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Voluntary Influence

One Definition of Leadership to Replace Them All

Forge a people strategy fueled by a culture of Voluntary Influence so fully engaged employees rise to 75% from today’s 32% within 5 years. This will boost end results and KPI’s.
When we lead through Voluntary Influence, people do things because they want to, not because they have to. Every employee can
lead this way, not just those in management.

Read the Voluntary Influence Booklet to learn more

Voluntary Influence creates a new foundation philosophy for us to build a better workplace that will improve engagement, thriving, psychological safety, retention, teamwork and culture.
Leadership is voluntary influence. Employee engagement, culture, strategy, speaker, speech, workshop, consultant

Let’s Fix the Workplace for Good

Fix the Workplace For Good

Fueled by a new definition of leadership based on 
Voluntary Influence

Leadership is a behavior, not a job. When we clarify the true meaning of leadership, we stop calling those with management titles leaders because anyone can lead including hourly employees. When we develop hourly employees as leaders, we expand the number of leaders and alter the relationship between management and employees. This is how we start the journey to fix the workplace for good.

All organizations can create workplaces where we want to spend time, be productive and make good things happen. 

When we define leadership only as Voluntary Influence and eliminate all the 4000 plus definitions in use, we create a new, higher standard about how we deal with people and who can be in management. This also changes the fundamental relationship between organizations and workers. 

Leadership is about the person, not the position. 

When we separate leadership from positions and titles, everyone on planet earth now has the potential to be a leader and we stop calling people with management titles leaders. Now we can develop a far better relationship with the autonomous human beings we call employees and fully embrace the human system we employ.

Every employee a leader

What if your organization already excels in employee relations and the workplace?

Voluntary Influence and the thinking behind it opens up new ideas and perspectives on employee engagement, employee thriving, motivation, leadership, collaboration, retention and workplace culture that go beyond what even the best places to work focus on today. Regardless of your current culture and level of employee engagement, your management team can discover new ways to become even better when you learn about Voluntary Influence.

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Leadership is voluntary influence. Employee engagement, culture, strategy, speaker, speech, workshop, consultant

Since the principal of Hollywood High put Don through three leadership development programs, he’s been on a quest to learn more about what makes people want to join with a leader. After co-writing and editing the book The Character-Based Leader in 2012, don become concerned about the snail pace increase in employee engagement along with way too much burnout and not enough psychological safety. With all the time, effort and trillions of dollars spent to improve the workplace, it should be fixed for good by now. What’s prevented this?


Read about Don Shapiro’s leadership story.

A new people strategy fueled by a culture of voluntary influence

When voluntary influence becomes the only definition of leadership, employee engagement and thriving soars.

  • We stop calling those with management titles leaders
  • Everyone with a management title leads through voluntary influence while the rest are shown the door.
  • We start developing all employees as leaders because you don’t need authority to use voluntary influence
  • Quality, service and productivity improve because you now have more hourly employees who are leading their peers
  • More future managers and high potentials are identified among hourly employees and staff
  • Leadership development is separated from management development so both the capacity to lead and ability to manage can be maximized
  • Control over work shifts from management more to employees increasing their motivation and commitment
  • Employee engagement and thriving soars fueled by a culture of voluntary influence along with employee retention, performance and financial results. 

Strategic Executive Workshops and Speeches

Don’s high energy, interactive, fun and educational style has inspired groups for decades.

Speech and Workshop Examples

Don Shapiro Workshop Excerpts

Strategic executive workshop on value, quality, service, and continuous improvement with Don’s signature stories. 7 minutes.

What Could She Possibly Be Thinking?

A funny and insightful true story about “Sting the Scorpion” presented at a Toastmasters International Speech Contest that emphasizes the importance of understanding others without judgement. 7 minutes. 

What people say about Don

Get in touch

Learn more by talking with Don on the phone, Zoom or whatever works for you

Ask questions, dive deeper into the issues, explore ways Don can further educate your team, evaluate committing to a voluntary influence strategy, and speak at your next meeting or conference