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Oct. 4, 2022

A New Path to Leadership Success with Michelle Johnston

Historically, leaders communicated with their employees in a transactional and hierarchical manner. However, these tactics no longer work in today's environment. The traditional, command-and-control leadership style is no longer as effective. What leadership techniques do effective leaders employ in the modern business and working environment?

In this episode, Doug and Greg talk with Michelle Johnston, a management professor, executive coach, and leadership expert who serves as the Gaston Chair of Business at Loyola University New Orleans. Author of “The Seismic Shift in Leadership,” Michelle emphasizes the need for leaders to shift from a command-and-control leadership style to one focused on connection.

Michelle talks with Doug and Greg about how leaders can get to the heart of their organizations, how human connection can drive better financial performance, innovation, and productivity, and what true connection is all about.

Key Takeaways

  • [00:54] - What Michelle's book, “The Seismic Shift in Leadership,” is about.
  • [02:47] - How leaders can get to the heart of their organizations.
  • [05:16] - How to move away from formal hierarchical leadership structures.
  • [09:23] - An example of a leadership style that can erode people's trust.
  • [12:15] - How human connection can drive better financial performance, innovation, and productivity.
  • [17:53] - What true connection means.
  • [21:39] - How to measure the effectiveness of a leader.
  • [25:35] - The role incentives play in retaining top talent.
  • [27:11] - The importance of purpose and personal growth in retaining high performers.


[02:49] - "Leaders who were truly getting to the highest levels in their organizations were leaders who were focusing on showing up and connecting with their people." ~ Michelle Johnston

[04:21] - "You can't truly connect with others and get the best out of your team if you're trying to be somebody you're not or you're uncomfortable in your own skin. It starts with you." ~ Michelle Johnston

[18:02] - "Connection is shared reciprocity. Communication in the old way was transactional, hierarchical, or do this. In connection, there's got to be an energy of reciprocity. I see you, you see me. So even though I'm the leader, I see you." ~ Michelle Johnston


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