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The Leadership Podcast

Jan Rutherford and Jim Vaselopulos, experts on leadership development

We interview great leaders, review the books they read, and speak with highly influential authors who study them.


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In this episode, Jim and Jan welcome Vincent Stanley, Co-Author of The Responsible Company, visiting Fellow at the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, and Director of Philosophy / Chief Storyteller at Patagonia. Vincent shares the evolution of both product design and company leadership since his start at Patagonia in 1973, and the ways they integrate new employees with existing culture. He speaks to what makes Patagonia’s story unique and authentic, the burdens of being responsible, and offers advice to those looking to be change agents and storytellers within their own community. Vincent believes that one of the most important responsibilities we have is the right to be responsible.

Key Takeaways

[2:39] Vincent has been at Patagonia on and off since 1973, and is the nephew of the founder, Yvon Chouinard. He and his uncle co-wrote The Responsible Company with two different yet powerful intentions. Yvon wanted to create something practical for people who are motivated to see how Patagonia operated as a business over the past several decades. Vincent’s motivation was to come to an understanding the core culture. These responsibilities encompassed much of what we saw was important in the early 1960’s.

[3:35] Vincent discusses how people are yearning for full agency throughout their day. He discusses the traditional 1960’s corporate model where businesses focused both on the financial health and bottom line of a company, and also the strong commitment to honor the employees, customers and community of which they serve. Patagonia took this and added in environment, as this area has been compromised immensely by population and economy growth over the past several decades.

[6:52] When Vincent started work in the 1970’s, the population was now 3.8 Billion. It is now doubled, with economic activity up 500%. This has put tremendous pressure on economic and social systems, so Patagonia aims to do their part to stay responsible to traditional stakeholders, and our original CEO, nature.

[7:11] Leadership at the top is important, but there must also be a strong middle management with a sense of agency built into everyone’s role. The more coworkers that feel a kinship and responsibility to help others in the company, the easier it is to add new people while helping current ones expand their skills.

[11:35] Vincent’s discusses what the title of Chief Storyteller means to him, and Patagonia as a company. He helped write some of the early catalogs and business philosophies, so he pulls from the foundation of their core values and creates the story to reflect their authentic meaning in today’s world. Vincent feels as though Patagonia’s success in its ability to be a model for other companies, is that their stories are based in reality and not to create spin. Patagonia’s story is complex, however it’s important for the story to consistently build credibility and trust with employees, customers and suppliers.

[13:23] There are many fibers woven into Patagonia’s story. One being their position as an outdoor gear company, with products designed for technical performance. Then, the origin story of the company coming out of climbing equipment, and their community activism; donating 1% of sales to environmental causes; and use of catalogs and websites to educate the general public.

[14:57] Vincent shares a story on when they changed to organic cotton, and how they took steps that entailed a financial risk in order to do the “right thing”. It was a huge move, as they broke their connection to the global supply chain. They took providing an explanation to everyone involved very seriously, and bussed 40 people in at a time from all different departments to cotton fields. Here they could see the difference between conventional cotton and organic cotton, and now the reason for the change went from abstract to tangible. They invested both time and money in explaining why the change, and it paid off in dividends.

[20:20] One of Vincent’s key tenets of success is maintaining the impulse towards improvement. Two of the dirtiest industries are apparel and agriculture, and he sees this as an opportunity to make a difference.

[22:47] Many associate Patagonia as a super responsible brand, but Jim and Jan note that how well their gear actually performs and holds up while used for exactly what it was meant to do. Patagonia also makes a lot gear for the Military.

[25:55] Vincent describes their different environmental campaigns, and how they started small in the 1980’s by giving 1% to organizations that were respected locally but not getting a lot of coverage. He talks about the need to restore agricultural soil to health, and what Patagonia is doing about it.

[35:21] There is a strong sense of culture and permission to be active at Patagonia. The employees are outdoor enthusiasts and it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for a group...

