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098: Authentic Leadership and the Crucible’s Gift with Dr. James Kelley

James Kelly - bio - pic

Dr. James Kelley is the host of the Executives After Hours podcast, where he states, “I care about who you are, not what you do. Because who you are defines what you do.” James’ new book, The Crucible’s Gift, introduces lessons from 140 diverse leaders who demonstrated the art of living more authentically.

Combining these rich, raw and insightful stories with his knowledge of business and psychology—as well as his candid accounts of what he has learned from his personal crucibles—Kelley shows how to transform what holds you back into traits that will propel you forward, encouraging you to step fully into your life.

One of the things I really like about James is that he’s transparent….he puts it all out there. He was extremely honest in this interview. In today’s episode we discuss his crucibles, including the one that made the biggest impact in his life, authentic leadership and some powerful stories from his book.

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss:
  • The Crucible’s Gift not only encompasses his personal story but consistent themes that kept coming up with interviewing 140 leaders experiencing challenges (crucibles) followed by growth.
  • 9 times out of 10 it’s our lack of self-confidence (not anyone else’s) that inhibits our ability to accomplish our goals.
  • What are the positives out of each crucible you face? What do you want to take with you moving forward and what do you want to leave behind?
  • Being an authentic leader doesn’t mean you get to be a jerk. Authenticity comes when leader’s public and private selves are as close as possible.
  • Authentic leadership creates a psychologically safe environment (and improves employee well-being).
  • When a leader found a way to embrace their crucible moment, it helped them develop their self-awareness.
  • Positive micro moments of meaning = have multiplier effects within an organization
Mentioned in this episode:

His first interview with me (ep. 54)


Article on Authentic Leadership and Well-being:

Full Bio:

Dr. James Kelley is currently an Assistant Professor of Marketing at United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain, UAE. Dr. Kelley is also the author of the forthcoming book (April 2018) The Crucible’s Gift: 5 lessons from Authentic Leaders who thrive in adversity. James is the Co-founder of the GCC Well-Being association in the U.A.E, and the podcast host of Executives After Hours.

Previously, James was an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Saint Joseph’s University. James completed his Ph.D. in International Marketing at the University of Western Australia, in Perth, Australia. James and his wife Mary, and his four kids and live just outside of Dubai where he teaches, writes, and produces a bi-weekly podcast Executives After Hours.


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