On Great Books

If you’re writing and speaking more than you’re reading and listening, it’s time to right the ship!  Here are three books you’ll love!  When you don’t have immediate access to the right people directly, you can still surround yourself with their ideas!  Enjoy!

Amazon links to the books (not affiliate links):

Cracking the Curiosity Code: The Key to Unlocking Human Potential by Diane Hamilton

Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard

Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life by Brian Solis

Serving Emerging Leaders

What’s are today’s emerging leaders to do?  Who do they learn from and how will they prepare themselves to lead their organizations in the coming years.  Leo and Randy talk about what serving our next generation of leaders will entail.

Click here to watch/listen to our Year Of The Peer conversation with Jim Kouzes and hear what he says about learning leadership!

Peer Groups: GYMS for Leaders

In 2017, one of the guests on my Year of the Peer podcast (renamed What Anyone Can Do in 2018) was Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, professor emeritus at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute.  During our conversation, she told me the more that teachers collaborate with one another outside the classroom, the more effective they can be at building collaborative environments among students inside their classrooms.  Countless leaders of CEO and key executive peer groups have said the same holds true in business.  Essentially, leaders who do group work are more emotionally and intellectually fit to inspire superior teamwork inside their organizations.  Let’s look at why.

To back up a moment, let’s distinguish between group and team.  A group is one where people come together to help each other realize their individual goals.  A team is a collection of people who collaborate in an effort to achieve a common goal.  CEOs connect with other CEOs in groups because they believe that talking with peers who share their common challenges, yet who may come from very different worlds, will help them be better individual leaders and provide them with ideas and insights to help them grow their companies.  College athletes, on the other hand, who participate in a team sport, may aspire to win a national championship – a single goal that can only be achieved as a high performing team.

Think of groups as the “gyms” for team leaders.  Groups are the perfect training ground for strengthening your leadership muscles, building your business acumen, and fine-tuning your emotional intelligence.  My guess is that you wouldn’t consider entering the IRONMAN, running a marathon, or cycling the Tour de France without training for it; yet too many organizational leaders attempt something equally difficult every day they show up to work without having stepped one foot into the gym.  You can argue that you can train in other ways.  Fair point.  You can read books, hire a coach, go to conferences, etc.  That said, here’s one thing (among many) you won’t get anywhere else except in a group – it’s called the Learning-Achieving cycle.

The Learning-Achieving Cycle, The Power of Peers (2016)

Dr. Darling-Hammond told me that we learn better when we learn together.  When we share our learning with one another and engage in deep conversation about a given concept, it not only helps us understand it more completely, but also provides group members the courage to ACT on that learning.  You might read something in a book that on its face seems like a great idea, but you’re unlikely to walk into the office the next day and implement it.  Within days, that idea joins the pile of other interesting things you learned that you never acted on.  Once you act on your learning (trial and error notwithstanding) and you achieve positive results, it inspires you to want to learn more.  This creates a reinforcing loop of learning, sharing, applying, achieving that becomes a force of nature of its own – a force fueled by a leader’s insatiable desire to leverage the group’s intellectual capital for his/her own personal and organizational ROI.

Regardless of what you’re trying to learn, rather than read about it or have someone tell you about it, when you’re part of a group, you actually do it.  You stick your hands in the clay, if you will, at each and every group meeting.  It’s your practice field for business and personal success.  If you want to lead higher performing teams, get yourself to the gym.  That said, my one disclaimer is this:  You can’t just sign up for a gym membership or even just show up there from time to time to receive any real benefit.  But if you dig deep, invest in yourself, and do the work, then you, your group members, and your organizational team(s) will be the big winners for it.

If you have a story about how your peer group helped you get into better shape to be a stronger team leader, share it in the comments!  Thanks!

Leo’s Workshops in the UK

Leo stops down in Kenilworth, England, as he nears the end of a two-week swing leading workshops for Vistage Groups in the UK.  In this podcast, Randy talks with Leo about what he’s learned and explores the implications for building higher performing teams in our organizations.

