Part I: Your Decisions & Influence

In the first of a three-part video series, Daniel Harkavy explores how your decisions and influence affect everything from promotions to gaining and keeping the trust of your team and peers.

Video Transcript

Leadership has never been so challenging and I’m here today to unpack a framework for you that will help you to take all of the chaos and put it into a framework that will enable you to be more effective as a leader.

So, let’s start off with this premise: A leader’s effectiveness is determined by just two things; the decisions they make in the influence that they have.

Think about it.

I’ve had this conversation with countless leaders, and we’ve tried to look at every aspect of leadership to see if they wouldn’t fit into decision-making or influence.

And here we are after five, six years of conversations with leaders of some of the largest organizations.

I’m here to tell you that everything you do as a leader falls into one of those two categories, your decision-making ability, or your influence.

Let me give you an example. I had a client, and we will call her Amanda. Amanda had been working for this publicly held firm for years — two decades.

She had served in several roles and was on the executive team. She’d done everything from sales and marketing all the way over to supply chain.

The situation in this organization was that my client, the CEO, was going to be soon retiring and Amanda was one of four candidates that were being considered by the board to replace this incredibly respected and successful CEO.

Her IQ, the highest. Her ability to figure problems out, the best. But she didn’t get the job.

Amanda didn’t get the job not because she wasn’t smart. She didn’t get the job because she didn’t have the ability to influence the team.

The team all saw Amanda as being kind of a one-person army. She can figure everything out. They weren’t needed. She would come into meetings with her decisions already pre-made.

She didn’t reach the level of success that she could have because she lacked influence.

And let me tell you another story. Let me tell you the story of Lucas. Lucas, a new CEO, was an incredibly charismatic guy.

Visionary, an entrepreneur, saw deals and opportunities everywhere and could definitely stir up the energy and the passion in a room.

But over time, Lucas lacked what it took in order to take the organization from where it was, to where it could be. Instead of growing the organization, Lucas and his leadership drove the organization into a ditch, to where they were acquired, and the entire executive team had been replaced.

The problem with Lucas wasn’t that he lacked influence, but the team knew that Lucas was detached from the day to day of the business.

He didn’t understand the operations. He didn’t understand how the business really functioned.

And as a result of that, he would influence the team to make decisions that they would later regret or the executive team would have to spend countless hours sweeping up the messes because they knew that Lucas was out doing things and saying things that that they could never execute on.

His career capped just like Amanda’s.

You see, leaders, we need decision-making and influence if we’re going to be as effective as we can be.

It’s never been more challenging than it is right now. Leadership in 2020 is filled with all sorts of dynamics that have created confusion and difficulty for us leaders to think.

And as leaders, we need to think really well. We need to not only think really well so that we make the best decisions, but we need to think really well so that we influence and engage the best thinking of our teammates.

It was back in the 80’s a term was coined by our military and it was called VUCA. VUCA stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.

Our military leaders said that they were dealing with VUCA after the Cold War because their strategy needed to change. They were no longer fighting one enemy.

Well, when I started working on this model, The 7 Perspectives of Effective Leaders, I was using the term VUCA for business leaders.

They were dealing with the pace of change with technology, that creates all sorts of complexity and volatility and uncertainty.

With globalization, supply chains and trends that are taking place beyond our borders, that creates all sorts of ambiguity and uncertainty.

And then when you look at social platforms and you look at how people’s thinking, beliefs, and behaviors can move so quickly as a result of news, stories, videos etc. that we see real-time — immense difficulty.

Let’s look at 2020. VUCA today is on steroids. Global pandemic, social injustice, an upcoming election in the weeks ahead. You see us being torn in half.

We need leaders who think well, who make great decisions, and who have maximum influence in order for us to be successful.

And that’s what our businesses are expecting from you and I.

So, what I want to tell you is that I’ve got a framework that will help you to be as effective as possible.

If you can see your business in seven different perspectives, you’ll make the best decisions and you’ll have maximum influence. So, we need to apply intentional curiosity to each of the seven.

The way I see this framework is that it connects the leadership dots. It’s simple to understand and yet difficult to deploy, especially in this detached work environment that many of us find ourselves in.

But I can tell you this. If you deploy intentional curiosity in the seven, it’s going to leave you with courage, it’s going to leave you with clarity, and it’s going to leave you with confidence.

If you’re seeing the business in each of these seven perspectives, you’ll have clarity on the essential ingredients, the essential areas of your business. And that clarity is required right now. That clarity is required in order for you to make great decisions.

And that clarity is required in order for you to communicate where we’re at and where we’re going, and what’s needed to go from here to there.

You need confidence to make the best decisions and to take the risks that are required of you as a leader to move your business forward and it’s going to give you the courage because you’re going to be applying this intentional curiosity in the areas of your business in ways that influence your teammates, your executive team, your leadership teams, your clients, your customers.

You’ll have these real-time conversations with them and that will bolster your courage to do what you need to do in this space of leadership, in this time.

And that’s my hope for The 7 Perspectives of Effective Leaders being released right here, right now, in this time. It’s to bring you that confidence, that clarity, and that courage that you need in order to best lead yourself and your business.

So in the upcoming videos, what I’m going to do is I’m going to unpack each of the seven perspectives and I’m going to talk about how you, with discipline and rigor, deploying intentional curiosity in each of those seven, will see your decision-making and your influence increase.

I’m going to give you some tips and some best practices, as well as I’m going to guide you to some resources that can help you to improve your leadership effectiveness.

Thanks for spending time with me today. My hope is that just this short little video helps you to see that your leadership can improve. Focus on your decision-making, focus on your influence, follow the seven different perspectives, and this framework will help you to be more successful as we head into the end of the year and into the years ahead.

Thank you.


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