Lessons from Father-Daughter Leaders Dr. David Spong and Dr. Cathy Spong
Seasons leadership podcast
The women in leadership podcast

Lessons from Father-Daughter Leaders Dr. David Spong and Dr. Cathy Spong

Season
3
| Episode
4
4/20/2022
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Learn from Dr. David Spong and Dr. Cathy Spong – a father and daughter duo – who each have a demonstrated history of leadership success applying the Baldrige criteria. Be inspired by their support of each other’s leadership success across different disciplines – aerospace and medicine. Join Seasons Leadership Co-Founders and podcast hosts Debbie Collard and Susan Ireland as they talk to Cathy and David about leading with values, shaping the culture and the importance of mentorship.
 
 Show notes
1:51 The show starts off with a discussion about how leadership – despite being practiced in different fields – is really the same (1:51). David talks about how the higher up you get in an organization the difference between leadership gets less and less (2:26). Cathy talks about bouncing ideas off each other (3:18) despite their organizations having completely different goals. Susan asks what they have learned from each other through this unique relationship (3:55) and of course the conversation turns back to Baldrige but also a more personal note when David shares a proud dad moment (5:00).

Cathy inspires by talking about the importance of living your values (5:41) and never expecting someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. Then both David (6:33) and Cathy (8:02) share a story about a time they were proud of the other. 

The conversation takes a familiar turn when Susan asks about the challenge of having a “bad boss” (9:15) an issue that both David and Cathy can relate to. David reinforces that you can’t let a bad boss change what you do (9:50) and Cathy agrees (11:09) and adds that a leader should still work to change the culture if they can. 

Debbie asks what advice they have for a leader early in the journey (12:38) – the leaders talk about mentorship and setting expectations without emotion. Susan observes that the relationship Cathy and David have is a mentor relationship (13:23) and how that takes away the loneliness that leaders can sometimes be susceptible to. David shares how not having a coach early on was a determent (15:50) and shares advice to create a “kitchen cabinet” and choose carefully. Cathy advocates (17:14) for leaders to establish the culture and lift people up.

The discussion concludes with David sharing (17:37) how reaching “retirement age” changed him and imploring leaders to have the courage of your convictions – if you think it is the right decision, make it and move on.

(20:00) Debbie and Susan share key takeaways – shaping the culture, leadership is leadership across different industries and the importance of having a mentor or coach. They share resources to get you started now. This is part 3 of a 3-episode series featuring Dr. David Spong and Dr. Catherine Spong.
 
 Related episodes
 Part 1: Inside the Baldrige Leadership Journey with Dr. David Spong - Seasons Leadership Podcast
Part 2: Improving the health of pregnant women through leadership with Dr. Cathy Spong 

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