Why Leaders are Held to a Higher Standard with Vince Molinaro
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Dr. Vince Molinaro is a global leadership adviser, speaker, and researcher on leadership accountability. As founder and CEO of Leadership Contract Inc., Vince travels the world helping organizations build vibrant leadership cultures with truly accountable leaders at every level. His unique combination of provocative storytelling, evidence-based principles and grounded practicality has leaders at all levels stepping up to fulfill their obligations to drive the success of their organizations. His newest book, Accountable Leaders: Inspire a Culture Where Everyone Steps Up, Takes Ownership, and Delivers Results, is available now.


  • When you stumble on a problem, you begin seeing it everywhere.
  • There’s always an implicit contract that leaders sign when they take a role, but a lot of leaders don’t realize this.
  • Leaders are held to a higher standard of behavior – to be better than everyone else.
  • Four terms and conditions to be an accountable leader: 1. A decision whether you have what it takes, 2. Accepting the obligations for serving others, 3. The courage and resolve to tackle the hard things, and 4. Building community by building and aligning leadership culture.
  • Leaders not only need to hold themselves accountable (the foundation) but to extend that to the organization.
  • Only 20% of leaders believe they have the courage to identify, address, and support leaders who are deemed mediocre. They know who they are but not how to help them.
  • The quickest and most enduring way to become a better leader is to focus on accountability.
  • Five things help to identify a mediocre leader: 1. They blame others, 2. They lack initiative, 3. They mistreat others, 4. They are perceived as inept, and 5. They are always hiding and not stepping up.
  • You have to be relentless in addressing mediocrity.
  • Accountable leaders show five behaviors: 1. They hold everyone (including themselves) to high standards, 2. They have the courage to tackle tough issues, 3. They are very good at communicating the strategy of the organization, 4. They are really excited about the company and its future, and 5. They look outside their own business to anticipate trends.
  • The difference in employee engagement between people who see their leaders working well together vs. not working well together is a difference between 72% and 8%.


  • What is some lesson, saying, or experience that continues to influence your leadership to this day? Seeing from a friend that toxic management can literally be detrimental to our health.
  • Use three descriptors to finish this sentence: “A leader is…” Accountable, accountable, accountable
  • What is a question that leaders should be asking either themselves or others? Who needs you the most right now?
  • What book would you recommend to leaders? The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't by Jim Collins, and Growth IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices that Will Make Or Break Your Business by Tiffani Bova
  • If you could get every listener to start doing something THIS week to help them be a better leader, what would it be? What is the tough thing that I’m avoiding?
  • As a general life principle, is it better to ask “why?” or “why not?” “Why not?” because there’s a boldness to it and an opportunity to provoke people’s thinking.



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