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02/02/22 • 41 min

As the CEO of Imagine Think, Nora Herting helps expand the definition of creativity in the business world. As the author of the best-selling book, “Draw Your Big Idea,” Nora has inspired thousands to think visually to access their own creativity. Nora breaks down the myth that drawing is only for the creatives, and showcases real examples of how leaders can add another dimension to their ideas (and execution effectiveness) through simple doodles. Listen in to unlock and inspire others in new ways beyond the written word!

Key Takeaways

[3:15] Nora shares insight about visual leadership.

[5:00] Paintings have been a form of communication for thousands of years.

[7:10] When we use our brain, we don’t just use the right brain or the left brain hemispheres while doing a task, we use the entire brain.

[9:10] If you or your team is stuck somewhere, try drawing a picture!

[9:15] Nora explains how leaders can empower their staff to embrace their artistic side more effectively.

[14:45] Jim shares an example of how powerful visuals are in a presentation to bring home the core message.

[20:10] An important skill to have is to patiently wait for people to finish and to know when they’ve finished their point.

[21:55] Nora shares the difference between having a liberal arts degree vs. an MBA.

[25:35] Instead of looking within your industry and what the competition is doing, look elsewhere. Look at politics, cultural events, or other industries not related to you for inspiration.

[28:05] Creatives and implementers tend to clash with one another, but Jim talks about the book Loonshots and how you can blend these two groups together for collaboration.

[34:10] Nora offers resources on the types of visual tools leaders and teams can use.

[35:55] Jim and Jan admit that their handwriting is horrible. It’s hard to multitask when talking and writing.

[37:00] If you have terrible handwriting, Nora offers a quick tip on how to fix this.

[39:45] Listener challenge: Ask your team to draw out the description of their role and what they do every day.

Quotable Quotes

  • “If you’re stuck on a problem, try solving that problem visually.”
  • “We are wired to think in pictures and we’ve been doing it as a species for so long.”
  • “The business world has a real fascination with creativity, but it mystifies business leaders.”
  • “Artists are looking outside for inspiration all the time. They’re not just looking at what people in their field are doing but they’re pulling things from all over, like science, politics, and cultural events.”

Resources Mentioned

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TLP223: YOU CAN Change Culture

The Leadership Podcast


10/07/20 • 36 min

Siobhan McHale led a radical seven-year culture change project that transformed her organization from the lowest-performing bank in Australia to one of the highest-performing and most globally admired banks in the world. This gave Siobhan an insider role and a different perspective on culture change, which led to her book, The Insider’s Guide to Culture Change. Siobhan provides an overview of how to best measure change, what to do if you feel powerless in an organization, and how to be an effective catalyst to improve culture.

Key Takeaways

[3:00] Siobhan noticed that a lot of organizational change and literature was written from an outsider’s perspective. She wanted to write a book on how to make a change from within.

[4:10] Culture is often framed for employee experience, but culture is much more than that. It’s about impact.

[5:30] Middle management feels powerless about creating lasting change within an organization, but change can happen at all levels.

[7:30] Siobhan shares cultural differences between how leadership is led in North America vs. Australia.

[13:40] People are running low on energy, and passion projects can be great ways to revitalize yourself. However, we first need to define ourselves and the various roles we have in our life.

[18:30] Siobhan was led down this path of culture when she was fired by an organization for going “too fast.”

[21:30] Change is not someone else’s responsibility, it’s yours. Instead of empowering your employees to “change,” it’s about framing it around a goal and bringing accountability to everyone involved.

[25:15] It goes back to: People help support what they create.

[29:00] You can measure change by defining key metrics early in the beginning. For example, you can measure employee engagement, customer satisfaction, financials, and sustainability.[31:10] We all have a mental map of our roles, but it’s time we update that. You don’t want to operate just on a functional basis, you want to keep modifying and improving the culture so that it's healthy, vibrant, and adaptable.

[34:40] A sign of a good culture is when, if there is a position available, thousands of people are trying to apply.

