page title icon 222: Samuel Bacharach: Leaders listen, apologize, and move agendas

Samuel Bacharach Show Notes Page

Samuel Bacharach was a new professor at Cornell and was called out for not following procedures by an office administrator. Initially, he refused to listen but then apologized for his behavior. A year and a half later, this woman helped him to negotiate a salary bonus. From then on, he built his career on the interpersonal stuff.

Samuel Bacharach was raised in Brooklyn, East New York before moving to Jamaica, Queens. Growing up in two working-class neighborhoods he had absolutely no aspiration of going to college and becoming a Cornell professor. Simply put, anyone growing up in the neighborhoods of New York during that era develops a sense of survival, a deep appreciation of what it means to be on a team, and get people on their side. In many ways the core of what Sam believes in goes back to those days.

He stumbled into his academic career at Cornell University, coming to the faculty in 1974. He is the author or editor of over 100 academic articles and 20 books. Sam has always had an interest in leaders and leadership. For him, leadership boils down to the skills of execution. In Get Them on Your Side and Keep Them on Your Side he introduced readers to the concepts of political and managerial competence.

More recently, he published The Agenda Mover and Transforming the Clunky Organization. The Agenda Mover explores the skills that leaders need to develop to get things done, and Transforming the Clunky Organization discusses the characteristics that keep organizations from thriving and meeting their potential. He is currently transitioning from his academic role to spending more time on his writing.

Sam’s legacy, as an academic and author, is that everyone can lead, and that in the final analysis, leaders are those with deep empathy, street smarts, and the political savvy to move things ahead. Charm and charisma are simply not enough. Everyone can make it if they develop some fundamental core skills.

In collaboration with his wife, Yael, he founded the Bacharach Leadership Group, which focuses on training high-potential leaders at universities and Fortune 500 companies.

Sam lives in the Chelsea neighborhood in New York City.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @samuelbacharach to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet

“The capacity to lead in life, in your career, in anything, is in your hands.” – Click to Tweet

“You’re not trapped in your personality.” – Click to Tweet

“Getting things done in leadership is in your control.” – Click to Tweet

“What’s important is our capacity to change.” – Click to Tweet

“For God sake, get something done.” – Click to Tweet

“Clunkiness and myopia cause inertia and things get stuck and a leader can’t afford to engage in that.” – Click to Tweet

“You’ve got to have the political skills and competence to move ideas through the maze of clunkiness and the over-focus of myopia.” – Click to Tweet

“As a leader you’ve got to juggle, how much space do I give them and how do I make sure they don’t squander this organization.” – Click to Tweet

“How much control do you want to have; how loose, how much autonomy do you want to give?” – Click to Tweet

“Think about leadership; what you’re really talking about is facilitative versus directive leadership.” – Click to Tweet

“The leadership challenge for you is to understand the world you live in and the context of your business.” – Click to Tweet

“Good ideas are a dime a dozen. Getting something done is difficult.” – Click to Tweet

“Good ideas are simply not enough; you’ve got to get stuff done.” – Click to Tweet

“Leaders listen, leaders apologize, but leaders also move agendas.” – Click to Tweet

“Empathy is the key to success, political success, economic success, social success.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Samuel Bacharach was a new professor at Cornell and was called out for not following procedures by an office administrator. Initially, he refused to listen but then apologized for his behavior. A year and a half later, this woman helped him to negotiate a salary bonus. From then on, he built his career on the interpersonal stuff.

Advice for others

Empathy is the key to everything.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

A sense of insecurity.

Best Leadership Advice

Believe in the people you work with.

Secret to Success

I know that I’m not the smartest person in the room.

Best tools in business or life

I can work with a team and I stand by context.

Recommended Reading

Big Enough to Be Inconsistent: Abraham Lincoln Confronts Slavery and Race (The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures)

Transforming the Clunky Organization: Pragmatic Leadership Skills for Breaking Inertia (The Pragmatic Leadership Series)

The Agenda Mover: When Your Good Idea Is Not Enough (The Pragmatic Leadership Series)

Contacting Samuel Bacharach


email: samuel.bacharach [at]


Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work


Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

222: Samuel Bacharach: Leaders listen, apologize, and move agendas


Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.


