Six Moments

As the leader of your organization, can you identify the key times for you to flex your leadership skills that will make the biggest difference? This week’s Tip by Henry Evans and Colm Foster identifies those often overlooked opportunities.

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Six Moments

By Henry Evans and Colm Foster

Every day you experience multiple opportunities to show up as a leader. Some of them are obvious like when you speak during meetings, when someone asks for your guidance, and when you show up as an industry expert online and as a real-life representative of your business.

But what about other leadership moments that aren’t as obvious? What about those opportunities where a leader is needed but the issue is subtle and sensitive? These are opportunities for you to significantly impact business results and relationships through the choices you make.

“A leadership moment is an instance when you must make a choice. Will you intervene, or will you let the chance pass you by? Will you step up in those moments that might seem small but that significantly impact business results and relationships? They are the moments that the clients of our consulting practice repeatedly tell us present the biggest problems for them:

  1. Using anger intelligently in the workplace.
  2. Recognizing and dealing with ‘terminal politeness.’
  3. Making decisions when no one else is making them
  4. Taking ownership when others are externalizing a problem
  5. Identifying and leveraging pessimism
  6. Inspiring others to take action (p. 1-2).”

If you see one of these “leadership moments,” will you show up?


While not a complete list, Evans and Foster got me thinking about the day to day opportunities that show up for each of us to be a leader. What else would you add to this list? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

From: Evans, H. and Foster, C. (2014). Step up: lead in six moments that matter. San Francisco: Jossey – Bass

Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114,