Monthly Archives: August 2017

Becoming a great female leader and the principles for success with Ria Story

Becoming a great female leader and the principles for success with Ria Story

How do we help women to shine within the workplace?

Today’s guest, Ria Story, overcame a tragic childhood to become a successful and confident leader, and motivates other female professionals to help them reach their full potential. She joins us to discuss gender bias in the workplace, the correlation between success and positive attitude, and confidence and authenticity.

Ria has published nine books, with her most recent one being Leadership Gems for Women: 30 Characteristics of Very Successful Women, and she works as a motivational speaker where she proves that “it’s not what happens to you, it’s who you become because of it.”

On today’s podcast:

  • The definition of leadership
  • Ria’s book – Leadership Gems for Women: 30 Characteristics of Very Successful Women
  • How important is authenticity in the workplace?
  • Success and positive attitude
  • Confidence tips for female professionals
  • Gender bias in the workplace


The definition of leadership

Ria used to have the impression that she wasn’t a natural or gifted leader, until she realised that leadership is defined by influence.

We influence everyone around us, so the key to becoming a great leader is figuring out how we can influence people positively. When you approach leadership in this way, you realise that leadership is indeed a verb, not a noun, and that in actioning it you can influence someone every day.

These principles apply in the workplace at all levels, as you can influence your peers, your team, and your manager, but also at home where you can influence your spouse and your children positively.

Ria’s book – Leadership Gems for Women: 30 Characteristics of Very Successful Women

The motivation behind this publication came from Ria wanting to write a book that contained concepts and principles of leadership which she wished she’d known when she started in her career.

As there are more than 30 characteristics of very successful women, she thought it important to pick the most impactful principles which would have helped as she transitioned and progressed in her career as it’s important to share wisdom, knowledge and experiences to others facing the same obstacles.

Ria says that her biggest challenge in the workplace which she needed to overcome to be able to improve herself and progress in her career, was herself and her own limitations. She wasn’t a natural communicator as she had grown up in an isolated and abusive environment, and wasn’t a natural in conversation. As she grew in her career, she worked to improve her communication skills as she recognised how important this is to be able to become a successful influencer.

Ria didn’t have the natural gift of communication and leadership but taught herself the key principles to make it happen. She claims “if I can do it, anyone can.”

Leadership is something in which we can all improve on and get better at, and the tried and true principles which have been around for a long time are all noted in Leadership Gems for Women: 30 Characteristics of Very Successful Women. The principles work in every situation, and it is a natural progression for influence to increase if we take the principles and do them well.

How important is authenticity in the workplace?

It is critical to be authentic in the workplace, and to represent yourself in a true and honest way. Authenticity is sometimes incorrectly perceived as a weakness as it does require us to be vulnerable, however if we are able to admit to not knowing an answer to something or to admit to making a mistake, it builds trust with people around us.

No one is perfect, and people want to know that leaders know they’re not perfect and are comfortable admitting that. We are all human, and we all make mistakes. Our influence increases when we can be authentic and acknowledge those strengths.

We don’t become better leaders by pretending we’re perfect, we become better when we’re able to overcome things.

Success and positive attitude

Being successful comes down to the attitude of being positive. When we’re positive while everything is going right, it doesn’t increase influence as that is what people expect. However, when things are going wrong and we’re positive, that’s when influence increases.

There are three ways to be more positive. These are with our thoughts, our actions, and our words. Embrace opportunities as a chance to be creative, read positive books and volunteer to help someone, and replace the word ‘can’t’ with ‘how can I…’.

Negative thoughts become negative actions and behaviours, so to influence people and to become a great leader it all stems from positivity.

Confidence tips for female professionals

We all have two types of confidence. The first is self-confidence which is our values, our beliefs, are confident in who we are and what we will stand up for. This is enhanced by lessons and experiences in life, and it doesn’t change regardless of environment.

