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Essential Leadership Skills

Developing leadership in yourself and others

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Essential Leadership Skills


Developing leadership in yourself and others
There are no bad soldiers under a good general.
Anonymous

SNAPSHOT
Mastery Impact! Supplemental Module: Effective Leadership and Communication Skills Business Development Process: 1SUP-L03

Overview
Managers have skills of two kinds: leadership skills and managerial skills. You must balance the two to be fully effective. Leadership should occur at every level of your organization. Everyone can exhibit leadership, but must act within his or her scope of accountability and must respect the organization and its lines of communication. Leadership skills tend to be more instinctive, more intuitive, less logical, and more emotional than managerial skills. Some believe leadership is innate and cannot be learned, but thats not true. Leadership can be developed.

The 5 Core Leadership Skills


Vision Discrimination Strategic Thinking Commitment Communication

The 5 Core Managerial Skills


Supervision System Development Planning & Budgeting Quantification Information

Key Points
Leadership isnt about style. Its about substance. Style is personality and appearance. Substance is knowing what to do, how to do it, and influencing others to get it done. The first step in developing your leadership skills is to assess the skills you have to determine your strengths and developmental needs. Then you can focus on your needs and create a development plan for yourself. Based on the combination of leadership and managerial skills, there are five types of managers: the bureaucrat, the administrator, the professional, the cheerleader, and the master.

HIGH

Types of Managers
Cheerleader Master

LEADERSHIP SKILLS

Professional

Bureaucrat

Administrator
HIGH

LOW

MANAGERIAL SKILLS

A Business Development Publication of

E-Myth Worldwide
Putting the Pieces Together
Santa Rosa, California, USA

TM

Copyright 1999, 2005 by E-Myth Worldwide. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from E-Myth Worldwide.

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Essential Leadership Skills


Developing leadership in yourself and others
There are no bad soldiers under a good general.
Anonymous

LeadershipStyle or Substance?
At first glance, leadership looks like its simply a matter of style. But when you get to the core of it, leadership isnt about style at all. Its about substance. Vision, action, and spirit. Theyre the essence of leadership. They have nothing to do with style and everything to do with substance. The substance of leadership consists of knowing what to do, knowing how to do it, and influencing others to achieve it. The style of leadership is a matter of personality. There are quiet, low-key leaders as well as aggressive, charismatic leaders, and an infinite variety of others. How effective they are depends how well they carry out the substance of leadership. Dont mistake style for spirit. Style is superficial. Style doesnt create any vision, doesnt get anything done it just looks goodor bad. Spirit is attitude, not just appearance. Energy, not just motion. Caring, not just going through the motions. The substance of leadership can, and should, be systemized.

What is Leadership?
Vision Action Spirit

Leadership and Management: Whats the Difference?


Leadership and management are both concerned with achieving results. Leadership determines the shape of things to come, what results must be achieved on the way, and the path that will be taken to get it all done. Management is concerned with doing it. Management is getting results through people and systems. Systems run the business, people run the systems, and managers direct the people. Effective leadership determines the results to be accomplished (the vision), creates the strategies for accomplishing them (the actions), and inspires people to accomplish the vision through the strategies (the spirit). Being a manager doesnt automatically make you a leader. The best managers are good leaders, but many managerspossibly most managersarent very good leaders.

Copyright 1999, 2005 by E-Myth Worldwide. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from E-Myth Worldwide.

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Whats the difference? The difference lies in the differences in the abilities of managers. There are two kinds of abilities, or skills, that managers displayleadership skills and managerial skills.

The Five Core Leadership Skills


Looking, for the moment, only at the leadership component of management, you find that there are five core skills of effective leadership. They are: Vision The ability to formulate ideas about the business or parts of the business; to understand opportunities or the need for change; to create a mental picture of what the business will be in the future; and to articulate all of that clearly in words and images. At the highest level, its the creation of the entrepreneurs dream. The ability to see whats important, to understand the available choices, and to make sound, practical decisions. Discrimination is free-form decision making rather than rulebased decision making. Its knowing what questions to ask, and being able to answer them in the absence of rules or previous experience. The ability to see the big picture and devise an effective paththe right actionsthat will lead to realizing the vision. Inventing the rules of your game. Creating your business philosophy and key policies. The determination and energy to follow through and make the vision a reality even in the face of obstacles, opposition, uncertainty, and risk. The ability to communicate the vision and the strategy, and also to infuse the organization with enthusiasm, dedication, and some of the leaders own spirit.

The 5 Core Leadership Skills


Vision Discrimination Strategic Thinking Commitment Communication

Discrimination

Strategic Thinking

Commitment

Inspirational Communication

Copyright 1999, 2005 by E-Myth Worldwide. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from E-Myth Worldwide.

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The Five Core Managerial Skills


There are five core managerial skills:
The 5 Core Managerial Skills
Supervision System Development Planning & Budgeting Quantification Information

Supervision of People and Systems

The ability to get work done through people and systems. Observing and measuring performance and results and coaching people to improve. Relating to people in productive ways. Making operational decisions within guidelines. Being accountable for results. The ability to develop, implement, monitor, and innovate systems. Seeing what needs to be done, how to do it, and what resources are needed. Using the Business Development Process (Innovation, Quantification, and Orchestration) at the tactical, operating level. Seeing how to organize and operate tasks and resources cost-effectively. The ability to break strategy down into the tactical and operating activities needed to reach an agreed-upon set of results. The ability to understand resource requirements and determine revenues and costs before the fact.

