190: McKinsey’s 3-Time Global Managing Director Dominic Barton: Fundamentally about people

2019-06-20

Outside the MBA world, not everyone knows McKinsey. Within it, and at the upper echelons of business and government, McKinsey advises some of the largest and most influential organizations, including governments and the world's largest companies. If a company wants useful advice, it has to share everything, which means McKinsey is privy to the secrets of the most influential people and companies. McKinsey is structured and appears hierarchical from the outside, though as a partnership, they don't operate through command-and-control leadership. Non-partner associates have the “obligation to dissent” when they have facts or views that would help solve a problem or advance discussion. After business school people start as consultants, they move up in management to partners. Later directors. Eventually you end up at Global Managing Director. Today's guest, Dominic Barton, was the Firm's three-time Global Managing Director. Since effective leadership is fundamentally about influencing people's behavior, Dominic influenced the influencers of the most influential people and organizations, where the stakes were highest and repercussions greatest. High stakes and repercussions? Sounds relevant to the environment in 2019. One of this podcast's most important topics to me is our agreement that environmental change will come most effectively by leading people. Technology, innovation, regulation, taxes, and so on may change, but people drive it all. My goal in this podcast is to bring effective leadership to the environment. The more knowledgeable a person seems, the more likely to say, "We can. The question is will we." Will is the domain of leadership, not engineering, science, education, journalism, or the usual places people look for environmental guidance or change. Today's episode brings the upper echelon of global leadership to the environment. His schedule made phone was the only way to record.

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