The second kind of confidence we have is situational confidence. This is the knowledge we have and is more competency-based. This does change, as the situational confidence we have on the first day of a new job will be different to when we’ve been there a long time.

Ria’s advice is to balance both character and competency and to put time and energy into improving skills whilst not forgetting to improve the character as the latter is static and doesn’t change. Have a personal growth plan.

People work hard to put themselves in a position to be successful, but don’t put time into their own professional development to grow. If you’re not willing to invest in yourself, no one else will be either.

Gender bias in the workplace

Women feel a lot of pressure in the workplace to be the leader who has all the answers, and there is pressure on them to be leaders who give the impression of someone who has it all together.

This pressure can be relieved if men are authentic and admit to not having all the answers and making mistakes, as it then creates an open culture for women to do the same.

If we value the strengths and differences of our team regardless of gender, it opens up the opportunity to make the team strong as we work with our strengths together.

What we permit as leaders is what we promote, so there needs to be a lack of tolerance of bias from those who influence others.

The Nuts and Bolts of Organizational Process Improvement with Blue-Collar Leadership’s Mack Story

The Nuts and Bolts of Organizational Process Improvement with Blue-Collar Leadership’s Mack Story

My guest has made his mark in organizational process improvement, and he contends that respect for people and relationship building are key in achieving extraordinary transformation.

Mack Story is the Co-Founder of Top Story Leadership. With 11,000-plus hours of experience leading hundreds of leaders and thousands of their cross-functional teams, Mack is an authority in organizational process improvement. He began his career in manufacturing on the front lines of a machine shop, and he authored the Blue-Collar Leadership Series to provide that niche audience with the tools to grow their influence.

Today we discuss the importance of buy-in when it comes to process improvement and the differences between Lean principles and practices.

On today’s podcast:

  • How John Maxwell’s mentorship influenced Mack
  • The significance of process improvement in a Lean organization
  • Team building as the first step in process improvement
  • Mack’s strategy to earn buy-in from a resistant team
  • The difference between Lean principles and practices
  • The unique niche of the Blue-Collar Leadership Series


Covey and Maxwell as Mentors

Mack started out as a Stephen Covey fan when he read the formative book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. John Maxwell was the second author he discovered in the space, and Mack was struck by John’s idea of putting everything “on the bottom shelf so everybody can have some.”

When Mack saw John present on video, laughing with the crowd and poking fun at low-impact leaders, he thought, “I could do that.” Mack credits Maxwell with inspiring him to become a consultant in the space, and lists his book, The 5 Levels of Leadership along with The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as the foundation of his understanding of effective leadership.

The Role of Process Improvement

Every company is trying to get better, and Lean is simply a set of tools that “allows people to formally train and develop their people to improve processes in a methodical way.” Mack has spent the vast majority of his 11,000-hour career as a consultant leading 6- to 12-person teams, usually on the shop floor in a manufacturing facility. He goes in on a Monday, and by Friday they’ve accomplished an unbelievable transformation of either the space on the shop floor itself or some process – with a group of people who were not a team on Monday.

As the Lean benchmark of the world, Toyota teaches the two pillars of Lean:

  1. Continuous improvement, and
  2. Respect for people.

Mack argues that most companies focus on continuous improvement and bypass respect for people, but he believes that the respect component should come first. And respect involves more than simply being nice to your employees and giving them a turkey at Thanksgiving.

True respect means that you are committed to leadership development for every staff member at every level. John Maxwell teaches the precept of “leadership as influence,” and Mack stands behind the idea that every member of an organization should be seen as a leader.

Remember, leadership is a verb – the action you take to serve the people who work for you. Part of that action must involve supporting your team members in the growth and development their influence.

Relationships First, Process Improvement Second

Mack defines a leadership expert as “someone who knows how much they don’t know,” and has the passion to become a lifelong student of leadership. True leaders have the foresight to say, “I may need to adjust this process,” and they solicit input from their workforce before initiating process improvement.