System Development

Planning and Budgeting

Quantification, The ability to determine the key indicators of Monitoring, and any system, organizational unit, or task; to Evaluation quantify them; to monitor them; to interpret the resulting information and use it for operational decision making. Informational Communication The ability to communicate clearly to others especially reporting employeesinstructions, systems, policies, the business strategy, and anything else required in order for work to be done and results achieved. This type of communication is factual, operational, rational, dispassionate, and oriented on work and results.

Finding the Balance


Its easy to see, and your own experience surely confirms, that some people are stronger in leadership skills, some in managerial skills. Many are weak in both areas, and very few are strong in both. You probably have some ideas about your own leadership and managerial strengths and weaknesses.

Copyright 1999, 2005 by E-Myth Worldwide. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from E-Myth Worldwide.

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Balance is important for your business. The business needs a balance of leadership and managerial skillsso much the better if you and each of your managers is also individually balanced. Why is balance important? Because your business is an integrated organism. If the business has too little leadership, or too few managerial skills, or if one overpowers the other, the business itself becomes unbalanced. Its much clearer if you think of the behavior of your managers and how they need both leadership and managerial skills to do their jobs in the most effective way. For instance, look at four areas of focus for managers: decision making, communicating, the time span of their attention, and their thinking habits. Decision making. The decision making of a pure leader is free form, unconstrained by rules and the past. The leader creates the questions and alternatives, and makes decisions by criteria appropriate to each decision. A pure manager makes rulebased decisions that follow strict, explicit criteria and processes. A business needs the ability to make decisions both ways. Communicating. Leadership skills tend to result in inspirational ways of communicating, painting a clear picture of the future, generating commitment and energy, and motivating others to strive to achieve the vision. Managerial skills tend to result in informational communications that emphasize clarity, accuracy, detail, and commitment to achieving results in the present. A business needs both kinds of communication. Time span of attention. Leadership skills tend to be future oriented, with a firm grasp on the present as the foundation and the jumping off point for the future. Managerial skills tend to be oriented on the present, with a strong awareness of experiences and precedents grounded in the past. A business needs both views. Thinking habits. You can never know what goes on inside someone elses mind, but behavior and language give us hints. Generally, leadership thinking seems to be more intuitive, holistic, integrated, big picture, and out of the box. Managerial thinking patterns seem to be more linear, logical, analytical, and detailed. They can both be focused, creative, strategic, proactive, and pragmatic, but theres a more free-form pattern to leadership thinking and a more process-based pattern to managerial thinking. Businesses need both ways of thinking. The point of all this isnt to be the final word about defining leadership and managerial skillsnot even psychologists and

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management gurus agree on thosebut to point out that theyre very different skill sets and businesses need both to survive and prosper.

Are Managers Leaders?


Theoretically, its possible for someone to be a manager, yet have no leadership skills, or to be a leader with no managerial skills. In the real world, however, everyone who takes on management accountabilities has at least some leadership skill and some managerial skill or they dont last long in a management position. To be effective, you must have some significant level of both leadership and managerial ability. Ineffective managers always lack in one or both areas.

The Five Types of Managers


Its useful to classify yourself and your managers based on their leadership and managerial skills. When you look at the skill levels, you see five basic types of managers: Master. A visionary manager who is unusually effective in getting results, has an extremely strong sense of purpose and commitment, and is able to infuse it into the organization and people around him/her. Work gets done efficiently, systems are evolving rapidly, theres progress toward a clear set of goals. Everyone knows his/her role and why its important. The master manager is fast track and high functioning in every sense. Types of Managers
Cheerleader Master

LEADERSHIP SKILLS

Professional. A solid, competent, reliable manager, capable in every way. Balanced leadership and managerial skills. Energetic, dedicated, efficient, and effective. Administrator. Efficient, systemized, and documented. Completes work quickly. Everyone cooperates. But sense of purpose and direction seem missing. Everyone is busy but not inspired, and it all feels a bit flat.

HIGH

Professional

Bureaucrat

Administrator
HIGH

LOW

MANAGERIAL SKILLS

Cheerleader. Visionary, strategist, great communicator, but has limited ability to convert ideas and energy into effective action. The organization feels great and has wonderful ambitions, but makes little progress.

Copyright 1999, 2005 by E-Myth Worldwide. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from E-Myth Worldwide.

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Levels of Leadership

Bureaucrat. Minimally qualified for management. Either a novice/apprentice just beginning to develop leadership and managerial skills, or a marginally competent or incompetent manager. Little or no vision or teamwork, little sense of direction, and slow or no progress. Just follow the rules and do your work and everyone gets by. Its lifeless and feels stagnant. Youre the primary leader of your business. Every manager at every level in your business should also be a leader within the scope of his or her organizational position and in accordance with his or her position description. You set the vision and the strategy for the business. Department managers adapt your vision and strategy for their teams or units. You inspire everyone in your business to understand and strive to achieve your vision. Managers at every level inspire their staffs by communicating your vision, emphasizing their part in it, and adding their own energy and emphasis. Its all part of management by agreement, delegation, and regulation. In a healthy business, your technicians and workers can provide leadership within their positions. They can formulate their own visions for their positions, and create new ideas and strategies at their level that, when properly developed with the support of their managers, and when in alignment with the vision of the business, can greatly enrich productivity and job satisfaction. Theres even a cross-organizational kind of leadershipcall it wild card leadershipthat occurs when someone in the business sees opportunities and better ways of doing things in other parts of the organization. For instance, imagine an assembly worker in an automobile engine assembly line who sees a problem in the assembly process that could be cured by a parts design modification. He knows whats needed and how it should be redesigned, a form of vision; hes looked into it and is certain the redesigned part will work and be cost-effective, showing discrimination and good judgment; hes determined to do all he can, respecting organizational lines and processes, indicating his commitment; and he enthusiastically talks it up with his manager and others in the business, evidence of inspiration. Leadership can and should come from anywhere.

