Keys to Unlocking Your Leadership Influence

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What would you be able to achieve if you had more influence right now?

What kind of an impact would you be making if you just had more influence?

Why does it seem others around you are achieving more and making a bigger impact, at the same time?

Two words. Leadership influence!


So, where do you get this kind of valuable influence all in one place? In the Keys to Unlocking Your Leadership Influence™ Masterclass Series.

And, it’s FREE for YOU, from Tuesday, July 9 through Monday, July 22, 2019.

My friend and transformational leader Kristi Staab has gathered together 28 massively successful global thought leaders and leadership influencers together in this Masterclass Series to answer the most powerful question being asked today:

“How do I build my confidence and increase my influence?”

Regardless of where or how you’re looking to increase your confidence and influence, the Keys to Unlocking Your Leadership Influence™ has you covered, with interviews featuring Jack Canfield, JJ Virgin, Bub Burg, Bob Chapman, Marci Shimoff, Debra Poneman, and me.

These are just a few of the amazing leadership influencers that are showing up to support you in unlocking an even higher level of confidence and influence!

In my one-on-one interview with Kristi, I’ll be sharing what we’ve been doing to transform workplaces one team at a time through our 5 rehumanizing principles. I'll also be sharing more about what it takes to show up as a leader and influence positive change in our lives – regardless of your role or title.

Want more leadership influence now? Register today!

During the Keys to Unlocking Your Leadership Influence, you’ll learn:

  • Why leadership influence is the conduit to you achieving and impacting more, period.
  • The mindset, behaviors, and skills necessary for you to become a highly successful leadership influencer.
  • How to influence others when you have no authority.
  • Whether or not people trust you based on your voice quality and body language.
  • How your health, nutrition, and self-care are impacting your current level of influence – for better or worse.
  • How to create connection through generosity, passion, purpose and positive influence.
  • How to use LinkedIn and major media to build your personal brand and leadership influence.

This very timely, informative, motivational, and empowering Masterclass Series IS yours for the taking. So, take it before it’s gone for good! Register today!

Use these keys to unlock your leadership influence!


Rosie Ward, Ph.D., MPH, MCHES, BCC, CIC®, CVS-FR

P.S. Up until now, access to THIS very group of global thought leaders and leadership experts has never been available before!

P.S.S. This is a rare opportunity. 28 global thought leaders and leadership influencers. All in one place. Answering one very important question. How do increase my leadership influence? Answers await. Access this before it’s gone for good!

Free Resource: Leveraging the FUSION of Organizational and Employee Wellbeing to Create a Thriving Workplace Culture

This eBook discusses the important interconnectedness of organizational development and employee wellbeing; distinguishes culture from climate and explains how you can intentionally align them; explores wildly successful companies who are doing just that;  and provides steps you can take to create the conditions where both the organization and employees can thrive.

Read it Now

Free Resource: Ushering Motivation and Behavior Change

This eBook separates fact from fiction with regards to one of the biggest areas of stuckness - motivation and behavior change. We look at the research and uncover the Evolution of Motivation. Specifically we describe the attributes of evolving to Motivation 4.0 - supporting better thinking as a foundation for meaningful, sustainable change.

Read it Now

The Employee Health Program Code of Conduct: Programs Should Do No Harm

As wellness programs and strategies continue to evolve, some things should remain constant. By intent, all wellness programs should be designed in a way to improve health and do no harm. While it sounds simple, there is emerging research and evidence to suggest that some practices employed by the wellness industry may actually be doing the opposite, placing employees in situations that are more harmful than beneficial to their health.  Excessive penalties for non-participation, screening outside a frequency defined by national guidelines, or providing programs that result in weight cycling are a few examples of practices that can, not only do physical harm, but could also have serious psychological and financial consequences that undermine the good work for which our programs were designed.

There are incredible vendors in the wellness space that provide products and services that adhere to a do no harm philosophy. This sparked a discussion among four industry leaders about developing a code of conduct and industry promise to continue to improve peoples’ lives at work. Having collectively worked with thousands of organizations on their wellness strategies, Ryan Picarella, Al Lewis, Rosie Ward and Jon Robison collaborated to define a minimum set of standards that will help us live up to the expectation that employees and employers have for wellness programs. In this rapidly growing time for our industry, it is timely to set a standard that ensures we continue to innovate in a way that makes employees happy, healthy and hopeful.

We propose the following Industry Code of Conduct for wellness programs that employers, vendors and consultants consider adopting. Is something significantly missing? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

The Employee Health Program Code of Conduct:  Programs Should Do No Harm

Our organization resolves that its program should do no harm to employee health, corporate integrity or employee/employer finances. Instead we will endeavor to support employee well-being for our customers, their employees and all program constituents.

