Other traits that help me as a leader in my industry are confidence, empathy, and integrity. I used to feel that leadership is a hard role to play because of the amount of responsibility that comes with that title. Developing qualities like integrity and expertise, while being empathetic toward myself and others helped me to embody leadership naturally as a result.

We are living in the Renaissance of Work. Just like great artists know that an empty canvas can become anything, great leaders know that an entire organization — and the people inside it — can become anything, too. Master Artists and Mastering the Art of Leadership draw from the same source: creation. In this series, we’ll meet masters who are creating the future of work and painting a portrait of lasting leadership. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Ella Davar RD.

Ella Davar RD is an international registered dietitian, nutrition expert, and founder of the Gut-Brain Method. For almost a decade Ella has helped busy clients to achieve metabolic and digestive health by streamlining their wellness routine and accomplishing a healthy balance in life with self-care. Ella talks all over the world about health, nutrition, the gut-brain connection, immigration, overcoming health challenges, and confidence, and leads meditations to corporations, and conferences. She received her education in Nutrition Science from New York University and Integrative Nutrition Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Ella is a regular contributor to MindBodyGreen and Her upcoming book, “Gut Feelings”, offers a cohesive list of priorities, plans of action, and hacks that help her clients reach their wellness goals while managing busy lifestyles in a healthy way.

Thank you for joining us. Our readers would enjoy discovering something interesting about you. What are you in the middle of right now that you’re excited about personally or professionally?

I am currently very excited about the creative projects that I’ve been working on and hope to complete them this year. One of them is my book, which I’ve been working on since 2019, it is called “Gut Feelings” and it is scheduled to come out in the third quarter of 2023. As a dietitian, I’ve worked with many clients on eliminating confusion related to conflicting diet advice, while helping them to have more clarity and confidence when it comes to optimal metabolic health. My book is about connecting the female body to innate wisdom with the latest scientific developments in longevity research and the gut-brain axis.

Also, I’ve developed a course called the Gut-Brain Method, and working on launching it this year for the public.

We all get by with a little help from our friends. Who is the leader that has influenced you the most, and how?

The most influential leader for me is Maye Musk. Maye is a successful dietitian, speaker, and role model. Maye and I share a lot in common, we both are licensed dietitians, immigrants, models, and passionate multi-faceted public educators. Maye’s journey has inspired me greatly to embrace the challenges as part of the process and share my story authentically to motivate and inspire future generations.

Sometimes our biggest mistakes lead to our biggest discoveries. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made as a leader, and what did you discover as a result?

The biggest mistake I made is to be afraid of criticism. As a clinical dietitian, I was taught to be able to help everyone, but as a business owner, I had a hard time developing my niche and narrowing down my specialty. As soon as I focused on disease prevention, longevity, and nutrition programs for busy individuals, I encountered criticism from fellow medical professionals, which made me doubt my choice. Eventually, I was able to overcome those challenges with gratitude and success stories from my clients.

How has your definition of leadership changed or evolved over time? What does it mean to be a leader now?

My definition of leadership evolved with my professional growth and personal experiences in life. As a young immigrant, I used to feel afraid of authorities, and embodying leadership felt like an unattainable task. As time passed by, I feel more and more confident in my ability to lead and creatively solve problems for those who needs my advice. To me, being a great leader in the wellness industry means being able to educate, inspire and motivate others to take responsibility for their health and to become great leaders themselves!

Success is as often as much about what we stop as what we start. What is one legacy leadership behavior you stopped because you discovered it was no longer valuable or relevant?

I had to stop waiting for things to happen to me. As a young female immigrant, I struggled with feeling not good enough for leadership, I’d think that “I don’t know enough, or I don’t have enough experience to help people”, or “Who am I to write a book.” That served as fuel for my voracious appetite for knowledge, I studied a lot and eventually was able to pinpoint some of these negative thoughts and behavior patterns, that hindered my ability to feel successful in life. I stopped the negative self-talk and doubts because they were no longer relevant as I developed more experience and learned Neuro-Linguistic Programing, which I teach as part of the Gut-Brain Methos course.

What is one lasting leadership behavior you started or are cultivating because you believe it is valuable or relevant?

I have always been a very disciplined and reliable person. My father instilled these leadership traits in me and taught me to honor my word or promise and always strive to over-deliver to those who trust in me. I believe this to be a valuable lasting leadership attitude and the main criterion of how I choose people to work with.

What advice would you offer to other leaders who are stuck in past playbooks and patterns and may be having a hard time letting go of what made them successful in the past?

My advice is to never stop learning and keep evolving! As I developed my expertise in nutrition and health counseling, I continued to learn about different modalities, that improved my offerings for higher client success rates. I got certified in hypnosis, NLP, and therapeutic guided meditations, which helped my clients tremendously with embodying confidence and a healthy body image for sustainable weight loss.

Many of our readers can relate to the challenge of leading people for the first time. What advice would you offer to new and emerging leaders?

Great question! My advice to new and emerging leaders is to focus on clear communication of common values and vision. I found that the best approach to earning recognition from people is uniting them around a vision that benefits the leader as much as it benefits the people.

Based on your experience or research, what are the top five traits effective leaders exemplify now?

My top trait for effective leaders is self-awareness and development, as I set high standards for myself, I always strive for self-improvement and growth, which inspires and motivates others more than anything that can be said or done for them. Next is communication skill, which is essential for mentoring, coaching, or teaching style of conscious leadership, encouraging growth and motivation in others.

Other traits that help me as a leader in my industry are confidence, empathy, and integrity. I used to feel that leadership is a hard role to play because of the amount of responsibility that comes with that title. Developing qualities like integrity and expertise, while being empathetic toward myself and others helped me to embody leadership naturally as a result.

American Basketball Coach John Wooden said, “Make each day your masterpiece.” How do you embody that quote? We welcome a story or example.

Every day after I wake up, I do a meditation by Dr. Joe Dispenza. This morning ritual helps me to create a vision for the day or for a life inspired by my inner voice or intuition, which is never wrong and always leads in the right direction! My daily mantra is “Impress yourself daily!” sometimes I am impressed with my bold ideas and actions, and other days I am impressed with my kindness and compassion.

What is the legacy you aspire to leave as a leader?

My legacy aspiration is to be remembered as a great educator, a woman that changed lives and introduced a new perspective on what it means to lead a healthy lifestyle! I aspire to show the world’s population how to achieve a life worth living with mindfulness and longevity habits for the most fulfilling and healthy journey.

How can our readers connect with you to continue the conversation?

Check out my latest offerings on nutritionistella.com and stay in touch for the latest updates on Instagram @ella.davar

Thank you for a meaningful conversation. We wish you continued success with your mission.