What Do You Buy When You Sign-On for Leadership Development?

What do you think you are buying when you purchase perfume, a car, or a vacation package to Hawaii? And, what is the best reason to purchase a leadership enhancement program?

Can you sell leadership?

Did you know that at least 89 percent of employees surveyed worldwide have strong preferences about leadership qualities? Being authentic and accountable are two of the most important aspects of leaders they respect.

In addition, question the executive staff, and they desire a workplace culture with a base of diversity and inclusion. They want to tell the truth without the fear of revenge or retribution from their leader.

One more survey response indicates a business culture that includes occasional celebrations makes them feel acknowledged and appreciated.

Consequently, this made me curious. I did my own survey and asked the following question: What are you really buying when you join a leadership development course?

Imagine working in an A-Plus culture of connectedness.

As a result, there were many different responses. They all boiled down to the following. You can’t buy or even ‘sell’ leadership; you do it!

However, I’m not sure that’s exactly right.

Consequently, I put the question to the test. I decided to look at various products and decipher what the underlying message is really about.

Therefore, consider that Nike is selling the concept of winning. Estee Lauder is selling romance. Put the sweet taste of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in your mouth you get fun and political consciousness.

Further, I presented this concept to our CEO coaches. We had a great discussion and came up with some fascinating ideas I want to share with you.

What do you buy when you purchase a product?

The conversations were about what different brands sell. We talked about the ‘meta-message.’ Ultimately, we explored what the Total Leadership Connections program sells. What are we selling, along with best practices for executive leadership development.

Firstly, We started with easy ones like perfume. Along with the good smell of roses, vanilla, or sandalwood, what are you buying? What happens when you put a touch of perfume behind your ears?

You can smell memories through the perfume scent.

Moreover, what fragrance companies actually sell is emotions and memories.

In addition, research shows that there is a real physical connection between scent and memory. First and foremost, smells link biologically to our emotions.

Did you know the limbic system is where much of our emotional life plays out? It is crucial for long-term memories in our brains?

Therefore, what you buy has a link to things that happened long ago.

More about perfume? Watch the Netflix series about Halston and how his perfume brand became a best seller.

In addition, perfume, clothing, cars, cosmetics, all the stuff to make us look and feel good have a specific purpose. They sell an emotional connection to a dream—the possibility of romance, love, and conquest.

In the leadership business, what are we really selling?

Frank Walsh, a CEO leadership coach, came up with the idea that leaders in the field of marketing sell empathy. Makes sense.

Then Jodi Klugman-Robb added that those who are strategists might say they sell tactics. After that, she added, “I think they sell the ability to deal with constant conflict. This is especially true when change is in the air.”

Moreover, Herb Kaufman, the CEO of Creative Energy Options, suggested what a program can add to the curriculum. VP’s and team leaders gain the skills to question and listen intently. They learn about personal power and how it differs from positional power.

Finally, there was a consensus that what we sell is bigger and even more important.

Above all, we are selling — freedom.

Can you really sell FREEDOM?

The concept of freedom has been a dream and a vision for thousands of years.

When people talk about freedom, we can trace the lineage back 2000 years to Greece and Rome. There is much to learn about how generations have handled external freedom and internal freedom over the centuries.

For example, there is a big difference when considering ‘freedom from’ and ‘freedom to.’

Our world is now in a major discussion about ‘freedom from’ poverty, poor health care, discrimination and violence.

Above all, In our program, we focus on the next freedom, the ‘freedom to.’

Most importantly, we consider the freedom to break through behavior patterns from the past. Those are the behaviors connected with memories; they can trigger you and your team (and yes, even your family).

The good news is that there are methods to release outdated ways of responding.

Remember what I said earlier about perfume and the limbic system. That’s what I’m talking about. Our TLC Program helps you find the ‘nots’ that become ‘knots’ and release them. We call it the Pattern Breakthrough Process.

Your nervous system is hardwired for remembrance. Think about NOT touching a hot stove. That keeps you safe from unpleasant burns.

In the same vein, you must work hard to transform what no longer is healthy and helpful.

Subsequently, freedom is around the corner.

In the leadership business, how do you sell FREEDOM?

In conclusion, as you improve your performance in every area of your life, you become free. The more you clarify your values and your vision, the better your leadership skills become.

In short, get in touch with the memories and invisible loyalties from the past. Then you reduce the stress that comes from feeling overwhelmed, fragmented, or filled with self-doubt.

Leadership, in the modern world, is not just about work. Leadership is about how you live your entire life.

Once you observe your behavior fully, you start the journey to freedom.

Then, understand what has been in your way of next level success. Watch stress and anxiety diminish.

Finally, learn to transform what no longer supports your growth.

To sum up, the freedom to become the best you can be is what leadership development is all about.

Here’s to a rewarding and free life,


PS. Please take our unique Leadership Behavior Quiz to determine what patterns you can release as you search for next-level freedom.

Creative Energy Options

Sylvia Lafair

Creative Energy Options