278: Karin Hurt – Promoting a Courageous Culture in the Workplace
Karin Hurt encourages people to be more courageous in the workplace
Karin Hurt Show Notes Page
About 5 years ago, Karin Hurt had everything in her life crash all at the same time. Karin had just left her executive role at Verizon to start her own company. In trying to run her startup, Karin invested a lot of money into it but did not really get the clients or returns she needed. There was a massive learning curve and it required a lot of courage and energy to make everything work. In the midst of all that, her mother got extremely sick and died. Everything in her life seemed to be falling apart. Not willing to quit, she courageously moved forward one day at a time. Today, Karin and her husband are the founders of Let’s Grow Leaders, a leadership training and consulting firm in Maryland. Recently named on Inc’s list of Most Innovative Leadership Speakers and American Management Association’s 50 Leaders to Watch, Karin Hurt helps leaders from around the world achieve breakthrough results without losing their souls.
As Karin’s mom would tell it, Karin’s been playing with leadership principles from the time she was a toddler, organizing her stuffed animals and telling them what to do, and later directing her gaggle of younger cousins in family Christmas shows and other shenanigans.
But she could never have envisioned the whirlwind that has happened since her transitioned from an executive to entrepreneur over the last six years.
Since we last had Karin on the show, she fell in love with her co-author, David Dye (after writing the book 3000 miles apart), merged their businesses, and now they partner to help leaders all over the world get breakthrough results, without losing their souls through innovative approaches and highly practical tools. They’re also dedicated to their philanthropic initiative Winning Wells, building clean water wells in Cambodia.
Karin’s work experience is primarily based on 20 years at Verizon, where she held executive positions in HR, Leadership Development, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service, including a long track record of turnaround success with a 2200 person sales team and a 10,000 person outsourced contact center program.
Karin’s mission is to stamp out “the win at all costs” mentality so rampant in organizations and prove that the best way to get results that last is by being a decent human being.
Karin and David’s books include Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers and Customer Advocates, Winning Well, a Managers Guide to Getting Result- Without Losing Your Soul, and a children’s leadership book, Glowstone Peak: A Story of Courage, Influence, and Hope, written in collaboration with their son Sebastian.
Karin lives near Washington, DC. She knows the stillness of a yogi, the reflective road of a marathoner, and the joy of being a mom raising emerging leaders.
Tweetable Quotes and Mentions
“Psychological safety is about leaders creating an environment where people feel safe to speak the truth.” – Click to Tweet
“Courage is about people feeling safe to speak the truth.” – Click to Tweet
“To have a courageous culture really means that it takes less daily courage to show up and contribute because it is a safe environment.” – Click to Tweet
“Anytime there is a disruption is an opportunity for real change.” – Click to Tweet
“Use this time of crisis to get to know your people at a more intimate level and build psychological safety.” – Click to Tweet
“People withhold their best thinking when they feel shamed, blamed, or intimidated.” – Click to Tweet
“You can get results and show up in a very human, engaging way.” – Click to Tweet
“When managers lead well and engage people and ask for their best ideas, it leads to breakthrough results.” – Click to Tweet
“It’s hard for people to come up with really good ideas if they don’t know what kind of ideas you need.” – Click to Tweet
“Curiosity is about being genuinely curious, asking people for their best thinking.” – Click to Tweet
“Do one thing everyday that scares you.” – Click to Tweet
“If you don’t feel like you’ve jumped out of an airplane recently, you’re probably not stretching yourself enough.” – Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
About 5 years ago, Karin Hurt had everything in her life crash all at the same time. Karin had just left her executive role at Verizon to start her own company. In trying to run her startup, Karin invested a lot of money into it but did not really get the clients or returns she needed. There was a massive learning curve and it required a lot of courage and energy to make everything work. In the midst of all that, her mother got extremely sick and died, and her husband also faced an absolute midnight life crisis. Everything in her life seemed to be falling apart. Not willing to quit, she courageously moved forward one day at a time. Today, Karin and her husband are the founders of Let’s Grow Leaders, a leadership training and consulting firm in Maryland. Recently named on Inc’s list of Most Innovative Leadership Speakers and American Management Association’s 50 Leaders to Watch, Karin Hurt helps leaders from around the world achieve breakthrough results without losing their souls.
Advice for others
Don’t be so self-critical. See yourself as other people see you.