When Mack goes into an organization on a Monday, he often encounters resistance: “They don’t like you. They don’t like each other. They don’t like the boss. They don’t like change.” Job number one is building a relationship. In fact, he employs the Mack Story 20/80 Rule, spending 20% of his time on personal growth and leadership development. This process of “priming the pump” prepares the team members to work together – and to work with Mack.

The relationship-building aspect of process improvement is an art form, and many leadership consultants are ineffective because they are lacking in this area. The team must buy into the leader before they will buy into the leader’s vision. Jim Womack, the guru of Lean in the US, explains that “Lean Leaders go slow to go fast,” whereas traditional leaders “go fast to go slow.” Take the time to build a relationship now, and you will see the results.

Earning Buy-In from Resistant Teams

Mack has had the experience of going into an organization on a Monday only to realize that the staff wasn’t given any notice about the event. In cases like this when he senses a lot of animosity in the room, Mack utilizes Covey’s principle, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” He lets them know that he appreciates how they feel by saying, “If you don’t like being in here, if you don’t like working at this company … anything that’s going on, you need to pay attention more than anybody.”

With only five days, Mack knows he needs to secure buy-in quickly, so he explains that what he has to teach will help the employees get a job somewhere else, if that is what they want. Not only that, it applies to relationships with family and friends as well. Process improvement methodology is relevant to all aspects of our lives and can be applied anywhere you go.

According to Gallup, up to 73% of our workforce is either disengaged or actively disengaged. Process improvement offers employees the tools to finally make the difference, to be the change agent on the front lines that can help the company change and grow. In most cases, these employees see their value and end up wanting to stay and be a part of the Lean Team that helps make the organization better.

Principles Versus Practices

Mack loves working with companies brand new to Lean. He loves changing the way people think, especially when they are skeptical: “What you see at Toyota won’t work here.” He teaches that there is a difference between principles and practices. There are thousands of ways to apply them, but the principles of process improvement apply everywhere – at the dentist’s office, when you mow your lawn, etc.

The same goes for leadership. As John Maxwell says, “Never tell a story without making a point, and never make a point without telling a story.” The story is the practice; the point is the principle. They work together, but the principles provide the foundation.

The Blue-Collar Leadership Series

Because most leadership books cater to the white-collar worker, Mack’s Blue-Collar Leadership Series fulfills a unique niche. His titles include:

  1.     Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines for entry-level employees
  2.     Blue-Collar Leadership & Supervision: Unleash Your Team’s Potential for formal authorities
  3.     Blue-Collar Kaizen: Leading Lean & Lean Teams for leading teams
  4.     Change Happens: Leading Yourself and Others Through Change

You can learn more about Mack through his YouTube Channel and his website, He can be reached at 334-728-4143.

Ultimate Success: Strategic Leadership Excellence with Best Selling Author Chris Cebollero

Ultimate Success: Strategic Leadership Excellence with Best Selling Author Chris Cebollero

We have a very special show this week – your host will be me, Chad Weinstein, and our guest is Chris Cebollero, author of the new book Ultimate Success: Strategic Leadership Excellence, which has reached bestseller status on Amazon.

We discuss Chris’ new book, the lessons within it, and why continuous development is critical to leadership success.

On today’s podcast:

  • What motivated Chris to write this book?
  • The heroes that Chris has learned from as a leader
  • What were the surprises that came out of writing this book?
  • What can you expect from the book?
  • How should readers use Ultimate Success for their development?
  • Where to purchase Ultimate Success


  • Ultimate Success on Amazon

What motivated Chris to write this book?

Chris Cebollero’s first book, Ultimate Leadership: 10 Rules for Success, was about the rules he had to come up with through his leadership career that really grew from the lessons learned from his professional successes and failures.

In the new book, Ultimate Success, Chris set out to give the reader the skills and knowledge that they would need to develop into an ultimate success as a leader.

