Global Leadership Summit 2018: Juliet Funt on Successful Leadership Behavior

Juliet Funt

Juliet Funt, the founder of “white space”, was back at Global Leadership Summit (GLS) to discuss three mortar-type behaviors used to secure the building bricks of technology, reorganization, and Lean Six Sigma that are driving toward operating simplicity. Companies must counter conformity, compulsivity in communication, and control within their organization to propel themselves into the future. What do each of these behaviors look like in practice?


People tend to be followers, so nobody changes until everyone changes. Anything that bothers you at work is 50% your fault until you ask about it—the WhiteSpace 50/50 Rule. To break out of the conformity mindset, take a safe contrary action to reduce social conformity and see what happens.


People need to ask themselves whether their communication is appropriate for the situation and delivered in the right format—rein in unnecessary communication by understanding whether content is 2D or 3D. Yes/no questions are 2D content which is appropriate for texts and email. 3D content is deep and nuanced and should only be communicated through conversations. Don’t mix the two contents and formats to ensure more effective communication.

You should also consider whether you need to ask or share information at that moment. If not, put it on a Yellow List that you create for each person you work with. When the list grows long enough, schedule time to discuss those items.


Are you a control freak? One of the best strategies to break this tendency is to let people do and do nothing while they struggle or fail. Many people are comfortable with first-tier delegation, where they trust others and do not control them. Second-tier delegation is more difficult, because it requires providing the same amount of first-tier respect and control to someone you may not yet fully trust to do the job well. Second-tier delegation is required to grow people into first-tier delegates.

Leadership Application

In my opinion, conformity may be the single most influential behavior that limits growth. Leaders need to have a heighten awareness of how the drive for human conformity stifles creativity and innovation. Great leaders are humble and reflect on how their behaviors are impacting their teams. They can serve their organizations by encouraging ideation and rewarding risk.

About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at or by visiting her website at

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