High performance leaders are intentional in their approach to leading themselves and others. Leadership is a behavior not a position.  Emotionally engaging leaders have 6 common pillars which allow the work to become more exciting; the environment more empowering and enjoyable; the creative mind more dynamic and curious; the human spirit more open to change; and, the contributions each team member makes gain more value through improved synergy and alignment.


#1 Connection: the ability to connect with others even when things are tough. A feeling that another person can trust you. They care and want to support you. You are in strong, positive rapport with another. Willingness to accept and acknowledge another person even in disagreement. Connection builds trust. Connection is different than chemistry.

#2 Clean Communication: the commitment to say what must be said even though it feels uncomfortable. Saying it in a caring and compassionate way. Not delivering bad news via email or on “the fly.” Real communication is kind, not nice. Listening at levels 2 and 3. Ability to acknowledge what another person is saying. Clean communication is different than clear.

#3 Compassion: caring about the individual – the being – and still honoring the work and contributions they bring to the community. Compassion isn’t just kindness and empathy. It recognizes limitations and avoids putting people into situations where their limitations take them down. Working with another person without being in judgment of them. Lead with compassion and others will feel safe enough to follow, learn and stretch.

#4 Higher Purpose: standing for the greater vision, far beyond financial results. Higher purpose is what your organization is ultimately delivering to its customers and community. This higher purpose allows everyone’s work to be equally valuable to the overall purpose. In an organization that stands for its higher purpose [its heart beat], each person regardless of their place on the “org chart” knows their contribution is vital to an extraordinary client experience and hence their own experience and how they interact with their fellow team members.

#5 Participation: getting everyone on the bus and emotionally engaged. When a person does not feel included in the community, their work will be mediocre at best. Participation is that feeling of being included even when you might not be performing at your best. Helping clean up the mess even if you didn’t make it. Participation is your responsibility to show up and play “all in.”

#6 100% Responsibility: Accountability: owning your tasks and commitments without being chased or directed. Following up and following through with stakeholders. Owning your deliverables and being accountable to them.  Being coachable to learn and grow.  Ultimately responsibility answers the question: “can I count on you?” which is accountability.