FULL 2 Day Happiness 360 Leadership Training Second Draft (Shalija)

NOTES FROM OUR LEADERSHIP SUMMIT (which supports the 2 day training)

    • Each of your (3) Learning Objectives
  • Listening & Communication
  • Empowerment & Relationship Building
  • Work-Life-Balance
  • Happiness 360 Leadership: Fearless Listening Leadership Excellence
  • LISTENING: Social and Political Influences (Listening to your team and stakeholders real concerns)
    • D & I
      • Anti-Harassment (Race, gender, religion) – Not specific like MeToo, but relevant globally
      • Proactive responses to challenges like Marijuana use in the work place (This issue is still relevant globally even without the S. Richardson reference)
      • Cutting edge rather than typical responses to DE&I
      • BLM
      • LGBTQIA+
      • MeToo


words, policies, actions are up to date with all sensitivities – covering your bases ahead of time. 






  • What is Happiness 360 Leadership: WHY
  • What is it



 Each Section Will Need 


THREE  foundational intelligences

  • Foundation I Spiritual and Emotional
  • Foundation II Human and Generational
  • Foundation III Practical Intelligence 







  • Listening & Communication
  • Empowerment & Relationship Building
  • Work-life-balance



Hello, my name is ______. A warm welcome and lots of good wishes on participating in ________ leadership training. I am very happy and excited to spend the next two days with you listening to your experiences and sharing my mine. Before we get started, let’s see what each of you are seeking from this training session. 


Acknowledge and appreciate their expectations. 

Great! I am quite confident we are going to meet most of these and some more. We will together learn something new and by the end of this two-day training, I assure you’ll be feeling reenergized with new perspectives on how to be a better leader. 

I can’t wait to start this exciting journey. 

So, if we are all settled, let me ask a simple question to each one of you. Take 1 minute to reflect upon the question and frame your answer. After 1 minute, we will take turns to share our answer with the whole group. 

What one strength do you bring to your team/organization that you wish others would truly see and appreciate?

{usual answers will revolve around trust, creativity, perseverance, vision etc}.

Well, it was wonderful to listen to the strength each of you bring to your team and organization. In the next two days, let’s buttress these strengths so that you can nurture high-performing teams as well as meet goals and feel happy in work and all areas of life.


AGENDA (5 minutes)

Let’s take 5 minutes to have a quick look at what we are going to cover in the next two days

Day 1

  • Understand the essence of leadership

Day 2




15 minutes

What is leadership? 

Such a simple question and yet it continues to be a conundrum to many. 

It has nothing to do with titles. Just because you have a C-level title, doesn’t automatically make you a “leader.” 

We often think of leaders as domineering, take-charge charismatic individual like President Lincoln. But leadership isn’t an adjective. We don’t need extroverted charismatic traits to practice leadership. And those with charisma don’t automatically lead.

So, again, what is Leadership?

Peter Drucker once said “The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers.”

An Army Captain is in charge of 200 soldiers. Is he a true leader? Hmmm…Commander yes. Leader no. 

Warren Bennis said “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality” 

Every summer you have a vision of participating in triathlon, and with lots of hard work it becomes a reality. Are you a leader? Nope. You seem to have forgotten “others”. 

Let’s see another definition by Bill Gates, “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”

I like this it includes “others” and “empowerment” is a good thing. But to what end? There are many empowered “others” from rioting hooligans to derailed hackers. I feel this definition lacks the parts about goal or vision. 

Alright, let’s do just one more last definition. 

John Maxwell very succinctly put “leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less”

Well, a manager has the power to terminate his team members or a robber with a gun pointed at the victim has the power to extract all their money – both of them have a lot of influence. Do you think this influence makes them a leader? 

Again No. 

Maxwell forgot a key aspect “the source of influence” 

With this understanding, let’s try build the definition of leadership. 

[Go to the whiteboard and create a mind map of leadership]

Let’s chalk the key elements of leadership. 

  • Leadership comes from social influence, not positional power or authority
  • Leadership requires “others” not necessarily the direct reports
  • There is no single path to leadership. 
  • It requires a vision or goal, influence without an intended outcome is not leadership. 
  • Leadership maximizes the effort, not just organize the effort


Leadership involves: social influence, others, maximize effort, towards a goal.


Someone who’s looking to influence others to serve the greater good. They don’t just want to get from Point A to Point B, and they’re not looking for an outcome that only benefits themselves; a great leader always has the big picture in mind. They’re searching for ways to not just help themselves, but to help other people and the community at large. They’re figuring out ways to influence their community and culture in such a way that everyone who’s part of it benefits. Serving the greater good is their driving force, also known as their purpose.

Think about it!

Leadership is not a zero-sum game

The most effective leaders bring depth and dimension to their leadership brands by knowing when and how to exhibit varying shades of their strongest attributes – even when those variations might seem like opposite ends of the spectrum.

