In a Nutshell: Many of the best leaders are avid learners. But if you want to reach the absolute pinnacle of your potential, learning in and of itself isn’t enough. David Novak says that leaders have to be “action learners” who use what they’ve learned to make an impact. Once you’ve flipped that switch, you’ll effectively be coaching yourself to perform better and achieve more.

Guest: David Novak, Co-Founder, retired Chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company with over 45,000 restaurants in more than 135 countries and territories. After retiring in 2016, David became Founder and CEO of David Novak Leadership, a leadership development company that teaches Novak’s proprietary method of modern team leadership through online courses, books and live workshops. He hosts the How Leaders Lead podcast and his latest book is Take Charge of You: How Self-Coaching Can Transform Your Life and Career.

My Key Takeaways:

  1. “Single biggest thing.” Ask yourself and every person on your team to identify the single biggest thing you can do to drive the business, and yourself, forward. Then systematically work toward getting it done.
  2. Lead with confidence and humility. No one follows a leader who’s not confident. And no one wants to follow a leader who’s full of themselves. Be a leader who is confident, but not arrogant, and has the humility to know they can’t do it alone.
  3. Be a “talent magnet.” Assess the skills that your company needs and make no compromises when it comes to filling top positions.

Also Learn:

  1. How David’s passion for golf informs his discipline and mental approach to high achievement.
  2. How David reframed learnings from his challenging childhood into skills that provided a lifelong advantage when managing people.
  3. What David learned about self-coaching and leadership from interviewing top performers like Tom Brady, Steve Kerr, Kendra Scott, and Jack Nicklaus.
  4. Why you need to be your own best coach even if you do work with a business coach or another mentor.
  5. Important insights on tempering enthusiasm and radical transparency from Warren Buffett.
  6. The questions that David asks himself about every potential hire.

Complementary podcast: Securities America’s Janine Wertheim discussed leadership lessons from her  four-decade career in finance. Listen/read here.

Resources Featured In This Episode

More books by David Novak

David Novak on LinkedIn

David Novak on Twitter