30: How to Make Leaders Better Leaders | Lynda Foster | Cortex Leadership

Be Inspired | Do Good:

Work is not a bad word to me, [. . .] it becomes part of who you are and the way you communicate who you are. – Lynda Foster

Lynda McNutt Foster, the Chief Executive Officer of Cortex Leadership Consulting, has more than twenty years of speaking and training experience and more than seven years experience as a leadership coach. Looking at her impressive resume, she has been an entrepreneur since she was twenty years old, owning several different types of businesses, working in several executive positions, and she has authored two books. She currently runs Cortex Leadership Consulting, a firm that uses scientific-based assessments to train and coach leaders to be more effective and efficient in their business, GoMonti, an interactive texting platform for leaders, and she is a weekly contributor to Virginia at Work on WFXR News and Good Day Virginia.

Lynda has not always lived in Roanoke; she grew up in Miami, Florida with her two siblings and entrepreneurial family. Her parents were entrepreneurs, her grandparents were entrepreneurs, and her uncles and aunts were entrepreneurs. It was only natural for her to continue and establish her own business. After graduating from college, she relocated to Roanoke with her husband, Dan, and they began Best Pest Control and Best Pressure Cleaning.

She now works as the Chief Executive Officer of Cortex Leadership and is privileged to inspire and motivate leaders to have more effective communication skills that ultimately transform their personal lives and the way they run their business. She also feels privileged to facilitate conversation that may never had happened before for others to openly express themselves, their vulnerabilities, and their intelligence.

Lynda’s favorite component of doing business in Roanoke is the people. This Southwestern Virginia city is a wonderful area to start a new business because if you treat the people right, they will show their support and their loyalty to your business. It is a great place for a small startup to begin, grow, and expand. Smart people choose to live in Roanoke, they are intentionally living here and intentionally doing business here.

For leaders, Lynda shares three things that can be done today to help achieve peak performance for themselves and their teams:

  1. Work on Yourself First: Before you can start to help your team, you will need to help yourself and work to be a more effective communicator. Leaders are not perfect, they will need to apologize their actions, ask what was missed, and realize they are not the smartest person in the room.
  2. Learn about Millennials: Millennials are very different to manage than other generations because they thirst for purpose and meaning; learn about how to talk to them and how to manage them to make your organization more effective.
  3. Avoid Burnout: Working hard is very important, but so is managing your life and making sure you devote the right amount of time to eating, sleeping, running, relaxing, and enjoying time off. There should always be someone with you who will ask how you are doing and make sure you are taking necessary time off so you can avoid burnout.


On her LinkedIn page, Lynda frequently posts advice for business leaders. In a post entitled How to leaders spot the elephant in the office?, Lynda shows leaders how to acknowledge what is causing productivity and growth to slow.

“The proverbial “elephant” in the room. You’ve experienced it, I know you have. The topic that everyone was talking about before the meeting for days and sometimes weeks isn’t being brought up in the meeting. It’s the only thing that really matters to anyone, and yet, no one says anything about it. You dare not be the one to bring it up. Maybe you’ve been the one to bring it up before. You finally call out the elephant in the room and everyone else looks at you with disillusionment. People look away or they look down. Silence. Complete silence. You are alone to hear your voice echo throughout the space. It’s as if you just revealed that you had a terminal illness that is contagious and everyone wants to flee the building as quickly as possible and be sure they are not associated with you or whatever the hell you have.

Yes, the quickest way to spot the elephant in the room, if you are a team member, is to notice what is NOT being talked about in meetings, but IS being discussed whenever people feel safe when they are in one-on-ones or small groups together, outside your earshot.

As a leader, it’s tougher. How do you get your team members to talk about the elephant in the room when YOU are in the room?”

Read more on LinkedIn



Lynda’s profile on LinkedIn

Cortex Leadership website

Email Lynda


Thanks for joining me again this week. If you have any tips, suggestions, or comments about this episode, please be sure to leave them in the comment section below.

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