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Julia Milner is an internationally experienced Leadership Professor, currently living in France and has taught in Germany, China, Australia and many other parts of the globe.
She has been labelled in the Top 40 under 40 Business Professors globally. Her TED X talk has been watched by over 100,000 viewers. She has been published in HBR online, the Economist and many academic journals.
She shares:
  • Cross cultural leadership and how easy it is to spot what is different
  • Leaders who think they are coaching but in reality are motivational micro managers
  • Connected leadership
  • The role of empathy in 2021 and beyond

Show notes


Julia: Thank you so much, and we’re excited to be with you

Pod: again, it’s been a couple of years since we were being in each other’s physical company, but we’ve kept up to date on various zoom and other video calls over the last couple of years. Now, the listeners would have heard of my introduction to you already, but currently you’re a professor of leadership in one of the major MBA schools in France.

You’ve been a honorary professor in SBS and Sydney. You’ve had an associate professor role in China, and have been nominated on the top 40, under 40 business professors in the world. So I’m guessing, a thing or two about leadership given all of that.

Julia: Oh gosh. Yeah. I would hope so, but yeah, it’s a topic I’m very excited about.

So from a practitioner side, so being a leader myself, but also training leaders. Yeah, like big corporations or smaller businesses, but also looking at it from the research perspective. yeah, I’m just, I’m very excited about the topic because I think, yeah, a lot of things go well or go badly bad leadership.

Pod: You made some time for us today because a lot of different topics as a subset of it, it should be. I know that you cover lots of different areas, particularly in your teaching part of your role. But today I want to talk about probably three different areas. Let’s start with cross cultural leadership and you are German background.

You’ve worked in different parts of the world, and you’ve written about cross cultural leadership. I’m interested, first of all, as a lay person, living in different countries. What were some of the things you noticed as the differences that really stood out for you as you moved from continent to continent and culture to culture?

Julia: So for me, what makes it exciting to explore a different cultures is when I have the chance to do more than just visiting a place, it’s also a great opportunity, especially if we now are in these times where you can travel. But if I can live and immerse myself, into our culture.

For me, it really starts with a little things, you move to a place and you need to start to settle in and just understand, okay. So where do I get groceries from and how do they do this? And where can I get that thing? So for me doing that and by figuring out the. The small processes.

This is where you meet people and that’s where you, yeah. You start to understand how things go differently. And I think it’s very easy to fall into the trap of going, but this is different how I do it. I’m used to it, but just trying to remain open and see, Oh, why and how? And so not only the watch is different, but yeah.

Why are people doing things in different ways? Yeah.

Pod: It’s funny you say about, noticing wants different and trying to stay open. I had a sudden flash of memory, as you were talking about me and my mom bringing her to London for the first time. Now this would have been 30 years ago and bring her to a Chinese restaurant in London for our first time ever.

And she got really upset cause they brought the tea up front. As they do in old Chinese restaurants, as opposed to an Irish restaurant, which the last thing you do. And I kept saying, why don’t you just listen? Cause it’s different. And she couldn’t, she was really upset that the tea came first and that last as it did in her own town.

So you’re right. The idea of staying open and just noticing what’s different as opposed to why it’s wrong is it’s probably a good starting point for any overseas adventure, couple Hubba from your leadership. you and I both have done a lot of work in cross-cultural leadership. What do you notice are some of the common pitfalls or patterns that leaders fall into that makes their overseas adventure less exciting or less successful than they would have hoped?

Julia: I guess I think it goes on to the point we just made it. So it’s coming from your perspective. So you are used to. Giving or receiving feedback in that way, or you used to, starting a conversation with lots of small talk or no small talk at all, and then you start, doing that because that’s like logical for you.

And I guess, yeah. That’s where a lot of the pitfalls can happen. just talking about feedback, feedback is, so I find it so different. Different ways of approaching it from the different colleges. in some places I worked, there you go, like very direct and, telling me negative.

