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Leading on Purpose: The Art of Facilitative Leadership

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Managers are vanguards of change because they are the focal point for introducing new ideas, new products, and new services into the environment. Vanguards being the first in essentially function as lightning rods for the natural resistance to change hardwired into our humanity. Effective change management skills are the hallmark of the highly effective manager, regardless of industry, country, or culture.

The common denominator in this natural resistance to change is people who resist for a number of reasons—because they don’t understand, they don’t agree, or they possibly don’t care. Managers who understand the human dynamics behind change know that those who don’t understand need to be informed, those who don’t agree need to be listened to, and those who don’t care need to be inspired. Humans are complex. Resistance can materialize from differences in personality and culture and ultimately because of plain human nature. Pushing a team to work consistent 12-hour days no doubt “sows the seeds of discontent” that will inconveniently bubble up at a most inopportune time.

Transforming this resistance into a supportive mindset without resorting to positional power is the simple definition of facilitative leadership. When your team or stakeholder group agrees to be advocates for your leadership and your vision, you have a much greater chance to optimize the expected outcomes for all stakeholders. The operative words in the preceding sentence are “all stakeholders.” Facilitative leadership is predicated on the belief that getting results at the expense of the team’s mental and emotional wellbeing is not an acceptable way to lead.

Imagine a team that believes there is no problem it cannot solve. Imagine a team that cares as much about the competing demands as the project manager does and consistently demonstrates its commitment through word and deed. Imagine a team that embraces conflict and that is unafraid to call out one another on process and performance expectations. Imagine a team that openly states their advocacy for you as a leader and your vision of the desired outcome. This is the outcome or impact of facilitative leadership. This workshop will provide you with insight, tools, and techniques on how to build this commitment and collaborative capital for which every organization is hungry.


During this workshop, you will learn:

  1. How the complexity of being human plays a significant role in effective leadership and simple strategies for treating leadership more as a decision and less of a position
  2. How evolution has hardwired our brains to think on autopilot, using mindsets we often don’t know about to make decisions we don't control.
  3. Techniques and tools for transforming resistance into advocacy by learning how to assess the key elements that drive peak performance both in yourself and your stakeholders
  4. Key facilitation knowledge and skills that provide the foundation for sustaining key success elements for teams—trust, leverage, and growth.
  5. A five-step Leading on Purpose process that can help you more effectively mobilize your team toward a shared purpose and roadmap
  6. How to transform your team by helping it learn to think and lead on purpose and create the mindset that there is no problem or adversity it cannot solve.
  7. How to use the TEAM approach to help others integrate facilitation principles into their leadership philosophy
  8. An approach to assessing your current leadership legacy and, more important, building a blueprint for your leadership legacy in the future



This course is targeted at those in a leadership position and those who aspire to leadership positions.


There is no prerequisite for this course. It functions as a stand-alone course.


You will receive a course binder containing copies of presentation slides and handouts.


Introduction and Context

  • The environment and the velocity of change.
  • Human Design Is Complex—personality, culture, human nature.
  • Compliance as opposed to commitment.
  • Leadership is about influence and social skills.
  • Snowman Model—mindset, skill set, tool set.


Acknowledge Leadership Reality

  • A decision, not a position.
  • The past, the present, and future.
  • Authentic influence creates value.
  • Leaders manage meaning.
  • The ingredients for peak performance made simple.
  • Choosing your mindset—the absence of choice is still a choice.


Mobilize Around a Five-Step Process

  • Ingredients, process, and tools:
    1. Frame your purpose.
    2. Facilitate a constructive environment.
    3. Transform resistance into advocacy.
    4. Build the capacity for self-management.
    5. Model the way.
  • Practical application:
    • To participant situations.
    • To industry situations.


Your Leadership Legacy Tells the Story

  • Elements of a leadership legacy.
  • Optimizing outcomes for all stakeholders.
  • Integrating leadership framework with management discipline.
  • Your leadership legacy to date—desired or undesired?
  • Well-known leadership legacies that inspire or not!
  • Practical application—what do you want your legacy to look like?


Making Leading on Purpose (LOP) a TEAM Game

  • Concept:
    • Teach It.
    • Expect It.
    • Anchor It.
    • Model It.
  • Suggested application of the job aid and templates.


Recap and Next Steps

  • Progress reporting on personal objectives and challenges.
  • Post workshop reinforcement game plans.
  • Recommended additional reading from the Thinking on Purpose book.


course info

Course ID: PX-1610
Course Level: Intermediate
Duration: 1 day

upcoming sessions

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PMI Talent TriangleThe following table provides the breakdown of the professional development units (PDUs) for this course aligned with the PMI Talent TriangleTM.

  Tech. Ldrshp. Strat. & Bus.
PMP 0 7 0
PgMP 0 7 0
PfMP 0 7 0
PMI-ACP 0 7 0
PMI-SP 0 7 0
PMI-RMP 0 7 0
PMI-PBA 0 7 0

The three columns in the above table are Technical Project Management, Leadership, and Strategic & Business Management.

Other Credits

Other professional (re)certification credits are available, including:

  • Certified Business Analyst Professionals (CBAPs) earn 7CDUs (Category 2B)
  • Certified Software Quality Engineers (CSQEs) earn 1 RU
  • CIPS Information Systems Professionals (ISPs) earn 7 Learning Credits
  • CIPS Information Technology Certified Professional (ITCPs) earn 7 Learning Credits