100: John Lee Dumas: I invested in a mentor that kicked my butt

John Lee Dumas Show Notes

John Lee Dumas was all ready to push publish on his podcast and then all of a sudden fear took over. He pushed back his launch one week, then two, then four, then five. Finally his mentor intervened and he published his podcast and all was well in the world. But fear lurked in other places that John soon found.

John was born and raised in the classic New England village of Alfred, Maine with his younger sister.

At 18, John left Maine for Providence College, in Rhode Island, where he accepted an ROTC scholarship to pay his way through school. At 22, he graduated and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army. Before his graduation buzz had worn off, he was shipped off to Ft. Lewis, Washington. He spent the next four years as an Army Officer, stationed at no less than 5 duty stations. By the time he was 24 years old and had completed a 13-month tour of duty in Ar Ramadi, Iraq.

At 26, his active duty requirement had ended, and as a Captain he entered the reserves. He knew he was ready for some rest and relaxation, and so he took off for Guatemala, where he lived with a Guatemalan family for 4 months. While there, he explored several different parts of the country and spent time speaking, eating, and breathing the culture of Central America.

Upon returning to the US, he felt it was time to get down to business. He applied myself, and at the age of 27 he entered Law school, prepared to follow in his father’s footsteps.  One semester showed him this was not my desired path, and this time India and Nepal called him away for another 4 months of travel. While in India he played a role in a Bollywood movie, trekked the Himalayas, and immersed himself in a world very different from the one I knew back home in the grand USA.

Upon his return from this foray, he spent a few years living in some great cities, including Boston and NYC.  He had some great jobs and some not so great jobs, all of which brought with them a corporate air.

At 31, John moved back to the great state of Maine, 13 years after his departure. He took yet another professional job, which was very enjoyable for a year. Then, one rainy spring day in 2012 it happened. While listening to a podcast, I thought to himself, “I can do this. In fact, I can do this better.” Over the course of a few short months he immersed myself in his new venture, and the more research he did, the larger his passion grew.

On June 1st, 2012 he turned his notice at his job, and took off for a 3-day conference in New York City called Blogworld. 4 months and a lot of hard work later, he launched EntrepreneurOnFire.com an award winning Podcast where he interviews today’s most inspiring Entrepreneurs 7-days a week!

John current resides in Puerto Rico.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @johnleedumas to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Follow one passion until success.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet

“Like most people, we all have a ton of weaknesses.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“Build a team around your weaknesses to focus and amplify your strengths.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“Entrepreneurs fail because they don’t know how to set and accomplish goals.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“Entrepreneurs that figure out how to set and accomplish goals win.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“What is the goal that’s going to get you to the next level?” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“You have to do things that don’t scale.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“What are things that don’t scale; being customer centric.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“Reach out to customers and have one-on-one conversations.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“Amplify things that work and fix the things that aren’t.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“One-on-one conversations aren’t scalable, but the ideas from those are.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“Try not to be a person of success, but rather a person of value.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“I added value first and then success found me.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“My big hump was actually pushing publish on the podcast.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“Resistance plays a huge role in our life.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“I invested wisely in a mentor that kicked my butt.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“We all have that resistance and impostor syndrome.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“I love the acronym ILT – invest, learn, teach.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“What is life without health?” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“Sometimes, I wish I was that broke backpacker.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“If you can lead with value you win.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“I have a focused plan every single day that I execute one step at a time.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“If you’re able to produce quality content on a consistent basis you win.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

“Productivity is everything.” -John Lee Dumas Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

John Lee Dumas was all ready to push publish on his podcast and then all of a sudden fear took over. He pushed back his launch one week, then two, then four, then five. Finally his mentor intervened and he published his podcast and all was well in the world. But fear lurked in other places that John soon found.

Advice for others

Master the skills of productivity, discipline, and focus.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Time. I’m letting somethings pull myself in different directions that not allowing me to focus on doing deep work.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Don’t be a person of success, try to become a person of value.

Secret to Success

My commitment to discipline.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Schedule Once, my scheduling tool.

Recommended Reading

The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence, and Happine ss

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Contacting John Lee

website: www.eofire.com

website: www.themasteryjournal.com

LinkedIn: https://pr.linkedin.com/in/entrepreneuronfire

Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnleedumas

Resources

ScheduleOnce –  A solution for powering online scheduling with your customers and prospects.

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
100: John Lee Dumas: I invested in a mentor that kicked my butt
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 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 attendees 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 and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader Legion, today I’m so excited because we’re celebrating our hundredth episode and the guest that I have on the show today made a huge difference in me getting to this point. You see because through their teaching on how to podcast that made the difference for me and so many others. John Lee Dumas was born and raised in the classic New England village of Alfred, Maine with her younger sister. At 18 John left Maine for Provence College in Rhode Island where he accepted an ROTC scholarship that pays his way to school. At 22, he graduated and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in U.S. Army. Before his graduation buzz had worn off, he was shipped off to Ft. Lewis, Washington. He spent the next four years as an Army Officer, stationed at no less than five duty stations.

By the time he was 24 years old he had completed a 13-month tour of duty in Ar- Ramadi, Iraq. At 26, his active duty requirement had ended and as a Captain he entered the reserves he knew he was ready for some rest and relaxation so he took off for Guatemala where he lived with Guatemalan family for four months. Upon returning to the US he felt it was time to get down to business. He applied himself and at the age of 27 he entered law school preparing to follow in his father’s footsteps. One semester showed him that that was not is desired path and this time India and Nepal call them away for another four months of travel. Upon his return from this foray he spend a few years living in some great cities including Boston and New York City. He has some great jobs and some not so great jobs all of which brought with them a corporate air.
At 31, John move back to the great state of Maine 13 years after his departure. He took yet another professional job which was very enjoyable for a year. Then one rainy spring day in 2012 it happened, while listening to a podcast he taught to himself, “I can do this, in fact, I can do this better.” And over the course of a few short months he immersed himself in his new venture and the more research he did the larger his passion grew. On June 21, 2012, he turned his notice in and took off for a three-day conference in New York City called Blog World. Four months and a lot of hard work later, he launched entrepreneur on far.com an award-winning podcast were he interviews today’s most inspiring entrepreneurs seven days a week. John currently resides in Puerto Rico. John Lee Dumas are you ready to help us get over the hump?

John Lee Dumas: Yes.

Jim Rembach: Okay, JLD, I’ve given our legion a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we get to know you even better?

John Lee Dumas: Jim, I’ve a lot of passions but I big believer also on focusing, following one course until success. Or maybe that on this case one passion till success so that would be drumroll the Mastery Journal, this is my current passion and I’ve spent a year researching and becoming an expert in productivity and discipline and in focus. I’ve mastered all three of this skills, you need too as well the Mastery Journal is your guide to do just that.

Jim Rembach: For me even when I look at the amount of productivity, the amount of content the amount of just overall work product that you do is quite tremendous. Now I also know that you’re really big into having teams in order to support you, so give us an idea of how big is the EO Fire team?

John Lee Dumas: Well again, I’m not trying to brag when I say that my three greatest strengths are, productivity, discipline and focus because that’s like three strengths. Where my weaknesses like are bigger than the entire screen here, like most people we all have a ton of weaknesses so I build the team around my weaknesses so that I can focus in amplifying my strengths. Productivity, discipline and focus, I can let other people take of the rest. So my team is a lovely Kate Ericson, she’s my partner in both business and life. We have three virtual assistants in the Philippines, one in Pakistan and a Puerto Rican employee in our new island home of Puerto Rico.

Jim Rembach: I have to ask, you lived in San Diego for many years, but what took you to Puerto Rico? Why Puerto Rico?

John Lee Dumas: Taxes, enough said and mic drop.

Jim Rembach: That’s right.

John Lee Dumas: So now, it’s really interesting that you say that too because in Episode 99 of the Fast Leader show my guest Steve Mariotti who is the author of the Entrepreneurs Manifesto talked about a couple of things, one is I see there’s a gross negligence of our education system not teaching entrepreneurialism. And if you think about that as well as the controlling factors that a lot of companies have in regards to innovation, we call it business acumen in a company, with you having over 1,500 episodes of your daily podcast Entrepreneurs on Fire to reflect upon, what do you see as the common reason why entrepreneurs struggle?

Jim Rembach: They don’t know how to set an accomplish goals, it’s really that simple. Entrepreneurs because they don’t know how to set an accomplish goals. In entrepreneurs who have figured out how to do that, they win. And it’s really that simple and other people, they lose, if they try to complicate things because it doesn’t have to be complicated. Like what is the goal that’s going to get you to the next level? For me back in 2012 it was one singular goal launching EO Fire, my podcast. Nothing else mattered, no distractions, one focus, I accomplished it. I knocked down and there’s domino and it started a chain reaction of awesome, it’s now turning into a multi-million dollar a year business. Over 1500 episodes, over 40 million listeners, everything has come from that one accomplishment of that goal, launching this podcast EO Fire.

John Lee Dumas: And I think that’s really important for people, in fact it was so important that’s why I launch my previous passion, which was my passion project of last year, the Freedom Journal which look very similar but it’s a very different content within, it’s about how you can accomplish your number 1 in 100 days. Because I saw people struggling with this that’s why I say, “I’ll provide the guide, the step by step over a 100 days of how you can set a smart goals specific measurable attainable relevant time bound and then accomplish that one goal, one goal singular in 100 days. Over 16,000 people had bought in to this and it’s amazing the way it’s changing lives.

Jim Rembach: In the Fast Leader Legion you talked about your avatar for the Entrepreneur’s on Fire podcast being your jimmy, that’s your avatar, but for me my Jimmy is actually somebody who is working in customer care, customer experience and in an organization trying to innovate, trying to create a better culture and trying to really move things forward so that they make better connections with the customer. Now I see and have had the opportunity to see you interact with a lot of folks and you are very customer-centric and focused and you’re a great example in a lot of different ways. But if somebody isn’t an outside entrepreneur they’re intrapreneur, there inside an organization, and they don’t necessarily have the opportunity for goals for them to set them, how do they go about accomplishing things that you would see?

John Lee Dumas: I want to go back to your comment about being customer-centric because I think that such an important comment to kind of sit upon for one second because so many people say, “John, how can I scale my business? How can I leverage everything that I do? Like within in the world where you can do that and you should doing that on some level because it’s a great opportunity but you have to do things that don’t scale. What are the things they don’t scale? Being customer-centric meaning like reaching out having the one-on-one conversation that’s not being recorded just you and one of the person that’s a customer, that’s a client and you asking him that question, what are you struggling with? What’s one way that when improve my business? Something you didn’t like about what I did or something that you loved about what I did, how do you find me? Ask those questions you can get the answers and you can amplify the things that are working. You can fix the things that aren’t. That comes one-to-one conversations.

So those one-on-one conversations you’re having aren’t scalable but the results and the ideas that you can implement from those conversations are, so whenever anybody joins podcasts is paradise they get a one-on-one personal phone call from me, thanking them and asking them, “Hey, how did you hear about us?” and what was like your buying decision? What made you decide to pull the trigger? And so that allows me to learn who I consider my best clients, like people that are joining podcast’s paradise. I do the same thing with the freedom draw, I help on the phone call or Skype call with the random people that purchase our Freedom Journal. Of course, I haven’t dealt all those 16,000 people but I’ve it with a number of them so I can learn from them. I can have those one-on-one conversations. So being customer centric is so important. Doing things that don’t scale is a key, and I think it entrepreneurs me to learn how to do that.

Jim Rembach: John, you’re definitely an inspirational person. You have had the opportunity to have several guests on your show that are inspirational as well. And one of the things that we look for on the Fast Leader show is quotes because they are so inspiring, is there a quote that stands out for you that you can share?

John Lee Dumas: There’s a quote that change my life. I mean from 26 to 32, that was my post- military years and pre-EO Fire years, six years I struggled—I went to law school I dropped out, cover finance I quit, commercial real estate I dropped that as well, it was six years of struggle of trying to find myself cause I’m trying to find my passion and finally I get 32 years old, I read this quote from Albert Einstein and he said, “Try not to become a person of success but rather person of value.” And I look back over the past six years now it just like I been just trying to chase success. Like in my version of success at that point in life was wrong like it all about money and respect and fame and fortune, it was never going to bring you what I wanted. So, I flipped it all on this head things that that quote and I just became a person of value. I developed EO Fire, which is a free, valuable and consistent podcast every single day, just delivering value. I did that for 200 episodes without getting a dollar back it was just value, value, value, my time, my energy, my blood, sweat and tears. Of course, the revenues started coming in at some point and now here we are today about three and half years later from that point, over 10M dollars in revenue. So, it worked because I added value first and then success found me.

Jim Rembach: John, without a doubt going through that process, transformation, struggling all of that there’s a lot of humps that we have to get over even when you start talking about scaling a business, from the start-up phase and those 200 episodes before anything ever came, and we have a lot of humps to get over and they really help us become better leaders, is there a story that that you can share with us about getting over the hump?

John Lee Dumas: My big hump was actually pushing publish on the podcast. And I think that a lot of people need to read the book, The art of work by Steven Pressfield and it is just a really good book because it show you how much resistance plays a huge role in our life. Like you get to that finish line but you have such resistance from crossing it, like I was all ready to push publish on my podcast then all of a sudden fear took over and I was like, push publish and it becomes real and if it fails then it fails then I’m a failure but if I’m in pre-publish mode then maybe it’ll succeeds but maybe it fails nobody knows so we can just keep living in this la-la land forever. So I push back my podcast launch one week, then two, then four, then five, finally my mentor came up to me and said, “John, I want to fire you if you don’t publish this podcast.

So, fortunately I invested in myself wisely with a mentor that kick my butt and I publish a podcast and all was well in the world and that happened to me time and time again with the book that I publish, Podcast Launch, Podcast Paradise, with the Freedom Journal on some levels even with the Mastery Journals like it’s just like, Kate was fine and just like John it’s enough already, like it’s good enough, it’s where it needs to be. Like you’re just tweaking nothing right now, like let’s get this out in the world. So, you need those people in this world because we all have that resistance, develop that impostor syndrome that said, “Who are you to create this? To talk about that?” I love this acronym ILT, invest, learn and teach. What that means is investing yourself that can be time, doesn’t always have to be money it can be money, it’s energy bandwidth, learn that thing that you invested in and then turn around and teach it because to everybody who hasn’t invest and learn up to that point you’re the expert so turn around and teach and guide people and see what happens.

Jim Rembach: Without a doubt you expanded well beyond. You have webinar and Fire skills on Fire, just goes on and on. But moving to Puerto Rico—Kate—you have a lot of things on your plate, but when you start looking at one goal, what would it be?

John Lee Dumas: Right now my one goal, my one focus is the Mastery Journal, that’s on the business side, you have to generate 23rd launch. So the kind of business goal that we have right now nothing else clouds that everything we do is focused towards that. But a life goal, this is a life goal that I think is important for me because it wasn’t a forefront goal for the first couple of years and I pay for it, it’s fitness and nutrition. Like those are two areas that I let slide and the reality is you realize what is life without health? And frankly, you have all the money in the world but you don’t have your health like you’re not going to be as happy as if you’re a broke backpack across Europe. An unhealthy rich person will trade places with that person in a second and heck sometimes I wish I was that broke backpacker right now because I think it would be fun to start all over again and try to build something up. Now that I’ve already built something up I got to keep holding up this big wave that is the multi-million dollar a year business and that takes time, energy and effort that I’m not able to do other things like travel as much as I’d want to or do this or do that. That’s why some changes will be coming in the future, maybe they won’t, well see but… you know it’s a forefront my number one goal in life is health.

Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor:

The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions. So, move onward and upward faster by getting significantly deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop you’ll learn how to evoke and influence the right customer emotions that generate improve customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get over your emotional hump now by going to empathymapping.com to learn more.

Jim Rembach: Alright here we go Fast Leader Legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, JLD, 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 a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. JLD are you ready to hoedown?

John Lee Dumas: First, can I steal that name and keep it forever? And not say the one anymore because that’s so much better.

Jim Rembach: I appreciate that. So, what do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

John Lee Dumas: Time. I feel like time is something that is limited and I feel that there’s somethings that I’m letting pull myself and different directions does not allow me to focus on really doing deep work, which by the way is a great book by Cal Newport.

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

John Lee Dumas: I miss really, really that quote by Albert Einstein, “Don’t be a person of success try to become a person of value because if you can lead with value you win.”

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

John Lee Dumas: My commitments to discipline. And by discipline I mean having a focus plan every single day that I execute on one step at a time.

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

John Lee Dumas: Definitely schedule. Once is my scheduler that I use for everything, that’s how I schedule 20 interviews today that had gone flawlessly.

Jim Rembach: Now, you’ve draft several books but is there another one that you could recommend, from any genre, to our listeners?

John Lee Dumas: Yeah, the Chimp Paradox is something that I never talked about but it’s a great book.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader Legion you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/JohnLeeDumas. In addition, JLD is giving away a free copy of the Freedom Journal to the first member of the Fast Leader Legion in the US that goes to iTunes, rates and reviews the Fast Leader Show and sends me an e-mail to let me know. Okay, JLD, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you have been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

John Lee Dumas: Productivity that would be the skill because if you’re able to produce quality content on a consistent basis you win. And so, productivity is everything.

Jim Rembach: JLD, 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?

John Lee Dumas: All the magic in my world happens at eofire.com, we have free courses on podcasting, webinars, goals, funnels it’s there for you. And the masteryjournal.com we have an amazing campaign going on in Kickstarter where you can master productivity, discipline, and focus in 100 days.

Jim Rembach: John Lee Dumas, thank you for sharing 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

099: Steve Mariotti: They attacked me with knives

Steve Mariotti Show Notes

Steve Mariotti went out for a jog and was mugged by a bunch of young men with knives. Experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, Steve was taught to change the sentences in his mind. As part of his ongoing therapy he became a teacher and he found out that he enjoyed helping people achieve their life through entrepreneurship.

A native son of Flint, Michigan, Steve Mariotti grew up with his younger brother Jack.

Steve received his B.B.A in business economics and his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His primary interest in school was Entrepreneurship as he had been unable to get a job as a teenager in Flint and started seven different businesses to fund his education.

After receiving his MBA, Steve was appointed the treasury analyst for South Africa for Ford Motor Company where he led the internal effort to prohibit Ford from selling Surveillance equipment to the racist government of South Africa. Ford adopted Steve’s recommendations and their policy of not selling to non-democratic governments remains in effect to this day.

In 1982, Steve was mugged by a group of youths armed with knives. After seeing Therapist Albert Ellis, he was advised to become a public high school teacher in New York City’s roughest neighborhoods as part of his therapy.

So Steve decided to leave a successful business career to become a teacher. On his first day of teaching special Education students in the worst school in New York City (March 6th 1982), his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the mugging, disappeared and he knew he had found his life’s work. Steve discovered he could reach even his most troubled students by teaching them to run small businesses.

In 1987, he founded the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) to bring entrepreneurship education to low-income youth. Since then, more than 700,000 students in 22 states and 12 countries have graduated from NFTE programs. Steve’s vison is that every low income youth will be taught the basics of starting a business so they will have an opportunity to escape poverty.

Steve has authored 30 books, including An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto. Over 10 million of Steve’s book are in print and used in over 30 countries.

Steve is the Fellow of Entrepreneurial Education for the PhilaU Center for Entrepreneurship at Philadelphia University. In announcing this appointment, Diana Spencer, president of the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation said, “Steve Mariotti is a visionary who takes the road less traveled, encouraging others to think big and create their own entrepreneurial journeys.

Steve currently lives in Princeton, New Jersey where he enjoys hiking, playing chess and adding to his collection of more than 7,000 rare books.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @SteveJMariotti to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Every human being has the ability to find a comparative advantage.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“Every human being, is basically always in business for themselves.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“Your life is to determine how to best use your resources.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“Each human being has unique knowledge of time and space.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“It’s very healthy to teach people to be thinking of themselves as entrepreneurs.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“The happiest people in the world today are American women entrepreneurs.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“Some of the great minds in the world never shine.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“In one generation you can go from doing everything wrong to everything right.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“We have a corrupt and evil tax code.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“In the art world, so often the entrepreneur is portrayed as a negative.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“Common core has made people’s unique knowledge not of value.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“The standardization of curriculum really benefits no one.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“It’s the entrepreneur that creates the wealth.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“Empathy has created great happiness for me and wealth.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Steve Mariotti went out for a jog and was mugged by a bunch of young men with knives. Experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, Steve was taught to change the sentences in his mind. As part of his ongoing therapy he became a teacher and he found out that he enjoyed helping people achieve their life through entrepreneurship.

Advice for others

Talk to local school districts about local programs to teach kids about starting businesses.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Organization

Best Leadership Advice Received

Integrity

Secret to Success

Listening

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Reading a book a week.

Recommended Reading

An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind: Updated

Contacting Steve

email: stevemariotti [at] gmail.com

website: http://www.stevemariottipartners.com/

Huff Post: http://www.stevemariotti.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-mariotti-534647103

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SteveJMariotti

Resources

Five Spot Soul Food – Five Spot Restaurant & Lounge

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
099: Steve Mariotti: They attacked me with knives
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 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 attendees 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 and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader Legion, today I’m excited because the guest that I have on the show today has big ideas for a big problem that we all face. Steve Mariotti was a native son of Flint Michigan where he grew up with his younger brother Jack. Steve received his undergrad in Business economics and his masters from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. His primary interest in school is entrepreneurship as he had been unable to get a job as a teenager in Flint and started seven different businesses to fund his education.

After receiving his MBA, Steve was appointed to the Treasury Analyst for South Africa for Ford Motor Company where he led the internal effort to prohibit Ford from selling surveillance equipment to the racist government of South Africa. Ford adopted Steve’s recommendations and their policy of not selling to nondemocratic governments remains in effect to this day. In 1982, Steve was mugged by a group of youths armed with knives. After seeing a therapist, he was advised to become a public high school teacher in New York City’s roughest neighborhoods as part of his therapy, so Steve decided to leave a successful business career to become a teacher.

On his first day of teaching special education students in the worst school in New York City, which is back in March 6, 1982, his post-traumatic stress disorder from the mugging disappeared and he knew he had found his life’s work. Steve discovered he could reach even his most trouble students by teaching them to run small businesses. In 1987, he founded the network for teaching entrepreneurship to bring entrepreneurship education to low income youth, since then more than 700,000 students in 22 states and 12 countries have graduated from NFTE programs.

Steve’s vision is that every low income youth will be taught the basics of starting a business so they will have an opportunity to escape poverty. Steve has authored 30 books including an entrepreneur’s manifesto, over 10 million of Steve’s books are in print and used in over 30 different countries. Steve is the fellow of entrepreneurial education for the PhilaU Center for Entrepreneurship at Philadelphia University. Steve currently lives in Princeton, New Jersey where he enjoys hiking, playing chess, and adding to his collection of more than 7,000 rare books. Steve Mariotti, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Steve Mariotti: Yes. I’m glad to be on the show Jim, thank you.

Jim Rembach: And thanks for being here. I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so we get to know you even better?

Steve Mariotti: Absolutely. I spend my time reading and writing on the issue of entrepreneurship and what happens to entrepreneurs during times of emergencies such as wars and natural disasters and how we can help entrepreneurs be peacekeepers and help them connect with one another around the world and create a global movement of entrepreneurs that are interconnected and act as a force for good globally, which I’ve always believed.

Jim Rembach: When I started reading your book, And Entrepreneur’s Manifesto, I started really coming to the realization that I don’t think the title matches what’s inside because it has such a huge foretelling as well research of the past on the impact of business and entrepreneurship in society as a whole. You even talked about—that everybody could be taught entrepreneurship and I’ve kind of say I’m a skeptic on that but how is that possible?

Steve Mariotti: I think that every human being has within them the ability to find a comparative advantage. And every human being is basically always in business for themselves even if you’re working at the Post Office your life is to determine how to best use your resources, time, energy, knowledge. And through the concept that FA (4:37 inaudible) develop to when Nobel Prize in 1974, I was fortunate enough to be his assistant, and he came up with the idea that each human being has unique knowledge of time and space and with that knowledge you can make a livelihood either as self-employed or working for someone else. I don’t think the barrier between being a worker and an entrepreneur or owner or capitalist is legitimate, I think we’re always basically trying to maximize our revenue, financially and intellectually and psychically in trying to minimize our cause so I think it’s very healthy to teach people to be thinking of themselves as entrepreneurs or business people.

Jim Rembach: You bring up a very interesting point because the use of part-time help, contract labor and even outsourcing is just going to continue to grow and I have a lot of our listeners that are in customer care and customer experience so when you think about customer service a lot of companies are actually taking on those folks as contract workers and they have to bring things with them. So, learning those entrepreneurial skills earlier on would be important for those folks to be successful and sets a goal where they want to go.

Steve Mariotti: Absolutely. That’s been my whole career of 35 years, is to get an international movement for every country in the world so that every child in the world will learn how to start a business before they graduate high school. Some point in their career that will pay off. They have a boss that doesn’t like you, or if you have a company that wants to use contractors or if you want to try make more money or have it is to and from for every country in the world said every child in the world learn started business before the graduate school she standpoint new career that will penalize him up asset is thank you working at a company that wants to use contractors everyone tried in the long money on have flexible hours, the highest rate of business formation in the world today are American women. And also the happiest people in the world today are American women entrepreneurs.

