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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!

Jul 1, 2020

Mark Johnson is the co-author of the book, Lead from the Future: How to Turn Visionary Thinking into Breakthrough Growth. Mark offers creative and different ways of approaching the future. Timing is always everything and it can be tricky for leaders to gauge when it makes sense to act. To navigate, you need a north-star vision for your company.


Key Takeaways

[3:15] Mark discusses the passing of Clayton Christensen and the impact he has made on his life and the lives of many others.

[6:45] Small businesses have the opportunity (and flexibility) to reinvent themselves. You don’t have to go down with the sinking ship.

[11:10] Nobody has a crystal ball about the future, but business is in business for the customer. Look to the customer and their needs when adapting your services.

[13:35] Timing is always everything and it can be tricky for leaders to gauge when it makes sense to act. To navigate this, you need a north-star vision for your company.

[15:10] It’s a risky time for businesses, which means they need to start getting good at learning, and quickly adapting from those insights.

[22:05] We often look for constraints before a project has even begun. However, if we put constraints on it prior to the request, the mind is forced to think outside of the box to solve the task at hand. It’s a creative way to use psychology to help spark innovation.

[23:55] With information technology, our brains get easily distracted, which means our room for creativity becomes less and less.

[24:55] The cavalry is not coming. You have to break free from your biases.

[25:55] Mark shares examples of companies thinking in the future instead of the present. Like, how do you completely prevent a disease from occurring, and prove that you’ve actually prevented a disease?

[32:45] The truth is, we’re not necessarily risk-averse, we just don’t know how to properly manage risk.

[39:55] Develop a compelling vision, align the organization, and then motivate/reward to allow it to stick.


Quotable Quotes

  • “It’s not an either/or. Yes, you want to have a good professional career, but it can’t be a replacement for your family.”
  • “Entrepreneurs, to begin with, are resourceful people, they are imaginative people, they are visionaries.”
  • “It’s more important to have the right way of thinking and a process that enables you to be forward-looking at the same time as operationally-oriented.”
  • “It’s a risky time and the only way to mitigate risk is to be good about learning. In order to be good about learning, you’ve got to be good at running experiments.”
  • “With information technology, we’re much more hunkered down with the volatility and uncertainty of the world to try and address the here and now.”
  • “Everybody in the organization doesn’t need to be creative. However, you’ve got to bring everyone in your organization along through your communication and explain the reasons why creativity is important, even for those who are not involved directly.”


Resources Mentioned




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