white typewriter keys

The Mindful Leader | Part 6

Daniel Montgomery Reality

DANIEL MONTGOMERY Founder & CEO Leadership Reality Are you a good storyteller? Whether it’s a Hollywood blockbuster or a children’s book, nothing has the power to arrest our attention like a well-told story. Successful leaders know this better than anyone: Want to capture an investor’s imagination? Tell a story. Need to motivate your employees to take action? Tell a story. Eager to sell your new product? Tell a story. PowerPoints and position papers don’t move people; stories do. Why? Because human beings are storied creatures. Like it or not, we’re all surrounded by narrative. What’s Your Story? The stories we tell ourselves can’t help but influence the stories we tell others. You can use a lot of words to describe me: Christian, husband, father, leader, Kentuckian. Each label draws out a different aspect of my personal story, even as it places me within a larger narrative: God’s story, my family, …

Mindful Leader Walking Architecture

The Mindful Leader | Part 5

Daniel Montgomery self awareness

DANIEL MONTGOMERY Founder & CEO Leadership Reality How close are you with your employees? Do you feel very connected? I once saw an episode of the Office where Michael Scott spent the entire episode trying to work his way into the “loop.” In scene after scene, he’d awkwardly insert himself into conversations and ask cringe-inducing questions like, “What’s the scuttlebutt?” Michael Scott is a farce, for sure. Still, the image of lonely manager floating around the office and trying to force a connection with his employees sends shivers down my spine. Leaders struggle to connect with their people. Half of the CEOs out there wrestle mightily with loneliness. When asked, 61% of them say it negatively impacts their job performance. What contributes to leader loneliness? Really, what doesn’t? The corner office The exalted title The pay disparity The authority barrier The generational gap Leadership is an inherently lonely enterprise. The …

The Mindful Leader Pt 3

The Mindful Leader | Part 4

Daniel Montgomery self awareness

DANIEL MONTGOMERY Founder & CEO Leadership Reality How’s your body doing right now? I’ll admit, that’s a strange question to lead with. I’m not a doctor, and you’re not my patient. This is a blog, not an exam room. Still, I’ve been amazed to see just how easy it is to get so engrossed in our work that we fail to notice what’s going on in our bodies. Do you have a headache right now? Are you clenching your jaw? How’s your lower back doing? What about your shoulders? When was the last time something on you didn’t hurt? Unless you’re on a construction site or a battlefield, leadership for you probably happens more in pixels and ink than in sweat and toil. For the office-dwellers among us, we just don’t think about our physical condition very much at all. The trouble is, our minds really do matter when it …

neon sign you are here

The Mindful Leader | Part 3

Daniel Montgomery self awareness

DANIEL MONTGOMERY Founder & CEO Leadership Reality Are your employees disengaged? Would you notice if they were? According to Gallup, only a third of Americans are engaged at work. The rest are either passively skating by (50%) or actively trying to bring down the company from the inside (17%). Every year, disengaged employees cost American business billions of dollars. In combatting this epidemic, smart leaders have discovered that workers—especially millennials—need more than a parking spot and a paycheck to engage with their work. What is that more? Some call it passion. Others call it purpose. I call it place. Mapping Our Place as Leaders In simple terms, place is where you find yourself at any given point in your story. Yes, that includes space (where you are) and time (when you are). More than that, place describes the social, emotional, and cultural environments in which you live and work. For …

person meditating on a dock

Leader Archetype #9 | The Peacemaker

Daniel Montgomery self awareness

SARAH BRAUD Contributor & CEO Braud Creative Leadership Style of a Nine The Nine. The Crown of the enneagram. The Archetype that reflects all the other numbers, so much so that they have a hard time identifying themselves as Nines. Accommodating, supportive, non-judgmental, practical and hard-working, the Nine leader will sacrifice extensively for a genuine concern for those on their team, working tirelessly to promote the agenda of their organization or community. Every true Nine would cringe at any description that draws such positive attention to themselves, however, these leaders are so easy to like. The archetypal leader who is digging in the ditches alongside her people, often called The Peacemaker or The Mediator, leads by example and by reaching consensus. The Problem with a Nine Leader The leadership style of the Nine begins with gathering people together and then letting everyone else shine, often leaving their own opinion out …

clocks on a wall

The Mindful Leader | Part 2

Daniel Montgomery Reality, self awareness

DANIEL MONTGOMERY Founder & CEO Leadership Reality Have you ever had a morning like this one? It’s 9 AM. For the past hour, you’ve tried (and failed) to start in on your to-do list. For some reason, you can’t stop stressing about that upcoming meeting with senior leadership. So, you distract yourself with a little email. 30 minutes later, you decide to get back in the saddle and make a few phone calls. As soon as you pick up the phone, you remember the call you blew yesterday. Afraid to repeat that ugly performance, you fire up Facebook instead. You’re just going to check in and make sure you didn’t miss anything important, of course. Another half hour goes by. The phone rings. There’s an emergency in production. Congratulations! You just lost the rest of your day to crisis management. So much for that to-do list. Time is on my …

male weightlifter

Leader Archetype #8 | The Challenger

Daniel Montgomery self awareness

SARAH BRAUD Contributor & CEO Braud Creative Leadership Style of an Eight The Challenger. The Protector. The Boss. All these title descriptors couldn’t encompass the larger-than-life style of the Eight leadership archetype. These assertive, confident, powerful people came out of the womb knowing what they wanted and who should get it for them. Sometimes aggressive, Eights are motivated by the desire to control their environment, for good or evil. These black & white decision makers easily fill the leadership void wherever it may be and makes up the majority of CEOs in the US as their personality is focused on strength, avoiding weakness, protection for the underdog, and moving the ball forward at any cost. While many find Eights to be intimidating, Eights are often surprised to hear that others fear them because in their core, this archetype is incredibly sensitive. They are drawn to defending the oppressed and look …

Silhouette mind clouds

The Mindful Leader | Part 1

Daniel Montgomery Reality, self awareness

DANIEL MONTGOMERY Founder & CEO Leadership Reality Tell me if this sounds familiar: You’ve been heads down for hours working on a critical project. You finally come up for air, only to realize it’s 6 PM and you’re not even halfway done. Your back is in knots from an entire day spent hunched over a laptop. You’ve not seen any of your team members since the morning huddle, much less interacted with anyone outside the digital wasteland that is social media. You’re tired and dejected. You’ve been busy for hours, but you have no clear sense why. You wonder whether anything you’ve accomplished—this week, this month, this year—is of any real and lasting value. Oh, and you just realized you promised to pick up the kids from soccer at 5:30… Have you been here? I know I have. For business leaders, it seems like we’re always chasing after that mythical sweet …

rainbow confetti on the ground

Leader Archetype #7 | The Enthusiast

Daniel Montgomery self awareness

SARAH BRAUD Contributor & CEO Braud Creative Leadership Style of a Seven “I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.” – Steve Jobs A notorious leader, Steve Jobs is also listed in various enneagram articles as a Seven leader. This Enthusiast leadership archetype is known, much like Steve Jobs, for their innovation and imagination. Forward-looking planners who are constantly on the move for the next best thing, imagine all the creative possibilities connected to whatever interests them. Options make Sevens feel good, so don’t try to put constraints on them. They are quick, spontaneous and engaging storytellers, but rarely have the patience to get those stories down on paper; they are much to pre-occupied in collecting, living, and experiencing the next adventure. As leaders, they celebrate …

stadium seats

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 …