The Connected Leadership Podcast

The Seismic Shift in Leadership with Dr. Michelle K. Johnston

Listen on

Episode notes

In this episode of the Connected Leadership Podcast, Andy Lopata’s special guest is Dr. Michelle K. Johnston, a management professor, executive coach, and leadership expert from Loyola University in New Orleans and author of the Amazon bestseller, "The Seismic Shift in Leadership: How to Thrive in a New Era of Connection." She shares her insights about the shifting nature of leadership, discussing a shift from a perfection-oriented, command-control cultural approach towards a more relatable, connected style of leadership. Exploring personal experiences that led to these observations, Michelle believes that the old authoritarian and aggressive leadership styles are becoming increasingly obsolete. 

Michelle explains how effective leadership today is rooted in meaningful relationships and team connections. She particularly highlights the importance of allowing for vulnerability in the workplace, noting that authenticity can foster a safe, inclusive environment conducive to innovation.

Andy and Michelle also probe into the impact of generational, cultural and gender differences in leadership styles. Andy points out how cultural perceptions have shifted over time, making it difficult to apply a one-size-fits-all approach to leadership. Michelle highlights creating a positive work culture, emphasising the role of leaders in intentionally working towards this goal to foster better connections and drive results in their organisations.

The importance of thoughtful human connection in leadership is discussed. Michelle illustrates how different individuals communicate, all driven by different things like efficiency, shared decision-making and building meaningful relationships. 

Michelle passionately advocates for transforming our approach to conducting businesse to nurture better human interaction in professional relationships. She stresses the importance of business leaders being more accessible, and striking a balance between providing direction and promoting shared decision-making for a better collaborative spirit.

Andy and Michelle also examine how changes in leadership styles can affect the organisational culture. For instance, transitioning from a command-control style to a more inclusive approach requires a considerable adjustment period, consistency and managing expectations. The conversation ends with an enlightening three-step process guide for leaders to drive results by first connecting with themselves, their teams, and then the organisation.

Andy Lopata;s upcoming book, "The Financial Times Guide to Mentoring," co-authored with Dr Ruth Gottian is scheduled for release in May 2024, the book is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

The Financial Times Guide to Mentoring: A complete guide to effective mentoring (The FT Guides) Paperback – 8 May 2024 by Andy Lopata (Author), Ruth Gotian (Author)

Connect with Andy Lopata Website

Connect with Michelle Johnston Website