Aroma of leadership

Posted by Brenda Yoho

We are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:15

I love the different aromas from the flower gardens when they are in full bloom, but these are not the only times aroma affects me. How about you?

To walk into Bath and Body works, you are hit with the wall of aroma that fills the store, and if you pass by those perfume outlets, the aromas escape through the doors to linger outside to entice you to come inside. But honestly, they are overwhelming at times.

Have you ever been so hungry that you could smell the aroma from your neighbor's backyard of the grill siring a steak? Maybe you passed a steak house with a giant wave of mouth-watering scents.

People want to experience these effects from the leaders they follow. They want to follow the aroma of leadership, which is pleasant to their senses but not overwhelming.


Five Senses

How do we provide in leadership the aroma people need to accommodate all of their senses without overwhelming them? We can begin by looking at the five senses themselves. I opened with the sense of smell. I love the fragrances we have, well, the pleasant ones, at least.

Regarding leadership, people can smell a “rotten” leader in seconds. This is a pretty harsh word, but when leaders begin by putting on a fake show and not an authentic one, people are not interested at all. If they had tomatoes and didn’t think they would get in trouble, they would throw them.

As the leader begins, it is what people see from their leaders every day that impacts them. How does the leader model what they expect? Do they say what they mean and then do it? Is this a person we can trust?

Communication is a big part of effective leadership. It is not only what you say, but it is what others hear that matters the most! How do you communicate? Are you able to reach all of those you want to share with? Do you speak, send emails, text messages, or send something on Twitter or Instagram? Making sure your message is received in the tone and manner you want it delivered is a vital part of success.

While talking to some former staff members, I realized taste matters in leadership. When we think about taste, we automatically think of food to eat. However, the taste can come in a variety of ways. The best way to the heart of your staff is in the fantastic food treats you provide at breaks, celebrations, and a just because of day. They also consider the taste of style you have in leadership. Are you military-like? Do you make it up as you go? Are you nurturing? Both the food and style are essential!

The most important one I have left for last is how you make them feel. If you pass them in the hallway without a greeting, never ask them how they are doing, do not include them in meetings or conversations, or never return their emails, how do you think they feel? A person will only work for those who appreciate them as an individual. Building relationships is an integral part of leadership.


Aroma or fragrance can awaken all of our senses. People often have a favorite because it means something to them. It can be a special memory, a reminder of someone, and can provide comfort or support. Leaders work to awaken those they lead to take giant leaps, try new things, discover, uncover and develop. Leaders encourage others to grow, share and collaborate with teams. If leaders cannot utilize all of the senses, then shortcomings will create.

Do you have a favorite scent? My husband, many years ago, bought me Christmas, Beautiful perfume by Estée Lauder; I have only worn this perfume for all of these years. I do not think I can ever smell it. I also love warm vanilla sugar and lavender—both reminders of my mother and mother-in-law.

Remember to have just the right amount of the aromas you use because too much will overwhelm your staff!

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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