Hortense le Gentil: The Unlocked Leader, How to Connect With Your Employees and Unlearn Entrepreneurial Mindtraps | E248

Hortense le Gentil: The Unlocked Leader, How to Connect With Your Employees and Unlearn Entrepreneurial Mindtraps | E248

Hortense le Gentil: The Unlocked Leader, How to Connect With Your Employees and Unlearn Entrepreneurial Mindtraps | E248

Hortense le Gentil felt stuck. Despite having a successful career in advertising in Paris, she didn’t know her purpose and she was unhappy in her marriage. Everything had gone South, or West, as they say in France. One night she had a dream about her grandmother and it unlocked her. She decided to start her life and her career over from scratch. She left her marriage and her corporate job and launched herself as an entrepreneur at age 40. Now, Hortense is a world-renowned executive leadership coach. In today’s episode, Hortense shares some of her top insights about leadership, including how executives, business owners, and entrepreneurs can move from being heroes to human leaders.

Hortense le Gentil’s latest book is The Unlocked Leader: Dare to Free Your Own Voice, Lead With Empathy, and Shine Your Light in the World. Le Gentil’s thought leadership is informed by 30 years in business, working across industries including media consulting and advertising—and as an entrepreneur.


In this episode, Hala and Hortense will discuss:

– Why we need human leaders and not heroes

– What horse jumping can teach you about leadership

– How to become a more authentic leader

– Identifying the mindtraps that are holding you back

– How we can activate our “Gandhi neurons”

– Ways to break free from our old beliefs

– The benefits of writing your own eulogy

– And other topics…


Hortense le Gentil is a world-renowned executive leadership coach, speaker, and author. Her coaching work focuses on CEOs and senior executives on their journey from hero leaders to human leaders. Her latest book is The Unlocked Leader: Dare to Free Your Own Voice, Lead With Empathy, and Shine Your Light in the World. Le Gentil’s thought leadership is informed by 30 years in business, working across industries including media consulting and advertising—and as an entrepreneur. She was a 2021 and 2023 nominee for the Thinkers 50 Coaching and Mentoring Awards and has been ranked #5 on the Global Gurus list by World Management Global Gurus. Her thought leadership has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., Business Insider, and ThriveGlobal.com.


Resources Mentioned:

Hortense’s Website: https://www.hortenselegentil.com/

Hortense’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/hortenseleg

Hortense’s latest book, The Unlocked Leader: Dare to Free Your Own Voice, Lead With Empathy, and Shine Your Light in the World: https://www.amazon.com/Unlocked-Leader-Voice-Empathy-Shine/dp/1394152930/


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[00:00:00] Hala Taha: fam,  leadership is something we talk a lot about on this podcast and for good reason. Leadership is not something that comes easy for many of us. And being an inspiring, competent, and authentic leader can take decades for even the most successful executives to master. Our guest today can help you get there much sooner.  Ortans Legenti is an executive leadership coach, speaker, and author. Her mission is to empower leaders to be truly authentic and make a lasting difference in the organizations they lead Her latest book, The Unlocked Leader, is a practical guide to freeing yourself from the mind traps that hold you back so you can learn to lead with empathy and impact.

Today, Ortans is going to give us a masterclass in executive leadership and how to become the leader you've always wanted to be. . Or Tom's welcome to young and profiting podcast.

[00:00:57] Hala Taha: Thank you 

for having me, Hala. I am so excited to have this conversation. And I wanted to start off exploring your own leadership journey because you're one of the biggest leadership experts in the country. And I think your own story will offer up a lot of lessons for us.

So from my understanding, your first experience with leadership was really riding horses when you were a child in France. So what did your time as a showjumper in France teach you about 

[00:01:24] Hortense Le Gentil: leadership? Thank you for this question because, you know, horses are, you know, all my life. So what, uh, horse riding taught me was I think everything.

I would say empathy, trust, and vision. So let me share a story. Oh no, better. Hala, come with me and we're going to ride. So now try to follow. So you imagine yourself, you ride a horse. So you are on a horse, right? You imagine that what you have to do, you compete. So what you want to do is to jump an obstacle.

So you know exactly where you want to go and how you want to go. It's your vision, right? Are you still with me? Okay, so now you're with your horse. How do you communicate with the horse? The horse doesn't speak, right? So through feelings, through your body, so your hands, because your hands are holding what we call reins.

