Leadership Conversations: Challenging High Potential Managers to Become Great Leaders

Leadership Conversations: Challenging High Potential Managers to Become Great Leaders


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Conversation techniques and tools that can help strong managers become great leaders

Often the very same skills and traits that enable rising stars to achieve success "tenacity, aggressiveness, self-confidence" become liabilities when promoted into a leadership track. While managers' conversations are generally transactional and centered on the task at hand, leaders must focus on people, asking great questions and aligning them with the vision for the future. Leadership mindsets and skills can be developed, and Leadership Conversations provides practical guidance for connecting with others in ways that transform each interaction into an opportunity for organizational and personal growth.

  • Identifies four types of conversation every leader must master: building relationships, making decisions, taking action, and developing others
  • Provides an action plan for boosting your personal leadership potential, as well for developing leadership skills in others
  • Draws on the authors' rich experience coaching and working with leaders at a wide range of organizations, including NASA, the U.S. Navy, intelligence agencies, Boeing, Gillette, Bausch & Lomb, and Georgetown University

Leadership Conversations is required reading for both high-potential managers looking to make it to the next level and leaders looking to develop their people.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118378328
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 02/04/2013
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 559,638
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Alan S. Berson is an executive coach, leadership consultant, speaker, and professor. He has held leadership, strategic planning, and marketing roles at Fortune-500 firms including Gillette, Bausch & Lomb, and Marriott. He is a Learning Director at Wharton Executive Education and was an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business. He lives in Potomac, Maryland.

Richard G. Stieglitz is a business consultant and speaker. He started, built, and sold a company that helped government and industry executives lead change. Previously, he was a submarine officer in the US Navy and an executive in the aerospace and computer industries. He is the author of three books and publishes a monthly leadership e-letter. He lives in Potomac, Maryland.

For more information, please visit www.myleadershipconversations.com

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Table of Contents

Preface: Are You Having Leadership Conversations? xiii

Part 1 The High-Potential Challenges 1

1 Do You Really Want to Be a Leader? 3

2 What Blend of Management and Leadership Mindsets Is Best? 11

3 Have You Had Leadership Conversations Today? 19

4 Where Do You Stand on the Leadership Ladder? 29

Part 2 Conversations to Build Relationships 35

5 Learn the New Rules 37

6 Your Relationships Define You 47

7 Know Your Strengths and Their Shadows 57

8 People Aren’t Machines 65

9 Don’t Let Them Assume They Know What You’re Thinking 75

10 Embrace Differences 83

Part 3 Conversations to Develop Others 89

11 The Battle for Talent 91

12 The Challenge of Leading Other High Potentials 103

13 Conversations You Must Have 115

14 What Gets in Your People’s Way? 127

15 Recognition—Making It All Worthwhile 139

Part 4 Conversations to Make Decisions 147

16 Develop Your Judgment Gene 149

17 What You Know Is Irrelevant 161

18 Be Curious—Ask Great Questions 173

19 If You Can’t Change, Retire 187

Part 5 Conversations to Take Action 197

20 Moving Smoothly into Action 199

21 Planning Successful Actions 207

22 When Things Change 215

23 Lessons from Success and Failure 225

24 Inspiring People in Turbulent Times 233

Part 6 Your Leadership Conversations 243

25 Conversations at the Top 245

26 Conversations for Executive Leaders 251

27 Conversations for Managers of Managers 257

28 Conversations for First-Line Managers 263

29 Your Personal Action Plan 269

Notes 275

Bibliography 277

Acknowledgments 281

About the Authors 283

Index 285

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“In their brilliant new book, Leadership Conversations, Alan Berson and Richard Stieglitz offer proven methods, instructive examples, and provocative questions that enable leaders to engage in more meaningful conversations—the kinds of conversations that produce innovative solutions, cause deep self-examination, and stimulate disciplined development. I highly recommend this book to leaders at all levels. When you apply the principles and processes in Leadership Conversations it will transform your relationships and your business.”
—James Kouzes, coauthor of the bestselling The Leadership Challenge, and Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

