015: Pele Ugboajah: Go ask your boss this

Pele Ugboajah Show Notes

Pele had a high-paying job with a fancy title but it wasn’t enough. He left that job for another with a bigger title and a bigger salary. After only after a year, the bigger job and salary was taken away when Pele was impacted by layoffs. He was left with nothing. So he went back to his previous boss, but he did not ask for his old job back, he asked him for something else. What his old boss told him has driven him to his biggest passion in life. Listen to Pele as he shares his story of perseverance, passion and behaviors.

Pele Ugboajah, PhD was born and raised in a war-torn African refugee village during the Biafra civil war. He was named after Pele of Brazil – the greatest soccer player on earth – whose influence was so great that it stopped that civil war for two days in 1967. Inspired by the myth of his namesake, Pele refused to believe that his own dreams were impossible. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a head full of passion, he overcame numerous obstacles and completed a journey from third world poverty to the highest reaches of the American dream.

Pele holds an MBA and a PhD in Organization and Management, with a specialization in leadership behavior. He is an avid software innovator, storyteller and musician, and has worked for many years in various executive and entrepreneurial roles. As a vice president of human resources, he managed and monitored HR budgets of $10 million, and as an executive coach, he sold leadership development experiences and learning technology solutions to Fortune 500 companies. Today, as a software entrepreneur, he has developed and delivered ResultPal, a practice-based performance management solution that helps organizations turn talent into results.

Through music, motivation, and mentoring software such as ResultPal, Pele passionately believes in the power technology has to change and improve organizational behavior. Just like his namesake from many years ago, he is on a mission to convince the world that individual, team, and organizational success comes from the willingness and ability to change and improve behavior, one person at a time.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Check out @peleugboajah getting over the hump on @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Nothing really succeeds or fails unless behavior happens.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“If we can help people change their behavior for the better we can impact the world.“ -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“Behavior is invisible.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“Changing behavior comes down to getting down to small tiny chunks.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“Leadership is influence.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“We don’t nurture and develop people on a one-to-one level anymore.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“If we could help others be successful…in the end it creates a better world.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“Go ask your boss what are the three things I need to change.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“Everything you do creates a culture of success or failure.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“If you’re waiting of an end of the year performance review, forget it…they don’t work.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“You owe it to yourself to find a coach.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“The best success, comes not necessarily from a great coach, but from a great coachee.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Pele had a high-paying job with a fancy title but it wasn’t enough. He left the company that nurtured him and gave him a good opportunity. In a year he had nothing. The bigger title and salary, that he left for was gone. The victim of a layoff, Pele returned to his old boss and was told three things. It took Pele several years to figure out just what his old boss was trying to do. Listen to Pele still work to get over that hump of many years ago and share what he has learn and what he is doing now.

Leadership Epiphany

We’ve got to help people understand where they, what they need to develop, and then coach them so they can get better over time.

Advice for others

Go ask your boss, what are the three things I need to change. And are you willing to help me change them right now.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

I need more people on my team.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Influence comes from helping others.

Secret to Success

You got to play something. Get away and get lost in playing something.

Best Resources in Business or Life

Google; you can find knowledge with the click of a button.

Recommended Reading

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Contacting Pele

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peleugboajah

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peleugboajah

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
015: Pele Ugboajah: Go ask your boss this

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: Okay, Fast Leader legion, you absolutely want to make sure that you go to iTunes and download and subscribe the Fast Leader Show because you’re going to want to rate this particular episode with the guest that I have for you today ‘cause he’s fantastic. Pele Ubgoajah was a PhD that was born and raised in a war-torn African village during the Biafra Civil War with nothing but the clothes in his back and a head full passion. He overcame numerous obstacles and completed a journey from the Third World poverty that he was born to the United States where he actually took advantage of his opportunities and now holds an MBA and a PhD in organization and management with a specialization in leadership behavior.
As a former Vice President of Human Resources, he managed and monitored HR budgets of several million dollars. He’s an avid software innovator, storyteller, and musician. He had worked for many years in various executive and entrepreneur roles. Today, he is a software entrepreneur and has developed and delivered a solution called ResultPal which is a practice based performance management solution that helps organizations turn talent into results. His mission is to convince the world that individual team and organizational success comes from the willingness and ability to change and improve behavior one person at a time. Pele lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and three kids, E. G., O.B. and Aiket. Pele Ugboajah, are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Pele Ugboajah: I am and ready, thank so much.
Jim Rembach: You’re more than welcome and were excited to have you. Okay, so I’ve given our listeners an opportunity to learn a little bit about you, but we want to know what your passion is, could you share with us a little bit what’s driving you today?
Pele Ugboajah: What’s driving me today is the desire to help change the world through behavior. I’m really passionate about the topic of behavior because nothing succeeds or fails unless behavior happens so if we can help people change their behavior for the better, we could impact the world.
Jim Rembach: There’s so much depth in what you’re just saying in association with behavior and behavior change, behavior modification. What I was reading something recently that talked about changing behavior’s the most difficult thing that we could ever do. So, how does that come into play when you start talking about helping people do just that change behavior?
Pele Ugboajah: You’re right. It is difficult to change. The reason why changing behavior is so difficult is because behavior is—invisible. It is happening all the time and we just aren’t aware of it, we don’t stop to say: “Wait a second, I am behaving this way” or “I am behaving that way.” And to make matters worse when you add my behavior to your and to the behavior of a lot of people that share our community, that’s when you get culture. So, when a lot of us is behaving badly we end up with a company called Enron, where you got talented people and you have bad behavior, and it causes potentially they could have cost a global catastrophe of finance and failure. And so, my behavior, your behavior if we can just change it by focusing on it and making it less invisible, that’s when we create a success in our lives.
Jim Rembach: When you talk about that there’s one thing that came to mind when you mentioned Enron and the behavior piece, in that, there’s something in social science that talks about—when you think about mob mentality, mob behavior, that an IQ will drop by more than 50% and you start doing things because of the mob mentality that you otherwise didn’t do. So, when you start talking about Enron so you’re saying some of that mob behavior was in place and people’s IQ just dropped all over the place?
Pele Ugboajah: Absolutely. And the interesting thing is when you look at leaders or really anyone in work or in life we are always exercising certain skills and these skills are what allow us to be successful. But behind these skills in order to get good on any of those skills, are there little subskills or actionable behaviors that we’ve got to get good at it. It’s like if you’re going to learn how to play the guitar, first you’ve got to know how to hold it, that’s a behavior. Them you’ve got to know another behavior and the behavior and so changing behavior, in order to avoid this problem of culture we’ve talked about, the Enron level, changing behavior comes down to getting really down to its small tiny chunks of behavior. Once we get down to those tiny chunks you can change them one tiny chunk at a time until we end up with a person who’s become a better leader, and so on and so forth. It’s a fascinating stuff to the science of behavior change.
Jim Rembach: And talk about fascinating, for us in the Fast Leader Show, we really liked to focus in on things that inspire us in a lot of different ways and quotes, passages and things like that are something that we all find energy and power and have different and cause different behaviors, but is there a particular quote or leadership passage that drives you to help you be the person that you want to be?
Pele Ugboajah: Absolutely. It’s three words, leadership is influence. If you’re influencing anyone, if no one’s following you or your ideas, you are not a leader. If you’re in a company and you title is Vice President and no one [inaudible5:55] what you say, no one agrees with you and no one is influenced by you, you’re not really a leader. And so, I think for me, the greatest three words about leadership are that leadership is actually influence.
Jim Rembach: Definitely for me I’ve had the opportunity go through some workshops and certification classes that help with that influence and persuasion piece, and for me it’s made a world of difference in a lot of different ways both personally and professionally. I talk about it a lot as being an expert for the Customer Experience Professionals Association and how that—persuasion and influence is important if you want to create a more human centric organization. In context, we’re talking about customer centric but it’s a critical and core component that we all can get some significant benefit from, if we improve our skills in that area. But I would say that for you, talking about history and where you are today, there had to be a lot of humps that you had to get over in order for you to be where you are today—you don’t have a family that, I know you cherish a lot and I’m sure cherishes you, can you share a story with us about a time where you’ve had to get over the hump so that will help us?
Pele Ugboajah: I have a story that has never really left me. It’s something that I always measure my life against. I was a younger man in the corporation, I had fancy title, I was Director of Technical Marketing at this company and I got there not because I was great leader but because I had a boss who just promoted me. He’s the boss who once told me that leadership is influence, by the way, but one day out of fear or out just not knowing the terrain of the corporate world I was afraid to be in that company and I resigned to accept a position at a larger company.
So, I basically left the company that had nurtured me and went and started somewhere new because I had bigger title, and more money and so on. After a year the bigger company that brought me on laid almost everybody off, and so I have nothing. I had climbed the corporate ladder, I’d achieved a whole bunch of things and now I had absolutely nothing.
So, I went back to that boss of mine, and I asked him I said, “I know you’re not going to have me back the way I resigned probably hurt you a little bit, tell me what I can do to improve?” And he said, “Look, you’ve got three problems” and I never forget that, he said, “You struggle with loyalty?” “Yeah.” “You struggle with patience?” Again, “Dah” “And you struggle with teamwork.” And said, “If you could have just done those three things very well, you would still be here and you’d be whatever he thought I could have potentially been. And I thanked him for his help, but I really wish he would’ve told me that before I left, the very first time.
And that’s the problem with leadership, we don’t develop and nurture people on a one-to-one level anymore. We could have easily sat me down and had that conversation and I would have stayed, I wouldn’t have been lost in my fears, but he didn’t do that. So now, I’m passionate and committed to providing tools and technologies that will help people identify the behaviors they need to change and improve on so that they can be successful where they are. That’s the hump I had to get over. [Laugh] Jim Rembach: And those are common ones but your story is the unique one, and thank you for sharing that with us. Now, if you were to talk about something that hit you as that opportunity to do something different within that story, and even he shared with you, can you remember when that really hit, was it at the moment he told you or did it came later?
Pele Ugboajah: It came many year later when I realized that what he was trying to do was identify behaviors. But he didn’t identify those behaviors and he didn’t coach me he just allowed me to go do whatever I wanted to do. We’ve got to help people understand where they are, what they need to develop and then we’ve got to cause them and keep them accountable to those behaviors so that they can get better over time. I think that if we can help others to be successful where they are in end it creates a better corporation or world or family or whatever. And so, that’s really what my mission is now, if you will.
Jim Rembach: If you were to give Fast Leader legion a piece of advice or two, what would it?
Pele Ugboajah: I think—first of all I’d say this, but I would say, glass through boss. What are the three things I need to change? And are you willing to help me change them right now? Because if you’re not having that conversation, you’ll never really know what’s going. You’ve got to recognize that everything you do creates a culture of success or failure and some of us are lucky to hear about it sooner than later.
If you’re waiting for an end of year review, performance review, forget it because everybody hates those things they don’t work. You need to go and understand in real-time what you need to do to become a better leader, a friend or whatever it is you need to succeed at, at the level of behaviors not just at theoretical level. Here’s what you’re going to do first, here’s what you’re going to do next in terms of the leadership behaviors in your life.
Jim Rembach: That’s very helpful. I can give you a scenario and we’d love to hear your thoughts on this because I know somebody personally, and I’m going to protect their name, who has not had a leader who will sit down and spend the time with them to do just. And if they were to go and ask them, they may not get any reply or answer and probably would just get some avoidance or something off-the-cuff that’s not really genuine and sincere, what if you don’t have that person that you can go to and ask those questions, what do you do?
Pele Ugboajah: The interesting thing is—that’s why I develop my current product which you mentioned called ResultPal, because it helps to extend the activities of a coach or even when the coach is not there or when the manager is not there. So, if this individual can’t talk to their manager I would highly recommend that they get a coach. And when that coach is not physically available they should be tracking their behaviors in a tool-like ResultPal because if you don’t have that kind of visibility and accountability for your coach regarding the behaviors you’re implementing, you’re not going to do them quite as well to be quite honest. It’s like playing a musical instrument, we need coaches because coaches help us get better.
Jim Rembach: You bring up a really important thing for me in regards to when I had a large staff that I was managing. I think it’s typical that I would have a pretty consistent amount of folks that would say: “What are you going to do to develop me?” And I would always have to throw it back and said, “How are you going to develop yourself?” I mean, there’s really two pieces to this pie here, Okay, here are the things that we sponsor or that we support as an organization and then here’s things that you have to do outside of that. And that what makes a holistic type of approach and benefit in regards to success when it comes to coaching in your development. So, it’s not just know you, you, you, it’s also me, me, me from the perspective of I have to do something on my own as well, and be proactive with that.
When you referred to coaching, a lot of organizations don’t offer coaching, would you recommend that somebody does not allow that to stop them from being coach and go out and find their own coach?
Pele Ugboajah: I would, specially leaders, emerging leaders. You owe it to yourself to find a coach. Michael Jordan, Pele of Brazil, these are some of the best performers in their field and they all had coaches. There’s a lot of value to a coach but the thing about coaching is that, and you’re very correct it’s very well supported there’s research that shows that the best success comes not necessarily from a great coach but from a great coachee, it is the willingness of an individual to implement the behaviors that are recommended by a coach, that’s what makes the difference. When you’re implementing this behaviors even in the absence of the coach and you track the results and you can show what you doing, you really get success out of that. So, I would suggest that anyone, whether or not their managers are actively involved, seek out a mentor, seek out a coach, seek out someone and create an environment where you can interact with them even if they’re not going to be with you 100% of the time, at least there’s a soft [inaudible 15:07] because you know someone cares and someone’s watching.
Jim Rembach: Those are all great pieces of insight and information and hopefully many of the folks who’ve been on the fence and who are listeners will take a final leap and if they’re not being provided a coach, they go get one. Alright, so you talked a little bit about ResultPal, and tools and the mechanism and how you’re focusing on that now, what really excites you about where you are with the development of that solution?
Pele Ugboajah: What excites me is, I think I’m on the bleeding edge of something here. Because there’s no industry yet, there’s no product yet for what I’m doing. There is no such thing as a BMS, Behavior Management System, it doesn’t exist in a corporate or in a leadership of business world. We have learning management systems, we’ve got contact and CRM systems, who is managing behavior? Nobody. So, ResultPal really wants to create a world in which we can define behaviors, we can manage them and use this tool to help people get better at ‘me’, as you said.
Jim Rembach: I have been in contact center space from many years and have seen a lot of different technologies come and go and I had an analyst tell me one time, “You should never try to create an industry that does not exist, it takes too much money.” [Laugh] So, how are you doing that?
Pele Ugboajah: Luckily for me, the industry of behavior has been here since the very first person came out, wherever we came out from, behavior is something you’ve been trying to manage through religion, through politics through all kinds of mechanisms there’s nothing new about behavior, modification or behavior change. But what we now have is we have technologies like mobile device, wearable technology, voice activation and listening systems, and where all these technologies come together you now have the ability to reproduce a coach when no coach is there. That’s really what’s exciting, it’s not an industry that’s being created, it’s a way of doing what we’ve always done through technology.
Jim Rembach: Got it, thanks for the clarification. We wish you the very best Pele. Here we go Fast Leader listeners it’s time for the—Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Pele, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insight fast. So, 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. Pele are you ready to hoedown?
Pele Ugboajah: I’m ready.
Jim Rembach: What do you think is holding you back from being a better leader today?
Pele Ugboajah: Now is that me or anyone?
Jim Rembach: You.
Pele Ugboajah: Me, okay. I need more people on my team.
Jim Rembach: That’s insulting me back.
Pele Ugboajah: When you’re in a startup environment and your bootstrapper the biggest gift you can get is finding good people to join your team and I’m actively looking for those people. When we increase our strength by numbers we will be a much more effective team, and I will be a better leader as result.
Jim Rembach: What’s the best leadership advice you have ever received?
Pele Ugboajah: Influence which is what I started out with in our conversation comes from helping others. It doesn’t come from demanding it, leadership is influence but you gain that when you help other people, it’s amazing how that works, but that’s the magic formula.
Jim Rembach: What is one of your secrets that you believe to your success?
Pele Ugboajah: I play guitar, I play the piano, I write songs, I play soccer with my kids, you’ve got to play something, you’ve got to get out of this hard work environment and there’s a spiritual you go to, for me when I’m playing with my kids or my musical instrument, you can’t pay for it—it’s magic. So, if you can go there for a while, go away, get lost in playing, when you come back to work you become so much more powerful.
Jim Rembach: What do you feel is one of your best resources that helps you lead in business or life?
Pele Ugboajah: Google. I know this is a plug for an African plea but I got to tell you. After I got my PhD and I spent all that money trying to get an education I realized I got more education by searching for stuff on Google. So I have to say, when we walked this earth, and at any point in time we can find knowledge with click of a button, that’s a resource.
Jim Rembach: For sure. I know there’s probably several but, if you could recommend one book that our listeners should read.
Pele Ugboajah: Oh, boy, there are so many. I would say—I’m trying to come up with something smart here but I don’t think I’m thinking of one, I would stick with “The Seven Habits, ” I always come back to that. Stephen Covey was just—he meant a lot to me, I met him once, and he’s one of those people that can inspired tears. So, if you could read that book again for the perspective of—this book is going to be around for years, it’s going to mean something to me for years, it’ll will do something for you, it’s a good book.
Jim Rembach: That definitely gives us a renewed vision into that particular book. Alright, we’re going to put link to that book and other bonus information from today’s show and you’ll be able to find that by going to fastleader.net/Pele Ugboajah. Just go to fastleader.net it [inaudible 20:50] and you’ll be able to find it. Alright Pele, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning and you were 25 years old again. You were supposed to begin a new job as a manager of a team of people that is underperforming and disengaged but you have retained all of the wisdom and skill that you currently have. Your task is to turn the team around, you get up, you get ready, you head out to work, what do you do now?
Pele Ugboajah: Oh, boy. I think the first thing I’ll do is I’ll call them and I’ll have all of them give a speech. What I mean by that is I’m not going to be the speaker, I’m not going to motivate, I want you to motivate the rest of us regarding how you are going to be great at your job, and how are you going to help us all succeed so much. There’s something magical that happens when you give other people the platform, when you’re not taking it for yourself, all of a sudden they become the implementers of behaviors. And that’s why I’m so passionate about creating a software tool like ResultPal that helps people implement behaviors, because when they’re the ones driving, they’re the ones succeeding. So, yes I get them all, put them on a soapbox and say where here to listen.
Jim Rembach: That’s awesome. It was an honor to spent time with you today, please share with the Fast Leader listeners how they can connect you?
Pele Ugboajah: You could go to www.resultpal.com, I think that’s the best place to start. I’m also on LinkedIn, and I believe you’re going to provide that link.
Jim Rembach: I absolutely will, it’ll be on our show notes page. Pele, 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 me 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 the fast leader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

014: Ramesh Subramanian: Be ready to hit it

Ramesh Subramanian Show Notes

Ramesh lived a nomadic type of life in his early years. He found himself with an entirely new set of friends every few years. This had a profound impact on Ramesh as he wanted to grow and learn but was delayed by not having strong friendships. Being able to learn how to connect better and prepare better has helped him to have a better career and life. Listen to Ramesh tell his story about what he learned and what has helped him to be successful in a career with global responsibilities so you can move onward and upward faster.

Ramesh calls himself a nomad as he was born in the East of India, moved to the south of India, and then to the west of India for his education.
His father worked for an oil company and the family moved every 3-4 years. At a young age, Ramesh was fascinated with computers even though it was not prevalent during the day. Eventually he received a bachelors in computer science from Pune University. And then followed his father’s footsteps and received a Master’s in Marketing.

Ramesh started his career in consulting and worked in Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Denmark, UK, Sweden, Brazil, and Thailand before coming to the US.
Now Ramesh considers himself a global citizen and loves to meet people from various cultures and experiences and creating his family’s social network. But to no surprise he does not want to uproot his family.