Reins are, you know, directly communicate with the mouth of the horse. So you can say left, right. So you communicate very delicately. And with Your legs and your body. So in fact, you feel the horse and the horse feels you. So we said that you are aligned. You are one with the horse. You really communicate, you really, you feel them.

 this is empathy. And then, imagine, so you are in front of this obstacle now, so you turn and everything, so you're here now. You're just here. You're ready. So we say that three steps before the obstacles, you don't have to move anymore.

You don't move. You are ready. And what you do is you trust. You trust your horse, because now you are not going yourself to jump. It's your horse who is going to do it, right? 

 exactly the same with leaders because the horse, in fact, is your team or, you know, your team member. So you have to feel them, to be with them. And to trust them, you're not going to do all the work by yourself, it's your team. So you trust your team and your team trusts you. And how you do that, you know, by being aligned and by increasing your empathy and have a clear vision 

And this is what your, your teams are waiting from you. 

[00:03:55] Hala Taha: I love this example. This is such a great example. Thanks for sharing that. And so I know that you spent a long time in your career in corporate. You also spent almost a decade as an entrepreneur. And at one point in your life, you had this really pivotal moment where you decided to change everything.

You left your marriage, you rewrote your story from scratch, you moved to a new country. How did you know that you needed a change, that you needed to get back into alignment with yourself and discover a new purpose and become an 

[00:04:22] Hortense Le Gentil: entrepreneur? So let me share with you a story. So my story. Okay. Thanks.

About, um, 17 years ago, I was in Paris and, uh, I felt stuck in my life. I was married and with two children, but I was unhappy in my personal life and unhappy in my professional life. I felt like I didn't live my life. I didn't fit in my life. It was not my life. It was someone, I don't know, the life that others was, you know, expecting from me, but not, not really mine.

And I couldn't express myself fully.And it was a very low point. Everything went west, or south, I think you say, it's the west in French, so south, and I was stuck in my bed for months.

So I didn't know what to do. I was trapped. I was completely locked here. And I had a dream. My grandmother, came to me in my dream and told me to find the path of roses. So I was surprised because I don't know what it is. And I ask her, what is it?

She just told me, she smiled and she told me, you know where it is. And I woke up, I was furious. I was angry. What? You know, my grandmother, she didn't give me, you know, the direction. No, I didn't know what she was talking about and anything. And after thinking, I understood. What she meant was that the path of roses was me.

The path of roses was in me. The path of roses was my voice. And what I did wrong was I was not listening to my voice. I was listening to the voice of the community or whatever who said, you cannot get divorced. You cannot become an entrepreneur at age of 40. It's madness. You cannot do that. You cannot do that.

And so I was locked. And so when I understood that at that point, I freed myself because I said, okay, I'm going to listen to my voice and I'm going to do my way, how I feel it. And so I left my marriage, I left my corporate job and I became an entrepreneur for a decade until I found my calling to be a coach today.

[00:06:45] Hala Taha: And so I know you've written several really popular books. The newest one is called The Unlocked Leader, and it was just released. So curious to understand why you decided to write 

[00:06:58] Hortense Le Gentil: this book. Why is because the world change, as you know, Alain, and expectation change. So your customer, your employee's expectation change.

So the old model of leadership is over. And people want to connect with you. They don't need another hero, like Tina Turner said. They need a human leader. They need somebody with who they could relate. They can understand. That's why I wrote this book, because I learned a process from my experience, my own experience in my life, the experience as a coach with my clients.

and my diving in neuroscience and uh, psychology. So I found, you know, process and, uh, this process is working. And I thought that, you know, I should write a book about it to help people, you know, to free themselves from their mind trapped. 

[00:07:56] Hala Taha: And I know that in your book, one of the first concepts that you go over is the difference between a hero leader and a human leader.

Can you talk to us about the difference between a hero leader and a human leader? 

[00:08:06] Hortense Le Gentil: If it's a hero leader, it's a leader who thinks that he should have all the answers. Who is not going to be vulnerable and not authentic. So this is a leader who is going to enter in your meeting and you say, okay, we're going to do that, that, that, that, that, and he's going to leave the meeting and nobody talked.

The human leader is a human with who you can connect, that you know, that cares about you, that asking you question, how are you today? Do you feel good? Do you not feel good? Who are you? this is a person also who is asking more questions, and creates this environment where people can be safe and secure and understood and understood why they are here and feel important, feel 

[00:08:54] Hala Taha: seen.

