What's Happening in Leader to Leader from Bruce Rosenstein, Managing Editor

Continuing to feature articles from our latest, Fall 2021 issue, we examine a variety of viewpoints and topics from the following thought-provoking leaders:

In his article “The Power of People You Overlook,” Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, writes about the value for organizations in hiring groups that tend to be marginalized in the workplace: Older workers, people with disabilities, veterans, and the formerly incarcerated.

For instance, in discussing older workers, he writes,

The biggest workplace bias that exists is ageism—it never gets old. It’s been 50 years since Congress made it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers age 40 or older, but according to the Urban Institute and ProPublica, more than half of older U.S. workers say they’ve been pushed out of longtime jobs before they chose to retire.

Businesses that reflect this bias are only turning a mirror on their own shortcomings and insecurities. To hire so narrowly young means to overlook older talent with institutional knowledge, a history of key relationships and focused approaches to accomplishing goals.

Americans are living longer and need to work more years. So, we need to bring them into the workplace and value their experience. Mature workers have honed skills over decades of employment. Many have pursued further education and expanded their skill sets during their careers and in periods of unemployment or underemployment. Retaining talented mature workers—and recruiting new ones—is simply smart for most organizations.

Elsewhere in the issue, Tracy Palandjian, CEO and co-founder of Social Finance, an impact investing and advisory nonprofit, explains “How Private, Public, and Nonprofit Leaders Can Amplify Their Impact by Adopting Cross-sector Tools.” Palandjian writes,

At Social Finance, we’ve collaborated with many different nonprofit organizations over the last decade, and the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) is among the select few organizations that have explored such strategies. The organization, which specializes in transitional workforce programming for people being released from prison, started as a Vera Institute of Justice program in the 1970s and evolved into an independent 501(c)3 launched in 1996. Today, CEO operates in 30 cities thanks to its randomized control trial-proven model, which serves as the basis for a variety of direct service programs, partnerships, and pieces of consulting work. To date, more than 35,000 people who were formerly incarcerated have found new footing in life following release with support from CEO.

This vision is well within reach for nonprofit leaders who are prepared to leverage some of the tools private sector companies have long used to build robust and enduring business models, and cultivate new revenue sources.

Steven Goldbach and Geoff Tuff, who are both principals at Deloitte, write about the value of taking action over endless contemplation in “Provoke: How to Lead with Purpose.” They “identify five moves to enable leaders to recognize patterns and broaden their peripheral vision to move forward with not just progress, but also purpose.” One of those moves is “Drive”:

Once you enter the phase change from “if” to “when,” you have three broad moves you might make as a provocateur. Which one makes the most sense will be a function of the line of sight you have to the most likely future (a combination of degree of influence, clarity, and straightforwardness) and its alignment with your desired outcome.

To Drive is to directly create an impact that is advantageous to you. You Drive when your line of sight is strong and the direction change is heading in appears to be a good one for you. You Drive when a single organization can have a meaningful impact on the outcome of a broader trend, or where an actor could “just do it.” Often, if you catch a trend early enough in the phase change, you may have a slightly higher ability to influence the outcome, although we have observed it’s increasingly rare that any single organization has enough influence to truly go it alone. But Drive is also the move that requires the most confidence and commitment to seeing it through, even in the face of plenty of evidence that the move is anything but a sure thing.

Terry Jackson, leader of JCG Consulting Group LLC, writes about “Co-Creation Leadership.” He believes that …

Co-creation leadership requires a quantum shift in leadership, culture, and accountability. It requires a shift from top down to bottom up. Everyone in the organization, as well as its consumers, will benefit from a structure that enables their voices to be heard. Leaders who thrive on top down thinking will not last long in this new paradigm. Employees, especially millennials, choose to work for organizations that value their input and serve the greater good, over those that do not, though they may pay more. Organizations that do not value their employees’ contributions will lose the best of them to those that do. Those who remain will become more disengaged, and more problematic.

Co-creation leadership requires a shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Co-creation leadership must allow its employees to take on ownership and responsibility, and even allow them to fail. Successful co-creation eliminates the notion of failure. Everything is a learning experience that helps organizations grow better, faster. When the values and goals are shared throughout the organization, and its stakeholders have a growth mindset, the organization can course correct at any time to ensure its goals are realized. And, at times, goals can be fluid as well when new and better goals are presented.

First Person

Laura Kriska, a cross-cultural consultant, draws on her early work experience in “Overcoming Us and Them Dynamics.” She writes,

Within a week of graduating from college I was working on the assembly line in Marysville, Ohio, making cars. Like every other worker, I wore heavy, steel-toed boots, plastic safety glasses, and a white uniform with a red patch that said HONDA. I had never before worked in a manufacturing environment but quickly noticed differences compared to the office environments where I had done internships and had summer jobs. I heard people on the assembly line say ain’t. They cursed occasionally and when our white uniforms got dirty with grease or paint, nobody seemed to mind. Although I worked in the factory for only a month, it was enough to get a firsthand look at a timeless workplace culture gap—blue-collar versus white-collar work.

In the 30 years since I wore those steel-toed boots, I have spent time in hundreds of workplaces, from factories in the Midwest to executive suites in Europe. In every institution, I observed historical divides particular to each corporate environment. Sales versus marketing. Back office versus front office. Internal audit versus everyone. I’ve worked with thousands of professionals across the globe and virtually everyone I speak with can tell me a story about a time when they have suffered the consequences of a departmental Us versus Them rivalry. Sometimes the consequences are mild and function as a type of initiation. But in other situations, the consequences have a long-term impact on the overall efficiency of the organization.

Welcome to our new co-editor-in-chief, Sarah McArthur!

I’m delighted to welcome aboard Sarah McArthur, the former Chief Operating Officer/COO of Marshall Goldsmith Inc., to Leader to Leader. Sarah is joining Frances Hesselbein in the role of co-editor-in-chief. Sarah is no stranger to LTL, Wiley, or the Hesselbein Forum. Her article “Uncovering Your Contribution To Society: What Is Visible, But Not Yet Seen” appears in our Summer 2019 issue. Along with Frances and Marshall, she is co-editor of the 2018 Wiley book Work is Love Made Visible: A Collection of Essays About the Power of Finding Your Purpose From the World's Greatest Thought Leaders. Sarah is co-editor, with Marshall and Laurence S. Lyons, of the 2012 Pfeiffer/Wiley book Coaching for Leadership: Writings on Leadership from the World's Greatest Coaches, 3rd Edition, which includes Sarah’s essay “Writing for Leadership: Penning Your Leadership Voice.”

In the News

The prestigious 2021 Thinkers50 Awards were held in London on November 15-16. We are pleased to see a number of Leader to Leader authors and interviewees among the winners. In particular, in the 2021 Ranking of Management Thinkers, two LTL authors were in the top ten,  #1 Amy Edmondson and #8 Whitney Johnson. Below the top ten, our authors Dorie Clark, Frances Frei & Anne Morriss, Heidi Grant, Morten Hansen, Herminia Ibarra, Hubert Joly, Paul Polman and Andrew Winston, and Liz Wiseman are represented; as is Sinan Aral, who was interviewed for a ‘From the Front Lines’ feature in 2012.

Another category is THINKERS50 RADAR 2021, in which the organization “identifies, ranks,

and shares the very best in management ideas. Every year we publish our list of 30 thinkers to watch out for in the coming year.” This year’s list includes our authors Traci L. Fenton and Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg; as well as ‘From the Front Lines’ interviewees Leon C. Prieto and Simone Phipps; and Michelle R. Weise.

Our Fall 2021 issue speaks to how and why leaders operate within a complex web of interactions with multiple stakeholders, on a global basis, in a 24/7 world.

