Balanced Leadership: Getting Results and Maintaining Relationships with Ken Blanchard – #007 Lead U


A leader’s force moves through an industry or your life, and it leaves a wake behind in two areas – the results and the relationships. The results are the numbers, how to capture success. On the other side of that is the people and how they’re doing. 

When the results aren’t good, that affects the relationships. What happens is that people aren’t happy when they aren’t winning. If the victories aren’t there, people don’t feel like there’s anything forward-moving. A happy team is a moving team. No one wants a leader that doesn’t build strong relational settings. 

So, what do we do? We start with ourselves. Go and sit down with a handful of people who have a stake in your wake. Invite them to coffee and ask them a few questions. How do you experience our relationship from your side? Do you feel respected? Do you feel challenged? Do you feel valued? Do I fail to understand what you need from me? Let them know you’re not here to argue or defend yourself. You simply want feedback. 

Now go to the results side. Do I do the things that help you be successful? Do I deliver what you expect from me? Do I over- or under-manage you? Do I give necessary feedback? 

It’s a great team exercise for you, and it will take some thick skin, but it’s essential to your leadership development and the success of your teams.


Guest Links


The One-Minute Manager

The New One-Minute Manager 

The Generosity Factor: Discover the Joy of Giving your Time, Talent and Treasure

Wealth: Is It Worth It?  

Helping People Win at Work: A Business Philosophy Called "Don't Mark My Paper, Help Me Get an A" 

Links Mentioned from this Episode


Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... And Others Don't by Jim Collins

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Return on Influence: The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring, and Influence Marketing by Mark Schafer


Takeaways from this Episode

  1. Develop your soft skills. Your impact as a leader is more than the results you bring in. It’s also about the interactions you have with your teams, employees and other people. This means listening, praising, giving re-direction and coaching them. It’s about exciting people and creating good morale.
  2. You can’t over-encourage someone. We assume that when someone does something right, they know they did well because they weren’t reprimanded for their performance. Take the time to tell someone they’re performing well. The key to developing relationships it to catch people doing things right, capture the positive and celebrate successes.
  3. Build trust. The number one customer is your people. If you take care of your number one customer, your employees will take care of your number two customer, and as a result, the people who buy your products and services will be provided for. Building trust lets your team know that you're working toward the same end-goal.

Quotes from Ken 

Profit is the applause you get for creating a motivating environment for people so they can carry your customers. 

Instead of creating situations that demoralize people, create situations that empower people. 

The great ones realize, without they’re people, they’re really nothing. 

All good performance starts with clear goals. 

Great leaders are great because people respect and trust them, not because they have power.

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Getting Results from Your Team with Liz Wiseman – #006 Lead U


No matter how much we learn about leadership, and the disciplines of leadership, we ultimately are the ones who have to pull it off. Leaders are equipped with all this knowledge of their industry and organizing teams, but who we are begins to hit a limit in our ability to do the things that leadership requires. There are personal issues we have as humans, but a lot of time I spend with leaders is in their growth steps to lead well.

Let’s take a look at four things that need to ask for leaders to get results from their organizations.

What are our control issues? Everyone knows what it means to be a control freak. We like to have control of things. As humans, no one is 100% in control of themselves, and we are 0% control of others. When you’re leading, someone’s personality can get in the way of this. Ask yourself, “How comfortable am I putting someone in charge of what I’ve put them in charge of?”

What is our ability to pull the trigger? Are we impulsive, or are we paralyzed? We have to get ready before we jump. A leader has to get ready before they launch into something. You have to be able to focus before you pull the trigger. So many leaders are “fire, ready, aim.” They get one idea after another, and they lose their original focus. If we aren’t able to pull the trigger because of too much certainty, it’s going to affect leadership. 

How quickly do we lean into conflict and resolve it? People love leaders who are frank, honest and display candor. Look at your conflict timer. How long does it have to bake inside before you call someone up and say, “We’ve gotta talk about this”? What happens is there’s a formula, and it goes like this: You’re only going to be successful to the degree you can confront and enter into conflict. Success is a path of conflicts. If we can’t get through that, we are limited in what we can actually do. We should get to the place to do the hard thing quickly, because the better we do it, the more resolution we’re going to get.

Are you a maintainer, or are you growth-oriented? Some people are just maintainers, but they don’t really grow things. To grow things requires different capacities. One of them is how anxiety-tolerant you are. If we’re not out in a region that has a little unknown and risk, and feeling where we can’t tolerate that feeling of stepping out of our comfort zone, your team is going to fall asleep. The more aroused we are, the better we are at our performance. How good are you at realizing your stretch points? Being alive is being stretched. Look at how comfortable you are with that.


