The Leadership Podcast  By  cover art

The Leadership Podcast

By: Jan Rutherford and Jim Vaselopulos experts on leadership development
  • Summary

  • We interview great leaders, review the books they read, and speak with highly influential authors who study them.
    Copyright © 2016-2023 Rafti Advisors, LLC & Self Reliant Leadership, LLC - All Rights Reserved.
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  • TLP409: The Audience is the Hero With Rick Tocquigny
    May 15 2024
    In this episode, Rick Tocquigny, a distinguished mentor, founder, and the voice behind the “Success Made to Last” podcast, as well as an accomplished author and Pulitzer Prize finalist, delves into the profound realization that serving others holds greater significance than mere personal success. This insight became particularly poignant following the loss of close family members. Rick places high value on asking meaningful questions and sharing narratives of resilience. He underscores the critical role of passing down life lessons to preserve family histories, drawing on examples like his mother's experiences during World War II. Furthermore, Rick highlights the imperative for startup leaders to align their actions with their core values from the outset, ensuring cohesion and adherence to these principles, especially in financially challenging times. He also sheds light on the importance of collaboration and strategic planning in the early stages of a startup, asserting that while monetary concerns are paramount initially, the synergy of a united team is equally crucial for success. Key Takeaways: [04:52] Rick shares that he started caring more about helping others after losing some important people in his life. He realized that making a real difference is more important than just being successful. Helping others and leaving a good impact became his main goal, even if it's not noticed by everyone. Rick also believes that it's all about making the world a better place, no matter what happens. [11:11] He mentions that he appreciates a thought-provoking question and discusses the significance of curiosity and deep questioning. Rick also highlights that he finds inspiration in stories like "My Side of the Mountain" that explore survival and self-discovery. Drawing from their time at Procter & Gamble, he stresses the importance of asking insightful questions to uncover meaningful stories. [16:22] Rick explains that his project of sharing life lessons began after losing his parents in 2003 and 2005. He realized the importance of preserving family stories, like their mom's experience in World War II, which inspired him to encourage others to do the same. While some veterans might be hesitant due to PTSD, Rick urges people to record stories for future generations, even if it means ensuring accuracy by gathering facts. [19:16] He shares a touching story from his book about a teacher in Arkansas who rearranged her classroom, leaving her students confused. Eventually, she revealed that the desks and chairs were provided by veterans. This gesture was a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by veterans for the freedom enjoyed every day. Rick then emphasizes the importance of honoring and remembering the contributions of veterans and their families. [23:54] Rick explains that if an organization's core values don't align with its strategic direction, they won't contribute to success. He also mentions the importance of integrating core values into daily operations and decision-making processes. Without this integration, core values can seem superficial and meaningless. Furthermore, if employees don't believe in the core values, they won't influence behavior or contribute to the strategy. [26:40] He reflects on leadership in startup environments, emphasizing the importance of aligning core values from the beginning. Rick stresses the need for leaders to exemplify collaboration and alignment with core values, especially in startup scenarios where resources may be limited. He suggests that podcasts should focus on speaking to entrepreneurs starting their own businesses rather than Fortune 500 executives, as these individuals are navigating the real-world challenges of building a company from the ground up. Rick also highlights the significance of strategy and culture in shaping the success of a startup, noting that while culture is important, practical concerns like making payroll take precedence in the early stages of business development. [32:48] Rick expresses gratitude for his mentors who have influenced his understanding of success and significance. He mentions Preston Paddon, known for his role in negotiating the NFL contract with Fox, who taught them the importance of resilience and rolling with rejection. Finally, Rick highlights Frank Blake, former CEO of Home Depot, who shared a valuable lesson about aligning personal interests, skills, and market demand to guide career choices. He also emphasizes the significance of considering passion, proficiency, and market demand in career decisions. [31:20] He talks about how everyone feels lonely sometimes and wishes for deeper connections with others. Rick mentions that despite success, many people feel something is missing or have regrets about not spending enough time with loved ones. He also notes that everyone has their own struggles and imperfections, and some people spend a lot of time trying to be ...
