How To Become A Better Leader Using These Four Models – Episode 146

LFL S4 146 | Better Leader


Dealing with your reports can be tricky, especially when you don’t know who you are. How do you become a better leader? In this episode, Patrick Veroneau, author of The Leadership Bridge: How to engage your employees and drive organizational excellence, shares the four models that could guide you to become a better leader. The discussion encompasses self-development to build a better relationship with your employees and strive for excellence. He also talks about resistance and why it exists within your team. To avoid that resistance and gain more insights from Patrick, tune in to this episode with pen and paper, and remember, fill your bucket with his wisdom because leaders are learners!

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How To Become A Better Leader Using These Four Models

Thank you for joining me on another episode. In this episode, I’m going to talk about four models that I have outlined in my new book called The Leadership Bridge: How to Engage Your Employees and Drive Organizational Excellence. These four models, among other things in the book, work on how we develop ourselves individually. If we don’t know ourselves, it’s hard for us to lead others. What are behaviors that we can model to build better relationship bridges with those around us?

How do we understand what resistance is in others and why people resist? Lastly, how do we leverage some of the research around setting better goals? What is missing? These are the models that I use with my clients. These are models that I use in my life. I know they work. I know they work for you too, when they’re consistently implemented. Let’s get into it.

I’ve had a number of conversations with individuals about leadership, specifically challenges around how we manage multigenerational departments. How do we manage remotely? How do we keep culture? How do we drive performance? How do we help with burnout? There are a lot of these challenges out there. While I don’t have the answer for all of them, what I did want to talk about is four different models that I’ve developed and that I use in my work.

They’re all in the book, The Leadership Bridge. That was published. You can get that on Amazon. I wanted to touch on each one of these quickly as an overview. They go more into depth in the book but this is to give an idea of how we as leaders start to address a lot of these things that are going on. I believe that there are behaviors and approaches that we can take that will create a better environment.

This is about engaging employees and driving organizational excellence. That’s what we’re trying to do but it only happens through developing better behaviors. In the first place, we need to start with ourselves. The whole first part of this book is a lot about emotional intelligence, especially self-awareness. How do we develop that but also how do we develop a sense of well-being or happiness in ourselves?

If we don't know ourselves, it's hard for us to lead others. Click To Tweet


I use a model called POWER that I created. It’s an acronym for five different research behaviors that help us to develop more happiness and better well-being in us. The acronym deals with five activities. P is about finding ways. In the morning, I find it best to think of at least three things you’re grateful for and write them down. The O in that model is about doing something for somebody else during the day.

The W in that model is about writing down what went well for you at the end of the day. I find it’s the best because then we bookend our days. We start in a place of gratitude and end our day in a place of writing down, or maybe it’s at least thinking about, what did go well during the day? That’s important. The next is around exercise. It’s finding some space, if you can, on a daily or every other day basis consistently where you’re doing something active for yourself.

There’s a lot of research around each one of these. I go into it deeper in the book. You can get this POWER model off of my website and sign up for what’s called the POWER Journal. That’s a journal that was created that goes over in more detail each of these activities. The last one is Relaxation in the POWER model that I talk about. That’s about finding a brief period practicing things around mindfulness or breathing but it can be as little as two minutes when we do it.

We’re trying to focus on being present where we are. That’s the first model that I talk about. From a leadership standpoint, how does that impact a lot of those other things that we talk about in dealing with other people multi-generationally and helping people with burnout? If you think about it if I’m in a better place myself and I’m more confident probably in who I am, that allows me to deal with other people and the challenges that I might be faced with them.


It’s something important for us to think about. The next thing that I want to talk about is CABLES. That is the umbrella for a lot of what I do. These behaviors that I talk about are all well-researched. If we think about it, imagine that every relationship you have with somebody else is an individual bridge. CABLES is about six individual behaviors that help to increase the strength of this bridge by adding individual cables to this bridge.

LFL S4 146 | Better Leader

Better Leader: All four models are essential in developing better teams and cultures to reduce burnout in organizations.


The first is around congruence. As leaders, we need to walk the talk. It’s simple as that. What we say and what we do needs to be in alignment, whether it’s our organizational values or other personal values that we espouse to the group or say that we stand for. If we’re not doing them ourselves, we lose credibility. The next is around appreciation. That’s not only recognizing people for what they do but also recognizing people for who they are.

