Daniel Stewart, President of Stewart Leadership and Author of LEAD NOW!, was interviewed by host Adam Torres on the Mission Matters Startup Podcast.
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In this interview, Daniel Stewart talks about his book, LEAD NOW! A Personal Leadership Coaching Guide for Results-Driven Leaders, and how Stewart Leadership is helping leaders grow.
What mission matters to you?
Stewart says his mission is to help people recognize the impact leaders can have on their teams and learn how to leverage that impact into environments where teams can develop to their fullest potential.
What has your entrepreneurial journey been like?
Stewart’s father founded Stewart Leadership in 1980, and the family’s dinner conversations often focused on leadership theory. Stewart found the topic so engaging that he decided to pursue a career in the field, earning a master’s degree in organizational development, and worked in the corporate realm for some time.
Ten years ago, when Stewart and his father co-wrote the first edition of their successful leadership book, LEAD NOW! A Personal Leadership Coaching Guide for Results-Driven Leaders, he realized it was time to embark on his own entrepreneurial journey.
Today, Stewart and his brother, an organizational psychologist, are running a successful business with their father, employing more than 35 business coaches, consultants, and development professionals worldwide.
About both editions of LEAD NOW!
When Stewart and his father wrote the first edition of their book, they wanted people to feel empowered to own their careers and hone their leadership development skills. “Leadership development is a distinct skill set, and people need to develop tools for it,” he says, noting that the book offers research-based, proven, and straightforward tips for leaders and leaders in the making. He further explains that the content centers on 21 leadership dimensions or competencies, and the book describes how to leverage each one.
The current edition of LEAD NOW! has been updated to reflect the realities of the marketplace as they’ve evolved in the past ten years. Having worked with thousands of leaders, he says the latest edition offers tips and tools for leaders at all levels, from those in C-suite positions to those just starting out.
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Tell us about Stewart Leadership.
Stewart Leadership is a global consulting, coaching, and training firm with expertise in a comprehensive range of human capital needs. Clients have access to experts in four high-level areas: leadership development, which includes coaching and custom programs; building teams where the focus is on creating aligned and cohesive teams across all levels of the organization; change management and organizational design, which encompasses creating inclusive cultures and strategic planning services, and talent management services that tackle succession planning, career management, employee experience, DE&I efforts, and competency development. Their extensive range enables them to partner with clients to create tailored solutions to meet their specific needs.
“We work with small, mid-size, and large firms of all industries,” he notes, “but we partner the most with organizations that value human connection, a sense of culture or team, and wish to grow.”
What is the LEAD NOW! Leadership Development Model, and how does it work for leaders?
The LEAD NOW! Model, Stewart explains, is the result of 45 years of research and consulting work covering over 8000 clients and 360 assessments. After observing that all leaders must successfully develop and manage four critical relationships: their boss, their peers, their direct reports, and their customers, the model is broken into four quadrants that form the model’s foundation. Drawing from their research, the Stewarts identified 21 distinct leadership dimensions – specific skills and leadership behaviors individuals can develop to succeed as leaders.
“A leader selects the dimensions they need help with, and we build an action plan around it with deep research and proven approaches,” he says. “The plan is customized according to the leader’s needs and addresses the elements they need to accomplish their future strategies whether they are working in remote, virtual, or in-person setting.”
Clients can work in one of two ways. The first is through one-on-one or executive coaching, typically a 6-12 month engagement. The individual leader first interviews multiple Stewart Leadership Executive Coaches to ensure a good match, followed by an assessment and action planning process. The other approach is group coaching, which can last 4, 6, or 12 months and includes group learning sessions, action planning, on-the-job work, and video or microlearning.
Stewart stresses that leadership development shouldn’t be event-based: “Our program goes beyond one event and focuses on embedding and developing habits.” he says. “It’s a synced-up system with leaders, their bosses, and different processes so that we can assist with sustainable development.”
What’s next for you, Stewart Leadership, and your book?
Stewart Leadership will continue to focus on responding to clients’ needs, delivering on their goals, growing its team of consultants and coaches around the world, and continuing on its mission to support leaders in their growth.