An Effective Leader With Scott Miller And Cultural Awareness In Education With Titta Kote

Across different industries, there are certain qualities that an effective leader must embody in order to bring out the best in the teams they’re working with. Scott Miller serves as the Executive Vice President of Thought Leadership at FranklinCovey. He sits down with Dr. Diane Hamilton to talk about the best qualities of an effective leader.

Traditional teaching environments revolve around molding young people to be similar to each other in terms of competencies, but new methods are rising that encourage growth, creativity and innovation. Dr. Diane Hamilton sits down with Titta Kote, the Founder of the Happy Ambassador concept. Together, they discuss new teaching models that highlight and champion cultural awareness and creativity.

TTL 726 | Effective Leader


I’m glad you joined us because we have Scott Miller and Titta Kote here. Scott is the Executive Vice President of Thought Leadership at FranklinCovey. He’s also the author of a lot of great bestsellers. We’re going to talk a lot about cultural leadership issues with him. Titta is the Founder of the Happy Ambassador concept. She’s out of Finland and she’s doing some amazing things with kids and developing happiness. This is going to be a fascinating show.

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here

An Effective Leader With Scott Miller

I am here with Scott Miller. He serves as Executive Vice president of Thought Leadership. He is the host of FranklinCovey-sponsored On Leadership with Scott Miller, which is a weekly leadership webcast, podcast, and newsletter that features interviews with renowned business titans authors and thought leaders. It’s distributed to more than six million business leaders worldwide. Additionally, he authors a weekly leadership column for Inc. He is the author of FranklinCovey’s Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow, and also the co-author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team. I’m excited to have you here. Welcome, Scott.

Diane, It’s my honor. Thank you for the platform. I look forward to our conversation.

That’s always fun. You’re welcome. Having somebody who has their own podcast, radio show, or whatever you know the whole drill, it makes it a lot easier for me. I love that. We have a lot in common. We talked about before of all the different things that we’d like to discuss and work on in terms of leadership. I want to get a little background on you and that includes your relationship with Stephen Covey and that group.  

I’m a dad first and husband. I have my wife and I have three boys. We live in Salt Lake City, Utah. I’m originally born and raised in Orlando, Florida. I went to college there, worked at a Disney company for four years. The Disney company invited me to leave, which is a nice way of saying, “Get out.” I was a 23-year-old know it all jerk, irresponsible and reckless. Ironically, the world’s most prestigious leadership firm wants to hire me. There’s always one door closes, another door opens. Here you have this single white Catholic boy from Orlando, Florida who takes up and moves to Provo, Utah in the ’90s. Do the math. It’s like a Jew moving to Vatican City, maybe good for a sabbatical, but not for 25 years. I learned a ton about moving out to Provo, Utah. The Catholic priest and I were the only two in the parish, many years ago. It’s a big cultural change for me to join the FranklinCovey company. Here I am an executive officer at the firm. I served eight years as the chief marketing officer, about fifteen years prior to that in sales management. I serve now as the Executive Vice President of Thought Leadership.

I am an author, speaker and Dr. Covey had a profound influence on me. He passed years ago as a result of a head injury from a bicycle accident and in his 80th year. He was a coach and mentor of mine and raised me and many others from being a pup. He was the chairman of our company for some time and at one point was the CEO. He became a mentor and the ethical compass of the company and spoken and wrote. I have a lot of Stephen Covey’s stories and I’d be happy to share some if that makes sense to that.

I always love a good Stephen Covey story. I’ve tried a lot of courses where we start with Proactivity and all the things that he became famous for. What’s your favorite Covey story?  

