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To dare to say and do: Developing a Personal Sense of Satisfaction in Leadership

June 15, 2011

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Edith Luc as a contributor to the Find Fulfill Flourish blog.  She is a Ph.D. graduate of the University of Montreal. Edith specializes in leadership, management development and intercultural management. Her practice targets the development of competencies through the capitalization of leadership and diversity. You can read more of her works on her blog:


To dare to say and do: Developing a Personal Sense of Satisfaction in Leadership

By Edith Luc, Ph.D.

I have met many leaders in the past 20 years, especially during a study I conducted on leaders of various organizations and countries. I asked them the following question:

What made you develop your leadership skills while your brothers, sisters and work colleagues did not do the same?

I was able to develop seven strategies by analyzing their answers. These strategies can be useful for anyone wishing to develop their leadership skills and power to influence to convince a partner, associate, colleagues, banker or client.

Encouraging and reinforcing your sense of satisfaction in leadership.

The practice of leadership is a progressive learning experience and improvement of one’s personal sense of satisfaction. It can be developed by living different experiences, searching for inspiring people, asking for feedback, imagining future achievements and successes and the management of stress in demanding situations. The personal sense of satisfaction can motivate to persevere and double the efforts when facing challenges and difficulties. But how can you increase your personal sense of satisfaction?

By experimenting.

Experimenting and developing the ability to influence in increasing difficult situations is the starting point for those who wish to develop their personal sense of satisfaction. After succeeding in moderately difficult situations, such as convincing a colleague, the task is easier to reproduce in more challenging situations, such as convincing a boss or a banker. However, what can seem an easy task for one can be more difficult for another and every individual must respect their own rhythm of progression and be open to experiment and get out of their comfort zone. For example, if it is difficult for an individual to speak up in small and familiar groups, he/she must practice this skill and do it more often. Subsequently, it can be easier for this person to speak up in larger and more challenging groups. Winston Churchill used this strategy.

The ability to speak up in familiar situations and groups reinforces the personal sense of satisfaction and can be used to rise to another, more difficult situation. This sense of satisfaction can also be reinforced by congratulating, acknowledging the progresses made and persevering rather than by putting into question one’s skills or admitting defeat. The opposite of experimentation is to choose the easy way out of a problem.

The trick is to DARE!  To dare to get out of the comfort zone, speak up, pursue the project despite the deceptions encountered along the way, put forward new ideas and projects and persevere even when there are difficulties and refusals!

By observing and learning from others.

The second strategy to increase the personal sense of satisfaction in leadership is to choose and follow one or many role models. The observation of successful people: how they face situations, their behaviour, courage and business strategies can be a source of inspiration. The selection of a role model can be a leader from a familiar environment such as a successful CEO or President of a company; it can also by observing the behaviour and viewpoints of a leader from more exotic environments.

The observation of others can be done directly or it can come from written documentations such as biographies. Mintzberg demonstrate that famous leaders are often inspired by the success stories and biographies of others. Another way to learn from others is by asking questions, speaking and learning from people who faced and overcame different challenges.

With the support of others.

The support of friends, family, colleagues or other individuals can also develop the personal sense of satisfaction. For example, a boss, colleague, friend or parent notices and applauds the progresses, abilities and potential of an individual and gives them the strength needed to pursue their objective. Another way to do this is by deciding which comments to ignore and which ones to use as a potential innovative solution or approach. In interviews, some leaders even admitted recycling negative comments into a stronger determination to succeed and prove them wrong!

By learning to relax before and during stressful situations.

There are two complementary and essential abilities that can develop the sense of satisfaction, these are the ability to relax by projecting themselves in stressful situations and the ability to relax when facing them.
This strategy can be a practice of self-control for some but anything can be managed if there is a determination. The ability to relax before and after a stressful situation can be done by imagining positive images and a constructive dialog and by focusing on achievements rather than defeats.

Negative projections can weaken the potential to succeed. There are studies that demonstrate that if an athlete fears a fall or a false move, he/she will fall. This athlete will have better chances to succeed if he/she projects their success at every phase of the performance. The case of those who wish to become successful leaders, do not imagine himself/herself failing in achieving his/her objectives or in the behaviors required to attain them.


The ability to dare to say or do and influence in any situation, starting with easier to more challenging ones can lead to the development of the personal sense of satisfaction in leadership. For example, listening attentively to speak and develop an argument to influence a stubborn person or group. The ability to be influential is reinforced through the experiences acquired by succeeding, facing challenges, observing, learning and the support of others, projections of successes and managing stress in difficult situations.

 Edith Luc

A Ph.D. Graduate of the University of Montreal, Edith Luc specializes in leadership and management development and intercultural management. Her practice targets the development of competencies through the capitalization of leadership and diversity. You can read more of her works on her blog:

© 2011 Edith Luc, All Rights Reserved

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