In her article “The Art of Caring Leadership: How Leading with Heart Uplifts Teams and Organizations,” Heather R. Younger, CEO and Founder of Employee Fanatix, a leading employee engagement, leadership development, and DEI consulting firm, writes about the changing relationships between organizational leaders and their employees:

Traditionally, organizations have focused only on employee performance inside the workplace, without regard for the lives of those employees outside the office. But the events over the last couple of years have changed everything. Microsoft Teams and Zoom video conferencing calls have torn down the barriers between our home and work lives.

Organizational leaders now must understand that to get the most out of their relationships with those they lead, they must consider employee lives in aggregate, including what is happening in their lives outside work. This might mean helping them manage mental health issues or various other personal problems. Caring leaders don’t separate the person from what might be happening to them outside their work life. On the contrary, they meet their employees where they are to help them achieve and be more.

Another “art of” article in Fall 2021 is Art Johnson and Erik Beckler’s “The Art of Alignment – Setting the Structures and Processes to Drive the Mission of Your Organization.” Johnson is CEO, and Beckler is Chief Alignment Whisperer, of Infinity Systems, Inc., a management consulting firm. They write,

There is the mission, and there are the things that encompass and embody that mission. Leadership can conduct a gap analysis of an ideal state of alignment to the current state, as well as identify what it means to act in a way that strives to fulfill the mission. Provide clear and achievable guidance and examples for your employees to follow. Make it easy for them to understand the expectations and what those look like in action, from the very top, all the way down. Make sure that they can easily access those definitions and examples so that they can model them. Those aspirational aspects set the stage of how high the bar of mission expectations is so that leadership can recognize those that achieve it. Bear in mind that the bar will adjust over time as your organization practices becoming focused on mission and vision.

These components will be the foundation from which your organization will construct mission-driven stories. But you can only pour a foundation if everyone agrees on what the house’s structure will be.

Sabrina Horn founded the public relations firm Horn Group, now part of Finn Partners, and was one of the few female CEOs in Silicon Valley in the early 1990s. In her Fall 2021 article “Airtight Management for Real Organizational Success,” she explains,

Airtight management is all about minimizing the gaps and the frictions between strategy and execution to ensure authentic integrity in leadership and values and, in so doing, avoid the trap of faking it in the forlorn hope of making it.

Airtight management begins with the why and what of planning and proceeds though aligning the organization for execution of the plan. In this, the leader must focus ahead while minding the periphery and identifying the missing pieces that build in a 5% edge toward achieving success. These multiple functions occur not on a flat flowchart but in four dynamic dimensions, which the leader must visualize to successfully compartmentalize, sequence, and process. Airtight management maintains dynamism within discipline, cohesion without lockstep thinking.

First Person

In his Fall 2021 article, Rob Cross, a professor of Global Leadership at Babson College, elaborates on “How Successful People Thrive In A Hyper-Connected World”:

Network analysis enables leaders to map patterns of collaboration and information flow between people within their organizations. It provides a way of both visualizing group connectivity and quantitatively profiling network dimensions that relate to individual performance and well-being. To better understand the challenge and uncover solutions—particularly ones that leaders can implement on their own—I used network analyses to identify efficient collaborators—people who have the greatest impact in networks but take the least amount of their colleagues’ time. I then interviewed 200 of these people (100 women and 100 men) to learn what enabled them to be 18–24% more efficient than their peers. The stories of these leaders were heartening in showing how we can all work in ways that promote performance and thriving in today’s hyper connected world.

Also in Fall 2021, Mark L. Goldsmith, Founder and Emeritus CEO of Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO), explains “How to Start a Social Entrepreneurship Venture That Changes Lives”:

In 2004, I volunteered to be part of a principal for a day program in New York City in which people are sent into a city high school to talk with the students. I had asked to be assigned to the toughest school in the city and they did just that. They assigned me to the Horizon Academy that was situated in the famous Rikers Island jail.

After a long career as a business executive and entrepreneur, my experience that day was the catalyst for a not-for-profit organization that I founded soon after, Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO). After 15 years of leading the organization, I trained a successor and recently retired as Founder and Emeritus CEO. I continue to support the organization by consulting and fundraising on their behalf.

My lessons learned have applicability for people in today’s workforce who are considering career pivots or “encore careers,” for those contemplating retirement, or people who may have been downsized due to the effects of the pandemic. Many of the skills and abilities that made you a success in business are transferable and will serve you well in becoming a social entrepreneur and starting your own organization.

In the News

Congratulations to Leader to Leader author Nicole Heimann, who along with Marina Cvetkovic, has won the prestigious CEO Today 2021 Europe Award for their outstanding leadership, vision and entrepreneurship. Nicole and Marina are the co-CEOS and co-owners of Heimann Cvetkovic & Partners, a global, Zurich-based executive advisory firm. Nicole’s article “Achieving Executive Presence: Integrating the Seven Dimensions of Leadership Intelligence” appears in our Spring 2020 issue.

10 New/Recent Books by Leader to Leader authors

A number of our authors have recently released books on a variety of subjects. These titles look like perfect gifts for the upcoming holiday season:

Ekpedeme “Pamay” M. Bassey

Let's Learn Our Way Through It, Shall We?


Dorie Clark

The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World


Rob Cross

Beyond Collaboration Overload: How to Work Smarter, Get Ahead, and Restore Your Well-Being


Sabrina Horn

Make It, Don't Fake It: Leading with Authenticity for Real Business Success


Terry Jackson

Co-Creation Leadership: Helping Leaders Develop Their Superpower of Co-Creation for the Greater Good of the Organization


Stanley McChrystal

Risk: A User’s Guide


April Rinne

Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change


Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.

Reset: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval


Geoff Tuff and Steven Goldbach

Provoke: How Leaders Shape the Future by Overcoming Fatal Human Flaws


Liz Wiseman

Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger, and Multiply Your Impact

Are you wistful for the long days and warmth of summer? We can’t turn back the calendar, but take comfort in this edition of our newsletter, where we wrap up coverage of the articles in Leader to Leader 101, our summer 2021 issue. Stay tuned for next month’s newsletter, when we will start writing about the contents of LTL 102, Fall 2021.

In “How to Do a Strategic Pivot to Address External Disruptors,” Gleb Tsipursky, the CEO of the future-proofing consultancy Disaster Avoidance Experts, explains a particular process for organizational planning, based on his advising organizations in the wake of COVID-19.

Tsipursky writes:

Once there is more awareness of the business/operational model assumptions disrupted by the pandemic, the next step is to gather internal information so that the companies and organizations can revise their strategy and business/operational model.

Each of the senior executives who led a department and would be attending the strategic retreat asked for feedback from the midlevel managers who reported to them. This feedback involved how to improve each department’s structure, goals, and customer relationships (internal and external) in keeping with the challenged assumptions in a variety of future scenarios agreed on by the CEO and board of directors.

At times, the information gathered will be quite predictable, while at other times leaders will come across something unexpected. For example, the senior executives of a late-stage software-as-a-service start-up with over 500 employees found that most of their midlevel managers indicated “Zoom fatigue” and work-from-home burnout among employees as one of the most pressing issues. They were taken aback by the extent of this issue, which wasn’t even mentioned as a possible problem in the CEO’s detailed report.

First Person

Ekpedeme “Pamay” M. Bassey is CLO/Chief Learning Officer and Chief Diversity Officer of The Kraft Heinz Company. In “365 Days of Learning: Embracing Learning As A Superpower,” she writes that:

One of the questions that I receive repeatedly when I tell people that I am a chief learning officer is—what does a chief learning officer do?