In Ramesh’s current role he creates strategies for consumer care and identifies and cross-pollinates best practices across various global markets for Electrolux.

Ramesh and his lovely wife Megana are the proud parents of two young children, Ishita and Ishan.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Check out @rameshdon getting over the hump on @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“If you don’t learn you are obsolete.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“Life experiences teach you more than any book can.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“You need to give people time to ensure that they understand you are worthy of their trust.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“Trust is foundational to any relationship.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“Always know there will be curve-balls and be ready to hit it.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“There has to be a level of thrill in whatever you do.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“When you are doing something you feel is adventurous you give more than 100%.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“First and foremost I would have more emphasis on people.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“People together contribute significantly.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“As I grew up I realized the importance of people.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Ramesh moved are a lot as young boy and as a young adult. Building a new set of friends every few years that could help him adapt and thrive was a difficult hump. It’s one that Ramesh got over after a lot of lessons were learned. Listen to Ramesh share many stories about his life that have allowed him to be successful with his responsibilities for a global consumer brand. Through his life experiences we can all learn some valuable lessons about how to adjust, connect and get ahead. Ramesh shares an amazing story about his arranged marriage and the roller coaster ride his wife had after they were married.

Leadership Epiphany

Always prepare for the curveballs because they will always come.

Advice for others

  1. Have a plan to take care of your family first.
  2. How adventurous can you make your life?
  3. Try to be patient.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Being more patient

Best Leadership Advice Received

A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

Secret to Success

Insatiable desire to learn

Best Resources in Business or Life

My crooked mind…always figuring a way out.

Recommended Reading

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t
First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding under Any Conditions

Contacting Ramesh

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/ramesh-subramanian/5/a96/17b
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rameshdon
Email: rameshdon [at] yahoo.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
014: Ramesh Subramanian: Be ready to hit 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 have the nomad today, he’s a good friend of mine, and his name is Ramesh Subramanian. He calls himself a nomad because he was born in East India, moved to the South of India and then moved to the west of India for his education. His father worked for an oil company and the family moved every 3 to 4 years. At a young age Ramesh was fascinated with computers, even though it wasn’t necessarily prevalent during the day, but he eventually received the Bachelors in Computer Science from Pune University and then followed his father’s footsteps and received the Masters in Marketing.
Ramesh started his career in consulting and worked in Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Denmark UK, Sweden, Brazil and Thailand before coming to the US. Now, Ramesh considers himself a global citizen and loves to meet people from various cultures and experiences. But to no surprise he does not want to uproot his family. Ramesh is an avid cricket fan and played against WB Raman who was a player on the India National Team, but Ramesh considers himself to be a better fan than he is a player.
In his current role he creates strategies for consumer care and identifies and cross pollinate best practices across various global markets for Electrolux. Ramesh was a fortunate benefactor of an arranged marriage. He and his lovely wife Megana are the proud parents of two young children Ishita and Ishan. Ramesh Subramanian, are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Ramesh Subramanian: Absolutely. I’ve never been on a camel but I’ll try.
Jim Rembach: That sounds good. 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.
Ramesh Subramanian: Sure. I have multiple passions that kind of ebbs and flows, so to speak. Currently, my passion is essentially on my kids football games and how they are trying learn the game and I’m trying to be a good father figure, role model, to encourage them to learn the game but I don’t have a clue how to play that game. It’s a very interesting process that we’re going through wherein I encourage them to play and give them a lot of instructions without knowing anything about how to play the game. I feel that I am perfectly fit for leadership and management roles now.
Jim Rembach: It’s a good training ground, isn’t it?
Ramesh Subramanian: No doubt.
Jim Rembach: There’s a lot of inspiration on what you just shared right there. Getting to learn something together that’s new creates a much more powerful bond in a lot of ways. I would think that that particular opportunity that you have with them will be something that will resonate and carry forward for everybody’s lifetime and generations, so I commend you on that.
Ramesh Subramanian: Thank you.
Jim Rembach: Oftentimes at the Fast Leader show we look for inspiration in a lot of different ways through the stories that are told and were looking forward to you sharing some of your life journey. But quotes, passages and those things can really be powerful things for us, is there one that you could share with us that guide you and helps you be the person that you want to be?
Ramesh Subramanian: There have been many, actually, but there’s one that I think has had a big impact in my life and when I heard of it first I never really understood the gravity or the depth of this saying. The father of the nation of India, Mahatma Gandhi had said this: “Live as if you will die tomorrow and learn as if you will live forever.” And I think that’s extremely powerful and deep statement that he admit. In the context of 1940’s, 1930’s, I’m talking about which is still absolutely relevant even today, it has impact not only on the individual but also society at large. So, essentially, if you look at it—live as if you will die tomorrow, essentially tells you that drive everything with the sense of urgency, that’s what I’m talking about. My interpretation of that is, how you can drive sense of urgency in everything that you do so that you can drive results quickly be it personal life, be it professional life. I’m sure you’ve experienced that when we used to work together, a little bit of my sense of urgency and madness, so to speak.
The other aspect is about learning continuously. How do you continuously learn because in today’s day and age if you don’t learn you’re not only obsolete but you’re pretty much dumb in the sense that you’re extinct? That’s very important to understand especially given the 21st century economy and also the competition that our kids are going to face which are very global in nature. So, it has a lot of relevance from a personal standpoint, from a community standpoint as was professional standpoint.
Jim Rembach: It sounds like it definitely has even when you started talking about learning new sport with your kids that you have no basis in [inaudible 6:04]The constant reinvention and I would dare to say that it has also made an impact to you as you’ve gone through the chapters in your life. One of our previous guest talks about—you can almost look at it on and retain your marker where you have to reevaluate, reassess, look and see where you’re going, have a better sense of urgency maybe for the next couple of months—that’s ten years, and really chart a path and reinvent yourself on a continuous basis and you just reinforced it, that quote has a very powerful meaning for you. Thank you for sharing.
Now, I know that with all of the different things that you been through and even when we were working together side-by-side for a while. The challenges that we often face are so varied in nature and sometimes come very rapidly, however, there’s some that really shape and define us more than others. We talk about humps on the Fast Leader show, and we need to get over those humps. Can you remember a time where you’ve had to get over the hump and it was really one of those major defining moments for you, can you share that story with us please arrive?
Ramesh Subramanian: Absolutely. Funny that you ask that question because there had been several humps, so to speak. I’ll go back to when you were talking about me being a nomad, and why I call myself a nomad. Just to give you a context of that the hump I use to face is we use to have a new set of friends every few years. And as you can imagine, when you’re growing up friends are a very important context of who you are. And what really helped me understand is the importance of friendship, that got instilled in me but I learned about it really, really young, in terms of how important friendship is.
And it also helped me understand that I need to—the small amount of time that I’m going to spend with whoever that person is, to enjoy the time because those are things that we take for granted but typically they are not. So from young age I would say that was one of the humps that it took me awhile to really understand and adjust because we were moving quite frequently. Again to extend that nomad story, when I move to college, when I went to move to the West of India to do my Bachelors—I don’t know how much you know about India but when you go from the south of India to the rest of India it’s a whole different country, different culture, completely different we don’t even speak the same language there, it’s like you’re learning everything from scratch—the dynamics between people, how to feel part of the society or part of the school, that was a huge learning process, I think.
And these learnings are never thought in books, these are experiences and I think life experiences teach you more than any book can. While the biggest things I learned through that whole process was—you need to give people time to ensure that they understand your worthy of their trust. Because trust is foundation to any relationship. To some people it is faster than others but time is definitely a factor when you’re essentially trying to get into a new climate or new environment and trying to be part of it. Be it social, be it professional even for that matter be the new school you’re kid go to, there has to be a level of ‘toying’, so to speak, that means to hop.
So, I think that maturity came during my college years. And I think one which is more relevantly new I would say is when I came to the US first time to live. I travel to the US multiple times for consulting on various for assignments and engagements but about a decade ago, I moved here with my family and my daughter, Ishita is was six months old. When you come here to live the challenges are completely different because you don’t have a Social Security number, you don’t have any credit history and the challenges that a first generation migrant goes through is not easily explained or understood when you are—again you take things for granted. What’s a big deal in getting credit card for example, when you don’t have credit history you will understand how important a credit card is. And to rent a place, because they won’t rent a place to you because you don’t have a credit history. They don’t know that you are not a criminal, for example, because there is no history.
The initial couple of months, the challenge we went through, especially with my daughter being six months old, we pretty much lived in a hotel suite for about three weeks to a month and that was a very interesting time of our life because it thought me a lot but I think a few things that it did teach me was the importance of being prepared. I think that we we’re not prepared enough, we could have done much better research or much better understanding of what the environment will be where we’re going to.
And the second I would say is, always know that there will be issues and there will be troubles and be ready to hit it. Don’t just get dejected or down because there are trouble coming at you because they will always come, it’s about the attitude in which you face those troubles.
Jim Rembach: There’s so many things, as you were talking that started running through my mind because I know your wife wasn’t the nomad and a traveler that you were, how were you to manage that relationship?
Ramesh Subramanian: That’s a phenomenal question, Jim because my wife cannot be more opposite in our life experiences. When we got married she was about 24 years, and for 24 years she had been in the same house and it was a giant family that they had. In India there is a joint family wherein all the brothers live together with their parents. Her father’s elder brother and younger brother and their kids and wife use to live in the same place—the same house. So for 24 years all she knew was this place, which was in a thousand square feet apartment. Then all of a sudden she gets married to me, and within the first month we were in UK and she didn’t know what hit her. And then we came back to India to have our daughter and six months later we are in the US, so for her, it was a roller coaster ride she didn’t know what was happening to her.
So, I think she brought a level of –I don’t know what the right word is—she kind of settled me down in a sense that the way I approach towards life was not always about what’s the next, what’s the next, what’s the next, in terms of where am I going to go. That’s also one of the reason why I move from consulting to industry because in consulting you always tend to travel, part of it. You just brought me back to some of the nostalgic things.
Jim Rembach: If you start thinking about a piece of advice that you would give our listeners what would it be?
Ramesh Subramanian: I’m not sure I have enough experiences to give advice but I can definitely share a few things that I think are important. Let me start personal first. First and foremost I think you need to have a plan to make sure to think out the family first, what I mean by that is not only financial but even otherwise. At least that’s the way I was built or that’s what the value system in which I’ve been brought up. So, first and foremost it’s what do you need to do to take care of the family? How adventurous can you make in life? What I mean by that is that the adventure, not in the traditional sense of going bungee jumping, for example—you should do that if you can but there has to be a level of thrill in which we are doing, whatever you do, in my belief. Because when you’re doing something with a lot of zeal and passion and you feel it is adventurous, you give more than 100%. It doesn’t matter what, it really doesn’t matter what it is.
The third one is, and this is something that I continue to struggle with honestly, is try to be patient. Try to be persistent, persevere and don’t ‘jump the gun quick’. What I mean by that is to be [inaudible 16:09] in any given situation, we are very quick to come to a judgement, very quick to come into conclusion. Certain things take time and the understanding and the maturity and the patience is required but I can just freeze that I don’t practice it as much as I know I should. But I think those three things that I at least, I want to live at.
Jim Rembach: So, talking about excitement and zeal and all of that, what is one thing that really excites you about the work that you’re doing today?
Ramesh Subramanian: Wow! Couple of things, actually. The basic is, thinker of consumer. If you look at any industry that reason you survive is because of having a good customer base or consumer base. The reason for existence of the company as for that matter is because of their consumers. They are the key part of your business. So, being part of the Consumer Care Organization globally that by itself was a big thrill for me. And I’ve been doing last couple of months, starting Q4 of last year, is I been part of a transformational journey that we have initiated within Electrolux and that’s called the digital transformation.
So, we are going through and looking at the digital experience that are consumers are having through the Consumer Care journey, or actually the whole journey [inaudible 17:45] to journey that consumers have with us. From pre-purchase to at purchase and post purchase and how can we make sure that they are providing world class experiences to our consumers so that we are top of mind when it comes to brand selection and also they can love our brands and recommend our brands to their friends and family.
So, we are looking at very specific high intensity touch points where we can leverage that. I think that’s something that’s going to differentiate us in the industry. And I believe that it is going to be not only transformational within our company but also more importantly the people who will touch in this process are going to be enormous, I mean, internal as well as our consumers.
Jim Rembach: I know the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Alright, now here we go Fast Leader legion. It’s time for the—Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Ramesh, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’ve 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. Ramesh are you ready to hoedown?
Ramesh Subramanian: Absolutely.
Jim Rembach:: What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?
Ramesh Subramanian: I think I just shared with you Jim, being patient. That’s something that I need to learn and learn fast.
Jim Rembach: I’m right there with you brother. What is the best leadership advice you have received?
Ramesh Subramanian: I think the biggest start of a man is by the product of his own parts, what did things he becomes. I don’t know if you heard of that it’s a very powerful advice that I had receive from a couple of people and it helped me to be positive and be optimistic in scenarios and situations because if you think positive you become a positive man.
Jim Rembach: What is one of you secrets that you believe contributes to you success at work or at life?
Ramesh Subramanian: I think both. Work and life is about learning, insatiable desire to learn. If you don’t learn you become obsolete.
Jim Rembach: What do you feel is one of your best resources that helps you lead in business or life?
Ramesh Subramanian: Well, best resource I would say is my crooked mind. It’s not my crooked mind, I don’t know if you have known in a certain interviews you go they draw a triangle, a circle, a squiggly line and they say in a circle, and they say which one do you relate to the most? And I always go for the squiggly line, and apparently, what that means is you always figure a way out.
Jim Rembach: Definitely fits with a nomad status. What would be one book that you would recommend to our listeners?
Ramesh Subramanian: Oh, wow! There are so many, Jim, I don’t think it’s fair to just give you one book but I’ll give you a few that maybe worthwhile for the readers to consider. One of my favorite is “Good to Great”, First, Break All Rules is a good one, and Execution by Ram Charan is a good one too, if you’re focus on execution and stuff like that. And one of my favorite is “Iceberg is melting” It’s a very famous book, quick read, actually I’m asking my daughter to read it now.
Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader listeners, you’ll be able to find links to that and another bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/Ramesh Subramanian. Okay, Ramesh, here’s the last question on the Hump Day Hoedown: Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning and you were 25 years old again and you’re supposed to begin a new job as a manager of a team that is underperforming and disengaged but you’ve been able to take everything you know and all the skills that you have back with you. Now your task is to turn the team around, you get up, you get ready, you head out to work, what do you do now?

Ramesh Subramanian: Number one, I will be a much more wiser man when I get up, so to speak, when I’m 25 years old. It’s about life’s experiences, like if you learn a lot, and if I get an opportunity to go back and with all this wisdom, I think first and foremost, I’ll have more emphasis on people. I think people together contribute significantly especially in our turn around scenario. The importance from a leadership standpoint is clearly defining the strategic priorities, once the team understand what the strategic priorities are they needed to communicate and get the team together as a unit.
Defining the strategic priorities is, number one, giving the clear direction and getting them to work as a team is number two. And making sure that they come back and tell us what the socks’ look like for that particular [inaudible 23:11] so how do they contribute to the strategic objective? How do they consider that when they do XYZ they feel that they have contributed to that cause and they will look successful? And that’s something that they have to find for themselves rather than dictating. And some of us has to be objective, [inaudible 15:01]. When it comes to individuals to make them feel a sense of pride in what they do goes a long way to achieve the overall objective. My emphasis is more on people because I did not have the people aspect when I was 25 years old and I think as I grew up I realized the importance of the people aspect of that.
Jim Rembach: Ramesh it was an honor to spend time with you today. Can you please share with the Fast Leader legion how they can connect with you?
Ramesh Subramanian: Sure. You can reach me in LinkedIn, Ramesh Subramanian. And you can email me, rameshdon.atrip@yahoo.com
Jim Rembach: Ramesh Subramanian, 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 me 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

013: Gerry Barber: We were dysfunctional

Podcast Show Notes with Gerry Barber

Gerry was fortunate to learn a valuable lesson as a young leader that helped to change his path. Being an eager and confident leader he volunteered to lead a team in a business simulation as part of a leadership development program. Gerry thought he knew a lot about leadership, but he didn’t know what he didn’t know. His first day was a disaster and they were pretty much dysfunctional as a team. Listen to Gerry as he tells his story and the epiphany he had that caused him to turn things around so you can use his experience to move onward and upward faster.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Check out Gerry Barber getting over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Leadership and learning are indispensable of each other.” JFK told by Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“If you stop learning you are not going to be a leader for very long.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“Change is absolute and change is happening so rapidly today.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“Social media is the future of interactions for our world.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“When you learn together you become stronger together.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“Leadership is about influence.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“Realize your team brings something to the table.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“To be a great leader you need to be able to give each team member the time they need.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“Sit down and write your leadership point of view.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“Keep business simple.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

As a young leader, Gerry got the got the opportunity to participate in a four-year executive management program. The group of 30 people was split into separate teams that would compete against each other in a simulation to run all aspects of a business. Being eager and confident Gerry volunteered to lead his team for the first year. He thought he knew a lot about leadership at that time, but he didn’t know what he didn’t know. That first day he had a very difficult time. He was telling people what to do and was asking folks to do this and that and wasn’t doing some of the things that he really should do as a leader. When the team convened that day they were pretty much dysfunctional as a team. After a long night of reflection about all that went wrong he finally came to the realization that leadership is not about telling people what to do or making decisions.

Leadership Epiphany

Leadership is not about telling people what to do or making decisions, it’s about influence.

Advice for others

Realize your team brings something to the table and while you are the leader it’s a collective experience.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Limited time to spend developing others.

Best Leadership Advice Received

You need to sit down and write down your leadership point of view.

Secret to Success

Living as a servant leader and putting my people first.

Best Resources in Business or Life

Books and CIAC certification, memories, mentors

Recommended Reading

You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere, Can Make a Positive Difference

Leading at a Higher Level, Revised and Expanded Edition: Blanchard on Leadership and Creating High Performing Organizations

The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded

Contacting Gerry

email: gbarber [at] deloitte.com

Phone: 615-882-7792

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
013: Gerry Barber: We were dysfunctional

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we uncover the leadership like hat that help you to experience, break out performance faster and rocket to success. 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 to get the opportunity to introduce to you the person that I get to introduce to today. Gerry Barber has been a longtime friend and I always link to him to help me get over my own hump. He’s full of wisdom. He’s full of reserve energy that is rare and greatly appreciated, I don’t know, maybe he got that from living and growing up on the South side Chicago where he played a lot of baseball, and that’s one of the connections that we have together. I don’t know about the rock ‘n roll drummer that he was trying to be able to become but he had to grow up just like we all do.

He moved into what I would refer to as operational excellence and he work with a lot of organizations and retail customer care and support and has built leaders throughout his own career. Today, he lives just outside of Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Jenny of 38 years and has two grown boys. Gerry Barber, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Gerry Barber: I’m going to take you up and I’m going to take you over.

Jim Rembach: Awesome.

Gerry Barber: Let’s go.

Jim Rembach: Alright. I’ve given our listeners a brief introduction but can you tell us a little bit more about what your current passion is so that we can get to know you better?

Gerry Barber: I’m very passionate about what I do in my work which relates to contact centers and shared services. I have fun every day at the office but when I’m away from the office there are many other things that I like to get involved with. One of those is putting my top down on my little Miata and riding the back roads of Tennessee. It’s a great stress reliever and a fun way just to get lost on a Saturday afternoon, I can’t wait spring is coming and so I should get a lot of days coming up be able to do just that.

Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing that with me. I appreciate what you had referred to as far as the therapy associated with that and wish you sunny days. So, here on the Fast Leader Show we are always looking for inspirations that will help us get over the hump. And we like to focus in on leadership quotes or passages to help us do that. And I know throughout the course of your career you probably had several that you had to lean on in order to help you. But, is there one that stands out that you’d like to share with our listeners?
Gerry Barber: Jim, yes. There’s one that throughout my career keeps on being in the forefront of my mind. Leadership and learning are indispensable of each other, that’s a quote by our late great Pres. John F. Kennedy, and simply put that, if you stop learning you’re not going to be a leader for very long. Change is absolute and changes are happening so rapidly today that that quote in itself is more important than any other that I think about on a daily basis.

Jim Rembach: There’s some really important information that we can glean from that. But for you, how do you apply the meaning of that quote in your life today?

Gerry Barber: That’s simple. I subscribe to servant leadership. Servant leadership means simply you put your people first. And when you put your people first that means you want to find the ways that they can grow. Grow in their career, grown in their lives and get satisfaction from what they do. So, I invest a lot of time in my team members and my people to insure that they grow as leaders.

Jim Rembach: You had mentioned something to me before that I stood out when you started talking about having people that are better than you working for you. There’s so many of us that live in fear and we don’t want transfer what we know to somebody else because—they may take my job—how do you overcome that fear so that you can thrive?

Gerry Barber: This is a question that’s a difficult challenge for one zig, alright and many of us leaders have somewhat of an ego. I’m going to be honest here, I’m in the twilight of my career, meaning that retirement is only a couple years away. And recently, I have worked very hard to help my team become the best they can be but I’ve also added a team member who I firmly believe has a greater chance of taking our contact center to an even higher level of performance over the years. One of the things that this particular individual brings to the table is a great and deep understanding of social media. Social media is the future of interactions for our world and with her here shall be able to help us move forward. I don’t have that fear anymore, I in fact been embraced the fact that will take the legacy of what we’ve built here and enhance it even more for the new social world.

Jim Rembach: I guess there’s maybe some struggle that some folks. If there’s somebody who has a particular skill or knowledge and you really develop their skills even more, how do you help that person do just that?

Gerry Barber: One of the things that I’ve used, I was going to talk about it later in our discussion but I’ll bring it up now, is that I’ve built a lot of learning on having book clubs. And so we’ll take a book and I don’t just sit there and teach, everyone who is part of that book club for the period of time, usually it is six weeks and we meet once a week, we take a chapter or two or three at a time to discuss. Each individual who becomes part of that book club will take a chapter, and the books are great book on leadership, on business or on contact centers. Whatever the flavor of the day is for us to grow we do it together. When you do it together you learn together and you become stronger together.
Jim Rembach: Oh, some really sage and powerful advice there. However, I know that getting to the point to where you are now and being somebody who’s probably producing leaders at a much faster rate than you did at your youth you had challenges, we all have them, we have humps that we need to get over. Can you think of a time where you had to get over one and that kind of shape and guided you to really where you are today, can you share that with us please?

Gerry Barber: Let me share a story, and you’re going to have to bear with me because this maybe a little drawn out here but I want to get some of the facts out. It’s circa 1983, I was very young leader, and I have been working with Quill Corporation at Lincolnshire, Illinois at that time. I got the opportunity to participate in a four year executive management program put on by the American Management Association. This program was built to meet once a year for a full week and then have homework and deliverables in between the year. So, it was it was set up where we were broken up into five teams of six people, so there’s roughly 30 people if my math is right, participating in the program together for all four years. We came together and on the first morning of the first day I think I had one of the best leadership lessons I could’ve ever had in my career. So, on that first morning we broke up into teams and six of us came together as a new team.

Each of us came from a different business, different business model even maybe a different part of the country, because this was not just exclusively regional, there was folks from L.A. as well as Chicago and Boston and in other points in between. So we got together, and heady me, raise my hand and said I’d like to lead the first year, because he had to name a leader for each year, and I said I would be a leader for the first year. And so there we went on our first day and the object of the of the four years is through simulation run a business, everything from HR management, manufacturing, development and producing a products in paper and theory in this in the simulation all the way to managing profit and loss and managing the business. And at the end of four years, each year you would get rated as to where you were at against the other teams.

So, I took that leadership position, I thought I knew a lot about leadership at that time but I didn’t know what I did know. And so, on that first day I had a very difficult time, I was telling people what to do. I was asking folks to do this, that and wasn’t doing some of the things that we really should do as a leader. When I left that day we were pretty much dysfunctional as a team. I went back to my hotel room and had a lot of time to think about all that went wrong and at the end of the day, and in the beginning of the morning, I came to the realization, and this is my Aha moment, that leadership is not about telling people what to do or making decisions for the larger group, and in fact with this group which is different than what I had managed before, these were all peers. They came from different organizations, they were probably senior managers of this or director of that. And so—why would they listen to me? They didn’t have to. They didn’t have any fear, I wasn’t paying them as would happen in my job before? And thus it occurred to me and that hump that I had to get over was, I had to learn that leadership is about influence that is the lesson that I learned. When I so when I figured that out, and it’s probably two o’clock in the morning, I got a couple of hours of sleep and we met back again at 8 AM at the facility and I simply apologized to the team for my actions of the day before and that I wasn’t really displaying a leadership view. I was humble about apologizing and that I want to listen and engage and see where we could take it. Well, the good news is that I think alone my humble apology helped influence a change. And from there in the first year we came in second, the five teams. But had I not had that realization, and had I not kept that all these years, I don’t think I’d be the leader I am today.

Jim Rembach: So many pieces of insight. What you’ve learned that we can leverage to help us get over the hump much faster than we would otherwise. And that epiphany that you shared with us, we called them epiphanies, a lot of times here on the show, I think I’ve even been through myself, but when you look at many different pieces within that story and our Fast Leader Legion having the challenges that they have, what advice would you actually give them to help them move forward faster?

Gerry Barber: Realize that your team brings something to the table and that while your leader assigned or unassigned whatever it is, and you don’t need a title necessarily to be leader—I love that book incidentally by Sanborn—that it’s a collective experience and the idea of trying to come to some clear vision with and for the team is extraordinarily important to success but listening first before doing.

Jim Rembach: Oh, I love that, thank you for sharing that with us. When you start talking about what really excites you today with the work that you’re doing, what is it?

Gerry Barber: While I mentioned I’m in the twilight of my career, I’m having more fun now in my career that I’ve had in all the years prior. I’ve had such tremendous opportunity to really become the leader I wanted to be and to act on that. After six years of leading the Lloyd’s contacts and our operations, I was given the opportunity and responsibility to lead now a full transformation of our expense management operations, which I am so excited about at this point time in my career because I can do all the things that I’ve learned and put them into practice again even at this late date, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

I’ve been into it a year now, it’s a cultural transformation, it’s a technology transformation, and it’s a process transformation. And while I’ve been in it for a year there’s still a lot of things that we need to do. The cultural side of it I think has been improved and were moving along with the great solid organization with a clear vision and the right strategies in place to be successful over time and take us from good to great and so, I’m excited. Now comes all of the technology and the process improvements that we’ve measured and have said, these are our strategies to the affect transformation. So, now I get to see and be part of a team who will unleash those transformational activities over the next two years before I say goodbye.

Jim Rembach: The Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best.

Gerry Barber: We’re having fun.

Jim Rembach: Alright, here we go Fast Leader listeners it’s time for the—Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Gerry the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insight fast. I’m going to ask you several question and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Gerry, are you ready to hoedown?

Gerry Barber: I’m going to try, try my best.

Jim Rembach: What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

Gerry Barber: That’s very simple. My time is at a premium and to be a great leader you need to be able to give each team member the time they need to improve themselves. I’m finding it harder and harder with having multiple responsibilities, contact center and the expense management of organization, to give the right amount of time. Hopefully I see my way clearer in about six months where I can really then begin to devote my time to individuals versus just the transformation.

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

Gerry Barber: Actually it came from a book. And in that book it said: You need to sit down and write your leadership point of view. I think for your legions you’ll understand that it really talks about who you are and how you got to the point of the leader you are, what your expectations are for yourself, and what your expectation is for your team members and your peers in which you do business with or interact on any life situation? And so, that has been very dear to me.

When I came first I had read the book, and the book incidentally, I know you’re going to probably ask me what’s my favorite book, this is it it’s called ‘Leading at a Higher Level’ it’s by the Blanchard group, it’s a copulation of everything they’ve done in the business world on leadership for a good number of years and it’s really great shelf reference as well. It walks you through thinking about and developing your leadership point of view, as well as part of the book. And so, right before I came to Deloitte I had found that book and was using it as research in my role with CIAC, The Competency and Certification Group that was part of ICMI, and utilize a lot of thought processes from that book as we build competencies work [inaudible 16:34] our leadership.

I had used the leadership point of view as my letter to my new teams here at Deloitte when I arrived and I can tell you that it closed a lot of gaps that people normally have like, who the hell is this guy? And what’s he’s going to do us? It was all there in black and white, where I came from, what I believe in, what I expect from myself, and what I expect from them and where we might go as a team together, and it was great. I use it again when I took the leadership role of our expense management organization just a year ago, to also introduce myself and move quickly from ‘we don’t know this guy’ to ‘hey, we’re part of a team.

Jim Rembach: What do feel is one of your secrets that contributes to your success?

Gerry Barber: I mentioned it earlier and that’s living as a servant leader and putting your people first and making sure that we work together to have a clear vision and chart the right strategies for our journey. That journey continues in the contact center and in our expense management organization.

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

Gerry Barber: My best resource is always to go to books and I use that leadership at a higher level as a Bible, so it’s a great desk reference, I think I mentioned that earlier, and I go to that. I also believe in the competencies in the art and science of contact center leadership. So, I utilize the developmental manuals that were built for the CIC certification as my guide too in leading contact center. Beyond that its memories and interactions with a couple of great mentors that I had my career. One that comes to mind is Jack Miller who was the patriarch of Quill and got it started and let it for a good many of years before it was sold to Staples. He always told me in business keep it simple. If I’m going to sell you a pen, here’s what it is and here’s how much it cost and you make the transaction and you go on, so keep business simple.

Jim Rembach: Great advice. So, you already mentioned your favorite book were going to take that and give links to that on our show notes page where you’ll be able to find at fastleader.net/Gerry Barber. Alright Gerry, the last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning and you were 25 years old again, you’re supposed to now manage a group that is underperforming and are disengaged but you’ve been blessed you get to retain everything that you’ve learned up until today. So, you get up in the morning, you head out to work, what you do now?

Gerry Barber: In a way that happened to me last year. No, I didn’t go back to 25 and wasn’t able to run a fast 40 a yard dash, but it really is that scenario, I was moving into an area of our operations that I didn’t have a lot of subject matter expert for expense management, expense audit card management, if you will for our organization. I was asked to bring my leadership skills to the table to help in this transformation of group, I won’t say that they were disconnected, they were doing good work, didn’t have the right technologies didn’t have the right processes and sorely needed the right leadership.

There’s another book that I will share and that’s called ‘The First 90 days. It was a book written by Michael Watkins, it’s a Harvard Press, I believe, but don’t quote me on that. It’s a book I used when I arrived at Deloitte and it’s a book I used again when I took on the responsibilities for the transformation. Basically in that book it helps you understand how you should go about taking on that new responsibility, that new transformation, that new organization that needs to be improved. And in that first 90 days, it’s so crucial to be listening to help people understand who you are to begin to craft an understanding of what is needed and then to rally people around a clear vision to go into the future for that journey that you’re about to take together. You should not make rash judgments and decisions in that 90 days just to appease your boss or some other group who wants to see the transformation done the week after you get in there, you got to resist those type of things. Following the guidance in the First 90 Days book is absolutely a wonderful way to go about tackling the scenario that you talk about. And so, I would encourage anyone who is starting a new job, starting new roll or taking over a transformation of another part of their organization to read that book and let that book guide you through the process.

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

Gerry Barber: That’s easy. Again I work with Deloitte, I could be found at GBarber@deloitte.com or you can give me a call at 615-882-7792 be happy to chat with anyone who wants to talk about leadership anytime.

Jim Rembach: Gerry, 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 me 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 the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

END OF AUDIO

012: Jesse Jackson: I was deeply hurt

012: Jesse Jackson: I was deeply hurt

Podcast Show Notes with Jesse Jackson

Jesse tells his story of a time when he was terminated and how for the first time in his life he felt so inadequate. After his boss shared the reason with him Jesse knew he needed to make a change. Jesse learned he needed to self-engage at work to stand out above the rest. He learned that his effort was needed to find more fulfillment personally and professionally. Listen to Jesse tell his story of pain, transformation, determination and resilience to help you move onward and upward faster.

Jesse Jackson grew up as a Military Brat and went to 12 different schools during 1st through 8th grade.  One of his earliest memories is going to work with his Grandmother who managed a Post Exchange located in Fort Polk Louisiana.  She would allow him to pick out all the comic books he wanted.

For over 30 years Jesse has worked in a contact center with roles in inbound sales, outbound telemarketing, customer service, technical support, been an agent, a supervisor, manager & a director. He believes that successful contact centers strive for excellent customer service, a culture of constant improvement and a place where you should laugh often.

Jesse lives in Dallas Texas with his lovely bride Linda. They are proof that a mixed marriage can work.  She is currently training for her first Ironman Triathlon while Jesse is at home watching way too much TV and reading way too many comic books.

Jesse loves podcasting and is the host of Next Stop Everywhere: A Doctor Who podcast as well as Storming the Castle, a podcast all about the ABC show Castle.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to Jesse Jackson to get over the hump @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“If you’re dumb surround yourself with smart people.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet

“If you’re smart surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet 

“If mine is the only idea on the table, it’s the best idea.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet 

“Collaboration is the most successful management style.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet 

“Clear the air and then move forward.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet 

“Whatever the hardship, whatever the challenge, figure out what to do and move forward.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet 

“When you can, fight your fight and shoot for the goals you want.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet 

“Sometimes you need to have faith in yourself…and you need to do it.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Jesse was told by his boss that he was going to be terminated. His boss told him that while he was happy to have a job, he was not happy to have this job; and he needed someone that wants this job. Jesse was hurt deeply because it was the first time where he felt he was not good enough. That’s when Jesse realized he needed to change his outlook and behavior to give more and ask others if they need help. He decided to put himself out there through volunteering and taking risks which ultimately has led him to greater career and financial success.

Leadership Epiphany

The teacher’s pet are the leaders in business. They are not brown nosing or sucking up they are saying, “I want to help the company succeed.”

Advice for you

Fight your fight, live your dreams, work on what you believe in.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Lack of confidence

Best leadership advice ever received

Love what you do and trust your instincts.

Secret to Success

Honesty and willingness to help

Best resources in work or life

Friends and a network to reach out to and to ask, “what would the hero do.”

Recommended Reading

The One Minute Manager

Contacting Jesse

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JesseJacksonDFW

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jesse.jackson.372

Podcasts:

https://www.facebook.com/StormingTheCastlePC

http://www.southgatemediagroup.com/next-stop-everywhere-the-doctor-who-podcast

Via email: jesee.jackson2 [at] verizon.net

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.

