Coaching Leaders
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Coaching Leaders
Helping leaders to develop themselves and others
Curated by David Hain
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Why Taking Responsibility Is Always the Best Leadership Choice

Why Taking Responsibility Is Always the Best Leadership Choice | Coaching Leaders |
The main goal of choosing to take ownership of the issue to begin with was ensuring everybody could get back to work and resume pre-crisis levels of productivity and pride in their jobs. Don’t allow an issue to define you, or the organization. Everybody has lots to do – especially you. While you have to learn from your mistakes, avoid comparing every situation to the crises of yesterday. Stop yourself from reminding everybody constantly of what has already transpired. The issue occurred. You took responsibility for it, held people accountable and, with everybody’s help, you fixed it. You pledged not to make the same mistake again. It’s in your rearview. Keep it there. And get back to the exciting work of creating enduring value for all your stakeholders.

The next time you’re in the midst of a crisis, don’t try to deflect, or underestimate people, or nitpick about whose fault it was. Choose to take responsibility as the leader. Own the problem, take a hard-nosed approach, hold people accountable, present a solution, get to work, and don’t make the same mistake twice. You’ll stave off disaster, fix problems faster, build trust, and get better results.
David Hain's insight:

Great advice from Doug Conant!

Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, August 3, 2:11 PM
We teach through our examples and character. Pedagogy and educate etymologically come from leading. The virtues and character of a leader say more than their words.
Ron McIntyre's curator insight, August 3, 5:06 PM

I totally agree!

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What the Highest Rated CEO in 2017 Can Teach You About Leadership | Leadership Development, Trinidad and Tobago Leadership First

What the Highest Rated CEO in 2017 Can Teach You About Leadership | Leadership Development, Trinidad and Tobago Leadership First | Coaching Leaders |
Everybody loves a top 100 list. It could be the best dog breeds, best cities to live in, or in this case, the highest rated CEOs. I love Glassdoor's annual list of the top 100 highest rated CEOs because it's based on how the employees of major corporations value their most senior leader.
This year the highest-rated CEO was Benno Dorer from the Clorox Company. Most people are surprised the CEO of a global company that sells brand names like Kingsford Charcoal, Brita water filters, and Hidden Valley salad dressing tops the list.
We sometimes forget, as people who are enamored with the latest and greatest, that great leaders aren't just in technology companies. Sure we love glamorous examples like Elon Musk or Tim Cook but great leaders can be present in any industry, "glamorous" or not.
David Hain's insight:

Here is a leader who can obviously live these good practices, not just spout them!

Ron McIntyre's curator insight, July 16, 11:17 AM

Some great insights to adopt and adapt for your company, but keep in mind they have to be lived not just learned!

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The Face of a Leader

The Face of a Leader | Coaching Leaders |
Barton and Halberstadt say:
People’s names, like shape names, are not entirely arbitrary labels. Face shapes produce expectations about the names that should denote them, and violations of those expectations … feed into more complex social judgments, including voting decisions.
Leaders emerge through promotion for hard work, securing votes for political office, or physically intimidating their underlings. But research is now showing that a distinctive face, one which advertises qualities that are rare in your organisation, or a face congruent with your name, may play a bigger role in our success than we previously imagined.
David Hain's insight:

What's in a face? More than we might think, research suggests....

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7 Archetypes of a Good Leader – Thrive Global

7 Archetypes of a Good Leader – Thrive Global | Coaching Leaders |
This is a review of one of my favorite books of all time, “The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness”, which was just released by my dear friend, Lolly Daskal. It has already reached numerous bestseller lists, Lolly has been called “The Most Inspiring Woman in The World” by Huffington Post, and designated a Top 50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. Magazine. After decades of advising and inspiring some of the most eminent chief executives in the world, Lolly Daskal has uncovered a startling pattern: within each leader are powerful abilities that are also hidden impediments to greatness. In this book, she reveals her proven system, which leaders at any level can apply to dramatically improve their results.
David Hain's insight:

New book by Lolly Daskal is essential reading for leaders. Brief review here.