When we talk multi-generationally, appreciation becomes very important because it’s about looking at the other generations that are out there. I’m a Gen X. If I’m dealing with somebody that’s Gen Z or Gen Y, a Boomer, any other generation, or maybe my generation at times, it’s about trying to be in a place where I’m trying to appreciate their experiences, where they have come from, and what things they have been going through. That’s so important.

The next is around belonging. That is about creating a sense of relatedness, as is talked about in David Rock’s model, SCARF. We need to create this environment where we feel connected with each other. We don’t have that. If we go back to the multigenerational or how we build culture, if people don’t feel like they belong, it’s easy for them to detach and not feel any sense of loyalty or need to stay when they don’t feel as though they belong.

I would challenge that the greater the sense of belonging we can create, the more we’re going to be able to keep our top talent within our organizations because people don’t want to leave. They’re not leaving for a little more money. The research is clear on that. It’s not to say that if you’re paying less than everybody else in the same field, you’re not going to lose people.

It’s saying that if money is not an issue and if money is well dispersed throughout your industry evenly in terms of how people are paid, they’re not leaving for a few more dollars. They’re not doing it. The next is we talk about listening. It’s a critical skill. I talk about it in terms of four different ways that we need to listen. We listen with our ears to what people say and the tone of voice. We listen with our eyes watching body language, what people do with their bodies, and facial expressions.

As leaders, we need to walk the talk. If we’re not doing the values that we espouse to the group ourselves, we’re going to lose credibility. Click To Tweet

We listen with our minds. We listen from the standpoint of curiosity. Is what somebody else is saying what they mean? Is there more to it? Is there less to it? I’m reading too much into this but we need to be able to listen with our minds. Lastly, we need to listen with our hearts or a sense of empathy. That’s about listening to somebody else as though the roles were reversed. How would I want them to be listening to me? We need to be able to do that. That’s the listening CABLE that we built.

The next is empathy by itself. It’s something that is vitally important. Think about it from a number of these things that we have talked about in helping people manage remotely, understanding what it’s like to work remotely, why the need might be there, and what the challenges might be when that happens. Empathy is vital to being able to lead and build better teams.

The last one is around Specifics. That’s the S in CABLES that we talk about. That’s about setting clear expectations and also holding each other accountable. I hear so much about, “This generation doesn’t work as hard as the next.” Most of it is BS, to be honest with you. I have a number of nieces and nephews that are all in that Millennial age. I can’t think of one of them that I know that isn’t want to work hard and do a good job. They’re driven.

It’s understanding what their real needs are. From the standpoint of how we do this within organizations, we need to do a better job when we hire people. When we’re out there recruiting people, it’s doing a better job of setting clear expectations of what’s going to be expected when somebody comes to work for this company and then making sure that we have people that can take ownership of what those expectations are and that we hold people accountable to those.

When people aren’t living by those, we’re bringing that to their attention, or they can bring it to our attention when we’re not doing it. If you can see here as it relates to CABLES, it’s almost like we have circled back to the beginning. It’s about congruence and walking the talk in alignment. When we set clear expectations and we’re congruent with them, we have closed the loop on this thing.

LFL S4 146 | Better Leader

Better Leader: The more we can create a sense of belonging, the more we’re going to be able to keep our top talent within our organizations.


CABLES is without a doubt one of the strongest models that you can use in terms of building better bridges with those people on your team. Those behaviors that I talk about there are what create engagement and drive organizational excellence. It’s a byproduct of the engagement that we provide when we do that. The next model that I talk about here is more on the side of how we get people to say yes to our requests.


There’s a lot of research around influence. I want to talk about it from the standpoint of why people resist first and say no because we need to understand that first. In the book, I talk about this model called GREAT. I look at five different reasons or resistors that people have. The first one is Goodwill. People don’t say yes to us because they think we don’t have their interests in mind. What we’re asking them to do benefits us but it doesn’t benefit them. That doesn’t work.

The next is around Reactants. That’s about when we push too much, or our personality or the way that we ask something of somebody is abrasive or rubs them the wrong way. We will naturally get resistance. People will not want to go where we’re asking them to go. I go deeper into this in the book and talk about personalities and understanding different personality styles.

I use DISC as a model. It can impact why people might react to us negatively when we’re asking them to do something. It’s critical for us to know. The next in this model of GREAT is I talk about Expertise or Experience. Do I know what I’m talking about? Have I relayed that or conveyed that to other people around me? The next is around Apathy. When people feel like the way that we’re doing things is fine and won’t need to make a change, it’s going to be hard for us to get people to buy into going in a new direction. We need to understand that.

