Engaging Leader™

188: Emotional Transparency — The Secret to Accountability | with Jonathan Raymond

Accountability. Many organizations name it one of their top corporate values. And yet no matter how much they talk about accountability, leaders often feel frustrated by what seems like a low level of personal ownership among their employees.

Things don’t get done on time, problems don’t get solved, and issues get ignored rather than proactively addressed before they become problems. Sound familiar?

Engaging Leader™

179: 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.

Engaging Leader™

175: 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.”

Engaging Leader™

158: Multipliers — How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter | with 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.

Engaging Leader™

157: The Aspiring Leader — Successfully Step into a New Leadership Role | with John Lawler

Is your sight set on a new leadership role?

Perhaps you’re the Director of Finance, and you’ve just been tapped to become the new CFO. What do you need to change now that your former peers will be reporting to you?

Engaging Leader™

145: Rethinking Accountability — How to Use It to Help Your People Unlock Their Strengths | with Jonathan Raymond

41PWDb+q3rL._SX335_BO1,204,203,200_Leaders everywhere talk about accountability, but nobody is defining what it really means — and more importantly, breaking it down into a set of skills that people could learn and apply. Accountability is about helping people unlock their strengths.

Engaging Leader™

135: How to Lead Meetings That Get Results (and That People Want to Attend) | with Karin Hurt

Group Of Happy Coworkers Discussing In Conference Room

Horrible meetings are a cliché of the business world, and with good reason. Most meetings are a waste of time and don’t accomplish much, if anything. Everyone leaves frustrated that they could be doing something more productive with their time — and not only do your results suffer, so does your credibility as a leader.

Engaging Leader™

074: First-Time Leader: How to Succeed and Inspire Your New Team | with George Bradt

First-Time LeadersDid you know that 40% of new leaders fail in the first 18 months? How can you avoid failing as a new leader, and learn from other leaders’ mistakes rather than making so many of your own? To help our listeners who are new leaders or who would like to take their leadership to the next level, our guest today is George Bradt, author of several books including his latest book coming out in February, First-Time Leader: Foundational Tools for Inspiring and Enabling Your New Team.

George was once a new leader himself, rising through leadership and executive roles at Procter & Gamble, Coa-Cola, and J.D. Powers. Today he is Principal of CEO Connection and Managing Director of the executive onboarding group PrimeGenesis.

First-Time Leader begins with a discussion of taking charge of your new team and then tracks through BRAVE leadership components from the outside in:

  • Environment: setting the context for everything else by understanding where you are playing.
  • Values: the bedrock of a high performing team. Get clear on what really matters and why.
  • Attitude: encompassing strategic, posture, and culture choices around how to win
  • Relationships: the heart of leadership. If you can’t connect, you can’t lead.
  • Behaviors: the actions that make real lasting impact on others.

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

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If you like our show, please rate us on iTunes. That makes a huge difference in helping more people discover it. We love to know your thoughts about this episode. Please submit your comments below! You can also email comments to Jesse at [email protected], subscribe to him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.

Engaging Leader™

069: 9 Telltale Signs of Influence 3.0

Business Concept. Leadership Sign.

What used to work for leaders in the past is no longer as effective today. Today’s workforce is more diverse, with more women and more ethnicities represented. New technologies make information accessible to everyone. And globalization means greater competition and opportunities. As a result, the leaders who are producing the best business results are now those high in Interactive leadership.

Is your leadership as effective as it can be? There are 9 telltale signs:

Today, a great leader …

  • Is empathetic, authentic, self-disclosing
  • Is agile and flexible
  • Is collaborative, including co-creating a shared purpose with the team (rather than casting a vision for the team)
  • Sees and tolerates ambiguity and paradox
  • Encourages group accountability
  • Shares decision-making with others
  • Stimulates questioning and dialogue
  • Takes great pride in work outcomes (rather than in gaining and keeping power)
  • Regards long-term planning as a critical activity.

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If you like our show, please rate us on iTunes. That makes a huge difference in helping more people discover it. We love to know your thoughts about this episode. Please submit your comments below! You can also email comments to Jesse at [email protected], subscribe to him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.

Engaging Leader™

059: Rebel Leader: 8 Lessons from the Rebellious Leadership of Rosa Parks | with Cody Gascho

The Rebllious Life of Mrs. Rosa ParksSome leaders have it tougher than others. Maybe you have it easier, where the vision is popular and its mostly a matter of keeping everyone focused on getting there. But what if to reach your vision, you have to paddle upstream … and not only that, you need to persuade an entire armada that the vision is both desirable and feasible?

Rosa Parks was one of the best-known leaders of the civil rights movement in the US. In fact, Congress called her “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement.” She tends to be portrayed as a tired old seamstress who sparked the civil rights movements by refusing to give up her seat on a bus, but actually she was only in her 40s and had been involved in civil rights leadership since 1943 … 20 years before Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Jesse is joined by Cody Gascho, Lead Guy at Praxis Church, to discuss leadership lessons from Rosa’s example as a rebel leader … leading people toward a long-term purpose that may not have widespread popularity and may even appear hopeless.

  • Long-term vision and purpose
  • Individual, thoughtful courage
  • Trust and credibility
  • Character lived out
  • We Not Me
  • Humble
  • Investing in young people
  • Reading

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

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Your Feedback

If you like our show, please rate us on iTunes. That makes a huge difference in helping more people discover it. We love to know your thoughts about this episode. Please submit your comments below! You can also email comments to Jesse at [email protected], subscribe to him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.