Guest Links

The Wiseman Group 

Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work 


Links Mentioned from this Episode

Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality

Leadership University

How to Contact Jennifer, Chris and Henry: 

Jeff Henley 

John Chambers

Lutz Ziob

Elon Musk


Takeaways from this Episode

  1. Start with a list. Keep a list of things that you don’t know and what you need to learn. And if you’re really courageous, share it with your team. The reality is, it’s hard to do. Work on developing a relationship of trust.
  2. Create a safe environment. Liz says that people within organizations don’t exercise enough upward empathy. The people at the top are learners, too. Don’t build your strategy around a set of “knowns.” Build it on a set of questions, and ask for help.
  3. Let go of control. Most of the diminishing that happens inside of companies is done by good people who have the best of intentions, but they don’t realize the good things they’re doing are getting in the way. They’re like a banyan tree. They’re big and shady, but nothing grows underneath because no sun gets through. Leaders end up shutting people down because they’re too helpful. The first time they see someone struggling, they’re too quick to extend a hand to help.
  4. Embrace conflict. The best leaders are comfortable with inviting other people to be uncomfortable. Good leaders fall short of great leaders because they haven’t learned how to tolerate suffering. You have to be willing to let people stay in tense situations because the best leaders are challengers. They lay down this huge puzzle and have the confidence in their team to step away and let other people solve it.

Quotes from Liz

I think the critical skill of this century is not what you know, it’s how fast you can learn.

When you’re in a growth company, every day you’re under-qualified for your job. 

A great question focuses the energy and intelligence of a team.

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The Wake You Leave Behind with Dr. Henry Cloud Cloud – #005 Lead U


When you talk about someone of great virtue, they’re a force for good. What we find with great leaders and great successes is that when they move through a company, move through a department or move through an industry, they’re like a force that leaves a wake behind them. Successful people are the ones who leave a lot of good things in your wake. 

What kind of wake are you leaving? If you could look at all the leadership research that’s ever been done, it’s going to come down to two big piles. One side is going to be results, and the other side is going to be relationships. When a leader moves through a company, they leave a wake behind them in those two areas, and people are better off for having been in their wake.

Now, go a step further. Ask those you communicate with, “What’s it like to be on the other side of me in the area of results and the area of relationships?”

Links Mentioned in this Episode



Leadership University

How David Beat Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

The 50th Law by 50 Cent


Questions featured in this Episode

In this episode of The Leadership University Podcast, Dr. Henry Cloud answers some of the questions you’ve submitted to our team.

  1. What is the shape of the perfect leader, and does he or she exist?
  2. Does every manager need to be a leader?
  3. You say anyone can be a leader. Aren’t there people whose traits make them unfit to be a leader?
  4. Is it possible to lead when you’re not the boss?
  5. What’s the worst fault a leader can have?

Quotes from this Episode

Success is not always related to talent or brains. 

– Chris paraphrasing Dr. Cloud

There’s a difference between something that can be fixed vs. something that’s unchangeable.

 –Dr. Cloud

I have a lot of hope for people, and I love to see them grow. 

–Dr. Cloud

A manager makes sure things are done right. A leader makes sure the right things are done.

– Dr. Cloud quoting Peter Drucker

Subscribe to The Leadership University Podcast

Every Tuesday we release an this podcast as an entertaining and informative way of sharing practical advice about the fundamental and most needed competencies that every leader must develop. Think of this podcast as an easy way to move a few steps further down the path to realizing your leadership goals.

Join Dr. Henry Cloud and an exciting new guest expert each week by subscribing to iTunes or checking us out on Sound Cloud

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Accountability & Adaptation with Lauren Pipher – #004 Lead U

A lot of times, we don’t have a positive adaptation of accountability. Based on our experiences and the experiences others have had, we get defensive when we hear it and when we receive it, so it must be given with respect. Accountability can be a positive thing, and it’s important in terms of helping us get to where we want to be in leadership or life.

Accountability is an answer to trust. It’s a way of getting better, getting clarity and knowing what you’re going to measure. It’s not about making someone feel bad. It’s taking the initiative to be solutions-oriented and looking ahead to the future.

Guest Links


Links Mentioned in this Episode


Dr. Henry Cloud’s 5 Buckets of Leadership

QBQ! The Questions Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability in Work and in Life by John Miller

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide for Personal Freedom

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life 

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself 

The Knockoff: A Novel

The Story of O 


Takeaways from this Episode

Take a minute to breathe. Look at what you can control and what you can’t control. Take a step back. Before your thoughts get away with you, make an effort to clear your mind and slow it down before you respond. 