Holding her back from being an even better leader
The inability to get on an airplane.
Best Leadership Advice
Secret to Success
Genuine human connection.
Best tools in business or life
Contacting Karin Hurt
Courageous Cultures book website: https://letsgrowleaders.com/courageous-cultures-2/
Show TranscriptClick to access edited transcript
Jim Rembach (00:00):
Okay, fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who I just really love her work. I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate her on several instances and when you get the chance to actually listen through this episode, you’ll see why to Karin Hurt as Karen’s mom would tell it. Karin’s been playing with leadership principles from the time she was a toddler, organizing her stuffed animals and telling them what to do and later directing her gaggle of younger cousins in family Christmas shows and other shenanigans, but she could never have envisioned the whirlwind that has happened since her transition from an executive to entrepreneur over the last six years since we last had Karen on the show. She fell in love with her coauthor David dye. After writing the book 3000 miles apart, merged their businesses and now partner and help leaders all over the world get breakthrough results without losing their souls.
Jim Rembach (00:56):
Through innovative approaches and highly practical tools, they’re also dedicated to their philanthropic initiative, winning Wells, building clean water Wells, and Cambodia. Karin’s work experience is primarily based on 20 years of Verizon where she held executive positions in HR, leadership development, sales marketing, customer service, including a long track record of turnaround success with a 2200 person sales team and a 10,000 person outsourced contact center program. Karen’s mission is to stamp out the win at all costs mentality, so rampant in organizations improve that. The best way to get results that lasts is by building a decent human being or being a decent human being. Karen and David’s books include courageous cultures, how to build teams of micro innovators, problem solvers, and customer advocates winning well, a manager’s guide to getting results without losing your soul and a children’s leadership book. Glo stone peak, a story of courage, influence and hope written in collaboration with their son Sebastian. Karen lives in Washington DC or near Washington DC. She knows the stillness of a Yogi, the reflective road of a marathoner and the joy of being a mom, raising emerging leaders. Karen hurt. Are you ready to tell us? Get over the hunt.
Karin Hurt (02:19):
Oh yes. Thanks so much for having me. It’s great to be with you again.
Jim Rembach (02:23):
Uh, no. I mean it’s been too long. We can’t let this gap go again. But I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?
Karin Hurt (02:33):
Oh, so, uh, we are really thinking a lot about courage these days. And it was interesting as we were working with clients over the last couple of years, we would go into work with the very senior levels and we would hear things like, why don’t people speak up? Why am I the only one who finds these best practices? What’s wrong with why my frontline managers, why can’t they discover these problems, fix them? And then we would be working at the supervisor level doing training and we would hear things like, nobody wants my ideas. The last time I spoke up, I got in trouble. We thought, are you working in the same company? So we’ve been out on a mission for the last couple two years to really dig in and do some research in collaboration with the university of North Colorado to study this phenomenon. And what is it about cultures where people do feel safe and they do feel invited and excited to contribute? And what are the behaviors that shut people down and what are the best practices for the companies that are doing that? Well, so that’s what we’ve been up to. We’ve been, uh, we’re, we’re about to release a book on the topic and we’ve been doing programs, uh, in several different countries, really focused on getting people to mind for and collaborate around. Great new micro innovation.
Jim Rembach (03:57):
Well, and let’s be quite clear. I mean, so the book is actually available in both of the link to it on your show notes page. It’s called courageous cultures. But in the book and the very beginning, you actually have the forward who’s written by dr Amy Edmondson, who is from Harvard. And she talks about this important distinction and understanding of psychological safety and courageous cultures. Because we hear a lot in the just society as a whole about psychological safety with the pandemic, with food safety. I mean, so people kind of get exposure to that. And then you’re talking about courage. So really what’s the difference here?
Karin Hurt (04:36):
Yeah, so dr Edmonson is really the leadership thinker who coined the term psychological safety and she wrote a book called the fearless organization. And she’s done a lot of, lot of research on this and you know, a psychological safety is, is there an environment where people feel safe to speak up, to speak the truth, and what is the impact on results when people do feel safe? Um, courage on the other hand is, so psychological safety is our people. Our executives are leaders throughout the organization creating that environment. So that’s, you know, top down courage is, do people feel like they can speak up or do they, do they have the courage to maybe feel it, do something that maybe even feels risky to speak up? And so they’re really two sides of the same coin. But the interesting part and the most ironic part is to have a courageous culture really means that it takes less daily courage to show up and contribute because it is a safe environment.
