CX Top Tips

010: Art Hall: I’m still struggling with it

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Podcast Show Notes with Art Hall

Art shares with us a hump he is trying to get over now! Art finds himself in certain situations that impact him personally, when he should not. He is trying to learn how to not let certain things that are said become burdens and frustrations that he should not be carrying. But Art’s deep passion to help others and do what’s best often times prevents him from letting go. While Art is struggling with this issue now, he shares with us some valuable lessons he has learned thus far. Join me as Art tells his story on how you can get over the hump with him.

Art Hall was born and raised in Staten Island, New York and is the son of Art and Diane Hall. Art’s father was one of the founders of the New York City Marathon back in the early 70’s when it was held in Central Park before expanding to the five boroughs in New York City.

Like his father, Art ran cross-country, indoor and outdoor track in high school and undergrad. Art graduated from Binghamton University and started his career as a legal law librarian at Dechert Price & Rhoads in New York City. Eventually, Art moved to Atlanta and continued in the legal profession by working at Kilpatrick Stockton Townsend before landing a career at First Data. It was at First Data where Art learned the art of leading a contact center operation.

Art has more than 19 years of industry and consulting experience and is currently a Director with Alvarez & Marsal in Atlanta and specializes in strategy and performance improvement for strategic buyers for corporates and private equity firms.

Prior to joining Alvarez & Marsal, Art was Vice President of Sales and Customer Care for NetBank managing and overseeing the online bank’s international contact center operations for dealer financial services, retail and small business banking, mortgage servicing and wealth management.

Art is also an ordained minister at a non-denominational church in Union City, Georgia called Resurrection House for All Nations pastored by Chika Onuzo. Art is also a husband and a father to four children: Justin, Christian, Benjamin and Kaitlin.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Check out @art_hall4 getting over the hump @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Being a consultant has taken a black eye in certain areas.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“Integrity means meeting your commitment.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“Integrity means meeting your word.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“Integrity means if you dropped the ball admit it.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“Integrity means being open, honest and complete in your communication.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“Charging a fair price is acting in integrity.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“The question that you are hesitant to ask, that is the very question you should ask.”-Tom Elsenbrook Click to Tweet

“There’s a lot of smithing in consulting.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“There’s a lot of questions I’d like to ask, but I can’t ask it the way it’s going on in my head.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“I’m not only thinking about the question but I’m thinking about the best way to ask it.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“When you need to deliver candid feedback, always ask permission.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“You don’t need to respond to everything.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“Humility is a big deal, but comes across in subtle ways.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“Don’t think to highly of yourself.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“Humility takes a lot of patience.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“If you practice humility it will propel you farther than presumption.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“Cross-fit is the biggest humility pill ever.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“Leave your ego at the door.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“Each problem has its own unique challenges and unique constraints.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“I have learned not to slave drive a group, but to empower them.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

“Lead from the front.” Art Hall Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Art finds himself taking certain things that are said too personally. What he is learning thus far is that situational feedback and communication can be a tug-of-war that requires a higher level of Emotional Intelligence. Art is learning how to improve his Stress Hardiness, Tolerance, Emotional Self-Control, and Effective Confrontation skills. Art is currently focusing on how not to take things so personally and to not respond to everything, and be more humble. Listen to Art as he works to get over this hump and what big humility pill he has found.

Leadership Epiphany

Humility is key. The challenge is that it takes a lot of patience and is a long road traveled. But if you practice it will take you further than you could ever imaging.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Pride

Best leadership advice ever received

Listen

Secret to Success

His faith

Best resources in work or life

Listening

Recommended Reading

The Economies of Rising Inequalities
Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Contacting Art

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/arthall
Via email: ahall [at] alvarezandmarsal.com

