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The Leadership Podcast

The Leadership Podcast

Why do we do this?

We interview great leaders, review the books they read, and speak with highly influential authors who study them.

How we do this?

#1 We interview great leaders.
#2 We review the books great leaders read and write.
#3 We have fun!

Jun 13, 2018

Today’s episode features Jim and Jan reflecting on some of their favorite moments, standout guests and unforgettable takeaways from the first 101 episodes of The Leadership Podcast. They pull back the curtain on some behind the scenes moments of their interviews, some central themes, habits and attributes that emerged from studying leaders, and preview what’s to come in future episodes later this year. Lastly, they each give a personal update on their new projects. Jim and Jan thank you for joining them on this ride so far, and would love your feedback on what you want to see more of - reach out to them directly at @WeStudyLeaders on social media.


Key Takeaways   

[2:08] Jim and Jan recap Episode 101 with General Stanley McChrystal. The interview provided much to process, including his work mixing the most successful leadership in history with modern day millenials, the importance of a classical and liberal arts education and our the thoughtful and candid solutions General McChrystal has to create opportunities of service and contribution for younger generations. His timeless wisdom and nobility reflecting lasting principles of education and leadership.

[2:40] The generous amount of literature and philosophy referenced in the episode with General McChrystal reminds Jim and Jan of Episode 2 with Tom Morris, Professor of Philosophy at University of Notre Dame. Tom also holds the record for most books quoted on an episode.

[5:53] A standard question in the first 20 to 30 episodes was, “What do you think the greatest measure of leader effectiveness is?” The ideas and themes that consistently came up as answer was: education, teaching and service, and taking yourself out of the equation to focus on creating leaders.

[9:19] Jim and Jan discuss the advantages of timeless teachings in modern day education both from the schools and parents.  

[12:19] A deep love of learning at all stages is one of the most important qualities of developing leadership skills and a point of reference for a well rounded life.

[14:18] A standout episode for Jim was Episode 46 with Sebastian Junger. It changed his viewpoint on anthropology and behavior in group dynamics.

[15:39] Jan recounts a meaningful quote regarding understanding business and teams, thanks to Brett Mitchell, Conductor of the Colorado Music Symphony in Episode 65.

[16:52] Brett also represents those who demonstrate great wisdom who aren’t even 40 yet, also including former two time guest - Preston Pysh (Episode 1 and 100).

[17:19] One of Jim and Jan’s favorite aspects of the podcast is the diversity of opinions and wide array of perspectives each guest brings to the table.

[18:11] Jim and Jan give a rundown of what they have been up to of late - Jan just launched two courses on Linkedin Learning - Managing in Difficult Times and Managing Temporary and Contract Employees. Jim has put together a program, Relationship Selling, which shifts the sales and business development process into one of human dynamic and buying motivation. Jim also just gave a talk at the American Heart Association.

[20:31] If you are looking to get out of your comfort zone and into an experience which requires adventure, self-reliance and service, check out Jan’s Self-Reliant Leadership Crucible.

[20:58] Jim and Jan announce their new offering, the Urban Team Challenge. Designed by elite Special Operations veterans, The Urban Team Challenge is designed to sharpen a team’s ability to communicate, foster trust, and create a team with true accountability.

[22:58] Jim and Jan preview a future episode focusing on the need for effective teams in the workplace with Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stanford Professor and author of Dying for a Paycheck.


Quotable Quotes

  • “The episode with Stan McChrystal was almost like the time I went to the Sistine Chapel. I couldn’t take it all in.”
  • “When you spend time with someone like Stan McChrystal, I felt like I couldn’t concentrate hard enough to hear all the nuances.”
  • A great measure of leadership is - how many leaders have you created?
  • For whose good do you serve?
  • We’ve got to do what we can for those that can’t, but at some point as an educator you have to get them to assume personal responsibility for outcomes.
  • I learned to love to learn.
  • It’s not K-12 or even your bachelors degree that matters, it’s what you keep doing after that.
  • “When I’m rehearsing, I will hear 14 things that are wrong. My job is to figure out which 11 either don’t matter or will take care of themselves, and focus on the 3 that do.” - Brett Mitchell
  • “There’s wisdom all around us if we can have an open mind and check our assumptions at the door.”
  • “Great leaders become great leaders because they studied leadership and learned from their past mistakes.”
  • “It’s not about yourself, it’s about the people.”
  • “He knows how to suffer everything can dare everything.” - Jean de La Bruyère, Luc de Clapiers marquis de Vauvenargues (1903). “La Bruyère and Vauvenargues: Selections from the Characters, Reflexions and Maxims”



Leaders: Myth and Reality

Jan’s Courses on LinkedIn Learning

Relationship Selling (I couldn’t find the exact link! The one on Amazon I see is a different author)

Self-Reliant Leadership Crucible

Urban Team Challenge

Dying for a Paycheck


Instagram: @WeStudyLeaders

Facebook: @westudyleaders

Twitter: @westudyleaders