What I answer is this: my responsibilities are twofold. First, I drive the company’s global training and learning strategy, programs, and initiatives; and second, I drive a culture of continuous learning, bold creativity, and intellectual curiosity. I make sure that every employee has what they need to be successful, and that they know that learning can be their superpower, and a commitment to learning can help them to be great in their current roles and help them to grow great careers.

As a leader, it is critical to know what you believe—and I believe in the power of continuous learning. I believe that if we enable people to create a learning practice, we help them learn how to learn. We help them learn how to determine what they need to learn. We help them accelerate their learning curves. And that serves a learner whether they are reskilling, upskilling, or intentionally or unintentionally disrupting their lives or careers for the purpose of advancement.

In 41 years with Pfizer, Ian C. Read served as executive chairman, and prior to that was CEO. In “Formed in the Crucible of Crisis: My Approach and Insights on Leading Pfizer’s Executive Leadership Team,” he explains:

I became chief executive officer (CEO) of Pfizer, a top five global pharmaceutical company, in a crisis, one that became painfully public seven months later when Fortune published the article, “Inside Pfizer’s Palace Coup.” At that time, Pfizer’s portfolio of early and later stage products was not highly productive, our cycle time to bring new products to market was far from industry leading, our stock price had dropped significantly, and we faced extraordinary pressures from all our stakeholders to make significant improvements, not the least in terms of financial performance. We had strengths but lacked the courage to confront reality and the confidence that we could work together to overcome anything in our path. Fortune described the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) in late 2010 as falling apart and riven with mistrust and while I might not have used the same words, I knew our turnaround had to begin with my ELT. A turnaround of a Fortune 50, 160-year-old company is not easily done, and the new CEO has to hit the ground with clear ideas of what is most critical to do well. There are many measures of the success of Pfizer in the last two years, none more powerful than seeing the talent we put in place take smart risks and achieve the extraordinary delivery of the COVID-19 Vaccine in record time. The sustained use of the four principles below made my ELT the driver of our successful turnaround, and in the near future, could do the same for you.

Hubert Joly served eight years as chief executive officer, and later executive chairman, of Best Buy. He is currently a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School. In “The Case for Purposeful Leadership,” he debunks what he calls three myths of leadership, including:

Myth #1: Leaders Are Superheroes

Growing up, I thought successful leaders saved the day pretty much on their own, by figuring out all the answers. Being smart—and making sure everyone else knew it—seemed to be the mark of great leaders.

Recently, though, the infallible leader prototype has lost much of its appeal. First, projecting infallibility, strength and authority at all times comes across as inauthentic and distant. Also, it is easy for successful hero-leaders to start believing that they are smarter than everyone else, untouchable, and, ultimately, indispensable. It is easy for them to be seduced by power, fame, glory, and money, which is a dangerous and slippery slope.

In the News

Big congratulations are in order for University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs/GSPIA professor Kevin Kearns, who has received the prestigious Leslie A. Whittington Excellence in Teaching Award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). Kevin has been crucial to the success of Leader to Leader, in his role as the Founding Director of the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership, at GSPIA, which since 2017 has included the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Forum, our co-publisher. Kevin managed the Forum from the middle of that year until mid-2020. His article “Leaders of Character: Their Behaviors and Skills,” appears in our Winter 2020 issue.

Nonprofit Leadership by Leader to Leader Authors

A number of our authors either lead or have founded and previously led some of the most important nonprofit organizations in the country. The following list of leaders and their organizations demonstrates the wide-ranging impact these people have had in recent years:


In his Summer 2021 article “Looking for Leaders in the Present Crisis and Beyond,” Alex Lazarow, a global venture capitalist who also teaches entrepreneurship at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, details his research based on his book Out-Innovate: How Global Entrepreneurs—from Delhi to Detroit—Are Rewriting the Rules of Silicon Valley.

Lazarow explains,

A common trap for leaders is to feel the pressure to know what to do at every turn. Yet unsurprisingly, all great ideas are not going to come from their own head. The best leaders know that they need diversity of thought and opinion in order to navigate the difficulties that arise. This first requires the cross-pollination of ideas from different organizational environments. Leaders, to some degree, need to see the world outside of the bubble in which they have lived most of their lives. Whether it is through business travel or emigration, seeing the way that other markets function and what innovative ideas are fruitful in other markets is essential to understanding how to succeed at a global level. Research, including a 2008 Northwestern University study of homogeneous and heterogeneous student groups, has found that diversity within a group leads to better problem-solving outcomes. This should be no surprise as it decreases “groupthink” or the proverbial echo chamber of similar ideas and increases the network from which to draw resources like capital and talent.


Also in our Summer 2021 issue, James K. Dittmar writes about “Ethical Decision-Making: Getting Better at Doing Right.” Dittmar, president of the 3Rivers Leadership Institute, elaborates,

Perspective refers to your personal values, beliefs, and character (virtues) that determine how you will behave, ethically speaking. Perspective is your “ethical point of view” or framework from which you determine what is right and what is wrong. These are the principles on which you stand when you make ethical decisions.

When considering the concept of perspective, you must answer some key questions. Among them are: What is your ethical point of view? What are the values, beliefs, etc., that define or help determine how you will act? How do you identify or know what you stand for? How do you apply these when addressing an ethical dilemma?


In the News

UMBC/University of Maryland, Baltimore County, recently announced that its President since May 1992, Freeman A. Hrabowski III, will retire in June 2022. Dr. Hrabowski’s Leader to Leader article is “Leading a culture of change and innovation,” in our Winter 2013 issue: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ltl.20062.

UMBC has made tremendous strides during his tenure, and the announcement of his pending retirement has been met with a mixture of gratitude and sadness. To learn more about Dr. Hrabowski and UMBC, visit https://magazine.umbc.edu/umbc-community-responds-to-hrabowski-retirement-news-with-gratitude/


First Person

Heather Anderson details her transition from a career as a management consultant to the chief executive officer (CEO) position of Global Health Corps (GHC), in her Summer 2021 article “Redefining Urgency: Social Impact Leadership and Dynamic Resilience.” On the need for resilience, she writes,

Over the past year, leaders around the world have faced a series of chronic and acute crises, from an ever-changing, unpredictable pandemic to violent displays of white supremacy. While authentic leadership and community building provide a strong foundation for resilient leaders, crises like these demand additional efforts to strengthen dynamic resilience and protect against burnout. During crises, leaders not only have to manage their own emotions and actions in rapidly evolving and unprecedented situations, they are also called upon to shepherd the groups or institutions they lead to do the same.

When COVID-19 hit in March, I penned a letter to our community in which I shared: “In myriad ways, the pandemic is disrupting our individual and collective lives. Yet as much as we all long for a return to normal, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to question which aspects of normal we want to reinstate.”


Thinkers50 2021 Distinguished Achievement Awards

The British-based organization Thinkers50 has recently announced shortlists for a number of prestigious awards. We are pleased to see a number of our authors and interviewees. Here are the categories announced so far, with a list of our authors/interviewees:


Leadership Shortlist

Frances Frei & Anne Morriss

Steve Goldbach & Geoff Tuff

Hubert Joly


Radar Shortlist

Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg


Digital Thinking Shortlist

Sinan Aral


Talent Shortlist

Michelle Weise


Breakthrough Idea Shortlist dedicated to the legacy of CK Prahalad

Leon Prieto & Simone Phipps


The winners will be announced at the Awards Gala, November 15-16. To learn more, visit


Many of the articles for our Summer 2021 issue are now online. In “How to Be An Antiracist Leader,” Michelle Silverthorn, Founder & CEO of Inclusion Nation, explains the multiple effects within corporations of the racial awakenings and reckonings begun last year. She begins,

On May 25, 2020, a middle-aged Black man sits in his car outside a store in Minneapolis and is handcuffed, arrested, then murdered by a police officer, with several more standing by, for the crime of using a false $20 bill. The effect his murder had on his nation, the United States, was profound. The effect his murder had on the world was dramatic. But the effect that his murder had on corporate equity work was nothing short of earth-shattering. Suddenly, it seemed, every company in the United States dedicated, or rededicated, itself to diversity and inclusion. Some took it a step further and made declarations for Black lives, against racism, supporting protesters, and amid a raging pandemic, did the work to ensure that their employees, at a minimum, knew how to commit to antiracism.

