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Kylee Stone ELP module 1

Understanding The Foundations of Leadership

Module 1 of Growth Faculty’s Emerging Leaders Program with Kylee Stone

Kylee Stone ELP module 1

Being a leader is a remarkable opportunity to make a difference. But effective leadership doesn’t just arrive with the role. In fact, aspects of being a leader can be as terrifying and stomach-churning as the twists and turns on a rollercoaster.

That’s why leadership coach Kylee Stone begins the Emerging Leadership Program with a module on developing a meaningful connection to your vision and values. We summarise module one below.

What is the Emerging Leaders Program?

More than 600 delegates are booked into the program so far, which is for emerging leaders, high potentials, early- to mid-career professionals, and early stage entrepreneurs.

It is a live, virtual, multi-module program and includes membership of Growth Faculty.

(This gives all participants automatic access to the livestream of Sydney's in-person event Adam Grant LIVE plus other live virtual events from Growth Faculty’s members’ program).

Facilitator is leadership coach and CEO of The Performance Code Kylee Stone (see bio at the end of this article).

Discover the leader within you

To discover the leader within, Kylee asked delegates to write down their thoughts, feelings, and images that come to mind when asked these questions:

·       What are you aiming to achieve as a leader?

·       Why is being a leader important to you?

·       What are the strengths that you want to contribute to the world?

·       What are you wanting to accomplish from the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP)?

·       What are the values that guide you?

Delegates from last year's cohort answered with a range of responses from promoting, supporting and enhancing the effectiveness in others, being inspirational, understanding the traits of effective leadership, a renewed sense of purpose, getting their leadership mojo back, to be authentic, and having impact.

Free download: Business Case for a Strong Work Culture 

Myths of leadership

When asked to finish ‘The best leaders are…….’ delegates had put forward answers such as inclusive, having a positive attitude, calming, centred, respectful, strategic, emotionally stable, and inspiring.

Yet, Kylee says, myths around leaders and leadership persist.

She listed out common myths and what she sees as the reality.

·       MYTH: Leaders are born, not made. REALITY: Good leadership can be taught. 

·       MYTH: Leaders have all the answers. REALITY: Leadership is a team sport. 

·       MYTH: Leaders work smarter, not harder. REALITY: There is not a single effective leader who does not work hard.

·       MYTH: Leaders are always on. REALITY: Good leaders realise slowing down and taking a break allows them to tap into their prefrontal cortex and access creativity.

·       MYTH: Leaders are always calm and in control. REALITY: It’s impossible to always be in control when challenges and complexity abound. Always to be calm and in control is too high an expectation.

·       MYTH: Leaders are respected because of their title. REALITY: You don’t gain respect and trust because you’re the boss. You gain it from communication and being a great role model.

Leader versus leadership


LEADER: Kylee told delegates that a leader is an individual perceived to have a legitimate position of power or influence, someone who others follow, someone with access to an outcome or destination (cause others to go forward) or in a position of advantage.

LEADERSHIP: Is about action, says Kylee. Leadership is the action of leading others toward a desired outcome. It’s about performance, not position, it’s the capacity to influence others to achieve worthwhile results, it’s about influence.

Delegates had shared examples of leadership: Bringing others up to speed, being persistent with your action, being welcoming, encouraging, and brave, yet approachable, and encouraging others to be confident.

Leadership lessons from the ‘dancing guy’

In the YouTube video Leadership Lessons From The Dancing Guy delegates learned the importance of embracing ‘first followers’ as equals. The first man dancing looks like “the lone nut” until he embraces a first follower as an equal. The follower encourages others to join in. In this way he ignites a spark. The dancing is not longer a risky move, and more people get up to dance. A movement is created.

“The sign of a good leader is not how many followers you have but how many leaders you create.” – Gandhi.

Foundations of leadership

A house is totally reliant on strong foundations. So goes leadership, says Kylee.

When asked ‘What skills are needed to create the foundations of leadership?’ delegates at last year's event offered up: active listening, emotional intelligence, authenticity, critical thinking, communication, resilience, self-awareness, courage, understanding, transparency, clarity, leading by example, vulnerability, an ability to influence and persuade, and an understanding of what needs to be done.

Kylee says leadership is also like an iceberg. What you say and do (the tip of the iceberg visible to all) is supported (below the waterline) by:

·       Purpose – Vision, Values, Mission, Purpose

·       Strategic Alignment (how to get to where you want to go) – Strategy, Planning, Execution, The A-Game

·       Resilience – Mindset, Mindfulness, Agility (EQ), Resilience (RQ)

·       Communication – Storytelling, Listening, Collaboration, Mentoring

Each of these foundational skills will be explored in the Emerging Leaders Program over the following weeks.

