Four Simple Leadership Behaviors for Success

By Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D

bSci21Media, LLC

Brett DiNovi, M.A., BCBA

Brett DiNovi & Associates

In their YouTube video “4 Employee Coaching Tips from the CEO” Brett DiNovi & Associates describe four simple ways in which you, as a leader, can structure the communication in your organization to optimize performance and wellbeing.

Receive direct feedback from employees.

There is an age-old saying “tis better to give than receive.”  Sometimes, though, the opposite can be true – receiveing feedback from your employees can work wonders for your organization.   The key is to create a culture in which employees feel comfortable in voicing their concerns to leadership.  You will discover things about your company and work processes that you never would have otherwise.

Approach employees with the end goal in mind.

As behavior analysts, we aren’t as concerned with form or topography as we are with functions or outcomes. In your staff meetings, mentoring efforts, or strategic planning for the company as a whole, always have the end goal in mind, and frequently revisit the end goal on an ongoing basis.  Goals can change, buy everyone should be bought in to them.

Be receptive.

While leaders expect their employees to be receptive to feedback, it doesn’t always go the other way.  Leadership behavior, like all other behavior, is a function of its consequences.  Leaders that create a culture of openness, and are receptive to feedback from employees, create conditions in which their behavior as leaders contacts more of the organization.  As a result, the potential for more meaningful leadership outcomes increase.

Build credibility with your employees.

A company without trust is a company without a future.  Leaders that don’t trust their employees won’t value their feedback.  Employees that don’t trust the leadership will not value their decisions or the company as a whole.  If someone comes to you with a complaint about another person, for instance, avoid the tempation to gossip.  Instead, prompt the employee to talk to the other person first.  If you have built a culture of trust and open communication, employees will be empowered to resolve many issues amongst themselves, freeing up leadership to focus on the big picture.

Be sure to subscribe to Brett DiNovi’s YouTube channel and let them know what you would like to see in future videos.  Also be sure to subscribe to bSci21 to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!


Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D is the President and Founder of bSci21Media, LLC, which owns the top behavior analytic media outlet in the world,  bSci21Media aims to disseminate behavior analysis to the world and to support ABA companies around the globe through the Behavioral Science in the 21st Century blog and its subsidiaries, bSciEntrepreneurial, bSciWebDesign, bSciWriting, bSciStudios and the ABA Outside the Box CEU series.  Dr. Ward received his PhD in behavior analysis from the University of Nevada, Reno under Dr. Ramona Houmanfar.  He has served as a Guest Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, and as an Editorial Board member of Behavior and Social Issues.  Dr. Ward has also provided ABA services to children and adults with various developmental disabilities in day centers, in-home, residential, and school settings, and previously served as Faculty Director of Behavior Analysis Online at the University of North Texas.  Dr. Ward is passionate about disseminating behavior analysis to the world and growing the field through entrepreneurship. Todd can be reached at [email protected]

Brett DiNovi, M.A., BCBA has the unique and distinguished experience of studying the principles of applied behavior analysis under the rigorous scrutiny of both Dr. Julie S. Vargas (formerly Skinner) and Dr. E.A. Vargas at West Virginia University’s internationally recognized program. For the past 26 years, Brett has used behavior analytic principles to create large scale change across school districts, Fortune 500 companies using principles of Organizational Behavior Management (OBM), and across individual learners. Brett has been a OBM consultant in Morgantown WV, an instructor at West Virginia University, a guest lecturer at numerous universities, a speaker on multiple Comcast Newsmakers TV programs, an expert witness in due process hearings, has publications in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and has been in in executive leadership positions across schools and residential programs nationwide. In addition to an award from South Jersey Biz Magazine for “Best Places to Work,” an award for “Best of Families” in Suburban Magazine, and the distinguished “Top Ranked U.S. Executives” award, Brett’s proudest accomplishment is being a role model and father for his daughter and two stepchildren (one of which has autism). Brett can be reached at [email protected]

1 Comment on "Four Simple Leadership Behaviors for Success"

  1. Katherine Lorente | August 16, 2017 at 6:17 am | Reply

    Brett this article is very useful for me as a special educator. I can apply some of the principles mentioned as I work with teachers and assistants this upcoming school year. As always thanks for sharing the information.

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