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Recent Shows

Using Storytelling to Lead a Transformation at Lowe’s (and Your Company) | with Kyle Nel

The home improvement store chain Lowe’s was named #1 among Fast Company’s 2018 Most Innovative Companies, for augmented and virtual reality, as well as #1 for innovation among specialty retailers on Fortune’s 2018 World’s Most Admired Companies. How did a company in a dusty, old-hat industry (hardware stores) suddenly become known as an innovator?

As founder and executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs, the company’s disruptive innovation hub, Kyle Nel was at the forefront of this dramatic business transformation. In this episode, Kyle joins us to share his story and discuss how the next level of storytelling — using unconventional tools like science fiction, graphic novels, applied neuroscience, and archetypes — can help you overcome human behavior barriers as you reinvent your company’s future.
Using the Fogg Behavior Model to Drive Change | with Jamie Barnes

When developing a communication strategy to drive change within an organization, we use various models and frameworks to help ensure we create a strategy that actually works. The Fogg Behavioral Model is a powerful framework for driving change.

BJ Fogg is a behavior scientist and the founder of Stanford University’s Behavior Design Lab. Fogg is one of the biggest influencers of modern user experience (UX) design – for example, he was influential in the success of Pinterest. He focuses on methods for creating habits, showing what causes behavior, and automating behavior change … all of which are helpful for leaders hoping to influence their workforce to take action or adopt a change.
The Power of an Authentic Employer Brand and EVP | with Laurie Barnes

A strong, authentic employer brand is key to recruiting, retaining, and fully engaging top talent. The most effective companies build a differentiated employee value proposition (EVP).

Many people think of an employer brand only in terms of recruiting new employees, but to be effective, it should be comprehensive and authentic as relates to the overall employee experience.
The Art and Science of Workforce Communication | with Laurie Barnes

You can’t achieve your potential as a leader or an organization without practicing effective communication. Organizations that communicate effectively with their workforce deliver better results. According to a study by Willis Towers Watson, companies with high effectiveness in communication and change management are 3.5 times more likely to significantly outperform their less effective peers.
Performance Management Truth & Lies | with Michael Bungay Stanier

Boom! That’s the sound of performance appraisal processes being blown up across the country. There’s been a collective lightning flash of realization that the old way of doing it just isn’t doing it. But what’s really happening?

In a new piece of research, The Truth & Lies of Performance Management, Michael Bungay Stanier and his colleagues David Creelman and Anna Tavis surveyed senior executives across more than 120 organizations, asking them to share what they’re doing (and not doing) in their organizations. The research was supplemented with qualitative interviews, adding stories from the front line to the statistics.
Leading with Emotional Courage | with Peter Bregman

You have the opportunity to lead: to show up with confidence, connected to others, and committed to a purpose in a way that inspires others to follow. But great leadership — leadership that aligns teams, inspires action, and achieves results — is hard. And what makes it hard isn’t theoretical, it’s practical.

It’s not about knowing what to say or do. It’s about whether you’re willing to experience the discomfort, risk, and uncertainty of saying or doing it. In other words, the most critical challenge of leadership is emotional courage. If you are willing to feel everything, you can do anything.
How to Succeed at Work/Life Balance (Without Going Crazy)

Imagine life is a game where you are juggling five balls. Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls — family, health, friends, integrity — are made of glass.
~ James Patterson

The first secret to work/life balance is recognizing that it’s not about balance. It is about balancing work and life. What appears to be a state of balance is something entirely different — an act of prioritizing and counterbalancing. (For example, a ballerina appears to be perfectly balanced on her toes, but a closer look reveals her toe shoes vibrating rapidly, making minute adjustments for balance.)
Meaningful Work: How to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your (and Your Employees') Soul | with Shawn Askinosie, CEO of Askinosie Chocolate

This episode is about a true story that is interesting and well told — a story that is important for all leaders and entrepreneurs ... especially those of us who aspire to use business not only to make a living for ourselves but to help make the world a better place.


Stop Networking — Start Applying Network Science to Transform Your Career and Leadership | with David Burkus

This is a conversation about a book that’s not like any networking book you have read (or ignored) before. In fact, it’s not about networking; it’s about how networks actually work.


