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The Legendary Leaders Podcast

Jun 1, 2021


Are you showing up authentically as a leader while allowing your team to do so too?


For you to build relationships and effectively communicate within the workplace, you have to embrace authenticity. It is also crucial to promote a culture that is diverse, inclusive, and that encourages feedback.


In this episode of the Legendary Leaders Podcast, we have Dr. Steve Yacovelli - “The Gay Leadership Dude”, founder of TopDog Learning Group, LLC, speaker, author, and change catalyst. He has spent 25 years studying, learning, and teaching what it takes to be a great leader. He shares how he discovered and embraced authenticity in the workplace as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.


Listen in to learn about the importance of feedback to create effective communication and build trust in the workplace. You will also learn why it is absolutely your responsibility as a leader to promote a diverse and inclusive culture, and what the benefits are from creating and embracing such a diverse climate.


Key Takeaways:

  • How to build and foster trust with people by letting them in on who you are.
  • How to identify the need for diversity and inclusion as a leader in your team.
  • Learn to support your people with value and positive power as a leader within the workplace.
  • How to build a consciously inclusive workplace culture as a leader.


If you enjoyed this episode, check out the video show notes and SUBSCRIBE TO THIS PODCAST on Apple Podcasts.


Episode Timeline:

  • [0:42] Intro
  • [5:00] How Steve helps members of the LGBTQ+ community in the leadership scene.
  • [7:04] How he discovered his authentic self as a gay man and the journey it has been.
  • [9:29] The importance of authenticity in building trust with people as a leader.
  • [12:37] How to build a rapport with people in whatever way you can create a connection.
  • [17:07] The three areas he helps clients explore diversity and inclusion, leadership, and eLearning.
  • [18:59] The powerful leadership qualities and how to interact them to be an effective leader.
  • [22:02] Steve explains when and how his book Pride Leadership was born.
  • [24:28] How Pride Leadership is designed to be a support system to queer people.
  • [27:18] The six universal leadership competencies and why they’re specific to the LGBTQ community.
  • [29:37] The importance of feedback for effective communication and relationship building.
  • [36:09] Why it’s your responsibility as the leader to create a culture where everyone is included.


Standout Quotes:

  • “Whatever way you can connect with people, that’s a great strategy for leadership because it ultimately builds trust.”- Dr. Steve Yacovelli [14:30]


  • “If we’re not creating a workplace where people feel they can be their authentic self, then they’re not giving their authentic self.”- Dr. Steve Yacovelli [26:54]


  • “We shape our workplace culture, our team culture by the words we pick and the actions that we take.”- Dr. Steve Yacovelli [31:32]


  • “We can humanize the workplace a little bit better and have a little bit more empathy on what’s going on besides the office.”- Dr. Steve Yacovelli [42:07]



Find | Cathleen Merkel


On Instagram: @CathleenMerkel

On Facebook: @CathleenMerkelCoaching

On LinkedIn: @CathleenMerkel


Find | Dr. Steve Yacovelli


On Instagram: @thegayleadershipdude

On Twitter: @gayleadership

On Facebook:

On LinkedIn:

Book: Pride Leadership – or on Audible

Get your FREE copy HERE:




Do you want to learn more about how to become a Legendary Leader, then download my FREE Guide which shares 5 Proven Ways To Gain Confidence As An Inspirational Leader Without Overwhelm - Simply Click Here: 


About Cathleen: 


As a Thought Leader in the Mindset & (Self-) Leadership space, Cathleen supports high achieving, but worn-out women create a more content & balanced life without sacrificing their hard-earned success. Following a simple 6 step framework, she helps you not only reconnect with your inner feminine side; Cathleen also supports you to rediscover your REAL YOU!

Cathleen focuses on women who lost their sense of purpose, who feel they are running in a hamster wheel, trying to please everyone but themselves. She helps you to turn your careers, your social connections and personal life around so that you will start feeling fulfilled and excited again about the days to come.  

At the end of the process, Cathleen's clients will feel healthier, happier, energised and clear about their future.  

With over 15 years of leadership experience in Retail, Media & Broadcasting, Engineering and Property Investment, Cathleen has not only experienced the challenges and opportunities of a female leader herself; she has also been leading and supporting various leadership development initiatives within large, complex, multinational matrix organisations.


Only by deeply experiencing her very personal life challenges – ‘hitting a wall experiences’ –Cathleen was able to redefine her own purpose, deciding to bring ease and content to as many women as possible on the planet!



Tune in here: 




About Dr. Steve Yacovelli


Owner & Principal of TopDog Learning Group, LLC, a leadership, change management, and diversity and inclusion consulting firm based in Orlando, Florida, USA but with affiliates (“TopDoggers”) throughout the globe.


Steve and TopDog provide guidance and solutions in leadership and organizational development, change management, diversity and inclusion consulting, instructional design, and custom e-learning creation. Whether it be through providing keynotes and facilitating leadership development programs for Fortune 500 companies like The Walt Disney Company, Bayer AG or Accenture, to providing one-on-one coaching experiences for groups like IBM, Covestro, and The Public Library Association, or creating engaging, effective training solutions for various delivery formats for folks like Tupperware Brands Corporation, The Ohio State University, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Steve is passionate about helping others be their best selves, in and out of the workplace.


Steve holds a B.S. in Public Relations from Millersville University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in Educational Policy & Leadership Development from The Ohio State University, and an Ed.D. in Instructional Technology & Distance Education from Nova Southeastern University. His current, award-winning and critically acclaimed book, “Pride Leadership: Strategies for LGBTQ+ Professionals to be the King or Queen of their Jungle” was published in June 2019.