Monthly Archives: December 2015

Love Leadership approach


In a world where people are seemingly obsessed with success, Love Leadership makes the case that the path to sustained success is paved by leading with love, not fear.

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 7.10.06 pmDrawing from his personal transformation, interviews with well-known leaders, and anecdotes, John Hope Bryant explores love and fear leadership styles, proposing that love leadership acknowledges a person’s need for external success while tapping into the internal strength one gains by overcoming personal insecurities, limitations, and failures. Love leadership recognizes the wisdom gained by personal and business setbacks, the power of developing long-term relationships, and the wealth achieved by serving others.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.34.53 pmBryant explores five “laws” that are fundamental to a love leadership approach:

  1. Loss Creates Leaders. Inner strength and wisdom are the products of legitimate suffering. Most great leaders have gained wisdom after enduring loss.
  2. Fear Fails. Although leading through fear continues to be prevalent today, fear-based leadership is self-defeating and does not lead to sustained success.
  3. Love Makes Money. Basing business success on caring for others and doing good makes an individual wealthy and is critical to long-term success in business.
  4. Vulnerability is Power. Opening up to others can be one’s greatest strength because it encourages people to do the same.
  5. Giving is Getting. The more a leader gives to others, the more likely he will attract good people, inspire loyalty, and experience true wealth.



Executive presence (EP) is the unknown quality that some people appear to have and others do not. Luckily, most of the elements of EP can be learned.


No person can achieve a top job, an extraordinary deal, or a significant following without executive presence (EP). EP is a combination of confidence, poise, and authenticity that gives others the idea that they are in the presence of someone who is the real deal. It is not a measure of performance, but rather a measure of image.

In the competitive classical music world, a study found that people shown silent videos were more likely to predict the winners than those who only listened to the music. The reason for this is that the musicians’ presence on stage was an important factor in the judges’ decisions. Their body language, facial expressions, and style of dress were hugely influential.

While EP is very difficult to define, most people seem to know it when they see it. There are basically three pillars to EP:

  1. How a person acts (gravitas).
  2. How a person speaks (communication).
  3. How a person looks (appearance).

Prism Full Form1Gravitas is the core characteristic of EP, with 67 percent of the 268 executives surveyed by Hewlett expressing it as the most important factor in success. Communication was cited as the most important factor by 28 percent of participants, and appearance received only 5 percent of the votes.

It is important to note that although appearance is the least important EP pillar, it still carries significant weight. While executives may not consider appearance an important factor in whether someone can do a job or not, it does serve as a critical first filter. Grooming, polish, and dress are more important than physical attractiveness or body type. This is good news, since those are areas of appearance that are easily changed.


According to senior leaders, the top six traits of someone with gravitas are:

  1. Confidence.
  2. Decisiveness.
  3. Integrity.
  4. Emotional intelligence.
  5. Reputation and standing.
  6. Vision.

With all of the corporate scandals that have come to light over recent decades, it makes sense that people gravitate toward leaders who keep their promises, keep their cool, and show compassion and courage. Avoiding catastrophe may demonstrate competence, but handling catastrophe confers gravitas. In a crisis, real leaders lean into the wind, acknowledge shortcomings, and rise above them.

People expect leaders to make difficult decisions. Doing so confers gravitas because it shows that the leader has the courage and the confidence to impose a direction and take responsibility for it. Seventy percent of leaders consider decisiveness to be a component of EP. Real leaders know when being decisive is not the right thing to do. Sometimes events need to play out a certain way first.

Women have a more difficult time than men in appearing to be decisive.

Women who render decisions that demand action risk being perceived as unfeminine or unlikeable. If a woman is tough, she may be viewed in an unfavorable light. If a woman is not tough, she may not be seen as leadership material.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is something that people today value tremendously in their leaders. Leaders with low EQ tend to isolate and even insult many of their followers. While making and enforcing unpopular decisions is part of a job, acting insensitively about it will compromise leaders’ ability to create buy-in among employees. EQ helps leaders build trust, become self-aware, and learn situational awareness.