Quotable Quotes

  • “Culture change is led at all levels.”
  • “It doesn’t matter where you are, you can start to shape the culture in your organization. You don’t have to wait for it to be instigated from the top.”
  • “It’s not so much about empowering your employees, but about framing the goal and not co-creating the pattern where change is someone else’s responsibility.”
  • “Can you measure culture? No, you can’t measure the patterns of the culture, but you can measure the impact it has.”
  • “If you do change right, your part of the business will start to navigate its way through this crisis.”
  • “Ultimately, culture is in service. Culture is not in competition with strategy. Culture enables strategy.”

Resources Mentioned

The Leadership Podcast is Sponsored by:

Cultivate Grit. Amplify Action.

Click HERE to learn more.

Free downloads of Quick Reference Guides on Delegation, Time Management, Sales, and more.

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Kwame Christian, ESQ. is an attorney, meditator, and the author of the best selling book, Finding Confidence in Conflict: How to Negotiate Anything and Live Your Best Life. His book is an Amazon Best-Seller and has helped countless individuals overcome the fear, anxiety, and emotion often associated with difficult conversations through a branded framework called Compassionate Curiosity. Kwame walks us through how to leverage emotions to effectively bridge the gap between negotiation and conflict.

Kwame is also the host of the world’s most popular negotiation podcast, Negotiate Anything. Kwame’s TEDx talk, Finding Confidence in Conflict, was the most popular TEDx Talk on the topic of conflict in 2017, and has been viewed over 150,000 times.Kwame also serves as a negotiation and conflict resolution professor at The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. The Dispute Resolution Program at Moritz is the top ranked dispute resolution program in the country. He is also a professor in Otterbein University’s MBA program. Prior to practicing business law and founding ANI, Kwame worked at the Kirwan Institute doing civil rights work. While at Kirwan, Kwame focused on criminal justice and health equity.

Key Takeaways

[4:25] When you travel abroad to new and exotic locations, it can really test your negotiation abilities as you haggle for items you want at the market.

[8:45] Kwame’s book, Finding Confidence in Conflict, can be used in high-level stressful business negotiations as well as trying to communicate effectively with family.

[10:05] Whether we like it or not, we are not thinking machines. We are feeling machines that happen to think. Emotions play a big part in everything we do.

[11:25] Most times when people fail at negotiation, it’s because they didn’t address the underlying emotional issues.

[14:10] The “natural” human doesn’t want to engage in conflict.

[16:20] Conflicts break down because there’s a developed “me vs. you” narrative.

[20:55] When addressing conflict or a difference in opinion, it’s important to first recognize the emotions in ourselves as well as the emotions in others.

[25:35] Kwame shares his thoughts on diversity and inclusion and what we need to be doing better to bridge the gap.

[27:15] Everyone needs time to process their emotions to effectively communicate what they’re feeling. However, men often do feel comfortable saying words like ‘disappointed’ or ‘sad.’

[29:15] Sometimes you need an outside perspective to help you dig deep within yourself in a way that you can’t do by yourself. This can be a trusted friend, coach, or therapist.

[29:55] When it comes to the way women negotiate and the literature out there, Kwame recognizes we’re asking women to fend for themselves when we should all be advocating for them.

[36:45] You’re not going to be able to overcome your own biases unless you have a bit of self-awareness, and take the time to create solutions for them.

[43:25] Listener challenge: Use the Compassionate Curiosity Framework:

  1. Acknowledging and Validating Emotions.
  2. Getting Curious with Compassion.
  3. Engaging in Joint Problem Solving.

Quotable Quotes

  • “The best things in life are on the other side of difficult conversations.”
  • “Our emotions are going to get the first shot of interpretation of anything.”
  • “We’re working against our psychology when we just say, ‘I’m going to pretend I don’t have any emotions.’”
  • “You can’t overcome a problem if you don’t know there’s a problem.”
  • “Strengthen the foundation of your business by ensuring all employees feel heard, supported, and honored.”

Resources Mentioned

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09/16/20 • 44 min

Jen believes every single person on the planet is capable of tapping into their creativity. She helps people trust their own instincts and find the courage to take action with authenticity and heart.

Using her 20+ years of experience in the Broadway community and her background in the arts, Jen encourages creative thinking and imagination, so that others can cultivate new ideas and share them with the world.

