Slides: The Leadership Soundbite

presentationyou leadership soundbite


How do you define Leadership?

1. Leadership has been described as “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”. [Wikipedia]

2. Leadership is about creating change. [Alan Deutschman]

3. Leadership is doing the right things (vs. management: doing things right) [Peter Druker]

In our quest to create soundbites and super simple tweetable wisdom, we take small pieces from larger works and risk loosing their influence.

Yes these three definitions are true, but not complete. The authors have written volumes beyond what you see in the short definitions.

So why do we do it? Why do we reduce complex ideas to 140 characters or less? We can’t blame twitter. We’ve done it before social media.

We do it because we need to communicate a great deal of information in a short amount of time. We need to communicate to others our specific meaning of common concepts.

Just as Success can not be defined the same for everyone, neither can Leadership. The definitions above are all true. Leadership is many things to many people and so agreeing on the definition is the first task of anyone wanting to take on the role of a leader.

Can you and I agree that one of the many elements that are common with these and other definitions of leadership is the need for influence?

As more professionals become free agents, lead cross-functional teams, and lead initiatives in matrix organizations, the ability to get things done through influence becomes as important as keeping updated software on your computer. Without it you won’t be able to keep your business going for long.

Influence happens through our ability to recognize the impact of and manage: our thoughts, our words, and our actions. See, there we are again, a short sentence that tries to explain a complex idea.

With the presentationYOU approach, we start with YOU first. You must first recognize the impact your thoughts, words, and actions currently have on others before you can change it. It’s the foundation of making any significant change.

If you think that learning to present your ideas is about creating slides, you have only touched the surface of what getting your idea out into the world is all about. But it is a beginning.