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.Read More
Lead with love today. Lead with love every day.
Not the romantic kind. That's only one type of love, and the one that has misguided society's view of whether love has a place in business. It does.Read More
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
When I discovered the word, eudaimonia, it helped explain the competing forces I've always heard, witnessed, and felt in the world of business.
Lifestyle vs. growth. Bootstrapped vs. investors. People vs. product. Culture vs. strategy. Collaborate vs. compete. Liquidity event vs. cash flows. And so on.Read More
When a company enrolls in Junto's Apprenticeship Program, we do an on-boarding interview during which we get to know the company's leadership team in more detail, and learn how we can customize the program to their needs.Read More
Last month, we held our annual workshop on Vision, Mission, and Values (VMV). In addition to the half day we were with the companies and their teams, we've spent quite a few hours after the workshop discussing their drafts, exchanging ideas and suggestions, and coaching them along the way.Read More
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
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
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
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
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.Read More
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
One of the most important words I've learned in recent years is eudaimonia, a Greek word that is about human flourishing or prosperity. Eudaimonia refers to the highest human good, drives fulfillment and meaning, and involves the pursuit of personal flourishing.
Its counterpart (not antonym) is a word we're much more familiar with, hedonia, which is about pursuing and maximizing pleasure while avoiding and minimizing pain. We use it in the form of hedonist to describe people who pursue pleasure, or hedonism which is the belief of pursuing pleasure.Read More
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
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.Read More
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.Read More
One of my favorite songs in recent years is "Turn It Around" by the band Lucius. As much as I've loved listening to it, I never bothered to read the lyrics until just a couple weeks ago. And while I know the two women behind the band intended to tell a different story, I couldn't help but draw parallels to our work at Junto, and to entrepreneurs, in general.Read More
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