Leadership Podcast

Always lead with integrity.
Never lead alone.

This is the podcast for leaders and those who should be leading. It’s a powerful gathering of people of influence in the areas of businesscommunity and faith.

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Leaders and entrepreneurs are among the busiest, most stressed out and exhausted people there are. So should we excuse you when you decide not to show up to an event you were expected to attend?

Not if we’re going to hold you up to the highest standards of excellence!

The impact of “just showing up” cannot be overvalued when it comes to being successful. Even during those times when it’s the last thing you feel like doing.

Join Michael and Jim in their 125th episode of the Two Are Gathered Leadership podcast.

Here, they share how a poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty encourages leaders to “just show up” through all great challenges. 

Entrepreneurs often start off their journeys with unrealistic expectations.

They want to leave their job, launch a new business and start their new life…without any risk of failure.

Many new business owners are oftentimes hoping for the impossible. They want to be able to jump into the pool, without getting wet.

Yet, instead of making a splash, many of them quickly discover they aren’t any good at swimming.

There is good news, however. You can jump into the deep end of the pool, and still find the waters warm and inviting.

Join Michael and Jim as they explain how.

Many leaders and business owners as they are getting started…or even midway through their company’s development…experience what’s known as Imposter Syndrome.

Even the most seasoned entrepreneurs will admit they still suffer from bouts of Imposter Syndrome where they feel completely over their heads, underqualified and totally overwhelmed.

What are you supposed to do when you encounter this common affliction of entrepreneurs?

Many will say, “Fake it until you make it.”

What do Michael and Jim say about this? Well…quite a bit in this fascinating exploration of the cure for Impostor Syndrome.

If your business is struggling…99% of the time it will come down to this…you’ve got a people problem.

DISCONNECTED. OUT OF TOUCH. You started a business to fill your needs…rather than the needs of the people you’re supposed to be serving.

Relationships are the single most important aspect of launching, growing and sustaining a business.

Don’t believe this? Then you really need to listen to this episode.

Join Michael and Jim for this extensive exploration of the role relationships play in business success.

Plausible denialability? What’s that? Well…it’s a who new entrepreneurial term created and explained here in the Two Are Gathered Leadership Podcast. 

What does it mean?

First…to be a successful entrepreneur you need to be able to function while often firmly being in a state of “denial”. Because, there are too many times when things seem impossible, and you’re the only one to carry the vision forward.

Yet, there also needs to be a level of “plausibility” to these dreams, or you’ll take it all over the cliff.

Join Michael and Jim in this fascinating journey through the concept of “Plausible Denialability”. 

The experience of being an entrepreneur who created something out of nothing and then ultimately climbed the highest mountain of their dreams…it’s such a great feeling.

But…it’s also…SO FRUSTRATING.

And, having to manage all of this frustration? It just makes you all the more frustrated. 

It’s just something they don’t teach you in business school. It’s even left out of the fine print of those franchise agreements.

Owning a business is so frustrating!

But, here’s the good news. This frustration can be converted into a true, competitive advantage. Join Michael and Jim as they share the secret to dealing with frustration as a leader.

Whether you’re a jazz musician, a ballet dancer or even a comedian…you’ve got to have to perfect timing.

The same is true with leadership. The most skilled leaders have perfect timing.

This is not a topic you hear discussed in too many business circles, but it may be one of the most important leadership skills to master.

Everyday…without fail, you should be asking, “Is this the right time to have THAT discussion with my employee?” or “Is this the right moment to ask for the order?” or “Is this the right time to change our strategy?”

Getting those answers correct on a daily basis will often make the difference between leadership success…or failure.

Join Michael and Jim in this perfectly timed discussion for your organization.

Most leaders lie on occasion. Some tell little lies. Some tell medium lies. And, then there are those who frequently tell Big Whoppers.

Those are usually who you would refer to as failing leaders…maybe even former leaders…because in leadership, your lying always catches up with you.

For some, there is a belief you should have lying as one of your advanced leadership skill sets. Let’s call it Strategic Deception.

However; there is a vastly superior skill in the leadership toolkit. It’s the one that will guide you to telling the truth…every time.

Join Michael and Jim as they share some important truth…with love.

There is one principle in business that always rings true…and it rings like a gong. That is, you’re always going to have competition.

And, in business there is a competitor we all share in common…and it’s a fierce opponent. In just about all cases it’s our most challenging foe.

It never sleeps, it’s unrelenting, it’s unforgiving.

It’s time. Time is our greatest opponent. As a leader, you either beat the clock or the clock will beat you.

Join Michael and Jim as they share keen insights into winning the war against time. 

One of the most important traits required to being a successful and transformational leader is often the least discussed. And, that’s having an attitude of gratitude.

