On the back of decades of research in human behaviour, an expansive project was embarked upon to answer the questions:

“What is leading?”

“What creates compelling leadership?”

“What’s different about the leader when people can’t help but follow?”

“What are leaders doing when they inspire?”

“What are the common attributes – characteristics that define a compelling leader?”

Always guided by the evidence criteria; “do the followers ‘WANT’ to be ‘close’ to the Leader”?, we explored what they are doing to create this attraction.  We call this the ‘honey 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 that emerged. Leaders such as:

Gene Early in Virginia USA, Partner at Leaders’ Quest

Tristan Soames in Europe, NLP Master Trainer and Coach

Sukhy Bains in the UK, Leadership Coach, Associate Certified Coach & Facilitator (ICF) 

Eleni Pallas in San Francisco USA, Co-Founder of Leaders for Good

Peter Thompson in Australia, Learning & Performance Consultant, Instructional Designer

Dr Joel Porter in NZ, Senior Clinical Lecturer University of Otago’s


International and local political, business, community and project leaders were modelled. Adopting the principles of NLP ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ modelling, utilising various sources from YouTube clips, biographies, media and public performances (speeches and announcements), both live and recorded, to first hand observations and direct interviews.  Both compelling and not so compelling models of leadership were investigated – distilling and contrasting what are the key characteristics in common – what is the difference that makes the difference – when the leadership style is compelling.

Some of those modeled include;

Current and previous Australian Mayors, including the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover More & Warren Woodley, Mayor of Tamworth

Current and past political leaders including Barak Obarma and Kevin Rudd

Present and past leaders: Ghandi, the Dali lama, Nelsen Mandela and Martin Luther King.


5 common characteristics emerged. These characteristics correlate with some of the latest discovers of Neuroscience, fields of Cognitive and Applied Psychology, and what we intuitively know about what is and isn’t working, based on results.  

The ImagineMORE program, ‘The 5 Magnets of Compelling Leadership’‘, is the result of this investigation.  It covers the 5 characteristics that all the compelling leaders had/have in their way of being with others.  It also brings together the decades of experience, current knowledge in various fields of human exploration.  It is grounded in science and evidenced based results.

Uniquely, the program focuses on the ‘HOW TO BE’ – rather than ‘what to do’.  Here we can only present a description of ‘what’ these leaders do.  The program however emphasizes the development of these core characteristic – not simply the ‘know-how’ (which could be read in any of the many books on leadership). 



The 5 Magnets of Compelling Leadership

No matter what the current level of Leadership experience and skill, the‘5 Magnet System’ is a comprehensive program that can take a Leader to the next level in effectiveness. 

Magnet 1: Mastering Self  – Mental and Emotional Control

“When adversity strikes, that’s when you have to be the most calm.

Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.”

LL Cool J

Clearly great leaders are able to ‘keep their head’, ‘remain cool, calm and collected’ (as the expression goes.) It’s not what you do but HOW that has the greatest impact and the HOW flows from the state of mind and the energy of the person.

Characteristics/Behaviours: Routines that build Mental Resilience, Ability to remain Present (quiet/still internal dialogue – sensory awareness), Internal Calibration (self-audit), Emotional Mastery.

Energy: Integrity, Open, Learning.

Enabling Presuppositions; ‘There is always away’, ‘What matters is that we gave it our best’. ‘There is always room for improvement, so be flexible and will to change’.

Magnet 2: Leading with Vision – Clarity and Direction

The ‘Vision’ leads – not the person. Often they don’t even consider themselves a Leader.
Characteristics/Behaviours: Clear Vision and Reason for change, Vision, Strategy and Tactics are aligned, Motivated by ‘Greater Good’, Share the Vision, Balance ‘away from’ and ‘towards’ Motivations, Systems Awareness (understand impact of change on the system).
Enabling Presupposition:  ‘We can not NOT do this’.

Magnet 3: Presenting with Certainty

This doesn’t mean always beings sure about the result or the path to achieving the result.  It’s an absolute conviction that the way is forward.
Characteristics/Behaviours: Good grip on reality – Risk Aware (not risk evasive).
Enabling Presupposition: ‘We CAN and WILL find a way forward’.

Magnet 4: Developing Trust  – Being Real

This requires balancing a willingness to share vulnerability while remaining in dependability and strength.
Characteristics/Behaviours: Speak Truth (truth-telling), Assume Responsibility for all the results, Authentic.
Enabling Presuppositions: ‘Perfection is not only not required, it’s an impediment’, ‘It’s our humanness (error) that makes us valuable’, ‘I’m responsible for all the results’.

Magnet 5: Attracting People with Respect

This is more than just being polite. At an embodied level, they honour and value the perspective of the person.
Characteristics/Behaviours: Create Rapport, Explore Experience with Power Questions and Present Listening, Use Positive and Affirming Language.
Enabling Presuppositions: ‘There is something to learn from everyone’, ‘Everyone has something valuable to contribute’, ‘It can’t be done alone – we must and can work together’.


The program can be delivered individually as a 10 month program (delivered over a 12 months), providing flexibility to fit in with commitments, work and life demands. Or in a group training and coaching program delivered over a 4 month period.

The program is simple and efficient to implement – it’s this simplicity that makes it effective – and provides a system and structure for further development of these characteristics, putting attention on the key areas that create the greatest impact for each individual. 

It is designed to implemented immediately and integrated into daily activities.