And if I only tell you positives, then that’s fine. Where is it now? It would be a total effects and you can’t even. Directly talk about it. You would have to talk maybe more about something else, like a movie or something that you can related to, but not that directly. I find that very intriguing and I only means I have not figured it all out.

I think they’re all of course, books or models or purchase that can help you to prepare a little bit better. But again, I think, only once you’re there and you’re merged yourself and if you want to learn and stay open circuited, I think that’s where the beauty happens.

And yeah, for me, actually, it’s funny because the most happiest moments in my life, besides of course, My husband and my kids. And so when you really are in that new space, I just love that. I just love hearing that, but having said it also comes, it’s not only like an app there’s of course also the downs, because we want to struggle.

You going to fall down. You want to get frustrated in them. That also goes with it. But yeah.

Pod: It sounds like you’re saying that, there’s a honeymoon period. When you go into this overseas country as a first time for all of this telephone, the adventure, the learning, they seen the new things, seen the new phases and new customs.

And yet you need to have a, some sort of a learning mindset, or certainly a fair degree of curiosity to jump into, trying to understand why things happened the way they do, as opposed to why they don’t happen the way you were used to somewhere else. And then it talks about openness for feedback.

Julia: Yeah, the best chances I always had was when I was able to meet people who wanted, to also learn more, about me and where I’m coming from and, making friends.

And then if that friend takes you within their cosmos that’s, of course. Yeah, that’s amazing. If you wish you can do that instead of just staying, tried to stay in it from an outside perspective, but that’s not always possible, but yeah. I met some wonderful friends. So while I was in China, I met Sarah.

I don’t know if she’s going to have a listen to this, but she and I, we really, yeah, we hit it off very well. And so we went out and that was a great way because she took me to different places and from food to, other activities. So that was really cool.

Pod: when you’re teaching in the business school, in Sydney and indeed again in China, and now you’re in France, is there aspects of leadership that you’re teaching that are uniquely different to those environments? Because leadership in itself, there’s a lot of general topics that are saying no matter where you go, but what, imagine there’s some nuances that are specific to the region that you’re in.

Julia: Yeah. So most of the classes I teach, I would say mostly is. Is on the executive level. And often we have really quite a mix of different nationalities. So it’s very mixed. I would always love to go more into the different cultures perspectives, but often, you’re so short on time. So you just try to, there’s so many things from encounter.

If leadership people can bring in the expertise and experiences and if they can share it, I guess that’s the best way. To learn. And I’m also, I’m very, I have a very, I would say hands-on approach. So I like people to try things out because I think that’s also how we can learn and make sense of things.


Pod: Makes sense. Now you are known for many things in terms of your writings, you’ve written in the economists and the HBR. And a whole raft of academic journals or course, and you also have done a Ted talk. So I’d like to jump to the content or the subject matter of your last Ted talk on indeed your last HBR article.

And it’s around a study you’ve done in leadership coaching as an leaders, coaching their teams and their colleagues, their direct reports. And I was the, I was interested in the fact that you did some video analysis. During this study, which illustrated perceptions that the members of the project had versus the reality.

And then what that showed for you. So can you talk us through the premise of this study and some of the implications that emerged from that?

Julia: Yeah. So the TEDx talk I did was about, yeah, the KOL question about can leaders coach, or can they learn and how do they, how did they, how do they learn that?

Yeah, I was always very intrigued by it because I, as I worked as a consultant, then helping organization, I saw lead school, improve their coaching skills very quickly, but. It was always a question. how were they Jewish and why doesn’t happen? And so I wanted to look more into that. So we started this quite large study with collaborators and we asked people to courage someone else for five minutes and we video type these into actions.

We’ve thought giving any further instructions on how to coach. And we did this because that’s actually what we see right now in practice. A lot that, organizations. I catching up on the idea that coaching might be good. It might work. So we’re blessed is that I want you to just coach. So just go and coach and so we want it to directly get that sentiment.

And what we saw is what I call is more, a type of motivation or micromanaging. So when you tell,   Leaders to coach everyone, most often we see people  do this motivation. But they still are telling people what to do. Sometimes they are hiding that  behind closed questions and they say, don’t you think it would be a really good idea if you look at it this way?  And we have, we help leaders and we walk them through one at a different skillsets.

