Leadership in the Trenches
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Leadership in the Trenches Col Harry LeBoeuf, USAF (ret). We all Lead in the Trenches!. Six Leadership Skills. Leadership Skill #1: Listening. “The #1 skill of the 21 st century leader is listening.”. Peter Drucker Author & Management Guru.

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Leadership in the Trenches Col Harry LeBoeuf, USAF (ret)

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  • Leadership in the Trenches

  • Col Harry LeBoeuf, USAF (ret)

We all Lead in the Trenches!

Six Leadership Skills

Leadership Skill #1:Listening

“The #1 skill of the 21st century leader is listening.”

Peter Drucker

Author & Management Guru

“99% of the best ideas we ever had came from our people.”

Sam Walton,

Founder, Walmart

Top 5 Leadership Listening Pitfalls

  • Pride

  • Know it all

  • Don’t have the time

  • Think others are idiots

  • Don’t care

Leadership Skill #2:Envision

“A task without a vision is drudgery.

A vision without a task is but a dream.

But a task with a vision is the hope of the world.”

Inscription circa 1770

Church in Sussex, England

Two Keys to Envisioning

  • Clarify

  • Connect

“The role of a leader is to find a thousand different ways to say the same thing.”

Harry Quadracci, Founder

Quad Graphics

Leadership Skill #3:Adapt

How to Catch a Monkey

“But the core of the matter (leading change) is always about changing behavior of people, and behavior change happens in highly successful situations mostly by speaking to people’s feelings.”

John Kotter, Author

Leading Change and The Heart of Change



Change Event

Change Event

Stage 1: Excitement

Stage 1: Denial

  • Stage 2: Resistance

  • Stage 2: Doubt

Stage 3: Acceptance

Stage 3: Hope

Stage 4: Commitment

Stage 4: Commitment

Leadership Skill #4:Develop

Two Keys to Developing Your Team

  • Training: develop competencies

  • Coaching: develop confidence

Remember: training is only appropriate if an employee needs a specific Skill, Knowledge, or Attitude that he/she does not currently possess to successfully fulfill their role.

What is Leadership Coaching?

  • Equips people with the SKA to develop themselves.

  • Process – not an event.

  • Something you do with them – not to them.

  • Not about “fixing” people – it’s about unleashing potential.

  • Two-way relationship – not a one-way event.

  • Mindset and approach for improvement.

Leadership Skill #5:Execute

“A good plan


is better than a perfect plan

next week.”

General George S. Patton, Jr.

WWII Commander

“Vision without execution is an hallucination.”

Thomas Edison


Two Keys to Execution

  • Delegate

  • Emancipate


Def: Giving people the Freedom to Succeed.

Goal of Emancipation

Goal of emancipation is NOT to completely eliminate bureaucracy, but to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy!

Key Emancipation Question

NOT: How Much control do I need?

Is: How Little control do I need?

Leader’s Role in Execution

  • Guide

  • Inspect

  • Redirect

Leadership Skill #6:Reward

“I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

Mark Twain

Humorist & Author

Realities of Motivation

Conventional Wisdom

Bosses motivate employees.

Unconventional Reality

Employees motivate themselves.

Realities of Motivation

Unconventional Reality

Employees do what they do for their own reasons.

Conventional Wisdom

People do what they do for their organization’s or boss’ reasons.

Realities of Motivation

Unconventional Reality

Great leaders look for the roadblocks to motivation.

Conventional Wisdom

Great leaders look for people to pump up.

Realities of Motivation

Unconventional Reality

Our job is to make our horses thirsty!

Conventional Wisdom

Our job is to lead our horses to water.

Leadership in the Trenches

L isten

E nvision

A dapt

D evelop

E xecute

R eward

  • Col Harry LeBoeuf, USAF (ret)

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