Meeting Leadership Eleanor-Beaton

“Your belief in the vividness of your vision and your collective ability to accomplish it is jet fuel for your entire organization..” – Eleanor Beaton

The second part of our two-part series on radical conviction takes us into the heart of what makes leaders great. The episode is filled with nuggets of wisdom like the quote mentioned above.

By the end of episode #094 of the Meeting Leadership Podcast, you should feel the same empowerment all of Eleanor’s audiences are privileged to experience.

Eleanor Beaton

Eleanor Beaton - Meeting Leadership Podcast - Effective Meetings

Eleanor Beaton is an internationally-recognized expert in women’s leadership, and an advisor to growth-oriented women entrepreneurs. She has served as chair of the Visiting Women’s Executive Exchange Program at the Yale School of Management and sits on the board of directors of two Canadian venture capital organizations. She’s been recognized by the Corporate Excellence Awards as Canada’s Leadership Coach of the Year, and was named by entrepreneurial guru for women Ali Brown as “one of the foremost women’s leadership experts in North America.”  Eleanor is the host and executive producer of a top-ranked podcast for women entrepreneurs, Fierce Feminine Leadership. A former journalist reporting for the CBC, Globe and Mail and Canadian Business, Eleanor was a finalist for a National Business Book of the Year, Canada’s top business book honour, and has won national prizes for her journalistic work covering key issues related to women in leadership. Eleanor has spoken internationally at events whose rosters include notables such as the former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She lives in Eastern Canada with her husband and two sons.   

You can get in touch with Eleanor at

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00:00 – Show Opening

Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for daily tips from the coach with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast with Gordon Shepherd.

00:27 – Podcast content starts here!

Gordon Sheppard: Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast. My name is Gordon Shepherd. I just want to say thanks for taking time out of your valuable day to come to this show to pick up another leadership skill, another tip, another strategy to learn how to have highly effective meetings, because you know when those two things go together, you can really inspire your team and the people around you. I’m honored that you are here. I’m also really proud to say that today we’re going to listen to part two of why leaders need radical conviction with our guest expert, Eleanor Beaton. 

00:51 – MLP 093: Why Leaders Need Radical Conviction with Eleanor Beaton, Part 1 –

Gordon Sheppard: Now, yesterday in part one she kind of blew the roof off the place with all of her great tips around breaking out this concept of radical conviction, what it really takes to go far as a leader. 

01:12 – Where we left off last episode 

Gordon Sheppard: Just to help you set the context, where I pick up the interview is right after we were talking about a great example of an entrepreneur that Eleanor knows. Now, this woman grew her business from $2 million a year to $50 million a year, and she did that in just three years.

Now, where we pick up in the interview is you’ll hear me talk about how so many leaders don’t understand their own vision and can’t kind of get this type of momentum, and then you’re going to hear Eleanor run with this concept and talk about how you can and a whole lot more. It’s a great conclusion to help us all learn about the radical conviction concept, and I’m not going to hold back any longer. Here’s part two of why leaders need radical conviction.

01:54 – Avoid middle-of-the-road vision statements

Gordon Sheppard: What a wonderful story in terms of someone being able to say, like you said earlier, do the impossible. So many leaders that I deal with, for example, if I’m at a convention and I say, “Tell me the vision statement for your organization.” So many are mediocre, middle of the road and they just don’t even know. They’re not able to name it, whereas this piece here is sort of an internal compass that you’re creating, I’m going to say attitude-wise, because you didn’t just describe someone checking off a to-do list. This is next level.

02:22 – If your vision doesn’t fire you up, you won’t be able to create that for anyone else

Eleanor Beaton: This is totally next level, and I love that you brought up this limp, mediocre commitment to vision statement and mission statement. If your vision doesn’t fire you up, if it doesn’t draw forth this extraordinary fire in your gut, you are not going to be able to create that for anybody else. 

02:58 – How to summon conviction from within

Eleanor Beaton: If that’s the case, if you’re listening to this and you’re like, “Actually I don’t have a lot of fire around my vision statement, our mission statement,” so number one, there’s no judgment here, but number two, it’s time for you to go in, take a look at it and summon that conviction from within yourself. The way to do it, first and foremost, is to commit, so to decide what it is that you want to accomplish. Decide the big why, like, what is that big vision, and commit to it. Lean into that commitment. That’s always the first step

03:15 – Question: Gord –  What sort of mindset shifts do you recommend for people to embrace radical conviction?

Gordon Sheppard: Commitment’s so important, and commitment really requires a mindset shift. What sort of mindset shift do you recommend to allow people to embrace and get to radical conviction?

Eleanor Beaton: Number one, I think, is understanding. The first mindset shift that you need to understand is that ambition and vision are all about growth, and conviction governs the growth zone, whereas confidence governs the comfort zone. Number one, that’s a core shift that you need to understand. For many of the leaders listening to the show today, they have actually outstripped. They’ve surpassed the need for confidence. They are already confident. People are not consuming podcasts like this one, building their knowledge because they lack confidence. My sense is they already have confidence. What they’re looking for is that juice, that extra gear that allows them to go out and accomplish something that currently feels impossible. Okay? So that’s like really understanding what that difference is. The second part is definitely committing. Once you’ve identified what it is that you want, the next part is to really lean into the commitment around that, to not be a flip-flopper about what you want, not give up because it gets hard.

I think the third thing that I would have to say about this is to play hurt. As a leader, and I like to compare leaders to professional athletes. The difference between a professional athlete and an amateur athlete is that the professional athlete plays hurt. The amateur athlete doesn’t. So I play basketball, and I play soccer weekly with my team. If I’m hurt, I’m not going to play, but Kawhi Leonard is hurt. He was hurt during the NBA finals. He continued to play because he’s a pro. As leaders, we all have certain “injuries,” crises of confidence that we will have. We will have limiting beliefs. There will be skillsets that we don’t have yet that we need to have in order to hit the next level. Those inadequacies are for a leader as injuries are to a professional athlete, and the key is if you’re going to stay committed to your vision, you have to be able to play with those injuries.