What Anyone Can Do – The Movie…

…or maybe just the book trailer! 😉 Enjoy!

Angela Maiers Talks About What Matters

Angela Maiers is the founder of Choose2Matter, a global movement that challenges and inspires students to work collaboratively to develop innovative solutions to social problems. She has also authored six books, including Classroom Habitudes and The Passion-Driven Classroom, which introduced the concept of “Genius Hour” in education.  Her “You Matter” talk at TEDx Des Moines in June 2011 has been viewed several hundred thousand times and was the impetus for Choose2Matter.  Angela’s powerful message and down-to-earth style has made her a highly sought-after keynote speaker for education conferences, corporate events and innovation summits.

Connect with today’s guest – Angela Maiers – at Twitter @AngelaMaiers.
Connect with Leo Bottary and Randy Cantrell, too.

Year of the Peer – Year End Review

Hard to believe that 2017 is winding to a close.  To that end, we thank our listeners, our guests, and C-Suite Radio for an amazing Year of the Peer.  To wrap-up, Randy and I will talk about some of the major takeaways from Season 1 and look to what’s next for 2018.  If you’ve missed a few episodes and you’re up for some holiday binge viewing and listening, please visit leobottary.com and click on PODCAST or look for us on C-Suite Radio.  Remember, who you surround yourself with matters, so consider taking time during this holiday season to tell the people in your life how much you appreciate them. We’ll be back in mid-January for Season 2. Until then, have a safe and happy holidays!

We are extremely grateful for the incredible people who agreed to appear as guests on the Year of the Peer during 2017. Here they are in the order they appeared:

Charlene Li, CEO of the Altimeter Group and Best-Selling Author
Rich Karlgaard, Publisher and Global Futurist for Forbes
Lewis Schiff, Founder & Executive Director, The Business Owners Council
JJ Ramberg, Host of Your Business (MSNBC) and Business Owner
Jim Kouzes, Coauthor of The Leadership Challenge and former CEO
Vitaly Golomb, Investor & Global Startup Evangelist, HP Tech Ventures
Rahfeal Gordon, Inspirational Speaker/Author
Etienne & Beverly Wenger-Trayner; Scholars/Authors/Consultants
Laura Goodrich, Co-Founder, GWT Next and author of Seeing Red Cars
Linda Darling-Hammond, Professor Emeritus, Stanford Graduate School; of Education
Leon Shapiro, Coauthor of The Power of Peers and former CEO of Vistage
Bri Seeley & Thais Sky, co-founders of The Amplify Collective
Lolly Daskal, Founder, Lead From Within
Pat Wadors, CHRO LinkedIn
Larry Robertson, Founder Lighthouse Consulting
Sekou Andrews, Poetic Voice
Paul Michelman, MIT Sloan Management Review
Marian Salzman; CEO Havas PR, US
Ryan Foland, Managing Partner, InfluenceTree
Gini Dietrich, CEO Arment-Dietrich
Jeffrey Hayzlett; Chairman, C-Suite Holdings, LLC
Christina Martini; Partner at DLA Piper LLP (US)
Scott Mordell, CEO, YPO
Jimmy LeBlanc/Perry Stagg, Louisiana Department of Corrections
Tim Sanders, former Yahoo! Chief Solutions Officer
Angela Maiers, Founder, Choose2Matter
Miguel Dias, CEO and cofounder of CEOWORLD
Peter Carrington, St. Louis Barge
Simon Alexander Ong, Executive Coach and Mastermind Group Leader
Amazon’s Alexa (yes, Randy and I interviewed Alexa)
Claude Silver, Chief Heart Officer, VaynerMedia
Peter Fuller, President, Lived Fused
Trent Sanderson, owner and creator of Team Prep USA
Benji Hyam, Co-founder, Grow & Convert
Cecelia Houser, Principal, Korn Ferry/Hay Group
Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter Group
Tonia Ries; SVP Edelman, Executive Director, Edelman Square
Robert H. Thompson, author of The Offsite
Brian Mac Mahon, Head Honcho, Expert DOJO
Sam Reese, CEO of Vistage Worldwide
Jeff Hoffman, former CEO of Priceline partner and founder of Colorjar
Peter Shankman, founder of HARO
Dan Hoffman, founder and CEO of Circles
Richard Franzi, Founder and CEO Critical Mass for Business
Dave Peterson, C-founder and Partner at Play Bigger
Christine Comaford, NYT besting selling author and business coach

How’s that for a dream team?!

