085 The Most Important Leadership Skills For The Next Generation with Tom Kolditz

“Don’t ever compromise your personal integrity.” – Tom Kolditz

The latest episode of The New Leader Podcast is here!

My guest is the one and only, Tom Kolditz. I cannot recall an episode that included so many actionable pieces of advice. It was truly a pleasure to hear his perspective on what leadership skills are needed for the next generation. Grab a pen!

Tom’s resume is stacked, but here’s a snapshot:

  • Highly experienced professional public speaker, and global expert in leading in crisis and in extreme circumstances
  • Retired Army general officer
  • Founder of 5 (!) successful leader development start-ups, including:
  •  West Point Leadership Center
  • Leader Development Program at the Yale School of Management
  • Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University

We sat down to chat about critical skills that the next generation of leaders will need. You don’t want to miss this one!  A few examples of what you will learn:

  • What a leader’s most important obligation is (this one may surprise you)
  • How an outward focus on others can set you apart
  • Why new leaders ask surface questions and successful leaders ask tactical questions
  • And much, much more!

Ps. My favourite line? “Be kind to yourself. You will never get leadership exactly right.”

Click the play button to listen, and don’t forget to subscribe and rate us on Apple Podcasts!

Being influential

I think it’s important for leaders to understand that being a leader is not about them. Being a leader is about having influence and being effective at improving the performance of other people. So it doesn’t have to do with any particular quality you have as a person – doesn’t matter if you are an extrovert or an introvert – you should pretty much be yourself.

Success or failure is determined by your influence on others and by their actions, not by any personal qualities you have as a leader.


Be kind to yourself

I don’t care how long you’ve led or how many people you’re in charge with, you will never get leadership exactly right. It’s too large. And the best leaders that I know make mistakes all the time.

So be kind to yourself; when something happens in your organization that you did not expect, just be kind to yourself because things like that will continue to happen throughout your entire career.

Things that should be done in private

In making corrections, always do it in private. If you have to call somebody out, do it in private because you don’t want that negativity poisoning the whole team. Because when they look at how you treat someone else, they’re going to assume that that’s how you’re going to treat them if they are in the same situation in the future. That also goes with firing people.


Links and Resources

Connect with Tom: Website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook

The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner (book)

Good to Great by Jim Collins (book)

Good to Great For the Social Sector by  Jim Collins (book)

Jim Collins books

Simon Sinek books

Marshall Goldsmith books