Jim Rembach: That brings up a really interesting point when you start talking about those younger generations really wanted to make an impact on the world and a lot of folks I think have very important thoughts in regards to making that impact but they don’t have the funding behind them to really make a difference and I think you brought the two together it could make a bigger difference for all of us.

Steve Mariotti: Absolutely. I think one of the most important things to teach at a young age is the concept of capital. How do you save capital? How do you make it grow? And just as important, how do you get other people to invest in you. There’s millions of ideas that could improve the world and many times people are taught to be afraid to ask for help or they don’t know how to put together a two page business proposal or all the little nuances of business language which can learn in a 100 hours. So some of the great minds in the world never shine and it hurts the world because their idea dies with them. So, there’s something about business and the ability to enhance people’s productivity to get things done to help them psychologically—and most important is to develop ideas and businesses that help other people in their communities.

Jim Rembach: That’s really interesting as you were talking, thanks for sharing that, I started thinking about a lot of organizations today that are trying to instill more that entrepreneurial mindset within their own workforce, these are people unemployed and they want to bring more innovation and things like that to the table but based on what you’re saying they’re not taught those things when they’re younger growing up. It’s a missing skill but yet it can be learned. So, how do we actually make this change? Before I go there I think that’s what the book is about, you talked about coordinated support within the book, what is that?

Steve Mariotti: Coordinated support really means building communities that support creativity, individualism, ideas, the to fail, the right to be successful, building a community that is supportive of the entrepreneurial process the uniqueness of it, the many failures of it. The beauty of that is that you have a community that understands it and keeps with it. I really point it to great examples, Israel.

Steve Mariotti: I went to Israel 1993 and at that time the majority of the leaders of Israel in my opinion were socialists, were based on the original Israeli, bellows and astern and those guys vision of forage which a very socialist state ownership, very regimented society and in 1993, and I think it was in a small part because nifty came but there was young Israeli entrepreneur okayed a huge homerun and went public the New York Stock Exchange, I believe, and the culture begin to change and now Israel has created a community that I think is the most pro-entrepreneurial community in the world. They have 34% of the new companies on NASDAQ were founded by Israelis. So it shows you in the 22 year period, one generation, you can go from doing everything wrong to everything right and that’s the power creation of community and the power of idea, the power of vision every strategy and tactics and I want us to do that right here in America particularly in low income communities that would benefit the most from a renaissance of entrepreneurship.

Jim Rembach: I definitely can see that that would be a benefit to those areas but it’s almost like it’s really being tossed across the entire economic spectrum because one of your articles on Huffington Post you talked about how there’s more college graduates that are living at home now than ever before because there’s no jobs for them and universities are failing them. And you also had mentioned something where by 2030 three out of five people living in cities will be under the age of 18. We have a huge employment problem that’s going to continue to get bigger.

Steve Mariotti: It’s very scary. And it’s much worse in the Middle East and certain parts of Africa. Certain parts of Africa blooming, certain parts have the same problems with the Middle East than we do, and we’ve got to start talking about it and thinking of solutions but getting our tax code right, we have a corrupt and just evil tax code. I wouldn’t use those words if I didn’t actually believe them but it’s 4,800 pages with another 80,000 pages of [12:01 inaudible] that you have to check as your reading for the tax code. And we’ve got to get rid of that, make it simple, fair and in my opinion flat. We’ve got to get rid of all regulations that don’t help people with health and safety but rather prevent competition. We’ve got to change our culture in particularly the earth world which so often the entrepreneur is portrayed as a negative, mean, dishonest person. Something like 90% of the villains in movies and TV’s are small businessman or large businessman and women too. And it’s a terrible message to send to all children, particularly children in poverty, so I think in my generation certainly in a decade we can turn this around we get the tax code right, we grow at 5%, we get the regulations right, we grow at 7%, we get universal ownership and entrepreneurship education in every school in America and we’ll grow at 10%. That means we double every seven years and that means we eliminate poverty in about 14 years in America. And if we can do it here, we can do it anywhere in the world. No one should have to grow up in poverty which in the next 25 years we should wipe poverty out of this world.

Jim Rembach: And that’s an action-based way of wiping poverty out that’s proactive instead of continuing to contribute to entitlement programs, and I love that big thinking. Obviously, with the people who you’ve had the opportunity to be mentored by and work with and some of the experiences that you had, you had a lot of inspiration in your life and your inspiration person yourself and oftentimes on the show we look to quotes that we share. So is there a quote or two that you can share that gives you that inspiration?

Steve Mariotti: Yes. Dear God give me an [14:07 inaudible] sense of purpose. And my second one is: Never, never, never, never compete. Find out what everybody else is doing then don’t do it. Create.

Jim Rembach: It was two very good ones, thank you for sharing. I know also, even reading to the book that you’ve had several humps to get over and I think that’s probably why you are the person you are today. Is there a story that you can share with us when you had to get over a hump?

Steve Mariotti: Absolutely. In 1981, I was in the business of import/export which I was very good at and I enjoyed it. And I went out for a jog in September ’81 in New York City along the East River, broad daylight and five or six young men couldn’t be more than 13 years old attacked me with a weapon, knives and humiliated me in front of my young girlfriend and also robbed me and it was a very humiliating and very, very scary. And I got post-traumatic stress disorder which is anybody has had it, it’s just horrible. It basically came from your mind and all you think of are the moments that are [15:36 inaudible] in your mind by the trauma and the stress of those moments. So, for six months I was pretty unable to do anything it was a very difficult time in my life. And my friend took me to a psychologist who is very famous at that time named Albert Ellis, and taught me how to change the sentences in my mind. So, instead of being humiliated and a victim of a mugging in front of your girlfriend in broad daylight, I became a survivor, a hero who escaped five/six young man with knives and save my girlfriend and I felt totally better within an hour.

And then the next day I became a special lead teacher as part of the therapy in boys and girls high school in Brooklyn, New York, which is at that time the most difficult high school. They’ve had two children who’d been shot there, none of the teachers wanted to go so they were very glad that I would go. And I just walked in and my post-traumatic stress disorder was totally gone I never taught of it in a painful way again. And I found that I enjoy talking to children that was disconnected from themselves and from God and from a craft where they can make a living, and that became my life’s work. I was eating one, I’ve been doing it for 35 years thinking about how to help people achieve their life through the skills of thinking about ownership, entrepreneurship, self-reliance, planning, goals, action, being pro-active, understanding money, respecting money, and most important the golden rule is for you really are successful. Try to help other human being get what they want. Treat them the way you want to be treated and most of the dreams of your life will come true.

Jim Rembach: What you’ve been able to accomplish as a result of that event?
It’s almost a blessing that it had happened to you, I know that may sound strange.

Steve Mariotti: It is a blessings. All spiritual I think, but it was a major blessing.

Jim Rembach: Even in the book you shared a couple of some pretty amazing success stories that had come out of this particular program, can you share one of those with us?

Steve Mariotti: Absolutely. Our children in whole 700,000, become more business literate, become aware of time preference they see further in the future and most important 99.5% of them which means 199 out of 200 would recommended highly without qualification to a best friend. So, to me what the child says is very important. We have many success stories around the world, we’ve recreated cultures in certain countries we’ve recreated cultures in certain cities. The story I like most is a student of mine that I’ve had at 1988. His name was Monique Armstead and his business is in New York City and it’s a restaurant. He started at ’93, I went to the neighborhood it was a very difficult neighborhood in Brooklyn, I went to look at the neighborhood and I said, “Monique don’t do it, it’s too rough. I felt nervous there during the day, which is always a bad sign. And he said, “Absolutely not, I’m going to do it.” And sure enough within eight years he owned the whole two blocks. As one more successful restaurants in Brooklyn, and he’s created, I think 71 jobs, and the neighborhood’s change. He got this young people starting businesses, they come over and talk to him like a senior fellow. He’s venture capital in young people in businesses, he’s got kids to college, and he sponsors sports teams. One entrepreneur over a lifetime can have a huge impact on another human being. So you don’t have to be the Bill Gates or the Steve Jobs or Michael Dells, you can be just in your community and affect thousands of live over your career. It’s a beautiful way to make a living.

Jim Rembach: Steve that was a great story. But you’ve got to tell us the name of the restaurant.

Steve Mariotti: It’s called Five Spot Soul Food.

Jim Rembach: Okay, make sure Fast Leader Legion, if you ever get down in Brooklyn, right?

Steve Mariotti: Yes, it’s at 459 Mrytle Ave. and again the name is Five Spot Soul Food, you’ll love it and it’s one of the New York City’s top entrepreneurs, I’m very proud of him.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader Legion, if you ever get down to Brooklyn make sure you go see Malik and tell him Steve sent you. Steve I know that you got a lot of different things that are going on. Your mission what you’re doing with the entrepreneurial center and all of those things, you’re writing on Huffington Post, I want to help you as much as I possibly can cause I see that your positive method and solution for addressing some of these big societal problems is something that seems just so simple but just needs an extra push. If you were to give a recommendation to listeners on how to help make this change happen, what would be your advice?

Steve Mariotti: Number one, I would begin to talk to the local school district particularly if you have children. And say, what is our program to teach kids how to start businesses? And see what they say. Most won’t have one but they will if local community people talk about it. Ninety percent is exposure, many, many teachers have part time businesses, so you have a wealth of genius within that school. And tragically under common core and this whole centralization of the state over monopoly public school system has made a lot of people unique knowledges of value in the school system. So you’ll have a great teacher whose run an auto mechanic shop after school for the last 25 years and 10 years ago that would be part of his curriculum. Every kid would come out knowing about this basic business because that’s what he did. Even if he was an English or Science teacher. But now the standardization of curriculum really benefits no one, I think it was a major error and it’s not where you win your Nobel prize, it’s not where you generate great wealth and I encourage people to talk with their local school systems if they have the time and the money to run for office, it’s the most important thing you can do other than starting your own business to change society.

Jim Rembach: When you when you start thinking about all the things that you have on your plate, and I know there’s a lot, but if you were to talk about one being a goal that you wanted a pushover, what would it be?

Steve Mariotti: My biggest goal right now is to capture the stories of entrepreneurs who have stayed alive and helped other people to war and natural disaster and how did they do it. What entrepreneurial mind frame that they have to get through absolute horrors of things that have happened and they kept going. When you read history the entrepreneur is invisible. With Churchill who I’ve read everything he’s ever written, I’m a big fan, but he’s got exactly three sentences on small businesses out of 3.8 million published words and he won the Nobel Prize for literature. And that’s sure with almost everybody that has won the Nobel Prize in literature or any major writer. They take the entrepreneur out of history and they substitute them in for the large government leaders. Stalin, Hitler, Mao, our own George Washington, and I’m a huge fan of, but they don’t define entrepreneur in those societies. And it’s the entrepreneur that creates the wealth, get things done, supplies the sacks and if we could raise the consciousness of the entrepreneurs similar that [25:04 inaudible]we’re raising the consciousness of women in ’63 with her pioneer work or Martin Luther King did with the African-American community around liberty and voting and Robert Kenney did and George Washington did and Gandhi and Mohammed Yunus, I would like to be one of many raising the self-esteem, the consciousness of small entrepreneurs and big entrepreneurs and view it as one community.

Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions. So, move onward and upward faster by getting significantly deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop you’ll learn how to evoke and influence the right customer emotions that generate improve customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get over your emotional hump now by going to empathymapping.com to learn more.

Jim Rembach: Alright here we go Fast Leader Legion, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Steve, 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 response that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Steve Mariotti, are you ready to hoedown?

Steve Mariotti: I’m ready.

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

Steve Mariotti: Organization.

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

Steve Mariotti: Integrity.

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

Steve Mariotti: Listening.

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

Steve Mariotti: Reading a book a week.

Jim Rembach: On that note, is there a book that you’d recommend to our listeners, and it could be from any genre? Of course we’re going to provide a link to An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto, but what book would you recommend beyond that?

Steve Mariotti: The best book ever written for entrepreneurs is The Power of the Subconscious by Murphy published in 1963.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader Legion, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/Steve Mariotti. Okay, Steve, 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 back you could only choose one. So, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Steve Mariotti: Empathy. The ability to try to understand how people feel and what I can do to help them. Because that for me has been the best way to help people and has created great happiness for me and enough wealth so that I can live comfortably.

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

Steve Mariotti: Absolutely. Stevemariotti@gmail.com is my email and stevemariottipartners.com is my website.

Jim Rembach: Steve Mariotti, thank you for 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 the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

END OF AUDIO

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098: Michael Teoh: I thought I could motivate my staff

Michael Teoh Show Notes

Michael Teoh was working on growing his business and he was getting results. Michael kept pressing forward thinking he could motivate his staff to meet client demands. But his staff pushed back. That’s when Michael learned a valuable lesson.

Michael was born in the northern state of Malaysia, known as Penang, a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities and even food delicacies, renowned for being one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

He was raised in a typical middle-income family, where Michael’s parents ran an education school, which provided academic support to the poorer students in the state. At a tender age of 4, Michael was brought up in a ‘Classroom-like’ setting where he recalls fondly, of the moment he picked up a chalk and started to sketch his stories for the amusements of teachers and the students.

Despite his humble beginnings, life did not ‘Spoil’ Michael, as he too had to struggle through his years in school, where he was bullied because he was weak in sports and that he hailed from a middle income family, who couldn’t afford much.

However, Michael learnt an invaluable lesson from his journey, growing up, and that is ‘We should Strive to Create Opportunities to Help Others, rather than to Wait for Others to Give Opportunities to Us!’

Today, Michael Teoh has surprised many of his ‘Naysayers’ who had once bullied him. He is the Founder of Thriving Talents, an award-winning ‘Millennials-focused’ talent development company who attracts, develops and retains young leaders for Fortune 500 companies across 39 countries – A business which Michael excitedly wakes up every day to reach out to clients like Microsoft, Intel, General Electric and more, to share his services to train up their talents! He has also been featured on CNN, BBC and the Malaysian Book of Records, while being recognized as a ‘National Youth Icon’ by the Malaysian Prime Minister.

Michael is also a serial investor with investments in properties, precious metals, commodities and had recently endeavoured into the food & beverages industry in South East Asia’s booming consumer market. He was also a Global Advisor with Microsoft’s Youth Spark initiative, SAP’s Millennials at Work campaign and a Board of Director of several companies & public entities in Malaysia, with his focus on Talent Development, Sales and Leadership.

He is the Co-Author of the Potential Matrix®, a book in which he has researched the world’s most celebrated young leaders and has been serving him, as the tool for him to inspire and guide other people to succeed in their lives and at work as well!

Michael currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @michaelteoh to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“If we want to see any positive change, we need to develop our skills and attitudes.” -Michael Teoh Click to Tweet

“Why not give the best we can give in life?” -Michael Teoh Click to Tweet  

“As human beings we need that one turning point.” -Michael Teoh Click to Tweet 

“The biggest pitfall for any human being is to just give up.” -Michael Teoh Click to Tweet 

“If you want purpose, commit and do it to the best of your abilities.” -Michael Teoh Click to Tweet 

“There is a time to have fun and there is a time for the bottom line.” -Michael Teoh Click to Tweet 

“Never wait for opportunities to come, instead create your own.” -Michael Teoh Click to Tweet 

“Have the heart to create opportunities for others.” -Michael Teoh Click to Tweet 

“Live with kings, walk with kings, but never lose that common touch.” -Michael Teoh Click to Tweet 

“Never forget how, and why, and where you started.” -Michael Teoh Click to Tweet 

“Always think about the people first, the results will follow.” -Michael Teoh Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Michael Teoh was working on growing his business and he was getting results. Michael kept pressing forward thinking he could motivate his staff to meet client demands. But his staff pushed back. That’s when Michael learned a valuable lesson.

Advice for others

Create an environment of caring AND bottom line performance.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Self-doubt.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Always think about the people first, the results will follow.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

My persistence to deliver excellence.

Recommended Reading

Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!

Contacting Michael

email: http://www.potentialmatrix.com

LinkedIn: https://my.linkedin.com/in/michaelteoh

Twitter: https://twitter.com/michaelteoh

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
098: Michael Teoh: I thought I could motivate my staff

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 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 attendees 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 and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader Legion, when my good friend Karen Hurt, who’s on Episode 64 of the Fast Leader Show said that I needed to meet this person she was right, so I have him on the show. Michael Teoh was born in the northern state of Malaysia known as Penang, a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities even food delicacies renowned for being one of the top tourist destinations in the world. He was raised in a typical middle-income family were Michael’s parents ran an education school which provided academic support to the poor students in the state. At a tender age of four Michael was brought up in the classroom-like setting where he recalls fondly of the moment where he picked up a chalk and started to sketch his stories for the amusement of teachers and students.

Despite his humble beginnings life did not spoil Michael as he had to struggle through his years in school where he was bullied because he was weak in sports and that he hailed from a middle-income family who couldn’t afford much. However, Michael learned an invaluable lesson from his journey growing up and that is, that we should strive to create opportunities to help others rather than to wait for others to give opportunities to us. Michael Teoh has surprised many of his naysayers who had once bullied him. He is the founder of Thriving Talents an award-winning millennial’s-focused talent development company who attracts, develops, and retains young leaders for Fortune 500 companies across 39 countries.

He has also been featured on CNN, BBC and the Malaysian Book of Records while being recognized as a national youth icon by the Malaysian Prime Minister. Michael’s also a serial investor with investments and properties, precious metals, commodities and had recently endeavored into the food and beverage industry in Southeast Asia’s booming consumer market. He is also a global advisor with Microsoft’s youth spark initiative SAP’s Millennial’s at Work campaign and has been on the board for many organizations. He is also the co-author of the Potential Matrix a book in which he has researched the world’s most celebrated young leaders. Michael currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Michael are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Michael Teoh: Fantastic. Thank you so much Jim for having me here and hello to everyone tuning in right now. I’m very excited to be here.

Jim Rembach: I’ve given our listeners a little bit about—I’m glad you’re here too—but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Michael Teoh: Well, my current passion is developing the human potential. Because I believe—who want to see any positive change to happen in our world today, even in our own lives the day she starts with us needing to develop our skills, having the right attitude and of course having that guiding hand just to guide us to weather through the stormy weathers and help us unleash our potentials. I’ve seen how some of my students who regularly attended my talk who have actually learned some of the strategy that to me years to learn have transformed their lives overtime. And the best thing I’m doing right now Jim, is that I’ve incorporated into running it into full time business, and that’s what I do in Thriving Talents.

Jim Rembach: You know, I’m really intrigued because of reading and learning a little bit more about you and talking about your growing up, how you were bullied, and really you had the opportunity to be someone who just melted away within society. How can you take the adversity that you went through and turn it into this whole potential thing that you’re talking about now?

Michael Teoh: I believe it all started with a self-realization. Realization that I’ve given all my best, I try to become the best athlete that I possibly could at school but I just couldn’t make the cut. And what happened was I thought we just live once, that’s my personal belief, and I just thought why not give the best that we can in life. And that was the time I start seeking out mentors and I was very glad that when I was in school I had teachers who actually gave me my first opportunity. Oftentimes I believe as a human being we need that one turning point, and that one turning point is essential and you need that comes in disguise as opportunities for us to make the best use of. So as for me, I started participating in business plan competitions. I started participating in conventions and seminars. I become a volunteer. I start to raise up my hand to take up responsibilities in life and in school. And without knowing it, I started to realize that, hey, I found a new niche in my life. I’m may not be good in sports at that time but at least I could be good at something, and for me at that time, I was running a business, it was inspiring lives at a tender age when I was just 16 to 17 years old and that was my turning point. And I think the biggest most fatal pitfall for any human being to make sense of the purpose in this life is to just give up and like you mention Jim, melt away with the flow. I believe all of us are put into this world for a destiny—for a purpose and I think we could actually find it. And once we found it we just have to make that opportunity the best that we can.

Jim Rembach: Okay so I have to know Michael because it’s just kind of one of those things that as a parent, I want to make sure that I’m doing the right thing. And I look at others and I’m like, “Okay, I’m not going to do that or I should do that.” When you started talking about those moments, when you came home and probably wept to your parents and talked about how mean they were at you, what did your parents do in order redirect you or in order to have you to have the outlook that you have now in being able to accomplish the things that you’ve accomplished?

Michael Teoh: You know, I’ll be honest with you, Jim, and for all of you who are coming from the parts of Asia, you will know that Asian parents were normally want their kids to excel very well in academic studies, at least during my time, where we just turn to the millennium it was the early 2000’s. But one thing I really appreciated what my parents did was they supported me in my pursuit of enhancing what we today know as sought skills. They knew that I was not so academically inclined because I was studying something that I didn’t like that was science subject, I didn’t like science subjects during that time, but one thing though when I had put in the effort to explore other side about me, oratory skills, public speaking, acting and drama, debating, business plan writing, one thing that

I really appreciated that my parents and my grandparents as well did, was that they supported me. And I’m not asking parents out there to give all their wealth to their kids to experiment on an idea, what I am asking is to all parents out there is to give that moral support. Because you cannot imagine how just a simple remark from your dad or from your mom encouraging you to pursue your dreams or find that purpose in life could lead that ordinary person to become an extraordinarily person in the future. And I think as for me personally, as the son, as the daughter or as the kid at that time, I believe there should be more conversations that should be held between ourselves and our parents to make or at least try to make them understand, I would say, about our perspective or the world of what we may not good at right now and what can we excel in and just have a win-win situation.

One of the things that I basically did with my parents was to form a wager in a sense where I was not so academically incline because I was studying science but I have proven to them that whenever I join competitions, whenever I commit myself to get involve in businesses I do it at 100% and I think if you really want success, if you really want purpose in your life, just convince the other party, your stakeholders that you are there to give your 100% commitment and just do it to the best of your ability and show them results.

Jim Rembach: There’s a study that I was reading in regards to the difference between Asian parents, cause you brought that up and just say American parents cause I’m here on the states, so when you started looking at some of the things that were associated with how your parents supported you, one of the things that they were talking about on the study was that American parents would do too much coddling they would actually—when you talk about support they would give support and say that they did well even if they didn’t do well. Whereas Asian parents, kind of cut to the chase and said, “Hey! You did bad in that. You did bad in that because you didn’t focus on and do these things. And so therefore, if you want to perform better at it you need to be no more diligent and show more effort to be able to have the performance.” And they talk about the difference between the coddling and the tough love. Did your parents coddle your or they give you tough love?

Michael Teoh: Well, I would say it’s a mix of both actually. I would imagine that my mom coddles me while my dad gave me tough love but I would imagine that it’s very important to have the best of both world. One of the things that really change my life was that, I was 16 years old and I was trying to find a purpose in my life and I remember my dad permitting me to go for a real estate conference. At the age of 16, I was there all alone by myself and I was attending a conference about real estate, what do I know about real estate? One of the thing that I did realize is that it opened my mind and it also, I would say broaden my horizons to see what are the opportunities out there and how all these riches assess with people manage to accomplish their dreams and how did they get to where they are today.

So I think, as much as you ask the question, Jim about whether it’s coddling or tough love, I think parents would also require some assistance from the outside that is why it’s very important one thing I would suggest to parents is get yourself involve with associations. I understand that there’s some organizations or NGO’s out there like the Rotary Clubs or the Lion Clubs or Leo Clubs which parents could bring their kids to expose them to some early childhood dose of market reality and then the parents coming in to become a coach for the kids. I believe the time has passed when last time we could see parents often seen as dictators. They would often dictate what the kids should do, what the child should do at least from Asian perspective. But I think right now the parents should be a coach in the sense, do not dictate but at the same time have a chat with the kid, with the child, and help them to find their purpose in life.

Jim Rembach: The reason I’m bringing this up is because we’re finding this same thing really in the workplace. This whole coddling/tough love, this parenting/coaching it’s what has to happen in the workplace these days. It is no longer a situation where you can just say, “Here’s your job, here’s the expectations go to it and I’m going to put you through this evaluation process in order to develop you or terminate you.” That just doesn’t work anymore.

Michael Teoh: Right. It’s so interesting that you mention that because this is one of the things I want to share right now. Leaving my childhood days, let’s talk about business, let’s talk about leadership and I manage a team of 12 full time talents at the moment, very passionate talent, and I am the dinosaur in the company at the age of 29, the rest of my directors, my middle management, my executives, they’re all in their mid-20’s to early 20’s. And managing the millennials group, as they say it, can be quite an interesting challenge at the same time when do you push them, when you bring them back and coddle them, as you would say. And I just recently found out was that there’s actually two types of environment that you need to create in your office space. Number one, all the millennials in the world because they are influenced by Facebook, by Google, by Apple, they were influenced by the [inaudible 12:34] cultures, so in their mind they are thinking it’s all about fun, fun, fun it’s all about colors, it’s all about having the perks at work.

Now, being a startup or running a company like myself, we need to adapt. We know that the millennials are influenced by the cultures of this companies so we need to follow suit. So one of the thing that I do is, I do appear to be become a coach to my other employees. I ask them questions like my favorite question is, Jim, how can I help you? How can I make your job easier? Or your current task? What can I do to help you with it? When you ask this golden questions, your staff your employees will open up and in their mind you would appear more as a coach than a boss. Now, that is the first environment you want to create. You want to create your coddling, love thing environment so that you could stimulate your motivation.