At least, some companies.

Other companies faced a harsher reality. They, and their leadership, had committed wholeheartedly to color-blind equality—that race played no role in hiring, promotions, or terminations—and now with a nation focused on racial justice, they found themselves unequipped to carry on even the most basic conversations on race in the workplace. At the same time, leaders had to determine how, or even whether, to implement diversity initiatives that had long languished, or been abandoned, or been repeatedly proven ineffective.

Also in our Summer 2021 issue,  Meredith Bell, co-founder and President of Performance Support Systems, a global software company, writes about “Leaders Coaching Leaders: A Cost-Effective Solution for Skill Development.” According to Bell,

To encourage improvement, a coach needs to understand what the other person has been doing and how it’s working. The essential first step is to focus your attention. Don’t multitask or let anything distract you—not even your thoughts. Listening is mostly about focusing on the other person. It’s not about telling your own stories or giving your own opinions or advice. Your goal is to understand what the person is trying to say. Listen for the meaning, then check whether you got it right by telling the speaker—in your own words—what you’ve understood so far. Ask for more information, and keep checking until you ensure you’ve “got” the whole message.

In the News

The 13th Global Peter Drucker Forum is coming soon in both a virtual format (November 17-19) and in person (November 18-19), in the Forum’s home city of Vienna, Austria (Drucker’s birthplace). The theme is “The Human Imperative: Navigating Uncertainty in the Digital Age,” and the following Leader to Leader authors are speakers or moderators: Eduardo P. Braun, Tom Davenport, Charles Handy, Herminia Ibarra, Philip Kotler, Ikujirō Nonaka, Deepa Prahalad, and Don Tapscott. Learn more about the event, and the full list of speakers/moderators, at https://www.druckerforum.org/home/

First Person

In his Summer 2021 article “The Four Ps: A Simple Tool For Making Better Leadership Decisions,” Ed Hajim, a longtime Wall Street executive and higher education leader, looks back on his career and self-development, where he recently “wondered what I could enumerate that might help others in leadership positions.” Hajim’s article concludes,


I believe that leaders, especially young leaders, should take the time to clearly define their passions and principles, being cognizant of how they change. This will help you determine what kind of leader you will become. Each leader’s style is a little different, and in most cases, it is based on those first two Ps—passion and principles. No matter what field we look into, we see leaders with totally different styles. Determining yours is the first thing you should do. This will allow you to add the right partners. Finding those partners, and how you work with them, will further define your leadership. The fourth P, finding your plans, brings it all together. It helps you focus on a particular task, understand your environment and what is happening now and what might happen in the future. I thought my dreams were impossible, but the Four Ps helped me move forward toward success and I hope they do the same for you.

Honoring  Top Global Gurus for 2021

As outlined below, a number of Leader to Leader authors are on the Global Gurus Top 30 lists for 2021. The links below provide the full listings in both the Leadership and Management categories.


World's Top 30 Leadership Professionals for 2021

#7 Sally Helgesen #12 Lance Secretan #14 Patrick Lencioni #18 John Baldoni #19 Mark Thompson #20 Mike Myatt #21 Liz Wiseman #22 Jim Collins #23 Ken Blanchard #24 Sylvia Lafair #27 Ram Charan


World's Top 30 Management Professionals for 2021

#1 Philip Kotler #3 Ram Charan #4 John Kotter #5 Jeffrey Pfeffer #6 Jim Collins #9 Bob Nelson

#10 Annie McKee #11 David Burkus #13 Gary Hamel #17 Don Tapscott #19 Herminia Ibarra

#20 Hortense le Gentil #25 Noel M. Tichy #26 Barbara Kellerman #29 Vijay Govindarajan

We’ve received overwhelmingly positive response to Leader to Leader issue number 100 (Spring 2021). To learn more about the articles and authors, see the table of contents at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/15315355/2021/2021/100. In the meantime, let’s follow up on our May and June newsletters, and focus on more of the content in the issue.

Herminia Ibarra, the Charles Handy professor of organizational behavior at London Business School, writes about “5 Leadership Skills for the Future.” One of those skills is “culture shaping.” She explains,

At Microsoft, for example, quarterly business reviews (QBR) had become a form of corporate theatre in which top executives grilled senior managers from around the world on their performance and plans. Given the high visibility and career-defining importance of making a good impression—and the fear impact it had on people—company executives devoted months of their time to preparing for it, time their own workforce analytics showed could be more profitably put to use with customers. Worse, the ritual required managers to paint the best picture of the business they could without admitting mistakes or failures under scrutiny. But as the shift to a learning culture unfolded it became clear that this only rewarded the “know it all” stance: having the right answer, being “the smartest person in the room.” So, Microsoft eliminated the QBR, in favor of a more learning-oriented session in which coaching could take place. Taking a wrecking ball to practices that reinforce the wrong message is essential to any effort to transform culture.

Also in Leader to Leader 100, Gloria Feldt writes about “Intentioning: The Key to Reaching Gender Parity in Leadership.” Feldt, co-founder and president of Take The Lead, elaborates,

In the business world, intentional leadership is a practical and aspirational response to the overwhelming number of initiatives companies handle in the course of a typical business cycle, including enterprise solutions, go-to-market strategies, and expedited product development, to name a few. Business leaders need to understand which strategies and solutions will lead to consistently beneficial results. Fostering intentional leadership often means embracing what military strategists originally called “soft” skills, or the intangible assets that inspire leaders and employees to believe in the goodness of a company's mission.

I say these are not soft skills at all. Indeed conflict resolution, teamwork, creative thinking, empathy, and networking—the qualities often associated with “femaleness”—are just as or more important than “hard skills,” such as budgeting and computer coding. The so-called “soft skills” are essential skills that already exist within each and every person of good will. When business leaders intentionally value these skills on behalf of their employees, customers, and shareholders, they are creating a corporate mindset that values all stakeholders while also accelerating a proven successful business strategy. This is not a nice-to-have. It's a win-win must-have.

In the News 

Leader to Leader author Chip Conley, a veteran hospitality industry entrepreneur, author, and Airbnb executive, has some intriguing ideas about how people now live, and may live in the future, during years that may or may not involve traditional retirement. In his new Marketwatch.com article, he writes about “regenerative communities,” and the famed developmental psychologist Erik Erikson’s eight life stages. Learn more at:


In their Leader to Leader 100 article “Delivered by Women, Led by Women - The Future of Global Health Leadership,” Roopa Dhatt and Ann Keeling write about the disparity between leadership roles of men and women in global health:

When women are systematically passed over for promotion and feel marginalized from decision-making in the health systems they know best, morale is likely to be low and attrition high. This has serious implications for a sector already facing shortages of trained staff in almost every country. According to the World Health Organization, demographic changes and rising demand for health are projected to drive the creation of 40 million new jobs by 2030 in the global health and social sector. In parallel, an additional 18 million health workers will be needed in low- and middle-income countries, to achieve the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage. The global mismatch between health worker supply and demand is both a cause for concern and a potential opportunity, particularly for women. When medicine was first formalized as a profession, it was established by men for men, with barriers to entry excluding women. Women battled their way into the profession and are now the majority of physicians, nurses, midwives, and dentists under the age of 40. There is no shortage of women wanting to enter health and social care professions, and there is also no shortage of women in the pipeline for health sector leadership.


