Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Teach Concepts, not Techniques

Every day I spend time coaching and teaching leaders about how to solve their current problems and how to prepare for the future. 

Every day, I battle a mindset driven by poorly written “best-seller” books which promote unrealistic, quick fixes and fast solutions. 

Every day, I continually remind executives of the John Maxwell’s insight: “Leadership develops daily, not in a day.”

Recently, while rereading the June 2012 issue of the Harvard Business Review, I came across the following quote by Marcus Buckingham: “Leadership concepts are scalable, because a concept is easily transferable from person to person.... in the hands of an individual leader, a concept turns into a practice, a sequence of behaviors, a set of techniques.” 

I think the greatest challenge of coaching and teaching leadership this summer is not to default to teaching techniques. The key instead is to focus on helping people learn the core concepts of leadership. Not only are they scalable but they can become a foundation for clarity, perspective and exceptional decision-making. When managers and executives learn and share this information, they can better translate it into authentic practices, behaviors and techniques which are customized to what ever situation they are working through. 

But too often right now, I work with managers and executives who have only learned a set of techniques and thus are struggling.  They know what to do and how to do it but they do not understand why they are doing it.  This misalignment in clarity always creates skewed results.  

Therefore, I continually review the core concepts of leadership during my coaching and teaching. I choose ones that have stood up to decades of change, and transitions, especially ones that have been well utilized by many different leaders in a variety of industries. These foundational concepts not only can be scaled up but also can be leveraged to a greater benefit by all.

One way to learn these core concepts is to participate in the 2013 From Vision to Action Leadership Training. This annual opportunity creates clarity about leadership, strategic planning and execution plus organizational change. It gives participants a framework for helping their organization improve their performance at the personal, team and company levels. It is full of powerful concepts which are utilized by many successful leaders.

For more information, please click on the following link:

I hope you can join me when the next class begins in March of 2013.

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

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