The Leader’s Secret

Jennifer Simpson
5 min readMar 19, 2024

Creating Containers of Care

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

For the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about how to cultivate the “kind cultures” that foster real breakthroughs. In my last article, I talked about the power of building containers of CARE.

Leaders create containers of CARE when they Connect purposefully with their teams, Affirm what they hear and validate others’ experiences, Regulate their own emotional state (and can help others do so, too), and Empower those around them to try hard things and learn from the experience.

This is the container in which real innovation and creativity are born.

Creating an environment of psychological safety is not the same as policing speech or protecting feelings. Its purpose is to create environments where we can say the hard things that need to be said and explore difficult truths honestly, so our identities can be open to broader perspectives, experiences, or understandings.


The first step in cultivating this kind of environment is to Connect, on purpose and with intentionality. This begins with knowing who we are, how we are wired, and what we believe in strongly enough to allow ourselves to be known by others — and to care enough to learn other’s stories, too. The saying that we must “put our own oxygen mask on first” applies to…



Jennifer Simpson

An artist, poet, leader, lover, daughter, sister, and mother living in Boulder, Colorado. Owner and CEO at Integrated Work. Author of the KOAN method.