Reflecting on the high-quality managers that have made an impact on my career, this blog is a tribute to those fine leaders of my past. The names have been changed to protect their privacy.


Glen and Sam are terrific communicators. They have the ability to explain their ideas to others in a way that inspires them to work toward the outlined goals. They are good listeners, know how to digest various ideas and opinions, and select the ideas that make the best sense, while valuing all ideas as important. Glen was especially good at inspiring employees, even when the chips were down. Sam was good at adding humor to difficult situations. Both leaders used ongoing communication as a method to motivate the employees to be their very best.


Many executives fail as they move up the ladder because they do not make the shift from doing work themselves to delegating to others. After all, allowing others to do the work that you once did can be rather scary. James worked closely with his management team to identify the strengths of each team member. He capitalized on those strengths by delegating work he knew would help his team grow, and giving the employees a taste of success to improve their self-confidence. A great leader selects the right people for the job, communicates what his/her goals are and lets his/her people fly.

John Maxwell said, “Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.”


Employee’s lives can be affected by the decisions that leaders makes. Very simply stated, great leaders follow the Golden Rule and treat their employees the way that they would want to be treated. This does not mean they cannot counsel or even layoff one of their favorite employees. Rather, great leaders sit down with the employee and have a conversation about the turn of events and allow them to retain their self-confidence and self-respect. James, John and Matthew understood this and lived by the philosophy that they respected their employees’ personal and professional lives, and earned their employees’ trust. They never talked about members of the team negatively with other members of team. They held themselves to a higher standard than their own employees.


Brian had a lot of self-confidence. Many leaders, good and bad, show a high degree of self-confidence. Great leaders retain their composure under all circumstances. They maintain an emotional consistency that may sometimes seem that they have no emotions at all, but don’t be fooled. The great leaders are able to make suitable decisions even under the most demanding stress.

Lao Tzu said,Because one believes in ones self, one does not try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one does not need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”

Positive Attitude

Our attitude determines the state of the world we live in. In fact, attitude is the foundation for every success and every failure we have had and will have. Attitudes can make or break a leader. One leader I had years ago actually lost his career due to his negative attitude. He treated everyone as if they were stupid, and his team finally got fed up and stopped delivering for him. The most positive leader I ever had was James, who was an ex-Disney leader. He made his team feel like they could do anything just by keeping a positive attitude himself.

I ask myself the question, am I living my life improving my communication and treating others the way I would want to be treated? Do I respond with integrity? Do I maintain a positive attitude and have self-confidence in my decisions? I know I can do better – how about you? If we improve these competencies not only do we win by being better leaders, our teams win by experiencing great leadership!

Posted by Mary Kuniski

Mary Kuniski is an accomplished Senior Executive with more than 35 years of success across the retail, finance, non-profit, and manufacturing industries. She has leveraged her extensive experience in change management, executive coaching, and project management to develop capable and productive leaders. She is a valuable asset for organizations in the process of training employees on operational improvements and leadership skills. Her broad areas of expertise include vendor management, project management, change management, event planning, financial analysis, relationship building, problem-solving and Oracle ERP solution implementations. Mary’s professional​ career has been defined by her ability to obtain increasing positions of seniority and deliver results to diverse clients and companies. She has held leadership positions for organizations including Michaels, Overhead Door Corporation, and Parkinson Voice Project. She currently works as an Independent Consultant and Executive Coach for Golden Professional Coaching, LLC, where she dedicates herself to coaching high-potential executives, executives in transition, and mid-level executives seeking to improve their skills. She also works with small to medium size companies to develop long-term business plans and identify and overcome complex challenges. During her tenure with Michaels, she drove the company’s expansion into Quebec and led the conversion of over 60,000 packages to appear in three languages while successfully adhering to French-language laws. Mary received her Bachelor of Science in Human Development from Pennsylvania State University and her Master of Business Administration in Global Management from the University of Phoenix. She received her Certification in Training from Dale Carnegie Training and became a Certified Executive Coach through Marshall Goldsmith. She is affiliated with the National Association of Female Executives and the Network of Executive Women. While working for Michaels, Mary initiated a Woman in Leadership group that grew to over 200 members and maintained a 30% promotion rate for regular attendees.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s