Posts tagged leadership
Daniel Pink Shares the Secrets of Perfect Timing

NYT & WSJ bestselling author Daniel Pink is here to help us understand how our cognitive ability changes throughout the day and how you can learn to plan your day around your brainpower. Knowing when to plan your creative activity, your executive work, and your administrative tasks has a massive influence over the quality of your performance.

In this interview, Daniel discusses his creative process, the importance of coordinating your creative work during the right time of day, strategies for selling your innovative ideas to investors and other decision makers, and a few tips that famous creatives have used to perform their best.

For nearly 20 years, Daniel has written about the intersection of human behavior and work. His books include Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, To Sell Is Human, A Whole New Mind, and his most recent bestseller When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.

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Leadership Moment - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Have you ever had someone tell you about their hopes and dreams? Can you remember the passion in their eyes? Can you remember the conviction in their voice? This is the story of a dream and more importantly the vision of that dreamer.

Fifty-six years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered one of the most important speeches in the history of the United States…and it almost didn’t happen. That’s not completely true. It almost didn’t happen in the way we know it.

Here is the little-known secret about that speech. For most of it, Dr. King was ordinary. He was somber. He spoke of the past. He preached. He scolded the powers in America. The crowd that had traveled so far and waited so long to hear him grew restless.

But then a voice cried out. A friend of Dr. King shouted…

Hear his story here.

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Leadership Moment - Doug Lennick

You are successful. You wouldn’t be interested in the content of this blog if you weren’t. Congratulations!

Now, who helped you achieve your success? All four of my parents have played a big role for me. My older sister Marie has given me encouragement and professional opportunities. There have been teachers and coaches who get credit. A professor from college hired me, mentored me, and remains a friend to this day.

However, if I was to pinpoint the most important person to my professional success, it would certainly be Doug Lennick. Doug was a legendary leader at American Express when I was starting my professional career there.

He has helped me as a coach, mentor, and friend. When a big business or personal decision needed to be made, Doug always made himself available to listen and provide sage advice.

Before we met formally, we had a chance encounter on an elevator. I don’t know what he had been doing or where he was going, but I do know that he became completely present with the rest of us on the elevator. In the 30 seconds we shared…

Hear his story here.

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Leadership Moment - Elizabeth Eckford

Somebody has to go first. It’s an unwritten rule of progress. Somebody has to be a pioneer who blazes the trail for others to follow. It’s rare that the responsibility of being a pioneer for great social change falls on the shoulders of an innocent, unassuming 15-year-old. Regardless, that’s the situation in which Elizabeth Eckford found herself.

Elizabeth was one of the Little Rock Nine. These were the nine African American students who would be the first non-white students to attend prestigious Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. As fate would have it, Elizabeth was separated from the other eight African American students on the first day of school. She was left alone to face a gauntlet of scorn, vitriol, and hatred…

Hear her story here.

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Leadership Moment - Maximilian Kolbe

There are times in life when many of us will question faith, hope, and humanity. The trigger can be a devastating natural disaster, a terror attack, a vicious act of war, a senseless crime of hate. Situations like these require a special leader.

Maximilian Kolbe was one of those leaders.

Kolbe was a Franciscan Friar who lived in Poland during the first half of the 20th century. Because his father was German, Kolbe was given the opportunity to receive preferential treatment by the Nazi occupiers. He refused, not wanting to categorize himself as superior to his neighbors.

Kolbe was eventually arrested by the Gestapo…

Hear his story here.

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Leadership Moment - Shakeel Nelson

Leadership Moment - Shakeel Nelson - Wisdom

“If you could trade lives with any other person in the world, who would it be?” I was curious to hear his response. I suspected it would fall in line with the average response from any other 12-year-old.

I had been Shakeel’s Big Brother for about three years at this point. We would get together two or three times a month spending our time playing basketball or cooking meals. Early on, I made a deal with him that he could ask me anything he wanted. He didn’t hesitate to explore all kinds of topics which led to a very candid relationship.

On this particular Sunday morning, Shakeel and I were driving to a gym to play basketball. Our conversation had varied throughout the drive and as we approached our destination I asked him the question I’d wanted to ask for a long time.