Ron McIntyre's curator insight, June 29, 5:54 AM

Interesting insights!  What do you think?

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Are you an Introvert? Good News: Science Says Introverts Lead the Best Companies

Are you an Introvert? Good News: Science Says Introverts Lead the Best Companies | Coaching Leaders |

A recent study by researchers at Harvard, Stanford and the University of Chicago and published by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests we might have been looking at our leaders all wrong. In their study of 4,591 CEOs, they found that companies run by introverted CEOs outperformed their peers. In fact, publicly traded companies run by extroverts averaged a 2% lower return on assets.
It’s crazy, right?
I mean, extroversion is great. We love extroverts — they’re entertaining, inspiring and fun to be around.
Even so, it seems that introverts might still have the edge when it comes to business prowess. How can this be?

David Hain's insight:

If you worry about being introverted/lacking charisma, read this and play to your strengths!

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The Science Behind What Really Drives Performance (It's Going to Surprise You)

The DDI report reveals a dire need for leaders with the skill of empathy. Only four out of 10 frontline leaders assessed in their massive study were proficient or strong on empathy.

Richard S. Wellins, senior vice president of DDI and one of the authors of the High-Resolution Leadership report, had this to say in a Forbes interview a year ago:

We feel [empathy] is in serious decline. More concerning, a study of college students by University of Michigan researchers showed a 34 percent to 48 percent decline in empathic skills over an eight-year period. These students are our future leaders!

We feel there are two reasons that account for this decline. Organizations have heaped more and more on the plates of leaders, forcing them to limit face-to-face conversations. Again, DDI research revealed that leaders spend more time managing than they do "interacting." They wish they could double their time spent interacting with others. The second reason falls squarely on the shoulders of technology, especially mobile smart devices. These devices have become the de rigueur for human interactions. Sherry Turkle, in her book, Reclaiming Conversation, calls them "sips of conversations."
David Hain's insight:

The state of empathy in leadership - and it's not healthy!

Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, June 22, 4:05 PM
Empathy and emotional intelligence are essential to leading and performing. Central to these are face-to-face conversations with people and providing people with time for conversations, instead of relying on digital tools and social media. Sherry Turkle refers to those as "sips of conversation."
Ron McIntyre's curator insight, June 26, 1:41 AM

We are human so empathy must be part of our leadership style or we are nothing but robots.

Bay Jordan's curator insight, June 26, 6:18 AM
Really useful insights here for anyone who relies on others to deliver performance - which is most of us! 
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Eileen Fisher and the Personal Side of Leadership

Eileen Fisher and the Personal Side of Leadership | Coaching Leaders |
How much personal growth should leaders expect of their staff or themselves? Is it fair to ask employees, as a condition of fitting in to the organizational culture, to embrace personal growth for themselves? And what should senior leaders do to help people move in the right direction?

In a new video from strategy+business, “Eileen Fisher on Leadership: The Personal Side of Organizational Change,” we see a CEO wrestling with these questions. The founder of the eponymous fashion line, which boasts more than US$300 million in annual revenues and more than 300 retail outlets in 12 countries — as well as more than 60 Eileen Fisher retail stores — has introduced workshops and conversations aimed at the personal growth of employees. The company needs a high level of individual capability and commitment from its employees to reach its goals for global expansion, product quality, environmental sustainability, and suppliers’ working conditions. But Fisher has realized that she can’t demand personal growth from her employees without demonstrating it herself, which also means openly tackling some of the difficult relationship issues that have built up over the years in this 1,200-person company.
David Hain's insight:

Change means everyone - and that means that leaders in particular must demonstrate a commitment to personal growth!

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4 leadership takeaways from the UK election | London Business School

4 leadership takeaways from the UK election | London Business School | Coaching Leaders |
What is the General Election on 8 June really about: leadership, policies or other issues entirely? And are there lessons for business? There are four universals that apply in both politics and business: First, leadership differs according to where you are in the leadership journey. Second, identity and character are mixed in with more primitive reactions to imagery. Third, the nature of the challenge is not a given. And fourth, the group identity of “followers” can hinder effectiveness. Let’s take a good look at each of these
David Hain's insight:

Given that there have been varied examples of leadership on offer during the election, some useful universal challenges here for politicians and organisational leaders!