Vision and charisma are also important leadership traits. Steve Jobs is a great example of a visionary leader. He had a reputation for being a control freak and an unfeeling boss, but those actually fit Apple’s brand of being flawless and minimalist.

While many blunders in the workplace can be overcome, two types are career killers: lack of integrity and sexual impropriety. These two mistakes basically eliminate all sense of gravitas in a person. With sexual impropriety, women tend to suffer more than men.

Individuals can immediately increase their gravitas by:

* Associating with important and influential people.

* Being generous with credit.

* Sticking to what they know.

* Showing humility.

* Smiling more.

* Empowering others.

* Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

* Driving change rather than being changed.


Communication is not so much about what people say as it is about how they say it. Tone, word choice, inflection, articulation, delivery, and even body language help listeners form impressions. Every verbal encounter is an opportunity to create and nurture a positive impression.

According to senior leaders, top communication traits include:

* Superior speaking skills.

* The ability to command a room.

* Forcefulness and assertiveness.

* The ability to read a client, boss, or audience.

* A sense of humor and the ability to banter.

* Body language and posture.

Another study showed that passion, voice quality, and presence were more important indicators of a speaker’s persuasiveness than the content of the speech. Executives cite inarticulateness, poor grammar, and an off-putting tone or accent as verbal tics that undermine EP.

Women should be particularly careful about shrillness. When women get upset or emotional, their voices often rise. High-pitched tones negatively impact perceived leadership ability. Duke University researchers found that a sound frequency around 125 Hz is optimal. One research study found that after accounting for education and experience, a drop of 22 Hz in voice frequency correlated with a bump in compensation. The lower the voice, the greater the leadership presence.

To command a room means that a person has mesmerized an audience.

Telling a story the audience can relate to can accomplish this. The words spoken must also be delivered with the same style as a musician who delivers notes. Cadence should be lifted or dropped to emphasize key passages or points. Speaking too fast is never acceptable, and a speaker should not be afraid of silence, as it can be quite powerful. Speakers should be careful not to overwhelm their audiences with data. Presenters should include a good mix of data and narrative, use props sparingly, and be succinct.

To command a room, the speaker must read the audience and adjust to it.

This may mean abandoning the notes and whatever else was planned and doing something entirely different. Understanding when to do this requires a sizeable amount of emotional intelligence. Being oblivious to the audience’s needs will undermine the speaker’s authority.

Being forceful and assertive is another essential trait of an executive.

However, it needs to be handled the right way. It is important to push back when necessary, but leaders should frame their objection by showing how the decision benefits the company. It is essential to always offer a solution when being assertive.

Executives also need to master the art of small talk and humor. Humor may be difficult to pull off, but basic conversations held before a meeting establish leaders’ expertise and credibility. This may require leaders to learn about a wide variety of topics outside of their normal interests so they are able to insert themselves into conversations with many different people.

A person’s EP is judged the second he or she enters a room. Good posture, holding the head high, and smiling are key factors that people note. Things like checking a watch, tapping feet, rustling papers, and looking at phones indicate a person is not fully present, which undermines EP.


While only five percent of surveyed senior executives said that appearance was an important part of EP, it is the filter through which gravitas and communication skills are evaluated. Leaders with the best appearance are:

* Polished and groomed.

* Physically attractive, fit, and slim.

* Dressed in stylish clothes.

* Tall.

* Youthful and vigorous.

The good news is that the most important aspect, being polished and groomed, is something most people can control.

In a study where participants were shown pictures of women wearing various amounts of makeup, the majority of people thought the women with the most makeup were the most likeable and trustworthy. When individuals make an effort to look polished, others view them as worthy of their time and investment. Good grooming also signals that an individual is in control.

Leaders should aim for a polished look to minimize distractions from their skills and knowledge. Clothing should not be overtly sexual or advertise the body in any way.

Physical attractiveness is another important aspect of appearance, although not as important as grooming and polish. However, it is important to note that fitness and wellness should be the focus. Leaders do not have to look like movie stars, but if they look like they might keel over from a heart attack because they are unfit, that detracts from their EP.