Karin Hurt (05:43):
And so our work really is focused on two sides of this. One is how do we help leaders ask more, create a safe environment, respond with regard, and then how do we also work at front line to teach them to tap into their moments of past courage. Because that is what really gives you confidence, past success and how do we teach them to position their ideas in a way that will be heard. And so really to build a courageous culture is really takes starting at the top and working at a grassroots level to build both safety and courage.
Jim Rembach (06:20):
That was extremely helpful. Uh, and really opened up my thinking to a lot of different things and made it more clear. Cause when I read it I was like, I’m still, I’m still a little fuzzy. It’s helped a lot because it also explains what you just talked about as far as that this is what we experienced at the top executive level. And this is what we’re experiencing at the front line. And I often talk about the head and the feet and that we need to move to have them to be moving together. And so, you know, is not doing what it’s supposed to. How can you ever expect the feet, you know, to be moving in the direction that they’re supposed to go. And so you have to have both. So this, this work and exactly enables that, you know, that that connection of the head and the feet so that we can really, uh, I don’t think you can ever plan for something, you know, like a global pandemic. However, maybe we can build some organizational resiliency, you know, as well as, uh, really not be disrupted but yet be a disruptor. Yeah.
Karin Hurt (07:20):
J J we are in such an unprecedented period of micro innovation right now. People are having to do what they can with what they have from where they are. And you’re seeing people where your processes that normally might take six months to get something approved. People are coming together and saying, we have a state of emergency here and we’re going to have to act fast and maybe we’re not going to have all go through all the bureaucratic steps that we used to. We don’t want to lose that after the pandemic. Right? So one of the things that we are really working with companies on is, you know, we’re calling them idea inspiration rallies, but how do you tap in to the thinking and what people are learning along the way? Because you might not even know how much people are, what people are doing to work around because everybody’s working at home, right? So how do you deliberately say, what have you learned? How do we apply this moving forward?
Jim Rembach (08:19):
Well, and as you’re talking, I start thinking about that particular issue from the perspective of, okay, so I have, you know, the, the top of the organization that has this issue. It hasn’t created the environment by which, you know, I can have a courageous culture. I have also the dysfunction, you know, of of the, the frontline and, and the people who are even at the middle level not having the, the, the wherewithal, uh, the ability, the skills, you know, to be able to speak up effectively. And so I have this overall organizational dysfunction happening. Then bam, I have a global pandemic hit. I mean really if I didn’t have a courageous culture
Karin Hurt (08:56):
prior to something like this happening, can I really expect to build it now? I actually think any time there is a disruption is an opportunity for real change. So it really depends on how you show up. But we had, it was interesting, we were working with a company on a really broad based leadership program and we asked them, do you want to continue this right now because everybody’s got so much else going on and they’ve got their businesses transforming. Do you want to do it now or do you want to hold? And they said there is no better time to change the behavior of our leaders than right now because everyone is having to do different things differently. They’re already looking for new ways of behaving. They’re experimenting. Let’s take advantage of this situation and there’s no better time. And I thought that was really interesting and as I think about this, you know, one of the things that is happening right now for leaders who are doing this well, and there’s a huge opportunity for any leader out there to think about this as you are connecting over zoom, you are now entering people’s homes, right?
Karin Hurt (10:05):
You have an opportunity to see their dog come in or their toddler climb up into their lap, right? You have a sense of intimacy ironically, that you may not have had before and you’re having to show more of your vulnerabilities because people are seeing you in your natural habitat. Use that opportunity to build trust and connection. We are also in a environment right now that people are dealing with so much personal stress that goes beyond, you know, it’s people keep saying, Oh, what about this transition to working from home? This is not just a transition to working from home. This is a transition to working from home when almost every one of us is dealing with some major life crisis. Either a, an ill parent, a, you know, worried about kids trying to homeschool, worried about their own safety. If you can use this time to really ask, get to know your people at a more intimate level and build that, begin to build that psychological safety that is the foundation for trust.
