Tag Archives: persuasive

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compelling leaders

Compelling Leaders Are Better Communicators

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What creates leaders? What creates followers? Do compelling leaders create better followers?

What does it mean to be a leader?

What is leadership?

Two questions that I often ask when helping teams build foundational skills for leadership.

We don’t always stop to think about it and people attempt to connect the dots of leadership with the concept of formal authority. The formal authority suggests that you’ve moved to the position of supervisor, manager, or director.

Formal authority matters. Yet, leadership is about so much more.

Formal authority is often granted to people with the highest credential, the person or persons who have been around the longest, or the ones that demonstrate great depth in technical skills.

Leadership is expected to ensue.

Does it?

Not always.

Are They Communicators?

There are terms often thrown around to indicate people who are compelling.

You can consider phrases like, “street smarts,” or “used car salesman.” Both of these are often quickly identified with someone who can navigate people situations with clever grace.

They create buy-in or can sell beach front property in South Dakota.

They are well skilled in persuasive communication. Most of their skill is developed informally, not through conventional education but through trial and error. They’re observers and they’ve learned what works and what doesn’t.

It is not so much natural as it is a learned skill.

They’ve developed communication skills that allow them to be convincing and compelling.

Compelling Leaders

Every once-in-a-while we encounter a compelling leader.

The compelling leader has a large tool box. He or she can stand toe-to-toe with the formal leaders, and can also create a strong following.

People rarely follow because they are told to do so. People follow because they are compelled to do so.

There is a phrase, a meme of sorts, “Great leaders don’t develop a belief in the leader, they develop a belief in the follower.”

The best news for any leader, formal or otherwise, is that the act of creating a compelling message is a learned skill. Being a great leader is an option. It’s not an appointed position.

Compelling leaders are great learners.

And great communicators.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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sales tactics

Sell Me This Pen And Other Sales Tactics

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“Sell me this pen,” is a line from the movie, Wolf of Wall Street (2013), starring Leonardo DiCaprio. If you haven’t seen it, I am happy to recommend it. What sales tactics are you using? We all sell, right?

Sell Me

Our telephone rings with an unknown caller appearing on the display, many will skip it.

An unsolicited or unknown email appears in our Inbox and we may just delete it.

A letter arrives in our postal system mail (snail mail) and when we don’t recognized it we may just pitch it in the trash.

On the other hand, we are often known as a society that loves to buy things. Many get direct deposits to their bank accounts from their employer, and likely just as many or more have automated bill pay for home utilities, loans, and other conveniences.

Buying Addicts

There are people who we may suggest are addicted to Amazon, Ebay, or their local shopping venues. It is easy to spend, and for some, it is an enjoyable experience.

If we like to buy, why are we so put off by the telephone calls, email messages, and letters?

For many, it may be that they are not comfortable with persuasive selling. It is the selling process that we’ve become adverse to because of snarky telemarketers, pressure to add a dollar for charity, or to get thirteen records for a penny when you commit to buying one a month at full price for a year (circa late 1970s or early 1980s).

Do we like to buy, shop, and spend our money? Of course, many people do, the difference is the sales process. When we feel pushed, we sense, “this will benefit them more than me,” and we often refuse the offer.

Sales Tactics

What if it were sold it differently? What if we were sold something that answered all the questions (Alexa, Google Home), and helped you achieve your goals, or made you look and feel great?

It seems to me that persuasive selling is worn out.

If so, success then must come from offering to help, not asking someone to buy.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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