PRSA Counselors Academy Deb Radman

Day two of Counselors Academy opened with another round of Breakout sessions – small groups of 10 to 15 participants seated around a table for a discussion led by a senior practitioner or an expert advisor.

The first session I attended on “Preparing Your Future Leaders,” was led by Deb Radman, Managing Director of Stanton Communications and a former Chair of Counselors Academy. Darryl Salerno, the President of Second Quadrant, also offered much valuable insight. Darryl is the advisor Steve Cody credits with helping him to develop Peppercom‘s successful formula.

Future LeaderMost of the discussion participants agreed with Radman’s that all people are imbued with somesome leadership qualities. It is the responsiblity of current leaders to help young people to identify and develop the particular leadership qualities each of them possesses.

Of course, some people need more help than others to discover what they have that is special and will help them to lead a team or to run an agency.

Mid-size firms provide an opportunity for people to develop their leadership abilities. We’re in the leadership business: Our work is about helping articulate a vision, helping set goals, planning, researching, advising, persuading, and clarifying. That’s what leaders do.

We must stimulate the people who work for us to consider what kind of leader they might be and what they need to do to get there. Ask employees about who is an aspiring leader? Who do they perceive to be leaders? it’s very revealing.

  • What leaders look like:
  • They have bedrock values.
  • They have the courage to be decisive.
  • Consistent behaviour.
  • They do what they say they’re going to do.
  • They have the courage to be decisive.
  • They enable collaboration by building trust.
  • They create other leaders, not followers.
  • They articulate a clear vision of where they’re going.
  • They choose to lead.

To teach leadership, the people who you are trying to teach must perceive you to be a leader.
You must know what the people in your organization view as leadership qualities; then look at yourself to determine if you have the qualities to lead them, not just to manage them.

Radman emphasized that there is a tremendous difference between being a leader and a boss.

  • Boss drives people; Leader motivates them.
  • Boss depends on authority; Leader on persuasion.
  • Boss uses fear; Leader uses positive reinforcement.
  • Boss fixes the blame; Leader looks for a solution.
  • Boss say “I”; Leader say “we.”
  • Boss will tell people what to do; Leader will entice people to do something.

Leadership is a choice; you must inspire or persuade people to look inside themselves to determine what they want.

  • Whitney Taylor

    I completely agree with the need for leaders and the leadership characteristics that are discussed here. However, there are other important leadership characteristics, like optimism. It’s important to be optimistic and to never allow failure to be an option. These characteristics create a strong leader, one that always believes in his/her team. This type of optimism can also create a self-fulfilling prophecy for the success of the team. At the same time, it’s important not to be overconfident, which can be counterproductive to the team’s goals.

  • Hi Whitney,
    You are bang on about optimism. And what goes hand in hand with optimism is entrepreneurialism. When I started Thornley Fallis, I simply did not accept failure as a possibility. Optimism. Entrepreneurialism. The latter cannot exist without the former.