Monday, December 24, 2012

Leadership at Christmas Time

Our children need our leadership through their growing years. My children are now all in their 20’s and still yearn for leadership in the form of guidance and consistency. I remember when they were little, they would look with adoring eyes at the things Mum and Dad did for them, and said to them.
Our work environments are no different to our home environments – we have people looking up to us, and watching every move we make. Our leadership obligation is not optional. We are “on show” wherever we go and whatever we do.
As we come to the end of another year of business we start to think about unwinding and enjoying a break with friends and family, but still people are watching.
There is a difference between “unwinding” and “unravelling”. There have been some spectacular “falls from grace” when people have unravelled in the public eye.
Stephanie Rice had established a great persona as an Olympic Swimmer and was setting herself up for a career in the media spotlight. A little too much to drink brought it all undone. A controversial rant on Twitter led to most of her major sponsors dumping her overnight.
It’s not up to the “minders” to get us through these situations, it’s up to our own leadership to recognise the perils, and take appropriate action.
Just like our businesses have a brand (which we are careful not to damage the brand) we each have a personal brand that needs to be protected.
Grant Hackett damaged his brand when the police were called to his luxury apartment after a big day at the Melbourne Cup recently. Kyle Sandilands lost more than $1 million in Sponsorship when he damaged his personal brand after having a rant on the radio this week. Both the French and Italian Prime Ministers have damaged their personal brands in recent times.
Imagine if you saw any of our last five Prime Ministers at the local shopping mall dressed in a blue singlet with footy shorts and a pair of flip flop thongs on their feet. That would be incongruent with their brand or image. It would also destroy all the efforts they had made in providing leadership to their followers, regardless of your political beliefs.
Religious leaders and corporate leaders have the same responsibilities. Their leadership is always on show and in uncertain times people look for consistency and leadership.
The late Steve Jobs built the Apple brand to what it is today. He didn’t do it singlehandedly, he did it by having a great leadership model with an impeccable image. Do you think that if he regularly “let his hair down” with Friday night drinks that went too far, or showed his team any other shortcomings, that his leadership would have been so compelling?
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Thursday, December 13, 2012

5 Biggest Leadership Lessons From 2012

This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources, and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at

It’s been quite a year for leadership lessons. Any one of a multitude of events in 2012 (Hurricane Sandy, The London Olympics, Benghazi and its fallout) would provide a case study in how to lead–and sometimes, sadly, how not to.

Here are my personal top five leadership lessons from 2012:

1. Institutionalize your Vision (with a capital V).

It’s over a year since he died, but Steve Jobs was still handing out leadership lessons in 2012.

The question everyone began asking almost immediately his sad, early death was announced was: “Will Apple survive the loss of its Visionary founder?”

This year showed that, while the jury is still out as to whether it will be exactly the same company or not, Apple isn’t going to disappear any time soon–far from it.

Unlike CEOs at companies such as Starbucks, Gateway, and Dell, Steve Jobs clearly succeeded in institutionalizing his vision by driving it deep into the very warp and woof of the company and instilling it into Apple’s management DNA.

Howard Schultz, for example, hasn’t yet achieved this at Starbucks. He’s still the personification of “his” company’s vision.

Are you the personification of your company’s vision? If you left, would it leave too? Or have you hired, mentored and coached your vision into the company, so that it would stand without you?

2. Remember that big does not necessarily mean important.

It’s hard to remember the degree of hoop-la that surrounded the Facebook IPO back in May. I mean Mayan-calendar-the-world-is-ending hoop-la.

And that very fact–that something so highly anticipated could turn out to be such a fizzle–is a lesson in itself. Big does not necessarily equal important.

Take a look at the big things that have your attention. Are any of them merely big, but are actually unimportant? If so, chances are you could save a lot of leadership resource by dumping that project.

3. Plans mean nothing, but planning is everything. That the Mars Rover landing of ‘Curiosity’ in August was an incredible feat of technical skill is undoubted (if you haven’t watched the NASA video, I urge you to do so).

But hidden in the story, lurking behind the technical pyrotechnics, is a story of leadership in the face of almost-unbelievable uncertainty.

Often missed in the retelling of Curiosity’s landing is the fact that no-one at NASA could do a single thing about the outcome. Once the landing module had begun its descent, everything–every tiny movement, every one of the millions of microscopic adjustments–was being made by pre-programmed software.

