Profiles in Leadership: EZ-Level

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In this week's Profiles in Leadership, we cover the very unique Brooks Barrington Courtney, the CEO & Founder of the transformational cabinet leveling system EZ-Level.

Brooks & his company are no strangers to leadership. The company and its products have revolutionized the home improvement industry by identifying problems, then developing elegant solutions to conquer those problems. The company quickly became known in the remodeling industry as a transformational leader as a result.’s leadership extends to their popular YouTube channel, which boasts thousands of subscribers and over two million views. The channel serves as a guiding light to do-it-yourselfers and professional home improvement contractors alike.

EZ-Level’s YouTube Leadership

Creating video content is a great way for a company to let the world know about its products and services. Many companies take advantage of video sharing services like YouTube to reach a global audience. EZ-Level itself launched its YouTube channel in 2009 and quickly gained prominence, both on the video sharing platform as well as in the home improvement industry. 

What makes this channel a leader? In simple terms, the channel empowers others. No matter what industry or business, a good leader excels at sharing information with others. This sharing can be with coworkers, subordinates, or customers. By creating insightful videos, the EZ-Level company had two goals in mind: to demonstrate the effectiveness of their revolutionary cabinet-leveling system and to give viewers a complete understanding of the processes and installation involved. This is empowerment at its very essence; customers of the company not only have the very best system for installing cabinetry but now they are able to follow step-by-step instructions on the best ways to implement those systems. 

A Look at the EZ-Level Channel

On its YouTube channel, EZ-Level focuses on several aspects of cabinet installation. First, they approached video content development by identifying common problems contractors and DIYers faced when hanging cabinets in kitchens and baths. Next, they set out to offer video-based guides. Starting with base cabinets and moving to wall cabinets, islands, and countertops, the channel’s videos give customers the information they need to hang cabinets perfectly. Each video gives step-by-step instructions and gives viewers tips and tricks for success. Finally, the company created videos that showcase the strength and ease of use of the leveling system

Although the EZ-Level cabinet leveling system is the premier system, the company also thought its channel viewers needed to see its advantages as compared to traditional cabinet hanging methods. Several of the videos on the channel illustrate such leveling products as shims and leg levelers – both methods in common use in the home improvement industry. A great leader identifies issues with current solutions, then creates something better. This is exactly what the company has done here. The videos show how traditional cabinet hanging methods are fraught with problems and how their innovative leveling system alleviates those problems. 

Continuing Industry Leadership

EZ-Level is not content to rest on its laurels. The company continues to develop tools and methods to help others with home improvement projects. YouTube is an important part of the company’s commitment to sharing knowledge with others, a critical component of the role of a leader. 

As the company adds new videos to its channel, it serves as a tremendous information resource for professional contractors and homeowners. And, the proof is in the numbers: The EZ-Level Cabinet Leveling System has an incredible 4.9/5 star rating on ekomi, with hundreds of satisfied customers.  

MorningStar Innovations & Design, Inc.
Brooks Barrington Courtney, Pres.
5519 Garrison Ave
North Port, Florida 34291
800-726-5550 (toll free main)
866-284-3321 (toll free fax)

941-284-6849 (local)

Leadership in History: Dwight D. Eisenhower

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dwight d eisenhower great leader
Born in 1890, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States and a celebrated Army General who helped mastermind the Western Front offensives of World War II. Despite his incredible achievements as a leader, he was known for remaining humble. He came from simple origins and returned to his roots at retirement. Mr. Eisenhower passed away in 1969, leaving a legacy of truly great leadership.
It goes without saying that Dwight Eisenhower was one of the greatest American leaders of all time. As the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe during WWII, he was responsible for several major offensives, including the invasion of North Africa, the invasion and liberation of France from Axis forces, and the Western Front invasion of Germany. Later, his leadership as our nation’s President was a time of prosperity and achievement. In addition to supporting civil rights movements, he authorized the creation of NASA and kicked off the “space race”.