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Okay Fast Leader legion, today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who first of all is very quick-witted but then also is deeply tenured in a lot of different ways as well as in experience. Samuel Bacharach was born and raised in Brooklyn East in New York before moving to Jamaica Queens. Growing up in two working-class neighborhoods he had absolutely no aspiration of going to college and becoming a Cornell professor. Simply put anyone growing up in the neighborhoods of New York during that era develops a sense of survival a deep appreciation of what it means to be on a team and get people on their side. In many ways the core of what Sam believes in today goes back to those days. He stumbled into his academic career at Cornell University coming to the faculty in 1974. He’s the author or editor of over 100 academic articles and 20 books. Sam has always had an interest in leaders and leadership. For him leadership falls down to the skills of execution and get them on your side and keep them on your side. He introduces readers to the concepts of political and managerial competence.


More recently he published the agenda mover and transforming the clunky organization. The agenda mover explores the skills that leaders need to develop to get things done and transforming the clunky organization discusses the characteristics that keep organizations from thriving and meeting their potential. He is currently transitioning from his academic role to spending more time on his writing.  Sam’s legacy as an academic and author is that everyone can lead and that in the final analysis leaders are those with deep empathy, street smarts and the political savvy to move things ahead charm and charisma are simply not enough. Everyone can make it if they develop some fundamental core skills. 


In collaboration with his wife Yael he founded the Bacharach Leadership Group which focuses on training high potential leaders at universities and fortune 500 companies. Sam lives in the Chelsea neighborhood in New York City. Sam Bacharach, are you ready to help us get over the hump? 


Samuel Bacharach:      I’m ready. But if I can get you over the hump position is the question? 


Jim Rembach:    I’m sure you can. Now I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you but can you share what your current passion is before we can get to know even more about you


Samuel Bacharach:      This is the first time I was introduced with such a background go so dramatically back into my youth but I think as you grow older you go back to where you came from. I found lately that my current passion for all the hoopla is really to let people understand that the capacity to lead, and I spell leadership of a small L, I also mean that the capacity to lead in their life that capacity to lead in their career their capacity to lead in anything is in their hands they’re not trapped by their personality. I sometimes see this in my students, it’s easy if you’re this as panache, charismatic kid that comes from a great home and you go out there and you can do it but some of these kids need to learn that it’s in their hand. Like in like in organizations a lot of people out there with all this personality and charm and they keep talking to that. My passion right now is to really make people, and I don’t use the word empowerment in a loose way, but make people aware that it’s in their control getting things done and leadership is in their control. And that in a lot of ways going back to the beginning of my own biography. I’ve done these big corporations but some spending a lot of time working with corporations, I’m also spending time doing a lot of pro bono work and doing work with where I can really impact people’s lives and empowers them in that level. 


Jim Rembach:    As you were talking I started thinking about the depth and breadth of all of the research and knowledge that you’ve had exposure to over the course of these past couple decades in that I start thinking about the whole practical application piece. You and I talked about that progression and age and wisdom comes as I became certified in emotional intelligence empathy being important but then you say everybody could do it. But I’m like, EQ or emotional intelligence perspective there’s a whole lot of deficiencies in certain leaders that they really need to work on in order for them to transform a clunky organization or get people to follow with them.


Samuel Bacharach:      We all have deficiencies. We spend a lot of time coaching leaders on specific ways and we all have deficiency. But I think the first thing we have to do is make people aware that through understanding, self-reflection, training, reading, focusing your mind on the deficiencies you can make a difference in doing that. We all talk about training and teaching, what the heck that we really want to do we want to do that? We want to make sure the people can change their behaviors in ways that are functional. Look for those of you the whole world live happily ever after. But even in our personal life what’s important is our capacity to change. All of my work, which is not rocket science, but all my work is based on knowing—one of the things you wish you focus on, giving people the tools. 


