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Unleashed - How to Thrive as an Independent Professional

May 31, 2017

Our guest today is Mike Feiner, who has been an influential figure in my own life since I took his class High Performance Leadership at Columbia Business School.

Mike is now on his fourth career.

He was the Worldwide Chief People Officer at Pepsi – so the head of HR and the top advisor on all people matters to the CEO.

Here is a factoid: in the last three years, according to The New CEO Report by Feigen Advisors, 81 individuals have ascended to the CEO role. in the Fortune 250.  Of those 81, eight of the CEOs had worked previously at Pepsi, several of them while Mike was the head of HR.  Something special was clearly going on.

After Pepsi, Mike developed and taught one of the most popular courses ever at Columbia Business School.

While he loved teaching, after ten years he wanted a new challenge and took the role of Senior Managing Director at Irving Place Capital where he Lead firm's efforts in guiding portfolio company management teams build, grow & develop their leaders & managers.

And now Mike is an independent professional, serving as a consultant to CEOs and senior leaders.

Mike is also the author of the bestselling The Feiner Points of Leadership: The 50 Basic Laws that will make people want to perform better for you. I’ve given out copies of this book dozens of times – it is the most practical book on what leadership is that I’ve ever read.

In our wide ranging conversation, we talk about how to apply these basic laws of leadership as an independent professional

We talk about the Law of Intimacy, the Law of Feedback, the Law of Professional Commitment, the Law of the Emperor’s Wardrobe, and more.

Mike’s been a lifelong runner, running nearly every day for over 40 years, and we also talk about his suggestion that business professionals need to think of themselves as Professional Athletes. We’re in a marathon, not a sprint, and we need to think about personal fitness, broadly conceived – exercise, diet, sleep, mindfulness all factor into our long term success as much, if not more than our knowledge of valuation methodologies or the latest digital marketing techniques.

You can read more about Mike’s work on his website,