No-one back at NASA HQ had their hands on a joystick, no-one could change even a millimeter of the module’s direction. Either everything worked out okay, or it didn’t. There was no way to adjust on the fly. In the end, all those plans were essentially meaningless.

As Mike Tyson has said: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched on the nose.”

In leadership, often our plans turn out to be close to useless. But planning? Planning is what put Curiosity on Mars. It can get you anywhere you want to go.

4. Don’t do deals you don’t understand.The ongoing, four-year HP debacle turned almost cartoonish with November’s announcement that HP is to write off $9 billion (yes, that’s a “b”) of its investment in Autonomy–a company for which it paid $12 billion in October 2011.

There’s still a lot to be written about this fiasco, but one thing is immediately obvious: no-one on the HP side, from then-CEO Leo Apotheker to the three firms of auditors involved (and including the entire board) knew what the heck they were buying.

It looked good. It filled a strategic vacuum. And it was available. So they did the deal.

You’d think only very large companies with access to gobs of cash fall for this type of stupid transaction, but sadly I’ve seen founder/owners and small business owners bet the ranch – and fail – many times.

As my grandmother would say, “If you don’t understand it, don’t do it.”

5. Leaders need to, well, actually lead. Finally, as the year closes out, we’re watching perhaps the biggest failure of leadership of our time play out. As the United states hurtles closer to fiscal impact (we fell off the fiscal cliff quite some time ago), political leaders of all stripes have abdicated the only thing we ask of them–leadership.

The #1 leadership lesson of 2012? Lead, for goodness sake. It’s your job.


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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Qualities a Leader Should Possess and How to Attain Them

What entails being a good leader? Throughout history, exceptional leaders have been known to be great communicators who inspire their subordinates and empower them to perform their best. They also possess superior organizational skills, ruling vast empires like they were tending to their backyards. Today's prominent leaders include heads of successful nations, companies, and various organizations. While technology might have developed, the attributes of a great leader remain unchanged.

To be a good leader, one must possess some notable attributes though this is easier said than done. When leadership seminars weren't in vogue, leaders were born into a life of greatness. However, today, practically anyone can be a leader with the right guidance and commitment. Various leadership training programs are now available to groom individuals to become better leaders.

Coaching is conducted in different ways, and is designed to suit different kinds of people. Various leadership styles apply to different individuals, and leadership roles can range anywhere from managerial, role model, coach, to a mentor approach. While common attributes prevail for every strategy, there are particular aspects of leadership coaching which vary with each person. However, the final result is that each person emerges bearing the skills needed to become a more effective leader.

Leadership training and development aims to improve leadership skills that should be possessed by every leader. Effective communication is essential in motivating subordinates and asserting one's self. Leadership is a two-way process which involves communication between you and your team members. It is, therefore, crucial to harbor positive relations between you and your colleagues, while maintaining professionalism.

Military leadership development programs originated from education taken by war veterans. In the warzone, leaders must possess advanced planning and organizational skills, as well as innovative thinking to adapt to the many contingencies common in wars. In other instances, such leadership capabilities are perfect for leaders to overcome stressful situations and address unforeseen issues.

An executive leadership training program centers on the importance of a leader's overall health to enhance leadership skills and emphasizes on a healthy lifestyle and diet. Healthy leaders are believed to perform exceptionally well. Unhealthy leaders, on the other hand, would often hamper an endeavor's progress when they are unable to attend to their responsibilities because of poor health. Apart from leadership and personal qualities, diet and exercise routines are also taught in these programs.  Much emphasis is placed on maintaining holistic wellness so that the mind and body are able to focus on the all-important task of leading.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Coaching Leaders and Organizations for Success

Pick up any business publication these days, and you'll find an article on Coaching, whether it be working with individuals to find more balance or meaning in their lives, to helping others identify a new career they are more passionate about. While these are certainly positive objectives of coaching, we at Incite Strategies have spent over 10 years working specifically with leaders in organizations to help them be more effective within their organization.

Some of our work centers around more traditional executive coaching - that is, individuals coming to work with us on specific issues that have already been highlighted in the organization, and which are thought best to be addressed by an external coach, either because the internal coaching has not had the desired impact or because the internal resources do not have the time or skills required. The majority of our work, however, is more akin to proactive leadership and organizational coaching. We often work with leaders in conjunction with their teams (individuals often identified as direct reports, peers, or business partners). These individuals are typically identified as part of a certain group -- whether as members of a senior leadership team, mid-level leaders identified through succession planning, or emerging high potential leaders. In other words, we are coaching people who have a proven track record of performance become that much better vs. focusing on a previously identified development need. This ‘proactive' assessment, development and coaching provides a road map not only to the business, but also to the individual leader, as to how to best leverage strengths, work on development needs and ensure the current trajectory and proven track record continues.