In exploring the key characteristics of a skilled leader, there are many strengths that come easily to mind…ones like vision, fortitude, perseverance and communication. 

Yet, employee survey after employee survey affirm that having a culture of gratitude is what is most important to our teams.

Join Michael and Jim in this deep and fascinating discussion of the critical skills and mindset involved in being a grateful leader. 

Everybody knew being an entrepreneur wasn’t going to be easy…but who knew it would be this tough?

Just when you think you’re out of the stressful elements of your operation…they pull you back in again!

Yet, we’re doing this crazy business owning thing because somewhere deep down…really deep down on some days…we love what we do.

Why is it that we can so enjoy chasing the dream…but this pursuit can also create such high levels of stress that it’s literally unhealthy?

Join Michael and Jim for answers as well as a most enjoyable entrepreneurial spa treatment in this episode.

Here is the truth when it comes to being an entrepreneur or an organizational founder. Capital matters. But there is something that matters even more.

Yes…if you’ve got the money to invest in your dreams…you’ll have a shorter path and easier ride to where you’re heading.

But, there is something that your money can’t buy you as a leader.

And, that’s the trust of your people. 

In fact, no matter how well funded you are…you won’t be able to function as a leader in your business if you aren’t a person of trust.

Yet, many leaders go about earning the trust of their people in all the wrong ways. 

Join Michael and Jim as they dispel the myths and reveal the true magic behind earning leadership trust. 

Most entrepreneurs are NOT free. Many of them have constructed an elaborate prison of their own making.

Sadly, in many cases, this prison of their business is not only for them, but for their family as well. 

You can see this written on the faces of so many entrepreneurs. The lines in their faces…the concerns in their eyes….the fidgeting of their hands.

And, even some of those you would consider among the most successful business people…they’ve never really tasted freedom as an entrepreneur.

This is because many leaders are able to design a successful business plan, but they leave out the most important ingredient: Their freedom. 

Join Michael and Jim for their most freeing episode to date.

As business owners, entrepreneurs, inventors and wild-eyed dreamers…we are part of the creative energy of change.

Hopefully, this is positive change…sometimes incremental and occasionally revolutionary.

But throughout it all, for us to have leadership success…at the fundamental level…we must be BELIEF PEDDLERS.

If you don’t believe in anything…ain’t nobody following you.

It’s really the only reason why leadership is worth all of the trouble in the end. You have something you believe in and you want to share it with the world.

Belief is a leadership strategy. One that needs to be understood and used with precision.

Join Michael and Jim as they explore the power of belief. 

As leaders, it’s important we spend a lot of time in front of the mirror. Not to improve our good looks, but rather to make us stronger leaders.

It’s about being self-aware.

Sadly…there are too few leaders who are self-aware of who they are in their roles and how they are perceived by those who follow them.

Many are literally drowning in pools of self-delusion, and the worst part is they have no idea they are even wet.

The hidden truth about being self-aware, and humble in your approach of understanding yourself, is there is great power in this knowledge that awaits you as a leader.

Join Michael and Jim in this highly humorous, painful and transformative episode. 

As leaders…we are not in control. It’s sad. It can be difficult to deal with this truth. But…as leaders we are not in control.

This is one of the areas where leaders fall prey to delusion more than just about anything else. We want to be in control. We want absolute control…because we’re control freaks.

But, we’re not in control. And this creates great frustration and disappointment.

We can influence the circumstances around us. We can plan well, to minimize disruption. We can train expertly to lower risks. We can have a vision that is far reaching.

But, we are not ultimately in control of our circumstances. 

However, what we are in control of is how we react to these circumstances. That’s all in our power.

Join Michael and Jim as they detail out the critically important managed reactions of a skilled leader. 

In the pursuit of a grand vision, a noble dream, leaders will always have to face obstacles along the trail to success. Perhaps none greater is having to work with difficult people.

You can’t be a leader if you’re alone on an island. To get where you need to go, you’re going to have work with other people.

This means you’re going to be dealing with teams, with partners, with business associates, with superiors, with employees, with vendors and with clients.

One thing is absolutely for certain…these people are not ALL going to be easy to work with.

Join Michael and Jim as they reveal strategies for working with difficult people.

Leaders are wild horses by nature. We want to roam the open ranges. Any talk about rules or exercising restraint are conversations we don’t really enjoy having.

But, we’re going to have that important conversation today anyway.

In photography, you use polarizing filters to cut down the glare. Much in the same way, professional leaders must also master the process of using filters.

It’s because not everyone around us has the same level of passion and vision. Not everyone around us has as much at stake.

So, without our leadership filters, we can come in too hot, be misunderstood and cause irreversible damage.

Join Michael and Jim as they share a unique and powerful take on this critical leadership skill. 

My boss is a jerk. These are words that most of us have uttered at least a few times throughout our lifetime.

