Show # 131 – How Successful Leaders Think

Show 131 of The Engaging Brand  podcast is ready just for you. To subscribe or listen on your PC now – both for free, you don’t need to download if you are new to podcasts, all explained at the end of the post.

Today I talk with Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management. I read Roger’s new book The Opposable Mind and just loved the idea of integrative thinking, so had to get Roger on the show. We talk about how the successful leaders think through complex problems, how they redefine their marketing and company strategy by holding 2 competing thoughts and finding a synthesis that is better than existing solutions.

When you listen to the show, Roger offers a personally signed book to the reader/listener who can improve upon my acronym KICK. So email me with your entries and we will decide upon a winner next month.

If you have feedback on the show or want to contribute to the new leadership tip section then record an audio message by clicking on the recorder on the side of the blog, e-mail me at or hop over to Facebook group for The Engaging Brand.

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  1.' says

    Great interview Anna and Roger. It remined me of how I studied systems theory in my finaly year at university, the upshot of which being that you need to be able to understand the complexity of the underpining elements so that you can get them all working together where the overall system is greater than the sum of parts – be it a company, a country, a community, a household, whatever. Very powerful in developing the ability to swim in the complexity, without losing sight of the goal of the overall system.

    Directly after graduating, I worked for a UN-agency in Switzerland for two years. On top of the systems theory, I learned to appreciate the little differences in approach that different nationalities take to problems – a great experience in not assuming that your models or ‘abstractions of reality’ are everyone else’s reality!

    Wish I could think of a clever acronym to get a signed copy of the book, but have to get back to wrapping up Christmas presents! Have a good one, Ronna

  2.' says

    Now someone with a mind like yours can come up with a solution to this “complex” problem, Ronna!

    Great points and glad you enjoyed the show – he is coming to London in March so maybe the three of us can meet. Don’t worry about the KICK acronym just something that replaces KISS…..maybe PECK!

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