The Agile Leader With Chuck Mollor


Join Tony Martignetti and Chuck Mollor as they delve into agile leadership and why it’s an important quality, especially during the COVID 19 crisis. Chuck Mollor is the founder, CEO, advisor, and executive coach at MCG Partners, an organization that helps develop leaders and teams, optimizing both businesses and individual talent. His new book, The Rise of the Agile Leader: Can You Make the Shift? provides a roadmap for aspiring leaders, emphasizing the need for flexibility and humility in leadership. He reveals his background, noting what moments and details led him to be the person he is today and how he overcame trials and tribulations, mistakes, and failure. He speaks about his mother’s resilience and optimism and how he has tried to keep the same attitude. He stresses the importance of curiosity and humility and notes important learnings over the years.


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The Agile Leader With Chuck Mollor

It is my honor to introduce you to my guest, Chuck Mollor. He is Founder, CEO, Executive Coach and Advisor at MCG Partners. He’s the author of the best-selling book, The Rise of The Agile Leader: Can You Make the Shift?. MCG Partners specializes in leadership and talent optimization, aligning business and people strategy for maximum results. In his former role as a global CEO and member of several executive teams, he gained a breadth of experience with general management, P&L responsibilities and ran, built, started and restructured several businesses. He serves on several boards. He’s also a cranberry grower and Owner of Ocean Spray, a fundraiser and rider for the Pan-Mass Challenge, a 192-mile bike ride that raises money for the fight against cancer. He lives near Boston, Massachusetts with his wife, 4 children and 2 dogs. I want to welcome you to the show, Chuck.

Thank you, Tony. It’s a pleasure to be here.

I’m looking forward to getting a feel for how you came to this point in your life, all the amazing things you’ve been up to. Congratulations on the publishing of your book. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and dig in.

Thank you. I appreciate that. It was a wonderful experience.

I’m sure it’s not all easy but the overall experience was wonderful.

It was not easy. They say it takes a village to do things in life, including raising children. It’s the same thing about writing a book. I had some wonderful people that helped me with the production, editing, formatting and the overall concept. I had some terrific help.

I can’t wait to see what impact or ripple effect it has on the people who are reading it because you have so much experience that you bring to bear into the space. Let’s dig in. I want to tell you, first of all, how we roll the show is that we talk about what’s called flashpoints, which are points in people’s stories that ignite their gifts to the world. Sometimes there’s one and there’s many. It could start as early as your childhood or anywhere along your journey. I’d love to have you share what you’re called to share. We’ll pause along the way and see what comes up. I’m going to pass it on to you, Chuck, and see where you want to go. I’m looking forward to hearing your story.

There’s always something to learn.

It’s a great concept. I appreciate you allowing me to share and giving me this guide on how to approach this. I’ll do the best I can. It goes back to probably for a lot of us where it all began, which is growing up. I was fortunate to have an amazing mother who had some tough challenges. My mother grew up during World War II in Europe. She had some real tough challenges getting through that, as many people did. We all know from history books and for anyone us who can talk to relatives that went through that experience. She and my father were married in Europe then moved to this country. My father was living in the US. He also was an immigrant so I’m a first-generation American. I spoke another language before I spoke English.

I learned how to speak English in school. My mother, with all the challenges she’s had in her life, including the passing of her own father then father was killed in a car accident when myself and my two younger sisters were only about 2.5, 1.5 and 6 months old. My mother broke her back shortly after. They didn’t think she’d ever going to walk again. If you met my mother, she has this personality and connection with people where you thought she’d have the most amazing life. You would never know of all the hardship, challenges and pain that she’s had. She comes across as someone that is at peace with herself. Now, she continues to live that way where she is a connecting and giving person.

The reason I share that because even though it took me quite some time to get there in my life, I realized that at some point, I wanted to give back, share and be able to take some of those experiences I’ve had in my career and in my personal life. Also, help others be successful and get to that next level of success in life. I don’t mean success necessarily financially but just in life. With my background and skillset, I channeled that in terms of how I work with leaders, leadership teams and helping not only them but their organizations. That early experience was very transformational for me because I experienced some of those challenges being my mother’s son and having her deal with those hardships and how they impacted our family.