For instance, five mid-level managers within a company might all exhibit extremely high levels of confidence. But the one chosen to move to the next level is often the manager who can balance that confidence with a sense of humility in the right situations. Sharing credit with her team when she steps to the podium to accept a performance award. Being able to graciously admit making a mistake. Taking time to consider the ideas of other team members even though she already has a solution in mind. The manager with the well-balanced brand knows how to temper that fierce confidence with a generous splash of humility…just enough to be open to the possibility that, despite her own expertise, the best solution might come from a different source. Timing and finesse are critical as leaders strive to master the delicate art of brand balance – knowing when, where and how to offset certain attributes for greater impact. Think of great leaders who demonstrate complementary (or even opposite) attributes in certain situations.

  • Confidant yet humble
  • Highly energetic yet calm in a crisis
  • Competitive yet empathetic
  • Task oriented yet people-sensitive
  • Strategic yet conceptual/creative
  • Visionary yet realistic/practical

These are just a few of many examples. What other seemingly paradoxical attributes have you seen or adopted as a successful leader?

A common misconception about leadership is that it’s something you’re born with – that the greatest leaders the world has seen were born with some innate magical quality that allows them to lead better than others. But that’s simply not true. 

Leadership is also not something you’re born with or without – it’s a creative muscle you can strengthen and develop over time. leadership is about creating and sustaining positive, lasting change in your life and the lives of the people around you.



15 minutes

This delicate art of balancing your leadership brand rests on three important skills. And, these three form the 3 learning outcomes of our training program. 


Skill 1 is Listening & communication

Unless, you take the time to not just hear but LISTEN your employees, you’ll not know what are they thinking about, what’s troubling them, or how to help them get out of a performance slump. 

Leaders who listen are able to create trustworthy relationships that are transparent and breed loyalty.  When employees know, their leader is listening to them, they know the leader has their best interest at heart. 

Active, fearless listening encourages stronger communication between you and your team members. 

Skill 2 is Empowerment


Skill 3 is Work life balance




  • post-pandemic situation how applicable – people quitting Great Resignation how leaders make sure they are happy and want to come back to work 
  • how you lead with hybrid teams – 
  • people’s values are shifting – moving to smaller towns
  • it still takes great leadership and customized to “HAPPINESS LEADERSHIP”





“When you speak, you repeat what you know. 

When you listen, you learn something new.”

 – Dalai Lama


Fearless listening facilitates a leader’s ability to connect with employees. Healthy communication between leaders and team members establishes a foundation for trust. When your team members know that they will be heard, they are more apt to openly share their ideas and provide honest feedback. This, in turn, drives employee engagement and positive business outcomes including innovation, productivity and profitability.

Picture a well-known exceptional leader. We often think of these leaders within the context of them talking; perhaps giving an inspiring speech that rallies the troops, facilitating a discussion, or providing clear direction. 

However, research indicates that leaders who had a strong preference for listening were rated as more effective leaders than those who spend the majority of their time talking. 

Look at the graph:







This research further collected their leadership effectiveness on 16 different competencies and found that leaders with a strong self-preference for listening were rated as significantly more effective on 13 of the 16 competencies. 


In short, what do this research tells us? 

That, leadership effectiveness is tied to leader’s preference for listening. 


OK, now how many of you think you are a good listener? 


Chances are most of them will raise their hands. 


All of you know the typical tips and advice for listening better. In our experience, we think good listening comes down to doing three things: 

  • Remaining quiet when others are speaking
  • Letting the other person know you’re listening through nodding and “mm – hmm”
  • Paraphrase or repeat back what others have said, something like “So, let me make sure I understand….” or “What you’re saying is….”

That’s not the whole truth. 

Being a good listener ISN’T being like a sponge, that accurately absorbs what the other person is saying, instead, GOOD LISTENERS ARE LIKE TRAMPOLINES. They are someone you can bounce ideas off of — and rather than absorbing your ideas and energy, they amplify, energize, and clarify your thinking. They make you feel better not merely passively absorbing, but by actively supporting. This lets you gain energy and height, just like someone jumping on a trampoline. 

We first understand what is good listening. 

  1. Good listening is much more than being silent while the other person talks. 

The best listeners are those who periodically ask questions that promote discovery and insight. They ask questions that are not critical but gently challenge old assumptions in a constructive way. 

  1. Good listening include interactions that build a self-esteem. 

Good listeners make the conversation a positive experience for the other person. This can’t happen when you are a passive listener. They make the person feel supported and convey confidence in them. They create a safe environment where issues and differences can be discussed openly. 

  1. Good listening is a cooperative conversation. 

Poor listeners are competitive – they listen to identify errors and use their silence to prepare their next response. They debate to prove the other person wrong. 