012: Jesse Jackson: I was deeply hurt
Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we uncover the leadership like hat that help you to experience, break out performance faster and rocket to success. 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 have Jesse Jackson on the show today. This one grew up as a military brat and went to 12 different schools during first grade through eighth grade—that had to be some character building happening right there. One of his earliest memories is going to work with his grandmother who managed a post exchange located in Fort Polk, Louisiana, she would allow him to pick out all the comic books he wanted. For over 30 years Jesse had worked in a contact center with roles in inbound sales, outbound telemarketing, customer service, technical support.
He’s been an agent supervisor, manager director, and he believes that working in a contact center is really a place where you should have fun and that the focus on excellent customer service is actually driven through people having intrinsic drive and motivation and a reason to be there. He lives in Dallas with his lovely bride Linda and their proof that a mixed marriage can work because she’s training for her first Ironman triathlon, and you know Jesse sitting at home, watching TV and reading his comic books. He’s also a podcaster. He’s the host of Next Stop Everywhere which is a Dr. Who podcast as well as Storming The Castle podcast all about an ABC show named Castle, I’m sure you’ve all heard of, Jesse Jackson are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Jessie Jackson: I am. I am excited, so proud and honored that you’ve asked me to talk today, so I am ready, let’s do it.
Jim Rembach: Awesome. I’ve given our listeners a brief introduction, but can you tell us a little bit about what your current passion is so that we can get to know you better?
Jessie Jackson: Absolutely. I am a call center guy, I’ve been doing it so long I still say call ·call center not contact center. I love working in the support industry. I love talking to clients and helping resolve issues. I love taking a new agent that’s afraid to be on the phone, comforting them telling them look, ‘This is a harder job to learn then it is to do, you’ll be amazed how easy that first phone call will be” and helping them to grow, find their voice and their place in the organization. One of the things that I’m most proud about, Jim, is helping the internal turnover people that find role outside of support or in customer service, my previous job, and the joke we use to make is that they were feeder sales and one day that Jesse will shout the world rise up and then all these people that I had sent to all these departments we would rise up and have a friendly coup and we would take over company.
Jim Rembach: That’s really can happen if you develop…a lot of organizations are really in need of really in need of, I guess you can say the coach and the developer of others, and so that’s a very, very valuable asset to have and if you can conquer a mole, I’m sure that’ll be gladly accepted. Now, Jesse I know that you’re a very creative person, I had blessing of being able to present alongside you at a recent event, and I really admired your character and your depth and your storytelling. I know that you probably have some good things to share in regards to inspiration for us and we like to focus on quotes on the Fast Leader Show because they do just that they give us inspiration and oftentimes they have some depths to them that gives a whole lot of meaning in a lot of different ways, but is there a quote that stands out for you as a guiding principle that you can share with us?
Jessie Jackson: Absolutely. A very quick story. I was a Cub Scout leader early in my life, my son is now 26, but when he was in Cub Scouts and it was a [inaudible 4:17] den. I wasn’t very artistically creative but one of the other Den moms, called Den Leaders now but you think of herself as Den moms said, “Jesse you’re a dad that’s important and understand remember this, good Cub Scout leaders come up with new ideas, great Cub Scout leaders steal from other people. And I’ve decided that’s my management philosophy. In that’s spirit, there was a show Aaron Sorkin did called Sports Night before he did West Wing and one of the lines was, ‘If you are dumb you surround yourself with smart people. If you’re smart surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you, and that is a philosophy that I say often.
I believe that as leaders you want feedback and you want people to tell you when they think you’re on the wrong track or when you perhaps haven’t thought of everything. You know Jim, it is really frustrating at times when someone comes to you and says, “Ah, I saw something that’ll work but they don’t have any other feedback. And if minds, the only idea on the table it’s the best idea, so let’s talk about it, let’s figure out what you aren’t sure about our path, why you think it may not work or why there’s a different path and discuss it.
I think collaboration is the most successful management style. I realize other people have different management styles but I’m most comfortable when you get the team together you tell them here’s the goal I want to go to and then let’s altogether figure how we’re going to get there and then go forward.
Jim Rembach: And there’s one thing that stands out as you’re telling that story, and thanks for sharing those quotes. There’s several in there but there’s two that stood out, they’re very powerful. But there has to be an element of humility into what you were just saying and oftentimes I see people have the intent saying, ‘Hey, I want to collaborate.” “Hey, I want those things as far as…’tell me the ideas, challenge me” but then they cut people’s legs out from under him. Over a course of time they continue to ask how can you know these people just aren’t sharing anything with me it’s because they haven’t really created the environment they don’t have that humility associated with it. How have you been able to overcome that?
Jessie Jackson: I had been on the receiving—when I started with my current position at Real Page the guy who hired me, I’ve been there about a year and we had our first annual review, and he had given me feedback that he thought I was too timid that it took me almost nine months and he says, “I can actually see the moment when you said in a meeting, ‘well, I guess I’m not the new guy anymore’ and he says, “I saw you turn a corner” and I said, “Dave, my first three weeks here I bought doughnuts for the team that was less than $20 bucks and you asked me why I was doing it” and said “Well, you know, you should talk to me beforehand.” And there was a time when I said that a server was down and your listeners are not seeing the [8:02] and I got yelled at that we never say the word down, that it had a problem. I said so very quickly. You told me both in action and in words, ‘Don’t take too much responsibility. Don’t step outside your kazone, this is my room and you’re just living in it. It was the most healthy discussion I think I’ve ever had with a leader because it got a little tense, Jim, both of us raised our voices it was a lot of give-and-take and at the end we both felt better and since then we were in sync till he ended up getting promoted for the next year and half, and we always talk about that’s really how it should work. You should be able to talk to your leader or talk to your employee, your teammate, clear the air and then move forward.
So, I think what helped me is, I know right out of college I had a horrible boss, his name is Joe I will not get the last name. I work as dispatcher. I work 12 hour a day and I could not leave the office unless someone was there to cover me. So, he would go off and I would not have any lunch, I would not have break and he was just a horrible, smart aleck and demeaning and I kept saying, “If I’m ever a boss, I don’t want to be this kind of guy.” And it’s a cliché, if you’re going to talk, talk yet you had to walk to walk. If you say I want to hear your input you have to realize sometimes the input may’ve hurt your ego, you got to put it aside for the good of the organization.
Jim Rembach: That almost seems beyond that. The reason I say that is because you talked about having that conversation with your boss, what happened to him? He got promoted. He moved onto something bigger, and not necessarily better, but he moved on to something bigger, right? There’s growth and opportunity for growth within that. I think that’s a great story, thanks for sharing that.
Now, that was a hump that we talked about that you had to get over with that particular boss, I know you have another hump that he had to get over that you’re going to share with us because that was a really defining moment for you that essentially got you to the position to where you are today. Can you please share us that story and what happened?
Jessie Jackson: I absolutely will. Once we settled in Lake Charles, Louisiana, I had lived there and it was a heavy petrochemical environment everything was based on the plants. The economy was really bad in the early 80s’ so I went through a lot of different jobs. We ended up moving to Dallas in 1986, and I was working for a company, and one day Mike Whitaker came in to me and asked me to go in his office and he said, “Jesse, we’re going to release you. We’re going to layoff.” And I went, Wow, and I kind of, back and forth. As we started talking he said, “I wasn’t going to tell you all these but I think we should, you’re happy to have a job but you’re not happy to have this job.” And it really struck me to my chord, Jim, because it was the first time I’ve ever been told, ‘you’re not good enough, you’re not giving the passion that we want.’ And the story I tell a lot is, when you’re kid you mock the teacher’s pet, the person that says, ‘hey can we have extra credit or you didn’t give us our homework or your follow up, but in business those are the people that leaders. The people that sit there and say, ‘Hey, I have some extra time, what can I do? What can I do to help you?” That isn’t someone who is ‘brown nosing’ or ‘sucking up’ or whatever cliché you want to give. If someone was saying, ‘I want to be here and I want to help the company succeed.’
Roger Shiloh is a manager that I partnered with. He was working at contact center. He tells every new person, and I told my son this when he learned the contact center and I tell in new class, “To be successful contact center, no matter what the dress code is, wear khaki pants and a polo shirt every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s okay to be jeans too, be early never be late. Three, volunteer for any extra assignment or any overtime that’s available. If you do those three things, you are above everyone else in the contact center. I think that’s a lot to say for that.
Jim Rembach: That goes beyond a contact center. I think those are good principles to follow regardless of where you are, regardless of what position you’re in. You are perceived differently when you aren’t essentially stepping in, I don’t want to say step up because that’s a different context from my perspective, but you got step in. You’ve got to put that right foot in. You’ve got to put it out, you got to shake it all about, right?
Jessie Jackson: Absolutely. The job after I was laid off, I was selling substandard car insurance over the people, people who had DWI and a lot of speeding tickets were our customer base. I worked there for couple years dedicated anything I can do, they laid me off. Instead of saying, “Gosh, this new philosophy didn’t work” I just said, “Nope, I’m going to plug it in.” So, I started with a company called BancTec and in 1989 I had a 2-month-old baby. I started working and I stayed there till 2005 when I was director and they decided to outsource the company and I worked myself out of the job for a year.
I believe that putting yourself out there volunteering, sharing, taking risks ultimately will lead you to success, if not financial and career success, personal success.
Jim Rembach: And also there has to be an element of perseverance associated with that. As you were telling your story those transitions that took place, you always keep your chin up, you always kept looking forward. Where does that come from?
Jessie Jackson: My wife says it’s because my family tends to be a pretty negative group. And my immediate family, cousins, aunts, uncles, and she and my mother-in-law said it was in spite of my family’s little literary humor, I have just been blessed, Jim, with accepting the fact that what things are and then where we go next. I talk about my wife a lot because we’ve been married over 30 years and we’ve got a lot of experience. She shared with me that our first three or four years in marriage’s she thought I was just too bullish to be worried. She’s like, ‘He just doesn’t have enough sense to be worried.’ And then she realized, no it’s just that’s just his nature.
Whatever the plan, whatever the hardship, whatever they challenged I’m going to look try to figure out what to do and move forward. She says when I’m worried, she really gets worried it’s like, “Okay, if Jesse doesn’t know what to do, holy molly, we’re in trouble.”
Jim Rembach: That’s a vote of confidence right there, I tell you. Thanks for sharing all that that you’ve shared with us. If you were to—based on all that you have shared—if there was one piece of advice you’d give to the Fast Leader legion, what would it be?
Jessie Jackson: I’ll try to keep this short, because I know I tend to talk a lot. I been thinking about this a lot lately, the wonderful singer-songwriter Harry Chapin in an interview once said that there is good tired and had tired. Bad tired is at the end of the day and you may have won you may have accomplish your goals but you were fighting someone else’s fight, you were living someone else’s dream, you are working on someone else’s goals, and even though you won you’re tired and you’re depressed. But good tired, maybe a day where you failed, maybe you didn’t reach your goal but you were fighting your fight, you were living your dreams, you were working on what you believed in. And I think you can’t always choose but when you can, fight your fight. Fight the things you believe in. Shift for the goals you want and go for what you think is going to make your company successful, you successful, your family successful. And I think that if you have that core knowledge, if you know what you want to be when you grow up, I think that helps.
Jim Rembach: That’s great advice. That is absolutely information that will help our Fast Leader listeners move onward and upward faster. Okay, now, I know your current business and you have a lot of things going on we’ve kind of mention that before, but it was one thing that really excites you about your work that you’re doing today?
Jessie Jackson: As you know, I am in a transition, I will be looking for a new role soon and I think that’s what exciting me, what’s next in my career? What is going to be the next journey I’m going to take? I believe that with my knowledge and my passion that there is something good coming up where I can take all my knowledge and my experience and help another team grow. The thing that I find, and I talked about this before even in this podcast, one of things that I find most satisfying is taking employee that other people said, “Ah, they’re mediocre best” I don’t know if they have the skill set, but finding their talent and finding the company’s needs matching them, there’s just nothing better than that.
Jim Rembach: I can appreciate that. The entire Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best, Jesse. Alright, here we go Fast Leader listeners, it’s time for the—Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Jesse, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. I’, going to ask you several questions and your job is to give robust, yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Jesse, are you ready to hoedown?
Jessie Jackson: I am ready to hoedown
Jim Rembach: Okay. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?
Jessie Jackson: Sometimes lack of confidence. You know in your mind what you should do but in your heart you have doubts and fears and you’re afraid to take that risk, and I think that’s me.
Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?
Jessie Jackson: Love what you do and trust your instincts.
Jim Rembach: What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?
Jessie Jackson: My honesty and my willingness to help. I believe in—you do a lot of favors, you correct favors, and then therefore when you need something they’re there to help you.
Jim Rembach: What do you feel is one of your best resources that helps you lead in business or life?
Jessie Jackson: Two things: Friends and network of people you can reach out to, to say “Hey, I’m worried about it or I need some advice.” Two, I read a lot of comic books and science fiction and I always think what would the hero do? What’s the right thing to do?
Jim Rembach: What will be one book that you would recommend for our listeners?
Jessie Jackson: It’s a standby but the ‘One Minute Manager’ I go back to fairly often. Just the idea of that sandwich talk about the action not the person ending with a positive thing, I remember that a lot because no one wants to feel personally bad. There’s a saying, you hate the sin love the sinner, and so I think in a secular terms, you’re unhappy with the action but you are a fan of the employee.
Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing. Alright, Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to the show notes page and you’ll find that on fastleader.net/Jesse Jackson. Okay, Jesse here’s the last question for the Hump Day Hoedown: 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 very blessed because you’ve got to take everything that you’ve learned with you. Now, your task is to take the team around. You get up, you get ready and you head out to work, what do you do now?
Jessie Jackson: That is a great question. I would listen but I would not be afraid to make changes sooner. When I did this and when I started with this with the current company in 2005, I got a lot of feedback, ‘Oh, no, that will not work here.’ And I was reluctant to ‘break too many eggs’ to try to push the boundary and I’ve said if I had to do it over again I would have pushed a little bit harder, a little bit sooner. Understand their feedback, incorporate it but not be afraid to make the changes. I think that goes back to my core concern. Sometimes you need to have faith in yourself and say, I know what needs to be done and you need to do it.
Jim Rembach: Alright, Jesse, it was an honor to spend time with you today. Can you please share with Fast Leader listeners how they can connect with you?
Jessie Jackson: Absolutely. I am at jwj170104 on Twitter. I am on Facebook, Jesse Jackson in Lewisville, Texas if you want to reach that. As you were nice enough, if you want to hear my podcast on a less serious note but we have a lot of fun, I did a couple of podcast Next Stop Everywhere about Doctor Who, Storm in a Castle is about the ABC’s show Castle. I talked about Game of Thrones a little bit and a little bit of everything, so I do a lot of fun. I can be reached jesse.ackson2@verizon.net, so if they want to send me an e-mail. I’m on LinkedIn and all the other social networks.
Jim Rembach: Jesse Jackson, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, the Fast Leader Legion of honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot Woot!
Thank you for joining me 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 that we can help you move onward and upward faster.

END OF AUDIO
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011: Honoree Corder: You need to speak

Podcast Show Notes with Honoree Corder

Honoree shares her story about something so many find terrifying. While taking a public speaking class her instructor told her, “You need to speak.” Honoree found herself finally realizing what the meaning of her words were several years later when after a speaking opportunity an attendee came up to her and thanked her for her words. Then she realized there is an opportunity to speak words into people and that they may not live into for years to come. It’s a power that can bring hope and requires a lot of care.

Honoree Corder was raised on a farm in near Salem Center, Ohio and in Albuquerque, New Mexico by traditionally educated yet very entrepreneurial parents. She was also a foster kid and children’s home resident, attending four high schools and becoming very good at meeting new people, adapting to new environments and learning to be extremely flexible. While she didn’t attend college, she overcame her childhood challenges and became a successful entrepreneur by becoming a voracious reader and student of human behavior with an unstoppable positive attitude.

After several years in the corporate world she decided to transition to pursuing her passion of helping others realize their greatest potential. As a coach, she empowers business professionals and entrepreneurs to go from “disorganized and frustrated” to “focused and profitable” by breaking through the time-money wall and creating the business that supports their ideal life.

Honoree is the author of 15 books, including Vision to Reality, The Successful Single Mom book series, If Divorce is a Game, These are the Rules, and her most recent Business Dating: Applying Relationship Rules in Business for Ultimate Success.

She spends every moment of her free time with her amazing family, reading, learning languages, and squeezing the juice out of life.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Check out @Honoree getting over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Everyone is born with the seeds of greatness within them.” -Honoree Corder Click to Tweet

“Some people buy into the fact that they can be great, and they are.” -Honoree Corder Click to Tweet

“Most of the time people are not their behavior.” -Honoree Corder Click to Tweet

“What someone does for a living is not who they are, it’s what they do.” -Honoree Corder Click to Tweet

“A lot of people put stock in I am this, as opposed to I do this.” -Honoree Corder Click to Tweet

“We live in a time when there is a new great book every minute.” -Honoree Corder Click to Tweet

“We all have the opportunity to speak words into people.” -Honoree Corder Click to Tweet

“The only limitations you have are the ones that you hold on to.” -Honoree Corder Click to Tweet

“I want to speak words of life, possibility and hope into people.” -Honoree Corder Click to Tweet

“Playing small doesn’t serve the world.” -Honoree Corder Click to Tweet

“Not owning your greatness doesn’t serve the world.” -Honoree Corder Click to Tweet

“If there’s something you’ve heard over and over again, listen to that.” -Honoree Corder Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Honoree shares her story about the limiting beliefs that keeps us all from realizing our dreams and potential. She believes you are capable of anything you put your mind to and the limits you place upon yourself and that you hold on to are place in your own mind and you have the power to remove them.

Leadership Epiphany

There is an opportunity we all have to speak words into people and we need to be careful with it.

Advice for you

There is a reoccurring message in your life that is meant to get to you. The sooner you listen and take action the better for you.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Limiting beliefs

Best leadership advice ever received

Being a leader of self is the best way to be a leader of others.

Secret to Success

Extreme self-care

Best resources in work or life

My network

Recommended Reading

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller – Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century
The Law of Success In Sixteen Lessons by Napoleon Hill

Gifts from Honoree

  • Two free chapters from Vision to Reality: How Short Term Massive Action Equals Long Term Maximum Results
  • Copy of: Tall Order! 7 Master Strategies to Organize Your Life and Double Your Success in Half the Time
    Both available for download

Contacting Honoree

Website: www.honoreecorder.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Honoree

More Resources

Self-confidence formula from Napoleon Hill

Click to access edited transcript
011: Honoree Corder: You need to speak
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. Alright Fast Leader legion, the person who I have on our show today is somebody has overcome a lot of obstacles in life and did not allow that to stop her from being the person that she is today and impacting so many others. Her name is Honoree Corder that has a French origin to it. It’s spelled like Honoree, however it’s Honoray so we want to make sure that we get that right for her when you reference her and tell other people about this awesome show that you’re getting ready to participate in today.

Honoree was on a farm near Salem Center, Ohio and in Albuquerque, New Mexico by traditionally educated yet very entrepreneurial parents. She was a foster kid and child home resident and attended four high schools which helped her become very good at meeting new people, adapting to new environments and learning to be extremely flexible. While she didn’t attend college she overcame her childhood challenges and became a successful entrepreneur by becoming a voracious reader and student of human behavior with an unstoppable positive attitude. Honoree has gone on to write several books and be a coach and inspiration to many. Honoree Corder, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Honoree Corder: You bet, absolutely.

Jim Rembach: Fantastic. Now, I’ve given our listeners a brief introduction about you, but can you please tell us, what is your current passion so that we can get to know you better?

Honoree Corder: Great. My current passion is helping people to have a complete transformation and live the life that they thought was only possible but is actually really possible.

Jim Rembach: What does that really mean? A lot of times we look to others to have us—idea of what that would be for us and we often spend really a lifetime searching. So, what does that mean?

Honoree Corder: My work with people is—as an executive and business coach, but that is not entirely accurate everyone wants a title, right? What I do is—my tagline is: “I double your income and triple your time off.” But actually, what I wanted to do is get my get grabby mitts on people and help them to see themselves as I see them with all of the potential and all the promise that their life holds. So I help them to make the most out of their business, I help them to make the most of their thought processes, out of their physical body, their emotional intelligence all of those things. I work with people from sea level to 30,000 feet.

Jim Rembach: As I listen to you talk there was a comment that I read by somebody who was an author of a leadership book. And he was referring to how certain responses are given or provided by others, the way that they behave, he was talking about a large number of people, and he said, some people are just so stupid. And I’m like, “Really, this came from an author of a leadership book”? So, you mentioned something about you seeing that in other people, is that something that can be seen and found in a lot of people or is it really just a small subset?

Honoree Corder: I think everyone is born with the seeds of greatness within them. I think there’s one partner turn in one part nature and I think some people buy into the fact that they can be great and amazing and terrific and so they are. Some people buy into the message from whoever they get it from whether it’s their parents or their friends or their teachers that are not all that smart, they’re not all that capable and they live in to that and that breaks my heart.

Jim Rembach: You know, kind of funny having three smaller kids, I have a middle schooler and two elementary so it’s 11,9, & 6 talking about this—what we do as adults and molding what they think about themselves. First of all, we know that from a personality perspective, people are wired a certain way and then we accentuate that and sometimes not in the best ways. And there is a fascinating book that I read many years ago and it has guided me in a lot of ways, it’s a book called Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck.

She talks about many of the things that you just mentioned. For example, and it’s so commonplace but we see that we do it often like you never should tell a child, ‘you’re smart’. Because what’s the opposite of that? So, if you’re not smart then that means you’re dumb. So, what we should talk to them about is the effort that they put it. We should talk to them about the details of their work and how you appreciate the fact that they really focused in on this and did a great job on that. And then that ultimately will result in you having greater knowledge, and things like that, and that will what makes you smart. But telling somebody directly—you’re smart—it may seem like a compliment but it’s the opposite that is really a bad thing.

Honoree Corder: Interesting. I think that there’s the behavior in there as a person. Most of the times people are not their behavior. So, when I’m educating my daughter on behavior, I will say, “I love you and you’re wonderful and amazing just as you are.” The choice that you made, I’m not exactly excited about that choice that you made, but that doesn’t define who you are. Just as what someone does for a living is not who they are, that’s what they do, but a lot of people put stock in, “I am this as opposed to I do this.”

Jim Rembach: That’s fantastic. I appreciate the dialogue that we’ve had there’s so much insight and we can probably make this in our show but we got a move forward. On the Fast Leader show we always talk about inspiration and things that can give us a reminding and a grounding rod, we talk a lot about leadership quotes. Is there a quote or two or maybe even a passage that stands out for you as something that always reminds you, to say, reset yourself or change your mindset so that you can move forward, can you share that with us, please?

Honoree Corder: Sure. I’m a huge fan of Napoleon Hill and in both of my favorite books, [Laugh] that he has written, “Think and Grow Rich and the Law of Success,” he has something called the self- confidence formula. And 20 something years ago, when I read, Thinking Grow Rich for the first time, I memorize, at his suggestion, the self-confidence formula and said it over and over and over again. It is something that I’m including in a new book that I’m writing, I’m referencing that material because I think it’s so important for people to know that it’s there.

It’s interesting because we live in a time where there’s a new great book available every minute. As I was telling someone yesterday, they’re the self-help classics, they’re the foundations to all of the work that all of us who write books refer to and defer to in our work and that book “Think and Grow Rich” and it’s also in the Law of Success as well that self-confidence formula those words that you’re saying to yourself, if not the passage it’s the idea that I can reset, I can go back and reference that and push the reset button and start back from that place of power, that’s my recommendation.

Jim Rembach: Was the passage in their as you we’re explaining to it?

Honoree Corder: It’s the self-confidence formula. I have the talent and skills and abilities to create anything that I desire but I have to be committed, I have to take the action is the gist of it, it’s a multi-paragraph formula, that whole entire passage is—I don’t know if you’ve seen it, it’s like five or six paragraphs that you commit to memory and then repeat aloud once a day until you embody that, and that’s the passage that I refer to.

Jim Rembach: That’s perfect. What we can do is we can put that on our show notes page for those who have not had the opportunity to review that. And that show notes page are going to be at fastleader.net/Honoree Corder. So, we talked a little bit about mindset in overcoming a lot of obstacles in life and we talked about epiphanies and few other people say Aha’s, is there a moment in your life when you’ve had an epiphany or maybe something that occurred that later you had an epiphany about that has guided you as a person, to be the person you are and positively impact so many that you’ve impacted so far and are yet to impact, can you please share that story with us?