First Person

Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick is the 17th president of Howard University, the well-known historically Black college and university (HBCU), in Washington, DC. In his Leader to Leader 100 article “For Tomorrow’s Leaders, a Social Agenda is as Important as a Business Plan,” he writes about enhancing diversity and inclusion at his institution and beyond:

At Howard University, where I serve as president, we have a saying: “Mission over major.” No matter what their area of study, all students are encouraged to use their time in our halls to identify their purpose in life and equip themselves with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue it. Whatever our students choose to do professionally, we ensure they have the knowledge, motivation, and vision to think beyond themselves and act in the best interest of their communities and our country.

I try to lead by example. I am a surgeon by training, and, in addition to my duties as president, I continue to care for patients at Howard University Hospital. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, I have leveraged my knowledge and influence in both of these capacities to care for the Black community. In the best interest of our students, faculty, and staff, our campus has been largely closed since the middle of March. Howard has also collaborated with local DC government agencies to stand up COVID-19 testing centers, which we positioned in the wards with high African-American populations. Howard is also collaborating with the National COVID-19 Prevention Network to participate in an upcoming phase 3 vaccine trial, an important step to increase representation and ensure a vaccine is safe and effective for Black men and women.

Rebecca Shambaugh, in her Leader to Leader 100 article “Unprecedented Times Call for Gender-Balanced Leadership,” writes about “six steps that must happen for an organization to cultivate gender-balanced leadership.” Step 3 is “Don’t Assume: Assess.” As she elaborates,

I often coach CEOs and senior leadership to engage in what I refer to as “listening tours”—taking the time to hear what women in the company are saying on a daily basis. Listening tours like these can be a steppingstone toward equipping managers with needed information to support women into the next level of leadership. Companies that skip this step may end up left in the dark about the disengagement and dissatisfaction of their women talent, resulting in regrettable losses for the organization.

When the management team embarks on listening tours, leaders will learn both positive and negative perspectives—including the challenges of a woman's career path, struggles they face trying to do it all (this has only intensified during the pandemic and will likely continue to do so in its aftermath), lack of strategic and supportive relationships that can inhibit their career growth, lack of constructive feedback, and microaggressions against women from within the organization in the form of harassment, sexual assault, and other symptoms of a toxic work environment. Leaders may also discover the answer to a larger question for their women talent: Why did you join this company, and what would cause you to leave?


Selected Books by A Day of Drucker Speakers

The June 30 all-day virtual event A Day of Drucker, produced by the Global Peter Drucker Forum in Vienna, Austria, was a big success. I was honored to be a panelist for “Post Scriptum,” the last session of the day. Below is a selected list of books by some of the event’s speakers, panelists, and moderators. To learn more about the event, visit https://www.druckerforum.org/a-day-of-drucker-2021/#c1908

Tal Ben-Shahar: Happier, No Matter What: Cultivating Hope, Resilience, and Purpose in Hard Times
Steve Blank: The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company
Eduardo P. Braun: People First Leadership: How the Best Leaders Use Culture and Emotion to Drive Unprecedented Results
Jim Collins: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't
Jenny Darroch: Marketing Through Turbulent Times
Steve Denning: The Age of Agile: How Smart Companies Are Transforming the Way Work Gets Done
Elizabeth Haas Edersheim: The Definitive Drucker: Challenges For Tomorrow's Executives -- Final Advice From the Father of Modern Management
Tammy Erickson: Retire Retirement: Career Strategies for the Boomer Generation
Marshall Goldsmith: What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful
John Hagel: The Journey Beyond Fear: Leverage the Three Pillars of Positivity to Build Your Success
Charles Handy: 21 Letters on Life and Its Challenges
Rahaf Harfoush: Hustle and Float: Reclaim Your Creativity and Thrive in a World Obsessed with Work
Bernie Jaworski: The Organic Growth Playbook: Activate High-yield Behaviors to Achieve Extraordinary Results - Every Time
Julia Kirby: Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines (with Thomas H. Davenport)
Philip Kotler: Marketing 5.0: Technology for Humanity
Karen Linkletter: Drucker’s Lost Art of Management: Peter Drucker’s Timeless Vision for Building Effective Organizations (with Joseph A. Maciariello)
Jean Lipman-Blumen: The Allure of Toxic Leaders: Why We Follow Destructive Bosses and Corrupt Politicians--and How We Can Survive Them
Emi Makino: Innovation Makers: How Campus Makerspaces Can Empower Students to Change the World
Roger L. Martin: When More Is Not Better: Overcoming America's Obsession with Economic Efficiency
Rita Gunther McGrath: Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen
Alex Osterwalder: Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
Peter Paschek: Peter F. Drucker: Memories of a Conservative Christian Anarchist
William Pollard: The Tides of Life: Learning to Lead and Serve as You Navigate the Currents of Life
Bruce Rosenstein: Create Your Future the Peter Drucker Way: Developing and Applying a Forward-Focused
Hermann Simon: Many Worlds, One Life: A Remarkable Journey from Farmhouse to the Global Stage
Don Tapscott: Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Is Changing the World
Avivah Wittenberg-Cox: Why Women Mean Business: Understanding the Emergence of Our Next Economic Revolution
Adrian Wooldridge: The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World

We continue to celebrate Leader to Leader issue number 100 (Spring 2021). This year also marks 25 years of publication. Be sure to check out our website, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/15315355 where you can search for articles going back to the earliest days of our journal. We hope you will find the Spring issue to be valuable and useful for your leadership journey, whether you are new to our publication, or have been a devoted reader over the years.

One of the most recognized names in leadership in the past several decades is bestselling author and Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter. In her Spring 2021 article “Look “Outside the Building” For the Future of Leadership,” she explains the concept of what she calls “Advanced leadership.” 

Advanced leadership  is a step beyond the kind of leadership, great or otherwise, that is exercised primarily within a single organization or field and is focused on furthering just its own goals. Advanced leadership broadens the scope of leadership. It involves working beyond boundaries, across silos, and outside established structures. It is oriented toward changing the system, whether a particular ecosystem or a broader array of institutions and expectations. It touches on skills and insights useful for social entrepreneurs and innovators of any profile who are trying to solve problems that cut across sectors. Those are exactly the kinds of problems plaguing the world that people, especially rising generations, increasingly care about.

Also in our Spring 2021 issue, Juana Bordas, president of Mestiza Leadership International, writes about “Latino Destino: Creating a Multicultural America.” She contends that the United States has become a multicultural nation, and the variety of traditions “will be a defining characteristic of the next twenty-five years.” Bordas writes,

The Latino culture is intergenerational, valuing the wisdom of elders and the promise of youth. Most Latino organizations have programs that train younger people. Leaders understand that the younger generation must continue the work for equity and inclusion if Latinos are to continue advancing.

The coming youth revolution where the Millennial generation is larger than Baby Boomers, and Generation Z is even more populous, requires leaders to engage in intergenerational practices such as serving as allies; cultivating circular not hierarchical relationships; promoting meaningful participation; and passing on their knowledge and experience. Young Latinos need advocacy tools that foster social change and promote an equitable future.


In the News

Wayne A.I. Frederick is the 17th president of Howard University, the well-known historically Black college and university, in Washington, DC., and a practicing physician at Howard University Hospital. His article “For Tomorrow’s Leaders, a Social Agenda is as Important as a Business Plan” appears in our Spring 2021 issue.

