The Leap to Leader: How Ambitious Managers Make the Jump to Leadership – Adam Bryant

Bill Gallagher

The playbook for navigating the transition from manager to leader has only become more difficult in recent years. Today’s guest understands the challenges leaders face and what it takes to be an effective leader in today’s workplace.


Adam Bryant is the senior managing director of The ExCo Group, a leadership development and executive mentoring firm. He is a respected and noted expert on executive leadership who has interviewed more than 1,000 leaders for the “Corner Office” series he created at The New York Times and for his four current leadership series on LinkedIn — with CEOs, CHROs, board directors, and prominent Black leaders.


After years of interviewing CEOs about their business strategies, Adam pivoted toward what he found to be a much more interesting topic — how leaders get to where they are. The key distinctions between managers and leaders are highlighted in Adam’s new book, The Leap to Leader. Adam encourages anyone who is considering making the leap to write down three questions — what is the difference between management and leadership, do you really want to lead, and who are you as a leader? The answers to each of these questions will help identify your strengths and potential as an effective leader.


There are three key currencies of effective leadership. Insights, storytelling, and framework are the languages that leaders speak to connect with and inspire their teams. Leaders are the chief storytellers who provide a sense of alignment and shared narrative for the team. If your team can quote you or copy what you are always saying, you’re doing your job right.


Quiet quitting, return to office, and the great resignation have posed incredible new challenges for leaders. The human element of leadership requires leading from the front unless you are told to lead from the back. The contradictory advice that comes to leaders abounds, and Adam’s advice is to remain cautious and simplify — but not oversimplify — the challenges of leadership.


Interview Links:

Adam Bryant



Growth Navigator Coaching

Scaling Up Summits (Select Bill Gallagher as your coach during registration for a discount.)

Bill on YouTube

Recruiter.com Short List (use code scaleup)


Scaling Up is the best-selling book by Verne Harnish and our team for Scaling Up Coaches (formerly Gazelles). We share how the fastest-growing companies succeed where so many others fail.


Bill Gallagher, Scaling Coach and host of the show, is an international business coach who works with C-Suite leaders to achieve breakthrough growth.


We help leadership teams with the biggest decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth. Scaling Up is based on Verne’s original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.


Did you enjoy today’s episode? If so, then please leave a review! Help other business leaders discover the Scaling Up Business Podcast so they, too, can benefit from the ideas shared in these podcasts.

Check out this episode!

Loved this? Spread the word