When it comes to clothes, it is essential that leaders dress for the jobs they want rather than the jobs they have. They should complement a signature look with a signature style piece or accent. For men, this could be colorful socks or a playful tie. For women, this could be a specific handbag or quirky brooch.

While women’s leadership potential is unfairly correlated with weight, men’s potential is unfairly coordinated with height. Short men have a more difficult time conveying leadership qualities than tall men. In the United States, taller presidential candidates have beaten shorter ones 17 to 8.

Leaders should seek professional help if they struggle with any of these aspects of appearance. Personal shoppers, makeup artists, and image consultants can do wonders. Leaders should always strive to dress appropriately for their audiences while listening to their inner voices about what feels right and what does not.



There is no way to make someone shift to a more optimal motivational outlook, but leaders can help get their employees on the right track by havingmotivationaloutlook conversations. These conversations are useful when a situation is negatively affecting a person or when his or her outlook is having a negative effect on the team or organization. They are also important when a leader sees potential in someone and wants to develop it, wants to offer a person support, or is stressed or afraid to deal with a situation that is draining his or her own energy.

Motivational outlook conversations will not be successful if leaders are trying to problem solve, are imposing their personal values, or are expecting a shift in outlook to occur as a result of the conversations. Leaders should never take the tone of, “I’ve been where you have and know how to solve your problem,” assume that the person shares the same values, or become exasperated if the person does not immediately make a shift.

There are three core parts of making outlook conversations successful:

1. Prepare: The most important part of the process is for leaders to shift their motivational outlooks about conversations prior to starting them. This requires examining their own sense of well-being and thinking about how they can link their values to their conversations. Conversations should begin from a place of mindfulness and nonjudgment.

2. Trust the process: Leaders must then allow the process to take its own course and follow the three skills for activating optimal motivation. They should ask permission from others to explore their current motivational outlooks and feelings around the task, goal, or situation. They should also listen for cues in body language, spoken language (e.g., “I have to” versus “I get to”), and signals regarding if their psychological needs are being met or how well they are self-regulating. Next, they should present the Spectrum of Motivation model and explore the implications of shifting to a different motivational outlook and how to use the MVPs. For instance, leaders can help their employees practice mindfulness by asking permission to use the Power of Why technique; this involves asking them a series of “why?” questions to help uncover the real reasons behind their suboptimal outlooks.

3. Reflect and close: Leaders should then ask employees if they will commit to a particular motivational outlook or if they will continue examining and identifying where they are. Demonstrating ongoing support builds a sense of relatedness, and discussing strategies they can use for self-regulation can help develop a sense of competence. It is important that leaders also reflect on outlook conversations after they are over. Do they feel drained or energized? Did they struggle to remain nonjudgmental?

It can be particularly difficult for leaders to let the outlook conversation process unfold without problem solving, but when leaders trust the process they will find that it has much better outcomes than typical problem-solving meetings.

Form Connect with INTRIGUE approach


Contemporary culture is more impatient, distracted, and disconnected than ever before. In Got Your Attention?, Sam Horn demonstrates how to earn the attention and trust of coworkers, decision makers, or potential Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 7.10.56 pmclients. Success simply requires updated persuasion, communication, and positioning techniques that are rooted in making genuine connections with other people. This can all be accomplished with Horn’s INTRIGUE approach.

PhotoGrid_1450273862535Contemporary culture is more impatient, distracted, and disconnected than ever before. In Got Your Attention?, Sam Horn demonstrates how to earn the attention and trust of coworkers, decision makers, or potential clients. Success simply requires updated persuasion, communication, and positioning techniques that are rooted in making genuine connections with other people.


In a culture where distraction and alienation are pervasive, people must master the art of connection to get their ideas funded, be considered for a job or promotion, or gain the buy-in necessary for a new initiative. Horn’s INTRIGUE approach provides direction and a set of practical techniques for connecting with others. Each letter of the INTRIGUE acronym corresponds to one feature necessary to create the connection that is at the heart of effective, mutually rewarding communication.