Honoree Corder: Absolutely. I took a public speaking class in 1997 and my instructor was teaching us through a four week evening class, she was a friend of mine and profane 1995 cell glycolic out and start their life teaching after a four-week evening class—she was a friend of mine, she’s was a presentation coach—and she invited me to take her class and I took the class she would have us get out and give this presentations and then give us feedback. One of the things she said to me was’” Honoree you need to speak, if you don’t speak people are missing out. And I heard it but I didn’t hear. It wasn’t until years when I was asked to begin speaking and I started speaking more and more. People would say, “I really appreciated the thing you said about” or “I hear your voice in my head telling me I can do something when I didn’t think that I can do it.” My own voice in my head is telling me that I can do that and I realize that’s exactly the gift that she gave to me. So there’s something very powerful, the epiphany for me is that there is this opportunity that we all have to speak words to people and that you have to be very careful about what you say. You have to speak words, like I have to say to my daughter, “It’s what you did it’s not who you are.” And I tell my clients and my readers and people that I come into contact with that you are capable of anything you put your mind, here you have no limitations the only limitations you have are the ones that you hold on to and that you make up in your mind, that was my epiphany. Those words the people speak in to us, we may not even live in to that till years and years later. So things that I am saying now may no come to fruition until much later but I am so intentional and purposeful in what I say because I want to speak words of life and possibility and hope into people.

Jim Rembach: First of all, thank you for sharing that. You mentioned something about, it’s taking time for you to realize what you she was telling you. Sometimes it can take a lifetime for us to finally click, for some of us, at least me I should say—but if you we’re to give a piece of advice to the Fast Leader legion about that particular story, what would you tell them about, not listening but really “listening”?

Honoree Corder: I think we get, and I have this deal with God, if you send me the feather, send me the feather again.” I think the message is come repeated messages that were supposed to get. At first they come quietly so it’s the feather, the brick the book and then the mock truck. [Laugh] So my request is: “Could you send the feather a few times so that I hear the message.” But I think that there’s something that to each person that’s listening there’s a recurring theme in your life, there’s a recurring message that is meant to get to you. And the sooner you listen then the sooner you get the message. The sooner you get action on it the better for you. Because playing small doesn’t serve the world not owning your greatness doesn’t serve the world, it doesn’t serve you, so that’s my advice. If there’s a recurring there, if there’s something you’ve heard over and over again, listen to that. The first person that said to me, “Your voice in my head telling me I can do it, I’ve chosen to listen to that and make it louder than the voice in my head telling me that I can’t do it.” And that was the moment where I recognize that I was able to speak words of possibility and help in encouragement into people and it was my job to do that. But it took me a long time to own that and to do it even though I started hearing that message in my early 20’s. It took me a long time to own that so we all have these messages that come us hear them sooner, that’s my advice.

Jim Rembach: There’s another keyword that you she said in there that I often repeat back to a lot of folks because here in the Fast Leader show we’re talking about redefining what leadership is, the fact is that, we all have to lead. If we don’t do a good job of leading ourselves there is no way possible in this world that we’ll be able to lead others. We’ll be even looked at to be someone who can lead others. I think for me, I’ve often looked at certain folks and say:” You know what, I would love to be on their team because I want to be on the team for that person so that they can lead me.” Ownership is a really critical part of our day-to-day life. And many of us just squander through. And many times, for me, through certain days, certain times of the day, certain weeks of the month, I don’t necessarily own things, right? And so I need to do better job of hunkering down, as they say and owning things more, thank you for that piece of advice.
If you could, tell us a little bit about the current work that you’re doing, you mentioned about writing a book, what really excites you and gives you energy because you’ve given us broad scope of helping others, but what specifically is the thing that charges you?

Honoree Corder: There are two things. One is when I’m working one-on-one with someone and they tell me that they have become a new person through our work together, that is just the coolest thing ever. And so maybe you want me to expand on that a little bit. What I do is speak words into people, give them permission to do the things that they want to do. It’s everything from the very simple—if you want to do business with someone, ask them. If you want to write a state plan, or you want to handle their legal matters, their M&A transactions, pick up the phone and say, “This is my area of genius, I am awesome at this, I would love to serve you in this way,” take ownership of your greatness in that way. In my work with people that is my focus, helping them to figure out the thing that gives them the juice and help them to do more of that.

The other thing that happens now, every single day, which is super cool because it’s kind of my—I was listening to a podcast yesterday and someone said, ‘Reading books for you is like giving a heroin addict a pound of heroin.” And I thought, “Oh! That’s so me, I’m such a nerd for that. But because I have read in several books, I now get a message every single day from a reader who said, ‘I found your book just in the nick of time and it change the trajectory of my life.” I think that was so amazing and humbling, that the words that I write in isolation and I have this avatar of this person that I want to read my words and to feel better about their life and about their future, that is coming back to me through Facebook messages and e-mails. I got one in the mail yesterday, like someone actually sent me a letter with a stamp on it, and I was said, “Really, that’s awesome, I love that.

Jim Rembach: That’s definitely going the extra mile to give you feedback these days.

Honoree Corder: Absolutely.

Jim Rembach: What goals do you have for the future?

Honoree Corder: Oh! Gosh. I have a few books to write this year on my-to-do list. My family—are goal is to go mobile by the middle of year next year. So, we’re going to be living mobile, travelling around, staying in different places and not having an actual home but being homeless on purpose, being virtual, so we’re working for that.

Jim Rembach: We might have to do a follow up show on that, that’s amazing thought. For me, I think we’d have to have 15 garage sales before we even…

Honoree Corder: Actually, we have had the first several phases of that process, the process of going from the big house to the little place to live. And then looking through everything and saying, ‘Do I really need this thing that I held on to? It’s like, ‘Someone gave me this beautiful Waterford Crystal, actually they were Tiffany candle holders years ago, and I never put candles on then because they were from Tiffany’s I don’t want to get smut on them. I never light any candles in them, I just dusted them and carry them around— and them we’re heavy because they’re from Tiffany. And so I finally just said, ‘This need a new home, someone else needs to dust this and someone else who has a little less—whatever—anxiety about getting some soot on a candle. [Laugh] But we’ve gone through the layers of it and now everything we do is, ‘What is it that we need to do in order to live this life of abundance and travel and just running around and being free in finding all of that.

Jim Rembach: That’s awesome. Hopefully somebody will buy those Tiffany candles and put them in their storage facility. [Laugh] Alright, the entire Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best on everything that you’re targeting for your future. Alright, gang, now it’s time to move on to the rapid pace part of our show and that’s the—Hump Day Hoedown. Alright, Fast Leader listeners this is the time where we ask Honoree several questions and she gives us fast answers so that we can move onward and upward faster. Honoree are you ready to hoedown?

Honoree Corder: I’m ready, fast, quickly.

Jim Rembach: Spoken like a Texan, alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

Honoree Corder: Limiting beliefs with everybody. I’m the same as everybody else, I have limiting beliefs and I’m working on getting rid of those and expanding my consciousness every single day.

Jim Rembach: What’s the best leadership advice you have every received?

Honoree Corder: That being a leader of self is the best way to be a leader of others.

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

Honoree Corder: Extreme self-care.

Jim Rembach: We may have to elaborate that on another show. What do you feel is one of your best resources that helps you lead in business or life?

Honoree Corder: My network. I have a really great group of people that I rely on to help me to work through ideas and strategies and challenges and that’s your peer group, your relationships or the people that you rely on when you need move forward or get unstuck or whatever.

Jim Rembach: That sounds like a Napoleon Hill influence at well. What would be one book that you would recommend to our listeners? Other than your own.

Honoree Corder: Oh! Gosh. I listen to your other podcasts and I thought to myself, and each time, how can you recommend only one book. So, I’m going to go with ‘The Miracle Morning”. Because I already mentioned my other two favorites. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, life changer—I don’t know if you of that book or you know about Hal but that is a favorite book. And then, I’m just going to say that on my website I have my favorite books. So, if you want to know the rest of them, they’re not even all on there but it’s a good start.

Jim Rembach: Alright, Fast Leader listeners, you can find links to that book and many others again on our show notes page and that’s going to be at fastleader.net/Honoree Corder. And Honoree you even have a special gift for our listeners, don’t you? Tell us a little bit about that.

Honoree Corder: I have not one but two gifts, cause that’s how I roll.

Jim Rembach: Awesome.

Honoree Corder: So, if you go to honoreecorder/podcast you can get a free copy of my first book that went to get croissant and antiviral they’ll actually go to and honor rate quarter/pod cast eating that are actually/podcast you can actually get a free copy of my first book, Tall Order. And you can also get two free chapters of my book Vision to Reality.

Jim Rembach: Fantastic. We appreciate those gifts and we look forward to reading those and more coming from you in the future. So, now to last question of the Hump Day Hoedown: Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning and you were 25 years old all over again but you are blessed you have the opportunity to keep everything that you know today with you. You are given the responsibility to manage a team that’s underperforming and disengage. Your job is to turn these folks around. Now, you get up in the morning you realize what happened you head out to work, what do you do now?

Honoree Corder: First of all, I’m a little offended that you don’t think that I’m 25, but we’ll just going to skip right over that. [Laugh] I am going to find out each of my teams ‘whys’. Why are they coming to work? What did they want most in the world? And if where they need to be is on that team and moving forward, I’m going to help them to live into their potential and take ownership of their greatness and come up with a plan and a vision and move themselves forward. And if they don’t need to be there, then I’m going to help them find their right path and have a transformation because that’s what I do.

Jim Rembach: That’s awesome. Honoree, it was an honor to spend time with you today, please share with the Fast Leader legion how that they can connect with you?

Honoree Corder: honoreecorder.com.

Jim Rembach: Perfect. Honoree, 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 me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and surprise, 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

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

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

009: Diane Magers: I had to go back and pick them up

Podcast Show Notes with Diane Magers

Diane was hitting the wall and leaving people behind. Her strategic skills were rendered ineffective because people were not connecting with her. While Diane was able to connect the dots quickly she was not connecting them for her team. Join me as Diane tells her story and shares much more about how to connect with people where they are.

Diane Magers has more than 20 years of building and growing CX focus. Currently with AT&T’s Office of the Customer, she is responsible for building and innovating customer and associate engagement.

Prior to AT&T, Diane launched Customer Experience Catalysts as a consultancy and thought leader for companies who were launching or progressing their CX frameworks. She also developed and led Customer Engagement at Sysco Corporation.

Today, she is laser focused on driving business results through improved customer experiences. In addition, she frequently presents at CX industry conferences and events and works with various CX associations on thought leadership content.

She holds an M.S. in Psychology and an M.B.A. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP), and Promoter Score (NPS), Voice of Customer (VoC) and Customer Experience Management (CEM) certified.  Additional affiliations include CXPA (founding member), LUMA Institute, Board member for CXPA Certification and active volunteer for the Autism Society of American and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She resides in Dallas with her family.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @DianeMagers helping people get over the hump. Click to Tweet

“At the end of the day, have you made a difference?” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

“It’s not about you.” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

“Make it about the person you’re with.” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

“They get satisfaction knowing that somebody understands me.” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

“When you are in a tough spot and you’ve built rapport, they will follow you into the fire.” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

“It’s not money that really drives people it’s about value, recognition, and their growth.” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

“When I stopped focusing on milestones and looked at how I could move people, it all clicked.” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

“It’s really critical to make that first move to open the door with people.” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

“Where can I really get to the heart of that person?” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

“We’ve got to care for people and pay attention to how they’re feeling.” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

“Innovative sessions in the day can just pump people up.” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

“Use moments where you know people hit the wall as times to innovate.” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

“While I could see the big picture, I need to start where they are.” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

“I had to go back and pick people up in the race and walk with them.” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

“Making associations with everybody is critical because everyone is important.” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

“Stop thinking about all the things that can go wrong, just go for it.” -Diane Magers Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Diane was going through an 80-hour week implementation project when the cross-functional team she was part of was totally exhausted. That’s when Diane knew an interruption to break the tension was needed. That’s when the focus and the energy of the team lit up and they got over the hump. From then on Diane began to make sure emotional conversion became part of her routine practice. Listen to the show to find out how Diane applies her knowledge in psychology so you can find your way faster.

Leadership Epiphany

You have to take risks and pay attention to where people are and help them to move from not feeling so great to I feel so much better.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Courage

Best leadership advice ever received

It’s not about me, it’s about the people that I am with.

Secret to Success

Asking the tough questions nobody else wants to ask.

Best resources in work or life

The belief in the human spirit.

Recommended Reading

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Contacting Diane

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dianemag
Via email: dimagers [at] att.net

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
009: Diane Magers: I had to go back and pick them up

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. Alright Fast Leader legion, I have a major with us, no not in the military it’s Diane Magers. She has more than 20 years of experience helping to grow customer experience focused organizations. She is currently working with AT&T in the Office of the Customer. She’s responsible for building and innovating Customer and Associate Engagement, we know that one drives the other, so I’m excited that she’s playing both of those critical roles within the customer experience. Prior to AT&T, Diane had her own consultancy with the Customer Experience Catalyst. She helped lead organizations that were launching or progressing in their customer experience or costumer centric frameworks and strategies. And she develop and led customer experience for Sysco Corporation, another technology company—the food company.
Today she’s laser focused on driving business results to improve customer experiences. And she’s a mentor, a leader to a lot in the industry as well and sits on the panel of experts for the Customer Experience Professional Association. Diane holds a Masters in Psychology and also has an MBA. She’s certified in a whole slew at different things. But I think probably her most important role would be that she is a mom of four, three girls and a son, ages 14 to 22 so you can only imagine how crazy that house is. Another interesting point is that she has known her husband since kindergarten, I think that is just incredible. So, Diane Magers are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Diane Magers: I am, I am, let’s rock.
Jim Rembach: Oh! That’s awesome. There are so many things that I would just like to ask you and have you share but I really want to start with the things that inspire you. And I’m sure many of you who’ve had the opportunity to listen to our show we really focus in on leadership quotes and how they drive us. Diane is there something that stands out to you in the leadership quote that helps give you that extra drive when the day is long?
Diane Magers: Yeah. The CEO of the company that I worked for, he use to tell me at the end of the day have you made a difference and he also shared with me—it’s not about you. And those lessons that he taught me were really about making sure other people, that you’re moving them forward and you’re helping them, cause at the end of the day that’s what I find fascinating watching people grow and learn and watching those light bulbs come on and so for me those really resonated and that gives me such satisfaction as well, so I think it’s a great how things kind of work right, give and take. And so he really taught me a lot about that, those two quotes stick with me all the time.
Jim Rembach: And I would say too that knowing you for a few years, but not as long as I wish I have hopefully that will continue though, is that I do see that come out in you and that resonates in a lot of ways when you say that and how that drives you. You are one of those folks that I think when you start talking about transparency, authenticity, genuine, a lot of those words are trust building descriptors, values, fillers whatever you want to call them, there in you and I commend you for that. But I don’t think we all start at that point, I think we grow in to it and a lot of times others help us do that. Are there particular situations or something that occurred that you can recall that it helped you get in that right direction? We would love to hear, would you please share with us?
Diane Magers: Yeah, absolutely. I think along those lines with the two quotes that I gave you, I think one of the things that I’ve learned overtime is to make it about the person that you’re with. All of us come with our own insecurities and our needs and our wants and our emotional state, right? But very infrequently does somebody else care for those or listen and understand them and help uncover what’s happening. So that trust and authenticity that you want to build with yourself and with your team starts with being with other person and trying to understand them. So a lot of times people walk in a room and it’s like they want to [inaudible 4:36] about them, switching that around and being with them and understanding what they’re trying to get after will get you so much farther when you’re leading people and you’re developing people because they get satisfaction if somebody’s finally understanding me, right? And it makes them really want to follow you and understand what needs to be done. When were in a top spot—there’s been lots of those in my career—when you’re on top spot and built that rapport with folks they’re willing to follow you into the fire and I think that’s part of what you just have to be to build as a leader as you go through every single day, every single person you interact with, whether it’s the janitor, the CEO, to really understand where they are, what they’re doing and how they can help contribute, because everybody wants to, right? We all know, the stats show, that it’s not money that really drives people it’s about value, it’s about recognition, it’s about their growth.
And so really focusing on that whether the task at hand, really has gotten me I think to go out further than that, that was when [inaudible 5:34]. Midway in my career, when I was really trying to push, like most of us leaders do in setting goals and milestones, and when I stop paying attention to the milestones and look at individually how I can move people that’s when I really kind of click, and I really got some solid teams. Not that we didn’t have our issues, not that we didn’t have hard times but it’s really made it easier to communicate and really be open about what’s happening. So yes, you’re right I’m an open book and people would tell you that what you see is what you get.
Jim Rembach: Diane you mentioned something about people coming in to a room and not focusing on the other person because they wanted yourselves to shine, I don’t know about for me sometimes I walk into a room, it’s like, “Gosh, I hope I don’t mess up” and so my focus is one that’s more of fear instead of—to be fantastic. How do you address that?
Diane Magers: I think it’s one of those things we set such high expectations and we don’t want to be wrong about everything, we don’t want to risk or we’re not willing to put ourselves out there. So I think giving people permission to do that, like walking up to them and say, “Hey, how you doing? What’s going on? What do you [6:36 inaudible] for?” really letting, opening that door and saying, “What could possibly be standing in their way of letting them talk and share themselves?” And again back to being there. So I think when you recognize that in people and they have that look when they walk in the door like ‘I’m not sure where to go’ you can see it in their face, I think it’s really critical to make that first move and open that door up and walk up to him and share. I learned that just reaching and touching somebody on the shoulder helps them to feel like. ‘Okay, that human touch really gets me there’ so it’s not in a creepy way obviously. Just kind of touching somebody, you’re shaking their hand and holding on a second longer to let them know, ‘Hey we’re all human in this room.’ We are here to care for each other and I’m here to show you that, and that people just open up. It could part of psychologist in me but it could also be just people want to talk and they want to talk about things that are important to them and just opening that door is really critical. I think about that when I approach people, what doors can I open? Can I really get to the heart of that person?
Jim Rembach: Now, there’s three things as you are saying that kind of stood out to me as things I just kind of have to put in more on the forefront of my mind is that, be welcoming, be more approachable and touch somebody. It’s easy to shake a hand but not everybody wants necessarily do a handshake, so the do fist pump stuff, right in?
Diane Magers: Yeah. Or just grab them—if you’re taking them somewhere or you want to talk to him about something really important, just taking them by the elbow or touching their arm it opens up so much. I think people just were so afraid of that these days but I really find it to be just the physical connection, that people want that emotional connection, so it’s a good lead in. So, a little psychology tip there that I think people can use that really helps open up.
Jim Rembach: Thank you for sharing. Can you think about a specific situation, a story that you can tell us where those things and elements and those quotes fit in to?
Diane Magers: Yeah. I think we were going through a really intensive, 80hour a week implementation at one a companies. And the team the UpDev team, and the business team and all the folks in the room we have been working so hard and so diligently, it was like 10:30 at night. The team was just so tired, you can tell by everybody, they’re rubbing their eyes and they’re trying to stretch and just is a bad time, we have a couple of hours to go yet till—except they call. I remember whispering to somebody I said, somebody just crack a joke, and so one of the guys that was kind of our clown on our team got up and he just told his joke like out of the blue and hit his iPad that he had there, had a little speaker with it, right? And just started playing music and it change the whole focus of the room, like the energy change everybody lit up we got over that hump and got there but I think sometimes you have to take those risk that sometimes in business are hard to do and really recognize where people are and say, Wow, we really need to make something happen at our jobs. That was one time when it really resonates with me that we’ve got to care for people and pay attention to how they’re feeling and where they are and help them move, I call that emotional conversion. Help them move from not feeling so great to I feel so much better, in different ways obviously. That’s one that stands out that was a lot of fun, the trigger.
Jim Rembach: You know that is a good trigger. And now I was having a conversation with somebody the other day about an intentional interruption which was really interesting, I think we’re go in to that a little bit more on another show. Where you have to plan that those things need to happen instead of like what we have a tendency to do is say buckle down let’s work even harder and sometimes you need to interrupt.
Diane Magers: I call that the Girbo wheel. We all get in our car, drive to work without even knowing it. We get in, we do our work, we go home and I think that this disruption that just pause for a moment. Even if it’s a pause, or like what I just described, or even asking tough question and getting people to just think outside the box differently in a really innovative little sessions in the day can just pump people up. So those tactic and techniques really work to get people motivated when they don’t feel like I’m coming in and I’m going to Girbo wheel all day. We need life to mean more than that.
Jim Rembach: Yeah. And you said that making it more it more intentional. You talked about a story where you realized that you had to make that intentional break and do something crazy and then a guy getting up tell jokes on us, having some music. It probably would be best if we plan it ahead of time, right? With this intentional interruption right around here. I think more and more brain science is actually coming out and telling us that we need to do those things not just from a work perspective but also from a learning perspective. So much at the so many periods or lengths of time and you have to switch it up.
Diane Magers: Yeah, we use that time. One of the things that we did, we we’re kind of teaching techniques on innovations. Abstraction lathering and some of the things we—learning customer experience to engage employees. And we purposely put it at about one o’clock in the afternoon right up when we got back from lunch because we realize that was kind of a downtime for people and they really felt like time back in after being outside for lunch, and having this great lunch after work. So, using that what would be normally dead time to stimulate them and get them driving at a faster pace for the rest of the afternoon, really invigorate a lot. Use those moments where you know people are kind of hit the wall as times the you can kind of prod a little bit, but lead them to something that’s more innovative and different for them in that day.