Jen and Simon Sinek united several years ago when Jen began using the Golden Circle to inspire artists to make a greater impact with their work. Jen and Simon recognized that their combined efforts could help people across many different industries discover their WHY and bring it to life.

Jen presents WHY-inspired keynotes and workshops on leadership, communication, and presentation skills so that individuals and organizations can have more impact with their ideas.

Key Takeaways

[3:40] We all possess the power to be creative. It is a skillset anybody can learn.

[9:25] Everyone should take an acting class because the basic principles of acting are the basic principles of living.

[12:15] We can all get better at listening to the end of a sentence.

[16:45] A lot of Jen’s clients have been with her for 15 years, so when COVID-19 hit, it didn’t make sense to close down the business for good. Instead, her team decided to pivot virtually.

[19:00] When we lose social connection, we end up being in threat mode and all we care about is survival.

[23:15] As an optimist on Simon Sinek’s team, Jen helps leaders develop their character through values-based ideas.

[27:20] People’s greatest fear is often public speaking. However, the heart of this fear really is the opinions of others.

[33:45] Actors work and develop their “characters.” Leaders and professionals can do the same to instill confidence and trust in the people they serve.

[42:15] Listener challenge: Bring art into artless spaces.

Quotable Quotes

  • “Anything that can be interrupted doesn’t actually have a right answer.”
  • Get better at listening to the end of a sentence
  • “We talk about social distancing, but what we really need to do is rebrand that. It’s physical distancing, but we need to find ways to be socially close to each other.”
  • “At the end of the day, it’s not about the speaker, it’s about the message.”
  • “Working on your character is understanding that everything you do has storytelling value. People are creating narratives out of your behaviors all the time.”
  • “We can work on our character and it doesn’t make us any less authentic. It gives us the opportunity we know we can be.”

Resources Mentioned

The Leadership Podcast is Sponsored by:

Cultivate Grit. Amplify Action.

Investing in yourself isn’t selfish. Click HERE to get gritty!

Free downloads of Quick Reference Guides on Delegation, Time Management, Sales, and more.

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TLP219: Risk is Relative

The Leadership Podcast


09/09/20 • 31 min

Part of your role as a leader is to create an environment where people are performing at their best; and that means creating an environment where risk is mitigated. However, how safe is too safe? Google conducted a study that looked into what defines a high-performing team. When people see each other as humans first, and coworkers second, it builds psychological safety. Jim and Jan discuss how to provide clarity for effective teaming, and the generational perspectives on risk... and reward.

Key Takeaways

[2:55] Teams that followed the agenda precisely to a ‘T’ weren’t as effective as those who saw each other as people/humans first and coworkers second.

[3:40] If you’ve ever watched elk in the wild, you’ll know that they all face outward watching the horizon so that the herd has everyone’s back. The same is true in trusted teams.

[7:05] Find the good in others.

[7:40] It can be a hard pill to swallow, but your opinions might be wrong.

[10:15] Jim remembers a time where he and the neighborhood kids would make up new rules when they played sports and adapt to different situations being thrown at them. It seems the younger generation has a harder time working ‘off the cuff’ and this might be why there is a backlash with safety.

[10:40] There are generational differences in how risk and safety are viewed.

[11:35] Leaders might be sending two very different messages to people: We’re saying we need to hyper-communicate/collaborate with the team, but at the same time you need to work independently and be resourceful.

[13:25] Remember, risk is relative. As leaders, we need to be hyper-vigilant of what that looks like to different people.

[18:10] Really pay attention to the assumptions you and others make. You break out of this by having difficult conversations.

[23:10] Argue as if you’re right, but listen as if you are wrong.

[25:50] Stoicism is a balancing act. You don’t want to completely control your emotions where you feel nothing. It’s about recognizing them and responding to them without impulse.

[28:45] You own the responsibility to be clear to your team. When you have empathy for the members of your team and the kind of journey they’re on, you will have much more success getting alignment and engagement from your people.

