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Leadership from Within
Implementation Guide


(For printer friendly version click here)


Planning without implementing is a waste




Overview

Any journey starts with a single first step (and often with credit from the bank). If you want to help others become "Leaders from Within" you can't just tell them to do it. You have to guide them.

This guide will help you to assist your group to get the most out of this book. It's a simple, systematic, step-by-step process that doesn't waste time. I strongly recommend you stress developing the individual's capabilities. This will automatically produce better morale, improved productivity, and less staff turnover.

The Leadership from Within approach is not a task-oriented program. It will simply help an individual become a better, more mature person, so he or she can get more out of her life.

To make this program a success you should have participants want to come to these one-hour sessions. I recommend half employee time, half company time. However, many do it on company time alone.

Explain you expect them to read a lot for the first meeting-to at least the end of the section on "Understanding Your Personality Type". Participants should also fill out and complete the "Taking Action" section that follows "Maximize Your Return!" This will take about two hours. Be sure you explain this requirement before you start, and emphasize the benefit they will gain by doing this work.

The three most important challenges you might experience are:
  1. Meetings run too long and don't start on time
  2. Too many negatives about day-to-day situations come up
  3. Participants expect instant results
Here's how you can avoid these obstacles.
  1. Work with no more than seven people per session. It is impossible for everyone to make it to all meetings. That's life, and that's OK.

    Be sure to plan five sessions with your group at their convenience long in advance. For best results make sessions no longer than an hour.

    Start on time and end on time. If you make the sessions from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., I suggest you have coffee and donuts ready at 8:15 and start sharp at 8:30.

    In my sessions at the first meeting I always ask participants what kind of penalties we should charge latecomers_$1, $2, $5. The amount doesn't matter. No one wants to pay a penalty for coming late. Start your session exactly on the dot. Anyone who is late, pays. Ask the group in the first session how they want to use the money, or tell them if they don't know what to do with it, you'll be glad to take it! You have to be very tough at the start because nobody wants to pay.
  2. As soon as the session goes into a negative mode, with group members beginning to complain about things, redirect it into positive channels. Come up with something positive. Ask another group member for comment on the positive direction. In any meeting, dwelling too long on negative aspects will make it go from bad to worse. The secret is to look for the positive. However, you have to be aware there are negative things in our lives. As the session chair you have to keep the meetings in a positive direction.
  3. It's your job to make it clear that nothing happens instantly. Tell your staff to look at nature. No one all of a sudden gets old. He or she grows old. Look at marriages where there has been a sudden and perhaps surprising divorce. You can be sure the problem has been a long time in the making.

    On a more positive note, any successful person did not become successful overnight. It took them a while. If someone has a muscular body, very often they trained a long time to get it. It's the same with leadership. It takes time to develop that 'leader-within'.


Preparation

Buy a copy of Leadership from Within for each group member. Give out the book at least one week in advance of the first session so group members can read at least one chapter before each meeting.

Buy a deck of 3 x 5 index cards so participants can use them to write down their weekly goals.

Be sure you read the book thoroughly from cover to cover, underlining and circling.

Make copies of the personality analysis.

Go back and be sure you know how to evaluate that quiz.

However, another good approach is to tell your staff to go to Bender's website at www.Bender.ca, and click on the Personality Analysis section. The whole idea behind the analysis is not merely to understand yourself, but to understand that people are different. To work together in a group or company, one has to respect other individuals, their strengths and weaknesses. The Personality Analysis is only a guide to open one's eyes to the world around them. In case you want to know more, there are many other books available (see the Suggested Reading list).

To make these five sessions a successful learning event you don't need a PhD on personality analysis, facilitating or public speaking. As a matter of fact, the more humble your position the greater could be your success in these sessions. In a nutshell, the meetings will guide group members through the chapter they have read. You will discuss it with them, and you will almost certainly hear different views of what was read.



Session 1
Know Yourself

Be sure your people have read and underlined "What Is Leadership from Within", which includes "The Search for Leaders", and "Maximize Your Return", and have filled out the "Taking Action" section. They also should read the first element of leadership "Know Yourself" which includes "Understanding Your Motivations" and "Understanding Your Personality Type". Remind them to bring the book with them.

Start off explaining that "our past was perfect to get us where we are today." The objective of the sessions is to understand that we have more control over our own four walls than we think.

Ask them, "What was the best idea you got from this section of the book?" How can they implement that in their own lives?

Ask them to discuss some of the exercises which you think are important.
  1. Ask
  2. Act
  3. Associate
One of the secrets to making these sessions work is to ensure that for every meeting, one has to make and reach a personal and a business goal. Give out 3 x 5 cards to write them down.

Tell your group the personal goal does not need to be discussed in front of everyone. But be sure that the goals are smart, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and truthful. Help your people to set simple personal goals such as cleaning the inside of their cars, taking the Christmas lights down, doing the laundry, cleaning their desktops on Friday, and so on.

At the end of the session, ask participants what was the best idea they got out of the meeting.



Session 2
Have Vision and Passion

Check if last week's goals were met. If not, why not? The reason one doesn't obtain a goal is because the goal wasn't important enough. Be sure you explain to your people that whatever one thinks is important, is important. If we want to make changes as humans, we have to prioritize time. He or she who will accomplish a lot will work on things that are important to them. Help them pick goals for next week.

Be sure your people read the chapter on "Vision and Passion" and read the "Taking Action" section.

Start by asking again the best idea they got out of this chapter and how it could be implemented in their lives.

Discuss with them parts of
  1. Ask
  2. Act
  3. Associate
Tell them to set a new personal and business goal for next week.



Session 3
Take Risks

Be sure your people have read the section on "Take Risks".

Ask them about Attitude, Behavior, and Results, as per Taking Action.

Be sure your go through
  1. Ask
  2. Act
  3. Associate
Check how the personal and business goal went this week. Remember to explain if one hasn't reached the goal, it was because one didn't want to badly enough. Suggest again making goals for the next session, but this time they give themselves an award for reaching the goal.



Session 4
Communicate

Be sure they're read the chapter before starting.

Do with them the Ask, Act, Associate exercise.

Be sure if they have reached their goals they give themselves the promised award.

For next session, tell them to set a business and a personal goal and if they don't reach them, they give themselves a strong penalty, one that hurts.



Session 5
Check Progress & Results

Check them on their personal and business goals. Make it clear that changes will not come overnight. They come after doing simple things in the right direction over and over. One can eat a whole elephant, but not at one sitting. If one is a vegetarian, one can eat a field of corn-but it might take two years.

Be sure they've read the section.

Do the Ask, Act, Associate exercises with them.

End by congratulating participants on taking the time and effort to improve themselves. Tell them to work on with confidence.



Checklist

    SESSION      1           2           3           4           5     
   Explain/enforce late penalty rule          
   Discuss the chapter they've just read          
   Ask/Act/Associate
     (pick the most applicable)
         
   Personal/Business goals          
   Ask for a "good news" story of the week           
   Ask for the best idea of the session          
   Tell them again to read the next
     chapter and do the exercises
         
   End on time          

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