Copyright 1999, 2005 by E-Myth Worldwide. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from E-Myth Worldwide.

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Your managers and workers cant be allowed to implement their own visions and strategies, but they can, through your management processes, contribute to yours with their own ideas and information. Once you communicate the vision and strategy, your employees can reinforce and support them with commitment and determination. They can add their energy and adapt the company vision and strategy to their own unit or team. The result is leadership up and down the line.

THE LEVELS
CEO VISION Business vision.

OF

LEADERSHIP
WORKERS Position vision, within the department vision. WILD CARDS Vision of opportunities across organizational lines; ideas for improvement in any area.

MANAGERS Department or function vision, within the companys business vision.

DISCRIMINATION

Unlimited scope, free-form decision making.

Free-form decision making, but within the scope of the department.

Within the scope of the position and within decision making authority. Usually can recommend, not decide. Position strategy consistent with department strategy.

Unlimited, but has to respect organizational lines of accountability and due process.

STRATEGIC THINKING

Business strategy. Industry-wide, worldwide breadth. The very big picture view of the business and its environment. Committed to the company vision and supporting lower level visions.

Department or functional strategy, consistent with the companys business strategy.

Any level of strategy, but done with proper coordination along organizational lines.

COMMITMENT

Committed to company vision and department vision/strategy.

Committed to company and department visions/strategies.

Determined to do his/her utmost to bring about positive change, but respecting organizational processes. Self-inspiration and inspiration of allies in bringing about change.

INSPIRATION

Self-inspiration, company-wide inspiration.

Self-inspiration, department inspiration.

Self-inspiration, peer inspiration, and support of managers efforts.

Copyright 1999, 2005 by E-Myth Worldwide. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from E-Myth Worldwide.

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Leadership and Managerial Skills Assessment


If your business lacks both leadership and managerial skills, then you need an effective way to assess the skills you and your managers have, and a way to develop the skills that are missing or need improvement. The first step is to assess the organizational and personal skill levels in your business. You do that by assessing your own skill levels and those of each of your managers, and considering them as individuals as well as a part of your organization as a whole. Skills assessment should be as objective as possible, though there will always be some amount of subjectivity. How do you objectively assess commitment or inspirational ability or discrimination ability? Structure the assessment process to be as objective as possible, and further examine your own biases and preconceived notions and do the best you can to minimize them. An excellent way to become more objective is the dual evaluation process, in which a manager evaluates himself and his manager evaluates him. Then they discuss the results. They do not arrive at true objectivity, but reach an understanding about each others views. Its that mutual understanding that forms the basis of a workable development plan. The assessment process that follows in the Worksheets reveals your leadership and managerial strengths and weaknesses and each of the managers you evaluated. It provides guidance for creating individual skills development plans and for a companywide development plan. The skills assessment results in a Skills Profile, which is a bar chart showing a rating on a 10-point scale for each of the five leadership skills and each of the five managerial skills. The ratings, and a close look at each of the specific rating items within the assessment instrument, tell you where your strengths lie and where you could use some development. The assessment instrument is provided at the end of this booklet. The Skills Profile on page 9 shows an example of a hypothetical manager who is stronger in managerial skills than leadership. In planning a development program for this manager, you would initially focus on the leadership skills of inspirational communication, vision, and strategic thinking.

Copyright 1999, 2005 by E-Myth Worldwide. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from E-Myth Worldwide.

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SKILLS PROFILE
LEADERSHIP SKILLS
10

MANAGERIAL SKILLS

Vision

Discrimination

Strategic Thinking

Commitment

Inspiration

Supervision

Systems Development

Planning/ Budgeting

Quantification

Information

Developing Leadership Skills In Yourself and Others


Conventional wisdom holds that managerial skills are learned but leadership is innateleaders are born, managers are made. While its true that everyone has a unique set of aptitudes and some come to leadership more easily than others, its also true that leadership can be developed. Leadership systems can be created so that leadership is built into an organization. Leadership skills seem less tangible, less rational, more instinctive, more intuitive than managerial skills and, therefore, seem more difficult to teach and learn. Though we may have greater or less aptitude for leadership skills, they may be learned. Just like athletic performance, some of us are gifted athletes, some of us are couch potatoes, but we all can improve our athletic skills with training and development. Most of us will never become modern day Napoleons, MacArthurs, or Ghandis, but with attention and development all of us can make huge advances in our leadership skills. Heres an overview of the development techniques. Developing Vision Skills Vision has to do with imagination, creativity, developing ideas in original ways, putting business components and strategies together in new ways, and seeing the possibilities that exist or could be made to exist. Its a free-form, unconstrained mental activity that takes advantage of both logical and intuitive thought processes. To develop these skills, you have to let go of any ideas you might have about how to think, be willing to go beyond your comfort level and think outside the box, and suspend for the moment your experience and preconceived notions about your business, yourself, and the world around you. Here are some activities to develop visionary skills:

