5 Exemplary Leadership Qualities


A few weeks ago, on October 13, 2017, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, made his first official visit to Mexico where he met with Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto. It was an opportunity to emphasize their shared commitment to a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement that benefits Canadians, Mexicans, and Americans alike.

In his address to the Mexican Senate, Prime Minister Trudeau underlined the importance of progressive trade and modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement for the benefit of all three partners – Canada, Mexico, and the United States. He also emphasized that Canada and Mexico recognize the urgency of fighting against climate change and that it cannot be left for next generations to solve.

I’ve always been impressed by Trudeau’s leadership style. He often practices transparency, accessibility, openness, and a willingness to collaborate – all great qualities of a leader.

Regardless of your politics, I’d like to share a few key lessons we can learn from Prime Minister Trudeau’s approach to leadership originally written by Fast Company. Here are five of them.

1 – Build a Diverse Team

Trudeau gathered the most brilliant people and challenged them to find real solutions. Having a diverse group of people in your team will lead to creative thinking and problem-solving. After all, progress and team learning is only possible when there’s a willingness to engage with people with different views. A homogenous team stifles creativity and information processing.

2 – Be Open-minded and Have Real Conversations

Be willing to engage with people who disagree with you and consider their views. Transparent, genuine dialogue should be standard in any work environment. This helps build relationships between leaders and staff. Especially when employees transition to leadership roles.

It is too common for leaders to make decisions before hearing what their team has to say. In order to be effective and productive, the dialogue has to start with leaders listening, then engaging, and only then making a decision.

3 – Increase Your EQ

Emotional Intelligence is becoming more valuable. Trudeau has disrupted what good leadership looks like. He has an ability to parse diverse threads, read situations, motivations, and personalities, and respond in real time. A high EQ helps leaders be better communicators, reduce their anxiety and stress, defuse conflicts, improve relationships, empathize with others, and effectively overcome life’s challenges.

4 – Don’t Focus on Perfection, Allow Yourself to be Vulnerable

Trudeau was accused of manhandling another member of Parliament. Many felt it was jarringly out of character from the open and positive style Canadians had come to expect from him. However, the widely criticized incident had no impact on his reputation. That was largely thanks to Trudeau’s just-as-widely discussed apology–actually, his series of apologies–that came immediately, without qualification, and struck many as sincere.

Leaders make mistakes and everyone knows it; it is important that we own up to it and apologize clearly and immediately. Be sincere. Justin Trudeau’s apology was different than perhaps what we’ve expected from past, ‘tough’ leaders.  It was refreshing.

5 – Have a Real Life

Simply put, leaders need to remain flexible and sensitive to work-life issues. Give your team–and yourself–the leeway to work in the way that works for the rest of your lives.

What leadership qualities do you value most?

My Experience Implementing Insights Discovery

People Development

As you know, I currently work for a contact center with about 50 clinical and non-clinical associates with various tasks and responsibilities from scheduling appointments, managing referrals to specialty clinics, and phone nurse triage.  The team dynamics vary greatly which tend to cause tension between each group ultimately reducing teamwork, productivity, and retention. I came to the conclusion that this team would benefit from a self-awareness discovery session.

I reached out to our Sr. Training & Development Specialists within the company and implemented Insights Discovery, a people development program. The goal was to improve office interactions between groups, build a foundation for excellent teamwork, enhance productivity, and inspire leadership.

So What is Insights Discovery?

I think the video below, posted by Insights Learning and Development, better explains what Insights is all about.

How was it Received?

The Insights Discovery debrief session was recently completed and our team interactions have already improved! There was excitement immediately following the debrief session and the foundation for a continuous improvement culture is already evident.

I wanted Insights to be an every day topic so I created an Insights board to post more information about each of the color energies. Each team member also has their color energy results on their nameplate and a list of adaptive strategies posted outside their cubicle for others to refer to when approaching that individual. It includes tips on: how to approach this person, how to gain commitment, how to question, and how to follow up with.

Here are some pictures of what I’ve shared with our team.

Follow Up Activities

My goal, and those of the rest of the operations team, is to keep Insights going on our team. Our plan is to have interactive activities that challenge each color energy to grow. Here are some examples of our follow-up activities:

  • Post It: Have each team member pick their favorite statement from their profile and post them for all to see.
  • Top Strength: Have each member pick their top strength and share it with the team. Ask others to comment on when this individual has demonstrated this strength well.
  • Colors in action: Have each team member pick an area they want to focus on and ask them to resolve to put it into action throughout the month.

Recently, we completed the Share Your Appreciation activity. Each team member was given four sticky notes of different colors (red, yellow, green, and blue). Based on what they learned about the color energies, they would each share what they appreciate about each of the colors and post them outside their work space (cubicle or office).

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What’s next?

Our team will continue challenging each other to improve our interactions. I believe a bit of friendly competition creates strong relationships, improves our ability to problem solve, and become aware of our strengths.

I challenge you to look into implementing Insights for your team.

My Color Energies

I lead with Blue, followed by Green, Red, then Yellow.

Have you completed an Insights Discovery session? What were your results? Comment below.