I know a lot of the listeners who are tuning into this podcast, they're entrepreneurs, they're small business owners, they're leaders themselves. we all want to be more like human leaders than hero leaders. So how can we tell if we're more like a hero leader, which is the leader that we don't want to be?

We want to be more like a human leader. 

[00:09:14] Hortense Le Gentil: I would say, try to go back to the last meeting or to the way you communicate with people and ask yourself this question. Do I know everyone in my organization? Do I know anything about what happened in their life? Did I ask question? Did I ask for input? Those kind of questions.

So you will have the answer. You will know. You will know. If you never ask for help, for example, and you always say, I know, I know, I know, I know. You don't listen. 

[00:09:43] Hala Taha: Now, would you say that this is important for every employee in your organization? What if you have 60 employees? Is it just for your direct reports that you need to understand more about them?

[00:09:55] Hortense Le Gentil: Yes, because of course you cannot, you know, if you have 6, 000 people, you cannot know everyone. This is true. But what you can know is, yes, your direct report, and be a role model for them, and ask them to do the same with their team. So be sure that it cascades, and it goes from the top to the bottom line.

It's very, very important that everyone is included. And you can do also, you know, time to time, Zoom or whatever with everybody or, and try to communicate with everybody. Of course, you cannot in a daily basis, you know, communicate with 6, 000 people, but you can set the tone, let's say. Totally. 

[00:10:38] Hala Taha: So another core concept in your book is mind traps, and you say that someone's past success might get in their way of getting forward because of these mind traps.

So how can something that initially helps you succeed become an obstacle? 

[00:10:53] Hortense Le Gentil: So let me define a mind trap first. A mind trap is a mental obstacle that stands between you today, Hela, and you tomorrow. There are those stories that we tell ourselves. So if I go back, you know, to my story. The mind trap though was, and this is one of the common mind trap, was that I didn't listen to my voice, I was listening to other voice.

But where are they coming from? They come from trauma that we've been through and they are not overcome. Or they can come from other voices who tells you what to do. So this is what Mind Trap is. And the first step is to find the source. So who said that? And after to challenge those voices.

[00:11:39] Hala Taha: To make it real for us, can you give us some examples of what these mind traps are? 

[00:11:43] Hortense Le Gentil: For example, some symptoms. You feel unhappy, unsatisfied, sad. You are arrogant or at the opposite, you feel the syndrome, the imposter syndrome, or you can feel guilty or that are clues that are symptoms of you are locked somewhere.

So let me share a story. Years ago, there were, um, uh, leaders was considered for being the CEO of his company. And so he was a very good, very good and successful leader, of course, as you can imagine. So he had to go. We interview in front of a panel of leaders or the leaders who were responsible of this process.

And from out of the blue, he was very talkative. He talked, he talked, he didn't listen. He was someone else. So everybody was surprised. He was surprised. You know, the first one was surprised was him. And uh, of course he lost it because this is not what we were waiting from you in that kind of interviews, but very surprised.

So. We talked about it and we tracked the source. It happened that 30 years before that event, he was a student and he had to take an exam. And in order to take an exam, he has a, he had to pass oral exam. So he was in front of, in front of a panel of professors and one of them didn't let him speak all the time.

So he was absolutely shocked. He couldn't express himself. It was a trauma. And more than that, the professor told him, young guy, I can promise you something. One thing, you will never be a CEO because he lost his cool and he said, because you cannot handle your emotions. So this idea stayed in his mind and his heart until the time he came back, just, you know, right at the moment.

He was considered to be a CEO. So this is a mind trap. And here you have a trauma and a voice. You have 

[00:13:58] Hala Taha: two of them. 

[00:14:07] Hala Taha: Yeah. And it's funny that you say that because when we think of trauma, we always think of this like big horrific experience, like you got beat as a child or something. But in this example, you're saying it was a professor that didn't let him speak.

That's the trauma that he had. So it doesn't have to be a big trauma. experience. So what are some examples? I know you talk about inherited trauma, psychological trauma. What are the different examples of trauma that could surface later on in life? 

[00:14:33] Hortense Le Gentil: You're absolutely right.