I could see the wheels in his head turning. He really processed the question. I was impressed. I thought he would choose to trade lives with an athlete or entertainer. Those were the people he and his friends talked about frequently.

After a minute, Shakeel looked at me. His head was slightly tilted to one side, one eye was closed and the other squinted at me with a slight bit of skepticism. He slowly and rather sheepishly gave his answer…

Hear his story here.

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Leadership Moment - Fannie Lou Hamer

Leadership Moment - Fannie Lou Hamer - Resilience

You can’t imagine a more unlikely leader to take the national spotlight. The youngest of 20 children born to sharecropper parents, she defied the odds and terrified a sitting president. This was during a time when women didn’t have a voice and African Americans were second-class citizens. Fannie Lou Hamer was both. What she lacked in formal education, privilege, and experience, she more than made up for in effort, courage, and a healthy dose of resilience.

Fannie Lou was born in 1917 in the segregated south. She was picking cotton by the age of six. By the time she was 13, she could pick hundreds of pounds a day despite having a leg ravaged by polio. Fannie Lou would have been an excellent student in high school and college, but those doors were not open to African American girls from rural Mississippi.

Her hard labor as a child prepared her to be a fighter as an adult. The catalyst that propelled her to national prominence was…

Hear her story here.

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Leadership Moment - Didi

Leadership Moment - Didi - The Unauthorized Leader

The streets were filling with people enjoying the warm Parisian air. Cafés and restaurants bustled. Didi finished his prayers and stepped into the night. Even for The City of Light, the atmosphere was electric and the revelers were taking full advantage of it.

Didi arrived at work and began to inspect the crowd as they filed into the theater. Smiles greeted him as the headline act took the stage. The audience roared their approval.

No one needs to bestow the role of leadership upon someone. Sometimes it is simply snatched in time of need. That is exactly what happened next.

On November 13th, 2015, a series of attacks hit Paris. One happened to be at the Bataclan. Hundreds of people who were there that night owe their lives to Didi and his willingness to shepherd them to safety. The first shots fired that night interrupted the music. Chaos ensued...

Hear his story here.

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Leadership Moment - General Lucian Truscott

This week’s Leadership Moment - General Lucian Truscott - Recognition

What is the most memorable recognition you’ve ever received? The chances are it came from someone you respect greatly, there was probably little or maybe no monetary value associated with it, and it felt exceptionally validating.

Many great leaders know that recognition is one of the most powerful motivators. Army General Lucian Truscott was one of those leaders.

On May 30th, 1945, the United States solemnly celebrated Memorial Day. World War II had just ended in Europe and the war raged on in the Pacific. Sacrifice and loss had been dreadful but victory was becoming reality. A small gathering of dignitaries arrived to officially dedicate an American cemetery in Italy. General Truscott was slated to speak…

Hear his story here.

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Leadership Moment - Leaders at Home

This week’s Leadership Moment - Leaders at Home

Dark, dusty, and dangerous. Those are the words that could have described the Soudan Iron Mine in Northern Minnesota during its operation. Each day workers would take elevators thousands of feet below the surface of the earth to roam the 54 miles of tunnels and mine its rich veins. My grandfather was one of those workers.

When she was an adult, and after my grandfather had retired, my mom toured the mine. At one point, the tour guide extinguished his light putting Mom and the other tour members in complete darkness. She wept. It was at that moment that she realized the full extent of what her father was willing to do to make her life possible.

Listen to the episode to hear how great leaders continue to inspire us outside the workplace.

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Leadership Moment - Stanislav Petrov

This week’s Leadership Moment - Stanislav Petrov - Decision Making

This is the story of the man who saved the world. The year was 1983. The cold war between the Soviet Union and United States was heightened. Nuclear missiles were aimed at Moscow and other high value targets, while Soviet nuclear subs prowled the American east coast around the clock.

On the morning of September 26th in a Soviet bunker, alarms were triggered, sirens howled, while electronic screens indicated the Americans had just launched five missiles toward the USSR.

Estimated time to detonation: just 25 minutes…

Listen to this episode to hear how Stanislav Petrov, through leadership and the right decisions, saved the world.

