Friday, November 17, 2017

Underneath the Iceberg of Leadership


I’ve been conducting Leadership and Management Training in The Philippines for a long time. I’ve also been an observer of how Leadership Training is being conducted by many organization.  What I notice in my past practice and those of others too is that a lot of focus of the training is on how to lead or manage. We talk about leadership practices, We talk about how to plan, organize, direct, and control. We facilitate the walk-throughs of various leadership and management processes like problem solving, decision making, managing performance, developing strategies, coaching, mentoring and the likes. It makes a lot of sense because the what, how and whys help build knowledge, skills, and habits – the behavioral components  of whatever a leader or manager needs to demonstrate.  These are parts of the peak of the iceberg of leadership. It’s important to equip learners with the necessary skills to apply theories and processes of leadership and management in their work. However, addressing just the peak of the iceberg is not enough. We need to look at what’s underneath and make sure that there is enough in there to float the iceberg.

What are the elements underneath this proverbial iceberg?  Near the surface are attitudes that bring to surface a person’s behavior.  Without the right attitude, a learner will hesitate to  accept new knowledge, not practice the skill, and fail to demonstrate the desired behaviors that lead to success. If you want to facilitate change in a person’s behavior, you have to facilitate the change in the person’s mindset. This means addressing the stuff that are even deeper than attitude, the one’s that affect it; Self-image, programming, beliefs, awareness of one’s emotion, aspirations, and values. I believe this to be fundamental to a person’s development and even more so in one’s leadership development.

I designed a program to address what’s underneath the iceberg of leadership and I am inviting you to join me in my public seminar on January 16 and 17 or invite me in your organization to facilitate this program for your managers and supervisors or for people you are grooming to take on a bigger responsibility.  
Leadership Personal Mastery Training
In this training, I hope to help the learners become aware of how all these things below the surface affect their behaviors and influence their leadership. I designed a number of self-awareness exercises to help them take inventory of their personal leadership capital, recognize their leadership values, be aware, and ultimately be in control of their emotions. I will help them use Appreciative inquiry to recognize their strengths, their opportunities, their aspirations and their success indicators.  These figure in their commitment to whatever it is that they need to do.  I will also help them take charge and be accountable for their behaviors, through management of their emotions. There are two very powerful and grossly hindering emotions that I want to help them with particularly, these are fear and anger. A lot of bad decisions come from one’s failure to manage these emotions.  We will practice techniques that can be used to effectively deal with these feelings, how to articulate emotions both internally and externally and more effectively.

Eventually we deal with the stuff right before and near the surface of leadership which are social awareness, empathy, and connecting with others. These are important. We often teach leaders how to empathize without really understanding empathy.  That’s why we often see leaders who make such superficial demonstration of empathy without the authenticity.  There are a lot of training on how to be eloquent or articulate in a way that impresses but not connecting. I’ll facilitate exercises in assertive communication to help the learners get used to exercising their communication rights without ignoring their communication responsibilities.  These are essential to building trust, gaining respect and successful relationships.

At the end of the program, the participants will create a personal leadership journey road map that directs to their highest future selves as leaders which will guide them in applying the learning in their work and in learning more skills about leadership.

Many leaders hesitate to attend training like this because they are afraid of being vulnerable. We often try to project a facade of stability and certainty but deep inside, we struggle to address the challenges of leadership in front of us. I believe we all need to address what's below the surface so that our true leadership potential may surface. 


I invite you to join me or to send the leaders of your organization to this learning event.