Having assessed and coached hundreds of global leaders, we're often asked "what does it take" to be a successful leader. Below are our observations that we hope you find helpful and can perhaps use as a roadmap for your own development. Ours is not a "cookie cutter" approach, but one that you can achieve by stretching, but still being true to yourself.

The Basics

These are what we refer to as "the ticket to entry" in any discussion of leadership and the potential to assume larger roles in an organization.

Accountable - Doing what you say you're going to do...having a high "say-do" ratio...being dependable....delivering results...meeting or exceeding performance objectives

Credible - Believable...being seen as doing the right thing vs. having any hidden agendas...having built a solid foundation of experience that you are speaking from a base of knowledge

Decisive - Having courage in your convictions...Being able to make a decision without all the data...Knowing when to stop getting more input and "make the call"

Driven - Having the desire to stretch outside of your comfort zone...highly self-motivated....always seeking to "over deliver" and exceed expectations...always doing more than asked

Adaptable - Having the flexibility to adapt to internal changes in the organization or external fluctuations in the marketplace...seeing change as a positive, as unearthing new possibilities vs. being resistant

"Quick Study" - Not necessarily having the highest IQ, but having the resourcefulness and know-how to figure out how to get up to speed quickly in any new situation, whether it be through self study or leveraging the knowledge of others

The Stand Outs

These are attributes that we don't see very frequently, so when we do, they stand out as unique.

Ability to Influence - This goes well beyond interpersonal skills and encompasses organizational knowledge - knowing who the key stakeholders are and being able to flex your communication style to see things from their perspective to get buy-in

Genuinely Cares - Unfortunately all too often we work with leaders who see people as a "means to an end"...this characteristic stems from really caring about the people who work for and with you, and getting to know them and value them for the individual they are

Risk Taker - We're not referring to hair-brained ideas here, but thoughtful, creative, prudent risk taking...thinking outside of the box...challenging the sacred cows of an organization...never being satisfied with the status quo

Mature - This has nothing to do with age or experience, but with being self aware...knowing what your strengths and development needs are...being a life-long learner...being comfortable in your own skin, confident in the person you are and the style you have

Passion for the Customer - Many think this would be in the "Basics" category, but we find many leaders becoming too internally focused and not being conscious of needing to stay close to the customer, and to continually drive the customer-centric view down to their teams

Innovative - This could be creating something from scratch, inventing something new, or simply doing things differently...Or, if you're not particularly creative, surrounding yourself with those people and creating the environment that allows new ideas to bloom

The Missing Pieces

As you would expect, there are areas where even the most successful leaders continually struggle and aspire to reach.

Strategic Thinking - Although well intended, many leaders get bogged down with daily firefighting or the transactional nature of their businesses and don't consciously carve out time to think long term and set a vision for where they want their organization to go.

Leadership Flexibility - Staying true to who you are doesn't mean only having one style of's easy to lead a team of people like you, but much more difficult (and much more effective ) to lead a diverse team of individuals...and, their job is not to adjust to your style, but for you to understand how best to influence and motivate them as individuals and as a total team

Communication Savviness - Most leaders communicate well in specific scenarios, but many still focus on trying to be equally effective on all fronts: with individuals, small - large groups, across all levels of an organization, in formal presentations or informal networking events

Presence - Like it or not, the way in which you present yourself goes a long way in people's impression of you as a leader, whether it be how you dress, how you speak, or the impression you leave...many people we coach want to prove they can be successful without this, but they end up being overlooked or misperceived because they're not "memorable"

Ability to Build a Following - This goes beyond positional power, or people doing what you ask them to do because they work for know when you've developed followers when people say " I don't care what the job is, I just want to work for them again"

Proactive Career Planning - Surprisingly, the majority of the leaders we have assessed have never sat down and thought about where they wanted to go from a career perspective, and the gaps they needed to fill to get there...Most have had a sponsor who has called them and told them what job to go to next...While having sponsors is certainly important, what happens if the sponsor leaves the company? Or falls out of favor? Many realize too late that they haven't built a broad network or have pigeon-holed themselves unintentionally by having a passive approach to their own development

Working with a group of individuals accomplishes many things for the organization. It not only serves as a retention tool for those individuals, but also provides a common framework and process against which they can be assessed. Using the existing corporate values (or helping define those if they don't already exist), we gather data from the individual and others that work closely with them (like a verbal 360) which results in strengths and areas for development for each individual. We then pull together the themes which emerge from the population so that organizations can ensure that their on-going development programs and company culture reinforce these other words, coaching the organization!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Art of Managing Leadership in Changing Enviroment

Leadership is the ability to inspire confidence and support among the people who are needed to achieve organization goals. It is the process of providing the direction and inspiration necessary to create or sustain an organization.

