A program that doesn't assume you’re broken, facilitated by an expert who won't flatter you just because you hold a senior role.
The Fluent Leader is a 5-month program that provides you with support and learning and wisdom. It is a group program — with the option to participate privately — and it's not for everyone. The curriculum of the program is targeted specifically at CEOs and experienced Senior Executives.
Why The Fluent Leader? Why now?
I want to positively influence corporate leaders to think and act with full integrity and create legacies that reflect brightly on them and empower others to do the same.
That's my mission. But there's finite time for me to achieve this working 1:1 with my clients. So now it's time to also offer a group program — and I'll borrow here from one of my heroes:
'I dream about a great discussion with experts and ideas and diction and energy and honesty'
That's President Josiah Bartlet from The West Wing, played by Martin Sheen, and written by the Aaron Sorkin.
And what he's talking about are Fluent Leaders.
I have worked with Jacq for more than a decade. On some very big corporate transformations and day-to-day blocking and tackling. She is AAA. Gun barrel straight, very sharp and truly excellent in her mastery of communications. (She has an absolute passion for language and words.) Not daunted by very senior people, she is a great confidante and adviser. Jacq gets to the heart of the issue. She can frame the overall communications strategy and be on top of the tiniest detail. Finally, Jacq has a great sense of humour - much appreciated on late nights and long days. I couldn't recommend anyone more highly.
What is Fluent Leadership?
Fluent Leadership is the how and why behind communication, leadership & execution and where they intersect.
Demonstrating excellence in all aspects of your communications is the most important way for you to be able to establish credibility, manage expectations, influence your reputation and raise your profile.
It's easy to toss around the word leadership — but in truth leadership is much bigger and more nuanced than just one word.
I believe that how you do one thing is how you do everything. And the energy with which you show up, how you think, how you communicate with others, how you express your ideas and visions, how you create a following within the organisation, how and why you develop the strategy you do, and how you are able to follow-through that strategy — all of these influence your leadership.
What leadership looks like to others should be unified and solid: a 'brand' is a great way to think of it. Instantly recognisable and intrinsically associated with specific qualities and values.
So, on the inside it relates to, and draws on, every part of you, personally and professionally, and from the outside it can be seen and understood easily.
When individuals ascend to senior management or CEO, they can bump up against a common issue: what got you here doesn't necessarily fit anymore — you're in new territory now.
How willing you are to edit your skills and capabilities, letting go or delegating what no longer serves you and actively refining your toolkit, will influence how well you are able to identify your overarching priorities, execute against these priorities, and ensure accountability at all levels.
Working with Jacquie has been incredibly valuable for me at this stage in my career. She has extraordinary insights into the behaviours that are typical of the Board and Executive domains. And her theatre background is a rich source of energy/preparation techniques that complement her communication strategies to perform well in those environments. She is a pleasure to work with: candid, warm and very flexible in dealing with an unpredictable work schedule.
Managing Director, Apparel Manufacturing company
What does The Fluent Leader program involve?
The Fluent Leader program addresses the three circles of Fluent Leadership — communication, leadership and execution — through three modules: Reputation, Results-focus and Responsibility.
Each module explores a series of questions and provides you with the case studies, tools and techniques to help challenge your current thinking and explore new possibilities for yourself and the organisation. Our 1:1 calls build on this work and help you go deeper and craft and test your personal strategies and approaches.
Module 1: Reputation
- What do I stand for?
- What is my communications style?
- How do I demonstrate accountability?
- How do I model the values that we say we stand for?
- Do we model excellent communications in our executive team relationships?
Module 2: Results-focus
- What do I want to create for this business?
- What do we need to do?
- How does our strategy position us — internally and externally?
- When will we achieve it — and do we know what success looks like under changing external scenarios?
- Can we do it — what people, resources and capabilities do we need?
Module 3: Responsibility
- Who is accountable - and for what?
- How do we know our teams are 'match-fit'?
- How do we communicate our progress and challenges; our failures and our triumphs?
