Viral Video Strikes a Universal Chord with Business Leaders

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What new manager has not heard this leadership advice: "Employees don't have to like you; they just have to respect you?" Author George Brymer heard it, and in a new video he offers some advice of his own.

During the early days of his managerial career, George Brymer's well-meaning supervisors gave him some familiar leadership advice. "Leadership is not a popularity contest," his bosses warned. "Your employees don't have to like you; they just have to respect you." Today, Brymer is a well-known leadership coach and the author of the groundbreaking book, Vital Integrities: How Values-Based Leaders Acquire and Preserve Their Credibility. While looking for a unique approach to promote his book, he stumbled onto a way of showing leaders how silly that old leadership adage is.

Brymer produced a viral video promoting Vital Integrities that, not coincidentally, begins with a newly appointed leader listening to his boss's employees-don't-have-to-like-you axiom. What follows is a humorous look into the brand new leader's fearful imagination, in which his staff neither likes nor respects him. The message seems to hit close to home for many managers, since viewers are sharing the video with people around the world.    

Brymer began the project as a fun way to involve some friends in the promotion of his book. He wrote a script that highlighted each person's distinctive personality. Then he hired a local film student to shoot and edit the video. His friends were so delighted with the end result that they started emailing it to everyone they know.    

"People all over the country, and in fact the world, have seen the video," says Brymer. "I had hoped that it would generate interest among my friends, and their friends, but it keeps spreading." People have watched the ninety-second video from Manchester, Connecticut to San Diego, California; from Plymouth, Michigan to Arlington, Texas; from Salt Lake City to Pikes Peak. And outside the United States as well: people in Canada, England, France, Australia, Singapore, Romania, and the Netherlands have visited the book's Web site to watch this video. "Not surprisingly, most viewers are watching at work."

Even aspiring leaders can learn a lesson from the video. "A faculty member from Johns Hopkins University contacted me after seeing the video to ask if she could use it to kick off one of her leadership classes," says Brymer. "Of course, I said, 'Why not?'"

Besides its humorous slant, Brymer thinks leaders who watch the video can relate to its star--the newly promoted manager. "I know in my first few management roles, because of what my bosses advised, I felt totally spineless for caring what my employees thought of me as a leader," says Brymer. "But as my career progressed, I came to the realization that employees really have to like you before they can feel respect for you."

Unfortunately, explains Brymer, many managers continue to act as though respect is something they can demand. In Vital Integrities, he explains how personal integrity allows leaders the luxury of being effective without demanding respect--and permits their workers to like them as a result. The book is a refreshing primer on leadership skills that encourages leaders to demonstrate their organization's spoken values in action every day.

Visit the VItal Integrities Web site or call 419-265-3467 to:

  • Watch the video
  • Learn more about leadership skills
  • Read testimonials from people who gained leadership skills from George Brymer
  • Order your copy of Vital Integrities
  • Book George Brymer as a speaker for your upcoming event

About George Brymer:

George Brymer, the author of Vital Integrities, is a leading speaker and author who focuses on leadership skills, business ethics, and board governance. Brymer has nearly three decades of developing his leadership skills, including nineteen years working for a Fortune 500 bank. He is the creator of The Leading from the Heart Workshop®, a three-day program that teaches values-based leadership skills in a fun, encouraging, and hands-on environment. The inspiration for his first book, Vital Integrities, came from his experiences, research, ideas, and enthusiasm for the craft of leadership. He lives in Toledo, Ohio.

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