#059: What I Learned About Leadership from a Fight with My Wife [Podcast]

My wife, Gail, and I have been married for thirty-five years. She is my lover, my best friend, and my coach. But a few months ago we had a doozy of a fight.

As I was reflecting on that experience, I thought to myself, How can we avoid slipping into this same conflict in the future?

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I want to share five lessons I jotted down from that experience. I believe they apply in any situation—even work—where you are trying to resolve a conflict.

  1. Clarify our expectations up front.
  2. Assume the best about each other.
  3. Affirm the priority of the relationship.
  4. De-personalize the problem.
  5. Listen more than you talk.

What does a fight with my wife have to do with leadership? Well, as it turns out, everything. If you can’t lead yourself, you can’t lead others. And if you can’t learn to manage conflict with those closest to you, you can’t possibly expect to manage it with those who have less of a stake in the outcome.

Listener Questions

  1. Amanda Vosloh asked, “If and when is it appropriate for married couples working in the same field to market and promote themselves together?”
  2. Charles Pobee-Mensah asked, “How do you view a husband’s role as different from that of a wife in a marriage?”
  3. Kevin Bemel asked, “What do you see as the differences between leading a family and leading a business?”
  4. Steve Spillman asked, “How do you and Gail discuss and perhaps disagree about a business matter without it affecting your personal relationship?”

Special Announcements

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  3. My next podcast will be on the topic of “How Do Busy Leaders Find Time for Social Media?” If you have a question on this subject, please leave me a voicemail message. This is a terrific way to cross-promote your blog or website, because I will link to it, just like I did with the callers in this episode.

Episode Resources

In this episode I mentioned several resources, including:

Show Transcript

You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode herecourtesy of Ginger Schell, a professional transcriptionist, who handles all my transcription needs.

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Question: What has your own marriage taught you about leadership?

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