Dr. Covey wrote this book called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s the 30th anniversary. We released it with new content and new insights from one of his sons, Sean Covey. He did not write the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Efficient People, a lot of press people call it The 7 Habits of Highly Successful or The 7 Secrets. He deliberately wrote this book called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. My favorite story is the first lesson for your readers. That is, there is a massive difference between being efficient and being effective. Whenever a journalist calls it The 7 Habits of Highly Efficient People because they don’t know, I cringe because I am an efficient person. Much of my life. I’ll bet a lot of your readers can relate that being efficient is not a bad thing. It’s a mindset. You either have an efficient mindset or you have an effective mindset. Dr. Covey would hammer on me for almost two decades that, “Scott, you’re a superbly efficient person.” That’s great when it comes to washing your car, mowing your lawn, in some meetings, or some social posts, there is a place to be efficient. Typically, it’s with processes and things, and rarely if ever, is it appropriate to be efficient with people and relationships.

The biggest lesson that I learned from Dr. Covey is that a lot of highly successful professionals are productive. They’re efficient. They wake up and they get more done by 9:00 than most people do by noon or the entire day. You have to be mindful of when to move out of your efficiency mindset and when to move into your effectiveness mindset because you cannot be efficient with people in relationships. One of his favorite quotes, these highly quoted author and leader is, “With people fast is slow and slow is fast.” My favorite story is maybe less an interpersonal story, more this lesson he taught me of, “I’m naturally efficient.” It is a struggle with me to constantly be thinking about when I’m in a relationship with my wife, my three boys, with someone at the office or anybody, I need to consciously move out of my natural default to do it faster, quicker and check it off. Instead, intentionally and deliberately slow down. Remember that I’m developing relationships, I’m not posting a tweet.

That’s a smaller bite-size and I liked the visual of that. I’m an efficient person as well. I never thought about the difference in terms of relationships because I am much different in relationships than I am in terms of projects and things like that. In a project, I’ve had a lot of people I’ve worked with who would say, “Done is better than perfect.” To some extent, you get some people who will plan the plan and do nothing but plan. You don’t want that and sometimes done is better than perfect. With people, I liked the fast is slow and slow is fast thinking. I know with me, when I do email, I’ll write the email and then I’ll go back and go, “I put in the nice stuff.” I want to get my thoughts down.  

I speak and so are you to a lot of successful people. What built their influence? What built their wealth? What earned in their position was perhaps like me and maybe somewhat like you, this proclivity to be productive and check things off and get things done to be efficient. I don’t want it all to demonize the power of efficiency. The people that can learn like I’ve had to struggle and keep learning is when to make sure that efficiency asset doesn’t show up in your relationships. I like to debunk these common HR myths. People are not the organization’s most valuable asset. It’s not true. We hear it all the time. People are not the company’s most valuable assets. It is the relationships between your people that make your company’s killer at or their competitive advantage. Diane can have a black belt master stick sigma notification and Scott can have a road scholar on it with a look like from Oxford. If Diane can’t get along, can’t compliment each other, can’t forgive each other, can’t pre-forgive each other, especially as a leader, you’ve got to learn to slow down. When someone comes in your office, close your laptop, turn off your phone, and take off your glasses, full attention in something.

You bring up somebody who I’m thinking I’ve worked with in the past, who thought he was developing good relationships because he would write this War and Peace emails to everybody and they’d all get the same one, “You’re the best. You’re wonderful. This is why you’re the best and everybody loves you.” When you get one of those, it’s like, “That’s nice.” When you get 70 a day from the same guy and the same thing, how do you get a guy like that to see that it’s not effective to do what he’s doing? 

Because you are a leader, it does not mean you know what you’re doing. Many people are promoted to leadership for a lot of the wrong reasons. I don’t think everyone should be a leader of people. I’m a bit of a pariah in the leadership industry. I don’t think everybody has leadership talent. Yes, maybe lead a project. Yes, maybe lead your 401(k). Everyone shouldn’t be a commercial airline pilot or anesthesiologist, not everybody should be a leader of people, but if you are going to be a leader of people, there are some fundamental principles that govern leadership. One is declaring your intent, understanding your own intent. If your intent is to build trust, to convey appreciation, to build a culture or engagement, think about that. What is the most genuine, sincere, authentic, and conducted way? It probably is different for each person, but never as a parent treats all their kids the same. I don’t treat my kids the same. I treat them all fairly and I hope I treat them all equitably, but I treat them differently. It’s the same with leadership, you don’t treat your people all the same. People have different needs. They have different growth and needs for validation at different strings, fears, passions, concerns, private victories, and self-esteem issues.