On June 9, 2021, Dr. Frederick, who is also Chair, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s Presidents and Chancellors, gave testimony to the United States Congress, in a hearing before members of the Senate Commerce Committee, about “NCAA Athlete NIL Rights.” (NIL stands for name, image, and likeness). Learn more about the hearing, and Dr. Frederick’s role, at:

https://hbcusports.com/2021/06/09/howard-president-explains-to-congress-tremendous-concerns-of-nil-rights-for-hbcus/ and https://www.commerce.senate.gov/2021/6/ncaa-athlete-nil-rights.


First Person

John Hope Bryant is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE, which he describes as “the largest nonprofit, best-in-class provider of financial literacy and economic empowerment services in the United States for youth and adults.” In his Spring 2021 article “Leadership for a New Day,” he discusses the importance of role models and mentorship. He writes,

I have had the privilege of having countless leaders pass on their wisdom and knowledge to me over the years. But I treasure the intimate mentorship of Ambassador Andrew Young. Ambassador Young is a living legend, the last of the generals who stood alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during his fight for civil and human rights. One of the things that I appreciate most about our relationship is his willingness to have open and honest dialogue about not only his victories, but his shortcomings as well. He reminds me that things could have been done differently, but that doesn’t impact or diminish the great work that he and his cohorts did.


Spotlight on Sally Helgesen

In last month’s newsletter, we featured Sally’s Spring 2021 article “Leading by Inclusion: A Road Forward.” For more than two decades, she has been one of the world’s most important leadership voices, particularly regarding women’s leadership. She also has a unique set of experiences; within corporations, as a journalist, and as a thought leader/communicator.

You can learn more about Sally and her multi-dimensional work, at https://sallyhelgesen.com/, and through her books:

Everyday Revolutionaries: Working Women and the Transformation of American Life


How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job (with Marshall Goldsmith)


The Female Advantage: Women's Ways of Leadership


The Female Vision: Women's Real Power at Work


The Web of Inclusion: Architecture for Building Great Organizations


Thriving In 24/7: Six Strategies for Taming the New World of Work


This is a super-exciting time for Leader to Leader, with the publication of our 100th issue, Spring 2021. This year also marks 25 years of publication. The 100th issue has a mixture of new and returning authors, and a major theme of all the articles is leadership in the next 25 years.


The author/psychologist Daniel Goleman introduced the concept of emotional intelligence to a wide audience with his 1995 book of the same name. In his Spring 2021 article, he discusses the idea of “Leadership Blindspots.”


In the introduction, Goleman writes, To adapt a maxim from information theory, the leader who can take in information most fully, understand it most deeply, and respond most nimbly will thrive in any environment. That holds today not just for leaders, but also companies, and, in fact, any organization.


But there are situations in which that first movement, taking in information fully, is

often impaired. This is what I refer to as “blindspots” crucial aspects of organizational

reality that leaders fail to see or to regard as important. Blindspots represent a leadership

challenge, but overcoming them can also present great opportunities for leaders.


In my book Focus, I note that emotional intelligence entails two varieties of a leader’s

attention: on one’s self, and on others. But there’s a third level every leader needs, a focus

on the systems within which that leader operates. This third level is often where blindspots

can emerge.


Also in our Spring 2021 issue, Sally Helgesen, the author of seven books, most recently How Women Rise, writes about “Leading By Inclusion: A Road Forward.” She offers

“three inclusive leadership practices that help mitigate against stress and position organizations to thrive, even in times of crisis.” Practice 3 is “Be Real”: As she explains,


The crisis wrought by the pandemic has in many ways furthered inequality, since pain and sacrifice have been so unequally distributed. Yet even those whose access to resources has offered a measure of protection have been subject to fear, uncertainty, sometimes staggering inconvenience and feelings of profound vulnerability.

Our shared awareness of risk and potential loss gives us common ground. Leaders willing to recognize this and be real––that is, to humbly acknowledge their own vulnerability and confusion even as they recognize that others may struggle with far more acute dangers— have the opportunity to connect across levels, divisions, and gaps in experience and privilege that were hard to bridge during business as usual.


In the News

The ATD 2021 International Conference & Exposition will be held August 29-September 1 in Salt Lake City, also with online options. It is gratifying to see that Leader to Leader author Patrick Lencioni (The Five Dysfunctions of a Team) will be one of the keynote speakers. There is also a significant roster of other speakers, a number of whom are LTL authors: Suzanne Bates, Ken Blanchard, Jacqueline Carter, Mary Legakis Engel, Joe Folkman, Joseph Grenny, Jake Jacobs, Beverly Kaye, Kelly Palmer, Amy Posey, Kim Scott, Michael Stallard, Bill Treasurer, and Jack Zenger.


Learn more about the event, including the complete list of speakers, at: https://atdconference.td.org/welcome



First Person


LaShyra “Lash” Nolen recently made history at Harvard Medical School as the first Black woman elected student council president. In her Spring 2021 article “Student Government as a Vehicle for Social Justice,” she relates her leadership experiences centered around student government, beginning as a class president at the age of 10, in elementary school in California. As she writes of her Harvard Medical School experience,


After being elected president, I decided with the support of my team that we would use our funding to bring local grade school students onto campus for a “Fall Fest” celebration instead of using the funds for our annual Halloween party. The kids left absolutely delighted, and many of them said it was the first time they had been on Harvard Medical School’s campus despite it being just a five-minute walk away from their school. Hearing the laughter and joy of these youth on our campus was a reminder that we must continue to create spaces where all are welcome. It is easy for our institutions to send subtle messages of who belongs and who doesn’t. Therefore, it will be key that leaders of the future are cognizant to ask, “Who is here in our space and who feels like they can thrive in our space?”


A Day of Drucker


I’m honored to one of the speakers for A Day of Drucker, a worldwide virtual event produced by the Global Peter Drucker Forum. According to the event’s website, the day will be an opportunity to learn what Peter Drucker considered most important about managing in the midst of disruptive events, technological transformation, and increasingly knowledge-based economies – and to explore how well his answers respond to today’s burning questions. We’ll also learn about the influences that shaped him as a thinker, and in turn, the influence Drucker had on the lives and work of those who knew him.


I will be a member of the day’s final panel, along with two other Leader to Leader authors, Steve Denning, and Elizabeth Haas Edersheim. Some of our other authors will also be participating earlier in the day: Eduardo P. Braun, Marshall Goldsmith, Charles Handy, Philip Kotler, Jean Lipman-Blumen, and C. William Pollard.


Learn more about the event, including the complete list of speakers, at: https://www.druckerforum.org/a-day-of-drucker-2021/#c1936



25 Eclectic Books by  Leader to Leader Authors


As we get closer to Leader to Leader Spring 2021, our 100th issue, marking 25 years of publication, we are featuring 25 eclectic books written by a wide variety of our authors.


The titles cover many aspects of leadership, as well as books not strictly focused on leadership, but with subject matter of interest to leaders.


