Slideshow: Leadership and Succession Development

I have recently started utilizing my Slideshow account in which you can follow me here for all my latest updates. My latest slideshow that I have uploaded goes over a popular topic of leadership and succession development. With this slideshow, I focus on the pharma industry, however many of the topics and information in the powerpoint, can be applied to all industries as well. The slideshow goes in-depth into what succession development is, and how we do it. There are also many examples and diagrams I’ve used for previous clients (leadership pipelines and engagement strategies, etc.). Hopefully you can take away a lot of valuable information, and don’t forget to follow me on SlideShare!

Leland Sandler Describes the Importance of Systems Thinking for Executives

I posted a video last week about how important it is for Executives to think in a systematic manner. If you watch the video below, I talk about why it’s as crucial as ever in the complex and fast-paced world we live in. In general, senior leadership and executives need to adjust their mental approach in order to reach full potential for their business. Whether in a time of hardship or not, executives need to keep this in mind. As always, if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out my YouTube channel and subscribe for more upcoming and relevant content.





Create a Sustainable Company Culture

As an executive advisor, one thing I help my clients achieve is helping create a long-term and permanent solution in attaining a healthy company culture. This isn’t an easy thing to do. As you watch the video below, I explain four principles on how companies can achieve their optimal culture and environment.

  1. In order to be excellent, we need to know whats true
  2. By being radically truthful and transparent, we build meaningful work and meaningful relationships
  3. We value independent thinking and innovation, recognizing that independent thinking generates disagreement, and innovation requires making mistakes
  4. Create and support a culture in which it is OK to make mistakes, but unacceptable not to identify, analyze, and learn from them

Feel free to watch my video below and let me know what you think. I will continue to regularly upload videos to my YouTube channel, so if you haven’t yet, be sure to subscribe to get updated on my latest uploaded videos.


What Makes a Quality Executive Advisor?

I get asked this question a lot. Check out my latest video on what I believe makes a quality Executive Advisor. The main keys include establishing a personal context for business (from operations, to marketing to finance), not just for the understanding of this world, but to better understand what people go through and what it is like to be in their shoes in addition to focusing on your own development as an individual in order to be effective with others.

For more related videos, subscribe to my channel here.

How the Ladder of Inference Works as a Key Executive Advising Tool

As an executive advisor, I am always searching for new and innovative ways to help professionals excel in the business world by enhancing their communication and leadership skills. At the Sandler Group, we use a number of tools to help our clients master these skills and effectively interact with other professionals. One of our most valuable tools is called the Ladder of Inference.

The Ladder of Inference is a tool that demonstrates to an individual how inefficient their thinking is. When an individual takes in information, they often unknowingly observe an incomplete reality based on their preexisting assumptions and past experiences. They filter the information without thought or consideration and draw conclusions based on their interpreted facts and assumptions. In this way individuals often develop beliefs based on these assumptions and take action that may seem right, but could be disastrous.

So what happens?  In today’s business world, these self-generated beliefs remain largely untested. This often leads to a loss in ability to achieve great results. A Ladder of Inference Leland Sandlerbusiness’ chance of succeeding drastically weakens when a group or individual has the mindset that:

-Their beliefs are the truth

-The truth is obvious

-Their beliefs are based on real data

-The data they select is always the real data

The Ladder of Inference is a tool that works to prevent this way of thinking by getting individuals to “catch themselves” before they go too far down their road of personal assumptions.

There are two types of skills that play a key role in helping individuals overcome these inaccurate assumptions: reflective thinking and inquiry. Reflective thinking involves slowing down the thinking process in order to become more aware of how we are reaching our conclusions and assumptions, and then sharing that thinking. Inquiry involves engaging in conversations where we can openly share views, share assumptions, and ask for more information about one another’s point of view.  The goal is really understand what a person is saying and how their thinking makes sense to them.

Working with the Ladder of Inference will help professionals become better team members, communicators, and leaders. It will help businesses implement strategies that are the most effective for everyone involved. By using the ladder of inference we engage our reality most efficiently; we avoid conflict; we avoid misunderstanding, and we get great results.

Be At Cause, Not At Effect

Copy of Lateral Leadership - Leland SandlerWhen put simply, there are two ways to go about handling any given situation. You can choose to take action and have a say in the outcome or, you can choose to sit back and wait for the results to unfold themselves. In this way, you can either choose to be part of the cause (at cause) or part of the effect (at effect).

In order to make a prominent stand in the business world, one must always look to be at cause. Managers and business leaders must ask questions like, “What are we going to make happen today? What do we want to create? And how are we going to do it?” They must focus on what they are going to make happen rather than what may happen to them. This demonstrates great character and leadership that other employees will look up to and follow.

Being at cause is not only important for upper level managers and executives, it is also crucial for those in the early stages of establishing a career going on interviews. Consider a situation where two people are interviewing for a job. Both individuals have the necessary credentials and are well qualified for the role. One individual takes on the interview with the point of view that the result will reflect entirely on their own performance. Whether or not they get the job depends on how they choose to present and project themselves. This individual takes full responsibility for the interview’s outcome, feeling very confident and in control.

The second individual, however, approaches the interview much differently. In their mindset, they know they will do the best they can, but the decision is ultimately based on the interviewer’s thoughts and opinions of them as well as how well the other candidates performed. This individual does not believe they have control over their own interview, making them feel less confident and less likely to succeed.

In my experience as an executive advisor, leaders at cause have a much greater chance of building a long and successful career in a field of his or her choice. Individuals that are able to take control of any given situation make a great fit for leadership positions such as managers, senior executives, and even CEOs.