Episode 113: What One Leader Discovered About Leadership Working with Cirque du Soleil with Jay Guilford

March 8, 2022

In this episode, Jay Guilford, shares his innovative approach to leadership based on lessons learned through a training program he developed with Cirque du Soleil. 

Resources mentioned

Contact Jay Guilford: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesguilford/
Text Jay @646-386-6558
Email: jay@coworkslead.com

Netflix Cultural Study

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What do leadership and soaring on a trapeze have in common? Jay Guilford. He is co-founder and managing partner at CoWorks Leadership Training Strategists, and for a number of years he mentored corporate teams through a training program he developed with Cirque du Soleil. In this episode, he shares his innovative approach to leadership, including what it takes to inspire yourself and others to increase profits and navigate pivotal decision-making moments. Jay inspires teams in any context (corporate, non-profit or personal) to take risks, trust and deconstruct the lessons learned and he shares them here.

Jay has trained teams from top-performing companies including MGM Resorts International, Microsoft, Mastercard, Google, Uber, Life Time Fitness, Kmart Australia, Club Med – Punta Cana, Swiss Life and Procter & Gamble.

In addition, in this episode, Ellen Violette shares some of her personal experience evolving an effective leadership style – and why she’s passionate about sharing that hard-won knowledge with others. The episode wraps up with thoughts about the power we unleash when we get honest about our dreams – and what lies beyond.

Please don’t forget to subscribe, share, rate and review this podcast, past episodes of which are available here

Key Quotes:

• “(Cirque du Soleil) leadership training wasn’t just fun and games. They learned about team building, trust and communication in real time.”

• “You don’t have to be an executive to want to be a leader. Everyone is a leader in some way.”

• “People are the primary ingredient, so leaders need to know … they are going to drive you to failure or success.”

• “There are non-negotiables, but sometimes talent is a matter of taste buds.”

• “I’m really passionate about teaching others so they don’t have to go through what I went through. If I can help them make the path a little easier, that’s a huge ‘why’ for me, because nobody told me the truth when I was coming up.” (Ellen)

• “We’ve been told to be modest and hide, but that modesty isn’t going to help you privately for yourself.”

Key Takeaways:

• Corporate teams sought Jay’s leadership training programs at Cirque du Soleil because they wanted a series of activities that were irresistibly – and totally – engaging.

• The way you treat (or mistreat) your team determines whether they do good, better or best work – and profit flows accordingly.

• Jay views small businesses as culturally co-equal to large ones, citing a 2009 “cultural treatise” (you can find it here) that Netflix published in establishing core values for a humane workplace that would go on to become the $1.5 million entity it is today.

• One of the ways you can help your team (which Ellen learned hands-on) is with methodical planning and pacing of projects.

• Lessons Jay has learned in pivotal boardroom moments:
o Fix your eye on the goal and keep moving forward.
o Talent has to be there, but it also has to be accessible.

• Sometimes, the act of reaching a long-held goal can boomerang in a forlorn sense of “What’s next” or “Is that it?”

• When you’re clear about what it is that drives you, that core purpose will drive success.

• Jay meditates consistently and finds sitting silently super-effective for figuring out the “why” of our lives.

• Whatever your motivation, be honest about it. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be selfless. Jay believes honesty and authenticity (as opposed to platitudes) is key above all to realizing dreams.

About Ellen:
Ellen is a multiple #1 bestselling author, award-winning book and business coach, host of the Books Open Doors Podcast, CEO of Books Open Doors Author Services & Grammy-nominated songwriter. She works with creative professional trainers, coaches, founders, and speakers, who want to write a bestseller and 100% of her private clients are #1 bestselling authors. And once they have their book they will be able to use them to make a bigger impact in the world, open doors to unlimited opportunities, make more money and leave a lasting legacy.

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About the Author

Ellen Violette

Ellen is an 3X award-winning book, including being named one of the Top 20 Book Coaches of 2022 by Coach Foundation. She's also a multiple #1 bestselling author, a 3-time eLit award winner, podcast host, and a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has been helping entrepreneurs increase their credibility and expert status, become #1 bestselling authors, and make a bigger impact in the world since 2004. Her mission is to make the world a better place one author and one book at a time!



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