More Resources

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

Click to access edited transcript
010: Art Hall: I’m still struggling with it

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligent practitioner, Jim Rembach.
Jim Rembach: Thanks Kimberly. Okay Fast Leader Legion, I am blessed because I get the opportunity to introduce to you Art Hall. No, not the game show host. Art Hall is a good friend of mine that I always look to for the right answer and being that image of class.
Art Hall was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. He’s the son of Art and Diane Hall. Art’s father was one of the founders of the New York City marathon back in the 1970’s when it was held still in Central Park before expanding to the five boroughs. Like his father, Art ran cross-country indoor and outdoor track in high school and undergrad.
He graduated from Binghamton University but his career started in the law profession for Dechert Price and Rhoads in New York City. He eventually moved to Atlanta where he found his way to First Data and got exposed to contact center operations and leading customer care.
Art has more than 19 years of industry experience and is currently the director at Alvarez and Marsal where he specializes in strategy and performance improvement. Prior to joining them he was with NetBank and that’s where I had the opportunity to meet Art. He was a part of one of the first financial institutions to be on the Internet.
Art is also an ordained minister at a non-denominational church in Union City, Georgia called Resurrection House for All Nations pastored by Chika Onuzo.
Art is also a husband and father to four kids Justin, Christian, Benjamin and Kaitlin.
Art Hall are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Art Hall: I’m ready to help everybody, even yourself and myself, over the hump.
Jim Rembach: Hey, I know I need them and I know our legion listeners do too, so thanks for being here. Now, I’ve given our listeners a brief introduction, but can you please tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you better?
Art Hall: Wow! I would say my current passion now is trying to restore the integrity of the trusted advisor to buyers. What I mean by that is, I think to some degree consulting with companies or being a consultant has taken a black eye in certain areas where the advisor who supposed to be trusted is perceived to be out to price couch a company or price couch a buyer. Or the advisor doesn’t necessarily tell the whole truth or doesn’t have the balls to tell the truth in a way that will help the buyer. My passion now really is to instore some integrity in the profession by being honest, by being open, by being complete with communication. By giving buyers options on what to do really thinking through crafting recommendations that would make sense for their culture versus shoving a recommendation down their throat or suggesting a recommendation that would be in our interests not necessarily in the client’s best interests, in short that’s really my passion now.
At first starting and consulting was a huge learning curve for me, given I’ve spent most of my years in industry, and so I think over the past 8 years I really found my footing but this particularly has been a main driving force of mine, probably for the past four years.
Jim Rembach: You know there’s a keyword for me that I often use that you had stated and that’s integrity. It’s interesting, I think they can kind of throw that word around and maybe don’t necessarily know what it means. I think they have a sense of what it means but what does it mean to you?
Art Hall: I think integrity means meeting your commitment, meeting your word when you say you’re going to meet you word. I think integrity means if you drop the ball admit that you drop the ball and how you will rectify the issue quickly, and again in the client’s bet interest. Integrity means being open, honest and complete in your communication. You could be open and honest but not necessary complete, you can withhold some things back if it’s going to maybe jeopardize a relationship or jeopardize the next deal or jeopardize the future relationship that you may have established with the company. So I think being open, honest and complete in your communication is part of the integrity factor. Charging a fair price I think is also acting in integrity. The good thing Jim is that I work for a company that’s—integrity is part of our core values so it’s natural for me to digest that personally and professionally and then make sure that when I’m serving clients that comes out in our relationship.
Jim Rembach: It’s nice to have that congruency as far as with what you’re feeling what the organization is wanting to deliver, thanks for sharing that with us. Now, here in the Fast Leader show we always are searching for inspiration to help us get over the hump. One of the ways that we do that is we look at quotes and passages that others kind of like. Can you share one of your favorites with us please?
Art Hall: When I first started at Alvarez and Marsal the CEO a business consultant, his name is Donaldson Brook, one of the things he told a large group—and I never forgot it—he said the question that you are hesitant to ask that is the very question you should ask, and that really stuck with me. Many times you can be in a situation, a client situation or even a personal situation, and there maybe thoughts or questions or comments that are going on in your head but for whatever reason and maybe some reticence or some fear in asking that very thing. But in any relationship, be it personal or be it professional, if you’re really trying to understand where the other person is coming from that question that you’re thinking about that you may be hesitant to ask that’s the very question that you need to ask to unpack or uncover another person’s perspective or another person’s side of things in order to get to some level of shared understanding, that’s what makes relationships and by extension leadership so important. So that’s one of the quotes or mentors that I live by.
Jim Rembach: That’s really good one. Now, I have found for myself that asking that question that question has become a lot easier when I essentially smit it before it comes out of my mouth.
Art Hall: [Laugh] There’s a lot of smiting in consulting. So, coming out of industry and depending on the environment you could just lay your cards out on the table and that’s fine but in consulting there’s a lot of smiting. You’re right, there’s a lot of questions I would like to ask but I can’t ask it the way that is going on in my head. I’m not only thinking of the question but I’m thinking of the best way to ask the question or say something that, the client depending on the circumstances and the situation, would be able to digest or appreciate the question or the comments. So, you’re absolutely right, smiting—it’s an art, like my name Art, not necessarily science.
Jim Rembach: For me it’s—like under my breath I almost have to say, “Okay, help me lord.”
Art Hall: [Laugh] I was saying that today and I wasn’t even in a conversation, “My god, you got to help me [inaudible 8:28] [Laughter] Jim Rembach: Oh! That’s fantastic and thank you for sharing that with us Art. How do you think that you apply the meaning of that quote in your life?
Art Hall: I work a lot with people both personally and professionally. And because I have a lot of interaction with people it’s now had become very second nature to think something, it could be a very tense situation and I had to figure out how to smit it and get it across in the right way. I met with a guy that I consider a mentor he is a [inaudible 9:06] his name is Randy [inaudible] Jim Rembach: He does now.
Art Hall: He knows now, hey, Randy. One thing Randy said to me about a month ago that I completely forgot is that when you need to deliver candid feedback and that feedback my rub the person the wrong way that the listener the wrong way, he reminded me to always ask permission like—may I have your permission to share this with you to share some candid feedback—and the moment they say yes, then you’ve already printed an agreement that you can now share very candid feedback that otherwise if you will just pointed it out would be very difficult for the recipient to receive. Now, even when getting that permission that doesn’t make conversation any easier but instead of digesting or suppressing that thing that’s going on in your head, at least you have an opportunity to get it out if you asked permission and they agree.
Personally, I have that—serving in the ministry—I have that working at A & M that depending on the circumstance or the situation or the culture, asking for permission before just presumptuously blurting out what you think should be blurted out. With the right guidance of coaching, that at least I learned and I share with others.
Jim Rembach: Thanks for doing that and sharing that because those are some of the things that we want to be able to bring to light at the Fast Leader show. It’s not a scenario trying to do things quickly and creating shortcuts per se, oftentimes, our life hacks just have to do with knowledge and knowing how to do it right.
Art Hall: Yeah. Exactly.
Jim Rembach: And so that means we often have humps that we have to get over and they become learning and teaching moments that guide who we are and what we do today that we wouldn’t necessarily want to ever repeat, right?
Art Hall: Yeah, right, right.
Jim Rembach: Can you think of a moment in your life where you had, that hump to get over, where it helped you be the person you are today. Could you share that story with us?
Art Hall: Yeah, I can. I have a hump that I’m trying to get over now and I can tell what that hump is and what I’m learning thus far. Many times I find myself in situations where I have to learn how to provide situational communication, situational feedback. A client is telling me something that they may not necessarily tell the project leader and they’re asking help for me to take what they’re sharing and share it back with a project leader that may or may not be too accepting of what the client says. And so I find myself in this tug-of-war with how do I provide situational communication to my leadership in a way that they would understand not only where I’m coming from with the particular perspective or where my client’s coming from.

