Direct Leadership® 

- leadership practice that boosts employee capability

Direct Leadership logo transperant.png

- a unique leadership concept, that...

  • holds the power to transform a leader's existing and future competencies into engaging leadership action
  • combines with- and is a catalyst for all competence based leadership training
  • is focused on the kind of leadership that employees need to thrive and perform their best
  • concentrates on the leaders's day-to-day leadership deliverables
  • makes leadership a question of effective deliveries - not the leader's personality

Be a Successful Leader

Leadership is not complicated - if you know what you should deliver

Step 1: Learn to transfer your existing competencies into visible and engaging leadership

Know exactly what you need to deliver and what handles you have at your disposal. 

Learn to Master the Leadership Deliverables from our online course or get in touch with a local certified Direct Leadership® Facilitator.

Step 2: Assess Your Leadership Delivery

In which areas do you already excel?

In which do you need to improve?

Find out by taking a Direct Leadership® Mastery Test.

Step 3: Learn-by-Doing and See the Results

Direct Leadership® is learning-by-doing. 

Once you know the method, you also know the set of handles that are available for you to turn.

This means you can start applying the Direct Leadership® approach when the next leadership opportunity appears on your radar: Catch that opportunity - Assess the leadership responsibility involved - and Select how you want to approach the employee(s) involved. 

The results are certain to show up whether you choose to take another Direct Leadership® Mastery Test or wait for the next employee satisfaction survey. 


  • Direct Leadership® Group

    “Finally a leadership training without clichés and old truths – which actually no longer work in actual practise…DIRECT LEADERSHIP made the demands and my tools as a manager very tangible. Through this education, the game and the workbook, I received the tools to start training a genuine leadership.”

  • Direct Leadership® Group

    “To me Direct Leadership has been a very good tool to create clear expectations about leadership at different levels of my organization. ”


    CEO, Danish Employment Insurance Company

  • Direct Leadership® Group

    “Direct Leadership proves to be a very practical, hands-on model that initiates our middle managers into the new positions that they are in as leaders. I belive that your training will help equip them with the thinking process and approaches which are needed in their daily activities when working with their team members as well as with other teams. ”


    CEO Pinetree Senior Care Services Ltd. China

Direct Leadership® is a mindset

Direct Leadership teaches you the true and generic nature of day-to-day operational leadership of your employees, i.e. the fact that leadership is demanded, whenever an opportunity presents itself.

With this in mind, you must at all times be alert to catch the leadership opportunities when they occur and to interact with people either on the spot or at the earliest practical convenience afterwards.

With Direct Leadership as a mindset you will be present, visible and instrumental to your employees.

Direct Leadership® is a model

A model that defines the leader's job deliverables.

Most job descriptions for leaders include an item that says something like "...and lead your employees".

We have taken a closer look at this one sentence. You could say we placed it under a microscope in order to define the sub-components. 

In short, the model consists of 3 components: 7 roles (areas of responsibility), 4 styles (ways to interact with employees) and the awareness that leadership must happen when the opportunity presents itself.

With this model:

  • individual leaders have a clear picture of their job deliverables
  • organizations may rely on their leaders to understand, what it takes to guide and support their staff

And - no matter if the challenge is to implement a strategy, on-board a new generation of employees or to cope with change and disruption - leaders will know what is required of them.

Direct Leadership® is a method

With Direct Leadership you get a method to:

  • catch a leadership opportunity
  • assess what leadership perspectives are involved
  • select action style

Understanding the dynamic of the roles, styles and leadership opportunities will sensitize you to noticing and catching the leadership opportunities when they occur.

When you have caught a leadership opportunity - whatever it's nature - your next step is clear:

Before taking action, you must analyze what leadership perspective to focus on. Does the incident cause you to address the strategic perspective? consider how work is organized? how knowledge must flow? etc. This analysis takes you through the 7 roles.

With a decision on the most relevant perspective, you are ready to select the action style that serves your purpose. Do you need to initiate a new process or procedure? coach one or more people? Or is it time to blow the referee whistle and either encourage or adjust some behavior? 

The result? Clear and consistent leadership action!


Direct Leadership® integrates seamlessly with other approaches

Direct Leadership® integrates seamlessly with other approaches

Good and effective everyday leadership relies on several skill sets:

  • the leader understands his/her the context (including national and/or corporate culture)
  • the leader understands human motivation and relationship preferences
  • the leader acts with integrity and inspires trust

But none of these will be translated into day-to-day, real-time presence unless the leader understands the leadership deliverables.

The first three come in many shapes and formats mainly based on personality models or competency frameworks.

The latter - the deliverables perspective - you can only find in Direct Leadership®.

This unique focus on leadership deliverables means that the Direct Leadership model and method integrates easily and seamlessly with all other known approaches to increasing leadership effectiveness.

Why Direct Leadership® was created


The author of Direct Leadership® - Karin Zastrow - is a professional specialized in the organizational dynamics between leaders and employees.

She was some 20 years into her career as when she decided to create a leadership model based on deliverables. 

She took this step, because over the years she had come to see, that:

  • Leaders are a hunted species, and the hunting season is ... all year!
  • But they are criticized and blamed, because they do not deliver something we never taught them.

The focus on deliverables came about from several observations:

  • something had been missing from what the training industry had taught over the years with focus on competencies or personal development
  • competency and personality also contribute to effective everyday leadership, but without awareness and focus on the job deliverables they do not translate into successful leadership action
  • leadership deliverables is a combination of what leaders talk about with their staff and how they do it
  • leadership deliverables may be described in a simple matrix model
  • everyday leadership is a matter of reacting and acting when the opportunity presents itself.

Since that first beginning in 2001, Direct Leadership has grown to an international training concept with a textbook, workbook materials for class room training, a fully online training program, a profile survey, etc.

Direct Leadership training materials currently exists in 8 languages (Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Indonesian, Japanese, Spanish, and Swedish).


Karin Zastrow - 400x400

About the author

Karin Zastrow has worked with organization- and leadership development since 1983 when she – as one of the first in Denmark – topped up her earlier studies with an International MBA (from INSEAD).

Karin's work experience spans 30 years of training with leaders and their staff worldwide.

She has lived in four distinctly different parts of the world (Scandinavia, France, China and Brazil). Furthermore, Karin has been a guest lecturer at various business schools in China, Mexico, Portugal and Sweden.