In good listening, feedback is exchanged smoothly. Good listeners neither blame nor get defensive. This doesn’t mean they always agree with the other person. They do disagree and challenge assumptions, but they do it in a way that the other person feels they are trying to help, and not wanting to win argument. 

  1. Good listening involves making suggestions. 

Well, this is not to say that one just jump in and try to solve the problem. If you are silent for the whole conversation and then jump in with a suggestion – you won’t be seen as credible. If you are critical or trying to give advice – you won’t be seen as trustworthy. 

So, the idea is offer feedback and suggestions but in a way that others would accept and that open up alternative paths to consider. 


Now that we have understood the principles of fearless listening, it is time to apply these into the work situations. 

There are 5 ways to put in action

  1. Ask questions, not provide answers

When leaders practice fearless listening, they don’t provide answers. Instead, they challenge others to find answers on their own. They use the power of open-ended questions to build critical thinking skills in their organization: 

The point isn’t to be the hero and solve things; the point of the leader in a complex world is to enable and unleash as many heroes and as many solutions as possible. 

When people come to you with their problems, ask the following questions: 

  • What’s your view on it? 
  • How would you solve this? 
  • Why do you think it didn’t work out? 
  • What are the solutions you have tried to make it work? 
  • What do you think is missing? 
  • What resources have you gathered to try out your idea? 

By listening intently to their responses and guiding them to think better, these leaders enable their employees to shift from a superficial understanding of the problem to finding the underlying root cause, developing a solution mindset, exploring complex ideas, analysing concepts, identifying issues and uncovering assumptions. They challenge them to expand the boundary of their thinking to form new connections instead of sticking to what they know or what comes most intuitively to them. 

  1. Encourage inclusivity

We are all drawn to extroverts who appear confident and are quick to express their viewpoints. Leaders who don’t listen well, surround themselves with people who may be the loudest but may not have the best ideas. 

By not paying attention to the quiet ones in the room, these leaders miss the opportunity to seek diverse viewpoints. This creates a ripple effect in the organization where the loud ones continue to dominate with their ideas and the introverts stay away from speaking their mind. 

Such leaders make bad decisions, do not recognize people with the best ideas and create an unspoken culture in which not speaking up is equated with incompetence. Without creating the necessary conditions for everyone to contribute, they do not utilise the knowledge and strength of a significant part of their workforce. 

Leaders who believe in getting the right answers do not hesitate in shutting down loud voices in the room to give space to the other quiet ones. They understand that each human being is different and what works for one may not work for the other. 

With the goal to avoid groupthink and seek diverse viewpoints and genuine opinion on ideas, they employ different strategies to enable everyone in the meeting to contribute:

  • They individually ask everyone in the meeting to share their viewpoint. When doing so, they embrace awkward silence and give enough time to the other person to put their thoughts together
  • Instead of always relying on spontaneity, they set up upfront expectations for the meeting to enable everyone to be prepared with their views. It enables people who find it uncomfortable to share their opinion when put on the spot by practicing their ideas upfront 
  • They share their opinion in the end. This keeps the focus of the meeting on exchanging ideas instead of confirming to their line of thinking
  • When working with people from different cultures, they understand how communication in high context and low context culture varies and take steps to reduce the communication gap. 

Through effective listening, they acknowledge their understanding and ask questions to clarify their doubts. This creates a positive environment in which people stick to the objective of the meeting and respect others by giving an opportunity for everyone to speak.   



  1. Show curiosity

Leaders with a high sense of self-righteousness do not show curiosity to understand other people’s point of view. They shut down communication in their organization by interrupting others, disregarding their opinion, expressing distrust in their ideas and even showing disgust when people disagree with their point of view.  


Instead of asking how their behavior discourages people from exploring creative ideas and building innovative solutions, they blame lack of creativity and innovation in their organization on poor talent, incentive structures and other factors.

People stop participating in constructive criticism and healthy debates when they realize that their ideas will be rejected and disapproved before they are heard. You will often hear them saying “What’s the point in trying when no one is hearing anyways.”

When leaders engage in effective listening, they show a keen interest in hearing everyone’s opinions without judgments. They let the other person talk without interrupting them, ask questions to clarify their thinking and show genuine curiosity in their ideas. 

Instead of disregarding ideas or categorising them into good and bad, they help people understand how to validate an idea:

  • How is this idea relevant to the problem we are trying to solve
  • What assumptions are you making
  • What type of experiments can you perform to get more insights
  • What data supports your hypothesis
  • How does this idea connect with the future strategy of your team and organisation 
  • What do others say about its effectiveness 

Instead of thinking about how to make an idea successful, they help people to determine what factors can contribute to its failure. This form of reverse thinking is not intuitive, but extremely powerful to help them uncover their own blind spots. 