[bctt tweet=”There is a massive difference between being efficient and being effective.” via=”no”]

My first advice would be to sit down and thoughtfully and think about your people as uniquely different people as they are. Do they get to know what their work love language is? How do they need to be talked to, coached, mentored, guided, even feedback differently? Some people like feedback in person in real-time, some might get through texts. Some don’t like it at all. The effective leader is the person who has great intent, which I’ll bet you, he did, but had not been coached or model or mentored around, “What are the practices of leadership?” This is a profound point where I’m going to say. Harvard Business Review published a study that said that the average age that someone is promoted into their first leadership position is at age 30. The average age that they received their first formal leadership training is at age 42. Across the US, there are these twelve years of people making it up, wreaking havoc, sending fifteen emails a day with the same formulaic messages because they weren’t trained. They didn’t understand. I don’t think bad leaders are bad people. They’re just making it up and they’re doing their best. They’re doing what their dad taught them. They do what their first boss did and do what they read somewhere or learned it on an online seminar but it hasn’t been given perhaps or develop the EQ skills to apply it properly.

You bring up something that makes me think of another boss I had who had worked for Jack Welch. Jack Welch was an extremely successful leader. His people skills were often questioned at times but he was able to pull off success. Anybody emulating him might see him as something, “This worked for him. This is why I’m going to be able to do this.” How do you treat somebody like that, who’s snarky and does not understand that work, love language that you’re talking about? What advice would you give to somebody like that? 

I don’t know that Jack Welch would have been an effective leader at this time as he was. Jack’s been out of Corporate America for many years. I’ve met Jack before he was an undisputedly renowned business leader. Different times and generations are calling for a different style of leadership because it undermined Jack’s legacy law. I don’t think that Jack would be an effective CEO of a Fortune company in 2020. That’s with all respect to his legacy. I do think we can learn so much from leaders around this. A great leader is also a voracious learner. They’re a deliberate listener and they continuously exercise curiosity. This person is doing that, “Would that work for me? Is that a natural talent that I could develop into my own? Is it going to be contrived and formulaic?”

I read 100 leadership books because like you, I have a podcast and you started a radio program. A lot of things that I read make sense to me, but they’re not my natural talents or it doesn’t sit well for my leadership or in the culture, the industry or the people that I’m leading. You have to be a great learner, listener, and synthesizer to decide what is my leadership, natural competencies? What are the areas that I should be building, strengthening, and learning over time? Maybe reading about and then implement the next day. People are smart. People know when you’ve read something.

Leaders that are like some of the ones that you’ve had, where they are employing things that they read or learned, they probably are lacking the coach or a mentor. If you’re a leader, I don’t care how old you are. I have friends that are CEO of a Fortune 50 company. These are named few would know. They’re 60 and 70 years old and they still have advisors around them. They still have those ideas. They call me sometimes and asked me, “What do you think about this?” Feedback never ceases, regardless of how successful or old you are. Everybody ought to have a sounding board, someone that you trust. I read this book by Bob Iger, “I love this idea. How do you think I should employ this? I’m going to role play with you. I was thinking of talking to them?” That’s good leadership practice, always be learning, listening, and insatiably curious around, “Is this the right thing for you at the right time and the right circumstance?”

I am going to agree with the value of curiosity based on that’s what I researched. There are a lot of people who look at some of these leaders and they want to emulate them and we mentioned Jack Welch. A lot of times, Steve Jobs comes up in the courses he teaches whether he had emotional intelligence or he had good interpersonal skills. How was he successful without some of that? What is your opinion on a Steve Jobs style?  

