Top 5 Leadership Lessons From Dr. Henry Cloud

We are thrilled that Dr. Henry Cloud returns to the Leadercast stage in 2023! Henry is an audience favorite. He brings his unique blend of psychology, individual coaching, and organizational development to Leadercast 2023, along with his candidness and humor that forges a remarkable connection with attendees.

Dr. Cloud will be teaching on Trust. As he says, “Trust is the fuel for all of life. We are wired biologically, neurologically, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically to trust. It is the currency that drives every relationship, beginning with the foundational bond between infants and their mothers, extending to the trust networks that undergird every human endeavor–art, science, commerce–and binding together every relationship we have ever had or ever will have. Nothing in our world works without trust. So, we need to be good at it. Trust is the goal and the outcome of building human intelligence. Like any relationship or partnership, working with or leading a team requires mutual trust. Developing the skill of trust is essential to thriving as a leader.”

In honor of Dr. Cloud’s return to Leadercast, we thought we would highlight 5 Leadership Lessons that he has already taught us.


1. Great Leaders Cultivate Healthy Relationships

“Create structures where your team gets encouragement and connection from you and the few people that are in it with them. You will see their brain chemistry change, you will see their attention change, you will see their energy change, you will see their focus change, and you will see things turn around because that’s the way the brain was meant to work.”

Leave it to a leading clinical psychologist to give us leadership lessons based on the way our brain actually works! Yes, there is scientific fact behind the power of cultivating solid team relationships.

2. Leaders Create Focus, Which Leads to Brilliant Simplicity

“If everything is important, nothing’s important. What [researchers] find about people reaching goals is the importance of what gets prioritized. If [the priority] becomes the attention and the focus, and people know what to attend to, and that’s what’s in front of them over and over and over, then it’ll happen.”

When leaders provide focus, everything seems to fall into place. Focus provides intention, attention and consistency. According to Dr. Cloud, it really is that simple.

3. The Four Corners of Leadership

“If they are not fueled in corner four—the place of safety where you are for them and their brains are being fueled and different chemistry is happening because they feel understood, feel supported and are held accountable—if we don’t have it in corner four, accountability and setting somebody free to do a job and holding them to standards, those standards become an enemy to them because research has shown that the human mind cannot take negative without a bedrock of positive.”

Wow. Just wow. Where else do you get to learn about how the brain’s chemistry works when outside influences such as positive and negative feedback are out of balance? This lesson gives everyone who leads themselves or others a clear first step.

4. Leaders Jump First

“You are going to ask your people to do stuff, it sound great until you get into it and that’s where you are going to have to literally suck it up, go brain dead, and show them that you are willing to jump out of the plane for the cause. You are willing to do whatever it takes. When they see you doing that and then they freak out, they’ve got somebody to attach to that will lead them through their influence pass themselves.”

This is probably our favorite lesson, because it is at the core of all the leadership content we aggregate and share…it is the foundation of the Leadercast mission. Those of us who have been lucky enough to have a leader willing to “jump first” for his or her team know that this lesson is powerful and one that we continue to learn over and over again along our leadership journeys.

5. Making the Hard Decision to Stop What Isn’t Working

“Sometimes leaders get so invested in something and it may be for a lot of reasons. There is ego, you poured so much time and energy into it, you poured so much heart into it, but sometimes that season has passed and it’s over and you’ve got to take the hard step to pull the plug.”

We’re guessing more than a few of you have been here, done that –- whether it’s a new product at work or your kid’s science project. That darn ego can get in the way of clearly seeing results (or lack of results); a broken process that needs to be retired not revised; or a theory that isn’t panning out to be true. “Let it go” might be the three hardest words you have to say as a leader…and a parent.

(The majority of the week’s blog is a replay of a blog from 2017.)



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