Karin Hurt (11:12):
It’s also a great time to deliberately ask people what are their, what are they doing? What do they think are the best ideas that could help transform and bring them in? So if you started to act like completely differently on a Wednesday after reading courageous cultures in a normal environment, people will be like, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, what’s going on here? But here you’re already acting differently. So this is a perfect time to show up. And even if you say, you know what, I know I may not have been acting this way in the past. I’m learning a lot and these are unprecedented times and here’s what I’m learning. I hope you can learn with me. Let’s do this together. Okay. So what you
Jim Rembach (11:53):
just explained right there for me is all about, you know, behavior awareness, behavior modification, and then practice in order to make it stick. And here’s what we’re going to do because you have a coauthor David hot David dye and her husband David dye. We’re actually going to have him on the fast leader show as well. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to focus in on you setting the groundwork and the foundation of courageous cultures. And then when we have David on, we’re going to talk about that, you know, actual behavior modification and practice component because that’s critically important where people, you know, it can’t, it’s not just me knowing, right? It’s me doing and I have to close the gap that it’s knowing and doing gap. So let’s really continue on this knowing part for it with you. Because for me, I think it’s, you know, if you have, we have to get the specifics in order for us to be able to self identify, organizationally identify, uh, we have to do that in order for us to be able to flip it in practice.
Jim Rembach (12:50):
So you talk about, uh, you know, five things that’s important for us to understand about how courage works in the book. Uh, um, and so they are, is that people, and you mentioned this, some of these already, but we’ll, we’re going to get a little bit specific on these so that people don’t think leadership wants their ideas. No one asks, they lacked confidence to share and they lack the skills to share more effectively and that people don’t think anything will happen so they don’t bother. Now when we start talking about the myth, I always talk about the myth of multitasking. I can’t focus on all five minutes. It’s just not possible. So for me, I need to get the biggest bang for my buck. So which one of those do I focus on first to start this transformation process?
Karin Hurt (13:35):
I would start, I would start absolutely a hundred percent on, no one asked. A 49% of the respondents in our research said they had ideas to share. But nobody is asking. They’re not regularly being asked for their ideas. And then when we said, well, if you were to share an idea, what would that idea do? And you know, it wasn’t things like, Oh, I want kombucha on tap in the break room. Right? It was really good business ideas that were being withheld. Um, how to improve a customer experience, how to improve a process, how to get employees more engaged in their work. So that’s the no one asked. And here’s what we found. People think they’re asking because a couple of things they say, well, I told my team I have an open door. The problem with an open door is that it still requires courage to come through it, right?
Karin Hurt (14:34):
So if you go out and ask people what, what we call courageous questions, which are a little vulnerable because you’re asking for something that you may get an uncomfortable answer and they’re very specific. So for example, what is one thing really ticking off our customers? See, now you have to that to that, you know, you can’t say, ah, it’s unlikely people are gonna say, Oh, nothing, right? You make it very safe to talk about something that you’re hearing from the frontline or what is one area that I really should focus on improving as a leader in the next 30 days? It, those kinds of, because it’s easy to think of one thing and then once people say one thing, then you could say, fantastic, you’re responding to regard. Thank you so much. What else? And now you’ve opened a safe conversation.
Jim Rembach (15:31):
I think the, I think for me, the part that you said right there is really how do you receive, how do you ingest Audi? I mean that that is the most important part. Cause I talk a lot about divergent convergent thinking. And so oftentimes we get into defense. Oftentimes we start evaluating, uh, what people are saying and we start doing that, which shuts down the well, right? It turns out the spicket and it turns it back off. Uh, so how that practice of how we go about doing that is, um, is really important. So some people were talking about one of the greatest interviewers of all time being Larry King and, and what makes Larry King so awesome is really just one question that he continues to ask is really tell me more. Yeah. It’s just tell me more. That’s what makes him a great interviewer.
Karin Hurt (16:18):
Yeah. You know, Krista Tippett is another person who I think is a great interviewer. Uh, she, uh, she does all the podcasts on being, and she has such a gentle way when when somebody says something, she says like, you know, she, you could just feel it like washing over her body. And it’s, so if I were being interviewed by her, I would find that so inviting to contribute more.
