Jim Clifton has served as CEO of Gallup, a global leader in consulting and public opinion research and analytics, since 1988. Under his leadership, Gallup has expanded from a predominantly U.S.-based company to a worldwide organization with 30 offices in 20 countries and regions. Jim is the bestselling author of The Coming Jobs War and Born to Build, as well as many articles on global leadership.  His latest book is called, It’s The Manager.

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“The point is we need both ways of being.  There’s no way to run a company well without both.  The best teams are made up of introverts and extroverts.”

Show Notes:

  • Leaders who sustain excellence =
    • They don’t set out to get rich, they have a purpose that drives them
    • The mission overpowers everything else
    • They build advantages for themselves through compound learning — Stack your learning
    • Teach the “story of the day”
  • Be part of really hard projects — the front line war battles
  • Advice to someone earlier in their career?
    • Focus and double down on your strengths
  • CEO of Gallup — The beginning…
    • Won a big account (Cargill) — It was huge to create momentum for his new business
    • Don Clifton (Jim’s dad) built the StrengthsFinder — And then bought Gallup in 1988
  • The StrengthsFinder was built from 34 themes
    • Don was a scientist.  He went on bombing raids and was a war hero as a lead bomber.  A navigator.
  • It’s The Manager is the biggest discovery they’ve made
    • When studying the truly great companies, the commonality is the management
  • How to create a high development culture?
    • People want to be developed — And then find the role that fits their unique strengths to maximize their potential
  • What Jim looks for when making hiring decisions:
    • Drive
    • They love to practice… They like to work
  • Where have your most talented people come from?
    • “Stars were recruited by the managers themselves.”  Great managers know great people.
  • “Presentations matter.  A manager must get good at it.”
  • Managers must be great coaches:
    • “Coaching is sitting down and sharing purpose…”
  • Shock and Awe visitors that meet at your office:
    • “The entrance to your building show wow them.”  Small details are very important.  Landscaping matters.  Pay attention to the feeling you get when you drive up to the building.  It helps with your internal employees as well.
  • “People join because of the company and leave because of their boss.”
    • Currently, only 34% of works are engaged (according to Gallup poll)
    • India/China are at 6%
  • The issue with promoting the top performer at a role (Example: The #1 sales rep becomes the manager)
    • The top individual contributor doesn’t always make the best coach.  In fact, often times, they don’t.
    • Give superstar individual contributors bigger titles and more money as a way to promote them.  Don’t force them to management when they don’t show the desire or ability to lead others.
    • “There must be two paths.”
    • “Leaders need to see the future well, and excite others.  The good ones have an unusual relationship with risk.”
  • The Gender Gap
    • Statistically, women run more engaged teams than men
  • How to manage and nurture creativity?
    • Need ideas from teams close to the action (have a front line obsession)
    • You want intrapreneurship and foster an environment for that to pull out the great ideas
  • The difference in two teams:
    • The best negotiators are the ones who do their homework
    • Present in a neutral way, calm, collected, ask questions, try to learn, better understand the other person’s position
  • When you work for a bad boss, you get cognitive contraction:  You lose levels of intelligence
  • When you work for a great boss, you get cognitive expansion: You become smarter, innovate more, and do better work
    • A boss has incredible power.  And that power needs to be used for good.
  • Use the “Get To Know You Document
  • Why joining The Learning Leader Circle is a good idea

“An entrepreneur is a person of action, one who possesses an unnatural overload of two attributes: optimism and determination. Because entrepreneurs are optimistic, they don’t see barriers; because they’re determined, they never quit. Individuals who posses extreme amounts of optimism and determination get things done.”

More Resources:

More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode #300: AJ & Keith Hawk – How To Instill Work Ethic & Curiosity In Your Children

Episode #303:  General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership