We have something unique and special at The Junto Institute: nearly 50 Alumni who have been members of a JuntoForum over the past four years. Through the Forum experience, these company leaders have learned, practiced, and developed new skills and habits rooted in emotional intelligence, many of which have led to positive behavioral change in their lives and workplaces.
Last year, I read a book that deeply affected me: How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness, by Russell Roberts. It's a book about an economist by an economist but - as you can tell by the title - it has nothing to do with economics.
Never could I have imagined that I would:
appreciate how to give the right kind of hug
actually do it
tell others about it
insist that they do it
write a blog post about it.
Last Friday we held the latest JuntoDay learning event, a mini-conference on leadership for growth-stage companies, featuring three accomplished CEOs:
- Chris Considine - President of Onward Advising and Former CEO of Wilson Sporting Goods
- Tom Gimbel - Founder/CEO of LaSalle Network
- Adam Robinson - Co-founder/CEO of Hireology
All three shared the leadership philosophies, experiences, and practices that helped shape them as effective leaders who have built profitable companies recognized for workplace excellence. The following are three key lessons from each presenter's talk.
In 1727, a young man in colonial Philadelphia formed a group of 12 artisans and tradesmen for the purpose of mutual improvement and philosophical debate. They were the entrepreneurs of the day: cobblers, lithographers, blacksmiths, etc.
In the early 2000s, I was meeting regularly with a friend, David Gamperl, about the idea of starting an incubator. We never got past the early planning stages, and it went dormant for the rest of the decade. In late 2010, we resuscitated the idea based on several trends and developments in the startup ecosystem that emerged post-recession.
One of the first classes in the initial cohort of The Junto Institute's Apprenticeship program changed the way I will forever think about managing performance and leading people.
One of the pillars of the Junto program is emotional intelligence. It is a focal point of the JuntoForum, the subject of four JuntoClasses, and a topic of conversation at happy hours, in one-on-one meetings, and among the companies' employees.
One question we often get is how and why emotional intelligence (EI) training is part of the Junto program. Before getting to the answer, let's cover a couple definitions.
I started working on the The Junto Institute in 2011. Later that year, my friend Jeff Carter, a co-founder of Hyde Park Angels in Chicago, became involved in an advisory capacity. He brought an interesting and unique perspective, having deep experience at that point as an angel investor (today, he runs a venture fund).