Leadership Impact Model Business Coaching Header Image Bethesda, MD

I have created a proprietary model as an important context for growing leadership impact. I developed this model after almost three decades of leadership experience, and through countless observations and conversations with executives.

It comes from the perspective of those that are supposed to follow you. And they ask no more than for you to simply be a leader. But what they are asking for is not as simple as many in the ranks of leadership think.

Leadership Impact comes from your ability to be present, authentic, and yet human. And yes, these three are wildly overlapping. In fact, the impact horsepower lives where these three circles overlap. Each of these core dimensions of being (present, authentic, human) consists of essential skills that can be focused on to fundamentally alter your ability to lead by engaging your team and your stakeholders (including board members and the media) in a way that materially increases impact.

You can think of this as a form of rare leadership; however, this is oddly less about you and more about what kind of impact you want to make on them, and on the business. What kind of result, what strength of innovation, fundamentals, people… in other words, what kind of legacy will be in your wake?

As you and I work together, we will discuss your purpose, goals, and agenda…what you specifically need and want to work on. And we’ll use this Leadership Impact Model as one of several contexts to unpack and unlock what’s standing in your way.

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What is Being Present? There are several dimensions to work on in this area, and some of the skills are what you expect:
• Listening fully (vs. thinking about what you will say or your next big meeting);
• Communicating for resonance, for example (e.g., is this landing with your audience).

But what can really impact your ability to be present in any given situation or moment has everything to do with how and for whom you came prepared. Leadership impact comes from being in their context, customizing to them – including consideration for individuals in a meeting, for example.

And when you leave, how have you impacted the individual or team you had contact with… do they feel more or less significant as a result of your presence? Unless you plan to do all the work, your impact on their feeling of significance is a critical consideration.

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What is Being Human? Relationship opportunities and challenges live here… those difficult conversations, those partnerships you want to create or take to the next level, and the alignment you desperately need to move forward effectively. Also, as humans, we err. We are not divine. How willing are you to create transparency – even when it hurts, and how can you learn and help others learn from those mistakes?

How willing are you to share information about your own life? If you are struggling with a gravely ill spouse or child, guess what… everyone knows something is hidden. What do you need to do or say to be transparent without feeling a loss of important privacy?

And don’t get me started on the subject of life balance. Here is what most executives and leaders at all levels overlook: the need to take care of themselves, of their personal relationships, to maintain their interests, and health. It’s difficult to inspire when your tank is empty. And the blind spot can be that you think no one notices.

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What is Being Authentic? Trust is now “in.” But again, trust is not a program or a list of action steps. To be trusted you must be trustworthy. And that involves many, many considerations, such as ensuring clarity of your message, decisions, and actions – whether or not they are popular, whether or not others agree. And, yes of course, it involves being truthful. But what happens when you can’t provide all of the information because it would damage the business?

“Personal Brand” is another big topic in the area of authenticity. What’s important here is how resonant are your actions with your purpose, values and vision both for the vision and in life. Ethics and scrutiny are not limited to being “on the job.”

While all are required, it is not enough to have leadership presence in town halls or one-on-one meetings. You may be quite elegant with your investors or equity partners. You may exhibit charisma when you as you lead by walking around, or you may prefer to quickly get to your office. What happens in the “in-between,” when you are in the elevator, finishing a heated phone conversation while someone waits just outside to meet with you? It all combines to support or detract from the strength of your leadership presence.

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Leadership Impact
It is not just a matter of what you do: you don’t “do” leadership, and leadership is never done, never completed. Leadership is a state of “being” and part of an on-going journey. We aspire to be a leader with increasing impact on people, organizations, communities, and results. This is infinitely more challenging to take hold of, because, while there are many books that tell you what to do to be a leader, you can check them off and still not be a leader. And no, I am not suggesting that all leaders are born leaders. I am suggesting and observing that executives that impact the business the most, have a way of being a leader that sets them apart.

Let’s bottom-line it: what do you need or want to start working on today in your journey of being a leader?

And by the way, this is by no means limited to those that occupy the first class seats.
You are observed by every level in the organization and amongst your stakeholders – including the board and/or your investors – and being a leader means being fully present, always authentic and capable of displaying your humanity at all times.

In leadership, savvy executives know they never “arrive.” There is always work to be done to increase leadership impact. Always a new transition, business challenge or struggle. And those that don’t have an immediate issue or problem to be reckoned with know they have blind spots. In my 30 years of business (in positions that included Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, and Division Manager), I experienced the evolution of my own leadership, and also observed the journey of countless others.

Leadership has been an inquiry of mine throughout the years with my own coaches and mentors. I also enlisted leadership experts to give the opportunity of leadership development to my own teams. Some sought it passionately, and some endured the, at times, uncomfortable conversations and experiences that going outside your comfort zone can bring. To the person, those who chose the pursuit of ever-increasing leadership impact were not only successful themselves: they impacted the success and growth of those around in them across the business. Nothing that I have accomplished makes me more proud than this part of my legacy.

Let’s talk about it
Where are your strengths that you want to amplify? What blind spots do you need to uncover and turn into remarkable vision? What vulnerabilities do you want to simply talk about in a safe environment?