What can you use? So we came up with nine, nine to 10 core skills so far and how they can learn it. Once they see it, see the evaluations, we let the video’s evaluated by peers, but also by coaching experts and we’ll have use of training. So we give them the feedback and once they see and they understand that coaching is actually more about empowering others to come up with their own answer.

And that creates so much about movement and people that, solving things and coming up with bright ideas once they understand that. That’s when I think the clique or the ship happens. And so we do that again. Coaching is at the end of them off the training again, when we let them get evaluated and then we see they improved so much, but they also able to look back at the first experience and go Maybe when I was doing that was not coaching. I find it very intriguing from several angles. So first of all, yes, we can learn to coach and they can learn it quite quickly. So that’s really impressive. sound skill is that easier to develop than others, but they can do it. They can absolutely self-reflect and, but we also see that somehow we have maybe still this notion in our head that yeah, coaching.

Within organizations is you have to be this much inventing coach, which they’re that a sideline of a sports soccer field.

Not always. But it’s not always the best way to achieve the goals.

Pod: let’s just double down what you’ve said. So the program has a starting point where leaders are asked to code as they would normally would that’s recorded. then they receive feedback from their own colleagues, as well as folks who are experts in coaching.

And then you lead them through a process of maybe on learning what they’ve learned or what they already knew. But he has some skill sets such as listening, open ended questions, et cetera, and then go again and compare and contrast that to my own experience of watching leaders learn to coach that once they jump into that, a few things happen.

And I clearly agree what you said. First is a realization of, I think my role used to be telling people what to do, or if I can tell you what to do, what is my role? So I’m confused about what my role is suggesting, and I believe that coaching then is. Yeah, a hyped up motivation way of telling people what to do.

And is that what you call micro-managing and a motivation?

Julia: Yeah. first of all, I absolutely agree with you. So a lot of leaders that I worked with, I didn’t say well, but if I’m not telling people what to do, then I’m not needed. Like what’s the whole point. First of all, we have to say they out of course, situations where you have to be direct.

And there’s no point in coaching somewhere on that. So I want to make that clear as well. So coaching is not the solution to everything, but they are lots and lots of situations where if, instead of telling somebody what to do. If you help them think it through, it’s so much better, it’s not more motivating for them to come up with their own lens, but it’s also better for you because they might have ideas that you never even thought about.

SLAs. I think, if we come up with our own process and way, it’s much more likely that we actually do things then yeah. Just following instructions. Okay. For this and this and this. So I’ve seen that.

Pod: It’s a few things there that I think are really worth underlining. One is, as you said, they’re all identity.

I thought my role was to tell you what to do, and if it’s not that they’ll pass my role. And of course the answer is roles evolve and the more senior you get these different levels of doing and doing director level stuff may not be useful at a more senior level. So there’s the role does evolve as the job involves.

And indeed as complexity arises. You can’t keep doing what you’ve always done. You’ve got to find different ways. But I think the second thing you’ve just said about time, I’ve always been fascinated by leaders who have jumped into and embraced coaching type skills, come back and say, the paradox is I actually have less.

I’ve got more time coming back to me now because people are figuring out stuff that I used to have to get involved with, which allows me to spend more time elsewhere in a more strategic sense. So there’s a time involved upfront, too. Learn the skills practice, the skills, deploy the skills, but time comes back almost in a payback process.

Julia: yes, absolutely. Because if you are always the person who solves everything that people will keep coming and you create almost like a bottleneck where, you know, nothing moves without you saying something. Having said that you, of course also. We to be clear when you want people to come back and check in with you and when not.

So we’ve also done a study on an ethical issues around leadership coaching and having the boundaries is also one thing, because if you just say, go whatever and do whatever you want and never, then you’ll also of course get that. Yeah. But yeah. Agreed. So it’s what is my role as a leader?