Christopher S. Ahmad

SKILL: 40 principles that surgeons, athletes, and other elite performers use to achieve mastery


Mila N. Baker

Peer-To-Peer Leadership: Why The Network Is The Leader


Jennifer Garvey Berger

Changing on the Job: Developing Leaders for a Complex World


Lisa Bodell

Why Simple Wins: Escape the Complexity Trap and Get to Work That Matters


Kathy Caprino

The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss


William A. Cohen

Drucker on Leadership


Chip Conley

Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder


Martin N. Davidson

The End of Diversity As We Know It: Why Diversity Efforts Fail and How Leveraging Difference Can Succeed


Amy Edmondson

The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth


Marilyn Gist

The Extraordinary Power of Leader Humility: Thriving Organizations & Great Results



Kara Goldin

Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts and Doubters


Amantha Imber

The Innovation Formula: The 14 Science-Based Keys for Creating a Culture Where Innovation Thrives


Jo Ann Jenkins

Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age


Bernadette Jiwa

Hunch: Turn Your Everyday Insights Into The Next Big Thing


Mark W. Johnson

Lead from the Future: How to Turn Visionary Thinking Into Breakthrough Growth


Nancy Koehn

Forged in Crisis: The Making of Five Courageous Leaders


  1. David Marquet

Leadership Is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say--and What You Don't


Annie McKee

How to Be Happy at Work: The Power of Purpose, Hope, and Friendship


Joyce M. Roché

The Empress has No Clothes: Conquering Self-Doubt to Embrace Success


Thomas A. Stewart & Patricia O'Connell

Woo, Wow, and Win: Service Design, Strategy, and the Art of Customer Delight


Amy Jen Su

The Leader You Want to Be: Five Essential Principles for Bringing Out Your Best Self--Every Day


Thomas Wedell‐Wedellsborg

What's Your Problem?: To Solve Your Toughest Problems, Change the Problems You Solve


Margaret Wheatley

Who Do We Choose To Be?: Facing Reality, Claiming Leadership, Restoring Sanity


Ron Williams

Learning to Lead: The Journey to Leading Yourself, Leading Others, and Leading an Organization


Mary‐Frances Winters

Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit




25 Amazing Leader to Leader Articles You May Have Missed


This is an especially exciting time at Leader to Leader. We will soon publish our 100th issue, which also marks 25 years of publication. For the moment, we are keeping the contents of the issue under wraps, so we’re devoting this month’s newsletter to providing the full text of 25 great articles published during the last decade that you may have missed. They represent a wide variety of authors and subject material. Our hope is that you will find them to be useful and valuable in your leadership journeys during these perilous, yet hopeful times.


In next month’s newsletter, we will start including information about authors and articles in issue number 100. In the meantime, happy reading!


Author: John Baldoni

Title: Steel Your Purpose

Issue: 64 Spring 2012



Author: Lauren Maillian Bias

Title: Lessons From Innovation, Reinvention, and Entrepreneurship

Issue: 77 Summer 2015



Author: Jenny Blake

Title: How Leaders Can Facilitate Engaging Career Conversations

Issue: 84 Spring 2017



Author: Jeffrey L. Bowman

Title: Leadership, Marketing, and the New Majority

Issue: 82 Fall 2016



Author: John Hope Bryant

Title: How Leaders Can Help Their Employees Become Economically Independent

Issue: 89 Summer 2018



Author: David Burkus

Title: Why Great Ideas Get Rejected and How to Keep Yours From Being Shot Down

Issue: 75 Winter 2015



Author: Judith E. Glaser

Title: Vital Instincts: The DNA of Healthy Conversations

Issue: 74 Fall 2014



Author: Hilary Jane Grosskopf

Title: Amplify Your Focus in the Age of Distraction

Issue: 95 Winter 2020



Authors: Homayoun Hatami, Sara Prince, Maria Valdivieso de Uster

Title: Sales Growth Through Strategic Leadership

Issue: 68 Spring 2013



Authors: Rasmus Hougaard, Jacqueline Carter, Gillian Coutts

Title: Mindful Leadership: Achieving Results by Managing the Mind

Issue: 79 Winter 2016



Author: Freeman A. Hrabowski III

Title: Leading a Culture of Change and Innovation

Issue: 67 Winter 2013



Authors: Judith H. Katz, Frederick A. Miller

Title: Judging Others Has Not Worked … So Let's Join Them

Issue: 70 Fall 2013



Authors: Modesto A. Maidique, Candace Atamanik, Ruthann B. Perez

Title: The Six Competencies of a CEO

Issue: 71 Winter 2014



Author: Kiran Mazumdar‐Shaw

Title: Leading with a Social Conscience

Issue: 69 Summer 2013




Author: Luis Miguel Messianu

Title: Creative Leadership

Issue: 72 Spring 2014



Author: Tara‐Nicholle Nelson

Title: Your Customers Are On a Hero’s Journey—And Here’s How You Can Help Them

Issue: 87 Winter 2018



Author: Berta de Pablos‐Barbier

Title: The Remarkable Learning Opportunity of Leadership

Issue: 93 Summer 2019



Authors: Kelly Palmer and David Blake

Title: The Expert Revolution: Using Learning to Engage and Compete in the Skills War

Issue: 91 Winter 2019



Author: Rajeev Peshawaria

Title: Energizing the Organization

Issue: 63 Winter 2012



Author: Willie Pietersen

Title: What Nelson Mandela Taught the World About Leadership

Issue: 76 Spring 2015



Author: Janet Sernack

Title: Cultivating Your Talent’s Collective Genius

Issue: 88 Spring 2018



Author: Daniel L. Shapiro

Title: Leading Your Team to Peak Performance: How to Negotiate the Nonnegotiable

Issue: 80 Spring 2016



Author:  Diana McLain Smith

Title: Building Adaptive Relationships

Issue: 73 Summer 2014



Author: Clifton L. Taulbert

Title: Workplace Challenges and Opportunities: Leading Outside the Box

Issue: 83 Winter 2017



Author: Denise Lee Yohn

Title: Achieving Fusion: Brand Identity and Culture

Issue: 90 Fall 2018















Shellye Archambeau, in her Winter 2021 article “Leaders Developing Leaders,” writes from the perspective of being one of high tech’s first female African American CEOs, and as a board member of four major companies:

Clearly, one of the top current and go‐forward issues facing CEOs is recruiting and retaining skilled talent—and what that means to innovation and performance (the 80/20 rule, of course, informs us that 80 percent of outcomes are generated by 20 percent of the team). CEOs, among their other duties, are tasked with developing the next set of leaders and are evaluated on this metric (in addition to obviously important performance metrics). According to The Conference Board’s C‐Suite Challenges 2019 study, in fact, leadership development is a challenge that will only get worse between now and 2025.

In my experience—first as an ambitious young professional climbing the corporate ladder and later as a CEO and board director—I have learned that leadership‐development success is a process that can be improved by active and personal involvement by the CEO, but not at the exclusion of the current executive team members and selected individuals at other levels throughout an organization.

An important first step is to clearly understand that top performers are not, by default, high‐potential employees. Yes, they may be good—or even very good—in their current position. But that doesn’t mean they have the potential to rise through the ranks of leadership. And, if they don’t, the harsh reality is that they don’t justify the financial and personal investment required as it won’t pay off.

Also in our Winter 2021 issue, Julia Taylor Kennedy, executive vice president at Coqual, examines “Belonging: The Secret to Building Engagement for Employees of all Backgrounds:”

Belonging is a fundamental human need, so deeply woven into the fabric of our being that it occupies a central place in psychologist Abraham Maslow’s cluster of human needs, as the key element—after such basic requirements as food, water, shelter, and safety—that is required to achieve one’s full potential.

Recent scholarship stresses its primacy. “Belongingness is the driving force of human behavior,” notes media psychologist Pamela B. Rutledge, Director of the Media Psychology Research Center. In every sphere of our lives, we seek connection with and acceptance from one another—including in our workplaces, where we spend a huge portion of our time.

Paradoxically, to find belonging, we often retreat into our “tribes”—those who share our opinions, ideologies, geographies, socioeconomic backgrounds, and, often, our ethnicities or races. We most naturally “bond” through similarities rather than “bridge” across differences.

