Flawed definitions

It's difficult to give leadership a succinct summary.

Lolly Daskal:

Great leaders inspire greatness in others.

Simon Sinek:

People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

Bill Gates:

As we look into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.

John Maxwell:

Leadership is influence -- nothing more, nothing less.

Glenn Llopis:

Leadership is learned behaviour that becomes unconscious and automatic over time.


  • Personal
  • Team
  • Company
  • Thought


  • About being there for other people.
  • Build people, not just projects.


Mix styles as appropriate to meet goals

  • Charismatic - personality, energy, inspires passion, belief, invincibility
  • Innovative - grasps entire situation, goes beyond, can see, new thinking, risks, respect for ideas, failure is okay
  • Command and control - follows rules, expects that from others, urgent, critical, demanding, top-down, sole decision maker
  • Laissez-Faire - not directly involved, trustworthy, monitors, gives feedback, autonomy, skilled and self-directed teams
  • Pace setter - high standards for themselves and all below, is an example, prone to burnout, fast-past
  • Servant - service, include whole team, provides tools, outside of the limelight, let team take credit, high morale
  • Situational - adaptable, directing and supportive, empowering and coaching, confusing with constant changes, reinvention
  • Transformational - expect transformation when things get hard, count on best efforts, role models, encourage innovation, motivating


Good leaders:

  • Make others feel safe to speak up
  • Make decisions
  • Communicate expectations
  • Provide continuous feedback
  • Ask questions, seek counsel
  • Problem solve; abvoid procrastination

Chemicals and human evolution

  • Endorphins mask pain.
  • Dopamine signals reward, instilling a sense of achievement, and is very addictive.
  • Oxytocin is the love chemical, serving as an addiction inhibitor. It's released during physical contact and for investment of time and effort.
  • Serotonin is the status chemical, related to confidence.
  • Cortisol is a stress hormone responsible for fight or flight responses; emitted at the expense of immune system.

FIRE model

  • Foundation: goes first, pull those behind to move things forward. Define a code that the team can expect from you, and in turn you can expect from them:
    • Act like an owner.
    • We have each others' back.
    • We choose people over process.
    • We question our assumptions.
    • We think big and start small.
    • We don't create wave, we ride them.
    • We are intentional about our work.
    • We fail fast and recover faster.
    • We are not experts, and will keep the posture of a student, always learning.
    • We make the complex seem simple.
    • We make life easier for those around us.
    • We are here to serve, not to be served.
  • Interior: you can't help others from a bad place. Ensure motivators value the right things (daycare experiment). Motivators are rooted in:
    • Autonomy - work on what you want, how you want to.
      • Process ownership
    • Mastery - learn what interests you.
      • Conferences
      • Training courses
    • Purpose - feeling a connection to your work and understanding your contribution.
      • Empathising with users through storytelling.
      • Volunteering.
  • Refinements are extra touches that boost morale.
    • Field trips, for observation.
      • Doug Dietz, MRI machines for children.
  • Change your team's exterior behaviour:
    • Celebrate achievements
    • Never blame individuals
    • Regular reports incorporating key statistics.