- How do we handle our accountability conversations - with the Board, within teams, 1:1?
- How do we renew our resolve?
Jacquie has been involved with business at the highest levels for two decades and knows how to seamlessly integrate communications awareness into the mix and add value quickly. In particular, she can coach and counsel those who are entering that space — whether that is senior management or Boards — to 'hit the ground running' and strengthen all of their skills to make a positive impression.
Alison Watkins, CEO, GrainCorp
Who is this program for?
The Fluent Leader is a program for CEOs and experienced Senior Executives — because they share 4 important characteristics.
- They have Discipline and Drive — they have a track record of setting goals and doing what it takes to achieve them.
- They have Visibility and Impact — when they adopt new practices and model positive behaviours there is a cascade effect in the organisation (in particular for their direct reports).
- They often have Competing and Complex Objectives and Priorities — their work life can feel chaotic, requiring every effort to stay on top and in control (and can mean massive levels of preoccupation and distraction even when they are not at work).
- They can feel Isolated — their success and their skills have brought them to a place that more often than not requires them to 'go it alone' (but it's been a while since they've been allowed to not to know the answer).
Benefits of the TFL Program — and our 1:1 relationship
For you, isolation is both desirable and a risk. You absolutely do need some dedicated time and space in your schedule – what we call 'Focus days' — to be able to think clearly, problem solve and develop ideas and initiatives. But you don't want to be isolated.
Too often at this level, you are — not physically perhaps but in terms of being able to think out loud in a risk free way. And out loud is where it all happens. Conversation is key. But you need to be able to have conversations that matter without someone attaching undue significance to what you say just because, for example, 'you're the CEO'.
There are 4 main benefits for this program for you.
1. Keep (or Regain) Your Sanity
- Free up time in your schedule by making sure your schedule reflects your real priorities
- Explore potentially inflammatory or delicate decisions first 'in theory' before they happen
- Have a safe place to vent, release, let go
- Learn how to manage and recharge your physical and mental energy
2. Set Clear and Confident Direction
- Plan your year in 90 day blocks (map, manage, respond)
- Understand how each and every communications event — informal, formal, internal, external — gives you an opportunity to create a cohesive leadership 'brand'
- Ensure you make your own professional development a priority
- Get done what must be done.
3. Get a Fresh and Real Perspective
- Work with someone who is able to be a mirror and 'play back' to you — and even question — your motives and rationale
- Explore issues and questions that are common to senior leadership roles openly and frankly
- Test and outline 'mission-critical' ideas and observations
- Work with someone who can remind you of what you stand for no matter what the context
4. Bring 'Applied Creativity' to Your Day, Your Work, Your Role
- Talk through, tease out and 'mind map' tough or awkward scenarios
- Work with someone who can suggest other (relevant, appropriate) ways of seeing, or responding to, a situation
- Enjoy the company of like-minded peers in informal settings and sharing small 'tweaks' and positive tips that you can easily bring into your world
Jacquie’s years of experience working with senior corporates, as well as her ability to very quickly ‘get up to speed’ with the project or issue at hand, means that our discussions get specific very quickly.
She is not just an accomplished corporate communications specialist, she is also a truth-teller and her feedback and guidance is always direct and spot-on.’
Managing Partner, Global Management Consultancy, Asia
What does your 2012 look like?
- Would you like to free up time and have less chaos in your world?
- Would you like to build a strong leadership brand — within your organisation, in the industry, in the wider community?
- Would you like the reputation and track record to earn a higher salary?
- Would you like to see more productive and cleaner behaviours and practices in your direct reports?
- Would you like to be more eloquent — especially in difficult-yet-critical conversations and meetings?
- Would you like to build a stronger 'partner' relationship with your CEO or Chair?
- Would you like to create a legacy?
How can you get these kinds of results in your 2012?
Commit fully to grow and develop, to think deeply and explore, and to continue to learn and contribute. No commitment, no success.
One way you can hold to this commitment is to take part in The Fluent Leader 2012.