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Instant Leadership Talks

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to: brent@actionleadership.com Word count: 1600 An extraordinary feature of the human heart is its capacity to be profoundly changed in an instant. Experiences that take place in the blink of an eye can propel individuals to radically alter their behavior and even the course of their lives. Making use of this inherent quality of the heart can boost the effectiveness of your leadership. For it is in the realm of heartfelt words and actions that great leadership results accrue.

For the past 22 years, I've been teaching a process to leaders of all ranks and functions in top companies worldwide, a process that can help you take advantage of the heart's great potential. It's called The Leadership Talk. The Leadership Talk is a way of making deep, emotional connections with the people for the purpose of achieving great results. Specifically, the Leadership Talk motivates people to choose to be your cause leaders. Only cause leaders can achieve great results consistently.

To prompt people to take leadership for your cause, you must develop a special relationship with them. After all, one may do a task and get average results; but to get great results, one should take leadership of that task. Taking on leadership for your cause will require they embrace higher levels of expectations and achievements. So it is not a commitment people will make easily or lightly. Your giving a Leadership Talk -- i.e, saying those things that will motivate the people to help lead your cause - can take any length of time. I've seen people give a successful Talk in just a few minutes. I've seen people give a series of Talks over days and weeks before their audiences would make the choice. However, because of the heart's extraordinary dynamics, a Leadership Talk can be done in a moment. Here are a few "instant Leadership Talks.

" Note that sometimes no words were involved. Words are not absolutely necessary when it comes to giving Leadership Talks. --Seeing abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison dragged with a rope down a Boston Street by a pro-slavery mob, Wendell Phillips became so outraged that he joined the abolitionist movement and became one of its most effective activists. --When anti-French passions were sweeping England in the late 18th century, Voltaire who had been living in London for several years was set upon by an angry mob. "Hang the Frenchman! Hang him!" shouted the rabble. Voltaire responded, "Men of England! You wish to hang me because I'm French? Isn't NOT BEING BORN ENGLISH PUNISHMENT ENOUGH?" The crowd laughed and cheered and escorted him back to his quarters. --Doug Collins, member of the '72 U. Olympic team that ultimately lost the gold medal on a disputed call to the Soviet Union, describes the dramatic moments at the end of the game. "We're losing by one. The Soviets have the ball. The clock's running out. I hide behind the center, bait a guy into throwing a pass, knock it loose and grab it. A Russian goes under me as I'm going up for the lay-up. I'm KO'd for a second. The coaches run to me. John Bach, one of the assistants, says, 'We gotta get somebody to shoot the fouls." But coach Hank Iba says, 'If Doug can walk, he'll shoot.' That electrified me.

The coach believed in me. I can't even remember feeling any pressure. Three dribbles, spin the ball, toss it in, same as in my backyard. I hit 'em both and got the lead. I didn't know what I was made of until then." --a General Electric client of mine told me this. "I was a young Naval officer reporting with many other new sailors aboard an aircraft carrier. The captain met us in a formation on the flight deck. He shook my hand and went down the line greeting many other sailors.


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