What is Direct Leadership®?

Direct Leadership® is a workshop and a material that teaches the DELIVERABLES of direct and everyday leadership. Direct Leadership® defined as the multi-facetted value proposition that leaders must “produce” on a day-to-day in his/her interaction with direct reports.

This PRAGMATIC and INNOVATIVE approach to leadership gives participants a solid framework to ensure all facets of everyday leadership are taken into account. Additionally, Direct Leadership® ensures that the many daily leadership opportunities are caught and dealt with rather than going lost or unnoticed. Something that has long ago proven difficult when leaders are measured on against standards defined by competencies or personalities.

The origin of the material is the author’s 20+ years of experience in the field of leadership development. Having seen numerous programs fail to produce the desired improvements in leadership performance, Karin Zastrow realized that an approach focusing on the deliverables of leadership was needed, because with deliverables in focus many things are easy that have proven difficult with approaches that revolve exclusively around competencies or personalities. It is difficult to have an open, honest dialogue when there is a risk of criticizing a colleague’s competence or personality. Instead the deliverables approach allows for a no-blame/no-guilt matter-of-fact conversation about leadership performance and measures that should be taken across all organizational levels: among members of a leadership team, between leaders and their bosses, between leaders and their employees. A Direct Leadership® workshop initially teaches the framework: the 7 ROLES, the 4 STYLES, how they combine into the Direct Leadership matrix model – as well as the notion of LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES. All of which together constitutes the models description of leadership deliverables. During this phase references are made to the world of sports, for instance the discipline of catching the leadership opportunities is compared to the ball field behaviors. This allows both trainers and participants to view their work as a game in which you need to both know the rules and be on your toes, which has proven to be highly motivating.

In the initial phase of the workshop, participants will learn a new language and a way to notice, conceptualize and take action on the everyday occurrences that call for their leadership interventions. From this point, the workshop shifts gear and now zooms in on practicing the new language and new skills. The first step to putting theory into practice is done by means of a leadership simulator in the shape of a board game in which participants take turns at catching a set of authentic leadership opportunities and acting upon them. This is followed by a phase, where participants deepen their understanding of the concepts and practices as they apply the model and their Direct Leadership Mastery Test scores to their own examples and challenges. (This is the phase that may vary depending on whether the workshop runs over 2 or 3 days). Finally participants summarize their learning into individual leadership development plans directly linked to the leadership deliverables perspective and the roles/styles matrix model.