Ask for help from those around you. It takes trust. Know what your team’s strengths and weaknesses are so you can make cohesive decision for the best result.

Respect yourself and respect others. Consider the priorities. Is there something that is important to someone that we have not yet touched upon? Or is there something bothering someone that’s lying underneath this issue that’s causing a roadblock that hasn’t been considered?

Accept failure. Failure is part of it. Accept it. Own it. Apologize when you need to and do the right thing when something goes. The most telling thing about a person is how they respond when something goes wrong.


Subscribe to The Leadership University Podcast

Every Tuesday we release an this podcast as an entertaining and informative way of sharing practical advice about the fundamental and most needed competencies that every leader must develop. Think of this podcast as an easy way to move a few steps further down the path to realizing your leadership goals.

Join Dr. Henry Cloud and an exciting new guest expert each week by subscribing to iTunes or checking us out on Sound Cloud

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Investing in Others Always Pays Off

Invest in others

William Glasser, the psychiatrist who founded Reality Therapy, said that the best way to retain anything is to teach it. His research showed that the highest memory of material occurred when someone had to teach that material to others. Teaching and sharing is a growth experience.

What I find about those who grow in their own lives is that they are also always investing in the growth of others. They not only subject themselves to mentors and people further down the road than they are, but they are also the ones further down the road for someone else. They give away what they possess and invest in others becoming more.

I have a partner who was part of the management group that bought Coldwell Banker Residential. At the time he first went there, it was owned by Sears and was losing a lot of money. His task was to turn it around. One of the first things that he surmised was that it needed to grow its people and its leaders. That is where he put his focus, even more than on the “nuts and bolts of the business.” It began to turn around. Then, Sears decided to get rid of it, and so confident that he could grow it, he and four managers partnered and bought it with outside investment and debt totaling $ 150 million. Being oriented toward growth himself, one of his primary focuses continued to be to grow the leaders. They invested in helping others develop. They had established Coldwell Banker University for leadership training, seeing the development of their people as the best thing that they could do to grow the company.

Now here is the magic. One year later, they paid the $100 million back that they had borrowed and, three years later, sold the company for $650 million. It was a great turnaround story, but one in large part fueled by the investment in the growth and development of their people. Where did this come from? From a business-strategy book?

It came from the character of the principals. The one who drove it was just executing the pattern that he has always executed as part of his makeup. Beginning as a mentor of youth in high school and college, he continued to see helping others develop as just another part of being alive. Along the way, it turned into hundreds of millions in profit, but that was not the reason it was there. It was there as an aspect of his character.

Now, ten years later, you can find him doing the same thing. He gathers young businesspeople under his wing who he thinks are doing interesting and helpful things that have social value and mentors them in how to do whatever they are doing better. His two guiding questions are always “Why are you doing what you are doing?” and “How can you do it better?” Growth is motivated by the right “whys” and by growing into someone who can do that better. But, for him, business strategy was not what led him into growth. Growth led his business strategy. It was an expression of character. He must build into other people growing as well as himself. It is just a part of who he is.

Have you invested in others? Start today and learn how to effectively with Henry's podcast shaping and growing leaders. Listen Now!

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Executing a Plan with Chris McChesney – #003 Lead U

Executing a plan is such a big part of leadership. It’s one thing to have a great strategy, but you have to have a way to execute it. You just can’t have a vision in your head without a strategy to move forward. It has to create real results that show you how you can get from Point A to Point B. That’s what leadership is. 

There are ways you can lead that tap into how the brain is designed to work. If you have too many goals and too many plans, people are going to be confused. Once you clarify what you want to achieve, you can think about how the execution of your plan drives results.

Guest Links

The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals 

Links Mentioned in this Episode


Boundaries for Leaders

The Power of the Other

Stephen Covey

Jim Huling

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees)

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

Takeaways from this Episode

1. Focus on the wildly important. Narrow the focus and define the finish line. There’s an immediate return when this principle is understood.

2. Create leverage around lead measures. Identify what’s predictive of goal outcome, but also look at what can be influenced by the team or individual.

3. Create a compelling scoreboard. You don’t have to call it a game, but it needs to feel like one.

4. Create a cadence of accountability. These are the weekly commitments that drive the lead measures.

Subscribe to The Leadership University Podcast

Every Tuesday we release an this podcast as an entertaining and informative way of sharing practical advice about the fundamental and most needed competencies that every leader must develop. Think of this podcast as an easy way to move a few steps further down the path to realizing your leadership goals.