However, there are also some scenarios because we are running a business web the bottom line is important ensuring that we deliver a high quality of services to our client is of utmost importance. We also have a second environment that we have created, we call it the key performance indicator hour. Now during that hour our staff or employees when they come in to our office they know that if they have not been performing we are going to question them. We are going to share with them what has gone wrong? What can we do? What are some of the policies that we may need to amend and change? So what happened is when you create both of those environment your employees will know that there is a time for them to have fun, there is a time where they know you’re going to be there as their coach, the coach there to maximize their potentials but there is also a time for seriousness, there’s also a time when you’re there to talk about the bottom line with them. So, I believe this is a very synergistic relationship that we have built in the office and it has definitely helped us to retain and motivate our staff forward. And I need to share this with you, Jim, Thriving Talents we are angel-invested, so we have two angel investors who back us up. We work with Fortune 500 companies, a lot of people tend to say, Wow! You’re so great. But to be honest our stress level is always in an all-time high. You work with Fortune 500 clients, they expect the best from you they benchmark you across all the global best practices, you have investors who are always chasing you for the bottom line performance. So, we need to be upfront with our employees, without staff just like how I am doing with my team. So that would be my take point.

Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing that. I think the whole dynamic piece is something that is going to be difficult for organizations if they’ve already been operating in a certain way and a certain manner, is to bring that dynamic in to prepare themselves for the next generation of workers that’s going to be the largest group of workers that we’ve ever had throughout human history. So, I also know that—you’re high energy, you talked about all these research that you’re doing, I know you have so much inspiration and places that you seek inspiration, and we like quotes on the show to help us with that. Is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?

Michael Teoh: There are two quotes that have guided me throughout my life. And one of the quote, you’ve actually mentioned it just now but I’m going to repeat it again because it really resonates that is, “Never wait for opportunities to come, instead create your own opportunities”. And I also believe once you’re able to create your own opportunities have the heart to create opportunities for other people as well, help them out. Because that will make your life much more meaningful and much more purposeful as well. The second quote that I like to share is, “Live with the kings. Walk with the kings but never lose that common touch.” I’m always a believer as a human being all of us are blessed with the ability to speak. We are blessed with our appearances right now. We need to make the best use of it to make a positive impact to the world. But never, ever forget how and why and where you started. Because I believe for every great leader in the world they would always remember and reflect the lessons they’ve learned throughout their journeys since the day they started.

Jim Rembach: There’s definitely a lot of journeys that we have to go through and there’s a lot of humps along the way. Is there a time where you’ve got to get over a hump where it’s made a difference for you?

Michael Teoh: Definitely. And I must say this has just happened just last week. My staff came up to me and said, “Michael, we are over worked you are taking too many projects. We have too many high profile clients, we can’t take it anymore.” I can share with you all the previous humps I’ve gone through but this has just occurred to me just last week. I couldn’t believe it and I thought I was this energetic entrepreneur, I was this energetic speakers speaking with thousands of people around the world, working with the biggest companies ever, and here I am thinking that I could motivate my staff and that my staff they are motivated, my employees are great but they find it they’re now overworked.

So, one of the things that I realized is that, being the entrepreneur we have to pace ourselves as much as we can inspire, as much as we can motivate people I think it is also very important for us to reflect on how our employees, how our staff or team working with us, catching up with us. And I was reminded over lunch with a billionaire entrepreneur in Malaysia, whom I just met, and he just created a great company it’s one of the biggest low cost airline and he shared this to me. He said, “Michael, a lot of businesses say we put customers first.” And he said, “That’s wrong. In fact you should put employees first. Because once you put your employees as your number one priority and they’re well taken care of the customers they will take good care of them.”

So I thought that that was a very powerful lesson that I want to share with you. And I think how did I overcome that hump of motivating my overworked employees or staff? I have conversation with them. I let them off on certain days and I bring them for retreats but most importantly I believe, constant conversation is very important. Have weekly meetings with your staff and just be genuine and honest with them. In a sense where just ask them in all honesty, how can I help you? How are you feeling in your job? What are some of the things that we could together? That’s what I would recommend.

Jim Rembach: I think that’s a good point. For me I find myself that I need to say no more often to certain things so that I can focus on the items and the elements and the people that will allow me to go forward even faster. I know you have a lot of things going on. You’re talking about all of your clients of course and all that work. But if you were to look at all of the things that you have in front you, what is one of your main goals?

Michael Teoh: One of my main goals would be to inspire and to develop as many lives as I can. But the lives that I would wanted to develop are not limited to people who are just attending my workshops or seminar or reading my book and getting inspired and changing their lives. I would want to start developing people who could then speak who could then use their own stories to inspire. Because I believe in scaling, I believe in replication, I believe in sustainability and I think as much as your own voice could move the world. I believe if you have a hundred, a thousand, a million other voices who are united with that same common goal—and we’re not talking about the sophisticated goal, we’re talking about the goal of just sharing an advice, sharing an idea with the person next to you on how they could better themselves. I believe not only we can change the world, we can change the entire universe. We could change the way how people see their lives. We could change the way how people perceived [inaudible 20:50]. So that would be my main goal. I don’t know how I’m going to achieve it yet, but at least now I know I’m achieving it through one life training of one person at a time.

Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

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Jim Rembach: Alright, here we go Fast Leader Legion it’s time for the Hump day Hoedown. Okay, Michael, 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. Michael Teoh, are you ready to hoedown?

Michael Teoh: Wish me luck. Alright let’s do it.

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

Michael Teoh: I believe what’s holding me back is sometimes self-doubt. Self-doubt in the sense either am I really leading my team to the best of their capabilities? Am I maximizing the potential of my business Thriving Talents to impact more lives? Am I taking more risk?

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

Michael Teoh: Always think about the people first the results will follow.

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

Michael Teoh: My persistence to deliver excellence and my persistence to reach out to as many companies, as many organizations, inspiring as many lives as possible.

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

Michael Teoh: Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader Legion, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/Michael Teoh. Okay, Michael, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 21 and you have been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Michael Teoh: My absolute focus. Just focus on the developing a business that I am excited to wake up every morning to do and that is the training, speaking, and talent development business—growing Thriving Talents.

Jim Rembach: Michael, 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?

Michael Teoh: Great. Guys, thank you so much Jim, and thank for all of you again for listening to my views. Do get in touch with me at www.potentialmatrix.com, website for my book. And I would really encourage all of you have a look about it, you can reach out to me there and I look forward to connect with you on Facebook. Just look me up on Facebook, LinkedIn, just introduce yourself first and I’ll be more than happy to see how I could add value to your life. Thank you again Jim for having me.

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

END OF AUDIO

097: Roberta O’Keith: I was in a dark place at my job

Roberta O’Keith Show Notes

Roberta O’Keith found a fellow co-worker on the floor, non-responsive and barely breathing. As the person responsible for handling employee complaints about work, she knew stress finally took her down. That was Roberta’s wake up call.

Roberta was raised in Downers Grove, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago; along with her older siblings LeAnne and George. She was the only one in her family to graduate college and also go on to obtain a Master’s in Business Administration.

Her father was a keen business man that left his corporate job when she was in grade school to pursue his dream of being his own boss.  At an early age, she learned the basics of marketing and accounting by stuffing envelopes, building mailing lists, and doing the bookkeeping for her dad’s growing business.

Roberta is known for having a broad range of skills and abilities. She’s worked as an emergency medical technician, coached gymnastics at the local YMCA, led sales and marketing efforts for large life and health insurance companies, and executed many business process improvement projects. She even loves the creative process of picking out fabrics and designs to make quilts.

Roberta doesn’t lean to one side of her brain, but leverages the whole thing when it comes to analytics, process, passion, creativity, and growth. This is why she dislikes being pigeon holed or labeled as just one thing.  She loves to learn and grow and challenge herself. She’s discovered that her best work is in environments that are ambiguous and undefined.

She currently works as a Business Excellence Leader for Black & Veatch, a multi-billion dollar engineering, design, and construction firm that leads and manages human infrastructure projects throughout the world.

She is also involved with many non-profits that help improve the quality of life for individuals and children around the world including World Vision, Samaritain’s Purse, and Child Fund.

Roberta currently lives in Lenexa, Kansas (suburb of Kansas City) with her husband of 18 years and two children; Faith and Joshua. Her husband is pursuing his Masters in Divinity and pursuing a pastorate career.  Yes, she a pastor’s wife…. Not your typical one!

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @rokeith70 to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Companies not forward thinking are not willing to take the risks.” -Roberta O’Keith Click to Tweet

“In order to change or manage growth, identify your key people.” -Roberta O’Keith Click to Tweet 

“Business excellence can help you drive innovation and change.” -Roberta O’Keith Click to Tweet 

“Business excellence is all around culture change.” -Roberta O’Keith Click to Tweet 

“Self-awareness helps you to that next level or burst of passion.” -Roberta O’Keith Click to Tweet 

“You have to be very mindful of culture and how to set the tone.” -Roberta O’Keith Click to Tweet 

“Change starts with yourself.” -Roberta O’Keith Click to Tweet 

“You feed off of people’s energy; positive or negative.” -Roberta O’Keith Click to Tweet 

“It’s important to coach yourself to higher levels of energy.” -Roberta O’Keith Click to Tweet 

“How can you bring passion, resilience, and discipline?” -Roberta O’Keith Click to Tweet 

“Find the support of like-minded people to help you move along.” -Roberta O’Keith Click to Tweet     

Hump to Get Over

Roberta O’Keith found a fellow co-worker on the floor, non-responsive and barely breathing. As the person responsible for handling employee complaints about work, she knew stress finally took her down. That was Roberta’s wake up call.

Advice for others

Seek out others outside of your company for support to help you to move forward.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Fear

Best Leadership Advice Received

Overcome your fear.

Secret to Success

A great support system that supports me in anything I do.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

My coaching tools that I’ve learned through Energy Leadership.

Recommended Reading

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Energy Leadership: Transforming Your Workplace and Your Life from the Core

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Contacting Roberta

email: rokeith70 [at] yahoo.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rokeith

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rokeith70

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
097: Roberta O’Keith: I was in a dark place at my job

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 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 attendees 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 and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader Legion, today I’m excited because we have a black sheep in the family on the show. Rebecca O’Keith was raised in Downers Grove, Illinois western suburb of Chicago along with two older siblings, her sister LeAnne and his brother George. She was the only one in her family to graduate college and also go on to obtain a Master’s in Business Administration. Her father was a keen businessman and left his corporate job when she was in grade school to pursue his dream of being his own boss. At an early age she learned the basics of marketing and accounting by stuffing envelopes, building mailing lists, and doing the bookkeeping on her dad’s growing business. Roberta is known for having a broad range of skills and abilities. She’s worked as an emergency medical technician, coach gymnastics at the local YMCA, lead sales and marketing efforts for large life insurance companies and executed many business process improvement projects.

She even loves the creative process of picking out fabrics and designs to make quilts. Roberta doesn’t lean to one side of her brain but leverages the whole thing when it comes to analytics, process, passion, creativity and growth. This is what she dislikes being pigeonholed or labeled as just one thing. She loves to learn and grow and challenge her yourself. She’s discovered that her best work is in environments that are ambiguous and undefined. She currently works as a Business Excellence Leader for Black & Veatch a multibillion-dollar engineering, design and construction firm that leads and manages human infrastructure projects throughout the world.

She’s also involved with many nonprofits that help improve the quality of life for individuals and children around the world including World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse and Child Fund. Roberta currently lives in Lenexa, Kansas, which is a suburb of Kansas City, with her husband of 18 years and two children Faith and Joshua. His husband is pursuing his Masters in Divinity and pursuing a pastoral career. Yes, she’s a pastor’s wife but not your typical one. Roberta O’Keith, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Roberta O’Keith: I sure am. How are you doing, Jim?

Jim Rembach: I’m doing great. I’m glad to have you. We’ve known each other for a couple years and I’ve always been fascinated by –Gosh! You’re talking about the diversity in your bio and just different perspectives that you have and viewpoints and you’re even a wild child and now preacher’s wife, can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Roberta O’Keith: Thanks, Jim. You know, my current passion today is around helping companies grow. It’s all around how do you take your company to that next level.

Jim Rembach: We’ve known each other because of the customer experience and being part of the Customer Experience Professional Association and when you talk about customer experience, isn’t all customer experience focused on growth?

Roberta O’Keith: You know, I don’t think so. I think there are companies out there that are reactionary and so they are losing costumers left and right and so they’re scrambling to put together or improve what their customer experience strategy is today. So, I think there are two sets of companies out there, one that’s reactionary and one is truly focused on innovation and growth.

Jim Rembach: Okay, so that’s really interesting. Just talk about that from a consultancy perspective, right? If I’m looking at two different types of organizations and are looking for someone to come in and support and help their transformation, transition and help improve the processes associated with customer experience, how can you determine which one is which? Because often times they’ll say the same things, we want to grow, we want to be better than our competition, we want to provide the best—we hear the same general statements from everyone but yet there’s only so many—the top poster companies for customer experience out there. What’s the difference?

Roberta O’Keith: I think a company that has their eyes set on future growth, they’re using words like, innovation, they’re forward thinking. Companies that are feeling the pressure of losing market share they’re ones that are the leaders in their market share that they’re always ahead, those are the companies that are the ones that I think have the greatest opportunity to improve because of their drive and their determination and also their forward thinking. A lot of company struggle in this are that are not so forward thinking, they’re not willing to take the risk that sometimes you need to take when developing CX strategy or to implement and execute some of those strategies, that’s key. I think what their risk tolerance is is definitely indicator of who I’d like to work with.

Jim Rembach: Okay. That’s very interesting, thanks for sharing that. When you started talking, I started thinking about something that I often talk a lot about and that is mindset. There’s a book that I’ve been recommending for years if anybody has kids, well heck, it’s not even just about kids anymore, same thing with the [5:51] lead, a book called, Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck. And she talks about having a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset. And as you we’re explaining the difference between those two types of organizations and they’re focus on customer experience and how they view it, I started thinking of a fixed mindset with that company that doesn’t want to take risks that is fearful in their decision-making process and their action taking thinking about whether you stop losing that is absolutely a fixed mindset. Where a growth mindset is, “hey, we’re going to make mistakes and we’re going to learn from those mistakes.” And we need to focus on the positive and we’re going to learn through this. And we need to take some risks because if we don’t take those risks we’re not going to move forward. So, then how do you determine or help an organization that maybe kind of in the middle?

Roberta O’Keith: So, you’re dead on with the two different mindset, the fix mindset and the mindset for growth. Companies need to recognize that in order to change or manage any kind of initiative to grow, if they’re stuck in the middle, they need to identify and see that they have people that are passionate, that are disciplined and people that are resilient to those changes. And if they can find those key persons in their organization they can help drive to change or initiative it’s very important to have. And I think from a business excellence structure or standpoint this is where I come from, is that implementing a program around business excellence can help you drive the innovation and drive the changes needed to improve that customer’s experience and take your company into that next level. And business excellence is all around culture change and how to identify the key people that can help you drive your organization to that next step.

Jim Rembach: I also know that you’re certified and six Sigma as well as a couple of different things, you even shared a book with me when we are at members meeting at Member Exchange for the Customer Experience for the Professional Association, show me a little bit about that book and what is it about?

Roberta O’Keith: So, what’s interesting, the book I gave you is Energy Leadership by Bruce D. Schneider. He talks about the seven levels of energy that a person kind of gravitates toward or can live between various levels of energy. And energy being—there is energy that goes on between you and I, there’s you feed off of people’s energy it can be positive it could be negative but it’s all about recognizing where you’re at during the situation that you’re in or during a day to help coach yourself to a higher level energy or a lower level of energy. What I mean by that is a lower level of energy like a 1, if you’re level 1 or level 2, really talks about kind of people that they don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, everything is bleak, mundane, they’re the people that you know you don’t want to hang out with because they just seem to bring you down and drain your energy.

As you move up the various levels of energy is where you get more energize to—your problems solve, you’re clear minded, you’re at a win-win mindset versus a I’m a victim mindset. And so, this place is very much into corporations and companies who have maybe an employee engagement issue or culture issue that they’re struggling with in order to help them get to the next level. Being able to recognize and understand this levels of energy can help in organization move through and bring their employees along the journey to become more passionate, more resilient and more disciplined in order to drive change.

Jim Rembach: So that goes back to what you were talking about in regards to an organization and their customer experience focus and transformation strategy is—where’s their energy coming from?

Roberta O’Keith: Exactly, exactly. And it’s tough some people get discourage, we all get discourage but recognizing where you’re at on the spectrum if you will, this book helps you identify where you’re at today and where you might want to be tomorrow or on the next hour. And so, it helps you recognize what you think, what you do, and how you emotionally react, so, you can move forward. So, more self-awareness helps you get to that next level or give you that burst of passion and energy to get through the day.

Jim Rembach: So it definitely sounds like that’s one of the book for CX folks that are trying to lead the transformation to have in their libraries, so to speak. I think being mindful like you talked about the culture piece, you talked about being in secure places as far as where you are versus where you want to go and being really focused in on the positive energy to help you get down to the right path.

Roberta O’Keith: Absolutely, absolutely. And the book is really more of a story, so it’s an easy read. To understand how a current business owner is struggling with issues within in his company and dealing with various personalities, like we all have to deal with, and so it’s a really good, easy read and I think it’s very insightful for anyone.

Jim Rembach: Also we’re talking a lot about inspiration. You know, energy, like you’re talking about comes from quote that we actually like on the Fast Leader show. Is there a quote or two for you that you can share?

Roberta O’Keith: One of my favorite quotes is Culture eats strategy for dinner and eats innovation for dessert. I think that a great quote because you have to be very mindful of culture and how do you set the culture tongue, and do you drive initiatives move your culture along through any growth or change initiative that you’re facing.

Jim Rembach: So, when you start thinking about, we shared a little bit about off mic your growing up and how your sister was so much older and then your brother came along and you’ve said that by the time you were born you’re parents kind of wore out, so you got to get away with things that maybe you otherwise wouldn’t have. But we learn a lot through our path and our journey of life and we have humps that we have to get over and a lot of times we get a chance to make course correction and go off to a better direction. But is there a time where you have to get over a hump and it made a difference for you that you can share?

Roberta O’Keith: There is a time in my career where I was the ombuds person who was the one who took on internal complaints for employees that wanted to raise an issue either with the manager or a co-worker confidentially. And I had a co-worker who was having some issues and one day we found her in the rest room passed out barely breathing. And I knew from the stresses that she was going through that it was causing physical issues for her. Luckily she ended up being okay but that was a real wake-up call for myself because I was feeling like I was in a dark place at my job, I was feeling like I wasn’t valued, I felt like no one cared about what I was doing and just didn’t really feel like—I didn’t have that passion anymore to drive change this particular organization. And it was a wake-up call for me to look at myself and said, “Am I going to be the next person on the bathroom passed out barely breathing because of the stress.” And I realize very quickly I needed to change my mindset or get some help in order to move me forward. And so, I had to leave off that particular toxic environment for my own mind sake and for my health as well. And so I was able to get some coaching, coaching helped me quite a bit this is where I learn more about energy leadership. And it really help be become more self-aware of how I was perceiving situations or perceiving the job or task at hand and how could I bring change because it all starts with me it doesn’t start with other people, the change starts with yourself and how can you bring that passion and that resilience and that discipline to any project or any initiatives, so I definitely learn a lot there overcoming that obstacle.

Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing that. I know that for many of us it takes a long time to get to that realization. And so many of us also don’t have, I guess you’d say like you were referring to the wake-up call of to finding a co-worker who’s non-responsive in a critical situation, but if you were to give somebody one piece of advice on, if they started to feel those things, what would you tell them so that they didn’t get to that point?

Roberta O’Keith: Finding a support system, a support group, a person who you can share those things with definitely—when I was working on a particular project and I wasn’t feeling like I had the support at work with regards to driving some change around customer experience, I sought out other people that were like-minded outside the company through professional organizations to help me move along and know that I’m not the only one struggling with those issues at your company and that I wasn’t crazy and that I can be a zealot for customer experience and I have others that are as zealot as well. Finding that support to really help you move forward is definitely some great advice.

Jim Rembach: You bring up a really good point about the power of community. Oftentimes we think that the community that we are part of is the community that is part of the four walls that are surrounding us and oftentimes we have to take a step outside of that to realize that the community is a lot bigger than we think it is.

Roberta O’Keith: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. I think too. Sometimes we think that if we stay in that four walls we’ve got blinders on and we don’t see any other opportunities out there or way of life that is different in the corporate sense, if you will. And so when I left my job during that time that was pretty difficult, I did leave my job on my own, and I sought out consulting work at that time because I really wanted to overcome the fear of being able to succeed. I was afraid that I couldn’t when I was in that wall and I was really scared. And I got to a point where, you know what, I’m going to take this leap of faith and I’m going to trust in my own ability and trust in my own skill set that I can do what I’ve always dreamed about and that was having my own consulting work and company. And I was able to do that, and boy, the world is so different when you’re a consultant. But I see how I could’ve so much value now to other companies instead of just those four walls and being so confined in those four walls.

Jim Rembach: We talked off mic about direction and next stage and next space and you talk about being independent **with Black and Veach and I know you’re happy there but when you start thinking about all of these things including your husband going to become a pastor, what are some of your goals?

Roberta O’Keith: My goal is to get my husband through seminary, he’s got a year and half left and it’s been a four year journey. Some of the personal goals, I want to be able to give back. One of my goals is really be able to feel that sense of accomplishment with others. I climb that corporate ladder, I’ve achieved the goals that I wanted to achieve from a corporate sense and I’ve achieved personal success through my own company, now it’s more like, where can I help others achieve their goals? And where can I help companies achieve their growth plans or their goals as well?

Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions. So, move onward and upward faster by gaining significantly deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop you’ll learn how to evoke and influence the right customer emotions that generate improve customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get over your emotional hump now by going to empathymapping.com to learn more.

Alright, here we go Fast Leader Legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Roberta, 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. Roberta O’Keith, are you ready to hoedown?

Roberta O’Keith: I sure am.

Jim Rembach: Alright. So, what do you think is holding you back from being even better leader today?

Roberta O’Keith: Fear.

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

Roberta O’Keith: Overcome that fear.

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

Roberta O’Keith: A support system. I’ve got a great husband and family that support me in anything that I do.

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

Roberta O’Keith: I think my coaching tools that I’ve learned through energy leadership has definitely helped me.

Jim Rembach: What would be one book, and it could be from any genre, that you’d recommend to our listeners. Of course we’ll put that Energy Leadership one on the show notes pages, what else?

Roberta O’Keith: I really like the book by Tony J, Zappos leader, Delivering Happiness.

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

Roberta O’Keith: Listening and facilitation skills, I would definitely want to take back. Because that would help me become more aware and being open minded to hearing other people’s opinion. Back when I was 25 I was pretty opinionated.

Jim Rembach: Roberta, 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?

Roberta O’Keith: You can connect with me at rokeith70@yahoo.com or on LinkedIn, robertaokeith.

Jim Rembach: Robert O’Keith 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

096: Paul Larsen: I became very alone overnight

Paul Larsen Show Notes

Paul Larsen was promoted into a manager role. He wasn’t up for it so the authority went to Paul’s head. After a short period of time, Paul found himself all alone. One Thursday night, all of Paul’s direct reports went out to celebrate a birthday and he wasn’t invited. That’s when Paul realized he needed to make some changes to get over the hump.

Paul flew into his Northern California home in the early 60s, being raised in the Bay Area communities of Hayward and Livermore. The youngest of 4 spirited children, Paul is the son of an airline pilot and a very creative homemaker and talented artist.

Instilled at an early age to the value of education and learning, Paul consistently found himself in “teacher” roles no matter if his job was flipping hamburgers, selling shoes or bagging groceries. It seemed that friends, family, colleagues and strangers always sought him out for advice, counsel and coaching. It was this intuitive talent that led Paul to his various and successful corporate roles, such as leading human resources or learning and development teams at Charles Schwab, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Adobe Technology.

However, it was not until later in life, in 2009, that Paul truly “found his voice.”  On a warm day in June, Paul was sitting on a solid church pew with the sun streaming in through the stained glass windows. He was listening intently to people as they each extolled the virtues of a man that had recently passed away. That man was Paul’s father, Alf N Larsen, Jr.  Each person got up to the microphone and talked about the positive impact that Alf had on their life…as a colleague, friend, family member and Army Air Corp fighter pilot of WWII. It was during this “lovefest” that Paul had one of the biggest epiphanies of his life: “What will people be saying as my memorial service? What will my legacy be? What impact do I have on other people…my communities…the world? What impact do I want to have?” Calling this a final “mentoring moment” from his father, Paul set out to find his “true voice” and realize the potential he knew was still hiding within him.

Saying good-bye to the traditional corporate roles, Paul created his core message around “Find Your V-O-I-C-E as a Leader” by discovering your Values…creating your Outcomes…exercising your Influence…demonstrating your Courage…and communicating your overall Expression for positive impact. This is what his parents had always modeled…he was just putting it into practice to share with the world.

Paul now works at his true calling as an established executive coach, partnering with incredibly smart and committed leaders across all industries and organizations. His talent and ability to help leaders “find their voice” comes from his own life experience of successes, failures, loves and losses. He is the author of the new book, “Find Your VOICE as a Leader”, and is a board member of the wonderful foundation, “Together We Can Change The World” which supports the education and empowerment of women and children throughout Southeast Asia.

When not traveling the globe, he lives in San Francisco, CA with his partner of 25 years, Steve, and relishes his relationships with his 7 nieces and nephews and his 25 “great-nieces and nephews”…while always living by his motto: “Life is too short not to find your voice…so what are you waiting for?”

