Jimmy Fallon on Likeability

Jimmy Fallon has been a fixture on late night television for almost twenty years. Whether as a cast member on Saturday Night Live or as a talk show host, Jimmy has always maintained a likeable persona.

You may be thinking that this is a prerequisite for hosting the Tonight Show, but why should a leader care about being liked? Haven’t we always been taught that respect is more important? This is true, but is having both so bad?

According to the book The Likeability Factor, when a leader is “liked,” others are prone to believe what they say and value their guidance – two things that every leader needs to be successful.

Let’s be clear, I’m not talking about being liked because you pander to the whims of others, refuse to make unpopular decisions, or lower expectations. Being liked is as simple as treating others with respect.

So how can we be more like Jimmy Fallon? The Likeability Factor tells us that there are four critical elements to consider:

Friendliness. Jimmy has an uncanny ability to communicate kindness and openness. His humor is not mean-spirited; everyone is in on the joke.

Relevance. Jimmy connects with others’ interests, wants, and needs. It’s evident in his enthusiasm for whatever he, his guest, and the audience are into.

Empathy. In interviews, Jimmy is able to recognize and acknowledge other’s feelings. He then reacts appropriately.

Realness. Jimmy’s friendliness, relevance, and empathy seem authentic. His sincerity appears to be genuine and honest.

Captain America on Passion

Captain America Shield

Amid another blockbuster movie and an illustrious career serving this country, Captain America has much to teach about how harnessing our passion will make us more effective leaders.

Check out my recent piece on CEO.com for more…



Pharrell Williams on Humility

Pharrell Williams has been on the music scene for quite some time. He currently has the number one song with “Happy” and was named by Billboard magazine as one of the past decade’s top producers.

On the CBS’s Sunday Morning, Pharrell gave an important lesson on acknowledging the help he’s received on his path to success. In the interview, Pharrell spent considerable time recognizing the people who taught and inspired him to pursue music. He mentioned his first high school music teacher, his band teacher, two more music teachers, and the instructor who taught him drums, not to mention his grandmother.

When asked why he’s giving credit to everyone else, Pharrell said, “Well, what am I without them? Just try that for a second. Take all of my band teachers out of this. Where am I?”

When’s the last time you recognized the people who made you the leader you are – gave you the opportunities when no one else would, recognized your potential even before you did, taught you the lessons and values that you continue to practice today?

…those are the most tragic stories, the most gifted people who start to believe it’s really all them. It’s not all you. It can’t be all you. Just like you need air to fly a kite, it’s not the kite. It’s the air. — Pharrell

No leader does it by themself. It may be your drive that moves you forward, but there’s an army of people who support you along the way. If this sounds like fluff, consider the John Baldoni’s HBR piece where he discusses the power of humility in leadership. It authenticates our humanity and demonstrates our character.

Doesn’t that sound like someone you’d like to follow?

Welcome to leadersayswhat!

Welcome, welcome, welcome!!! The About Me page will give you more info, but my name is David Kahn and I am passionate about leadership. I like the theory, the execution, and being able to help other people become better leaders.

With this blog, my intent is to help you develop your leadership skills through entertaining, possibly off beat examples.

So welcome! I’m glad you’re here.