Quotable Quotes

  • “Argue as if you’re right, but listen as if you are wrong.”
  • “We have a whole bunch of biases. Check them at the door.”
  • “Hold your views lightly.”
  • “Do we pick actions that are for the greater good or do individual needs or rights — do they take precedent?”

Resources Mentioned

The Leadership Podcast is Sponsored by:

Cultivate Grit. Amplify Action.

Investing in yourself isn’t selfish. Click HERE to get gritty!

Free downloads of Quick Reference Guides on Delegation, Time Management, Sales, and more.

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08/26/20 • 39 min

Joel Peterson is the chairman of JetBlue Airways, and has a long history of successful growth capital investments in a variety of industries. He currently teaches Entrepreneurial Management at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and serves as a Director of Franklin Covey. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. Joel is the author of Entrepreneurial Leadership: The Art of Launching New Ventures, Inspiring Others, and Running Stuff, and The 10 Laws of Trust : Building the Bonds that Make a Business Great.

Key Takeaways

[2:10] Joel has 7 kids and 28 grandkids. He had to get good at time management as well as people management!

[4:00] It’s important to fire people with empathy. Just because they no longer fit your organization’s needs doesn’t mean they’re still not great people.

[8:20] Sales is incredibly vital to an organization, but the way people buy today is completely different than 20-plus years ago, and for that, we also need to be adapting and changing our sales strategies.

[10:25] Trust is the most powerful currency you have, but in order to have trust, the other person must feel like you have their best interests in mind and you’re not just looking out for yourself.

[12:20] Love sounds like it shouldn’t be part of a business book or dialogue, but truly, if you have love for other people, it is an unlimited resource that will never be exhausted.

[17:40] It’s more important than ever for people to have a personal brand and to also best balance that with the interests of a company but this is not a new concept. People have always had an interest in protecting their reputations.

[20:55] Trust has become a very precious commodity because it’s so easy to violate it.

[23:45] The best way to build trust is to trust people one event or one promise at a time.

[27:30] It’s a cop-out to repeat patterns that no longer serve you and blame it on how you were raised. You can change your patterns and rewrite upbringing.

[30:30] Embrace the hardship in your life. It will be one of your best lessons.

[33:35] Joel believes if you don’t have adversity in your life, you end up creating your own trouble. To counter that, Joel believes reading biographies can help center you in a world that’s otherwise pretty good, pretty positive, and low in conflict.

[38:10] Listener challenge: Be intentional with your life.

Quotable Quotes

  • “In a dynamic business, you are going to outgrow people and people are going to change. Like a coach, you want the very best on your field and you need to do that in a good way.”
  • “None of us like to be sold, but we do like to buy something. Once you realize that, what you’re really doing is becoming a phenomenal listener and solving problems.”
  • “The one resource that is never exhausted and can grow without bound is love.”
  • “You can actually rewrite your upbringings. You can overwrite what you inherited.”
  • “Break it down, get it simple again. If it gets simple again, you can execute. Being intentional and executing, you become a high-trust person.”

Resources Mentioned

The Leadership Podcast is Sponsored by:

Cultivate Grit. Amplify Action.

Investing in yourself isn’t selfish. Click HERE to get gritty!

Free downloads of Quick Reference Guides on Delegation, Time Management, Sales, and more.

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09/02/20 • 42 min

Frances Frei is a Professor of Technology and Operations Management at Harvard Business School, and her research involves understanding how leaders create the conditions for organizations and individuals to thrive. Frances discusses her new book, Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You. She dives into fixing broken cultures by creating an environment of psychological safety.

Key Takeaways

[3:50] Trust can be lost in three critical ways: authenticity wobble, logic wobble, or an empathy wobble.

[5:50] The logic wobble typically means you have sound logic but you lost the person in communication somewhere.

[11:40] When it comes to delegation, it’s on the leader to delegate well and to really examine where the process can be improved if tasks aren’t being performed as expected.

[12:35] Take radical accountability for your team member’s success.

[13:35] To achieve high-performing teams, they need to have psychological safety. In this climate, it can be hard to navigate this safety because people become guarded by another person’s opposite opinion.

[18:55] Cultures really like a redemption story.