I struggled going through life. We were humble means, my mother tries to get by raising the three of us. I was fortunate to appreciate what we had and what we didn’t have. I learned from an early age how to become self-sufficient and independent. I’ve been that way since I can remember. My first job was as a paperboy probably around ten. I don’t think I’ve stopped working since. That experience helped shape and influence me tremendously.

It’s beautiful because there’s an element of the environment the boy grew up in that shaped who you became. It’s great to have good role models, even though it may not on the surface seem like all this is a role model I’m looking up to. It happened by what you’re exposed to. When you say that you want to become a person who could then shape other people, it’s almost a natural progression because you’re exposed to that type of mentality of this is how you live, this is how you operate and you wanted to give back. That’s beautiful. I do want to ask and this is digging a little deep. What country was your family originally from?

My mother grew up in Switzerland, even though she’s not originally from there. That’s where my grandparents had raised her, her twin sister and her younger brother. My father was born in Vienna, Austria and lived there to probably early teens then my grandparents moved him and his younger sister and older brother to New Jersey, which is where I was born.

Have you ever taken the journey back to see where it all began, the family roots?

VCP 61 | Agile Leader

For lots of reasons, my family history is not clear. One of my to-do’s in life is to try to do a deeper dig in terms of understanding the roots of my ancestry and my family backgrounds, both my mother and father’s side. To answer the other part of your question, I’ve been back. I’ve been fortunate both professionally and personally to be able to travel extensively in life. I’ve been fortunate to see those countries and visit family especially my mother’s side of the family overseas. It’s been a great experience.

Tell me more about the journey of becoming who you are. You grew up in this family, nice, strong role models. What else happened along your journey that shaped who you are?

At least for me, my life, if I look back, I would break it down into phases. There’s growing up in one consistent phase. Early in life, I developed a sense of resilience, optimism, overcoming hurdles and obstacles because my mother had plenty. My mother was a great role model but she also had lots of issues and challenges herself in her journey. Some of those are positive experiences. Some of those are not so positive experiences that you absorb and learn from. At least personally, it took me a while to mature. I always joke with my children to this day that I remember years ago when my middle daughter was probably nine, she looked at me and said, “Dad, when are you going to grow up?”

I looked at her, kidding aside, say, “Never.” A lot of people think I’m serious. I have a kid mentality sometimes. Keeping yourself young is healthy. I went through various phases in life. I had some experiences in high school that were very challenging. College was relatively quiet. Like a lot of kids who go to college, not sure what they want to do. I came out of school thinking I wanted to be in business. I thought I was going to go to law school, which I decided not to do. I took my first business policy course and the light bulb went off. I knew early on I wanted to learn the business.

I like the dynamics of organizations, culture, leaders, people, mergers, acquisitions and all the different cycles that businesses go through and learning about an industry. I recognized early on, even necessarily the light bulb hadn’t got off yet, I liked to learn. I didn’t apply it effectively early in my life. It took me a while for that to get going, honestly, Tony. I’ve been lucky whereas I started to mature, get older, started getting more ambitions and started to find a sense of who I was and what my purpose was in life, I wanted to learn. I also wanted to demonstrate that I could be successful. That’s what happens to a lot of people, depending on what generation you’re in, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, you need to shift.

I always joke with some of my clients and friends that I spent my 20s and 30s trying to prove to everybody how smart and capable I was. When I finally got to my 40s, I realized how little I knew. That’s what happens for some of us in that. For me, how I got to become an executive coach, which was never on my to-do list, was I had my own leadership challenges. I was always good at getting results and building businesses. I had some great experiences throughout my career in consulting, doing strategy work, change management and M&A work running practices and projects. I got to a point where my boss asked me one day if I ever had a 360 assessment. For those who already know what a 360 is, which is to get feedback from your key stakeholders in a confidential setting and compare that to how you see yourself.

It’s a development tool to understand how self-aware you are. Are there gaps in terms of how others see you and where there are opportunities to develop? This is years ago. I remember to my shock and dismay, I got some tough feedback. Not only was I probably defensive and devastated like a lot of people are making it a 360. I’m facetious. I was so mature that my reaction to my boss, who was the CEO, is like, “Screw all these people,” because of all my great results. I said that somewhat tongue-in-cheek, probably more serious than I should have been. He laughed. He goes, “I knew that you were going to say that. You have one question for yourself, Chuck.”

