Using the LRPS Model as an intentional leader

A few years back, I published my first book, Leadership Lessons from the Thin Blue Line. Among many other topics on leadership, I introduced readers to my new model of leadership called the LRPS model. It looks like this:


The importance of this model has been made more clear to me in the years since I first published it as I traveled the country teaching my new course, Intentional Leadership: Leading with a Purpose. In this blog post, I wanted to spend a few minutes talking about the model and how an intentional leader can use it to great effect.

In the Model, I mention that leadership in all sectors be it business, government, military or non-profit have all transitioned from a much more paternalistic system of leadership characterized by hierarchy, command and control, and formality to a more maternalistic leadership model of today’s workplace where collaboration, mentoring, and relationship have replaced the more rigid, formal structure we have seen in the past. This is in part due to a more diverse workplace AND, due to a mindset shift among workers who see the world much more holistically rather than linearly.

While this model does follow a chain-of-command model, the LRPS model adds the dimension of synergy to the mix that is holistic in nature. It places special emphasis on partnerships in the workplace between leader and follower as well as follower to follower. Creating that connection can take many forms and I will discuss some tips I have for that. But first, I want to explain the model in very simple terms:

Leadership is defined by me with four ‘I’ words: influence, inspire, initiate, and inclusion. Effective leaders find ways to influence, inspire and include others and find ways to initiate action. There are usually two ways that leaders decide to do this. The first way is through manipulation which means they choose to influence, inspire, include and initiate through fear or positional power. The second (and I believe better way) is to do these same things through a shared vision with their people. So how do that do that? Well that’s where the other component parts of the LPRS Model come into play!

First, you must establish Relationship with those you lead. I believe this is done through three foundational pillars of proximal relations – you actually spend time with your people to get to know them and vis a versa; working trust – by spending time with each other, a trust is developed between leader and follower that allows for good working relationships to develop and grow; and by doing the first two, you develop shared expectations for the growth of the individual and the growth of the organization. This leads to the creation of partnerships in the workplace between leader and follower. The key components of creating partnership in today’s workplace includes mutual respect that comes from effective relationships, solid three-way communication that includes leader to follower and follower to follower as well as follower to leader; and establishing common values for the organization. The first two must be developed before the final and key part of the equation is created – synergy. When one has created partnership, they have usually done so through hard work on building relationships and partnerships with their employees.

Relationships are first because they are the key building block for developing partnerships. They take time to develop and establish a solid foundation. But the time is worth it to the leader that wants to create an inspired workplace. Remember it is through relationships, not directives, that leaders truly provide direction. Subsequently, it is through partnerships, trust, and values that people will follow leaders. This will become even more important as Millennials and iGens enter the workforce. Their holistic approach to everything they do will require leaders to create a workplace where relationship and partnership are the main components. It is through these that true synergy in the workplace is created. Synergy, after all, is the result of effective leadership creating relationship and partnership, that leads to working together to produce a desired result through a common purpose.

As I’ve taught the LRPS Model as part of my new signature course, Intentional Leadership: Leading with a Purpose, I find that it helps to take a self-reflective look at where you are with each of these components. Ask yourself some deep questions to truly analyze where you are with the creation of synergy in the workplace. If you go to the website, and login you will find a downloadable pdf with a simple assessment on it. Don’t over-count or under-count your efforts. Most of us are NOT really where we want to be or should be as a leader. The key to growth is honestly appraising your current circumstance so that you can achieve your desired destination – your GPS moment as I call it.

Some tips I’ve learned through the years in applying this model in my own leadership include some of the following:

  • Really understand your employees and what makes them unique. You don’t have to be their parent or family member, but you should understand what
    • Behaviors/personality traits they exhibit
    • What motivates them
    • What their personal goals are professionally
    • Understand what may be happening in their personal lives that may be affecting their work performance – this isn’t excusing poor performance, but allowing you as a leader to show empathy and offer guidance on how an employee can manage personal setbacks without it affecting work performance.
  • You must spend time with people. Yes, there are assessments out there and those are always helpful, but to truly understand what a person’s true goals and aspirations are takes time and effort on a leader’s part to help that person know what they need to do themselves to grow. I used to make sure I had lunch with my key staff people at least once per month and made myself visible and available to my entire staff as much as possible.
  • Take time daily to reflect on your professional (and personal) interactions to learn from them. What went well in that conversation with an employee and what didn’t. Did I as the leader allow myself to be triggered into a negative reaction? How can I learn from that and recognize it next time before I react and instead respond to the event.
  • What actions as a leader can I take to foster the professional growth of my staff?
    • Can I do a better job of relinquishing control and allowing an employee the opportunity to grow by giving them permission to handle a responsibility whether they succeed or fail?
    • What responsibilities am I doing that could be taught or shared with a capable subordinate so that they can learn and grow?

Let me know your thoughts on this and other blog posts by logging in and commenting or email me at the address below. How do you grow your people? What things do you do daily, weekly, monthly to foster relationship and partnership in the workplace?

Thank you and remember to put your leadership into action this week!



Note: Leadership Lesson from the Thin Blue Line will be re-released this Spring! We will notify you when it is available on all major platforms!


Ruby Cobb

Dean Crisp is author of Leadership Lessons from the Thin Blue Line. Throughout his career of more than 35 years, Dean has been a student, practitioner and now a teacher of leadership. He is passionate about giving people the information they need in a practical and applicable manner so as to help his students achieve a purpose-driven life. You can reach Dean at Learn more about our classes and how you can have Dean teach your staff by going to our website at 


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