The Three Levels of Leadership – Scouller Leadership Blog

Self-Mastery & Leadership

Lao Tzu, the Chinese sage (not the bloke who wrote The Art of War – that was Sun Tzu), said this about self-mastery: “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.”

I agree.  In my book, The Three Levels of Leadership, I talk about self-mastery as the key to taking command of your thoughts, feelings and behaviour in the service of others as a leader, especially when you’re under pressure.  I believe it’s the essential discipline of the third level of leadership that I call “personal leadership”. Continue reading →

Where Did My False Beliefs Come From?

After The Three Levels of Leadership came out in 2011, readers followed up with questions on leadership, leadership psychology and self-mastery – all of them interesting.  So interesting, in fact, that I’m releasing my answers here as they supplement the “Three Levels” material and others may find them useful.  Here’s the fourteenth in the series.   I’ll post the others over the coming months…

Q14. Where did my False Self beliefs come from, especially my negative self-image ?

“In a sense it doesn’t matter where they came from. What only matters is that you have a False Self self-image.

I say that not to dismiss the importance of the question, but to focus you on the practical challenge before you.  You see, it’s interesting to understand the origins of your False Self beliefs, but it won’t necessarily help you move beyond them, to let them go. Continue reading →

The First Quality of Leadership Presence: Personal Power

In my book, The Three Levels of Leadership, I’ve written about “leadership presence”.  In chapter 5, I described the seven qualities of presence, the first being Personal Power.

Personal power is control over your mind.  It recognises that although we can’t always control outer events – including others’ behaviour towards us – we can always choose our response to those eventsThus, it’s power over oneself; it’s not a drive to gain power over other people.  It doesn’t spring from a need to gain the status, prestige or visibility that power over others brings or an urge to impose your viewpoint through force.

The importance of personal power is this: if you can’t direct and lead yourself, you’ll find it hard to direct others because they’ll sense your lack of inner command.  Thus, personal power (as opposed to the power that impressive job titles offer) is crucial to anyone wanting to be a successful leader.

Why am I writing about this now?   Continue reading →

Shared Accountability

Last year, I was coaching the President of a large European business.  The subject of “accountability” arose.  She remarked that, “Shared accountability is no accountability.”

In my CEO days, I would have agreed with her.  Like most corporate men, I assumed that one person in the team must hold accountability for results on behalf of the business.  Eleven years on, I hold a different view. Continue reading →

The Language of Change (part 4)

Post 3 of 4 in a series of articles on the subject of leading large-scale change in organisations (part 4).

The first post looked at the power and dangers of metaphors in leading change and suggested replacing the “burning platform” with the idea of a “High Noon moment”.  The second post discussed the dangers of underestimating how long it takes people to change and what you can do about it.  This post – which is appearing in four parts (this is the fourth) – continues examining how leaders can frame their change language to best effect.

In The Language of Change part 1 we looked at the confirmation bias, critiqued the usual approach to change communication and introduced a new three-step process:

  1. Get your audience’s urgent attention
  2. Stimulate desire for a new future
  3. Then and only then… appeal to the intellect

In The Language of Change part 2, I offered practical tips on how to get your change audience’s urgent attention.  In part 3, I offered advice on how to stimulate desire for the new future (the change idea).  In this final part 4, I suggest ways of appealing to the intellect to make sure second thoughts don’t creep in and sabotage the will to change.  Again, this will be in bullet-point form. Continue reading →

The Language of Change (part 3)

Post 3 of 4 in a series of articles on the subject of leading large-scale change in organisations (part 3).

The first post looked at the power and dangers of metaphors in leading change and suggested replacing the “burning platform” with the idea of a “High Noon moment”.  The second post discussed the dangers of underestimating how long it takes people to change and what you can do about it.  This post – which is appearing in four parts (this is the third) – continues examining how leaders can frame their change language to best effect.

In The Language of Change part 1 we looked at the confirmation bias, critiqued the usual approach to change communication and introduced a new three-step process:

  1. Get your audience’s urgent attention
  2. Stimulate desire for a new future
  3. Then and only then… appeal to the intellect

In The Language of Change part 2, I offered practical tips on how to get your change audience’s urgent attention.  In this part 3, I offer advice on how to stimulate desire for the new future (the change idea).  Again, this will be in bullet-point form. Continue reading →

The Language of Change (part 2)

Post 3 of 4 in a series of articles on the subject of leading large-scale change in organisations (part 2).

The first post looked at the power and dangers of metaphors in leading change and suggested replacing the “burning platform” with the idea of a “High Noon moment”.  The second post discussed the dangers of underestimating how long it takes people to change and what you can do about it.  This post – which is appearing in four parts (this is the second) – continues examining how leaders can frame their change language to best effect.

In the previous post (Language of Change part 1) we looked at the confirmation bias, critiqued the usual approach to change communication and introduced a new three-step process:

  1. Get your audience’s urgent attention
  2. Stimulate desire for a new future
  3. Then and only then… appeal to the intellect

This post zeroes in on step #1 and offers practical tips in bullet-point format on how to get your change audience’s urgent attention. Continue reading →

The Language of Change (part 1)

Post 3 of 4 in a series of articles on the subject of leading large-scale change in organisations (part 1).

The first post looked at the power and dangers of metaphors in leading change and suggested replacing the “burning platform” with the idea of a “High Noon moment”.  The second post discussed the dangers of underestimating how long it takes people to change and what you can do about it.  This post – which I’ll spread over four days – will suggest how leaders can frame their change language to best effect. Continue reading →

Why Do Organisational Change Initiatives Overrun?

Post 2 of 4 in a series of articles on the subject of leading large-scale change in organisations.

The first post looked at the power and dangers of metaphors in leading change and suggested replacing the “burning platform” with the idea of a “High Noon moment”.  This post looks at the dangers of underestimating how long it takes people to change and what you can do about it. Continue reading →

Are We Serious About Growing Leaders?

In industry, do we take the challenge of growing future leaders seriously?  I don’t think we do and here’s why… Continue reading →

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