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @VoiceasaLeader and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet 

“You don’t have to have the title to be a leader.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet

“Find your true calling, find your voice, and take a stand.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“Corporations stifle creativity because of the bureaucracy.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“Bureaucracy creates leaders who are all the same.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“Conventional wisdom would say that the author of our legacy is someone else.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“What’s your legacy; what’s the legacy you’re leaving?” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“Author who you are as a leader.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“Do not let other people author your legacy.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“You better take the steps to establish the legacy that you want.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“Without knowing your values, how do you know where you’re going?” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“What do you value and how do you know you value that?” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“Values are at the forefront of conversations, but do we really know what they are?” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“It’s not about likability; it’s about creditability.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“The ability to be self-aware establishes who you are.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet    

Hump to Get Over

Paul Larsen was promoted into a manager role. He wasn’t up for it so the authority went to Paul’s head. After a short period of time, Paul found himself all alone. One Thursday night, all of Paul’s direct reports went out to celebrate a birthday and he wasn’t invited. That’s when Paul realized he needed to make some changes to get over the hump.

Advice for others

Write your own legacy.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Jumping to conclusions too fast.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Hire smart people and then get out of their way.

Secret to Success

Stepping out of my comfort zone on a continual basis.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

An egg timer.

Recommended Reading

Find Your VOICE as a Leader

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Contacting Paul

Website: http://www.paulnlarsen.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulnlarsen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VoiceasaLeader

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
096: Paul Larsen: I became very alone overnight

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 attendees 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 and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader Legion today I’m excited to have the guest that we have on the show today because he has a system that I think can help us all. Paul Larsen flew in to his northern California home in the early 60’s being raised in the Bay Area communities of Hayward and Livermore. The youngest of four spirited children Paul’s the son of an airline pilot and a very creative homemaker and talented artist. Instilled that an early age to the value of education and learning, Paul consistently found himself in teacher roles no matter if his job was flipping hamburgers, selling shoes or bagging groceries. If seeing that friends, family, colleagues and strangers always sought him out for advice, counsel and coaching. It was this intuitive talent that led Paul to his various successful corporate roles such as leading human resources and learning and development for teens at Charles Schwab, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Adobe Technologies.
However it was not until later in life in 2009 that Paul truly found his voice on a warm day in June. Paul was sitting on a church pew with the sun streaming through the stained-glass windows he was listening intently to people as they each extolled virtues of a man that had recently passed away, that man was Paul’s father. Alf N. Larsen Jr. each person got up to the microphone and talked about the positive impact that Alf had in their life as a colleague, friend, family member and Army Air Corps, fighter pilot of World War II. It was during this lab test that Paul had one of his biggest epiphanies of his life. What will people be staying at my memorial service? What will my legacy be? What impact do I have on other people, my communities & the world? What impact do I want to have? Calling this his final mentoring moment from his father, Paul set out to find his true voice and realize the potential he knew was still hiding within him.
Saying goodbye to the traditional corporate roles, Paul created his core message around find your voice as a leader by discovering your values, creating your outcomes, exercising your influence, demonstrating your courage in community and communicating your overall expression for positive impact, This is what his parents had always modeled he was putting it into practice to share with the world. Paul now works at his true calling as an established executive coach helping leaders find their voice and is the author of the book “Find Your Voice as a Leader.”
When not traveling the globe he lives in San Francisco, California with his partner of 25 years Steve and relishes his relationships with his seven nieces and nephews and his 25 great-nieces and nephews. While always living by his motto, Life is too short not to find your voice, so what are you waiting for, Paul Larson are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Paul Larsen: I am ready Jim to help us all get over the hump.
Jim Rembach: I appreciate that. So, I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you, but can you tell us what your current passion so that we can get to know you even better.
Paul Larsen: Yeah. My current passion is working with leaders in any capacity in life. You don’t have to have the title to be a leader. So get out and lead, find your true calling, find your voice, take a stand as you just so eloquently put in terms of my story, life is too short for us not to find our voice, so get out and lead and that’s really what I work on. My experience has been in the corporate world so I really work in leaders because a lot of times corporations do a job of trying to stifle creativity, stifled communication and they do that because of the bureaucracy, because of momentum they need to have around their business but what it does is creates leaders who are all the same, who norm all the same. And what I want to do is I work with leaders individually so they create their unique voice, that unique value, that unique set of DNA to make them stand up and have an impact for the people in their community.
Jim Rembach: I appreciate your energy and your passion for this because definitely contagious and for me I want to get on the edge of my seat. Now, we had the opportunity to talk earlier and there’s several things that stood out to me and there’s a couple that I’d like to focus on. You had said that the reality is for all of us is that our legacy is currently being authored. And if we stop and think about the author of our own legacy, who is it really?
Paul Larsen: You know Jim that’s correct. Conventional wisdom would say that the author of our legacy is someone else. If you look at folks and you look at leaders and you look at people in the community many times the legacy is being written by people other than the individual. When I work with leaders one of the very first questions I asked, I’ll always ask, what’s your legacy? What’s the legacy you’re leaving? And the look I get is beyond that chicken and beef look, or what are you going to have for a drink, it’s like—wooh! I’ve never thought of that. I think my legacy is this. And what I want people to do is really have an anchor, author who they are as a leader, author who you are as a community and not let it be authored by other people. Certainly, in today’s world we live in a society we are bombarded with all the media, we are bombarded with likes and tweets and postings and so forth that can certainly shape people’s viewpoints but you have an absolute accountability to establish who you are especially in a leadership role and especially the impact you want to leave.
There’s always the old adage I remember when growing up, there’s always an old adage I remember my grandmother and my aunt, who are of course older at that time, reading the obituaries and I’m thinking to myself, why are you reading obituaries it just sounds depressing? It just sound like, gosh! You just want to see who has passed or who dies, but if you really think about it the obituary is an archive record of the legacy of that person. And many times that obituary that is printed online or in the paper is not even written by the individual who it’s about. So I use that as a lesson because it’s not about writing our obituary but it is crafting a legacy because no matter when you’re gone, and when I say gone I don’t necessarily mean gone from the world I mean gone from the meeting, gone from the room, gone from that organization that legacy stays there. So, you better have an accountability, you better take the steps to establish that legacy that you want and author it yourself.
Jim Rembach: So many things are running through my head as you shared that, and thank you for doing that, is that even last night when I’m driving home with my 11-year-old son from baseball practice, and one of the things that my wife and I always try to focus on with our children is their effort, and he was not putting together a very good effort last night. And so I asked him the question I said, “What do you want people to think about you when they hear your name?”
Paul Larsen: Beautiful.
Jim Rembach: And he goes, he stop for a moment he goes, “Good.” And I’m like, “What do you mean?” What do you mean by good? You want them to think good, good about what? And so I tried to get him to talk and think about that and then I tied it back around to his behavior. I said, “So, do you think people think good about you when you sat down in that field and didn’t want to participate?” Do you think people felt good about you when everybody else is running and you are dragging your feet? So, when you talk about having people think good about you, what do you have to do in order for that to happen?
Paul Larsen: Yeah. Jim that is a brilliant example on so many levels. Number one, you touched on the questions that we should always think. You touched on the definitions that go beyond just good, just go beyond to say, “Well, I think I want to be used thought of as good or okay or a nice person, what does that mean? But more brilliantly and what you just described is that it was 11-year-old son that you were talking to and talking with. And if you really think about this, if we took the responsibility in today’s community and we had discussions like that with our children, with our students, with people who are up-and-coming in life, and up-and-coming through our academic process, think the difference that will have long-term I have no doubt, not even knowing your son and knowing the relationship but I have no doubt that will stick with your son and that will carry forward as he progresses to 12, 13, 14 and into later in life and he will remember that and be very deliberate with his actions and that legacy. The brilliancy of that I just applaud you on that.
Jim Rembach: I appreciate that and I can tell you it came from a lot of hard knocks and that’s why there’s fall and loss on top of my head and I know that I’ll probably having to have this conversation repeatedly for many years and probably until—maybe I get my I don’t want to say satisfaction because I don’t but when he’s sitting in the pew and the light is shining in his eyes, hopefully he’ll have his moment. Now, one of the things I also too I think is really important because you and I had chat about this a little bit is that, I want him to be able to know and understand his values as he progresses throughout his life. And we talked about that finding your voice in that first step, to me I think is one of the most critical ones is having people to identify their own values.
I was conducting a workshop with about 50 or 60 leaders where we we’re doing some values identification and I asked folks, as we’re like three quarters away through the workshop, I said, how many of you have ever done anything like this before? And maybe three people raised their hands. And the only reason they had done that is because those folks were part of the corporate environment that went through this discovery process.
Paul Larsen: Right. Right.
Jim Rembach: But when you talk about values most people, I don’t think really know what they are.
Paul Larsen: Right. You’re absolutely right Jim. And if you really thing about it without really knowing who we are without knowing what our values are, how to we know where we’re going? How do we know the decisions that were making are going to be the best decisions whether it’s for today, next week, next year, for ourselves, our family, our friends, whatever that might be, and really understanding our values, our core DNA that is everything around how we judge, it’s everything around the actions we take, it’s everything around the purpose that we have, it’s how we behave. So to your point around the folks that are really looking at sort of like, (11:28 inaudible) what do I value? One of the first things I ask when I enter into a coaching partnership, certainly, when I ask the user, what do you value? And how do you know you value that? And the reason I ask the second piece which is the kind of the ROI or the return on investment of your values because many times when I ask leaders to your point around the corporate world, I’ll ask leaders like, “What do you value? All of a sudden start to get a list of values that are cock tip on their wall because they’re the corporate values or the corporate mission which are great and those are wonderful and we all have had experience with those and companies need that as a compass but more importantly I want that leader to understand what is their compass.
So I’ll get that superficial response first, which is, well, I value teamwork, I value open door, I have an open door policy, I value open communication. Like, really? Then why is door close every time I come in here? Why is it when I ask your team members they say you’re completely unapproachable and you’re never available? So the behavior does not match what you’re actually saying. And a lot of times, not all the time, but a lot of times when I dig deeper through discussions, through assessments whatever that might be, truly the values come out, it’s like no I don’t really value that. I actually value a different type of style or I have a different motivation and that’s all good. This is not judgement on what’s a good value and what’s a bad value but leaders in organizations get to a point where they think they need to value X or they need to value Y because if I really value A or B that’s not good for this organization or that’s not good for what people will think of me or like me for. And thus we get wrapped up in that so people just kind up to your point they don’t do the work on values and then they wonder why they’re like a ship that just kind of drifting, kind of rudderless. And then they wake-up seven years later it’s like, “How did I get in this company where I don’t like what I’m doing? How is my life like this? It’s because it didn’t start with that core sets of beliefs and really identifying what those are and then living those out with your behavior, your impact and again it goes back to creating that legacy.
Jim Rembach: You know, oftentimes we hear a lot of differences about generations, multiple generations and workforce and we talk about bloomers, Xers, it just goes on and on and on. However when you start thinking about values a lot of times value seemed to be something that’s inherited and passed throughout family generations and things along those lines. When you start talking about values and working with different folks, what do you see are some of the interesting dynamics of it?
Paul Larsen: I work with millennials, I work with the Gen Y’s, I work with the Gen X’s, I work with the Baby boomers and to be honest with you sometimes I’m so confused I don’t even know what’s what except what you said was key. Many times when I’m working with let’s say, let’s take the millennials who had come up and they certainly have a brand, right? We hear that all the time that’s the workforce of the hour right now. How do you manage millennials? And how do engage millennials and all that stuff? But they actually come up, and I think it’s because of just the communities had been raised in the parents and or the mentors or the guides they’ve had, they come up with the true set of who they are and what their values are. And many times those values that the millennials are espousing, of course not everybody, but many of them in leadership positions are contrary to the values of let’s say the Gen Xer’s or the baby boomers or the older generations of which, by the way I’m part of so I own that, and hence we get all this kind of contradiction or we get this gaps that come in around—the millennials are XYZ because they don’t share XYABC over here, in other words, the values are in contradiction when in fact the values are just different and the values are identified early on.
The Gen Xer’s have certainly have a value of working hard and really being committed and persevering. The millennials have a value of really looking at where can I do the best work? What does that look like? And if I’m not doing engagement here, I’m not making an impact I’m going to go somewhere else, so they get the reputation of they’re just flighty, they cross over, they go from company to company when in fact, when they’re at those organizations they’re working as hard, at least my experience has been, they’re working as hard as the Gen Xer’s. And this isn’t about one generation is better than the other but there are certainly brands and there are certainly value judgements that are made because of the way that they live and the way that that behavior then is espouse by the values. And I think if you really think about today’s work and you think about where we are as a society, where we are as a community, our global community, those of us in the United States values are at the forefront of all conversations. But yet even though they’re at the forefront of all conversations and they drive conversations, do we really know what our values are?
Jim Rembach: Is there a quote or two that kind of stands out for you that you can share?
Paul Larsen: Yeah, there’s one I have Jim, I use it. It’s not as probably eloquent as a lot of other quotes that we see now all over social media that come out. And especially in today’s climate in our society, the political climate as well, and it’s about, “Hey leader it’s not about like ability, it’s about.” Find your voice, get out and lead or get out of the way. There are enough leaders in today’s world that will hide in the shadows or hide at the coattails of someone else, it’s like then get out of my way I’ve got better things to do, I want to get out and lead and make a difference. I would much rather have in my career and I think about all the leaders I’ve interacted with both from a team member, both as a peer, and certainly now as a coach, I would much rather have a leader in front of me who I may not agree with but I certainly understand where they’re coming from. I certainly understand their opinions. I certainly understand their decisions they make their values. I may not agree with them at all and I may even judge that, that’s okay, I know where they coming from versus somebody who sits there and shakes their head and does the bubble head leadership and you never know what they’re thinking, you never know what their thoughts are, you never know what their decisions will be until they zing you and they zing you in a way that it would be a blind site. And we have so much of that in today’s world where people are for whatever reasons resistant, hesitant, afraid, intimidated to actually speak up and really take a stand especially as a leader.
Jim Rembach: That’s true and I don’t know what’s it’s going to take in order to get over fear, I mean really then, just individuals doing it. And it comes back to—you had mentioned about the epiphany that you had sitting in the church pew and to get to that point, to get past that point, to do all of these things, to stand up, to find your voice, you have to get over a lot of humps to do that, that’s for sure. Is there a time that you’ve had to get over the hump but it helped you find your voice that you can share?
Paul Larsen: In my very, very first job as a manager. I was promoted into a manager role and I’ve got to tell you—it was a software company it was it was decades ago, and when I got that promotion I wasn’t even up for the promotion. I was just kind of cap on the shoulder, so man, my ego just went—my head must have been like big head, it was just expanded. And I’m sitting there like, wow! I’m going to be a manager and going to have 15 people, nowadays I would probably run screaming with 15 people without any kind of leadership strength or bench strength or succession management but at that time it was like, 15 people and of course where did I go? Right to power? Right to ego? Right to all those things you’re not supposed to go but will make your head implode.
But where I went also was that popularity piece, so, this was really key for me, Jim this was such an “aha” moment. It was a software company we’re in a big business park I got a nice big office, I was like, Wow! Look at the size of this table, how many chairs I get, look at all these stuff. All of a sudden now I was really alone. I became very alone over night because all of a sudden with the ego, the power trip, the whole bit—I was not a great popular or influential manager. I became the manager of my peers and who I thought were my friends and overnight I became absolutely a pariah. I became that pariah leader, that pariah manager, like, what happened to Paul? And I was looking at myself like, I haven’t changed. I haven’t done anything different, I’m not manager I can control this, I control your work. So, I remember it was a Thursday night, and to this day, it was a Thursday night, it was 6:30, I was in the office the light were kind of dim and it was raining outside and the whole group of folks that I’d managed, again this 15 folks I been pretty close to, had all gone out for dinner for a birthday party and I was not invited. And I sat there feeling sorry for myself in that little office as it got progressively darker outside and I sat there just like the victim. And I remember just sitting there thinking, “Oh, woe was me, just woe, woe, woe was me and I am like, what happened? And then in an instant I’m sitting there like, what’s going on? Who is this? Who is this person sitting in this chair thinking this? Cause I’d always been, sort of like somebody that was always looking for kind of the next, next and kind of growing, and kind of like –looking the kind of like expand sort of my skills and comfort zone and everything my parents had done such a wonderful job with me. And I’m sitting there feeling so sorry for myself and I’m like, this is not who I am.
Now, at that time, to be honest with you, I would love to say I have the strategy and the force out to like, oh! I want to build my legacy. I’d (21:57 inaudible)get through Friday, which was the next day but I said I got to change, I have to change something. I’ve got to change my mindset if I want to be successful in this role I’ve got to change my thinking. And I went right outside and my boss’s door was open, she was still in and I said, “Hey, can I grab a minute with you?” and I said, “I don’t know what to do.” And right there in that moment I kind of show he vulnerability if you will and I kind of open myself up which up to that point do not happen. And she says, “Yes” she goes, “I was kind of wondering how long did it was going to take for you to come in here? And I said, “You—what do you mean?” she said “Your struggling” and she goes, “They don’t want anything to do with you? And you are creating, you’re just digging a hole” and she goes, “I was just kind of wondering at some point, I knew something would hit you and I was wondering if today would be that day given what was going on.” Cause she knew as well we weren’t that huge of a company and sure enough she goes, “as soon as you became manager, you became the topic of dinner conversation at their tables every night, you became the manager. You took on a different role that Paul the friend, Paul the fun guy, Paul the humorous, Paul the nice colleague, you became the manager and that build something very, very, different. This is before we—again this is early 90’s, it was way before we talk about brand as a leader and all those things, but they’re definitely that was such a moment for me, Jim in terms of like, what do I do? And she goes, “You can figure it out.” She goes, “I want you to go back and fix it, and I’m not going to tell you.” She was a great coach and again it was an introduction it was like, “figure some staff out because you got it in you because I’ve seen it that’s why you’re in the role you’re at. And you have to kind of go through this to come out on the other side otherwise I’m just telling you and you’re not going to learn anything.” And of course, it was a struggle it took some time and then I had to really kind of very purposeful with what I wanted out of my role as a manager and the impact I wanted to have with this folks. I’m not by any stretch of imagination, I’m not going to say things changed overnight, I’m not going to say, “Oh, I just became this—I still had the triggers in my mind as we do as folks. As Marshall Goldsmith love to say, “What are your triggers? What triggers you?”
And at that time I had a lot of triggers they’re going off all the time. But I took the time, I was very methodical I built new relationships with these colleagues I had one by one. And they were new relationships because I was in a new role. And that was such an epiphany for me to say, “Wow! This is so different, I’m not going to say that it was something I necessarily just engendered with or was happy about because it really foster a lot of hard work but that became the core and foundation of who I am today.
Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing that story. The advice that she gave, well, that is the coach response is still painful because you’re looking for answers.
Paul Larsen: You have no idea. I didn’t walk out of there kind of kicking out and walking lighter, I walk out of there like, Wow! Now what? But it was a food for thought and it was just that little spark of awareness that we all look for, right? And sometimes we get in so many aspects in our life. Like maybe your 11-year-old son got when you ask what’s good, definite good. It’s that little spark of awareness that came up that I didn’t drill deeper on. And you’re absolutely right, I was sitting there like, why are you not given me a checklist of what I should be doing? Why are you not doing that right now? And what it also then taught for me was, “Oh, that’s how I want to be as a manager.” So, I don’t want to necessarily always direct people. You know, situation as we all know, there’s different situational leadership scenarios but that’s what I wanted to subscribe to be at some point. So, yeah, it was a great, very visceral reaction.
Jim Rembach: So I know you got a lot of things going on, the release of your book. But what are some of your goals?
Paul Larsen: One of my goals—it’s always been—I think I’ve always been somebody who has really prided himself on being a multitasker. The more I can multitask, the more successful I am. So, all the roles I had in the corporate world, I can do this, this, I can be a generalist, I can be specialist, I can be generalist and specialist in the same minute. I can do everything and I do it really, really good. And so I really, really work hard, Jim on multitasking. And you look at today’s world now, we live in a multitasking environment we have so many ways to multitask. So, I have now flip that, I have become so much more deliberate with my actions, with my thoughts, with my purpose, and with my message that even when I had the epiphany in my mentoring moment with my dad about six years ago, seven years ago, I still approached it from my multitasking environment. I can now like, okay, I’m going to do coaching, I’m going to this, this, I’m going to touch everybody, it’s like—I have now funneled it down, I take deep breaths, I create a mindset in myself where it’s like I want to be much more deliberate with everything that I do so that I have that maximum impact that I want that I desire. Because for me the multitasking is not a success ratio anymore. It really is being very deliberate with my message hence the first outcome of that, in which I’m celebrating and I so appreciate this ability to engage with you, is the book. It really forced me to just say I have a message, I have craft, I have something I want to share, may not agree with everybody people may not like it that’s okay I have something I want to share that was my first step in being very deliberate and committed. So that’s actually what I’m working on.
Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.
An even better place to work is an easiest solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award winning solution guaranteed to create motivated productive and loyal employees who have great work relationships with their colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work, visit beyondmorale.com/better.

Jim Rembach: Alright Fast Leader Legion, now it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Paul, 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 a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us onward and upward faster. Paul Larsen are you ready to hoedown?

Paul Larsen: Absolutely. I am ready to hoedown.

Jim Rembach: Alright. So, what do you think is holding you back from being even better leader today?

Paul Larsen: Jumping to a conclusions too fast.

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

Paul Larsen: Hire smart people and then get out of their way.

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

Paul Larsen: Stepping out of my comfort zone on a continual basis.

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

Paul Larsen: An egg timer.

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

Paul Larsen: Absolutely, Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Jim Rembach: Okay Fast Leader listeners, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today show by going to fastleader.net/Paul Larsen. Okay, Paul this my last something about question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you have 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?

Paul Larsen: Absolutely. I can even remember 25, but if I went back to 25, Jim, it would be ability to be self-aware. The ability to be self-aware because that starts everything. That ability to have that self-awareness establishes who you are, establishes that ability to self-monitor and self-regulate. Establishes the ability to deal with any type of environment. So that one skill, that one attribute to be able to be self-aware would be absolutely, especially, taking that back to my aged of 25 I would take that in a heartbeat.

Jim Rembach: Paul 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?

Paul Larsen: Absolutely, Jim. I’ve got a website at www.paulnlarsen.com

Jim Rembach: Paul Larsen, 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

095: Steve Goldstein: You don’t get 30 mulligans

Steve Goldstein Show Notes

Steve Goldstein was thrilled to escape the cold of Chicago in February for a speaking engagement in Miami. As an executive at Sears, Steve loved to visit the stores on trips. But this time Steve thought he was hallucinating when he saw snow blowers in Miami. Listen to how this experience led to Steve moving onward and upward.

Steve was a middle child born in the Bronx borough in New York City and had an older sister and younger brother. His mother was a teacher and father was bridge operator.

Always big think and explorer as a child he knew, even with growing up in the city of New York, he know there was more to life and he was willing to get it. Like as a youth when he worked two jobs just so he could buy a car.

Steve eventually graduated from City College in New York and NYU/Stern for business school. He’s had the good fortune to have worked for 3 Fortune 500 companies (American Express, Citigroup and Sears) in various senior level positions including Chairman & CEO of American Express Bank. Steve has also worked in the venture capital arena, investing and helping lead startup companies to transform ideas into viable businesses.

Being a non-conformist at heart, he’s always been challenging the status quo – both in his professional and personal life – and deriving lots of satisfaction in breaking the china and seeing what happens next. Steve is a pioneer at heart.

Currently, he is working with several private equity firms as a senior advisor; speaking to large groups and smaller corporate groups about engagement and leadership and out promoting his new book, Why Are There Snowblowers in Miami? Transform Your Business Using The 5 Principles Of Engagement.

Steve currently lives in NYC with his wife and has two grown children, both of whom also live in NYC.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @sdgoldstein and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Engagement is not a word that has gone into the lexicon of business.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet

“If you’re not engaged it’s really hard to be an effective leader.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“At the end of the day, leadership is what makes a company work.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“More so than its products, a company’s leaders are more responsible for the results.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“Most leaders are not as good as they need to be.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“It’s executing on the basics that makes the difference between success and failure.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“Be aware, observe, and then act.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“A lot of what is happening in your company is hiding in plain sight.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“Leaders sit in meetings all day and don’t have a clue on what goes on at the point of sale.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“Get out of your office and connect with your customers.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“The more people know, the more successful and effective they can be.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“Be open and trust your employees.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“Larger companies move at glacial pace.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“With leadership you keep finessing and get a little better every day.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“Treat everyone the same whether it’s the cleaning lady or the president.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“If you don’t know why, you have no reason to assume it’s going to be the same next month.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“My best tool is to listen very hard.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet 

“You really need to have an effective team to get great results.” -Steve Goldstein Click to Tweet   

Hump to Get Over

Steve Goldstein was thrilled to escape the cold of Chicago in February for a speaking engagement in Miami. As an executive at Sears, Steve loved to visit the stores on trips. But this time Steve thought he was hallucinating when he saw snow blowers in Miami. Listen to how this experience led to Steve moving onward and upward.

Advice for others

Ask questions; dig.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

I work at my leadership finesse. There is no end state; you just keep getting a little better every day.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Treat everyone the same whether it’s the cleaning lady or the president of the company.

