Jul 29, 2020
Chris Kolenda is the Founder of
the Strategic Leaders Academy, a West Point grad, retired Army
Colonel, and author of the book, Leadership: The Warrior’s
Art. Chris has had the
pleasure and not-so-great pleasure of working with a wide variety
of leadership types and styles, including bullies. He explains how
junior leaders, or anyone without leadership power, can stand up to
abusive leaders and take control of their future.
[3:15] Chris served as a senior
advisor for the Under Secretary of Defense, Michelle Flournoy,
along with many 3-star and 4-star generals. Chris noticed that
there is no single leadership ideal.
[5:00] There are four different
leadership archetypes: Pioneers, Reconcilers, Operators, and
[7:45] Myers-Briggs is extremely
useful, but it’s difficult to keep 16 personality type of
[9:00] Chris has worked with
three of these archetypes and shares the impact each one has had on
[11:45] Leaders are like
gardeners. They help people grow to the biggest and healthiest
version of themselves.
[14:45] Empathy plays an
important role during a crisis. Take on the ability to see yourself
in a situation in the eyes of others.
[18:45] Wash away your
assumptions and learn to adapt.
[22:05] Chris was bullied and
sexually assaulted when he was younger. He shares the long-term
effects bullies have on a person.
[25:25] If you’ve been bullied
or assaulted, first recognize that this is not your
[27:15] You can stop a bully
dead in their tracks by acknowledging them and calling them out
(the right way).
[29:25] Tell people right away.
Don’t wait 35-plus years to share your story.
[36:15] Most organizations can’t
afford to take 6–8 months to go to a leadership course. It’s just
not feasible, so we need to find better ways to multiply our
[42:45] Always lead with
[43:30] Challenge to the
listeners: Look at your culture and see if the most vulnerable
people in your organization feel safe enough to bring their best
and most authentic selves to work.
don’t have to try to copycat somebody else, you can just be
- “Leaders are like gardeners; they help each
thing they are growing be the best and healthiest version of
more people who are affected by bullying tell their story, the more
it deters predators.”
encourage every person who is employed by a toxic, abusive bully,
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