And the hump that I’m trying to get over is in certain situations a project leader may do something that I take it really personal. In certain circumstances I’m still learning how to get over that, like not take it so personal. I was in the meeting yesterday and this situation had come up and the woman I was speaking with is much older than me and she said, “Art, I’m a lot older than you and let me tell you what I learn,” I’ve just learned that when those things come up you don’t have to always answer it just let it go even though the person may think that they are right just let the issue go. I think that’s what I have a hard time doing is that certain things just impact me in such a way that it’s hard for me to let it go. I’m trying to learn to not let those things bother me because it just creates unnecessary personal stress and personal fatigue and mental stress that you don’t need to carry around with you because you suppress all that and the moment that individual presses the wrong button then, Boom! This is huge explosion.

So learning your emotional intelligence and understanding what triggers certain reactions and how to manage your behavior in a way that is conducive depending on the environment or regardless of the environment that you’re working in, that’s a hump that I’m trying to get over. There’s areas where I’m getting over it successfully but there’s areas that I’m still struggling with. So I would say this situational communication thing is what’s really pressing me right now as we talk.

Jim Rembach: I would agree with you from the perspective of having that same issue. It is a continual struggle for me oftentimes too. I think it will be easier if it was always with the same person, you kind of learn their habits, you learn where their values and their intent and all these things are coming from instead of you having draw perceptions and some make assumptions based on that and also think that a person who just likes to demean and impact others.

The reality that I found is that very few people are really like. Oftentimes they get caught in the same situational moment too and the anxiety kicks over and the IQ drops and the EQ was already there to begin with and the impact or effect is both negative. Have you found one particular tactic that has seemed at this point to work for you a little bit better than others?

Art Hall: I’m still searching Jim.

Jim Rembach: Are you?

Art Hall: Yeah. I think what’s helping me now is just trying not to take it so personal. If it comes across via e-mail just delete it you don’t need to respond to everything. If the person’s opinions are really strong and they believe that they’re right they have that right to believe that they’re right. It’s not my job per se to try to change them to see things differently. I would say be humble that can’t really be humble. Humility is a big deal and it comes across in very subtle ways.

For example you could be right about something and you know that you’re right but for me I always have to remember there’s part of the story or part of the situation I just don’t know. And without that perspective you will not be able to learn other things or be exposed to other things. Don’t think too highly of yourself, I think that’s one aspect of humility. Yeah, humility is key particularly when you’re working with people in any dimension, whether it’s personal or on business or particular vocation, people pick up on it. The challenge with humility is that it takes a lot of patience and it seems like a long road travel. It feels like that you get stepped on and pushed to the side but I tell you if you practice it, it will certainly propel you farther than taking shortcuts or being presumptuous in behavior.

