Leadership Frames – essential skills, techniques, processes, understandings, thinking and behavioral styles for leadership. I intend to deal with 25 to 30 of these frames over future blog posts, the first, on Emotional Intelligence, starts today.

Many leaders ‘wing it’. They rely on their innate ability and don’t develop their leadership skills and learn key skills and techniques, many of them very simple: I suspect this is often due to time constraints, or leaders being so busy worrying about others and about their firms, that they never get a chance to think about their own leadership roles.

Leadership Frames is my attempt to fill this gap.

Leadership Frames – essential techniques, skills, thinking & learning for successful leaders – simple yet powerful – coming up in future blog posts

A lot of my work involves leaders, senior managers and leadership – coaching, teaching, mentoring, development, challenges and so on – and thinking and reading about how leadership can be optimized – through this I have evolved a list of key things leaders should master outside of their own personal make-up – personality, experience and natural intelligence – to truly excel in leadership.

As we all know, we can’t do much about IQ and personality, which are fixed, but there are plenty of other things we can learn about, or techniques we can master, that can undoubtedly enhance our ability to lead.
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I talked on leadership tips and frames at a keynote at the annual Boss of the Year Awards Convention in South Africa in August 2011.

Brand Pretorius, recently retired former head of Toyota and McCarthy Motor Holdings in South Africa and a recognized ‘captain of industry’, also delivered a keynote drawing on his extensive leadership experience, with some very wise counsel for aspiring and existing leaders. I thought his leadership tips would be of particular interest to legal leaders – what follows is drawn from my rough notes of his talk –

Image by Patrick Hoesly

By way of introduction he noted that:

  • throughout his career he learned something new about leadership every day of his career and continues to do so.
  • a search on the internet will reveal in excess of 15 million books on leadership and management; clearly, a complex subject.
  • leadership is both an art and a science.

Important leadership tips:

Leadership is not management

  • to be an effective leader one has to strike the right balance between leadership and management
  • management is about things, processes, planning and speed
  • leadership is entirely different;
  • with leadership you have to have the courage to go first
  • leadership is about giving direction and inspiring and influencing people.
  • he said at times he felt he erred in placing too much emphasis on management and not enough on leadership – one often sees this in organisations, many of which are over-managed and under-led.

If you cannot manage yourself it is impossible to lead others effectively

  • you have to develop the ability to lead and manage yourself.
  • it is vital that leaders must have sufficient Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in that leaders need to be able to both understand and manage their own emotions and cultivate good relationships with others.
  • some leaders are functionally good but emotionally illiterate.


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