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As a great colleague of mine often says, “presentations are all about leadership” and, as I often reply, “yes, but leadership is not just about presentations”

Making powerful speeches is clearly part of leadership; but leadership goes further, much further

MLK made some great speeches, but he was also in action on the ground

Gandhi made some great speeches, but he was also in action on the ground

Zelensky has made some great speeches, but he is also in action on the ground

There is clearly a presenting or speech making aspect to leadership which is about creating the desire to act.

This comes through having impact when speaking (convincing / motivating / influencing), integrating emotions in the message, being able to express ideas in a clear and concise manner and being congruent between what is said and what is done.

This is the presentation side of leadership; working AT others – creating the desire in others to contribute to the cause

However, there are two other aspects which are important

The first is what I call “facilitating”, i.e., helping others to act collectively. This is about working WITH others; looking for real consensus, asking questions to clarify understanding and get to the bottom of different perceptions and perspectives, working with facts, opinions and emotions and avoiding falling into the trap of groupthink

The second is “empowering”, i.e., helping others to act individually. This is about working THROUGH others, showing confidence in others, letting others take risks, allowing errors, coaching others, recognising effort and rewarding results.

Leadership

“working at, with and through people to get things done”

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