Angela Maiers Talks About Owning Your Genius and Mattering

Angela Maiers is the founder of Choose2Matter, a global movement that challenges and inspires students to work collaboratively to develop innovative solutions to social problems. She has also authored six books, including Classroom Habitudes and The Passion-Driven Classroom, which introduced the concept of “Genius Hour” in education.  Her “You Matter” talk at TEDx Des Moines in June 2011 has been viewed several hundred thousand times and was the impetus for Choose2Matter.  Angela’s powerful message and down-to-earth style has made her a highly sought-after keynote speaker for education conferences, corporate events and innovation summits. Connect with her at Twitter @AngelaMaiers.

Next week’s guest is Miguel Dias, CEO of CEO WORLD.

Why Mentoring Matters

A number of years ago, I received an email from Reesa Greenwald, the director of the Seton Hall University Career Center, asking me to be a mentor in a program called CHAMP (Communication Honors Alumni Mentor Program).   The program was actually launched in 2011 as the Communication Honors Associates Mentoring Program.  I am a proud Seton Hall alum and was also serving as an adjunct faculty member at the time.  The email was worded in a way that seemed to indicate that this was meant for people who lived in close proximity to the campus – as opposed to someone like me living in southern California.  Just before I hit “delete” (assuming this email wasn’t meant for me), I reread it and thought to myself, “I could do this remotely.  Maybe I’ll see if Reesa would be open to that.”   Fortunately for me, she agreed to give it a try.

According to Paul Ward, the alum who spearheads this program: “CHAMP was designed to bring together successful alumni with current Communication students to share tips and practical advice on navigating the many career opportunities a degree from Seton Hall can offer.  The response from the students and the mentors was overwhelmingly positive and the program allowed two generations of Pirates to develop both networking opportunities and great friendships. We’re looking forward to offering this program to even more Pirates as we move forward.”

Four years later, it appears our little experiment worked – especially for me.  CHAMP mentors are matched with one student per year.  I see to it that I meet with the student who is assigned to me in person at least once, but otherwise our conversations take place via Skype, Zoom, phone, email or text.  I went into this hoping I could give back to the university and help some aspiring communication professionals.  Turns out, I can say unequivocally that the benefits go both ways.   I share my experiences and perspective, while they share their aspirations and keep me current.

A few weeks ago, I attended a CHAMP event on campus.  I loved it!  There was a great deal of talk about how the students benefit from the many alumni who give their time and share their expertise.   While that may be true, I’m pretty sure the other alums share my sentiment about how much we all get in return.  For me, it’s one more example of how 1+1 can = 3.

Pictured above are two of the students  I was fortunate enough to work with and to whom I will be forever grateful and always available (l to r) Siobhan McGirl (Senior) and Sarah Auerbach (Sophomore), not pictured are graduates Phil Burrows and Mawuena Sedodo.  Mentoring matters – for all involved.

Linda Darling-Hammond: Learning How to Learn Together

Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Emeritus Professor of Education at Stanford University.  Last year, she became the founding president for the Learning Policy Institute, which conducts and communicates independent, high quality research to improve education policy and practice.

In 2008, she served as director of President Obama’s education policy transition team. Among Darling-Hammond’s more than 500 publications are The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future (winner of the coveted 2012 Grawemeyer Award in Education).  Her most recent books include Getting Teacher Evaluation Right: What Really Matters for Effectiveness and Improvement (2013) and Beyond the Bubble Test: How Performance Assessments Support 21st Century Learning (2014).

Next week’s guest: Leon Shapiro, coauthor of The Power of Peers: How the Company You Keep Drives Leadership, Growth & Success.