Leadership Is Not About You

On this episode of Cocktail Leadership, your host, Kevin Withane talks to Anne Morriss and Frances Frei.

Anne Morriss is a highly sought-after leadership coach.  She’s the Executive Founder of The Leadership Consortium, a first-of-its-kind leadership accelerator that works to help more and varied leaders thrive. Her collaborators have ranged from early-stage tech founders to Fortune 50 executives to public-sector leaders building national competitiveness. Anne has spent the last twenty years building and leading mission-driven enterprises, serving most recently as CEO and founder of GenePeeks, which addressed the urgent need for better personal health information. She has appeared on “CBS This Morning” and other programs.

Frances Frei is a professor at Harvard Business School. She recently served as Uber’s first Senior Vice President of Leadership and Strategy to help the company navigate its very public crisis in leadership and culture. Frances regularly works with companies embarking on large-scale change and organizational transformation, including embracing diversity and inclusion as a lever for improved performance. Her TED Talk on the topic of building trust has logged over 4 million views.

Anne and Frances co-authored UNLEASHED: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You (Harvard Business Review Press; June 2, 2020).

“Frei and Morriss have written the definitive guide to leadership today, just when we need it most. In voices that are fresh, playful, and unapologetically direct, they give us permission to look beyond ourselves and focus instead on the true challenge of leadership: how to help others unlock their full potential.”

—Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO, Thrive Global

In this episode, Anne, Frances, and Kevin explore why leadership is not about the leader, inclusion being the essential ingredient of leadership, and why we should be embracing the 27-year-olds.

You can reach Anne on LinkedIn. You can also follow Anne on Twitter.  You can find Frances on Linkedin.

I strongly recommend reading the book.  It will change your perception of what it means to be a leader forever as well as setting out a blueprint to improve culture and your bottom line.

Please leave a review for the podcast on this blog, and share the podcast with your family, friends, and colleagues.

The Cocktail

For this episode, I have made two drinks – a cocktail (of sorts – let’s call it an alcoholic beverage) and a mocktail (of sorts) – we have the Deeply Devoted (alcoholic) and Earnest Frances’ Optimism.


Deeply Devoted

Use a rocks glass

  • 1.5 ounces bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve)
  • 1 large ice cube
  • Crushed black pepper


  1. Place the large ice cube in the glass.

  2. Crack some black pepper over the ice.
  3. Pour bourbon over the ice.

Earnest Frances’ Optimism

Use a Collin’s glass

  • Fevertree Aromatic Tonic Water
  • 1  ice cube
  • Basil leaf (garnish – optional)


  1. Fill Collin’s glass with ice
  2. Pour in Fevertree and garnish with a basil leaf.  Pop in a straw (I didn’t have one handy).

Once settled, pick up Unleashed and prepare to rethink your leadership methodology.

Please leave a review for the podcast on this blog, and share the podcast with your family, friends, and colleagues.

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