Learning to Lead Episode #9: Larry Black

This year, I’ve started a new leadership podcast and a newsletter called, “Learning to Lead”. In the podcast, I will be interviewing leaders as well as sharing what I have been learning about leadership. My hope is that through these resources, you will grow both as a person and as a leader. If you would like to subscribe to this podcast through iTunes, click here!

Past Episodes include interviews with: Mike Steidel (Director of Admission at CMU), Josh Dziabiak (CEO of Showclix), Penny Semaia (Assistant Athletic Director of Student Life at the University of Pittsburgh) , and Chaz Kellem (Manager of Diversity Initiatives with the Pittsburgh Pirates), and Len Petrancosta, former President of Sysco Foods Service, Luke Skurman, CEO of College Prowler, and John Stahl-Wert, CEO of The Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, and Tony Quatrini, Director of Marketing for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  To listen to these podcasts, go to my podcast page.

If you listen to podcasts, I’d highly recommend downloading the app: Downcast for the iPhone. It allows you to stream podcasts instead of downloading them. You can also adjust the speed you play the podcast at. It’s one of the most useful apps I have ever owned!

In addition to the monthly interview podcast, I will be teaching one leadership lesson as well as sending out a e-newsletter. The newsletter will be published 1-2 times a month with new leadership content not found on my blog, leadership quotes, leadership resources, and interviews with leaders. Subscribe to the Newsletter Now!



Tell us about yourself, your family, your passions, and your position at Diebold.

Personal Leadership:

Walk us through your leadership journey . . . did you always aspire to be a leader wherever you were? How did you learn leadership? Did someone teach you?

Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe some one who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?

What leadership experiences have you had that have shaped you as a leader outside of the work world?

What are you doing and what have you done to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?

How do you structure your days and your life so that you are as productive as possible?

Could you talk about one or two of your greatest leadership failures? What did you learn from them?

What advice would you give to leaders when it comes to failure and making mistakes?
You’re an executive with a family, how did you balance life and work?

Diebold – Sales

* You’ve been in sales your whole life and have always seemed to go to the top . . . what has set you apart from your competition?

* How have you been able to stay at the top and constantly achieve high performance year after year?

* How do you sell to people with different personalities?

* What advice do you have for someone starting out in sales?

* How do train people to overcome or push through the fear of rejection?

* Talk to us about your thoughts on networking. What advice would you give to people looking to build their network, develop more leads, etc.

* As you build and develop your team, what characteristics do you look for in the people that you promote and want to keep on your team? What can young leaders do to stand out from their peers?

* What questions am I not asking about sales that I should be?


What advice would you give young leaders when it comes to picking the “right” career?

What are your thoughts on doing something that you love verses doing something for the money?

Organizational Leadership:

What were and are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization?

In your leadership experience, what have you learned about building a great team?

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?

What is one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently than others?

What is the one behavior or trait that you have seen derail leaders’ careers?


You work in a secular environment and yet you are a strong believer, how do you manage that tension at work?

Closing Questions:

What do you want your legacy to be?

What books have you read that have made a great impact on you that you would recommend?

Who are some other great local leaders that would be worth our time to meet and get to know?

Where is Larry Black in 15 years?

Any closing advice for young leaders?


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