We live in a world with a lot of—I come from old world I believe in a check list world. Tell people seven eight things that you think can help them and in fact you can make an impact. Tell organizations, tell leaders the things they’re doing wrong how can I do things different don’t make it diffuse make it concrete make it real and everything. Emotional intelligence, you’re certified in emotional intelligence, but you and I know that at least 60% of the stuff you knew before you were certified and that is you knew it because you are mostly intelligent enough to be able to get certified in emotional intelligence you knew you’re moving someplace. Sometimes I think the world is like The Wizard of Oz place, was it the Scarecrow, I was wondering—they all have the knowledge but thought they were an idiot but they just needed a degree. My whole point in life is tell people you’ve got this capacity let me help you tap it, here are the things you need to do.


Jim Rembach:    It’s funny that you say that the reason I became certified because I used to be very deficient at it. 


Samuel Bacharach:      There you go. For me training and leadership is signing out leaders, doing organizations giving them the skills to make the difference in a very concrete way not just giving them. 


Jim Rembach:    Talking about, talking about competencies and talking about skills I mean in the book, Transforming the Clunky Organization, men, I really like the framework and the model that you have associated with breaking inertia. You talk about the five challenges of breaking inertia, and I’ll just go ahead and read those real quick. You talk about questions that need to be asked. So you say, why is the organization sluggish? And so what we need from a challenge perspective is to evaluate its clunky and myopic tendencies to talk about what’s out there and so we have to apply contextual competence, which is leaders as explorers. And you talk about what can be done about it. We talk about applying ideational competence, which is leaders as innovators. And you talk about what support is needed and then you mentioned applying political competence, meaning leaders as campaigners and then how to implement managerial competence, leaders as sustainers. Now when you started talking about these five challenges of breaking inertia I have to really kind of go to the point of waiting scenario. If you start looking at levels of importance, where does that lie? 


Samuel Bacharach:     Let me take it one step back because you made my work sound more sophisticated than it is, I’m flattered, let me talk for a moment about the inertia issue why inertia. We’re sitting there, what do we really want from our leaders? We were living in a world right now and we turn on the news it doesn’t matter what your politics, what do you want? We want execution. For God’s sake get something done, in corporations get something done. Most of the time they’re stuck with this inertia. In organizations what I’m arguing is that in organizations inertia is always—it’s the clunky message that interest groups different businesses but that doesn’t mean your organizations not successful. Take a look at some of the largest organizations the complex ends in the—and it’s hard to get anything moving through them, so that’s the notion of being clunky. On the other hand, in some situations you got people so micro focused so myopic that they can’t get out of their mindset. You think all the organizations think of what’s going on in our country or politics on one hand you get this big clunky mess on the other hand you got micro focusing, micro macro focusing that myopic vision. We haven’t going on in news today, do we have any rocket scientist? So what does a leader do? A leader has to understand these tendencies and has to move things ahead in spite of these two forces that caused inertia. Clunkiness?  Clunkiness and myopia cause inertia to get things to get stuck and a leader can’t afford to engage in that he can’t afford to get stuck a leader must execute in spite of that. That’s the challenge of political leaders, that’s the challenge of corporate leaders and that’s what I’m trying to deal in this book. What I’m saying is there are and what I’m saying is there four or five things they have to do to make sure that won’t happen and that (10:44 inaudible) spoken.


Jim Rembach:    As you’re talking though, for me it’s like—you mentioned something about corporations and large organizations, I see that in small organizations too. 