The Excellence Dividend | with Tom Peters

In the next two decades, nearly 50% of white-collar jobs are at risk, either to automation or artificial intelligence (AI), according to analysis by Oxford University. Every leader and every worker need to ask:

What will be left for people to do that machines can’t do better or cheaper?

If you don’t figure this out, you (and maybe your entire organization) will probably be unemployed or underemployed. Survival requires focusing on the human attributes that will likely remain beyond the realm of this “tech tide.”


Esteemed Guests

Tom Peters
In the next two decades, nearly 50% of white-collar jobs are at risk, either to automation or artificial intelligence (AI), according to analysis by Oxford University. Every leader and every worker need to ask: What will be left for people to do that machines can’t do better or cheaper?

If you don’t figure this out, you (and maybe your entire organization) will probably be unemployed or underemployed. Survival requires focusing on the human attributes that will likely remain beyond the realm of this “tech tide.”
Dr. Lois Frankel
On the game show Jeopardy, host Alex Trebek provided the clue, “This is the prime piece of business real estate that nice girls don’t get.” The correct response, of course, was “What is the corner office?”

Within just one year of completing college, women are earning 8% less than the men with whom they graduated. By mid-career, that number increases to more than 20%. Some women roar ahead in their careers, but so many more stagnate. As a leader, how can you be more successful if you are a women? And regardless of whether you are male or female, how can you help the women on your team and in your life succeed?
John Kotter
Increasingly, large organizations are finding their competitive landscape changing so quickly that they’re unable to respond fast enough to survive and thrive. Most mature organizations have a built-in tendency to kill off anything agile, innovative, and entrepreneurial — which often is exactly what’s needed to stay ahead of today’s ever-increasing pace of change in the market.
David Allen
Being an engaging leader starts with engaging your own work and life optimally. Five years ago, Jesse had given up on the umpteenth system he’d tried for organization and productivity. As he went back to the drawing board, he discovered that a new approach had taken the world by storm. It was called Getting Things Done (GTD), and five years later, it still guides Jesse’s personal productivity as well as our project management at Workforce Communication.
Herminia Ibarra
It’s sort of a chicken-or-the-egg question. To take your next step toward great leadership, do you start with introspection and learning to think like a leader? Or do you put yourself into positions where you are forced to learn by doing? Most leadership books and courses give you one answer. But a contrarian and counter-intuitive new book by one of the world’s top business experts says they’re wrong.
Tom Rath
Being an engaging leader starts with engaging your own work and life optimally. When you are fully charged, you get more done, your mind is sharp and creative, you feel fully alive – and you are a better leader, parent, spouse, and friend. Does that happen by accident, or are there specific actions that create this daily charge?

Tom Rath is a research scientist with The Gallup Organization who has spent his entire career studying workplace engagement, health, and well-being. He last joined us in Engaging Leader episode 58 to discuss his bestselling book Eat Move Sleep. His newest book is Are You Fully Charged? 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life.
Liz Wiseman
Are you a genius or a genius-maker? We’ve all had experience with two dramatically different types of leaders. The first type drains intelligence, energy, and capability from the people around them and always needs to be the smartest person in the room. These are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the diminishers of talent and commitment.
Ari Weinzweig
In 1982, Ari Weinzweig, along with his partner Paul Saginaw, founded Zingerman’s Delicatessen with a $20,000 bank loan. They opened the doors with two employees and a small selection of specialty foods and exceptional sandwiches. Today, Zingerman’s Delicatessen is a nationally renowned food icon, and the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses has grown to 10 businesses with over 750 employees and over $55 million in annual revenue. No two businesses in the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses are alike, but they all share the same vision and guiding principles and deliver “The Zingerman’s Experience” with passion and commitment.
Bob Burg
Great influencers — whether CEOs, entrepreneurs, sales professionals, clergy, parents, teachers, etc. — seem to have a knack for getting the results they want from people, but in a way that everyone is happy. And, these leaders are persuasive in the most positive and benevolent sense of the word.