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Adding the element of emotional clarity is important as people want to know that you feel what you feel and are unafraid of naming the emotion. More importantly, they want to know that you are aware of how they feel and can hold a space for the expression of their emotions. This involves a reframing of me to we and is a strong driver of discretionary performance. It also involves the willingness to navigate frequently between the head and the heart, understanding that business is largely driven by people who have emotions. A unique quality of compassion is the ability to transcend empathy powerful unto itself and have an inner knowing of what to DO or NOT to do in a situation to be of service.

A compassionate leader has a reservoir of inner strength, rising above the ego to become vulnerable for ourselves and others. This modeling of power is transformative. To sum it up, Compassion requires personal Courage and is a strong precursor to and follower to Curiosity. Suspending assumptions and judgement, understanding how to manage emotions mine and yours and having the courage of vulnerability, open discussion and transparency — there is your super secret leadership weapon.

A great result is that your employees see how you are acting and they feel safe with you. That safety permits them to give more discretionary effort which turns into engagement. Conflicts and problems are more easily surfaced and turned into opportunities.

The CEO’s Secret Weapon: A Second Self

People are happier and your work, although never simple or easy, can be executed with less bumps and bruises. Guess who else feels all of this? Your customers — the lifeline of your business. It pays in dividends to be curious, courageous and compassionate. These are all muscles that can be developed with your commitment and with practice. There is major fire-power in this combination of Emotional Intelligence, IQ, courage, curiosity and compassion. She is known for cutting through corporate drama to create laser focus for powerful business and personal results for her clients. Take the Quiz….

What a coup to get Simon to write your foreword. I know what a big deal that is to get somebody of note to write a foreword. In order to talk about his book, he also wrote The Big Five for Life , which are the five things you wanted, do, see or experience in your life to be successful.


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Right after I spent a weekend at a retreat with John Strelecky, I got so excited about businesses starting with why. Simon would affectionately tell you that I stalked him. He agreed to work with me. When did you figure out your own personal why? There has to be a reason. My mother put me in school when I was three.

Clarity: The Secret Weapon to Experiencing Explosive Business Growth

I was small and I was extremely shy, so I would never lift my hand up in class. I realized how important it was for people to feel safe in discussing what matters most. What made you hook into this culture and why aspect of your focus? After culture, it becomes a strategy and execution in order to make a business sustainable. It always starts with finding the right A-players and having the right people on the team.

They have a culture defined. If it takes years to form a culture, it takes more than one to change it. I can give you an example of that. A year-old company that I worked with was a nonprofit, one of the largest nonprofits. They used to have a CEO who used to basically bark at everybody that it was a commanding control environment. He had to deal with the shift between a lot of his employees being used to still barking at people. That was an uncomfortable environment for him.

I worked with them for about five years.

It took us about three years to shift the culture so that takes time. Startups have a unique opportunity to create their culture. When I first start working on a plan with a startup, they have a lot of aspirational values. We create a set of values based on what the founders or the first team believe. At the end of the year, we review them and see which ones are actually living. The way that you measure whether people are living their values or not is the stories that they tell.

Let me give you an example, and I learned this from John Strelecky. How would you bring those values to life? One of the things that we suggest is what we call a book of email. You upheld our value of extreme ownership. In that way, the new employee is reading real things, not just a line on the wall that says extreme ownership or integrity. One of my favorite ones is aligned by McIntosh Trading, which is a Canadian company.

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Would you say or do anything that would make your mom proud? Accelerate Success: Be able to share that message and cascade it down, no matter how large your company becomes. Be able to share that message and cascade it down, no matter how large your company becomes. It was started by grandpa. Why did grandpa start the company? We had this group of 24 people in the room.

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A supermarket has a drug pharmacy in there, it will have groceries, etc. Why would you unite all of those elements? Infusing life with health and happiness. They have that alive and well in every supermarket. You use that as the compass. Is this an alignment? The third part of culture is attracting the people who believe what you believe, like what Simon says.

My Secret Weapon For Leading A Happy Team

You explore whether they are fit according to their core values, core ideology, or their purpose. What are your thoughts on diversity? Is that a value or is that part of a culture? Why is it important? I was invited to a dinner put on by women who lead. The big question that we were discussing in that dinner was Women on Boards. By definition, this is level 1 or 2. Level 3 and Level 4 require you to be an active listener. This means we focus percent on what the other person is saying to us, and how they feel about it while they are speaking. Then, we respond not with what we want to say next, but with a short summary of what we thought we heard them express and how they feel about it.

We reflect back our understanding. It is our summary of what we heard that builds the intangible connection with another person. When we put our energy into listening to understand, we build something much stronger than just understanding.

About the Book

We build a connection to that person and they feel heard. It was a big wake-up call, as she had no idea of the impact she was creating laterally among her peers. While they had been trying to express themselves to her repeatedly, her lack of listening created a substantial blind spot for her. She responded by sharing with the team in a very sincere manner what she heard. She used reflective and empathic listening to summarize the feedback that they provided.

She also demonstrated an understanding of the unintentional impact she had on her peers and other organizations. Then, she committed to meetings with each peer to better understand their perspective and find ways to become a better partner. Her team is proactively working with several peer organizations to align goals and jointly solve problems. And, while there are still natural challenges to resolve in how the teams work together and decisions to make regarding trade-offs, the interpersonal trust is higher with her peers.

Her team now feels that this is a collaborative effort. Her intentions are no longer questioned over small issues and the amount of escalation to her boss has decreased substantially. Most importantly, though work remains to be completed, it appears that her job is now secure. The beauty of listening is that we can use it in each meeting, conversation and email.