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I have moved my blog to my webpage.  My most recent blog is here.

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The 5 things respected leaders say everyday

Getting the basics right is fundamental to being a respected leader.  Do you say these five things everyday?


I am amazed at the number of leaders that do not greet their staff everyday. When I have run focus groups with employees, time and time again, I have heard employees say that their manager does not greet them in the morning, even though they share the some office (and sometimes sit 2 metres away!). The employees say they feel ignored and not respected as their manager overlooked this simple act of human connection.

A simple “Good morning” acknowledges your colleagues, wishes them well for the day, does not take loads of time out of your day and let’s the people around you know that you appreciate them being there.


Yes, you are the boss.  Yes, people  have to do things just because you asked them. When you forget to say “please” you are giving them an order and reminding them of the power difference in your relationship. But, they already know that you are the boss and there is a power difference.

Sometimes managers confuse saying “please” with begging.  Saying please to a colleague acknowledges that their emotional energy, commitment and respect are theirs to give. It’s also good manners. Begging is begging.

Thank you

I have heard loads of managers say, “why should I say thank you to someone for doing their job?” If coming to work was all about a transaction of wages and employee outputs then they have a good point.  However, as we have not yet been replaced by robots, then saying “thank you” acknowledges the human effort that went into the task.

Again – just good manners.

I’m sorry 

Own it. We all make mistakes. Everyday.  This is the hardest of the 5 as this requires us to swallow our pride. Gulp. Yet the power of a sincere apology is immense in healing hurts, creating connection, building trust and gaining respect.


Like saying “hello”, saying “goodbye” is an important daily ritual.  We bless the other person’s going and coming, wishing that they may be well while away.  What a great way to end the day.  Leaving before your team, also sets a great example of work/life balance, too.


Great leaders set inspiring vision, grow talent, give feedback, …. but without these five these actions are pretty hollow because at the core of leadership is connecting as a human to another human.

Have you had a leader that didn’t do these 5 things? Did you respect them? Are there any you need to work on?

I learnt these magic 5 from a wise women.  There is one for each finger. She said they were the 5 rules her family tried to live by. Why not try these habits at home, too.


Stop waiting for the empowerment fairy

Recently I have had a number of conversations where people have said they are not empowered. And leaders should empower them.  They were waiting.  Waiting. Waiting.

I wondered what their picture of being empowered looked like. Would they be sprinkled in magic dust by the empowerment fairy and suddenly they had all they needed to achieve what they wanted?

Gloria Steinem says: Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself.

Steinem’s quote resonates for me.  The process of empowerment is messy.  It takes grit, risk and determination.  You may have to upset the applecart. You certainly face hearing rejection.  You also risk being successful.

We are not handed power.  Each leader must make their power legitimate.  A stroll through English monarchs reminds us that even a birthright is not a right.

Stephen Covey talks about circles of influence and circles of concern.  When we focus on changing things in our circle of influence our power grows. When we focus on all the things outside our circle of influence that circle of influence actually decreases!  By constantly looking at what we feel we cannot change we become victims.

If you are waiting to for the empowerment fairy, why not try this experiment? Ask yourself:

  • Are you really waiting for?
  • What is in my circle of influence?  How will I expand it?
  • Who can help me?
  • Who will I help?

Would love to hear your stories.