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Unleashing Leadership Potential: An Interview with Scott Clancy

2 min read

In today’s business environment, leadership has become an invaluable attribute that can herald the success or failure of a company. One person who knows a thing or two about leadership is Scott Clancy, a man who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force for 37 years and advanced to become a Major General. The host of The Deep Wealth Podcast, Jeffrey Feldberg, chats with Scott about his unique approach to leadership and how it can apply to the business world.

From the Military to Business World

In his career, Scott has coped with and managed diverse contexts – from piloting helicopters to coaching basketball, directing operations at NORAD to writing the book “Developing Coaching Leaders”. His experiences have taught him that leadership is a craft that can be honed and improved, regardless of the context or environment.

One key lesson Scott shared is the power of emotional trust in leadership. In the military, trust determines whether soldiers will follow orders, even when their lives are on the line. In business, it determines the loyalty and resilience of the team. Building emotional trust, according to Scott, involves elevating the relational aspect of leadership and developing your team within the organization.

Defining Leadership According to Scott Clancy

In his book “Developing Coaching Leaders,” he proposes that a leader is anyone who strives to direct a team toward identified goals, a paradigm that applies across various domains, including business and military contexts. However, the capacity to manage or supervise is not equivalent to leading; such functions are tools to effective leadership.

When anyone can potentially lead a team toward a shared goal, managing becomes a function or a set of skills that is utilized to lead effectively. “You have to lead yourself and remember that you’re always a member of a larger team or community,” Clancy advised.

But coaching involves more dialogue, collaboration, and personal growth. Scott highlights that any leader can, and should, wear the hat of a coach. This means taking time to mentor, encourage, and develop those you lead, a principle that applies in any leadership setting, not just in sports or the military.

Realizing Better Leadership

When asked what advice he would give to leaders who feel they’re owed respect just because of their titles, Scott advises against using positional authority. Instead, one should focus on forming personal connections with team members, aligning them with the mission of the company, and actively listening to understand, not just reply.

Scott presents a five-step strategy to ignite team creativity, which includes setting the stage for thinking big, using keywords, seeking collaboration, devolving responsibility, and scheduling updates with no agenda. He emphasizes that the world needs better leaders and it’s our duty as entrepreneurs and business owners to rise to that challenge.

In any leadership position, we can impact, change, and be agents of transformation. What it takes is a willingness to learn, be self-aware, and put our egos aside for the good of the team. Scott Clancy’s insights remind us that leading is not just about issuing commands, but about fostering relationships, building trust, and guiding our teams towards the fulfillment of common goals.

Igniting an Innovative Culture in Your Team: Scott Clancy’s Five-Step Rule

Once trust has been established and goals have been defined, the leader can proceed to ignite innovation and creativity within the team. Scott Clancy has expounded a five-step rule to trigger the creativity of a team:

  1. Set the Stage: Encourage your team to dream big and do not limit their capacities.
  2. Use Keywords and Open-ended Questions: Anchor the team with essential values that hold the vision together.
  3. Seek Collaboration: Engage experts and folks from other teams for fresh and integrated ideas.
  4. Devolve Responsibility: Allow others to lead and display their leadership competence.
  5. Schedule Regular Updates: Maintain the momentum of the creative process without imposing targets or expected outputs.

Conclusion

So, whether you’re serving in the military, running a corporation, or coaching a local sports team, Scott’s experiences and perceptions of leadership serve as a valuable guide in our quest to become better leaders. Unleashing the leadership potential within us is not just about personal advancement; it’s about nurturing teams, fulfilling collective missions, and advancing our companies and communities.

Remember, a great leader is not necessarily the person with the highest rank or the most commanding voice, but the one who can inspire, motivate, and guide their team towards realizing their vision.

“Leadership and coaching are emotional trust relationships,” as Scott sums it up. If we understand this and translate it into our leadership style, we open new doors for growth and achievement for ourselves and those we lead.

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