Secret to Success

I’m very inquisitive. The question I ask most is, “why.”

Best tools that helps in business or Life

To listen very hard and ask a lot of questions.

Recommended Reading

The Wright Brothers

Why Are There Snowblowers in Miami?: Transform Your Business Using the Five Principles of Engagement

Contacting Steve

website: http://stevendgoldstein.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sdgoldstein

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sdgoldstein

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
095: Steve Goldstein: You don’t get 30 mulligans

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 attendees 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 and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader Legion today I’m excited because when I read the title of this person’s book I knew I had have him on the show. Steve Goldstein, was a middle child born in the Bronx Borough in New York City and had an older sister and younger brother. His mom was a teacher and his father was a bridge operator. Always a big thinker and explorer as a child, he knew, even with growing up in the city of New York that there was more to life and he was willing to go get it. Like as a youth, when he worked two jobs just that he can buy a used car. Steve eventually graduated from the City College in New York and NYU Stern for business school. He’s had the good fortune to have worked for three Fortune 500 companies, American Express, Citigroup and Sears, in various senior-level positions including chairman and CEO of American Express Bank.

Steve has also worked in a venture-capital arena investing and helping lead startup companies to transform ideas into viable businesses. Being a non-conformist at heart he’s always been challenging the status quo both and his professional and personal life and deriving a lot of satisfaction and breaking the China and seeing what happens next. Steve is a pioneer at hear. Currently, he’s working with several private equity firms as a senior adviser, speaking to large groups and small corporate groups about engagement and leadership and out promoting his new book, “Why are There Snow Blowers in Miami? Transform your business Using Five Principles of Engagement.” Steve currently lives in New York City with his wife and has two grown kids both who also live in New York City. Steve Goldstein, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Steve Goldstein: I am. Good morning, Jim. Nice to be with you.

Jim Rembach: I’m glad you’re here. Now I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we get to know you even better?

Steve Goldstein: My current passion is really around engagement. And it’s interesting when you go on Google to look at engagement the first hundred listings or so about weddings and party planners and how to buy a wedding dress and things like that, it’s really not a word that has really gone into the Lexicon of business. But to me engagement is really where it starts because if you’re not engaged it’s very hard to be an effective leader. And I’ve really been fascinated over the last 20 years about leadership because at the end of the day that’s what makes the company work, more so than its products it’s the leaders in the company who actually are responsible for the results. And I found that most leaders are not as good as they need to be and that’s part of what I’ve been working on for the last 20 years. Eventually I decided I wanted to share my experiences and write a book about that so I could help other leaders improve.

Jim Rembach: When you say engagement, for me, it’s kind of funny when you’re talking from your perspective saying how it’s not part of the Lexicon of business and all of that. Gosh! I’ve been so immersed in customer care and engagement of customers and employees for 20 years so for me it’s kind of like—what do you mean it’s not part of the Lexicon? But when you talk about the book and the five principles, to me I think I’m reading it and I’m saying, “Well, of course this is common sense” but you’re saying, “no way it’s not common. Can you share the five principles?

Steve Goldstein: Yes. You know, it’s funny, when I finish writing the book and I read probably for the 30th time my first reaction was, this is so obvious who’s going to buy this book? And I realize that because it’s so obvious, is why the book needs to be written. Everybody’s looking for the shiny new object or the latest buzzwords or things of that nature, but the reality is that sometimes doing the basics, not sometimes most times, it’s executing on the basics that really makes the difference between success and failure. So, I codify these five principles basically to give people lanes in which to operate. These are not rules that you have to memorize, these are really sort of flashcards in a way that people can utilize to sort of be aware and observe and then act.

So the first one is called, fresh eyes. And it’s exactly what it means, it means looking at things as if you are a new person coming into a situation. A consultant by definition has fresh eyes, he’s coming in to a company, he’s tail a lot a money and he looks at things and he asks lots of crazy question. A new CEO comes in to a company does the same thing. But if you’ve been the president of the company for five years a lot of what is happening in your company is actually hiding in plain sight and you don’t see it. And it’s in those areas that there’s gold but you have to look for it.

The second one is, connecting. What I mean by connecting is, it’s really engaging at the most intimate level with your employees and your customers. If you think about a story like the Gap, the number of levels between the CEO of a Gap and a part-time sales clerk in San Francisco selling you a T-shirt is in excess of 20. The issue is that the part-time person who’s making $9 an hour is the only person who’s interacting with the customer and the leaders sit meetings all day reviewing numbers and presentations and they really don’t have a clue as to what’s actually going on at the point-of-sale. And the and the and the amazing thing is that these people who are interacting with customers they know exactly what’s going, they know what’s working, they know what’s not working. The things that are not working they know how to fix, they know what the customers want because they’re hearing from them in real-time what they need and want, but no one’s asking them. So, the whole part of connecting is getting out of your office—I was giving a speech the other day and someone says, “what do you mean get out of your office?” I said, “Nothing good happens in your office, nothing.” I use to spend as little there as possible. So that’s the second principle.

The third principle is transparency. Actually on the on the door of my high school carved in stone was a saying. “Knowledge is power.” And I didn’t know what it meant when I was going to high school, but I do now. I’m a firm believer that the more people know the more successful and effective they can be. We suffer from two problems. We either suffer from not giving people enough information because we don’t trust them or it’s a power thing where you have to ask me for stuff that makes me more powerful because you don’t know the information and it stand in a very sort of subconscious weight. So, one problem is you don’t have enough information to do your job properly. The flipside of that situation is your bury the information. You don’t know what report to look at, you know what’s important, okay. So, the whole thing about transparency is really being open and trusting your employees and communicating with them in a way where they can actually do a great job.

The fourth one is speed. Mario Andretti the famous race car driver has a great quotes, he says, if your car’s under control you’re not going fast enough. And the problem, and this is particularly true with larger companies, larger companies move at glacial pace. They express things in terms of months, quarters and years. I was in a meeting in June with C-Suite of this very large company and in this meeting we came up collectively with a great idea, and it was really a tremendous idea, and the CEO said, “Oh, let’s put that into our planning process for 2017, we’ll bake it in to next year’s plan.” And they’re all saying great. And I said, “Wait a minute, if this is really a great idea why don’t we have someone start it next week because you have to believe that there were three other meetings like this going on around the world or that they all think I’ve come up with the next brilliant idea which is the same one as we just came up with, right? And one of those companies is going to start it next week and they may have it in a marketplace by the end of this year. So if you put it in a plan for next year by the time this actually hits the market it could be the summer of 2017 and this other company could’ve walked away with all the winds.” And they said, “Oh, do you really think that’s going to happen?” I said, “Of course it’s going to happen.”

The fifth principle I call hot buttons. And it’s fascinating to go through this process. None of the ideas are stupid. None of the initiatives are dumb but they’re nice to do, they’re nice to have but are not jugular. I’m talking about things, like we don’t do this we’re dead. If we don’t do this we’re going to lose market share. If we don’t do this we can’t grow at 15% compounded for the next three years. So, going through the process of really figuring out what’s absolutely essential from what is nice to do is really the important thing. So that’s a brief summary of the five principles.

Jim Rembach: Okay, so one thing that really stood out to me, and like you said a lot of them speak for themselves, you use hot buttons a little bit differently than what most people do in regards to thinking about hot buttons, hot buttons there are referring to—hey, that really upset me, that really tick me off. But you’re talking about hot buttons in a different way.

Steve Goldstein: Right.

Jim Rembach: So your hot buttons are really things that are going to ignite people to do something different.

Steve Goldstein: Yes, exactly. And they’re expressed in a way that doesn’t use jargon. It’s done in way where someone in the third grade would understand what the item is so that everyone in the company is very clear on what these three items are. Oftentimes, what happens is the leader will say something in a manner that makes sense to him but if it doesn’t resonate throughout the organization people may have slightly different interpretations about what that means so part of the hot button component is to be very precise with the words. So that whether you’re in 30 states or 30 countries, everyone in the organization knows exactly what those mean and why they’re important.

Jim Rembach: Also it seems to me like you have to really look towards the operating or the functional position because you give an example on the book where you talked about a used car company and their financing expenses and saying how a used car sitting on a lot cost two bucks a day just an interest.

Steve Goldstein: Yes.

Jim Rembach: And just by communicating the fact that that two bucks a day was something that was occurring cause people to act and behave quite differently than they did previously.

Steve Goldstein: Exactly. And what was interesting is if you think about that example the people who this was directed to we’re the people who responded to this, I should say, were mechanics, they were auto mechanics. These are people who basically, probably don’t have more than a high school education, they surely don’t have college degrees, I’m not saying that in a derogatory sense what I’m saying is these guys are master mechanics, they know how to fix cars better than anybody else. But now when they understood there was a financial consequence for every day the car was sitting there and not out on the lot to be sold they themselves figured out how to change their work processes to move the cars faster through the shop.

They came up with this because they understood it was a consequence to not getting the cars out a day or two or 30 days sooner. And that was the beauty of this hot button, that people at all levels in the company could take away from it what was essential for them to do their own jobs better and then working in teams, they brainstormed and came up with 20 ideas about how individually and collectively they could change the way they behaved in order to recognize this two dollars a day. It frankly was amazing to me to see how they responded way beyond what I ever might’ve expected and that’s the beauty of that.

Jim Rembach: And so for me, I think it’s kind of like using fresh eyes in order to find out what’s the right hot button, I think we have to do that. Obviously, you’re a tenured—a person who has accumulated a wealth of wisdom and I’m sure it’s being leveraged by the venture capitalist that you’re working with but we need inspiration, this book is inspirational and the five principles, I would love to even get in the conversation about difference between principles and rules, but we’ve got to move on. And so, when you start talking about quotes, we love quotes on the show and I’m sure you have a lot that you’ve accumulated over the years, but is there one or two that you can share with us the gives you inspiration?

Steve Goldstein: There’s one quote that I came across, I think it was the late 70’s in a BusinessWeek article, and it was said by a guy named Edward Cole who was an executive at General Motors, he had been a lifelong employee of General Motors and I think at this point he was running the engine in one of the divisions, and this is what he said, “Leadership is the courage to admit mistakes, the vision to welcome change, the enthusiasm to motivate others, and the confidence to stay out of step when everyone is marching to the wrong tune.” And that to me sort of epitomized what a great leader should. Actually I try to follow this, I mean I really do my best to follow this and it’s not always the most popular way to behave but I think this quote really sums up what I believe a leader should be.

Steve Goldstein: Well I think even reading your bio when you started talking about breaking the China and seen what happens, I can see why that quote means a lot to you. And obviously in order for you to get to the point of being that young kid in the Bronx, who is that constant explorer and wanting more knowing there was more, being the CEO of some large division for some very large organizations, there’s had to be a lot of humps along the way that you had to get over that cause you to get the place where you are now and being able to write this book and help others move forward. Is there a story that you can share with us when you had to get over the hump?

Well, the most, I think, profound story is really the story that became the title of the book. When I was at Sears running the credit card business, I’ll give you the short version of this the longer version’s in the book, I was based in Chicago obviously were Sears is headquartered and it was February a blustery cold winter like the polar vortex we just had. I had to go to Miami to give a speech, in February, so I was very excited to the warm weather and I always made a point to visit the stores to see what we could do to help improve sales. So, I went in to the store, I happen to go into the Lawn and Garden center entrance and I saw lawn mowers, rakes, shovels, patio furniture, barbecue grills, then I saw a show blowers and I thought I was hallucinating. And I went over to see them and there was an elderly salesman named Pete and it just came out to mouth I said, “Pete, why are there snow blowers in Miami?” Basically the short version of the story is every September the snow blowers were delivered, they were told to put on the floor every April they pack them back in Carnes and send them back to the distribution center. And when I said to him, “What do you do about it?” He says, “Well, my boss calls, his boss calls, the store manager calls, and they basically tell it’s part of the national allocation. I said, “You know what that means?” He said, “I have no idea what that means.” I said, “Have you ever sold any?” He said, “We sold one to a couple who is visiting their kids in Minnesota for Christmas, they put it in minivan, they drove up from Miami to Minnesota, and that was it.”

So the next day I go back to—again my speech was like this thing was bothering me the whole afternoon, we are at our weekly leadership meeting and not surprising we’re out of snow blowers because of the snowstorm and I pull at my pocket this guy’s business card and I say we’ll there are four in Miami, call Pete, you have them and they’re hysterically laughing. And I said, “Why is this funny?” And now it’s hysterical, and I said, “No, it’s terrible.” And so, I then had my—this is free Internet, I had my assistant find out in the history of recorded weather, how much does it snowed in Miami. And then she came back 45 minutes later and said it’s snowed one time seven years ago a third of an inch. So you said to yourself, how the heck could this be part of a national allocation? And you know, to me it was a metaphor and I started to think at that moment, of all the other sort of experiences I had that were equally insane, and you know in golf you got a mulligan if you hit a bad shot, you don’t get a 30 mulligans. And so, this was not just a problem that someone sent snow blowers to Miami the problem was that no one was looking, no one cared, no one saw this things going back and forth for 30 years. No one was asking questions, no one was interested to talk to the store manager, it was a complete and utter breakdown in business processes. And by the way, it’s not unique to Sears every company has snow blowers. In fact, when I went to write a book I interviewed 15 CEO’s and I told them all the story because I wanted them to understand what I wanted from them in return and out of the 15 people I interviewed I had the same reaction a hundred percent of the time. First they laugh, then they said that’s crazy and then they said, oh, I’ve got 20 snow blower stories which one do you want to hear, became a noun because people have all seen this craziness.

Jim Rembach: How could you not laugh? So I have to know—you went back and you had that meeting and what eventually happened with the whole snow blower thing in Miami?

Steve Goldstein: I don’t know what had happened but this December, just literally less than a year ago, I finished the book and I was going to go down to Miami to see if they’re still there. I said let me call. And I call the store and I said, “Can I—so it turns out they’re no longer there. So they weren’t there this December. I don’t know when in the prior 20 years they stop being shipped there but finally the practice was corrected. I thought I would have been hysterical if they were still there I could take a picture and put it the book, but fortunately they were no longer there.

Jim Rembach: If we all only had 20 years in order to fix problems I guess maybe they’ll all get fixed sometime, I don’t know or is it kind of run into an infinity, I have no idea. Okay, so, you had mentioned some of that working—as an advisor, working with a venture capital firms, working with a lot of different organizations in order to help them with these five principles and all of that. And you also talked about several other things you’re working on but what are some of your goals?

Steve Goldstein: My goals now are really to—I have a few goals, one is to work with private equity firms to help them run their portfolio companies more effectively and that really comes from leadership. So, I’m spending a lot of time with them working with their individual companies as well as helping them evaluate new acquisitions. I’m spending a fair amount of time writing in part to promote the book but in part to just get my ideas down on paper or on blogs and promulgate some of those thoughts. I’m spending time promoting the book, now that I have the book out there I want to let people know about the book so that they can buy it and learn from it and apply some of the things that are in the book. And I spend a lot of time trying to keep fit, which I think is really important so you can enjoy your life. My wife and I like to travel so we’ve incorporated that we took a great trip almost a year ago to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, it’s part of the world that I always wanted to see and so that was that was a lot of fun. And I’m recently, I haven’t had the time, but I’m trying to carve out the time to re-engage back to engagement playing the saxophone. I played the saxophone when I was a kid I just decided I want to for a long, long hiatus I want to get back in and start playing again. So, that’s keeping me pretty busy.

Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor:

The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions. So move onward and upward faster by getting significantly deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop you’ll learn how to evoke and influence the right customer emotions that generate improve customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get over your emotional hump now by going to empathymapping.com to learn more. Alright here we go Fast Leader Legion, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Steve 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 a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Steve Goldstein, are you ready to hoedown?

Steve Goldstein: Yes.

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

Steve Goldstein: I think I’m pretty good as a leader right now and I think what I’ve learned is it’s more about finesse which I think comes with practice. And I’m very conscious about this I work at this every day. I’m very I’m very careful about what I say, I’m very careful about how I listen and it’s all designed with the notion of how do I get the person I’m interacting with other people I’m interacting with to really understand what we need to do and to enable them to be more successful. I don’t think there’s end state here I think it’s just something—unlike being a great artist or anything else where it’s not something that’s measurable I think it’s just something that you keep finessing and doing and you just get a little better every day.
Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

Steve Goldstein: The best leadership advice I’ve ever received which is actually from my first boss when I got out of graduate school is to treat everyone the same, whether it’s the cleaning lady or the president of the company. I was in a meeting with him, I was only like 25 years old and we were doing an all-nighter because we had a big pitch we were making and I went in to his office at 11 o’clock to show him my work and to see how I was going to mark it up with a red pen. And so we’re in this heated discussion and the cleaning lady walks in to clean his office. And he starts talking to her like his best friend—how’s your kids, son had broken his leg and everything—and she leaves and I said, “You know the cleaning lady?” and he goes, “Yeah, she’s got a family, she’s got a life.” And I realized, and he was curious like…cause I didn’t know how you suppose to—I just had this—I don’t know I was stupid I thought because you’re an executive you don’t talk to certain people, that’s we saw on movies or on TV. And so I saw from him in a very human way that you really do treat people the same and so I’ve been doing this from that moment on, I became friends with the window washer when I lived in London in our building who all of my leadership team saw this crazy American is going out to the pub with the window washer, what’s wrong with him? And I told them, I learn more from this guy than I learned from them, about our company. Because he was in the building every day he knew everything that was going on.

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

Steve Goldstein: I’m very inquisitive. I’ve always been this way and I think the question I asked most is why. I think a lot of people and I was talking to somebody about this the other day in a board meeting, you know, everybody focuses on what and how and where and when and it’s all static but the real motivation for understanding why things happened no one asks. You know that if you made $20 this year and last quarter you made $10 you doubled your results. Great. But most people don’t know why and if you don’t know why, you have no reason to assume it’s going to be the same next month because you don’t know what caused it in the first place. I know this sounds silly I’m amazed that people really don’t dig. A lot of retailers when I have bad results they blame the weather. It’s amazing to me that a food like Walmart will say, we had great results. Macy’s will say, we didn’t have great results and it is attributable to the weather. Are they operating at a different weather system than Walmart? So, you have to laugh when you hear that because what it really means is they don’t know they’re just grasping at straws to come up with something that seemingly explains what is inexplicable because they really don’t know what the underlying reason for the outcome is.

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

Steve Goldstein: I think my best tool is to listen very hard and ask a lot of questions.

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

Steve Goldstein: The book I would recommend is, why there’s snow blowers in Miami? Actually I would recommend a good book that I read recently which I thought was terrific, is David McCullough’s book about the Wright brothers. When you realize what these two guys did to learn how to fly to prove that man could fly it was one of the most inspiring books about persistence, sticktoitiveness, ingenuity, solving problems, working as a team, marching to their own beat when everybody was telling them they were marching to the wrong tune, it was just a fantastic book.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information from today show by going to fastleader.net/Steve Goldstein. Okay, Steve 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 only choose one. So, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Steve Goldstein: I think the thing I would do differently is to learn how to collaborate better and work more effectively in teams. When I was younger it was more about proving myself and sort of creating my own space and seeing what I could do to move up in the business world. And I think I always was a good team player but I probably was a little bit more interested in moving myself forward that moving the team forward with being conscious about it, subconsciously I’m sure I was but not consciously and today I’m extremely conscious of that. I know that you really need to have an effective team to get great results just like in sports.

Jim Rembach: Steve, 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?

Steve Goldstein: Yeah. The best way to connect with me is on my website, stevendgoldstein.com or on Twitter @stgoldstein or you can shoot me an e-mail at steve@stgoldstein.com.

Jim Rembach: Steven Goldstein, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader Legion honors you and thank 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

094: Kristy Powers: At 16 I had to live on my own

Kristy Powers Show Notes

Kristy Powers was 16 years old and had to move away from home. As an honors student Kristy was determined to finish school. Needing to support herself, Kristy was able to find a source of income and food. Listen to how she was able to get over this adult sized hump at such a young age.

Kristy was raised with one sister and three brothers in Ormond Beach, Florida, a town that cozies up to Daytona Beach, “The world’s most famous beach.” She had an independent start at young adulthood having lived on her own since she was 16. She finished high school with honors and attended college while working several waitressing jobs. Kristy began her professional career quite young having been promoted to serve as Executive Assistant and Resort Manager at a country club at the age of 18.

Through her early experiences, Kristy discovered her love for serving and leading others with a strong belief that those go hand in hand. She credits two early influences that helped her find her way; Tom Hopkins, best-selling author & famed, international sales trainer and Robin Leach, the host of the tv show, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Tom taught her that everyone is a salesperson; selling ideas, opinions and themselves every day. Robin taught her “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.” Both of these ideas led her to believe and invest in herself for a good life.

Kristy has built three industry recognized contact centers from the ground up and led positive changes toward award-winning service in two others. Currently, she is the Manager of Quality Service with Navy Federal Credit Union, the world’s largest credit union. Kristy and her team have recently taken their 3500 person contact center on a Quality Evolution to elevate the service provided to members and team members every day.

In her spare time, Kristy enjoys cooking and entertaining friends in the home that she and her husband Greg share in a Virginia suburb of Washington D.C.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @KristyPowers and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Our Baby Boomers are retiring and there not enough Gen X’ers to take over.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet

“What quotes inspire you about your desired competencies?” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“What do you want your behavior to look like in the future?” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“Look to grow, it could be the difference between being great and being a rock star.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“What did you do this week for your development?” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“What do you intend to do next week for your development?” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“It’s real easy to put a development plan together and shove it in a drawer.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“Put your goals out to the universe; many things can come your way.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“Other people want to help you do your best.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“Empowerment pays off for all of us.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“Sometimes we’re going to mess up; it’s okay as long as we learn from it.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“It will all turn out okay as along as we have the best of intentions.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“I need to flex my communication style to ensure I get the best response from others.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“Age and experience has helped me focus more on people.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet  

Hump to Get Over

Kristy Powers was 16 years old and had to move away from home. As an honors student Kristy was determined to finish school. Needing to support herself, Kristy was able to find a source of income and food. Listen to how she was able to get over this adult sized hump at such a young age.

Advice for others

Help others to dream more, learn more, become more and do more.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Nothing. If it’s to be it’s up to me.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Leadership is a lot like parenting. It takes, love, wisdom, direction, clear expectations, sometimes discipline, and lots of laughter.

Secret to Success

My ability to comfortably lead in ambiguity.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Amazon prime and MBTI.

Recommended Reading

The Inspiring Leader: Unlocking the Secrets of How Extraordinary Leaders Motivate

Contacting Kristy

email: kristy_powers [at] navyfederal.org

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristypowers

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristyPowers

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
094: Kristy Powers: At 16 I had to live on my own

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 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 attendees 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 and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader Legion, today we’re going to have a great show because the guest that I have today, the first time we met it was so intriguing to me that I had to have her on the show. Kristy Powers was born and raised with the sister and two brothers in Ormond Beach, Florida a town that cozies up to Daytona Beach, the world’s most famous beach. She had an independent start at young adulthood having lived on her own since she was 16. She finished high school with honors and attended college while working several waitress jobs. Kristy begin her professional career quite young having been promoted to serve as executive assistant and resort manager at a country club at the age of 18. Through her early experiences, Kristy discovered her love for serving and leading others with a strong belief that those go hand-in-hand.

She credits two early influences that helped her find her way, Tom Hopkins’s best-selling author and famed international sales trainer and Robin Leach the host of the TV show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Tom taught her that everyone is a salesperson selling ideas, opinions, and themselves every day. Robin taught her that champagne wishes and caviar dreams are important. Both of those ideas letter to believe and invest in herself for a good life. Kristy has built three industry recognized contact centers from the ground up and let positive changes towards award-winning service in two others.

Currently she is the manager of quality service with Navy Federal Credit Union, the world’s largest credit union. Kristy and her team have recently taken their 3,500 person contact center on equality evolution to elevate the service provided to members and team members every day. In her spare time Kristy enjoys cooking and entertaining with friends in the home that she and her husband Greg share in a Virginia suburb of Washington D.C. Kristy Powers, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Kristy Powers: I am totally ready to get over the hump today.

Jim Rembach: I’m glad to have you. 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.

Kristy Powers: Of course, Jim. So, my current passion right now is thinking about the young leaders that we have at work. It’s we’re reaching in time in my company where a lot of our baby boomers are retiring and they’re not enough of us Generation X’ers to take over and we’re counting on our millennials to fulfill some of those roles. And helping guide their careers and prepare them to develop competencies that will make them successful, is what I’m focused on right now.

Jim Rembach: I know what you’re saying is really an issue for a lot of organizations and I think many of them are, unfortunately, not being really proactive with this particular issue. ‘Because when you look at the sheer numbers associated with, let’s just say, loss of leadership skill and talent. I think there was something that I read said, “In 20 years, essentially 75 to 80% of the leaders that we have now are going be out of the workforce, what are your numbers look like?

Kristy Powers: We’re an 85% year old company and so many of our leaders are highly ten years in organization, have a lot of institutional knowledge and have been with us for 30/35 years. As we look to the future we have a subset of the middle population of Gen X’ers and then we have a huge millennial population coming in it’s also the same with our member base. So, the great thing about having so many millennials join our workforce at Navy Federal Credit Union, is that many of the members who join us with their [4:09 inaudible]so we’re able to get a lot of good ideas from our millennial workforce to help us meet the needs of our members.

