Successful Leadership Connections – Audio TidBits Podcast

Successfully establishing and maintaining the leadership connections identified in Chapter Two require answering several questions.

Who connects with whom?

What is the content of the connection?

Where does the connection occur?

When do the people connect?

Why do they invest the time and energy required to connect?

How is the connection initiated and sustained?

Consider these questions with the goal of enabling members of the Leadership Team to establish and maintain the array of connections needed to assure the agency’s leadership perspective is in place and clearly focused.

When considering the questions, it helps to keep in mind these points made by Neukrug 2008 when discussing community change, “A number of strategies for changing the community have been suggested over the years. However, today it is clear that whatever intervention one makes, it should be taken with an attitude of respect and collaboration with community members.” page 176-177

Neukrug goes on to suggest six steps for implementing community change: accurately define your problem, collaborate with community members, respect community members, collaboratively develop strategies for change, implement change strategies, and assess effectiveness.

Neukrug’s six-step strategy definitely applies to successful leadership connections as much as to community change in general. As the questions translate into action, the wisdom of Gunderson 1997 also deserves inclusion in the journey. “Only a fool would say, ‘Follow me, I have the answer,’ or perhaps only a fool would follow.” (page 55) Rather, we move toward one another in humility, challenged by the opportunity for making progress and needing each other in order to see progress achieved.

You cannot respect something you do not understand.

You cannot understand someone to whom you have not listened.

You cannot listen to someone with whom you have not spent time.

Audio Tidbit How To Matter Leadership

Appreciate Where and How You Fit In

a proactive leader knows his primary role is to help you succeed. You are not responsible for his success but he assuredly is responsible for facilitating yours. His task is to provide for you the best possible opportunity to get where you are committed to going. He saw your commitment and supported your being on his team because you are headed where he and the other members of the team want to go. From his perspective, you are his customer and he is growing a relationship with you.


The Leadership Perspective

With the central importance of maintaining the Management Perspective in mind, let’s shift our attention to point “0” within the Helping Triangle. At this position, there are a myriad of web-like connecting lines going out in all directions. We are focusing here only on the six lines within the local Helping Triangle, starting with the connection between points “0” and “A” between point “0” and potential clients.

At a minimum, this connection passes along to potential clients information about the agency and its services. It also passes along information from potential clients about their needs and interests that may be served by the agency. The connection influences potential clients to access agency services and influences the agency to adjust its services to better fit with the needs and interests of potential clients. The 0-A connection does much more but the simple point here is the connection is definitely necessary. The agency cannot succeed without it.

There are two questions to ask and answer for this and each of the other connections with point “0.” If the connection is successful, what will the outcome be? We have to know why we need the connection and how we know when it is working. If the connection is not successful, what will the outcome be? We have to know the potential effect and cost of not establishing and maintaining the connection. For the 0-A connection, not having it would likely mean the agency would not have any clients in the future; and without clients…. I’m sure you can fill in the missing details here. Clearly, not having the 0-A connection is unacceptable.

Turning focus to the 0-1 connection point “0” with the Initiators it is important to understand initiation is not a one-time activity. Although the First Mover may or may not continue his or her activities within the Helping Triangle, the Initiators stay at least available even if not continuously active. The 0-1 connection keeps the Initiators current with agency activities, plans, resource requirements, and effectiveness with clients. Moreover, the connection keeps the agency current with the views and interests of the Initiators and their constituents. We can likely think of other tasks only accomplished through this connection; but the key point here is careful and continuing attention to the 0-1 connection is essential for long-term agency success. To neglect it is to risk not having capacity external to the agency to initiate renewed support from the authorizing entity and additional support from other authorizing entities. …


Leadership Without Management | Management Without Leadership

It is tempting to think we have to choose between the Management Perspective and the Leadership Perspective. An agency should have one or the other but not both. The easy conclusion is it should have the Leadership Perspective. Leadership certainly has more pizzazz than Management. Given the choice between being a leader and being a Manager, most people choose being a leader every time.

This is the problem with such a simplistic view. Although having the Leadership Perspective is important, so is having the Management Perspective. An agency cannot function adequately and certainly cannot excel without highly competent Management. As pointed out in Chapter One, some type of regulatory mechanism is required to transfer and account for the expenditure of the financial and other resources. This requires people who do the fiscal work of the agency. There is
a governing mechanism maintaining the agency’s connection with the authorizing entity. This requires people who manage this connection. There is a
management mechanism to develop and oversee local policies and implementing procedures for day-to-day operations. This requires people who develop, implement, and oversee those policies and procedures. There are qualified
staff and appropriate facilities to do the work of the agency and to deliver the supports and services for which the agency exists. This requires people to manage these personnel and operations functions. There are
mechanisms in place through which the agency reports to the authorizing entity, maintains accountability, and provides other required data and information. This requires people who assure the systems and processes are in place to accomplish these tasks. …


Bass & Bass on Leadership – Audio TidBits Podcast

In this episode of the Audio Tidbits Podcast, we take a somewhat different path. For those listeners who are serious about leadership, we are sharing excerpts from one of our favorite books on leadership written by well recognized experts in the field. The book is Bernard M Bass with Ruth Bass. The Bass Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research, and Managerial Applications. Fourth Edition. New York: Free Press, 2008. We hope you enjoy the excerpts and find this podcast helpful.


If you would like more podcasts like this focusing on the work of recognized leadership experts, please let us know. Drop an e-mail to and we will try to accommodate to your interests.

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101 Leadership Secrets – Audio TidBits Podcast

Moving to the head of the line comes through hard work, good luck, and the careful application of intuition and well-developed political horse sense. This is certainly true; and it would also help if you were related to the boss or happened to be the only qualified person on the planet.  Short of this, can you move into a leadership position on your own initiative, understanding that being the boss and being a leader are not necessarily the same and often are not? There are no guarantees; but knowing the 101 secrets of leadership and applying them conscientiously and consistently is a good start. You may not make it to the head of the line but you are sure to start moving up.

Start your journey by thinking about people you know who stand out from the crowd, people who are certifiable class acts, people who everyone sees as leaders. They have three techniques down pat. First, they are originals. Their style and approach with people and situations are their trademarks. Second, they are not on-again, off-again. They are always uniquely themselves. Third, and here is the key: it is no accident. They usually make it seem easy and natural. Still, take a closer look and you will soon understand and appreciate how hard they work at it. They consciously and purposely do everything they do, with style, all the time, on time, one situation at a time, one relationship at a time, one person at a time.

Genuine leadership is not grounded in flashy clothes, gestures of affection, superficial interest, staged behavior, or anything else that serves only to call attention to you. It is grounded in commitment, sincerity, and personal integrity. It is the stuff from which admiration flows, the special ingredient that sets the interpersonal standard that others aspire to follow. It is the brand of interpersonal excellence exemplified by those who have carefully cultivated their skills and techniques over time. They may not be born leaders but have certainly learned to lead.

Perhaps you personally know such leadership superstars. If so, you know that these representatives of the leadership elite provide a value-added benefit for their followers that they cannot get from the merely competent. Others have their occasional flashes of brilliance; but the creme de la creme work their wizardry consistently, creatively, and in virtually every situation. Of course, there is their uncanny ability to anticipate problems and opportunities and their simply taking it for granted that their followers are trying to do what is right. As important as that is, they have an even more important secret. They always remember and own everything they say, agree to, and do. The leadership bottom line is integrity; and following the lead of people who have it is your best path toward the head of the line. If your bottom line is integrity and you are committed to sticking to the high road with everyone, every time, you are ready to learn these 101 secrets of leadership. What's more, you are ready to join those at the head of the line in your company or organization.