May 30, 2022

How to Lead with Authenticity with Kristen Hadeed

This week on The Winning Zone, Hilmon Sorey is joined by Kristen Hadeed, leadership thought leader and author of “Permission to Screw Up,” to discuss how to be more authentic, human leaders, how to be intentional in creating connections with each other, and how to effectively solicit feedback from your team.

What Does it Mean to be Human as a Leader?

In a world surrounded by tech, automation, virtual, and zoom, Kristen reminisces about the turning point where she became a leader. At 01:17, Kristen explains how her college job of starting a cleaning company accidentally turned into much more than she ever expected. She lost 75% of her employees after the first three days, and she had no idea how to turn it around, so she decided to show herself, to the remaining employees. She told them that she had no idea what she was doing and that she needed their help. She owned it. And it is this honesty that changed the trajectory of her career and turned her into a leader. Continue listening to learn more.

The Mindset That Gets Us There

Not everyone is in a situation where they are told that it’s ok to not be perfect; it’s not ok to make mistakes; it’s ok to not have all the answers. The people that we typically see praised as leaders are the people who are confident and have all the answers; are seemingly perfect. Kristen says this is what keeps us stuck, but if we are vulnerable with purpose in a way that connects to work, we build trust. Continue listening at 04:51 to learn more.

The Fine Line

How do we decide exactly how much vulnerability to share with the team? Where do we draw the line? Kristen explains a tangible way to check in with employees called the 1 to 10 check in method. This allows everyone to be vulnerable regarding each area of their life by scoring it and explaining why they scored that way. It opens each person up for support and understanding from their team, in turn building their trust and confidence. Learn more at 07:23.

Creating Authenticity

Kristen explains that it is important to understand how to get the most out of your meetings; how important the water cooler, unstructured interactions are; how to really connect again without dreading coming to a meeting. She and her team have created a successful meeting structure that works for their team to motivate and energize the team. Continue listening at 10:35 to learn more about Kristen’s secret to structuring meetings that aren’t dreaded.

A Human Need

At 13:29, Kristen explains that the “...need to connect and build trust and meaningful relationships….is a human need.” In Kristen’s experience, she was hiring a lot of students, millennials, who are considered the loneliest generation, so they made an intentional effort to create a space for connection. They scheduled relationship time and team time to facilitate a connection and have empathy for one another because it doesn’t happen by accident. Continue listening to learn more.

Facilitating the Organic

How do we create a space for people to be vulnerable, connect, and share with each other without making it sound forced? Kristen says we must allow everyone to be their authentic self during these experiences- if they want to participate and share, great! If they don’t, that’s fine too. Listen at 16:37 to find out more.

How Can Leaders Better Inquire?

People often find it difficult to share feedback regarding their leaders. According to Kristen, this is why it is imperative for leaders to solicit that feedback and make sure they know that it is wanted. But it cannot just be Yes or No questions; it must be specific questions of value. In addition, the way that you dissect and address the feedback is equally as important. Everyone digests and handles feedback differently, so you must find the most productive way to engage. Continue listening at 18:37 for a deep dive into how leaders can more effectively solicit feedback and have the conversation surrounding it.

Six Components of Leadership

Mindset, trust, growth, communication, self-compassion, and impact are the six components of leadership. These are covered in Kristen’s Human Leadership Program where they discuss the shifts that we need to make to be more human. The program is held on Zoom over two days and includes teaching, breakouts, discussions and more. Continue listening at 23:52 to hear a more in-depth explanation of each component.

The Next Hard Thing

Kristen encourages everyone to think about what they are avoiding and resisting and what would happen if you turn towards that. This is also the topic of her next book. Listen at 26:28 to find out more.

Anyone who wants to get in touch with Kristen can talk with her directly through her website, which includes free resources. She also has a blog that you can subscribe to and can be reached on almost all social media platforms.

Key Snippets

01:17 What Does it Mean to be Human as a Leader?

04:51 The Mindset That Gets Us There

07:23 The Fine Line

10:35 Creating Authenticity

13:29 A Human Need

16:37 Facilitating the Organic

18:37 How Can Leaders Better Inquire?

23:52 Six Components of Leadership

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