This makes employees feel heard and respected which motivates them to step out of their comfort zone and look into the future instead of staying stuck in the present. 

  1. Solving real problems 

When leaders stay distant from people who are involved in solving day-to-day problems and choose to engage with only their direct reports, they fail to see problems that impact people on a day-to-day basis. 

By shutting their eyes and ears to a large part of their workforce, they listen selectively. They try to solve problems from a 10000 ft view where they can see only the tip of the iceberg and address the symptom instead of solving the root cause which is hidden below the surface. 

They waste time in putting ineffective strategies into place and act clueless when it fails to produce the desired effect – improving engagement, increasing productivity, retaining high performers, designing incentive programs, producing high quality work, and reducing time spent in doing inconsequential activities. 

How to use effective listening to uncover real problems 

By connecting with people across the organisation, especially people who do not report to them, leaders can get a peek into the real problems. By listening intently, they can build trust and encourage everyone in their organisation to speak up. This promotes a strong belief in “letting things out in the open for everyone to see.” 

Through effective listening, they not only focus on what the people in the organisation are saying, but also on how they are feeling. They use the power of skip-level meetings to find answers:

  • Do they feel fearful or safe to take risks
  • Are they empowered to make decisions or seek approval for every action
  • Do they get the required support that helps them move forward or find themselves struggling every step of the way
  • Do they feel recognised for their work or ignored without appreciation  
  • How do they feel being part of their team and this organisation
  • Do they find the culture of the company conducive to learning or restrictive in growth  
  • How do they perceive fairness in the organisation

By watching out for non-verbal cues like emotions, tone of voice, reaction, and openness to share or reluctance to give information, they are able to cut through the noise and focus on the actual issues that require their attention. 


  1. Embracing conflicts with open-mindedness

When leaders relate conflict with negative emotions, they try to defend or diffuse the situation. By treating conflict as a thing to be avoided they shut doors to productive disagreements, become inflexible to change their mind and give in to confirmation bias by rejecting ideas that contradict their point of view. 

This creates a culture in which people approach conflicts with a win-lose mentality. They either play safe and try to avoid it or fight it even when their arguments make no sense. They hide information, use manipulation and other dirty tricks to sway the person in their direction even when they know the other person is right. 

The outcome of the conflict becomes a part of their identity – losing it signifies they are a loser while winning it makes them a champion.

How to use effective listening to manage conflicts productively 


To apply effective listening skills while managing a conflict, leaders first accept vulnerability. They understand that conflicts involve risky situations and uncertainties which will make them uncomfortable.  The point is this: difficult conversations are almost never about getting the facts right. They are about conflicting perceptions, interpretations, and values. 

If they do not embrace the discomfort and risk the emotional exposure that comes with managing a conflict, they will not be able to listen effectively. 

They prepare for the conflict by asking:

  • What’s my motive in this conversation  
  • How can I approach the other person with trust
  • What language should I use to make sure I don’t attack the person and keep it about the specific situation
  • What kind of questions can I ask to gain a better understanding of this conflict
  • How can I build trust to enable the free flow of information 

They acknowledge their feelings and work through tough emotions instead of using them to feed their ego. Once they are able to push their ego aside, they are able to listen without their inner voice shutting down communication and create better opportunities for collaboration.






Wrapping up the listening & communication section

So true and relevant to the art of effective listening is the advice from Stephen R. Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: 

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood”

By following this, you can bring about a huge positive transformation in both your own self as well as your organization. 





relationship-building with teams and stakeholders


“Empowerment” is our second element for effective leadership. 


Let’s do a small reflection exercise. Think about the ‘worst’ boss you’ve ever had. What was it that made them a bad leader? 

  • Did they watch over you while you were working? 
  • Did they ask you for a daily update? 
  • Did they ask you to seek their approval before you do anything? 



Do you know what’s the most widespread complaint about bad leaders in the workplace? 




Have you ever dictated how employee complete tasks, questioned their judgments, frequently asked for updates, and check-in incessantly? 


All those are various forms of “micromanaging”. 


Look at these statistics from three different research studies:

  • In his book My way or the highway: The micromanagement survival guide, author Harry Chambers reports that 79% of employees surveyed said they’d been micromanaged at one time or another. 
  • A 2003 survey by office products manufacturers FranklinCovey, found that employees singled out micromanagement as the most significant barrier to productivity they faced
  • A 2011 study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology showed people who believe they are being watched perform at a lower level.


The question arises – WHY DO THEY DO IT? 


Heard of helicopter parenting? Just like a helicopter parent “hover overhead” overseeing every aspect of their child’s life constantly, HELICOPTER BOSSES feel the need to hover in order to monitor efficiency, or to keep things on track, especially if an employee has erred in the past. 


Do you know why they do so? 


