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064: Karin Hurt: What do you mean I’m a fraud

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Karin Hurt Show Notes

Karin Hurt had just been promoted to her first executive job in human resources. Her first responsibility was to construct a new diversity council. Things were going great until one of her council members came running into her office and called her a fraud. Why? Listen to Karin’s story and learn how she was able to move onward and upward faster.

As Karin’s mom would tell it, Karin’s been playing with leadership principles from the time she was a toddler, organizing her stuffed animals and telling them what to do, and later directing her gaggle of younger cousins in family Christmas shows and other shenanigans.

Karin’s work experience is primarily based on 20+ years at Verizon where she held executive positions in HR, Leadership Development, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service. She most recently served as Executive Director of the Strategic Partnership Channel at Verizon Wireless where she transformed customer service outsourcing, working with companies and call centers to build strong cultures that deliver positive customer experiences. Her high-trust, high-collaboration approach drove substantial improvement across the portfolio, with centers performing at parity or above internal centers.

Prior to that she led a Verizon Wireless sales team (2200 employees), leading the nation in store sales to the small and medium business space. Karin’s consulting takes a comprehensive approach to developing confident, competent, and creative front-line teams.

Karin has a BA in Communication from Wake Forest University, an MA from Towson University in Organizational Communication, and additional graduate work at the University of Maryland, where she currently teaches in the MBA and Executive Development programs.

Karin’s mission is to stamp out “the win at all costs” mentality so rampant in organizations, and prove that the best way to get results that last is by being a decent human being.

She and her coauthor, David Dye, have recently written a Book, Winning Well, a Managers Guide to Getting Result- Without Losing Your Soul which is based on the foundational principles of Confidence, Humility, Results and Relationships.

Karin lives near Washington, DC with her husband and two sons. She knows the stillness of a yogi, the reflective road of a marathoner and the joy of being a mom raising emerging leaders.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @LetsGrowLeaders to over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“You can lead and get results and still be a decent human being.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet

“It’s important to know how you’re being perceived by others.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“When it comes down to it we all want some of the same fundamental things.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“It’s an important skill to teach your children to be open to how they’re perceived.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“You’re not going to improve the skillsets of your team if people are not hearing what they need to hear.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“People coming out of MBA programs are missing the basic communication skills.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“The things that are most fulfilling are generally the things that feel a bit scary.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“If you succeed at something that scares you, the next time….it won’t feel as scary.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“I’ve got to lead from who I am.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“I’ve got to help other people lead from who they are.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“Take some time and look back…see that people are with you.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Karin Hurt had just been promoted to her first executive job in human resources. Her first responsibility was to construct a new diversity council. Things were going great until one of her council members came running into her office and called her a fraud. Why? Listen to Karin’s story and learn how she was able to move onward and upward faster.

Advice for others

Gain greater perspective on how people perceive you.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Managing the firehose of tasks coming in.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Take some time and look back. You got to make sure you’re look back and that people are with you.

Secret to Success

Developing real connections with people as human beings.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

www.zoom.us

Recommended Reading

Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results—Without Losing Your Soul

Contacting Karin

Website: http://www.letsgrowleaders.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karin-hurt-7ab25910

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LetsGrowLeaders

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.


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Click to access edited transcript
064: Karin Hurt: What do you mean I’m a fraud

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 intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team-building session? My keynote don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your tennis take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee engagement, customer engagement and customer centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

Jim Rembach: Okay Fast Leader Legion I’m excited today because I have somebody who went to school with my wife and has carved a place in this world to help others be better on what we focused in on the Fast Leader show, and that is helping to lead others. Karin Hurt was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland the oldest of three kids. As Karin’s mom would tell it Karin’s been playing with leadership principles from the time she was a toddler organizing her stuffed animals and telling them what to do and later directing her gaggle of younger cousins in family Christmas shows and other shenanigans.

Karin’s work experience is primarily based on 20+ years of Verizon were she held executive positions in HR, leadership development, sales, marketing and customer service. She most recently served as executive director of the strategic partnership channel at Verizon wireless were she transformed customer service outsourcing working with companies and call-centers to build strong cultures that deliver positive customer experiences. Her high trust, high collaboration approach, drove substantial improvement across portfolio where centers performing at parity or above internal centers.

