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No toxic leadership, says Yum’s former CEO


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David Novak wants to help banish ‘toxic leadership’ with a new online training program for managers.

When David Novak was CEO of Yum Brands, he said his greatest pleasure was teaching leadership development programs reaching 4,000 people in the company until his retirement in 2016. Now he’s taking those lessons to anyone who wants them through a new program focused on helping companies develop their leaders. “I think you can look at yourself in business as either a boss or a coach, and I see myself as a coach,” Novak said. “A coach leads people, you lead the team to victory. But the greatest joy in being a coach is helping everybody on the team reach their full potential.” His company name is oGoLead based in Louisville, Kentucky, and its new offering is “Heartwiring and Hardwiring Your Leadership,” a digital training program that sells for $1,299 and includes 15 to 20 hours of content. In an interview after the program’s release, Novak described what he calls toxic leadership. “It’s about people taking a top-down approach and being the boss, instead of recognizing that today leadership is in the hands of many,” he said. “I think there’s a big problem with leadership in our country today,” with trust “at an all-time low for CEOs and institutions.”

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