Episode #294: Peter Bregman on Leading with Emotional Courage

November 25, 2018

For over 30 years, Peter Bregman has worked with CEOs and senior leaders to help them create accountability and inspire collective action on their most important work. He helps leaders to develop their leadership skills, build aligned, collaborative teams, and overcome obstacles to drive results for their organizations.

Peter is the author, most recently, of Leading with Emotional Courage: How to Have Hard Conversations, Create Accountability, and Inspire Action on Your Most Important Work (July 2018). His book, 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, was a Wall Street Journal bestseller, winner of the Gold medal from the Axiom Business Book awards, named the best business book of the year by NPR, and selected by Publisher's Weekly and the New York Post as a top-ten business book. He is also the author of Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Replace Counter-Productive Habits with Ones That Really Work, a New York Post "Top Pick for Your Career" in 2015, Point B: A Short Guide to Leading a Big Change and a contributor to six other books.

Peter is a sought-after speaker and thought leader in the areas of leadership development, organizational change, productivity and emotional courage. He is the host of the Bregman Leadership Podcast, which offers insightful conversations with industry thought leaders on how to become more powerful, courageous leaders. He is also a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, and his articles and commentary appear frequently in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fast Company, Psychology Today, Forbes, The Financial Times, PBS, ABC, CNN, NPR, and FOX Business News.

We unpacked many topics on leadership from his book, including:

  1. How to have hard conversations
  2. Why being a leader doesn’t mean having all the answers; and
  3. How to focus on the most important things

This just scratches the surface of what we explored.

Due to some technical difficulties, the introductory banter I normally engage in with my guests was lost so we pick this conversation up at my very first question which was people getting into leadership positions purely based on technical prowess, without having thought too much about how to truly motivate people, take ownership in times of crisis, embrace difficult conversations or develop emotional intelligence.


Topics Discussed:

  • What is emotional courage?
  • Why leadership isn’t about having all the answers
  • How to focus on the most important things
  • Radical transparency: good or bad?
  • Staying the course v deluding yourself: how to navigate the delicate balance
  • Contributor track v management: why management isn’t for everyone and what to do instead
  • Procrastinating on difficult conversations
  • Why soft skills differentiate successful leaders from the rest
  • The four Cs of great leadership
  • The Big Arrow model
  • The power of vulnerability
  • Making decisions without all of the information
  • Projecting confidence without all of the answers
  • Influencing others without official authority
  • The value of decentralised control


Show Notes:

  1. Get Peter’s boks: https://www.amazon.com/Peter-Bregman/e/B002BMD8SQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1541547659&sr=8-2-ent
  2. Website: Bregmanpartners.com
  3. Bregman Leadership Podcast: https://bregmanpartners.com/resources/podcast/
  4. Twitter: @peterbregman
  5. Big Arrow Model: http://bregmanpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/BigArrowStrategyGuide.pdf

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About steve glaveski

Your host and occasional cybernetic organism, Steve Glaveski, is committed to helping people better navigate the growing uncertainty that technology change brings, in order to survive, thrive, create more value for the world and lead more fulfilling lives.

Steve is the CEO and co-founder of innovation accelerator Collective Campus, founder of children's entrepreneurship program Lemonade Stand, author of Amazon best-seller The Innovation Manager's Handbook and the Wiley book, Employee to Entrepreneur, investor in blockchain based fractional property investment platform Konkrete and is a keynote speaker and startup advisor.

When not fighting T-1000s Steve can be found in the gym, hiking, skating at the beach, attempting standup comedy, at a heavy metal show or socially lubricating at a whisky bar.

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