Alain Hunkins: Cracking the Leadership Code

We are experiencing a transformation, an evolution in how we lead and what makes a successful leader. Today, I had a great conversation with Alain Hunkins, CEO and author of Cracking The Leadership Code: Three Secrets to Building Strong Leaders about the common leadership assumptions that can get people into trouble, the obstacles we face in how to connect, the three secrets of strong leaders, and how we can communicate better. He shares the story of how one leader went from being ranked at the bottom to achieving outstanding results by focusing on people first before the numbers and the work.

Alain and I discuss what gets in the way of empathy, the role transparency plays in killing the old leadership paradigm, how employees got to the point that they have such low confidence in their leaders – and what we can do to reverse that – and he’ll also share a great trick to ensure you are communicating effectively. 


To access the episode transcript, please click on the episode title at 

Key Takeaways:

  • Studies show we judge ourselves by our intentions, but others by their actions. 
  • The old model of command and control leadership is a dying paradigm. Leadership must evolve – all leaders are now living in a glass house with the technology available. We no longer live in a world of information asymmetry. 
  • Numbers are neat and tidy, people are not. To lead people, you have to make the time to connect with your team empathetically not just look at the business numbers.
  • Ask for a receipt in your communication. It doesn’t take much time, but it does increase understanding and clarity.


“All leadership development is personal development, and all personal development is leadership development. Whether or not you have the job title, we all lead every single day.” —  Alain Hunkins

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About Alain Hunkins, CEO and Author, Cracking the Leadership Code

Alain Hunkins helps leaders, teams, and companies achieve performance goals easier.     

Over his twenty-five-year career, Alain has worked with over 3,000 groups of leaders in 27 countries, including 42 of the Fortune 100 companies. In addition to being an executive coach, leadership and team development facilitator and keynote speaker, Alain is the author of the book Cracking The Leadership Code: Three Secrets to Building Strong Leaders.

Alain is a faculty member of Duke Corporate Education and serves on the Academic Board of Advisors for the New Delhi Institute of Management. Alain’s work has been featured in Chief Executive, Fast Company, Inc., Training Magazine, Chief Learning Officer, and Business Insider. He’s also a monthly leadership strategy contributor to Forbes Magazine.  Alain was recently named #33 on the Global Power list of the Top 200 Biggest Voices in Leadership for 2023 by LeadersHum.  A father of two teenagers, he lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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