#047 – Beyond Boundaries: Rethinking Leadership and Empowering Women (with Dalia Feldheim)

Podcast Summary

Whether throwing, running, or leading, doing something “like a girl” used to have very negative connotations. Thankfully, a lot has changed in the past decade, particularly for women in science, technology, and sports. Yet, there’s still a long way to go before exhibiting feminine traits are viewed as wholly positive in leadership, business, and many parts of society.

Today’s guest is Dalia Feldheim, an incredible woman who is on a mission to humanize the future of workplaces and leadership. Dalia combines science and empathy to help companies build authentic, happy and psychologically safe workplace cultures.


Welcome to episode 47 of the Working Well Podcast, the show that explores the rapidly changing landscape of work and wellbeing. Each episode, We dive into the hottest topics in leadership, employee wellbeing, and the future of work! I’m your host Tim Borys.

Before we dive in, let’s learn more about Dalia.


Dalia Feldheim founded Flow Leadership Consultancy after over two decades as a global C-suite marketing executive at Procter and Gamble where she led some of the world’s most iconic ad campaigns.


Dalia holds an Executive Masters degree in Consulting and Coaching for Change. She teaches ‘The Science of Happiness and Resilience’ as an Adjunct Professor at the Singapore Management University and works with the top tech companies to bring resilience and joy to work.


Finally, Dalia is a passionate advocate of women and female leadership. She encourages women (and men) to lean into their feminine leadership traits and “Dare to lead (more) like a girl”.

Episode Links & Resources

Podcast Transcript

Please note: This transcript is generated by computer and may contain errors


Introduction: Changing Perceptions of Feminine Traits

Whether throwing, running, or leading, doing something like a girl used to have very negative connotations. Thankfully, a lot has changed in the past decade, particularly for women in science, technology, and sports. Yet there’s a long way to go before exhibiting feminine traits are viewed as wholly positive in leadership, business, and even many parts of society.

Meet Dahlia Feldheim: A Woman on a Mission

Today’s guest It’s Dahlia Feldheim, an incredible woman who’s on a mission to humanize the future of workplaces and leadership. Dahlia combines science and empathy to help companies build authentic, happy, and psychologically safe workplace cultures.

The Working Well Podcast: Exploring Work and Wellbeing

Welcome to the Working Well podcast, the show that explores the rapidly changing landscape of work and wellbeing.

Each episode, we dive into the hottest topics in leadership, employee well being, and the future of work. I’m your host, Tim Boras. Now before we dive in, let’s learn a bit more about [00:01:00] Dahlia.

Dahlia’s Journey: From Marketing Executive to Leadership Consultant

Dahlia Feldheim founded Flow Leadership Consultancy after two decades as a global C suite marketing executive at Procter Gamble.

or she led some of the world’s most iconic ad campaigns. Dahlia holds an executive master’s degree in consulting and coaching for change. She teaches the science of happiness and resilience as an adjunct professor at Singapore Management University and works with top tech companies to bring resilience and joy to work.

Finally, Dahlia is a passionate advocate for women and female leadership.

The Importance of Feminine Leadership Traits

She encourages women and men to lean into their feminine leadership traits and dare to lead more like a girl. All right, Dahlia, it’s so great to have you on the Working World podcast. Thank you for joining me today. I’m so looking forward to this this conversation.

Thank you. It’s great to be here.

Now, what time zone are you in right

now? You’re it’s 7 PM, but it’s a very [00:02:00] dark, cold day here.

We’ve got a bit of sunshine here right now. It’s 10 in the morning. So thank you again for joining me in your evening. Now, you have just a fantastic background and I have to say the work you’re doing is very close to my heart as.

As someone who’s got a wife in a leadership role, who had, I’ve heard the stories that she shared of her experiences at work. And I have a 16 year old daughter, I, who’s an athlete and I, you hear things like run like a girl and I love the lead, like a girl. So I can’t wait to hear more about it. And I know our listeners are going to take a lot away from the work you’ve done and a bit of the trailblazing you’ve done throughout the years as well.

Thank you.

Dahlia’s Personal Background and Career Beginnings

Tell me a bit about how you started where your beginning was in this this journey.

Oh, wow. I am made in England, born in Israel. I always joke as my parents literally came came over [00:03:00] pregnant. And I think that define me in many ways. I was a competitive gymnast, which was my crash course in stamina, if you like, so like your athlete daughter and then, sadly for us, Israel army is compulsory, but I decided if I’m doing it, I’ll do the best.

So I became a girl’s platoon commander and that became my crash course in leadership, which prepared me for my career. I studied psychology and business. And straight out of university, I was recruited by Procter Gamble and literally, 17 years I spent there with P& G, first in Geneva, then Moscow, then Singapore.

And I call them my years of flow. Those were my amazing experience. P& G is a very much a great example of what’s how you do it well. I think if you ask me why I was so successful in PNG, it was because I was enabled and encouraged to live my purpose every day. I very early on understood that purpose is my purpose is about [00:04:00] empowering people to be the best that they can be.

Both as a marketing director with my own team, but I also became a training junkie because we are promotion from within. So a lot of training from within. So I was encouraged to train and coach, so I basically trained everything from, memo writing to people supporting people to for manager to leader courses, things that would be important later on in my career.

And so 17 years, yeah, moved around, had three kids in between. And my eldest is now 21. I have a 20 year old, so only a year and four months difference in between and then a 15 year old. And then in 2015, my husband opened a startup. So he was actually, he called himself a failing spouse in a big interview that he had recently.

He worked all this time, but we always said, our career, we decide on the career moves together. And he was actually the one that, really wanted to move to Asia, but it was [00:05:00] mainly P& G that moved us every time. But in 2010, he opened his startup company. And so in 2015 when p and g said, okay, now we need you back in Geneva.