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Periodic vision meetings. Meet with a small number of people, maybe your managers, or one other trusted person. Discuss your current vision, your strategy, andheres the developmental partdiscuss the possibilities. Its more than brainstorming about the big picture. Ground rules are: no criticism, no doubt expressed, and nothing is too ridiculous to discuss. Push your ideas to the extreme, even to the impossible, and force yourselves to consider how you would make this impossible idea a reality. Even if you discuss ridiculous ideas that come to nothing, the mental exercise itself will build your visionary ability. But dont be surprised at how often those impossible ideas become reality, or lead you to other innovations and ideas that work. Headlines in the news. A couple of times a week, scheduled or randomly, look at a headline in the newspaper and force yourself to think: What opportunity does that present for my business? or How could I turn that situation to our advantage? The idea is to force yourself to think about connecting up ideas that normally have no connection, to see things a new way. You could combine this with your vision meetings to give them some momentum. Dream drills. This one is silly, but it has a serious purpose and a serious result. Dont brush it aside. Either alone or with a person you trust, take a 5-minute break and fantasize about your business. The trick here is to launch into thoughts that are truly fantasy, truly bizarre, in no way even remotely like your real-world business, but with some connection to it. You might imagine hiring unicorns to deliver your product on flying carpets to dancing hippopotamuses with bank teller machines imbedded in their stomachs. Or you might think about animated lawn mowers parachuting from flying butterflygorillas while throwing jelly beans at customers in your stores. Yes, that silly. Push it. The more fantastic, the better. The idea here is to push far beyond your usual thought processes, and to stimulate your unconscious mind with far-out thoughts that have completely different emotional content from your norms. Its a way to move outside your mind and stimulate unconscious associations. No practical ideas may result from this, but youre strengthening your visionary muscles and broadening the span of your thinking. Its not wasted time, and when you do it enough to get past inhibitions, its fun.

Copyright 1999, 2005 by E-Myth Worldwide. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from E-Myth Worldwide.

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Written dream drills. This task is like the dream drills above, but done in writing. The pace of your thinking slows down to accommodate your writing speed. It seems like the same exercise, but the act of writing changes your thinking dynamic by keeping your mind focused on each passing mini-thought for a bit longer, thus letting your unconscious mind work on it in a different, more in-depth way. The point of these visionary skill development exercises is to break loose from your normal thought patterns to gain greater access to your unconscious thought processes, yet keep enough connection with your business to maintain your focus without restricting your thinking. Developing Discrimination Skills Discrimination is another word for judgment or wisdom. We all have discrimination skills but we diminish them with personal biases, emotional responses, and our reactions to others. Discrimination depends on claritywhen you see the situation and its consequences clearly, youll have accurate perceptions and youll make good decisions. You dont have to learn discriminationyou already have it. The development you need is learning how to be dispassionate and objective within yourself, and not reactive to the presentations and persuasions of others. The key is clarity. You have the ability to make wise choices once you have a clear understanding of the situation and its consequences. The best way to eliminate emotion and bias in yourself and in your reactions to others is to quantify everything. The problem is that not everything can be readily quantified. At the level of entrepreneurial leadership, where vision and strategy are key, where youre often breaking new ground with little to guide you, and where quantification can be especially shaky, discrimination is especially important critical, in fact. The development technique, as with visionary skill, is to break old patterns and build new ones. You do that by forcing yourself to think and react in new ways. At first it feels awkward, silly, counter-intuitive, and just plain wrong. But as the development takes hold, you find yourself with increasing clarity, decreasing confusion, and greater equanimity in the face of strong emotions from others and within yourselfthe confusion and emotion are still there, but you simply see past them to the truth of the matter. You cant help but make better decisions, strategies, and innovations.

Copyright 1999, 2005 by E-Myth Worldwide. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from E-Myth Worldwide.

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Here are two development exercises you can do on your own: Reality check. For any situation in which you have doubts or uncertainties, do two things: 1. Answer the following questions about the situation:
I

What do I know about the situation? Whats true and whats not true? What do I think I know about the situation? What am I assuming, taking for granted, or accepting from others? What dont I know that I want to know? Where are the gaps in my understanding?

2. Let go of all emotional attachments and reactions, whether they are your own, or they are the emotional expressions of others. This can be extremely difficult because its easy to get caught up in resistance, anger, fear, enthusiasmthe whole range of human emotionand not even recognize its happening. So the first step is recognizing the emotional content of any situation or decision. The second step is to allow the emotions to be there, but to see beyond them. Its a form of letting go of emotional attachments so you can reach clarity about the situation. Emotions are natural, normal, unavoidablesometimes they get in the way, sometimes theyre helpful. The point is not to try to eliminate or deny your emotions or those of the people around youthats an impossible task. The point is to function at your highest level of discrimination by seeing past, through, around the emotions of a situation. It takes awarenessyou first have to realize what emotions are occurringand the desire to see past them. Take the other side. When you find yourself in a disagreement, personal or professional, look at it from the other side. In your mind or actually out loud, present all the arguments for the other sides position. You have to take this to an extreme for it to have a developmental impact. Most people, especially experienced managers, believe they actually do see both sides of a situation, and try to find which side is best. The point is that there is no such thing as two sides to every story. Theres only one situation, one set of facts, one truth to it one story. But there are two or more views of it; each view, including yours, is incomplete. If you take either view, youre not

