#145 Glenn Parker, The Positive Influence Guy (Part 2)

The Sunday Lunch Project Manager

03-12-2023 • 43 mins

This week I have part 2 of my interview with Glenn Parker, The Positive Influence Guy,

Glenn, the only child of two hard-working parents, grew up on the streets of New York City. He played street games like stickball, punchball, 3-box baseball and Johnny-on-the Pony with his buddies. He loved the competitive aspects of sports and the opportunities it provided for leadership. As he got older and taller, he moved on to competitive schoolyard and recreational league basketball.

All these experiences came together and evolved when he attended an 8-week summer camp in upstate New York. Glenn especially loved the camp season finale when the entire camp of several hundred youngsters was divided into two teams for a week of Olympic-style competition in all manner of sports from baseball to archery to swimming. At age 15 Glenn was selected to serve as captain of one team where led a group of boys that ranged from five to 15 years of age requiring him to provide leadership in the form of support, motivation and positive influence to a varied group.

In high school and later in college, Glenn played varsity sports where he learned the values of hard work, practice and collaboration. The sum total of these experiences helped Glenn learn that when he worked hard --- whether in sports or in the classroom ---- he succeeded.

He took those values into his work life. After working for several organizations, Glenn and a colleague started a small business as training and organizational development consultants. The business took Glenn to all parts of the US giving him the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people working in a wide variety of industries and occupations. During this time, he narrowed the focus of the consulting to building effective teams and creating team-based organizations.

Glenn always loved to write --- his first article was published while he was still in graduate school --- but it took a while for him to work up the courage and confidence to write a book. With the encouragement of Peter Block, Jossey-Bass published his first book, Team Players and Teamwork in 1990 that went on to be a best-seller. The book included a self-assessment survey which was subsequently published as a separate booklet and went on to sell more than one million copies as the Parker Team Player Survey. Many books and leader guides followed including another best-seller, Cross-Functional Teams: Working with Allies, Enemies and Other Strangers. His most recent book, co-authored with his son, Michael is Positive Influence: The Leader Who Helps People Become Their Best Self (HRD Press, 2020).

A graduate of City College of New York with a B.A., Glenn also holds an M.A. from the University of Illinois and has studied for the doctorate at Cornell. He also studied at the University of Oslo.

Outside of work Glenn has always been on the front lines of political and social causes as well as charitable issues such as cancer. He is a cancer survivor and long-time volunteer with the American Cancer Society. He co-founded Run for Dad, an annual event that draws some 1,500 people and is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of prostate cancer and funds for cancer research.

Glenn and his wife, Judy, live in central New Jersey. They are parents of three grown children and grandparents to six wonderful grandchildren all of whom live nearby. Judy and Glenn share of love of travel having visited numerous places around the world to enjoy art, culture, history and good food.



Social Media Links


--- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/sundaylunchpm/message