Are you born to be a leader or are you made to be a leader? Chris believes the answer is ‘yes.’ Leaders are born, but as we grow we are able to develop our leadership acumen – so both are true.

Chris wrote the book to act not only as a foundation but also as a resource that leaders can reference throughout their careers to continually help them to develop. So it is designed to be of value to seasoned leaders as well as those that are stepping into leadership positions for the first time.

Leadership is both an art and a science. You’ve got to know the science before you can paint the picture of success.
-Chris Cebollero

Especially true for new leaders. But also very relevant for experienced leaders as Chris is setting out his interpretation of the science through this book which will encourage you to look at leadership practices in a new way. It provides an opportunity to question and clarify your thinking.

The heroes that Chris has learned from as a leader

John Maxwell is a stand out example for Chris. When you think you know about leadership and you sit in front of John, says Chris, you realise how much you don’t know about leadership.

Chris is also inspired by leaders through history that went through tragedy and came out successful. Winston Churchill, Harry S Truman, John F Kennedy, for example. People that had to go through and deal with extreme adversity and come through successfully.

Coming from the public service realm, Chris was mentored by leaders in his chain of command who seemed to have all the answers. When he would come to them as a young paramedic or young supervisor, nervous and concerned at how to handle situations, it seemed that they always knew what to do to deal with a given problem. People like Ernie Rodriguez and Randy McCargar, and Jennifer Cordia that really impacted Chris’ career early on.

Another hero was his first boss when he left the military: Don Hopkins. Don was a rural hospital president who really set Chris on the path into the private sector with the tools of how to talk and interact with people in the proper manner. Don moved Chris’ mindset from a military one to a civilian one.

What were the surprises that came out of writing this book?

What surprised Chris was that as he was putting his thoughts and experiences down on paper, it brought him back to not only what he had to learn in the early stages of his career, but that he continued to enhance those learnings throughout his career with a huge amount of those experiences that go into honing your craft.

Going back through the stories and experiences that molded his career brought back some surprising emotions, but also reminded him of just how much you learn and develop through your life.

Chris has laid bare some of these experiences openly in the book as well as sharing the successes of those around him.

What can you expect from the book?

Ultimate Success is not so much a how-to, but rather a framework of tools based on the stories and experiences that he shares that the reader can fill in to develop their own success patterns.

At some points, it acts as an overview of a given topic – communication for example – and at others it goes more in-depth with clear takeaways and advice – like the section on presentation skills in both formal and informal situations.

It’s important to remember that as a leader you’re on stage as soon as you leave the house.

Every time you leave the house, it acts 1, scene 1, action!

– Don Lundy

Your work force is always watching every move you make – whether that be from a position of trying to emulate what you’re doing or from a position of noting your errors and failures and questioning your ability as a leader.

The book gives you the advice you need to put yourself in the best possible position to portray a positive public image and to ensure that when you join a team, the moral, collective attitude and performance goes up.

Leadership is not a noun. It’s not a position or an achievement. It’s an action – and you need to be able to develop that action every day to make sure your workforce can be the very best that they can be.

How should readers use Ultimate Success for their development?

This is a book you can read as a leader, get the foundational knowledge out of it and then share that knowledge with your workforce. This could be in the format of a discussion around one of the chapters in a weekly meeting, covering a particular topic and sharing best practices in a mastermind setting.

It can also be used as a reference when needed.

It’s important to remember that even as experienced leaders, we have to develop continuously or we’re establishing a status quo instead of moving forward. The book offers an opportunity to questions ourselves and continue to hone our craft.

Chris also provides guidance and coaching to individuals and leadership teams to help them implement these best practices within their careers and organisations. By assessing and determining core strengths and areas of weakness, Chris can provide actionable advice to help you address areas of your leadership practice to drive towards ultimate success.

If you’re looking to grow your professional development, you can find Ultimate Success on Amazon.

Effective Time Investment with Elizabeth Grace Saunders

Effective Time Investment – Not Time Management – with Elizabeth Saunders of Real Life E

Can you really manage time?

