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Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Dr. John Maxwell is an amazing individual who lives his life to teach and grow leaders. He has sold over 13 million books on leadership and has written over 50 books total. He speaks to thousands of people a year in seminars and with keynote speeches. And in August, he was voted the number one ranked leadership guru in the world, by Leadership Gurus International. He was ranked ahead of Tom Peters, Stephen Covey, and Marshall Goldsmith among 30 total ranked.

The list on that page is like the Who’s Who of leadership training and development. If you want to learn about this subject, to become the best you that you can be… Read from these authors.

Dr. Maxwell and I had planned a podcast for this afternoon, but the service that I use for conference call’s was not recording properly. So, I had a few minutes with him and he gave me some great personal advice, which I truly appreciate. Also, he offered his articles and book excerpts to Cultivate Greatness. What an honor to be able to have articles on Leadership by John Maxwell, on! Wow.

Dr. Maxwell had Revisited and Updated his best seller, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, the 10th Anniversary Edition and “Talent is Never Enough”. His books are great and his wisdom is timeless. If you are not familiar with his work, you really should be.

Talent is Never Enough

I’m so happy and grateful for the blessing of doing interviews with authors and leaders. Hopefully, you are able to pull from the interviews as much as I am. Good stuff. Because I am definitely having a great time learning from all these brilliant minds.


Travis Wright

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On January 20, 2024 Jim Kouzes was first inspired to dedicate himself to leadership. That was the day he was one of only a dozen Eagle Scouts who served in John F. Kennedy’s Honor Guard at the Presidential Inauguration.

leadership podcast #017 Podcast - Jim Kouzes

I was very honored to interview with Mr. Kouzes. For over 25 years, they have interviewed countless leaders and developed the widely used and highly acclaimed Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), a 360° questionnaire assessing leadership behavior to over 250,000 individuals.

“Always, always always be a learner!- Jim Kouzes”

He talks about some of the key traits for leaders to explore new ideas and to dive into helping their members grow as people.

He talks about The Five Practices of leadership, which are:

  1. Challenging the process
  2. Inspiring a shared vision
  3. Enabling others to act
  4. Modeling the way
  5. Encouraging the heart

And he answers questions such as:

  • What is the one thing you have done this week to make you better than last week?
  • What are some of your productivity tricks?
  • What advice would you give a CEO of a startup company?
  • What are the most troubling aspects of leadership today. What are people encountering problems with?

Jim Kouzes is the coauthor with Barry Posner of the award-winning and best-selling book, The Leadership Challenge, with over one million copies sold. He’s also an executive fellow, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University. Pick it up and absorb the wisdom.

Books that Jim Kouzes Recommends:

Anything by Warren Bennis
The Change Masters- by Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Leadership - James McGregor Burns

leadership training

We had the honor of talking with the former President of Cola-Cola, Jack Stahl, and ask him questions about his book, Lessons on Leadership:The 7 Fundamental Management Skills for Leaders at All Levels. This book review was done a few weeks ago, and I recently have had the opportunity to talk with him and to learn from his 25+ years of leadership experience. It was invaluable and such and honor to talk with such a successful executive.

podcast CultivateGreatness Leadership Podcast 015: Jack Stahl.

Some of the questions he answers:

• I’m here in Kansas City. We had George Brett on the KC Royals, stay with the Royals for his whole career. You spent parts of 4 decades at Coca-Cola. You rarely see that anymore. What made you want to stay at Coca Cola? And how can other companies improve their employee retention?

• Both Coca-Cola and Revlon have significant resources available to them when it comes to branding, including the ability to forge relationships with sports teams and the latest movies. What are some things smaller organizations can do to reinforce their brands?

• What advice do you have for a company that is thinking about expanding into the global marketplace?

• I was so sad when the local grocery stores stopped selling Coke in bottles and they were all replaced by 24 can packages. Do you know how much money I lost when that market was squeezed out? What was the catalyst behind moving from glass bottle to can?

• If you could give a business leader just one piece of advice, what would it be?

Carmine Gallo is the communications coach for the world’s most admired brands. He has built a reputation for transforming everyone from CEO’s to pop stars into extraordinary communicators.

My wife intuitively picked up his book, 10 Simple Secrets of the World’s Greatest Business Communicators, for my birthday, and I am so glad she did. Carmine Gallo is a powerhouse. This podcast is full of wisdom from all of his experience interviewing some of the top leaders in the world. His book[s] are well worth putting in your library!

leadership training Leadership Podcast #014 - Interview with Communications Coach, Carmine Gallo

leadership training

In 10 Simple Secrets of the World’s Greatest Business Communicators leading CEO’s, executives and experts reveal the secrets behind their dazzling presentation and speaking styles. Readers will discover how charismatic leaders like Apple’s Steve Jobs, Cisco’s John Chambers, Virgin’s Richard Branson, GE’s Jack Welch, Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, Monster’s Jeff Taylor, Intuit’s Scott Cook, CNBC’s Suze Orman and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger inspire their audiences.

