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Leadership Conversations

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Leadership Conversations

Challenging High-Potential Managers to Become Great Leaders


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Talk isn’t cheap – it’s valuable: How great conversations produce great leaders.

Editorial Rating



In this era of flat organizations, companies reward executives for doing more with less. As a consequence, managers sometimes focus on doing and forget to lead. To compound the problem, organizations often promote the best technical expert, salesperson or consultant into management and then fail to give these new executives the support they need during this arduous transition – moving from doer to leader. Leadership experts Alan S. Berson and Richard G. Stieglitz share their collective wisdom about leadership transitions. Their review is a useful reminder that leading is about building relationships – up, down, across and even outside the organization – and that frequent, meaningful conversations are an essential tool in building relationships. getAbstract recommends their approach to anyone aspiring to leadership, to new leaders struggling to find balance in this role and to those who want to help others advance.


The Value of “Leadership Conversations”

Not everyone should be and not everyone wants to be a leader. Some people are individual contributors (IC) and some are ICs with leadership potential. Everyone – from the mailroom clerk to the CEO – has solid information, valuable expertise and good ideas. Conversations between and among co-workers, teams, managers and executives are the most direct way to uncover and share those assets. Effective leaders understand the value and long-term benefits of good conversations, which can “create an alignment among leaders and followers.” These interactions can help solve problems, clarify expectations and inform better decisions. Yet many would-be leaders enter into dialogues with their supervisors, peers and employees without clearly understanding the differences between the “management mindset” and the “leadership mindset” – a crucial distinction that makes having solid conversations even more imperative.

True leadership conversations involve:

  • “Providing vision, direction and inspiration to others.”
  • “Developing the management skills and emotional intelligence of others.”
  • “Reaching out to external stakeholders...

About the Authors

Alan S. Berson is a consultant, executive coach and educator specializing in leadership marketing, finance and strategic planning. Richard G. Stieglitz has a PhD in nuclear engineering, as well as US Navy and corporate leadership experience. He publishes a leadership newsletter.

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    R. K. 2 years ago
    Very good topic improve to team work and communication and relationships with team mates.
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    F. S. 1 decade ago
    Very good summary of what good leaders do naturally.