I’ve got to say, I think the answer is no. The only thing we can do is manage our processes within time. And whenever I work with people on time management, one of the things I share with them is: How are they able to do as much as they can in the allotted time of the project.

Well today’s guest is an expert in time management.

Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching and training company that partners with individuals on the journey from guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to accomplishing more with peace and confidence.

Elizabeth’s is an accomplished author and has appeared in Inc magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and on NBC, ABC, and CBS. She was selected as one of the Top 25 Amazing Women of the Year by Stiletto Woman.

Please join me in welcoming Elizabeth Grace Saunders.

On today’s show:

  • “Time investment” instead of “time management”
  • Why do we need to define our priorities to invest our time well?
  • How to make priority-based decisions
  • Why is saying ‘no’ important to prioritising?
  • How do you say ‘no’?
  • Elizabeth’s book – The Three Secrets to Effective Time Investment



For Elizabeth, starting a time management coaching business was a case of scratching her own itch.

After struggling to complete projects on evenings and weekends, she developed a system to allow herself to separate her work and personal lives and still achieve the things that she wanted to.

In 2009, her entrepreneurial friends convinced her to help them with the systems she had developed, as they were struggling with the time it took to run their businesses and the stress that this induced.

She has been in business for 8 years and seen some amazing successes.

“Time investment” instead of “time management”

Elizabeth sees time investment as the next level of time management.

Time management is about efficiency: How can we get more done in less time.

Whereas time investment is focused on effectiveness. So the primary question is: What are the most important things to get done, and how can we get the right things done to the best possible level?

It’s a mental shift where we step off a constant feeling of overwhelm with too much on your plate, to a sense of clarity on what really needs to get done. What is most important, how do we achieve that, and being OK with letting the rest go.

Why do we need to define our priorities to invest our time well?

The reason is that if you have defined your priorities, then it becomes your decision-making rubric that determines the most essential items to get done.

When you have defined and internally decided what is most important, then everything becomes clear.

It’s not about pleasing people, about getting things done, about inbox zero.

It’s about what is most important to you. So at the end of the day, if you know that you put your time into what truly matters to you, you can feel awesome. Regardless of whether you got everything done.

How to make priority-based decisions

Elizabeth has a very practical model that you can use to get this done. The step-by-step process that she recommends is as follows:

  1. Brainstorm – list out all of your priorities
    This can be on paper or electronically. Those priorities can include work, family, friends, health, social activities, sports. Whatever the important priorities in your life are.
  2. From left to right, put your priorities in sequential order of priority
    What is the most important thing for you to achieve? Note this down and then move down to the next most important and so on.
  3. It’s then important to plan out time enough to cover those upper-level priorities before moving on to investing time in the lower-level priorities.
    Ensuring you have enough time to cover the most important things in your life brings a higher level of balance to your day-to-day. Because often, the most important things to us, like family or spirituality, can get pushed out by work.

So when you are faced with a decision like whether to take on a new client, do a particular promotion, do a particular activity, you can look at your decision-making filter based on what is true for you and determine whether it will take time away from the higher-level priorities in your life.

To put these priorities into action, you need to convert them into actionable items that can go into your calendar.

An example:

Hypothetically, someone that is married with children might decide that family is a priority to them. One of the things they could do is decide that there are certain things throughout the week that are sacred to them and their family and so it will always go into the calendar.

That might look like that three nights a week, they will be home in time for dinner with the family. Or that Saturdays are work-free days – the laptop and work phone stay away which leaves dedicated family time.

Another example that is commonly left out:

Health and wellness is easy to overlook, so if it is important to somebody, it should go into the calendar. This can be as simple as a reminder in their calendar to go to bed at a certain time, to remind them not to switch off and ignore work calls or emails.

Or exercise: Translating this goal into items in your calendar like a 30 minute walk or a crossfit class can ensure that they don’t leave out this top priority in their life.