Karin’s consulting takes a comprehensive approach to developing competent, competent and creative frontline teams. Karin has a BA in communications from Wake Forest University and an MA from Towson University in organizational communication and additional graduate work at the University of Maryland where she currently teaches in the MBA and executive development programs. Karin’s mission is to stamp out the win at all cost mentality so rampant in organizations and prove that the best way to get results that last is by being a decent human being. She and her co-author David Dye have recently written a book Winning Well A Managers Guide to Getting Results Without Losing Your Soul which is based on the foundational principles of confidence, humility, results and relationships.

Karin lives near Washington DC with her husband and two sons. She knows the stillness of a Yogi, the reflective road of a marathoner, and the joy of being a mom raising emerging leaders. Karin Hurt are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Karin Hurt: Absolutely, glad to be here thanks so much.

Jim Rembach: That’s awesome. Now I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?
I am passionate about working with growing leaders around the world helping them to realize that you can lead very well and get long-term, lasting results and still be a decent human being.

Jim Rembach: There’s something that stood out for me when you said that is emerging. What about the ones that are already there?

Karin Hurt: Already leading?

Jim Rembach: Yeah. And they’re kind of like the ones that don’t have that.

Karin Hurt: You know it’s fun because that is why I do a lot of work with 360° feedback assessments because it’s important to know how you’re being perceived by others and often we don’t really know that. And so if you can get your peers swaying in and your boss and your direct reports giving you some perspective then that is where the humility comes in to realize that maybe there are some additional skills that you should be working on.

Jim Rembach: There’s something that you had mentioned there that I think has been getting a lot of—I don’t to say negative press but has been a struggle, and as the whole concept of 360 feedback. When you start thinking about emotional intelligence and know some of the things associated with what’s required in order to collaborate and get work done today and you start dealing with this whole new different generations in the workplace, social impact, is that 360’s have taken on probably a very different end in regards to where they were probably created and what they were set up to do. So, when you start thinking about 360 as a concept, and many organizations are not doing them anymore because of really flipping them into performance management tools. Maybe that’s the line that crossover, but what do you think about that?

Karin Hurt: I don’t believe in using that for performance management. For me it should be something that is very private and for your own development. So, for example, I build this into my online course where you go to a self-assessment at the beginning of the course you work on skills and you’re doing real work with your team along the way and you’re building on this core principles that I’m teaching and at the end should do a 360° feedback assessment that is for you, right? So you’re getting the feedback you don’t have to share it with your boss, it’s all about improving your skills and your perceptions. That’s the original intent of the 360. And when I think back to early in my development one of the thing I really have a blind spot around was my relationship with my peers. And I’m so glad that 20 years ago I took a 360 and somebody said you’ve got an issue here because it enabled me to really work on that and I know my career’s better off now as a result of that.

Jim Rembach: There’s something that stood out to me when you said and as well as some the issues with the 360 and the feedback and all of that, is that somebody was saying to me about the different generations in the workforce, that this upcoming generation, the Z generation doesn’t want any feedback at all and that kind of stuck me as odd, Have you heard anything like that?

I have a very different philosophy around this generation, the whole generational gap, in what a lot of the writing is about. Because when it comes down to it I think that we—we all want some of the same fundamental things. We all want to feel like we have a voice. We want to feel like our skills are being utilized. We want to be engaged. We want to have enjoyed the people we worked with. And I remember back when I label as a Gen X and people saying, “Oh, what are we going to do about Gen X’ers there’s so different” and I was in charge at the point and I thought, “No, you can’t label every single person in my generation as the same.” And so I would say that’s the same. I think that there has been a challenge with the way children has been raised where in many circumstances where everybody gets a trophy, everything you do is great and so some of that is I think where the fear of feedback is coming in because they have not received a lot of constructive feedback. But as parents I would say that is important skill to be able to teach your children be open how they’re being perceived and open the impact that they’re having on others.

If somehow, someone is missing that I don’t think we can write it off and say, now we’re not going give her feedback because you’re not going to improve the skill set of your team if people are not hearing what they need to hear.

Jim Rembach: I think you gave me some more evidence of what really I think the potential theory, it’s not empirically based but…to me it’s almost like this particular generation when you start thinking of how they could become so self-absorbed in things, that they’re really almost social dysfunctional, they don’t know how to interact and engage. And more of those as a percentage of people are coming you into the world that when they get into the workplace we have to teach them basic fundamental human interaction skills that they’re just not getting growing up.

