I loved speaking with Katz Kiely, on her podcast, “Humans leading humans.” And since Katz’s passion is all around human leadership, I decided to share stories around 3 success models of unconventional leadership. And since we reference her CREATE model a few times during our chat, I’m sharing it here. It’s quite a useful leadership model.






#1: The power of un-incentivized leadership.



Someone wonderful early in my career reached out to me. She wasn’t my line manager, and no one encouraged her to do it. Diana Shaheen saw something in me and made a personal connection with a selfless desire to help me unlock my potential. Diana encouraged me to be, behave and dress as me. And when she spoke affirmation to me, I realized how much I’d unconsciously adapted to my new mid-western environment. This changed everything in how I viewed and approached myself and my workplace.




Emily Chang | P&G | Diana Shaheen



Un-incentivized leadership isn’t just a unique brand of proactive generosity, it’s also untaught and unrewarded. Which is what makes it all the more powerful, meaningful and appreciated! Thanks, Diana.




2. The power of shared experience.



My previous boss, Christy Schrader, showed me the power of shared experience. Intentional leaders set aside time and create space for relationships to be built, because they recognize the richness that comes from side-by-side moments. Too often, we sit face-to-face in the workplace, or more recently, screen-to-screen. But it’s in those moments when we’re sitting alongside each other, when humanity goes next level.






Christy’s team didn’t just bond over amazing moments like bonfires; she ensured we walked away with something that holds sentimental value, which reminds us of that shared experience. Christy was a master in making memories. Even today, ten years later, I still have that blanket from the bonfire (Today, it keeps Wayne warm).




Emily Chang | The Spare Room | Wayne and Apple blanket



3. The power of peer leadership.



Last but not least, I reminisced about Charlie’s Angels. Suzanne, Jayne and I teamed up as SVP peers at IHG to define a new global success model.




Emily Chang | IHG | Charlie's Angels together



As Suzanne designed the new global loyalty program, Jayne crafted the new global brand identity, and I engineered the new China go-to-market model. You see, global and regional teams often find themselves at odds, facing differing KPI’s, challenges, and market dynamics. Knowing this and recognizing the power of peer leadership, we held hands and committed to supporting one another.




As we did this, we learned something valuable. Our teams watch their most visible leaders even more than top leaders, who they may see less frequently. Sure, the C-suite owns creating the environment that fosters peer leadership. But it’s the Director/VP level that can co-create a shared culture.




What do you think about these 3 models? Do you have any experiences or life lessons you can share?