Jim Rembach (16:42):
It’s funny when you said that, it sounded like Curtis, your pitcher, right? I mean, we, we have to really think about how we’re engaging in those moments and not be defensive, not be judgmental, you know, even though that could potentially be our natural tendency. I mean, there’s people who are part of my life that I know. That’s the first thing that I’m going to get when I put out anything. Uh, and so for me, I have to be prepared for that and essentially stiffen my back, you know, because I’m like, okay, you know, I’m going to get knocked because they can’t change their behaviors. You know, they’re wired that way and they’re not doing it. And I think that’s that you talk about that vulnerability and that humility is that some of those leaders who are in that position that often do those things and there’s some folks and types of professions that are more inclined to that, you know, engineers and things like that where they are more critical is you’ve got to tone that down and stop it and hopefully will David, we’ll address that when we talk about the behavior modification.
Jim Rembach (17:41):
Uh, but, um, I, I want to go into these courageous, this courage crushers that you talk about in the book. And you mentioned of them and I know there’s more, uh, however these were, these were things that we can talk about, um, right here right now and give people some really good ideas to be aware of when these things are happening and we’re the ones doing it. Okay. So we have, it’s beyond me too, and other injustices, shaming, blaming and intimidation, chronic restructuring, leadership and decision, false competition, and then poor communication infrastructure. Okay. So now again, you talked about research with the group. Tell us about some of the research that you found in these six areas.
Karin Hurt (18:25):
Yeah, so I would focus really on shame, blame, and intimidation. You know, it’s interesting when people have interviewed us about the research, when we say, Oh, we’re talking about building psychological safety and courageous cultures, they say, Oh, you mean like me too? You know, being able to speak up that that is on such a far end of the spectrum. If you had any of that junk going on, there is no way people will have the energy left to contribute their ideas. They’re just in a survival mode. So take it one notch down. A lot of the behaviors that people told us were really destructive and the reason they withhold their best thinking was they felt shamed or they felt blamed or they felt intimidation. So an example of shaming that we talk about in the book. So a senior leader has a company offsite. Remember when we used to have company all sides, right?
Karin Hurt (19:18):
Company offsites brings everybody together, all their senior team into a room and broadcasts to stack rank of all the results and then pass the microphone to starting at the bottom and say in front of all their peers, why are you so bad? True story. Why are you so bad? And everyone else in the room is going, Oh my God, thank God I’m not at the bottom of this list, but Oh, what if I’m next? And I better just, it crushes innovation because when you are so afraid to fail, you’re, you’re, you’re more likely just to continue to do what has been working in the past. So that’s a, uh, an example of shaming.
Jim Rembach (20:01):
So for me, I know I’ve done it. Um, you know, when you start talking about growing up with three brothers in the Chicago area and you know, um, doing some shaming and blaming and all of that, uh, I’ve tried to grow as I’ve gotten older. However, I still fall into that trap. Um, and sometimes it just happens. And then when you get in a situation where everybody starts doing it, you know, you just get sucked into that culture. I mean, you just do. So if I am one of those people where I know this isn’t right and I’m doing it anyway, and I know we’re getting into some behavior things, but I think it’s so important because of what you’re talking about is how do I bust the cycle.
Karin Hurt (20:38):
Yeah. So we talk about creating a cultural Oasis. And we use an example of a Jamie Marsden in the book, which this was so fun for us because Jamie apparently had been reading my blogs since the very beginning. And uh, so he’s in England and he was working for a missile defense company. And what he said was in that industry where it’s not just his company, but in that industry, there’s just, uh, you know, it’s, it’s more of an old school culture. And what he was learning as he was reading our work and other people’s work is it doesn’t have to be that way. You can get results and show up in, you know, very human engaging way. And so one of the things that he did was he built a, uh, a community of likeminded people. So he went to his senior leaders and said, I want to do this.
Karin Hurt (21:33):
I want to bring together managers who want to lead this way. Do I have your permission to do so? And this started with a group of 40 people and now he’s, I think he’s got close to 400 managers that are in this. Uh, they flew us to, to Bristol, England to talk with the group. Uh, he’s been able to get some funding, uh, now because they are seeing that when managers are leading well and are engaging people and asking for their best ideas, that is what really leads to breakthrough results. And so I love that story because he was one guy and then he went out and found the others. And that that would be my best advice for someone who is feeling like they’re working in an environment that is not a courageous culture, but you want to build a courageous culture, start with your own team, concentrate on your own leadership, and then look sideways and find the others who you can collaborate and continue to learn with.
