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As we research what characteristics made a leader ‘Compelling’, we were perpetually guided by the evidence criteria of whether the leader was:

  1. achieving great results (achieving the vision and targets of the organisation)
  2. having a massive impact for the greater good - including the wellbeing of those around them, and
  3. the followers truly WANT to be in close proximity to the leader (not because of position or agenda)

We dubbed this the ‘nectar to bees’ phenomenon.

Leaders in the field of modelling excellence and effective leadership styles made significant contributions to the research and development of the Compelling Leadership Model.

‘Modelling’ is a process of studying the structure of what creates an outcome or behaviour (at an unconscious level). It is very different to interviewing and requires a profound level of listening and observing.

An interesting interview with renown Modelling expert Sue Knight


Both compelling and not so compelling models of leadership were investigated – key characteristics of these leadership styles were distilled and contrasted in view of their effectiveness. Leaders across international and local communities were modelled in a broad range of environments including those involved in political, business, community and localised project leadership.

Adopting principles of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ modelling, we utilised various media such as YouTube clips, biographies, public performances (speeches and announcements), both live and recorded, to first hand observations and direct interviews.

Leaders modelled include:

  • Present and past leaders including Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Current and previous Australian Mayors, including the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore & the late Warren Woodley, Mayor of Tamworth.
  • Current and past political leaders including Barack Obama.