I said I, it’s time I put the, my money where my mouth is on dual career. And now my husband has this amazing opportunity and he has to stay in Singapore. So that kind of propelled my decision to leave p and g. It was almost like a divorce. Literally, I cried for two days because I was so aligned with the purpose of the company and the culture.

But I took another role as CMO for another fortune 500 company. It’s a great company. I love the CEO and the CMO.

Experiencing Workplace Bullying: A Turning Point

But three months into the role, I got a new boss and I realized that he’s actually a bully and that started a twist in my career. But so that’s where I started and I think I will talk more about that experience, but that propelled me to do what I do today.

And I love that.

The Impact of Negative Leadership Experiences

And you had such [00:06:00] positive experiences at the start of your career. And I know in your Ted talk, you talked about the. The negative experience you had with this new leader and at the time that was from the sounds of it, it was something that was pretty new to you and a bit of a, an awake, a wake up call, but we hear that so often around the industry that.

People are just unhappy with their particular, their boss. And there’s the whole saying that people don’t leave their job. They leave the boss. Yeah. Tell me a bit more about your experience that you


The Power of Positive Leadership: Dahlia’s PNG Experience

Like I said, in the Ted talk, I’ll just share a little bit the good story first, right?

Because that’s put in perspective, the challenging story, but six months into, I was very young in a PNG six months into the role. And I had an initiative that hit the wall. I was in my general manager’s office and, and I was getting quite frustrated because I worked so hard and it really my product got stuck in customs and I’m in the office and I’m getting really frustrated.

And when I get frustrated, I tear up. [00:07:00] And I’m sitting there, a young associate brand manager, six months in the company. And I’m crying in my general manager’s office and I was so embarrassed. I was frantically trying to regain my composure. And my boss at the time, Jim Lafferty, who was a friend and mentor until today, he offered me a box of tissues.

And when I finally regained my composure, he looked me dead in the eye and he said to me, Dalia, don’t ever be embarrassed for crying in the office again. It’s a sign of your passion. It’s not a weakness. And I can tell you, I was just so empowered and then he added, and if you ever work for a company that doesn’t appreciate or a boss that doesn’t appreciate, just walk away.

They don’t deserve you. And that kind of defined my PNG experience, right? It was about being yourself, being the best that you can be. And I just was so empowered that for the next 17 years, I just. Kick ass and took names, just really delivered 200 percent and was completely immersed in what I was doing.

I was in a state of flow which is a psychological Mikhail [00:08:00] Chikmakai talks about it, as a psychological in the zone, right? Meditation in action, when you’re so immersed and love what you do that you lose track of time. And so that was my 17 years in PNG. But when I left PNG and I moved to this new company and I got this new boss.

The Struggle with a Toxic Boss: A Personal Story

And, it took me a week to realize that him and I were like, fire and water. So I’m the fire here. I’m all about passion and creativity and teamwork. And he’s all about numbers and scorecard and, ROI and. We very quickly realized that it’s ROI or you die kind of culture. But the specific story was a few months into the role.

I was summoned into his room and he starts giving me feedback. Now, I love feedback, right? We used to call it tough love in PNG. Feedback should be direct and honest, right? Don’t sugarcoat anything for me. So it’s So it is tough in a way, but it feedback should come from a position of love, right?

That someone cares about you so much that they tell you the truth. That day there was no love in the room. It was just really tough, denigrating, [00:09:00] humiliating, belittling, and I’m sitting in his office. And now I’m a C suite. I was a CMO, one of the only women on his team. And I’m shrinking in my seat there, but holding it in.

And then he really moved to insult my team. And, that’s where I become a lioness, right? Because I knew how hard my team worked and it was just so terribly unfair that I was becoming so frustrated, a tear appeared in my eyes and that moment he handed me a box of tissues and, I had this warm, fuzzy feeling, remember in my first gym, but I remember it until today.

I literally lifted my eyes. And I saw something weird and he smiled and then he turned around the tissue box and I can tell you, I really, Tim, it was like I was in total shock. I couldn’t believe my eyes because on the other side, he basically wrote, created a handwritten note that read Thalia’s tissue box.

So [00:10:00] he knew. I would, he would make me cry and he thought it was a funny joke and I was literally sitting there, humiliated, belittled, right? Complete shocked. And with a little self esteem I had, I told him, are you kidding me? This is a HR assault. And he sat back and he’s Oh, Dahlia, stop being so emotional.

It’s just boy banter. I know you have a sense of humor. And that was the first in an experience of many little, I call it death by a thousand paper cuts, different experiences of belittling. I’m a feisty little one. Okay. I said to myself, I’m not going to quit. I’m a competitive gymnast. We don’t quit.

And why should I quit? He should. And also I was the main breadwinner at the time as my husband was establishing his company. And also I loved what I was doing. So I decided to persevere. I wasn’t raised, the crash course in stamina. And actually, it was my it was a [00:11:00] lady that knew him.

That, maybe 6 months into the role took me for a coffee and she basically told me, yeah, honestly, she said, listen, he’s an asshole. You’re the only 1 who can change him. And maybe her intentions were good, but the outcome was like, I felt I had all this Cape, I’m on a mission to change him.

And I very quickly learned that you can’t change someone that doesn’t want to change. So year 1 was a little bit the fight, I gave feedback. I volunteered. I was really good at managing up, so I tried everything in my toolkits. To be transparent, I spoke my mind. I was like, and the more resilient I was becoming, the more determined he was to bring me down.

He literally every strength of mine was not only not appreciated, but totally diminished. So I was too good with my people. I was too creative. I was even too positive. He ended up calling me. So 2nd year, it was a little bit flights in the sense. I try to avoid conflict. And I hired the data science to give him [00:12:00] everything he needed so I can focus on my creativity a little bit and I really tried everything I can to change, he was very much into kind of process and six Sigma and, trying to change who I am to fit someone else’s expectations.

