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How to Hand Off the Reins with Jeff Sonnenfeld, Senior Associate Dean for Leadership Studies

By Jeremy Weisz posted 08-25-2021 05:00 AM


In this episode of The Leading Edge, Thomas A. Stewart is joined by Jeff Sonnenfeld, the Senior Associate Dean for Leadership Studies at the Yale School of Management, to discuss leadership in the corporate ecosystem. Together they talk about the engine of innovation for executives, the generational gap in governance, and the importance of placing value in people and communities for a sustainable future.

What can CEOs do to avoid corporate atrophy? Why is it so vital for today’s leaders to participate in critical discussions? Jeff Sonnenfeld talks about this and more as he joins Tom on The Leading Edge — a place where leaders look to find the edge that brings success for themselves, their teams, and their enterprises.

According to Sonnenfeld, corporate leadership works best when a network of executives is working toward greater social impact and business development. With decades of experience with corporate governance and CEO leadership, Sonnenfeld knows the challenges leaders face when pushing the limits in their businesses. As he says, the best CEOs succeed by seeking feedback from their peers and adopting a forward-thinking mindset.

Stay tuned.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you will learn:

  • Jeff Sonnenfeld talks about how candid give-and-take makes leaders better
  • The challenges facing CEOs today and how they can avoid growing stale
  • Why discussion among executives is critical for business development
  • The fluid role of leadership in a small business
  • Sonnenfeld describes the importance of middle-market CEOs to their communities — and discusses how business leaders create social capital and make a greater impact
  • Why the sustainability of a company is reliant upon the value it places on communities and people

About Our Guest:

Jeff Sonnenfeld

Jeff Sonnenfeld is the Senior Associate Dean for Leadership Studies at the Yale School of Management, where he also serves as the Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management. Sonnenfeld is also the Founder of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute (CELI), a nonprofit educational and research institute focused on corporate governance and executive leadership.

In addition to this, Sonnenfeld is the author of eight books on leadership — most notably, The Hero’s Farewell: What Happens When CEOs Retire. His research has been published in 100 scholarly articles and he frequently contributes to CNBC and Fortune.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode:

The Leading Edge is brought to you by AchieveNEXT. 

AchieveNEXT empowers individuals, teams, and enterprises to meet ambitious growth goals through our powerful combination of peer-to-peer learning and solutions.

We bring together thousands of the top finance and HR leaders from across North America to connect and share business and industry insights through our Alliance Networks.

We empower individuals, teams and enterprises through powerful solutions which include 

- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training & Leadership Development 

- Business Relationship Training

- and Executive Coaching for individuals and teams.

This powerful combination helps today’s business leaders level up and achieve next-level growth.

Learn more at