Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast

Carolyn Stern – Lead with a Strong Mind and a Kind Heart

September 28, 2023 Marie Gervais Season 6 Episode 18
Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast
Carolyn Stern – Lead with a Strong Mind and a Kind Heart
Show Notes

Carolyn Stern, is the author of The Emotionally Strong Leader: An Inside-Out Journey to Transformational Leadership. She is the President and CEO of EI Experience, an executive leadership development and emotional intelligence training firm. She is a certified Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Development Expert, professional speaker, and university professor whose emotional intelligence courses and modules have been adopted by top universities in North America. She has also provided comprehensive training programs to business leaders across the continent in highly regarded corporations encompassing industries such as technology, finance, manufacturing, advertising, education, healthcare, government, and food service.

Carolyn’s Book:

“When you can connect with people on an emotional level, great things can happen for you and the other people.”

“It’s scary to put your ideas out there for the world to judge.”

Episode Highlights:
Carolyn was deemed to be a very sensitive child. Her family did whatever it took to hide things from her, which led her to doubt her ability to handle emotional issues. Carolyn had constant feelings of anxiety, which turned her worries into emotional outbursts, panic attacks, meltdowns, and ultimately, emotional dependence on her mother.

Childhood Incidents:
As a child, Carolyn was so dependent on her mother that anytime her mother was away, she always wore her bathrobe to have her smell. She was always afraid that her mother wouldn’t come back.

Carolyn was a teacher as a young adult. One day, two of her students got into a fistfight. For Carolyn, the best way to address the issue was to give important roles to the two students. She made them both vice presidents of operations.  In touch with one of the students seven seven years later, she confirmed that this had a positive impact on her life.

Influential Groups:
According to Carolyn, growing up she knew nothing about Judaism and hid her religion to fit in. She confesses to never talking about Hanukkah, but always talked about Christmas. Later in life, Carolyn studied Japanese, which opened her up to the different levels of Japanese politeness.

Leadership Style:
Carolyn believes that leaders should give guidance and let the people figure things out on their own. Having used this leadership style herself, she believes it is the “secret sauce” because it has worked for her with the employees and clients.

Temperament and Personality:
Carolyn grew up a child who believed in going big or going home. She was sensitive, persistent, anxious, always worried about the future, easily distracted, and persistent.

Cultural Epiphanies:
At 18, Carolyn went to Japan for the first time. Her expectations were that the people there would be as kind as her Japanese friends back home. Shock hit her when she went to the subway and the kindness was missing.

When still in Japan, Carolyn realized how the Japanese receive a business card when you give it to them. They grasp it with both hands and take their time to look at it before shoving it into their pockets. To Carolyn, that shows a level of respect.

What Brings Out the Best in Carolyn:
Carolyn loves working with people who lead with emotional intelligence and with a strong mind and kind heart.

Soapbox Moment:
Carolyn invites us to check out her latest book, The Emotionally Strong Leader.

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