And the time is third. Her life I’ve come is actually not from the leaders themselves, but, I’ve also heard expert coaches. So executive coaches saying while we have totally against leaders coaching, because, you need to have two years of training before you can coach someone. And so that’s the other thing.

So it’s more about, leading this, shouldn’t be doing this because I don’t have the whole thing. And I always say to that, Of course, it would be great if everybody could do it two year process, but I think there’s a space and room for both types of coaching, more the, the professional lunghi the executives or external coaches.

And, but wouldn’t it be nice also if we have more leaders. who listen more? Who can ask better questions, who, give good feet. Wouldn’t that be nice? So I just think, because we can’t achieve perfection, shall we just stop and not do anything? I think it’s much more, better to work with the skills that you can improve in a shorter amount of time that also inform about.

What are the limitations of approaching some ethical issues that of course is also necessary.

Pod: I remember one CEO say to his exec team, this CEO is a big fan of coaching and indeed in their own private life had done some extracurricular training because they were so interested. But I remember when they were bringing in a program to their organization and the CEO said to her team, and I expect all of you to be good at budgeting, but don’t expect everyone here to be a forensic accountant.

Likewise, I expect all of you to be good at coaching, but don’t all of you to go. You don’t need to go in and become a professional executive coach, but it’s a core skillset as part of your role. and that made a lot of sense. There’s some fundamentals that elevate your leadership to be more impactful.

Which your Ted talk and with the HBR study, what kind of reactions have you had from folks who are thinking about elevating their skills and are maybe using your information or your studies as prior to their decision-making process, are you finding it’s helping people to lean in more and more into the notion of being a better listener or being a better question?


Julia: Absolutely. I got actually wonderful feedback. So it was a lot from practitioners. So people like individuals who were saying, Oh yeah, we’re trying to do this. It’s so nice to see this. Now, then I had others saying. Oh, yeah, I think I have micromanaging. I thought I wasn’t, but now that I listen to this and so well, but no, this is exactly what I’m doing.

and then I had also people who are trying to be checking in it champions in terms of moving coaching across the organization. Want to establish more coaching cultures. So they approached me and asked, how do I do that? And we won an organization and level because I’m already doing it there. So yeah,

Pod: linked to your Ted talk in our show notes.

But I noticed this morning, I looked when I really looked at again as almost a hundred thousand people have watched it. So it’s certainly. making traction, around the place that people are searching and watching it. So we hope you’re enjoying this episode of the leadership diet. Feel free to hit the subscribe button on whatever podcast player you are listed to this on reviews on iTunes and Spotify are greatly appreciate it.

Let’s move on to a different topic. You were recording this in the end of September, 2020, the world is still in the midst of a pandemic and it’s gone up and down in different parts of the world. What are you noticing from where you’re sitting in terms of how leadership is showing up during the pandemic or how people are eating during a virtual digital type world, as opposed to a very tactile face-to-face type of world.

Julia: So from where I spending, I don’t know if it’s, if you can hear it, but they end the background noise.

This is how leadership shows up in the world of independent accounts. But that is for people who have, or will have children. we’ve been thrown into just. Deep end of trying to organize it all. so you have the occasional, popups in zoom calls and, we see lots of funny videos about that.

And then, the biggest difference I guess, is that leadership has also moved into the digital space for a certain amount of time. It was completely online for most people. not everyone again, but for most people. So I think. Oh, both sides struggled, but also explore opportunities in that.

Which means how can how can you be? can you even show empathy what’s happening with Zhou fatigue? I feel very isolated. No, I feel too much monitored. So I think you have all these extremes coming in and. Yeah, it’s about trying to find the opportunity in this, because we see organizations saying while we don’t want to return completely to what it was to be.

And you also hear individuals saying, I always think we have the three groups. We have people who say, no, I really want to go back. And I, yeah. I find that too isolating. Then you have people who say, yeah, actually a mixture would be nice. So having a little bit of. Of digital work and then you have the other extreme.

We said, no, absolutely. Either. There’s no point in me going to work anymore or yeah. Why can I not do it from home?