The 21st century has already spawned a sizable volcano of daunting new challenges to leadership. Deregulation, digitization, ecosystems, strategy life cycles, and competition at present, represents change have permanent rhythm for every business firm. This change process gives a role of decision making initiative for the leaders such as:

  1. Broadening the scope of employee freedom by managing less, without sacrificing focus, discipline, and order.
  2. Creating an organization where the spirit of shared values and community dominate, not programs and policies.
  3. Providing for a mission that justifies extraordinary contribution .etc

The best effective decisions made within the available limited resources and constraints to provide an optimum solution for the change process makes a leader and a manager to achieve their objectives in many change process. Further to handle the change initiatives efficiently  an organization must recognize that succession planning and leadership development are two elements of the same process that of ensuring there are leaders now and in the future who can implement the organizational vision .while succession planning can identify those individuals who have the abilities ,talent and potential to turn the vision of the organization into reality, the alignment to leadership development can ensure that this potential is realized .In so doing, an organization can ensure that there is indeed long term leadership sustainability and opportunities of entrepreneurship this will be a source of having competitive advantage of developing next generation leaders in the years to come for an organization to succeed .


Leadership is the energetic process of getting people fully and willingly committed to a new and sustainable course of action to meet commonly agreed objectives whilst having commonly held values. Leader's values must offer 4E's frame work-envision, enable, empower and energize, for establishing a climate for creative thinking and promote innovation.

21'st century has already experienced with deregulation, digitization, globalization,

Strategic business management, the result is familiar to every business firm "Change",

Change is a common occurrence in business today. Leading change describes the role of leaders in accepting and managing many change process  .many of the change initiatives fail to achieve their objectives because (1) Absence of a definition of what actually would constitute organizational success. (2)  "Results" a powerful concept if left unmanaged, poses a risk in future. (3) Intransparency ie, lack of clarity of the changing situation. (4) Lack of succession planning and building bench strength.

Leadership attempts to have integrated systems to solve the problems of change process.

"Leadership is about being adaptable to change and uncertainty" (Mark .A. Morgan MD of citigroup private bank).

An organization to develop the next generation leaders should consider the following important points such as (1) Identifying core set of skills to equip leaders of next generation. (2) Tracking and networking alumni of young professionals. (3) Determining the value of pooling program evaluation efforts. (4) Recognizing the key challenges in finding the resources and enhancing youth programes.

Key words: Leadership sustainability & roles, change process, toxic leadership etc.

Contemporary Leadership Roles

The 4 contemporary leadership roles that are important for the organization to achieve its objectives are:

Providing team leadership
Leadership is increasingly taking place within a team context .as teams grow in popularity; the role of the leader in guiding team members takes on heightened importance.

Organizations have formal mentoring programs where mentors are officially assigned to new or high –potential employees to present ideas clearly, and empathize with problems of their protégés.

Self leadership
Self –leadership propose that there are a set of processes through which individuals control their own behavior and effective leaders help their followers to lead themselves.

Online leadership
To lead the people who are physically separated from you and with whom your interactions are basically to written digital communications like telecommuting with employees you need online leadership.

Factors for effective leadership

(1) Follower. (2) Leader (3) Communication (4) Situation

Figure showing factors of effective leadership

Factors influencing changes in organizations environment

Globalization and developments in the field of information and technology.
New management strategies and the competitiveness in the business environment.
Implementation of news business processes.
New goals and performance standards established in the business
Structural changes in the economy. Etc
Need for implementation of change in the organization's environment

Based on Michael E Porter's five forces of competitive position we can analyze that there is a need for "change" in the organization to survive in the competitive modern business.

Michael Porter's five forces:

  • Existing competitive rivalry between suppliers
  • Threat of new market entrants.
  • Bargaining power of buyer
  • Power of suppliers
  • Threat of substitute products (including technology change)

Leadership role and responsibility in implementing change in organization

Organizational culture is the primary source of resistance to change a leader should understand the organization culture and then plan the change process.

