Danielle Lavallee Wasson: Crafting a Legacy through FLAIR Leadership


In the dynamic realm of small businesses, where dreams are born and challenges arise, Danielle Lavallee Wasson stands as a beacon of inspiration and leadership. With a wealth of experience in coaching family-owned enterprises across 16 different countries, Danielle has emerged as a catalyst for change, guiding teams away from the pitfalls of failure towards the summit of success.

In a recent conversation with Danielle, she opened up about the harsh reality revealed by a Harvard Business Review study—only 29% of small business teams achieve their goals, leaving a staggering 71% in the clutches of failure. But rather than pointing fingers, Danielle invites leaders to a place she aptly names “Blamesville,” a realm where excuses thrive, and accountability withers.

“Blames Ville is where leaders go when they blame the economy, the weather, or politics. It’s a place where we label our teams as entitled or lazy,” Danielle shared, drawing from her own experiences of being a reluctant resident of Blames Ville. “It’s so easy to go there because it’s comfortable. However, as leaders, we must realize that when we take the helm of a team, we’re responsible not just for their positive results but also for their failures.”

Danielle’s journey out of Blamesville began with a stark realization—she was the reason her team wasn’t reaching their goals. “I had to do something drastic,” she admitted. Thus, the concept of “FLAIR” was born—a transformative five-step system designed to elevate leaders into legacy makers.

As Danielle narrated, her foray into leading a family-owned insurance company was not the smooth sail she anticipated. Dealing with the intricate tapestry of egos, personalities, and uncontrollable human behaviors within her team, she found herself seeking a solution beyond the conventional remedies of smart goals and to-do lists.

“To get out of Blamesville, I had to become a legacy leader,” Danielle asserted, unveiling the essence of FLAIR—a system designed to infuse inspiration into leadership and propel teams beyond blame towards lasting success.

The FLAIR system comprises five key elements:

  1. Focus on Revenue Generating Activities (F): Instead of drowning in busy work and blaming each other, family-owned businesses implementing flair channel their efforts into revenue-generating activities. This shift in focus promotes efficiency and unity.
  1. Listen and Learn (L): Improved communication is at the heart of FLAIR. By fostering an environment where team members actively listen and learn from each other, businesses break down communication barriers, paving the way for collective growth.
  1. Hold Each Other Accountable (A): Accountability is the cornerstone of a successful team. FLAIR encourages leaders to establish the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), eliminating the culture of complaining and blaming while enhancing transparency.
  1. Live with Integrity (I): The ‘I’ in FLAIR stands for integrity. Danielle emphasized the importance of doing the right thing for customers, for each other, whether under the watchful eyes of the world or in the silent corridors where no one is watching.
  1. Results and Responsibility (R): The culmination of FLAIR lies in achieving results and embracing responsibility. Teams that adopt flair take full responsibility for their actions, concentrate on what truly matters, and, in doing so, reach their goals faster.

Danielle passionately shared, “When a team embraces full responsibility, focuses on meaningful objectives, listens and learns collaboratively, holds each other accountable, and lives with integrity, they leave Blamesville for good.”

For small family-owned businesses, the implementation of the FLAIR code promises not only goal attainment but also serves as a source of inspiration. “They will inspire their team, inspire their family, and leave their mark on the world,” Danielle proclaimed.

In closing, Danielle extended an invitation to all, urging them to join her in the pursuit of molding legacy leaders. “Today I ask you to join me in molding legacy leaders who will positively impact generations to come,” she implored, leaving a resonating call to action for leaders aspiring to transcend the mundane and make a lasting mark in the world of business. With FLAIR as the guiding light, Danielle Lavallee Wasson champions a new era of leadership—a legacy marked by accountability, inspiration, and unwavering success.