The Language of Leading
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You are receiving the inaugural quarterly issue of Leader News, featuring stories and tools for entrepreneurial leaders, because of your past connection with Julian Sturton and The Language of Leading.  We hope you enjoy it.  Of course, you may unsubscribe at any time if these topics are not relevant to you at this time.

Julian Sturton

Julian Sturton
Leadership Coach

Announcing New Website

We are pleased to announce our new Website - The Language of Leading.  This site is dedicated to entrepreneurial executives of all types who are ready to expand their horizons beyond what is predictable to achieve what has never been done before.

This site replaces our previous company site, The Business of Leading, so that our focus is on you and the continued development of The Language of Leading.  Please visit and tell us what you think.  We welcome your comments and suggestions!

Leading and the Art of Preparation

Rock Walker
When you are leading, you must be prepared to question and potentially undo any prevailing circumstance that stands in the way of yours or others' progress and success.

You're either fully prepared to make a difference at every moment, or else you are simply controlled and governed by your own sense of being right.   

Yet, the one single hardest thing to do in life is to not take sides-especially at yours or someone else's expense!

Ever since humans have existed, the context behind everything we do is to fight over our differences-to take sides over everything. That is until now.
Now we are able to be one species for the very first time.  But we must be prepared to make the correct and acceptable choices about our relationships-the relationships we have with ourselves, with each other and with our surroundings.  
When you are truly leading, you won't be allowed to take sides simply because you react to something. You cannot take sides simply because you are in an uncomfortable or compromising position, or if it seems as though you are being forced into a particular situation.  Otherwise your judgments will be fraught with prejudice, which will immediately dilute your ability to act and make a competitive difference. 

To make a competitive difference, it is wise to be prepared to listen to all concerns and to make no final judgments.  Then you must act either against that which is fundamentally evil or in support of that which is fundamentally good-with no sense of prejudicial judgment.  Therein will lay your true sense of freedom.

My Commitment to You

Julian SturtonFailing is not necessarily a bad thing.  Otherwise you may never learn anything! 

I started learning the Language of Leading at an early age.  By applying the Language of Leading, I learned how to never let making mistakes or failing at things ever stop me.

By design, the Language of Leading gives you permission to achieve or fail, thereby achieving anything you are willing to stand for.
Throughout my career, I put the Language of Leading to the test in a variety of executive positions with diverse people around the world. I am in my element when I am helping people overcome seemingly impossible conditions.  As your coach, I will teach you to learn and employ the Language of Leading so that you, too, can achieve unprecedented results.
Dealing with upsets
Doing what has never been achieved before requires putting at stake everything you value. When you set about doing something that's never been done before, by some degree you cause an approach that has never been spoken of.  The task is difficult. Obstacles get in the way.  People are propelled beyond their normal safety zones.  Therefore, by basing your life on what is at stake, you must deal with upsets.

A different perspective
As your coach, I am responsible for the actions you will have taken to produce the results you will be held accountable for and are willing to stand for.  I will help you articulate the necessary dialogs so that your conversations are no longer conditioned by prejudices. 
Results-oriented approach
The Language of Leading provides for you a framework to think and communicate with total objectivity. This framework is a precise structured interaction between people that opens new possibilities.  When you apply this approach, you will accomplish results beyond any prior perspective you may have ever had about achieving such daunting goals.

Julian Sturton, Leadership Coach

LeaderLeaders in Action

Contributing Editor, Cynthia Holladay, interviews Michael Becker, VP Mobile Strategies at iLoop Mobile

Q. Describe your reasons for working with a coach and learning the Language of Leading.

Throughout my working career, I have learned and applied many aspects of leadership.  But I wanted to grow and be effective at an entirely new level. So I started with a concrete plan for what I wanted to accomplish and began working with Julian as my coach. We've been working together off and on for about eighteen months.
I wanted a coach because I found myself becoming frustrated and not communicating well. I have a lot of passion and ideas, perhaps too many ideas at times. Often my delivery was overwhelming, so people couldn't consume my ideas. It was like feeding steak to a starving person who can't digest it. I was impatient with myself and others. Frankly, at times I was difficult to be with.  
You know the old saying, "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing expecting a different result?"  I was looking for recognition, trying to prove myself right. That is, trying to be right rather than making a difference. I'd push my point and expect people to bend my way rather than trying to lead and work with them.

With passion and force, you can sometimes get your way and succeed.  But it is tiring, and this approach does not support long-term stability or create lasting value. I wanted a coach that could help me redirect my passion, intellect and energy in a more constructive and team- motivating way.