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    38 mins
  • TLP408: Masterful Coaching With Robert Hargrove
    May 8 2024
    Robert Hargrove, the mind behind Masterful Coaching and a leader at the Harvard Leadership Project, delves into his coaching origins, advocating for a goal-centric approach that drives significant outcomes while redefining success. He highlights how, despite the challenges posed by organizational structures, there's a universal aspiration among individuals to thrive and impact positively. Robert underscores the critical role of authenticity and self-assurance when engaging with top executives, urging his audience to ambitiously envision beyond the usual limits. Further, he points out that the core of effective coaching lies in compassion and earnest support for both personal and professional development. Key Takeaways: [04:59] Robert shares the transition of his journey, recalling his early days organizing leadership weekends, driven by a passion to foster leadership skills. These became the foundation of his work in personal transformation seminars, leading to opportunities to implement similar programs in corporate settings, catalyzing cultural shifts and visionary leadership within organizations. [9:16] He talks about coaching and how it's changed over time. He believes coaching is about helping people achieve big goals, not just getting better at what they already do. Robert thinks coaching should focus on winning and getting results, like in sports, rather than just learning skills. In the end, he is still passionate about coaching as a way to help people reach their dreams and make big things happen. [15:23] Throughout his career, Robert shares that he has noticed a big change in what counts as success in business. It used to be all about making quick money for investors or climbing the corporate ladder. But with his approach to coaching, he's trying to change that. Inspired by thinkers like James McGregor Burns, Robert sees coaching as a way to lift people's goals and motivations, especially those in power like CEOs. His aim is to help them connect with their highest values and ideals, making a real impact in their lives. [16:45] In his coaching practice, Robert considers the question of what "winning" means to individuals and businesses. While he believes in letting people define success for themselves, he also emphasizes the importance of elevating their understanding of what constitutes true success. He engages in dialogue with others, encouraging them to share their perspectives on this matter. [19:14] He shares that the key to fulfillment for many seems to lie in discovering their passion, becoming a leader in their field, and making a meaningful impact on the world or within the organization. Robert also mentions that people inherently desire to excel and make a difference, but often encounter obstacles within organizational hierarchies and bureaucracies. Over his years of coaching, he has observed that many individuals express frustration with their bosses as a significant challenge. This highlights the importance of leadership coaching as a means to address such issues and empower individuals to unlock their full potential. [22:57] Robert recounts working with a dynamic leader passionate about sustainability, but who lost confidence and became overly deferential upon promotion to CEO in a larger division. Despite coaching efforts, the leader chooses security over personal growth, prioritizing approval from higher-ups and conforming to corporate hierarchy. [25:20] He shares his current focus on working with influential figures, including political leaders and celebrities, using their coaching skills for high leverage. Robert expresses a desire to collaborate with others, including the listener, to coach individuals on their list of influential people, aiming to expand it further and potentially advertise his services. He also introduces a new program called "Create a Legendary Company," which aims to help CEOs and entrepreneurs build companies that positively impact lives and generate significant revenue. Robert outlines seven business drivers for achieving exponential growth and emphasizes the importance of adopting a "TEN X MINDSET" for substantial improvement. [30:09] Robert shares insights on executive presence, emphasizing the importance of authenticity and confidence in interactions with high-ranking individuals. He stresses the need for normalcy in conversations and appearance, highlighting that executives should approach discussions with CEOs or other leaders just as they would with family members. Additionally, he suggests that starting one's own business can instill a sense of confidence and swagger, contributing to executive presence. [34:21] He encourages listeners to dare to dream beyond conventional boundaries, urging them to embrace the limitless potential of their imaginations. Robert emphasizes the importance of setting clear goals, noting that many individuals struggle to articulate their aspirations. He ...
