Karin’s Leadership Articles

Weak managers hide behind powerful. Wimpy leaders fear their own opinions. Teams can’t follow pass through. Be inspired by your boss. Understand their vision. Then, make it your own.

Never play, “my boss says.” Copycats don’t inspire vision, build trust, motivate greatness, or develop anyone.

Don’t enable teams to pull the “boss says” lever.

As Kouzes and Posner explain, “If the words you speak are not your words but someone else’s, you will not, in the long-term, be able to be consistent in word and deed. You will not have the integrity to lead.” -Kouzes & Posner, The Leadership Challenge

Watch a “boss sayser” closely. They likely wimp out in other ways too. Don’t count on them to tell the truth, up down or sideways.

Great leaders don’t play games.

Own Your Words & Actions

When the decision is unpopular or you disagree, it’s tempting to credit or blame those above. Don’t. Your team trusts you. Your boss is scary. Your bosses boss is even scarier. Big titles feel scary from afar.

  • Understand
  • Ask questions
  • Voice concerns
  • Work through your apprehension
  • Listen
  • Share pros and cons
  • Own it
  • Do what you say

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. Steve Borek

    I’m reading the 5th edition of The Leadership Challenge. Actually listening to the audio book.

    What Kouzes and Posner are saying is be authentic.

    • letsgrowleaders

      Steve, authenticity is so vital.

  2. Ed Rehkopf

    The leadership failures and challenges you present are all too familiar. Keep them coming; they are great reminders to all of us of what constitutes the differences between “good” and “bad” bosses.

    • letsgrowleaders

      Ed, thanks so much. So great to have you in the LGL community.

  3. Lily Kreitinger (@lilykreitinger)

    What I’m getting from this post is that if you take ownership of your organization’s vision (which should match your boss’s), you don’t need to say “the boss said”. The team will know it’s a shared one. Great post, Karin!

    • letsgrowleaders

      Lily, Exactly. Ownership and Authenticiy. Thaks so much.

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