Why Great Leadership Starts With Open Hearted Conversations


Marketing Podcast with Edward Sullivan

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Edward Sullivan. Edward has been coaching and advising start-up founders, Fortune 10 executives, and heads of state for over 15 years. His clients include executives from Google, Salesforce, Slack, and dozens of other fast-growth companies. He holds an MBA from Wharton and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. Edward is CEO & President of the renowned executive coaching consultancy, Velocity. He also has a new book launching on June 21, 2022, called — Leading With Heart: 5 Conversations That Unlock Creativity, Purpose, and Results.

Key Takeaway:

Right now, workplaces are struggling to build high-morale and connected cultures. How do you retain and inspire your team? By leading with heart and sparking authentic conversation.

After thousands of hours of interviews and coaching sessions with leaders of many of the world’s most prominent firms, authors John Baird and Edward Sullivan found that top leaders don’t adhere to simple formulas and performance hacks. Instead, they discovered that these leaders help people unlock their creativity, purpose, and results by having conversations that make them feel productive, safe, and appreciated. In this episode, I talk with Edward Sullivan about why great leadership starts with open-hearted conversation.

Questions I ask Edward Sullivan:

  • [1:33] What’s the opposite of leading with heart?
  • [1:53] Is leading with ego how a lot of people have been taught or led?
  • [2:40] What does it take for someone to say that they are a leader?
  • [3:58] You did some pretty exhaustive research to come to the conclusions you did in your new book — could you explain your research process?
  • [5:24] Would you say that the great resignation is a bit of an indictment on leadership?
  • [7:23] It’s challenging to be a leader until you clean up your own house, and I think that starts with self-awareness — do you agree with that and if so, how do you balance that?
  • [9:14] What are the five questions that you talk about in the book?
  • [10:31] How do you start creating a culture of this openness if it has existed before?
  • [11:51] Is there an approach that works better in the workplace when it comes to the setting in which you talk about these questions?
  • [13:13] How do we actually help people understand what their needs are and what their fears are?
  • [14:20] How could you bring this work in earlier into an organization for say a new hire?
  • [16:03] This work is more than the five conversations, it’s daily consistent work — could you talk a little bit about the tools you give folks inside of their organization to use to help with this?
  • [17:57] What’s the balance of being able to use the framework and use it appropriately?
  • [20:29] Can you repair trust?
  • [21:19] Where can people find out more about your work?

More About Edward Sullivan:

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This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network and Drip.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.


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