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seeing the complete situation, and youre denying yourself a full understanding of it. The purpose of forcing you to fully explore the other side is, in actuality, forcing you to see all of the situation. It might even be true that you have a complete understanding of the situation, but you cant know that for sure until you explore the other side thoroughly. Once you have the fullest, most factual, most complete understanding of the situation, your discrimination will lead you to wise, effective decisions. Initially, you might have to do this privately, as a developmental exercise, until you get the hang of it. But eventually, it will become a habit of mind, something you do every time there seem to be two sides to a situation. Its an important path to wisdom. Developing Strategic Thinking Skills Strategic thinking is fueled by detail, but detail obscures strategy. The trick is to immerse yourself in the details of your business understand its dynamics thoroughlyyet be able to draw back and see the big picture and the leverage points of the business. Think of it as a 5-part process: Part 1Continually monitor the business horizon.
I I I I

Your target markets Your competition The government Macro-trends (the economy, social trends, technology, business trends)

For the most part, this means wide-ranging reading habits and talking with knowledgeable people. It doesnt necessarily mean studying everything in the press and buying all the reports that come out. It does mean cultivating a healthy interest in whats going on that might have an impact on your business, plus a curiosity about whats going in the world in general. You never know what trends might show up that look irrelevant but that can evolve into an opportunity or a threat. Part 2Immerse yourself in the details of your business. Quantification and personal observation are the keys here. Not only gather the numbers, but see whats going on. Get a feel for the business. Quantification is key, but its just the means for developing your intuitive feel for the business. Statisticians understand standard deviation, chi-squared tests, bell curves, and the like, but the really good statisticians understand their work at a gut level. They have a feel for their craft. Its the same for management

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and management information. The really good managers develop an intuitive understanding of their numbersthe numbers become invisible in a way, and the dynamics of the business become visible. You dont hear the notes, you hear the music. Part 3Understand the dynamics of the business, financial and operational.
I I

How does it work? What knocks it off course?

Know how your business flows. A well-run business has a smooth, flowing feel to it. You can track the flow of your business by looking at it from the viewpoint of your client. The purchase decision chain is a good starting point awareness, motivation (sense of need for your products), product acceptance, brand preference, purchase transaction, post-purchase experience. Then, with the clients experience clearly in mind, trace through the various management processes of the business. If you have been in your business for a long time, its worthwhile to take a fresh look at it. Youd be surprised how some things become invisible due to familiarity or the assumption that you know them. Part 4Know the leverage points of the business.
I I

Where do you get the greatest effect for your actions? Where is the business vulnerable?

This is the critical point for managers and the foundation for strategic thinking. In every business, there is a hierarchy of thingssystems, processes, contacts, communicationsthat have an impact on the business. They can be internal or external. They are the things you have to do right or the things you have to manage well or the business suffers. Its a hierarchy because some things have more impact than others. The idea is to know your business so well, from top to bottom, that all your leverage points are known to you. When you know your leverage points, you can fine-tune your information gathering process to focus on them, thus fine-tuning your management of your business.

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Part 5Back off and look at the big picture.


I I

Diagrams and a review of your Strategic Objective can help. Consciously avoid detailed descriptions of activities and plans (that comes in the planning and execution stages of management).

The details will swamp your perceptions and muddle your feel for your business. Without the ability to pull back and take the long view (big picture, long term), youll micro-manage and miss the point. If it doesnt come easily to you, focus on the high-impact leverage points and use such techniques as diagramming, essence statements, and the 30-second sound bite, forcing yourself to tell the whole story in 30 seconds, as if you were on the evening news. Developing Commitment Skills You cant practice being committed. And you cant fake it, either. Youre either committed, or youre not. Its not something you can role play or pretend. There arent even exercises you can do to develop your ability to commit because exercises by their very nature are pretend, not real. And commitment is real. You can try to act out commitment, and maybe youre a good enough actor to convince other people your commitment is real. But if its not real, it, and you, will eventually falter. And when you falter, its always at the very worst time, when the chips are down, the pressure is on, and your resolve is being tested. So, the idea is not to develop commitment skills, but to develop true commitment itself. Leaders are distinguished by their ability to forge ahead in the face of obstacles, opposition, uncertainty, and risk. Not foolishly, but in the pursuit of a real visionone that is doable even if it seems unlikely to others. So the way to commitment is to test your vision. Your sense of commitment is a barometer of the validity of your vision and strategy. If youre not fully committed, maybe the vision, or the strategy, is off, somehow out of alignment with your Primary Aim, flawed in some way, or incomplete. The process of developing true commitment is to test your current level of commitment, making adjustments if necessary, maybe even abandoning the vision if you cant develop a true commitment to it. Test your sense of commitment by looking at the following:

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Your Primary Aim. Are the vision and strategy consistent with your Primary Aim? Do they arouse in you the kind of fire your Primary Aim inspires?

DEVELOPING COMMITMENT
Test your commitment to your vision and strategy by looking at: Your Primary Aim Uncertainty Obstacles Risks Opposition

Weak Sense of Commitment

Strong Sense of Commitment

Adjust Vision and Strategy

Abandon the Vision; Try Something Else

Go Ahead Anyway

Better than going ahead without full commitment

Recipe for Disaster

The Path to Success

Obstacles. What obstacles can you foresee that might get in the way? How serious are they? You dont have to foresee every conceivable obstacle, and you dont have to know how to overcome them. You just need to test your determination and your sense that, come what may, you will overcome them. Opposition. What opposition or resistance will you experience from your employees, the competition, friends and loved ones? You dont have to know how youll eliminate or overcome opposition, but you do need to have the firm conviction that opposition will not prevent the realization of your vision. Uncertainty. Do you have doubts? Are you worried that things you dont understand or cant anticipate will crop up and possibly derail your vision and your strategy? Are you determined to deal with them as they arise and, most importantly, are you confident you will be able to deal with them?

