How Can You Tell Someone Has True Leadership Skills? This Legendary Football Coach Nails It With 1 Brilliant Sentence

By Marcel Schwantes; originally posted on on February 20, 2018. 

A few days ago, I was listening to a Higher Purpose podcast where the host, Kevin Monroe, asked his guest Jeff Harmon, a leadership coach and author of The Anatomy of a Principled Leader, about the challenges of using the word “love” in the leadership and workplace sense.

Now before you get an allergic reaction to the word “love” in this sense, Harmon masterfully juxtaposes our often-misconstrued interpretation of love as a “soft” management approach to the actual management approach of one of the toughest and most revered sports icons of all time —  the legendary head coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi. Here’s what coach Lombardi once boldly stated:

I don’t necessarily have to like my players and associates but as their leader I must love them. Love is loyalty, love is teamwork, love respects the dignity of the individual. This is the strength of any organization. [emphasis mine]

Keep in mind, this is the same hard-driving Vince Lombardi who also made famous the statement: “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”

That’s why his love quote is even more profound when you think about it. As Harmon pointed out, we often view any notion of leadership and love through the spiritual teachings of historical and religious figures like Ghandi or Jesus of Nazareth.

Perhaps long overdue, the no-nonsense Vince Lombardi slaps us upside the head with a sober understanding of love and leadership even more applicable for the workplace today. Surprisingly for his generation, it was this approach to coaching his players that brought the Packers total dominance in the 1960s, when they conquered five World Championships over a seven-year period (including the first two Super Bowl wins).

Read More

Leadership from the Inside Out

By Skip Prichard, interview with Kevin Cashman.  Originally posted on on March 12, 2018. 

I first read Leadership From the Inside Out years ago. It is one of the books that helps build a foundation of knowledge for leaders. That’s why I was excited to see that it is now out in a new version with updated chapters, new case studies and stories, and even more practical exercises to help everyone achieve their leadership potential.

Author Kevin Cashman is the Global Leader of CEO & Executive Development at Korn Ferry. He has advised thousands of senior leaders across almost every industry.

We recently talked about his updated book and his leadership views.

Read More

Leadership from the Inside Out: Growing a Person Into a Leader

Enjoy this new episode of Dr. Diane Hamilton’s Take the Lead podcast, featuring Kevin Cashman.
Click on the photo below to visit the podcast website.

Podcast Capture

5 Credibility Killing Stories You Should Avoid

By Dr. Mark Goulston; originally published in The Business Journals on February 9, 2018. 

If you have read some of my previous articles, you know that I often make a more compelling case for something by pointing out the “Don’ts” to cause you to wake up to their destructive power if you’re doing them.

For instance, saying that leaders should engender trust, confidence and respect is so obvious as to be yawn, yawn, non-compelling. However, ask people the effectiveness of a leader if he/she instead engenders distrust, doubt and embarrassment, and you’ll receive a powerful, “They will fail!” (and sometimes, “And I’ve got one like that!”)

On this occasion, I am focusing on the concept of storytelling. More and more, we hear about preaching this to companies and imploring CEOs and others to increase their influence through effective storytelling. That said, ROI CEOs (and aren’t they all?) and salespeople often pooh-pooh storytelling as too “woo woo.”

Well, there is another way to make a case for the power of storytelling by using the power of negatives and of the “Don’ts.”

Read More

Five Coaching Practices To Accelerate The Growth Of Others

By Kevin Cashman; originally posted on his Forbes blog, Pause Point on January 29, 2018. 

All traditions throughout the ages have had exceptional coaches.  We may have called them advisors, sages, elders, wisdom-keepers, teachers, mentors, shamans, gurus, or masters.  No matter what their titles, we have always turned to them to help us look at our lives and behaviors from deeper and broader vantage points.  These coaches helped their “coachees” – seekers, disciples, students, apprentices – see the world with fresh eyes, transcend what they thought was possible, and glimpse their fullest potential.

We know from our global research that most people rate “coaching and developing others” among the top three most important leadership competencies, according to 360° assessments.  However, despite the rated importance of this critical competency, it actually scores as the lowest practiced competency around the world.  No other leadership competency has such as wide gap between importance and practice.  We agree that coaching and development are critical to transformative leadership.  However, there is just one major problem:  we don’t practice it!  Why?  Leaders often tell us that they do not have enough time; they do not know a precise, proven process; and/or they feel it will slow down their immediate performance.  Regardless of the reasons, learning a pragmatic, straightforward methodology to coach and develop yourself and others is extremely critical to high-performing leadership.

Read More

Stories: Effective Leaders’ Must-Have Tools

By Roger Dean Duncan, originally posted to on January 15, 2018. 