And I can tell you at the end of that year my scorecard was great, we delivered the business but I felt physically sick, like literally. I couldn’t get out of bed. I felt like I left my heart and my art at the doorway. And I guess what saved me and I recently relived it in a way.

I’ll tell you in a bit. But what saved me is in the beginning of year 3, I actually decided to attend a PNG alumni event. So my previous company, right? And it was my first alumni event since I left them. So I flew to Cincinnati and I still remember it until today, I walked into this hall and all my previous kind of amazing leaders talking about servant leadership and take care of your people.

And the business takes care of [00:13:00] itself and all these kinds of. They were really walking the talk. And I remember I literally plunked myself down in the seat and I was like, Oh, my God, I became a frog in boiling water. I didn’t, I knew what’s bullying looked like. I knew I was head of the women’s network.

I fired men for misconduct. I knew what harassment looked like. But somehow when it happened to me. I kept on thinking I can deal with it. I can coach myself out of this toxic environment. And I guess, that’s when I realized you can’t really coach yourself out of a toxic environment, and you can’t when you’re asked to change.

Who you are, and that’s when I said, I need to leave. But not before I get back my mojo. And, I was disappointed with myself that I was so busy defending myself that I wasn’t able to bring out my best. And so I decided that third year that I’m going to focus on my strengths. Which is people and creativity, right?

[00:14:00] And, develop an amazing team. And my pride and joy was that team, I managed to shield them from everything that was happening above. And at the end of that year, we got an award, they created, they ranked our culture as a family. We were really extremely close and together with the team, we created, campaigns.

One specifically that was. Extremely data driven. Or everything, the science that my boss needed, but also very creative. And, when that campaign won a FE award for business results and creativity, I realized that, I found back my mojo and it was time to move on.

The Journey to Self-Discovery and Empowerment

So I always say someone asked me in a podcast very early on, what would you do if you met that boss in the street and, I completely stopped breathing, but today I would really say thank you, because, that.

Seeing what not to do became my kick in the butt to do what I do today, which is helping company bring in more purpose and joy back into the workplace.

Absolutely. And it’s your origin [00:15:00] story. And yeah, exactly. I love some of the things you said in there about you focused on your strengths and you had to understand the situation and know that you can’t change someone who’s not ready to change.

You also had mentioned the. The 6 Sigma and lean and the very numbers focused and I always say that can be a good thing, but it doesn’t preclude you. It doesn’t mean you have to be an asshole about it.

Numbers are critical. P and G is all about the numbers. But it’s how you go about.

Deliver and how do you motivate your team? How do you understand what’s important for them, right? And for me, at one stage, and I don’t say this, tell this often, but at one stage, my boss told me, Oh, you think I don’t care? I’ll tell you for me, care is giving you your maximum bonus every year.

That’s the most important thing for me. In his mind and that [00:16:00] wasn’t the most important for me, it’s care is really understanding me as a human being. Yes. Salary was important. Bonus is important, but it wasn’t my drive of why I wake up in the morning and come to work. And I think the interesting thing is when I left after 3 years, I actually decided to go and study.

I said to myself, whoa, what a waste of human potential, right? In one company. I’m the same person in one company. I was kicking ass.


200, given my heart and soul and in this other company, they thought I delivered. But, when I assess it, I only gave them 10 percent of my full ability because I was just so busy defending myself, every email took a whole day because I knew he would find flaws in whatever.

And so I decided to actually go and study it. I did my master’s in organizational psychology and inside and my thesis was all about. Can you coach yourself out of a toxic environment? Because research is me search, so I was trying to understand [00:17:00] was there anything that I should have done differently.

And I found out that yes. You can build resilience and, that led me to develop this resilience model that I talk about in my training and in the book. But in essence, no, you can’t coach yourself out of a toxic environment. There really is only 1 strategy when you deal with a toxic kind of situation and that is 0 tolerance.

And, if I’m sorry for something in that in experiences that I kept on trying to coach my boss to change myself, while recognizing there’s a very simple, good versus evil, acceptable, not acceptable. Right and when it comes to not acceptable, it’s 0 tolerance. Sorry, you’re not going to talk to me like this.

I’m going to leave the room and come back when we’re ready to have a respectful conversation. That’s it. And I think that’s, I tried to use humor and, all these kinds of things. No, it doesn’t work very

well. Absolutely. You bring up a great point. It’s a lot of people. A [00:18:00] lot of employees in those toxic relationships or work environments are, they think they have to put up with a certain amount.

And they end up doing and doing that exactly. And like you said, the frog in the boiling water, it just gets worse and builds up until they. Either break down or become so. Resigned to the fact that’s the way it has to be.

That they’re completely shut. They become numb. Yeah, they become numb or we have this silent resignation.

I can tell you after three years, what made me realize I need to leave is we had a meeting and I thought my boss was on the best, be on his best behavior. We had a global, a new global HR lady joined and she was like shocked with how he spoke to me, and that’s when I realized I became numb to some of this behavior.

And that’s, when I went to study it, I realized what you were talking about earlier, that it’s so prevalent in the business world today. [00:19:00] And it becomes even acceptable in some weird sense. We know one, do you know what percent of employees experience bullying at work?

Not the numbers on the bullying, but I know the disengagement scores and I’m sure they’re closely related.

What’s the bullying numbers that we thought? Let’s

talk both of them. First of all, when you talk about bullying, the numbers range, but overall wanting to experience some form of bullying, either directly about 30 percent or indirectly. And the interesting thing is, even if it’s indirect bullying, meaning you see other appear being bullied, etc.

The psychological impact is almost the same you shut up. You understand, this is not the culture where you speak up, you numb up in a sense, and you have a psychological fear in your own. That’s the thing. I’m, I consider myself quite a fearless person. And I realize I have this new emotion fear.

