Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

How To Be The Kind Of Leader Your Employees Need You To Be


Last week, I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at the Management Grand Rounds held at Boston Children’s Hospital. As with every speaking engagement I do, the part I look forward to the most is being able to meet with audience members to hear about their experiences and what insights they’ve gained from my talk.

In the case of my talk at Boston Children’s Hospital, it was wonderful to hear the level of interest among many of the leaders in the audience of how they could become better leaders for their employees. Seeing that drive and desire to not rest on their laurels but to embrace the challenges before them was energizing and inspiring.

After getting a tour of their remarkable facilities, I decided to wander around Boston to take in the sights, including a walk by Fenway Park during an afternoon baseball game.

As I heard the roars of the crowd rise up from the stadium, I noticed a series of banners paying tribute to some of the city’s beloved Boston Red Sox players. Among those banners, a name caught my eye – that of Babe Ruth.


Seeing that name on that red banner reminded me of a piece I had written several years ago on leadership lessons revealed from how Babe Ruth approached playing the game he loved as he grew older.

To show my appreciation for the warmth and generosity I received from the various leaders at Boston Children’s Hospital, I would like to share that story alongside three important leadership lessons on how we can be the kind of leader our employees need us to be.

In October 1932, the New York Yankees were facing off against the Chicago Cubs in the World Series Championship. For most of the Yankees team, things were going great as they were going into Game Three having won the first two. For Babe Ruth, things were far from great as he was in the midst of a batting slump.

As if things couldn’t get worse, at the halfway mark of Game Three, Ruth found himself standing at home plate with two strikes against him and his own home crowd booing him. In light of his declining physical abilities and the stream of negativity coming from the crowd around him, it seemed a given that he would strikeout at home plate.

And yet, when the next pitch came, Ruth not only hit the ball, but he hit it with such force that it became one of the longest home runs ever made at Wrigley Field.

At the end of the game, a reporter asked Babe Ruth what he was thinking about at that moment when he hit that ball out into the end zone. Ruth told him it was the same thought that comes to mind every time he’s at bat – of “just hittin’ that ball”.

It was certainly a humble and memorable response on Ruth’s part, but in its own way, this story helps us to understand three important lessons on how leaders can successfully lead their team in today’s faster-paced, ever-changing workplace environment. Click here to continue reading »”How To Be The Kind Of Leader Your Employees Need You To Be”

Why Compassion Is Key To Succeeding At Leadership


With the arrival of September, many of us are returning to our regular routines now that our children are back in school and the period for taking summer vacation breaks has come to an end. For myself, this September also marks a special milestone in my writing career – specifically, it marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of my first leadership book, “Leadership Vertigo”.

Since the release of my first book last fall, I’ve been on an incredible journey speaking to organizations and audiences in Europe, the Middle East, Canada, and the US, sharing my insights on leadership and how leaders can encourage and support their employees to bring their full selves to the work they do.

This journey of sharing my writings and insights on leadership over these past five years has lead to the achievement of another very special milestone this month – that of being invited to speak this Wednesday at the Management Grand Rounds at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

This prestigious leadership speakers series has welcomed in the past such leadership luminaries as Tony Hsieh, Doug Conant, Robert Sutton, Amy Edmondson, and Daniel Pink. Being invited to join the ranks alongside these renowned thought leaders as one of the speakers of this series is definitely one of the highest honours of my career to date.

The timing of these two milestone events has brought to mind some of the leadership insights I’ve shared in my book and there’s one in particular that I wanted to share with my readers as I prepare for this upcoming talk. Specifically, why it’s becoming increasingly important for leaders to cultivate compassion in their leadership so that they can succeed in bringing out the best in those they lead.

In fact, one of the recurring themes I’ve been asked to speak about this year is how do leaders embrace the elements of emotional intelligence that we hear so often about in articles and studies on successful leadership. There’s a genuine interest and desire out there to know how leaders can create an environment where people are willing to dedicate their native talents, creativity, and insights to their organization’s vision and shared purpose.

As I’ve discussed in some of the talks I’ve given this year, what’s needed here is Click here to continue reading »”Why Compassion Is Key To Succeeding At Leadership”

Are You Creating Purpose Through Your Leadership?


Over the past few months, I’ve been noticing a common thread in my work with various leaders and organizations, as well through my various speaking engagements with audiences in Canada and the US. Regardless of whether it’s the private or public sector, there’s a clear desire out there among many leaders to understand how to better engage their employees in the work they do.