A lot of it is the circumstance. I know that it’s being helpful for a lot of people to compare to Steve Jobs because if you look at the trajectory of his career, looked at his natural skills, I don’t think the leadership of people, anybody would call a natural skill of this. I don’t think he was renowned for being a warm emphatic person. He was a genius in his own in terms of technical ideas, marketing, positioning, and understanding where the puck is going to go or where I’m going to hit the puck. There are great lessons to learn from Steve Jobs’ ability to focus. His ability to influence, take calibrated risks, listen to trends, needs, and take enormous, big, bold ideas, full of passion around him. Maybe you can see him the man that can reframe ideas and conversations like no one else. I don’t know that he was a cultural builder. I don’t know that his natural strength was developing interpersonal relationships.

I’m sure he was a great listener. I did meet him. They, like all leaders, there are some things that you’ll take, some things you’ll learn, some things you’ll leave. I wish I had his focus. I wish I had his ability to say no to great intoxicating ideas. They didn’t come at the expense of even greater, more intoxicating ideas. My biggest challenge is if I say yes to everything, every TV program, podcast, interview, book, collaboration, speech, every dinner party, and blog. I’m writing more articles for more magazines that I can have positive reviews. Steve Jobs would even answer the phone. He would have turned off his phone and gone to his garage for three months and focused on what he thought was best. Everybody has something to learn from them and probably something to leave.

I tend to be more like you. I understand that sometimes you want to be all things and if you can be, you want to give back and that’s a challenge because you have just so much time. There are some interesting practices for success. I know in your book you’ve got Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team. I’m curious why you picked the word manager rather than a leader?

It was a massive debate at FranklinCovey. Dr. Covey taught leadership. He was renowned for saying, “You manage things and processes and people and culture.” We wrote a course called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers many years ago and it’s been wildly successful. We debated back and forth. Seth Godin is a dear friend of mine. He has a point of opinion on the difference between managers and leaders, managers work in the system, leaders work all the systems. We debated it fiercely. We know well about conversations and organizational development points around the difference. At the end of the day, our publisher, Simon & Schuster, sat us down and I wanted to change it to leaders up until the last day. She was our editor and she said, “I was promoted to be a manager. I’m not a leader. I hope to become one so that I could feel like I’m learning how to be a manager, how to manage my own staff, my new assistant, my admin, another person and manage our work, our floor, and in our meetings. I’m going to grow to become a leader. Quite frankly, those people move into management and then earn their way into leadership.” We wrote the book primarily for first-level frontline, first-time managers, and leaders.

We talk in the book about, in many cases, the words can be used interchangeably. I know a lot of management buy-in that need to be better leaders. Conversely, I know a lot of leaders that could be better managers but I was promoted into my first significant leadership role because the leader who would’ve eat my lunch intellectually, to one of your earlier points was focused on strategy, mission, and vision that he wasn’t delivering the revenue, the EBITDA, and the P&L. He’s competent and a great leader that could’ve eaten my lunch intellectually. I took his place because I showed a process to manage the pipeline, control expenses, and to deliver on a company’s quarterly profit. Perhaps I was a manager for too long that I grew into being a leader. That’s why we pick the name and attested best with audiences. Believe it or not, The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team was the tagline, so Everyone Deserves a Great Manager.

You’ve got leading in there.  

TTL 726 | Effective Leader
Effective Leader: There is a right time and place to be efficient. Rarely is it ever appropriate to be “efficient” when it comes to people and relationships.


It’s long answer but you hit on the flashpoint of the company.

I know we don’t have a lot of time to go through what each practice could, but can you give me the list of six? 

The first practice for leading a team is to develop a leader’s mindset. This is about understanding that when you become a leader, you’re promoted from being an individual producer, that your job is to get work done with and through other people. That’s profound that the first one is to develop a leader’s mindset. If your job is to get work done with and through other people, you have to slow down, take your time, coach, listen, and mentor. The second one is around holding effective one-on-ones. Understanding that your job is not to check on, but to check-in, how do you listen to your employee’s level of engagement? Leaders do not create engagement. You hear this all the time. Leaders create the conditions for others to choose their own level of engagement high or low. Thirty minutes, it’s their meeting, not your meeting. They did the talking. You did the listening. Your job is to clear the path. The third one for practice is around setting your team up to get results. We talk about constructing goals from X to Y by when. We talk about how to delegate effectively and understanding the role that you play as a leader in building performance amongst your team. The fourth one is all about clean, a culture of feedback, both delivering feedback to your people. One of the leader’s greatest roles, perhaps the greatest roles is to give people feedback on their blind spots.

