Are You a Trivial Leader or a Vital Leader?

This is the first article in a series of 6 helping you answer the question…Are You a Trivial Leader or a Vital Leader…a catalyst for employee greatness! 

Vital leaders master 6 crucial skills required to unleash the full creative powers of every employee in accomplishment of your most important goals. 

  1. Listening is the doorway to understanding and the bridge to trust.
  2. Expectations of employees when understood drive great performance.
  3. Align employee strengths with organization goals to accelerate results.
  4. Develop employees through coaching and delegation.
  5. Encourage employees with positive and corrective feedback.
  6. Resilience the base for leadership excellence.


Big egos have little ears. ~Robert Schuller

Trivial leaders are intoxicated by their own voice. They don’t hear the ideas and concerns of others. Trivial leaders do not value the viewpoints of others or understand the importance of listening. Therefore, the only perspective they have is their own and when things go right they take all the credit and when mistakes are made they blame others.

Trivial leaders who refuse to listen costs their organizations in several ways. Communication breaks down and must be re-accomplished and projects come in over budget and not completed on time. The result organizations lose money each and every month due to mistakes and waste enormous amounts of time. Besides losing money employees face emotional wear and tear causing relationships to become strained which impact performance and productivity.


Listening is the doorway to understanding and the bridge to trust. ~John Bentley

Vital leaders listen

Vital leaders begin with the attitude that all people have good intentions and sound reasons for why they are communicating what they are saying.They put people at ease, while letting them know they care and will take appropriate action on employee ideas and concerns.   When people are understood and trusted they will give their best effort and fully invest themselves in their work. 

A vital leader truly listens and pauses after the person finishes speaking to process what was said. The pause allows you to reflect on what was heard or ask a clarifying question letting the person know you were listening. Lastly when people are heard they feel valued and provide creative ways to improve business results and customer WOW!


Of all the skills of leadership, listening is the most valuable—and one of the least understood. Most captains of industry listen only sometimes, and they remain ordinary leaders. But a few, the great ones, never stop listening. That’s how they get word before anyone else of unseen problems and opportunities. ~Peter Nulty

Vital Leader Thoughts on Listening

  1. Are you hosting listening session with your employees? If not, the employees may not understand what the organization is doing and the challenges you are facing. Listening sessions allow you to share this information so employees can ask questions and provide ideas and feedback to improve the situation.
  2. When listening, takes notes and show a genuine interest in others and what they think. If you are busy and cannot be interrupted let the individual know you cannot give your undivided attention and energy right now. Next establish a time for the person to come back so you can listen fully and truly value your time together.  
  3. When meeting in your office take the time to unplug the phone and turn off your computer monitor to prevent distractions. This sends a message to the employee that you are important to me!

Please share with us your listen tips to help us become a Vital Leader. Next week I will share my thoughts and experience with understanding employee expectations (the psychological contract) to drive great performance.

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