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  • Writer's pictureSophia Chin

Leadership Motto: Sparkle Like You Mean It

You're living the harsh reality, but you're doing it with grace.

Sparkle like you mean it.


It sounds fluffy, but it's far from frivolous. You're living the harsh reality, but you're doing it with grace. You exude confidence, positivity, and passion in your interactions with others. You have a clear vision and direction for your organisation and team, and a strong sense of purpose and drive to achieve your goals. It has nothing to do with your job title, salary or how many likes you have. It has everything to do with knowing yourself deeply and using your stability to inspire and lift the people around you.


It has nothing to do with your job title, salary or how many likes you have. It has everything to do with knowing yourself deeply and using your stability to inspire and lift the people around you.

Sparkle like you mean it? It sounds so whimsical and wishy-washy. This is LEADERSHIP we're talking about. It goes against our training. We've been taught from a very young age that life is serious business. We're taught to accomplish great things and excel at everything because the winner takes all. Everything we do must have an ROI. Anything less than doing important work in the world has no intrinsic value.



Such an unbalanced, hyper-competitive, win-at-all-cost performativity mindset sucks the juiciness out of life as we rush through each day, each moment, climbing the corporate ladder, chasing a never-ending dream of promotions. We become so tight - physically, mentally and emotionally - we become stiff-necked. Literally and figuratively.


Things change, disruption happens

Challenges, tragedies and injustices are the stuff of our lives at work. "Sparkle Like You Mean It" doesn't mean that you ignore the harsh facts of reality in order to project an image of confidence and positivity. That's not positivity; it's irrelevant idealism. As a leader, you balance optimism with realism. You confront and accept the most brutal facts of a difficult situation, and still keep unyielding faith in ultimate success. You approach every task with enthusiasm, energy, and a positive attitude. It means putting your best foot forward, even when things get tough. And it means inspiring others to do the same.


Inspire others

As a leader, you inspire and motivate your team to achieve their best. Sparkle like you mean it. This simple phrase encourages people to bring their best selves to the table and shine in everything they do - despite the odds. This requires a leap of faith. Faith in your people, your processes, and your vision. Keeping the faith is not just for the religious. It involves behaviours, thoughts and actions that anyone can learn and develop. That is good news. That means everyone can sparkle like you mean it.


Here are some ways that you can put this leadership motto into practice:

  1. Clearly articulate the vision. Help people understand the harsh realities of the situation and then bring it back to the vision. Your attitude and energy will set the tone for the rest of the team.

  2. Lead by example. Don't tell your team to "sparkle like you mean it" - show them how it's done. When you approach tasks with energy and enthusiasm, your team will see that you're not just talking the talk, but walking the walk.

  3. Encourage creativity. When people feel free to be creative and innovative, they're more likely to come up with new ideas and approaches that can help their team shine. Encourage your team to think outside the box and try new things.

  4. Celebrate the bright spots. When someone on your team exhibits resilience, creativity and agility, take the time to celebrate their actions. Recognise their proactiveness and let them know that they're appreciated. This will not only help that individual feel good about their work, but it will also inspire others to strive for excellence.

  5. Radical acceptance. When challenges arise, it's only human to get discouraged. But leaders who "sparkle like they mean it" approach challenges with radical acceptance. Instead of lamenting, "Why is this happening to me?", they ask, "How is this happening for me?" They have the mental agility to fully accept the terrible situation and see the obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow. This mental agility enables them to "see" zones of tremendous opportunities where others can't. You can't unscramble scrambled eggs. Instead, drop the story, and roll with the times.


Like how a diamond only forms under the highest pressure, you can help your team shine bright and achieve great things by following these tips above. Ultimately, "sparkle like you mean it" is about being ready for whatever the world throws at you. You're dancing on the edge of greatness.


Exciting news to share "Dancing on the Edge of Greatness" will be published in late March. This book is for anyone with ambitions to scale their impact at work in Asia. As a leader in Asia, you're standing on the edge of greatness - as an individual, a team, and an organisation.



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PERSONNA is a leadership development company specialising in Leadership Branding. We are here to support ambitious leaders and teams in Asia to scale their impact at work without burning out. We provide leadership branding, leadership coaching and group experiences. Personna has been developing leaders since 2010.


If you are curious to learn more drop us an email at hello@personna.me.

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