So trauma could be not a big deal, but a little thing. There are trauma, uh, different size and, and shape. But let me give you a metaphor. Your brain are like a house. In the house, you have, you know, different rooms. In your bedroom, you have your bed. In the dining room, you have a table. And in the living room, you have a sofa.

So imagine that in the middle of your living room, you have a car, and imagine you want to sit on your sofa to watch TV. You cannot see, right? So a trauma like that it's something that your brain didn't put at the right place. So maybe it was, yeah, it was a trauma for this leader.

And for another one, not at all. Why? Mystery. But this is like that. So the work here is to understand, because at one point, yes, you're going to sit on your sofa and you cannot watch TV. So the work is to take this car and put, you know, this car in the garage at the right place.

And this is what happened in your, in your mind when you have a trauma, little or big. I was, um, towards, oh, I don't know, maybe more than 20 years ago, I was attacked in Paris. So I was in Paris, I was in my car, came back from the office, it was winter, dark, and I was attacked.

 I was shocked and I was very, very afraid because, you know, they took my purse. And they had my keys and my name and where I, you know, and my children were very small. And I was so afraid that, you know, someone came, you know, in the, in the house. Breaking in.

Yeah. Yeah. Breaking in. So nothing happened. I was lucky. Okay. I lost everything. But you know, it was not, nobody died. So I forgot. But each time I was driving under a streetlight, I was afraid. Like a little panic. Didn't know why. Yeah. Until I came, you know, to see a psychologist and with what we call EMDR, we put back the car at the right place.

And he explained me that in fact, I probably chances, uh, was that my brain saw the person who attacked me, but I did not remember. So the car was not at the right place. That's why I was overreacted. So that could be that. Or that could be. in the case and the story that I share with you. So this, this professor, but that also could be doesn't belong to you.

Like, uh, another story is, uh, this leader was always very angry, very angry, and, uh, always shouting and he was never in peace and revisiting his life. We understood that in fact, he was coming from a family who escaped war. And so You know, during the family dinners and everything, he was told that to be careful to everyone, that everyone is an enemy and, uh, to not trust anybody, but he took it for granted.

So, and we were not at war anymore and it was not his story. It was a story of his parents. So it's what I call inherited. So you did, you didn't do anything, but. It came with that, with you, so there could be another one. And after you have also the big trauma, like we know, like veterans of Vietnam, of wars and PTSD and things like that.

[00:18:02] Hortense Le Gentil: The others are obvious. 

[00:18:04] Hala Taha: What kind of consequences, if we don't put the car in the right place and we continue to have these mind traps, what kind of consequences can we experience as 

[00:18:12] Hortense Le Gentil: leaders? You're not yourself and you don't have the whole view because you, you see only half of your life.

You cannot see the old you and you're not yourself. You're not as successful as you could be, as happy as you could be. You cannot make unleash your, your own talent. So a lot of things. So you're really locked somewhere, but a lot of people stay like that. It's your choice. Nobody can force you anyway. 

[00:18:40] Hala Taha: And I'm sure there's external voices that could help you, but there's also external voices that can make mind traps worse, right?

So can you talk to us about that? 

[00:18:50] Hortense Le Gentil: Yeah, for example, if people, you want to do something, for example, when I wanted to be an entrepreneur. So I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but yes, I was 40. Yes, yes, I was not 20. Everybody told me, you are crazy. You are completely crazy. Okay, maybe I'm crazy. Okay. That, uh, I didn't listen, you know, if I had listened to all the voices, I will not do anything.

I would stay where I was, but I would not, you know, discover everything that I discovered since 20 years. I would not live here in New York. And it was my dream to come back to New York. That would not be possible for me to help others because I couldn't help me first. So how can I help others? And this is my mission, and this is my calling, so that would be so sad.

[00:19:39] Hala Taha: I totally agree. I'm sure a lot of my listeners know my story, but if I had listened to everybody who told me I was too old to start a podcast six years ago, And all my friends told me, what are you doing? You're wasting your time. And everyone was making fun of me.

I lost a lot of friends because they didn't like that I was putting myself out there. And even when I became an entrepreneur, my parents. were confused and didn't know if it was the right thing for me, my partner at the time, and I just didn't listen to anyone, and I'm so glad that I trusted my gut. You can only listen to people who have been where you want to go, not people who've never been where you want to go.

