"Frank's skill in asking the right questions is un-mistakable, and is at the core of his leadership philosophy.

The power of these questions cannot be underestimated, especially if you want to lead and not manage."
—John Cave
Westhaven Worldwide Logistics

For 36 years author and leadership consultant Frank Kanu has supported top managers and executives at Fortune 500 companies including Crown Holdings, IBM, and Time Warner to improve success ratios, productivity, ROI and ROE.

STope Telling... Start Leading!

How to Manage People by Asking Questions

» Flashback: a warm summer night, almost twenty years ago. My best friend—financial director of a European trust—and I were drinking coffee and philosophizing about business.

At one point he makes a statement that changes the mood and makes me pause:

"People are born either as managers or as worker bees."


Is my friend right? Are leaders really born, not made?

Is it true that some of those skills can never be learned and you can't become a better leader than you are right now?

Don't history and commonsense both tell us that this is simply not true. Ronald Reagan became President when he was 70. If he was a born leader, wouldn't this have happened much sooner?

"Management is nothing more than motivating other people."
Lee Iacocca

"I can do that!" many will answer. "I can motivate others." But can they?

In 2004 Henry Mintzberg famously asked for "Managers, not MBAs" in his book of the same name. In May 2005 the Harvard Business Review published "How Business Schools Lost Their Way," Warren Bennis' and James O'Toole's take on managers failing because of the theoretical-centered education provided by most top business schools.

Is there really anything new? Can any management guru teach you something that hasn't yet been discovered and put into practice?


In fact, when you encounter "experts" who claim
they’ve discovered something new, my advice is, RUN !

The truth is that it’s all about existing knowledge presented in new ways. More than that, it’s about teaching knowledge in ways the student understands—then uses.

Everyone who teaches—and good managers do teach their employees—ought to be able to recognize quickly how well the student is absorbing the material being taught, and how to adjust the flow of information to each student's needs.

Among the essential components for a successful teaching experience are high standards and expectations, ongoing feedback, and a respectful dynamic that engages both teacher and student.

The problem is that too often the PROCESS becomes the focus instead of the RESULTS. How often have you sat in a meeting that made a mountain of a relatively simple agenda?

  1. In today's hyper fast world, managers need to stay ahead of the game. If they want to remain an asset to the company—they need to become leaders. To do this they have to learn how to use a wider and more complex array of tools. Just having more tools creates improvements; remember the old adage, "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." A leader chooses the best tool to meet each specific situation.
  2. A successful leader offers employees the support, encouragement, and resources necessary to get the job done. NO true LEADER wants to be a PUPPET MASTER. Support and encouragement are important elements of implementing change. The successful leader understands that change happens when employees get positive reinforcement along with the proper tools.
  3. The leader's primary duty is to strike a balance between the goals of the business and the expectations of the employees. We all know managers who only live on one side of the rope—hardliners who figuratively walk over bodies when it's to their advantage, or sympathizers who listen to every side of an argument but fail to act decisively based on what they're hearing. One-dimensional managers like these almost never win the confidence or respect of their employees.

Are You a Manager or a Leader?

If you don't know—you're almost certainly managing.

There is a great difference between a typical manager and a leader.

Leadership Consulting is very confidential.

Turning Readers Into Leaders

Frank's book turns readers into leaders using the same proven techniques he's taught to senior executives at Fortune 500 companies including IBM, Monster.com and AOL/TimeWarner, over the past two decades.

By asking simple questions Frank, guides readers through a re-exploration of business processes to help you reconnect with your vision. More importantly, he shows you how to realize that vision through actionable steps that lead to dramatic results.

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