Ever get the feeling people are blowing smoke up your ass?
Executives are rarely challenged in a way that is meaningful, surrounded as they are by yes-men. But you can’t get better if you only ever hear what you want to hear. And you don’t grow if you don’t put yourself in a position to be vulnerable, to keep learning and improving every single day.
Today I have the pleasure of speaking with one of my mentors, John Dame. John is the owner and managing partner of Dame Management Strategies, a firm that consults with CEOs and their executive teams in the areas of strategic planning and leadership development. He also serves as a group chair and executive coach for Vistage International, the world’s largest CEO membership organization. John’s current focus is around the role of purpose in the business environment, challenging the leaders he coaches with to infuse their work with a sense of meaning and to achieve growth through self-awareness.
In part one, John shares his journey from radio sales to business strategist, explaining how he leveraged a 32-year career in broadcasting to become an executive coach and leadership consultant. He discusses the experience of working with his father to turn around struggling radio stations and his stint in radio programming syndication. John credits the mentors who changed his perspective on how to treat people and speaks to the advantages of working with CEOs every day for the past 15 years. Listen in for John’s insight into the qualities of an elite leader and how Vistage helps executives grow—by affording them the opportunity to be challenged in a meaningful way.
[3:34] John’s career path
- Marketing degree from Penn State
- Worked in radio sales, sales management
- Partnered with dad to purchase several stations
- Syndicated talk shows nationally
- Shifted to current role 15 years ago
[8:31] John’s experience working with his father
- Dad served as visionary, finding stations in trouble
- John’s role to execute plan, facilitate turnaround
- Purchased stations in clusters, then consolidated into one entity
- Property values increased, only way out through liquidity event
[13:44] John’s undertaking in syndicated news talk
- Syndicated Mike Gallagher’s program nationally
- Added five other shows, distributed to 400 stations
- Sold to Salem Radio Network as marketplace shifted
[16:03] Who John counts as mentors in leadership
- Learned theatrical sales from 13Q team in Pittsburgh
- Coaching CEOs ‘like attending Harvard Business School’
[19:00] John’s involvement with Vistage
- Vistage (then known as Tech) invited to be local chair/coach
- Entails developing group of 12-18 execs, monthly meeting
- Unparalleled results through relationships with chair, group
[22:28] John’s insight around the best leaders
- Willing to be vulnerable, transparent
- Self-awareness leads to growth
- Constantly look for ways to improve
[24:57] How Vistage facilitates growth
- Affords place for execs to be challenged in meaningful way
Connect with John Dame
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