No matter what you do for a living, you have to always be curious in life.

I remember this advice to this day. He said, “You’re always going to be successful in your life and career because you care about people like you. You work hard and get results. You’ve got a great drive and passion. You want to do what’s right but you understand the management part of your job. You don’t understand the leadership part of your job. You have to make a decision. If you ever want to get to my level or you want to continue to grow, you need to understand leadership. Why don’t you think about it for a week or two and come back?” I did. I never got an executive coach but I did acknowledge that I need to understand what this means for me.

I started going through a pretty transformational phase of, “What does this mean for me? Not only do I need to learn academically, philosophically, and mythology-wise what leadership is. What does it mean for me personally?” That started that journey and investment in that. Fast forward, I ended up becoming a CEO and frankly, becoming a better leader. I can’t say I was a great leader by becoming a much better leader than I previously had been. Fast forward, I decided to start my own firm back in 2007.

Sure enough, I wanted to be in the leadership talent management space because I had been in that space for the last many years. I said, “What am I going to do in this firm? It’s just me.” That’s why I decided, after reflecting on my career and background, the question for me was, “Where can I add the greatest value?” I thought of coaching and advising others. I do both when they’re different would be the best role for me. That’s how I got to where I am.

One of the things that I caught there was this element of everyone goes to that stage where you flip that turn and you say, to borrow the term, ”What got me here is not going to get me there. I need to reflect on, am I comfortable taking that next step and knowing what I don’t know?” I love how you put it about there are certain stages you’re going in. The stage of the 20s and 30s where you’re like, “I’m going to go and do my thing, keep on rising and pushing the envelope.” At some point, you realize that there are gaps that end up being created by you not seeing the things you don’t see.

I like that transition because a lot of people go through that process. Getting a 360 for the first time can be a rude awakening for a lot of folks because you don’t know what you don’t know. That’s a powerful inflection point. Tell me more about the early days of deciding, “I’m going to go off and do my own thing.” You had already had a lot of success with being at the C level, a leader. Was it an easy transition to go out on your own or was it something that was like, “I don’t know how to navigate the waters on my own?” What were the biggest challenges at that stage of the game for you?

For me, I was fortunate where I had built practices and had helped build businesses. Some of them are boutiques. Some of them in being part of larger companies where I built practice or capability from the ground floor. I had a lot of confidence in my ability to do that. Having done business development and run sales before I became a CEO. Back in the mid-‘90s, literally with a desk. This is before the internet and cell phones, it’s literally like, “Here’s a desk and a phone. Good luck.” That was my sales training. It was for a small boutique firm. It took me about a year to figure out what to do and what not to do. Granted, I took such a huge salary cut. It’s a little risk for them but I was close to settling down and getting married.

I was highly motivated to try to figure this out quickly. Timing is everything. I hit an economy that started to ramp up. This is right before the dot-com bubble burst but the economy from ‘96 to ‘99 was unbelievable. That was helpful. By no means was that the only factor but I was able to build something from the ground floor and build my practice pretty successfully. A lot of these experiences had given me the confidence to say, “I can do this.” The challenge for me is I haven’t delivered anything to a client in almost a decade. That was probably the bigger challenge. I felt pretty comfortable and confident opening doors but a bit early about how to deliver because I wasn’t sure. I knew I didn’t want to be a big firm.

VCP 61 | Agile Leader

The reason I didn’t want to open up offices, I wanted to keep the boutique as my daughters’. My three daughters at the time were young. I don’t want to be an absentee father. I want to be the father I didn’t have because my father died when I was young. It’s a combination of I was bored and I get bored pretty easily. I needed something that was going to keep me stimulated. Wearing multiple hats made a lot of sense. Build a practice, figure out whether you want employees or not and then see where it goes. Learn to be a coach, see if someone’s going to hire you and then find some contractors, 10 to 9 individual adjunct consultants and partners to help me deliver work that I would bring in. That’s literally what I did for the first two years.

If you remember, good timing on my part, 2007, the economy was starting to decline. The biggest crash we’ve ever had. Timing is everything but as I always tell people, “There’s no place to go except up.” I was already at ground zero. I could have gotten negative but I had that mindset that, “I don’t have to build something. I’ll bring in business. I got to make sure I can deliver.” I felt comfortable because I knew the space and the marketplace but because I was starting cold turkey, I had to reestablish relationships and a value proposition pretty quickly, which I was fortunate that I was able to do.