Jim Rembach (22:36):
So it’s that starting where you are right now, you talk about in order to try and make this easy for people to really focus in, cause you have to chunk down things. I mean it’s, you know, you can’t really the entire thing. Um, and that’s one way of starting to chunk it down. But you also talk about the two things being important, uh, for us to start with this transformation process. And you talk about curiosity and clarity. So why are these two things most important?
Karin Hurt (23:02):
Yeah. And so the clarity, when you think about clarity, that’s saying, first of all, you have to be clear about a couple of things. One, you have to be clear that you really want people’s ideas and you need to reinforce that five times, five different ways and asking lots of ways, be very clear. I really care about your ideas and best thinking. You also need to be clear about your strategy because it’s hard for people to come up with really good ideas if they don’t know what kinds of ideas that you need. So you know, so that’s another element is a lot of the times when people, uh, when managers complained to us that their people aren’t strategic, it’s that they have not given their teams enough information to actually think strategically. They’ve not had enough transparency. So that’s clarity. And then curiosity is showing up, genuinely curious, not thinking you have all the answers, but showing up, genuinely curious, asking people for their best thinking.
Karin Hurt (24:05):
And David will share with you some of our very specific tools on doing that. What you find in cultures is some cultures can be extremely clear but not have the curiosity. And that’s where you see a lack of innovation. But execution may be happening very fast. If you’ve got a culture that’s very curious at the expense of clarity, you might have a lot of lone Rangers running around and it may take longer to implement. So it’s we, we said start where you aren’t. If you are in a culture that’s really good at the clarity, you’ve got that down, then go and work on the curiosity part first. If you’ve got a very curious culture but you’re having trouble getting to a, an executable plan, then work on some of the clarity tools.
Jim Rembach (24:51):
Well that’s very helpful. And, and uh, and again, just to reiterate for those, uh, we are actually going to have your coauthor husband, business partner David hurt or die, David hot. That’s right. Sorry. And uh, he is actually going to get into how we are really going to put in new behaviors in order to make this transformation work. So, uh, we will connect also both of these episodes on your show notes pages, uh, in order for people to be able to see the foundation, the understanding, and then move into the transition that transformation. So needless to say when we start talking about the work that you’ve been doing and yet to do requires a whole lot of inspiration and you provide it, but then you also seek it and you amplify it. And that’s most appreciated. But one of the things that we look out on the shore quotes in order to help us, you know, to really have some of that inspiration. Is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?
Karin Hurt (25:46):
Uh, well, Eleanor Roosevelt do one thing every day that scares you is, uh, uh, is an important one for me, I would say. And I, it’s interesting, I gave that a little magnet with that quote on to someone on my team 20 years ago and every couple of years he writes to me and he said, I still have the magnet and here’s what I did today. That was scary. And I think that’s an important thing. You know, I always say, if you don’t feel like you’ve jumped out of an airplane recently, uh, you’re probably not stretching yourself enough. Um, so, um, of course this has been a, uh, an interesting seven weeks of, uh, doing one thing every day. That scares me a lot as we begin to pivot the, our, our organization and respond to a new normal here. So I think that’s an, uh, one that’s continues to be top of mind.
Jim Rembach (26:42):
Well, you know, I want to just, you say that I’m like, okay,
Karin Hurt (26:44):
maybe I need to jump more so I don’t feel like I’m pushed.
Jim Rembach (26:50):
Oh, well, needless to say, when we start talking about, uh, getting to the point of this clarity and curiosity, you know, there’s humps that we get over, you know, some of those humps are because we cause them cause we were being created just sometimes we are pushed. You put their learning lessons. Right. So can you tell, tell us about a time when you’ve gotten over the hump?
Karin Hurt (27:11):
Yeah, so interestingly, um, about five years ago, like everything just crash sort of all at the same time, I had just, uh, I had just left Verizon about a year before to build my, my company. And of course, you know, when you’re in a startup mode, you know you’re investing your money and it’s, you’re not getting the clients as fast as you want. And there’s this massive learning curve. And I think that was about the time that you and I met actually where, you know, I’m just trying to figure it all out. How do you do social media? How do you show your brand? And so in the middle of all that, which required a lot of courage and a lot of vendor energy, my mother got, um, extremely sick and died. My, um, us husband at the time had an absolute midnight life crisis.
