When it comes to business growth, there’s no real hack, unless you’re talking about the ability to stay calm, cool, and collected in the midst of crisis.
I know… that doesn’t feel like a hack, does it?
I thought so too before I read Real-Time Leadership: Find Your Winning Moves When the Stakes Are High, by David Noble and Carol Kauffman.
I just closed the cover of this amazing book, and I couldn’t wait to write my review. Let me introduce this dynamic duo, and then I’ll explain why you absolutely need this book to uplevel your leadership skills.
About the Authors
Noble and Kauffman are accidental partners in leadership coaching. They were consulting with the same Fortune 100 energy company, Kauffman with the CEO and Noble with the CEO’s team, when they realized they could make a deeper impact working together.
They joined forces, each bringing their own strengths to the table, and the rest is history!
Noble has more than two decades of global experience advising CEOs, their teams, and major investors on leadership and strategy, serving as a top executive. He was named by Thinkers50 as one of the world’s top coaches.
Kauffman is an internationally recognized leader in coaching, having clocked more than 40,000 hours working with global CEOs and their teams. She was named the number one leadership coach by Marshall Goldsmith. She’s also an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, a visiting professor at Henley BUsiness School, and serves as senior leadership adviser at Egon Zehnder.
While they continue to work with their own clients, Noble and Kauffman have pooled their experience in psychology, strategy, and operating roles to craft the MOVE framework presented in Real-Time Leadership.
About the Book
Real-Time Leadership isn’t a book you read, place on the shelf, and forget. It’s the book you keep on your desk for quick reference whenever you need to figure out your next move.
When the stakes are high, this is your playbook for success.
Real-Time Leadership walks you through the leadership framework Noble and Kauffman use in their coaching practices. They start with a high-level overview, and then unpack it one step at a time, including stories and examples to help you internalize the process.
The framework, while simple, is complex. You’ll find yourself flipping back to previous chapters to clarify this point or that. But about half-way through the book, you’ll start to see how all the pieces fit together.
You’ll feel, remarkably, as if you’re in the room yourself, experiencing executive coaching at its best. And you’ll start to realize where you can adjust your approach for better outcomes.
One of the things I like about this book is that it doesn’t just lay out the MOVE framework or tell inspirational stories and leave you to figure out how to implement them. The point isn’t to promote the authors’ coaching — though it does that incredibly well. The point is to equip you to lead like the world’s best CEOs, without necessarily needing a coach.
As you read, you’ll learn the framework, how to apply it in high-stakes situations, and how to adapt it to your unique circumstances.
As you might guess, this isn’t a book you’ll curl up with on a lazy day. It’s deep, and you need to think about how its lessons apply to you, your natural way of showing up as a leader, and your strengths or weaknesses.
But as you begin to understand the process, you’re going to feel energized and excited. Whatever problems you’re facing won’t feel as scary. You’ll feel more confident that you can find a way through them. And you’re going to know how to get your team on board.
Another thing I love about this book is its emphasis on the soft skills of leadership.
“What you emanate as a leader… creates a ripple effect in your environment. You can be a role model, inspiring others to be even better people, increasing your followership as you engage and effect change.”
As the authors tell us repeatedly, leadership isn’t one-dimensional. Not only do you need to be able to overcome external challenges, you need to be able to handle internal and interpersonal challenges as well.
In fact, Noble and Kauffman place more emphasis on these other dimensions.
“Extraordinary leaders are extraordinary humans…. For us, the leaders who are extraordinary humans focus first on internal and interpersonal priorities.”
Synchronicity is a signal to me that I’m in the right place. I picked up this book because of the subtitle: Find Your Winning Moves When the Stakes Are High. With new technologies disrupting my business and a recession on the near horizon, the stakes are high as I decide how we’ll move forward to drive growth.
I was only a few chapters in when I realized that this was the right book at the right moment for me. It told me exactly what I need to do to create options and set priorities. It even helped me find new ways of showing up so I can lead more effectively.
At first, the sheer scope of the MOVE framework might feel overwhelming. But as you continue reading, you’ll connect the dots and see how it applies to your own high-stakes situations… your projects… your tough decisions.
And you’re going to understand, step-by-step, what your next moves need to be.
If you’re a solopreneur or individual contributor, this book may be overkill for you. But if you’re a leader at any level, it will exponentially improve your practice.
I now have a playbook for reading situations, knowing my options, and leading my team to success. It’s all about making the right MOVEs.
I highly recommend Real-Time Leadership. For anyone in leadership, this book is a MUST READ.