Practice four is developing a culture of feedback where you both get feedback consistently in the form of redirecting feedback and reinforcing feedback that you also are receiving feedback, you’re soliciting it. You’re taking, you’re craving it. As a leader, you’re not disputing, denying or deflecting it, that you both give feedback. You model that you could also receive it. This practice is about change. Understanding that change is an emotional process of people, not ever becomes back to the same level. We teach a simple four-step change model of as a leader understanding where your team is and admits that change is an invaluable leadership competency. A lot of leaders try to protect their team from change. That may be good in the short-term, but it’s self-serving in the long-term. Lastly was around managing your time and energy because burnout is real and leaders need to be mindful and thoughtful of encouraging people to take their time off, take a vacation, renew, and be multidimensional. As a leader, you have to do the same. You have to model that you want people to have a life outside of work for all the obvious reasons.

You did a great job of getting this expanded quickly. I know I didn’t give you a lot of time for that. Those are such critical things. I know you touched on a lot of things that were curiosity-based and I love that. A lot of people could learn a lot from your work and your book came out. It’s Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team. If people want to find out more about you, Scott, how would they find you and follow you?  

You can find me on LinkedIn, Scott Miller. I’m active on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. LinkedIn probably is the best place to have you follow back to me. You can also google me, Scott Miller, FranklinCovey, and have you subscribed to the On Leadership with Scott Miller weekly podcast.

Thank you, Scott. This was fun having you on the show. I enjoyed our conversation. 

Diane, it’s my pleasure and stay safe.

Thanks and same to you.

Cultural Awareness In Education With Titta Kote

I am here with Titta Kote who is the Founder of Happy Ambassador concept. She received the Special International Award Books for Peace in 2019. She’s the Brand Ambassador for Daymond John from Shark Tank. She’s a professional translator and global ambassador for children’s rights. It’s nice to have you here, Titta.

Thank you, Diane. Thank you for having me on your show. It’s a pleasure for me.

I was looking forward to it and our good friend, Martin Mongiello introduced us. I’ve had a couple of happiness experts on the show. Michelle Gielan, for example, has been on. Happiness is an interesting concept because it can include many things. I want to get a little background on you and if you could tell me how you got to this level of success.  

[bctt tweet=”So many people are promoted into positions of leadership for the wrong reasons.” via=”no”]

Happiness is an interesting topic and every one of us, we need happiness and joy in our lives. My background and the story is quite interesting because all these things started with the mother’s bedtime stories for their sons. I am a mother for two boys and my oldest son, and I was telling these bedtime stories. It’s a long way. The Happy Ambassador character and their stories, which developed to our concept were born already in the year 2004. We, as a team, passionately want to make the world a better place and impact in early education by providing our unique solutions to create tolerance between different cultures to be the peacebuilders. To build bridges, to get us human beings to understand that the cultural differences are richness and everybody should be respected because of all these things, they go back to my personal experiences in 2004, 2003. I had cultural conflicts. I have a multi-cultural family. If I can say fear Finland in my passport, but that’s in the national birth in my mind and heart. If I can say traumatic cultural conflicts in my personal life. I became a single mother with my son and I did get death threats. It was a difficult time and everything was due to cultural conflict. It had a high impact on everything that I do. Therefore, I want to make the world a better place for everybody to live in. Early education exactly is a place where we need to start.

Cultural issues are a lot of what I deal with in my work with perception because there’s so much difference in how we all look at certain situations, how we react, and that’s where we get a lot of conflicts. I love that you’re starting with early education. A lot of people maybe don’t know what the Happy Ambassador concept is or some of the things you’re working on. Can you tell me a little bit more about Happy Ambassador?  

