Seminar #2: Strengthen Leadership Excellence

This seminar is part of The Seminars on Excellence — a comprehensive approach to strengthening excellence throughout an organization.

Excellence is doing the best you can at whatever you’re doing while simultaneously learning how to do it better the next time.

Leadership Excellence requires influencing how other people think so they make decisions that improve results in a sustainable way to the best of your ability while learning how to be a better leader the next time.


Dan Coughlin teaches how to strengthen leadership excellence in the following ways:

  • Half-Day Workshop
  • Full-Day Seminar
  • Two-Day Retreat
  • Webinar


Communicate within clearly defined boundaries (know what is most definitely out-of-bounds)

Master the fundamentals of communication (Communication 1.0):

  • I think through what I want to say.
  • I clearly and completely say in a timely manner what I meant to say.
  • The other person hears and understands what I said.
  • The other person thinks through what he or she wants to say.
  • The other person clearly and completely says in a timely manner what he or she meant to say.
  • I hear and understand what the other person said.

Master the fundamentals of empathy (Communication 2.0):

  • Empathy is working to understand what another person is thinking and feeling, and then responding appropriately.

Recall how other people have effectively influenced you

Realize how other people have not effectively influenced you

Answer the Four Critical Leadership Questions

Understand different personas of leadership

The power of one-to-one conversations

Make time for other people’s toughest moments

Never stop writing handwritten letters


  • Focus on organizational causes, not internal drama
  • Focus on taking time to learn, not impulsively reacting to circumstances
  • Learn from a wide variety of people and situations, not thinking you have all the answers
  • Be deliberate with your emotions, immature people are reactionary


  • Know your role in each situation
  • Know what is appropriate to say, and realize that not everything that comes to your mind is appropriate

Value people who are different than you

Be okay with letting other people help you

Create a healthy discussion-oriented relationship

Challenge the status quo mindset when you feel it’s necessary

Why clarity and conviction beat charisma

Underdog leadership (the necessity of stacking the odds against yourself and your organization)

  • Take on incredible challenges

Lead through major change

  • Know your words matter, a lot
  • Sustain a focused and flexible effort
  • Understand the importance of freedom and independence
  • Retain your ability to choose
  • Acknowledge your fears and confront them
  • Be near the action

The importance of integrity

Avoid disastrous leadership styles (the chameleon, the mood ring leader, the polite dictator, etc.)

Leadership is not a label

The illusion of control