Jim Rembach: A lot of times we have situations where we have this Aha moment about something that we’ve been working on trying to move forward and I call them epiphanies. Can you think of a time where you’ve had a pretty profound epiphany? Can you tell us about that?

Diane Magers: Yeah. I think when I was younger in my career, I’m very strategic you would see in my Gallup strengths, I’m strategic and ideation and all these great things. I like to say I’m a good helicopter kind of person, I can connect the dots pretty quickly. But I realized that I need to really be where people are and while I could see the big picture I needed to kind of start where they were and take them down that journey with me. Whether it’s kind of paint this big picture and the scene, you know, “Oh, my Gosh! that seems so far away.” So breaking it down and then realizing where people were and then how I can get them to see that bigger picture really change management 101. But I didn’t realize it until get running into that wall—I must stop resonating it just doesn’t making sense to me it’s perfectly clear. So I think for me as a leader that was that really becoming a leader trying to stand up front away the flag, I have to get back and pick people up in the race and really walk with them and help them understand what I understand so that they can see that bigger picture. So that was big aha for me. And once I learn that then it became much easier to gain consensus and make decision and drive people to better results. Real key.

Jim Rembach: Definitely key. We need everybody to come along with us instead of us just hanging out on the front, right? As in all alone.

Diane Magers: Yes, yes. And I disconnect between leadership and everybody else in the company. We feel that a lot of times like there’s this big gap between those and bridging that and, like I talk about earlier, making associations with everybody in the company for the janitor to CEO, it’s critical because everybody is important and plays their part.

Jim Rembach: And you know really a lot of these transposes into our personal life. If there’s some people in our life that are just critically important and a lot of times we’ll bring them along either.

Diane Magers: Yeah, that’s true.

Jim Rembach: We just become disassociated and isolated and confused not knowing why. So bring along, right?

Diane Magers: Yeah, we’re getting the habit. If you have read The Power of Habit, it’s a great book to kind of talk about. We just get in that routine Girbo wheel and we don’t stop and really think or look back or introspect.

Jim Rembach: I appreciate your sharing all that us. Now it’s time for us to move on to the fast pace of our show and that is the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Diane, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Diane, are you ready to hoedown?

Diane Magers: Here we go.

Jim Rembach: Here we go. Alright. So what do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader?

Diane Magers: Courage. I think everybody just cease to have the liquid courage. And think about what they’re doing and just go for it. Stop thinking about all of the things that could go wrong, just go for it.

Jim Rembach: I love it. Let’s go for this next question. What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

Diane I think we talked about that today but I think it’s not about you it’s about the people that you’re with they’re making that happen and making that real.
Jim Rembach: Awesome point. What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Diane Magers: I think asking the top tough questions nobody else wants to ask, the elephant in the room. I kind of notice the tough question lady, I think that’s okay once you’ve kind of garnered some respecting can do that, it’s what everybody else is thinking in their head they’re just not saying. So taking that risk, being courageous by asking those tough questions.

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

Diane Magers: Wow! I think my belief in the human spirit that believing the best in people. I grew up in the West and we trust until you’d prove otherwise. I think it just believe in people and pushing them as far as I can maybe sometimes to fall, I think that’s really important and people sense that.

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

Diane Magers: Well, there you go I said it earlier the Power of Habit. I think it’s a great book. It talks about personal life all the way to corporate life and how the power of habit keeps us in what we’re doing and how we can and cannot grow.

Jim Rembach: Thank you for sharing all that. And we will have a link to that book and several other things on Diane’s show notes page and that will be at fast leader.net/dianemagers. Diane thank you. So our last question in the Hump Day Hoedown?

Imagine you woke tomorrow morning and you were 25 years old again, you are supposed to begin a new job as a manager of a team of people that is underperforming and disengaged but you have retained all the wisdom and skill that you currently have. Now your task, of course, is to take this team and turn them around. So you get up, you get ready and head out to work, what do you do now?

Diane Magers: I schedule meetings with every single person and get their interpretation of what’s gone right and what’s gone wrong, so far. So I have their by end, their understanding and what they’re looking to do and then accumulate all that and move forward with the plan with them right by my side.

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

Diane Magers: Absolutely. I’m in LinkedIn same Diane Magers or they can connect with me through email and that will be on your homepage as well.

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

Thank you for joining me 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 fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

END OF AUDIO

008: Dan Rockwell: I’m afraid I won’t matter

Podcast Show Notes with Dan Rockwell (Leadership Freak)

Dan was identifying himself by others and as a people pleaser,he eventually became lost with needing to define himself by others. Then Dan had an epiphany where things became clearer and he realized he had more in him and he began to turn to his strengths, talents and gifts. Listen to this episode and learn how Dan Rockwell transformed into the Leadership Freak.

Dan Rockwell is a farm-boy from Maine who lives in Central Pennsylvania with his wife of 39 years. He says she is the joy of his life.

He prefers country to city living. He thoroughly enjoys looking out the window and seeing deer in the field. He has three children and four grandchildren. He believes Grandchildren are one of life’s compensations.

Dan’s leadership career began with a leadership position in the nonprofit world at the age of nineteen. His experience, over thirty-five years, includes business ownership and fifteen years as a Workforce Development Consultant for a regional Penn State Special Affiliate.

Dan’s contribution to the leadership community includes writing the highly recognized Leadership Freak blog. Leadership Freak was the most socially shared leadership blog in the world 2012, 2013, and 2014. Leaders in every country on the globe gain encouragement and insight from his writing. Over 300,000 subscribers have opted into Dan’s social media channels.

The American Management Association lists Dan as one of the Top 30 Leaders in Business (2014). INC recognizes Dan as one of the top 50 Leadership and Management Experts in the English speaking world (2014). INC also recognizes Dan as a TOP 100 Leadership Speaker.

Currently, Dan coaches leaders, consults with organizations, and delivers corporate and community presentations.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Check out @LeadershipFreak sharing his story and fears on @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“The logical extension of Servant Leadership is being a coaching leader.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“There are some misconceptions about being a coach.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Once you make a decision curiosity ends.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“A coach is a person who maximizes the talent and skill of another person.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“When you tell someone what to do you enhance their helplessness.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“You are going to maximize your performance and I am the person to help you.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“If you’re going to talk about it, do something about it.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Don’t talk about it if you’re not going to do something about it.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Are we moving toward action and behavior or are we just chasing our tail?” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“You are not the person to find the answer, they are.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Wanting to please people is a good thing; needing it is not so healthy.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Love people and serve people but don’t do it to gain their approval.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“When you are a deep people pleaser it’s hard to disagree.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“What you see now is a drive to matter.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“I made a lot of mistakes, so I have a lot to write about.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“I want to matter and I’m afraid I won’t.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“My word for this year is extend…my service to others.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“How can I find new ways to serve people?” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Stay curious and open your heart.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Seek other perspectives and be a learner.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“You got to pour more into yourself than you pour out.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Success doesn’t depend on me, it depends on them.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“My performance is really about their performance.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“When I was young I thought it was all about me, now I realize it’s all about them.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Dan was identifying himself by others and as a people pleaser he eventually became lost with needing to define himself by others. Then had an epiphany where things became clearer and Dan realized he had more in him and he began to turn to his strengths, talents and gifts. Listen to this episode and learn how Dan Rockwell transformed into the Leadership Freak.

Leadership Epiphany

Needing to get approval and pleasing people is not so healthy. Wanting to please people is a good thing. Needing it is not.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Insecurity and the fear of failure, and the need to succeed.

Best leadership advice ever received

If we do it your way we’ll end up with nobody. Stop cutting people out.

Secret to Success

Being a learner. Pour more into yourself so you can pour more out.

Best resources in work or life

Listening to others

Recommended Reading

The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations

Contacting Dan

Leadership Freak blog: https://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com
Via email: dan [at] leadershipfreak.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
008: Dan Rockwell: I’m afraid I won’t matter

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 you’re going to want make sure that you go to iTunes and that you subscribe, rave and review this episode so that everybody gets a chance to hear it. Because I’m going to introduce to you today a farm boy. Not just any ‘ole farm boy he’s a farm boy from Maine and lives in central Pennsylvania with his wife of 39 years, and he says that she is the joy of his life. He prefers country living than city living because there’s nothing like looking out the window and seeing a deer running in the field. He has three children and four grandchildren. And he says the grandchildren are one of his life’s compensations. When he’s not enjoying good books and his family he delivers keynotes, workshops, and coaches’ leaders and he writes—and man he writes a lot. I have Dan Rockwell on the show. That’s right the leadership freak himself.
Dan’s contribution to the leadership community includes writing a highly recognized leadership freak blog. Leadership Freak was the most socially shared leadership blog in the world, three years in a row. Leaders in every country around the globe gain encouragement and insight from his writing. Over 300,000 subscribers have opted in to Dan’s social media channels. The American Management Association list Dan as one of the top 30 leaders in business. INC recognizes Dan is one of the top 50 leadership and management experts in the English-speaking world. INC also recognizes Dan as a top 100 leadership speaker. Dan Rockwell, are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Dan Rockwell: Let’s rock ‘n roll.
Jim Rembach: I love it okay. So, I’ve given our listeners a brief introduction can you please tell us what is your current passion so that we can get to know you better?
Dan Rockwell: My current passion is developing coaching cultures in organizations. I believe in servant leadership. I believe that the logical extension of servant leadership is being a coaching leader and that means developing the organizations that are embracing a coaching culture where people understand what it means to be coached and what it means to coach.
Jim Rembach: It’s really interesting that you say that in the context that you say it because I think oftentimes as a society we get very confused between the difference of training, counseling, coaching, mentoring—for you when you say coaching, can you help us a little bit more to understand what that means?
Dan Rockwell: I think there’s some misconceptions about a coach. I’ll tell you a quick story. I coach my wife, and I used this story when I talk to people about how to coach. As soon as I say I coach my wife, the eyeballs roll the eyebrows go up it’s like, “Wow, that must be an interesting kind of experience.” And the reason our eyeballs roll and we go, “Oh, wow.” It’s because we still have this idea that a coach is a person who knows more than I do, a coach is a person who has all the answers and can tell me what to do, that’s not the case all. Think about Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods has a golf coach that golf coach is not a better golfer than Tiger Woods. So, when it comes to coaching I think about—a coach is a person who maximizes the talent and skill of another person, helps them find their strengths and helps them figure out what their path forward is to exceptional performance.
Jim Rembach: I think there’s some really important things for me that’s resonating when you’re talking about that. One is discovery, being able to discover. Interpretation being able to interpret. Encourage being able to do that and apply, four critical components right there when you start talking about coaching as you defined it. What else would you say?
Dan Rockwell: I think it’s important in a coaching culture that the people who are being coached understand the process. There’s a traditional view of what it means to be a leader. And so now here comes the coaching leader and the traditional view would be—‘Well, tell me what to do and I’ll go do it.” And so now if a leader comes and was the coach an employee through a process to find their maximum performance the person being coached is like, “What are you after? Why you asking me these questions? Why don’t you just tell me what you want me to do? We experienced this kind of resistance in organizations where we try to help develop the coaching culture because people want to be told what to do. But here’s the thing, when you tell someone what to do you really are enhancing their helplessness and their dependency. So what we want to do when we think about coaching is maximize your strength and focus on your abilities and put responsibility for performance in your lap, not in the leaders lap, not in the coach’s lap in the sense of you’re going to make the decisions you’re going to maximize your own performance I’m the person who was helping you do that.
Jim Rembach: That was fantastic advice thank you for sharing. Those insights are so valuable to help us get better definition of what is coaching and what isn’t. Now, Dan I have to say that I’m quite intimidated to ask somebody like you my next question but it’s something that’s important to us in the Fast Leader show because inspiration we all need it and we look to leadership quotes in order to help us.
Some people have passages or things like that, but I’m sure you’re volumes of things that you’ve read, because people who write a lot typically read a lot, is there something that stands out to you as a reminder that you always hear in your head and it replay’s like a song that never gets out that gives you inspiration and drives you from a leadership perspective? Can you share that with us please?
Dan Rockwell: Wow, that’s a tough question. The first thing that comes to mind, I’m not sure it’s a quote anywhere—if you’re going to talk about it do something about it or say it the other way, don’t talk about it if you’re not going to do something about it. I just get so frustrated with all this conversations that are not going nowhere and so that for me is a sort of a guiding principle, I keep that with me a lot. I’m listening to myself talk and I listen to conversations and I’m asking myself, are we moving toward action and behavior? Or are we just chasing her tail?
Jim Rembach: Oh, I love the quote. It resonates for me so much but I have to share with you and be transparent and say that that’s one of the frustrations that I have as a husband. I wonder if there’s a gender difference when it comes to that because my wife often tells, “Look, I don’t necessarily want to do anything about it, I just want to tell you about it.” And so, sometimes for me like I’m like, “Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know because I’m going to do something it.” Do you see that fall on gender lines or is it more of personality traits?
Dan Rockwell: Well, in building a relationship with my wife I know what you’re saying. I’m glad you brought it out because there is this bias to action that if you’re not careful it short-circuits just some of the necessary conversation that needs to happen. I would say this though, I think back to—I been married for almost 40 years now, I got married when I was 19—“it is by the way I hear you, let’s talk through, let’s just listen, let me just listen” and part of coaching my wife, she says she can tell when I’m trying to fix her and when I’m just listening, so there is some value there.
But I think also I love to ask the question, like say we have maybe a tense conversation, I love to ask a question toward the end of it well “what do you want? Let’s think about what you want?” and kind of put that in behavioral terms. So maybe the fixing thing is not so much she doesn’t want me to fix her but let’s work on what the relationship looks like behaviorally, but anyway I hear you it’s good thing to bring up.
Jim Rembach: I want that you brought up that coaching concept piece and the framework and all of that that kind of helps me a lot because I need to make sure that I’m putting that hat on sometimes and just really listen do a better job of active listening.
Dan Rockwell: I’ll give you a tip. It comes to me from John Stoker who wrote overcoming fake conversations, he’s a coach, and he taught me that the way to tell whether you’re trying to fix or whether you’re just listening and being a coach and helping someone else find their way forward is that sense of tension, anxiety or frustration you feel in your heart. As soon as that starts to bubble up you know you’re trying to fix.
Jim Rembach: Gosh, I feel that often. [Laughter] Dan Rockwell: I know, and I’ve learned to just monitor my own emotions and as I see it start to heat up I realize breath let it go, you are not the person to find the answer, they are.
Jim Rembach: Again awesome, sage advice. Just to let you all know, we go through and we pull out a lot of the different tidbits of information and put them in quotes on our show notes page and Dan has already dropped so many, I wanted to make sure that you know that. You can find those on the show notes page which will be fastleader.net/Dan Rockwell. Okay Dan, life we know is not always a piece of cake. We often have humps that we have to get over and there’s so much teaching and learning and probably coaching that goes in those moments, can you think of a time where you’ve had that hump to get over and you found a situation where it kind of define you or help you set a new direction, can you share that story with us?
Dan Rockwell: I think the story of life is that we start off identifying ourselves by others. There comes a stage in life where you start to move away from that and start to define yourself by yourself and who you really are, that’s a long process. I’m a people pleaser and so a large part of my life has been spent pleasing people and identifying myself that way.
About five years ago I took a month off, or maybe six years now, I remember the day it was one of those midlife crisis moments—and I’ve had many midlife crisis I’m a huge fan of them we all have lots of them—and it was then that some things came clear I just said to myself “you have more in you” and I realize I was defining myself by others. And it was in that moment that I said, “You know what, I don’t need any of these. I don’t need any job that I have. I don’t need any of it.” It doesn’t mean that you turn mean and nasty, what it means is you turn to your strength, you turn to your talent, you turn to your gift and you begin to bring that authentically versus doing it to get approval and pleasing people. I still love to please people and so do you and it’s a good thing but needing it is not quite so healthy.
Jim Rembach: So, can you tell us about the situation as it occurred? What happened?
Dan Rockwell: I think our lives kind of drop in to ten-year segments, I think it’s more of a timing thing than a specific situation. For example, when you go off to college, 18, 19, 20, you’re going to have a crisis an identity crisis. And then somewhere around the 30’s probably got married and so there’s going to be some of that and then the kids come. Researchers showing that you really almost on the decade markers, and for me it started just before the 50’s or just around the 50’s and it was about a two or three-year period of frustration then it they finally boom it just came clear for me and then things changed.
Jim Rembach: So, what did you do differently?
Dan Rockwell: First of all there’s an attitudinal difference and that’s the biggest thing. You still love people and you still want to serve people but you don’t do it to just gain their approval and so there’s great freedom. I think there’s freedom to serve and there’s freedom to speak your own heart and mind kindly when you disagree, for example. When you’re deep pleaser it’s hard to disagree so you stuffed down some of things really think. So for me one of the changes is to kindly speak to have candor. I just talked to Jack Welch last week and he said his mom taught him to be authentic early on, he’s known for candor and I said, “Tell me is this the foundation for candor?” and he said, “Absolutely.” Just knowing who you are and sticking with that it allows you to be candid. So, anyway, one of the things that change for me is freedom and the kindness and candor that comes out and then I started writing Leadership Freak, I tie that to that experience as well so I started writing Leadership Freak and then rest is history.
Jim Rembach: So, that refocus and rededication—when you start talking about writing of Leadership Freak and the proliferation of it is just amazing to me how much volume and variability and in that content that you actually can generate. With that change did there also come a different sense of discipline, focus, habit that you can allude to being more concrete, structured then, ‘Hey, I just did something different?’
Dan Rockwell: Yeah. I’m a farm boy from Maine and so I know what it means to get up and work hard and I would get up before school and work and work has been part of my life all along. I get up very early to write the Leadership Freak blog and that’s a little bit of my nature but I think the thing that’s driving this proliferation, as you put it, is a need to matter. In those years, in those darker years the part of that is I felt like I could matter more and I was disappointed in how far I’ve come and so what you see now is the drive to matter. A lot of people don’t like to hear this but I’m just going to say it to you, people ask me, “Why are you writing so much?” First of all, I’ve made lots of mistakes and I got lots to write about because I made lots of mistakes, but I want to matter. I’m going to put it to you in the negative languages well, I’m afraid I won’t. And there is in my own life some of this fear that I won’t matter. Also sometimes when I think, ‘You know what, why don’t you just sleep today?’ and there’s that voice that says, ‘You know what, you bring it down there’. It’s not the noblest thing in the world but that’s part of the story.
Dan Rockwell: But is the human story. And that’s one of the things that we could go for and really pull out here on the Fast Leader show. For the longest time you and I had talked about this—leadership and leading, I think almost hijacked. And it was hijacked by folks that said that this is only for the elite, this is only for the high potential folks this is only for the people who are above this point within an organization or in this age group. I call hogwash on that. We all have the opportunity to lead if at least it’s ourselves and there’s no way we can ever have followers if we don’t do a good job of that. I think you shared through your story a lot about that self-leadership component which has allowed you to impact so many leaders and others.
Jim Rembach: I thank you for sharing that and really appreciate it. I know that all of the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the best. We want to know what your goals are for the future.
Dan Rockwell: In the short-term my word for this year is ‘Extend.’ I practiced a word for the year, there’s a book called One Word, I don’t really like the New Year’s resolution thing but I do practice one word, and this year my word is ‘Extend.’ I want to extend my service to others. I want to extend my speaking engagements, I’m becoming a little more cognizant of that type of thing. In the long haul, I’ve really enjoyed coaching and that’s important to me. I just look forward to opportunities to serve people that’s what extend means to me, how can I find new ways to serve people.
Jim Rembach: So, based on everything that you shared with us so far—extending and all that, what is one piece of advice you would give to our listeners?
Dan Rockwell: Stay curious. Open your heart. I think leaders can be quick to make decisions and once we make a decision curiosity ends and then we start defending that decision. I would encourage leaders, especially young leaders, to be curious. What that means is to bring the outsiders in, to seek other perspectives and be a learner.
Jim Rembach: So, when you start talking about part of the future and give them back there’s also a business side to it. What is one thing that really excites you about the work that you’re doing today? You mentioned the coaching, what else?
Dan Rockwell: The opportunity to do keynote work for an organization is a wonderful opportunity and is a good business opportunity as well because you get to learn about what they’re doing. The keynote obviously is not going to radically change an organization but a keynote presentation, you gave to align with where that organization is going and speak into it and feel that fire, so I do enjoy the keynote opportunities.
Jim Rembach: That’s fantastic, the entire Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Alright here we go Fast Leader listeners it’s time for the rapid part of our show, and that’s the, Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Dan, 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. Dan Rockwell, are you ready to hoedown?
Dan Rockwell: I’m ready to hoedown.
Jim Rembach: Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?
Dan Rockwell: Insecurity. The fear of failure and just the need to succeed.
Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?
Dan Rockwell: If we do it your way we’ll end up with nobody, it can be hard on people. I had a friend of mine look me in the eye and say, ‘You know what, you’ve got to stop cutting people out.
Jim Rembach: What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?
Dan Rockwell: Being a learner. The ideas is you’re going to pour more into yourself than you pour so keep pouring in yourself and then you have plenty to pour out.
Jim Rembach: What do you feel is one of your best resources that helps you lead in business or life?
Dan Rockwell: Listening to others.
Jim Rembach: What would be one book you would recommend to our listeners, and I know that’s tough, but give it a shot.
Dan Rockwell: The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner.
Jim Rembach: Thank you very much. Alright Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that information as well as to the Leadership Freak blog, if you haven’t subscribed already, and other bonus information by going to fastleader.net/Dan Rockwell. Okay Dan, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning and you were 25 years old again but you’ve been blessed you have all the knowledge and wisdom and you get to take it with you, now your job is to manage a team that is underperforming and disengaged. Now you get up in the morning you go to work, what you do now?
Dan Rockwell: I realize that success doesn’t depend on media it depends on them and that my performance is really about their performance. When I was young I thought it was all about me and now I realize it’s all about them.
Jim Rembach: Age does have something to do with that? But we’re hoping that at the Fast Leader show that are younger listeners can hear that sooner and it’ll click for them sooner and that’s really what the Fast Leader show is about—it isn’t about doing things quickly it’s about doing things right. Dan Rockwell It’s an honor to spend time with you today. Can you please share with the Fast Leader listeners how they can connect with you?
Dan Rockwell: If you go to Google and type in Leadership Freak you can’t miss me. And if you’d like to email you can e-mail Dan@leadershipfreak.com.
Jim Rembach: Dan Rockwell, thank you for sharing her knowledge and wisdom, the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.
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