If people are not interested and engaged within the first minute of an interaction, they have mentally checked out. Therefore, it is vital to create an introduction that draws people in immediately. When introducing themselves, pitching an idea, or giving a keynote, people should employ one or more of the following techniques:

* Asking “Did you know…?” questions: A surefire introduction that immediately captures people’s attention has three parts: (1) two or three “Did you know…?” questions that contain surprising facts related to the topic; (2) an “Imagine if there was…” statement that relates to those facts; and (3) a concluding statement, such as “You don’t have to imagine it.

We’ve already created it.”

* Showing, asking, and involving: Audiences are drawn in by props or demonstrations, which help them visualize a problem and want to hear how the speaker can solve it. Questions such as, “Have you ever…?” or “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if…?” are excellent follow-ups to a visual demonstration.

* Sharing something rare: Too often speakers lose their audiences’ interest because they have not demonstrated what makes their pitches unique.

What is rare is intriguing; people want to hear what sets an organization or a person apart.

* Saying “no” first, and turning it into a “yes”: When a speaker fears the audience is already thinking “no” before the speaker has even begun, his or her introduction will be stronger by acknowledging this. For instance, a speaker might lead with, “I know you have said no before, but here is what has changed.”

* Seeing communication as a sport: People can prepare for important communications much like athletes prepare for competitions, for example by rehearsing a talk while walking, visiting an event site ahead of time, practicing a “towering” rather than “cowering” posture, or having a mantra that inspires confidence and an expectation of success.


Speakers can offer valid or important information, but this alone does not make that information intriguing to listeners. People should use the following strategies to transform how they normally frame or deliver information and make it new:

* The seven Ps of disruption: This is a brainstorming tool to help people break through their status quo and uncover something new that will attract decision makers and customers. It is a simple series of seven questions:

  1. Purpose: What is the goal? What equals success?
  2. Person: Who is the target client or decision maker?
  3. Problem: What frustrations does this person have?
  4. Premise: Why are things one way and not another? What if there were a different, better way?
  5. Product: What is a more effective, rewarding, appealing, or profitable approach to the status quo?
  6. Promise: What can be promised so the audience is comfortable with what is new?
  7. POP: What is an intriguing name or title that will make it stand out?

* Using current events and references: Some tried-and-true examples, quotes, and references have been repeated so many times they have lost their intrigue. Quotes from current thought leaders and connections to or commentary on current events are better ways to make a point, for these are what customers, coworkers, investors, and others are already paying attention to.

* Finding new perspectives: Sometimes people discover something new and intriguing when they take a step back and imagine they are looking at the world as if for the first time. Taking time to wonder at ordinary moments can lead to extraordinary realizations.

* Hooking and hinging with humor: Humor not only captures people’s attention but it can trigger new insights. Speakers can use a “hook and hinge” approach that employs humor to make a point. For instance, the point of a funny story might be to have fun with a situation instead of allowing it to cause frustration (the hook). This can then be hinged to a “you question” such as, “Are you sensitive about something? Why not be amused with, rather than combative and annoyed by, the situation?”


When people approach most interactions, they are immediately thinking, “How long will this take?” Speakers have to prove to the people before them that the interaction is a good use of their time. A key way to win the trust and attention of others is to respect their time by being concise and time-efficient. Simple but surprisingly powerful techniques people can use to be more time-efficient include:

* Asking for a specific amount of time. “Can I have 20 minutes of your time?” creates a boundary and acknowledges the value of the other person’s time. It also ensures that the designated time is spent productively and with the person’s full attention.

* Surprising people by using less time than requested. Most businesspeople are always pressed for time and they are more likely to work with those who can use it efficiently.

* Setting personal limits on email length, meeting times, and all communications. People are more likely to get and hold the attention of others when they personally limit the length of all their communications; this also forces them to get to the point faster every time.


If people do not remember anything a speaker has said, then the speaker’s message had no impact. People need to be intrigued enough to share what they heard with others. To ensure that their message stays top-of-mind, speakers need to include a phrase-that-pays.

