Of Prophets and Profits | Part 1

Daniel Montgomery Reality

DANIEL MONTGOMERY Founder & CEO Leadership Reality This is the first in a series of 4 blog posts on what the Church and the business world can learn about from one another about leadership. When the Church Father Tertullian (c. 155-240 A.D.) asked, “what has Athens to do with Jerusalem,” he already had an answer in mind: not much. As far as Tertullian was concerned, speculative philosophy had very little—if anything—to say to the Church. In our day, I’ve noticed a similar tension between the Church and the business world: What has New York City to do with Jerusalem? With Tertullian, many would answer that question in the negative. “Not much,” they say as they seek to build a firewall between the “sacred” and the “secular.” Business lives out in that scary place called the world; surely, there’s nothing for us to learn out there. Business owners—Christian or not—believe the …

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 …

Leader Archetype #1 | The Reformer

Daniel Montgomery Reality

SARAH BRAUD Contributor & CEO Braud Creative Leadership Style of a One One of the best examples from television of a Leadership Archetype #1 is that of Lady Isobel Crawley from Downton Abbey. Lady Crawley maintains a deep commitment to her values, rights the wrongs around her, and expects others to hold to the same standards she has set for herself. Unfortunately for her, not everyone plays by the same rules. In fact, though she is a true advocate for the downcast, she can also be insufferable to those around her, particularly her frenemy, the Dowager Countess, Lady Violet.  Lady Violet Grantham calls out Lady Crawley’s idealism when she asks her, “Does it ever get cold on the moral high ground?”  Being right, righteous, values-driven, morally upright, above reproach, and maintaining the highest integrity are all descriptors of this archetype. (No one has really ever accused me of any of these …

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 …

9 leadership types

Understanding the Power of Your Leadership Archetype

Daniel Montgomery self awareness

SARAH BRAUD Contributor & CEO Braud Creative My best friend since childhood has always been a natural leader. She’s charming, out-going, and a little bossy. She thinks in black and white, knows what she wants and goes after it, every time. Her insecurity meter is broken and when someone pays her a complement, her first instinct is to say, “I know.” I love her dearly, but I often want to punch her in the throat for being so ridiculously confident.  In comparison, I am awkward, self-deprecating, and way more comfortable with the gray areas of life. I don’t exactly scream “natural born leader.” Yet here I am, leading my family as a mother, leading my company, and leading my clients as a marketing consultant. So when I think about growth as a leader, I automatically think I’m supposed to be more like Stacey.  Or like Hillary. Or like Cheryl Sandberg. …