Samuel Bacharach:     Absolutely, absolutely. You see, clunkiness is the whole idea. For example, why the word the word clunky for example? Why the word myopic? If you sit back for a moment and you just take the words in  any situation you’re corded either the situation is very clunky—think of the old world I’ve got all these elements—I worked for a lot of major corporations and one of these got an office in Bangalore, I know an office in Research Triangle,  San Jose, you name it I work in one of these large organizations, academia, worked in Walden Universities, they are large successful clunky organizations and now you’re sitting there in your office in the research office and you want to move something ahead, how do you do it? It’s impossible. On the other hand, you get all these people in these organizations I call myopia, micro stuck the same thing is true in start-up organizations with the move so fast. What happens in start-up organization sometimes get caught in all this myopia they micro focus or they become clunky by overreaching too quickly. And this same dichotomous tension and in dichotomous tension we face our life. 


My challenge to leaders is to understand this economy as the obstacle as the thing that causes the inertia. And then I said to people, okay, how do you break inertia?  it’s like the way you break it in your work, your bacon number one, by understanding the context in which your organization is operating by beating the signals in the environments, pick up new ideas. And then then we all hear about ideation by moving ideas to the organization, that’s the innovative part, coming up with ideas. Think of your own world, you can think of what you want to do in your career you expand what you want to do in your career and then you build on it you ideate on it so that’s the whole idea of leading for discovery. But the problem in the world we live in people have plenty of great ideas. Look at our Congress there’s plenty of great ideas. Look at our major corporations, our corporations are totally innovative. People think, that’s great, yeah right, so what if you have a great idea in organization and you can’t get it through the system? Great idea is simply not enough. Then I ask our people you’ve got to deal with delivery you’ve got to have the political skills, the confidence to move ideas through the maze or clunkiness and the over focus of myopia.


Jim Rembach:    As you were talking to I started thinking about, okay, so the political aspects I kind of get that. I get that whole influence and psychology—


Samuel Bacharach:     And they’re forming coalition and winning people over. 


Jim Rembach:     I get that part, for me though when I started thinking about the actual execution piece because you call that—there’s a particular part of the book for me that just totally blew up at me when you start talking about the execution piece. In the book you talk about it being monitoring for tight and loose execution. What I’ve often see is that people put in tight types of measurements in place and expect to have a loose outcome, that’s more innovative and creative, or they do the reverse and want to have something that’s a little bit more structured.


Samuel Bacharach:     I’m very taken by—this one’s a heck of a good question on emotional intelligence, I’m very taken by that. One of the things that’s haunting me in my entire career is that distinction sometimes goes by the wayside so I really kind of very thankful that you picked it up and I think it’s actually a very important point with coordinate. If you think about it that distinction is at the heart of all leadership and management training. Let me just give you an example, I don’t know if you’ve had the good fortune to have a child or any children—three good Lord, your main worry is oh, my god it’s 10 o’clock at night where are they? On the other hand you go, well, I don’t want to squeeze them I have to give them the space I got to give them a little autonomy if I get too tight about this I’m going to choke their creativity I’m going to stifle their growth on the other hand you’re standing there, if you’re a neurotic father as I am you’re trying to think, okay, I’ll call him a 10:30. I’m saying this jokingly, attach to management challenge that’s the management challenge. It’s the challenge of understanding of how tightly or loosely you want to be. 


For example if you want to be innovative and give everybody all the space in the world you’ll be very loose and if on the other hand you’re very concerned about the tight execution you’ll be very prescriptive. But in this world where uncertainty is all around you’ve got to sort of balancing you as a leader have got to juggle you got a juggle. Just like as a parent, how much space do I give them? And how much do I make sure they’re safe?  Same thing as a leader in organizations, how much space do I give them? And how do I make sure they don’t squander this organization to death? That balance. We can talk about that. That is one of my favorite points is all too often ignored, that is the key question to me in management that is the Ying and Yang of management. How tight? How much control do you want to have? How loose? How much autonomy you want to give? So if you think about it control- autonomy everything else besides that mattered this is the heart of the whole thing you’re absolutely correct. 


Jim Rembach:    You had mentioned before we actually started this interview that you’re actually working on yet another book to actually dig deeper into that particular time.


