Lead By Listening

Expeditionary Leaders solve problems and challenges by listening. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it. But the truth is, deep listening requires great humility and belief in the party or parties to whom you are listening. Listening is a key ingredient to building trust.

A year ago I spent some time with Arthur Blank, co-founder of The Home Depot, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, and philanthropist (to name just a few). I snapped the picture above while waiting for my interview with him. 

His story mirrored the others I had interviewed for my new book, Outward Bound Lessons To Live A Life of Leadership. And one of the lessons he reflected so deeply was the importance of listening. 

Arthur told me the tale of his purchase of the Atlanta Falcons. As he explored the opportunity he met with the professional players and asked them what they would want from an owner. Their answer surprised me. 

On any given Sunday only about 60% of the seats were filled.

"Of the 60% that...

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Meet Expeditionary Leader Arthur Blank

"Of all the organizations I've been connected to, Outward Bound has had the most significant impact on my life." --Arthur Blank

Honored by Forbes Magazine in its 2017 centennial issue as one of the 100 greatest living business minds, Arthur Blank cofounded The Home Depot in 1978. Arthur was friends with North Carolina Outward Bound School founder Marjorie Buckley, and almost from its inception Outward Bound and expeditionary leadership became a guiding piece of the rapid growth and success of The Home Depot. "Of all the organizations I've been connected to, Outward Bound has had the most significant impact on my life," said Arthur in the upcoming book Outward Bound Lessons To Live A Life of Leadership.

After retiring from The Home Depot Arthur became owner and chairman of the Atlanta Falcons professional football team. Through his holding company AMB Group he has continued to expand his businesses to include the Atlanta United professional soccer team, PGA TOUR superstore, and...

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In A Time of Deep Disruption

Change-rapid change is upon us. A year and a half ago I sat in the New York headquarters of Google and listened as Google's head of Auto marketing described the rapid speed with which machine learning was being developed and deployed. This past spring I experienced a sampling of augmented reality through a friend who works as a data analyst for Magic Leap. Not only are the rules of the game rapidly changing, but for many out there in the world the game itself has completely changed.

For all of the incredible advances that our technology companies are making, there are many unintended consequences. And for many in our country this has led to feelings of extreme dis-ease. They and their world are being left behind. It's great to think about autonomous cars showing up in the moment we need them, whisking us off to our destination and rerouting on the fly to find the quickest way to our destinations. But when you realize that part of the fallout of moving toward that future is the...

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Introducing Outward Bound Lessons To Live A Life of Leadership

"Courage is the gateway to freedom, to fulfilling your life’s work, and to answering the call to lead. Courage is the choice to do something that frightens you and that stretches your capability and capacity to grow and give. Courage is the constant companion in Outward Bound and in Mark’s writing. Without it, you’ll not take the first step towards your calling."

These words from best selling author and master coach Richard Leider are part of the foreward of my soon to be published book Outward Bound Lessons To Live A Life of Leadership. It will be hitting the bookstores in October of 2019. Richard served on the board of the Voyageur Outward Bound School when I was an instructor and leader there, and his writing and work had a deep impact on my life and work. Richard is the definition of a courageous Expeditionary Leader--a term I am using to describe the principles, approach and impact that comes from people who have experienced Outward Bound in their...

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