"Leveraging 'Soft Skills' in Leadership Development" - An Interview with Rebecca Zucker | The Transformative Leader Podcast 031

In this episode of The Transformative Leader Podcast, I am pleased to bring you an interview with Rebecca Zucker, co-founder and partner at Next Step Partners, about the importance of and rationale behind focusing on “soft skills” in professional leadership development, executive coaching, consulting, and training. In this interesting discussion, Rebecca draws on her years of experience and multiple certifications to explain how and why she integrates elements of introspection, existential insight, social psychology, cognitive behavioral theory, dialogical analysis, coherence therapy, and so on, as tools to successfully guide organizations and individuals in overcoming challenges and meeting their full potential.


If none of the terms above sound familiar, don’t worry, because regular listeners and fellow “intrapreneurs“ who champion “soft skills” will recognize them as practices they have been engaging in all along. One of the most surprising and eye-opening parts of the talk for me was when Rebecca was describing the concepts of one of the methdologies she uses in her practice, “Immunity to Change.“ It was clear that Rebecca was a kindred spirit before this, but after hearing how similar many of these concepts were to the ideas we use here at The Ghannad Group, even down to the terminology and examples, I was amazed. The fact that there was a whole leadership and consulting firm championing these concepts on a large scale gave me hope for the future of corporate leadership and workplace culture, and I’m sure the same can be said for listeners. If anyone wants to know what it is like to essentially live the dream of so many of us who have struggled in vain for years to convince our bosses that this was the right approach to extraordinary results and morale in the organization, then this episode is for you.

Rebecca graduated as valedictorian from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at NYU and later received her MBA from Stanford. She then worked as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs in New York and held leadership positions at Disney EMEA in Paris and at Robertson Stephens. As an expert in executive coaching as well as leadership and career development, Rebecca has coached leaders across the globe, from high-potential managers to C-level executives. Rebecca’s clients include Amazon, Bain & Company, Clorox, DocuSign, Dropbox, eBay, Expedia, First Republic Bank, Google, The Hewlett Foundation, Lending Club, Nielsen, The Skoll Foundation and Stanford’s Distinguished Careers Institute, among other organizations. She has conducted hundreds of workshops on leadership and career development, is a contributor to Harvard Business Review and Forbes.com and is frequently quoted in the press on career and leadership issues.

To learn more, visit Next Step Partners, check out their free leadership resources and free ebook on 10 tips to get the most out of coaching. You can also read Rebecca’s articles at Harvard Business Review and Forbes. You can purchase her book, The Career Handbook for Working Professionals, on the Next Step Partner’s website. You can also connect with Rebecca on Twitter, @rszucker, and LinkedIn, @rebecca-zucker-nsp.

Listen here and head over to iTunes or Stitcher to subscribe to my feed and download today's episode.

About the Author: Amir Ghannad is an international keynote speaker, author of The Transformative Leader, leadership consultant, culture transformation champion, and founder of The Ghannad Group. He has made it his life's work to guide leaders and equip them with the tools, skills, and the mindset necessary to create extraordinary workplace cultures that deliver breakthrough results. Download his free e-book, titled 5 Practical Steps to Make Your Culture Transformation Stick by clicking here.

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Want to get in touch with Amir? Email amir@theghannadgroup.com

As always, have a great week! May you Boldly Declare, Courageously Pursue, and Abundantly Achieve the Extraordinary!

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