3 Ways to Enjoy Work and Achieve More in 2013

How to enjoy work and achieve more in 2013. Photo courtesy of Bigstock (2110948).I like to make an impact. And I’m very good at getting things done, solving problems, and achieving excellent results. As a result, on any given project or initiative, my natural tendency is to become the project team’s hub rather than one of the spokes. That means practically every decision or significant activity will require my input — which will not only limit our team’s impact to my finite ability to manage things, it will also take up a large portion of my time.

Can you relate? And can the high-performers on your team relate?

One of the shortcomings of many movers and shakers (read: leaders) is our tendency to be at the center of everything. This puts a cap our effectiveness and often leads to workaholism and/or burnout.

I encourage you to spend some time during this last week of 2012 thinking about how to make 2013 really rock. Here are three strategies that can help you and those lead have greater impact while staying energized.

1. Embrace the Periphery

Years ago, I read Workaholics, Make Laziness Work for You by Wayne Oates, the psychologist and professor who coined the word “workaholic” in the 1970s. The main “aha” concept for me was that if you can refrain from adopting a central role, you’re more likely to contribute your talents without overworking. For some people, this may mean staying out of formal leadership positions. For others, it may mean limiting the number of times you step into any central role, such as the project manager for a certain initiative.

Since recognizing the principle of periphery, I have held back on many occasions when I was tempted to take a central role or leadership position. While I love to lead, sometimes it’s more fulfilling to contribute without being in charge.

For example, after working several years in a leadership role at a consulting firm, I asked for a demotion so that I could focus less on people management — and more on client service, sales, and my family responsibilities. However, when you are motivated by the desire for impact, it can be painful to stay in the periphery. After a year or two, I grew dissatisfied in my less-influential role; when my boss suggested that I take on a leadership position, I did. (Alternatively, I could have learned to develop greater influence without the formal leadership position.)

Can you be the boss and still embrace the periphery? Yes, if you practice delegation — and even better, interactive leadership.

2. Delegate Everything That Doesn’t Have to Be Done By You

If you do take on a leadership role, you can still improve your work effectiveness and satisfaction by becoming a master of delegation. The first activities you should delegate are those that don’t play to your strengths: work that you aren’t naturally good at or that de-energizes you. You can almost always find someone who would be happy to perform those tasks.

For example, for the first seven years after launching Aspendale Communications, I did all the bookkeeping myself. This both saved money during the start-up phase and also helped me be sure that I fully understood the business. As the company grew, however, bookkeeping was taking up too much of my time, and I had long passed the point where I was learning or enjoying that type of work. We then hired a part-time bookkeeper, but eventually we retained the firm IAC Professionals to have more state-of-the-art accounting practices.

You should also consider delegating work that you may enjoy, but could be done by someone other than you. This is necessary so that you keep learning and growing, and to give other people the growth opportunity of taking on that work. However, as you delegate work you enjoy, be sure you replace it with activities that are higher value and still play to your strengths. (Otherwise, you could find yourself in a spot similar to Ewan Williams, who discovered that he no longer enjoyed being CEO of Twitter.)

3. Develop Interactive Leadership

Interactive leadership is a term coined by research psychologist David Burnham. Whereas delegation focuses on you at the center making things happen through your team, interactive leadership is about your team making things happen. You are the leader, but you choose to stay at the periphery by cultivating a team that makes decisions and creates a shared purpose that energizes the team.

A delegating leader makes decisions, provides information as needed, casts a vision, and directs work. That’s a recipe for bottle-necking and burnout.

An interactive leader stimulates healthy dialogue, helps the team discover and stay focused on its purpose and vision, and creates the conditions for productivity and growth.

Learn to embrace the periphery, not as an individual contributor, but as a leader. Yes, you need to delegate — but don’t just delegate activities, delegate leadership. And help the people on your team learn to think and lead that way, too.

Suggested Resources

I’ve written and talked about interactive leadership several times. Here are a few resources to help you learn more:


Leave a comment below, or connect with me on Twitter or Facebook.

Engaging Leader™

014: 5 Ways to De-Motivate People (Are You Making Any of These Common Mistakes?)

Are You Making These Common Mistakes?

Jesse and Marty discuss five common mistakes leaders make that steal most people’s intrinsic motivation to be fully engaged in their work. These are not simply based on opinion; the five points are based on decades of empirical research with hundreds of thousands of people by Burnham Rosen Group:

1. Make all decisions yourself  (To motivate people, flip it: Keep authority at the appropriate level.)
2. Insist that everything is black and white (Flip it: Be flexible, and acknowledge when you or others have conflicting feelings about something.)
3. Find someone to blame for every mistake Even better, second-guess every decision and work product — in other words, consider everything they do is a mistake. (Flip it: Accept that not all mistakes will negatively affect the outcome; and treat mistakes as learning opportunities.)
4. Think “I” rather than “we” (Flip it: Think mutual respect and involvement … “we”.)
5. Keep people putting out fires (Flip it: Plan for longer-term outcomes the team will be proud of. Instead of being a firefighter or firestarter, be a cultivator.)


For a more information on the Burnham Rosen Group and the workshops they offer go to or contact [email protected].

DriveThe Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

Watch .

” href=””>Help Your Audience Come Up With Their Own (Better) Idea to learn more about helping other people think on their own.

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If you like our show, please rate us on iTunes. That makes a huge difference in helping more people discover it. We love to know your thoughts about this episode. Please submit your comments below! You can also email comments to Jesse at [email protected], subscribe to him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.