Valerie Alexander On: The Tyranny of the Urgent, Happiness as a Business Advantage, and Why Your Story Has To Be About Something

Valerie Alexander

Valerie Alexander is a renowned speaker with expertise on topics such as advancement for women and workplace happiness. Her brand, Speak Happiness, has brought her to lead workshops and keynotes on these principles. Some of her most notable engagements include Coca-Cola, NASA, GE Capital, and even a TED Talk.

Valerie has also channeled her ideas into multiple books, including Happiness…as a Second Language and How Women Can Succeed in the Workplace. She has previously spent time as a writer and director in Hollywood, the CEO of Goalkeeper, and as an investment banker, among other roles.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Why happy employees are a business advantage
  • The problem with “accidental managers” and how to fix it
  • Giving people a sense of accomplishment in their work
  • Autonomy and acknowledgment for a self-sustaining workforce
  • How constantly focusing on the urgent disrupts efficiency
  • Providing clear directions for a clear purpose
  • The importance of why design needs to follow practical function
  • Looking at the relationship between storytelling and leadership

In this episode…

There is a lot of advice and emphasis in the modern business world for getting the most out of your employees. After all, greater efficiency with your people can increase your revenue and maximize profits. The reality is much more complicated. Employees are human beings with complex emotions and rationale, which can sometimes be ignored for the sake of efficiency.

Valerie Alexander is a world-known speaker, having worked and led in environments such as Hollywood, investment banking, and law firms. She has experienced the difference that focused and happy employees can make in a business, and she travels around to share those ideals. However, there’s a lot more that goes into it.

In this episode of Next Wave Leadership, Dov Pollack interviews Valerie Alexander to talk about happiness in the workplace and how it directly relates to business performance. They discuss the tyranny of urgent tasks, how to keep your employees focused and respected, and the problem with “accidental managers.” They also touch on how storytelling and leadership are connected and how to make your story count.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

Founded by Dov Pollack, Next Wave Leadership is an executive coaching firm focused on helping CEOs, executives, and emerging leaders to deepen their executive presence, differentiate their voice, and embrace the plot and promise of their story.

To know more about what we can do to help you grow as a leader, visit our website at or send us an email at

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