Dave and Strategic Clarity

(Creating Ownership for the Larger Story)

The Relationship
Jeff had coached leaders in Dave’s organization over the years. Then one day Dave reached out to Jeff; for himself.

Dave contacted Jeff after receiving the charge to transform his yellow pad. It was after a succession planning meeting and Dave’s manager came to him and said something like; You are really good at carrying around the yellow pad with tasks that must be done. I need you to transform that pad to become more strategic.

This is when Dave and Jeff began dialogue to discover and understand the unfolding narrative; the story of Dave’s uniqueness as a leader.

Dave’s Story of Service
In the unfolding dialogue, Jeff learned Dave’s basic story. Dave one day said to Jeff;
I was raised by a Drill Sergeant.

His wonderful dad taught him well. Dave earned his reputation in his organization as one trusted to implement. His dad had taught him how to act and implement efficiently.

In learning Dave’s back story, Jeff also learned that he had a driving front story; Dave’s Desire & Intent−the base of his leadership story:

~ Challenge, motivate, and inspire individuals to thrive, succeed, and own
~ Lead strategically while making the future real in what we do today
~ Be truthful, honest, straightforward, and caring–make others feel that what they do makes a difference and is appreciated

Applied Methodology
Jeff and Dave agreed on a structured approach for addressing the post-succession feedback and navigating the journey toward more strategic items taking precedence on his yellow pad.

Jeff structured an approach over an appropriate duration leveraging the basics in his Foundations Coaching Program. Jeff brought Dave’s latest personality preference profile to the forefront of the Coaching sessions. The reasoning for this approach was simple. Dave’s yellow pad behavior was being driven from personality dimensions that were not in his natural style.

This does not mean that his work to this point was not both meaningful and important. It simply means it was now time for Dave to act on his natural preferences building on his success as one who had been trusted to implement.

Dave’s Story of Application
Dave told Jeff how his implementation experiences through the years had led him to the guiding philosophy of HITC FITM (head in the clouds, feet in the muck).

It became clear that Dave had a natural style as a great storyteller; engaging his people with a common story. Jeff saw Dave’s ability to lead with story. This was a critical juncture in the dialogue. Dave’s natural ability as a storyteller, and his commitment to engagement-building clarity, was just the ticket to transforming what Dave would record on the yellow pad.

Dave’s ability in leading with story was now more consciously focused on the priority of coming together. Dave keeps those he leads in the story. As all are busy with implementation and execution, he continually helps each individual “see” the value of any desired direction, and possible consequent action, in terms of People Value.

Dave’s leadership in and with the story is balanced by his stand that What is for the mind and Why is for the heart. He knows you must have both for people to be clearly engaged.

Whether it is pulling us together in and by the story or modeling for us how to collaborate in the story, it is the generosity of leaders like Dave that draws us in and then out.

As Dave leads in his Desire & Intent, he has set an overarching goal as he leads with ever-increasing levels of effectiveness: Take the value of getting things done, combine with my ability to design the future, and tell the story.

From his dad, he learned to leverage the middle ground–between the story (strategic vision) and the actions presently required to implement.

This is Dave’s application of his values of Integrity and Honor and his impact in the world.

Thank you for reading this brief case story. It is my hope that you have found something to inspire your own ability to lead with clarity and create deeper engagement through your own Desire & Intent.