How I Repainted My Leadership Style With Brighter Colours

Because leading yourself is the fun part.

Michel Kana, Ph.D
4 min readApr 28, 2021


Photo by Ivanov Good on Pixabay

Everyone is a leader at some point. This is what I learned by bringing simplicity into my life to ignite others.

During this process, the main change was the acceptance of my own ignorance. In this post, I tell a story of how I discovered myself and used it as an opportunity to repaint my leadership style.

What’s the color of your leadership style?

How many of you would choose dark to reflect a strong authoritative style?

How many of you would rather choose a pale color for a dominant altruistic style?

How many would say it is rather a mix?

I used to ask myself this question when leading Richard (name changed), my teammate.

One day, I told him “Richard! I have an important client meeting early morning tomorrow. Can you please get the report ready by 7 am? You can probably make some export from the database quickly in the morning”.

Richard looked at me and said, “These days you are very bureaucratic and authoritative. Let me decide what I should do for breakfast myself”.

The Altruistic and Pale Side of Leadership

Well, I understood Richard’s surprise. A year back, Richard was used to my altruistic leadership.

Multiple times he would miss deadlines and tell me that his dog could not sleep the previous night. I would accommodate him.

Next time, he would have language mistakes in the report and justify it by the temporary unavailability of Google Translate service. I would accommodate him.

I knew almost everything about Richard, even struggles in his private life.

As an altruistic leader, I was focusing on active listening and empathy. I was leading in order to better serve others. This is to…



Michel Kana, Ph.D

Husband & Dad. Mental health advocate. Top Medium Writer. 20 years in IT. AI Expert @Harvard. Empowering human-centered organizations with high-tech.