thinking.
  3. The most effective leaders understand their followers’ needs. People follow leaders for very specific reasons. When asked, thousands of followers were able to describe exactly what they need from a leader with remarkable clarity. This was trust, compassion, stability, and hope.

Tom Rath and Barry Conchie used firsthand accounts from highly successful leaders to show how each person’s unique talents can drive their success. The leaders included the founder of Teach for America and the president of The Ritz-Carlton.

Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment is available to readers with an access code that accompanies the book. This helps you discover your own special gifts, and specific strategies show you how to lead with your top five talents and how to plot the strengths of your team based on the four domains of leadership strength;

  • Executing,
  • Influencing,
  • Relationship Building
  • Strategic Thinking.

The second theme in this work is identifying the followers “Four Basic Needs”; Trust, Compassion, Stability and Hope which should inspire us all!

If you would like to buy the book you can find it at this link.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have
the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career. You can email her or ring ++44(0)2084610114 

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Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

Using emotional intelligence can help you succeed as a leader. But what is emotional intelligence, and why is it that success in life sometimes seems unrelated to intelligence and how hard you are prepared to work?

In 1996 Daniel Goleman wrote his groundbreaking book “Emotional Intelligence“. His exhaustive research had confirmed that success in life is based more on our ability to manage our emotions than on our intellectual capability or our physical strength.

Dr Goleman describes five main elements of emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-awareness.
  2. Self-regulation.
  3. Motivation.
  4. Empathy.
  5. Social skills.

The ability to call on these five qualities can help you to succeed as a leader.

  1. Self-awareness means you are in touch with your own feelings and emotions. You understand how they affect your behaviour and how they influence those around you.  You can strengthen your self-awareness by keeping a daily journal where you record how you feel each day and then reflect on what you have written.  Take time during the day to monitor yourself, your feelings and how you are reacting to things.
  2. Self-regulation means you don’t let fly with negative emotions or make rushed judgments about things or people.  Successful leaders stay in control of themselves and they are prepared to be flexible while being accountable. To help you do this, you need know your values and where you are not prepared to compromise. Spend some time thinking about what really matters to you.  Make a commitment to be accountable for what you do and practice staying calm. A relaxation technique can help – try this technique on our sister site WiseWolf’s Your Happiness Factor.
  3. Motivated leaders have a clear vision and work consistently towards their goals. Do you have that clear vision and is it still appropriate to you and your organization?  Find out more about developing the right vision at this link. If you get to the point where you are responding to events, rather than being proactive, then take action because your lack of motivation could put your organization at risk.
  4. For leaders, having empathy is critical to managing a successful organization or a successful team.  Empathy means you can put yourself in someone else’s situation. Leaders with empathy help develop their teams as they develop themselves. They make sure that people are treated fairly, and they listen.  As a result they earn respect and loyalty. Practice imagining yourself in someone else’s shoes – put yourself in their position.  Listen carefully to what people say and pay attention to body language – respond to feelings!
  5. Leaders with social skills are good communicators – they communicate well and often. They’re just as open to hearing bad news as good news!  Leaders who have good social skills have the confidence to resolve conflicts before they threaten the team or the organization. Learn to talk to your team and if necessary do some formal training in communication skills and conflict resolution.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage both your own emotions, and those of the people you lead.   Having a high EQ means  knowing what you are feeling, what this means, and how your emotions can affect other people. For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. Take time to work on self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.  They will certainly help ensure that you succeed as a leader.

If you would like to know more about emotional intelligence and how it can help you in job search go to our sister site WiseWolf Leaving the Public Sector.  If you would like to know what emotional intelligence might mean for you in your life outside work then please visit WiseWolf’s Your Happiness Factor.

If you would like to read Dr Goleman’s book click on the picture link below

You can try out an EQ test at this link

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career. You can email her or ring ++44(0)2084610114 

10 simple ways to become a better leader starting now

Troy Lum is founder and president of Wired2Lead and a proud graduate of Bellevue University’s Master of Arts in Leadership program.  He works to develop leadership skills with businesses large and small. With support from his wife, he found the commitment, time, and cost of pursuing additional education opened new doors. At Bellevue University, he found a program that provided him with the tools and resources to work around his life.

His post on Make it Happen Now provides 10 invlauable tips on how to develop your leadershhip skills.

“Throughout my life, I have been inspiring individuals to become a voice in their community and create change.  While I believed my leadership skills were well tuned, I am a lifelong learner and wanted to expand my knowledge on leadership development. My problem was that I was newly married, welcomed my son into the world and started a new job.  No way was I going to have the time needed to go back to school.

This is where my thinking all changed.  I started to research graduate programs, learning toward an MBA because that is what I was told to get to work in the business community.  While conducting my research on graduate schools and programs, I discovered a school in Nebraska named Bellevue University that had an interesting degree in Leadership.

My degree opened my eyes to new and exciting leadership development skills.  I took these skills and started my own organization working with individuals to develop strong leadership skills.  My passion is to make positive change in the world by developing individuals to change their own community.

 Regardless of your aspirations, becoming a better leader is sure to pave the way.  To become a great leader, a person needs to utilize all the resources available to expand their knowledge.  Leadership lessons are all around us and can be learned from watching movies, reading books and from our peers. The following 10 steps will get you on your way for a successful career and fulfilling life… you can find the 10 steps at this link

Leadership Styles – the joys of participative leadership?

English: Dark forest track

Everyone loves participative leadership.  Or do they? Usually, most of us would prefer to follow a leader who took our views into account.  Most of us find it easier to commit to something if we have had an opportunity to have our say and to be involved in making important decisions that affect us.

Generally, when a number of people contribute to a decision, that decision gains in quality and there is a better result.

Let us imagine we are walking in a forest with a group of friends.  Suddenly our little path comes out into clearing and there is a fork.  The path on the left disappears off into the trees and so does the one on the right. Sadly, the map we’ve been following is out of date and we can’t even see a clearing.  Which way do we go?

It is getting dark.  A chilly wind is getting up and all we want is to be at home again sitting in front of the fire with a warm drink.  So we argue a bit and realise we are lost – we don’t know north from south.  Then John, who hasn’t said much, reminds us that in the northern hemisphere moss grows more often on the north side of trees. We have lots of trees to check and there we are – we take the left fork.  We’re on our way – home again in half an hour – just as the rain starts!

Well, decisions in organizations can be like that! Sometimes, you, the leader, aren’t really sure you know the best way forward.  You haven’t lost your way exactly but you’d like more information before you make that key decision. Your team would love the opportunity to contribute.  If quiet John in the back office has enough confidence in you he might speak up!  He might just know something you don’t about a new technology or the needs of a particular customer. That information could be invaluable.

Without participative leadership, John would not have opened his mouth. And he certainly wouldn’t have committed to all those late nights working on that new technology to make it work for you and the team.

But, at the end of the day, of course, you are the leader!  What happens when a very urgent or very unpalatable decision has to be made?  Does participative leadership work then?  Or does it have its limits?  I’d love to hear your views

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach. She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change. She offers coaching by phone and Skype as well as face to face, particularly for those wanting to increase their confidence. If you would like to know more you can contact Wendy at  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114.  Her Skype ID is wendymason14.
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