It’s really interesting because there is some empirical research that says that people coming out of MBA programs, what they are missing are the basic communication, speaking, reading, writing and collaborating skills. So much so that university’s now are going back and having to build that into the curriculum, things that they assumed they would have gotten just by going to college or while growing up or that should have come by listening things like that. In fact I actually got pulled in to do a work at University of Maryland orientation program, around all that stuff because they said, we got to do it even before they begin the program, we got to catch them up on this stuff. That’s interesting that you say that.

Jim Rembach: And I think for me when I start thinking about this mounting issue and how much frustration that were going to have as a result of it I have to lean on quotes, and we do a lot on the Fast Leader show, because I need an extra piece of fuel in order help me. Is there a quote or two that kind of gives you that extra umph that you can share with us?

Karin Hurt: Ellen Roosevelt do one thing every day that scares you. For me that really resonates. I would never have been able to leave my big job and start my own company, or course I was scared that’s a big risk, but when you do things that are most fulfilling and are generally the things that feel a bit scary because that’s what stretches us. That’s why I was focused so much on confidence as part of what I worked with people on. Because if you can’t have confidence and you succeed at something that scares you, the next time you do try something that scares you it won’t as scary because you’re building that muscle that says it’s going to be okay.

Jim Rembach: I think that’s a great point, I’ve chatted about this before with other guest is that you’re building neural pathways. So, what are you building your neural pathway to? Is it to get over the hump? Or is it to have the hump block you? Building the right pathway get over it. So when you start talking about this transformation and working with a major corporation, working in a multiple business units, growing up with cousins and siblings, we all have humps to get over and they make us who we are. Is there a story that you can share with us that kind of made you a better you?

Karin Hurt: Yeah. It had been an embarrassing story. I had just been promoted to my first executive job in Human Resources and it was con-current with a merger that was happening it was (10:55 inaudible) so that was all coming together. So all the players where new, new head of HR, new field leaders and I was given the assignment to put together a diversity council. And so that was people from engineering and customer service and sales all together, to say, what is our strategy going to be like for diversity for this new merged organization? Now this was years ago, 15 years ago, and so you could imagine the diversity issues were even greater that they are today, homosexuality was not as talked about as frequently, things like that.

So, we had representation from a variety of race, age, gender, and sexual orientation on the council. And so one day, I thought everything was going great, I thought our strategy was coming together well, I thought we’re bonding as a team, and a women an Africa-American women came running into my office and she said, “You are a fraud.” And I was like, “Aghh, what do you mean I’m a fraud?” and she says, “I came by your office to drop something off the other day and you weren’t here you were in New York and on your desk were pictures, lots of pictures, all of you and the little boy and no dad, you are single mom.” And I said, “Yeah.” And she says, “Well, all this time we been talking about single mothers and what we’re going to do about single mothers as part of our diversity strategy and how are we going help those people and you are one.” And she said, we had a gay men on the council who came out to us, I talked about what’s like to be an African-American and some of the discrimination I have faced over my career and you just sit there and act like you’ve got no diversity challenges.
And she said, “Can you imagine what would have happened if you had said, ‘Yes, I am a single mother and I am an executive and that’s okay and you ought to be able to talk about such things at work.” And that is an indication that we have a diversity problem, if I can’t be who I am. It was such an aha moment for me because I hadn’t told my boss that I had gone through a divorce, I kept my entire personal life secret. And I did it because I thought there’s no way they’re going to promote me into this new job. They’re going to say, “Oh, gosh, she won’t be able to handle the travel, she must be going through so much stress, and I had all those labels on and assume that other people would label me that way instead of being able to show up authentically because I could do the job. And so from that moment on I realize I’ve got to lead from who I am and I’ve got to help other people lead from who they are. And I’m not going to emulate somebody else’s style and I’m not going to try to be somebody that I’m not, I’m going to realize that, yes, I had some challenges with that but that could also make me more empathetic leader and help people to connect with me. So that was really a turning point in my career.

Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing that and really you also explain why we do the format of the fast leader show the way that we do it. I get to say many times is that it’s not what you do that makes you great it’s who you are that what makes you do great. And that’s the reality of our but yet when we sit around and we talk about what is it that you do and we create our own bios for that matter. Many times I have to asked people to rewrite their bio because it’s nothing about really who they are it’s like this is what I’ve done, this is my education, this is my—no, no, no, people do business with people, people connect with people it’s really what helps us all collectively find others to connect with and achieve greatness that we otherwise can’t find around, so thank you for sharing that.