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    36 mins
  • TLP407: Positive and Diligent With Justin Walker
    May 1 2024
    Justin Walker, a Navy veteran transitioning from solopreneurship, highlights his multifaceted hobbies like playing musical instruments, despite not being an expert. He introduces the concept of the "attitude and effort cycle," underscoring the importance of maintaining a positive outlook and diligent effort, regardless of motivation levels. In discussing leadership, Justin stresses the need for self-awareness, proactive behavior, and clarity to mitigate uncertainty, making connections between military and corporate leadership. He advocates for regular leadership assessments and acknowledges the environment's role in building team cohesion. Further, Justin's view on success has evolved to embrace a comprehensive approach, prioritizing personal health, family, and embracing the journey. He advises leaders to concentrate on shaping the environment rather than exerting direct influence on people. Key Takeaways: [03:08] Justin shares what he does during his leisure time, such as playing the piano, guitar, and singing, despite acknowledging his lack of expertise. He reflects on his upbringing in a small Kansas town, where he recognized a need for change, and steering clear of a monotonous lifestyle. Shaped by his environment and personal choices, Justin's inclination to avoid stagnancy appears to stem from a combination of nature and nurture. [06:25] He discusses the term "attitude and effort cycle," explaining the importance of either having a positive attitude or putting in effort to kick-start the cycle. Justin notes that even when lacking motivation, putting in effort can lead to a positive attitude over time. He also mentions an "attitude gap" in pursuing long-term goals, where motivation may wane but gradually returns as the goal nears completion. Justin also shares that his interest in discipline and ambition led him to explore the military as a way to develop and amplify these qualities, acknowledging that it was one of many paths for growth. [11:44] Justin shares a personal opinion on the widespread desire to play musical instruments, suggesting that many people fantasize about being able to play like a rock star. He believes that those who recognize the importance of making time for personal growth are more likely to pursue their musical interests. However, Justin acknowledges that priorities differ, and for some, making money might take precedence over exploring musical talents. [12:52] He discusses the importance of focus and the ability to navigate ambiguity in both personal endeavors, like learning a new song, and in the business world. Justin also highlights the challenges of being in the middle space of leadership, emphasizing the need for self-awareness and the ability to reduce ambiguity. He stresses the importance of taking initiative and not waiting for permission to figure things out. [22:22] Justin draws parallels between operating on Amazon and the military, highlighting the challenges of navigating complexity within a large organization. He discusses two leadership approaches: technical problem-solving, akin to changing a light bulb, and adaptive problem-solving, addressing behavioral challenges. Coming from a military background, Justin emphasizes the shift in focus from technical to behavioral issues in a non-military environment, requiring guidance, coaching, and time for behavioral changes to manifest. [26:43] He emphasizes the importance of regular check-ups and creating brief interactions in leadership to understand individuals on a deeper level. Justin highlights the opportunity for leaders to explore various aspects of an individual's life, such as mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, familial, and communal, appropriately. He also encourages leaders to adjust the environment to facilitate these conversations on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Justin also discusses the impact of high turnover and how structuring the environment, as seen in military practices, can foster stronger connections among team members. [30:45] Justin reflects on his transition and the role writing played as an outlet, particularly on LinkedIn. He started by writing raw and straightforward articles, garnering significant feedback and engagement. Motivated by the positive response, he then continued writing for three to four years, accumulating around 50 or 60 articles. Eventually, Justin decided to blend these articles into a book, emphasizing their skill of simplifying complex ideas. Despite advice from some not to publish the raw and straightforward book, he still went ahead, and it turned out to be the best decision. The book's honesty and authenticity helped him secure roles in bigger businesses, contrary to the initial concerns about potential backlash. [37:22] He shares his perspective on success, emphasizing its evolving nature and the importance of embracing the journey. There is also a huge significance of...
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    40 mins

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