Joshua Spodek, author of the bestselling Leadership Step by Step, earned such praise as “Best and Brightest” (Esquire’s Genius Issue), “Astrophysicist turned new media whiz” (NBC), and “Rocket Scientist” (Forbes and ABC) with success in such fields as leadership, innovation, science, entrepreneurship, art, coaching, and education. An adjunct professor at NYU and columnist for Inc., Joshua holds five Ivy-League degrees, including a PhD in Astrophysics and an MBA, both from Columbia, where he studied under a Nobel Laureate. He helped build an X-ray observational satellite as part of a multi-billion-dollar decade-plus mission with the European Space Agency and NASA.
He left academia to co-found a venture, Submedia, to bring to market his invention—a technology to show motion-pictures to subway riders moving between stations. Submedia has installed dozens of displays on four continents. He holds six patents. He co-founded and led several education ventures, including partnering with New York City Public Schools. He has taught art at Parsons and NYU-Tisch’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.
Fascinated that schools taught leadership, which he had thought unteachable, he studied it, soon becoming a leadership and executive coach for Columbia Business School’s Program on Social Intelligence (and private coaching clients). He leads seminars in Leadership, Creativity, Sales, Strategy, and Motivation at institutions including Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, MIT, NYU, INSEAD, the NY Academy of Science, and in private corporations. One of few people to have visited North Korea twice, he has lectured on North Korean strategy at Columbia University and in South Korea and China.
His coaching clients include start-up founders as well as employees of McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Deloitte, Bear Stearns, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Google, Yahoo!, Sony, IBM, Time, CBS, the U.S. military, and others. His clients include graduates of Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Cornell, Princeton, Duke, Dartmouth, Indian Institute of Technology, the U.S. Naval Academy, and others.
He has been quoted and profiled by ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, Fox, NY1, CNN, The NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, USAToday, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Forbes, Worth, Esquire, The Guardian, Salon, and more.
As an artist he has shown large public art installations in New York City’s Bryant Park and Union Square, as well as Amsterdam’s Dam Square. He has had solo shows in New York City, group shows across the country, and has shown in museums, Art Basel Miami Beach, MTV, and more. He finished six marathons (3:51 best), competed at the World and National level of Ultimate Frisbee (reaching #5 at College Nationals, #8 at Club Nationals, and #11 at Worlds), including captaining his college team and competing at the first Ultimate Tournament in Pyongyang, North Korea. He swam across the Hudson River, did over 90,000 burpees, wrote over 2,500 blog posts, took over 250 cold showers, coined the term sidcha, and has jumped out of two airplanes.
Session length: 90 minutes
Most clients know what to do, they don’t know how, which is why they seek coaching. Too many coaches, books, and courses challenge clients intellectually, but effective leadership depends more on social and emotional skills, which come from overcoming social and emotional challenges. Effective coaches who can give clients ways to challenge themselves socially and emotionally can offer value beyond books, courses, TED talks, and university research.
I will share how to create your own valuable exercises, how they work, why, what to avoid, and how to work them into your practice. It’s the difference between telling someone an answer to memorize versus giving an experience from which they create their own answers, which they internalize and can fall back on, even in stressful times.
The technique has been tested and refined over hundreds of clients and students I’ve led at Columbia Business School and NYU-Stern, in-person and online, and through my book Leadership Step by Step. Marshall Goldsmith as said the technique of using progression of exercises to practice is a once-in-a-lifetime game-changing advance in our field everyone else will follow.
Session length: 90 minutes
Whether for you with your coaching clients or them in their communities, making connections is critical to building a career and a life—and a major challenge. Who hasn’t gotten tongue-tied in front of an important person? Or taken a common piece of career advice and tried to network, only to give up after stilted, useless conversations?
This seminar, a highlight of Josh’s bestselling book and leadership course at New York University, will teach you how to create meaningful connections with anyone: from people you’d like to know socially to strangers at networking events to high-value people outside your social circle. You’ll also learn how to coach the skills in others.
Drawing on his background as an entrepreneur, coach, scientist, and professor, Josh developed a simple script that guarantees conversations based on vulnerability, passion and intimacy—setting the stage for new relationships and opportunities. You’ll learn that script and practice it in a fun, supportive context, and you’ll come away with a skill that can help you professionally and personally throughout your life.