Rupal Patel on Identity-Driven Leadership: Lessons Learnt from the CIA, to being a CEO (#036)


Rupal Patel is an ex-CIA agent turned entrepreneur, international speaker and business consultant. She helps founders and executives unlock their potential through a powerful new toolkit that reveals how techniques of the CIA can help anyone find their voice and thrive without conforming to stale stereotypes or dated “best practices”. She is the author of the bestselling book “From CIA to CEO”. 

In this episode, Rupal talks to @Swami about

  • the fundamental values that shaped her life, as an immigrant in America
  • the importance of curiosity in career-building
  • understanding your personal mission and corporate mission
  • how it was working at the CIA
  • how to have difficult conversations as a leader
  • talking the truth to power
  • how the CIA taught her to handle failure
  • her philosophy of absolute v relative life
  • learning, gathering and debriefing data about yourself

among many, many other strategic and unique methods to reset your mindset and aim for success.

Listen to the episode

Selected Links

Connect with Rupal Patel

About Sanskrit

How literature can influence language learning (Link 1)

How literature can influence language learning (Link 2)

How literature can influence language learning (Link 3)

Importance of Curiosity (Link 1)

Importance of Curiosity (Link 2)

On having a personal mission

Crafting your personal mission

Having difficult conversations

Briefing senior leaders

Tips about Identity-driven Leadership

Knowing Leadership Traits

Obsession with being right

Managing Failure

How to deal handle ego and egotistical people

What are your personal values?

Discovering your core values

Books Mentioned

CIA to CEO by Rupal Patel

Clarity in Crisis by Marc E. Polymeropoulos

Organizations Mentioned


History of the Central Intelligence Agency

Show Notes

Fundamental Values Learnt as an Immigrant in the USA

The Importance of Discipline

Curiosity in Career-building

Finding Your Personal Mission and Corporate Mission

Working at the CIA and the Learnings

Best Practices for the Corporate World from the CIA

Having Difficult Conversations in your Organization

Talking the Truth to the Power

Understanding Identity-driven Leadership

Leaders Of Equals – From the CIA to the Corporate World

Handling Failure the CIA Way

Future Leaders and the Need to Redesign Life

Understanding Absolute v Relative Life

Simple Techniques for Personal Transformation

Gathering, Analyzing and Debriefing Life

What Does Success Mean?

Best Advice Ever

Advice to an 18-year old at University

What you believe that no one else does

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