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In this podcast I continue my exploration of leadership with my interview with Herminia Ibarra. She is a professor at the INSEAD School of Business, one of the top business and management schools in the world, where she teaches leadership. Most of the people I talk to are all pretty much in agreement that there is a leadership crisis within our organizations. We are putting the wrong people in positions of power and we really need to re-think what it means to be a manager and a leader within our organizations. In previous podcasts, I spoke with Barry-Wehmiller CEO Bob Chapman and Rita McGrath, a professor at the Columbia School of Business, about leadership. In this podcast I talk with Herminia about her new book that just came out called “Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader.” This is a very fascinating book, and we talk about a lot of the different concepts contained in it. As you can tell by the title, it’s a bit counter-intuitive. She challenges the common assumption that you should think like a leader and then start to act like a leader. Herminia says you have to act like one first before you start to think like one. In the podcast, we talk about how people can actually become leaders. I get Herminia’s feedback about the concept of management versus leadership, using Whirlpool’s rebranding of their internal job titles to give everyone a leadership title as an example. We also touch on the importance of getting out of your comfort zone, the importance of becoming and building bridges within your organization, and other cool concepts from her book such as authenticity and employee engagement. We cover the idea of outsight instead of insight — basically, redefining your job and thinking about it from an outsider’s perspective. Herminia also touches on the importance of your network and the people you are connected with, which I think this is a huge factor when thinking about leadership. In conjunction, Herminia discusses another theme called the “innovators network dilemma” where she talks about how your network can basically impact a lot of roles and perceptions that you get. This is a must-listen to podcast for anyone thinking of advancing into leadership or management roles; or those looking to become a better, more relevant leader. Listen in and don’t forget to share your thoughts with me!

What you will learn in this episode

  • Herminia Ibarra’s background and role at INSEAD
  • Overview of “Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader”
  • Ibarra’s perspective on management and leadership
  • Why act like a leader before thinking like a leader
  • What is “outsight”
  • Ibarra’s perspective on modern management
  • The “competency trap”
  • Four things leaders can do to evolve
  • Operational, personal and strategic networks
  • Authenticity and your comfort zone
  • Ibarra’s advice to managers, employees

Links from the episode