How to Work a Crowd

In a previous post, I spoke about the number one leadership killer.

Although it’s crucial to be aware of that very common misstep that passionate visionaries make, it’s even more crucial to acknowledge a skill that is the backbone of leadership: crowd control.

We’re not talking “police officers on mounted patrol” type action. I’m talking about honoring a group of people who believe in your vision enough to give you their attention.

If you honor them, then you’ll treat their attention like the gift that it is and move them into a place they’ve never been before. That is “crowd control.” To do that, you have to build trust, and build it fast.

One way or another, a vision will attract attention and an audience. If you have a compelling vision, eventually you’ll stand in front of a group of people. It may be a group online, or it might be in person.

A good leader addresses these three types of people in the group in order to build the trust needed to move people where you need them to be:
1. People who have questions Continue reading

The Leadership Killer

I write on leadership because it’s my assertion that anyone can learn the skills to become a leader for a good cause. Not everyone is built for the task.


Here lies leadership. Source:

I design events and experiences for all kinds of audiences. I’ve spoken in front of and facilitated experiences for professionals, youth, government officials, private clients and the general public.

I have a sixth sense for group energy. I also have two certifications in adult and youth curriculum design and a degree in dramatic arts. So I can always sense the moment a speaker is losing the crowd, or leading them to a higher place.

Here is the thing killing your potential for leadership.

You’re not listening.

Really. I bet you think you’re listening.

You probably have a great cause. There’s something tremendously important that has to get done. You have a great vision and people have bought into it.

Now, some of those people are giving you feedback.

1) They have questions.

2) They disagree with you.

3) They may have been distracted and didn’t hear what you said.

All of that is feedback. If you push ahead and don’t address every one of those concerns, your leadership begins a slow death.

Or spirals down out of the sky like a kamikaze-driven plane.

People need to trust you. They need to know you’re paying attention to them. Even the dissenters. If you don’t address everyone, you’ll lose them ALL in some way or another.

How do you handle those three types of people giving you feedback?

I’ll discuss that in this post. For now, ask some questions. Tell me about the leaders you admire, and even the ones who you believe shouldn’t be leading. If you’re thinking of stepping into a new position, what’s your concern? Leave a comment, or share your insights.


Every Leader Must…


…confront their weaknesses.

Avoid them at the cost of your ability to lead. It’s obvious what you suck at. We all see it. Try to hide it, and you lose our trust.

Leaders, embrace your failings. Your humanity is what enables us to trust your vision, and gives us a place in your plan.

After all,  what are you a leader of, if it’s not a community?

A Word on Resilience

what's within you?

what’s within you?

Because of now-undeniable climate change and global economic shifts, the philosophy of resilience has taken on a new relevance. If we’re under a lot of stress on a regular basis, being resilient means you can handle the demands:

It’s more serious than that, even.

We’re truly unprepared for the coming world if we rely on the knowledge we already have. But if we build our capacity to grow and adapt, our ability to thrive is assured.

Resilience is the power to maintain integrity while under adversity, stress or trauma; it is flexibility and strength.

My challenge to my clients and students is always: What inner resource do you draw strength from when things around you change? Because things will always change.

My personal mission is to gather people, open their hearts and grow their souls. Feedback is essential to knowing that my work is relevant. Since you’re sharing this work with your networks, I know that it’s valuable to you. Now, I have an opportunity for you to interact with me and connect to my audience.

On Saturday, May 17, I will host an interactive discussion and experience in collaboration with artists and community organizations around the theme of Resilience.

I would be honored if you would share your story of resilience: by video, webcam, podcast, imagery or email. I will share that story with my audience. Please share your website, blog address, twitter handle or whatever way they can reach you. Submit links to your message (no longer than 5 minutes if audio/video) to the Be Your Own Answer Facebook page. If you want to private message, you can email the page as well. We will curate the messages on that evening, but the links will stay on the webpage for people to access after the event.

Looking forward to hearing your voice.