The Softer Side of Leadership

Leadership Excellence Trust

My Rotary club was trying to come up with a statement to describe our club.  In the process, someone suggested the phrase: “A Group of Community Leaders”.  I was shocked to hear the negative comments uttered from some of our members regarding the use of the term “leaders”.

The Type A Leader

It seems that some people believe leaders are people who get things done by pushing other people.  Some perceive leaders as bullies.  They believe that many leaders are arrogant and heartless.

It took a lot of convincing to get our entire club to agree to refer to ourselves as leaders.

Unfortunately, there are people who believe that to be a leader you need to have a type A personality, and be ruthless.

A Different Perspective

Those of us who study leadership know that there is a softer side to leadership.  In fact, many of the more successful leaders are recognized primarily for their humility.


Other words used to describe many successful leaders include: relatable, honest, approachable and trustworthy.


Exceptional leaders possess emotional intelligence.  You must have empathy to be emotionally intelligent.


Do You have Leadership Potential?

So, if you believe you cannot be a successful leader because you are not tough enough, think again.  You may possess exactly the qualities that are needed to be a leader in your chosen profession.


If you want to know more about your leadership style, send me an email at  Put “leadership” in the subject line.  I will send you a link to a questionnaire that will provide you with an accurate leadership profile, free of charge.

If you want to read about examples of good leadership, get a copy of my book “A Garage Full of Ferraris: How to unleash the potential in your high-performance team to drive extraordinary results”.

You’re in Charge Now – What Next?

Leadership Excellence Trust

Being thrust into a leadership role can be one of the most frightening experiences of your career.


Many organizations groom prospective leaders to take on bigger responsibilities.  They test their prospects with leadership roles throughout their career.  But, more often than not, you are thrust into leadership roles unexpectedly and without warning.


If you are like most first time leaders, you have not received  leadership training or coaching.


Mistakes to Avoid

After getting over the shock, you are struck with what to do to begin to build the confidence and trust of your team.   Many new leaders make the mistake of believing they need to know everything and have ALL the answers.


They also fall into the trap of believing they need to behave like their predecessor.  Many of the best leaders build on their own unique leadership style.

Don’t Panic

But there is no reason to panic, as one of the ways the more successful leaders build rapport and trust is to meet with their team.  They meet as a group and one on one.

And, the smart leaders use these meetings to discover what is on the minds of the people you are now leading.  In addition, they gather ideas team members have for achieving organizational goals.

Path to Success

Your success as a leader will be dependent upon the buy-in and degree of ownership your team has in the strategies you implement.  Your team will be much more accepting of you and your strategies if they believe they have contributed to the development of these strategies.  They will support you if they believe they have been listened to and that their ideas have value.


In addition, a side benefit of these meetings is that you will have a chance to evaluate the members of your team.  You can begin to determine who you can count on to play critical roles in the execution of your strategies.

Your Leadership Style

Do you know your unique leadership style?  If you would like a free assessment send an email to and put “leadership style” in the subject line.  I will send you a link to a leading leadership profile assessment tool, at no cost to you.

If you want to learn about leadership styles from a variety of leaders in a diverse set of industry groups, check out my book:  “A Garage Full of Ferraris: How to unleash the potential in your high-performance teams to drive extraordinary results”