Join Dr. Henry Cloud and an exciting new guest expert each week by subscribing to iTunes or checking us out on Sound Cloud

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How to Keep Your Ego in Check?

Look at yourself through the looking glass

We have seen the value of getting reality feedback from others in order to get a clear picture of ourselves. That is essential. Another feedback mechanism that we need is feedback about ourselves from ourselves. This is our ability to monitor our own thoughts, behaviors, attitudes, feelings, abilities, choices, values, desires, talents, and the like. It is one thing to drive safely when you look in the rearview mirror and there is a policeman. That is external feedback. It is another thing to drive safely when you are out on the road by yourself. That is maturity.

There are a lot of terms for this aspect of human makeup, but psychologists refer to it as the observing ego. Ego means “I,” and observing means to “watch over” or “be attuned to” or “notice.” So, it is the part of me that is watching me. And successful characters who leave the best wakes have a lot of this. They tend to see themselves as they are, and to observe their behavior as it is happening.

I left a strategic-planning retreat recently with a group that I am doing a publishing project with. At the end of the meeting things got a little sour. The problem was that the president of the company who was leading the meeting ran off in his own direction and agenda and left others behind, somewhat pushing his plan through and then talking as if it were everyone’s. I could feel the atmosphere change and had some strong feelings myself about what had happened. Upon leaving, I wanted some time to think about how I was going to respond to what had occurred before talking to him. This was somewhat of a pattern with him, and I wanted to address the bigger picture. He was a good guy and someone I like working with, so resolving it in a good way mattered to me.

But before I got back to him, I received an e-mail that apologized for what had occurred, and that he was aware that he had “thrown cold water” on the meeting, as he put it. We later talked, and he shared his awareness of his tendency to do what he had done that day, and he said he wanted to talk further about it. He saw what he had done before it was mentioned to him. My hope for it not happening again went up. Character that sees itself is usually able to self-correct.

Not only did this incident give me more confidence about our future, it also said something about why this man has risen to the ranks of CEO of a public company and been successful for so many years.

We all have issues, and our weird moments. But we do best when we are able to see them ourselves and correct them.The ability to ask oneself “What am I doing here?” is a compass that will keep things on the right track.

Have you channeled in to your inner leader lately? If not, now is the time to start with Henry's podcast on leadership where you will have the opportunity to discover the best leader you can be. Listen Today!

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The Best Way to Solve a Problem


How to solve a problem!

Confronting and solving problems is a hallmark of the successful character. But, your character has an equally important function regarding problems as well. In fact, it is the best way to solve a problem: The best way to solve a problem is not to have it to begin with.

Your character is like a great immune system against getting into bad situations. It senses them early on, and if something smells wrong, or not good enough, it just says no. It do not agree to things that do not fit its criteria, values or purposes. This is the other side of that quality: after the due diligence is done, and something is found lacking, one has the character ability to say, “No!”

I have a friend who once gave me some sage advice. He said that he finally got to a point in his life where he doesn’t do anything that involves the “cringe factor.” He said that he will not go forward in any deal or work with any person having a cringe factor. I did not know what that meant, so I asked him.

“That is the big gulp you would have to take to go forward,” he explained. “My rule is this: anytime I have to cringe or take a big gulp to agree to do anything substantial with anyone, whether to hire him, work with him, or anything significant, I don’t do it. I won’t go forward as long as the cringe factor is there. Period.”

Instantaneously I remembered times I had ignored the cringe factor. There were so many situations that I could recall where I had gone forward ignoring problem areas about a person or a deal, but took the big gulp only to have the big throw-up later. I had to learn that lesson the hard way, as most “optimists” do. We can get ourselves into messes that could have been avoided if we had paid attention to the writing on the wall and not taken the step where there was a cringe.

Here is a list of things that you might be telling yourself when a “cringe factor” arises:

  • This doesn’t feel quite right.
  • I really don’t feel comfortable doing this or agreeing to this.
  • This is not what I really want.
  • I don’t like what I am agreeing to, or part of me doesn’t.
  • This violates an important value.
  • I am going to resent this later.
  • I am going to resent this for a long time.
  • I resent this now.
  • I wish this were not happening.
  • This feels the same as the last time.

 This is like the immune system for the character. It is about boundaries. It is like your skin. Your entire being is designed not to allow toxins into your system, body, or otherwise. Your skin keeps bad things out, unless a cut allows infection in. Your immune system keeps germs out by immediately dealing with them and saying, in effect, “no deal.” The germ is not allowed to become part of the body, but is destroyed and eliminated. And your character has to have the same functions as well, serving as the immune system for the things you agree to do or not do.