The use of value based management model 0f 7-s model can be helpful in implementation of change by coordinating 7-s namely, shared value, strategy, structure, system, staff, style and skill. (MC Kinsey's 7-s framework)

Leadership should determine clear decision making framework to ensure the organization has means and resources to achieve its goals.

Analyzing the change process through a experimental project  with the five factors such as project duration, the project teams performance ,integrity of management commitment, employee commitment and employee effort required to cope with the change that are essential to be implemented.

Change can be implemented through organizational transformation by ensuring succession planning initiatives are closely aligned to leadership and development and organizational vision
Ensuring that succession planning process occurs in such a way that it is in itself a transforming experience.

Drawbacks of implementation of changes in the organization.

Some the reasons why change initiatives fail to achieve their objectives are:

Absence of clear definition of what actually constitute organizational success

Lack of knowledge about changing situation in business environment.

Lack of integration between succession planning and leadership with organizational vision.
Toxic leadership performance.

Lack of planning premises and constraints, inadequacy of resources and means to implement the planned change process.

Toxic leadership and organization

Toxic /Bad leadership is one of the main reason we can point out for the failure to         implementation of change in the organization. "A Toxic leader is someone who has responsibility over organizations employees but abuses the leader –follower relationship by leaving the organization in a worse condition than when he/she first found them". (Barbara Kellerman)

Barbara Kellerman analyzes Toxic/bad leadership into seven different types:

(1)Incompetent (2) Rigid (3) Intemperate (4) Callous (5) Corrupt (6) Insular (7) Evil.

Toxic leadership can effect organization in change implementation by following way:

Lack of definition of vision, strategy and business plan.
Inappropriate execution of the vision, plan strategy and business plan.
Lack of team building skills and business ethics.
Lack of sponsoring, supporting, measuring results.
Destruction of organizational culture, values and employees trust and confidence.

Understanding the change process

Understanding the change process helps the leader of present and future generation to develop the suitable technique to solve problems in initiating change process in organization. To understand problems, determining the characteristics of the difficult problem is key to initiate change process.

Dietrich Dorner and Joachim Funke have elucidated typical characteristics of difficult problem they are as follows:

Intransparency-lack of clarity of situation.

Polytely-multiple goals which have

a)      Inexpressiveness.

b)      Opposition

c)      Transience

complexity- large number of items interrelations and decisions which have

a)      Enumerability.

b)      Connectivity(hierarchy relation ,communication relation, allocation relation)

c)      Heterogeneity.

Dynamics- time considerations, which have

a)      Temporal constraints

b)      Temporal sensitivity

c)      Phase effects

d)     Dynamic unpredictability

Problem Solving Techniques

Abstraction: solving the problem in a model of the system before applying it to the real system.
Analogy: using a solution that solved an analogous problem.

Brainstorming: (especially among the groups and teams)suggesting a large number of solutions or ideas and combining and developing them until an optimum is found.

Divide and conquer: breaking down a large complex problem into smaller, solvable problems.
Hypothesis testing: assuming a possible explanation to the problem and trying to prove the assumption

Lateral thinking: approaching solutions indirectly and creatively.

Means-ends analysis: choosing an action at each step to move closer to the goal.

Method of focal objects: synthesizing seemingly non-matching characteristics of different objects into something new.

Morphological analysis: assessing the output and interactions of an entire system

Reduction: transforming the problem into another problem for which solutions exist.

Research: employing existing ideas or adapting existing solutions to similar problems.

Root cause analysis: eliminating the cause of the problem.

Trial and error: testing possible solutions until the right one is found.

Developing The Leaders Of Next Generation

Michael G.Winston who has been working with fortune 50 companies partnering with key executives in developing the next generation of leadership explains how they develop the next generation of leaders.

Seeking and securing top management support
Leadership development initiatives are launched with clear communication from the senior executives explaining the mission, strategy, objectives and expectations for participant's .later stage measurement tools are designed to assess and reinforce leadership accountability for results.

Determining required skill sets.
Firstly you define key leadership requirement and develop a plan to improve critical skills and competencies required to implement the current and projected business strategy and review both current and prospective markets, competitors, customers, channels and determine critical success factor.

