Leadership masterclass by Luan de Burgh

Posted on: October 15, 2014

It’s rare that you get to witness a master in the art of presentation but this was the reward for the hardy members of the PM Forum who ventured to the offices of PWC at More London Riverside on a rather rainy Wednesday evening to hear “Breaking through to the next level of leadership”. It turned out to be a Leadership masterclass in a nutshell.

Mr de Burgh was both warm and witty. His confidence from working with leaders in law, accounting and property businesses (as well as those in the banking and pharmaceutical industries) shone through. His engaging, interactive and anecdote-laden storytelling style won the audience across immediately.

His session was a perfect demonstration of simplicity and the power of three (see https://www.kimtasso.com/book-review-presentation-book-create-shape-deliver-emma-ledden/) and used multiple media – there was a moving and inspirational video of the Iraq speech by Colonel Tim Collins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpdeNcH1H8A, he wrote up the responses to group discussions on flip charts and his PowerPoint slides were clean, clear and impactful. And he perfectly timed this interactive and at times amusing session to precisely 90 minutes. I cannot convey the high quality of his delivery with words – you needed to be there to experience it.

Anyway, here is a summary of a fabulous content he shared:

  1. 1.     Styles of leadership

He started by asking us to consider the pros and cons of psychologist Kurt Lewin’s 1939 three types of leadership:

  • Authoritative
  • Participative
  • Delegative

(You might be interested to note that I refer to Lewin’s work in negotiation here https://www.kimtasso.com/nine-ideas-for-better-conflict-management/  and to his work when talking about how to “unfreeze” individuals during change management programmes).

Then there was a consideration of Ken Blanchard and Dr Paul Hersey’s situational leadership model (this model is covered in more detail in PM Forum change management and leadership training https://www.kimtasso.com/reflections-on-managing-change-and-leadership/ and also in delegation training https://www.kimtasso.com/top-five-tips-for-effective-delegation/) considering:

  • M1 Where there is a lack of knowledge (need to tell)
  • M2 Where there is a lack of some necessary skill (need to coach)
  • M3 Where there is a lack of confidence (need to support)
  • M4 Where there are both skills and confidence (need to delegate)

We were asked to consider our natural style and that of our present leaders. There was agreement of the need to adapt both to the members of the team and to the urgency and importance of the task.

2.     Power and influence

Here Mr de Burgh introduced French and Raven’s 1959 five bases of power:

  1. Legitimate
  2. Reward
  3. Expert
  4. Referent (there was an interesting discussion here about George Clooney, President Obama (“Don’t tell me that words don’t matter”) and Bill Clinton)
  5. Coercive

The conclusion was that expert and referent were the most effective types. He described some listening and reflecting techniques that enhanced charisma.

3.     Becoming a leader

Finally, he referred to Harvard Professor J Sterling Livingston’s “Myth of the well-educated manager” and pin-pointed the four essentials of good leadership:

  1. Effective decision making
  2. Successful problem finding
  3. Effective opportunity finding
  4. Style of leadership

He then shared some of the leadership tips he obtained from leaders in the professions which included:

  • Be trustworthy – keep your promises and earn people’s trust
  • Talk about “we” not “I”
  • Be a truth teller (even if you can’t share everything)
  • Be easy to work with
  • Don’t lead through email – walk about
  • Manage your mood and be predictable
  • Don’t believe your own PR and hyperbole
  • Make people feel safe
  • Find out about the people you lead
  • Be optimistic
  • Accept what you can’t change
  • Have humility
  • Be authentic and accountable
  • Lead by example
  • Praise people

He rounded off the session with a list of book references and some further (TED) viewing including Simon Sinek, Roselinde Torres and Stanley McChrystal.

www.deburghgroup.com Twitter @deburghgroup

www.pmfglobal.co.uk

 

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