Effective Leadership Development lies Under the Surface

Exploring Effective Leadership Development

Here at Questline we specialise in effective leadership development, this means digging below the surface layer traits of leaders and empowering and challenging them to explore their inner beliefs to become more effective leaders. 

Now, I’m a big fan of a Disney movie and never turn down the opportunity to have a Disney Day with my kids. I particularly love the songs and the subtle messages behind them. 

The newly released Encanto and the song “Surface Pressure” has really resonated with me and is a neat description of the area of work that Questline specialises in.

“Surface Pressure” is sung by Luisa, who has the power of super strength and believes that she has to be seen as strong all the time, no matter what. The song describes Luisa’s actions and behaviours but then what is really hidden under the surface.


“I’m the strong one, I’m not nervous

I’m as tough as the crust of the earth is…

…Under the surface

I hide my nerves, and it worsens, I worry something is gonna hurt us

Under the surface

The ship doesn’t swerve as it heard how big the iceberg is

Under the surface

I think about my purpose, can I somehow preserve this?”

Watch the full video here


Luisa appears strong and invincible but behind this façade, she expresses anxiety, doubt and being near breaking point. 

…“Pressure like a tick, tick, tick ‘til it’s ready to blow!”

In coaching, the metaphor of an iceberg is often used where the tip of the iceberg is the outward behaviour and performance we see but the roots of these are actually hidden underneath the surface – how someone feels, what their values and beliefs are. 

How long can Luisa keep up these surface behaviours, perform these heroics when feeling so different underneath?  Burn-out springs to mind!

Many development approaches focus on ‘quick-fix’ solutions by concentrating on an action or a behaviour on the surface without appreciating the underlying human elements.  This incongruent change can be effective but one that is often short-lived and with limited benefit.

At Questline we focus on working with individuals below the surface to make a meaningful impact.  By empowering and challenging individuals to explore inner beliefs and gaining self-awareness, an individual can take personal responsibility to make any changes they may want – both internal and external. Questline’s effective leadership coaching is designed to help team leaders make meaningful changes and improve their leadership style.

**Spoiler Alert!**

“Surface Pressure” is the beginning of a moment of clarity, a reality check – is there perhaps a different path for Luisa? Could other choices be made?  At the end of the movie, we see her relaxing on a hammock. Sometimes a shift in perspective can be the start of a more effective way….

If you would like to find out more about effective leadership development training or how your team can unpick limiting beliefs through coaching get in touch. Contact us 

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