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102: Michael Beck: I saw the impact of caring about people

//102: Michael Beck: I saw the impact of caring about people

102: Michael Beck: I saw the impact of caring about people

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Michael Beck Show Notes

Michael Beck was the executive director of a 500-person law firm. But his operating philosophy of listening to people’s concerns and eliciting their input was not matched by the attorney’s in the firm. After butting heads with the micro-managing and dictatorship, Michael decided he could make a greater impact in a different way.

Michael grew up on Long Island in Oyster Bay, New York, along with his two younger sisters. He had two loving and supportive parents. But although his father was successful, he wasn’t a good communicator and wasn’t very good with people. Because of that, Michael really didn’t learn to communicate well, nor did he understand people very well. It really held him back in his career and his effectiveness as he entered the business world.

After graduating high school, he attended college at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, a Master’s in Structural Engineering, and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School. He then began his quest to find fulfillment and success!

But things didn’t exactly go as planned. Although he was smart and well-educated, his limited people skills caused problems and limited his success. He was a pretty poor leader.

Then he started working for an entrepreneur in the restaurant business and they soon became partners. His partner seemed to be able to talk with people effortlessly and Michael began learning how to be a better communicator. Michael studied Social Styles and soon gained the ability to “read” people, changing how he communicated to better connect with just about anyone. After many years of working with numbers as an engineer and then a financial executive, he discovered he liked working with people more than he liked working with numbers. He considers himself a “Recovering Analytical”!

He found that he enjoyed understanding people and helping them succeed. He worked for a number of poor leaders and observed what they did to upset people and cause discontent. By learning what not to do and honing his own people skills, Michael became a much more effective leader.

He also discovered that he saw things differently than most people. For a long time in his early career, he tried to fit in, but ultimately discovered the power of thinking differently and being his own person. He discovered the importance of being true to one’s self.

Michael finally became an executive coach about 17 years ago, where he found his passion, his fulfillment, and his success. He’s continued to improve his communication skills, his ability to persuade others, and his passion for making a difference in the world. He’s become a student of human nature and human dynamics. It enables him to help his clients be better leaders and to treat people better.

Along the way, Michael has earned a Black Belt in self-defense, ranked 118th in the world in a rowing competition, and has become a competitive dart player!

Michael currently lives in Portland, OR where he enjoys the great Pacific Northwest. He enjoys being out in nature, and likes to hike and camp. Besides his work and his outdoor interests, Michael regularly pursues his other passion – cooking! He hosts an international cooking group where each month everyone brings a dish they’ve prepared from the featured country.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“Unless you practice it, you can’t get better at it.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet

“You have a choice to imitate poor leaders or resolving not to.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“I don’t care how smart somebody is, everyone has blind spots.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“Many times we can’t actually see what we are doing wrong.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“As long as you recognized you screwed it up, you’re making progress.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“Embody what you really want to be.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“Analytical people, by their nature, don’t reveal much about themselves.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“Allowing people to get to know the real you makes you far more effective as a leader.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“Revealing a bit about yourself, people respond to you much more.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“Good leaders bring out the best in people.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“Bringing out the best in people drives results.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“The main job of a leader is to bring out the best in people.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“A great leader brings out the best in folks.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“Great leaders don’t produce much; it’s everyone else that does.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“When you hire somebody, they’re highly engaged.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“The brunt of engagement falls on the shoulders of the leader.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“The ability to grow professionally and personally drives engagement.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“Eliciting excellence is the essence of exceptional leadership.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“People respond best when you allow them to be professional and responsible.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

“Appreciate the importance of treating people like people.” -Michael Beck Click to Tweet 

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Hump to Get Over

Michael Beck was the executive director of a 500-person law firm. But his operating philosophy of listening to people’s concerns and eliciting their input was not matched by the attorney’s in the firm. After butting heads with the micro-managing and dictatorship, Michael decided he could make a greater impact in a different way.

Advice for others

Appreciate the importance of treating people like people.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Moving from being solo to a team of sharp experienced professionals.

Best Leadership Advice Received

People respond best when you allow them to be professional and responsible.

Secret to Success

My ability to see other’s perspectives and change other people’s perspectives.

Recommended Reading

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

Eliciting Excellence: Bringing Out the Best in People

Contacting Michael

Website: http://www.michaeljbeck.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Michael_Beck

Resources and Show Mentions

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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By | 2017-01-11T06:32:19+00:00 January 4th, 2017|Podcasts|1 Comment

About the Author:

Author Image
Your Fast Leader Show host is Jim Rembach. Jim is a panel expert with the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and spent many years in contact center operations and leverages this to help others. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence (EQ) practitioner, Certified Employee Retention Specialist, Certified Better Place to Work Expert, and frequently quoted industry expert.
  • Thanks for a great interview, Jim! We really hit on some important topics that can make a HUGE difference with leaders at all levels.