WHAT IS A RED LEAF LEADER?
THE PLAN TO BE AMAZING!™ PHILOSOPHY
"So, Why a Red Leaf?"
Clients often ask why the center of my visual branding is a red leaf, and why I call my leaders “Red Leaf Leaders.” Imagine standing on a tree-lined street in early October, breathing in the first hints of crisp fall air. Most trees are turning shades of gold and yellow, but one leaf—one rich and brilliant leaf—is a stunning shade of red. This is what best-in-class leaders look like. They stand out. They create a powerful following, not through title or brute force, but through authenticity, a respected knowledge base, and a thirst for continuous improvement. They have a strong vision coupled with a compelling call-to-action. They are a constant work-in-progress, often evolving on display.
They are not afraid to daringly go first, forging the way and inviting those around them to join them. They foster mutual trust and connectedness to create dramatic, business-imperative changes in their organizations. True Red Leaf Leaders offer a vision and an action plan with a competitive edge.
My goal for everyone who experiences my Plan to Be Amazing!™ methodology is for them to leave feeling called to be like that first red leaf: compelled to create a "can’t-get-it-anywhere-but-here" experience for those around them, to wow them, and to engage them more deeply, so together they can achieve remarkable new feats.
MY CORE BELIEF:
My aunt, Esther Nakashima, worked as a grocery store checker for 15 years. Some of us might consider a career as a store clerk as a less-than-exciting life mission, but my aunt challenged that belief. Every day, she brought such presence and personality to her check stand that she built a personal following. Her customers loved her uplifting spirit, and would choose to stand in her line even when it was much longer than the others. It should be no surprise that my aunt won “Checker of the Year” for that intention and energy that she brought to her work and to her customers.
I believe that inside of each of my clients is a leadership style and personal brand so compelling that they could inspire their teams, customers, business partners, and investors to stand in longer lines to work with them. I believe that when we choose to show up and meaningfully engage, we give those around us a distinctive experience that thrills them and invites them to show up more deeply in return. I believe that shedding unproductive behaviors is as simple as remaining open to our blind spots and making a plan. I invite you to partner with me to make that Plan to be Amazing!™
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE RED LEAF LEADERS
ALESIA LATSON, FOUNDER, LATSON LEADERSHIP GROUP
“You ROCK!” is a favorite saying of Alesia Latson.
The truth is, she rocks BIG TIME! Her refreshing perspective on the world, her endless curiosity and her generosity in sharing what she learns, her recollection for the little things that really make you feel special, her infectious energy that uplifts even the worst of moods, her desire to constantly challenge herself to evolve into an even better version of herself, and her desire to bring out and support the best in people makes her a Red Leaf Leader standout.
JOHN BUCHANAN, US TAX MANAGING PARTNER, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS
“I’d walk through fire for that person.” John is a leader you’d say that about.
His authenticity and warmth draw you in. He deeply cares about his people and doing the right thing, and he establishes incredible trust-based relationships as a result. His powerful storytelling engages you masterfully, has true staying power, and leaves you wanting more. He does the little things that make you feel important: the way he greets you, provides transparency, and remembers the big-little things such as when he has to cancel a meeting. All leaders do that from time to time, but how many remember and apologize—acknowledging that your time is valuable. Red Leaf leader indeed!
Audrey Ching, Senior Director of Business and Professional Development, CalCPA
“Roger that!” was Audrey’s recent response to an email.
Audrey radiates a refreshing, one-of-a-kind style and energy that can’t help but uplift you. She is confident in who she is and shares her authentic self with the world brilliantly. With every interaction, she’s a powerful reminder that distinctive leadership is not achieved through conformity or pure professionalism, but through creating differentiated experiences that people want to sign up for again and again. She also has high expectations of others—she wants the best for those around her, knows what they're capable of and when they're not living up to that potential.
ROBERT BREZOSKY, GLOBAL MOBILITY LEADER, THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY
“I appreciate Robert’s investment in me so much,” is a heartfelt comment his team regularly expresses.
Robert truly invests in his team through coaching, meetings, and trainings. He knows that if a team feels valued, enlightened, stretched, and empowered they can accomplish extraordinary things. He’s courageous with feedback as the deliverer or receiver, embracing the fact that we all have blind spots. He’s ever evolving and quick to share with his team that he’s human, lessons learned, what he now does differently, and the benefits he’s reaped. He is tremendous at helping people internalize their shared mission, understand their value and see greater potential in themselves. He also pauses to celebrate success. It leads to fierce loyalty and outstanding performance. Not surprisingly, Robert's known for transformation. That’s what a Red Leaf Leader does.
A. Christine Davis, Director of forensic and financial accounting, onpoint analytics
“It’s my pleasure, truly,” is often something Chris will say, and she means it.
Chris is one of the most authentic, quality individuals you’ll ever meet. As a leader, she’s compassionate, generous with her time, yet also very empowered and impactful. She artfully builds relationships and achieves results even under the most adverse of conditions through her approach, rooted in a tremendous appreciation for relationships, ongoing dialogue, and her fierce ownership for achieving remarkable outcomes without leaving an unwelcomed wake behind. You’ll be quick to trust her, and she’ll provide ongoing peace of mind that that trust was well-placed as she engages and leads you in a shared journey. As a Red Leaf Leader, she leaves a wonderful, indelible imprint.