Dr. Jim Loehr is a world-renowned performance psychologist, speaker, and executive coach. His groundbreaking energy management training has received worldwide recognition, appearing in national publications such as Harvard Business Review, Time, and Newsweek. Dr. Loehr has also appeared on national TV shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show. Prior to its acquisition by Johnson and Johnson, he was the chairman and CEO of the Human Performance Institute (HPI), which he co-founded. In addition to his innovative contributions to sport, business, medicine, and law enforcement, Dr. Loehr is also a New York Times bestselling author. His most recent book, Leading with Character: 10 Minutes a Day to a Brilliant Legacy, details the importance of character-based leadership for personal and professional advancement, backed by scientific research. He joins Marcel Schwantes to discuss his book and how they apply to businesses today.
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- “My life isn’t mine,” Dr. Loehr claims. “My life is a gift, and I get fulfillment when I give it away.” He describes his life’s purpose as making a difference, researching, and advancing knowledge to help others fulfill their missions, and being an agent of fulfillment in the lives of others. [3:26]
- Marcel asks Dr. Loehr if character still matters. He responds that there are two types of competencies when it comes to character: performance competencies, which include focus, ambition, and discipline, and help drive success in extrinsic ways; and ethical and moral competencies, which relate to one’s treatment of other human beings. “Performance competencies drive what you do, and ethical and moral competencies drive how you do it,” he explains. [7:05]
- Dr. Loehr says that the hypermasculine, tough guy persona that is seen as the ideal leader is a tragic misrepresentation of great leadership. While an analytical, strong, and decisive mind is a necessity, so is empathy and consideration of others. [11:29]
- “We’re all vulnerable to a number of glitches in our moral reasoning that hijack our ability to make good, solid decisions,” he claims, “and for the most part, they operate out of our awareness.” [15:16]
- Dr. Loehr talks about the accompanying journal in his book. Journaling on a regular basis and recording their aspirations had powerful impacts on the way his clients wanted to live and move forward. “What this book represents… [is] writing out some of the most important answers to the questions of life… to feed those muscles of character directly,” he explains. [18:51]
- Dr. Loehr shares an exercise he facilitated, where participants were required to list six words that describe them when they are the best version of themselves, and then list six more words they believe would be inscribed on their tombstones. They were asked to read their answers aloud in groups, and were startled to discover that everyone shared similar answers in both activities. The common theme that recurred through everyone’s answers was their connection to other people. [23:45]
- Marcel asks Dr. Loehr how to convince reluctant executives to place more emphasis and value on character as it relates to organizational culture. “One of the things I would have a CEO think about is how they like to be treated by people of higher authority,” Dr. Loehr says. Additionally, “what was it that you admire most about the people who led you?” [29:33]
- “Care about your people more than the results, and they will do everything that they humanly can to make your business work,” Dr. Loehr advises leaders. “Caring for others is an active process… a leader who understands leadership at its core loves their people because of what they do… they give life to your business. Without them, you have nothing.” [33:11]
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