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  • Writer's picturePhil Cole

You just finished this book. You are probably thinking, what did I just read? This makes no sense.

You just finished this book. You are probably thinking, what did I just read? This makes no sense.

Here is what will happen. You will go to work tomorrow, and you will feel like nothing has changed. You are exactly the same leader you were at the moment you started on page one, however many hours ago.

But, sometime during the work day, or perhaps later in the week, you will notice a relationship. You will see an interchange take place, and you will notice that it did not work quite as it should have. In some way, that interchange did not contribute to perfect.

Or perhaps you will see someone go through an emotion reaction, and you will start to imagine the past experiences that caused the person to have the feelings and build the explanation of motivation and intent for the situation they experienced. You will see how that reaction shaped their behavior, and you will start to imagine how that response will affect the people involved tomorrow, and the next day.

Or perhaps you will hear someone talking about their work, and you will see that they are trying to tell the story of vision but they are missing a piece here or there. And you will start thinking about your answer to the piece they are missing, how you would explain or show their role in creating the change.

Any one of these three things will happen, soon.

Then you will start to ponder, what should I do? You will start to think about what action you might take to make the situation better — to improve the interchange, to reshape the emotion, or to explain the story of vision. You will feel a moment of frustration because you do not have a perfect answer, or you will conjure up a solution that you saw another manager do once, or read in a book last year. Then you will remember behavioral change, and the stages of the learning cycle. You will ponder for a minute, working your way to a decision about the action you will take. A plan will form in your head, you will make a decision, and then be ready to move.

You will feel energized. You will feel ready to take on the challenge, you will be hopeful for the improvement you can make for your organization.

And suddenly you will understand.

Leadership is the process of learning to build relationships to turn a shared vision into reality.

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