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Risks. What personal and professional risks are you taking on? What will be the risks to your business? Risks can be tangible, such as financial and competitive risks, and intangible, such as image and reputation. They can be personal, such as embarrassment or personal financial difficulties, or professional, such as damage to your reputation or weakened confidence in your abilities. Youll have no difficulty imagining all kinds of obstacles, opposition, and risks. The point of this exercise is to bring them into your conscious thinking and see if they diminish your sense of commitment. If they do, its likely to be a real sign that either something isnt right with your vision and strategy, or that you dont have the determination necessary to lead the way to achieving your vision. The best outcome of this exercise is that you confirm and strengthen your commitment. Even if you abandon your vision because youre unable to muster a true sense of commitment, thats a far better course of action than launching a major strategy thats doomed to fail for lack of determination. This test of faith approach to developing your commitment depends completely on your ability to be totally and brutally honest with yourself. You can go through the motions but not truly challenge yourself, and then proclaim your commitment to one and all. But that course of action will catch up with you the first time a serious obstacle or opposition appears and your commitment, or lack of it, isnt strong enough to carry the day. Thats a recipe for disaster. Make sure your commitment is real, or dont move ahead. Find another vision to which you can commit. Developing Inspiration is emotional. Information is rational. If youre Inspirational Communication going to inspire others to commit to your vision and your Skills strategy, youre going to have to communicate in ways that stir emotions. You also have to communicate information, but there has to be an emotional component to it or it wont be inspiring. Unless youre a natural-born or trained motivational speaker, you might think this skill is beyond your reach. But its not. So, how do you go about inspiring your people with your communications about your vision and strategy? There are five things to think about and understand, that will improve your ability to inspire others:
I I

Sincerityreal commitment, and the real you. Opportunities and occasionswhen and where.

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I I I

Expressivenessmannerisms and energy. Techniquescommunicating emotion and energy. Enhancementsmaking it special.

Sincerity. Your commitment has to be real, and you have to be willing to let people see your excitement and how important it is to you. It has to be genuine. If you cant muster commitment within yourself, you wont be able to inspire it in others. And you cant fake it for more than a short time. When it comes to inspirational communications, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, you can fool some of the people for a short time, but you cant fool all of the people all of the time. So, if youre not fully committed, dont even try to elicit it from others. Opportunities and occasions. The question is, When and where should I be an inspired communicator? The answer is: At every opportunity. One-on-one and in groups. At business and socially. At scheduled events and in casual encounters. When youre prepared, and when youre not. At the office and on the street. There are very few occasions when its not appropriate to reinforce your commitment and that of your employees. Expressiveness. When you communicate, facts are necessary, but not sufficient. Feelings and emotions are key. You have to put life into it. How do you do that? It comes naturally, and you already know how. We all do. Most of us just dont think of it as inspirational. Have you ever told someone about your childs achievement? Or gotten into a friendly argument about politics, morality, sports, or raising children? You were almost certainly an inspired speaker. You didnt merely explain facts, rather put energy, emotion, conviction into it. You probably raised your voice a bit, gestured more than you normally do, and were more animated than usual. The person you were talking with saw by your body language, your expressions, your energy that you were saying something important. It doesnt matter who won the argument; the point is that you were arguing with all the mannerisms of inspirational communication. Your companion in the conversation could see how important the subject was to you and how committed you were to your vision of the subject. You can be sure that you made quite an impression on the other person.

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You werent a bit self-conscious about it, were you? You were so into it that the importance of the subject and your commitment to your point of view carried you. You were probably so absorbed in the conversation you lost track of yourselfit was too important to make your point, to get that other person to understand to move him. Thats inspirational communication at its best sincere, genuine, strongly felt, important. You dont have to learn the mannerisms of inspirational communication because you already use them whenever you tap into something important to you and what, other than family and spiritual beliefs, holds a higher level of commitment for you than your vision for your business? Techniques. There are a number of techniques you can use to add energy and emotional impact to your communications, and to tap into the unconscious minds and associations of your audience. Here are some that should work for you: Stories. Stories have life, action. They conjure images in our minds and communicate excitement, emotion. We relate to stories, whether fiction or fact, and theyre a great way to make a point. Emotionally-loaded words. Choose words that convey excitement, energy, and involvement rather than neutral words. Our strategy will enable us to doesnt sound as good as Our strategy has the power to does it? Our vision for the future will unfold if we work for it, doesnt sound as compelling as, Our future will take a bold new shape if we dedicate ourselves to it and make it happen. Experiences and anecdotes. Anecdotes and experiences, like stories, draw the listener/reader in, and make your points in dynamic, compelling ways. Images. Actual images (pictures, photographs) or imagined images stimulated by words or sounds add energy and unconscious associations to your communication. Sensory elements. Colors and sounds add dimension and further energy to your words. Things such as banners, caps, buttons, signs, and coffee mugs add further texture and dimension, and also act as constant reminders. Metaphors, analogies, symbols. The meanings associated with some symbols, metaphors, and analogies add power and depth to words and ideas. A simple symbol such as a star adds strength and vibrancy to an idea. So do eagles, wild horses,

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lions, and any number of creature symbols. Make sure the symbol adds to rather than detracts from your message. Enhancements. There are also ways to add emphasis, intensity, and impact to your communications, including: Audio-visual aids. Simple signs and handouts, PowerPoint presentations, and audio recordings add sound and visuals to your message and increases its power and persuasion. They also increase planning and production costs and requirements. Drama. We all understand the power of drama, even in simple forms such as skits performed by ourselves or our employees, or role-playing dialogues. Events and occasions. Company meetings, trainings, excursions, or social occasions bring everyone together, and are an excellent way to focus your communications. You also benefit from a reinforcing effect when the participants talk among themselves about your vision and strategy.

