John Baldoni is an internationally recognized leadership consultant, coach, author and educator.
He has taught what it means to inspire at the top of a mountain in the Canadian Rockies. At sea level in Orlando, Florida, he spoke to nearly one thousand USAF/JAG commissioned and non-commissioned officers on leadership and communication. And a recent book, Lead Your Boss, was hailed by Harvard Business Review as a “guide that provides useful advice… [and] is encouraging and inspirational.”
In 2011, Leadership Gurus named John number 11 on its list of top thirty global leadership gurus. In 2009, he was named one of the world’s top 25 leadership experts by Top Leadership Gurus International. Fall 2011 marked the publication of John’s tenth book, Lead With Purpose: Giving Your Organization a Reason to Believe in Itself. Over the past decade he has established himself as world authority on topics that matter to leaders who are seeking insight into leadership challenges of the day. Through his books and his many columns for leading business publications, John has become a source of practical wisdom on topics such as influencing without authority, applying power appropriately, leading with grace and conviction, and developing genuine followership.
All of these topics complement John’s mission to help individuals and their organization achieve positive results. Consequently John’s books have been translated into multiple languages including Mandarin, Hungarian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Spanish and Vietnamese.
John speaks widely to corporate, professional, military and university audiences. Those who attend John’s keynotes and workshops find his advice to be practical and his advice inspirations. He is the president of Baldoni Consulting LLC, an executive coaching and leadership development firm.
Here is an excerpt from my interview. If you wish to read all of it, please click here.
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Morris: Before discussing Lead with Purpose, a few general questions. Who has had the greatest influence on your personal growth?
Baldoni: Without a doubt, my parents. Plain and simple!
Morris: The greatest impact on your professional development?
Baldoni: I have had the opportunity to work with men and women who are passionate about what they do. I cite three examples of excellence in the dedication to my book, Lead With Purpose: Dan Denison for challenging me to write; Marshall Goldsmith, for demonstrating how to ask BIG questions; and Mike Useem for teaching me the art of interdisciplinary leadership.
Morris: Was there a turning point (if not an epiphany) in the past that set you on the career course that you continue to follow? Please explain.
Baldoni: I began my career in communications and had the privilege of working with senior leaders in a variety of different business sectors. Eventually I decided that rather than helping them develop messages I wanted to help shape lives, that is through teaching, coaching and writing.
Morris: To what extent has your formal education proven invaluable to what you have accomplished thus far?
Baldoni: My undergraduate degree is in English and I write. Pretty direct correlation I’d say. My master’s degree is in adult education and performance consulting. Again a tight correlation.
Morris: Let’s pretend that you have agreed to be a guest instructor for one class comprised of exceptionally intelligent and energetic students who are preparing for a career in writing non-fiction. Of all that you have learned during more than three decades of doing that, which specific lessons do you think the students will find most valuable?
Baldoni: Great question and one I am asked all of the time. Three leaders must do: be seen, be heard, be there. One, let people know you are around. Two, connect the dots between purpose and work and listen, listen, listen. Three, be available to do whatever the organization needs you to do. That’s leadership.
Morris: You have written extensively about what great leadership is…and isn’t. You have written entire books about great communicators and great motivators. Here’s my question. However different they may have been in most respects, were all of the greatest leaders throughout history both great communicators and great motivators?
Baldoni: All leaders must be good communicators. But let’s be clear, communications is not the same as oratory. Let me give you an example. General George C. Marshall was an exemplary public servant and military officer. He helped mobilize our nation for the Second World War and helped lay the foundation for peace as Secretary of State. He communicated through words, but more loudly through his actions.
Morris: Here are two two-part questions. First, What are the defining skills and characteristics of a great communicator and can almost anyone become one? If so, how?
Baldoni: Communication comes with practice. As a leader you must speak the truth; listen for understanding; and learn from what you hear and do not hear.
Morris: Next, what are the defining skills and characteristics of a great motivator and can almost anyone become one? If so, how?
Baldoni: Leaders do not motivate per se. They create conditions for to motivate themselves. They do it by communicating clearly, setting clear expectations, following through and recognizing performance.
Morris: Of all the changes that have occurred in the U.S. workplace during (let’s say) the last 12-15 years, which change do you consider to be most significant? Why?
Baldoni: We are living in times of great uncertainty. Likely no more so than in previous times but the sense of ambiguity may be more pervasive in light of the financial crash from which we have yet to recover. That means leaders need to step up their game. They need to more specifically in providing direction and in delivering inspiration.
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If you wish to read all of it, please click here.
John cordially invites you to check out the resources at these websites:
To learn about services that John offers visit www.johnbaldoni.com
To learn more about what it takes to lead with purpose, visit www.leadwithpurpose.biz
News Flash: You can get a free copy of The Myth of the Garage by Chip Heath and Dan Heath from the Kindle Store at Amazon.
This is really interesting.
And I like it. And not just because it is free.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I like reading on the Kindle App on my iPad. The features – a search button, a click which takes you to the Table of Contents, the highlighting feature, the fact that you can view all of your highlights (and with a little work, can copy and paste them into a Word document) — are all just wonderful, and genuinely useful to a serious book reader. The Kindle app is a great tool.