Elsewhere in the Winter 2021 issue, Acha Leke, chairman of McKinsey’s Africa region, explains how “Africa's Business Revolution Has Begun:”

What really makes Africa a continent to watch, though, is the historic economic shift under way. A glance at world economic history gives an indication of what could be ahead for Africa. In Europe and North America, for example, average per capita income barely increased for almost 2000 years, but suddenly soared with the Industrial Revolution, increasing 20‐fold between 1820 and 2015. Asia’s boom came later but was much faster: its GDP per capita increased 10‐fold between 1960 and 2015. And within Asia, China’s rise in per capita income has been even more dramatic: it took just three decades for GDP per capita to multiply 10‐fold after the launch of economic reforms at the end of the 1970s.

McKinsey’s database of large companies with business in Africa suggests that many entrepreneurs are already capitalizing on the continent’s acceleration. Our research reveals that Africa is home to over 400 companies earning revenues of $1 billion or more and nearly 700 companies with revenue greater than $500 million. These companies are increasingly regional or pan‐African. They have grown faster than their peers in the rest of the world in local currency terms, and they are also more profitable than their global peers in most sectors.

In the News


HR Weekly recently published the 2021 “The 100 Most Influential People in HR,” a diverse, leadership-relevant worldwide list of influencers in HR/Human Resources. We’re pleased to see a number of Leader to Leader authors: Lolly Daskal, Jenny Dearborn, Beverly Kaye, Patrick Lencioni, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Dave Ulrich, and Liz Wiseman. For the complete list, visit https://hrweekly.co/experts.

First Person


In his Winter 2021 article “The Illusions of Success,” J. Douglas Holladay, founder and CEO of PathNorth, draws on his professional experience in finance, as a White House advisor, and professor teaching MBA students at Georgetown University:


Each January, I join 15 accomplished leaders for a 3‐day silent retreat at a Trappist monastery in the rolling Virginia countryside. It is bitterly cold at that time of year, as we step back in time to join a community of monks whose entire approach to life may seem antiquated and irrelevant to the challenges of our day. But for we who gather, it is a powerful life‐changing experience. To be with others, but alone, is initially challenging but becomes comfortable with practice. We eat together, walk together, but never speak. At the end of our 3 days of seclusion, we share among ourselves any lessons and insights gained from this time of disengagement and quiet. We emerge from this ritual of time apart as more confident and grounded individuals.

Solitude differs from loneliness. Solitude fills our hearts with gratitude and renewed energy for living. Loneliness kills our very souls and often spirals into sadness and despair.

Although they might look similar on the surface, the comparison ends there. I would urge that you consider starting a solitude practice. Your outlook will improve measurably.

Guy Kawasaki's Remarkable People


Leader to Leader author Guy Kawasaki began a podcast in December 2019, the aptly-named Guy Kawasaki's Remarkable People. Each week he interviews a prominent leader/thought leader, including Leader to Leader authors Shellye Archambeau and Kara Goldin. He’s also interviewed Jonah Berger and Sinan Aral, who were featured in our From the Front Lines articles. Guy’s guest list represents a variety of A-list names, including Jane Goodall, Sal Khan, Margaret Atwood, Steve Wozniak, Julia Cameron, David Ige (Governor of Hawaii), and Vivek Murthy, the 19th Surgeon General of the United States. For a complete list of guests and more information about the podcast, visit https://guykawasaki.com/remarkable-people/.




In our new Winter 2021 issue, Alaina Love, chief executive officer of Purpose Linked Consulting, discusses “Fueling Engagement in Times of Crisis.” She writes about the significant upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic:

Fortunately, significant progress has been made in the field of relationship psychology that can inform leaders about new ways to manage employee engagement during and after times of crisis. Now, more than ever, understanding how to customize engagement approaches to each employee's needs is essential for building the persistence a team needs to navigate a crisis, especially one with an undetermined end date.

Psychologists have developed a “self‐expansion model” that highlights the sources of engagement and underlying motivations that drive employees to fully commit to and identify with their organizations. This model, along with an instrument that researchers have created to measure a person's need for self‐expansion, is a valuable tool that leaders can apply to the challenge of fueling and calibrating engagement during times of extreme change.

Also in our Winter 2021 issue, Kris Putnam-Walkerly, an advisor to philanthropists, explains “The Power of an Abundance Mindset for Changemakers.” She writes,


Many people assume that wealthy people, high‐level leaders, CEOs, foundation leaders, social entrepreneurs running purpose‐driven enterprises, and celebrities feel abundance. While many have resources and a desire to do good, that doesn’t mean they have an abundance mindset. Instead, they often feel guilty about investing in themselves, their businesses, and their philanthropy. Their mindset is one of scarcity.

A scarcity mindset is an approach rooted in fear of failure. It’s the equivalent of asking for top‐notch talent and sustained peak performance to solve difficult problems in a marathon type of race, without accounting for the many investments that will ensure sustained progress and ultimate success.

An abundance mindset, on the other hand, believes that the more you put into your operation—and your team of collaborators—the greater the return. The greater your abundance mindset, the greater your impact velocity. Regardless of the field you work in, personally and professionally, operating with an abundance mindset opens up new potential and opportunities. It inspires people to join forces and to be their best selves instead of scrabbling for limited time and resources.

In the News


Leader to Leader author Louis Carter, CEO and founder of Best Practice Institute, has curated “The 33 Best Leadership Books You Haven’t Read Yet (2020).” We’re pleased to see a number of our authors on the list: John Baldoni, Jay A. Conger, the late Judith E. Glaser, Marshall Goldsmith, Nicole Heimann, Sally Helgesen, our Editor-in-Chief Frances Hesselbein, Whitney Johnson, Beverly Kaye, Hortense Le Gentil, Sarah McArthur, Mark Thompson, and Liz Wiseman. For the complete list, and additional information about the authors and books, see https://louiscarter.com/best-leadership-books/.


First Person


The Winter 2021 article “Leading from Values” is a compelling and poignant account from business executive turned social entrepreneur Alan D. Pesky, who writes:

Fostering an organizational culture grounded in core values can generate success in surprising ways, far beyond one's original goals and vision. Such was my experience with the Lee Pesky Learning Center (LPLC), a nonprofit I founded nearly 25 years ago. Embarking on a venture in a field I knew little about was not something I expected to be doing at the age of 63, several years into my retirement. But then, I never expected to lose a child.

I had spent most of my life in pursuit of achievement and embraced many different leadership roles in business, philanthropy, and the military. Yet this was different from anything I'd ever done—not least, because I was doing it in the name of our son Lee, who died of brain cancer at the age of 30. Failure was not an option for me, because I didn't want to fail Lee. His death became a turning point that would lead me, improbably and remarkably, to the most meaningful and fulfilling work of my life: helping children with learning disabilities. And in helping others to learn, I found myself learning about the benefits of leading from values.

15 Leader to Leader Authors to Follow on Twitter


We periodically curate Twitter feeds from our authors. Here are 15 to follow for their practical, leadership-based wisdom:


Robbie Kellman Baxter: @robbiebax


Kathy Caprino: @kathycaprino


Louis Carter: @louislcarter

Steve Farber: @stevefarber


Marilyn Gist: @MarilynGistPhD


Kara Goldin: @karagoldin


Vlatka Hlupic: @VlatkaHlupic


Maya Hu-Chan: @mayahuchan


Jo Ann Jenkins: @JoAnn_Jenkins


Alex Soojung-Kim Pang: @askpang


Shannon Huffman Polson: @ABorderLife


Kris Putnam-Walkerly: @Philanthropy411


Walt Rakowich: @WaltRakowich


Ashley Whillans: @ashleywhillans


Mary-Frances Winters: @maryfwinters