[00:20:15] Hortense Le Gentil: That's completely true, and I love your story, Ella. Also, in my case, I was sure that this, it was what I wanted to do. And also it's good to know at least one person who did it. And I knew at that time I have a very good friend who unfortunately she just passed away. Oh, I'm sorry. Thank you. And, um, she did that at the age of 40.

She was a very successful partner. Large organization. And at age of 40 she said, okay, going to leave and I'm going back to school and I will be an an architect. And she became an architect and very successful architect also. And so I said, okay, if she can do it, I can do it. So it's good to have at least one model, one role model to know one person who did it.

And that's why I talk about it, by the way. 

[00:21:08] Hala Taha: Well, I love this conversation. And so we we're talking about mind traps and in your book. You say, what can get us out of this is a mind shift. And so we love actionable steps on Young and Profiting podcast. And you say that one key way to begin a mind shift is by understanding how our brain can change and embrace new perspective.

So how can we be more aware of these stories that we're telling ourselves? 

[00:21:34] Hortense Le Gentil: To be more, this is very simple. You just have to listen because in fact, what we do. We are surrounded by noises, media, social media, your parents, your family, your community, your religion, for whatever, and you name it. So we are surrounded by, by noises.

So the first thing is to free the noise. To free the noise. And how you free the noise? by just making silence. So take time to just make silence. Try for your, your brain to stop making stories or listening to listen to story. So try to meditate, try to just go back to yourself. Think about What do you feel?

How is your body feeling right now? Are you in your body or outside your body? Can you feel it? Are you aware of the, everything that, you know, in your mind? There's a story that goes without you. Like, okay, I should go that and the good that after the show I have to go that. No, no, just be here at the present moment.

You have to learn to do that because it's not natural. But take the time to just stop, breathe. And feel and try to make silence, silence. 

[00:22:57] Hala Taha: And you say that tapping into our empathy for others, what neuroscientists call Gandhi or mirror neurons, can help us see a different perspective. So can you help us understand what Gandhi neurons are and how we can activate these Gandhi neurons?

This is 

[00:23:13] Hortense Le Gentil: my, my favorite neurons, Gandhi neurons. So Gandhi neurons are in fact, um, the mirror neurons. So we can call them also. imitate neurons. So if I take, for example, your mug, if I take the mug and I, and I drink, the part of your brain is doing exactly the same. And chances are that you also are going to drink without thinking.

It's just, you know, mirror. And there's a very famous neuroscientist, Ramachandra, named them by Gandhi because it was a follow me neurons. So interesting. And so true. And how it help us as a leader is because it is less what you tell that what you do. You are a role model. So if as a role model, you say, Oh, you should do that, but you don't do it.

People are watching you. They're looking at you again. So you need to be, um, you are a role model. So be careful because it's very important. They're going to do exactly the same. If you act not correctly. Don't be surprised to find somebody who is acting exactly the same. So maybe you are even not aware of it.

And so how you, you activate, you ask me, you can, uh, role play, for example. So let me share an example. One day a leader wanted to do a workshop with his team. So we were there and the subject was. Everyone had to share his own story and the good moment and the difficult moments and what, what did they learn from that?

And this leader had to role play and open the ball because he had to set the tone because everybody's going to look at him and what he's going to say, they are going, you know, if he shared a lot, they're going to share. If not, so. He didn't know exactly what was, you know, good to share, not to share, where to begin, I guess, and, and so on.

So we role play, we worked on it and we did the workshop and it was magic. because it's difficult sometimes. So, um, you don't know. We are not very used to, um, to share emotions or who we are to open ourself.

So role play. 

[00:25:46] Hala Taha: Yeah. 

And so basically you're saying that how we act as leaders, our employees and team members are gonna mimic us. And same thing with our. Dark reports. So it's also important to make sure that the other leaders on our team are also acting as good role models because everyone's going to follow them and their behaviors as well.

once we've identified these mind traps, we've gotten a new fresh perspective, either from somebody external who's giving us advice, or from a good movie or a good book like you were just saying.

How can we then challenge our old beliefs and break free from them? 

[00:26:20] Hortense Le Gentil: So you have to go through the process of transforming. So we arrive to the mind shift. So you transform, you transform and replace what is not helpful anymore. So challenge your beliefs and challenge your, your, your fears. Challenge your belief with three very powerful questions.