Who should have fear? In the workplace, [00:20:00] right and, that directly impacts engagement and that’s the numbers that we all know. The recent report just came out. It’s 22 percent are unengaged in the workplace. This is insane only 78 percent are engaged and I think, 20 percent are so unengaged.

That they’re really toxic, so it’s insane and these toxic employees, so unhappy, they’re determined to make everyone around them and happy and this costs. It’s cost the economy. The funny thing when I talk with CEOs and I, what I do today is teach on happiness at work and they’re like, oh, happiness at work.

What fluffy business is that? And that’s where I bring in the latest research, right? This is costing us. 7 trillion globally estimated to reach 30 trillion by 2030. These, this goes straight to the bottom line absenteeism, and we’re seeing it today. This was before COVID right comes COVID and, we’re seeing the great resignation, I know it’s all news by [00:21:00] now and the silent resignation, but people are just yeah.

It’s not engaged in the workplace and it is a huge waste on, on the economy. And so I think that’s where that’s my driving force because I’ve seen and learned on myself and from the science that it doesn’t have to be that way that you can’t absolutely.

The Importance of Leading with Heart

To be happier, and more engaged and more resilience and leaders can teach themselves how to lead from their hearts.

Okay. In order to get better business results, because yes, it is all about the bottom line, but how you get there makes all the difference.

When you make a great point is the, yeah, businesses exist to generate a profit and produce results, but there are multiple ways to get there. And in fact, the research shows that when you get there by leading a great team and building people up, the results are better.

The people are happier. [00:22:00] All your cost structures change. Around that, and it’s

more sustainable. So the research shows that, leading with fear, you will get results short term. Okay, but it’s only short term. It’s really lead leading by empowerment, you get higher results and they’re more sustainable because the fear will break down after 2 years.

And that’s the thing. These bullies tend to leave before crisis, before it all breaks down. But over time, that, leading from the hearts leading to empowerment is so much more effective for the business. When this is what

I’m seeing in my line of the business is I’m about performance of people and the company and helping build people up.

And since COVID the awareness around, and I had almost stopped calling it wellness and wellbeing because that’s looked at very differently in the business world, but the awareness around stress and burnout disengagement and quiet quitting is so [00:23:00] high. Yeah, it hasn’t changed the outcomes because companies are throwing more money at, yoga classes and seminars

and I’m a yoga instructor.

Okay, the thing is, and that’s why I developed my, I don’t call it a training program. It’s an immersive leadership program and that really goes through self leadership so that you can better lead others.

The 5Ps of Resilience at Work

And, it’s based on, the same model that I cover in the book which I call 5P of kind of resilience at work.

I always say it’s not my invention, all psychologists. Philosophers agree that it takes mind, body, and soul. And so to your example, when I come into companies and I start talking, they’re like, Oh yeah, we count steps or we teach yoga. And that’s important. But the only definition of happiness is wholeness.

And two things that are really important. One is that the [00:24:00] program, whatever it is, has to be holistic, dealing with the leader as the leader, the person, the life, the body, et cetera. And it also needs to create habit change because the it’s not rocket science. The science exists as books with all the data there.

But unless you go, you take your leaders to an immersive program, right? You don’t change these habits. And that’s a I want to establish that. Hey, it’s costing us. We have a crisis. We have a major leadership crisis, right? It’s costing us money. B, we know what it takes to turn. We know that you can’t turn it around.

Okay, you can teach yourself and we’re seeing great ROI behind this program and we know what it takes, right? We know that these skills, this 5P that I talk about are teachable. Okay, even to the most challenging they are teachable, they are not only are they teachable, they are essential as you move from manager to [00:25:00] leader, because it’s a completely Simon Sinek always talks about, a manager manage the business, a leader manages the people that manage the business, so your skill set as a leader As a team leader, as a people leader is completely different and unless companies embrace that and take the time, to train on it, but also to reward on it and companies sometimes, what I do in my program is both the training to the.

To the aspiring leaders, but also working with the systems because a very simple intervention that kind of, I hope every time I’m going to give free. See your listeners. Is the idea that you must reward. PNG actually did it very well. We had a rating for how we build the business. Okay. This is our KPIs, OKRs, et cetera, our business results.

But we also had a rating for how we build the organization. And from a very young age, if you are not a people manager is how much time you invest in your own [00:26:00] training. And later on, when you become a people leader, how much time do you invest in coaching? What training programs do you lead? What other initiatives do you lead?

So this was really important that every leader expect was expected 50 percent of their time. To invest in doing people development. And at the end, when they, when we came to talent review, you got the rating for the KPIs. You got your rating for building the. The business, which was ranked by your direct reports, because the only person that can assess if you’re a good leader.

I know we talk 360, but we put too much weight on the peers and the management. And not enough weight on the direct, so over weighting your direct reports. You get a rating and if you’re not top rated in both elements, you will not get promoted. So if you get results through fear but you’re a crappy people manager, you will not move to the next level.

And this is the simplest intervention that I hope every company can reapply.

Absolutely. And we [00:27:00] see a lot these days, a lot of technical leaders. They’ve gotten to their career level by being a great technical person, but then they’re put into a leadership role and they’re still trying to lead technically and not understanding that their job is not the technical aspect anymore.

That’s what their team does. And they have to lead the people and

I like using the body analogy right at the beginning, you use your hand. That’s your technical skills. Then you use your head, which is your strategic thinking, etc. But as a leader, if you’re not using your heart, of course, your hands and your head, but if you’re not adding on this secret important component, which is your heart, you’re not basically a leader.


love that. And it might not be so secret.

Yeah. You had

Leading Like a Girl: A Provocation

mentioned the 5 Ps. Can you talk about those 5 Ps and give me like a quick overview, but that also how that [00:28:00] fits to leading like a girl.

