The Power of Magnetic Leadership

by / ⠀Startup Advice / September 16, 2011

What is Magnetic Leadership?

The answer to that question comes from defining what it is not.

Uninspired leadership that disengages employees is the “reverse polarity” of Magnetic Leadership.

  • Think of the successful professional who may have climbed the ladder without ever learning how to play well with others.
  • Think of leadership that does not connect with people because the vision and purpose are not relevant to the
  • Think of leadership that talks without listening.
  • Think of leadership that promises without delivering.
  • Think about the cost of unengaged employees.

According to pollster Gallup, actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. workforce more than $300 billion in lost productivity alone. How much does employee is employee disengagement costing you?

If there is weak or non-existent leadership in an organization, it is like spraying a big can of people repellent into the air that employees breathe.  It kills creativity, productivity and the spark that ignites new ideas.  Those organizations risk losing top talent and cultivating people with promise.

Here’s the good news:  you can create Magnetic Leadership in your organization.  And you don’t have to look like a rock star or a celebrity to do it.  You just have to have heart, be open to some organizational soul searching, and most importantly, you have to be R.E.A.L.:

  • Take an active interest in others
  • Listen to people
  • Act decisively and consistently based on what you hear and do

You can transform your organization, energize your employees and boost your bottom line with Magnetic Leadership. With the R.E.A.L. acronym as your guideposts, you have the opportunity to look at yourself as a leader and ask some hard questions along the way.  Each answer brings you closer to being a Magnetic Leader who inspires others in your organization.

Let me highlight some of the concepts of Leadership.

There are many myths about leadership that often prevent people from developing their leadership skills.  They think if they were not born a leader with some magic leadership dust in their DNA, they cannot become one in the future.

While some people may be more natural leaders than others, some of the best leaders I have worked with are men and women who went beyond cultivating their own leadership skills and instead created a culture of leadership in their organizations. The reality is that leadership does not belong to just one person.  Leadership inspires others and becomes a contagious force throughout an organization.

The keys to great leadership are vision, purpose, values, and most of all trust. Without trust, people will not listen, or follow. Trust is truly the foundation and framework of any relationship and building a positive culture for success.

Great Leaders Realize that Leadership Is an Engine

It is an engine of innovation that runs on truth, communication and vision. Great leaders make a difference in the lives of their people, their organizations and the processes.

Great Leaders Encourage Their People to Bring Their Brains to Work

The fastest way to lower the IQ of an organization is to create a culture where people only follow the rules and never think outside their job descriptions.  Great leaders fully engage and empower their employees, so they are always thinking and contributing their best. Great leaders know they can not do it all themselves – it takes everyone’s creativity and innovation to achieve incredible results.

Great Leaders Appreciate People and Let Them Know It

Again and again, I have seen this in my work with organizations.  Money is not the motivator.  What people want is for work to fulfill a basic emotional human need; they want to feel appreciated. The importance of valuing people for their contributions and ideas, and appropriately rewarding and recognizing them cannot be understated.

Great Leaders Look Ahead

From the power of social media and technology to the importance of a global perspective, Magnetic Leaders are always looking to the future. They are being creative and innovative themselves, and developing a culture where new ideas are openly welcomed.

Tips for How to Get R. E. A. L.

R is for recruitment that gets the right people on the bus in the right spots, and also shows you how to retain them.

E is for engaging, empowering and enriching employees and providing the right environment for success.  I will take you through the Big E and show you why this vowel rocks an organization in the most powerful of ways.

A is for appreciating people.  What do people want most?  It is not money.  It is to be rewarded and recognized.

L is for leadership that leads to loyalty. Leadership is not about ego. It’s the opposite. It’s about purpose first.  When leadership attracts the right people, engages, empowers and appreciates them, the result is loyal, productive employees.

Great Leaders Manage Change

In these times of economic unrest, it is extremely difficult to maintain the status quo in any business, and still positively impact the bottom-line. Doing nothing to improve the business can be the quickest way to bankruptcy. Leaders need to understand how to manage change in environments that are continually redefining themselves.

It is not easy to move from a status quo situation and/or alter or modify existing conditions. The hardest issue is the existing culture that must change, and the fact the employees may not immediately recognize the necessity for the change.

Change is not comfortable and magnetic leaders know how to minimize the resistances by clearly, concisely and consistently articulating the future vision and direction and communicating it over and over again.

Great Leaders Plan for Change

In order to be able to handle the resistances to change and having everyone working toward implementation, leaders must ask themselves the following questions:

  1. Does my leadership/staff understand the program and the reason(s) for implementing it?
  2. Is there a high-quality communication plan in place to let the entire program/business know the details?
  3. Are there well-defined strategic and tactical plans for how the program will be implemented?
  4. Is there a plan to get middle management involved early and often?
  5. Do your individuals understand how their jobs affect the change and results in a positive impact?
  6. Are there clearly defined individual roles and responsibilities for the implementation?

Once these questions are answered affirmatively, it’s time to ignite “The Power of Magnetic Leadership.”

“The true essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. You can’t just blow an uncertain trumpet.”

– Theodore Hesburgh

Dianne Durkin is founder and president of Portsmouth-based Loyalty Factor LLC, a training and consulting company. She can be reached at

About The Author

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.

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