Ron Carucci on Power, Leadership, and Persuasion [S02E03]

Ron Carucci on the SIA Business Podcast

Ever wondered what it takes to become a great leader? 


We speak to Ron Carucci about...



Ron Carucci brings transformational change within organizations by working with their CEOs & other executives.

His company Navalent has worked with the likes of CitiBank, Gates Corporation, McDonald's Corporation, Starbucks, Microsoft, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Johnson & Johnson, and the CIA.

Last but not least, Ron has authored 8 books (including Rising to Power), apart from being a HBR columnist, and a 2X TEDx speaker.


  • what power means
  • How to be a great leader
  • why technical prowess is NOT synonymous to great leadership
  • strategy versus tactics
  • persuasion and how it differs from manipulation
  • inspiring your team
  • why leaders need to let go (of the vine) and focus on the long term 
  • 1

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2:44 Power is misunderstood and feared. We hear stories of how people abuse their power and use it for their own immoral choices (But I think they are in the minority though)

3:28 Power is not good nor bad. It's what choices we make and how we apply it.

4:14 Leaders who abuse their power for self-interest and self gains are considered bad leaders.

5:36 Whether we are parenting or leading other people, it's our job to disappoint people sometimes. That's how they grow and change.

7:21 Differences and similarities in persuasion and influence with respect to power.

8:05 We have to persuade people that whatever they see and where they wanna go, is going to be best.

9:32 Ron explains how a leader must keep balance and maintain a blend of leading from the front, behind or side.

10:23 Why people wander off when a leader leads them from behind.

11:37 Ron describes in his book how people need a blend of intuition, emotion, and data (facts) and other voices in their decision making.

12:38 Too much data and information makes one impulsive.

14:38 What happens when leaders have too much data and duly fact-based data.

15:20 How empathy and emotional intelligence affects and why these qualities should always be present in a leader.

16:46 Why the team is not prepared when one of a team member, in a new startup, starts imposing decisions.

17:42 A leader must always teach his team and always be transparent in his decision making.

18:20 Ron’s book Rising to Power is relevant for new startups, leader of any maturity and any sized business.

19:45 Organization can make new leaders, by teaching them how to build bridges across the organization, teaching them how to make hard choices and build strong relationships.

21:25 Often times we promote people, keeping in mind their technical excellence only, thinking that they will become great leaders in the future which they don’t.

22:01 Leader have to prepare to let go sometimes.

24:15 A personal example: What happens when a leader teaches his team members a task (and giving them positive feedback, suggestions or critique) so that the leader can focus on other things.

25:00 How to achieve new ways to impact others and feel joy and gratitude in return.

26:35 Ron answers to what is the right time for a startup to make new leaders.

27: 25 What is the best gift of a leader to his people.

28:28 Find out the reward people wish to receive and reward them accordingly (this can be a sense of significance they want, sense of responsibility, leadership, advancement in career, etc)

29:05 Research shows that a leader must be a journalist with broader views and be able to fit all the pieces of an organization together.

30:40 You have to take a birds-eye view of the whole organization rather than just your function and context (these qualities are the ones that most leaders lack)

31:15 What one trait a new leader must not have.

A leader is one who is always asking questions and curious about things around him.

31:51 Context and connection and its relationship- causes people to fail fastest.

32:20 Asses people and understand why they are behaving the way they are. People can change their flaws. Everyone has the ability to change.

33:29 It’s important to manage reputation and personal branding.

34:00 Ron’s strategy to write for famous publications like Forbes and Harvard Business Review.

If you have any questions or if you would like me to interview any entrepreneurs or digital marketers, please contact me here

This episode was brought to you, as always,
by your host
Syed Irfan Ajmal is an award-winning serial entrepreneur and a seasoned digital marketer.
He is an international speaker, and speaks and conducts trainings at various organizations and events of Pakistan and UAE.
Moreover, he also writes about entrepreneurship and digital marketing for various large publications of the USA, UK, Canada, and Pakistan including Forbes ME, the World Bank, Huff Post,, Virgin, and others.
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