A real life leadership story

Over the last few months I have had the pleasure to observe a Leader that demonstrates so many of the Leadership practices and behaviours that I help clients develop. It has been a pleasure to observe the power of great leadership in action.  I wanted to share with you the story, so it is lifted from theory into practice.

Vision – Alignment – Execution

The Leader mobilised a disparate and cross functional working group together for a full day to launch a new project/workstream.  The people gathered in the room had various roles, some having worked together before, and some being total strangers.  All had been selected based on their expertise in their roles, which would support the project.


The Leader opened the session by showing her gratitude for everyone showing up and being fully present.  She then went on to describe with energy and passion, the vision of what was to be achieved.  She then went on to describe the current state, and was honest in the huge journey they were about to embark.  This was huge, bold and ambitious.

She asked for initial thoughts, challenge and concerns, to clear the air and help everyone to be heard.  Most importantly she listened and acknowledged.


With great skill, the Leader then moved into alignment.  She asked everyone to spend a couple of hours sharing ideas, thoughts ad innovative solutions.  Nothing was out-of-bounds and she encourage and supported every member of the group to speak up with courage.  No idea was wrong, judged or solved.  They were just ideas.

From this place the collective power of different brains, experiences, and creativity, a list of amazing solutions were there on the table.


Now the Leader asked the group to prioritize the solutions based on time/budget/expertise.  This took the group from creative mind to tactical and logical mind.  The transition was seamless as she was focused and planned in her approached.  She spoke with clarity about expectations and outcomes, still with an incredibly passionate and warm tone.

A plan was developed, with people standing up to take accountability and commit to the plan. They were honest about the challenges and risks ahead, but because they had been involved in the development of the plan, they were now equally as passionate and focused.

What I witnessed over the next few months were clear roles, responsibilities, timelines and success factors built-in and worked to.  The group fed back regularly and the Leader also fed back on success and challenges.

The Leadership Skills

I witnessed all of the skills below:

  • Gratitude
  • Humbleness
  • Vulnerability
  • Vision
  • Boldness
  • Listening
  • Empowerment
  • Championing
  • Honesty
  • Focus
  • Planning
  • Innovation
  • Delivery

The Vision/Alignment/Execution best practice model is based on the Work of Leaders programme, powered by Wiley, which WWWH are pleased to offer.