What leaders can learn from The Ellen DeGeneres Show debacle

SOURCE: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix/AFP
Staffers claim the on-screen values of the Ellen DeGeneres Show strongly clashed with the realities of its behind-the-scenes culture.

By U2B Staff 

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For several years Ellen DeGeneres has promoted positivity, generosity, inclusivity, and most importantly kindness through her hit TV series, The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

However, recent reports by staffers suggest that the set-life on The Ellen DeGeneres Show was anything but kind with allegations that collectively made the talk show’s workplace appear to be toxic.

According to Career Builder, 23% of employees describe their leaders’ performance as ”poor” or ”very poor”.

These statistics are not surprising as places of work are known to be tense and there can be an immense amount of pressure that leads to unprofessional behaviour in the workplace.

Business leaders now have a greater responsibility to equip their leadership teams with the right skills and provide them with the right behavioral examples to positively transform workplace culture.

Leaders should identify training interventions that can result in a more conducive workplace for everyone, simultaneously protecting their organisation from the issues allegedly faced by employees of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Leadership agility training

Leadership agility training is essential for leaders when dealing with a crisis, additionally, it is important for leaders to use collaboration and transparency when assessing the situation and coming up with solutions.

The University of Michigan‘s free Leading People and Teams Specialisation on Coursera, teaches essential skills in leadership and team management.

Clear communication

Clear communication consists of knowing how to have a difficult conversation, using positive reinforcements, learning to listen, and knowing how to get your employees’ buy-in.

Leading With Effective Communication (Inclusive Leadership Training) is a free course on
edX that encourages the development of these communication skills that will bring out the best in both leaders and employees.

This four-week course can help business leaders develop a leadership mindset geared towards empowerment, accountability, courage, and humility. 

Open leadership training

HEC Paris’ free course on Coursera teaches open leadership based on trust and sense. The Inspirational Leadership: Leading with Sense specialisation course uses the Savoir-Relier method to teach courage, empathy, humility, and resilience.

This specialisation will help leaders examine their own leadership styles, and helps them take concrete steps to develop a managing approach that encourages relationships between people in spite of their differences of opinion and enables better team leadership.

This course is designed based on the Savoir-Relier protocol and has been implemented in organisations such as Apple, L’Oréal, LVMH, and Sanofi.


Leadership through ethics

Ethical leaders encourage innovation, they foster a sense of community and team spirit through team building and make decisions based on overall organisational values.

This leadership strategy requires emotional intelligence and dedication to providing employees with a safe space to learn and develop themselves.

Education and learning platform, edX hosts a free course titled Ethical Leadership in a Changing World that teaches the theories and practices of ethical leadership and perspective.

The six-week course touches on what makes an ethical leader and draws on case studies on New Zealand, one of the least corrupt countries in the world.

This course will enable leaders to recognise the role of ethics in organisational decision-making and will also teach leaders how to analyse actions from an ethical perspective.


Effective leadership training

The University of Queensland, Australia offers a free online course on Becoming an Effective Leader.

This course was designed to equip leaders with an understanding of leadership styles and theories as well as how leaders can build their credibility to influence others.