And reading on the iPad, in a “book format,” is so much easier that clicking through to essay after essay on the web. For example, wouldn’t it be great to have all of Malcolm Gladwell’s essays (most of which are archived at his web site, Gladwell.com), in one ebook? Yes, it would.
Now the future has just arrived in the first such volume (that I know about — there could be others).
Chip and Dan Heath are terrific authors. The brothers Heath wrote Made to Stick, and Switch, both of which I have presented at the First Friday Book Synopsis. They also have written a number of essays for the magazine Fast Company. I have not read most of these.
But I’ve read a bunch of them now. Because they are compiled, all together, in a free ebook available through the Kindle store.
And, yes, some of these essays are terrific.
The Heath brothers, with terrific essays, all on one place, in an easy-to-read-and-highlight ebook. Is this heaven?
(By the way, this one was free, but there is a real market for these. I would gladly pay a Kindle price for all of the Gladwell essays, or the Gawande essays, or so many others, to have them in one volume).
Order it now for your Kindle, or your Kindle app. “Buy” it (for free) here.
Here’s a quick take on The Myth of the Garage, that I found here.
From Chip and Dan Heath, the bestselling authors of Switch and Made to Stick, comes The Myth of the Garage: And Other Minor Surprises, a collection of the authors’ best columns for Fast Company magazine – 16 pieces in all, plus a previously unpublished piece entitled “The Future Fails Again.”
In Myth, the Heath brothers tackle some of the most (and least) important issues in the modern business world:
- Why you should never buy another mutual fund (“The Horror of Mutual Funds”)
- Why your gut may be more ethical than your brain (“In Defense of Feelings”)
- How to communicate with numbers in a way that changes decisions (“The Gripping Statistic”)
- Why the “Next Big Thing” often isn’t (“The Future Fails Again”)
- Why you may someday pay $300 for a pair of socks (“The Inevitability of $300 Socks”)
- And 12 others . . .
Punchy, entertaining, and full of unexpected insights, the collection is the perfect companion for a short flight.
Here is the New York Times Hardcover Business Books Best Sellers List for November, 2011. The new Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson made the immediate jump to number 1, and it is also number 1 on the Nonfiction list. For most of the past week, it has been #s 1, 2, and 3, with its different editions, on the Amazon Business Best Sellers list (updated hourly).
As I usually remind you, the New York Times list is a once a month list, so that it seems to be a more accurate look at the best sellers for a full month. Most other lists are compiled weekly. I prefer the monthly look.
At the First Friday Book Synopsis, we have presented synopses of #4, Great by Choice; #10, Switch; #12, Delivering Happiness; and # 13, How. I have also presented synopses of #2, Boomerang, and # 3, That Used to Be Us, for a private client.
I think that Boomerang is a “must read” to get a look at the narrative underlying the current financial climate and crisis. It looks especially at: Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Germany, and California. This is Michael Lewis at his story-telling best.
And I think it is interesting that How has made a reappearance. I presented this at the First Friday Book Synopsis back in the summer of 2007, shortly after its initial release. It was recently re-released in an updated version. I think we are “floundering” a little in the meaning and ethics realm, and the subtitle points to its value: How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything…in Business (and in Life). It might be a good choice for you to read (or re-read).
I will be presenting a synopsis of #1, the Isaacson Steve Jobs book, at the January First Friday Book Synopsis. And I suspect I will tackle #6, Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, fairly early in 2012.
Here’s the November New York Times list.
|STEVE JOBS, by Walter Isaacson. (Simon & Schuster, $35.)|
|BOOMERANG, by Michael Lewis. (Norton, $25.95.)|
|THAT USED TO BE US, by Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28.)|
|GREAT BY CHOICE, by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen. (Harper Business/HarperCollins, $29.99.)|
|ENTRELEADERSHIP, by Dave Ramsey. (Howard, $26.)|
|THINKING, FAST AND SLOW, by Daniel Kahneman. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $30.)|
|ULTIMATE QUESTION 2. 0, by Fred Reichheld with Rob Markey. (Harvard Business, $27.95.)|
|PRICE OF CIVILIZATION, by Jeffrey D. Sachs. (Random House, $27.)|
|LEAN STARTUP, by Eric Ries. (Crown Business, $26.)|
|SWITCH, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. (Broadway Business, $26.)|
|IT’S YOUR BIZ, by Susan Wilson Solovic and Ellen R. Kadin. (Amacom, $22.95.)|
|DELIVERING HAPPINESS, by Tony Hsieh. (Business Plus, $23.99.)|
|HOW, by Dov Seidman. (Wiley, $27.95.)|
|START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS, by Blake Mycoskie. (Spiegel & Grau, $22.).|
|GREAT CRASH AHEAD, by Harry S. Dent, Jr. with Rodney Johnson. (Free Press, $27.)|
Many of these synopses, with audio + handout, are available for purchase at our companion web site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com. Great by Choice should be added this week, and a few others (the ones that I prepared and presented for private clients) will be added in coming weeks.