Maybe not out loud. Perhaps just whispered under our breath.

And, possibly for the most retrained and upright among us, we’ve never audibly said those words…but certainly they floated around in our mind.

The problem now is, as leaders, that we’re the boss…which would make us the jerk.

Yet, are we really a jerk? Or are we being falsely accused as we simply do our job as a strong leader?

Join Michael and Jim as they explore this topic in great detail, sharing insights that might drastically change the way you act and are perceived as a leader.

Somebody has to be the adult around here. So why does it always have to be you? Because you’re the leader.

It’s true. As a leader, you don’t get to jump in the puddles, fling yourself off of the swing set and make stuff out of Playdoh like your employees get to do. 

You have to be serious. You have to be the responsible one. You have to always pick up the tab.

It can be a great burden. Yet, it can also be a true blessing.

Join Michael and Jim in this fun episode that highlights the frustrations and joys of being a leader.

There exists a species of followers that flat out aren’t good at following. And, they aren’t good at following because they aren’t the least bit interested in following you.

They have their own plans, their own initiatives and their own motivations. And, the last thing they have time for…is following you.

Why? Because they are cats. They are fellow leaders. They are free spirits with clear minds of their own.

These cats are independent, and are mostly interested in doing exactly what THEY want to do. Rarely, does that include participating in your vision, mission or even short-term goals.

But…you’ve got to lead them none-the-less. So what you do?

Join Michael and Jim in this purr-fectly enjoyable and important episode as they explain how to master the art of herding cats.

No one wants to follow a weak leader…or even a strong leader who is experiencing an off day.

And, if you’re a weak leader, or in a moment of weakness, you will take your entire team down with you.

But, on any given day, in any particular moment, how do you know if you’re being a strong or a weak leader?

What if there was an analysis tool out there where you could get plugged into it and it would output a detailed report?

Actually there is a rapid test. And, it doesn’t require any special technology or equipment.

Join Michael and Jim as they share a simple question that instantly reveals the strength of a leader.

Being an entrepreneur or founder of an organization isn’t easy. It’s long hours, high expectations and typically slow-to-arrive awards.

Obstacles are constantly appearing out of nowhere, and the storms of life seem to camp out on your doorstep.

Yet, consistently, probably the most prevalent issue for organizational leaders is this: Fixing The Money Problem.

You’re running out money, and quickly. This puts a leader in a point of desperation that holds the real risk of compromising your integrity, and destroying your circle of family and friends.

What do you do? For the answer, join Michael and Jim in this critically important episode.

The mature entrepreneur knows the tremendous value in being prepared, having your team ready and staying ahead of the schedule.

And, being able to deliver what you promised on time and beyond expectations.

Yet…there are those times…

When things don’t quite work out that way. Sometimes they don’t work out that way at all.

In fact, on occasion, you or someone on your team drops the ball…big time. Now, there is potential pie on your face, and your plan is flapping in the wind. There is only one thing left for you to do.

You’re going to have to wing it.

Join Michael and Jim as they share details about one of the least often discussed, yet very important leadership skills. 

With politics…you only need 51% of your constituents to like you, and the rest, “Who cares?”

Yet, in the business world, it’s pretty difficult leading an organization when you’ve got only a slim majority of support. You’ve got to hope you’re garnishing more votes than 51% or it’s going to be a tough haul.

The challenge is; however, as a leader, sometimes you’ve got to make decisions that have much less support than that. On occasion, you’re the only one who sees things a certain way.

And, if it’s the right decision, you’ve got to make it anyway. This can make you quite unpopular.

Join Michael and Jim as they discuss strategies during these stressful leadership moments to be able to win the unpopularity contest.

In this, the 100th episode of the Two Are Gathered Leadership Podcast, a topic is covered that is worthy of such a significant milestone in the journey.

It is something that is seldom discussed in leadership training, books or podcasts,

Yet, it’s perhaps the most important. 

It’s the heavy, heavy burden of leadership. The serious and grave responsibilities that few people talk about in regards to leadership roles.

And, in addition to being a heavy burden, it’s also the tremendous opportunity of leadership. How leaders respond in this area will ultimately separate the good ones from the great ones.

Join Michael and Jim in this century mark special edition of the podcast.

It’s been said that speaking is the highest paid profession in business. But, this isn’t necessarily true.

Yes. Leaders with the capability to speak before large audiences and in creative and compelling ways have only the sky as their limit in their ability to succeed.

But, there is an even more valuable skill set for leaders than speaking. And, that skill is listening.

You won’t be a good speaker if you don’t listen to and understand your audience. You won’t be a good leader if you are not an exceptional listener.

Join Michael and Jim in this important episode as they share advanced listening techniques for entrepreneurs. 