Pod: It’s gonna be really interesting as we go forward, because I know team cohesion is one of your areas. And if you have a team that has historically been an intact team in the same building, or are relatively the same.

Presence of each other to have some people say, no, I’m never going back makes, their way of working far more difficult than previously. So it’s been interesting to see how teams do grapple with questions of how we work together and does a face-to-face process enable cohesion. As much as we thought relative to hybrids are or are completely virtual.

did you have any sense yet as to what’s going to emerge for that

Julia: seem that it’s Gord, if teams can refresh once in a while face-to-face interactions or at least let’s say w what is the most closely tourists, say a video call having said that we also have all these other issues coming up, the questions around system.

Inability. is it really feasible to fly everyone in from everywhere? So sustainability, not only in terms of being I am in, but also of all of our time. So yeah, I think we have to find our way, or certainly if there is something about, we as humans, even if it is with a mask on, but that’s the other question.

So we now have, for example, In France, you have to, you have to wear your mask. So for any interaction where we have somebody else in an office, so then the question comes well, is that them better? Because then I concent you a face or is it then maybe better if I can see your face, but then I’m at a computer screen, but at least then I can see, and read your facial expression.

I think it’s just the path where some lead just asks. Cared about, I think is just like going there because there are so many emotions coming in. only from that move from face-to-face to virtual, but also riff the pandemics. So many things got out of whack. and then there’s this whole question.

maybe if I don’t talk about anything or I don’t address anything or we just go, great, let’s go to business. Maybe that’s better, because I don’t want to go there. So I think there’s also a whole big question of. but I haven’t, nobody taught me how to do this. How do I deal with all of these, emotions coming in or maybe not coming in, but what do I do then?

So that’s another big topic.

Pod: you’re right back to where you start. As I E you move into a new country, you’ve got to. Keep your eyes open and stay curious. Cause it’s nothing lucky experienced before and it feels like it’s wrong, but it’s not, it’s just different. And then how do we adapt to that?

So ma maybe there’s something from a leadership perspective of approaching this pandemic way of working through the eyes of the next pallet. This could be an adventure. Hopefully it is, but it’s starting different. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong. But I it’s certainly different. Yeah. Yeah. I’m I’m sorry.

No, it’s just all the things that you’ve two you’re talking about. And I’m also noticing leadership teams who are in cities are in lockdown. And of course, each city around the world is in various States of that. But the cities are in lockdown are far more tired for, I would say even exhausted. Some leaders are like yourself yet.

They have their one-year-olds. and three older, five and 10 year old around the house, and many leaders are experiencing the other, their partner and kids are sharing the wifi for various webinars and SKU webinars, et cetera, as they’re trying to leave their company. And eventually a exhaustion does kick in.

So there’s a question Mark around sustainability. I think of a physical health and attention span, as well as all the other sustainability factors that you’ve referred.

Julia: Yeah, but I think at the same time, again, there’s also opportunities in that, because it doesn’t make us more approachable and more human, if you know about, me and my personal life, and then I’m also dealing with lots of balls in the air and yeah, I think there’s also a great opportunity to maybe learn more about each other and yeah.

And then create better work. So I don’t think it’s all. Then it’s all negative. Having said that I absolutely agree. There’s a whole new question around, being and, avoiding burnout and what can we do and how can we, how can organizations really support their employees right now?

Pod: Speaking of get to know each other a bit better. We’re coming to the end of our conversation. And I wanted to pose some questions for you as to how we can get to know you a bit better. I said a few minutes ago you were ranked in the top 40, under 40, which means you’re still very young, but given all the wisdom that you’ve accumulated in your, let’s say, short life given the title of top 40, under 40, given all the wisdom you’ve accumulated, what would you be telling the 30 year old version of yourself now?

Julia: I think we stress ourselves through situations or circumstances that we can’t change. And I think, sometimes it’s really good. So I would advise my younger self to, just hang in there and wait, and things will change also to see, of course always finding, the best. in the situation.