Such a phrase is easily repeatable, succinctly sums up the core message, resonates with others, and could be “merchandized and monetized” for future financial gain. The following five strategies can help speakers craft an effective phrase-that-pays:

  1. Distill: The core message or call to action should be condensed into eight or fewer words. What do people want their audiences to feel, say, do, or remember?
  2. Rhythm: Words should have a rhythm that makes them easily repeatable.

For instance, the iconic slogan “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” was successful because it had a memorable rhythm and people naturally shared it with others.

  • 3. Alliteration: A series of words that begin with the same sound are also easier for people to remember (e.g., Java Jackets; LuluLemon; Bed, Bath & Beyond).
  • 4. Rhyme: Another effective memory aid is for words to rhyme. For example, the government’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign was more effective than “Buckle Up for Safety.”
  • 5. Pause and punch: When a speaker pauses right before the phrase and then slowly articulates each syllable of it-the punch-he or she has spotlighted what listeners should remember. Some effective phrases to lead into the pause and punch are, “The most important thing I have learned is…” or “If you remember anything from today, I hope it is this.”


When people interact with technology today, they seldom do so passively.

They write reviews, post to social media, share tips on forums, personalize radio stations, and more. They do not simply want to receive information, they want opportunities for two-way interaction. It is no surprise, then, that the traditional one-way communication of most presentations and meetings fills people with dread or boredom. Businesspeople need to abandon elevator speeches and standard meeting procedures and create opportunities for more intriguing and valuable two-way interactions. The following techniques can help them do so:

* Avoid standard openers and responses. Instead of asking others traditional, “What do you do?” openers, people can ask questions that will elicit more interesting answers, such as, “What project are you most excited about right now?” or “What do you love to do on weekends?” If, in turn, the speaker is asked the standard “What do you do?” question, he or she can begin a dialogue by asking a three-part question and then providing real-world examples of the impact of his or her job. For example, “Have you, a friend, or a family member ever had an MRI or CT scan?” is a three-part question that makes a connection between the listener and the speaker’s occupation. When the speaker follows up with, “I run the medical facilities that offer MRIs, like the one you/your friend/your family member had,” he or she has created a springboard for further intriguing conversation.

* Ask for advice. A surefire way to create interactions is to ask others for their opinions or suggestions. People are eager to share their expertise and feel valued when others request it.

* Begin sentences with, “Tell me…” Questions such as, “Did you enjoy the conference?” are a dead end. In contrast, “Tell me about your experience at the conference,” opens up an opportunity for interaction.

* “Turn back” rather than “take back.” Often, when people are listening to others speak, they are merely waiting for an opportunity to “take back” the conversation. For instance, after a coworker has finished a story about the Chamber of Commerce meeting, most people’s tendency is to respond with, “Last time I was at a Chamber meeting I ran into…” and return the attention to them. A better response would be to turn the conversation back to the speaker, for instance by responding with, “What are the Chamber’s major goals this year?”


Intriguing people is not just about getting their attention; it is about giving them attention. People need to stop focusing on pitching and instead develop empathy. The acronym LISTEN outlines how to start listening to make valuable and lasting relationships:

* Looking, lifting, and leaning: Good listening begins with attention to body language. Listeners should look completely at the speaker, lift their eyebrows slightly, and lean forward a bit to convey interest and eagerness.

* Ignoring everything else: True listening is not a multitasking exercise.

Listeners need to avoid looking at their phones, checking their computers, glancing around at others, and any activity that signals they are not giving the speaker their full attention.

* Suspending judgment: When people have worked together for some time, they may pigeonhole one another or assume they know what another is going to say in advance. Good listening requires holding back on assumptions and not conflating what a person said last time with what he or she might be about to say.

* Taking notes: To make offering undivided attention easier and more rewarding, a person could take notes intermittently when listening. This shows the speaker that the other person is listening, gives the listener a record of key points, and highlights springboards for future conversations.

* Empathizing: When listeners ask themselves, “How would I feel if…?” they put themselves in the speaker’s position. Listeners may begin to understand the speaker’s behavior or opinion even if they do not like it.

* No”buts”: When a person offers feedback and follows it with the word “but,” he or she effectively undoes whatever positive comment was made.

