Does Your Leadership Philosophy Make You A Leader Worth Following? – with Donna Moreland, Ep #9

Every leader lives out their leadership philosophy, whether they know it or not. We’d all be much better off if we are intentional about it than being guilty of stumbling into it. I want to invite you to hear this conversation with a woman who is the epitome of intentionality when it comes to how she leads.

My guest on this episode is Donna Moreland. Donna is a highly accomplished leader who has a load of credentials I could list for you, but suffice it to say that I’ve been very impressed with her, not only because of her credentials but because of the person she is.

Donna brings integrity and a desire to serve to everything she does, in life and in business – and because those qualities are fundamental to who she is, it’s no surprise that they are also at the core of her leadership philosophy.

Join me for this conversation with Donna. She shares experiences from her own leadership journey as she’s worked with youth and adults, explains why leaders need to learn how to deal with their teams with kindness and understanding, and describes how her upbringing shaped her into a leader of integrity and servanthood. You won’t want to miss what she shares.

Does your #leadership philosophy include this level of #integrity and service? Donna Moreland joins host Bruce Holoubek on this episode of #TheDevelopmentExponent. Listen now! #leaders #leader Click To Tweet

Donna’s leadership philosophy is one every leader should emulate

It would be a wonderful thing for humanity if every person in a position of leadership was actually worth following. Sadly, that’s not the case. But people like Donna give me hope that things can change.

Donna is a person who lives her entire life with integrity and a desire to be helpful to those she leads. Her example is encouraging and inspiring all at the same time – and in practical ways.

I met Donna through my participation as a member of our local Rotary Club. When I joined the organization, I was assigned to be part of a team tasked to roast Donna as the outgoing President. I started looking for dirt we could use in our jesting and had a very hard time finding any. The people associated with Donna think the world of her. It’s no wonder, the integrity she displays in life and leadership is unquestioned.

I hope aspiring and established leaders alike will listen to this episode carefully. Pay close attention. Discover the practical ways Donna implements integrity into the way that she leads. She is a sterling example and great inspiration for anyone seeking to develop their own philosophy of leadership.

Leaders are responsible to a greater degree, but never better than others

One of the things about leadership that can be a bit problematic is that it places people into roles of authority – which implies lots of things that aren’t at all true. Those tasked to be leaders can easily begin thinking more highly of themselves than others – like they are smarter, even better. Donna says that’s never the case.

Her leadership philosophy is based on the truth that leaders clearly carry a greater burden of responsibility than those they lead and may possess more skill or education as well. But none of that makes them better than the people they are leading.

Leaders who operate from a place of integrity work hard to keep that knowledge in the front of their minds as they interact with their teams. They know that everyone has value, even the most junior member of a team. Listen to learn from this incredible leader and to find an example of what it looks like to be a leader worth following.

#Leaders are responsible to a greater degree, but never better than others. Donna Moreland explains on this episode of #TheDevelopmentExponent. Listen now! #leaders #leadership Click To Tweet

Discovering the reason for mistakes is more important than fixing blame

One of the tasks that falls to leaders is noticing and pointing out mistakes in processes and performance. But HOW we go about doing that reveals more about the quality of our leadership than we realize. Donna says there’s too much at stake to correct in a wrong way, a way that is hurtful or punitive instead of helpful.

An example Donna shares is one we can all relate to. When a team member makes a mistake – large or small – she tries to understand what has happened from the team member’s perspective before she focuses on blame or criticism.

Why did the mistake happen? Were they trained properly? Did a superior ask them to do it differently than they were instructed? Did they misunderstand? Did they understand but apply their knowledge incorrectly?

In Donna’s eyes, it’s not beneficial for the individual, the company, or her as a leader, to be punitive and corrective without helping the person be successful in spite of their mistakes. There’s a practical example all of us can learn from and apply immediately.

Not everyone in the workplace should be a leader. Your job is to find them

It only takes a glance around any work environment to realize that every person you see is not wired to be a leader. That’s fine. We humans operate best when we operate within our innate skills, gifts, and interests. That means some of us simply aren’t leadership material.

Donna’s basic advice to anyone seeking to refine their leadership philosophy or be a more impacting leader is simple: Meet people where they are. No leader will be handed a ready-made team member. It’s your job to develop them.

Understand you are no better, but also that you aren’t any less. Humility goes a long way in building trust and collaboration.

Always look for the truth. The truth will set you (and your team) free – and empower you to deal with the real issues you’re facing instead of the drama surrounding them.

Always, always be kind regardless of the message you have to convey. The people on your team will be able to receive anything you have to say if you are careful to treat them with dignity and respect as people.

Not everyone in the workplace should be a #leader. Your job is to find them. Donna Moreland joins host Bruce Holoubek on this episode of #TheDevelopmentExponent. Listen now! #leaders #leadership Click To Tweet

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:09] My guest, Donna Moreland: An example of integrity and service
  • [3:05] Bringing the desire to serve into leadership and the development of others
  • [4:46] Donna’s hope: To help people who truly need and want the help
  • [9:07] How a desire to serve influences the way Donna develops others
  • [10:40] Discovering the problems is more important than blaming people
  • [13:13] How is leading people in a law office different or similar to other environments?
  • [17:16] Why Donna asks questions when others are afraid to ask them
  • [23:42] How Donna applies the 4-way test of the Rotary organization
  • [25:50] The role of leadership development with youth compared to adults
  • [28:40] How do cultural differences figure into leadership development?
  • [32:14] Takeaways for leaders from Donna’s experience

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Donna Moreland

Connect With Bruce

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Audio Production and Show notes by


Donna’s #leadership philosophy is one every #leader should emulate. Learn from Donna Moreland on this episode of #TheDevelopmentExponent. Listen now! #leaders Click To Tweet Discovering the reason for mistakes is more important than fixing blame. A powerful #Leadership lesson from Donna Moreland on this episode of #TheDevelopmentExponent. Listen now! #leaders #leader Click To Tweet
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