Leadership Conversations is a powerful tool executives can add to their arsenal to help them connect with their followers, thereby bringing their own unique philosophy into practice to meet today’s critical leadership challenges.”
—Jason Wingard, Ph.D., vice dean of executive education, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Leadership Conversations gets at the essence of leadership versus management and is a critical read for managers who must develop leadership skills. The ultimate lesson is recognizing and learning what you don’t know.”
—Donald E. Stone, Jr., PE, CEO, Dewberry

“Grounded in a belief that leaders need to master themselves, credibly lead work, and manage human systems, Leadership Conversations is a great resource for coaches and leaders alike. Coaches would do well to share it with the leaders they coach, as it offers thought-provoking ideas, tips, and ways to rethink and reimagine leadership, all aimed at greater well-being and success.”
—Christine Wahl, M.A.Ed., MCC, founder, leadership coaching program, Georgetown University

“In our time-constrained world, full of electronic communications, it is more important than ever for an aspiring leader to be able to conduct face-to-face conversations that unite organizations and make things happen. Leadership Conversations explains how.”
—Robert Wray, Rear Admiral, US Navy

Leadership Conversations is an excellent framework for executives to use worldwide in leadership training programs. It encourages grounded thinking around leadership and is a practical guide for developing leadership skills and discovering and forming one’s authentic leadership style.”
—Carol Roche Austin, head of human resources, Permira Advisors LLP

Leadership Conversations is a practical and valuable book. The leadership and communication principles are presented in a clear manner that is relevant to leaders at all levels. The real-world insights will help readers be more effective leaders, driving high performance and success.”
—Tom Mutryn, EVP and CFO, CACI International

“Cultivating leaders is key to the growth of any organization. Leadership Conversations translates years of experience into an easy-to-follow road map to help identify leaders and push them to reach their maximum potential.”
—Ed Erhardt, president, global customer marketing and sales, ESPN

“Katerva's rapid rise to a world stage, with its thought leadership in sustainability, could not have happened without following the principles in this book. Leadership conversations are the key to creativity and can spur global innovation.”
—Terry Waghorn, founder and CEO, Katerva

“With multi-national operational challenges, I need practical advice that I can implement quickly. Leadership Conversations delivers with examples and guidance on how to have effective conversations.”
—Wesley J. Johnston; EVP and COO, Americas; Dimension Data

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Leadership Conversations: Challenging High Potential Managers to Become Great Leaders 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. This is better than many of the books I had to read for my MBA. It presents an easy to follow concept which covers the differences between managing and leading. I recommend this for any level of employee. It is great for C-level and below. Completely worthwhile. 
Shan8377 More than 1 year ago
If you are looking to improve your leadership skills, motivate your team and increase the output of your human power, then this is the book live by.  It has great input for those trying to be better leaders and managers, it also can help leaders overcome the typical hurdles faced daily in a team environment.  Hurdles such as: Conflicting ideas, increasing productivity, and skill set growth.  I can't recommend this one enough!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is impeccably  organized, and has given me the tools and advice necessary to better craft messages to various individuals at an array of levels. A great find!
JJLovesBooks More than 1 year ago
The power of this book writers have applied years of their experience and distilled it down to a very practical process by which to engage anyone in a meaningful conversation. So often we enter into conversations with others and do not have a clear road map of how what we want to accomplish or if we do know what we want to accomplish we are not sure how to engage the other people in the conversation in a way where all parties can align and clearly understand differing perspectives. The books 2 X 3 X 4 Leadership Conversation model is a powerful tool for helping a manager, community leader, academic or anyone in a working environment align forces for better outcomes for the organization, the team and themselves. The Personal Assessment  which are a part of the book provide a consolidated understanding of personal assessment. With this knowledge you can be prepared to enter into any conversation and achieve a positive outcome by mastering the tenets of the book. The layout of the book into six main categories make it digestible subject matter and you can go back and reference topics which you want to work on or review overtime. This book is ideal for any manager who is interested in having more productive and aligned conversations with those who they work and play with in life.