[21:25] It’s on your shoulders, it’s your obligation, to build trust when there is no trust.

[25:35] If you want people within an organization to behave and act differently, you must get them to think differently.

[29:15] Cultural values can become weaponized. When this happens, you have to scrap it and create a new one.

[35:00] When it comes to diversity and inclusion, Frances wishes those words were reversed. If you are inclusive of difference, more and more difference is going to want to come and flourish.

[38:00] We are instinctively tribal and try to find people who are similar to us. This means if we can’t think differently, we have to go through our instinctive nature and put in new processes to help us think differently.

[41:30] Listener challenge: Seek a room where you’re the least smart person in that room.

Quotable Quotes

  • “If I can delegate, I will be better off. Now, I have to learn how to delegate well.”
  • “Whether or not you trust me, it’s my obligation.”
  • “Culture can fix good people behaving badly.”
  • “Culture exists in our minds and it manifests in our behaviors. Culture can change through education.”
  • “It started as diversity and inclusion, I wish we could reverse those words. I can bring in diversity, but if I’m not inclusive of it, it doesn’t make anything better.”
  • “I don’t want to take my difference and learn to be similar. I want to learn how to be different.”

Resources Mentioned

The Leadership Podcast is Sponsored by:

Cultivate Grit. Amplify Action.

Investing in yourself isn’t selfish. Click HERE to get gritty!

Free downloads of Quick Reference Guides on Delegation, Time Management, Sales, and more.

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Gary Hamel is on the faculty of the London Business School and is a cofounder of the Management Lab, an organization that builds technology and tools to support breakthrough management innovation. Professor Hamel has been hailed by the Wall Street Journal as the world's most influential business thinker, and his landmark books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages. They include The Future of Management, What Matters Now, and Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them.

Gary makes a passionate, data-driven argument for excising bureaucracy and replacing it with something better. Drawing on more than a decade of research and packed with practical examples, Gary lays out a detailed blueprint for creating organizations that are as inspired and ingenious as the human beings inside them.

Key Takeaways

[3:40] Employees feel powerless because they’re not the CEO or in a leadership position. Truth is, employees hold a lot of power.

[6:15] You don’t need to take down the whole system to fix it. Experiment and see what works.

[7:50] Most communication in organizations is horizontal, not vertical.

[9:10] Gary shares an example of how employees can get the funding they need within their department without going through the lengthy budget planning and permission process.

[12:20] In a recent poll, more than 56% of people thought that capitalism was doing more harm than good.

[13:45] No matter your political side, people are frustrated by the broken system.

[20:45] Being in a physical location does not impact whether an employee feels more connected to the company mission.

[22:40] We live in an increasingly complex world, where changes happen rapidly and often. At the same time, bureaucracy is growing. Gary shares his thoughts on why that might be.

[30:30] Breakthroughs often come from people who are very young or from outside the system. If you want to succeed, you need an outsider mindset.

[33:35] We see human beings as instruments. We need to shift our focus and see them as agents instead.

[35:45] Leaders think their people are resistant to change. This is a false narrative.

[37:35] There is a reason why employees are so cynical.

[42:00] Gary shares his proudest achievements and what he looks forward to in the future.

[45:25] If you’re a leader, ask yourself how do you increase the power of those around you?

Quotable Quotes

  • “If you’re really fed up with all of this and you think we need to change, don’t wait for the bureaucrats to uninstall bureaucracy.”
  • “Every human being wants dignity and opportunity and equity. You want to believe you matter as a human being.”
  • “Only one in five employees believe their opinions matter and only one in 10 say they have the freedom to experiment and try new things.”
  • “You gotta empower people to make decisions on the frontline, give them the tools, knowledge, and incentives to do the right thing.”
  • “We are eager to change, but our organizations give people very few opportunities to be masters of their own destiny and lead change.”

Resources Mentioned

The Leadership Podcast is Sponsored by:

Cultivate Grit. Amplify Action.

Investing in yourself isn’t selfish. Click HERE to get gritty!

