Inspire Passion Through Leadership
Monte Williams knows his purpose in life is to add value to the lives of others. His mission in life is to inspire passion through the leadership of self and others. To that end, he is the CEO and Founder of ALEU | The Leadership Development Company. Their aim is to help professionals to lead themselves more effectively so they can add the most value to their companies. Monte engages, empowers, and coaches the world’s best leaders on how to build the high performing teams, scalable organisational structures, and ensure their workforce is prepared to deliver best-in-class experiences through every touchpoint of the customer journey while consistently identifying new ways to create efficiencies at scale in a sustainable way.
Monte believes that every problem in the world can be solved through investment in people.
He is an executive coach accredited with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and an international public speaker. Monte is also an author and recently released a book entitled Get In The C.A.R.| The Keys To Sustainable Leadership based on his TEDx Talk. He lives in New Jersey, with his wife Jessica and two sons Logan & Magnus.
Can you tell us a bit about the keys to sustainable leadership you talked about in your TEDx Talk?
I believe that leadership can be simplified into a set of finite, intangible values that produce tangible, sustainable results. Those values spell the acronym C.A.R. which is why the TEDx talk is entitled Get In The C.A.R.| The Keys To Sustainable Leadership.
The first value is courage. Just as a car cannot move without an engine, we as leaders, cannot move through our journey without courage. Courage is the engine that drives all of our actions. As a leader, courage is the ability to take the necessary action within oneself to impact the most favourable change in one’s environment (business or personal).
The second value is agility. Just as a car cannot manoeuvre the road without being able to steer, we as leaders, cannot manoeuvre through our journey without agility. Agility is the steering that allows us to navigate accurately. When we as leaders can be agile enough to respond to real-life stimuli, objectively, and still maintain our focus on the greater goal, we exponentially increase the probability of achieving that goal, regardless of what it is.
The third and final value is resilience. Just as a car cannot reach its destination if it can’t last the duration of the trip, we as leaders, cannot reach the destination of our journey without resilience. Resilience is the toughness to weather difficult environments while remaining acutely focused on the desired result long enough to achieve it. Often times the difference between those that succeed, (however you define success) and those that fail is that those that succeed just held out a little longer. They were so acutely focused on achieving their desired result that there was a blunt refusal to compromise their efforts.
Leadership is a journey where the destination is best defined by the traveller. So regardless of where you’re headed, if you practice the values of courage, agility and resilience not only will you reach your destination, but you will inspire the passion in others to do the same.
How can you help leaders achieve this?
I help leaders achieve this by showing them how to lead themselves in a more effective way. All leaders can achieve the keys to sustainable leadership if they are willing to take the journey inward, deep within themselves. During the process, my expertise is highlighted by serving as a guide through the introspective journey of self-discovery. I use experiences that already exist in their lives as data points of the foundational framework for how they can lead themselves in a more effective way. Once they understand how to do this consistently, they can add more value to their lives and to all people they encounter.
Why is it beneficial for leaders to work with a coach?
There is a saying that goes “you don’t know what you don’t know”. As humans, we all have blind spots that limit us in one way or another. The reason why it is beneficial to work with a coach is because they help to remove the limitations and blockers that hold us back from being the best versions of ourselves and living the most fulfilling lives we can. Coaches accomplish this in the following four ways:
- Awareness – They create awareness around your blind spots.
- Investigation – They help you investigate whether you want to improve some of the opportunities that were found in your blind spots.
- Motivation – They motivate you to develop an action plan on how to achieve that improvement.
- Partnership – They partner with you on implementing a system of accountability that is long term and self-sustaining.
What are the key benefits they expect after working with you?
My clients experience a myriad of benefits after working with me despite whether the client is an individual or a corporation. Those benefits include but are not limited to the following:
Financial Gain – On average, my individual clients experience a 40% – 50% increase in their salary within the 1st 6-9 months of our partnership. My corporate clients report a 20% – 25% increase in bottom-line revenue due to the investment made into their employees of over the same time frame.
Increased Engagement, Efficiency & Productivity – My corporate clients experience a 25% – 30% increase in efficiency and productivity within the first six months of our partnership. They also report a 15% – 20% increase in employee engagement and satisfaction which has led to decreased attrition and greater overall cost savings.