Yeah. So basically leading like a girl is a provocation. Okay. It’s paying homage to the always like a girl that I was so grateful to lead in, be part of the team that developed that campaign in 2014, which kind of, became an icon for a purpose driven brand building, but it’s really about that campaign.

Yeah, it excites me so much that every time I come to talk in any forum and I show the campaign, people tear up and yeah, I remember that. And that’s really. The power when you work with your heart you reach other people’s hearts. So it makes all the difference.

But, the lead like a girl. So we were talking about the leadership crisis we’re in and research actually shows that in this time of crisis, it is actually those historically considered feminine traits that are more important than ever before. I have a business review, I did research for having hard business review.

That is the basis for my book. In [00:29:00] 2012, they did research to try to understand how come we don’t have more senior female leaders or they’re not as effective as men. And when they did the research in 2012, they found, yeah, women are as effective as men. Okay. Surprise. Surprise. But then they repeated it in 2019.

And what they found then is not only were women as effective, they actually scored better than men in 17 out of 19 leadership traits, things like empathy, intuition, teamwork, but also, creativity and stretch results. In the dare to lead like a girl or kind of the provocation of leading like girl is basically connecting and it’s not about women versus men whatsoever, because there’s no such thing as a female brain or masculine brain.

We both have within us feminine leadership traits, empathy, intuition, teamwork, and masculine leadership traits. Now positive masculine is.

Balancing Empathy and Assertiveness in Leadership

Is logic and direction and data. A good leader should be rotating between the two. It’s also if you only [00:30:00] are in your empathy, you need to step into your assertiveness.

Like I described in the bullying, right? Muhammad Ali calls it float like a butterfly sting like a bee, right? So a good leader needs to be able to rotate. But Rassi Sota, who’s a close friend who wrote Conscious Capitalism in his book with Nili Mabat, Shakti Leadership, he talks about something called the wounded masculinity.

Where, it’s power over people versus power with people, it’s competition over collaboration, right? So the business world has tilted and my book is a provocation to tilt back in a sense, that a good leader is a positive feminine and a positive masculine. So it’s really there to lead more like a girl.

So that’s the reason and why a girl and not the women. Before we got corrupted with kind of socialization. So it was how we are uniquely, sorry authentically. So that’s what

you mentioned. So socially constructed weaknesses.

Challenging Gender Roles in Leadership

Yeah, there are these gender [00:31:00] roles that people think they need to live into.

And, oh, this is a, I’ve heard people talk about the blue tasks and pink tasks. And I’m like. This is ridiculous. Oh,

my God. I didn’t hear about that one yet. But yeah. It

drives me crazy. No, but

your brain constantly needs to be rotating. Of course, if we don’t have the data, the logic, the, we cannot succeed in business.

That’s obvious, right?

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

But too many leaders think that IQ is a determination of the success. And yet research shows, and this is amazing research with Daniel Goldman, that basically shows, I’ll let you guess. If IQ and EQ equals 100, okay, what is the relative importance of each, which is more important?

And what would you say is the split between IQ and EQ for your successes data? Any guesses? I’m

going to guess 80 20 for EQ.

Ah, you’re close, right? Because we’re talking EQ. So that’s but when you’re talking about these managerial kind of [00:32:00] the task it’s 66. For EQ, but when you talk about people leadership, okay, it’s 85 for EQ and only 15 for IQ.

So that’s the issue. Everyone is so focused on the IQ and their task and they’re forgetting that the key for their success. And this is basically the data behind Simon Sinek, managing the business. You’re managing the people that manage the business.


So I didn’t have a second question on the five P sorry.

Yeah. Yeah. If you have, you can do a quick overview. That’d be


The Five P’s of Leadership

Oh very quickly. I come from marketing, so it’s easy to remember the first, I start off my program was a day to be like a girl. It’s a inspiration session, but then each kind of immersive session.

So the first one is around purpose. I work, I created this methodology that is, how do you find your personal purpose? It has a little bit of psychoanalysis going into life mapping of your stories, but we know that your [00:33:00] purpose today is based on your heritage. So we work.

Each employee finding a personal purpose statement, and then how can you elevate that purpose to work? So now that, at what you’re good at, what you’re passionate about, how can you bring it to the work you’re doing now? And I can tell you, CEOs are really scared when I tell them about this module, right?

But we know it’s not about leaving and living in the Himalaya. It’s really about being it. Bring in your best self. And even if it’s just a passion project that you would do on a Thursday afternoon or a Friday afternoon, right? It’s the energy it delivers for the whole week is exponential. So that’s the first EPI.

And that’s the most important, because he who has a why can enjoy any house as Nietzsche. And it’s really about creating the 2nd P, which is all around, perseverance. And it’s all about your mental strength, about your growth mindset, about how you deal with failures. And we talk through, what are your limiting belief?

How can you learn to fail or fail to learn as my mentor and friend Tal Ben Shahar talks about. So that’s the 2nd [00:34:00] P. The 3rd P is what companies go to when you talk about resilience and that is, the power up, which is all about managing your energy, which actually girls when I say lead, like a girl, that’s the 1 that.

We we always say we complain more often, but we die from heart attacks less right? Because we talk about the things, but it’s really about how do you maintain your energy? Your meditation, you’re eating, you’re sleeping. So that’s your. Your core because today it’s not about managing time.

It’s about managing energy. So that’s a third B, the fourth B and the most important one. If you only remember one thing from all my kind of a webinar now or talk a podcast, it’s really around this fourth B, which is a secret to happiness in life. And the secret to happiness at work is people. The people you work, the quality of your life is the quality of your relationship.

In this kind of module, I talk about how do you create great relationships? What are the secret for greater relationships? And [00:35:00] that, many people say I came to do a work force and I got all these. Relationship in general, really improved my relationship with my wife, et cetera, but it’s really.

What creates what the, what are the criteria for a great relationship? And then how do you manage people? So really training them on, how do you give great feedback? How do you know, tough love feedback? How do you build psychological safety in your team? So everything that you need to know as a kind of people leader and the fifth.