So sometimes I feel when we have a problem, we have as humans, the tendency to focus on that problem. And what’s not bored, but out of every situation does I say and your door open. and of course, if you look back, you know what happened, but when you write in it’s become, you can’t really see it. So I think that for sure, Yeah.

And just to, and enjoy the little murmurs because everything I find, the older we get, and I don’t know if it’s true or not, but for me it was at succeeding out. And once you have kids, it’s even more, it goes quicker and quicker. Yeah. At the same time I feel that, I’m also happy. I made a few United half decisions in my life to go for the things that you really want to do, and that makes you happy.

And. I had some great job offers in Germany and I decided I’m going to Australia because, I wanted to do at that point in time. So I think sometimes it’s scary, but I see best. It always turns out if you stick to you about values. And of course again, is this pick 12 because sometimes our circumstances are differently and we have to do things that we don’t want to do at that point.

Of course, you have to take that into account, but yeah, I’m following your values are following what makes you happy and giving yourself the time to figure that out. And I find it’s like all building on it on itself. So I, when I was younger, I always thought, Oh, I have to make a decision. And that is the decision for the rest of your life, what you’re going to do.

that you can build things. And I guess I often did not go with the classical way, in a sense. So specializing very early on. I think I made lots of different moves, whether that was from more the practitioner world to academia, to back to combining both. But in the end of the day, I think you also then create.

a profile that might distinguish you from others. And it always depends on what people are looking for in that moment. So I encourage, I heard to my younger self, but that’s what I encourage my students. Or if I coach people I’m yet to really also. What think about that.

Pod: I love that.

Yeah. So I’ve been asking this question for about 10 years of almost anybody I meet and I have to say almost all the answers fall into a small group of themes. One is worry less and breathe more. Yeah, just breathe too, is, take more risk and be courageous. And three is when you make mistakes, go back to your values and your sense of purpose and just recalibrate and carry on.

And it seems to be a broad, almost universal set of themes of wisdom. Accumulated seems to fall into those areas. Or, if you get those areas right, the rest of us take care of itself. Given your background growing up in Germany. And what was your favorite band or song when you were growing up there?

Oh, this is

Julia: really bad. Now my ass would always tell three. I have the worst music taste. So apparently I have, but I actually think that a lot of people have my music tastes because I’m very much mainstream in the chops. I love, I guess I do have in a way, a soft. But for four. Okay. Everybody closed it. Yes.for the Backstreet boys, because when I was 18, I had to, I had an amazing opportunity of flying to New York and interviewing them for it for a German music channel.

Pod: I did not know you do that. There you go. I’ve known you for a long time. I didn’t know that part of your history. I’d say that’s exciting.

Then the last question, Julia, I’m giving you and your prolific researcher and writer. what areas are you looking into going forward in terms of your leadership research? Is there particular areas or topics that you’re interested in are you’ve started delving into that? We’ll be waiting about in a few years’ time.


Julia: I guess one part is for sure, what does this whole digital space doing for us in terms of, work, changes the way we work with each other. But another area I’m very intrigued with is this whole notion of empathy. And I really like, what, the New Zealand and prime minister. So she, she said something that’s so great.

The squat, I think she said, I don’t know the exact quote, but it’s something along the lines. I can be, I can be strong and I can have empathy at the same time. And I absolutely rebel against that image of just because I’m a leader. I can’t show empathy and I think I will hold. yeah, a notion of leadership is hopefully also changing in a way, that it’s not only the super charismatic leader out there, but there’s yeah, there’s a.

There’s a room for yeah. The empowerment of others and showing empathy. Absolutely.

Pod: in empathy, because this word is bandied around quite a lot. Why do you think that’s going to emerge or is already here as an important consideration for leadership?

Julia: Yeah. so as we just talked about this whole concept of, yeah, you can be vulnerable and you can be strong and you can do not worry.

You can leave in that way. And for me, it was also an, a ham moment when, so when I did the TEDx talk, I was actually, yeah, almost six months pregnant and I was debating with myself. Do I, make it very obvious because couldn’t. You couldn’t, I wasn’t showing so much, so do I, and I stop reef, I’m pregnant and I didn’t.