Is it true? Is it relevant? Is it helpful today? But let me give you an example. Let's go back to the example, uh, with the leaders, uh, you know, the last leader. So the last leader, so we know now that he was, um, he panic, uh, at a panel in front of professors and his professor said that he would never be, uh, become a CEO.

So when we talk about that, I ask him three questions. Is it true? Is it true that you cannot be a CEO? He was considered as a CEO. So no. Is it relevant? Say no. Is it helpful today? Not at all. Okay, if you say no, no, no, let go, let go, just let go, it's very 

[00:27:25] Hala Taha: simple. 

 what is the importance of making a conscious decision to move forward from our mind trap?

[00:27:33] Hortense Le Gentil: Because you need to be okay to do it.

that's why you ask this question, are you okay? and to let go. And are you okay to let go? because after that, you can have another exercise with, you know, the game, the tug of war.

So you, Hala, you hold this, uh, um, the rope on one side and in the other side, for example, you can put the professor. So this is what we did with this example with the professor. And so here you play, you know, you know, the game, right? So You tie the rope and the other person do it the same, so you can imagine that you get, you, okay, you play, but you don't go far because you still have the rope between you and the person.

And so at that moment, so we, we do, we did this exercise and ask you, I ask him to let go, let go the rope. What's happened? If I tell you, let go the rope, what happened to the other person? They fall down. Yeah. The person fall down. Now, you ask, okay, and what's happened, what's this, this person is doing? So maybe, you know, in this case, this person was just not happy at all.

So this person, the professor was shouting, and I said, what do you feel? He said, he looks ridiculous. I said, okay. Are you ready to go? Yes, I am. And he was, he freed Ipsa. So to answer your question, you have the choice to hold the rope or let go of the rope. Nobody can force you, like we said before. So you have to do it consciously.

[00:29:16] Hala Taha: And I imagine that you let go of the rope, you're almost telling yourself a different story. And sort of moving the car away from where it's supposed to be, 

[00:29:24] Hortense Le Gentil: right? Exactly. Because now you don't, you are not with the car in the middle. So you can put the car at the right place because you are in peace. And you are, you don't have this professor in the car, in the middle, you know, of the living room.

No, you don't want that. 

[00:29:41] Hala Taha: Yeah. So we identified mind traps. We also have talked about shifting our perspective. And now you have the mind build process. Can you talk to us about that and define that for us? 

[00:29:54] Hortense Le Gentil: So now that you freed yourself, you can be the author of your life. You can write your own story.

So how you write your own story? By reflecting, of course, you know, reflecting to, uh, on your life, you know, what did you learn, the lessons, the difficult moment, the good moment, what you said, what, what did you learn? But what is very important is what drives you, define your purpose, what drives you and how you want to be remembered.

As a leader or as a person, because everyone is a leader, you are a leader, at least, you know, at the minimum, you are a leader of your life. How you want to be remembered? What memories you want to, to let behind you? And I have a very good exercise, here is, very good, I ask people to write their eulogy.

It's difficult, but think about it. When you are out of the picture, what memories do you want people to share about you? So, I'm pretty sure that you're going to find exactly what drives you and what is important for you if you think like that. And also, what is important is, um, to know that you write your story because you know your driver, you know your purpose, you know how you want to show up.

So you can write your story. You can do what you want and you can become this unlock leader. And the perfect example for me is, um, the example of Ralph Lauren. I don't know, I think everybody knows the story, but, uh, this is the story of someone. Always listen to his voice and always listen to his dream.

Follow his dream. So he was, um, a young man born in the Bronx and, uh, he designed very nice and um, and wide ties, beautiful ties, color, colorful ties, went to a broom to sell them. They wanted them, they wanted the ties. But, narrow, and without his label, the Apollo label. And Ralph, who didn't, you know, at that time was very young, and didn't yet build the empire that he has today, he left, and he said, I'm not going to do that.

I'm going to follow my dream. And the rest is history, right? The purpose of his company is, uh, to inspire a dream of a better life. And until now, more than, um, over 50, 50 years now, he still inspire us with, you know, the shows he does and everything, because he's following his, he's very authentic. He's very, he always follows his dream, his voice.

And for me, this is the best example of how you write. Your own story and how you, you are, you can be successful in doing that. 

[00:32:45] Hala Taha: That's such a great story and I know one aspect of being a better human leader is also listening, right? We need to be better listeners. Why is being a listener so important as a leader?

