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Three Leadership Lessons from The World’s Greatest Leader

Daniel Montgomery Reality

LAUREN THARP COO Leadership Reality An Unlikely Pick Who do you think was the world’s greatest leader, according to Fortune in 2017? This is a question I often ask in our workshops. I get all kinds of answers. Who would you say is the top leader right now? Elon Musk. He thinks in 100-year increments and is changing the way we approach transportation and energy. Jeff Bezos. Does anyone buy things in stores now? Amazon has changed the way we shop. Melinda Gates. Her foundation paid out $37 billion in grants in 2015 alone. Oprah. The most impactful talk-show host ever, right? These are all great leaders. But not the top-rated. Do you want to know who is? Theo Epstein. Anyone ever heard of him? An Unlikely Approach Theo Epstein is the President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs, and he changed the face of Cubs baseball history. More importantly, his …

How to Fix Corporate America’s Leadership Crisis

Daniel Montgomery Culture

DANIEL MONTGOMERY Founder & CEO Leadership Reality On November 8, 2017, the Golden State Warriors had a problem.  After suffering a nasty thigh contusion a few days before, their superstar, Kevin Durant, was forced to sit out that night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.  For plenty of teams, this would be a disaster. But not for Golden State.  Omri Casspi, JaVale McGee, Patrick McCaw, Kevon Looney, Nick Young—names you wouldn’t recognize unless you were a hard-core Warriors fan—jumped in to score an unheard-of 57 points from the bench and propel the Warriors to a decisive victory. What does that have to do my business?  In a survey conducted by DDI, 84% of the respondents expected to fall short of their leadership needs within 5 years. And, while they recognized the need for leadership development, only 5% had implemented a holistic plan for making that happen. Even worse, 25% had a …

Why You Need to Put Culture Before Strategy

Daniel Montgomery Culture

DANIEL MONTGOMERY Founder & CEO Leadership Reality “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This quote has been floating around the business world for a while. It’s often credited to Peter Drucker, but the jury’s still out on who really said it first.  Mark Fields—former president and CEO of Ford—summed it up nicely: “You can have the best plan in the world, and if the culture isn’t going to let it happen, it’s going to die on the vine.”  What Drucker/Fields/Whoever is saying is spot-on. You can go ahead and pay a consultant big money to draft the most incredible strategic plan anyone has ever seen. But, if you don’t have the culture to support it, that plan will be dead on arrival. Have We Heard Something Like That Before? To my ears, this sounds like a slight variation on a theme we find in Jesus’ ministry. Once, Jesus ripped into a …

Where Are You Right Now? 7 Signs of the Unaware Leader

Daniel Montgomery Reality

DANIEL MONTGOMERY Founder & CEO Leadership Reality As I shared last time, self-awareness is the key to high performance. Tasha Eurich—an organizational psychologist and New York Times best-selling author—has a lot to say about that in her book, Insight: Why We’re Not as Self-Aware as we Think. Referring to self-awareness as the “meta-skill of the 21st century,” Eurich writes: “[T]he qualities most critical for success in today’s world—things like emotional intelligence, empathy, influence, persuasion, communication, and collaboration—all stem from self-awareness. To put it another way, if we’re not self-aware, it’s almost impossible to master the skills that make us stronger team players, superior leaders, and better relationship builders—at work and beyond.” For me, Eurich’s most startling research finding was just how oblivious we are to our obliviousness. 95% of people think they’re self-aware, yet only 10-15% actually are. “For most people, it’s easier to choose self-delusion,” she says, “over the …

leadership development

Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here?

Daniel Montgomery Reality

DANIEL MONTGOMERY Founder & CEO Leadership Reality A friend once told me a parable that went something like this: About 2000 years ago, a Rabbi ambled along the way, paying more attention to the little plumes of dust kicked up by his feet than to where he was going.  When the Rabbi meandered a touch too close to the provincial governor’s estate, a soldier appeared, clad in armor with a sword on his hip.  “Who are you and what are you doing here?” The Rabbi stopped and looked up. “What did you say?” “Who are you and what are you doing here?” The Rabbi pondered deeply for a moment. “Son, I don’t know what they’re paying you, but I’ll give you double to come stand by my tent and ask me those two questions every morning.” Who are you and what are you doing here? Since stepping down as the …