51kb5hp6-5L._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_“We’re in the people business serving coffee, not the coffee business serving people.” ~ Howard Behar

As the president of Starbucks North America and Starbucks International, Howard Behar spent over 20 years helping grow the company into a worldwide phenomenon. During those years, he was integral in establishing and nurturing the Starbucks culture. [click to continue…]


Book-cover-Return-on-Character1When you’re the CEO or senior leader, bottom-line results matter. Especially when the going gets tough, the conventional assumption is that the big boss should push profits by any legal means necessary, even if it means twisting the truth, breaking promises, and being a jerk to other people.

But for most of us, that intuitively feels wrong. We’d like to think that virtue isn’t just it’s own reward; that doing the right thing and treating people right is smart business that also delivers results to the bottom line.

What does the data say? [click to continue…]


093: The Pure-Hearted Leader: The Surprising Relevance of an Ancient Concept

August 4, 2014

Back in 2000, Jesse was helping an executive at one of the world’s largest companies develop a communication plan. As they were working through the key messages, the executive got tripped up on one of the words Jesse was recommending. He thought the word and even the concept might be dated, old-fashioned. The word was […]

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063: How to Make an Impact on a Corporate Board of Directors | with Betsy Atkins

November 7, 2013

If you are a CEO or if you been working in corporate America, you probably have had some involvement with the Board of Directors – either advising them or being advised by them. If you already serve on a Board of Directors, do you think you’re really making an impact? Is your involvement making a […]

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057: Leading a For-Profit Business as a Vehicle for Change | with Barry Nalebuff

October 3, 2013

One of Jesse’s favorite topics is how business can be a force for good in our world. That’s why this episode focuses on the amazing story of a startup business in what some would call an oversaturated market … bottled ice tea. This is the story of Honest Tea, the company that took on Snapple […]

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045: How Conscious Leaders Build Value | with Fred Kofman

July 11, 2013

In the landmark book Good to Great, Jim Collins studies what drives average companies to take a quantum leap and become extraordinary. He concludes that a crucial component of greatness is leaders with a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. These leaders, whom Collins calls “Level 5,” channel their ego ambition away from […]

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044: The 3 Most Important Decisions in Life

July 4, 2013

If you had one brief moment to tell the young people of today something important, what would you say? Of all the things you could say to a young leader, what could you say that might have life-long impact? Jesse recently gave a short commencement address at his oldest son’s high school graduation. He spoke […]

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4 Practical Steps for Developing Culture

February 13, 2013

Once upon a time, investment services firm Camelot Portfolios was just Darren and Steve. The two guys were near opposites – Darren, the creative visionary, and Steve, the practical get-it-done guy (ENFP and INTJ, respectively, for those of you who speak Meyer-Briggs). But the combination was a great formula, and they got along well together. […]

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020: How to Develop an Effective Culture

January 17, 2013

In this episode, Jesse and Marty answer an important question from a listener. “I’ve heard what thought leaders like Jim Collins and Patrick Lencioni have to say,” Steve asks, “but it just seems like theory when I think about how to apply it to our team. What practical things can we do today to develop […]

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