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Summary: Most leaders are sabotaging their careers because they are giving presentations and speeches rather than leadership talks. In terms of being a results-generator, leadership talk far surpasses presentation or speech. Here are three questions you must ask and answer before you can give a leadership talk. If you answer "no" to any one of questions, you can't give one. ===================================================== ARE YOU SABOTAGING YOUR CAREER? by Brent Filson
My experience working with thousands of leaders world wide for past two decades teaches me that most leaders are screwing up their careers.
On a daily basis, these leaders are getting wrong results or right results in wrong ways.
Interestingly, they themselves are choosing to fail. They're actively sabotaging their own careers.
Leaders commit this sabotage for a simple reason: They make fatal mistake of choosing to communicate with presentations and speeches -- not leadership talks.
In terms of boosting one's career, difference between two methods of leadership communication is difference between lightning and lightning bug.
Speeches/presentations primarily communicate information. Leadership talks, on other hand, not only communicate information, they do more: They establish a deep, human emotional connection with audience.
Why is later connection necessary in leadership?
Look at it this way: Leaders do nothing more important than get results. There are generally two ways that leaders get results: They can order people to go from point A to point B; or they can have people WANT TO go from A to B.
Clearly, leaders who can instill "want to" in people, who motivate those people, are much more effective than leaders who can't or won't.
And best way to instill "want to" is not simply to relate to people as if they are information receptacles but to relate to them on a deep, human, emotional way.
And you do it with leadership talks.
Here are a few examples of leadership talks.
When Churchill said, "We will fight on beaches ... " That was a leadership talk.
When Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you ... " that was a leadership talk.
When Reagan said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" That was a leadership talk.
You can come up with a lot of examples too. Go back to those moments when words of a leader inspired people to take ardent action, and you've probably put your finger on an authentic leadership talk.
Mind you, I'm not just talking about great leaders of history. I'm also talking about leaders in your organizations. After all, leaders speak 15 to 20 times a day: everything from formal speeches to informal chats. When those interactions are leadership talks, not just speeches or presentations, effectiveness of those leaders is dramatically increased. How do we put together leadership talks? It's not easy. Mastering leadership talks takes a rigorous application of many specific processes. As Clement Atlee said of that great master of leadership talks, Winston Churchill, "Winston spent best years of his life preparing his impromptu talks." Churchill, Kennedy, Reagan and others who were masters at giving leadership talks didn't actually call their communications "leadership talks", but they must have been conscious to some degree of processes one must employ in putting a leadership talk together.
Here's how to start. If you plan to give a leadership talk, there are three questions you should ask. If you answer "no" to any one of those questions, you can't give one. You may be able to give a speech or presentation, but certainly not a leadership talk.
(1) DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE AUDIENCE NEEDS? Winston Churchill said, "We must face facts or they'll stab us in back."
When you are trying to motivate people, real facts are THEIR facts, their reality.
Their reality is composed of their needs. In many cases, their needs have nothing to do with your needs.
Most leaders don't get this. They think that their own needs, their organization's needs, are reality. That's okay if you're into ordering. As an order leader, you only need work with your reality. You simply have to tell people to get job done. You don't have to know where they're coming from. But if you want to motivate them, you must work within their reality, not yours.
I call it "playing game in people's home park". There is no other way to motivate them consistently. If you insist on playing game in your park, you'll be disappointed in motivational outcome. (2) CAN YOU BRING DEEP BELIEF TO WHAT YOU'RE SAYING? Nobody wants to follow a leader who doesn't believe job can get done. If you can't feel it, they won't do it.
But though you yourself must "want to" when it comes to challenge you face, your motivation isn't point. It's simply a given. If you're not motivated, you shouldn't be leading.
Here's point: Can you TRANSFER your motivation to people so they become as motivated as you are?
I call it THE MOTIVATIONAL TRANSFER, and it is one of least understood and most important leadership determinants of all.
There are three ways you can make transfer happen.
* CONVEY INFORMATION. Often, this is enough to get people motivated. For instance, many people have quit smoking because of information on harmful effects of habit
* MAKE SENSE. To be motivated, people must understand rationality behind your challenge. Re: smoking: People have been motivated to quit because information makes sense.
* TRANSMIT EXPERIENCE. This entails having leader's experience become people's experience. This can be most effective method of all, for when speaker's experience becomes audience's experience, a deep sharing of emotions and ideas, a communing, can take place.
There are plenty of presentation and speech courses devoted to first two methods, so I won't talk about those.