Leadership in Action: Jonathan Layton

Leadership in Action is our ongoing series featuring inspiring leaders who are taking conscious leadership into their workplaces and lives.



Jonathan Layton is a Chief Technology Officer in Denver who attended Crafted Leadership’s Lead by Design course in 2019.


What’s a habit you had to give up to advance your leadership?

Being Right. It sure feels good to be right, but as a leader I need my team to be more important than myself. When I was committed to being right, I wasn't committed to the team growing.


What’s the best investment you’ve made in developing your leadership?

My first step was considering leadership a hard skill (not just a position or job title) that could and should be developed. From there I’ve committed a lot of time to trainings, books, conferences, etc. I really can't point at which thing has been the best. I’ve learned such a wide range of things on leadership and still so much more that I have yet to learn.


What’s your go-to leadership quote or motto?

Leadership is just influence.


Which conscious leadership leadership tool or practice is your favorite? Why does it work for you?

I’m certainly still on a journey with this one — but striving to learn to separate fact from story. Narratives have incredible power for good or bad. Especially the ones we tell ourselves and subconsciously associate with fact. Because there is a fact associated with the story we believe it is the truth. Separating fact from story lets me consider other narratives and remain open to other people’s perspectives.


If you were the CEO of your own company, what’s the first leadership skill you’d want everyone to master?

I think I would want everyone to master “Openness to Discovery.” If the culture of the company was one where everyone considered any problem as a chance to learn and grow, I think that would make for an extraordinary company. It wouldn’t be slowed down by all the energy wasted on blaming / defending. Instead, I think, people would be inspired to bring their best to every situation.


What’s a favorite leadership book, podcast or article of yours?

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss about negotiation, which is a very overlooked (avoided, even!) everyday activity.

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