There’s something there about the way you described this which made me think about how you’re getting into something where you have an interest. You have a passion. Passion is a weird word to mention because sometimes it can be blurred but you want to make sure that it doesn’t overcome you. This is the entrepreneurial curse, where oftentimes, people get into a business that they started themselves but you don’t want it to overcome you and burn you out or become something that is a “calling” then it becomes a job that you almost regret. I found that from your story. You cautiously went down this path of like, “I want to make sure that I had that balance that makes me be able to do the things I want to do,” but also, you’re treating it like a business. It has to be a full-blown, real, honest to God, good, solid business.

That’s important for anyone that’s considering doing that. There are different models. There’s the individual contributor which most people gravitate toward honestly. That’s hard because as you know, Tony, you’re balancing everything from getting clients, delivering work to developing best practices, staying abreast of the latest and the greatest, developing your own methodology, expertise, your own voice and then balancing your operation and you start adding it all together. I’m fortunate to have those experiences, I knew how to do that. I know how to scale if I wanted to. The last years I did but I still wanted to keep it as a small firm. We have about ten permanent employees and other 20 to 30 adjunct partners that we work with on a consistent basis.

That was the model that I knew I wanted from almost day one. I didn’t want to go beyond that. That was a personal choice I made. I was fortunate because I had those experiences where I decide what I wanted to do, that I had the quality life factor or I want to be able to be home most nights. Whether it’s coaching, going to dance recitals or spending time with my family, I was able to frankly balance all that in some way. I’m not sure balance is the right word. Maybe juggling is a better word. If it’s for me. That’s important. You need to know who you are. We asked that question for our entire life, that never stops.

I knew myself well enough through trials, tribulations, mistakes, failure and errors that I knew what I could do, what I couldn’t do and what people I needed to surround myself with to be successful. One of those people is my wife. Literally, my wife had left Corporate America a year earlier because her father had major heart surgery. She wasn’t sure if he was going to survive. In addition to her professional career, she also was a cranberry grower and farmer. I married into that business. My wife had to leave her professional career to immerse herself in the family farm because in case he didn’t survive she had to figure out where everything was because they’ll open his head. Not much was written down, at least now organized.

He’s a brilliant man but like anybody else, we have our strengths and weaknesses. Thankfully he survived. He’s done great since then but my wife never went back to Corporate America. Instead, she ended up, once I was able to ramp up, help start running our operation. She is my business and life partner. Our cranberry farms, which the two of us have in addition to the business and to the family. Our personal and professional lives are completely intertwined. There’s not a lot of separation there at all. The reason I’m bringing that up for many reasons is when I mentioned my thought about doing this, she’s already out of Corporate America and the economy is going down. I’m not sure this is a good idea. I probably would have done it.” She never hesitated. She said, “Go for it.” Having someone that supports you that way is critical.

If we cannot provide a world-class service, we’re not going to be successful.

There’s something that I hear a lot on the show, I wanted to lean into this, about community and the people that you need along the journey. It’s not a one-person job that one person on their own going and doing something incredible. There are always people who are supporting you along that journey. Hearing that your wife is one of those people who has been an important integral part of this process reassures me that it wasn’t a one-person job. One thing that came up for me is this element of knowing your boundaries. Boundaries are an important thing because they create an element of seeing how far you’re willing to go and how far you know you can go in this process of seeing your business grow from where it is. Also, knowing that you want to spend time with your family, you want to do things outside of your business, and your business is not you. It’s beyond you.

I know for me, I wanted to surround myself with people. I get bored pretty easily but I like collaborating. I get a lot of energy from collaborating with people and developing people as well. We have a diverse population of personalities and backgrounds on our team which creates a lot of good positive energy. It creates challenges sometimes, too, when everyone’s so different but it brings different perspectives, experiences, views and ideas which is healthy. It creates a healthy work environment. We will allow great flexibility so people can balance their personal, family and professional lives. Also, to do the things that they are passionate about. You mentioned the word passion and it’s so important. I share this with the client I had that happens to be running a business that they don’t understand.