They have a need for control that often has more to do with THEM than the performance of their employees – perhaps there is a hidden feeling of job insecurity or fear of failure. Or, simply they don’t know any better.

There are many excuses that micromanagers give to try to justify their behavior. How many times have you said to yourself, “It will save me time if I do it myself” or “too much is at stake to allow this to go wrong”?

Very often, micromanagement is accompanied by unrealistic expectations of perfection and a continual criticism of the work produced. 

Nearly all micromanagerial tendencies stem from the same problematic mentality of, “if I want something done right, I have to do it myself.” That way of thinking is fundamentally at odds with the core function of management.

Why lead a team if you’re just going to do all the work yourself?

You manage things, BUT lead people. 

Well, one may argue that at times a more details-oriented management style might be necessary. For example, when there is a high-risk situation that requires extra attention, or a person in a role that lacks the experience or ability to perform well. 

However, there is a psychological aspect to micromanagement that moves beyond simply focusing on details and is indicated by the demoralizing and adverse emotional impact it has on employees.

Let’s go back to our analogy of helicopter parenting. How does helicopter parenting affect a child? 


Multiple research studies have highlighted that helicopter parenting increases a child’s depression and anxiety levels. Although some parents see helicopter parenting as a good thing, it can backfire and cause a child to develop low self-confidence or low self-esteem. Feelings of low self-confidence and low self-esteem can become so bad that they lead to other problems, like anxiety and depression.


A helicopter parent’s children are always in look out for guidance, and when left alone, they become too nervous to take a decision. 


Similar to that, helicopter bosses have a profound impact on their employees, as the employees feel they are treated as untrustworthy and start feeling unworthy. It can also lead to a dependent dynamic where the manager is asked for everything and there is a lack of innovation or initiative as people lack the confidence to act on their own. 


Also, many times employees become demotivated, they begin to do the bare minimum and have no desire to help their company. 


Staff turnover begins to increase and micro-managers or helicopter bosses can begin to suffer burnout from their unsustainable management style.





Now, let’s take a minute to think about the best boss you’ve ever had. What is it that makes them a great leader? Are they known for keeping their word? Or perhaps they value team input and embrace differing opinions when making big decisions. Whatever it is that makes them great, it likely stems from the trust and relationships they’ve built with those around them.

Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship, whether professionally or personally and when it’s broken, it is extremely hard to repair.

One of the biggest problems with the micromanaging mentality is that your employees pick up on it right away. They’ll sense that you have no trust in their abilities and do not value the effort they make.

So, how do we, as leaders, build trust? 

Steve Jobs once said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” 

Effective leaders should be able to build an empowered, non-controlling workplace, where employees have the ability to grow and trust their potential.

Why do you think is the real reason we need to empower employees? 

Most of the time, what you will hear is empowerment increases motivation, engagement, productivity, self-actualization, and happiness. These are all fine goals, but they are not the primary reason to empower employees. 

An organization is a complex system. Survival of the organization depends on a countless number of decisions based on available information. The problem with complex systems is that they cannot be properly managed from one point in the system. In an ever-changing environment, it has the best chance to survive when management is implemented through distributed control. 

Take a moment to think about human brain. Our brain is the central command and is on top of our body, but does it do all the functions by its own? 

No. It distributes control to different organs, cells and tissues. It trusts them to perform their function properly when they are in healthy state. Isn’t it? 


In systems science, the central control of a complex system doesn’t work, because the central node of a network cannot possibly contain all information that is needed to make good decisions everywhere. Therefore, in the hope of long-term survival, every social system must implement management through distributed control, by ensuring that people who have the best information, make their own decision. 

Imagine as a leader you are busy hoarding the power, what if you fail? It will devastate the organization. 

So, the bottom line is the real reason behind empowering people is NOT to make them happy, but it is a strategy to ensure the right decisions are made for the organization’s long-term survival. 

This bring me to the next important question – HOW MANY OF YOU THINK EMPOWERMENT MEANS DELEGATION? 

Whilst both empowerment and delegation are important concepts in business, but they aren’t the same. 

Empowerment is strategic and delegation is tactical. 

When you assign a task to a team member, it is ‘delegation’. You typically provide details of the requirements, often in a step-by-step manner including the deadline for completion. There is little or no opportunity for the team member to exercise their creativity or innovation to the process, and learning is often limited. 

Delegation is task-focused with lots of control and monitoring, and no decision-making capability. 

Conversely, when team members are empowered, they are encouraged to take personal responsibility and make decisions based on the situation they find themselves in—which means, from a customer perspective, they can take action to resolve client problems without having to escalate it to a manger, safe in the knowledge that their manager will support the decision they have made.

Great leaders empower others to success by setting the GPS for the business and then rallying the team members to follow. When team members are able to take ownership for the activities they are responsible for and ensure that the outcomes are aligned with the business strategy, which can be very inspiring for them.

