This is a special and exclusive episode which is actually one of the interviews I did for my upcoming book, Leading with Vulnerability: Unlock Your Greatest Superpower to Transform Yourself, Your Team, and Your Organization. The full interview is only available for subscribers to Great Leadership On Substack, it’s free, just enter your email here.

I interviewed over 100 CEOs at companies around the world asking them about what it means to lead with vulnerability. I asked about failures, challenges, painful experiences, leadership lessons, and everything in between. The conversations are all unscripted, candid, and filled with amazing insights and stories. I’ll be releasing a few of these over the coming months with several (GE, American Airlines, Edward Jones, etc) being available exclusively to people who pre-order a hardcover copy of the book. To get access to these send me a screenshot of your order to

Today’s conversation is with Joel Quadracci, CEO of Quad, a full-service marketing agency with around 16,000 employees. Joel shares the importance of authenticity and “being real” in leadership, arguing that vulnerability should not be seen as a weakness but rather as a sign of genuine human connection. He also shares his journey of leading a company that grew from a printing business to a multifaceted agency, and the challenges he faced along the way, including the sudden passing of his father. Joel underscores the significance of inclusive decision-making and the emotional toll that comes with making tough decisions. He also discusses his personal approach to vulnerability, which involves being open to criticism and maintaining a sense of humor.

Today’s episode teaches us by embracing vulnerability, leaders can foster a culture of trust, openness, and inclusivity, which can ultimately lead to more resilient and successful organizations. Joel’s journey shows the importance of being true to oneself, even in the face of adversity, and the power of a genuine human connection in the realm of leadership.

🎧 Listen on Spotify

🎧 Tune in on Apple Podcasts

🎧 Watch on YouTube

You can watch the entire episode with Joel Quadracci on Substack to learn about authentic leadership, nurturing dynamic teamwork, and building your pathway to success!

If you haven’t heard yet, my new book, Leading With Vulnerability is now available for pre-order! Is vulnerability for leaders the same as it is for everyone else? It turns out it’s not! Learn how the world’s top leaders approach vulnerability in the right way to lead through change, unlock the potential of others, create trust, and drive business performance. Pre-order your copy here and stay tuned for bonuses!