Dan Coughlin’s free Leadership Idea Center

Here is a link to my free Leadership Idea Center: http://www.thecoughlincompany.com/e-learning.php. The topics are leadership & teamwork, strategy & execution, and innovation & branding. There are dozens of articles, audio recordings, and video messages. If you find practical value in the ideas, feel free to share the link with others. Take care and have a great day.

Book Recommendations, Part Three: Innovation and Branding


These books focus on creating more appropriate value for your customers (innovation) and strengthening the customers’ perception of value that they receive from your organization (branding).


Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo

The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley

The Innovator’s Solution by Clayton Christensen


Winning the Story Wars by Jonah Sachs

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout

It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For by Roy Spence with Haley Rushing

The Visionary

The Visionary is the leader who explains clearly what success will look like when it is achieved.

This was Walt Disney’s particular strength. In the making of the film, Snow White, he acted out the parts of Snow White, the evil queen, and the seven dwarfs so the animators could see what the final version was supposed to look like.

Two Questions for The Visionary Approach to Leadership

1. If your organization, or your part of the organization, is truly successful two years from now, what will that success look like? (Consider bringing a small group of people together to discuss what that picture of success would look like if your organization is truly successful.)

2. How can you explain to your employees what that success will look like two years from now for your organization or your part of the organization? (Can you add in detailed descriptions and explain it with enthusiasm so the picture of success becomes crystal clear for everyone? In doing so, you will help people see how their efforts today are moving toward making that vision a reality.)

The Researcher

The Researcher is the leader who studies a topic with great depth and shares the findings.

Jason Jennings has written several best-selling business books where he selected a single topic and then spent years researching that topic and then honed his findings down to a few relevant insights for readers.

Two Questions for The Researcher Approach to Leadership

1. Is there a topic in your organization or your industry that you can study and research in great depth?

2. How can you then come back to the people in your organization and share your findings in a way that will influence how they think and act in the future?


The Dual Responsibility of a Business Leader

A business leader has to effectively influence how other people think so they make decisions that improve results in a sustainable way.

However, that includes impacting both day-to-day business performance throughout the organization, but it also includes getting people to think about the structure of the business and the way it goes about systemically achieving results. You may have effective people working very hard in a system that is outdated or vastly ineffective, or you might have ineffective people making poor decisions in a system that has the capacity to thrive. Ideally you want to have both. Effective people working in an effective system or structure.

As you influence people in your organization get them to focus both on performing well within the existing system and thinking about how to improve the system. And then be open to their suggestions. Over time you want to influence great performances within an ever-improving system.