Jim Rembach: You know that’s another great thing to look at and I don’t think that’s probably part of the planning process for a lot of organizations is that when you start looking at the people who are really having the money to buy products and services, the percentage of those folks are becoming younger and younger and so they’re buying power is becoming bigger. Even when you start talking about kids in the home, lot times organizations don’t think about even their buying power. Now, the money is through their parents, of course, but they still have the ability to influence and make decisions on things that they want their parents to buy for them. And making that connection is going to make a better experience. So, how do you beyond what you had mentioned, tactically do that at Navy Federal Credit Union?

Kristy Powers: We have an amazing learning and development platform and team and they help us facilitate a lot of these discussions. So we use a competency based system to help people learn, grow and develop. So, for example, on my team, I’ve a team of about 130 people in four locations, and we do individual development plans where we focus on two to three competencies a year. And part of that is to talk about things like what quote inspire you about this competency? What do you look like right now? What do you want to look like in the future, your behavior, and the way that people react to you in this competency? And what are some things you can do in between time to help grow within those competencies? What’s interesting about that is it really take people on a deep dive and I even do this one for myself so it takes you only deep dive to look at yourself and what you have to offer and where you can grow. It doesn’t mean that you’re not skilled in those competencies but it could made the difference between being great and being a rock star.

So, then every Friday we have something called Friday Fives and this was introduced to me by an executive coach with Lama Garr, who I’m really pleased to work with, and what my team members do is, and I do this as well and I send them to my boss and one of my mentors, is that you take five minutes on Friday and write down what you learn this week, what you did this week for your development, what you learn, and what you intend to do next week. And the important part of that process of the Friday Fives is it keeps you accountable, a lot of times it’s really easy to put a development plan together and shove it in a drawer and not look at it again until the next year and so this makes you really think about it throughout the week actively pursue ways to open yourself up to experiences that help you build on this competencies.

I’ll give you an example, most recently I was talking to one of my colleagues at work and I was telling them about a competency I wanted to build on and she said, “Oh, if you want to build on that competency there’s this quarterly meeting, strategic meeting, that you can go to where we really talk about this things that you’re interested in learning, how about if I get you an invite?” What was so important about that is what I kind of put it out to others and put my goals out to the universal to know, it was incredible how many people would step up and help me. That is about the third time since I started this new IDP last month that I’ve shared it was someone and they reach back to help me and so we look to do that with our team members too. And so that we’re now focused on building this competencies and it’s top of mind it is incredible how many things come your way when they’re in your space to recognize them.

Jim Rembach: I think there’s some really key thing that you said there, and thanks for sharing is that—you talked about IDP and for those that aren’t familiar with that, that’s and Individual going down this path and not even really having that “ask for the help” it’s amazing what comes to you just when other people are aware of it because by and large we want to help others, and we want to help others be successful in our society. And when you start talking about customer care and customer service, we just have a larger percentage of those folks which is great but you got to put yourself out there. And the other thing that you mentioned is quotes, and of course you know we love those on the Fast Leader show, is there a quote or two that inspires you that you can share?

Kristy Powers: There is and it is actually framed in office. And it’s by John Quincy Adams it says,You’re your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more then you are a leader.” That really resonates with me because think about leaders that I’ve respected in my life and that’s exactly what they’ve done for me. They’ve helped me see that I could dream more, learn more, become more, do more. When we provide that to people it makes it really easier for all of us to join the ride.

Jim Rembach: We also have been told and we don’t always feel it is that, when we give gifts we actually have greater levels of fulfillment than when we receive those gifts. Well, when you start talking about those folks helping you and making that offer those are gifts that was also fulfilling for them and if we share in that it just makes it a much, much more abundant place to be around and those are the kind of work environments that will attract those millennials and retain them and boost of more of organizations are trying to be able to figure how to do that and that is a great tactic and method to really attract and retain the younger generation is to share those things and create those environments. We’ve had the opportunity to chat on several occasions and I’ve just really enjoyed getting to know you more and your background and story and the things you have go through—oh, gosh, we talked about it building character and that you even said that you wouldn’t be the person that you are today if it wasn’t going through those early childhood or I should say early adulthood learnings, and so those are huge humps. We have a lot of humps that we have to go through in order to build us as people and hopefully it’s also for the better. Is there a story that you can share that will help us gain more strength?

Kristy Powers: Jim, everybody has a story and this one’s mine. At 16 years old I had to move away from home. I was an honor student and I need this to finish school, living by myself. So I work six days a week in a 24-hour restaurants and go to work from 3:00 to 11:00 where I could eat two meals for free, which is pretty easy on the pack a buck and then on Friday’s and Saturday’s I’d work doubles 3:00 to 11:00 and then 11:00 to 7:00 because the money was just so good and there was a free food galore. It is I started my professional career, I was still working two jobs up until I felt secure enough that I could pay my bills with one job. And through that I would say the most important thing I learned were fierce independence, salesmanship, resiliency, tenacity, work ethic and really, really good problem solving. I’m good with change and do well in uncertain circumstances and a lot of times people will ask me, “why those change not stress you out?” and it’s because throughout my life I’ve experience so much change and I’ve just had a role with it. I was free to make my own decisions at a really young age but I was not free to be risky. This kind of circumstances don’t always turn out well for kids like me and was really lucky and grateful that my parents set me up at a young age to have a good head on my shoulders.

Jim Rembach: Maybe the good head on your shoulders as far as the way that they set you up from a DNA perspective but to be able to go through that that’s yet a whole different level. Now you had mentioned something about going through that experience and gaining this fierce independence. Well, we all know that having that fierce independence is something that doesn’t help when you’re part of an organization to move things forward and really manage change and execute change. So, how have you been able to make sure that that fierce independence wasn’t undermining your ability to move forward?

Kristy Powers: In the beginning when I was young in my career I would say it did get in the way. But what I learn is that it was not effective and I wasn’t getting the response that I was looking for. Other people want to participate, other people want to help you do your best and as they do their best and it brings me back to working with someone who’s a very dear friend to me now, she was the team member on my team and she said, “Kristy, if you’ll let me get to know you a little bit better I will work harder for you than you ever imagine.” And it really made me take a pause, I was in my 20’s and I thought she’s being vulnerable with me by telling me this? And I need to receive that and I did and it change the way I lead people and how I help them participate. It really goes back to the Jonathan Yado’s quote, “I needed to be one that would help others grow and learn more, do more and be more.” At that time I was working 90+ hours in a dot com for the dot com gold rush in Washington D.C. and she was the one that I learned the most from.

Jim Rembach: That was definitely a huge benefit because when you start putting that whole piece together of “I know what it takes” in order to be able to not just survive but thrive and also learning the components of being able to do it as a collective, I know you have to be a great team member and highly valued and that’s one of the thing that also intrigue me as I was learning more about you I saw where you were recognized for being—you say a leader that has received awards for being good at what you do and that I think just all culminated. And so, when you start looking at all of these things, that you been part of that you want to be part of, what are some your goals?

Kristy Powers: Some of my goals really are to, at this point in my career, to help more people. I know that throughout my lifetime so many people helped me and how important that was to having a good career and having a good life. And so as I look out towards that work in my team and the people that I influence and my husband’s business, where we touch so many people every day, how can I be the positive force for helping them accomplish their goals.

Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

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Alright here we go Fast Leader Legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Kristy, the Hump Day Hoedown is a 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. Kristy Powers are you ready to hoedown?

Kristy Powers: I am ready to hoedown, Jim.

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

Kristy Powers: If it’s to be it’s up to me. I’m constantly pushing myself to learn more. I’ve also been very lucky throughout my career to have great leaders to help me soar. Right now my own senior leaders give me a lot of opportunity to do my thing and forge a new pass and that empowerment pays off for all of us.

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

Kristy Powers: An old boss of mine said, “Leadership is a lot like parenting.” Now, I’m not a parent but I have found it to be true. It takes love, wisdom, direction, clear expectations sometimes sprinkling of discipline and lot of laughter’s. sometimes we’re going to mess up and it’s okay as long as we learn from it, move on, it will all turn out okay as long as we have the best of intentions.

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

Kristy Powers: Definitely my ability to work comfortably in leading ambiguity, it’s been a main contributor to my success. I generally can see where to go and I think it’s a gift I received in exchange for the security during my younger years. I only needed a few things to get me started and my team and I can accomplish anything.

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

Kristy Powers: Oh, I have two. Amazon Prime, NBT. Amazon Prime because things that I need to help boost my career and learn. Books it take me on a journey, music that helps soothe the tensions when things get tough can show about my door the next day. The other is MBTI the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and it uncovers psychologic preferences and how people perceive the world and make decisions. I’m an ENTJ and I recognize that only 2% of the population is ENTJ and only 1% of those are women. That means 98% to 99% population is not like me. And so I have learned to flex my communication style to ensure that I get the best response out of others. I would say that Amazon Prime NBTI, those are my two top tools.

Jim Rembach: What would be one book, and it could be from any genre, that you recommend to our listeners?

Kristy Powers: Hands down, The Inspiring Leader by John Zenger.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader listeners, you could links to that and other bonus information from today show by going to fastleader.net/Kristy Powers. Okay Kristy, 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, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Kristy Powers: Ah, 25 the quarter-life crisis. First of all, you couldn’t pay me to go back to my 20’s but I would say that I would be more patient with myself and with others. During my time when I was around 25 I was working for that dot com and I did not have the patience that we necessary to lead as effective as I would like and I was not nearly as patient on myself. Age and experience has definitely helped me focused on family, friends, team members, and people in my life more than ever before.

Jim Rembach: Kristy, 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?

Kristy Powers: Yes. You can find me @Kristy Powers on Twitter. You can also find me at Kristy_Powers@navyfederal.org.

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

END OF AUDIO

093: Mark Nathan: I was leaving part of me behind

Mark Nathan Show Notes

Mark Nathan built his young career as an actor and being in the film world. As he entered into the entrepreneur world it was difficult for him to let the film work go. That’s when Mark found a new perspective that helped him to move onward and upward.

Mark Nathan is on a mission to fit 3 lifetimes into 1.  The child of Burmese and Filipino immigrants, along with his Brother who is a break dancing catholic priest and a younger sister who is a nurse and married to a Chicago firefighter. They all grew up with a great appreciation for the American dream.

But Mark didn’t quite know how to find the life he hoped for.  From a young age, he had a creative streak, with an ambition to tackle large projects, and loved working with people.

He assumed education and a good career was the path to his dream life, but after watching some major job struggles in his family he knew that was not the path for him.

Mark found a talent and love for acting pursued a degree and career in theatre and film, which is how he paid his way through college. He took the drive and discipline he learned as an actor and launched a successful film festival at the age of twenty-one.

After college, he spent a few years in the corporate world as a recruiter, but also built a successful direct sales business on his free time, which allowed him to be financially free at 27 years old.

Mark and his co-author David Anderson are authors of The Delusion of Passion: Why Millennials Struggle to Find Success, which helps leaders to effectively lead the Millennial Generation.

Mark continues to grow multiple entrepreneurial endeavors and looks forward to rejoining the film world as a director/producer soon.

Mark is a proud Chicagoan and lives in the South Loop with his wife Meredith. They are expecting their first child in this fall.rformance and profitability.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to (Mark Nathan) @27_N_RTIRD and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Instead of trying to find passion, create a life you are passionate about.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet

“Create a life that you’re really excited about living.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“There’s so many opportunities that it creates stagnation.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“You have an opportunity to grow at the job you have right now.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“You’ve just got to kill what’s in front of you.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“Do the best you can with what you’ve got and where you’re at.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“Find a way to add value as much as humanly possible to your current situation.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“It’s really about a series of lessons you learn and skills you develop.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“Write your future; it’s in your control.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“You’re in the passenger seat in your own life if you’re waiting for things to develop.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“You’re fully 1000% in control of how your story plays out.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“If you see your own life as a story then you’re fully in control.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“Open-mindedness, respect and love apply whether or not you agree with someone.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“If you abandoned things because you don’t have a choice that’s when you have regret.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“Whatever chapter of life you’re in, focus and give it everything you’ve got.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“It’s good to know that my life is constantly developing.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“Earn the next level of mentorship.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“Whatever you want you have to be willing to give it away.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

“A mantle of leadership is an opportunity to serve more people.” -Mark Nathan Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Mark Nathan built his young career as an actor and being in the film world. As he entered into the entrepreneur world it was difficult for him to let the film work go. That’s when Mark found a new perspective that helped him to move onward and upward.

Advice for others

Look at your life as chapters and give each chapter all you’ve got.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Wanting to move on too fast.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Earn the next level of mentorship.

Secret to Success

Whatever you want you have to be willing to give it away.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Convergence. Being able to take learning from one arena and use it in another.

Recommended Reading

Bringing Out the Best in People: How to Apply the Astonishing Power of Positive Reinforcement, Third Edition

The Delusion of Passion: Why Millennials Struggle to Find Success

Contacting Mark

Website: https://about.me/marknathan

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-nathan-1a71492

Twitter: https://twitter.com/27_N_RTIRD

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
093: Mark Nathan: I was leaving part of me behind

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 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 attendees 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 and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

Okay, Fast Leader Legion, today I’m excited because we have a rising star that helps others teach how to lead the younger generation and he himself is one of them. Mark Nathan is on a mission to fit three lifetimes into one. The child of Burmese and Filipino immigrants along with his brother who is a break dancing Catholic priest and a younger sister who is a nurse and married to a Chicago firefighter, they all grew up with a great appreciation for the American dream but Mark didn’t quite know how to find the life he hoped for. At a young age, he had creative streak with an ambition to tackle large projects and love working with people. He assumed education and a good career was the path to his dream life but after watching some jobs struggles in his family he knew that that was not the path for him.

Mark found a talent and love for acting, pursue a degree in career in theater and film which is how he paid his way to college. He took the drive and discipline that he learned as an actor and launched a successful film festival at the age of 21. After college he spend a few years in the corporate world as a recruiter but also built a successful direct sales business in his free time which allowed him to be financially free at 27 years old. Mark and his co-author David Anderson of The Delusion of Passion: Why Millennial Struggle to Find Success teaches others how to effectively manage the millennial generation.

Mark also continues to grow multiple entrepreneurial endeavors and looks forward to joining the film world as a director and producer soon. Mark is a proud Chicagoan and live in the South Loop with his wife Meredith. They are expecting their first child in this fall. Mark are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Mark Nathan: Rock and roll, thanks for having me on Jim.

Jim Rembach: I appreciate having you. 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.

Mark Nathan: Absolutely. I think you mentioned it right at the very beginning you’re talking about fitting three lifetimes in to one, and that is absolutely something I am so passionate about and so jacked about. I grew up with this mentality that I don’t even know if it’s a generational thing or an immigrant thing but I grew up with this idea that when you find the right job or career path that’s really supposed to be where you find your identity, and so I grew up with, go to school, get a good education, get a good job and it kind of find the career path that allows you to be who you are. Okay, well, I’m good at math, so maybe I should do this, I’m good at this maybe I should find this go down this career path and I’m kind of find myself in a spot where I just didn’t want to be limited to one thing the rest of my life. I feel like I had lot of things that I wanted to develop inside of me, the creative side, and business side, the growing leader and working with people and so instead of trying to find my passion or discover my passion I started creating a life was passionate about and that happens with every decision that you make, every action that you take.

And so, that’s what I’ve been jacked about, I’ve been very excited about recently because we’ve seen a lot of people especially with this book. This book just came out not too long ago, The Delusion of Passion: My Millennial Struggle to find Success, there’s so many people in our generation that have been dealing with the same thing they’re trying to find a life they’re passionate about like it’s hiding behind the corner of something or it’s behind the next promotion and really it’s about creating a life that you’re really excited about living. So, that’s what we been focused on more recently, the book and sharing the love from some of that and it’s opened up a lot of great doors and started a really great conversation, so we’re very blessed.

Jim Rembach: So, I’m a Gen X’er right? My kids are known 13, 11, 8 I don’t get exposure to a lot of that millennials type of thinking, type of perspective and outlook and I had the opportunity to watch you and David on a recorded webcast. There was a couple of things that stood out to me and when you started talking about your drive and desire and things like that, there’s a really something that’s missing from that whole helping people to understand their direction piece, what motivates them, what their drives are, because people of my generation and before me we don’t have as nowhere near as many choices as the younger generation has. Finding that passion and understand what motivates and drives you is hard.

Mark Nathan: Absolutely. And one of the things that we’ve seen when you’re talking about how many options there are, it creates almost a little bit of the stagnancy. Like well, I’m not really jacked about what I’m doing right I’m sure I’ll find something later. If you’re smart and you’re talented, you’re want to work at least a little bit hard there’s a world of possibilities out there. And so, it almost create a little bit the stagnation while you’re waiting for the next thing. I’m sure I’ll find something better, I’m not going to really do something about this, Oh, I’m at a placeholder job right now but I’m sure things will get better, and meanwhile you have an opportunity to grow at the job you’re at right now or you’ve got this opportunity over here just potential start something with a friend. And you almost pass up on these opportunities because you just assumed that there’s—well, there’s going to be something better I’m sure.

When I find the right path for me, maybe there’s going to be fireworks or maybe some magical thing will happen I’ll just know but the reality of the situation is we talked about in the book you just going to kill what’s in front of you. And really life is just about this chapters and this opportunities if you’ve got an amazing opportunity with your job or with working with a friend and marching some—whatever it is, do the best you can with what you’ve got and where you’re at. Find the way add value as much as humanly possible to your current situation and what you’re going to learn from that and the people you’re going to meet, the skills you’re going to develop that’s going to unlock doors for the next opportunity and that’s going to unlock the next opportunity. Person’s that’s grown their career, yourself, anyone that you study it’s really just this kind of series of lessons you’ve learned and skills that you’ve developed and they all just going to build on each other. So, when you’re talking about so many options, it’s so many options that people almost stay still and stagnate themselves while they “evaluating their options.”

Jim Rembach: What you just said right there from my perspective, I think that’s happening across every single generation because I’ve spoken to some of my friends who are sitting at retirement age and their saying, “I don’t know what I wanted to do. I want to do something I know I don’t want to do what I’ve been doing exactly I want to try something else but they don’t know what and there’s just like overwhelmed with all these different choices and don’t know how to take and identify internally what really gives them or what has given in passion and that how they can thrive in that next opportunity wherever it may be. A lot of time I don’t think that people realize that you going to have to shuffle sidestep sometimes in order to find that opportunity to go forward. It’s kind of like the Frogger game, generating—putting myself in there but you’ve got to move a little left in order to go forward and then maybe you have to go back to and go a little bit right but ultimately you’re keeping your eyes forward and you keep trying to go in that direction.

Mark Nathan: Absolutely. And that was one of the biggest, I think, struggles for me, I got started with this idea, I’m the child of Asian immigrants, so were basically brainwashed from the womb to be a doctor, okay, you’re going to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer those are the options you got. And so, I grew up doing that and actually even when I was applying for colleges I was applying as pre-med for the most part. And I remember just thinking, “Men, this is just not going to get me—while I like the idea of financial security of being a doctor, you know things like that, I just knew that that wasn’t really going to be for me so when we’re talking about taking sidestep, man, I remember that was the biggest think to let go off. For the last handful of years I’ve been thinking, “Well, here’s how my life is going to progress.” But if that’s not leading you down the path that you want, well you got to take a side step a little bit and see, “Okay, what path could this be?” and what path do this open up?

And so, the idea of taking a step to the side and evaluating other options I think is good as long as there’s still forward movement. A lot of people they don’t really side step they just kind of side look but they don’t actually do anything about it. So, taking an actual step into another venue or another direction that’s when I transition into the art world and pay my way to school being an actor and direct and producing short independent films. But then even when I was transitioning into business I founded a film festival when I was 21 and that kind of open the entrepreneur door. I remembered transitioning a little bit more in to business, I was really excited about starting things and the film festival (9:42 inaudible) but I didn’t have a lot of traditional business experience, I don’t understand the business world. So, I figured, okay well—and some advice I got, well, why don’t you work in the business world for a little break, get some experience and get exposure. I was an actor, I use to make fun of the corporate guys. I would make fun of my roommate that would wake up at seven o’clock in the morning putting on his shoes and giving on the awe with everyone else, I make fun of that guy and then a year later I am that guy. But I just realized, okay, well if starting something and developing this entrepreneurial business muscle is something that I want, well then yeah, let’s take a side step and develop my skills in that arena but that means that I have to let go of this in order to develop this new path and….yeah, it’s scary.

Jim Rembach: It is but I can tell you…I have the opportunity to have a couple conversations with you and we’d exchange e-mails, I had an opportunity to preview the book. You’re a person of inspiration in lot of ways and so that means for me I know that you’re seeking it too and then you just share a lot of that and how you go about seeking it. And so we look at quotes to help inspire us, is are quote or two that you can share with us that inspires you?

Mark Nathan: Yeah. I love the quote real simple but I just love the simple quote, “Write the future.” And it’s really something that’s in your control. I think everyone thinks the future is something that is out of your control and it’s something that dwells long as this happens or maybe if this happens and if the company is doing well, or maybe if I get this this raise, maybe if this happens and it just puts you in the passenger seat in your own life, you’re constantly waiting for other things to happen so that your life can now begin, you’re waiting for other things to develop so then you can finally move forward. And really you’re fully a thousand percent in control of how your story plays out. And maybe it was just the film background and theatre background and just seeing stories unfold that’s what you do when you’re in that world you’re telling stories that’s what it is. But you see stories develop and if you’re just seeing your own life and your own story and your own career, your own path as a story, we’ll your fully in control. So that means what you’re doing right now is a chapter that sets up the next chapter and when I really started understanding that and really thinking about life, like the story that I’m writing it took me out of the passenger seat and put me in the driver seat of my own life.

Jim Rembach: That’s a great perspective. You and I had the opportunity to talk a little bit and you’re mentioning something about your presidential aspirations and even your brother, the Catholic priest, learning multiple language and what his aspiration is. And you shared something with your father and he had a reply but I think you…share with the audience.

Mark Nathan: Oh, yeah, my dad’s fine. My dad’s a Burmese immigrant and just super blunt and all this kind of things but my brother, who’s a Catholic priest, was a breakdancing Catholic priest, and he was pretty excellent if you’re looking for a good way to entertain yourself for a few minutes. If you search YouTube for probably great breakdancing priest or something—awe were on Family Feud as a family, me and my brother, my sister, my wife and all that kind of stuff. And so we were on Family Feud and my brother is literally dancing circles around Steve Harvey and he’s got the whole priest garb the whole deal. He’s developing—he’s on his, third-fourth—moving on fifth language now and I call it his Pope training because in my head he’s going to be Pope. That’s not his goal and his aspiration, he’s on God’s plan so am I quite honestly. But he doesn’t have ambitions to be Pope necessarily but he’s learning a bunch of languages so in my head that’s what you do when you’re a Pope, you have to be able to speak 70 languages and so I’m running for president in 2040, I appreciate your vote if your listening, obviously there’s a couple of more chapters between now and then. But with that I told my dad, “Dad you realize at some point you may have a son, one son that’s Pope, and one some that’s President. Do you understand that Dad?” My dad just replies, “Mark you are sick. You are mentally unstable.” That may be true dad. But as Jim was saying now, the great ones are.

Jim Rembach: It is true. We often, especially from a posthumous perspective we only hear about the greatness of some of this folks. But the fact is if you look at their day and age they were considered loonies.

Mark Nathan: They may have been. Yeah, there’s a lot of people they just way have a curve one thing to talk about in the book. David in one of his chapters, he just talks about how many people hated Martin Luther King, just the percentages while he was alive, it was 60% -70% disapproval rate no one like the guy. If you look back now it’s kind of what you’re talking about.

Jim Rembach: Yeah. And I heard a perspective on kind of what you’re talking about with Martin Luther King and those people who were pushing the norm and what the societal mindset is at that time and they’re referring about Colin Kaepernick sitting down during the national anthem and during the NFL games. It opened up my eyes to something that I didn’t see because initially I saw somebody who was totally disrespecting our country and it really calls me to step back and say hmmm maybe there’s something different here. And I think what you just said about Martin Luther King is a great point. Is it ahead of the curve and getting labelled as looney and then everybody else jumping on that band wagon? Is that keeping us from moving forward it’s not just side stepping it’s back stepping, re-back stepping too much when we do those types of things? I really appreciate you sharing that and giving me the opportunity to share that about Colin Kaepernick because when I first saw it, I was upset. I was really upset and heard that different perspective and even talking about how there’s a verse of the Star Spangled Banner which we don’t sing which talks about the killing of slaves in D.C. So, there’s just a lot of things we don’t know about because they’ve kind of been lost in history that really we shouldn’t just to conclusion, so thanks.

Mark Nathan: And I think the biggest thing that people have to remember about respect or open mindedness is that that’s not limited to one specific point of view respect is respect, open-mindedness is open-mindedness. It’s so funny there’s a lot of people that constantly are just yelling at other people for not being open-minded but their yelling at people mainly because they don’t agree with that. it’s like, oh, what I believe is open-minded and if you don’t believe that your close minded—well open-mindedness means that you can believe what you believe absolutely but that also means that that person has the right to believe what they believe and you don’t have to agree but you don’t have to be offensive while you’re doing it. You don’t have to agree but accepting that they can believe what they believe is important to the dialog. While I don’t necessarily agree with how Colin Kaepernick has been handling all of it, as if I’m going to yell at him about being respectful, well, I should also respect him and the choices that his making as well. And people turn things really personal, really fast and this ideas of open-mindedness and respect and love these are ideas that are important to apply no matter whether or not you agree with someone or agree with them wholeheartedly or not. You don’t have to agree with them but accepting them is important.

