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leading with "nice" with Mathieu Yuill



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RE-RELEASE CURATED BY: Jordana Merkin, Voice for Good What makes a good leader? If you’re an executive director in a nonprofit, you're probably thinking about how you can be more effective and motivate your team to create a bigger impact. But what are these qualities you should have to inspire others?


To learn more about what makes a great leader, I sat down with Mathieu Yuill, Founder of Leading with a Nice, consultancy that develops leaders. Mathieu has more than 25 years of experience in the field of communication and marketing, as well as a master's degree in management and leadership.


Myths that Mathieu wants us to walk away from:

  • Leaders only give orders. Leaders who inspire their employees are those who practice empathy, listen, and genuinely care about their employees' well-being rather than just the work.

  • Leaders should hide any weaknesses. Honesty and trust are qualities of a good leader that requires being vulnerable, assessing one's own weaknesses, and communicating them to one's team.

Matthieu’s GET HG: qualities of leaders that inspire

  • Gratitude: Checking in with your staff and simply asking how things are going or offering them help is a way to express gratitude because you trust the person to do their job. You're also acknowledging that they're working hard and that you appreciate it.

  • Empathy: Stepping into other people’s shoes to understand their circumstances. A leader who shows empathy toward their employees reduces employee absenteeism and has a more productive team.

  • Trust: It is all about intent. By communicating your desired outcome to your team and trusting them to choose the best path forward.

  • Honesty: It is about understanding your own weaknesses and releasing control.

  • Generosity: It is simply a matter of making time to mentor your employees and check in with them.

Favourite Quotes from Today’s Episode

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“So if you have a report who's working on a project often what we do is we'll come by and be like, “Hey, you know, are you done with that yet? Or how far along are you?” That's checking up and that's like a doctor's appointment. Nobody likes it. But instead, check-in and be like, “Hey, how are things going? Is there anything I can help you with?” That's actually showing gratitude and trust cause you're trusting the person they're doing their job and you're also acknowledging that they're working hard and you recognize like, “Hey, can I help you? Like I get this is a job that might need an extra set of hands.” That's a very simple way to show gratitude.”


”We need to understand how to communicate with each other and that's really the first base, the barrier to entry is do you know how to communicate with each other? ”


Resources from this Episode


Leading with Nice

Crucial Conversations

Culture Code

The Good Partnership Connect with Jordana on Instagram @voiceforgood, or on LinkedIn.