Tom DeLong is a renown expert in organizational behavior, leadership, and human development of high performance professionals, the so called “soft skills” often dismissed in the asset management business. After starting an academic career under the wing of Stephen Covey, Tom found himself recruited by John Mack to work alongside him to develop a positive culture at Morgan Stanley. After eight years in the trenches, he returned to academia as a professor at Harvard Business School, where he has remained the past twenty years.
Unlike most of us, Tom’s resume and achievements are unusually difficult to locate online or elsewhere. It was a sign of things to come in our fascinating conversation, which is simultaneously a master class in authentic leadership and a live case study in self-exploration with Tom as his own protagonist. Tom is exactly the type of person he has studied, and strives to be the type of leader he promotes.
We discuss the meaning of work, the importance of feedback, the ways high performing professionals derail themselves, the difference between your image and your essence, the omnipresence of insecurity in high achievers, and some techniques to foster deeper conversation in relationships.