There are many organizational and leadership consultants out there. But real leadership is something most of them don’t know anything about. That’s because they are focused on things like performance and data without taking a serious look at what brings those things about – the inner world of the leader. Cort Dial is an exception to that rule. He’s made it his mission to understand the personal and relational things that make great leaders great, the things that make them what he calls “All-in” leaders. You’ll enjoy this conversation between Anthony and Cort. It’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to real leadership, but is enough to get you thinking about yourself and the changes you need to make as a leader, which is what really matters.

Cort Dial on Why Real Leadership Comes “All In” Leaders - Ep 93Click To Tweet

The only leader that needs to change if you want to improve performance, is you.

Cort Dial says that too often he’s hired to come in and fix an organization and the leader’s attitude is typically along the lines of, “Come in here and fix my people.” Cort’s response is not one those types of leaders want to hear. What he says to them goes something like this, “And what are you going to change in yourself?” Their response tells him all he needs to know about whether or not he’s going to be able to help the organization or not. That’s because real leadership starts when the leader is ready and able to take a deep look at themselves. As the leader grows and changes, the organization will naturally follow suit.

Most organizations are driven by fear. Leaders have to be coachable in order to change that dynamic.

Cort Dial says that most organization are driven by fear – fear of change, fear of getting in trouble, fear of breaking the rules, fear of not meeting quota. Just looking at those statements is enough to show that it’s a lousy way for any team to be motivated. What’s the alternative? Motivation that comes from accomplishing something bigger, something significant – and the only way to spark that kind of motivation is for the leader to be coachable. He/she has got to see things in a new way and that requires the humility to allow an outside perspective to inform what is going right and what is going wrong – in the organization and especially in themselves. Cort shares some great insights about what it takes to be that coachable in this conversation so be sure you listen.

Most organizations are driven by fear. Leaders have to be coachable to change that dynamic.Click To Tweet

What affects performance is my relationship with people.

When it comes down to it, the main barometer of most companies is performance. That makes sense when you’re looking for a quick way to assess a company, but it’s short-sighted if the only thing that’s ever done about lagging performance is to nag the team to do better. Cort Dial has learned that the relationships that exist within the team are what impact performance. If those are healthy, if those are strong and growing, performance will take care of itself. Find out how real leadership focuses on the relational dynamics of the team and why most leaders are scared to address the relational components of the business, on this episode of In The Arena.

As a leader, you need someone to protect you from things you’re not ready to take on.

One of the most important reasons every leader needs a coach is because the coach is able to stay aloof from the emotion and tension of situations to bring a clear, balanced perspective. In this conversation, Cort Dial tells of a client he was dealing with who was asked to give an account for his division’s lagging performance. His plan was to slam through a slide deck in his 7-minute slot in the agenda in order to justify the lack of results his team had achieved. Cort was able to show him a better way to approach the situation and his client walked out of the meeting with a chance to bring about the change that was needed and expected. Cort says it this an example of why, “You need someone to protect you from the things you’re not ready to take on.” It’s all about perspective and getting outside your own head, and a coach is one of the best ways to get that perspective. Hear more from Cort on this episode.

As a leader, you need someone to protect you from things you’re not ready to take onClick To Tweet

Outline of this great episode

  • Why Cort Dial is going to change the way you think about leadership.
  • The “Hero’s Journey” outline popularized by Joseph Campbell.
  • Why does personal transformation for leaders precede organizational change?
  • What does it mean for someone to be coachable?
  • Cort’s early experience with a leader who helped him overcome fear of the wrong dangers.
  • What is it that gives people the predisposition to lead out of love VS fear?
  • Why you need someone to protect you from things you’re not ready to take on.
  • What do you have to look for to get past the data we typically use to make decisions?

Resources & Links mentioned in this episode


The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on Soundcloud

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Post by Anthony Iannarino on August 11, 2017
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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