So I I think I hinted, edited a couple of times, but you could interpret it in different ways, but, so I got lots of, genuinely positive comments and people engaging in it. And when I got also somebody saying, she is breathing heavily, That means she’s nervous, which means she can’t be a leader.

and that was very interesting to me because I had, my little boy maxi pushing it. Actually, I really have difficulties breathing because you, I don’t know any one of you listening, if you weren’t

Pod: pregnant. Yes. And we’ve heard Maxie, are you on today? And he’s not quiet.

Julia: So in weeks that we’ve of course, You’re quiet. you have lots of ethylene going through your veins when you walk into a room and you don’t really see the audience, you just see that there are hundreds of people, but it’s all black because you have the camera on yourself. So of course, yeah.

Anyway, so that makes together, I had difficulties breathing, but I didn’t address it. That’s not the whole point. I think I didn’t want to address it because again, I think. I just wanted to be seen as everybody else. So it was doing a talk and everybody else who might be leading or not leading or whatever.

And, but it is interesting that we still seem to have, this combination of. Thinking in our head that, yeah, I do have to be a shortened way as a leader. You can never show vulnerability. You cannot show and let’s just assume it is, nervousness. You can’t, you only have this one way that works.

And then yeah. So then this whole debate started, I saw it like, no, she was not breathing. No. Interesting. Yeah. What do we have to do? yeah. How can we change the picture and what is the, what is it today? And, yeah, I don’t know. It’s a whole, it’s a question, but I never answered to it because I’m also very, I’m always very protective of everyone.

Not me. I’m very

Pod: predictable. So I didn’t

Julia: want to, I was thinking I should I say something

Pod: I think were as a fascinating topic on that the notion of this strong charismatic leader is a still part of our society. And we know that on the political stage is certainly part of our society, but it seems to be losing its cache and it seems to be devolving in attraction overall.

And I think that. What we’ve learned from the pandemic, if nothing else, into the lens of leadership, the notion being able to connect with people and rarely reach across the zoom cameras of the world, into each other’s lounges and living rooms to understand what is your reality as you’re trying to lead at home?

That was my reality. And certainly leaders I’ve worked with who have been most successful in this year and leading their organizations do portray vulnerability, do share stories of where they’re struggling and are not trying to portray themselves as being some extraordinary, strong person managing some of that.

No one’s ever managed before. So I think you’re absolutely right. Empathy will emerge as a very strong characteristic for leadership as it evolves into 2021 and beyond. Julia, thank you for so much for making time for us, your writings and readings and Ted talks have been very helpful and educated for lots of us, including myself.

I’m gonna include some of those notes in our show notes, but where can people find you or where’s the best place to find you, if they want to find out more about what you do.

Julia: Probably LinkedIn is easiest to connect with me. I’d love to hear from people.

Pod: Hope you enjoyed that conversation with Julia. I’m thinking podcasts are useful and they add value, but they become more useful when you do something about what you’ve learned or what you’ve listened. And I think there’s. Two, maybe three notions that are useful to take from the conversation with Julia and deploy them into your upcoming weeks.

The first one is to observe yourself as a leader over the next couple of weeks. And as you are coaching your colleagues or your team, just observe to what degree are you listening to them? Versus to what degree are you listing for the conversation to allow you to step in which you’re already predetermined answer number two, to what degree are you connecting with other people it’s very easy to connect on a transaction level.

We do it every single day. It’s very easy to connect via video meetings, such as zoom or teams or whatever other platform we’re on and to be doing two things at once, looking at the camera and answer emails quietly on the keyboard. So just observed yourself to what degree are you connecting? When are you doing that?

And where are the personal connections that allow you to move the relationship forward? Lastly, for anyone who wants to read more, I’ve put some links to the Harvard business review article and other articles that Julie has written in the show notes and also linked to Michael Bungay, Stanier his book, the coaching habit, which is another useful resource for this topic.

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