Spend five minutes with Jay and you know—he is one of those rare leaders who effortlessly embodies paradox. He is the professor and the practitioner. He is the expert and the student. He is the visionary and the pragmatist. Jay serves as the Henry R. Kravis Research Chair in Leadership Studies at Claremont McKenna College and is a visiting professor at London Business School. With numerous books and more than 100 scholarly articles under his belt, he’s recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts on leadership. Yet, in describing his work, he talks about himself as a student of leadership. No esoteric, Jay’s advice is grounded in a keen sense of reality: He knows from experience what it takes to actually make something happen in large, complex organizations.

Most of all, though, sitting with Jay you’re reminded of the joy that comes from doing what you love. He emanates positivity that stems from a simple, but profound belief: “We are all well-equipped.” In this context, leaders’ job is to help people see, express and channel their inherent gifts. It’s that spark of insight that creates and sustains momentum behind your strategy.