PMP184: 5 Voices for Leading Teams with Jeremie Kubicek

It goes without saying that in order to lead you must have followers.

Photo by Luke Porter – Creative Commons No known copyright restrictions

But taking others to a destination doesn’t just mean accomplishing all the to-do’s on your checklist. Leadership requires relationships. And meaningful relationships do not happen by accident; they are intentional and purposeful. Part of building meaningful relationships involves understanding yourself and the core values of those whom you are leading.

How can you cultivate those kinds of meaningful relationships so that you have the right conditions for healthy teamwork?

Meet Jeremie Kubicek

Jeremie Kubicek is CEO of GiANT – the leader in Scalable People Development. He is the best-selling author of several books that focus on effective leadership including Making Your Leadership Come Alive: 7 Actions to Increase Your Influence. He has co-authored two books with Steve Cockram: 5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There is Never Enough Time and 5 Voices: How to Communicate Effectively with Everyone You Lead. And his latest book is the 100X Leader: How to Become Someone Worth Following.

His other accomplishments include creating the Leadercast global simulcast, partnering in several current start-up organizations, former CEO over the national Catalyst conferences, former CEO over the John Maxwell brand, and developer of The Prairie at Post, a, modern niche real estate development in Edmond, OK.

When I reached out Jeremie Kubicek after reading his book on 5 voices, he was generous to provide the following feedback for Principal Matters listeners. Here’s a summary of our Q & A, but listen-in for even more takeaways!

Can you give a quick overview of the 5 voices and how they have helped you and others lead teams?

21st Century learners require different styles because we are now more visual. If our content is not scalable, it is not usable. The secret of the 5 voices is simplifying how to understand the wiring of yourself and other people into five categories. They are:

  1. Pioneers
  2. Connectors
  3. Guardians
  4. Nuturers
  5. Creatives

If you know yourself, you can lead yourself. You can know your strenghts and your weaknesses. The Golden Rule can be used or mis-used, but to lead, you must do to others as they would want to be treated. Remember 7% of the population is Pioneer, but more than 50% of CEO’s are Pioneers. If you don’t understand your own core strengths, you may not be performing from your core. And you may not be protecting others from the parts of your core that can also be weaknesses.

How should leaders run meetings while keeping in mind the voices on your team? Why do you prescribe “quieter” voices always going first?

There is always friction with people. For instance, some people are present-oriented people while others are future-oriented people. Pioneers and Connectors can dominate meetings, which is why in 5 Voices we recommend Rules of Engagement: 

  • Let Nurturers go first… 
  • Then Creatives…
  • Next Guardians…
  • Fourth Connectors…
  • Let Pioneers go last…

This allows every voice to have its place and gives permission for your quieter voices to always be given an audience.

School leaders are often heading teams of teachers, non-teaching staff, and teams involving students or parents. What ideas might help an education leader who may be leading more than one kind of team?

  • Knowing who you are comes first. This means understanding your voice.
  • Knowing who they are comes next. This means understanding their voices.
  • Then you have the ability to “Build the Bridge” — creating the culture where others feel safe with their unique voice and contribution to the team.
  • Leaders define the culture. Just like a gardener doesn’t water every plant the same, you don’t water everyone on your team the same way. You respond to others according to how the are wired, not just how you are wired. Consistency does not always mean sameness.

When leaders are “for” those being lead and building them up, we create environments healthy and ready for growth.

How can listeners stay connected with you?

If you’d like to know more or stay connected with more leadership resources, check out Giant.TV/jk for access to a free trial subscription or connect via

Now It’s Your Turn

As you think about leading your school teams, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my most dominant voice?
  • What are the core voices of those on my team?
  • How can I learn to understand my own voice and the voice of others in order to cultivate a culture of collaboration?

For a free 5 Voices Assessment, check out this questionnaire at

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William D. Parker
William D. Parker