For example, “I know this is important to you, but…” or, “You did a wonderful job, but…” is not affirming; instead it creates an argumentative tone. Substituting “and” for “but” acknowledges the preceding positive comment.


Unless a person remembers and acts on what a speaker says, the speaker’s words have had no real impact. An effective message prods people away from passive observation (e.g., “I understand what they are saying”) to action (e.g., “I am going to do something about this.”) Top strategies for leading people toward action include:

* Taking concepts out of the theoretical and abstract: Without concrete examples about how to carry out theoretical ideas (“Be sure to make customers feel welcome”), most people will fall short of expectations.

Rather than hearing ideas or definitions, people need suggestions for action (e.g., “If you are on the phone with another customer, say…”).

* Creating urgency and gravitas: People hear appeals for attention, money, and action all the time; they need to know why the current speaker needs them to act now. For instance, saying that “Autism is on the rise” does not create as much urgency to act as “There has been an almost 80 percent increase in autism in just 10 years. This is an epidemic we need to address.”

* Using visual or physical involvement to trigger an epiphany: To help people understand why something has relevance for them, speakers can ask the audience to “Raise your hand if you have…” or “Stand up if…” This creates a powerful visual realization for listeners who may have thought a topic did not require action on their part.

* Using “Have you ever…?” phrases to make connections: Just as people should turn back more conversations than they take, a speaker should at some point turn back to the audience’s point of view. “Have you ever…?” phrases help listeners make the connection from a speaker’s story or example to their own lives.

* Ending on a strong note for active follow-up: Too many people finish conference talks, interviews, or emails with a standard, unmemorable closing, such as “Thank you for your time,” that does not prompt any action. A stronger closing includes a reminder of the speaker’s name and a unique attribute (e.g., “Ask for Brooke, the only product advisor with red hair…”), a set of possible actions, (e.g., “You can meet me at 2:30 in our booth…”), and reasons people might take those actions, (e.g., “At our booth, you can watch a product demonstration…”).


One of the best ways to intrigue and connect with others is to use real-life examples. Examples cause people to feel and empathize; explanations do not. The acronym SCENE can help people remember how to make their main point come to life and influence listeners authentically:

* Sensory detail: Details about how a place looked, sounded, or so on can help listeners feel like they are there.

* Conflict: Strong examples typically have some element of conflict or challenge that was overcome or resolved. Listeners want to hear the transformation the individual went through.

* Experience it: To connect with the audience, the speaker needs to feel the emotions he or she wants the audience to experience.

* Narrative: Persuasive examples are narrative; they draw people in the way a good novel or movie does. When appropriate, back-and-forth dialogue can further help a scene come to life.

* Epiphany: Speakers need to highlight the “aha!” moment, lesson learned, or redemptive ending that creates an epiphany for the audience before connecting a story to listeners’ experiences.


Becoming intriguing and expanding one’s influence is most effective when it is done out of a desire to do good, serve others, and share expertise. By putting the concepts of INTRIGUE into practice, people will be able to connect with anyone, anywhere, and at any time.



Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 7.02.26 pmBeing an effective speaker is considered a key executive competency, but it is also something of a dying art. People are relying more and more on digital communication, and studies show that listeners’ attention spans are getting shorter. Still, speaking is a more effective mode of communication than writing because vocal intonations help clarify meaning that gets lost when a message is written, and people focus their attention on the speaker.

McGowan finds there is a communications gender gap in the corporate world. Women have to walk a fine line between being seen as too empathetic or nice and being seen as bossy or inflexible. Men, on the other hand, do not have to deal with the same kinds of stereotypes. Women tend to back into their messages because they like to establish support for an idea before actually explaining it. Men tend to be less empathetic, so are often not as effective at explaining how an idea might help others.