For those of us who have been leaders or business owners for any length of time, you are quite aware of this sad truth…and that is, you’re going to spend a lot of time at the Leadership Heartbreak Hotel.

As entrepreneurs, we’re risk takers. This is exactly what we’ve signed up for. If you’re going to reach for glory, you’re going have to gamble with your heart.

You can’t say, “I’m going to put my heart into this project,” without actually putting your heart on the line. The currency you’re investing is both financial…and emotional.

So, what do you do when your leadership heart breaks?

Join Michael and Jim in this powerful discussion explaining how to mend up the heartbreak wounds and get back on your feet again.

Leadership is about motivation, perseverance, adrenaline, rising above the challenge, reaching a higher level…boldly going where no one has gone before…and then…there are those days…

…when you just don’t feel like doing anything.

Some of the things that need doing, aren’t all that fun to get done. And, your head might be in the gray clouds, in a depressed mindset where nothing is enjoyable to do.

But, you still need to get things done. Your team is counting on you.

And, being able to be productive even when you just don’t feel like it, is a skill leaders need in order to succeed.

Join Michael and Jim as they share how to get the most sunshine out of those cloudy days.

We all have those people in life, those true leaders, who when we have an important decision to make…we will go to them. They are our trusted advisor.

They are someone we respect. They are someone we trust. 

In many ways, it’s hard to imagine going through life without these people. They have so much influence on our achievements.

In business, one could argue that being a trusted advisor is a necessity in being successful as a leader of an organization.

Can you learn to be a trusted advisor? Absolutely.

Join Michael and Jim as they dive deep into the topic of what it takes to be a trusted advisor.

As a leader…all of the world is a stage. You’re the lead player, and more than anyone in your organization, you are in the spotlight…for better and for worse.

Unfortunately, for many of us, the worst parts of our personalities can draw the most attention, and often do.  

We’re having to make difficult decisions under constant pressure, and because of this we can crack, and in the process really embarrass ourselves in front of our team.

If this occurs frequently and we don’t handle our mistakes properly, our company culture can devolve rapidly and will become dysfunctional. 

Join Michael and Jim as they reveal their struggles in this area, and provide key insights into overcoming this common leadership issue. 

There are those times on the high wire when it comes to being a leader, when it feels like you’re walking between skyscrapers, and your knees are feeling shaky, and the winds are howling around you.

Then, glancing far, far below, you see a crowd…and you can see it in their eyes…they are thinking: “That guy’s going to fall!”

It’s actually a state of mind, a visceral, psychological event that leaders and entrepreneurs go through, and there is a highly technical term for it…it’s called, starting a business.

Or…launching a new product line, overcoming a crisis, saving the organization…the list goes on and on.

Join Michael and Jim as they share how to work through those times when it seems as if no one believes in you, including yourself. 

Business leaders are often faced with a challenging decision when it comes to the crossroads of uncertainty: should I hit the brakes, or should I accelerate?

We’ve all been in that situation on the road. We’re driving along at a nice, even pace. In the distance, everything is clear, and there is a green light on the traffic signal.

Yet, suddenly, the light turns yellow, and we’re faced with a decision. So too, is the case when it comes to your business.

Is the wise choice to hit the brakes and to slow everything down? Or will it be better to step on the accelerator and ride through it with momentum?

Join Michael and Jim as they explore this important topic in detail.

Leaders, have you ever felt this way: Your mind is spinning, your blood pressure is rising, the problems are many, and the solutions are few?

The walls are closing in all around you and the heat is clearly on. So what do you need to do?

You need to take a break.

It may seem completely counter-intuitive and some would say impossible during times like these…but taking a mental break…even when there is madness all around you…is not optional…it’s essential. 

But, how do you do it without falling further and hopelessly behind?

Join Michael and Jim as they share leadership strategies for taking a break. 

There are many different ways of deconstructing the elements of success in business.

Yet perhaps, if you were to best break it down, you could say that success comes from a series of many, many right decisions.

So if we believe the premise, that success in being entrepreneur comes from making more significant right decisions, than wrong ones, then the pathway to victory now becomes a discipline of learning how to make right decisions.

But, can you actually learn how to make the right decisions?

Absolutely, and join Michael and Jim in this episode to learn how.


There will come these times in the leadership journey when you and your organization hit a briar patch, a thorny place where the tires get stuck in the mud and the battery is not starting.

It’s not what you planned…it’s not what you hoped for…but it’s dark outside, it’s starting to rain…and your team is looking at you for the solution.

What is clear is a response is needed. In this moment, you may not have a clue what to do. But, that doesn’t change the fact that everyone is counting on you and expecting some magic.

Which means, it’s time for you to pull some rabbits out of your leadership hat.

Join Michael and Jim as they shed light on one of the least talked about, but perhaps most important leadership skill.

episodes 90+

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