By | Published On: April 4, 2024 |

Welcome to episode 173 of The Executive Edge with Laura Darrell.

Laura and I had a great conversation. I began by praising her impressive background in leadership positions at Starbucks and Apple, as well as being an author of three books. Laura expressed her passion for leadership and lifelong learning, highlighting the profound impact of great leadership on individuals and organizations.

In the past, she has pursued a master’s degree in leadership due to curiosity about its impact. She is now on a crusade to help people become the best leaders they can be, driven by personal experiences of mediocre and exceptional leaders.

Laura recognizes the ripple effects of leadership on individuals’ lives and communities. We then went on to discuss the disparities in leadership styles. I then asked her: –

What is the difference between exceptional and poor leadership?

She felt that whilst she acknowledges the disparity in leadership quality and its impact on motivation and productivity, she believes in the need for intervention and leadership development in various sectors.

There are no doubt different types of style suit different people. But also, that we can recognise when someone is getting it right with us. Being hands-off in leadership often results in greater happiness than micromanaging someone for example. Laura highlights the importance of recognizing individual needs and providing support accordingly. She identifies the misconception of neglecting top performers’ need for recognition and support.

Laura Darrell leadership coachThen she stresses the importance of appreciation, respect, and career development for all team members. However, she rejects one-dimensional leadership approaches, emphasizing situational leadership based on individual needs is better.

We also cover the common practice of promoting top performers into leadership roles without adequate training. She goes on to highlight the distinction between sales skills and leadership skills. Then emphasizes that coaching is a critical leadership skill, especially for leading diverse teams. It feels as if she values coaching as it’s particularly important for managing younger generations.

In conclusion, I felt the conversation focussed on leadership experiences, disparities, styles, and the critical role of coaching in effective leadership. You can find out more about Laura from her LinkedIn profile and she has 3 great books available on her site.