Eisenhower’s Leadership Traits

Dwight Eisenhower was characterized by leadership traits that spanned several styles. Of foremost importance was his likeability. Even though he was one of a small handful of 5-star Army Generals, troops and subordinates could relate to him. He actively sought out the advice of his staff and was known for taking into consideration the observations and thoughts of combat soldiers. In this way, he demonstrated Democratic leadership traits. With bravery, devotion, and impeccable leadership, he asked a lot of his troops while remaining grounded in the realities of the war effort.
At the same time, he was not afraid to take the reins and make tough decisions. Some of these decisions influenced the direction of the war effort in North Africa and Europe, while later decisions shaped the U.S. economy, foreign relations, and the space exploration program. In some ways, many of his decisions can be viewed as coming from an autocratic style of leadership, but Eisenhower reserved this style for only the most difficult times of his career.
Mr. Eisenhower was also known as an optimist. As a leader, his vision of a greater America was shared by the staff working with him and society at large. His passion, coupled with his kind, caring disposition, inspired others around him to bring his visions to life. He was able to “sell” his ideas and his mission to others; in many ways, he was a salesman of the highest caliber. Here, those traits are typically found in transformational leadership styles.
Throughout his career, both as a politician and as an Army leader, he took responsibility for the failings of his team. Many “leaders” are quick to take the credit when things go right, but in politics as well as in war, even the best-laid plans can lead to failure. Mr. Eisenhower stepped in whenever things didn’t go as planned; he was unafraid of failure and knew that it was simply a part of life.
Finally, he was able to bring together diverse personnel into strong teams that got the tough jobs done. He was an expert at managing the egos of the team members he worked with, inspiring them to put aside any personal and professional differences to achieve their goals as a team.

Profiles in Leadership: Sonya Dudley

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Sonya Dudley is an internationally‐recognized motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and leader. She is a Diamond Ambassador for Plexus Worldwide, managing a team of over 30,000 members scattered throughout the United States and into New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. Sonya’s many talents are apparent in her speaking engagements. She has a natural leadership ability and an engaging personality, both of which work together to inspire and motivate people. Sonya believes in leading by example. In just five years, she has grown her Plexus team by helping others achieve their potential. 

Sonya’s Leadership Style 

Sonya Dudley does not fit into a neat leadership category. Rather, she combines elements of many leadership styles into her approach – styles like transformational, inspirational, autocratic, and democratic, just to name a few. Over her years as a sales professional and entrepreneur, she has discovered that flexibility is the key to continued success. 

As a transformational leader, Sonya identifies problems, then brings her team’s expertise to bear on that problem to develop a solution. She has served as a change agent in several business ventures, particularly in her work with Plexus. Because she has such a large team of affiliated sales people scattered across the globe, she must often take responsibility for hard decisions that affect the company. This is part of her autocratic style, but she also balances that leadership approach with a more democratic style. In the democratic style, Sonya leans on the talents and experience of many people in her team. With their input, she is able to make informed decisions that benefit the entire team’s work. 

It is perhaps her inspirational leadership attributes that have served her best. In any organization, an inspirational leader has the ability to share goals and aspirations with those he or she leads. The team becomes invested in reaching that goal and works together to achieve it. By inspiring others, Sonya has built her sales team to encompass four countries. That inspiration has also helped her to achieve great heights at Plexus in a relatively short time. 

Inspirational Leadership Events 

Sonya Dudley is eager to share her stories with others. She runs a popular YouTube channel, where she posts videos dissecting leadership traits and techniques for business success. She also spends a considerable amount of time traveling around the country to deliver motivational speeches at events and seminars. In March 2017, Sonya presented her coaching expertise to a rapt audience near Houston, Texas. Her seminar, entitled “Change Your Mindset Houston”, blended motivational and transformational topics. She believes that the cornerstone of success is one’s mindset; that mindset colors all decisions, business actions, and planning efforts. By modifying one’s mindset, he or she can achieve successes never before thought possible. Beginning in June 2017, Sonya will host a series of virtual motivational seminars (more information can be found on her website). Audience members from around the world will be able to attend and to interact with others in the online sessions. Sonya is an expert at helping others take charge of their own futures. Her inspirational work and her leadership abilities have brought her the success she deserves, but it has also empowered thousands of others across the globe.

Leadership Spotlight: Vladimir Putin

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As the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin has been somewhat of a controversial leader. Born in 1952, Mr. Putin has served as both President and Prime Minister of Russia. During his second term as Prime Minister of the Federation, he also served as the Chairman of the United Russia Party.

Mr. Putin studied law at the Saint Petersburg State University. Following graduation from law school, he joined the KGB, the Soviet Union’s intelligence organization. He worked as a foreign intelligence officer for sixteen years, eventually rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His first work in the political theater came when he was chosen as part of President Boris Yeltsin’s administration, eventually becoming Acting President when Yeltsin resigned in 1999. Under Putin’s leadership, the Russian Federation has grown not only in economic prowess, but as one of the primary world leaders.