More Heightened Awareness – All clients report more heightened awareness around how they can lead themselves and their businesses more effectively. Since I believe that one of the signs of great leadership is not how well something can work while you are there, but rather how well something can work without you; all clients are left with an actionable framework to repeat the success we’ve achieved together far after our partnership has ended.
Renewed Sense of Purpose & Fulfillment – After working with me, all clients report a renewed sense of purpose and fulfilment for themselves and their businesses. The best part is that over time, this permeates throughout all aspects of their lives.
Tell us a little bit about your coaching methods.
I believe that everything we need to reach the desired destination of our leadership journey perpetually exists within us or has already been provided through the experiences of one another. As a result, my coaching methods are centred around creating awareness and perspective, managing energy and emotion, removing success blockers and implementing a sustainable system of accountability. This is accomplished through conducting a series of assessments, exercises and coaching sessions that help create alignment within oneself that cause tangible, positive change in all aspects of their lives.
What are your top tips for being a successful leader?
You can be a successful leader if you strive to L.E.A.D. your talent instead of managing them. Often times the terms management and leadership are interchangeably used incorrectly. We should lead people and manage processes, not vice versa. People were never meant to be managed. We are not machines. We have thoughts and emotions that must be considered before our talents can be optimised. The ability to connect with your employees on a human level will determine your effectiveness as a leader. Here are 4 tips on how to L.E.A.D. your people in a way that is mutually beneficially for them and the organisation.
Tip # 1 – Listen
Employees know more than we give them credit for knowing. There is value in seeking to understand their perspective. Ask questions about things that matter to you and the business, and then listen to their feedback with an open mind. The goal isn’t to judge what they are saying as right or wrong, but rather to gain another perspective to be considered as you work towards finding a solution. In addition, listening also humanises you as a leader. It sends the message that you are approachable, open, and dedicated to doing things the best way – not your way.
Tip #2 – Educate
Educate your people early and often. Teach them what you know, not only as it pertains to their jobs but also as it pertains to their career journeys. Focus on behaviours that will yield the business results. The goal of this step is to make certain that they understand why particular actions are being taken – they do not have to agree. It is important to make that distinction. We will never get all employees to agree with every directive the company has, so attempting to do so is an exercise in futility. However, looking to reach a point of understanding allows our employees to process the directive in their own time, on their own terms, which positions them in a place of “empowerment to choose” rather than being “forced to do”.
Tip #3 – Adapt
As the needs of your organisation change as do the needs of your employees. It is important for you to consistently adapt to those changes. They may come in the form of communication preferences, career trajectory, type of leadership needed, and a plethora of other things. Regardless of what form the change appears, the goal is to adapt in a way that continues to inspire your employees to strive
towards the strategic objectives of the organisation. It’s important to note that you can never change a person or employee, you can only inspire them to change themselves. Your ability to adapt is the catalyst for their inspiration to change.
Tip #4 – Demonstrate
The idea of “do as I say, not as I do”, is not effective when leading talent. All behaviours that you’d like to see in your employees must be demonstrated by you first. Your demonstration will increase the
likelihood of their adoption. For example, if you are interested in implementing a system of accountability for performance management, it is imperative that you show your employees how you are holding yourself accountable when you fail to perform. This action sends the message that you are part of the team, not above it, which is essential for creating a strong team culture.
How can this be achieved while living a happy and fulfilled life outside of work?
Always strive to keep yourself inspired as a person and you will live a happy and fulfilled life outside of work. Inspirational people have an exceptional ability to lead themselves effectively while focusing on the greater good, which inspires the passion in others to do the same. Their presence in our lives plants the seed thought of “I can do more and be better”. As a result, we raise the expectations that we have of ourselves, which is the essence of what makes these leaders so inspirational.
The way to keep yourself inspired is by focusing on continuously improving in the areas that you need to develop, then sharing your journey for benefit of others. By providing transparency of the failures and successes of their experience, you create a safe space for people to identify with you. Through this identification, a connection is built such that, as the leader shares the journey of continuous improvement, it strengthens the belief that continuous improvement is possible for the person being led. The idea of the possibility is what sparks the inspiration.
Always remember that inspiration lives at the core of your most vulnerable self. When allowing your true authenticity to be seen, it creates the greatest amount of synergy, which has universal benefits for all of us.