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Are leaders born to be leaders or is leadership learned? Do children show leadership abilities at an early age?

According to Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP), “self-sufficiency and assuming responsibility shows leadership potential in a child.” A child who enjoys completing things on their own is simply demonstrating the early signs of independence.

In a study on early leadership signs, Dr. Susan E. Murphy and Dr. Stephanie K. Johnson noted that, “toddlers who used pro-social strategies to secure [relationships] were high in social competence.” So what exactly is social competence and how does it relate to leadership? Murphy…


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Business organizations have been dominated by men for at least the last two centuries. Correspondingly, male oriented values and behavioral characteristics — competitive aggressiveness, unemotional problem solving, rationality and logic–have been the organizational drivers. In contrast, so called “soft skills,”–collaboration and cooperation, and compassionate love– have been generally perceived to be female traits and behaviors, and, viewed as “weaknesses.”

We’ve experienced revolutionary changes in organizational behavior literature in the past three decades, which focus on the importance of emotions for employee attitudes, interpersonal relations and emotional intelligence. …


Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand (AP Photo)

Recent research has shown that trust established by female leaders results in better crisis resolution.

This research reflects other recent research that shows that women are better leaders for organizations.

That’s according to a paper published by researchers at Lehigh University and Queen’s University published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly. Their research is the first to examine why and when a female leadership trust advantage emerges for leaders during organizational crises.

Authors on the paper, “A Female Leadership Trust Advantage in Times of Crisis: Under What Conditions?” include Corinne Post…


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Many people have self-limiting beliefs which has a damaging impact on their self-esteem, confidence and happiness in life. These beliefs often don’t match up with a close examination reality or the facts. Research has shown that these self-limiting beliefs can be a form of self-deception. The challenge for people who have self-limiting beliefs is how to change them.

What are Self-Limiting Beliefs?

The dictionary defines “belief” as the “acceptance by the mind that something is true or real, often underpinned by an emotional or spiritual sense of certainty.” However, “belief” does not require active introspection and circumspection. …


Most of us have a favorite strategy for dealing with being in a bad mood or “funk.” It could be some chocolate, or glass of wine, watching a favorite movie or listening to your favorite music. All of these strategies involve either distraction or avoidance.

But there is another more effective way, according to researchers at Iowa State University. Their study concludes that wishing others well is a powerful strategy. “Walking around and offering kindness to others in the world reduces anxiety and increases happiness and feelings of social connection,” said one of the researchers, Douglas Gentile, professor of psychology…


How often have you been in a situation when someone does or says something that triggers you into an immediate emotional reaction. This may make you feel out of control or you may regret your reaction later.

Most people can recall such instances. For some, they replay the event in their mind repeatedly, trying to figure out how they should have responded, preferably in a calm not reactive manner.


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When you have an important decision to make do you do it in the morning, afternoon or evening. Or does it matter to you? Do you make a decision on an empty or full stomach?

These questions have been the subject of recent research which finds for the most part that the time of day does affect decisions and performance, and that time of day is optimal in the morning for most people.

Research shows that as the time of day progresses, our mental resources and cognitive functioning declines. The result is often fatigue and underperformance.

Research studies have shown…


Most people claim that they have an accurate self-assessment and that they are aware of their blind spots and aware of how other people see them. Research shows this is not true.

My experience as a coach of CEOs and executives over the past 40 years has shown me that is not true. Which promoted me to write my new book, I Know Myself and Neither Do You: Why Charisma, Confidence and Pedigree Won’t Take You Where You Want to Go.

Accurate self-assessment is all about self-awareness which can be as an awareness of one’s own personality, character or individuality. Psychologist Daniel Goleman proposed a popular definition of self-awareness in his best-selling book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, as “knowing one’s internal states, preference, resources, and intuitions.”Self-awareness is…


Our society rewards and idolizes perfectionists for their insistence on high standards and their drive to be “the best.” Frequently, perfectionists are high achievers, but the price they pay sometimes is unhappiness and dissasfaction. Many claim their performance is never good enough.

“Reaching for the stars, perfectionists may end up clutching at air,” psychologist David Burns warned in a Psychology Today essay. “[Perfectionists] are especially given to troubled relationships and mood disorders.”

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Definitions

Perfectionism is a personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for a flawless performance and holding for themselves incredibly high standards. …


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Increasingly, we hear stories of toxic workplaces and toxic leaders in which incivility, abusive behavior and bullying are commonplace, even among those businesses which are financially successful. Both inside organizations, and in the world in general, never has there been a greater need for empathy and compassion toward others.

In the movie Avatar, the indigenous people had an expression for “we see you.” It was a way not only of seeing the other person but also understanding that person’s personal history and experiences. The essence of this is to be empathetic.

Leaders today, more than even need to be empathetic…

Ray Williams

Executive Coach/Author/Professional Speaker. President, Ray Williams Associates

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