Vladimir Putin’s Leadership Style

Vladimir Putin has a leadership style that is autocratic. This style is characterized by one person having complete control over an organization or project, and is a hallmark of Russian leadership going back to the Czars of the 15th Century. In Putin’s Russia, tough decisions need to be made quickly and with real authority. While he has assembled a team of subordinates that help him manage the daily tasks of the country’s administration, he relies on his quick thinking and his command of risk vs. reward strategies.

His goal as President of the Federation was to show the world that Russia was capable of being a reliable world ally, both in economic as well as in military terms. He contrasted his country’s leadership against that of Western leaders like American President Barack Obama, who he saw as someone too cautious and too wary of long‐term commitments to be an effective world leader. Putin, on the other hand, demonstrated that he is willing to risks in order to advance the principles of his country’s government.

Studying Putin’s Leadership

On the world stage, Vladimir Putin is seen as a rugged individual. In the West, he is perceived as a bit of a “tough guy”, often appearing shirtless and engaging in outdoor activities that Western leaders normally shy away from.

The reality, though, is that Putin tends to be rather secretive in his leadership. While he may be a rugged man, he is also often vague and difficult for other leaders to assess. With a tightly‐knit team of advisers around him, he has earned a reputation as one who believes in what he says and as one who follows through on achieving the goals he has set out. Over the years, he has steadily moved away from collective or democratic leadership to the autocratic style we know him for today. He is ready to make hard decisions and does not wait for others before doing so. The result is that the Russian Federation appears stronger than ever.


Profiles in Leadership: Narinder Grewal, MD

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Narinder Grewal MD and Team

Dr. Narinder Grewal, MD, is a board-certified pain management physician and expert anesthesiologist. He operates the Advanced Pain Management and Neurology clinic in Valencia, California. The clinic specializes in all aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain and includes evaluation, management, and treatment of complex neurological conditions. For over 20 years, Dr. Grewal has demonstrated unfailing leadership at his clinic and in his professional career.

Dr. Grewal’s Leadership Style

Dr. Grewal has been practicing medicine since 1978, when he completed his doctoral education at the Patiala Government Medical College in his native India. He established the Advanced Pain Management clinic in the early 1990s and proceeded to make it the best of its kind in Southern California. He has a leadership style that is best described as a participative one. Sometimes referred to as the “democratic leadership” style, this method of leadership leverages the input of a team, with the final decision-making responsibility left to the team’s leader.
Dr. Narinder has assembled a team of physicians, physician’s assistants, and nurse practitioners at his Valencia pain management clinic. Each has valuable insights into the diagnosis and treatment of patient conditions. Dr. Grewal uses the collected knowledge and experience of the team to his patients’ advantage; however, as the leader of the clinic, he knows that complex decisions rest on his shoulders. In other leadership styles, the leader may work alone without the input of others. Other leaders may take a far more casual approach in supervising their employees. Dr. Grewal believes that his patients deserve the very best in care at all times, so he allows his team to provide their insights, observations, and diagnostic determinations. For extremely complex cases or unusual medical conditions, his two decades of professional experience and advanced specialty training take over. For Dr. Narinder, the “buck stops with him”. As a democratic leader, he is never alone, but is more than capable of providing that last bit of the decision-making process when needed.

Patient Advocacy and Leadership

Throughout his long career in medicine, Dr. Narinder Grewal has been a strong patient advocate. What is patient advocacy? In simple terms, it means involving the patient in his or her own care plan. By advising his patients and getting them involved in the treatment process, he is investing those patients with the power to help themselves. Improved patient outcomes are a primary result of this process. As a patient advocate, Dr. Grewal serves as a leader to his patients as well as his clinical staff. Each understands that they hold the keys to success, both in outstanding patient care and in resolving medical issues. Patients rely on Dr. Grewal for help, and by getting them involved in the process, he leads them toward healthier, happier, more pain-free lives. Patient advocacy is such a large component of his clinical practice that he instills this concept into each person that works for him – from fellow physicians to office staff and technical assistants. Dr. Grewal also shares his advocacy work with other medical professionals at training seminars and continuing education opportunities around the country.
Dr. Narinder S. Grewal is a great leader, not only for his employees but for the many people that receive treatment at his pain management clinic. He knows that an organization is only as strong as its core personnel, and he is able to trust in them to help him make tough decisions that benefit the practice and its patients.

NOTE: We are introducing a new segment called "Profiles in Leadership", highlighting lesser-known individuals and how they lead their practices, organizations, or causes. This is different than our Leadership Spotlightswhere we highlight the most prominent and well known leaders in the United States.