Business leaders who granted first-person interviews run companies valued at more than one-quarter of a trillion dollars, manage half-a-million employees and enjoy substantial personal wealth—several have a net worth of more than one billion dollars. It’s a fun, fast-paced read that will help business professionals grab more customers, boost sales, and successfully articulate the vision behind their service, product, company or cause. 10 Simple Secrets has been translated into over a dozen languages and is widely available at all major bookstores and online retailers. Among the extraordinary men and women who were interviewed or profiled:

Peter Drucker On Leadership

by Rich Karlgaard

Peter F. Drucker was born 95 years ago today [Nov. 19, 2004]-can it be possible?-in Vienna. The universally known writer, thinker and lecturer now is nearly deaf and doesn’t get around like he used to. He stopped giving media interviews about a year ago. But in late October, Drucker granted an exception to at the urging of Dr. Rick Warren, the founder and head of the Christian evangelical Saddleback Community Church in Lake Forest, Calif.

leadership training

The Drucker-Warren relationship may surprise many readers, but it goes back two decades, to when the young minister came to Drucker for advice. Under Drucker’s tutelage, Warren’s own success as a spiritual entrepreneur has been considerable. Saddleback has grown to 15,000 members and has helped start another 60 churches throughout the world. Warren’s 2001 book, The Purpose-Driven Life, is this decade’s best seller with 19.5 million copies sold so far and compiling at the rate of 500,000 per month.

Warren and I met at Drucker’s surprisingly spartan home in Claremont, Calif., on a cloudy Tuesday morning. We were greeted by Drucker’s wife, Doris, and ushered into the den for what developed into a two-hour conversation. During the first 30 minutes, Drucker-a religious man himself, albeit of a more muted Episcopalian type as compared to Warren’s exuberant brand of Southern Baptist-advised Warren on the challenges of ministry and church building. This consultation is one Drucker and Warren have engaged in twice yearly for two decades. For the last 90 minutes we moved to broader topics. Below are Drucker’s thoughts on leadership. (Click here for Drucker’s official biography.)

What Needs to Be Done
Successful leaders don’t start out asking, “What do I want to do?” They ask, “What needs to be done?” Then they ask, “Of those things that would make a difference, which are right for me?” They don’t tackle things they aren’t good at. They make sure other necessities get done, but not by them. Successful leaders make sure that they succeed! They are not afraid of strength in others. Andrew Carnegie wanted to put on his gravestone, “Here lies a man who knew how to put into his service more able men than he was himself.”

Check Your Performance
Effective leaders check their performance. They write down, “What do I hope to achieve if I take on this assignment?” They put away their goals for six months and then come back and check their performance against goals. This way, they find out what they do well and what they do poorly. They also find out whether they picked the truly important things to do. I’ve seen a great many people who are exceedingly good at execution, but exceedingly poor at picking the important things. They are magnificent at getting the unimportant things done. They have an impressive record of achievement on trivial matters.

Mission Driven
Leaders communicate in the sense that people around them know what they are trying to do. They are purpose driven-yes, mission driven. They know how to establish a mission. And another thing, they know how to say no. The pressure on leaders to do 984 different things is unbearable, so the effective ones learn how to say no and stick with it. They don’t suffocate themselves as a result. Too many leaders try to do a little bit of 25 things and get nothing done. They are very popular because they always say yes. But they get nothing done.

leadership training

As the publisher of, we get books sent to us from literary publicists. There have been some great ones filter my way recently, so I decided to start interviewing them and sharing the wisdom with the listeners. podcast

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to do the first interview with an extremely intelligent, first time author Paco Ahlgren. His book Discipline is highly recommended for those who enjoy quick-paced page turning thrill-rides.

leadership training

Here is the Podcast interview with Paco Ahlgren, August 20th, 2007

Building on the vision of Kurt Vonnegut, the suspense of Michael Crichton, the rich characters of Stephen King, and the passion of George Orwell, Paco Ahlgren’s first novel Discipline paints a chilling picture of a world that defies human perception.

Science, politics, economics and spirituality fuse explosively in this visionary thriller. In some far future-or is it past?-Philip K. Dick nods with satisfaction.

-Jeffrey Satinover, physicist and psychiatrist, author of “The Quantum Brain”

I sat and read this book in two settings. This book is hard to put down. There are many clichés used in book reviews such as ‘page turner’, ‘gripping’, and many more … but they ALL certainly apply to DISCIPLINE by Paco Ahlgren.

Ahlgren deftly melds the intimacy of one man’s personal journey of self-knowledge with cosmic, mind-expanding concepts of quantum physics, time travel, and multiple universes. The stunning and skillfully constructed story combines elements of metaphysics, romance, fantasy and even sci-fi, with an intricate plot and fully realized characters. The end result is a page-turner that haunts you long after you’ve closed the book. “Discipline” is a masterful first novel that rivals the works of many more “mature” authors with dozens of books to their credit.

And what a story it is, for it surely stretches the mind even as it entertains. I look forward with delicious anticipation to everything Ahlgren writes in the future.”

Dr. Marie D. Jones, author of “PSIence: How New Discoveries in Quantum Physics and New Science May Explain the Existence of Paranormal Phenomena.”

Paco, I thank you for the opportunity to talk with you and interview you. I hope that many of my readers pick up your wonderful book!

How to Get Booked on Oprah

Oprah!Most authors believe that getting on Oprah will make them a Millionaire and their book a bestseller. For your book and career to take-off like the last space shuttle, you must prepare to make the most of your appearance. Here are some hot tips to help you get invited as a guest on the show, rivet your audience on the air, and ultimately sell yourself along with your book(s). As a media coach and marketing expert, I have helped many people get booked on Oprah, so I know there is a strategy that, if followed, will help speakers increase their chances of getting on the show.

Pitch and prepare.

Before you actually get booked on Oprah, you need to know how to pitch an idea to the show’s producers and how to prepare yourself for the big day. (more…)

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