Episode Focus: Looking at several leadership articles from around the world including topics such as:

  • Making sure what you say is memorable
  • The advantages of being a ‘disruptive’ leader
  • Leadership training for women lawyers (and others, too)
  • Four of the ten biggest leadership weaknesses
  • The importance of leadership vision
  • Developing leaders within your organization
  • The importance of laughter


VOCL Intro

Hi there!  Welcome to the Voices of Canadian Leadership podcast.

  • Episode Focus: Looking at several leadership articles from around the world including topics such as:
    • Making sure what you say is memorable
    • The advantages of being a ‘disruptive’ leader
    • Leadership training for women lawyers (and others, too)
    • Four of the ten biggest leadership weaknesses
    • The importance of leadership vision
    • Developing leaders within your organization
    • The importance of laughter
  • There was some feedback from Episode 26 (Looking at Leadership Articles #10), which was dedicated to the memory of a friend, Miles Gorgichuk.  Through this feedback, I realized that I hadn’t fully explained his leadership and how you could implement those thoughts.
  • Otherwise, I don’t have much to add this week except that I am working on building a business.  I’ve come across a great resource – fiverr.com – where people will do a wide range of tasks for – you guessed it – 5 dollars.  I had previously done all of the VOCL artwork myself, but I decided to let some more creative folks give it a shot.  I’m glad that I did – the logo looks great!  I may have to look at incorporating some more Fiverr tasks for VOCL, too.  Doing so will allow me to spend more time on creating content!


VOCL Resources and Articles

This week – a random selection of 7 articles on different aspects of leadership.

Memorable leaders say it with sizzle” by Kathryn D. Cramer at The Globe and Mail

Many articles offer multiple tips; this one offers but one – make sure that what you say is memorable.  You can have a great message, but if no one hears it – the opportunity is wasted.  In this case, a famous horse race was used to place the leader’s vision in context.  This article comes from the author’s book “Lead Positive: What Highly Effective Leaders See, Say and Do” – sounds like a good read.

(Original article has been deleted)


Disruptive Heroes: Leadership for a New Era” by Bill Jensen at Center for Creative Leadership

This article is a call to action for leaders to break from convention and disrupt the status quo. The author provides four areas where leaders can be disruptive (his book, “Disrupt! Think Epic! Be Epic”, provides a total of 25):

  • Question everything
  • Kill what you cherish most
  • Have lots of affairs (on your boss)
  • Never accept “dingless” tools

This article may resonate with some, but not with me. It smacks of being different just for the sake of being different, without really demonstrating the value of being different. Perhaps it’s simply another form of “visioning” – what do you think?

(Original article has been deleted)


Leadership Training for Women Lawyers: Transforming Women and the Places Where They Work” by Linda K. Robertson at SLAW

In response to Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In”, the article’s author states that decreasing self-doubt and developing greater confidence are achieved through leadership training.  Although the context is about women in law, many of the points are transferable to men and women alike.  Some of the main points that she raises:

  • Understanding the difference between “traditional” male and female leadership styles and communication patterns
  • Be aware of gender biases
  • Learn how to negotiate for yourself
  • Don’t always put the needs of others ahead of your own
  • Learn to lead a balanced life

For communication, the author seems to focus mainly on speech (which is important), but VOCL readers are also aware of the importance of body language – think confident > act confident > be seen as confident!

(Original article has been deleted)


10 Big Leadership Weaknesses” by David Peck at Huffington Post

Many articles focus on highlighting desirable leadership skills; this article focuses on leadership weaknesses.  It’s a fairly quick read, so I’ll give you an abbreviated version of some of them (you’ll have to read the article for the full list).

  • Distancing yourself from your followers
  • Using the wrong leadership style
  • Not delivering on what you promise
  • Over- or under-pessimism about people, strategies, or tactics

The good thing about this article is that it provides some ideas on how to solve each of those weaknesses.  Myself, I would have joined two different weaknesses into one, leaving a free slot for “not having (or communicating) a vision” – if you don’t have one, why are you leading?

(Original article has been deleted)


Everyone Should Have a ‘Vision’” by David Barrett at Davidbarrett.ca

One of the fundamental aspects of leadership is having a vision.  In explaining the concept, David ensures that he separates a vision (the desired end state at some point in the future) from a vision statement (a guiding set of principles).  Having a vision is a key element in helping you to develop the strategic plan that will take you from here to there in the most efficient fashion.

Based on the article it sounds like this is the first of several posts that will help take the 30,000’ vision down to the ground level – I’m looking forward to future posts.

(Original article has been deleted)


Leadership: A Big Thing” by Karin Chenoweth at Huffington Post

This article speaks to how a school district in Delaware is developing leaders – their solution could easily be adapted for Canadian use across a wide spectrum of organizations.  I like that they identify people, at an early stage, as being potential future leaders.  They provide learning and development opportunities for their employees.  They also have created a culture where people can share best practices and give mutual support.  My favourite quote:

“Not only does this careful system mean that the district is building a bench of leaders so that it doesn’t have to scramble to fill open positions, but also that it has built a system of leaders who know each other and know how things work and whom to call.”



“Why Great Leaders Laugh” by Cameron Morrissey at LinkedIn

This article highlights laughter as a key principle of leadership.  The author provides the following reasons to incorporate laughter into your leadership style:

  • It makes you more approachable
  • It can help make you more creative
  • It can reduce stress – yours and the workplace
  • It can increase productivity (happy employees are productive employees)

The author practices what he preaches, ensuring that he emails a clean joke to his employees at midday every day.   Also, this article has a very active comment section with most people being very strongly in favour of humour in the workplace.

(Original article has been deleted)

VOCL Listener Feedback

Patsy Lenz provided some feedback via the Speakpipe button about VOCL episode 26 – this episode was dedicated to the memory of Miles Gorgichuk, a fellow 2012 GGCLC New Brunswick study group member.  I will be honest – I strongly debated whether I was going to include her comment even though I strongly agreed with her feelings.  In the end, I decided that I needed to include it – I’ll play the clip and then tell you why.

Insert clip

My initial thought was that I didn’t want VOCL to be an audiobook of condolences, even though Miles was a great guy.  The more that I listened, however, the more that Patsy’s message spoke to me about Miles’ leadership:

  • Being a mentor (Patsy)
  • Developing your followers (candidacy)
  • Be a leader in all aspects of your life

If you have comments that you would like to provide, please use the Speakpipe button on the right-hand side of the VOCL website or on VOCL’s Facebook page – I want people to hear your voice (it is, after all, VOICES of Canadian Leadership).  If you’re not comfortable providing verbal feedback – that’s okay.


VOCL Closing Thoughts / Future Episodes / Call to Action

Takeaways and introspection

  • Everyone Should Have a ‘Vision’” by David Barrett – what is your vision?  If you don’t have one, create one now.
  • Petty Lenz’s voicemail – don’t just be a leader in your organization (whatever that may be) – be a leader in all aspects of your life.  It can be challenging, but it will be worth the journey!


I’m Chris Hache, asking you to be VOCL for a better Canada

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