Leadership Spotlight: Mark Zuckerberg

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mark zuckerberg leadership style
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is only 32 years of age as of 2017. However, he has achieved levels of success that few people will ever see. Currently, Mark is the chairman and CEO of Facebook, the global social media platform. His estimated net worth exceeds $58 billion, putting him at number five on the list of the world’s wealthiest people. From writing computer code in his Harvard dorm room, Mark parlayed his talents into the industry leader in social networking, Facebook, which now boasts nearly two billion active monthly users.

Mark’s Leadership Style

  • The ability to identify a problem or situation that needs to change
  • The charisma to assemble a team to make that change
  • The ability to create a master plan or vision that takes a concept from idea to completion
  • The skill to encourage team members to bring ideas to life

Mark’s Leadership Attributes

Like many leaders in the tech sector, Mark Zuckerberg can best be described as having a transformational leadership style. Among the many attributes that a transformational leader has, several key components stand out. These are:

In Mark’s case, he identified the need of his classmates at Harvard to make social connections. His first attempt at Facebook was a website that let users rank photographs by attractiveness. In other words, a user was presented with two photos and would choose which was the more attractive. In just a few days, the website had received so much traffic that it crashed Harvard’s student servers.
Mark knew he was onto something. He had an idea and had the vision that social networking would play a huge role in how people interacted. He knew that people wanted to be able to share information and to connect with others around the world. His next step was to assemble a team that could help bring his idea to life.
As a transformational leader, Mark Zuckerberg has been a tremendous success, moving his idea from a dorm room brainstorm into a company worth $155 billion. There is far more to being a leader than having an idea and watching it grow into success, however. Throughout Mark’s career, he has demonstrated several key attributes in addition to his transformational vision.
The first attribute, of course, is passion. Successful leaders have passion about what they do and what they are trying to achieve. This passion tends to be infectious; as the team around the leader experiences that drive to succeed, they often push hard to exceed goals. Mark has earned a reputation for laser focus on the projects he is involved in, and his excitement and passion have spread throughout Facebook’s corporate culture.
Mark embodies many of the traits that all great leaders display. With his vision, his passion, and his commitment to helping people connect, he will continue to enjoy global dominance as the leader of the premier social networking platform.

Leadership Spotlight: Bill Gates

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Bill gates leadership style

William Henry “Bill” Gates III is an internationally-known business leader, philanthropist, and innovator. He is the co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest software manufacturer for personal computers. Starting from humble origins, Bill grew Microsoft into a global force, and is now worth an estimated $86 billion, making him the wealthiest person in the world. Bill has held that distinction off and on for the past twenty years.
Bill’s Leadership Style
Like many of today’s great leaders, Bill Gates is known for his transformational style. In the transformational leadership style, there are several attributes that distinguish it from other styles. These include:
  • Being able to put together a strong team
  • Identifying something that needs to change
  • Creating a vision for that change from thought to reality
  • Leveraging the power of the team to bring ideas to life

For Bill Gates, Microsoft was the culmination of his love of computing. He was able to “see the writing on the wall” as personal computers were just being introduced to households around the world. He wanted to make them better and more useful, so he set off to transform the industry. By identifying what needed changing, he revolutionized PCs and the way we use them. He was also able to assemble a great team who shared his vision.
The primary attribute of any leader, regardless of style, is to be able to work hard until a project is completed. Bill has developed a reputation for his tireless work ethic. He studied demographics of typical computer users, then sought to develop solutions to make their jobs easier and more efficient. The result was Microsoft’s wide range of software products. Each product spearheaded by Bill and his company address a specific business or entertainment need. From operating systems to office task software, gaming systems, and educational platforms, Bill and Microsoft were able to develop incredible solutions that resonated with users.

Seeing into the Future

A truly great transformational leader has the ability to gauge the direction of industry futures. Bill Gates embodies this ability, overcoming challenges and pitfalls along the way. Bill developed a long-term strategy for his work and for his company. He was able to foresee aspects of the computing industry before many of his peers and rolled out solutions in a timely manner.
Bill has a vision that he shares with the team around him. The team is invested in the continued success of the company and continues to dominate the personal computing world. New products and new solutions are a small part of the transformational style Bill has demonstrated throughout his lengthy career. This applies even to his philanthropic efforts, primarily in providing computers to schoolchildren around the world. The Bill Gates Foundation has been instrumental in preparing the next generation of computing experts. Bill Gates transformed an entire industry through hard work, vision, and a team that was flexible enough to address challenges as they arose. In short, Bill is one of modern day's great leaders.