2 min read

368: Leadership Under Pressure: Rob McKenna's Guide to Thriving in the Hot Seat

368: Leadership Under Pressure: Rob McKenna's Guide to Thriving in the Hot Seat

Embark on a transformative journey into the heart of intentional leader development with Dr. Rob McKenna, the visionary CEO of WiLD Leaders. Join us as we delve into the essential practices and attitudes that empower leaders to navigate high-pressure situations, particularly when occupying the leadership hot seat.


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In this episode:

  • The Mission of WiLD Leaders:
    • The mission of WiLD Leaders, which stands for Whole Intentional Leader Development. (03:38)
    • WiLD Leaders aims to prepare a generation of courageous and sacrificial leaders who bring light into a world where darkness prevails. (04:17)
    • The mission is rooted in the idea of building leaders with courage, conviction, hope, resourcing, strategic thinking, and a sacrificial spirit. (04:36)
    • The mission is influenced by Rob's background as an industrial/organizational psychologist and a blend of philosophy and practical business leadership. (05:59)
  • Importance of Whole-Leader Development:

    • Whole-leader development encompasses various aspects, including personality, behavior, skills, and assessments. (08:09)
    • Rob highlights the importance of embracing paradoxes and nuances in a leader's life. (08:33)
  • Leadership in Current Times:

    • Rob discusses the need for a certain type of leader in the midst of global shifts and tensions. (09:53)
    • He emphasizes the importance of investing in leaders who bring discernment, thoughtfulness, conviction, and courage.(10:52)
  • Surviving Pressure and Transformational Experiences:

    • Al and Rob talk about leaders facing pressure and the need for a sense of purpose. (12:20)
    • Rob shares research findings that a sense of purpose is the top predictor of a person's capacity to remain composed in high-pressure moments. (14:03)
    • Rob encourages leaders to embrace tensions, such as the balance between being present and making progress. (15:11)
  • Calling and Purpose Inventory:

    • Rob introduces the WiLD Toolkit, a set of 10 tools designed for leader development. (19:08)
    • Examples of tools include the Calling and Purpose Inventory, which helps individuals discern their purpose, and the Skills and Knowledge Inventory, focusing on strengths and competencies. (20:09)
    • Rob mentions tools like the Success and Significance Inventory, Leading Under Pressure Inventory, Transformational Experiences Audit, Strategic Support Assessment, WiLD Profile, WiLD Plan, and People Investment Plan. (23:46)
    • The People Investment Plan encourages leaders to assess their investment in the important people around them. (24:37)
  • Readiness vs. Potential:
    • Rob challenges the common emphasis on high potential and suggests that readiness is more crucial for leadership development. (28:19)
    • The discussion highlights the need to move away from fixed potential thinking and focus on whether individuals are ready or not. (30:38)
  • Lifelong Learning:

    • The conversation explores the concept of lifelong learning and the challenges leaders face in evolving with their roles. (31:22)

    • Rob shares insights into his leadership journey, highlighting the importance of understanding the context in which leaders are formed. (33:15)

  • Developmental Readiness :
    • Within the WiLD Toolkit, the concept of the Developmental Readiness Index is introduced as a tool for individuals to assess their readiness. (39:51)
  • Encouragement for Leaders:

    • Rob encourages leaders to embrace the tensions and challenges they face, emphasizing that they are not alone in their experiences.(48:19)


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Read a complete, word-for-word transcript of the episode


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