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Fishbowl for Leaders

By Joey Havens

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Fishbowl with goldfish

In my book Leading with Significance, I introduce the concept that leaders actually live in a fishbowl.  The fishbowl was a visual way for me to stress that as we become leaders, people hear what we say, but they watch what we do to see if they trust us and if they buy into our leadership.  Our blind spots, weaknesses as well as strengths are on display for everyone to view as they stroll by.  

In a recent podcast featuring the book, I was asked to share the fishbowl concept.  In doing so, it struck me that as we move up in leadership, we get a bigger fishbowl.  Why?

Well, first of all, it’s not because we are now a bigger fish. HA!  Actually, we get a bigger fishbowl because more people will be gathered around to watch how we swim to the opportunities and challenges coming our way.  Do we do what we say?  Do our actions reflect our core values?  Are we authentic?  Are we elevating those around us? 

The fishbowl is a great reminder whether we are a first-year team member or assuming a team leadership role, our actions always speak louder than our words

CeCe, have you seen the fishbowl I use for presentations? 

Coming in 2023, my new book Leading with Significance breaks through the limiting barriers of common culture theory and demonstrates, with great transparency, the real human emotions that elevate a culture to one that is genuine, enduring and magnetic. Sign up today for updates at