And what are some guidance and advice you have for becoming better listeners as 

[00:33:00] Hortense Le Gentil: leaders? I would say, um, Just listen, , and if you want to listen, don't talk. So talk last, ask questions and ask for input and give feedback. Ask for feedback. As for, for Ask for Fit Forward, and why it's important is because if you don't listen to your employees or your customer, you are not going to know what they need.

So you cannot help your employees and you cannot build. Or do the right, you know, product for your customers if you don't understand them. So it's very easy. Speak less, speak last. Try to speak last. That's all. 

[00:33:44] Hala Taha: Well, Artans, this was such a great conversation. Thank you so much. I always end my interview with two questions that I ask all my guests.

So the first one is, what is one actionable thing our young and profiteers can do today to become more profitable tomorrow? 

[00:34:01] Hortense Le Gentil: Stop, reflect, go back to your story and listen to your voice. Do the silence we were talking about, do this exercise, begin 

[00:34:11] Hala Taha: there. And what is your secret to profiting in life? And this can go beyond business, financial.

[00:34:19] Hortense Le Gentil: I think I have a daily routine, so, uh, every day I, um, I do my yoga, I meditate, I'm very optimist, and I think my, my secret is I always laugh. I like to laugh, I like, you know, to smile and to laugh, so it gave me a lot of energy. You 

[00:34:39] Hala Taha: are really always positive and smiling, I, I can attest to that.

And where can everybody find your new book, The Unlocked Leader, and learn more about you and everything that you do? 

[00:34:49] Hortense Le Gentil: So on my LinkedIn, on my social media, Instagram and LinkedIn, and my website, my website is hlgconsulting.

org. It's a shortcut from my name, because you can do also my name, but this is so complicated. And of course, you know, Amazon, you can find the book, you can, you can find the book everywhere on bookshelves. And maybe what I would like just to add is, um, that the proceeds of the book will be donated to Jed Foundation that works on young people's mental health and suicide prevention.

And I thought that it was a good cause and close to, um, to my work too, 

[00:35:35] Hala Taha: Well, that's so beautiful. We'll stick all the links in the show notes. Make sure you guys go get the Unlock Leader, support the Judd Foundation, support Orton's.

so much for your time today. It was such a pleasure. 

[00:35:47] Hortense Le Gentil: Thank you for having me, Hala. It was really a pleasure. 

[00:35:53] Hala Taha: We don't need another hero. That's what Tina Turner famously sang back in the day, 

And this is what Hortense tells us today about being a leader.

The old model of leadership is over. And Hortense shared some wonderful insights about how we can help create a new model of human leadership to take its place. Here are a few of my favorite tips from her about how you can become a better leader. First, you have to be aware of your own mind traps. The mental obstacles that are holding you back and keeping you from reaching your full potential.

The little stories you tell yourself to make yourself feel better but which only make things worse. Second, engage your Gandhi neurons when dealing with others.  Lead with empathy and by example. Being a leader is often less about what you say and more about what you do. Your employees and followers are watching and they're going to take their lead from you.

Third, I love the exercise that oratons offer to help us become the author of our own lives.

You can write your own story by writing your own eulogy. I know it's a bit morbid, but it's a wonderful exercise to help figure out what your purpose is, what drives you, and how you want to be remembered. Finally, as Orton's learned as a girl, , sometimes you just gotta learn to trust your horse or your horses.

Leadership so often comes down to just being in sync with others. And if you are, then you're ready for the next obstacle, and to jump together. Thanks for listening to this episode of Young and Profiting podcast. If you listen, learned and profited, be sure to share this episode with your friends and family and drop us a five star review on Apple.

 If you prefer to watch your podcast as videos, you can find us on YouTube. I'd love if you subscribe to our YouTube channel. You can just search for Young and Profiting on YouTube and find all of our episodes on there. You can also find me on Instagram at Yap with Hala or LinkedIn by searching my name, it's Hala Taha. . I also wanted to take a moment to shout out my own amazing team of horses. My executive producer Jason, Amelia, our assistant producer for Khan and Hasham for supporting guest outreach, Greta and Sean for supporting research, Kriti Grima and Ash for running our ad operations.

You guys are amazing. I have such a big, awesome production team. I love it. I love everybody in my Yap Media family. Thank you guys so much for all your hard work. 

This is your host,  Hala Taha aka the podcast princess, signing off. 

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