The Happy Ambassador concept is about multisensory learning. We love multisensory learning and we make it fun. The kids learn in different ways as we know. Some learn when they hear and others may find it easiest to learn by seeing or by tactile or work in us that take elements. We provide multisensory learning, which is teaching that engages more than one sense a time. Multisensory activities are based on whole-brain learning. For example, if we compare it to traditional teaching, which is only identifying two senses.

I teach a few courses where we have them take the VARK and to see if they are better with visual or like you’re saying kinesthetic and all these different things. It’s challenging as a professor, especially an online professor because we try to deliver content in ways that reach people in the way they need to learn. With technology, it’s getting a lot better because you can put audio and video in, you can do certain aspects. I love hearing that because in the past with a lot of people, everything was reading. For me, reading is a lot harder than to hear it or see it. 

It’s nice to hear that it’s also like this for you.

A lot of people can relate and I have one course I teach where I have students take the VARK and then we talk about the different strategies of what it takes for them to learn. This is a college-level course, and this is something that a lot of them had never even heard about where you’re talking to people at a young age about this which is great.

This concept is for early education. It’s good for 3 to 6 years old if I have to be specific. That age, when the children turn three years old, they are starting to be toddlers. The whole life is about fun learning. It’s natural for them to learn everything in a fun way. They do it by themselves also.

In my research for curiosity, I’d looked at a lot of things and what age group was impacted most by increased curiosity and then decreased curiosity. Around the age of five is it peaks. We have super curious individuals, the kids, and then after five, it tanks. It goes far down and that’s what we see with creativity as well. Do you think that our education systems are part of the reason that some of this decreases?  

This is my personal opinion but traditional teaching is, it tries to put all the children in the boxes to make them similar and not to support creativity so much or innovations. I believe that every child, they are stars and every child they learn, but they do learn in their own way.

It’s an interesting concept because I do a lot with personality assessment training and some of the assessments put people into categories and boxes, even VARK. You’re looking at specific things, but it’s not necessarily limiting. It’s trying to explain, sometimes when we try to test people. Everybody is unique that knowing what people’s preferences are, how they like to learn is important so that you can direct things. If we try to make everybody learn everything in the same way or be the same thing, we’re going to have a much less interesting group. A lot of people are going to be not happy when they get older and they’re going to lose out and be more status quo thinkers, instead of people that we’re trying to develop in the working world who have the ability to ask questions and explore. I like how you’re doing that. As I’m looking at some of your backgrounds, you are a curious person because you’re not just doing one thing, you’re doing many things. I’m curious how you got involved with Daymond John. I shared the stage with him in Vegas for an event not too long ago. We didn’t speak at the same time, but we were at the same event. What do you do with him?  

I’m a multitasker first and I am curious about everything and all the international things like my passion, I love traveling and I like an international business. My ambition always and my aim have been international business, and not to stay inside Finland. Even though these days, I feel like finally, I’m more on the road in Finland. It was the 2017 autumn time, I saw this announcement that Daymond John was looking for Rise and Grind Ambassadors globally. I filled the application the best way I could and I got the reply that I was chosen from Finland to be his ambassador.

What do you do exactly for him?  

TTL 726 | Effective Leader
Effective Leader: A lot of leaders try to protect their team from change, which may be good in the short term, but it’s really self-serving in the long term.


First I started with the Rise and Grind Ambassador. He makes this special book, Obama’s sixteen different individuals telling the amazing stories of entrepreneurship and life stories. My work as the ambassador was to market the book in different styles of media and everywhere where I also go here in Finland. Even in my city, libraries, and bookstores and wherever I go. It was interesting and we asked the ambassadors, we got an education from Daymond John and I was happy with the education, what he was providing, and teaching for us. I also wanted to take this Daymond on-demand online course for international business.

Have you met Daymond?  

Not personally.

