AGL 050: Herding Tigers – Todd Henry

Today on the show we’re honored to have bestselling author Todd Henry on the show.

Todd teaches leaders and organizations how to establish practices that lead to everyday brilliance. He is the author of four books (The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, Louder Than Words, and Herding Tigers) which have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and he speaks and consults across dozens of industries on creativity, leadership, and passion for work. His book Die Empty was named by as one of the best books of 2013. His latest book, Herding Tigers, is about what creative people need from their leader, and how to give it to them.

In this episode, Todd and I talk about how to leaders need transition from Maker to Manager and how micro managers don’t scale. Todd says that leaders need to give 2 things to their talented teams, stability and challenges.  And if we micro manage all the time, we create stability but no challenges.  And without challenges, the highly skilled team members will leave.

Todd also talks about how leaders need to stay routed in their work to keep their technical chops up.  This is a way that leaders can speak meaningful and credible to their teams. We typically fall somewhere between a maker and a manager, rarely are leaders just one or the other.

As leaders we need to develop our team to be better than we are.  Todd says that all managers need to be leaders and we shouldn’t parse the two terms.

We spend several minutes discussing how to fight well and the importance of conflict in successful teams. Todd says that highly talented people will have conflict.  Its normal and should be encouraged.

We talk about the importance of respect and trust for leaders and how teams collaborate and handle conflict.

People don’t quit companies, they quit managers. — Todd Henry

I really enjoyed talking with Todd today, please check Todd’s podcast, Accidental Creative, and pick up Herding Tigers where ever books are sold!


Below is a talk by Todd on leadership that I enjoyed and I’m sure you guys will to.


I hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!