Leadership FIRST
Five Critical Priorities for Leaders

Training Overview and Course Description

Taught Virtually or In Person

Leadership training

The complexity of today's challenges call for leadership first and foremost. When leadership is vibrant and effective, it builds around five qualities of what we call the Leadership FIRST formula: Focus, Inspiration, Resilience, Sustained Drive, and Team Trust.

Leadership FIRST underscores the telling difference made by these five priorities, whose first letters form the acronym FIRST. The presentation is highly practical and filled with insightful illustrations and case studies.

This course is equally relevant to leaders in all walks of life, whether in the profit or non-profit sector. In the case of non-profits and NGOs, their ability to attract volunteers and donors will largely be determined by how well they apply the principles of Leadership First.

But the themes of Leadership FIRST are especially urgent for leaders in today's business and professional worlds. They operate in a hyper-competitive climate where three king-makers determine who wins and who loses:

  • Speed — moving faster, responding faster, and learning faster than the competition
  • Agility — being quick and nimble, rapidly adapting to the challenges of relentless change
  • Innovation — finding new and unprecedented ways to accomplish the company's mission

To meet the unbending demands of these three king-makers, corporate leaders must persistently pursue the five Leadership FIRST priorities.

The content and materials for this training are adapted from our proprietary LeaderTrack® Professional Development Series for Managers and Leaders.


We tailor this training to the unique leadership challenges and specific needs of your organization. Customization is included in the standard fee.


This course is taught by Dr. Mike Armour, SLDI's founder and managing principal.

Training Location:

We deliver this course worldwide as an in-house, off-site, or conference event. Please note: Our courses are not currently open for public enrollment. We conduct trainings exclusively for organizations who contract with us for this service.

Available Virtually:

The content of this course can be adapted for virtual delivery. However, we recommend in-person training, because it makes for a better learning experience.

Language of Instruction:

We only offer presentations in English, but are glad to utilize translators in non-English settings. For decades, Dr. Mike Armour (the instructor) has used translators to conduct trainings on four continents.


One day, but may be coupled with other LeaderPerfect® trainings for multi-day events.


Handouts, PowerPoint presentations, group discussion, case studies, small-group breakouts, video clips, application exercises

Standard Fee:

The price of this courses is an all-inclusive flat fee. The fee is determined by the number of training days, not the number of participants. This allows you to contract and budget for specific training dates without knowing the number who will take part.

Your total fee depends on several factors. For a full explanation, see our standard training fee schedule

Themes and Topics

Here is a sample of themes typically covered in Leadership FIRST. The final outline is always developed in collaboration with the client. And at the client's request, the course may include topics not listed below.

Why the last quarter-century has seen an explosion of interest in leadership

What sets leading apart from managing

How the distinctions between leadership and management have become blurred

Five critical leadership priorities: the FIRST acronym


The unparalleled power of focus
How to win the daily battle with distraction
How to maintain clarity on what is most important
Giving tireless attention to values, vision, and culture
Keys to sustained personal and organizational focus


Moving beyond motivation to inspiration
Embracing the principle that there is no inspiration without aspiration
How to captivate your team with your aspirations
Seven avenues for inspiring your people


Tapping the resolve to bounce back
Modeling resilience for your team
How to develop a resilient mindset
Critical factors in emotional, spiritual, and physical resilience

Sustained Drive

How to stay on track in spite of disruptions
How to master the art of persistence
The power of reframing setbacks as feedback
How to fuel sustained drive by drawing on focus, inspiration, and resilience

Team Trust

Trust as glue, trust as lubricant
Core benefits of a high-trust team
The neuro-psychology of trust
Five things your people must feel in order to trust
How leaders gain the trust of their people
How leaders foster trust within their team

Harnessing these priorities to maintain speed, agility, and innovation

Related Services and Leadership Training

Dr. Armour is also available for keynote speeches on Leadership FIRST.

Additional Training Options: