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What comes first - the human or the leader?

Photo of Massimo Backus

Massimo Backus

Massimo Backus Leadership

SuperHUMAN Leadership: Do hard things without being a hardass

Leadership is often a demanding and high-pressure role, with little room for mistakes or self-doubt. But what if I told you that the secret to being a successful leader lies in screwing up, getting messy, and being kind to yourself? In this thought-provoking talk, Massimo Backus will explore the power of self-compassion in leadership and why it's essential for creating a positive and thriving workplace culture.


In modern organizations, leaders hold two jobs. The role they were hired to perform, and the energy sucking role of managing appearances, hiding their weaknesses, uncertainties, inadequacies, and fears. This results in the biggest loss of organizational resources. How much overhead are you spending projecting and protecting a persona of perfection?


Massimo's talk may change the way you see yourself. He examines the paradox of being kind to ourselves when we fear failure from imposter syndrome or punishment from self-criticism. He shares practical strategies and tools that you can use to cultivate self-compassion in your daily life, such as emotional fluency, mindfulness, and self-care practices.


This talk is for leaders plagued by perfectionism, impostor syndrome, or self-doubt. It is for leaders who falsely believe proving themselves worthy will give them power, only to realize they have given their power away. Whether you are a seasoned leader or aspiring to be one, this talk will inspire you to prioritize self-compassion as a critical component of your leadership toolkit.


Massimo is an executive coach and leadership development consultant who helps organizations transform their culture through the transformation of the leaders themselves. Previously he was the head of global leadership development for a billion-dollar professional service firm. He’s the host of The Leadership Mind podcast, which spotlights leaders' stories of growth and transformation and how they let go of the beliefs that hold them back. He will publish his forthcoming book on self-compassionate leadership in the Fall of 2023. The book presents six core strategies to practice self-compassion and forever change the way you lead.

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