007: Chuck Udzinski: I’m like a hair in a biscuit

007: Chuck Udzinski: I’m like a hair in a biscuit

Podcast Show Notes with Chuck Udzinski

What Chuck believed when he was given the responsibility to drive customer satisfaction as high as possible was that the rest of the organization would pay attention to the customer results. Join me as Chuck tells the story of what he and his team decided to do when the organization decided to focus somewhere else. Learn how they moved forward and obtained success.

Chuck Udzinski was born the oldest of six children and from an early age was instilled with the responsibility to protect and care for his younger siblings, which he still is dedicated to doing today.

Chuck has been working since the age of 14. Other than that job, as a paper boy, Chuck has had a career of jobs where he was responsible for helping others run their business.

Chuck says his best job was working for a decade for a McDonald’s franchisee, because he was able to get the opportunity to experience all aspects of a business, from P&L management, people management, and technology and process.

He retired from Black & Decker but he’s not done. He is currently a client success manager with Oracle, helping customers of Oracle receive the most value from the application they purchase.

Chuck is most proud of the fact that he’s been part of raising a son and daughter that are positive contributors to society and being a Pop Pop to his grandsons Corbin and Aiden.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @ChuckUdzinski getting over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“We’re not saving babies here, it’s just stuff, let’s get to it.” Chuck Udzinski Click to Tweet

“If you’re through changing, you’re through.” Chuck Udzinski Click to Tweet

“If you don’t keep reinventing yourself you’ll fall to the wayside.” Chuck Udzinski Click to Tweet

“You must invest in yourself in order to keep moving forward.” Chuck Udzinski Click to Tweet

“It’s a constant evolving to make yourself marketable, in an ever changing marketplace.” Chuck Udzinski Click to Tweet

“Until you’re dead, you’re not done.” Jim Rembach Click to Tweet

“I put my elbows out this morning and they didn’t touch wood, so I got out of bed.” Chuck Udzinski Click to Tweet

“I really just want to feel like I’ve made a difference at the end of the day.” Chuck Udzinski Click to Tweet

“We cannot control what’s happening above us.” Chuck Udzinski Click to Tweet

“You must believe that the folks that work for you want to do a good job.” Chuck Udzinski Click to Tweet

“No one gets up in the morning to come to work to do a bad job.” Chuck Udzinski Click to Tweet

“I’m like a hair in a biscuit, you just can’t get it out of there.” Chuck Udzinski Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Chuck was the head of Customer Care for Black & Decker with a directive to drive customer satisfaction but was met with the challenge of trying to move the rest of the organization to be more customer-centric. After several attempts and mass frustration Chuck and his team decided to end the frustration of trying to control things that were outside of their control. That’s when Chuck and his team began to move onward and upward faster. Listen to the show to find out how Chuck and his team found a better way, so you can find your way faster.

Leadership Epiphany

We were going to focus on what we could control and that was the attitude of the folks that worked for me and we focused on the goals and opportunities that we could achieve on our own.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

My ability to understand that I can’t change everything I think needs changing.

Best Leadership Advice Received

To stay focused, believe what you are doing, and don’t let the noise that surrounds you get in the way of reaching your goals.

Secret to Success

I just cannot stand when someone says we can’t change that or we have always done it this way.

Recommended Reading

A Carrot a Day: A Daily Dose of Recognition for Your Employees

Contacting Chuck

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/chuck-udzinski/2/a67/765
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chuck.udzinski
Via email: cudzinski [at] gmail.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
007: Chuck Udzinski: I’m like a hair in a biscuit

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we uncover the leadership like hat that help you to experience, breakout performance faster and rocket to success. 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, the person who you’re going to get a chance to meet today is somebody that, really we all wish we had in our circle of friends, or in our family, and we’d even more blessed if it was, that’s Chuck Udzinski. Chuck is one of those folks that you become instantly connected to. He was the oldest of six kids born and lived in the Baltimore area, pretty much all of his life, and grew up with a strong set of family members. As the oldest child he is instilled with taking care of others that he still really and really does today. He was a Maryland state duckpin champion which to me is one those fun family games that I can see how that connects when you start talking about Chuck and his life and his family.

He’s also Orioles and Ravens fan, but I’m not going to hold it against him. He’s working since he was 14, but all this job since that one which was being a paperboy, led to or was part of helping others run their businesses. He says that his best job was working for almost a decade for a McDonald’s franchisee because he got the opportunity to see all aspects of a business, everything from P&L management up to the people management to the technologies and all the processes. He retired from Black & Decker but he’s not done yet. He’s currently a client success manager with Oracle but what he’s most proud of is that fact that he’s been part of raising a son and daughter that are positive contributors to society. But he’s most proud of being a Pop Pop to Aiden and Corbin. Alright, Chuck are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Chuck Udinzki: I am ready to light this candle.

Jim Rembach: Alright. We’ve given our listeners a brief introduction but could you please tell us what your current passion is, and I may have given it away, but we want to get to know you better.

Chuck Udzinski: [Laugh] My current passion truly and the reason that I get up every day in the morning is to set a great example for my two children who are grown at this point, 37 and 35, but also sharing my values and my enthusiasm for life and hard work in general with my two grandsons.

Jim Rembach: They say and I aspire to get to that point Chuck ‘cause my kids are still young, I got 11, 9 and 6 at this moment. Everybody says, it’s awesome being a parent but it is even more special and fantastic to be a grandparent.

Chuck Udzinski: Well, that’s absolutely true. I tell love young parents all the time that being a parent it’s the greatest job in the world and the worst job in the world but once you get grandkids it’s a lot more fun it’s like being a father but without all the rules.

Jim Rembach: Well Chuck, you’re one of those people who I’ve always looked to for some inspiration. You and I, oftentimes, we get in the weeds about some stuff that frustrate us but we always kind of pick each other up. You’re one of those people that when you start talking about your career you’ve always help others, you help others in a lot of ways. I know there’s got to be some inspirational quotes or passages that kind of help keep you moving forward and redirect to yourself—get out of the weeds. Could you share one of your favorite with us please?

Chuck Udzinski: What I’m going to share to you Jim what I try to remind myself every day that I’m not Dr. Ben Carson doing complex brain surgeries on pediatric patient. I often tell folks, ‘Look, we’re not saving babies here, it’s just stuff let’s just roll our sleeves up and get to it, we’ll go to bed at night and get up tomorrow morning and go at it again.” The other one is—is one that I’m very fond of—if you’re through changing your through. And I try to remind myself that every day because I am of a certain age now that I’ve had to reinvent myself. I went from working for a manufacturing operation such as Black & Decker to working for a high-tech giant like Oracle, and believe me, every step along the way of my 40+ work history I’ve had to keep reinventing myself and if you don’t do that you’re just going to fall all the wayside.

Jim Rembach: Wow. You know, I think that is so true. When start talking about savings for example, people will tell you, you always tend to pay yourself first, right? The same applies with what you just said when you start talking about reinventing, when you start talking about learning new things you have to invest in yourself.

Chuck Udzinski: I couldn’t agree more. And whether that’s through formal education or reading or just associating and learning from other individuals with like-minded goals and values you must invest in yourself in order to keep moving forward.

Jim Rembach: So, for you when you start thinking about that reinvention and having to do that, I know you haven’t had many jobs per se in your career, you’ve been long tenured with a lot of the folks or organizations that you’ve worked with, but do you find yourself, kind of I guess you’d say maybe going through a process or a systematic approach to do that reinvention?

Chuck Udzinski: It’s a constant metamorphose. Let’s just take a look some of my examples. Ten years working for the McDonald’s franchisee that we mentioned earlier, my next position after that was in a manufacturing setting working in a factory that produced steel drums. I went in on a leadership side part of the management team. I have no experience in manufacturing and now I find myself working with individuals much older than me in a unionized environment and that was a total paradigm shift that I had to learn how to cope with.

I’ll give you another one. When I’m in Black & Decker I started as a call center agent and it became apparent to me that I was just woefully unprepared from an educational standpoint to move up if that’s what I wanted to do. So, at the age of 50 I went back to school. I went back part-time at night, it took me six years going part time, but I finally did get that piece of paper that said that I had successfully jumped through all the hoops and canal claimed to be college-educated. It’s just a constant investment as we mentioned earlier and constant evolving to make yourself marketable in an ever-changing marketplace.

Jim Rembach: As I listen to your talk Chuck there’s a quote that kind of stands out for me listening to you—and that is until you’re dead, you’re not done.

Chuck Udzinski: [Laugh] I couldn’t agree with that more. You talked about favorite sayings I tell folks—you always get a question, how you are doing? So I just tell them, ‘Well I put my elbows out this morning and it didn’t touch wood so I got out of bed.

Jim Rembach: What kind of reaction do you get from that? To me I think everybody can resonate with that—no elbows hit in the box I got to go.

Chuck Udzinski: I’ll tell you what, they pause for a second or two and then it dawns on them, Yeah, that’s right, let’s get going. The reaction is always fun to watch but it does resonate with everyone.

Jim Rembach: When you start looking at what you currently do today, what really excites you about the work that you’re doing?

Chuck Udzinski: I think it applies definitely to this job with Oracle, but it applies to every job that I’ve ever had in the past and possibly even those jobs that I’ll have in the future. I really just want to feel like I’ve made a difference at the end of the day. In my current role, I call on clients that have purchased Oracle applications and my job is to go in and make sure they’re getting value out of what they purchased. And if I can help them see that values through various actions that I take then I feel like I’ve made a difference for them and I’ve made a difference for Oracle. The money is great, we all need the money to take care of ourselves and our family but, the money, the titles, really don’t matter that much to me what I’m really striving to do is be able to say, I’ve made a difference.

Jim Rembach: What goals do you have for the future?

Chuck Udzinski: Well, goals for the future—I’m not sure I’m done yet, I’m definitely not dead. I still feel I have something to offer Oracle and if not Oracle then others out in the marketplace that are looking for someone with strong leadership ability and a sense of doing what’s right. Beyond that I’ve got my, again I’m of a certain age, that I’m starting if I squint real hard and possibly retirement down the road at some point. Even in retirement, I don’t know if that’s going to be a great fit, I fancy myself teaching, perhaps at some point maybe, just at the community college level or possibly in a university or college on a part-time basis. I am always looking to spend more time with my tools and woodworking equipment that I’ve amassed over these many years. And then there’s travel and travel would include taking my grandkids with me as well.

Jim Rembach: Well Chuck, the entire Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Chuck, you have such a positive outlook and attitude and you talk about constantly focusing and transitioning, however, there had to be a time where you had a hump to get over and getting over that hump to find who you were and who you are and those strong Udzinski family values, can you tell us about a time in your life when that occurred?

Chuck Udzinski: Well, I think those moments occur often throughout one’s life journey, whether they’re personal humps or perhaps career humps. I’ll talk about a career hump first and that would have occurred at Black & Decker. We were always trying to push the envelope in the contact center, by the way I mentioned I started as a contact center agent but evolved up to the position of leading that organization or the majority of my time working for that organization. The hump that was coming up at Black & Decker as the contact center leader was that—we had this directive to drive customer satisfaction as high as possible. We engaged with the company Customer Relationship Metrics to help us with that project, that was fine, that was good these guys were experts in that field definitely were the right partner for us but the hump was trying to get the rest of the organization and, as you might guess Black and Decker’s a global organization at that time 30,000 people strong, but trying to get the rest of the organization to pay attention to the results that we were seeing in the contact center. Quite frankly, the hump that I got over and the rest of my team got over was we said, “You know what, enough is enough we cannot control what’s happening above us.” So what we’re going to do is focus on making the change right here in the contact center. We’ll report the numbers up but were not going to be asking for direction, or opinion, we are going to focus on what we could control and that was the attitude of the folks who worked for me as well as the goals and opportunities that we could achieve on our own. I’m proud to say that we got over that hump but it was an Aha moment. Once we had that moment the road to success became ever clearer every day and we truly realize the value of our partners Customers Relationship Metrics.

Jim Rembach: Just be transparent to everybody, yes, I know Chuck because of my relationship and working for Customer Relationship Metrics, and Chuck thank you for that—the appreciation, and believe me, it’s mutual. It’s been a joy to get to know you and carry on, our relationship will be on your time or regardless of where we work I should say. Now when you start thinking about the advice that you would give to our Fast Leader Legion and that story, what advice would you give them?

Chuck Udinzki: The advice—the main thing, the main take away is, you must believe that the folks that are working for you want to do a good job. The big, big disconnect that I saw in my team at that time and since then in organizations that I’ve had the privilege to go in and out of in one capacity or another, is that most time the agents do not know what’s expected of them. And they have no way of figuring out what they have to do, to do a better job. It’s really about setting expectations and then holding them accountable to those expectations and leading them in a positive way to success.

I strongly believe that no one gets up in the morning gets ready for work, deals with the family issues in the morning as everyone’s trying to get out the door in our busy, busy work-a-day lives handles the commute whether you’re driving, walking, taking a bicycle, riding a train whatever it is you do to get to work, to come in sit down for eight hours and do a bad job, I don’t believe people are doing that by nature they want to do a good job. Once you understand that and then define what that good job means believe me your halfway home.

Jim Rembach: That’s great advice Chuck and thank you for sharing. Alright now it’s time to move to the fast part of our show and it’s the, Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Chuck, 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 robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Chuck, are you ready to hoedown?
Chuck Udzinski: I am ready to hoedown. Let’s do it.

Jim Rembach: Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

Chuck Udzinski: My ability to understand that I cannot change everything I think needs changing. That really does get in the way sometimes. It’s all about filtering out picking your battles and then going out them with a zest and commitment.

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

Chuck Udzinski: To stay focused, believe in what you’re doing and not let all the noise that surrounds us get in the way of reaching those goals, single-mindedness toward your ultimate goal.

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

Chuck Udzinski: I’d say I’m like a hair in a biscuit, you just can’t get it out of there no matter what you do and I think that sums up how I approach things. I just cannot stand when someone says, “Oh, we can’t change that or we can’t do this or we’ve always done it this way,” if one thing doesn’t work then let’s drop back figure something else out and will go try that eventually will get it right.

Jim Rembach: So, for me what I heard was resilience.

Chuck Udzinski: Resilience is a great word.

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

Chuck Udzinski: Publications by others. One of the ones that I’m particular fond of and I’ve always had it on my desk is a real fun read, it’s A Carrot a Day, a daily dose of recognition for your employees, it’s by a guy named Adrian Gostick.

Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing that Chuck. What I will do is put a link to that book on our show notes page which you will find at fastleader.net/chuckudzinski. Alright Chuck that leads us to the final question in our Hump Day Hoedown. I want you to imagine that you woke up tomorrow morning and you were 25 years old all over again but you’ve been blessed to get to retain everything that you know, all the experiences come with you and you get to use that in order to manage a disengaged and underperforming team, now you get up, you go to work, what you do now?

Chuck Udzinski: Well, the first thing that I would need to do is to tap in to why they’re disengaged, I think I would be able to get to that point much quicker. Then I would look at what is defining a good job for them. Again I’ll come back to, most people don’t know the answer to this, and they had no ideas of the goals of the organization as a whole all the way down to the goals and objectives of the group or team that they’re working in.

Once that would be defined a process would be started to measure their performance on metrics that they control—I just have to elaborate a little bit Jim—again my background for the most part is the customer service and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ll go in and agents will be held accountable for things such as abandonment rate or average speed of answer or service-level attainment and when you think about those very, very common metrics, agents have little to nothing to do with that these are metrics that the management team is responsible for influencing not the agent.

Jim Rembach: Alright, Chuck it was an honor to spend time with you today, can you please share with the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you?