Being clear about your values

Being clear about your values is important for creating a long-lasting, resilient vision of where you want to get to in the future. Your values might include: Fun, teamwork, independence, innovation, equality, family, truth, sincerity, balance, warmth, competence, consistence, discipline, persistence, or respect. There are endless values to choose from, but only some will sing to you as your foundational values.

To help discover your values ask yourself:

·       What values do you expect to see at work?

·       What kind of culture do you thrive in?

·       What values do you admire in others?

Delegates from last year's cohort had shared some of their answers:

Values I expect to see at work: Empathy, a clear purpose, respect, professionalism, inclusivity, learning, kindness, commitment, clear communication, honesty, transparency, trustworthiness.

Culture I thrive in: Honest, fun and hardworking, inclusive, open, positive, motivated, collaborative, growth, all hands-on-deck, fun, no silos, challenging while supportive, no backstabbing, one team, safe, a learning culture, empowered, and innovative.

Values I admire in others: Passion and energy, supportive, flexibility, upfront, assertiveness, enthusiasm, keep their word, client/patient focused, integrity, great communicator, open to educating, humble, patient, friendly, remembering the small things about people, not ‘above’ the work requested, working towards the same goal, positivity, mentoring, lifting others up, and encouraging.

Creating a Vision

Kylee told delegates that vision is: A view of the world, motivates you towards something important, guides decision making, helps you communicate what you care about, keeps things in perspective.

She asked delegates to close their eyes and imagine they were standing in the future one year from today celebrating their accomplishments, and feeling a sense of clarity and purpose in how they led others.

Delegates were asked to note feelings, thoughts and images as they contemplated the following questions:

·       What has changed because of your leadership?

·       Who has benefitted from your leadership?

·       What is the problem you are solving?

·       What are the values that guide you?

·       What do you stand for?

For reference, delegate responses in the past have described a future where the team was happier, others had grown into leaders, there was more cohesion, people were better trained, there was better staff and client satisfaction, self and team growth, more connection, clear alignment on the mission, joy, thriving, an approachable team environment, people were heard, working respectfully together, and family and work colleagues were benefitting.

Writing a vision statement

A vision statement is an inspiring, aspirational, and imagined future state. It is you way of painting a picture of how the world will be different once the vision is achieved.

Kylee shared examples of:

·      IKEA: Our vision is to create a better everyday life for many people.

·      APPLE: To make the best products on earth and to leave the world better than we found it.

·      MCDONALDS: To be the best quick service restaurant experience.

Kylee says to write a vision statement it helps to start with phrases like “A world where……”, “We have created….”, “To be…..”, “We are…….”, “The world has…….” or “We have……..”

Your vision should aim to solve big problems, make a difference, unleash human potential, improve the world, impact climate change (or some other cause).

And, for the record, Growth Faculty’s vision is “A place to access brilliant ideas for inspired leadership.”

The next module in the Emerging Leaders Program will focus on Leading with Purpose.


Workbook module 1

About Kylee Stone

Kylee is descendant of the stolen generations of the Wakka Wakka and Kulluli nations. She is CEO of The Performance Code, is a highly regarded leadership coach, and she has proven results as an entrepreneurial leader in her own right with decades of experience in the business of storytelling, Marketing, Strategy and Leadership Transformation.

See Adam Grant in person Feb 20 and 22


Adam Grant is one of the world's authorities on building high performing teams. To see him in-person and hear his insights on work-life, culture, discovering hidden potential in teams, and psychological safety don’t miss his highly-anticipated Australian tour  ADAM GRANT – LIVE: Unlock Hidden Potential & Transform WorkLife. Tickets are selling fast (Some categories SOLD OUT). Emerging Leaders Program participants get access to the livestream of the Sydney event included as part of the program.


About Adam Grant


Adam Grant is a renowned organisational psychologist, bestselling author, and global influencer. As Wharton's top-rated professor for seven consecutive years, his expertise in motivation, generosity, original thinking, and rethinking has made him a leading authority in his field.


His five New York Times bestselling books Think Again, Give and Take, Originals, Option B, and Power Moves have resonated with millions of readers in 45 languages. His latest book is Hidden Potential.


With hugely successful TED talks and his TED podcasts WorkLife and ReThinking, plus a substantial social media following and popular monthly newsletter, Adam Grant is one of the world's most inspiring thinkers and speakers.

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