Leadership Toolbox: the Template

By | November 2, 2018

[November 2, 2018]  Every day you wake up it’s a new day to be great again and make great decisions.  Decision making is something leaders do and are expected to do it well.  One way to “see” the work environment and reach logical decisions is with the use of templates.

Templates are established and proven analytical techniques that help predict what will happen in the future based upon current actions.  A leader using a template can get a faster understanding of what is happening by only looking at part of the puzzle.  The template can be compared to the picture on which the puzzle is based.

To illustrate, the use of templates in the U.S. military is common and used as part of the Military Decision Making Process (see a version of this, link here).  A military commander who is defending a city can predict what type of enemy forces that will attack based upon only a small piece of information.  The template provides an invaluable tool and gives the user a significant advantage; whether it be in military affairs, business, strategy development, or just a dad taking his kids to the park.

At the everyday individual level ,we use templates without even thinking about it.  In large organizations where decisions can make or break a company, the templates are a carefully guarded model of the competition.  Individually, we use them to tell ourselves where the best deals are in the local grocery store or the best playground for our young children.

Inevitably, the template helps take the unknown out of future events.  However, it is incumbent upon the user to garner at least some information to place into the template in order to determine if there is a good fit.  Once the fit is reviewed, the puzzle can be seen better using the template.

Being a leader is not an easy task.  It requires gaining an advantage and saving time when possible.  That is what templates do.

Thanks to www.theLeaderMaker.com reader Kenny Foster for the recommendation of this topic for my “leadership toolbox.”


[Note:]  I have a small mini-series on Leadership Toolboxes here at theLeaderMaker.com.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

21 thoughts on “Leadership Toolbox: the Template

  1. Tracey Brockman

    If only we could build a toolkit that could help us build a more resilient mind. Leaders must be resilient to survive but there is no computer app or software that makes it. Only relevant experience.

    1. Shawn C. Stolarz

      Well said. I like this series however because it is a great way to get a jump-start on your mission to be a better leader.

  2. Nick Lighthouse

    The US has a great need for better leaders and yet we do nothing to train our up-and-coming leaders. Anything will help but I found your website to be one of the best resources.

  3. Dale Paul Fox

    Fortunately the tremendous amount of resources out there now boggles the mind. In my day, there was no way we could find anything to help. You put it together yourself or if lucky you found someone who would attempt to guide you a little bit. Today, we have leader toolkits and they work.

    1. Bryan Lee

      Very good point, Jerome. This is, indeed, good stuff.

  4. Doc Blackshear

    Some people think that using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to improve teamwork is a winner. What is the MBTI?
    The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of the most popular psychological instruments used to describe and measure personality characteristics. It is commonly used in business to encourage optimal communication and teamwork among different personalities.

  5. Darryl Sitterly

    Leader tools are those proven techniques that can be used by anyone to make things better. Truly good leaders use them all the time because it requires little thought since they do work. Thanks for listing these out for us.

    1. Martin Shiell

      Correct and I’m a little surprised that we cannot find these much elsewhere. Well done bringing this up, Darryl.

  6. Albert Ayer

    I too like this series. I wish I could make a suggestion but the series seems fairly complete. Anyone else think of a new topic?

  7. Danny Burkholder

    Good series for the junior (or senior) leader.

    1. Eric Coda

      Yes, right. If only more junior leaders paid attention to this.

  8. Max Foster

    I agree from personal experience that this is a really good set of tools for the leader. I’m not sure which is my favorite in the list but the latest, “templates” certainly made me think about the mental patterns that successful leaders have.

  9. Army Captain

    This is truly a great series from the leader’s toolbox. Thanks for updating it.

    1. Gil Johnson

      Good to see that someone with experience agrees. Thank you, Army Captain.

Comments are closed.