The Purpose Must Match the Challenge

All great challenges must be matched with a great purpose.

As a leader, you are probably asking others to give more, do more and be more - to rise to the challenge. Their performance is directly influenced by your ability to develop, frame and sell the purpose behind the challenge.

The Challenge's Purpose

1. Make it personal to them. Not for the company's benefit or your benefit, but for their benefit. Use their language, their stories, and their outcome.

2. Make it simple, especially if you are communicating to a large group. Some of the biggest decisions we make in life are based on the simplest of truths.

3. Make it timely. I am going to be more equipped to give a ton of energy today if it helps me solve a problem or accomplish a goal I have today - not miles down the road.

4. Be Authentic, Believable and Compelling. The mechanics of effective selling (whether it is a machine or a message) include both content and delivery.


Teaching PLI: How to Run Your Initial PLI Curriculum Sessions

This post is primarily for our wonderful teachers and facilitators of the PLI curriculum, but is also a good read for anyone teaching leadership. Following are a few tips/suggestions on how to run your initial sessions (i.e. – your sessions before you start going through the Vision Essential.)

1. Pick one of the five breakdowns of the PLI Essentials in the opening section of your Navigator (PLI Essentials Defined, PLI Natural Laws, Basic Questions, Heroic Acts, Team Needs) and use it as a basis for group discussion/overview of the ten Essentials. The purpose here is to get everyone enrolled in the ten Essentials, as well as get a very specific conversation going about leadership behaviors.

2. Take the breakdown of the PLI definition (on the page in your Navigator that is titled Understanding PLI), and have the group member’s go around and read each element out loud. Either after each piece is read or after the entire breakdown is read, have a discussion about the group members’ thoughts. The purpose here is to get a very general conversation going about leadership.

3. Ask each of your group members to peruse the PLI blog and come to the session armed with one blog post that resonated with them and that they would like to have the group discuss the merit of. The purpose here is to get them started using the blog, as well as engaging them in the session very quickly by having them bring something of value to the table.

4. Pick anything on the Locator’s pages 6-7 (their intro pages) to use as fodder for group discussion.

5. Ask each group member to pick either a historical leader or a leader they personally know and prepare a short explanation outlining: why they picked that person and which of the PLI Essentials that person demonstrates at an expert level. Again, the purpose here is to get the group members immediately engaged in the session by having an assignment to bring. They will also have to study up on the Essentials to know which one(s) to tie to their selected leader.

Let us know how it goes!


A Leadership Skill List that Roars!


The town I grew up in is called Laverne, OK (Population:  1,200).  I rarely make it back to Laverne, it is in far Northwestern Oklahoma, but I made a special trip this past weekend to help 50 of their high school students learn how to be better leaders. 

One of our goals of the day was to get everyone in the room on the same page regarding how they expect each other to act as leaders.  Laverne’s mascot is the Tiger and their Top 10 Tiger Skills list is a clear, precise and thorough checklist for anyone wanting to be a better leader in their home, school, business or community:

1. Find the Good in Others

2. Be Aware of Others

3. Help Others Daily

4. Listen Actively

5. Speak Up

6. Stand Out

7. Be Convincingly Positive

8. Be Wildly Creative

9. Own Your Life

10. Do Leadership Today


Great list, huh?  Also, if you are teaching leadership, this is a great idea of what to do with a list like that.  After we created the list together (which I only cleaned up the language on – every list entry was their idea), each student set a very specific and action oriented “how I will help my home, school or community this year” goal, wrote it on an index card, wrote why the accomplishment of that goal is important and then showed and talked about their goal with all their peers.  It was a powerful day!