I know that you have a lot of things going on. You have two sons, a husband, you’re doing some teaching, you’re writing a book, you’re speaking there’s just so many things you have going on. What are some of your goals?

Karin Hurt: This year is a big year for me because last year I spent a lot of time developing content and really honing my honing my message and crystallizing and working through what do I really want to teach. And so I’ve been out on my own. I left Bryson about two years ago—under two years actually, so I just it’s been a building process, so now I have it. My book is finished it’s called, Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results—Without Losing your Soul. Right now we’re doing a lot of work in terms of publicity and really trying to spread the word, establish our speaking tours, relates to that. And so the big goal is to hope to get that book in people’s hands because I know it will help.

And then the other is I have created an online multimedia course, which I feel really good about. And so I’m spending a lot of my time right now sharing with companies how this could really be a cost effective way for them to improve their leadership skills. What I’m finding it is letting companies who normally don’t have a big budget for leadership development have access to some tools and techniques at a very low cost point that otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do.

Some people say, “I can’t afford leadership development. “Oh, you can with this program. And so, I know I’ve got somebody in El Salvador who’s using it. We’ve got it in the Philippines and so it’s really helping me to spread the Winning Well message more internationally.

Jim Rembach: You bring up something that a lot of organizations and when you look the statistics on where executives really wanting to focus on in regards to their investments, in regards to succession planning, leadership pipeline filling it is in the areas of being able to grow leaders, so that’s important work that you’re doing there, and thanks for sharing that. One other aspect when you start talking about leadership is really a lot of things that we also talk about on the show is that life experiences, story, I mean all of those things are important. Another thing that’s critically important when you start talking about many the leadership skills is actually being able to practice this stuff. The fact is that we have—what’s the latest count? We have 250,000 titles on Amazon alone on leadership, hello, so you need to hurry up and start reading them all, right? No. That’s not what helps you change. It’s actually practicing and getting some of that feedback that we were talking about earlier from a lot of different areas. So, when you start thinking about the biggest and most difficult hump for really us as an individual or maybe groups to get over in regards to developing as a leader, what do you think would be the biggest one?

Karin Hurt: Having an accurate perception of where your strengths are and where your vulnerabilities are. That’s where I see most people struggle one end of that continuum or the other, they don’t think they’re good at something where they really do have the capacity to develop it or maybe they actually are good at it. Or they think they’re better than they are at something and to their blow and put blinders on so they refuse to hear that they’re not. And unfortunately the higher up you go in the organization that’s where some of that behavior really emerges. I just got off the phone, in fact with a vice-president who said—and she was talking about utilizing the online course. And she said, “What do I do with the one person who needed the most but doesn’t think they need it at all? What am I going to say to them?” And so I think that’s the universal problem it’s in every organization.

Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best.

Karin Hurt: Thank you.

Jim Rembach: Now before we move on, let’s get a quick work from our sponsor.

“Developing your company’s talent and leadership pipeline can be an overwhelming task but your burn is over with ResultPal you can use the power of practice to develop more leaders faster. Move onward and upward by going to resultpal.com/fast and getting a $750 performance package for free.”

Okay, Fast Leader Legion, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Karin, 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 us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Karin Hurt are you ready to Hoedown?

Karin Hurt: Alright, bring it on.

Jim Rembach: Alright. So what do you this is holding you back from being an even better today?

Karin Hurt: Managing the firehose of task coming in.

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

Karin Hurt: Take some time and look back. Because I ran so fast you got to make sure you’re looking back and see that people are with you.

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

Karin Hurt: Connection. Developing real connection with people, human beings.

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

Karin Hurt: Zoom.

Jim Rembach: What would be one book, from any genre, that you’d recommend to our listeners?

Karin Hurt: Give and take by Adam Grant.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader listeners, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today show by going to fastleader.net/Karin Hurt. Okay, Karin, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything you can only choose one, so what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Karin Hurt: Develop collaborative relationship with my peers. I learn that a little too late.

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

Karin Hurt: Yes. My website is letsgrowleaders.com. On Twitter I’m @LetsGrowLeaders.

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

Leaders in an organization with higher emotional intelligence make more money and outperform those with lower EQ. So get over the hump now by leveraging the 54 Emotional Intelligence competencies in your human-centric leadership in organization development. Download the complete list for free at beyondmorale.com/EQ

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.

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