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Navigating Leadership and Management With "Mojo"

Episode #1105: In this episode of the Arete Coach Podcast, Philip Liebman, an Executive Leadership Coach, Speaker, Author, and CEO, shares his lessons on leadership from operating multiple businesses as well as lessons he’s learned throughout his coaching journey. Tune in for exclusive insight from Philip’s 15 years as a Vistage Chair, his transition to ALPS Leadership (Advanced Leadership Performance Systems), the lessons he learned from his early years in business, and his experience studying under Lee Thayer.



About Philip Liebman

Philip Liebman is an Executive Leadership Coach, Speaker, Author, and CEO/Founder of ALPS Leadership (Advanced Leadership Performance Systems). Philip has been leading ALPS and helping top executives improve their leadership skills since 2016. Before ALPS, Philip was a Vistage Chair and a Vistage International Speaker for 15 years. Philip has held several executive leadership positions such as the Founder and CEO of both Eco Media and the BullFrog Group. He has been the Executive Vice President of ON Networks and the Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Toymax International.


Today, Philip continues executive coaching, speaking, mentoring, training, and writing through ALPS and serves on the President’s Council Board for St. Thomas Aquinas College.


Philip helps CEOs and other business leaders work together to become exceptionally competent and create significant value for themselves, their companies, and their communities. He helps them cultivate what he calls “mojo,” or moments of overwhelming joy.

Key highlights


The mind as a tool

Timestamp 05:19


After discussing Philip’s journey to executive coaching, Severin introduces the concept of imposter syndrome and additional insight from Adam Grant. Philip comments on imposter syndrome, sharing that when running a company at 35 years old, he had a “horrible fear that someone would take a look and see how… unprepared” he was. He explains that during these times he was able to have an “outward persona that looks calm,” despite his fear at the time. In such moments of fear, Philip used his mind as a tool to prepare for future scenarios and meetings. Severin adds to this by stating the importance of “preparing the mind” as well as “the openness of the mind, the readiness, the ability to accept whatever environment we’re in.”


Exploring leadership and management

Timestamp 15:58


In discussing the difference between leadership and management, Philip shares an insightful quote from Grace Margaret Hopper, “You cannot manage people. You manage things. You must lead people.” Philip explains that this quote defines the difference between leadership and management “perfectly.” Philip explains that “leadership” is “pure art, it’s pure performance,” and it’s “about getting things done.” He explains that a part of leadership is “getting people to make wise decisions for themselves about their work.”


Health in all areas of life

Timestamp 27:57


When asked what Philip has learned about health and how it impacts his outlook in life, Philip shares that “health is really important.” Philip and Severin discuss Philip’s experiences with healthcare and the importance of health. Philip shares that he made the decision, “that who we are is a function of how healthy we are on every front.” He states that “health is so incredibly important in my practice and as a Chair, as I work in coaching… I don’t think you can be effective as a leader unless you can lead your life in all areas that matter most and health matters more than just about anything else.”


Creating mojo

Timestamp 32:28


From his working with Lee Thayer and his own coaches, Philip was encouraged to discover his “why” for executive coaching. Philip found that his “why” was to “[create] ripples of influence and competence in the world” so he could “bring… joy to the world.” Philip believes that there is an “innate human need for joy” and that “when we are competent and we accomplish things that matter, that satisfaction is a predictable form of joy.” Philip connects this to the role of a leader.

Powerful quotes

Timestamp 38:36


Philip shares a powerful quote from Lee Thayer who said, “people prefer problems they can’t solve to solutions they don’t like.” When asked about other quotes or mantras he uses in his coaching, Philip shares several quotes that are an inspiration to him. From DaVinci, “it had long come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them.” Additionally, Abraham Lincoln, “It’s a sin to be silent when it’s your duty to protest.” In light of these quotes, Philip shares his belief that “the men and women who run small businesses and mid-size businesses are heroes. They do more to influence and benefit society in terms of the cultural and social and economic needs of people than government, governance, or public policy ever has… They do it by happening to things. They do it by creating opportunity.”


The three C’s

Timestamp 45:27


When asked about a recent learning he wishes he learned earlier on, Philip shares that “not everybody is coachable.” Today, he looks for three standards when deciding who to coach; are they curious, caring, and capable? Philip states that curiosity is the most important aspect as it also relates to their ability to “accept being wrong,” “to find challenge compelling,” and “understand that questions are more valuable than answers.” He also shares that the “caring” aspect is a question of “do they care about what I care about?” He sees this measure in this light because he can be the “most beneficial” as a coach to those who care about the same things as him. In terms of “capability,” Philip is referencing having the time and resources available to invest in the coaching process.

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