Creativity without Leadership Is Chaos


Much is said these days about creativity. Business owners want to maximize the creativity of their organizations and all the people in them. People say I want to be able to express my creativity at work. Its one of those ideas people accept without a second thought because it sounds right, it feels good. How can creativity be a bad thing? It must be beneficial, isnt it? Not necessarily. Unfettered creativity is a nightmare. If everyone has license to use their creativity and make changes as they see fit, you have a recipe for chaos. What you want is leadership throughout your organization, not raw creativity. Creativity without vision is random. Creativity without discrimination is irresponsible. Creativity without strategic thinking is confused. Creativity without commitment is wishful thinking. And creativity without the right kind of communication is like shouting into an empty room. Theres nothing wrong with creativity, far from it. You want a lot of creativity in your organization. But it has to be nurtured and directed, or its wasteful and disruptive. In other words, creativity without leadership is chaos.

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Worksheets

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Managers Skills Assessment Instrument


INSTRUCTIONS: Assess the skill level of the subject manager by circling the appropriate rating on a scale of 1 to 10, in which 1 means virtually no ability in that particular skill and 10 means extremely skilled. A score sheet is provided at the end of this questionnaire (page 30). Rate all items. If the item isnt clear or isnt exactly appropriate for the subject, make your best judgment, but do rate all items. DUAL ASSESSMENT: You should assess yourself and also have someone who knows you well also assess you. Your manager probably has the best opinion. IMPORTANT: Dont cluster your ratings at the middle of the range, push them toward the extremes. For example, if you think the subject is pretty good at thinking outside the box, rather than giving him a rating of 5 or 6, give him a 7 or 8. If you think the subject is a bit deficient in his ability to see whats important and unimportant in any situation, rather than give him a 4 or 5, give him a 3 or even 2. Pushing your ratings toward the extremes will give a much clearer profile than clustering them in the middle range. CAUTION: Its extremely important to be completely honest in your ratings. The purpose of the instrument is to learn what kind of manager the subject is, and to provide a basis for the development of managerial skills. Its easy to fool the instrument and paint a picture of the perfect manager. Dont do it. Its a waste of time and will be misleading unless your ratings are completely honest.

Subject name: Position: Date:

Assessment made by: J Self J Other (name)

Leadership Skills
Vision 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to think outside the box, innovate, create new ways of seeing things. Not bound by conventional wisdom or the expectations of others. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to imagine the shape of things to come, to formulate views of the future. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Habit of seeing opportunities, possibilities, alternatives. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to go beyond your own personal experiences, preconceived ideas, and habitual ways of thinking. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Willingness to be thought of by self and others as out there, unconventional, different, or unusual.

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Discrimination 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to identify opportunities, choices, alternatives. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to see whats important and unimportant in any situation. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to see all sides of an issue or debate, even when they conflict with yours; no tunnel vision. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to understand the leverage points in any business or situation. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to anticipate the probable consequences of decisions or actions. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Has good judgment, good decision making ability, doesnt need rules or guidelines to make good decisions. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to quantify, and understand the meaning behind the quantification, for all conditions that are quantifiable. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to set aside/not be swayed by emotions, personal biases, preconceived ideas from others. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Has independent judgment, not reactive to others, not influenced by shoulds; thinks for self. Strategic Thinking 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Knowledge of markets, competition, the economy, technology trends, the business environment, legal/regulatory requirements. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to see the path to achieve the vision, and all significant alternative paths. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to think holistically; integrates all the elements of a decision or strategy into a cohesive whole. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to see the leverage points and vulnerabilities in any strategic decision or situation; distinguishes the right action to take in any situation to attain desired results. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to create and implement rules of the game, guiding principles, key policies, business philosophy. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to immerse self in details of the business yet always keep the big picture in mind. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to be grounded in todays work while at the same time keeping the long-term goal/Strategic Objective in mind. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to understand the business dynamics from the numbers; to gain a feel for the business, an intuitive understanding of it from quantification.

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Commitment 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Degree of determination to achieve the vision. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to follow through a major task/project to full completion. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to move ahead in the face of strong resistance, opposition, criticism. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to tolerate and make effective decisions when there is significant uncertainty or doubt. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to identify and understand obstacleseven if unanticipatedand overcome them. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to identify risks and move ahead anyway; risk acceptance, not risk seeking. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Degree of personal commitment to your own Primary Aim.

Inspirational Communication 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Sincerity; when you communicate about the vision and the strategy, the degree to which you internally feel strongly, intensely committed. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to communicate vision and strategy with clarity so that all can understand them fully. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to communicate with emotional impact so that all can feel your commitment and intensity. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to persuade others to your point of view. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Degree to which you want/desire others to see things the way you do. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to create opportunities to talk about the vision and strategy; talking it up at every opportunity. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to encourage creativity/vision in others.