Exercise is a nebulas, easy-to-forget activity, so by consciously blocking out time in the calendar for them, you ensure they don’t get lost amongst the busyness of life.

Why is saying ‘no’ important to prioritising?

If we don’t say ‘no’ to the things that are not our top priorities, we will not be able to say ‘yes’ to the things those top priorities.

By not saying ‘no’, we are living a reactive life, not a proactive one. And when we live a reactive life we are living in alignment with other people’s priorities rather than our own.

It’s obviously not that we have to say ‘no’ to everything, but it’s important to be conscious of the effects saying ‘yes’ will have on our top list of priorities.

How do you say ‘no’?

One of the major things that Elizabeth has found to be an issue is that people that struggle with saying ‘no’ often fall within the ‘obliger’ category as described by Gretchen Rubin in her Four Tendencies. Obligers are people that want to make others happy – and they can often find it difficult to say ‘no’ to people for various reasons.

It’s important to remember that you’re not saying ‘no’ to the individual, you’re saying ‘no’ to the request.

Elizabeth recommends a list of scripts that gives excellent examples of how to politely and inoffensively saying ‘no’. You can get that list of scripts here or by texting ‘justsayno’ to 33-444 which will message you back with information on how to get access to these scripts as well as other tools and resources that Elizabeth has compiled.

Elizabeth’s book – The Three Secrets to Effective Time Investment

The book is available in print, e-book, or audio on Amazon.

Elizabeth’s website is:

Here’s the link to the resource on “How to Say, No, Nicely”:

Leading with Emotional Intelligence with Dr. Judith Wright, Professor of Transformational Coaching

Leading with Emotional Intelligence with Dr. Judith Wright, Professor of Transformational Coaching

In my book, Ultimate Leadership: 10 Rules For Success, Rule Number 1 is “never allow your emotions to dictate your actions”.

And I learned this rule the hard way because I allowed my emotions to dictate my actions. This affected my leadership credibility, my reputation, for almost a decade until I was able to get out from under that cloud.

So when we think about the importance of leading with emotional intelligence in our job. It’s one of the skills that leaders maybe don’t always put into their leadership toolbox.

Well, today we’re going to talk about leading with emotional intelligence and the importance of that skill to successful leadership.

Dr. Judith Wright is Professor of Transformational Coaching and co-founder and Chief Academic Officer of the Wright Graduate University for the Realization of Human Potential.

A pioneer in the field of human development, she sought‐after speaker, respected leader, best-selling author, coach, educator, and corporate consultant,

A media favorite, Judith’s work has been covered in over 1,000 media appearances, including ABC’s 20/20, Oprah, Good Morning America, the Today show, radio and television shows around the country, and magazines and newspapers around the world.

This episode is packed with insight, so I hope you enjoy.

On today’s show:

  • How important is it for a leader to have a high degree of emotional intelligence (EQ) when leading their workforce?
  • How does emotional intelligence affect productivity?
  • When it comes to EQ, what is the biggest misconception leaders have?
  • Is there any relationship between EQ, and having a foundation of Servant leadership?
  • How important is self-awareness to your leadership success?
  • Advice for developing EQ
  • If you have allowed emotions to dictate your actions, how do you heal the problems with your workforce that result?
  • Where to learn more about Dr Wright and the work she does?



How important is it for a leader to have a high degree of emotional intelligence (EQ) when leading their workforce?

EQ is critical. It’s actually one of the most important factors in a leader’s success.

The ability to have your followers trust you, to be able to lead with inspiration, your ability to build rapport, to build loyalty, even productivity, are all tied directly to your EQ.

The more complex your job is, the more important emotional intelligence is. And as leaders, we have the most complex jobs in our companies.

How does emotional intelligence affect productivity?

It seems counter-intuitive because we assume that our emotions get in the way of productivity – that we have to control them in order to be productive.

