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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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. 

Read More

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.

Read More

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."

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Vision, Mission, Values: It's Business and It's Personal

Vision, Mission, Values: It's Business and It's Personal

As the years go by, I have more conversations about vision, mission, and core values statements (VMV).

I get asked about the nuanced differences between vision and mission, how detailed the statements should be, how to live out core values, whether they should be short phrases or full sentences, and much more. Conversely, when I hear about challenges that companies are facing, I ask their founders and leaders if they have crafted these statements, whether they can rattle them off, how they use them with their people, and whether they actually believe in them.

Read More