Employee Benefits and Harm Avoidance

Our organization will recommend doing programs with/for employees rather than to them, and will focus on promoting well-being and avoiding bad health outcomes. Our choices and frequencies of screenings are consistent with United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), CDC guidelines, and Choosing Wisely.

Our relevant staff will understand USPSTF guidelines, employee harm avoidance, wellness-sensitive medical event measurement, and outcomes analysis.

Employees will not be singled out, fined, or embarrassed for their health status.

Respect for Corporate Integrity and Employee Privacy

We will not share employee-identifiable data with employers and will ensure that all protected health information (PHI) adheres to HIPAA regulations and any other applicable laws.

Commitment to Valid Outcomes Measurement

Our contractual language and outcomes reporting will be transparent and plausible. All research limitations (e.g., “participants vs. non-participants” or the “natural flow of risk” or ignoring dropouts) and methodology will be fully disclosed, sourced, and readily available.

Free Resource: How to Build a Thriving Culture at Work – What’s Science Got to do With it?

In order to do things differently, it’s important to understand the sciences behind why we do what we do, where we’ve been stuck and what the evidence teaches us for ushering our efforts to support and enhance organizational and employee wellbeing into the 21st century. This eBook walks you through the sciences so you understand the WHY behind the what and the how of shifting from the stuckness of the Old Paradigm to the New Paradigm.

Read it Now

Free Resource: Stuck in the Status Quo? Overcome an Unhealthy Workplace Culture…Even If You Don’t Realize You’re in One

Many organizations are “stuck” in the status quo, operating under long-held beliefs rooted in outdated paradigms. This white paper explores how a thriving workplace culture is the key business advantage, identifies signs that you have a thriving culture, and introduces a 7-step blueprint to help you build and transform your workplace culture to one that frees, fuels and inspires people to bring their best selves to work - and home - each day.

Read it Now

You Can’t Use a Paperclip to Solve Wellbeing Issues

In the show MacGyver, the lead character was known for creatively using objects and resources to help escape life-threatening situations. In one episode, he diffused a bomb at the last second using a paperclip. Real life is not so simple — especially when it comes to changing human behavior. Yet the way we typically approach change is just about as ridiculous as MacGyver trying to use a paperclip to improve wellbeing; we are looking to the wrong type of solutions to solve very complex issues.

Technical vs. Adaptive Challenges

There are two main types of challenges that organizations and individuals face: technical and adaptive. Each requires a different approach.

  • Technical challenges are those challenges where existing knowledge can be applied to bridge the gap between the current reality and where you aspire to be. With technical challenges, people can draw on existing knowledge and experience to solve the problems.1 For example, perhaps your organization is preparing to move locations or install a new computer system. If you’ve gone through similar changes before, you can look back at the processes and steps taken, what did and didn’t work, what vendors you used, etc., and then start the fairly predictable change process. Or let’s say you need to replace an appliance in your home. If you’ve done this before, you can take the same steps to research brands and stores and figure out what will work the best to meet your needs and budget.
  • Adaptive challenges, on the other hand, are more complex. With these types of challenges, the gap between the current state and the state you aspire to be cannot be closed using existing approaches; it can only be closed by people reframing how they think and operate. Adaptive work is hard because it challenges our deeply held beliefs, and the values that made us successful in the past may become less relevant. 1 Adaptive work involves experiencing loss in letting go of certain elements of the past — loss of a way of doing things, loss of loyalty to the way things have always been done, loss of feelings of competence, loss of authority and reporting relationships, and more.2

The reality is that, when it comes to individual and organizational change, the majority of challenges we face requires adaptive work. However, in our quick-fix society, we keep trying to apply technical solutions to adaptive challenges; it’s the wrong approach — like using an auto mechanic when you need an electrician. Here are just a few examples of our stuckness in looking to technical solutions to solve adaptive challenges:

  • We reduce weight loss down to the technical aspects of calories in vs. calories out (with epic failure rates and long-term unintended consequences) rather than addressing the complexities of thinking, how people view and value themselves, their relationship with food and movement, stress and more (which are all adaptive challenges). Most people know what they need to do to lose weight. The weight itself isn’t the issue; it’s much more complex than that — which is why 95% of people fail to sustain weight loss after programs end.
  • Organizations try to approach culture change as a program or event (which leads to following fairly cookie-cutter steps that should work if the organization were made up of mindless machines rather than thinking human beings). Yet, as noted in the book, Firms of Endearment, “in the twenty-first century, we can no longer view business organizations as merely ‘rational machines.’ Rather, they must be viewed as ‘dynamic and increasingly unpredictable organisms.’” In other words, transformation demands innovative and flexible thinking to guide the ever-changing journey; it demands an adaptive solution.
  • Many organizations try to approach leadership development in a mechanistic way. They look at the pieces and parts of what competencies and skills make up a good leader and aim to “fix” weak areas rather than viewing leaders as whole and part of the living system. However, developing quality leaders requires more than building skills; it demands supporting leaders to increase their self-awareness, elicit better thinking and develop quality relationships — all of which are adaptive challenges.