No doubt a key factor behind this drive to better understand how to get employees to fully commit their discretionary efforts to their organization’s shared purpose stems from the realities of leading today’s organizations. Faced with increasing demands on their time, attention, and limited resources, it’s very easy for leaders to lose sight of what their employees truly need to feel inspired and empowered in the contributions they make to their organization.

Certainly, there are numerous studies out there which help shed some light on just how far organizations and their leaders have to go to improve employee engagement and productivity in their workplace.

From Gallup’s finding that only 13% of employees in 140 countries surveyed were engaged in the work they do, to Salary.com’s multi-year findings that 20% of a typical workday in US organizations is spent on non-work related tasks because employees don’t get a sense of value from what they do, it’s clear that this is a critical issue for every leader to consider and address.

Of course, when faced with such findings, it’s easy for leaders to either assume their organization is the exception to these findings, or that to address these issues requires some large-scale transformation in terms of the type of work they assign to their employees.

Regardless of how leaders choose to react to such findings about the realities found in today’s workplaces, one thing that’s clear is that in order to truly improve the way we work, leaders need to shift their focus from Click here to continue reading »”Are You Creating Purpose Through Your Leadership?”

Do You Motivate By Obligation Or Commitment?


When I sat down to write this latest piece for my leadership blog, I realized that today marks a special anniversary – exactly 6 years ago on this date I took the plunge to begin writing my own blog. Without question, it’s been a long and exhilarating journey both in terms of the evolution of my site as well as in terms of my writing style and approach.

Given that it’s a rare occurrence for this writing anniversary to coincide with the day of the week that I publish my latest articles, I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to reflect on this writing anniversary and what lessons can be shared from this milestone on how we can do a better job inspiring those we lead to bring their best selves to the work they do.

In looking back on these past 6 years writing for my blog, I’m reminded of the fact that as is the case with writing, leadership is a journey of discovery, one that will help you understand your true value and purpose [Twitter-logo-smallShare on Twitter].

It’s a journey that will often challenge your assumptions of what works, of what it is that truly engages and inspires those around you, and which – if you’re open to learning those lessons – will help you to evolve and grow into the kind of leader your employees and organization needs you to be.

The truth I’ve come to appreciate over the past few years of sharing my thoughts and insights on leadership is that we can’t rely on our sense of obligation – of what people expect from us – to push ourselves to be better than we are today. Rather, what we need is that internally-driven commitment to not settle for the current status quo; that we not look at ourselves today with the belief that we can’t achieve more, or become more than we are right now.

In every successful leader, we see that hunger that compels them to not settle or rest on their laurels, but to keep pushing themselves to achieve even more and in the process, help those around them to become stronger contributors and more valued members of their organization.

These leaders understood that Click here to continue reading »”Do You Motivate By Obligation Or Commitment?”

A Lesson On Bringing Out The Best In Those You Lead


Over the past few weeks, I’ve been writing about the various characteristics and perspectives leaders need to have to be successful in bringing out the best in those they lead. Sharing some of these insights has brought to mind a question I was asked recently following one of my presentations on leadership.

The question I was asked revolved around how can a leader encourage those under their care to challenge their assumptions of what they’re capable of in order to help them to grow and evolve into stronger contributors to their organization’s vision.

I decided to answer this question by sharing a personal example of a leader I worked with who not only inspired me to dream bigger, but who encouraged me to challenge how I viewed myself and the contributions I could make.

Given the positive response I got from the other audience members, I decided this would be a good story to share with my readers to continue our discussion on how we can bring out the best in those we lead, especially in the face of the growing demands and distractions we face every day at work.

Dan was the president of a biotechnology company where I served in my first middle management role. Now, the interesting thing about Dan is that when you first meet him, he can seem a bit intimidating, not only because he’s quite tall (I’m sure he was a star player on his high school’s basketball team), but because he had this air of quiet confidence and assuredness about him.

And yet, when you talk with him, he had this way about him that made you feel quickly at ease around him, where you no longer saw him as the top dog in the organization, but as someone who was there to help you out if he can.

One of my fondest memories of working with Dan revolves around the numerous one-on-one meetings I had with him in his office. Whenever he saw me waiting outside his corner office near the secretary’s desk, he’d greet me with a warm smile and invite me to take a seat next to his desk.

What was interesting about these meetings was how Click here to continue reading »”A Lesson On Bringing Out The Best In Those You Lead”

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