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Why Trump Was Inevitable — But Recovery Isn’t 

Why Trump Was Inevitable — But Recovery Isn’t  | Coaching Leaders |

When we employ the Great Leaders Theory of History, we ignore the great and simple truth that a society’s historic leaders are made by its structural and institutional conditions. And by ignoring this truth, simply yearning for Great Leaders to save us, we remain paralyzed and blind — and vulnerable to Caesars, whether they are named Julian or Vladimir.
Angry, unhappy people demand bad leaders, who tear up social contracts. Happy, healthy, sane people don’t. Thus we must produce better followers today if we want better leaders tomorrow. What does “better followers” mean? It means people who aren’t ready to self destruct. Who can think beyond hyperrational, narrow self interest, partisan politics, aren’t ruled by greed, anger, and hate, whose lives aren’t one long sequence of disinformation, pain, and reaction. You can hardly blame people with lives like that for turning into Trumpists — and just blaming them is besides the point entirely.

David Hain's insight:

Why the hero leader is dangerous, and how to change the system to avoid them. Great insight from Umair Haque.

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10 Ways to Build a Go-For-It Culture

10 Ways to Build a Go-For-It Culture | Coaching Leaders |
It’s difficult for go-for-it leaders to imagine that people are waiting for permission to act. What’s wrong with them?

You take action without asking permission. Why doesn’t everyone else?
David Hain's insight:

2 minutes? 10 great leadership points from Dan Rockwell!

donhornsby's curator insight, June 5, 9:07 AM
You’re a failure as a leader if people sit around waiting for you to tell them what to do.
Ron McIntyre's curator insight, June 7, 12:37 PM

Dan always provides good insights worth reading.

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When a loss is a victory

When a loss is a victory | Coaching Leaders |
Perhaps you are also familiar with this situation: You have prepared for a task perfectly, given it your all and thought through all eventualities. Yet you failed to achieve your goal. Ask yourself, then, if you haven't perhaps gained something different, something much more valuable. Allow that thought to develop and try to see something valuable in your failure to achieve your goal. If your dream employer has rejected you, the path to self-employment might now be open. Or a job that escaped you might allow you to concentrate on certain business areas that you previously lacked the courage to tackle. Remain open-minded and recognize successes – even if they turn out differently from what you would have expected.
David Hain's insight:

A champion learns to deal with failure! And shares a valuable lesson with all of us about reframing...

Ron McIntyre's curator insight, June 7, 12:38 PM

Good insights on all levels


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6 Strategies to Reinvent the Way We Lead 

6 Strategies to Reinvent the Way We Lead  | Coaching Leaders |
Inclusive leadership is about fostering an environment where all people, including leaders, are growing and evolving together. Doing that requires three things:

Creating genuine inclusive environments where leaders allow employees and customers to influence the future.
Redefining accountability metrics for how we measure and reward high performance cultures.
Placing inclusive leadership in the center of growth — in corporate strategy and transformation.
This is not where most inclusion initiatives are placed. Most of them are viewed as cost centers — fringe activities associated with compliance, representation and reputation management — rather than profit centers that enable sustainable growth through opportunities previously unseen.
David Hain's insight:

Inclusion is a popular soundbite. But proof of it leaks in your every action - intention is not enough!

Ron McIntyre's curator insight, June 1, 5:22 PM

I totally agree with David Hain, intentions are never enough, there must be activity.

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Breaking Bad: Why Good People Become Evil Bosses

Breaking Bad: Why Good People Become Evil Bosses | Coaching Leaders |
So this article, Part 3, is an answer to the organizational paradox of why good people become evil bosses. Here are three archetypal stories of those who “break bad” into Machiavellianism: the hard-driving leader, the conniving executive, and the striving employee. Take a walk through the darkness with me…
David Hain's insight:

Great series on the shadow side of our personalities applied to leadership!

