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Highly successful people use this soft skill, says ‘CEO whisperer’ Jerry Colonna—avoiding it ‘is a prescription’ for ‘failure’

By | Ashton Jackson |

Highly successful people possess a skill that helps them grow personally and professionally, says leadership coach Jerry Colonna: They excel at adapting to change.

That’s easier said than done, of course. But you can train yourself by working on your communication and listening skills, says Colonna, a co-founder of leadership coaching firm Reboot who’s worked with CEOs at companies like Gimlet Media, Twilio and Soundcloud.

Colonna was even dubbed the “CEO whisperer” by Gimlet’s “StartUp” podcast in 2015.

Communication is a great starting point for adaptability, because trying to force people to address issues the way you do “is a prescription for frustration and failure,” Colonna said on a recent episode of the “Reboot” podcast, which he hosts with his co-founder Ali Schultz.

“You have to meet each individual team member where they are, not drag them to where you are,” he added.

That means finding ways to connect with folks who don’t necessarily think the same way as you — constantly reading the room, staying on high alert for shifting variables, to figure out how to best interact with the people and situations around you.

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