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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!

Oct 3, 2018

In this week’s episode, Jim and Jan share what’s been on their mind. For Jan, it’s all about decision making. How they are made, the processes most organizations are lacking, and how we structure transparency into decisions.


Jim’s been noticing how beautiful things emerge when we embrace networking, and create business opportunities for ourselves and others. He provides a few networking hacks, and shares a big opportunity most people miss when looking to connect.


Key Takeaways

[1:17] Jim and Jan want to hear which episodes you like, who you would like to see as a guest, and what’s new in your world of leadership. If you are active enough on our socials, a new coffee mug just may be in your future.

[2:12] Jim just co-invested in a tea company, so there also may be a tea party as well. Just don’t expect him to be drinking tons of matte.

[3:31] Almost every organization will say they have a communication problem. Jan’s hypothesis is that a large part of this is really a decision problem. Three main elements that make up the decision making process:

  1. Is there clarity on who has authority to make decisions?
  2. Is there a process for decisions, and when they are to be made?
  3. Is there criteria or a model that exists for individual and group decisions?

[4:45] Good leaders must know when to give up control and let others make decisions, and when it’s best for them to call the shots based on the organization’s core values.

[5:26] When people feel as though they can’t make decisions, or will be punished for making the wrong one, they get fearful upon making them or get complacent and take no action.

[6:39] When we remember the mistakes we have made, we can learn from them and help ourselves and others. Jim and Jan certainly have made some, and you better believe they remember every one. Making mistakes and learning from them is a large part of being comfortable and confident with decisions.

[8:02] We can learn a lot from organizations that must have structured decision making processes in place. Jim gives an example of one in the information security world where their disciplined process takes the “Duty of Care” into account with all parties involved in a decision.

[10:20] When people feel as though they have input and are heard, it’s easier for them to accept decisions and follow through with the action plan.

[11:34] It’s incumbent upon the leaders to provide common context surrounding all parts of making a decision. Context is typically better in an anecdotal form rather than quantitative in this situation.

[15:10] Networking is fun! It’s not all about standing awkwardly at a cocktail party with people you don’t know! Good things happen when we connect and network with an intention to have a positive experience.

[16:05] Leaders have a responsibility to connect others and provide as much opportunity as possible.

[20:41] Phone calls are still a great way to connect if you are too busy to meet a new or unknown contact in person.

[21:38] Leadership hack: write an introductory note when you are adding a person to your LinkedIn or online business network.

[24:36] Jim and Jan will be at an upcoming LEDx 2.0 event at the Maxwell Airforce Base at Air University. They will each be giving a presentation, then a joint session on The Leadership Podcast. The event is not open to the public, but there will be a video recording available in the future.



  • “Growth can come from making poor decisions.”
  • “The more time you have, the more collaborative you can be in decisions.”
  • “Leadership is all about change, and change it about decisions.”
  • “We must be more structured in creating our decisions.”
  • “Make the world small.”
  • “Make good connections happen, don’t wait for other people.”


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Twitter: @westudyleaders



Steve Martin - Let’s Get Small

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

The Wisdom of Crowds

Tipping Point



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