The Leadership Challenge: Leadership Secret Sauce – 3 Tips!

The Point: If you’ve read the 455,000,000 results from a Google search on Leadership, then you are undoubtedly super informed regarding what it takes to be a leader. But what if you haven’t read them all, half, or even 12 in the last year regarding what you could do to take your leadership to the next level? We all want to get ahead, and the concept of “secret sauce” is akin to key differentiators whether it be in a startup offering of climbing your way up the corporate ladder. So in this post we look at the leadership challenge leadership secret sauce and provide 3 tips to kick things up a notch… Enjoy (and BAM!)

The Leadership Challenge- Leadership Secret Sauce – 3 Tips!

I Don’t Like Spicy Food (or Leaders)

We’re all looking for that competitive edge that separates us from the pack. If that’s the hypothesis (and why wouldn’t it be true?), then what exactly are those differentiating moments? In a startup situation, differentiating moments are typically referred to as the “secret sauce.” Think of it as what you plan on doing better/different than others in the space, improving upon those that are already there, or how you will rise above all others to be the top choice.

So what if you combine the experiences from startup operations with those of a leader. Specifically, how do you overcome the leadership challenge of having to differentiate yourself on a day in/day out basis? Is possessing leadership secret sauce the key? In researching the topic, I found that the answer is that a leader can definitely differentiate themselves with such secret sauce. But how much to apply and in what strength can be in one vein a strength and in a similar other vein a weakness. Too strong a secret sauce and you come off as overbearing/overpowering. Too little secret sauce and you risk being perceived as shallow/half-hearted. So here are 3 leadership secret sauce tips to insure that you apply just the right amount:

Leadership Secret Sauce Tip #3 – To Thine Own Self Be True

We see a lot of stakeholders vying for leadership roles that take on a persona that is totally foreign to who they truly are. While there is always one aspect of an admired leader that you can take away/attempt to implement, you still need to be yourself.

Leadership Secret Sauce Tip #2 – Communication Skills Training for Leaders

While it might seem obvious, there has to be consistent application of communication skills training for leaders. You may find that honing your skills once was good enough, but you’ll be falling far short of your potential. The continual honing of your communication skills as a leader will differentiate you!

Leadership Secret Sauce Tip #1 – Succession Planning

Now why would I be recommending that a high potential (HiPo) attempt to assist with succession planning? The reality is that those in their jobs today will not be in their jobs 10 years from now, and someone has to fill them! Assisting with succession planning, or at least beginning to formulate a plan regarding where you’d like to go/positions you’d like to fill will come in handy (Especially when you discuss with a mentor!)


In this post we’ve looked at the leadership challenge leadership secret sauce and 3 tips to assist you in driving your career forward.


Sam Palazzolo

About Sam Palazzolo, Managing Director

Sam Palazzolo is Managing Director at Tip of the Spear Ventures, an agile Venture Capital and Business Advisory Services firm specializing in Mergers & Acquisition, Sales / Business Development & Turnaround Management.