He did a great job on his talk. I did watch him speak. It was a security conference. I know he’s been involved in some of the interviews. I’ve been part of the C-Suite network here with Jeff Hayzlett. I know Jeff interviews him on occasion and it’s interesting to see the different sharks from Shark Tank and the directions that they’ve all taken. You’ve taken a lot of different directions. I also said that you’re a Global Ambassador for Children’s Rights. Is that part of what you’re doing with the Happy Ambassador concept or is that something separate?  

It’s part of it because I am Global Ambassador for Children Rights for FAAVM Canada. Also, the Happy Ambassador concept is partnering with a FAAVM. It’s the same way, the same road.

How did you get to know Marti? Marti is a former Chef for the White House. He’s amazing. He’s a super-connector. I’m not surprised that you would know him, but I’m curious how you two got connected?  

I have to thank my past because I have been going forward persistently with the Happy Ambassador concept. During the years, this has gained me a wide international network, which is priceless. Through this network, I also got to know Marti and other amazing professionals, but Marti is an amazing person and I want to send greetings to him and his lovely family. I look one day to get him to Finland to visit also with his family.

I’m sure he’d like that. I’m sure he’ll cook you something amazing.  

He’s an unbelievable entertainer and skillful in everything that he’s doing. I also have his books. He is a lovely person.

Are you working on any books? I was looking at some of your stuff and I couldn’t tell if you had books for Peace International Commission. I was trying to see what that was?

I got the award for the Lifework, which I have been doing with the Happy Ambassador concept. Not like for some individual book, but the whole Lifetime work which I have been doing. This is my heart project to bring cultural awareness and overall wellbeing for the children, for the betterment of the future. I got awarded for this. Before the Book for Peace Award, the concept was also highlighted in Abu Dhabi for the Fatima bint Mubarak Presidential Award for childhood and motherhood.

You’re doing a lot of things for a good cause. I saw that you do a lot of keynote speaking on anti-bullying. What’s your focus for that? Is that in the schools? Is this online, social media? What is your focus on anti-bullying?  

[bctt tweet=”It’s important to start talking about cultural issues from a young age.” via=”no”]

Everything is inside of a concept, but it’s a multifaceted concept as we have fun learning materials, we have animations. We have workshops. Against bullying, this is to teach the children to respect the differences. Everything comes to this that we should learn already from the early education to see the differences as a richness and not attract it because conflicts come from those. When you see somebody as a threat for you, instead of seeing the threat is to see and understand, take it as curiosity and see the difference as richness. It’s like different cultures.

Since I deal with curiosity, I love the curiosity about different cultures and questioning is such an important thing that sometimes we teach some of that out of people either through education or at work. You’re trying to include curiosity to find out more about other people too, for acceptance and that’s such a critical skill. Is that your main focus when you speak? Is it usually anti-bullying? What are your main topics?  

The main topics are cultural awareness and overall wellbeing, but if I come back to the same topic, it’s not always the cultural differences, because if I go in to finish kindergarten, I will start the session asking the names of the children. If there are 100 children, I’ll count to three and I throw the ball to the ceiling and I will say, “You can yell your names.” There are a million names coming. This is my way to say that, “You have different names, but we are all equal. Nobody has a better name than the others.” I will do the same, I’ll count to three, and I’ll throw the ball to the ceiling and they can tell which hobby they like, what is their passion? We have multiple different things. It’s not always the cultural differences. Even Finnish people example, if there are only Finnish people, we have different names. We have different things. For the bullying, it’s about the confidence-building exercises, so that every individual would feel confident that you don’t need to start bullying others. The bullying if we go deep, this issue is coming from insecurities.

A lot of things come from many different factors. I work on a Board of Advisors for LeaderKid Academy here in the United States, out of the New Jersey area. One of my former students Rishi Dixit had created this group. It’s to help kids K-12 develop soft skills. I don’t know if they use that term in Finland as we use it here, but these types of skills of being able to have the ability to communicate well, emotional intelligence, interpersonal relationships, and all that. When we get to the working world, you get hired for your knowledge, but then you’re fired for your behavior. I love that you’re working with us at such a young age. What’s next for you now that you’ve done all these things and won all these awards? What’s your plan for this coming year and in the following year?  

