Episode 85

Leading People to Pursue the Impossible with Chuck Swoboda

Chuck Swoboda is the Innovator-in-residence at Marquette University, President of Cape Point Advisors, and the retired Chairman and CEO of Cree, Inc. At Cree, Chuck helped lead the company from $6 million in revenue to over $1.6 billion as they started the LED Lighting Revolution that led to the obsolescence of traditional light bulbs. Chuck is a co-inventor on 25 patents covering LED and Lighting related technology. He is the host of the Innovators on Tap podcast and has just released his new book, The Innovator’s Spirit: Discover the Mindset to Pursue the Impossible.  LEADERSHIP INSIGHTS - Leadership is about showing someone why what you want them to do is in their best interests. - People’s behaviors are a function of their beliefs. If you want to help people, you have to understand the belief that is getting in their way and help them to discover it as well. - Put yourself in situations where failure or near failure is inevitable to force you to grow. - Once you have a culture, hire people to fit that culture (e.g. innovation and risk). - Create the focus necessary for innovation by taking advantage of scenarios that naturally force change. - Pursuing innovation often means trying for what most others think is impossible. - When you’re doing something that’s never been done, you can’t know the answer. - No matter what you do today, it can be done better tomorrow. - To help your team adopt an innovative mindset, encourage these three things: 1. Becoming comfortable with uncertainty, 2. Learn from your failures, and 3. Promote ownership of things that aren’t fully in people’s control. - Leadership is not about having all the ideas; it’s about figuring out how to get the best ideas out there and then focusing on them. QUESTIONS TO INSPIRE US TO ACTION – What is some lesson, saying, or experience that continues to influence your leadership to this day? “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things”—Peter Drucker - Use three descriptors to finish this sentence: “A leader is…” Genuine, passionate, and committed to doing what’s right. - What is a question that leaders should be asking either themselves or others? Is anyone following me? - What book would you recommend to leaders? The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton Christensen - If you could get every listener to start doing something THIS week to help them be a better leader, what would it be? Practice leading (i.e. convince other people to do something they wouldn’t otherwise do on their own). - As a general life principle, is it better to ask “why?” or “why not?” “Why not?” “Why?” is helpful to give others a reason to follow you, but “why not?” is about getting people to do something they wouldn’t otherwise do on their own. Website: https://www.chuckswoboda.com/ Find Chuck on social media: Twitter: @thechuckswoboda Instagram: @thechuckswoboda LinkedIn: in/chuck-swoboda

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Life as Leadership: Where Leaders Gather to Grow Together
Life as Leadership: Where Leaders Gather to Grow Together
Where leaders gather to grow together

About your host

Profile picture for Josh Friedeman

Josh Friedeman

Josh wants to help you LIVE and LEAD well.

From interviewing leaders and other experts who help leaders, to coaching leaders and entrepreneurs, to staying on the front lines of leadership research through his PhD work in organizational leadership, Josh likes to live and breathe all things leadership.

Sure, there's more to life than leadership - until, that is, you start seeing life AS leadership (*Freeze frame, roll credits*).