Building Best-in-class leadership development initiatives
An integrated and highly focused set of initiatives is crafted that should reflect the company's strategic agenda, address critical challenges and opportunities and strengthen leadership capability ,programs are generally used as a combination of company's presenters, external world-class subject matter experts,E-learning technologies and post-program project work to reinforce key strategic initiatives.

Launching a tiered Talent Identificfation,Assessment and Succession process
Succession management is a critical activity in business organizations must serve to identify, develop and retain those people who are able to deliver superior performance both individually and as a part of team. This can be done like:

Alignment of top performers to most critical jobs.
Identification of successor candidates for key roles
Assessment of strengths across key competencies
Identification and development of high potentials.
Identification and elimination of key succession gaps.
Figure showing how to strengthening talent development in the organization.

Developing an enterprise perspective
The CEO can ensure a balanced focus on leadership development and business

Needs as well as movement of people across organizational boundaries. This will

Promote sustainable leadership in the organization

Integrating the organization
Creation of an organizational integration function provides diagnostic processes to identify and eliminate or reduce the overlap and duplication that often emerges in decentralized structures. High impact instruments can be created and implanted to identify and build upon key organizational, structural process and leadership elements to strengthen and enhance business performance.

Metrics for driving accountability
Systems are then installed to hold line managers accountable for building leadership.

Leadership development and succession becomes an unavoidable "gate" for promotion and significantly affect compensation, this can be understood with the diagram given below

Figure showing metrics for driving accountability

Institutionalizing the process

Ultimately the objective is to institutionalize a simple consistent process across the enterprise which promotes leadership and succession cycles

Leadership and Entrepreneurship

It is leadership style that creates the appropriate climate for entrepreneurship and innovation in an organization.successfull leaders are not only good executives they are also great entrepreneurs .a entrepreneur today has to face several changes in the organization .he has to adapt the change process efficiently and convert the disadvantages of changes into advantages of business for which entrepreneur needs strong leadership qualities mentioned in above paragraphs leadership ,creativity, ability to solve problems makes a leader successful entrepreneur.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Entitlement - The Loftiest Leadership Stage a Leader Can Rise

Is Barak Obama enjoying the loftiest leadership stage any leader can reach? What about Nelson Mandela? Who between the two has reached the highest leadership stage? How can we know this? How do the leaders gain public fame? How did they take on the stage of public arena? Is there some defining moments that demarcate the leaders' walk to public arena? If indeed there can be such moments, can these moments be captured? If so, can they be lessons for current and future leaders? What can current and future leaders learn from such moments?  Yes, there are indeed defining moments and, these defining moments can be traced and captured. Besides, they can be used as learning lessons to current and upcoming leaders.

The loftiest leadership stage in the ten defining moments in leadership is Entitlement, when a leader has gained the public fame.  The other stages stretching from when a leader is virtually unknown to when he or she is widely known are Emptiness, Experimental, Experiential, Endeavour, Engagement, Endorsement, Endearment, Endowment, Entrenchment, and the loftiest, Entitlement  stage.

Whether positive or negative, fame is seen as increasing at the same level as the influence a leader exerts in the public domain. Thus, the more a leader is known and recognised, the more he or she exerts influence to the led. This simply means that if a leader is not known, his or her influence is small or none-existent. If he or she is a known public figure, his or her influence is great.  In this way, a leader is able to affect the public agenda even more. With the ten stages, the book traces the leaders' life's journey from the time a leader is virtually unknown to when he or she becomes a household name. It traces the struggles, the huddles, the joys, the power and glory, of each stage, as well as the temptation accompanying each stage along the way. The book can be used as a leadership mirror to evaluate where the leader currently is, where he or she is going, and what such a leader needs to do as well as avoid during the current stage. The book also prepares a leader of what to expect in the next leadership and subsequent stages.

Why base leadership on fame? Simply put, a leader can simply be described as a dealer with people. At every level, from the home front to the national and indeed international front, leaders affect people either positively or negatively and many time a mixed grill of both. People rejoice when good leadership is in place or likewise mourn when the bad leadership is in place. Therefore, one cannot divorce leadership with follower-ship, and in the latter is where people are. For good or for worse the higher one climbs in the leadership ladder, the more people one affects, influences and touches. This means a man with a wife and three kids will adversely affect his family if that is the only influence he has. A business leader with a thousand people under him or her will adversely affect those people, and so will a president with a country of thirty million people. Then there are those leaders who have no geographical borders. They are bound to affect very many people in one way or another, for good or for worse.