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Changing Cultures and a Quest to Cure Cancer - Genentech’s Sara Kenkare-Mitra

A generation ago, a cancer diagnosis meant the patient had a 50% chance of living beyond five years. Today, cancer is still an awful disease, but thanks to incredible medical advances, survival is far more likely than ever before. That’s not the only good news. In fact, there is hope that as soon as a decade from now, cancer could possibly be a managed disease instead of a killer.

In this episode, pharmaceutical expert and cancer researcher, Sara Kenkare-Mitra, shares her how she got into the pharmaceutical field, the long road to creating an effective drug, and the importance of celebrating failure.

Sara discusses:

Part One: The Road to Making a Drug

Growing up in India, moving from India to the United States, culture shock, building resilience, joining Genentech, becoming a leader, how her leadership skills as a manager needed to evolve to lead a team of 550 people, the importance of technical competence in a large organization, the drug development process.

Part Two: Curing Cancer

Why it’s good to celebrate failure, how pharmaceutical companies are curing cancer, advice for young women entering STEM fields, encouraging your teams to learn from failures, meditation and leadership, overcoming the minority effect, advocating for yourself, how being a mother made her a more effective leader, the future of cancer, the role of empathy in leadership and drug development.

Organizations, People, Resources, Places Mentioned.

Mumbai, India, Genentech, Austin, Texas, University of Texas - Austin, UCSF (University of California, San Francisco), San Francisco, Kadcyla (Her2+ Breast cancer drug), the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration)

To learn more about Sara and Genentech, please visit www.Gene.com.

 

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Developing Financial and Emotional Competence with Doug Lennick

Doug Lennick is a legendary leader in the financial services industry who has mentored hundreds of people over his career and coached thousands of people to be more effective leaders and make better financial decisions. In this interview, Doug shares his insights on:

Personal Financial Decision Making: Good debt vs. bad debt, the concentration of private debt, Millennial debt, benchmarks for responsible borrowing, financial education, delaying gratification, financial “slavery,” debt stress and how it impacts performance at work, financial intelligence, preparing for financial uncertainty, behavioral change, Stanford Marshmallow Experiment, impulse control

Effective Leadership: senior leadership trust, compassion, integrity, self-awareness, personal and organizational values, transparency, Baby Boomer retirement, advice for first-time managers, leaders vs. managers, the importance of self-management, alignment of thoughts, actions, emotions to values and goals, moral intelligence vs. moral competence, employee engagement and high performance, advice for first-time CEOs, leadership in a world of artificial intelligence and other major technology transformation, the diminishing importance of cognitive ability in leadership, neuroscience, the adult brain, changing adult behaviors, The Four Rs (Recognize, Reflect, Reframe, Respond), happiness

Organizations, people, and resources mentioned: Arun Abey, How Much Is Enough? Making Financial Decisions That Create Wealth and Well-Being, Ray Dalio, Ken Chenault, American Express, Walter Mischel, 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, Stephen Covey, Stephen M. R. Covey, The SPEED of Trust, Moral Intelligence, Think2Perform, Spock, The Simple Genius (You)

“Our culture is this…I want anybody to be able to talk to anybody, about any thing, at any time.”

Doug Lennick, CEO of Think2Perform, commenting on one of the ways he built trust, transparency, and empowerment while leading a 17,000 person organization at American Express

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Fighting the Fear of Failure: An Entrepreneur’s Journey with Ryan Estis

Writer, speaker, and business owner Ryan Estis candidly discusses his entrepreneurial journey and shares his insights on:

Becoming an entrepreneur: The importance of experimentation before becoming a business owner, the discipline necessary to succeed owning a business, finding life and work on your terms, the downside of having a Plan B when starting a business, overcoming a lack of self-confidence

The State of Business Today: failure tolerance, overcoming resistance to change in organizations, learning and development as a strategic imperative, the importance of investing in people, digitization strategies and evolving business models, the competencies necessary for new leaders to succeed, the future of sales

Organizations mentioned: AT&T, Accor Hotels, Cadillac, National Automobile Dealers Association, Seth Mattison

“Lunch was two cans of StarKist tuna for a year. That was my lunch…start time was 4AM at the kitchen table and I wasn’t in my sweats. I was in a suit and tie.”

Ryan Estis commenting on his mindset when he launched his business in 2009

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