However, the studies show the opposite. They show that productivity can be up to 127% higher with those that have a high level of emotional intelligence. Particularly for complex jobs.

This is because you can be more in touch with what is going on around you, you can be clearer, more present, and have the wisdom of your emotions rather than allowing them to control you.

So they are not something to suppress. Your emotions provide you with situational wisdom to guide you to take clear and decisive actions.

When it comes to EQ, what is the biggest misconception leaders have?

The biggest misconception is that we should suppress our emotions. That to be stoic or unemotional is a greater strength.

We shouldn’t be hysterical or lose control of our emotions, but they are extremely important to rational thinking and for decision making. We need that access to our emotions to know what we are feeling in the moment and interpret and understand what they mean within a given situation to guide our actions.

Being in touch with your emotions allows you to express passion which translates to the workforce.

Suppressing feelings diminishes our cognitive resources in our frontal lobe or prefrontal cortex – the kinds of things we need to be able to be present and be a good leader.

To be able to understand and label our emotions, it brings our frontal lobe online to be able to process that emotion, find its meaning and deal with it appropriately – whether that be in a meeting or with a member of your team etc.

This creates an authentic front that allows you to have a much more successful and open relationship with your workforce.

Is there any relationship between EQ, and having a foundation of Servant leadership?

Is there a separation, emotionally, between those that lead from a position of authority versus those that practice a Servant leadership style?

There is a connection between EQ and Servant leadership. In Servant leadership you care about your people, you are invested in them, you are aware of their needs and are helping them to develop.

You need emotional intelligence to be able to do that. EQ is the foundation of social intelligence – which is to be able to read other people and have empathy and understanding for them. You need EQ in order to be able to make that contact and care about your people and inspire and support them through their development.

Leadership can be defined, says Dr Wright, as the ability to touch the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours of another human being. We don’t need a position to do that, we need to be able to be emotionally aware and emotionally present.

If we can connect to our own hearts, we can connect with other people’s hearts and minds.

How important is self-awareness to your leadership success?

It’s critical, says Dr Wright.

When a leader comes to her with a problem, concern, or challenge. The issue is their developmental challenges inside of them rather than a particular leadership skill they must develop.

The more aware we are of who we are, what we’re thinking, and what our behavioural patterns are, the more we can choose appropriate ways to deal with challenges in front of us.

We can’t be aware of other people without first being aware of ourselves.

Advice for developing EQ

Dr Wright uses a model she called: In, out, up, down:

  • IN: The ability to really feel. To know what’s going on inside of us, read our bodily cues (for example a pounding heart, a knot in our throat, etc.), and interpret them appropriately.
  • OUT: The ability to express that feeling fully, responsibly, and authentically. And to be able to complete the emotion to move onto the next thing.
  • UP: To be able to regulate emotion. To be able to intensify and savour positive experiences.
  • DOWN: Being able to sooth, calm ourselves, and contain our feelings – not suppress those feelings, but comfort ourselves and be able to deal with a given situation.

She also works with five core feelings that are the basis of all feelings we experience:

  • Fear
  • Hurt
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Joy

To be able to take our emotions IN and understand and label the core feeling we are experiencing in a given situation allows us to be present to them and also to use the higher faculties of our frontal lobe to be able to sort through the best way to deal with them.

If you have allowed emotions to dictate your actions, how do you heal the problems with your workforce that result?

It’s a part of being human. We will make mistakes in our leadership. Can we clean them up and take responsibility for them? Can we admit that we messed up and repair the relationships with our followers?

It’s not our emotions that are at fault here, it is our ability to deal with those emotions. But to be able to authentically connect with people about your emotions and be vulnerable, you can tell a deeper truth about what is going on within ourselves and repair any damage that takes place.

Where to learn more about Dr Wright and the work she does

Visit her website:

Or: – where you can find about the graduate university, coaching, consulting and more.

Dr Wright’s book: Transformed!: the Science of Spectacular Living