Leaders everywhere occupy one of the ten stages of leadership ladder. The ten stages are further divided into four phases.  Phase one is known as survival phase when the cup of fame is empty.

Phase two is known as success, a phase of relative fame when the cup of fame is half-empty. The third phase is called Success-Significance when a leader is enjoying wide fame, thus the cup of fame is full to the brim. The fourth and last, the highest leadership can go, is called Significance phase when the cup of fame is overflowing cup and the leader enjoys wider fame. Let us see this one further:


Phase one is known as survival phase-The empty Cup of Fame.  This phase has three stages, Emptiness, Experimental and Experiential.

The first stage of section 1 entitled Survival- The empty cup of Fame is Emptiness. This is a stage where and when a leader is little or not known at all. Both the position such a leader holds and influence he or she wields is limited or non-existent. It is when a leader holds only a fledging vision in mind and untested virtue at heart. This stage is promising, has all potential, but troubles abound and hindrances abide. Nothing but hope and faith is vested in such a leader, hope that he or she will make something out of his or her life or will turn out to be or somebody in the society, and faith that he or she will not disappoint. Therefore, the ‘public' expectation of a leader in such a stage is courageous leadership.


Two words form the basis of the second stage called Experimental stage. The words are ‘try' and ‘risk' because the stage has bottlenecks which include uncertainty and let downs, misunderstandings and threat posing, rejections and regrets. Well, these are enough to keep the leader's diary full and his or her life occupied. But with all the odds in this stage, and though they do not come easily, there are payoffs as well. This includes baby steps and vision test, exploiting the unexplored potential, knocking doors, building networks and collecting a basketful of learning experiences. This is the stage where the public expect authentic leadership, enough to overcome the let downs on the way to public leadership.


The third and last stage in this first phase is called Experiential. This when and where a leader tastes the fruits of his or her labour. The bottlenecks include intense competition as well as a leader settling on laurels by reducing the vision originally cast. It is in this stage that the road branches somewhere, one fork of that road leads to virtue, and the other expediency. This throws such a leader in a dilemma of which to choose from the two forks of the road. Will the leader choose virtue or expediency? This presents a crisis to the leader for both of them offer opportunities or danger. Having been in the field of leadership and having built some following, people's expectations towards such a leader are rising. The most important expectation is that a leader in such a calibre shows some principle standards in all his or her dealings.


Phase two is known as success -The Half-Empty Cup of Relative Fame.  This phase has two stages, the Endeavour and Endorsement. Though both the position and influence are on the increase, position is still greater than influence. Because of this, a leader in this phase is therefore ruling.

This phase begins with Endeavour stage, when a leader feels that enough is not enough and decides to move on in leadership ladder. The first characteristic in this stage is that the leader has more than enough, described as successful and that both the position and influence of a leader is on the increase and the leader is desirous to leave a mark in his or her leadership. But there are at least three bottlenecks in this stage, the naked and un-tempered ambition and greed and grabbing as well as the urge to exterminate or at least smoothen out the enemies on the way.  The public expect a leader in the endeavour stage to offer integrity leadership, much needed at this stage.


Overall the fifth stage, second stage in this phase is known as Endorsement a stage where and when a leader is gaining public acceptance.  The dangers in this stage involve setting a secure leadership base or solidify this endorsement for he or she may still feel insecure and in so doing take the path of revenge, settling scores on personal vendetta, surrounding self with cronies, rewarding those who helped the leader up as well as taking people for granted. Opportunities of Endorsement Leadership include proving his or her saltiness and building bridges and mending walls as well as seizing this opportunity to serve the people who voted or put him or her there. Therefore, the led expect such a leader to offer responsible leadership.


The third phase is called Success-Significance- The full to the Brim cup of Wide Fame and contains Engagement, Endearment and Endowment stages. For the first time, the leader's influence surpluses his or her position.

In the Engagement stage, a leader is engaged, he or she  gets something to do. His or her diary is full. The stage is transactional in nature, that is, there is a business-like transaction taking place between the leader and the led. Therefore, there are discussions, communication, concessions, and mutual agreements reached between the two parties.  However, transaction work well when every party plays their part and work wrongly when one does not play his or her part well. Transactions being in the business world, it follows the characteristics of misuses found in that world, like underhand and shady deals, as well as breaking promises and lack of integrity. Three requirements needed in this stage are, the minimum requirement, the leader keeping the promise, the optimum requirement, the leader uplifting the virtue of integrity, and, the maximum requirement, the leader raising the level of leadership offered in this stage from transactional to transformational. Taken together, the public expectations of leaders in this phase are public accountability, positive influence, and a show of integrity. The public expectations of leaders in the Engagement stage are transformational leadership, a more superior leadership than mere transactional one.