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Managerial Skills
Supervision 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Orientation on results, not just work; takes responsibility for getting defined results. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to detect signs of difficulty and problems and find solutions. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Attention to details in the operation of systems and in the work people do; pays attention to the small stuff. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Has productive, cooperative relationships with reporting employees; not adversarial; encourages open lines of communication; relationships based on management by agreement. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Has comprehensive knowledge of business policies and procedures; knows and follows rules of the game; makes decisions based on rules, policies, procedures; not a loose cannon. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Has a systems-oriented approach to management and problem solving; focuses on business conditions rather than blaming people; systemsdependent rather than people-dependent. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Works well across organizational lines; cooperative. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Develops staff effectively in business skills and operation of business systems; effective trainer of reporting employees. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to evaluate people; makes good hiring and firing decisions. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Understands quality assurance and holds to high quality standards. System Development 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to identify system solutions for business conditions, problems, and frustrations. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to identify and design tasks and benchmarks in a business system; creates appropriate operating rules and standards. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to evaluate systems clearly and completely. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Documents systems clearly and completely. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to innovate systems; can determine systems needs or modifications to get desired results or improve operations. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Implements systems and makes changes effectively, with minimal disruption of work flow and minimal stress for staff. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Attention to detail in system design and implementation. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Optimizes/conserves resources used in systems.
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Planning and Budgeting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to forecast revenues, volume of business, activity levels. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to set appropriate goals, define appropriate benchmarks, establish appropriate expectations for accountabilities. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to translate strategy into effective business plans and activities; defines work to be done to achieve his/her part of the vision and Strategic Objective. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to estimate and forecast costs, labor hours, resource requirements and translate into budget. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Controls costs and resource utilization effectively; appropriate cost control (neither overspends nor reduces productivity by being overly aggressive on cost controls). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Understands the management implications of budgeting and budget variance analysis; uses financial information to understand the business operation and for decision making. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Thinks ahead responsibly; doesnt shoot from the hip but also no paralysis by analysis; has effective balance of action and planning ahead.

Quantification 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Comfortable with quantification; not afraid of numbers; sees quantification as a way to look at the business objectively and gain clarity. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to determine key indicators of any system and any organizational position and how to quantify them; knows whats important and whats not. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ability to understand what the numbers mean; how quantification reveals underlying business conditions and leads to diagnosis and innovation. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Monitors and evaluates systems and productivity effectively; tracks quantified information frequently/continually for complete understanding of his/her part of the business.

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Informational Communication 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Places high priority/importance on communicating with reporting employees, peers, managers; keeps them informed, up to date. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Clarity of thought; understands the vision, the strategy, and the business; grasp of details as well as big picture. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Oral communication skills; appropriate vocabulary; clear expression; gets ideas across so theyre completely understood by the listener. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Written communication skills; appropriate vocabulary; clear expression; gets ideas across so theyre completely understood by the reader. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Creates and maintains operating manuals, position contracts, and other documentation. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Detects and clears up misunderstandings immediately. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Communicates with appropriate energy and tone; enthusiastic, optimistic, caring; minimal anger, frustration, or apathy.

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Rating Summary
Leadership Skills
Vision Discrimination Strategic Thinking Commitment Inspirational Communication
Total Score

Number of Ratings

Skill Rating

__________ __________ __________ __________ __________

5 = 9 = 8 = 7 = 7 =

__________ __________ __________ __________ __________

Total Leadership Skills Rating =

Managerial Skills
Supervision System Development Planning & Budgeting Quantification Informational Communication __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ 10 = 8 = 7 = 4 = 7 = __________ __________ __________ __________ __________

Total Managerial Skills Rating =

SKILLS PROFILE Mark each bar with your rating for that category to profile your strengths and development needs.
PROFESSIONAL SKILLS
10

MANAGERIAL SKILLS

Vision

Discrimination

Strategic Thinking

Commitment

Inspiration

Supervision

Systems Development

Planning/ Budgeting

Quantification

Information

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Manager Typing Graph

50 CHEERLEADER MASTER

40 TOTAL LEADERSHIP SKILLS RATING

30

PROFESSIONAL

20

10

BUREAUCRAT 0 0 10 20 30

ADMINISTRATOR

40

50

TOTAL MANAGERIAL SKILLS RATING

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Leadership Skills Development Plan

List your lowest rated leadership skill categories in order, with the lowest listed first. For each, look at the responses in your assessment instrument and see what they indicate about your specific development needs. Note your conclusions briefly under observations and conclusions. Observations and Conclusions

Skill Category and Rating

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2 3

Re-read the skills development guidelines on pages 920, paying special attention to the areas of your developmental need.

Study your specific responses from your Managers Skills Assessment Instrument (including those completed by others). Determine which developmental activities you will use to develop your skills. In the table below, indicate the activities, set a schedule/timing for doing them, and indicate what assistance you will have. Its important to have a friend or trusted associate help you with the developmental activities theyll be more objective than you will about your progress, and will have insights, make suggestions, and provide support that you wont be able to provide for yourself. You can work on one skill at a time, or several at the same time. You should consider leadership skills development a long-term effort. Some develop the skills quickly (months), but most will improve over a period of years. And, no matter how skilled you are, you can always improve. Be sure to schedule your developmental activities on your appointment calendar. Dont merely try to fit them into my spare time. If you dont schedule them, they wont get done, and youll make no progress.

Activity

Schedule/Timing

Assistance From

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