I strongly urge each of you to shift your thinking and don’t be reluctant to relinquish the control needed to engage in empowerment. Remember control and creativity are the antithesis of each other. Control stifles creativity and innovation, the thing that can bring competitive advantage, and it can also dampen team members’ enthusiasm and motivation.

According to the Corporate Executive Board, leaders that can move team members from low to high engagement through empowerment experience increases in productivity of over 21%.  Just think about what impact that could have on your bottom line.

Before we wrap up for the day: I want each of you to think about the obstacles that stop leaders from empowering their teams? We will discuss this first thing tomorrow. 



Now let’s do a quick recap of what we learned in our session today: 


Day 2


Welcome Note



Previous Day Summary





Hope you all got a chance to think about the question presented at the end of the session yesterday. 

If the benefits of empowerment are so clear then what stands in the way of leaders to empower their employees. 

[go around the room asking their opinion/thoughts]

Here are some of the most common obstacles: 

  1. Laziness – To be fair, it takes a lot of effort to create an environment that promotes employee empowerment. 
  2. Fear – Leaders can sometimes fear that if their employees are empowered then they will lose their leadership positions. 
  3. Inconsistency – Different employees might make different decisions in the same situation. So, you feel its easier to be consistent if employees are all expected to follow the same rules to the letter.
  4. Perceptions – Sometimes you imagine the employees are conniving and are working against the company, unless you keep them in control. Because of this you are more hesitant to allow employees to make their own decisions. 


We become more powerful when we empower others. Great leaders unleash the leader within each person, liberating them to use their own power. 

How do we do that? 

First thing first – you need to be secure enough to give away your power. 





The Law of Empowerment in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership states, “Only secure leaders give power to others”. As a leader you can have one of two attitudes toward the people who work with you. 

  1. You can try to impress them with what you can do
  2. You can empower them by helping them do what they can do

You cannot do both at the same time. And you cannot empower people if you allow your insecurities to control you. Because insecure leaders want to be the center of everything. They love the incredible emotional return of feeling indispensable, They make everything all about themselves, and what they do is motivated by preserving their power, not giving it away. 

Secure leaders who value relationships think of others first. They don’t remove themselves from the big picture, they just take on a less obvious role. They help others become more prominent because they recognize that those others are the key to the success of the organization. Secure leaders understand this. And they don’t have to be the one to win every time. They want others to win because they understand that’s how the team and organization win. 



It is time to shift gears and cover the gap between being a helicopter boss or micromanager to empowering leaders.

For leaders with a more controlling, autocratic style, it often seems that they show their “trust” and “empowerment” by being less involved, which leads to the misconception that empowerment means being hands-off. 

In fact, we’ve seen many leaders and employees express their beliefs that the shift to being more empowering requires moving from the “micromanager” to the “cheerleader,” becoming much more hands-off, but episodically swooping in to tell people how great they are.

That’s not right!

Empowerment is not “being a cheerleader” “being hands-off” or “anarchy”. 

It simply means letting your team members take action and make decisions within your organization. It also means there is trust and understanding in place to ensure these actions are in line with company goals.

Replace LEADER-FOLLOWER MINDSET with “Multiplier effect” – multiple your leadership attitude with the diverse, unique strengths of each one of your team member to multiply your organization’s strength and capabilities. 

A simple thing to say is don’t make 3 + 3 = 6 but 3 * 3 = 9 



You can empower others by acknowledging their strengths and potential contributions. First, identify their strengths. Ask people what they think are their strengths and the strengths of the other team members. Then, invite them to lead and contribute in their area of strength.

Not only will empowering your employees improve their confidence, it will increase your confidence in them too. When your team is empowered to leverage their strengths, they require less oversight from you. 

In other words, you empower them and increase your own effectiveness in the process. You can depend on them to get the job done and get it done well. Then, you can spend your time leading the organization and achieving more. 





Let me show you a model of empowerment that you can replicate in your teams and organization. 


In a nutshell, this means to empower your teams you should give them ‘challenges’ to exercise their strengths and ‘autonomy’ to take decisions independently, while holding them “accountable” for their actions without fear of compromising their sense of psychological safety. 

These components create the “Empowering Environment”. When any of these components are missing, trust begins to erode. 

Remember: Trust is a two-way street. We usually overlook this reciprocal nature of trust. We expect others to trust us either by virtue of our role or a sense of entitlement, but we want others to earn our trust. THEIR TRUST IN US MUST ALSO BE EARNED. 


  1. Help people explore and exercise their “hidden” potential 

Do you know what the main limitation most people have in their lives? 

They have a very low expectation of themselves. Not many people are aware of the huge potential that lies within them. As a leader, you should help people uncover that potential and put it to use. 