Samuel Bacharach:     That was more as a threat than a promise but be patient but be it the case yes and I am. Because in doing this volume, and I would welcome that conversation and the future was still even off the air, doing this value that notion actually became, and I went back to some earlier things that actually became very important to me and in a real sense. Let me give you an example, think about leadership, what you’re really talking about is facilitative versus directive leadership the idea of do want to be the leader that facilitates all these group? How many times you’ve been in the meeting? And there’s a leader saying, okay, they’re discussing I’m giving the ideas they’re putting ideas they’re doing ideation there ideating you to death there are more in the room and they’re wonderful they’re cohesive and you’re going, dear God, when is this meeting  going to be over so can we get this project moving? Okay? Alright? On the one hand we live in a world of interacting, how do you balance the two? How do you call off that meeting and say, okay, enough let’s move on. I know how Michael that actually sounds. For example, example in design, in innovative organizations if you are working in a lot of organizations you know that design and programs, they need resources. There are also tech junkies out there. If you can tell me the opportunity—or this machine we need them? When you give them enough resources, let me say, wait, wait up to here because I can’t do everything I know it sounds interesting but let me you even the terms of evaluation. Think of all the evaluation and the feedback systems, you now have a matrix list of everything on the list, that’s great. You got the 50 items you want them to do, you wanted to fly to Europe, maintain course, get along with everybody, live happily ever, deliver the party, got a 50-point list. What if all they’re doing is operating towards your list? What if you want to say, I want a more subjective evaluation? Let me give an example, you’ve got kids—you’ve got kids in school?


Jim Rembach:    Yes. 


Samuel Bacharach:     Okay, so now the teacher comes and says okay, here’s the list 62 things we did right for your kids. And you’re going, yeah, but they still somehow and in your stop big way stood up here some place. Point is, one is subjective how do you loosen tight? That’s the world people live in. Let me just make a little point here, people love making things tight because it’s good about execution but the truth sometimes it makes things tight because, as they used to say in the in the military it covers and other parts of their body because it say, oh, here are the 37 things we did it exactly what you wanted us to do it. I’ll give you one of my favorite example, years ago I was on a plane, not years ago I have on the plane quite often since then, I was sitting next to a friend of mine who is still flying, and this flight is 747, but this case he was sitting next to me. He said to me, any idiot can fly a 747 because it’s self-prescriptive by the numbers. If it is that tight—I said to him, well, then why are the pilots in those days they got paid well?  I’m not sure what their salary is but hopefully they’re still getting paid—if that’s the case if anybody can fly 747 then why do they get paid so well? And he said for the five minutes an idiot cannot fly 747. 


The point is, when do you loosen and when do you tighten? Great question. I get carried away I think I just talked about my entire new book out nonstop from New York, but that’s the idea, that’s the idea. I’m working on that I think it’s a very important point. It’s also by the way in startups organizations isn’t any type of organization.


Jim Rembach:    For me  well and for me as you were talking I started thinking about something that has resonated with me for a long time about this particular issue and talking about leading and so when you start referring to like creatives are a creative group or a group that likes to ideate is you don’t give them the entire beach to go play in the sand with you give them (21:39 inaudible) 

Samuel Bacharach:    And that’s why one of the one of the interesting questions is—I’m too old to be planning with this really on the money. Here is the question, let’s talk about ideation, I’ve been in lots of ideation session with my group we get tons of points on the board, I remember one of the group in Virginia and there’s all the ideas on her boards and the point was the following, as a leader you don’t want to constrain that but you also want to take those lists and help frame it. If you are in a hotel business you’re not in a bowling business, you want to frame it so we’re talking about constraint creativity. You as a leader, and that’s why I said is a leader you have to understand your environment and what the competition is doing, you bring the frame you let their inside work within the frame that you and your colleagues worry about and sometimes they’ll shake your frame. The leadership challenge to you is to understand the world you live in understand the context of your business understand your competition so you can frame the process and they work within that frame. 


Jim Rembach:    It’s almost like really the art of divergent and convergent thinking.