The seventh stage is Endearment stage. While the fifth stage, the Endorsement stage was rather rational in nature, Endearment one goes beyond that to involve and invoke the emotional side of people.  In Endearment, people exhume great love and pride and admiration of   their leader. However, this may produce the flip side situation where the leader yearns to consolidate all the adoration directed to him or her and yearn to remain the centre of attention.  The public expectation of Endearment stage is to offer steward leadership. Thus, their main responsibility and test of leadership to be effective and faithful stewards of the resources they have been entrusted with and the greatest resource being people themselves.


The eighth stage of leadership and fame is Endowment stage, a very high stage indeed and prone to all kinds of dangers and vanities.  Crowned by the people either by votes or by increase of customer or client base, or even fans, the next stage, the Endowment leader, believes he or she has special knowledge to lead, and thus taken as a gift of God to the people and not the other way round, is a beneficiary and not the other way round, can enter in the realm of metaphysics and not the other way round. The feeling of nuli secundus, the Latin word for second-to-none may dominate in such a leader.  This builds the leader's greatest weakness.  Such leaders can capture leadership opportunities by serving a higher cause, and giving people glory.  People's expectations of their leaders increase at every level, and become more serious. People expect empowerment leadership, a kind that will improve their lot, not that kind of leadership that will only enrich the leader.


The fourth and last, the highest leadership can go,  is  called Significance phase- The overflowing cup of Wider Fame which contains two stages, the Entrenchment and the Entitlement stage. While Endorsement stage leaders were approved rationally, and Endearment types approved emotionally, the ninth stage of leadership, Entrenchment stage, leaders' transcendence beyond all these and enter into peoples' physic. This means that such leaders has  too great influence  that even if they leave the position of leadership, without use of force or arms they still influence any decision to be taken or made.

For good or for bad, Entrenchment leaders are very hard to replace and the obvious gap exists between them and any thought replacement. For good or for bad again, everything around these leaders is public. Holding the world to the sway of their influence and power, and using their larger than life space, if these leaders climbed all the way while they are dwarfed inside, they can misuse this honoured position of leadership in more ways than one. The potential and real danger surround Entrenchment leaders are insecurity and power abuse, moral compromise and lapse, breaking of rules, pride, vanity, fantasy and fanaticism all rolled into one. Such can subsequently combine to produce false beliefs in a leader which can lead to the dangers of human rights violations. On the positive side, Entrenchment leaders' influence is so great that their virtues are felt widely and deeply. They should serve the high office better doing two things, one serving the people, and two, mentoring others in leadership. This is encapsulated in shepherd leadership expected of them by the public.


When the queen of Sheba parked her train caravans full of gold, camels and precious stones and crossed over from Egypt to Jerusalem to see for herself of the fame she heard of King Solomon, she was responding to King Solomon's last form of leadership, Entitlement leadership, a leadership that makes other kings and queens travel far and wide to witness for themselves the glory associated it.  This last and highest stage of leadership rides on greatest fame, greatest power and loftiest glory.

However, even such a leader can be larger than life but internally dwarfed. Some of the characteristics of such a leadership are pride, aloofness and a don't care attitude, manipulating and misusing people, squandering state or business resources and, smoothening his or her way through by removing opposition and competition on the way. His or her conscience may die and can transcend from a fellow human being to a demi-god. Once these leaders consistently maintain the negative trends of leadership, they have a final and permanent place for them to go in history- back into permanent and irredeemable obscurity.

In such a high position as this, leaders ought to have nothing to prove or lose, nothing to hide or hold back and, at the same time everything give and gain. Even as people offer them permanent entitlement for leadership, the best Entitlement leaders can do is to have no entitlement on their side. They should portray a sense of selflessness as they lead people. Virtues like to nurture and mentor new leaders, to help humanity, to empower others and to leave a positive, lasting legacy are virtues that such leaders are expected to maintain while in such a stage in leadership.  The overall public expectations of this phase are a  showcase of more wisdom and model to them, portray more of genuine humility and service, shower more praise and  appreciation to people struggling with hard life and concerns and, probably a culmination or a combination of all, a  more display of greatness that kisses goodness. This is a leadership that can rightly be called servant leadership.