Empowerment is beyond simply training people in the necessary work skills. It is about encouraging them to rise up and be more. 

Take a moment to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flames within you. 

In the same way, help others discover and ignite the spark within them by showing you believe in them. 

  1. Give them autonomy

How to birds soar high? 

They got wings and then they are let free to fly, explore the sky, stretch their boundaries and fail in between. 

How do you give autonomy to your people? 

By reducing unnecessary rules and bureaucracy. Let them think for themselves, try things their way, and share their ideas. That’s one of the best ways to develop leaders. 

To succeed, businesses need every employee to be a leader in themselves – who can think for themselves, not clones or robots. Don’t put limits on your people, that’s the only way to secure success in the future. 

Giving people the freedom to act but neglecting to make them accountable for their actions can create chaos. Authority and accountability always need to walk hand in hand. Make it clear they have the freedom to act, but they are also accountable for the results. 








Section 5

Work Life Balance


It’s something no leader wants to admit, but leadership fatigue can hit like a ton of bricks. Maintaining peak performance at work is often stressful and demanding. 


By nature, leaders are fiercely ambitious, once one goal has been accomplished, they are envisioning the next. Leaders possess an insatiable yearning for completion and results. They set high targets for themselves and others and are determined to continue to climb the corporate ladder. Leaders are competitive; their objective is to ensure that the organization shines above their competitors. But whilst all these traits are positive and necessary characteristics for leaders, it’s simply not possible to sustain this drive without taking the occasional break. If you are one those leaders who rarely gives yourself time off, you could potentially be having a very negative impact on your own health and the health of the business.


Now more than ever, “business hours” has morphed into “any hours” or “all hours” – so it should be no surprise that burnout has become a serious and growing problem. 


How do you know when it is too much? 

Before you hit the “leadership fatigue” there are often warning signs. According to the American Psychological Association, burnout is “characterized as emotional exhaustion and negative attitudes toward one’s co-workers and job role.” 

It can manifest in a number of physical ways everything from headaches to gastrointestinal disorders, muscle disorders, hypertension, sleeping disorders and a lower immune system, resulting in more colds and illness, in general. 

It can also surface through a negative, defensive attitude, grumpiness, moodiness, constant sarcasm, blaming and victimhood. 

When leaders experience burnout, it’s not because they don’t love their jobs. It’s more of an issue of struggling to maintain that vital work-life balance. 


Does this sound familiar? Do you think you are a workaholic and experience burnout? 


Don’t overlook emotional exhaustion until it’s too late!




Let’s clarify one thing first. There is enough research evidence to prove that – 


In fact, it’s often the reverse. Studies indicate that after 50 hours a week, productivity starts to decline. Working too many hours limits access to your full range of skills and abilities. Your brain needs time to unplug and recharge in order to unleash your full capabilities. 


There are three reasons why every leader should strive to achieve work-life balance: 


  1. To enhance your leadership acumen 


Contrary to what workaholics may believe, research has shown that long hours do not lead to greater returns; rather it correlated with grave health consequences such as increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Overwork erodes innovation and decision-making power. 

Have you ever realized that creative ideas come to you when you are taking a break or allowing your mind to wander? 


I think it makes all the more sense to dedicate time to activities that reduce your stress and sharpen your decision making. 


Sometimes, you are so focused on moving the company forward that you forget that your own wellbeing plays a critical role in your ability to achieve excellent results. Instead of forsaking your own mental and physical health, you should view work-life balance as a key component of your ability to successfully run a company. 


  1. To increase overall satisfaction


In an interview with The Guardian, a palliative care nurse highlighted that one of the biggest regrets of people (particularly men) on their deathbed is “working too much”. She also said that they missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. 

Even Brad Smith, the former CEO of Intuit also admitted to TIME magazine that there are so many moments in hindsight that he would have gone back and done differently. 

He said it is important to distinguish between “rubber moments” like dozens of soccer games, which you can miss and bounce back from, and “crystal moments” like your children’s graduation, spouse’s birthday, your wedding anniversary, which you should never “miss”. 


  1. It improves performance 

Your behavior as a leader has ripple effects throughout the entire company.


Let’s do an individual reality check. How many of you issue statements or preach about work-life balance, but many times in a week you find yourself contradicting them? 


The culture of your organization is determined by “how you act” and not “what you say or preach” – ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS


When leaders model sustainable work practices, employees are more engaged, have higher health wellbeing, and are more satisfied at work. Furthermore, they show higher level of trust in their leaders. 


A research survey found that employees are 1.1 times more likely to stay with an organization” if their bosses encouraged them to take breaks and vacations and exhibited those behaviors themselves. 


Here is a simple formula: the better you take of your people and yourself, the better they will take care of the business. 


