IWCF42 – How To Become The Leader Other People Will Follow

In this episode, we chat with Joshua Spodek, bestselling author of Leadership Step by Step, to discuss leadership, transitioning from a physicist to entrepreneur, and why community matters in business. 

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👤 About Joshua Spodek

Joshua Spodek is the bestselling author of Leadership Step by Step, an Adjunct Professor at NYU, leadership coach and workshop leader for Columbia Business School, columnist for Inc., and founder of
He has led seminars in leadership, entrepreneurship, creativity, and sales at Harvard, Princeton, MIT, the New York Academy of Science, and in private corporations. He holds five Ivy League degrees, including a PhD in Astrophysics and an MBA, and studied under a Nobel Prize winner.
And if that wasn’t impressive enough, he has visited North Korea twice, swam across the Hudson River, and has done burpees every day for six years, 90,000+ and counting.

“Everyone knows how to be authoritarian, but not everyone knows how to lead.”

“Just because you can measure something, doesn’t make it more important.”

“Learning is learning, whether it’s through technology or not.”

🎧 Episode Summary

  • Why leadership can’t be taught and why it has to be experienced
  • How Joshua transitioned from being a physicist to an entrepreneur
  • Why the “smartest” people are often those who comply the most at school
  • The difference between leadership and authority (don’t confuse the two)
  • Why community work is often called “soft” in the business world
  • How Joshua found himself in North Korea and why he’s so passionate about leadership coaching
  • … and more!


🔥 Rapid Fire Questions

Favorite book? Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (adapted by Ron Hogan)

Favorite quote

“The dancer is realistic. His craft teaches him to be. Either the foot is pointed or it is not. No amount of dreaming will point it for you. This requires discipline, not drill, not something imposed from without, but discipline imposed by you yourself upon yourself. … Your goal is freedom. But freedom may only be achieved through discipline. In the studio you learn to conform, to submit yourself to the demands of your craft, so that you may finally be free.” ~Martha Graham

What do the words “it will come” mean? “It will come if you work at things, if you put the effort in.”

If you could choose any animal to be, what would you be and why? Platypus.

Any final piece of advice?  Check out

📌 Reference List

Below is a list of links referenced in the episode:

Connect with Joshua on social media 👉 LinkedIn / Twitter

👌 Cool Quotes

Also published on Medium.

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