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Season 2 | Episode 2-3

Leadership Explained: Key Traits, Psychology and Tactics to Become a Better Leader

Published on: 11/29/2022

What are some of the key psychological elements behind leadership? What role does taking ownership play, and what are some of the tactical things that can make you a better leader? In today’s episode of The Optimistic American, Paul Johnson and Dr. Emily Bashah address those questions, as well as points around agency and authoritarianism related to leadership, cognitive behavioral therapy, and the concept of locus of control. 

  • In today’s episode of The Optimistic American, Paul Johnson and Dr. Emily Bashah address questions around how agency and authoritarianism relate to leadership, the psychology behind leadership, and tactical things that can make you a better leader.
  • Dr. Emily Bashah shares that in her clinical practice she sees people wanting models that are going to inspire them, give them hope and something to look forward to.
  • Paul shares how he can be optimistic despite the threat of a potential new Cold War.
  • Paul and Dr. Bashah go over their definition of leadership and list the traits they believe a good leader should have.
  • Dr. Bashah praises Paul for the approach he has when talking about their book – this leads them into a conversation on ambition, leadership, and legacy.
  • Dr. Bashah unpacks the concept of locus of control and the impact it can have on leaders.
  • According to Paul Johnson, something “being your fault” isn’t a negative thing, quite the opposite. That’s because, as his father used to say, ‘If it’s your fault, you can fix it.’
  • Paul and Dr. Bashah talk about taking ownership, the best place to find agency, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
  • Paul believes that you should pick a different type of leadership – such as the servant leader, the coach, and the visionary – for different types of situations.
  • Dr. Bashah mentions a study that looked at the power position and shares her advice in regards to making presentations and the importance of listening.
  • Through his work, Paul employs and gets to interact with hundreds of millennials. He discusses how he translates some of his teachings to them.

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