It sounds odd but they don’t understand that they didn’t grow up in it. They don’t know it. In this world, I don’t care what the business is. It’s so hard to be successful and create a successful work environment and attract smart, passionate people if you’re not passionate about your business and learning your craft. The world’s too hard now in whatever you do. Being passionate is critical. On the flip side, you’ve got to be practical. I need to be the most passionate person in the world but not only can you generate a life doing it but are you going to be great at it? I don’t mean that in a noxious arrogant way but my standard has always been if I cannot provide a service that’s world-class where we compete against anybody, large firms versus small firms in the marketplace, we’re not going to be successful. I’m proud of our clients. We’ve got several hundred and some of the best companies in the world as clients. We’ve not only even had them once or twice, we’re working with them for years. For me, you have to have goals, a vision and a sense of purpose but you have to have a real practical lens of what you’re going to be capable of doing.

It made me think about your book, Agile Leader. There are a lot of terms around this like what does agile mean in this context? For me, it comes up to this point where you’re starting to balance that element of ensuring you’re getting the stuff done and you’re doing it in a way that doesn’t overstretch you but allows you to have that flexibility and adaptability. I don’t know if that’s the right interpretation. I’d love to hear, in your mind, how do you describe that agile leader?

That was a theme of the book that we landed on. There are two aspects of the book. One is to share the new leadership model we created around being an agile leader, what it is, what it means, how you can become an agile leader and how you develop yourself. I also provide a roadmap of how to be an effective leader or how to get to that next level of leadership in the book. That could be anyone who’s thinking about being a leader or is a leader. It could be mid-level, senior-level or C-level. I wrote in a way where I want someone to get out of it no matter where you were in your career. The word agile, the way we use it is about the dictionary definition.

I’m sure people are probably familiar with agile from a software development standpoint. It gained a lot of traction over the last several years, even though it’s been around for over twenty years. Even though there is parallel to agile software development, agile teams, agile organizations and agile transformation because a lot of companies have taken agile methodology and applied it now in a broader business context. That is applicability in terms of how we think about the word agile and agile leadership to that methodology. Overall, it’s the dictionary definition. What you said is important. It is about flexibility and adaptability. It’s the ability to be able to pivot but there are other key aspects to it. It’s about what does being innovative means, not only as a leader but how you lead and how you create innovation in your organization.

That’s been a real challenge with a lot of CEOs I’ve been working with over the years. It’s being decisive. It’s a combination of you as a leader and your capability being strategic and adaptable or thinking about what the future is going to look like as the world’s changing intensely, that has been for quite some time. The premise of it was that the old leadership models that exist don’t apply anymore. They apply on some level but if you want your leadership teams and your individual leaders to be successful, it’s a different world. COVID has accelerated that because of the virtual workforce, which already existed beforehand but now everyone’s been virtual for the most part but the world, the economy is changing so rapidly. Consumers, focus, attention span and demands are changing at such an intense level.

VCP 61 | Agile Leader

We did research for about 1.5 years. The question I raised years ago to my team was, “What does the future of leadership? We need to figure what that is for us. Let’s have some fun with this. Let’s get curious.” Curiosity is the key capability of any successful person no matter what you do for a living. You have to always be curious in life. For us, our curiosity is trying to come up with what you thought were the parameters of the future of leadership. That was our motivation and our curiosity. We started interviewing CEOs, doing research, and talking to clients. We looked at previous and current research and that’s how we came up with our agile model. It’s pretty comprehensive. If you look at some of the characteristics individually, they don’t seem all that unique. You could argue they’re in a lot of leadership models. When you pack it all together, that’s where the uniqueness comes into play.

It’s so timely. Bringing this at a time when we do need leadership for a different era. It is leading into the future into the great unknown if we will meet great uncertainty. From that perspective, I want to take a moment to step back. What have you taken away from your journey to getting here? What are the things that you’ve learned about yourself that you want to make sure that other people hear for their own journey? Sometimes I frame it as if like, what would you tell your ten years earlier self if you could?

There were a couple of things. Sometimes we can underestimate ourselves. Maintaining that belief in who you are and what you’re here to do is critical. Never get too confident or too focused on who you are and what you’re doing because once you get to that point, you’re opening yourself up for blind spots and potentially not just making mistakes or failure because that’s always going to be part of life. Letting maybe others down or coming across on a level of arrogance or success that’s not going to be effective. This notion of being humble, that there’s always something to learn that you’ve never “arrived.”