Gordon Sheppard: It makes unbelievable sense. You’re throwing me back. I love the Kawhi one. It’s such a current reference. I’ll go back and talk about Gretzky quote that I heard. When they lost their first Stanley Cup to the New York Islanders, and New York Islanders had won their fourth Stanley Cup when they beat the Oilers at that time way back when, Gretzky remembers walking by their dressing room and he figured they had lost the Stanley Cup. He figured they’d be hooting and hollering and having a good time there in the dressing room. You know what they were doing? They were taping up. They were nursing that sore things, they were nursing the hurt things that they did to win their fourth Stanley Cup in a row, and it speaks exactly to what you’re talking about.

05:29 – Real leaders play ‘hurt’

Eleanor Beaton: Winners and leaders play hurt. That is what seals the commitment. Of course we’re going to have people listening who are like, “Oh my gosh, how could you?” Of course if you have a devastating injury, they’re not going to play, right? That’s going to sideline you, but real leaders play hurt. We all have these walking injuries that we acquire as leading. I mean, leading, as you know, is a full contact sport. There’s nothing that’s going to reveal the things that you need to learn like being a leader, so in order to continue to have radical conviction, you’ve got to have that ability to play hurt.

Gordon Sheppard: This is just a fantastic interview. I know that we can go on and on and on. I love this idea that conviction governs the growth zone. That is a super powerful distillation of obviously so many years of your work. I can’t get away though for a second without taking everything that we’ve just talked about, and if you’re on that elevator ride with a leader and you had a chance to tell them about radical conviction and your take on it, what would you say in just a few sentences? Go ahead.

07:08 – Eleanor’s ‘elevator pitch’ summation of Radical Conviction

Eleanor Beaton: I would say that for any leader out there, your belief in the vividness of your vision, your belief in your collective ability to accomplish it is jet fuel for your entire organization and will really catapult, inform and nurture the tactics, the strategy and the implementation over time.

Gordon Sheppard: Thank you so much for the jet fuel putting this smile on my face right now. I wish people could reach through and just see it. I am so inspired speaking with you. If people want to follow up with you, what’s the best way to get in touch?

07:48 – Get in touch with Eleanor Beaton – –

Eleanor Beaton: Oh, that’s so amazing. So a couple of places. I have the Fierce Feminine Leadership Podcast. For podcast lovers, you can go check that out. If you’re curious about Radical Conviction, I offer micro courses. There’s a free video course and I do micro courses on this. Every leader needs it. Go to

Gordon Sheppard: This is great information. I can tell people I’ve already signed up and I’ve seen some of these micro courses, and what I love about it is they’re short and the powerful ideas, and again you can hear the way you’re speaking now, that’s coming across in the videos. I highly recommend it. We’ll put it in the show notes for everybody. Eleanor, thank you so much for being on the show.

Eleanor Beaton: It’s been a pleasure.

Gordon Sheppard: You have just had the gift of listening to part two of a two part series called Why Leaders Need Radical Conviction. Wasn’t Eleanor Beaton just outstanding talking about ideas like leaders play hurt and they commit? When they do these things, they can literally light their organizations on fire. Now if you missed part one, that’s episode 93 on the Meeting Leadership Podcast, and you can get that by going to We are lucky enough to have Eleanor back on episode 103, where she’s going to share an inspiring leadership story that, again, we can all learn from, draw wisdom from and go out and take action with. I really recommend that you check out her mini training by going to, and check out Eleanor’s podcast called Fierce Feminine Leadership or get in contact with Eleanor at her website at Don’t worry, we’ll make sure we leave all that information in the show notes for you to get.

09:30 – How Leaders Can Go Beyond SMART GOALS –

Gordon Sheppard: If you’re looking for even more inspiration, then check out episode 56 on the Meeting Leadership Podcast, it’s called How Leaders Can Go Beyond Smart Goals, and that’s with Martin Parnell. Now, for any of you who don’t know Martin, this fella, he’s a Guinness record holder. He ran 250 marathons in one year to raise $250,000 for a children’s charity called Right to Play. He’s an inspiring guy, but also in this episode, like Eleanor, he gives you things you can, do mindset shifts that you can actually make and put into action. You can listen to that episode by going to

10:09 – Meeting Leadership Academy –

Gordon Sheppard: I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. Now, there you’re going to find some great one-on-one leadership development options, some options for live training for your team to really take it up a notch when it comes to having effective meetings that really impact your strategy and your organization overall, or if you’re an online learner, there’s great options for that as well. Visit to learn more. If you haven’t hit the subscribe button yet, please make an effort to do that, and also leave a rating and review and that will influence the kind of future episodes that we have here on the show. As always, thank you so much for listening, and we’ll see you tomorrow on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

10:55 – Podcast Outro

Be sure to subscribe for more strategies to help you become an outstanding leader, and don’t forget to rate and review so we can bring you fresh content every day. We’ll see you tomorrow, right here on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

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Gordon Sheppard

Gord is on a mission to change the world, one meeting at a time. Over his 25+ years in business Gord has run or participated in more than 2000 meetings! Not only is Gord the CEO of Business Expert Solutions Inc. (owner/operator of Meeting Leadership Inc), but he is also a Facilitator, Trainer, Business Consultant, Author, Speaker and Podcaster who helps leaders learn how to have great meetings, so they can build outstanding organizations and serve their clients at the highest possible level.

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