It is no wonder that most attempts for individual change fail and most employee wellness programs don’t work in improving individual wellbeing. People are not machines but are complex, thinking beings. Effectively leading and supporting individual and organizational change is not about forcing it on people; instead it requires deliberately creating the conditions for pausing and new thinking, thus creating a foundation for adaptive change work. This means shifting from providing solutions for people to having the locus of responsibility lie within those individuals and with the collective intelligence of employees at all levels.2

If organizations want to have engaged and intrinsically motivated employees who can succeed with adaptive challenges, they need to create the conditions for:

  • Autonomy (people being able to think for themselves)
  • Mastery (people having opportunities to learn and grow and become highly skilled)
  • Purpose (people feeling their work is meaningful and connected to a greater purpose and vision) 3

The more employees are given the space to be the authors of their own individual wellbeing journey and can be a part of leading organizational change within the context of their relationships with their colleagues, the greater the likelihood that change will be successful. Firms of Endearment and Deliberately Developmental Organizations are great examples of creating such conditions.

Zappos is another great example. Employees are encouraged never to accept or be comfortable with the status quo because being unable to respond quickly and adapt to change can be devastating. So Zappos employees are encouraged, supported, and recognized for bringing forward new ideas (autonomy). These individuals are provided constant opportunities for growth and development (mastery); and the leaders ensure all employees have great clarity on the culture and vision, and how they fit into the picture (purpose). 4

It’s time to put down the paperclip (unless you have a stack of papers you need to fasten) and stop using mismatched solutions to solve the complex challenges of the human experience.



  1. Heifetz, R.A. & Laurie, D.L. (December 2001). The Work of Leadership. Harvard Business Review, 131-141
  1. Van Velsor, E. (March/April 2003). Learning New Ways: A Conversation with Ronald A. Heifetz. LIA, Volume 23(1), 19-22.
  1. Pink, D. (2009). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. New York: Riverhead Books
  1. Hsieh, T. (2010). Delivering Happiness: A Path To Profits, Passion and Purpose. New York: Business Plus

Important but Uncommon Ways to Cultivate Happy, Thriving Employees (for Lasting Organizational Change) Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we covered how to assess and address employee attitudes at work and ways to change corporate language to support employee and organizational wellbeing. Here, we explore another uncommon way to cultivate employee happiness: supporting Intrinsic thinking.

Research over the past two decades has conclusively demonstrated that to cultivate happy and thriving employees and to leverage sustainable change, organizations must foster self-leadership and emphasize intrinsic motivation (where people can find meaning and enjoyment in their work). Personal autonomy and happiness are inextricably interconnected.

An individual’s values and thoughts are what guide intrinsic motivation, so it makes sense to support the skills that can help a person influence and manage his or her thoughts in constructive ways.

The “Best” Way to Think

Organizations can create an environment that fosters intrinsic motivation by actually helping employees become “better” thinkers! In the 1960s, in collaboration with colleagues at MIT, Robert S. Hartman developedThe Hartman Value Profile (HVP), which measures the hierarchy of values that undergird thinking patterns and how these values translate into personal choice. This might sound a little “fluffy,” but values thinking is based in hard science, and it can be measured and changed. Essentially, the HVP is a mathematical assessment of thinking patterns.

Hartman identified three dimensions of valuing or thinking that guide our choices: Systemic (S), Extrinsic (E), and Intrinsic (I). Here’s a brief overview:

• S = Systemic thinking values abstract concepts and ideas. It manifests as black/white and either/or thinking, and is associated with preconceived ideas about how things should be.

For example, if we over-value others via Systemic thinking, we may have an idea of how things should go with a project at work, but then when the unpredictability of life happens and throws us a curveball, we’re likely to get frustrated and jump to blame.

• E = Extrinsic thinking values function. As a result, Extrinsic thinking relies on labels, categories, and achievements and treats people more like things – as if they were replicable and predictable.