I talk about that concept in my book. It’s important. Staying curious, humble and helping others. There are so many examples I put in the book. One of the examples I talk about is for anyone who’s ever been in a serious relationship or even had the privilege of having children, we all can relate. When you’re on your own, the center of the universe is you. When you share that with another person in a very intimate, intense relationship, you’re sharing that universe with somebody else. When you have children or maybe pets because for some, pets are their children, dogs or cats or whatever it may be, they become the center of your universe.

It’s a major shift. Your world is upside down. Managing and leading people is similar. Think about it. Throughout your career, it’s all about you. It’s all about your success, achievement, progress, compensation, bonuses and your visibility. That’s the difference between leading and managing because all of a sudden, when you’re not leading people, they are the center of your universe, at least they should be. It’s about their success. Their success is a reflection of your success. For me, if I had learned that lesson several years ago, I would have probably avoided a lot of mistakes. The other thing is self-awareness. People get caught up in their persona and they worry about how they come across. I talk about this early in the book about the balance of the two-sided coin, self-development and self-acceptance. You have to start with self-acceptance.

If you don’t accept who you are, all your faults, problems, bad habits and the whole list of things that we don’t like about ourselves, finding peace to accept yourself for who you is so critical in life. Life is much easier and enjoyable when you simply accept yourself. It doesn’t mean that you don’t like everything about yourself and you still don’t have things that you have to develop or be more effective in but you have to accept yourself. This whole journey of self-awareness or understanding who you are.

The experience has shaped who you are in your life, why do you respond or handle things the way you do based upon those experiences? Why are certain principles or values based upon those experiences so critical? Who are you behaviorally? What motivates and drives you? What is your personality? What’s your persona? What happens to you under pressure and stress? How do you respond to your environment? Are you able to adapt to different styles of people to help them be successful versus making it about you? Those are probably some of the biggest lessons learned that I wish I knew more many years ago.

Accept yourself and find inner peace because it makes life so much easier.

There are many great insights there. I don’t even know where to begin. I love it especially when you talk about self-acceptance because that’s such a great concept and a lot of people don’t go there. They go immediately to this feeling that they need to keep on moving, getting more of this and more of that. It’s starting with who you are first and, in some way, loving yourself for who you are, accepting it then figuring out what you want to develop more of. It’s fine. That’s the starting point.

The last thing I’ll say to that too is the hardest thing for smart successful people is to stop and say, “I should do something different for future success.” In a lot of ways, either consciously or subconsciously, we’ve built a formula for success in our life holistically. To stop and say, “I need to potentially recalibrate and do something different, do something new,” that’s hard. Sometimes we underestimate not only ourselves individually but for others around us like, “What’s the big deal?” It is a big deal. It’s big for someone to say, “My future success is dependent on doing something different or new or creating a new formula for success.”

That’s a hard thing for people to do. Some people call it reinventing yourself and that’s probably a dramatic or an extreme version of that but that’s what it is. It’s being able to recalibrate and take time for self-reflection, self-development and think about, “Where am I in my journey? What do I need to do differently? How do I need to continue to grow and learn? How do I stretch myself and challenge myself but also what’s the impact I’m trying to make?” It’s going to be a different answer depending on who you are and where you are in life and what you’re trying to do in life. That’s a subjective answer to that question.

The idea of success and the idea of where you want to go is an internal barometer, not an external one. It shouldn’t be. At least I know a lot of people have that external view but we need to keep it on the inside and say, “What is success for me?” Not for what everyone else wants it to be.

Success to me is always a fair word, I use it often. The other keyword and I know everybody thinks that it’s almost an unreachable concept is happiness. What truly is happiness? Do you have to be Steve Jobs and one of the richest people in the world to finally realize what happiness would have been for you and your life? If there’s anything I learned going back to the beginning of my life and with some of the deaths and experiences I, my mother and my family had are you never know what’s going to happen.

Any of us could be hit by a car or a bus or whatever could happen potentially. That’s not meant to be a negative or depressing statement. My point is a lot of people are afraid to live life now because they think they’re planning for the future. Planning for the future is important but make a difference for you and those close around you because you never know what tomorrow is going to look like. That’s my lesson in my earlier life. I had that experience. Sometimes we all fall into the trap of that.

