Karin’s Leadership Articles

At times, leaders must be tough. Very tough. We must set high expectations, we must hold people accountable, we must ensure everyone is always striving for more. That works.

And there is also the need for “happy talk,” timed well.

One thing that I found as I have grown in the business, is how much people listen not just to what we say but to our entire mood. Of course, they text and instant message about it too just saying.

If you google, can humans control the weather… you will get a list of links and even all the patents involved. But, if you ask, Can Leaders Control the Weather the answer seems to be a quicker yes.

I have been paying a lot of attention to the weather being created by myself and others. Particularly the impact of what I call “happy talk,” and the results it can drive.

A few weekends ago, we had lots going on in our business which required many conference calls over the weekend to ensure everyone was in the loop and on track. Each time I dialed into the status call, Nancy (let’s call her Nancy, since that is her real name great when that works), engaged everyone with such tremendous excitement and enthusiasm. Through her “happy talk,” each person understood that their contribution to this effort was vital. Everyone worked very hard and her mood was contagious. The project came off extremely well.

That Saturday night, I walked into a restaurant and heard “I just wish this joint had someone who was eager to talk about leadership now that would be great.” I laughed, knowing that someone in this “joint” knew me and was eager to engage let’s call him “Dave” (since that’s his real name). Not a close friend, but someone who always pays attention, and wants others to feel good so they can grow. He is one of my leadership heroes.

The thing is “happy talk” is engaging. When leaders make people feel great they want to become greater. They want to follow the folks that made them feel happy.

In memory of Claire Graham, who performed the role of Bloody Mary many years ago in our Salem Player’s community production of South Pacific. I will never forget your rendition of “Happy Talk.

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Hi Karin!

    What a tremendous way to start the week! I find that whether I am in a one on one conversation, a team meeting or on a conference call I have the opportunity to deliver energy and happy talk! My dad always says, do what you love and do it well. Guidance to live by and model.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Virtual Leadership Training Programs


Join the Let’s Grow Leaders community for free weekly leadership
insights, tools, and strategies you can use right away!

Where in the World are
Karin & David?

Other Related Posts