Jim Rembach: I think you’re really on to something there because humility has been something that we’ve seen more and more folks focus in on from a leadership perspective of—even of self. We start talking about mindset, a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset and all that leads in to that humility component and understanding that perfection could actually drive you absolutely crazy. And because you’re not going to reach perfection in everything that you do, you need to accept the fact that we were born to fail and you have to allow yourself to fail because that’s what they have found when we learn the best. We have to fail to learn, so think about that, you have to allow that to happen and that’s where humility kicks in.

Art Hall: I have one. I have a curve ball coming now. I’ve been doing cross fit, it’ll be eight years in August, and I could tell you that is the biggest humility pill ever in so many ways, ever. I mean we have something within cross fit community that they say that you want to leave your ego at the door. That’s very hard. If you’re type A, if you’re competitive, you could try to beat yourself or beat the other person but I’m telling you cross fit will teach you humility in a minute.

Jim Rembach: That’s a great piece of advice for some folks that are struggling with the humility piece, that find yourself in being a bullheaded person more than you need to be, get your hindy out there and do some cross fit.

Art Hall: Get you go.

Jim Rembach: Alright. Thanks Art, I appreciate that. I know that you talked about your work and having a passion and of course your family and your faith, however, what is one thing that’s really exciting you about the work that you’re doing today?

Art Hall: This is pretty nerdy, but I like the idea of solving problems, complex problems that’s what’s really exciting. I think that’s why I’ve accepted as not only a part of my own DNA but also my role as an employee at A&M is that there’s no client problems that’s the same each problem has its own unique challenges and so there are unique constraints. And being able to be parachuted in to any environment and then helping that client solve or navigate their way out of a problem is exciting to me. So, I would say problem solving.

Jim Rembach: That’s great. So, what goals do you have for the future?

Art Hall: One, my wife Katina is getting her third degree, I think, in Family and Marriage counseling. She got her Master’s in Public Policy from Georgia State back in 2000 and now she’s getting a Family, Marriage Therapy degree, she’s finishing in June, so I need to get her a new car, so that’s a goal—I’m sure she would like that.

I’m here doing this interview in Staten Island, New York and I would like to get my brother a new carpet throughout the apartment that we grew up in, that’s one. I think aspirational at A&M, I’m hoping that this is the year for my promotion to Senior Director, that’s kind of one. Ministerial-wise my goal is to preach like my pastor, I’m getting better but still not there yet to where he’s at—I think he’s awesome, that would be another goal.

Jim Rembach: The entire Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now it’s time to transition to the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Art, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Art Hall, are you ready to hoedown?
Art Hall: I’m ready to hoedown.
Jim Rembach: Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?
Art Hall: Pride.

Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

Art Hall: Listen.

Jim Rembach: What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Art Hall: My faith.

Jim Rembach: What do you feel is one of your best resources that helps lead in business or life?

Art Hall: Listening.

Jim Rembach: What would be one book you would recommend to our listeners?

Art Hall: Woo, Thomas…it’s a book on income inequality by Thomas [inaudible 21:41]

Jim Rembach: Okay Fast Leader listeners what we’re going to do is we’re going to provide a link to that and other bonus information from today’s show and you can find that on our show notes at astleader.net/arthall. Okay Art, you are efficient in that first lightning round that was awesome. For our last question: Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning and you were 25 years old again and you are supposed to begin a new job as a manager of a team of people that is underperforming and disengaged but you’re blessed because you could take all of the wisdom and skill that you currently have and take it with you. Your task is to turn this team around. You get up in the morning, you’re ready you head out to work, what do you do now?

Art Hall: I would hold a meeting with that group. I think the things that I’ve learned is not to slave drive a group but to really empower them, support them. And so, we need to—if I was placed in that situation now with what I’ve learned over the past 20 years—I think that the very first thing I would do is talk to each of them individually and collectively. Set some realistic goals and get in the fire with them. Not necessarily lead from behind but lead from the front.

Jim Rembach: Art, it was an honor to spend time with you today. Can you please share with Fast Leader listeners how they can connect with you?

Art Hall: Yes I can do that Jim. I could be reached by my mobile which is 404 759 9158. I’m on LinkedIn, Art Hall, you this African-American guy that looks very nice, there’s a nice suit, purple tie and a blue shirt, when you see that profile and that $100 smile, link in. And you can reach me by e-mail, my e-mail’s really long, so just go to LinkedIn and see that nice looking guy and that’s how you could find me.

Jim Rembach: Art Hall, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot Woot!

Thank you for joining on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over to the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

END OF AUDIO

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