Q. What were your initial goals?
I wanted to be a more effective leader-not just intellectually, but emotionally. Like many entrepreneurs, I've been driven by personal passion, initiative and contribution. However the mark of a leader is in helping others to succeed, not focusing on the measure of personal success. Making this transition was exceptionally difficult because it's scary not being on the front line. The fear was in losing my sense of identity: "I did that" or "I created that", which is often the hallmark of a founder. The identity needs to become "We did that!"
Another common issue I wanted to address was making things too personal; too emotional. I get passionate about things. But in a social and business environment, passion and emotion alone don't always work to help get things done. I needed to learn to rely on other people-to lead through following.

I wanted to learn how to develop effective agreements to accomplish the organizational goal. Moreover, I wanted to learn the taxonomy of leading and how to express ideas clearly. At the beginning of my coaching relationship, all I really knew was that I was not as effective as I could be. I needed to learn how to define the source of the ineffectiveness.
Q. What have you gained so far?
The Language of Leading gives me a framework to understand what leadership is; how to lead; and how to pace myself when leading. This is an evolutionary paradigm shift for me, and I see growth happening through the process.
The Language of Leading also gives me a way to form constitutional agreements with people. When people change-the agreements change. So you must start over. The righteous person will say, "I don't want to start over because I've created value-I'm right."  But the problem is, so what?  What you offer now doesn't mean anything to the new people and circumstances. So you must form new agreements. Julian helped me recognize issues like this faster than I would have done alone.
One of the things I've learned when forming agreements is that there's you, the other person, and the ingredient that is the stand between the two parties. This shared ingredient is what is to be accomplished together and comprises what each party is committed to do, which is larger than any one perspective. We define what we are taking a stand for, establish the agreement, and deliver to that stand. Instead of "I'll try", it's "I'll do this." This perspective allows for an impassioned but unemotional conversation without either party taking things personally.
Taking a stand is part of mature leadership-knowing that you'll get there because of your stand. This mentality reduces fear and insecurity, and it subjugates self-righteousness. The righteous person takes a straight line. But as a leader, I've learned to adjust the path when needed because I want to make a difference, not necessarily to be proven right. This means allowing someone else to be right or creating an environment where everyone is right.
Q.  How has the framework made a difference?
Here's an example of the Language of Leading in action.  I asked a colleague recently when he was going to complete something.  He wanted to know why I was hounding him. I immediately recognized an alignment problem, so I responded, "I'm not hounding you. What I want to know first is, have you agreed to own this task and that you will get it done?  Once we are clear about that, then we can talk about when. I don't have your commitment yet, so let's address that first."  
It was amazing. This positioning completely addressed the emotional aspect of the conversation, and it was an interesting turning point. My colleague agreed to own the task, and we moved forward.  If there is no agreement, you're in a no-man's land. And so often, that is the problem.
Q.  Would you share the results with us?
I'll go on record to say this: part of my result is still having my job.  The Language of Leading has given me a framework for leading. Julian helped me see and make the necessary changes to my behavior. Without this framework and perspective, I would have kept pushing to be right. And I would have been fired or quit, whichever came first-without a doubt because the organization needed me to be a leader, not just an employee. Many entrepreneurs find this transition from visionary doer to leader difficult, and I was no exception. With Julian's coaching, I'm making it to the next level.
For my company, iLoop Mobile, the results are a more efficient use of resources and increased business. Previously, I was the vision driver-but at times also the blocking force of ideas and deals. I couldn't get out of the way fast enough to allow deals to succeed.  Using the Language of Leading tools, I now get out of the way and help form agreements so others get their job done. Some of our largest business transactions to date this year are due to the fact that I've been able to apply the Language of Leading when forming agreements.
So the bottom line is increased revenue for my company, my colleagues are happier working with me, and I keep my job. I get to continue contributing and creating value for our customers, partners and industry.  There is a great quote I try to keep in mind: "There is no limit to what you can achieve as long as you don't mind who takes the credit."  This is what a leader needs to embrace, and it is about getting things done. And this is what Julian and The Language of Leading teaches. 

Michael Becker is VP Mobile Strategies for iLoop Mobile; co-author of "Mobile Internet for Dummies" and "Web Marketing All-in-One for Dummies". He was awarded the MMA Individual Achievement Award in 2007, the 2009 Direct Marketing Education Foundation Rising Stars Award, and is pursing his doctorate on the topic of mobile enhanced customer managed interactions at Golden Gate University.

Interview by Cynthia Holladay, Principal, UpRight Marketing, & contributing editor for "Leader News."

Spring 2009,   Vol. 1
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In This Issue
Announcing New Website
Leading and the Art of Preparation
My Commitment to You
Leaders in Action
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Leaders In Action

Michael Becker

  Michael Becker
Vice President, Mobile Strategies at iLoop Mobile,
recently met with Leader News to share his leadership goals and how he is applying The Language of Leading to generate unprecedented results. 

His story is inspiring and may surprise you.
Read on...