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Skipping On Sleep? Think Again

Skipping On Sleep? Think Again | Coaching Leaders |

Can resilience be lost once acquired? The answer is a clear and resounding YES! and probably more easily than is thought.

To understand why this is so we need to examine some of the accepted fundamental characteristics of resilience which include such things as impulse control; empathy; emotional regulation; optimism; and critical thinking.

While all of these can be learnt and developed, research is now showing that our ability to do so is highly dependent upon our well-being. Moreover, as sleep underpins our well-being, the link between sleep and the resilient leader is becoming clearer.

In times of stress a leader may well choose to skip on sleep in the belief that they will get more done or be more effective in resolving issues. However this is far from reality and any productivity gains thought to be achieved from skipping sleep are quickly undone by the negative effects sleep deprivation has on the ability to access higher-level brain functions.

David Hain's insight:

Make sure you get your 8 hours - it's not just beauty sleep!

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Rescooped by David Hain from Just Story It!

Flow States, Leadership -- and Storytelling

Flow States, Leadership -- and Storytelling | Coaching Leaders |
Think of the last time you were completely immersed in a particular activity. You lost track of time; your concentration was at its maximum; it was instantly clear what to do next and how; all the…

Via Dr. Karen Dietz
Dr. Karen Dietz's curator insight, April 7, 12:07 PM

Here's a quick, but really good article on the significance of flow states and improved leadership.


What's a flow state? As the author Evan Sinar says, it's "total absorption in the task at hand; the task taking precedence over everything else, and actively working on the task itself becomes its own reward."


We've all had these types of experiences where we are 'in the zone' and we lose sense of time. Productivity and creativity soars when we are in a flow state.


Sinar discusses why flow states for leadership are important, companies who are focusing on this as part of their leadership development, and how to set up flow state experiences.


Here's my addition -- for years I've noticed that when a person is immersed in telling a story, it's actually inducing a little mini-flow state. The higher the risk (i.e. a big presentation), the more intense the flow state.


The more you develop your storytelling skills,  you are actually at the same time building your flow state muscles. The more you experience flow states, the easier it is to trigger them. 


Pretty neat, huh?


Story on and get into flow!


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at Check out her website at

Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, April 8, 7:42 PM
To be fully engaged in what one is doing is essential. Time appears to stand still in those moments. Educating is leading, thus pedagogy/andragogy, which also involve leading, can involve flow.
Rescooped by David Hain from Success Leadership!

Managing a Person With a Victim Mentality: Dealing With Team Members Who Won't Take Responsibility

Managing a Person With a Victim Mentality: Dealing With Team Members Who Won't Take Responsibility | Coaching Leaders |
People with a victim mentality blame others for their misfortune. Look for positive solutions to their problems, but don't let them excuse poor performance.

Via Roger Francis, Ricard Lloria, Richard Andrews
David Hain's insight:

All who manage people will meet victims. Useful ideas on how to deal with them!

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Rescooped by David Hain from Business Brainpower with the Human Touch!

Leadership Is About Emotion

Leadership Is About Emotion | Coaching Leaders |

Make a list of the 5 leaders you most admire. They can be from business, social media, politics, technology, the sciences, any field. Now ask yourself why you admire them. The chances are high that your admiration is based on more than their accomplishments, impressive as those may be. I’ll bet that everyone on your list reaches you on an emotional level.


This ability to reach people in a way that transcends the intellectual and rational is the mark of a great leader. They all have it. They inspire us. It’s a simple as that. And when we’re inspired we tap into our best selves and deliver amazing work.


So, can this ability to touch and inspire people be learned? No and yes. The truth is that not everyone can lead, and there is no substitute for natural talent. Honestly, I’m more convinced of this now – I’m in reality about the world of work and employee engagement. But for those who fall somewhat short of being a natural born star (which is pretty much MANY of us), leadership skills can be acquired, honed and perfected. And when this happens your chances of engaging your talent increases from the time they walk into your culture.


Via The Learning Factor
David Hain's insight:

Harnessing the power of emotions - the strongest leadership attribute? I think that's probably right...