The Role of Positivity in Leadership

Is my secret sauce, which we don’t talk about enough in the workplace, and that is positivity. Positivity is not about being happy all the time. But it’s being emotionally brave, it’s recognizing, emotions is a sign of being human. It’s. It’s basically a way into our soul to understand what’s going on and how should we be talking.

Emotions in the workplace in a way that is conducive for business. So that’s the 5P model. And I end my courses with a secret P, which is around play. So together with [00:36:00] Tal Ben Shachar and another partner called Oren Appel, we created a game, which is about teaching positive psychology through play.

We actually solve the teams, they define their top 10 challenges, we code them into the game, and then they hope, help each other solve these challenges using tools that they’ve learned from positive psychology. So that’s basically. What it means to lead like a girl, which basically means leading from the heart of that.

And I also like what you said at the end about the play, because I see play as being a part of every single 1 of the 5 piece. It’s a, it’s more of a mindset around how you approach life and that, that positivity aspect. Is something that often gets misunderstood is like what you said about, it’s not being about happy all the time.

A lot of people have this, what they call toxic positivity. It’s they’re just everything’s great. And it’s it’s not

everything is great happy. No, it is. Okay. Not to be. Okay. I like, Calvin [00:37:00] says it’s so beautifully. Who doesn’t have negative emotions only that people are psychopaths.

So if you’re sad, that’s great news, right? But how do we, how do we deal with negative emotions? I worked in Asia for 10 years. They do not accept sharing negative emotions, right? And what happens? You suppress negative emotions. They will get expressed. So you either become passive aggressive.

Okay, which is a very kind of common way to deal with negative emotions, or you become sick because emotions will come out somehow. So how can you? Talk emotions and emotionally sometimes because it’s not about, crying every single day, but crying is my natural reaction to frustration.

You may react by slamming the door in anger. Okay. And why is that more accepted and accepted in the workplace and crying? That’s my, I’m frustrated with what you’re saying. Calm myself down because I want you to hear what I say. And that’s really important because, 93 percent [00:38:00] of what you receive for me is how I’m saying it only 7 percent is what right?

So if I’m. Frantically crying, you just won’t understand what I’m trying to say, because you will be in the defensive of how I need to react. So I always say, and there’s a whole methodology on how do we gain perspective and calm ourselves down, but then come back and say, Hey, yesterday, what you said really offended me, really saddened me, really angered me, really frustrated me, because this is what we’re in.

And this is what I think help looks like. And, I can tell you, I was when my Ted came out. I got a, many calls from women that decided to step up and take action. And for men that, was so proud that they lead like girls, from the heart. I had this call from one guy and he said, just after seeing your Ted, my favorite employee was in my office and she burst into tears.

And usually I really don’t deal well with it because I’m just embarrassed. And here he said, I remembered your boss, Jim, and I said, wow, I see this is really [00:39:00] important for you. I see. It’s a sign of your passion. Tell me, how can I help? And she was like, so stunned and so touched, right?

And they were able to really move forward from that. So I think, this is where it’s really important, that we understand what motivates people and how do we accept emotions as a sign of being human.

That’s great. And it brings me to a point on the when you’re leading with these.

It heart centered people focused passions and beliefs and a mindset. How does that fit into the realities of the workplace? And some people will call it political savviness.

The Impact of Leadership Style on Workplace Politics

How does politics fit into all this?

I have a whole chapter on politically savviness and in my book and in my early days, I was so anti politics, right?

I used to say, I’m just doing my work and my boss will take care of the politics. And as I became a C suite and I got all [00:40:00] these backstabbing kind of experiences. For my boss or even from peers, I realized that, I need to learn how to do politics and I redefine politics as being strategic about how to achieve results.

It’s just not being naive and being strategic is really about understanding your stakeholders. I kept on thinking, I’ll come into my meeting, I’ll do my pitch, not realizing that this decision was made on the golf course or in the men’s it was made before the meeting.

When I came to this last campaign that I, was talking about before in my last job. I had 1 peer that was really against that was head of product and for the 1st time, I really decided, I’m going to be strategic about it. And I mapped down all of my stakeholders, in the decision and I mapped out what were their needs.

What would be success for them? And then I mapped down. How can I meet their needs. Without kind of [00:41:00] sacrifice in mind, how can I find a win for each 1 of my stakeholders? And so when I came into the kind of pitch, they were I already have this amazing alliance, right? Of support because it met their needs.

And I think that’s what it doesn’t mean. Being losing your values, right? It’s keeping you

use the word backstabbing. A lot of people think politics means being vindictive and backstabbing in a negative way.

Yeah, the 2 researchers that I quote in my book, they created this animal model, right?

Which is around how can you be smart about reading the room? Okay. Understanding the politics, but also where are you on your integrity? Right and the ideal is to be the right that is very smart and read in the room, but also acts from values, versus the Fox that it’s smart, but doesn’t act on values.

So that was always for me now, as I think about that, it’s really important to understand, being [00:42:00] politically savvy is just being strategic about receiving, achieving

results. And some of that comes back to bravery as well, in order to. Have these values in this purpose that you’re trying to live into sometimes have to step outside your comfort zone.

In fact, sometimes quite often you need to step outside your comfort zone. So how did you see that fitting


The Importance of Courage in Leadership

Courage, I think is a really important element and that’s why I it’s in every, everything I do, where one of my equity growing up was, this element of courage.

And that’s why, when I. Kind of felt like fear stepped in. I was really not myself, but the interesting thing is, and this Paul Pullman actually he was the ex CEO of Unilever, but also one of my first bosses in P& G and he wrote a record in the book and he told me, courage is probably the most misunderstood in the business world today.