Samuel Bacharach:    That’s right, that’s right, you’re good the idea is exactly that. Currently right now we’re running a two days tutoring session where we’re taking a group of people Lida gave it to them all much in a moment and what being run right now in fact though we take we started with


the leadership team put out all their broad ideas, the framed ideas, they’re just brought team which is in converging, we’re now taking group about 30 people would you believe in their room, they put all the ideas on the board now the leadership team comes back together and we all now begin to converge. We look at what’s on there, and convergence to me has to do with beneath the themes how many ideas can we instill down? It is exactly that. One of the things that I think we forget, and I discussed it and not to plug the book, and that is exactly why I talk in the book as leading for ideation. That ideation not occur without that some tightness if needed. I hope your participants is not thinking the two of us having like one super intellectual trip here. But it is neither important question for people to think about I mean they really are. Think of you own world, again I go back how much control do you want to have? When do you choke your organization to death? Or when do you—you have no guidance at all. Many of our corporations—if you go back to Kodak for example, you go back to Kodak and really look, everybody talks about Kodak. When we pictures today lets go and ask Kodak. The point is if you go back to the organizations that blockbusters and you begin to realize at the heart of all of these things is leaders not dealing with these type of issue. It isn’t because they didn’t get along with their mother and they didn’t have a deeper understanding of life. I’m not a big personality, I believe that personality gets you in the door and the psychological potion gets near the door. Leaders have to listen but why are they listening? They’re listening so they can pick up good ideas and they can work with people move things forward. The world is not simply dictated by your charm you have to have these skills. I have a very executable notion of leadership it’s not simply about this psychic mindset.


Jim Rembach:    As I’m sitting here thinking, wow, going back to your bio and how many things you’ve contributed all of those things I know you’re obviously a very inspirational person. And one of the things that we use on the show are quotes to help inspire us. Is there one or two that you can share that you like?


Samuel Bacharach:    Yeah.  When I left for graduate school, my father passed away, who worked in Brooklyn in a place called Domino Sugar which is now condominium, I left for graduate school to go to the University of Wisconsin, in his old Plymouth and he sit there and he said to me, now you’re going out there—when I grew up out west was Ohio and he said to me, look the only thing I can hope is just try not to screw it up. Every time, whether it’s before this interview, anything else the whole idea is just not to mess it up. To me messing it up is understanding one simple thing, good ideas good intentions are a dime a dozen getting something done is difficult. Sometimes I read or see an idea—thank you for the statement about my career, sometimes I see ideas and what people have accomplished they’re able to take a simple idea and push it so far. Think of something, how many have ever though in your entire life, we all travel with our parents when were younger, how many are in your entire life have ever thought of a concept, Oh, AirBnB, we didn’t think of Air BnB but we all know what B &B what but we didn’t push them, years ago simple notion. 


I sat in my basement in Ithaca, New York with some called bit net it was the Internet, before the Internet. I said, oh, wow this would be a great way of doing libraries and books and I had this idea. Well, folks, there ain’t no there isn’t You can’t screw it up, good ideas are simply not enough you got to get stuff done. And that said, and that’s what I put all my focus on in my work, giving people the capacity in organization and their life to get stuff done.


Jim Rembach:    With the getting new things screwed up things that happens as well and they’re learning on things and we share those on the show about times where we’ve had to get over a hump. Is there a time where you’ve been able to do that that you can share? 