Karin Hurt (28:01):
And one day I’m on a zoom call with people in another country trying to pitch what would have been the big, the biggest contract that I had to date in the middle of the call, completely out of the blue. He says, I’m leaving. I’m like, what? Like, totally blindsided by that. I’m like, can you wait until I finish the call? Uh, and then, and so then having to, you know, so I lose my health insurance and I’m just having to now scramble and think in of course you’re thinking is, Oh my gosh, why did I not stay in the safety of my executive role that I was really doing well? Like why did I do this? And you start to think, do I go back or do I go forward? And, um, I think that is, uh, ha looking back now. I mean, I think, you know, you just do the best you can one day at a time and you move forward and I can’t believe where we are now.
Karin Hurt (29:01):
Right. Who would’ve ever thought all these other things would have happened? And it has been quite a journey and needing to trust the process and focus on doing the right things and being a decent human being. Um, one of the things that really got me through all of that is all of the wonderful people that I’ve met, um, a lot of them online, interestingly, that became real genuine, wonderful relationships and friends. And we were able to go to Southeast Asia because of some, and I’ll call him a kid because he’s a lot younger than me, but he asked me to review his book and I thought, Oh, I’ll do him a favor. One thing led to another and we’re a month trip to Southeast Asia on a speaking tour. And part of it is a major executive thing with a hundred senior leaders that he’s put together and invited us to collaborate on. So that’s, I think that would be the biggest, uh, her hump as you say that I had to get over.
Jim Rembach (29:58):
That’s pretty significant when you talk about, uh, uh, really, uh, an activity, exercise, real life, you know, courage story. I went without a doubt. So thank you for sharing. Alright, so now we talk about you and I, you know, we, you know, we try to impact as many people as we possibly can. You know, doing the podcast and doing, you know, videos, doing all these other things. You have a, a large portion of your business that’s been public speaking at live events that’s been moved. So you’ve been trying to transition and all of that. And so there’s more lessons encouraged and continuing to be resilient as much as you possibly can. But when I start thinking about your work, you know, the winning well of the charitable side, the books, uh, the, the working with leaders, I mean you’ve got a lot of things going on. So if I think about one goal, what would that one goal,
Karin Hurt (30:49):
one goal for this year? Or I don’t want to frame you well, we are really looking forward to getting this message out with a book. Um, because I really, you know, winning well, we feel very, very good about that book with this. This one is a such a, um, an important and timely message for people right now. So I think our goal is to really serve as many people as we can with this message and open a conversation about how do we build more courageous cultures because the time, we need more courage now than we ever have before. And so, you know, I really think we have something to offer here. And I want to spread the word and the fast leader. Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.
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Karin Hurt (32:01):
better. Alright, here we go. Fastly religion.
Jim Rembach (32:04):
It’s time for the home. Okay Karen, the hope they hold on as the part of our show where you get us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to get us robust, yet rapid responses that are gonna help us move onward and upward faster. Karen hurt. Are you ready to go down? All right, let’s do it. Alright. So what is holding you back from being an even better leader today?
Karin Hurt (32:31):
The inability to get on an airplane.
Jim Rembach (32:35):
What is the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?
Karin Hurt (32:38):
Jim Rembach (32:40):
What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success? Genuine human connection. And what would be one tool that you feel helps to lead you in business and life? And what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion? It could be from any genre course. We’re going to put a link to courageous cultures on your show notes page as well.
Karin Hurt (33:01):
Uh, I would say anything by Seth Godin, particularly tribes.
Jim Rembach (33:06):
Okay. Fast leader Legion. You can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/karin-hurt-2 because Karin’s been on the show before. Okay. Excuse me, my last Humpday hold on question. Karin. Imagine you had the opportunity to go back to the age of 25. You have the knowledge and skills to take back with you, but you know what? You can’t take them all. You can only take one. So what piece of knowledge or skill would you take back with you and why?
Karin Hurt (33:35):
I would say don’t be so self critical and uh, because I think I had a lot more skills than I thought I did at that point. And so just to be able to see yourself as other people see you.
Jim Rembach (33:50):
Karin, I had fun with you today. Can you please share with the fast leader Legion how they can connect with you?
Karin Hurt (33:54):
Yes. We would love to connect on LinkedIn. Um, Karin with an I or a, our website is, let’s grow leaders.com and you can get to our book website, courageous cultures, book.com either directly or through that website.
Jim Rembach (34:11):
Karin hurt. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.