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TV Expert Interviews / Leadership / Sep 2, 2022 / Posted by Cara-Lyn Giovanniello / 42

What is Vertical Leadership (video)

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In this Expert Insight Interview, Cara-Lyn Giovanniello discusses vertical leadership. Cara-Lyn Giovanniello is a leadership coach and Head of People Learning and Growth at Nextdoor.

This Expert Insight Interview discusses:

  • The meaning of vertical leadership and the challenges associated with it
  • Why it is important to get comfortable with conflict
  • The value and power of authenticity in leadership

Vertical Leadership

Vertical leadership is so essential in business today because it focuses on an understanding of not only the job to be done but the capabilities required to do it. Since we are now in what we call a VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) world, we must expand our leadership capabilities.

We not only have to develop these vertical skills, but we have to figure out how to make sense of everything that is becoming very complex around us and try to find meaning in that complexity. This means vertical leadership is about critical thinking, gut instinct, shifting perspective, making sense, relating, and opposable thinking.


We need people to get comfortable with conflict because, without it, we can’t drive past what is already known, so we need to get comfortable in our leadership when it comes to making sense, trusting ourselves, and dissenting before consenting.

This has been an exciting challenge for people nowadays, especially in leadership positions, because, on the one hand, we’re always hearing much advice from other people on the best way to go about our lives. Still, vertical leadership relies on being much more rooted and more balanced.


It is essential to get people to see that they don’t need to do things the way they’ve always done. Even though the “traditional” approach may have worked for decades, especially in leadership philosophy and frameworks, there might be something much easier and much better, and most importantly, more authentic that you could use.

If you’re not simply regurgitating something that you’ve heard from someone else and taking on an approach that makes sense to you, you’ll project much more passion and understanding and connect to people much more quickly.

Our Host

John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist, he has conducted over 1500 video interviews of thought leaders for Sales POP! online sales magazine & YouTube Channel and for audio podcast channels where Sales POP! is rated in the top 2% of most popular shows out of 3,320,580 podcasts globally, ranked by Listen Score. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

About Author

Cara-Lyn Giovanniello is a coaching powerhouse and leadership expert out of San Francisco California, focusing on performance and emotional intelligence as foundations for vertical leadership. With over 20 years of coaching and training individual clients and within organizations, she clearly understands how curiosity, motivation, and empathy can change both personal and professional landscapes.


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