People think it means. Making decisions that others don’t or, stepping ahead of the crowd, but [00:43:00] courage actually comes from the French word curl, which means hearts because the really courageous leaders. Or those who lead from the heart, and I think the interesting thing is that, courage is not the absence of fear.

We all have fears. In chapter 5, I talk all about my limiting beliefs and my fears, everyone, where. Imposter syndrome, for example, is a phenomenon more known for women. 70 percent of women would experience imposter syndrome, but 50 percent of men. So we all have fears, right? Courage is having those fears, connecting to your superpowers, and then deciding to go ahead anyway.

And that kind of, I think, is the essence of how can we When we are inundated with fear, go back to all these 5 Ps. Okay, with the 1st purpose is around connecting to our superpowers.

Excellent. 1 of the things that stood out for me most during [00:44:00] our conversation and watching your TED talk and looking through your all the content you have is.

That being like a girl, just not just for women, this is globally as leaders and that’s something that I, I know, but I want people listening to understand is that these are just heart centered ways of being a great leader and. How do you raise your team up instead of breaking them down? I,

I was in a dilemma whether to call it lead like a girl, right?

Because, I didn’t want it to turn off men.

The Role of Women in Leadership

And, I wanted to be homage to the always. And I put an article out, brave to lead like a girl back in 2018. And 70 percent of the people commenting were actually men, right? For the sake of, their wife or their daughter, but then realizing that it’s actually, for them.

And I’ll tell you. One kind of anecdote that made me realize, okay, I’m on the right track is when the Ted came out and the Ted was called me like a girl. [00:45:00] And, I got a call from this guy in Australia and he told me, listen, I just wanted to tell you, I watched your Ted. And I realized I’m an asshole.

What do I do? And, that was really fascinating. And then we started working together and he decided to leave his job as a sales manager. And he is actually, he calls himself the asshole eradicating coach. So he actually works with CEOs and, he comes straight at it because he was an asshole himself.

And he tried an alternative method that is more heart based and he learned on himself, that surprisingly, for him, led to better results. So we have the data from the research, but he, did a test on himself. So I think, that was really reassuring to me in a way that anyone can learn.

Right even people that were considered assholes all their life and that’s why in the book, I. Kind of have a little asshole eradicated [00:46:00] a segment where, if you have a boss that really needs to read it, I’m sending a 100 books a year free to eradicate assholes myself. Now, I’m not, I don’t know because many times, people don’t have even the awareness that they are considered assholes.

And sometimes it’s about raising the awareness. Sometimes they don’t know the how right. Does

the book come with a mirror that they can hold up? Completely.

Yeah, hopefully when they read the chapters, they realize, oh, I behave like that.

The Impact of Leadership on Societal Issues

Anyway, but that’s a, that’s part of the path of the mission, because we’re in a crisis.

We’re in a global crisis and, I’m I’ve always been focused on workplace, right? But we’re seeing sadly it infiltrates, politics terror everything that the world sadly is dealing with, and I don’t need to tell you about it. But yeah, living in Israel these days is questioned all my.

Everything that I’m about and I realize that it’s even more important [00:47:00] today than ever before to be, because I’m a very empathy driven person, I’ve always been a human’s rights and a woman’s rights advocates. And I can tell you that the first kind of, yeah, and I have empathy for both sides.

I’m new to Israel. I just came two years ago but I know and realize that when it comes to extreme situation, be it, a bullying or be it terror. Empathy is abused, and we’re seeing it right with, hiding in mosques or hospital when it comes to terror. Really?

You need to have a 0 tolerance, to anyone that, acts with terror or violence or supports Tara. Because that’s the essence of, what’s good and what’s evil in the world. And, I went through a whole range of emotions in the last few months that, range from, extreme sadness, 1400 people.

It’s not a general, it’s not a regular war. Okay. It’s, Terrorists coming into [00:48:00] your home, coming into your safe rooms, and then, and now we have all these horrific reports about rape, and I don’t want to get, too deep into these discussions now, but, horrific towards women, towards children, kidnapping, and then you realize it’s not something we know to deal with, or we can deal with empathy.

It’s something that we need to ensure the world, the world understand that if this infiltrates, a culture, this is a fight for civilization. This is a fight for good versus evil. So when people ask me, I have a lot of empathy and I’m a peace advocate and I’ve, I will continue to be a peace advocate.

And in order to enable both sides to live in peace, I know there’s only one solution, which is zero tolerance on terror. And,

It’s what you brought up earlier, too, is the frog in the boiling water. What we put up with. [00:49:00] Is what we end up seeing and whether it’s in geopolitics or in the office, if we don’t stand up to what we feel is unacceptable, it’s going to get


Oh, that’s such a, I didn’t think about that, I just read a statistic. There hasn’t been one day that rockets were not thrown over from over to Israel. Not one day. All the wars were not started by Israel. So it’s put up with, until what stage and what and it’s huge cost with this zero tolerance is huge costs right in human life on both sides.

And that saddens me deeply. But I think the world needs to unite because there’s one side that declares their goal is not territorial. It’s not, it’s really the annihilation of the other side. And that’s something that cannot work. So without no matter what, if you’re a women’s [00:50:00] rights, human’s rights that’s the absurd that I don’t understand the colleges and the movement in the, if you’re a human’s right person, you need to and you care about, Palestinian forget about Jews.

If you care about Palestinian, you need to. Enable them, to live and being managed by a terror group is not living. And so it doesn’t, this whole kind of dynamic is really off. I sometimes say what’s happening in the world. The value system is. Is threatened to the core and and so I think some of the elements in lead like a girl are not only relevant, but they.

They’re critical if we don’t lead from the hearts. And it’s not about just the resilience, I had to apply some of these principles to survive. I’ve been in an existential fear. I can’t even start explaining to someone not living here. What it means to live here a few meters from the border.