The last in the GREAT model is around Trust. Do people trust you as a leader? CABLE certainly goes a long way to developing trust. We need that. If we don’t have that, people naturally will resist where we’re asking them to go. That’s GREAT. I go into deeper detail and give stories and references behind each one of those of these things that I’m talking about. At the end of each of the chapters, I give these bridge builders. They’re challenges or things that you can do to reflect on how to get better.

The better we are at understanding why people say no, the better we’re going to be in getting them to say yes. Click To Tweet

The last one I want to talk about is goal setting. Performance management comes into play. Managing remotely can come into play. Many within organizations are probably familiar with SMART goals. I had to use them for a number of years. There were some valuable parts to SMART goal in terms of how they’re used but overall, they’re too cumbersome. I don’t find them smart or intuitive. Oftentimes I feel like they’re done as a check-the-box exercise that they never used.


What I did was I created a model called SET. SET is a refined version of SMART with one very important difference. That’s the E in this model. SET stands for Specific, Emotional, and Time-bound. For goals, we need to be specific. What is it that we’re trying to accomplish? The time-bound is when we are going to achieve this. If it’s an activity that we’re going to continue to do, maybe it’s how many times we’re going to make sure that we do it in a week.

Maybe it’s running. I’m going to make sure that there’s not an end date. I’m not going to stop running on December 31st but maybe I’m going to make sure that I run three days a week for three miles. That’s my goal. The key is the E in this model. It’s emotional. That’s about the why. To me, that’s the piece that the SMART format misses in many regards because what I’ve done with the E in this is along the lines of Root Cause Analysis, where I ask the question five times, why do you want this goal?

If I were to talk about losing weight, which isn’t very specific, I would have to say, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds. Why am I going to lose 10 pounds? It’s because my son is entering junior high. He’s going to play football. I would love to be able to coach him in football but I’m not active enough to do that. I need to lose those 10 pounds. That’s because I want to coach him in football.” Why do you want to coach him in football? “It’s because he’s getting older. We’re having less time together. This gives me an opportunity for us to have one-on-one time together.”

“Why is one-on-one time important for me? It’s because he’s going to be in high school soon. I’m going to see him even less. I know that by the time they’re eighteen, if you look at some of the statistics, about 95% of the time that I will spend with any of my children is by the time they’re eighteen years old. Why is that important for me to spend that much time with them? It’s because he’s going to be in college and out of the house. I’ll see him even less. I want to build a relationship with him for when he’s an adult or outside of school.” Why is that important to you?

LFL S4 146 | Better Leader

The Leadership Bridge: How to Engage Your Employees and Drive Organizational Excellence

“It’s because if I don’t do this now, that legacy or this ability for us to take our relationship on a new level, I won’t be able to go back to. The time needs to be invested now.” That’s the fifth lie. I’ve gone from losing 10 pounds to a legacy with my son of why I want to lose that weight. The importance of that is that when I then go into the kitchen and there are oranges and Oreos sitting there, I’m more likely to go for the oranges than I am for the Oreos if I think about what the real why is.

That’s often the thing that prevents us from reaching our goals. Our why is not strong enough. In the book, I go into it and I talk about it as an example. I started The Leadership Bridge years ago. The why for me was always strong enough that I kept coming back to it. It got pushed out. The timeline did but I never walked away from this fully. The why was strong enough for me to want to write this book.

Those are the four models that I go deeper into in terms of how you can leverage these but all of them play an important role in how we develop better teams and better cultures. We can reduce burnout in organizations and across generations in terms of how we communicate in many regards, even though I talk about this as a bridge. On some level, it’s a Swiss Army Knife. There is a tool within this that can deal with many of the issues that you’re faced with.

I would argue most of them are within an organization. They don’t have to be used all at the same time but there’s something there that can create better teams. I hope you found this helpful. I hope you have an opportunity to read the book. Certainly, I’ve given you enough here that even if you didn’t, try and implement one of these models that I talked about. I guarantee you that they work. If you apply them consistently, they will work.

There you have it. The POWER Journal is about helping us lead internally. CABLES is about behaviors that help us to build better teams and better bridges individually with those around us. The GREAT model is about understanding why people say no. The better we are at understanding that, the more effective we’re going to be in getting people to say yes.

How do we set better goals? It’s not with SMART but with SET. How are our goals set? I hope you found this beneficial and helpful. It would mean the world to me if you would pick up the book on Amazon. There’s a lot of benefit in there. I know it works. Until the next episode, I hope you’re able to go out there and rise above your best. Peace.


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