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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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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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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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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Learning Alone, Growing Alone

Learning Alone, Growing Alone

Humans are social creatures. Research has concluded that strong social bonds contribute to a longer life. And most of us work in teams, for teams, and with teams. Yet when it comes to learning, we rarely do it together. We listen to podcasts, read books, attend seminars, and reflect mostly on our own.

This was something we paid a lot of attention to when founding The Junto Institute. We believed that if team members learned together, they and their organization would grow exponentially. That's why we required that teams participate in Junto's Apprenticeship Program together rather individuals participating alone. And we believe it's one of the reasons why so many of them have flourished.

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Emotions, Energy, and Walking Away

Emotions, Energy, and Walking Away

In all of the work we do on emotional intelligence and leadership, perhaps nothing draws more attention, response, and delight as the Junto Emotion Wheel. When used personally on a regular basis, it builds our self-awareness, and when used with others, it builds our empathy and social awareness. Therefore, it becomes a tool that can improve two domains of our emotional intelligence. But one domain that it doesn't help is our self-management.

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The Building Blocks of Emotional Intelligence

I've been learning, practicing, and speaking about emotional intelligence for about 10 years. But it wasn't until six months ago that I finally discovered how best to describe the concept, and the feedback I received only reinforced that discovery.

At Junto, we've always used Daniel Goleman's framework for emotional intelligence that is based on scientific research and consists of four domains: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Furthermore, each of the four domains has specific competencies within them, which have evolved over the years based on Goleman's research and thinking. And finally, the domains are presented as simply four parts of a whole: I've rarely seen or read Goleman discussing the relationships among them.

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The New Year: It's a Test of Our Emotional Intelligence

The New Year: It's a Test of Our Emotional Intelligence

In recent weeks, many of us created the time for or found ourselves doing some reflecting. We took stock of what we accomplished last year, what we would have done differently, and why. We also probably thought about what we want to accomplish in the new year, and what it's going to take.

All along, it's likely that we felt multiple emotions: joy, sadness, surprise, and maybe even some love and anger. We drew conclusions about how well we and our company performed, and maybe even added some judgmental statements to describe it all.

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The (Employee) Benefit of Better Leaders And Better Managers

The (Employee) Benefit of Better Leaders And Better Managers

I was inspired to write this post after reading an article yesterday by Gallup called "The No. 1 Employee Benefit That No One's Talking About."

The reason I was inspired by the article is because it reminded me of the main reason we promote career opportunities at the companies that are going through, or have completed, our Apprenticeship program. We believe they have better managers and "more emotionally intelligent leaders" simply because they've been through a rigorous educational program designed to help them get better, while other companies haven't.

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More Validation that Learning Emotional Intelligence as a Team Makes It Better

More Validation that Learning Emotional Intelligence as a Team Makes It Better

On Monday morning, Taylor McPartland, our Managing Director in Los Angeles, received the following email from one of the Apprentices in our JuntoLA program. Needless to say, it was gratifying for our team to read these words and see that one of our customers has such deep appreciation for Taylor's efforts. 

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How People Grow Together at Junto

How People Grow Together at Junto

When I joined the JuntoTeam, I knew I was in for a unique experience but had no idea how unique it would be. Days after graduating from college, I found myself sitting in a Chicago office with a new team that instantly became my friends. After one week of warm welcomes and a self-guided onboarding process, I knew something about this company was different, but I couldn’t quite place my finger on it. Throughout my first three months, I’ve noticed the people around me grow in several different ways. Whether it’s the Apprentices, Mentors, Instructors, or my teammates, there is always some act of growing together that I witness. At Junto, not only does an individual grow, but people grow together with humanity, wisdom, and community.

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