Jim Rembach: I think it’s a great point. I know that when you start referring to the side stepping, taking different pass, making decisions when you first had done the pre-med and saying, “hey, that’s not the path going to the theatre…all of these different things, there’s humps that we need to get over and it causes us to ultimately move forward, if we make that choice and you’ve done that in a lot of way. First of all you already have my vote, I appreciate it. But can you share a story about the time when you’ve had to get over the hump and it really helped you move forward faster?

Mark Nathan: Yeah, sure. There’s 17 million but I remember getting—when I was transitioning into focusing a lot more of my time on business versus the arts. It was really difficult because when you’re not just doing something for work it becomes who you are, it becomes part of your identity, it becomes how you introduce yourself and how people know you and especially with the world of social media how people know people know who you are very quickly they can search back for years and months and know who you are and you been up to this point. And so when I built my young career as an actor and being in the film world and that was something I was really, really excited about doing and then when I started moving more into the entrepreneurial world it was a little difficult to let that go.

And it was more than just, what are you doing for work, it’s almost like you feel like you’re leaving part of you behind. Or you feel like, what if I never come back to that? You hear about all these stories about people that had dreams and then they started doing other things and then in 50 years later they’re just this the little flicker of a dream alongside of them wishing they would’ve done wishing they would have done that. And I just didn’t want to be that person I don’t want to be the person full of regrets of a lot of things that I wish I would’ve done or wished I would’ve stuck with. But what gave me a lot of solace and especially now looking back on it, you know if you abandon things or you leave things because you don’t have a plan or it’s just based on your life circumstances or whatever that’s when you have regret. You regret things when you leave things but it’s not a real choice, it’s not your choice someone else’s choice or whatever. And when I started looking at my life like there’s just this chapters, there’s this chapter of my life that I’m focused on. There’s a chapter of my life that called best, there’s a chapter in life I’m learning this skills and developing this part of me. We’ll that also doesn’t mean that you can’t, later on in another traffic come back to it. Now that I’m a lot more financially stable, I got a couple of more business goals that I’m trying to accomplish for some of the products that I’m working on but I’m really excited about getting back into the directing and producing world.

But now I’m going to able to do it with a lot of more financial stability, a lot more security. And being able to tell the stories I want, but you know, a couple of chapter’s later, right? And so a lot of people they leave chapters of their life behind but you know it’s a couple chapters later right and so a lot of people the lease chapters of your life behind or what not but they don’t really have a plan in which to get to it if that’s something that’s really important to them. And I think it was really helpful to just see my life as okay there’s chapters and whatever chapter you’re in focus and give it everything you got. And you’ll learn as much you can while you’re in that chapter and ultimately there’s going to be another chapter. For me that gave me a lot of solace when I was transitioning, when I was moving from this to the other thing. It was good to know that my life is constantly developing still.

Jim Rembach: That’s a good perspective, the put it on chapters. And so when you start talking about the things that you’re looking at doing—film industry, becoming a father—that’s awesome.

Mark Nathan: My wife’s a redhead, so I’m hoping for little brown babies with red afros, that’s what I’m hoping for.

Jim Rembach: I’m praying for that for you my friend. Okay, when you start looking at all of those future chapters it goes back to what we were mentioning a moment ago—options you’ve got a tone of options, so if you were to start thinking about one goal, how do you chunk this down? What would be one goal in those future chapters?

Mark Nathan: One goal in those future chapter—we’ll looking back on it the chapter I was really focused on a couple of chapters ago, the one major thing for me was being financially stable, being financially free to be able to make the choices that I wanted. Because I knew that was going to unlock a lot of the other sets, right? And so, that’s why when I left the acting world and I left the artistic world, I enjoy doing it but I didn’t really enjoy auditioning for some random commercial holding some random product that’s not why I was an actor, I was an actor because I enjoy telling stories that I cared about, and so really I wanted to be financially stable so I could have a lot more control over the things that I did. And with the business chapter of my life here we’ve been able to meet a lot of great people and accomplish some pretty cool things so far, but we’re totally not done, we’re completely excited about continuing to develop a lot of this entrepreneurial muscles so that as we move in to the film world there’s just a lot more independence, there’s a lot more solvency, you know you have to depend on everyone to do everything for you. So, this next couple of chapters are obviously fatherhood’s really excited as well, and I’m really excited about that. But financial freedom was really important and this previous chapters and right now kind of wrapping up and developing this business savvy, cause everything politics there’s a lot of business that are running the country if that’s the path we end up going on. There’s a—you know, when you understand how you run it like a business, an effective business and a business that takes care of it’s people and its constituents and its clients, it’s going to work out well for you. So, to me wrapping up this chapter well and continuing to develop that muscle is really important to me.

Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor:

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Jim Rembach: Alright, here we go Fast Leader Legion, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Mark, 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. Mark Nathan are you ready to hoedown?

Mark Nathan: Let’s hoedown.

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

Mark Nathan: Without a doubt wanting to move on too fast. I think after you start seeing some of the rewards in anything you doing you try to move on to the next stage or the next chapter and how this types of things you stop doing the thing that got you there. So whatever it is your industry if it’s just grinding, if it’s serving people whatever the work is to getting things built the wanting to move on past that, too fast has been a struggle for sure.

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

Mark Nathan: Earn the next level of mentorship. And the keywords is earn. Everyone would love to be mentored by Michael Jordan playing basketball but even if you got that level you wouldn’t even know how to take advantage of the time. There’s no way you’ll be able to (25:44 inaudible) all of the things he brings to the table so just knowing that earning the next level mentorship—the mentors have gotten my life for now, there’s things I can learn once I master those things doors are going to open up, opportunities are going to open up and I can earn the next level of mentorship.

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

Mark Nathan: Whatever you want you have to be willing to give it away. And if you want more time in your life—I can’t remember I move you once but I think maybe it was—heaven almighty whatever Bruce Almighty, but they talk about—if you want to be a more patient person be ready for someone to show up in your life that will test your patience. Whatever you want you got to have an opportunity to prove that. And so, whatever you’re wanting in life, if it’s more money, we’ll you going to have an opportunity to invest your money in something. If you want time you’re going to be willing to invest your time people so that they can take things over for you so you can have the time you want. Whatever you want you’ve got to be willing to give it away. And it also separates from the love of it too something you haven’t doesn’t ruin you.

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

Mark Nathan: I think for me it’s this idea of convergence. So, if you just think about your eyes, you have two eyes so it’s focus on the thing, but just having two eyes focus on a thing gives you so much more depth, it give you so much clarity, it gives you broader spectrum and so what I think I’ve always been good at is the multiple things at are on our play whether it’s relationships here, this project over here, being able to take things I learn from one arena and apply the same principles or apply the intangibles or whatever I learn over here, I apply into the other arena and I apply this over hear and I learn this lesson over here where I learn in a completely different context. But how can I benefit this project from other things that I been doing.

Jim Rembach: Okay Mark, what would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners, and it could be from any genre?

Mark Nathan: There’s a book called “Bringing out the Best in People” that I think was pretty huge and helpful because as an actor you get very self-focused, as a leader and someone that’s very much an organizer and driver and maximizer all those types of things it’s very much about—I tended to default to being very self-focused. And if I’m working with a group they tended to be—a way that I can accomplish the things I want. But really if you’re going to lead that’s bringing out the best in all the people that around you and not focused unbelievably helpful.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader Legion you could find links to that and other bonus information from today show by going to fastleader.net/Mark Nathan and we will also put a link to, Delusion of Passion: Why Millennial Struggle to Find Success. Okay Mark, this is my last hump day hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 19 and you have 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, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Mark Nathan: For me I would bring back the balancing skills, I think everyone got something they’re good at but then there’s something that could be a good balance if they develop. My wife she is like all heart. So, when she developed the pragmatic business sense of her, she became a pretty huge force. When you got friends that are great team players but then they have to learn to develop the ownership and the expertise to really be able to lead. For me, was always want to work hard, I have a lot of drive and a lot of big plans but with just the humility and the servitude that you have to go through the grind of just giving and serving and taking care of the people around you—you know a mantle of leadership as an opportunity serve more people, period case close. That’s something I learn over five, ten, fiftieth years plus and if I could bring something back with me it would be that because for me that was the balancing skill set that kind of rounded out Mark Nathan.

Jim Rembach: Mark 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?

Mark Nathan: Absolutely. If you want to connect with me, you can find me at marknathan.me or you can check out the book at thedelusionofpassion.com and we available on Amazon and e-book and audio book in every way possible on the planet, you can find us there and I appreciate your support. Thanks for having me on, Jim.

Jim Rembach: Mark Nathan, 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

092: TwinEngine: It changed how we thought about marketing

TwinEngine Show Notes

Winnie Brignac Hart and Lorrie Brignac Lee lost 75 percent of their business in a weekend. Being based in New Orleans when hurricane Katrina hit, overnight they became a crisis communication firm. Immediately they learned what it meant to truly help people in a different way. Through this experience they were able to align what was important to them and move onward and upward faster.

Until Winnie and Lorrie’s late teens, they were known as one person “Winnie-Lorrie” (that’s one word) or “The Little Twins.” As identical twins, it taught them a simple truth about differences. When you look at identical twins, what do you think? How are they different? What makes each of them unique? Identical twins are intriguing — it’s because people can’t usually tell them apart.

Even today, their children, Miranda, Morgan and Olivia, collectively call them ‘Moms’.

Their unique perspective on the world helps them to better understand that the world we live in appreciates and expects individual differences in appearance and behavior. From their first-hand experience at refining their individuality throughout their lives, they’ve perfected the ability to perceive distinct differences in other people, other companies and other brands.

For Winnie and Lorrie, there are physical differences and there are inner differences—one of them is a left-brain thinker and one is a right-brain thinker. One is creative and expressive; the other is rational and linear. But it’s the pairing and integration of these different qualities that makes their agency “TwinEngine” (launched in 1990) what it is.

Winnie and Lorrie’s book Stand Out was written to offer a new perspective and a clear and structured approach to mastering how to stand out, be remembered, and become a trusted and preferred choice of customers and prospects. They do this by focusing on the eight fundamental areas of a brand: purpose, reputation, visuality, authenticity, ideal leads, distinction, strategy and mindset.

Winnie and Lorrie believe that every business has a distinct advantage that, when discovered, provides just the inspiration and momentum a business needs to make a huge leap forward in performance and profitability.

They have built a reputation as inspired leaders, speakers and savvy interpreters of business brand and personality. They have earned 125+ industry awards by working with a passion for leveraging their twin talents to help companies translate traditional marketing channels into forward-thinking solutions.

Winnie Brignac Hart and Lorrie Brignac Lee currently live in Houston, TX.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @flytwinengine and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“My passion is, always doing the right thing.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet

“A lot of companies develop marketing plans and they end up going nowhere.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“Most companies today look schizophrenic and the customer sees that.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“A brand is an entire experience.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“Once a company discovers their purpose it can be incredibly powerful.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“It’s about your own ability to have the mindset to achieve desired results.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“Today we all really compete on a level playing field.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“If you’re aligned with the ideal lead you have a customer for life.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“It’s not about acquisition, it’s about retention.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“When the customer becomes a promoter that’s when marketing works.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“Marketing has turned from a monologue to a dialogue.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“Marketing is no longer a department, it can’t be.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“It’s about leaders that bring people together, that work together.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“Some people aren’t ready, it’s a matter of being ready.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“It really helped us to understand the person behind the client.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“You have to think about everyday as an independent thing.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“We all need to be empowered to be marketers.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“You don’t know what you don’t know.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“Always tell the truth and nothing bad happens to you.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Winnie Brignac Hart and Lorrie Brignac Lee lost 75 percent of their business in a weekend. Being based in New Orleans when hurricane Katrina hit, overnight they became a crisis communication firm. Immediately they learned what it meant to truly help people in a different way. Through this experience they were able to align what was important to them and move onward and upward faster.

Advice for others

It’s about your own ability to have the mindset to achieve desired results and be disciplined to actually doing it.

Holding them back from being an even better leader

Lorrie: Creativity. I’m a left brained thinker and I’m working on my creativity.

Winnie: Systems and processes. I come up with ideas and we still have to implement them.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Lorrie: From my father, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Winnie: Always tell the truth and nothing bad happens to you.

Secret to Success

Lorrie: Being a good listener

Winnie: Hart, bringing hart to everything I do.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Lorrie: Order

Winnie: Flexibility, creativity

Recommended Reading

Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

Stand Out: Tools To Master The 8 Fundamentals Of Standing Out In Business

Contacting TwinEngine

Website: http://twinengine.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/514649

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlyTwinEngine

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
092: Twin Engine: It changed how we thought about marketing

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 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 attendees 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 and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

Okay, Fast Leader Legion today I am beyond myself because we have a first on the fast leader show, we actually have two guest but t’s uniquely different because we have identical twins. Until Winnie Brignac Hart and Lorrie Brignac Lee’s late teens they were known as one person, Winnie Lori or the little twins. As identical twins it taught them a simple truth about differences. When you look at identical twins, what do you think? Are they different? What makes each of them unique? Identical twins are intriguing, it’s because people can’t usually tell them apart. Even today their children Miranda, Morgan and Olivia collectively called them Mom’s.

Their unique perspective on the world helps them to better understand that the world we live in appreciates and expects individual differences in appearance and behavior. From their first-hand experience at refining their individuality throughout their lives they’ve perfected the ability to perceive the differences in other people, other companies, and other brands. For Winnie and Lori, there are physical differences and there are inner differences. One of them is a left brained thinker one is a right brain thinker. One is creative and expressive and the other is rational and linear thinker but it’s the pairing and integration of these different qualities that makes their agency Twin Engine what it is.

Winnie and Lorrie’s book stand out was written to offer a new perspective and a clear structure approach to mastering how to stand out be remembered and become a trusted and preferred choice of customers and prospects. They do this by focusing on the eight fundamental areas of a brand: purpose, reputation, visuality, authenticity, idea leads, distinction, strategy, and mindset. Winnie and Lori believe that every business has a distinct advantage that when discovered provides just the inspiration and momentum of business needs to make a huge leap forward in performance and profitability. They have built a reputation as inspired leaders speakers and savvy interpreters of business brand and personality. They have earned over 125 industry awards by working with a passion for leveraging their twin talents to help companies translate traditional marketing channels into forward thinking solutions. Winnie Brignac Hart and Lorrie Brignac Lee currently live in Houston, Texas. Ladies are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Lorrie: So ready.

Winnie: Ready, ready.

Jim Rembach: Gosh, this is going to be fun. I usually ask people about their current passion and what it is and the two of you being left brain and right brain thinkers, I’m hoping are going to give us a different response. So, Lori what’s your current passion?

Lorrie: My passion is really always doing the right thing. And I do this by helping our clients build systems and processes to get the job done. We find that a lot of companies develop marketing plan ends up going nowhere. And I really like to help them implement those and see results.

Jim Rembach: Winnie, what about you?

Winnie: I’m all about entrepreneurship. I’m about helping companies get out there start and stay in business as long as they possibly can and try to move them with all the need of the companies to stay in business longer. It’s all about helping people get in touch with what their purposes in terms of what they’re meant to do on this planet and help them become what they should be.

Jim Rembach: That stand out and I’ve really enjoyed your book. To me it’s one of those situations where you have the opportunity to bestow the gift of clarity by the simplicity of your message. And to me that was extremely helpful. There’s a lot things that help to self- identify for folks. And I think oftentimes we struggle with that. And so, when you start thinking about taking a collection or collective of people in trying to help them identify really, what you call in the book an archetype of personality, to me that seems it would be extremely difficult to do it internally. Because a lot of our guests are coming from the customer care, customer experience world and a lot of our audience comes from that so we talk about that differentiation in making it. How you help companies really with that identification piece?

Winnie: I think it’s really hard Jim and because most companies today almost look schizophrenic, or look like they’ve multiple personalities. And the customer’s feedback, you know so you behave one way with one customer and someone behave another way with another customer and the difficult we have today is a brand is an entire experience. So one of the things we do is one of the exercises in the book is called brain archetypes. And it helps companies go through a process of really understanding if the company were an archetype, whether it’s a hero or assistant or the caregiver and giving everyone a touchdown in terms of really identifying what that looks like to the external customer and internal customer which is the employee.

Jim Rembach: And I think you bring up a really important point and for me I see the congruency piece, the whole part of the inside impacting and affecting the outside. There’s an employee experience that’s important from the identification component so I do a lot of work in employee engagement. And they talk about how workers of today aren’t necessarily interested in the companies that are the best in the world, there they’re looking for the companies that are best for the world. So, very unique distinction and I think the younger generation is really looking at that that purpose and that identity piece to connect with more so than whatever products they make. So, how does a company get past that type of, “what I call corporate arrogant thinking?”

Winnie: That’s a good one, it’s a challenge for every company, Jim. And I think for a company to truly understand the purpose people within the company need to understand how their purpose relates to the company purpose and I think it’s the disconnect and the misalignment of the leaders in the company defining what their purposes and then defining what the collective purpose of the company. But once they find that and once they discover that and send how each of their purposes impact by the company purpose it could be incredibly powerful.

Jim Rembach: Now, when you start talking standing out and the different things that you talk about focusing on and those eight fundamentals, which one of those fundamentals do people spend the most effort on, I don’t necessarily mean time, but effort, there’s a difference.

Winnie: Mindset. Because I think—when it comes to all the other fundamentals there are specific tools and activities you can blend and really feel a sense of achievement but it really comes down to—it’s really about your own ability to have the mindset to achieve those desired results and to be disciplined about actually doing it, that’s where the rubber hits the road, it’s really about execution. And having the mindset to really believe it not only within yourself but as a member of bigger collective.

Jim Rembach: But definitely a lot of things that were talking about here in regards to mindset, archetypes, brands, brain connection, brain impact a lot it can be very passionate and on the show we really focus on quotes of all different types in order to help with that connection and generation of passion. Can you each share a quote that kind of drives you?

Winnie: Well, one of the things that has impacted me in my life is reputation. And I want to about our experience as leaders. But, Warren Buffet, I’ve followed him my entire career and he says, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.” And I always think about the importance of integrity and reputation when it comes to a leader and I’ve always want to warn and really, really the messages I always plan such a huge impact.

Lorrie: I can’t recall who said the quote but in terms of when we talk about ideal leads that’s everyone is not your customer. So, with marketing many companies that’s smart (8:34 inaudible) but if you really don’t understand who your ideal customer is you’re really wasting all your efforts, so everyone’s not your customer, I think we said that Lorrie.

Jim Rembach: I think that’s hard for a lot of folks. For me having a background in customer care being on the frontline I knew that that was the case and I was totally willing to tell certain folks, “you know what, maybe we’re just not the best company for you and you may try this company.” And I would actually give them somebody else to try. However if I had an executive witness that, that would have been a huge problem and probably my last day on the job. So, when you start talking to some of these executives about that ideal customer piece and let some of the others go that aren’t ideal, is it been an easier conversation to have when you guys first started versus what it is now or it has gotten even more difficult because the competition’s gotten more fierce?

Winnie: Well competition it used to be there were the big bosses and the small companies and today we all compete and in really level playing field. And the running grid aspect of the past what people always sort of bundling up and gathering customer everywhere but really when it comes to it it’s not sustainable. Because if you’re align with that ideal lead becomes an ideal customer then you have that customer for life. So it’s not just about acquisition, it’s about retention, it’s about deepening relationships so if that customer actually becomes the promoter not some marketing works and sort of achieves that beautiful state is when you have those ideal customers and those ideal leads and really become the way that you market yourself because I promote you.

Lorrie: Yeah, and also thinking of half it was very difficult to know who your, “I’m digging up question of the year lead was, but who should I deal with. And now that the marketing term more from a monologue to a dialogue, we’re able to have these conversations and we’ll be able to solve those idealist problems. So being able to identify what those problems are is really one of the biggest challenges.

Winnie: Yeah.

Jim Rembach: For me being someone who was frontline customer care working being an expert by the CXPA Customer Experience Professional’s Association and being part of those that are actually responsible in trying to improve that entire customer journey and have it to be something that is a brand strength and value is that I see a lot of these lines coming together. So what I mean is I can talk to the customer experience folks and their talking about these things associated with brand and brand loyalty, brand impact, internal engagement, external engagement I go look at the call center folks they’re talking the same thing, I go talk to the marketing folks they’re talking the same thing, I’m on a board for a couple different organizations and their talking the same thing it’s like is that the same language talking about across all these different departments and silos but yet nobody’s working together. How do you get an organization to do that?

Winnie: Well, that’s the magic button, right there, isn’t it Jim? What needs to happen because marketing used to be a department and that’s where all the communication happens, all the messaging happens but now marketing is no longer a department it can’t be a department because it’s really about aligning all the silos together and when it comes down to well have to back to the mindset aspect of it, understand each of our roles, responsibilities you’d be a part of this. And it really comes down to leadership. it’s about leaders that bring people together to work together and to engage together.

Jim Rembach: So, talking about ideal client, ideal customers, when you guys have the opportunity to work with an organization and you have identified that it’s weak leadership that’s going to prevent you from actually delivering a big impact to that client, what do you do?

Winnie: Well, we’re all about transparency. So, we have a process in which we have those difficult discussions with them but ultimately if they don’t have the mindset to actually achieve the results then we’re not the best fit for them. You know, some people aren’t ready and so it’s a matter of being ready.

Jim Rembach: That’s a big struggle and that’s a big hump to get over both as a service provider, like you guys are, as well as the organization itself and goes back to that self-identification piece and talking about that archetype and corporate arrogance and a lot of the things that will impact the company from experiencing a lot of success. And sometimes we have to go through those pains and get over those humps in order to come out the other side, hopefully you can survive, especially in today’s marketplace, but there’s humps we all have to get over. Is there a hump that you have gotten over that has made a true difference for you, can you share that with us?

Winnie: Jim significant—our original office was in Wallens, and during Katrina we lost 75% of our business in a weekend. I believe at that time we have 9 hospitals, not just one vertical that we had all of those hospital watered and people died. It was a very difficult time for us to being a very traditional agency, you know, radio, TV and reports all of this sort of typical things agencies do. And every night we became a crisis communication firm and we learned immediately what it meant to really, really truly help people in a very different way that we we’re used to helping people in the past. So, through that experience—and we have some significant projects in the works of the time. We we’re really able to really pull together, to really align, what was really important to us and really help people in a way that we never thought we’d be able to do before. And I think we wouldn’t be where we are today if that wouldn’t have happened to us and I’d seen the success that we had because the agency sort of gotten—the agency sort of, Jim, always religion is tower and like we’re the agency and you’re the client. When you get to a point when you’re with the client and you’re knocking out (14:55 inaudible) and you were helping bring food to their families and you are helping them just pick up the pieces, it’s very humbling and I think it really help us understand the person behind the client, it was a significant event in our life.

Lorrie: And also to understand also a lot more (15:11 inaudible) it has been a wake-up call where we really sat and say, well, what are we doing? Why are we doing it? And it really just kind of start this whole process in terms of really just being open to and transparent and really change how we thought about marketing.

Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing that. And thinking about your own archetype prior Katrina and that experience versus the afterwards I don’t want to say aftermath, but the afterwards and where you are today, what is one of those archetypes you think that you have now that you didn’t have before?

Winnie: Really caregiver. Really understanding that we’ve serve, we are servants to message and the more we are able to serve transparently, because it’s not all about us anymore, it’s all about the works we won and the accolades and the great campaigns are created and that’s really about our success comes from our client success. And it is a process, it’s a relationship and I think we’ve gotten really, really excellent at doing that and really we’ve become amazing listeners.

Jim Rembach: Have you experienced or fortunate enough to have clients that were with you prior to that natural disaster and afterwards have they commented to you about the difference and what have they said?

Winnie: We actually (16:45 inaudible) every single relationship we have back then. We have very, very long—we have some clients we’ve had for 25 years. It’s not the client, it’s the people behind the clients. And I think we all change. I don’t know that they see a difference in us because we’re all different. We all understand things a little bit differently, that things don’t last forever and some things you have to really think every day as an independent thing and really, really do your best. One of things, Jim, we started was our brand promise, which is earning our—you can see the wings behind me. Our brand promise is to earn our wings every day. If we just do that every day then we’re successful, our clients are successful, and our employees are successful and it all works, and that one can really change.

Lorrie: And also take that from the beginning, 25 years, even though we’ve change how we (17:38 inaudible) the organization, it’s all been about trust. And our client tells us they can trust us, no matter what the situation that trust is always been there and I think that’s the big reason why we have a lot of our (17:51 inaudible)as well.

Winnie: And one thing more is that our ability to maintain a proper mindset through that whole experience where some people are literally falling apart, were totally paralyzed, we were very clear in our clear in our actions and really, really help them at a time where they performing the way that were normally how they use to perform. And you don’t know until something like that happens how people are going to be. We were there for a lot of people. One of things our father told as over and over again as we’re children be a lot of things but the thing is, you don’t know what you don’t know. And through that crisis in our life we learned that really quick. And that’s kind of one of our we don’t (24:21)

Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing that. You talked about your father and for those that haven’t had the opportunity when you referred to the “wings behind her” Twin Engine actually has a connection to an airplane that your father have purchased when you were just pre-teen, a twin engine four seater. And you guys being identical twins even identified your own titles to that, give me your titles real quick.

