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Centered Leadership Creates Connection in Turbulent Times

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Centered Leadership Creates Connection in Turbulent Times

The McKinsey Podcast


5 min read
4 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

What’s missing among women leaders? Absolutely nothing, says author Joanna Barsh, director emerita at McKinsey & Company.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Engaging


While living in NYC in the mid-2000s, Joanna Barsh had reached the position of senior partner at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Still, she felt that something was missing. She decided to interview women leaders to find out what they had in common with one another, and how they approached business differently from their male counterparts. From that experience, Barsh created the Centered Leadership Project at McKinsey and wrote three books on the subject. In this podcast with McKinsey alumna Diane Brady, Barsh discusses how listeners can use the lessons of successful leaders to find purpose and positivity in challenging times.


What’s needed in the 2020s is a humanistic approach instead of the traditional business model, says author and consultant Joanna Barsh, who created the Centered Leadership Project at McKinsey & Company and lectures to women and leaders around the world. Covid-19 has changed the way the world does business. Centered Leadership encourages – insists, in fact – that the only way through the complexity is to favor a more broadminded perspective.

Broadening the Criteria

When filling a position, managers often hire someone who looks and thinks like the previous employee. Instead, ...

About the Podcast

Joanna Barsh, director emerita at McKinsey & Company and founder of the Centered Leadership program at McKinsey, has written three books on the subject. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago, and Harvard Business School. 

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