Podcast 20: The Accidental CEO with Tom Voccola

Tom VoccolaI met Tom Voccola in a very serendipitous manner. I happen to be attending a reunion for my graduating class at University of Santa Monica and had the wonderful fortune of setting next to Tom and his lovely wife Frances with whom I graduated in 2005. As the evening progressed our dialogue become more intense and I become quite interested in what both Tom and Frances were doing through a company they jointly owned called CEO2, Creating Extraordinary Organizations. I found out that Tom had just authored a book entitled, “The Accidental CEO – A Leader’s Journey from Ego to Purpose“, which is about a leader’s journey from Ego to Purpose. Tom, having been a CEO for several different companies, certainly speaks from a position of experience and authority. He has coached and consulted with many other CEOs. It is his own personal journey and the journeys of those other CEOs that make up the content for this new book.

In my interview and podcast with Tom we explore many different and interesting subjects. All of it focused on the personal growth and mastery of a leader through finding purpose. One of the areas I found quite informative was what Tom refers to as the Reactive Identity (Ego Self) and the Creative Identity (Purpose Self). He does a wonderful job in his book of providing the reader with clear examples and diagrams that help you understand the differences. He states that our default operating system is what runs us long before we’re aware that we have one. Our reactive identity pretty much dominates who we are. Without clear knowledge of our purpose, there is little free choice, and our responses to life are simply a reaction-automatic, mostly invisible and dominant-although much can be changed by the user if they ever knew it existed. “Real choice occurs only when we’re aware of the distinctions Ego, Self and Purpose. Until then we are pretty much stuck in the automatic reaction of Ego.”

How do we navigate through the rough waters of leadership and maintain our course with integrity, purpose, authenticity and humility? What does it take to become a great leader? What sets apart the great leaders from the mediocre ones? These questions and more are the subject of my interview with Tom. I invite you to explore with me a fascinating man and leader in this wonderful interview. You’ll learn what it truly takes to become a leader on purpose. Please visit his web site CEO2 for more information on his workshops, book, and coaching programs.

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