Lessons for leaders

All of my students want to be leaders. Some of my students are leaders. And they like learning how to be a leader or a better leader. They are looking for an edge, some new insight that will help them improve.

I have found that using English lessons that are quasi-leadership consultations are highly effective with people who aspire to leadership.

They are interested in new trends, new think, new research that will help them understand how to organize and lead organizations, present ideas more powerfully, motivate people, etc. I first noticed this when using the book “Business Vocabulary in Use: Advanced” with my students who were managers. They weren’t just getting English out of it but were getting business ideas and understanding trends and really liked that.

So I took it one step further. Instead of offering a business English class with a strong flavor of business concepts, I began offering a business concepts class with a strong flavor of English class.

This has kept my students, who often have very good English skills, coming back week after week and even telling me they miss the class if they can’t make it and getting excited when I flash them the next week’s lesson.

Below are some of the materials I have based my lessons around:

From Fortune Magazine
“Why bosses don’t need to know all the answers”

If you still think you need to be the best and brightest in your area, you probably need to rethink what makes you an effective boss. You were probably promoted because you were truly good at what you did. Perhaps you were the best in the group. Your ability to write better code, or sell more, or come up with better ideas than anyone else didn’t just make you stand out — it defined you. Perhaps that’s how you’ve always defined yourself, first at home with your brothers and sisters, then in school, in sports, and now at work.

From Forbes Magazine
“Billions of People Want the Super Brand Religion”

Today the world has 6.92 billion people. They all wake up and look for the sun in the sky. They also look up at super brands and aspire to belong. The future is bright for brands that evolve their buyers into passionate advocates. Loyal consumers who buy without question. These are consumers who are worth their weight in gold.

From Fortune Magazine
“What it takes to be great”

Scientific experts are producing remarkably consistent findings across a wide array of fields. Understand that talent doesn’t mean intelligence, motivation or personality traits. It’s an innate ability to do some specific activity especially well. British-based researchers Michael J. Howe, Jane W. Davidson and John A. Sluboda conclude in an extensive study, “The evidence we have surveyed … does not support the [notion that] excelling is a consequence of possessing innate gifts.”

Predictably Irrational (Book Summary)

We always seek to draw comparisons, and we are often unaware as to how seemingly irrelevant factors such as the simple presentation of options, actually influence what we select.

From Global Customer Experience Management Organization “One Cup of Coffee, 20 Experiences”

I consider myself a loyal Starbucks customer but not an advocate, yet. I visit Starbucks shops in cities around the world. What drives me to buy and buy again? It’s certainly not advertising. We all know that Starbucks seldom advertises (if at all). So how does the company build its brand? If you believe a brand is the aggregate of customer experiences across all touch-points, then the in-store customer experience is my answer. Walk with me from the beginning to the end of the entire in-store experience in Starbucks. (We do this lesson while sitting in a Starbucks, coffee in hand, gazing around and seeing the lesson in action before our eyes. This is one of the engineering an experience lessons that I wrote about earlier.)

From Scientific American
“Bet on the Losing Team”

In this year’s NBA playoffs the Dallas Mavericks displayed an uncanny ability to come from behind and win. Uncanny because to do so implies a defiance of expectation – teams that are ahead should, obviously, have a greater chance of winning a game. However, new research from Jonah Berger and Devin Pope suggests that once we account for some basic psychological principles of motivation, the odds of winning might, in some cases, be reversed. In other words, being behind by a little can actually increase a team’s likelihood of winning.

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