Combining practical insights from the real business world together with the academic theory and research that underlie methods and techniques, this innovative book prepares readers for the rigors of leading people in just about any situation, not just organizations -- i.e., it trains leaders to think before they act. From assessment through implementation, it focuses on four competencies -- specific behavior characteristics that delineate the ingredients of leadership: Directional Thinking, Consequential Thinking, Influence Strategies, and Communication Skills. Begins with a four-chapter Assessment in which readers provide information about how they would use the four Competencies to address specific situations, challenges, and dilemmas. Outlines a Relationship Life Cycle -- a flow chart, linked to a case study at each step, that depicts how relationships begin and evolve and how they either deal effectively with conflict and survive or ignore conflict and as a result allow it to escalate and destroy the relationship. Interpersonal communication skills are then explained and illustrated as a way to help leaders both prevent and resolve interpersonal conflict in both business and personal settings. Includes a Speaker Effectiveness Index -- that serves as both an assessment and development tool for better understanding and improving presentation skills. Includes T-Charts that explain and illustrate how to make a balanced decision. Contains a Q&A chapter that addresses frequently asked questions about leadership and -- in particular -- how to develop and implement a mentoring program in an organization using the 4 Competencies. For leaders, and aspiring leaders, in any type of organization or situation..