Good stories have a power all their own. They can make complex issues understandable. They can give people a sense of community. They can call people to action in ways they never imagined.

As a young journalist many years ago I covered large events ranging from business conventions to religion conferences to political rallies. I always watched and listened to the speakers very carefully. But most revealing was what I observed in the audiences. When a speaker said something like “Let me illustrate with a story,” the audience would always become more alert and attentive. It was as though the listeners were thinking “Okay, here comes the really good stuff.”

So why don’t more leaders have storytelling in their toolbox of skills? That’s always been a mystery to me. But one thing’s for sure: the value of good stories and effective storytelling cannot be overemphasized.

Kevin Cashman certainly knows this. In the updated edition of his fine book Leadership from the Inside Out he highlights many of the whys and wherefores of good storytelling. He shared some of his insights in a recent interview.

Read More

8 Resolutions on the CEO’s Desk

Originally posted on Korn Ferry Institute on January 10, 2018. 

Some may be obvious but still get missed as the grind of the business year cycles through. Others are new and unique to 2018. Either way, the breath of this year’s resolutions that experts believe CEOs need couldn’t be wider.

A tight focus on culture, to prevent so many of crossed wires that befelled many too CEOs last year. Some real change–more than talk–about diversity at all levels. A much deeper pipeline of talent to fit the fast improving job market today. And so on, as Korn Ferry experts provides the following overview:

Create an effective culture.

As business leaders look ahead to 2018, many of them are looking for ways to drive cultural change. It makes sense: five years ago, salary and benefits were the No. 1 reason a job candidate would choose one company over another; today, culture is No. 1. Organizations have found that when they lead with purpose, transparency, fairness, and accountability, they’re able to attract and retain better talent, and inspire greater creativity and innovation—all of which ultimately helps their bottom line, experts say. And while culture permeates every aspect of a business — from its systems to its ethics to its processes — as a business leader, a change in culture starts with you. “It’s a mistake for top leaders to believe that culture is somehow separate from themselves or a separate project,” says Arvinder Dhesi, a Korn Ferry senior client partner. “Everything that we do contributes to the culture. There’s no culture-neutral behavior.”

Read More

Forget the Score Just Play

By Evelyn Orr, originally published in Korn Ferry’s Briefings magazine in November, 2017.   Evelyn Orr, the chief operating officer of the Korn Ferry Institute, writes regularly on the intersection of career, relationships, and gender and the impact on familes and firms.

Parents’ hopes and expectations of their kids can be intense. Our hearts are in the right place. We want our kids to be prepared for the real world, to discover their potential, to be able to compete and achieve great things. But it can be tough keeping things in perspective; we think that every move from preschool on will heavily influence our children’s destination.

Take sports, for example. As our kids’ soccer tryouts approach, my husband and I hold our breath. We feed them high-energy foods, make bedtime stricter than finals week, and anticipate any heartache they may experience. It turns out that all that effort and excitement in this case may be well worth it—especially for girls, whose access to sports hasn’t always been a given. Whether or not a child ever gets a scholarship or turns pro, sports participation apparently has a strong correlation to success in the C-suite. One wonders: Can the great female CEOs of the future have anything to learn from this field of dreams?

Read More


Read to Lead Podcast #194: Leadership from the Inside Out with Kevin Cashman

Kevin was recently interviewed by Jeff Brown with the Read to Lead Podcast about the updated 3rd edition of Leadership from the Inside Out.

Listen Here

The Reading Lists with Kevin Cashman

By Phil Treagus, originally posted on on October 30, 2017. 

How do you describe your occupation?

As the Global Leader of CEO and Executive Development at Korn Ferry (with 130+ offices and consultants around the world), we foster the accelerated growth of CEOs and CEO Successors to ensure sustainable, purpose-driven enterprise growth. Also, I authored Leadership from the Inside Out and The Pause Principle: Step Back to Lead Forward; am a worldwide keynote speaker, and write a leadership column for

Talk us through a typical day for you…

How about an ideal ‘typical’ day? A day that balances pause, purpose and connection is ideal. On these days, I feel rested when I awaken, take Leo, our Golden Retriever on a walk through the woods along the lake, hopefully gathering inspiration and creative clarity. My best writing often emerges on these walks! I enjoy some time to exercise a bit more, then some writing, maybe a new Forbes article, a keynote or book project. Shifting focus, I work with CEO and CHRO clients, co-creating meaningful breakthroughs. I engage with my team and consultants in the office. At home, in our meditation studio, enjoy dinner and conversation with my family, then maybe a movie or a good book in front of the fire, while Leo jumps in our bed and snuggles-up to sleep.

Read More