Free downloads of

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09/30/20 • 49 min

Rich Diviney lives to discover, inspire, and accelerate the potential of human beings. As a Retired Navy SEAL Commander, he completed more than 13 overseas deployments. He also spearheaded the creation of a directorate that fused physical, mental, and emotional disciplines. In January 2021, Rich will release his first book, The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance. Rich breaks down how your average teams can become high-performing teams, the mental strategies we can use to overcome stressful situations, and why we need to screen for attributes, not necessarily skill sets. Rich also works with Simon Sinek to help leaders and organizations create environments where people feel valued and free to explore their potential.

Key Takeaways

[4:25] When RIch was tasked with creating resilience among SEAL Teams, he created the “Mind Gym” concept.

[6:00] Rich believed that, through resiliency, you could label and reframe PTSD in a new way.

[10:15] One of the ways we can take care of ourselves mentally is to slow down and to let our brains rest. Sleep is the #1 way to recover.

[11:05] If you’re stressed out, turn off the news. It’s one of the primary sources of stress because they throw so many unknown variables at you.

[14:25] Rich is not always striving for peak performance. Instead, he searches for optimal performance, which he defines as, “How can you do the very best you can in the moment with what you’ve got.”

[17:25] Our attributes will tell us how we will perform when things go sideways. The good news is that we can develop our attributes.

[21:55] Why does someone want to be in special operations forces? Rich believes that the reason is actually rooted in narcissism. We all want to be the best. We all want to prove we are the best.

[24:15] Rich breaks drive down into five attributes:

  1. Self-efficacy.
  2. Discipline.
  3. Open-mindedness.
  4. Cunning.
  5. Narcissism.

[27:15] The smaller the team or the smaller the organization, Rich doesn’t see the same “groupthink” traits as he does in larger organizations. He believes this is due to lack of structure and corporate refinement.

[32:10] You are not allowed to designate yourself as a leader. Leadership is a behavior that others are drawn to. People choose to follow a leader.

[37:55] It is completely possible to recharge our mental and physical wellbeing during a stressful situation. It can be through meditation, through a quick nap, or even a visualization of what makes you happy.

[44:00] In high-performing teams, Leadership roles and responsibilities will change to different people based on their expertise or who might be closer to a situation at the time. Rich has seen that leadership is fluid and people, including leaders, will shift power roles to the one who is most capable given the situation.

[44:35] Trust is the key element to any high-functioning and high-performing team. They lean on each other.

[45:35] Listener challenge: Break some of the preconceived constraints and boundaries that have been built on your current team.

Quotable Quotes

  • “Resiliency doesn’t describe what high performers do. Resiliency by definition is the ability to get knocked off of baseline and get back to baseline.”
  • “One of the ways we can all take care of ourselves mentally is to actively find ways to slow ourselves down and turn off the outside world.”
  • “Things that bring you joy. Any time you engage in an activity that you feel more full after doing, you’re likely in recovery mode.”
  • “What defines optimal performance — can you keep on moving and what are the attributes you bring to the table?”
  • “If teams want to figure out how to manage in uncertainty, they need to look at attributes vs. just skill.”
  • “We are biologically designed to want to stand out. Narcissism in small doses, the desire to be special, can be a very, very powerful driver in performance.”

Resources Mentioned

The Leadership Podcast is Sponsored by:

Cultivate Grit. Amplify Action.

Investing in yourself isn’t selfish. Click HERE to get gritty!


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How many episodes does The Leadership Podcast have?

The Leadership Podcast currently has 358 episodes available.

What topics does The Leadership Podcast cover?

The podcast is about Leadership, Business, Management and Military.

What is the most popular episode on The Leadership Podcast?

The episode title 'TLP107: On Responsibility: Patagonia’s Chief Storyteller & Director of Philosophy' is the most popular with 1 listens and 1 ratings.

What is the average episode length on The Leadership Podcast?

The average episode length on The Leadership Podcast is 44 minutes.

How often are episodes of The Leadership Podcast released?

Episodes of The Leadership Podcast are typically released every 7 days.

When was the first episode of The Leadership Podcast?

The first episode of The Leadership Podcast was released on Jun 15, 2016.

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