What does it mean to lead with finesse? The Idiots Book of Wine says (page 50), “wines with breed in finesse are the loveliest, most harmonious, and refined wines. These are the ones that age gracefully in wondrously.” What do you think it looks like in your workplace or in your home to be harmonious? We did cover that a few weeks ago in the article on harmony, but here we’re going to talk about how that impacts a more refined product.

A fellow coach told a story of submitting his draft of a presentation to his boss, who asked him, “Is this the very best you can do?” He went back and refined it and submitted it again and got the same question. Geez, he thought. This guy is tough! He submitted a third draft and answered the same question with a sigh, “I have to say, this is the very best I can give you.” Then the boss said, “Okay, I’ll read it now.”

This is nothing new for a journalist or any writer for that matter. It’s rare if not impossible that a first draft will go to print. When we refine any work, the work gets better and we get better. When we refine our leadership, everyone benefits — at work and at home.

The Idiot’s say, “Finesse and breed are not usually the qualities of mid premium or lesser wines. Wines with breed and fitness are those rare newborns in which all elements of structure, flavor, and complexity combined to a peak of almost indescribable perfection…culminating in a wine comparable to the finest work of art.”

Don’t you want the product of your life to be compared to a work of art? “But Donna, I work in a manufacturing plant.” Or maybe you work behind a reception desk. It doesn’t matter. The product of your leadership, the harmony in your team, the symmetry in your life, and the way you navigate complexity all sum up to the finesse and elegance that moves others to greatness. It’s in a smile, the gift of coffee or a kind word.

The wine snobs use breed as the term used to describe wines that achieve classical proportions. It’s star quality “is usually elusive to describe, but you’ll know it the moment you experience it. Noble wines such as Chateaux Lafite Rothschild, Château Y’quem or the legendary burgundy LaTache have finesse and breed.”

Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a wine snob, but I want my life and leadership listed among the Lafite class of leaders, as long as we’re talking wine. I want my leadership to move others to think higher about themselves and operate a head above the crowd. I want to pour out my life for others and leave an elegant reminder.

Are you there yet? Are you reaching for elegance? Have you heard it said that you become like the five people you hang out with? Then hang out with a higher crowd.

Join us November 14-17, 2019, in creating new wine out of old wineskins. I’m working in partnership with some extraordinary women:

Kristen Kramer with Resiliency Warriors

Dale Falini and Brene Brown’s The Daring Way

Maureen Kelley coaching us on money and relationships

Rebecca Mae Hawkins teaching Holy Yoga

You also get to hang with Katelyn Swiatek, women’s leadership counselor Elaine Humphries, oils master Samantha Sargent, master artist LeAnna Tuff, and beauty artist Anna Olsen Berg. You get wine education by Ashley Hausman and all of this will be recorded by amazing videographer Mary Stoneback.

Give yourself a gift that will change your life forever. Join us.

Contact [email protected] to find out what special deals you can get for your group, company or organization.


  • Donna Carlson

    Women's Leadership & Life Strategy Coach

    360º Life Strategies

    Women comprise 56% of the workforce but so many of us don't ask for what we want. Why is that? After a 30 year career accepting second best, living like a race horse held behind the start gate, Donna Carlson changed her strategy from being a thermometer - reflecting the mores of the world around her - to being a thermostat. Now Donna coaches women to own their personal style and leadership power.