Commit to achieving balance in your own lives. There are things that you can do to address this leadership struggle and regain the sense of work life balance that will support your performance, productivity, and overall professional wellbeing. 


How do you do it? 


Here are seven tried and tested strategies to reset your work-life balance and keep you on the right track. 


  1. Find your balance. 


When you think about work-life balance, you visualize happy professionals who spend an optimal number of hours at work and with family, get ample rest and follow their passions. But it isn’t as simple as it sounds, and the definition of balance differs from every person. 

There is no one-size-fits-all or if you try to copy someone else’s ways, your life will never attain equilibrium. One person can handle a 60-hours work week, while others want to spend more time with family and friends. The best approach is to find your own comfort level that works for you. Work hard but switch to smart work. 


  1. Guard your personal time

The key to establishing an enhanced work life balance is developing the right mindset. You need to view your personal time and your role at home and in life as equally important as your time and role at work. Be protective of your personal time and make it a priority. 


  1. Set boundaries

In one respect we are fortunate to have the technology and digital communication methods we have today. However, technology can also be a curse. Being instantly accessible to anyone at any time makes maintaining a good work life balance even harder.


Don’t make the mistake of thinking that since you all have smart phones and laptops, you should all be collaborating on a project at the weekend or at night. Learn to put these items away after a certain time. Remember of course to encourage your employees to do the same; the greater balance they achieve the more productive and engaged they’ll be during work hours. 


Don’t allow technology to run your life; it’s purpose should be to make things easier not to overwhelm you.


  1. Keep the guilt at bay 

Don’t allow the guilt to creep in if you miss a team dinner. As a leader your job is to prioritize, to make that call; you decide where your loyalty lies: you cannot do it all, you are not a superhero! Learn to say no, stick to your decision and move on.


  1. Be where you are

Mental, physical or emotional distractions leave you nowhere. Focus on the kids and family when at home and forget about work. Similarly, your home shouldn’t be on your mind when you are amid an important work meeting or business conference. 


  1. Invest in personal development

Maintaining a good work-life balance gets a tad easier if you learn better ways to do things. It is only possible by keeping yourself at pace with the latest skills and technologies in the industry. The best way to do it is by investing in personal development. Be open to learning. 

Join a coaching program to formalize learning and development. You get to work one-on-one with a coach who can give you time, space and perspectives to uncover underlying challenges and identify creative ways to address them.

  1. Participate in “serious” leisure activities that improve their performance

Leaders’ job is ‘all encompassing” that it becomes difficult to stop thinking about it, even in the free time. Simply, relaxing or spending time with family/friends do not suffice. You need something more – a nonwork passion where you get completely absorbed, and strive for your best. ‘Work is my passion” is no excuse. 


  1. Get creative with your time

When it comes to achieving a work-life balance, nothing gets more crucial than effective time management. But the real secret lies in using your time creatively. For example, you could use commute time to have important conversations with the kids as you drop them at school. It will be easy to catch up with all that you may have missed at the dinner table. If you miss exercise, consider walking to the office if it isn’t too far away. You may cook with your partner on the weekends and keep the spark alive, even as you miss spending time with them on the weekdays. Remember that it isn’t about the quantity but the quality of the time you spend with your loved ones.

  1. Make your health and well-being a priority

If you are fit and healthy, you will be able to bring harmony to your personal and professional life. You end up doing more in less time, and spending a couple of hours more on tasks at hand doesn’t hurt because your energy levels are high. Investing in self-care is the best place to start. Pick the basics like eating well, exercising every day, meditating, getting enough sleep, and doing an activity you enjoy every weekend. Although this sound easy, you will probably have to make an effort for them, but it is worthwhile. Take a break when you can, regardless of packed schedules and domestic responsibilities. Spending time alone is as important as being with your partner, friends, and kids.

Make work life balance the core of your company’s culture. It matters for everyone. So, it is vital to make it the core of your company’s culture. Let people know that the business wants them to spend time with their families. Make empathy a part of your policies and give people an opportunity to be with their loved ones when they need to. Consider flexibility in scheduling tasks, although you should have a clear stance on productivity. You will end up with a happier team that delivers beyond expectations. Further, a positive work culture boosts employee retention and loyalty which matter a lot for organizations. When people stay and businesses grow, leaders have to spend less time supervising them. 

These simple work-life balance secrets are ones that everyone knows. But they fail to implement them as a part of their routine. Most leaders would say they don’t have the time, but that’s a shame, because a hobby can be an antidote for all the mental strain you are under as a leader. You need to reconnect and get back to who you are as a human being. Just take the first step to integrate them into your busy life, and you can be as happy and successful as the leader who share them from their first-hand experiences. 


Blog Data


Social Facebook Data


Social Twitter Data


Social Instagram Data


Additional Media Attached




External Source url


Author Info


Blog Layout


Category Blog

Category: Uncategorized