John Baldoni is an internationally recognized leadership consultant, coach, and author of more than dozen books that have been translated into 10 languages. John is the chair of the leadership development practice at N2growth, a global leadership consultancy.
How did you get into the motivational speaking industry?
To quote John Maxwell, I am not motivational speaker per se. I am a motivational teacher. Motivation is intrinsic and through my writing and my speaking I provide audiences with insights and information they can use to educate themselves to lead better and live more fulfilled lives at work and at home.
Tell us about MOXIE. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the book?
MOXIE is rooted in the concept of resilience. In the crash of 2008 I was appalled as were many of us by the stunning lack of leadership and resilience manifested by corporate leaders. They lacked grit and resolve. They showed no moxie. Hence the idea was born.
I believe that all of us have the ability to draw upon our inner resolve to overcome adversity. Some challenges may take years to surmount but if we persist we will achieve our intended goals, or at least come to a place of peace about what we can achieve, and ultimately will achieve.
Those with MOXIE have fire, drive, determination and street smarts. They make good things happen for themselves and their organizations.
MOXIE is also an acronym for what leaders need to do to prepare themselves to live more fulfilled work lives. Specifically we need to be:
Mindfulness – be aware of yourself and your situation
Opportunity – turn problems into possibilities
X-Factor – put your character in service to others
Innovation – enable self and others to think and do differently
Engagement – tap into the hearts and minds of your people
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to your success?
I have always sought to partner with people smarter than myself.
The opportunity to work with Mike Myatt founder of N2Growth and Brian Layer CEO of N2Growth was too good to pass up. Mike, a successful entrepreneur, has honed my business growth outlook; Brian, a retired US Army general, has taught me what it means to lead in mind, body and spirit. Both men are true leaders.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
There is way too much focus on trends. They are ephemeral and as such they come and go. What lasts are finding ways for individuals to build value for themselves and their organizations. That is a lifelong quest for all of us.
To make a positive difference!
Guts + Gumption + Determination
Your greatest success as a leadership consultant/chair of N2Growth? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
One and the same. Great success is helping people learn something about themselves so they can make a positive difference in their own lives. Failing to do that is something that every educator and coach wishes he or she could reverse.
Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?
My father taught me the value of persistence. What I do today is not what I did thirty years ago. I began my career as a speechwriter and gradually was introduced to concepts of leadership that intrigued me. It prompted me to return for a Master’s degree and after which I began writing books and teaching and coaching.
How do you motivate your employees?
Leaders motivate by setting the example for all to follow. True leaders sacrifice for the good of the team and celebrate the success of others before themselves.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
Water, of course!
What literature is on your bed stand?
I am an eclectic reader. For business I am reading two books by friends, Overworked and Overwhelmed by Scott Eblin and Leading the Life You Want by Stew Friedman. I am also reading books on strategy as well as history. And I am loving Michael Feinstein’s loving memoir The Gershwins and Me.
Role model - business and personal?
My parents. Both taught me the value of service. Both gave back to others far more than they ever took. They set the bar high… and I am following (far behind I might add) their example.
I play piano. It’s a return to something I did as a child and now since my kids are grown I have time to pursue it. I am also studying what I can of composition and theory. I am intrigued with jazz harmony, in particular with its unique chord voicings. I love the works of Duke Ellington and George Gershwin as well as the fantastic melodies of Richard Rodgers, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, and so many more.
Most interesting headline you've read this week?
Headlines don’t grab me. Stories do. I look for examples of people doing different things in different disciplines from which I can draw lessons for my writing and teaching.
What's next for John Baldoni?
I am continuing to play piano for anyone who will listen. I have a running gig at a local senior center for the memory impaired. I love their enthusiasm for music.
John Baldoni: Smart Brief Videos (SmartBrief)
John Baldoni: Coaching Videos (YouTube)
As highly sought after executive coach and leadership educator, John has had the privilege of working with senior leaders in virtually every industry from pharmaceutical to real estate, packaged goods to automobiles, and finance to health care.
John speaks widely to corporate, professional, military and university audiences. Those who attend John’s keynotes and workshops find his advice to be practical and his advice inspirations. Mixed with stories of great men and women, and leavened with light-hearted humor, John seeks down-to-earth practical advice that individuals can apply immediately. John’s presentations blend his passion for leadership with genuine enthusiasm for helping people achieve their leadership ambitions.
John’s newest book is MOXIE: The Secret of Bold and Gusty Leadership, which explores the grit and determination leaders need to exert to overcome challenges. Blending real-life stories with research and interviews, John provides a roadmap for how leaders can lead with greater awareness, more determined purpose and focused engagement in order to achieve inspired results.
His tenth book, Lead With Purpose: Giving Your Organization a Reason to Believe in Itself, solidified John’s reputation for blending thought-provoking ideas with pragmatic advice. Over the past decade John has established himself as world authority on topics that matter to leaders who are seeking insight into leadership challenges of the day.
In 2014, Trust Across America named John to its list of top 100 most trusted business experts. Inc.com named John to its list of top 50 experts for leadership and management. And Global Gurus named John number 11 on its list of top thirty global leadership experts. John was first named to this prestigious list in 2007.
His 2012 book, The Leader’s Pocket Guide: 101 Indispensable Tools, Tips and Techniques for Any Situation, has been recognized as a practical resource for those seeking to improve their leadership skills. His follow-up book, The Leader’s Guide to Speaking with Presence, has provided insights that managers need to present their messages and themselves authentically.
Through his books and his many columns for leading business publications, John has become a source of practical wisdom on topics such as influencing without authority, applying power appropriately, leading with grace and conviction, and developing genuine followership. All of these topics complement John’s mission to help individuals and their organization achieve positive results. Consequently John’s books have been translated into multiple languages including Mandarin, Hungarian, Arabic, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese.