Leadership Lessons from Over 50 Thought Leaders

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People + Books = 1 Changed Life

 

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones was one of my great influencers.  He repeatedly said that, “You will be the same person you are today in five years but for two things:  the people you meet and the books you read.” Every year, I am privileged to have the opportunity to read so many incredible books and meet fascinating people from all walks of life.

Last year, I launched this blog with the idea of sharing insights, ideas, and inspiration from many sources. On the one hand, I’m disappointed that I was only able to share a fraction of all of the people who influenced me. On the other, I’m glad that I started doing it because now, as I look back on it, I’m the one who benefited the most. Charlie was right. All of the books I read and all of the people I met did indeed change me.

Here are a few of the people who shared their experience and wisdom. If I can learn a fraction of what they know, I will be better equipped to lead in the coming year.

Before you start the new year, take the time to meet some of these people and take their leadership lessons with you. Instead of “interview in progress” you will find a “great life in progress.”

Leadership, News & Politics

 

Dan Rather (his life in the news)

Condoleezza Rice (former Secretary of State)

Barbara Simons (on the dangers of new ballot machines)

Senator Bill Bradley (on how we can all do better)

 

Business Leadership, Strategy & Execution

 

John Baldoni (purpose, leadership)

Jill Geisler (Make Work Happy)

Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos on culture)

Cynthia Montgomery (strategist)

Jim Huling (on the 4 disciplines of execution)

Geoffrey Moore (how to cross the chasm and rethink the future)

Faisal Hoque (BTM CEO on the power of convergence)

Chris Grivas (which creative style are you?)

Shep Hyken (7 strategies of amazing customer service)

John Baldoni On Leadership

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If you are a student of leadership, you will likely know the name John Baldoni.  His manybooks including Lead With Purpose, Lead Your Boss, How Great Leaders Get Great Results and Lead By Example all line the bookshelves of my office.  If you somehow missed all of his books on leadership, you may have read his work in publications such as Inc.com, Fast Company, Forbes, CBSNews/MoneyWatch, Bloomberg/Businessweek, and Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post.

What I like most about John’s work is that it is practical.  I can put his advice to use immediately.  His latest book is The Leader’s Pocket Guide: 101 Indispensable Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Any Situation.

John, this pocket guide seems to distill so much of your work in bite-sized tips.  What motivated you to write this pocket guide?

This book is the result of my work with executives I have coached over the past decade or so. As I say in the dedication to the book, my impact on them has been small but their impact on me has been large.

You start the book with self-leadership, then move to working with colleagues and finally an entire organization.  Why is self-leadership always the starting point?

One cannot lead others without leading oneself. So where does that begin? With self-awareness and self-understanding. So often I work with executives who are capable leaders and are giving to others but they end up shorting themselves. This section focuses on things to do to develop your critical thinking, awareness and presence. All are critical to leadership.

What’s Your Purpose?

Named one of the world’s top leadership experts, John Baldoni is a recognized name for anyone studying the subject of leadership.  He has appeared on numerous programs, been quoted in publications as diverse as the New York Times to Investor’s Business Daily, and he has written articles for Inc. and the Harvard Business Review.  Having now read John’s tenth book, I recently enjoyed discussing leadership theory and practice with him.

If you regularly read his columns, you know that John scours the world for models of success and presents examples for you to follow.  Well before I was a CEO, I followed his practical tips.  If you are in a leadership position, he is someone you want to follow.  If you want to move up in an organization, he has some wise counsel.