Becoming a Successful and Satisfied Leader: An Interview with Carol Kauffman

March 9, 2023 Vicki Stanford

One of the most difficult trials leaders face is making quick decisions during challenging high-stakes situations. Knowing how to handle these conditions can be a make-it-or-break-it circumstance for both the leader and the organization.

Blanchard LeaderChat podcast host, Chad Gordon, recently interviewed Carol Kauffman, celebrated leadership coach and coauthor of Real-Time Leadership: Find Your Winning Moves When the Stakes are High, to learn about her method for acting with confidence during critical times.

Describing how the book came to be, Kauffman said, “My coauthor, David Noble, and I were comparing what we were learning from our clients about what makes them successful and we started to develop a theory. Then we combined our knowledge of business and military strategy, psychological theories, and what we’ve learned from leadership literature to develop the MOVE model.”

The MOVE model acronym stands for mindfully alert, generate options, define your vantage point, and engage and effect change.

Kauffman then reveals a powerful framework leaders can use to decide how to act—or react—in the moment. First, she asks leaders to become more aware of their behaviors and intentions by focusing on three questions:

  • What do you want to do?
  • Who do you want to be?
  • How do you want to relate?

Second, she offers a set of actions leaders can take that will lead to optimal performance when confronted with an issue. She sums up those actions as the Four Stances.

  • Lean in – to actively engage
  • Lean back – to take time to reflect
  • Lean with – to consult with others
  • Don’t lean – to do nothing

Kauffman explains that leaders should practice utilizing these reflexes. It takes time to learn how to read situations and respond in the most effective way. “When something is thrown at you, make the space for choice. In those moments, making the space for choice helps you become wise and extraordinary in terms of being able to put people and purpose first.”

To hear more, access the podcast via this link.

About the Author

Vicki Stanford

Vicki Stanford is a marketing director for Blanchard®. She is the producer of the LeaderChat podcast and a contributing writer for the Ignite! newsletter.

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