Winnie: Winnie Hart, to right engine, Lori Lee to left engine.

Jim Rembach: I just think the way that you guys are integrated, all of that personal connection into your brand and even when you start looking at the way that you craft your messaging in regards to taking off, lifting off all of those things, I think it’s absolutely brilliant. So, when you start looking at a lot of the things you guys have going on and I’m sure the whole family thing is just yet another issue that we didn’t get into and that’s where a lot of passion can be derive from for sure. But what are some of your goals?

Winnie: Well, personal or business, Jim?

Jim Rembach: You tell me.

Winnie: One of the things that the book has helped us to is to create a system which we call Brand Traffic Control, so that people can read the book and they can go back and implement some of these tools immediately. We wanted to create a book that it wasn’t just about theories and ideas and just a good read but really something that’s actionable and that people can be empowered to do this themselves because it feel like this whole concept we talked about marketing not being a department. Just the whole idea that we all need to be empowered to be marketers not only about brands but ourselves and I think this book and the 30 some activities and tools in it will really help people do that and so that’s one of the things I’m really, really excited about and it’s where were definitely going to leave our legacy.

Jim Rembach: Lorrie do you want to add?

Lorrie: The Brand Traffic Control is kind of a creative entity at this point but we’re going to—we’re working on it now to system in process so that people can access ** online. So of course maybe ** I’m working on that system so that it works.

Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

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Jim Rembach: Alright here we go Fast Leader listeners it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Winnie and Lorrie, 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. Winnie and Lorrie are you ready to hoedown?

Winnie & Lorrie: Ready.

Jim Rembach: Alright. So, Lori what do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

Lorrie: I think it’s my creativity. I’m the left brain thinker and I’m working on my creativity.

Winnie: Sense and processes. Definitely I’m the creative one. I come with all these ideas and we still have to find a way to implement them.

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

Lorrie: From my father, “you don’t know what you don’t know.”

Winnie: Always tell the truth and nothing bad happens to you.

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

Lorrie: Being a good listener.

Winnie: Hart. My last name’s Hart for many, many reasons and bringing Hart to everything I do is definitely mine.

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

Lorrie: Order. I love order.

Winnie: Flexibility, creativity.

Jim Rembach: What would be a book that you would recommend, beside your own and we’re going to put links to that, that you’d recommend to our listeners, Lori?

Lorrie: Scaling Up by Verne Harnish

Winnie: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

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

Lorrie: I think it’s back to, “you don’t what you don’t know.”

Winnie: Jim, I’m would be really about just being grateful. I think that being grateful for all the gifts that we have received and were able to share with other people.

Jim Rembach: Winnie and Lorrie, 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?

Winnie: You can learn all about our company at twinengine.com and you can connect to this one also with our names, Winnie Hart and Lorrie Lee.

Jim Rembach: Winnie Brignoc Hart and Lori Brignoc Lee, 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

091: Wade Fransson: This is not the tent

Wade Fransson Show Notes

Wade Fransson was a junior in High School and spent ten months living in a tent through the Alaskan winter. Having to endure the cold winter by using a portable stove served to be too much for Wade when the stove blew up in his face. Listen to Wade tell his story of surviving and making a greater impact.

While most of us were born and raised somewhere, Wade Fransson struggles with how to answer this question. Born in Vancouver Canada, by the time he was 9 he had lived in three countries, and attended three different schools in California, Washington State and Sweden. This is a result of Wade’s unique background, which includes divorce, a domestic kidnapping, in which his father smuggled him out of the country, and an international legal battle which was eventually decided by the Supreme Court of Sweden.

All this, and much more, is detailed in his first book, The People of the Sign. The book ends in 1995 with his resignation from the WorldWide Church of God, but Wade’s life was really just beginning. His first inclination was to pursue teaching, and he spent 18 months in fourth and fifth grade classrooms while pursing those credentials. As much as Wade loved working with the children, he came to realize that to support his family in the way he hoped he would be forced to pursue administrative roles that held no appeal to him.

So he established a successful business, which became a springboard into the corporate world, where he held significant roles in noteworthy companies, while pursuing an MBA. Along the way he has continued to struggle with the integration of his prior beliefs, his desire to practice true religion, as defined by helping those in need, and his desire for material success. This struggle, which is common to all of us in one way or another, is documented in the sequel to The People of the Sign, titled The Hardness of the Heart.

Wade leveraged the fruits of his experience as a successful corporate executive to build and manage a small Real Estate Investment portfolio and establish the Internet Startup GoHuman.com.  More recently he established Something or other Publishing (SOOP), a groundbreaking company that combines the potential of Social Media and Self-Publishing in their Author Driven Publishing model.

Beyond his job as a manager if IT strategic sourcing at Kohl’s Department stores, Wade is also the Board Chair for the Virtues Project, a global grassroots movement working to integrate virtues unto all aspects of life.

Wade now lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two children, where he has successfully resisted all attempts to force him to add a dog to the family. But he confesses that it is “likely only a matter of time.”

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @wfransson and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Understand where the other person is at so you can convey your ideas.” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet

“With people at odds against each other, do you think we could have positive progress?” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet

“Find some common ground or point of understanding to move forward.” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet 

“I try to build trust so that I become their ally rather than their enemy.” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet 

“My difficult negotiations are not with the other side, it’s with those internally.” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet 

“Science and religion can be integrated.” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet 

“Man became the most invasive species when it learned certain aspects of cooperation.” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet 

“To get people to broaden their worldview you have to understand where they’re coming from.” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet 

“My job is to create a competitive advantage with greater flow of value.” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet 

“Every time I do a deal I’m thinking competitive advantage.” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet 

“You take truthfulness and love and you’ve pretty much got it all wrapped up.” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet 

“My goal is to leave the world in a better place than I found it.” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet 

“There’s no better way to work on yourself than through the act of helping others.” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet 

“You really need to have a clear vision and establish the right culture to succeed.” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet 

“What is the real underlying issue, not the superficial answers?” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet 

“We cannot achieve a fraction of what we could achieve through our own efforts.” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet 

“Humility is what will enable other people to work with you.” -Wade Fransson Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Wade Fransson was a junior in High School and spent ten months living in a tent through the Alaskan winter. Having to endure the cold winter by using a portable stove served to be too much for Wade when the stove blew up in his face. Listen to Wade tell his story of surviving and making a greater impact.

Advice for others

It’s not a dog eat dog world.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Struggling with baggage and its effect on interpersonal relationships. Working on stability and balance within myself.

Best Leadership Advice Received

It’s all about vision and setting the right culture.

Secret to Success

An analytical mind and unpacking a problem and getting to the core of the problem.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

The technical skills to learn and use tools better than most people.

Recommended Reading

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

The Biology of Belief 10th Anniversary Edition: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles

Contacting Wade

Website: http://wadefransson.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wadefransson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wfransson

Resources

The People of the Sign
The Hardness of the Heart


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Click to access edited transcript
091: Wade Fransson: This is not the tent
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 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 attendees 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 and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

Okay Fast Leader legion, today, this episode has been in the making for a long time I’m glad we’re finally having it. The person I have on this episode today is one of those folks that the more I get to know about them the more fascinated that I am and the more that they impact my life. While most as were born and raise somewhere, Wade Fransson struggles with how to answer this question. Born in Vancouver, Canada by the time he was nine he had lived in three countries and attended three different schools in California, Washington State and Sweden. This is the result of Wade’s unique background which includes divorce, a domestic kidnapping in which his father smuggled him out of the country and an international legal battle which was eventually decided by the Supreme Court of Sweden. All this and much more is detailed in his first book, The People of the Sign. The book ends in 1995 with the resignation from the World Wide Church of God, but Wade’s life was really just beginning.

His first inclination was to pursue teaching and he spent 18 months and fourth and fifth grade classes while pursuing those credentials. As much as Wade loved working with the children, he came to realize that to support his family in the way that he hoped, he would be forced to pursue administrative roles that held no appeal to him. So, he established a successful business which became a springboard into the corporate world where he held significant roles in noteworthy companies while pursuing an MBA. Along the way he has continued to struggle with the integration of his prior beliefs, his desire to practice true religion as defined by helping those in need and his desire for material success. The struggle which is common to all of us in one way or another is documented in the sequel to The People of the Sign, titled The Hardiness of the Heart.

Wade leverage the fruits of his experience as a successful corporate executive to build and manage a small real estate investment portfolio and establish the Internet start-up gohuman.com More recently he established something or other publishing soup a groundbreaking company that combines the potential of social media and self-publishing in their author driven publishing model. Beyond his job as a manager of IT strategic sourcing at Cole’s Department store’s, Wade is also the Board Chair of the Virtues Project, a global grassroots movement working to integrate virtues into all aspects of life. Wade now lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two children where he had successfully resisted all attempts to force them to add a dog to the family but he confesses that is likely only a matter of time. Wade Fransson are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Wade Fransson: Absolutely, Jim, thank you so much for having me on this program. I’m really looking forward to it.

Jim Rembach: And I am too. I’m glad to your finally here. I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you tell us which are current passion is so that we get to know you even better?

Wade Fransson: My current passion really relies on all of those experiences that you just listed out and trying to integrate them, as I think you hinted at it into a coherent vision and view for humanity in which people can self-actualize in a way that contributes to overall society as well as striving more transcendent goals including spiritual goals that are often neglected in our westerns society and integrates all these things as you pointed out is actually quite challenging.

Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing that. You’re talking about the challenging piece and even for me getting to know you more over the past couple of years now, is that, being able to think creatively in that way and convey it in a manner by which it doesn’t cause people to go “huh” is difficult. So, how do you actually make or as I may say it makes sense to you, how do you help others make sense of what you’re thinking and the vision that you have so that things move forward and people just don’t get confused?

Wade Fransson: The hardest part there is really understanding where that other person is at. And getting to understand what it is that they’re looking at and how they might be able to understand some of the things that you wish to convey to them. If you’re talking this broad kind of integrated approach, it does somebody have a belief in a higher power or not and somebody believes that money and wealth are evil, or somebody believes that the biggest problem on the planet is global warming or does somebody believe that the biggest problem planet is the lack of energy. Understanding where people are coming from is the first most important point in order to build a bridge to help them understand what it is that you wished to convey to them.

Jim Rembach: You know that’s a very interesting concept that you’re talking about. And while I do spend a lot of time and effort both in my job as well as personally trying to craft messages that other people need to hear, now what I need to say there’s a difference there, not what I need to say but what other people need to hear. And the way that you just very quickly were able to identify where people are coming from, to me in itself is quite unique. I know for me I would use some of that for my own benefit, thank you for sharing. To be able to draw and create that connection with folks more rapidly so that hopefully we can get to doing things faster, we’re talking about moving onward and upward faster with the fast leader show.

Wade Fransson: Look at one of the biggest challenges facing this nation and as the historical leader of the free world thus facing the entire world is the enormous and unbelievable polarization that’s happening in this country as typified by this year’s election cycle. Now with people that much at odds against each other, do you think we can have any positive progress in the world? Absolutely not. People are no willing to take each other down at any and all costs and it’s quite challenging then to be able to address people on both sides and not be painted black or white by either side in such a way that you could help them find some common ground, some point of understanding, in which we could forward on any topic or as a people or as a nation or on whatever it is that you wish to discuss.

Jim Rembach: That’s a very interesting point that you share. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the work that you do at Cole’s from a strategic sourcing perspective ‘cause I think it’s important in a lot of different ways to tour audience. A lot of the folks that listen to the show may have to go through a by-process in order to get solutions. And so that they have to build business cases. They have to present their ideas and try to get all of those things, so they have to coordinate a cross-multiple departments. They’re all ultimately trying to impact customer experience and make more sales, build their brands all those types of things. Now, when you start talking about the vast—just ideas and thoughts of all the things that you’re involved in—that’s one issue. But in order to move things forward and work across all these different departments and talk about strategic sourcing for such a huge organization for me I have to deal procurement people, right? And they have no the reputation of being….

Wade Fransson: My condolences.

Jim Rembach: Well, yeah, giving me some empathy for that is appreciated. But how do you bring those two sides together where you got your internal stakeholders and that external vendor to get to the point where you can find an agreement?

Wade Fransson: That’s a fascinating question and one reason that I love what I call “my day job.” First of all why do it? Well, it pays the bills and it funds my other activities. Because I’m quite well compensated given that I am often negotiating deals in north of a hundred million dollars and you can imagine the dynamics in deals that large. So, I frequently get told by the people on the other side of the table that they’ve never met anybody like me in the procurement world, which I take as compliment. And that what I try to do is first and foremost build trust with them that I become their friend and ally rather than their enemy. The reasons that’s really challenging is because my own side doesn’t want that they want me to return every time with him blood on my knuckles and a few scalps showing them what I’ve done for them. And if I comeback with work pays on they’re going to say, “What the heck are you doing? You’re off the reservation here you should be fighting for us not chumming it with this guys, they’re not your friends.” And within our company, I’m likely in trouble for saying this but there’s this view that says, we should approach them as not our friends and you must fight and win, kind of thing.

And I keep trying to tell my internal stakeholders, “No, that’s not how I get what Cole’s needs.” I don’t mind sharing this, I share this with the people that I work with on the other side table I’m trying to coach you out on a limb and then hold up the saw. I much rather get you to extend yourself way beyond what you would normally do in trust that I’m going to help you, and how do I do that? Again getting back to that PowerPoint I first say, “What it is that’s important to you in this?” Oftentimes something is very important to them that cost us almost nothing to give them and we can exchange that, that’s a really, really good horse trade, but oftentimes my side is like, “why should we give that to them” because this is antagonistic relationship like, “why shouldn’t we give it to them? Don’t you want a long-term strategic partnership with his company that you’re outsourcing $112 million worth of business to? Of course you do”. My difficult negotiations are not with those on the other side of the table, my difficult negotiations are with those internally to get—the person I’m supposed to be fighting with what they want.

Jim Rembach: That’s very enlightening in a lot of ways. I used to work for a large retailer. And I had the opportunity to spend some time in the in the buying department of different product lines that we sold within our stores. I had the experience of just witnessing some conversations from buyers that was just so nasty, where it was, give me everything and you’ll be left with nothing, and for my perspective we been taught as kids—you get more by being kind and nice and offering the candy and not being no ugly and nasty. How does that change?

Wade Fransson: It gets to the heart and core of what I call the reptilian brainstem despite light syndrome that’s hardwired into our DNA. But again my interests are broad so I recently read in scientific American an article about man as a species becoming the most invasive species the planet has ever known and I tie there things in with my spiritual understanding going back to the book of Genesis and understanding how does this tie in with the Adam and Eve story which most consider just a fable that has no basis in any kind of fact. And I actually find ways to integrate this very divergent views, science and religion can be integrated, can be understood as united. So, anyway, man becoming the most invasive species, lo and behold man became the most invasive species when it learned certain aspects of cooperation. And this is in evidence in hunting facts whether the wolves or the orca whales that managed to excel as a species because they’ve learned certain elements of cooperation. You know, we often hear about dog eat dog but in nature dogs don’t actually eat dogs and yet that is fundamentally a world view that we have, oh, it’s a dog eat dog world. Really? In what sense has it ever been a dog eat dog world? When in history has a dog ever eaten a dog? And yet that idea influences our thinking and our actions in so many ways, it’s just insane. And yet that’s trying to coach somebody else out on a limb away from their minds and in their thinking to get them to broaden their world. You have to understand where they’re coming from and what silly, or ridiculous, or insane ideas occupied their thinking. And try to help create a crack and little light in on that.

Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing that. As you were talking I even start thinking about my experiences with customer service just the other day for example. I see the connection, hopefully others will, is that I receive an offer via e-mail about receiving in a subscription that I have for some backup software an extra month of I signed up and I went through the process and for whatever reason the transaction didn’t go through, never got a notice of it otherwise but then I kept getting an expiration notice. And so I called them up and said, “What happened? As far as I know I paid for this.” And they said, “Oh, we see that the transaction didn’t go through, we can explain why.” And I said, well—she goes, but I’ll do it for you now. I said, “Okay.” So, then she started giving me the offer without the free month. And I said, “Wait a minute, I got an offer for a free month.” And she goes, “Well, go back through and click that e-mail” When I did it said, “This link is expired.” And I said, “Can you just go ahead and give me that….hold on one moment I need to get the supervisor’s approval.” Why did I have to spend an extra couple minutes and then you spend in the supervisor’s time just to give me one darn extra month which I already have an e-mail we confirm but it goes back to what we’re talking about is doggy dog, I’m giving you this—it’s policy—and it’s amazing what we’ve done to one another just from a customer service and customer care world with that type of thought process and mindset.

Wade Fransson: In going back again to how these things are integrated. So, I’ve created a model which I would love to publish sometime if I ever have the time to write a book about procurement and sourcing and doing deals and negotiations. I view the service provider network, the vendors those partners as a different species. They’ve grown up in a different ecosystem. They’re successful, we want to do business with them and because they’re successful they’re one of the best companies, we love them, whatever is it they’ve created, whatever value they have, they hold out for us. But they’ve developed that in a slightly different ecosystem, they are different species. And we as the customer we’re successful in our world they want to do business with us but we’re different species. So here are these barriers even at the cellular level a single celled mechanism has a semi-permeable membrane through which things come in and out of the organism. And the between DNA and RNA is critical and important that there’s a book of biology of belief that would claim this that will blow your mind and change your opinion about what you are genetically capable of or not capable of and the power of your thinking and choice to re-create yourself into something much grander.

Anyway, that semi-permeable membrane so Lex what it leds in or leds out and this single cell then develops and become the species that’s selectively protects itself the flight light syndrome hardwired into our DNA. We can override that and we can form a relationship in which we move the friction between the flow of value between these two species and now two species that essentially would be competing with each other and would be protecting themselves and defensive and trying to win it can suddenly become symbiotic and the flow of value can be much faster. So what I tell the vendors typically is at some point in the negotiation here’s my goal, you currently have our competitors as your customer, my job is to create a competitive advantage in that, I don’t care what your relationship is with our competitor you can have it because I’m going to create something that exceeds that the full value between you and us will exceed the flow of value between you and our competition based on this agreement that we’re going to reach, contract that we’re going to put in place to document it and that every time I do a deal I’m thinking competitive advantage, competitive advantage, my relation with IBM, my relationship with Microsoft, my relationship with Google is better, stronger, faster than their relationship with any of my competitors. So, in my little piece of the cold world in my little procurement role, I’m aligned with the top line vision of the company and I’m helping us achieve the competitive advantage and that what excites me about going into work every day. And it integrates with my thinking around, how can I be better human being, how can I have better friendships with people, and relationship with people, so that’s who and what I am and that’s how I roll, for better or worse.

Jim Rembach: It’s definitely a unique situation when you talk about somebody who’s in a procurement world and I think anybody who’s ever dealt with procurement will see that. Your diverse background and a lot of the things that you had exposure to, your own continued effort to try to find this connection both spiritually and physically, there’s going to be so much inspirations that you have and we like to share quotes on the show, is there one that just stands out for you that you can share?

Wade Fransson: There’s so many but I’m going to share two. The first one is related to my role as chairperson of the Virtues Project international Association, this global grassroots movement that was endorsed by the United Nations and that has curriculum that’s being used in school systems in a variety of countries. And one of the quotes related to that that I love is by a man named `Abdu’l-Bahá, whom some may know, I’m actually a Bahai religiously today and `Abdu’l-Bahá is known as the master or the exemplar, the perfect example of following the teachings.

His code is “Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues” and this of course integrates with this, “Search for truth, being truthful in your discussions with anybody else.” So, truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. And as a former Christian minister and one who believes that Jesus Christ is everything he said he was, everything that he revealed about himself is absolutely true, people just don’t know what that was, I don’t understand what that was, but he said, “To be a follower of Christ, the sign of somebody who actually follows Christ is quite simple, John 13:35, “By this shall all men know you that you have love one for another.” So you want to find people who are truly following Christ it’s people who exemplify love to each other. So you take truthfulness and love and you’re pretty much guided all wrapped up.

Jim Rembach: Simple plain truth. Alright, I know that there’s so many different fascinating stories like I had said is more I get to know you there’s more that I learn—I think people would make that reference about peeling back the onion I think you have unlimited layers. We all’ve had to get over humps, you went over several even as a child when you had not had no control over any of that, is there one that can stands out to you that’s really made that huge impact that you can share?

There is absolutely. So, the moment that I’ve repeated to myself in difficult situations is, “This is not it is not the tent.” And what that means to me is, when I was at junior in high school after all these really traumatic situations that I was all emotionally wrapped around the axle because of what it occurred, what had been done to me the fact that authorities had lied to me and manipulated me and there was nobody I could trust. And then between my Junior and Senior of high school my dad decided he’s going to build a house on a piece of land where there was no water or electricity and unfortunately this land was in Alaska so I ended up living it a tent for 10 months through the Alaskan winter in 20 below weather.

And going to school, I had, Jim, class first thing in the morning and I would try to get a shower. I’d come out and my clothes would stink and smell like smoke, I was tent boy at school in addition to having to survive living in a tent. While in that tent, I have this stove that I try to use to heat up the tent, of course you would go out in the middle of the night so it help and it didn’t help. And I had that stove blow up in my face and it burn off an entire layer of skin, which was not only excruciating it was terrifying and then I went into hypothermia as result of this and blah, blah, blah. So, that was an absolute low point. So, from time to time in my life I’ve said this is not a tent, I would get through this.

Jim Rembach: Wow, great story. And I think we all can relate to that in one way or the other. Now, we talked about many of the things that you’re involved in, from the self-publishing platform to of course working at Coles, being a father, your faith and also the Virtues Project, you’ve got tons of things. So, I still can understand how you get things to move forward, but that’s yet for another show. But if you start looking at a lot of these things, even maybe that we haven’t covered yet, what one of your goals?

Wade Fransson: My goal is to absolutely leave the world a better place than I found it. In all my interactions and everything I do and yeah it does absolutely focus on my children. My daughter is now eight and I looked at her the other day and I realized this is the age of my little sister when we came back from Sweden. And my little sister had forgotten English completely. When we were smuggled out of the country, we were split up to live with three sets of aunts and uncles. And we were totally immersed in Swedish society and we lost all sense of who our family was. And when we were reunited with our mother, my little sister can communicate with her because my mother can speak Swedish and Lisa didn’t speak English at that time. And mother was also an alcoholic at that time and so that made it even worse.

So, looking at my daughter at age eight I’m thinking the investment that I’m making in my children, and I was on the school board for three years as well as on Montessori school where they go and totally sold on that program as far as an educational platform for people. Knowing that my children have just so much more of a foundation than I had and yeah, you can survive that tent and that stove blowing up in your face. But you’re scarred in a number of ways. And you have so much baggage and you can spend your whole life just working on yourself to get yourself to a place where you can be healthy and survive and much of my life were spent getting to place where I can be healthy and survive. But I’m hopeful that my children will have all that dial by the time they hit adolescence, they’ll already be out serving community in ways that it took me four years to figure out how to serve humanity. My desire was to serve humanity but in the typical social workers syndrome often the people doing social work have more problems than the people they are trying to help. I hate to say that as a sort of a blanket characterization, but it’s true. It’s not a c criticism of them, I admire and applaud them for working on themselves through the act of helping others, there’s no better way to work on yourself. But imagine if you start from a position of strength rather than one of weakness with the right intent, how much more you can actually (25:08 inaudible)

Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

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Alright here we go Fast Leader listeners, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Wade, 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. Wade Fransson, are you ready to hoedown?

Wade Fransson: I am ready.

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

Wade Fransson: I still struggle with all that baggage and interpersonal relationships, still catch myself acting in ways that I’m not proud of based on not having really gotten stability and balance within myself.

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

Wade Fransson: That’s a tough one. I think in terms of leadership, it’s all about vision. It’s all about setting the culture. You really need to have a clear vision and establish the right culture to succeed.

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

Wade Fransson: An analytical mind. Just unpacking of problem asking why five times and getting to the bottom of what is the real underlying issue here. Now taking superficial answers not dealing with symptoms, getting to the core of the problem.

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

Wade Fransson: This isn’t exactly the tool but it’s an example of the tool. When I was in high school I learn how to type and what I mean by that is it’s a technical skill, I type 81 words a minute and when I learned to use Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel really learning to use a tool really well. How do I accomplish things across all of these methods? I know how to use the tools to get things done in a fraction of the time that it takes other people to get them done.

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

Wade Fransson: Well, mine of course, but other than that, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was a seminal book for me that helped educate me on philosophy, human relations, and just was a fascinating read. I tried to pattern my book a little bit—my first book a little bit on the model of the way that Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is written. It’s not what you think from the title, amazing book.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader listeners you’ll find links to that and bonus information from today show by going to fastleader.net/wadefransson and will put links to Wade’s books as well. Okay, Wade, 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 back you can only choose one, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Wade Fransson: Humility. I would take humility because we cannot possibly achieve even a fraction of what we could achieve through our own efforts, and humility is what will enable other people to want to work with you.

Jim Rembach: Wade is was an honor to spend time with you today. Can you please share with the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you?
Wade Fransson: Sure. Wade Fransson I’m the only Wade Fransson know to Google, my name doesn’t sound that unique but it is. So just Google me and any site will come up, my books, my website, wadefransson.com, probably my publishing company. You can also just get me at wade@soopllc.com.

Jim Rembach: Wade Fransson, thank you for sharing her 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.

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