Cameron Larsuel's curator insight, October 17, 2016 6:27 PM

Leadership is emotion, leadership is energy, leadership is you.

Matthias von Wnuk-Lipinski's curator insight, October 18, 2016 3:09 AM
Leadership and Emotion
Rescooped by David Hain from Just Story It!

From the Brothers Grimm: Leadership Lessons For All

From the Brothers Grimm: Leadership Lessons For All | Coaching Leaders |
Fairy tales help children to answer basic existential questions, like who am I, what is the good life, where do I belong? Through fairy tales they learn to navigate reality and survive in a world full of ambiguities and dangers.

Via Dr. Karen Dietz
David Hain's insight:

Interesting leadership take from Manfred Kets de Vries!

Dr. Karen Dietz's curator insight, May 21, 2015 12:59 PM

Now here's an unusual piece that makes a lot of great points about the universal truths imbedded in fairy tales, and leadership wisdom.

The article is written by Manfred Kets de Vries of INSEAD. Here's one truth he shares:

"On a deeper level fairy tales can touch on humankind’s deepest fears and desires and be a source of inspiration. By identifying with characters in fairy tales, executives can come to better understand their own internal struggles and turn into more self-aware leaders."

There's more in his discussion of the fairy tale in the leader's journey (and it's not about the hero), and a section on the 5 Deadly Dangers of Leadership.

Go read it now for a different twist on business storytelling.

This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at 

Ian Berry's curator insight, May 21, 2015 9:19 PM

Indeed lessons for all in this. I like the 5 leadership dangers particularly the first one about self-knowledge. Everyone can be a leader. Key is being and being requires remarkable self-awareness. The reason most leadership development programs in business schools and organisations fail to produce remarkable leaders is because the focus is on doing more than being.

Rescooped by David Hain from Leadership and Management!

February 2015 Top 100 #Leadership Experts to #Follow on #Twitter

February 2015 Top 100 #Leadership Experts to #Follow on #Twitter | Coaching Leaders |
This is a list of the top 100 recommended leadership experts to follow on Twitter for February 2015.

Via Rami Kantari
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Rescooped by David Hain from #Leadership4NewWorld!

Seven Things Leaders Can Learn from Bill Clinton About Connecting with People

Seven Things Leaders Can Learn from Bill Clinton About Connecting with People | Coaching Leaders |

Most Presidents are more popular out of office than in. In Clinton’s case, he likely gets a lot of credit for the work he’s doing through his Foundation. He also does a lot of public appearances and is a master communicator and connector.

Earlier this week, I got to see exactly how much of a master he is when President Clinton spoke to a packed house for the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. For just under 90 minutes, Clinton held an audience of 1,500 people rapt as he answered questions on everything from Ebola to education to Putin to what his most favorite thing was about being President (that last question was submitted by the moderator’s 4th grade son).

There were a lot of things I noticed Clinton doing that makes him world class at connecting with an audience. There were a lot of lessons that leaders can use to connect with their people. Here are seven of them:

Via Anne Leong, Prof. Hankell
Prof. Hankell's curator insight, December 18, 2014 9:29 AM

President Clinton would be an awesome contestant on Jeopardy. No matter what topic came up in the Q&A, Clinton had an informed point of view backed up with stats and specifics. People are much more likely to listen to and connect with leaders who are well informed...

Miklos Szilagyi's curator insight, December 18, 2014 10:20 AM

Good... like it...:-))) the role of the (smart) guy next-door...:-)))

Rescooped by David Hain from Art of Hosting!

Leadership Skills Audit - Appreciative Inquiry

Leadership in the 21st Century requires a fresh approach to gaining the engagement & buy-in of the people who make up our organisations. The ‘job-for-life’ culture of the 20th has now gone, and innovative approaches to leading teams are required – asking, rather than telling staff what to do – using a coaching approach helps people think creatively, helps us to do more with less, strengthens relationships and helps us manage organisational transformations.

Via F. Thunus
David Hain's insight:

@AlexClapson on using Appreciative Inquiry to develop your leadership skills.