I got one last question for you that is unrelated but it’s always very interesting to hear what people come up with. What’s one book that’s had an impact on you and how you think and why?

There are two books that come to mind. I can’t remember their titles. I was at a stage where I was struggling to find who I was and what my purpose was. I wouldn’t call myself an angry young man but I was struggling. This wise old soul of a teenager handed me this book around the journey. It was a fictional story but it talked about this journey of self-discovery and self-learning. This is even before my 360 feedback but it was an interesting read and getting me to think about myself and going back to self-acceptance but also trying to figure out what my journey was going to be. That had a big impact. On the business side, a book that I enjoyed was the book about Lou Gerstner, who is the CEO of IBM.

VCP 61 | Agile Leader

If people don’t know that story, they now part-time teach at Harvard and there are some famous white papers and case studies about this story. Here’s a guy who came out of running product management, diapers, baby soap and shampoo. It took over still the time in the late ‘80s. The largest technology company in the world at the time, this is before Apple and Microsoft even existed. It was mayday. They were going down and here’s the guy who completely not only saved the company, transformed it, the whole story of how he did that. To me, it was one of the most amazing stories of his journey of how he did that. Both of those have been great books for me.

I’m going to find these books. That’s my search I’m going to share with our readers because they both sound fascinating especially when you think about the Lou Gerstner one. The idea there is it’s the fundamentals of leadership. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, you’re learning these things that can be passed on. You can go and move to other industries and see how they can be transformed. Chuck, this has been amazing, insightful, and inspiring, all of your stories and your insights. Thank you so much for coming to the show.

It’s my pleasure, Tony. I wish you nothing but the best. I’m so thrilled that you’re doing this and sharing different people, backgrounds and stories with the world. Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to do that here.

Thank you. I also want to give people an opportunity to know where they can find you if they wanted to learn more about you.

If anybody wants to reach out to me for whatever reason, you can reach me at If you’re interested in the book, it’s already an Amazon bestseller which is exciting. You can find that on Amazon. It’s The Rise of the Agile Leader: Can You Make the Shift?

I recommend that you check out Chuck’s work. Read his book. I can’t thank you enough for coming to the show. I want to thank our readers for coming on the journey with us. I know you’re leaving with a lot of great insights and some stuff that you can use along your journey of transformation. Thank you all.

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About Chuck Mollor

VCP 61 | Agile LeaderChuck Mollor is the founder, CEO, executive coach, and advisor at MCG Partners. He is the author of his new and best-selling book, "The Rise of The Agile Leader. Can You Make the Shift?", achieving Amazon’s #1 best seller in management. MCG Partners specializes in leadership and talent optimization, aligning business and people strategy for maximum results.

For over 35 years, Chuck has advised, coached, and consulted executives and organizations across industries, from startups to Fortune 500 and not-for-profit organizations.

As a recognized expert in leadership effectiveness, Chuck specializes in coaching and advising senior executives and leadership teams through times of rapid-growth, M&A, and change.

As an executive coach and strategic advisor, Chuck develops leaders to reach their next level and optimizes their abilities, learning, and success. Chuck aligns an organization’s leadership and culture to its business strategy. He helps create a leadership culture reflective of the organization’s purpose, vision, and values.

As a former Harvard Business School executive coach, Chuck provided coaching and advisory services to attending global executives. He is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council, an invitation-only council for leading executive coaches.

In his former role as a global CEO, as a member of several executive teams, Chuck has a breadth of experience with general management, entrepreneurial endeavors, and P&L responsibilities. He has run, built, started, and restructured several businesses. Chuck has led strategy, sales, marketing, product development, operations, HR, and a global partnership of more than 100 consulting firms.

Chuck is a graduate of executive programs at The Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management, and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has a BA in political science and a minor in business administration from Merrimack College. He is an ICF certified executive coach, is a Talent Optimization Consultant in The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment™, and is certified in Hogan and several 360 assessments.

Chuck serves on several boards, is a Cranberry Grower-Owner of Ocean Spray, and a fundraiser and rider for the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC), a 192-mile bike ride for the fight against cancer. Chuck is fortunate to have his wife, four children, and three dogs and is a first generation American.

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