When you have zero sense of security this is unprecedented when someone can come into your home, right into your safe room. [00:51:00] So I’ve been under existential fear and some days really, struggling to breathe. I’m doing this podcast. It’s 1 of the 1st that I’ve done since the war started, but I’ve seen how some of these principle were.

Important in regular days in these days, the absolutely critical, whether it’s focusing on breathing, whether it’s people, the sense of comradeship. If there’s something that kind of was a bright light here, every person here was recruited to help others. We have almost, I think it’s almost a 1, 000 displaced people in Israel.

No, 1 talks about that. Okay. Everyone from the north and the south is displaced and living in, and other people’s homes or, and everyone has been, creating schools for them, helping them mentally or physically all these people that were raped and all the people that were in the dance party.

So there was this amazing sense of comradeship that I think [00:52:00] is the secret sauce of kind of a resilient society. Positivity. I can tell you some days I feel very dark. I am really in a sense of despair about where the world is going. And I have to it’s not false positivity, but it’s trying to see hope.

I hope it’s just so bad currently that people realize. That if we want to make it better, we need to address everything from the car core. We need to understand what woke is really about. It’s about. Human values, and you can’t be. I’m sorry, I don’t want to get into that, but, I’m now in a state of anger with all these women movement talking about women rights, completely ignoring the mass gang rape, that conducted.

So I’m I really see these principle of kind of finding hope. And I do hope that, things are so bad currently that we realize peace is the only way. And forward, and, [00:53:00] anyone not recognizing, the other side, right to exist. Doesn’t have cannot be in this in this equation in this game.

In this, it’s not a game in this reality. So I think that’s where. Lead like a girl. And yes, if we had more women in decision making, we do have, we do see research on, some of the issues with this is extremist Islam cultures is that we don’t have women.

Absolutely. That was the next thing I was gonna chat about too is that I was doing some research and I, again, my in, not in the c.

C suite leaders were women and in 2021, it’s up to 22 percent and Forbes was predicting that by 2030, that it could be up to 50%, which would be great. We’re still not seeing that in political leadership as much, especially [00:54:00] at running countries would, which would be the C suite of politics.

And we have some amazing data on if it’s in COVID, the countries that were led by women.

You saw a different way of decision, more empathy, more asking for direction versus kind of the know it all sometimes, or convergence thinking, versus sorry, divergence thinking versus the jump to conversion. Women do tend to get many opinions. So there’s a whole kind of research on that.

We also see research that just, you know, when we talk peace kind of initiatives, when there’s more women. There’s more likelihood of reaching a peace agreement and more likelihood that the peace that peace agreement lasts. So it’s really a compelling. I never thought right when I was doing women’s right.

I, I’ve been active all my life. Okay. From the PNG women’s network, that that I was establishing and in Moscow and Singapore to we now have a school lead, like a girl.[00:55:00] That, I’m on the board of in India, working with underprivileged girls, teaching them empowerment skills.

We have also a little school in Africa with initiatives for period poverties. We see women issues all over the place. I never imagined in my worst dreams that I would have to go to the back to the basic in a country like Israel right by back to the basic, which is. You do not rape women as a tool of war.

You do not. It’s a crime against humanity. And I’m just appalled that the state, that we have here. I’m appalled at the state, the poor Iranian women that are totally what happens in countries where women are, their rights are not are not respected.

I’m We see a total crash of humanity. What do we educate our kids? Do we educate them for love or do we educate them for hate? There’s a very compelling element. I [00:56:00] was focusing on, empowering the workplace, connecting to our women, to the, our feminine skills, which will create an environment where women can thrive.

I think the 50 percent is a dream, but we’re seeing even a more urgent and important needs in politics. And sadly, our world’s value system is at stake here.

I guess that’s what we talked about earlier was the social constructs what are children learning? What information are they learning?

And how are they growing up? We’ve even seen that with some C suite female leaders now, they’ve basically been trained under the male mindset. And sometimes female C suite leaders are the worst enemies of other female leaders because they’re like, I bust my butt to get here and blah, blah, blah.

You’re going to have to do that to

the wounded. They think that in order to succeed, they need to behave that way. Or you [00:57:00] see the wounded femininity because you also have a wounded femininity, which is around the victim hood, because that’s also an issue. And we’re seeing that also in politics.

If you’re constantly in the victimhood, someone else take care of me and et cetera. That’s also a crisis. There’s something there to be said about, and I, again, not getting too much into detail, but, Israel has crisis after crisis, but there’s something there about we take control, of our destiny in a way.

Conclusion: The Mission to Humanize the Workplace

In building, we educate our kids to build and to innovate and to create and natural. That’s the growth mindset. That’s what every nation should be focused on. And if 1 nation is only focused on blaming the whole world for their challenges, you will never see growth there.

So same with kind of leadership, we need to ensure. We have this positive feminine and positive masculine, so we don’t fall either into the bullion, which is the wounded masculinity or the victimhood, which is the wounded [00:58:00] femininity. That’s the importance is the positive on both.

And that’s a whole other podcast series on its own

amazing. Thank you so much, Dalia. It has been amazing to chat and I love the insights where can people find you online?

LinkedIn is where I live. which gives all the info on these immersive leadership programs. If you want to buy the book, just know that all income from the book further goes into women empowerment programs, like the schools I mentioned.

Because, yeah, I am on the mission to humanize the workplace and and hopefully that will help humanize the world. That’s the next step.

Our missions align greatly, and I will make sure those links are shared in the show notes. Thank you again. I look forward to the opportunity to catch up again soon.

Super. Thank you so much. Thanks, Tim. [00:59:00] That

wraps up another episode of the Working Well Podcast. If you enjoyed the show, please rate, review, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. Which guests or topics would you like to see featured on the show? Message me through LinkedIn or on the contact page of timborys.com. Thank you for tuning in. I’m Tim Borys with Fresh Group and look forward to seeing you on the next episode.

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