But not all communication issues are gender based. People can be poor communicators because they focus too much on irrelevant details, make the same point over and over, rely on clichés, or continually edit what they just said, a habit called verbal backspacing. To help speakers overcome any quirks that keep them from being good communicators, McGowan recommends seven principles of persuasion:

1. The headline principle: Speakers should grab their audiences’ attention at the start.

2. The Scorsese principle: Speakers should create imagery with words to hold listeners’ attention

3. The pasta-sauce principle: Speakers should boil down their messages to make them strong and concise.

4. The no-tailgating principle: Speakers should talk slowly while thinking about what to say next.

5. The conviction principle: Speakers can show certainty with their words, tone, and eye contact.

6. The curiosity principle: Good conversationalists are interested in other people and what they have to say.

7. The Draper principle: Speakers should keep the conversation focused on their areas of strength.

To learn these principles and put them into practice, people can focus on learning and using one principle at a time. Individuals can study speakers on television to see how they display various principles, and they can evaluate their own use of the principles by reviewing recordings or videos of themselves speaking.



Passionate leaders  are committed to things that are meaningful or important. Followers are attracted to passionate leaders because they believe leaders who are passionate will see things through to completion. Passion by itself can be dangerous, however, and it must be balanced with wisdom or trustworthiness.

Passionate leaders commit honestly to what they believe in and inspire followers to commit as well. However, they are not dogmatic; they must be able to explain what they believe without making followers feel they are wrong to have different positions on the subject. In fact, leaders should encourage people to share opposing points of view and willingly listen to those views. The more passionate leaders are, the more important it is that they seek feedback and input from others who might disagree to be sure they are not carried away with their passions.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.28.41 pmLeaders must do more than talk about their passions, however. They also need to act on their convictions. Leaders who say they believe one thing and act in a different manner are likely to lose followers. Passionate leaders also must remain committed to their beliefs despite setbacks. Andersen’s example of remaining committed to a passion involves an entertainment executive who was helping the organizers of a fundraiser for Rwanda. When organizers told her they were concerned they would not get the turnout they had hoped for, the executive personally emailed all her contacts to express her support for the event and to urge them to attend and donate. Thanks to her outreach, the event attracted an overflow crowd.



No one is born doing a keynote speech. Great motivational and keynote speakers have developed their capabilities from learning and mastering key techniques. There is no one big thing in Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 6.52.59 pmcommunications, but rather a great many little things that add up to create a big impact. Even after all of this training, to keep improving it is necessary to notice little details, try them out on an audience, and evaluate their effectiveness. To develop a powerful keynote or motivational speech, speakers should write down the main themes or lessons they wish to convey, reduce the themes to the fewest possible words, and turn the lessons of the story into messages that could be expressed on a bumper sticker. To deliver a message effectively, a speaker should set up the bumper sticker message, tell the story the way he or she practiced it, and then pause and let the message sink it.

An elevator pitch is a classic technique whereby an individual sells something in a very short period of time. This is accomplished in three easy steps:

  1. Create a scene that demonstrates what problem the product solves.
  2. Pre-answer anticipated questions and concerns.
  3. Close the deal with an action step while asking for a commitment.

Individuals should avoid the common mistake of continuing to sell after someone has already bought. They must adopt the posture that they are doing the customer a favor, not the other way around.



The real story of motivation lies in human nature; people have an innate desire to learn, grow, enjoy, and excel at what they do; make contributions; build lasting relationships; and achieve a sense of wholeness. Whether they recognize it or not, what truly motivates them is having three core psychological needs met: autonomy, relatedness, and competence, collectively known as ARC.

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 6.52.11 pm1. Autonomy: People need to understand that they have choices and their actions are of their own volition. This can be seen at an early age (e.g., babies’ desire to feed themselves and not be fed) and is never lost. While employee empowerment may be considered cliché, studies confirm that productivity, performance, and well-being suffer when autonomy is not present.

2. Relatedness: People need to feel connected to others without fear of ulterior motives, and feel they are contributing to something greater than themselves. When people spend a majority of their waking hours connected to their work, it is vital that their relatedness needs are being met.

3. CompetencPRISMe: People must feel able to overcome challenges, take opportunities, increase their skills over time, and experience growth and achievement. When leaders immediately cut training programs when finances tighten or limit educational opportunities to higher-level employees, they send the message that they do not value employee competence.