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How Courageous Leadership Boosts Innovation

In this captivating episode of the “Humanize The Workplace” podcast, hosted by Vivian Acquah, thought leader Edson Hato, an award-winning HR executive and transformation consultant, delves into the transformative power of courageous leadership and its profound impact on innovation within the workplace.


Rooted in his extensive experience and knowledge, Edson leads an enlightening discussion on humanizing the workplace, shifting traditional leadership paradigms, and fostering an environment that nurtures creativity and collaboration. In this article, you can explore the highlights of this inspiring conversation.


Vivian Acquah CDE® (host of the show) As a Certified DEI Consultant/ Certified Diversity Executive, Vivian Acquah CDE® advises managers on how to keep their team members engaged, energized, and safe in a sustainable manner. 

Edson Hato (guest) is an award-winning HR Executive and Transformation Consultant who is known for creating impact. With years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience, Edson uses his knowledge to help solve complex organizational challenges and orchestrate systemwide holistic transformational change.

Cultivating Courageous Leadership

Edson continues his exploration by emphasizing that courageous leadership is pivotal for nurturing innovation within an organization. By identifying networks that possess the potential to create disproportionate value in the future, leaders can pave the way for groundbreaking ideas and collaborations. Historical examples, such as John F. Kennedy, Mother Theresa, and Haitian freedom fighters, serve as testaments to the impact that courageous leaders can have on driving societal change. Despite adversity and criticism, these leaders remained unwavering in their dedication to their causes, breaching boundaries and shaping the course of history.

The Value of Trust and Networks

An integral component of courageous leadership is cultivating trust within and outside the organization. Edson highlights the importance of nurturing multiple networks, even if most endeavors fail, as they serve as stepping stones towards success. By actively engaging in networking, leaders open avenues for collaboration, uncovering new opportunities and challenges that fuel innovative thinking. Through trust-based relationships, leaders can amplify the collective intelligence of their teams, fostering an environment where diverse perspectives and experiences thrive, ultimately propelling innovation to new heights.

Evolution of Leadership: What we are realizing now and now that we’re getting into the modern definition of leadership, whereby the ways more and more women are getting into the field of leadership. We’re starting to talk about chaos. We’re starting to talk about building networks. we’re starting to talk about distributed leadership. We’re starting to talk about, courageous leadership. and these are all relation yes. These are all relationship driven leadership styles.” Edson Hato

Humanizing the Workplace: A Paradigm Shift

Edson’s insights on humanizing the workplace come to the forefront as he reflects on traditional leadership models and their limited scope. Historically, leadership belonged exclusively to men, aristocracy, royalty, political figures, philosophers, priests, and military commanders. However, recent shifts have allowed emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds to challenge conventional norms. Relational, distributed, shared, and courageous leadership approaches have emerged as alternatives to the traditional hierarchical leadership model, fostering inclusivity, empathy, and collaboration.

Failure as a Valuable Lesson: “Because we look at failure like it’s not a valuable lesson, and I am just like, okay. It’s good that we fell, but after falling, you’re standing up where I fell.” Vivian Acquah

Active Listening: The Power of Truly Hearing Others

Listening actively and attentively is a vital characteristic of courageous leaders. Gone are the days when leaders could give instructions and expect compliance. Authentic leadership lies in the ability to engage authentically with others, to understand their perspectives, and to respond thoughtfully. By fostering an inclusive culture that values and actively listens to diverse voices, leaders can empower their teams to explore uncharted territories, leading to innovation and growth in unimaginable ways.

The Value of Gratitude and Supportive Networks

Edson shares personal experiences that underline the significance of gratitude and supportive networks in one’s journey. Reflecting on encounters with a supportive dean, he acknowledges the dean’s profound impact on his path to success. These encounters serve as reminders to value the power of diverse networks and the transformative potential present within each connection. By nurturing gratitude and cultivating diverse networks, leaders can create an environment that fosters collaboration, empathy, and mutual support—a fertile ground for innovation.


As we bring this transformative episode of “Humanize The Workplace” to a close, we are left with a deep appreciation for the role of courageous leadership in boosting innovation. Edson Hato’s insightful reflections remind us that we have the power to humanize our workplaces and reshape traditional leadership paradigms. 

By embracing serendipity, cultivating trust, fostering inclusive cultures, actively listening to others, and valuing supportive networks, we can ignite the flames of innovation and create workplaces that thrive on creativity, collaboration, and humanity. Let’s embark on this courageous journey together and truly humanize the workplace.

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Vivian Acquah CDE®