Samuel Bacharach:    Sure, sure. Daily. I think the learning opportunities that we learned them all is from interpersonal relations and interpersonal learning opportunities. I have been very blessed by the people I work with and sometimes I think I’ve been blessed by the fact that every so often they were cursed by my presence. I worked with number of people and one of them is a woman I worked for the last 17 years or something. When she came to work for me I understood how bright I was, because I was a professor, all the time very quickly I understood that I may have the degree but she had the wisdom and the sweet spot and we became a great team. We became a great team because of hopefully our capacity to listen to each other to tell each other to shut the heck up and I think you learned from interpersonal stuff. But the one person, I want to share with you very quickly on learning—when I came to Cornell many, many years ago, and I mean many, many years ago, there was a woman working and I made phone calls, long-distance phone calls you folks remember what long-distance phone calls were? I made long distance phone calls, the reason I made this long distance phone calls, I was only there for six months but my heart was broken my dead girlfriend was living in Switzerland so I made this long distance phone calls. The woman that is in charge of the office call me and said to me, you’re not supposed to be making long-distance phone call from your office without permission. I got irate. I said, I’m a professor here and I walked up the stairs and said, and as I got up the stairs I remembered my father and I walked down stairs and I apologized to her. Here’s the point, a year and a half later I received the grant and the then dean, who was a dear friend of mine many years ago tell me that he would give me like 1/10th of something of my salary and I should be thankful for it. This woman calls me a few days later and said, I got to talk to you, and she said between you and me, she said, you’re entitled to 2/10th salary go back and negotiate. I went back and negotiate and got 2/10th salary. Had I not apologized to her had I been the same arrogant s.o., whatever you guys want to call it on polite terms, I never would have got next to money. Had I not learned to work with my colleagues in this office I couldn’t publish about my colleagues if my life depend on it. So my career has been based on that that’s the stuff I’ve learned. The interpersonal stuff, leaders listen leaders apologize but leaders also move agendas. 


Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader legion were with Dr. Samuel Bacharach and let’s take a quick message we’re going to come back for the hump day hoedown. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor. 


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Jim Rembach:     Alright Fast Leader legion it’s time for the Hump day Hoedown. Okay, Samuel, the Hump day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Dr. Samuel Bacharach, are you ready to hoedown? 


Samuel Bacharach:    Sounds a little too ready, since I’ve never been to a hoedown I will fake this real good. 


Jim Rembach:    What do you holding you back from being an even better leader today?


Samuel Bacharach:    A sense of insecurity.


Jim Rembach:    What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?


Samuel Bacharach:    Believe in the people you work with. 


Jim Rembach:    What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?


Samuel Bacharach:     I know that I’m not the smartest person in the room.


Jim Rembach:    What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?


Samuel Bacharach:     I can work with a team and I stand by context. 


Jim Rembach:    What would be one book that you’d recommend to our legion it could be from any genre, of course we’re going to put a link to Transforming the Clunky Organization on your show notes page as well. 


Samuel Bacharach:     The one book outside of my books which I like, there is one book and that that book is actually an interesting book it’s a book called, Big Enough to be Inconsistent. It’s a book about Abraham Lincoln and the emancipation proclamation and the whole notion of what was going in his mind as he was dealing with the emancipation proclamation as a leader. The book is called, Big Enough to be Inconsistent.


Jim Rembach:     Okay Fast Leader Legion you could find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to Okay, Samuel, this is my last hump day hoedown question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you can take all the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but can’t take everything back you can only choose one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?


Samuel Bacharach:     Empathy, nothing else, that’s what I’ll take back. Being empathetic to people. Empathy is the one skill I would take back with me.


Jim Rembach:     Why?


Samuel Bacharach:     Because empathy is the key to everything. It’s the key to political success, emotional success and social success. If I understand where other people are coming from I understand their aspirations their pain. Whether I understand that in organization as a leader and say what other divisions are coming from. I understand where the businesses are coming from. Where I understand in my own personal life, where my children are coming from where my wife is coming from what if I understand in my own world where my friends are coming from where if I understand where my allies and my enemies are coming from I am empowered and I’m empower myself by understanding either. People think empathy is a touchy-feely notion and it is the key to success political success economic success and social success, the only thing I would take with me is empathy


Jim Rembach:    Dr. Samuel Bacharach it was an honor to spend time with you today can you please share with the Fast Leader legion how they can connect with you?


Samuel Bacharach:     Yeah, you can get me at or samuel.bacharach, I always welcome a little chat and some email exchanges. 


Jim Rembach:    Samuel Bacharach, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over to so we can help you move onward and upward faster.