Introducing the Junto Podcast: Flourishing Together

Our Alumni and Mentors know that Junto sessions and conversations run across a spectrum.

On one end is “the business”: hard-hitting and practical topics relatable to virtually any business leader, like cash flows, org charts, and sales funnels. On the other end is “the self”: deeply personal and raw topics relatable to virtually any human being, like identity crises, insecurities, and family relationships.

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Making Better & Faster Decisions with Strategic & Operating Plans (Part 2 of 3)

Making Better & Faster Decisions with Strategic & Operating Plans (Part 2 of 3)

In my experience, growth-stage companies do a below-average job of using their strategic and operating plans. Typically, they stop referring to them after a few months, don't review progress against them consistently, and they end up gathering dust. But the strategic and operating plan might be two of the most helpful decision-making tools a company has.

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Making Better & Faster Decisions with Vision, Mission, Values (Part 1 of 3)

Making Better & Faster Decisions with Vision, Mission, Values (Part 1 of 3)

Over the years, a number of leadership practices have been attempted, experimented with, and adopted by Junto companies. These practices are a result of shared experiences from their Mentors, all of whom are seasoned operators and entrepreneurs who believe that decision-making might be the most important role of any leader.

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Practicing the Skill of Leadership

Practicing the Skill of Leadership

Leadership is like other learned activities. It's a skill, and it needs to be practiced to be done well.

Sure, some people are born with the gift of being exceptional leaders, or at least they develop a skill set through their early years. But some people are also born with the gift of painting, shooting a basketball, or writing poetry. Rarely do we hear of them experiencing "success" without doing it over and over again. Because even though they're born with the gift, they keep practicing.

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Centeredness, Leadership & Emotional Intelligence

Last year, we introduced a Master Class in Emotional Intelligence for our Alumni companies, for which we've received some incredible comments. One piece of feedback was particularly meaningful to me, as the instructor. The participants noted how passionate I was, not only about the topics, but about what I was learning.

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The Leadership Responsibility

The Leadership Responsibility

When we learn, we have a responsibility to ourselves to do something about it. And when we learn as leaders, we have a responsibility to those we lead.

If leadership can be defined as moving people in the direction we're going, then what good is it for us to keep our learning to ourselves? If we gained something from a book, podcast, seminar, or mentoring session, imagine what could happen if we shared that learning? We'd get questions, reactions, conversation, debate, and growth. 

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Building an Emotionally Intelligent Company

Building an Emotionally Intelligent Company

After six years of running The Junto Institute, there is no doubt in my mind: growing our emotional intelligence makes us better people and makes the people around us better.

So, at least to us at Junto, perhaps the greatest service one of our participants or graduates can do is bring emotional intelligence (EI) to their company and co-workers. While our Apprenticeship Program strongly encourages team attendance at sessions, it's impossible for any company to bring everyone. Therefore, it behooves them to extend their learning into their company.

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There Are Startups, and There Are Re-Startups

There Are Startups, and There Are Re-Startups

There was a period during which The Junto Institute, like all new ventures, was a startup. But today, I consider it a re-startup.

As someone who has been in the entrepreneurship sector for nearly 25 years, I've seen and heard many definitions of a startup company. To this day, I believe that Steve Blank's is the best and most accurate one: "an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model."

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The True Power of Testimonials

The True Power of Testimonials

Like most companies, we work our hardest to delight our customers. In fact, our most important core value is to "create remarkable experiences through ingenuity, high standards, over-communication, and details." We know we've met that standard when our graduates become repeat customers (through our Alumni program) and/or share unsolicited, highly positive feedback on their experience.

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Learning about Emotional Intelligence Helps Us Become More Emotionally Intelligent

Learning about Emotional Intelligence Helps Us Become More Emotionally Intelligent

One of my favorite sayings is, "It doesn't matter how emotionally intelligent we are. What matters is how emotionally intelligent we can be." I use this mostly in two settings.

The first is when someone asks me about emotional intelligence assessments, when to take them, and how to use them. I don't believe that knowing your "score" does much good: people who score fairly well often think they're emotionally intelligent "enough" while those who don't score well often worry about how much they can improve. And, in my experience, neither person does much about it. In other words, judgement gets in the way of progress.

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We Are the Thermostat, Our Team Is the Thermometer

We Are the Thermostat, Our Team Is the Thermometer

One of the core concepts of emotional intelligence is that, as leaders, our emotions and moods spread to our team. No matter how skilled we are at "hiding" our true feelings, studies have proven they come out subconsciously through unique language, tone of voice, non-verbals, and other micro-behaviors.

In other words, leaders have a unique superpower just by virtue of their position: emotional wi-fi. We have this "wireless" energy that other people can connect to right away, and through which they can "access" a certain mood or emotional wavelength.

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