Chuck Udzinski: Oh, sure. You can reach out to me on Facebook, you can friend me on Facebook. I’m also on twitter@cudzinski and you can also e-mail me at cudzinski@gmail.com.

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

Thank you for joining me 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 the fast leader.net so we can help you onward and upward faster.

END OF AUDIO

006: Carol Borghesi: I’m the man my parents wanted me to marry

006: Carol Borghesi: I’m the man my parents wanted me to marry

Podcast Show Notes with Carol Borghesi

What Carol perceived coming out of business school was that she needed to take a tuff stance. Join me as Carol shares her story of learning how to become a path paver for women and a transformation expert of organizations. Learn how Carol found herself with having no consideration at all with executives to having a seat at the executive table. Learn how Carol found out how to become a catalyst for change without the use of force.

Carol is a graduate of the marketing management program from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).

She has 31 years of experience telecommunications experience spanning three continents, Carol‘s career has taken her from TELUS in Canada to British Telecom (BT) in the U.K. to Bharti Airtel in India, and back.

Carol concluded her career at Telus as the Senior Vice President – Customers First Culture.

In this role Carol was a passionate advocate across TELUS for their Customers First in 2010 and was the driving force behind the evolution of TELUS’ corporate culture to deliver on the future is friendly® to clients.

Carol has held senior roles in sales, service and business unit management, and has successfully managed change through deregulation, labor relations, consolidations, acquisitions, and rapid technological innovation.

As the past Chair of the CCA (U.K.’s contact center association), Carol is a recognized expert in contact centers, customer service operations and customer experience leadership in complex, multi-channel environments.

In her career she has had responsibilities leading more than 50, 000 employees that has served well over 150 million customers.

She is currently writing a book about how to put customer first for profit and FUN, speaking internationally and working with like-minded organizations that believe the age of customer capitalism is now.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @cborghesi getting over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow http://goo.gl/eB393z #Leadership #diversity Click to Tweet

“Much has been done to create greater diversity, but we have a long way to go.” -Carol Borghesi Click to Tweet

“Customer Experience is a team sport.” -Carol Borghesi Click to Tweet

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it! –Goethe Click to Tweet

“I continue to learn now at a greater pace than I ever did in my career.” -Carol Borghesi Click to Tweet

“I have dipped in and out of believing my own press.” -Carol Borghesi Click to Tweet

“It’s not okay to be right if you’re all by yourself.” -Carol Borghesi Click to Tweet

“Customer Service is the drip tray of the organization.” -Carol Borghesi Click to Tweet

“Nobody is exempt from the team sport of customer experience.” -Carol Borghesi Click to Tweet

“Individual responsibility is what builds the company responsibility.” -Carol Borghesi Click to Tweet

“Bring more of who you are to your work.” -Carol Borghesi Click to Tweet

“Armed with data, I would then go talk to everybody.”-Carol Borghesi Click to Tweet

“What people tell you that they do and what they actually do can often be different.” -Carol Borghesi Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Carol was the head of Customer Experience for a large telecommunications company with an enterprise change issue. Sitting in customer service she was in a position that had no seat at the table. After several attempts and years Carol finally got it. Customer experience, which includes customer service is a team sport and nobody is exempt from playing.  That’s when she got traction. Listen to the show to find out how Carol learned how to become a path paver and catalyst for organizational change, so you can become one faster.

Leadership Epiphany

There is no darn way a company could be filled with such customer oriented executives and not be customer focused.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Bring more of yourself to work.

Secret to Success

Voracious and eclectic reader. “I read economics book for pleasure.”

Recommended Reading

The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t

Often Purchased with:
Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best… and Learn from the Worst

The Bully at Work: What You Can Do to Stop the Hurt and Reclaim Your Dignity on the Job

More Resources

Customer Experience Big Data Dysfunction  Better understand and plan by completing the customer experience big data dysfunction self-assessment contained in the ebook. The assessment is a simple and effective way for you and your team to identify the areas necessary to realize increased performance while reducing guess work.

Click to access edited transcript
006: Carol Borghesi: I’m the man my parents wanted me to marry

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: Alright Fast Leader Legion hold back on that camel, we’re going to have a great day today, Carol Borghesi’s with us. She has really a depth of knowledge that I hope I can continue to tap in to for the next decade or so while she still wants to have time with me. But I get to share her with you today and it’s going to be fun. Carol is actually a graduate of the Marketing and Management program from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. She has 31 years of experience in telecommunications spanning three continents. She concluded her career at TELLUS as the Senior Vice-President of their Customer First Culture. In Israel, Carol was a passionate advocate across TELLUS for their Customers First in 2010 and was the driving force behind evolution of TELLUS’s corporate culture to deliver on the future is friendly to clients.
Carol has held several senior roles in sales, service, business unit management and has successfully manage change through deregulation, labor relations, consolidations, acquisitions and rapid technological innovation. Carol is a recognized expert in contact centers, customer service operations and customer experience leadership in complex multi-channel environments. In her career she has had responsibilities leading more than 50,000 employees and has served well over 150 million customers. She’s currently writing a book about how to put customers first and profit for fun, hopefully we’ll get in to little bit fun piece. And she also speaks internationally and loves working with like-minded organizations that believe the age of customer capitalism is now. Carole Borghesi were glad to have you, are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Carol Borghesi: I have never been more ready for anything in my entire life. Buoyed by that Las Vegas show lounge kind of introduction, Jim, my gosh I’m exhausted listening to my own career [inaudible 2:21] Jim Rembach: As you can see, you know why Carol and I love to have conversations, we have a good time it’s something that always leads to another interaction that’s going to be even better. Alright, Carol, I’ve given our listeners a brief introduction but can you please tell us what your current passion is so that we can actually get to know you a little bit better?
Carol Borghesi: Well, what I want to say actually, listening to the background on the career I’ve had there’s three things that I wanted to really call out to the listeners. One is that, given that I’ve been working for more than 30 years, I started at a very young age obviously, one of the things that I ran into Jim, was I was often the first women to be in a particular role. I was first women that was on manage reports and so I want to call that out because I think that that’s really important to today’s world of work as well. That much has been done in the past to create greater diversity and focus but we still got long way to go and I really benefited I think from being an early pioneer which really it sounds, interest me even more pioneers circle the wagon.
The second thing that really characterized my career for me, was transformation. I was in an industry that has transformed beyond recognition going from monopoly to a very, very competitive and I tell you, I got the bug around managing change, managing change respectfully. Pretty up early on in my career, it’s something that continues to excite me and invigorate me, and I would add to that that I am so excited by the developments that I’ve seen in social media, as well as the why’s and rise of the millennial generation. I think that people coming up in world of worker or just [inaudible 4:10] The third thing is that, I have been really lucky because I’ve worked in sales, marketing and service and those are the kind of the usual suspects when it comes to the work that I do, which is around customer experience. And I’m thrilled to tell you that I think a lot of the customer experience as a team’s sport which involves the entire organization need be on those three functional areas is really coming to its own right now, and that’s what getting me excited and passionate about running Customer First Culture, the little company that I founded and the principle core.
Jim Rembach: I almost have to say to myself, Carol is turning back the clock a little bit ‘cause we definitely need you as that path paver for many other women. You really were a pioneer. I know you were in the wagon, you’re not that old. However, you have been one of those who’ve been on the forefront in a lot of ways and that’s why I’m so glad to have you on the show so that you can continue to do just that, help pave the path runners, teach us how we can get ahead faster by learning from you.
With that we often find in the Fast Leader show where we need some inspiration, we like looking to leadership quotes in order to get some of that inspiration. Now I know you are an avid reader, you always seek to move things forward and you probably have had a lot of influences in your life. But is there one quote that kind of stands out to you as a driving force, a kind of always plays over in your head that know you enjoy, could you share that with us?
Carol Borghesi: I certainly can. I did a little bit of research on a quote that I’ve got to say has guided and probably influenced my career and approach to work many, many years ago and that is, whatever we can do or dream you can do begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it and that was back in the olden days attributed to Goethe, which is Johann Goethe, a famous and very, very prolific as well as terrific, writer, philosopher and poet but it actually was coined by W. H. Murray who works as spots man and it was in connection with mountain climbing which is what his particular passion was.
I think that its relevant today, certainly in the pace that I am in my career, as it was when I was a young [inaudible 6:48] getting started. It is action focused. I love that it reflects boldness. I love that it opens, went out to the possibilities. I know the feeling of being the only one in the room that can see it where you can get a mirage or you can see it but no one else can. And sometimes that’s kind of lonely but I’ve going to say that it’s immensely rewarding. It has also spurred me on to learn and continue to dream and to grow. I may have been a path finder for women back in that day but I can say that with absolute clarity and conviction that I continue to learn at a greater pace now than I’ve ever been in my career, probably because I know now what I don’t know.
Jim Rembach: That’s a really interesting point that you have made there as far as the velocity of the learning. What would you necessarily attribute that to, is there something that kind of stands out to you that says: “Ah, that’s one of the reasons why it is that way, is it just because we’ve had so much information or is it something else?
Carol Borghesi: I think that it’s certainly reflection of the society, the advents of the Internet, the explosion of the information society that we’re in but I also actually think it’s personal. Some people are life-long learners and I think however, when you get to be the age that I am, I am so old I think they’ve discontinued my blood type for crying out loud, but it is almost a life stage kind of thing where I now realize that there’s so much happening and so much to learn from. I’d see there’s humility in that Jim and I can’t always frame that I was the most humble leader. I have occasionally victim in out of believing my own crust [Laughter] and that’s generally what’s prevented me from creaking out my ears and learning from others.
Jim Rembach: I think we’ve all had a taste of that to some degree, I don’t think there’d be any forward movement if we didn’t experience that. There’s a lot of humps that we all have to get over, we call them humps here in the Fast Leader Show, as I chat with you before our mission is kind of redefining what leadership is and what it means. I think you just in telling your story at this point have really made it very clear that a lot of it entails leading yourself and if you think about it just from that perspective, we’re all leaders. The nature of work today requires that we all become better at that. The individual who’s sitting there out on a proverbial island having to take care of certain responsibilities for organization has to do a lot of leading. Leading of self, leading of project timelines, leading of their own career advancement. A lot of times I had talked to employees and the like, ‘what are going to give me as an employee/as a company to help me get ahead?’ And I’m like, ‘First of all, you need to fix your mindset and think, what do I need to do? And stuck handed to you, you have to take your own initiative take your own strength from that and move forward, so, that’s an important point. I know there’s a lot of humps and you talked about path paving, you talked about a lot of different things within your career, but is there a particular story that kind of stands out that was a defining moment that you could share with us?
Carlo Borghesi: Yeah. I did learn early and often that it’s not right that you’re all by yourself. To say that I had a very excited opinion of my own intellect would be characteristic of one of my wonder years, let me say, but that the hump that I really wanted to share with you today is—I spend a lot of times working in customer service. Customer service as I’ve said to you Jim before is the drip tray of the organization. It ain’t somewhere that you got a lot of credit or kudos. Your mom and dad didn’t say, ”Gee, I hope he goes to school and becomes a customer service professional.” And I puzzled over that for the longest time. I really, finally kind of realize that I can spend all day long trying to yell ever louder at a customer service organization and wouldn’t get anywhere, kind of like how you raise your voice volume when you’re trying to somebody who doesn’t speak English as though that’s the problem. So it dawned on me that I had an enterprise changes here on my hands and that’s really daunting because seating in customer service your particular function in the organization, not necessarily always at the table and it wasn’t until I reach the last company that I worked with that I really saw the way through to overcome the issue.
First and foremost, I wanted to say that when I finally got it, that customer experience which includes customer service is a team’s sport that was when I really started to get some traction. And I took an approach which said that nobody is exempt from the team’s sport of customer experience and I seriously mean that, I don’t care if you’re an internal audit or the security guard you can’t find your way back to customer experience in the way that you impact that.
The second thing that I realize and was able to work on, was that the frontline of an organization has as much to contribute to the executives of an organization as the other way around. The other thing about executives being the liberators of those that work in jobs that are closer to the customer and generally not a [inaudible 12:33] What I saw was really understanding that, instead of trying to get the executive to preach to the frontline, I brought the executive to the frontline and actually let them teach the executive a thing or two about the reality of what’s it’s like to be with customers when you don’t have all the tools and information that you need.
The third thing that happened was kind of strengthen that conviction. I’ve worked with an extremely talented guy on a framework called Likelihood to recommend and I talked to you about this Jim before, you remember that. But the reason I wanted to bring this up is because I got a lot of stick over the Likelihood to recommend framework which is incredibly a simple notion. It’s based on the fact that Likelihood to recommend is kind of the highest order intermingling the customer and a company’s brand so that if I’m going to recommend you that’s really putting my reputation on the line as well. The problem arose when dealing with a lot of ingenuity finance traits that they now let me put it that way, behind the framework that I’d created, was honestly subject to what could be amounts to ridicule.
I’d walked through that and stand my ground it was really helpful. I’ve learned a lot about being able to manage information that was performance base as well as customer information and employee information. The good news is that singular focus of Likelihood to recommend and understanding what drives, like we have to work then, really did carry the day.
And the last thing and the most interesting thing, once I realize that there’s a big difference between how we perceive others, which we generally perceive by their behaviors, which is how we perceive ourselves, which is generally by our intentions. One of the things that I learned first-hand was that in asking this group of executives to spend some time with frontline, after they’ve had that experience ask them two questions. The first questions was, to what degree do you think our company puts customers first? About 41% of the executives, remembering these are the guys that run the place, said 42%, so I thought that’s not really good, less than half. But when I ask them to what degree do you personally put customers first? A whacking 82% claimed that they in fact put customers first. Big moment because that really helped everybody understand, there’s no darn way that a company could be filled with such customer oriented executives and not be customer focused. So that individual responsibility is what builds the company responsibility and that was an incredibly exciting breakthrough that I got with the last company with it.
Jim Rembach: Now, I know that force is not something that a woman who’s sitting there with probably a bunch of old telecom engineers running a business and trying to talk to them about customer service is something that would work. So how were you able to essentially ‘crack the nut’, get over the hump with them? How did you actually move things forward? What did you do specifically as a person, as an individual? What things did you learn throughout the course of your working on different continents that you had to do or do differently in order to really have that impact and effect?
Carol Borghesi: For listeners of my vintage, I’m sure they won’t be surprised to know that I did try the ‘force approach’. What I perceive coming out of business school was kind of a touch down and so on. Since I’m often referred to them as the man my parents wanted me to marry, I guess it’s not totally surprising I take on the male approach. I got over that, but you know, what really worked in the end, was I realized that the CEO of an organization is a really critical player and they often look to the CEO to provide direction. What I notice is that CEO’s are not waiting for their teams to take up the goblet particularly of customer’s experience. And I learned that understanding and meeting the uncertainties and concerns that the CEO’s or the [inaudible16:59] had, was really important. That led to, believe it or not, critical mess and I think that that in the end is what I’ve learned is that critical mess—you got a momentum Jim that starts to turn the tide in an organization. Does it helps to have the CEO on site? Absolutely. But in the end you don’t need force you need to tap into what arguably is a very popular concept with people right across any organization and to really start to make that a tipping point. You don’t need to force anything. I suppose in that too you realize that anyone person really isn’t going to make anything happen in any organization through [inaudible 7:43] however much we’d like to think of it that way.
And when you see that bringing people on and giving them the opportunity to express their views and create that informal network in an organization, Bingo! that’s what made the difference.

Jim Rembach: You have mentioned something about the current work that you’re doing, can you share a little bit about that with us?
Carol Borghesi: My next assignment is really, really terrific it’s in the U.K. I’m going to be working on developing a customer contact operation for a business that represents 23 manufacturers and 74 dealers in the automotive industry. It’s a juicy lemon in a sense there’s a lot of complexity in trying to manage various staff and many stakeholders who have varying degrees of customer relationship management system. Everything from back of a cocktail napkin to a very sophisticated but equally a way territorial and protective of customer information. I think that I’ll be spending a little bit of the spring and summer in the U.K.
Jim Rembach: Oh, there could be things that are a lot worse than that. We wish you the best and we hope that goes well for you. Now we transition to the rapid part of our show and that is Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Carol Borghesi, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us a good insights fast. I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Carol, are you ready the hoedown?
Carol Borghesi: I am ready to hoedown.
Jim Rembach: Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being yet an even better leader today?
Carol Borghesi: This may be considered oversharing ladies and gentlemen but the absolute honest truth—procrastination. It is something that is a personal trait of mine, 2015 is about working on procrastination for me.
Jim Rembach: There you go, onward and upward faster, right? Okay, what’s the best leadership advice you have ever received?
Carol Borghesi: Bring more of who you are to your work.
Jim Rembach: What is one of your secret that you believe that contributes to your success?
Carol Borghesi: I am, as you mentioned earlier a voracious and eclectic reader. I read across a very broad spectrum of topics, my family despairs because I read the economics book for pleasure. I do have the usual suspects, the Economist, the Harper Business Review, novels and pretty weighty Thomason, neuroscience—it’s pretty broad.
Jim Rembach: Well, we don’t want to necessarily constrict you to one particular John Roe or topic type, but is there a book that you would recommend to our listeners?
Carol Borghesi: Yes there is. This was very easy for me to think of but it’s very difficult for me to convey because we have a family show. The book that I want to recommend to your readers has an extremely rude word in it. The book is by Robert Sutton. He’s an organization behaviorist professor and quite prolific. He wrote a book called ‘The No A rule’ and so you can fill in the gap there. The reason that I think that’s the best business book that I ever read is it calls oath categorically the definition of a person that couldn’t, frankly, earned that secular title and the reality is that according to Robert Sutton when you’re in the presence of one of those, you come away from that interaction feeling somehow diminished. I love that definition. I strive not to be labelled in that itinerant way but it may be pretty savvy for spotting those that are in the organizations and dealing with them accordingly.
Jim Rembach: Unless of course you’re one of my three brothers and then that was my nickname growing up. [Laughter] Alright. Thank you very much Carol I appreciate that. We’re going to give links to that book and a couple of others on our show notes page. If you want to find out where that is, I’ll give it to you its right here. It’s at fastleader.net/carolborghesi. Alright Carol, now we come to the last question on our Hump day Hoedown.
Imagine you woke up tomorrow and you are 25 years old again, and there’s no more wagons, and you were supposed to begin a new job as a manager of a team that is underperforming and disengaged but you have retained all the knowledge and skill that you currently have, your job of course, is to turn them around. So, you get up, you head out to work, what you do now?
Carol Borghesi: Well, there’s three things that I would do. The first of which is to look at the operational data of the team that I’m responsible for. You may think that’s not very people-ly but I tell you that three areas that I would look up for operation information is the performance data of the function, what we do and what’s our output and what’s the costing.
The second would be the customer feedback whether that’s an internal team or external facing team. And the third would be any engagements information that I can clean. Armed with that data I would go up and talk to people. I would talk to absolutely everybody. And I would take the time to do it probably as one of the most important skills that I learn which is to listen carefully and openly. Having the data in my head and in my hands means I can ask some interesting questions to start to understand why we’re maybe be having the issues that we’re having in teams performance. And then the last thing I would do, is I would observe. I’m going to walk my business, I would look up what’s going in. And the reason that I would that is because what people tell you that they do, and what they actually do can often be different. So with those three elements together I can put one the first few days of my time with my meeting.
Jim Rembach: I think all of those contribute to what…you even mentioned that you were a voracious one, and that’s reading. You’re reading the business, you’re reading the information before you take an action. Carol Borghesi it was an honor spending time with you today. Can you please share with Fast Leader listeners how they can connect with you?
Carol Borghesi: You certainly can. I am available at clborghesi.gmail.com and I’ll even give my mobile number that’s okay, 771-778-86690, I’m also on Linkedin and would love to hear from your listeners.
Jim Rembach: That’s awesome. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.
Thank you for joining me 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 fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.
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