There are interesting things coming. I have quite a big team in India. We are approaching India markets and also in Africa. It’s interesting times and I have to mention that I was also chosen to be the speaker in the Stella events in Bahrain. This even bringing around the world, women who are innovative and creative.

Those are some great places to explore what we can do to improve cultural awareness and help kids. My co-author in my book is Dr. Maja Zelihić, and we’re writing about perception. I know she does a lot of work. She’s been in India, Africa, and some of the markets you’re talking about. There’s so much we can explore on improving cultural awareness in many ways. What you’re working on is great. A lot of people would like to know more about how they could find out what you do. Is there some website or social media or something you’d like to share for people who’d like to learn more about it? is the website.

TTL 726 | Effective Leader
Effective Leader: In a traditional teaching environment, children would be placed in boxes to make them similar without supporting creativity or innovation.


Hopefully, people will have some time and check it out. You don’t just stay in Finland. You’re Miss International with all your languages and everything that you do. I’m sure a lot of people will love to find out more about you. Thank you, Titta. This was interesting. I enjoyed having you on the show.  

Thank you. It’s a pleasure to come.

It was fun. Thank you.

I’d like to thank both Scott and Titta for being my guests. We get many great guests on this show, and we talk about many important topics. We touched on a lot of curiosity, cultural-based issues, and soft skills, and all of that, which is a lot of what I talk to organizations about. I have a lot of people who ask me how they can find out more about curiosity and the work I do with organizations. You can go to You can also go to where you can find information about curiosity, as well as read the blogs if you’ve missed any episodes. I’ve interviewed probably around 1,000 people or more on this show. Everybody has such great insights in many different areas. There are many great people from Steve Forbes to billionaires to everybody I’ve interviewed, all have so much to add to the discussion. I love that this develops your curiosity because there might be some topics that we covered on the show that you didn’t even recognize were critical to success in leadership.

We talk about many different aspects of diversity and inclusion to managing team environments and beyond. It’s fascinating conversations. I enjoy every time I get to talk to people like Scott and Titta because you get many different insights and it’s fascinating to get people from around the globe. Titta represents one of many countries. We get a lot of people from Australia, England, from all around the world. I hope you take some time to research some of those shows if you’ve missed any of them. If you’re listening on iTunes, please rate us because it’s always great to hear what you think of the show and it helps other people find it more easily the more ratings we get. Doing a lot of training in the area of curiosity, some of the major companies are doing some great research to look at how the Curiosity Code Index can help improve engagement discussions in terms of things that help improve leadership and a lot of the soft skills and things that we talked about.

A lot of the things that we’re talking about tie into the bottom line of productivity and making companies more money. I love to do more research. If you’re a company that’s wanting to look more into developing curiosity, I hope you contact me through my email at I hope to connect with anybody who’s on LinkedIn, who would like to follow the discussions that we have, post some great content there in addition to on the website. There are lots of ways to keep up with what’s going on. I do hope that you enjoyed this episode. I hope you join us for the next episode.

Important Links:

About Scott Miller

TTL 726 | Effective Leader Entering his twenty-fifth year with FranklinCovey Co., Scott Miller serves as the Executive Vice President of Thought Leadership. He is the host of the FranklinCovey sponsored On Leadership With Scott Miller, a weekly leadership webcast, podcast, and newsletter that features interviews with renowned business titans, authors, and thought leaders and is distributed to more than six million business leaders worldwide. Additionally, Miller authors a weekly leadership column for Inc. Magazine. He is the author of FranklinCovey’s Management Mess to Leadership Success: Become the Leader You Would Follow (Mango Media). He is also the co-author of The Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everyone Deserves A Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team, released in October 2019 (Simon & Schuster).

About Titta Kote

TTL 726 | Effective Leader

Titta Kote is the Founder of Happy Ambassador concept. She received the Special International Award, Books for Peace in 2019. She is the Brand Ambassador for Daymond John from Shark Tank. She is a professional translator and global ambassador for children’s rights.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join the Take The Lead community today:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *