Welcome the New Year with one great leadership lesson

By William Seidman As the year draws to a close, “Best of” lists are popping up everywhere in the media. “5 Biggest Leadership Lessons From 2012”  by Les McKeown is just one example. McKeown shares his list and then concludes: “The #1 leadership lesson of 2012? Lead, for goodness sake. It’s your job.” I found this article frustrating. The command to “Lead, for goodness sake” hardly helps people actually lead. We’ve been developing and implementing leadership programs for more than 15 years. As a result, I can say without hesitation that every person in a leadership position already knows the conventional leadership wisdoms—they just don’t work. Something more than just a lecture on the stale notions of leadership is needed. We have developed a program based on the science of positive deviance, the neuroscience of learning, and recent research on motivation. This program actually enables leaders to lead, even in harsh circumstances. We call the program the Four Positives: Positive Deviance: Leverage your best people to define a collective, compelling purpose that generates a great social good and a sensible path to mastery for achieving the purpose. Positive Images: Always frame everything in positive terms; this energizes people and makes it easier for the brain to process new ideas. Positive Practice: Give people time to practice the new behaviors so that neurons can wire together into desirable patterns. Positive Reflection: Take time to think about the positive practice and how to do things even better. A leader who engages in the Four Positives, and recognizes when others are not coming from this perspective and guides them to the Four Positives, will be an effective leader in any situation.  ]]>

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