For example, if we over-value others through Extrinsic thinking, we may only express appreciation when people do what they are supposed to (e.g., meet a health status measure, complete a project or task like we would, etc.), and we will likely resort to behavior modification to try to “get” them to behave in a desired way.

• I = Intrinsic thinking values the uniqueness of individuals. It takes into account not only what is seen and ideas about what is seen, but it also recognizes that there is far more going on than meets the eye. It also affirms the inherent value in other people simply because they exist. This kind of thinking takes a bit longer to activate than both Systemic and Extrinsic thinking and requires a short mental pause.

Hartman’s research clearly demonstrated that, although all three dimensions of valuing/thinking are necessary, the optimal hierarchy is Intrinsic>Extrinsic>Systemic (I>E>S). In simple terms, this means that the most constructive thinking occurs when we value people more than things, and when we value things more than mere ideas of things or people. (Read this article for an in-depth discussion of these types of thinking.)

Cultivating a different outcome: Help your employees become better thinkers

Unfortunately, organizations often take a backwards approach, unintentionally fostering an S>E>I thinking hierarchy, where leaders over-value employees based on preconceived ideas about what they “should” be doing, or based on employees’ function or behaviors.

Practicing Intrinsic thinking on your own will provide the encouragement and opportunity for leaders and employees to do the same. Here are some practical ways you can begin:

• Practice Pausing. A person’s first thought usually stems from deeply rooted, habitual thinking (i.e., Systemic thinking) and is typically limited. Pausing just a few seconds before acting creates space for Intrinsic thinking, greater self-awareness and the ability to make more thoughtful choices. For example, an employee is facing a problem and comes to you for help. Your first thought (S>E>I) would likely be to answer in a way that would help fix the situation. Pausing in that moment can help you recognize that by instead asking your employee questions, you are actually supporting that person’s autonomy and mastery. After a mental pause, your next action is different. Asking a question like “What solution would you recommend, based on your experience?” not only takes the pressure off from you, but it also creates the conditions for your employee to grow and leverage intrinsic motivation (and by extension, happiness).

• Recover from Perfectionism. Engaging in S>E>I thinking means striving for some ideal of perfection — and when “perfect” doesn’t happen, people get frustrated with themselves and others. In fact, perfectionism is a key characteristic of a fixed mindset, which hinders people from success. Focusing less on an ideal result and instead embracing the journey will build resiliency and a growth mindset — which is correlated with success! Recovering from perfectionism helps create the conditions for ongoing personal growth and development, and also sends the powerful message to others that they can let go of perfection as well.

• Challenge your Fixed Mindset (S>E>I Thinking). A fixed mindset (based in S>E>I thinking) is powerful: the “shoulds” and ideas about who you think people are come from deep-seated personal beliefs about risk, failure, and fear of being judged. Such thinking prevails, even when you know these fears and beliefs are illogical. One of the best ways to challenge this kind of thinking is to take an action that makes you uncomfortable (something that you feel you “shouldn’t” do, which may provoke a visceral reaction at the thought of doing it), but feels doable.

For example, if you avoid trying new things because you are afraid of being judged or viewed as “imperfect,” try intentionally putting yourself into a situation where you can’t be good or perfect — and encourage others to do the same. For example, if you have no rhythm, take a dance class. If you can’t carry a tune, sing karaoke somewhere. As silly as these suggestions seem, they can do wonders to help develop agrowth mindset (aligned with I>E>S thinking). When you challenge your fixed mindset, you realize that the horrible result you’ve imagined didn’t occur, and you are able to disable the dominance of your fixed mindset, which leaves space for Intrinsic thinking to emerge.

• Invest in Intrinsic Coaching® Development. Intrinsic Coaching® is the only methodology to date that has been shown (measured by the HVP) to increase individuals’ Intrinsic thinking patterns and help them create the conditions to elicit I>E>S in others. People who have completed this program report a shift in how they view other people, resulting in less frustration with others, fewer negative consequences of stress, and higher job satisfaction. Consider Intrinsic Coaching® as part of your organization’s training and development to ensure that you are able to support better thinking in the workplace.

We all have an innate desire to be recognized, seen, and valued for who we are as individuals – and just because we are at the office doesn’t mean this powerful need goes away. Cultivating a workplace culture where leaders and employees are able to replace dysfunctional thought patterns with Intrinsic thinking that values people for who they are will not only foster employee happiness but will ultimately improve both individual and organizational performance.1

Read Part 1 of this article for more ideas about how to support employee happiness; learn more about the benefits of intrinsic thinking here.

Curious about the happiness of your employees? Take our Free Manager’s Audit to get a pulse on your employee and organizational health in under 3 minutes!


  1. The Arbinger Institute (2010). Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.