Jerry Busone's curator insight, December 13, 2014 8:08 AM

Good reflection piece of developing your plan for leading in the 21st century

Center for AI's curator insight, December 15, 2014 5:13 PM

This slideshare presentation contains a great mini-inquiry into your leadership practices

Rescooped by David Hain from New Leadership!

What Coaching Leaders Do Differently

What Coaching Leaders Do Differently | Coaching Leaders |
The term "coaching" has been trending as a corporate buzzword for some time now. We're all familiar with athletics coaches. But when someone advises us to find a coach to learn a new skill or solve...


- Coaches Don’t Set the Agenda

- Coaches Focus on the Future

- Coaches Listen


- Coaches Ask Questions

- Coaches are Action-Oriented


- Coaches Give Responsibility

Via Gust MEES, Roger Francis
David Hain's insight:

In the end, coaching is a philosophy about enabling people to bring out their best.

Roy Sheneman, PhD's curator insight, November 23, 2014 8:38 PM

Coaching leads to growth.  Let me coach you....check out Tier 1 Coaching and Training on Facebook.....

Coach4You's curator insight, November 26, 2014 3:00 AM

Worth reading !

Rescooped by David Hain from Art of Hosting!

The Management Myth

The Management Myth | Coaching Leaders |
What they don’t seem to teach you in business school is that “the five forces” and “the seven Cs” and every other generic framework for problem solving are heuristics: they can lead you to solutions, but they cannot make you think. Case studies may provide an effective way to think business problems through, but the point is rather lost if students come away imagining that you can go home once you’ve put all of your eggs into a two-by-two growth-share matrix.

Via F. Thunus
David Hain's insight:

Most of #management theory is inane, writes founder, consulting firm. To succeed in business, don’t get an M.B.A. Study philosophy instead!

Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, November 6, 2014 10:49 AM

Management is about combining leading and management together. Peter Vaill wrote about this extensively. There is no set routine that allows work to get done. It is about being aware and listening. How often do we find out the people on the floor or in the classroom had the best approach?



Rescooped by David Hain from Learning At Work!

The Tyranny of Indirect Feedback

The Tyranny of Indirect Feedback | Coaching Leaders |
Is Indirect Feedback used in your organization?
Do you prefer this model when dealing with sensitive issues?

The model of indirect feedback is one of the feedback models that I have been asked to use throughout my career.  Some executives actually prefer...

Via AlGonzalezinfo, Roger Francis
David Hain's insight:

Being straight is kinder than being oblique through body language and hints!

AlGonzalezinfo's curator insight, November 5, 2014 9:55 PM

Leadership and branding expert, Lisa Manyoky joined me on ‪#‎HealthyLeadership‬ to explore the Tyranny of Indirect Feedback and how to make the GIANT LEAP from diversity to inclusion by minimizing the use of this exclusionary model.

Of course, leadership starts with us, so we also talked about how we can all be open to feedback in order to welcome others to talk to us directly.

Check it out at: ‪#‎HealthyLeadership‬

donhornsby's curator insight, November 6, 2014 8:33 AM

Self-reflection can be painful but as they say, no pain no gain.  

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Why Any Leader Should Embrace Story Listening Before Storytelling

Why Any Leader Should Embrace Story Listening Before Storytelling | Coaching Leaders |
“What I’ve seen is a leader doesn’t start with storytelling, they start with story listening.” -John Maeda, Design Partner, KPCB During the past two years, B2C as well as B2B marketing leader…

Via Dr. Karen Dietz, Miklos Szilagyi
Zeb WATURUOCHA, PhD's curator insight, October 31, 2014 1:00 AM

It is true that if you don't listen to me, I will not listen to you though I might pretend to be listening because you are my boss.

Raymond Godding's curator insight, October 31, 2014 4:01 PM

Leiders die beweging tot stand willen brengen, beginnen met luisteren voordat ze gaan vertellen. 

Curated by David Hain
People and Change consultant, 25 years experience in Organisation Development. Executive coach. Very experienced facilitator and team developer.