The best way to solve a problem is to not have it in the first place. When your immune system tells you something isn’t right, have the courage to say no.

Do you have boundaries? Maybe you have them,but don't know where to start.Well friends, Henry has you covered on how to discover and define your boundaries with his leadership podcast. Listen Now!

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One Quality Every Leader Needs

Showing Empathy


Have you ever experienced a leader who wasn’t able to connect with their team? What were they lacking? In a word, empathy.

Empathy is the ability to enter into another person's experience and connect with it in such a way that you actually experience to some degree what the other person is experiencing. It is as if you are that other person, at least for a moment. Empathy comes from the Greek word meaning “in” and “feeling.” It is as if you are “in the feeling” of the other.

Empathy requires a few character components.

First, there is the ability to feel and be what is referred to as softhearted. If people are cut off from their emotions to begin with, then they usually have little ability to feel what someone else is feeling. To be an empathetic person means that you have to overcome character detachment. It means that first of all, you are not detached from your own emotions. It means that you are truly in touch with your real feelings capacities. People who are out of touch with their own feelings are limited in their ability to empathize with others.

Second, it means that you have good boundaries. That means that when you feel what someone else is feeling, you also realize that it is their experience and not yours. Boundaries are the component of character whereby we realize our separateness from another person. People who lose themselves in what another person is feeling are usually not helpful. They over identify and then do goofy things. But, conversely, if their boundaries are too strong and they can't reach over the wall and empathize, then connection is lost. It is a balance.

Third, it is the ability to listen in a way that communicates understanding. When we listen, we hear.. And it may be that we understand. But if we cannot communicate our listening in a way that lets other people know we have truly understood, empathy has not occurred. There is no connection. True listening and understanding occurs only when the other person understands that you understand

These three things only happen when your character is connecting enough to get out of your own experience and into the experience of the other. To do that requires a makeup that is not detached, or self-focused.

They talk...you experience them...you share what you have heard and experienced about their experience...then they experience you have as having heard them. They then know you are “with them.”

When it is communicated to them like that, then not only did you hear and understand, but the other person understands that you understand, and the connection has occurred. It does not occur, and the other person's heart has not joined you, until that loop has happened. That takes an open and caring heart on your part.


 Are you using empathy with your team?Learn how to give empathy to help your team trust and believe in you with Henry's podcast. Listen and learn TODAY!

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Vision and Engaging Talent with SUCCESS Magazine – #002 Lead U

Vision and engaging talent are intrinsically connected to one another. 

They’re almost the same because without vision, you don’t get full engagement, and engagement really means that someone is all in with their heart, mind, soul and strength. It’s the essence of how they feel, how they think and how they communicate. 

To keep talent engaged, you need to clarify your vision. And when your vision is communicated well, your team will be committed to giving themselves to a higher purpose, because everyone wants to be part of something bigger than themselves. 

In this episode, Shelby Skrhak and Josh Ellis of SUCCESS Magazine talk to us about how a well-defined vision contributes to thriving digital marketing strategies.

Guest Links

Success Magazine

Shelby Skrhak 

Josh Ellis 

Links Mentioned in This Episode

Takeaways from this Episode

  1. Produce good social media is content. The worst thing you want to see is someone trying to promote themselves or sell something. People want to connect with others and get information. 
  1. Be yourself on social media. Something that brands tend to do, especially leaders, is that they rely on their brand or company to run their social media accounts. People can tell when it’s a brand versus you contributing to it. Be transparent and offer authenticity.
  1. Understand the power of your brand. When we identify our biggest fans and learn how we can serve them and what they want, we can deliver our best.


Quotes from Josh and Shelby

Vision is the navigation of where you’re going, and when you’re going somewhere new, you’re going to need driving directions. You need that navigation to get there. 

– Shelby Skrhak

Successful people exhibit genuine interest in helping people, and improving communities and the world around them. They really care about a product because they believe it’s going to help people. Adding value to people is something that will make you successful over and over again.

– Josh Ellis

The most successful people are avid readers. They’re definitely constantly learning. They want to study new things. They want to challenge themselves to new skills and concepts they can open their minds to and get their hands on. 

– Shelby Skrhak


Subscribe to The Leadership University Podcast

Every Tuesday we release an this podcast as an entertaining and informative way of sharing practical advice about the fundamental and most needed competencies that every leader must develop. Think of this podcast as an easy way to move a few steps further down the path to realizing your leadership goals.

Join Dr. Henry Cloud and an exciting new guest expert each week by subscribing to iTunes or checking us out on Sound Cloud

Read more →