Position Paper

What is ILE™?


What is ILE?

Professionals need to develop influence, leadership, empowerment

by Nicholas Dungan

Professionals do not succeed just by doing their jobs. They succeed by how they do their jobs.

Career success exemplifies the 80-20 rule. Fully 80% of the ability to succeed in one’s working life depends on a mere 20% of what one does. You have to do the 80% just to get your job done, but that constitutes only 20% of the success of your career. The other 80% of success depends on the remaining 20% of time and effort, and that key 20% concerns largely the science of soft skills.

CogitoPraxis has developed ILE (Influence-Leadership-Empowerment) to meet this need.

Purpose and Impact of ILE™

ILE is designed to empower professionals and executives, from mid-career to CEO level, to enhance their leadership and influence skills, for their own benefit in managing their work and their careers, and for the benefit of the organisations they serve.

ILE seeks to reinforce these professionals’ expertise and sensibilities in the science of soft skills and, in so doing, magnify the professionals’ effectiveness within their organisations and beyond.

In large organisations, when select groups of professionals chosen for ILE programmes are drawn from different disciplines, specialisations and geographies, ILE serves to create increased collegiality among the professionals and intensify their shared culture by offering them the opportunity to interact with each other and to work together on practical, stimulating, inspirational issues beyond their daily responsibilities.

ILE helps to position these professionals as influencers both within their organisations and in their broader business communities and ecosystems.

Process of an ILE Programme

ILE can be designed for an individual CEO or other executive, or for groups of professionals. Especially when provided as seminars for select groups—including by Zoom or other video- conferencing services—ILE embraces three movements.

First Movement: Understanding influence and leadership

Without this context, the practical techniques in the Second Movement are devoid of underpinning.

Second Movement: Exercising influence and leadership

This Movement has two parts: skills and techniques for me to hone in order to exercise influence and leadership; then, how I exercise influence and leadership in organisations and society.

Third Movement: You the influencer and leader

What are my choices and obligations as an influencer and leader? What does this mean for me?

First Movement: Understanding influence and leadership

  • What do we mean by ‘influence’? 
  • The art of authentic influence
  • What’s the purpose of influence? 
  • Influence and awareness
  • Influence and leadership are not the same
  • The art of authentic leadership
  • The dilemma of ‘it depends’
  • Five forms of influence
  • Main methods of influence
  • Benefits of a strategy of influence

Second Movement: Exercising influence and leadership (part one)

Making influence and leadership work for me: skills and techniques

  • How to shine with no time to prepare
  • How to read a room
  • How to own a room
  • How to deal with the media
  • The challenge of social media
  • How to write a speech
  • How to deliver a speech
  • How to write an article in 1/2 hour
  • Talking and listening
  • Zooming

Second Movement: Exercising influence and leadership (part two)

How to apply influence in your work

  • What are my business ecosystems?
  • Working within organisations and groups
  • Authority vs example
  • Managing up, down and sideways
  • Concepts of engagement
  • Value of engagement
  • Strategies of engagement
  • Techniques of engagement
  • Negotiation
  • Business development

Third Movement: You the influencer

  • Creating a strategy of influence
  • Building networks of influence
  • Value of vanity of networking
  • Are you a hedgehog or a fox?
  • Managing yourself
  • Becoming your own product
  • Choices: you, your company, the client
  • Representing your organisation
  • The value of awareness
  • Benefits of a strategy of influence redux


The topics in ILE are covered through a Socratic approach. CogitoPraxis poses a scenario, or mini-case study, or problem. Contained within these questions—and therefore within the answers to the questions and within the subsequent discussion—are the topics of influence and leadership embedded in that module. Every ILE assignment is bespoke to suit each client.