page title icon 117: Ron Carucci: I don’t know if I’m helpable or beyond help

Ron Carucci Show Notes

Ron Carucci was at a place in his career where he was very discouraged and scared. He never thought he would be able to build a brand new set of muscles at a very seasoned part of his career. But that’s when he got a dose of his own medicine. Listen to how he got over the hump so you can move onward and upward faster too.

Ron was born in NY, the youngest of five in a classic New York Italian family.

Ron has been fortunate to be in a field he loves and is passionate about for the last 30 years.  Although his career began in the arts as an actor and singer in New York and toured around the world, he was blessed to discover relatively early that just “telling” stories wasn’t going to sustain his interest; but helping others change their stories and write new chapters of stories was thrilling and he’s never looked back.

Ron is co-founder and managing partner at Navalent, working with CEOs and executives pursuing transformational change for their organizations, leaders, and industries.

He has a thirty year track record helping some of the world’s most influential executives tackle challenges of strategy, organization and leadership.  From start-ups to Fortune 10’s, non-profits to heads-of-state, turn-arounds to new markets and strategies, overhauling leadership and culture to re-designing for growth, He has worked in more than 25 countries on 4 continents.

He is the best-selling author of 8 books, including the recent Amazon #1 Rising to Power.  He is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, where his work on leadership was named one of the management ideas that mattered most in 2016.

He is also a regular contributor to Forbes. His work’s been featured in Fortune, CEO Magazine, Inc., BusinessInsider, MSNBC, Business Week, Smart Business, and Thought Leaders.

Ron currently lives in the Seattle area with his wife Barbara and two amazing kids, Matthew and Rebecca, who are growing up and finding ways to make the world a better place.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“What’s our part in making the world a better place?” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“Take four walls and a roof, fill it with people and it’s going to be ugly.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“Human beings when united in a force for good are inspiringly beautiful.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“People are darkly dysfunctional when under led and left to their own devices.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“When you unify and coalesce people into an endeavor they all want to share.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“We all have that inner struggle of me and we.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“When my need for me combats your need for we, we got a little problem.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“Company cultures are predisposed to be collaborative or individualistic.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“We have both innate desires to distinguish ourselves and community.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“People who are introverted suffer in very collaborative environments.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“People who are extroverted don’t want to work on their own.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“There are four reoccurring patterns among leaders that distinguish themselves.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“The most value of an organization is at the seams.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“Exceptional executives balance intuition and instinct with data and voice.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“Exceptional executives know how to narrow priorities to a vital few.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“The unnecessary excess of caution we apply when considering precedent is wasted.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“Asking for help is a great thing.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“Change is hard enough as it is, but without help I don’t know how you do it.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“We’re made to be in relationship.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“It’s not about what you do to or for people, it’s what you do with them.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“The only transformational experience we have in life is in relationship.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“The idea of self-improvement is an oxymoron.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“Connection and relationship was one of the things that made people fail fastest.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“What used to be the pinnacle of employment is now the employer of last resort.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“I want to redeem organizations.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“Organizations can do things with reach that other mechanisms can’t.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“All of the time you had angst over what people thought of you was wasted.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

“Folks that are obsessed about what people think about them, rest assured they’re not.” -Ron Carucci Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Ron Carucci was at a place in his career where he was very discouraged and scared. He never thought he would be able to build a brand new set of muscles at a very seasoned part of his career. But that’s when he got a dose of his own medicine. Listen to how he got over the hump so you can move onward and upward faster too.

Advice for others

Don’t worry about what other people think about, you. Because they’re not.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Figuring out how to bring cohesion and connection to a virtual firm.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Leadership is a relationship. It’s about what you do with people, not to them or for them.

Secret to Success

I think it’s important to get people laughing. My clients never wonder how much I care about them. They know that I put their success first.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

The fact that I spend my life being a human being outside of my work.

Recommended Reading

Rising to Power: The Journey of Exceptional Executives

Leadership Jazz – Revised Edition: The Essential Elements of a Great Leader

Contacting Ron




Resources and Show Mentions

Dorie Clark: coming 6/21/17 to the Fast Leader Show

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.


Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

117: Ron Carucci: I don’t know if I’m helpable or beyond help


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 to learn more.


Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader Legion, today I’m excited because the person who we have on the show today is actually have a profound discovery to share. Ron Carucci was born in New York the youngest of five and a classic New York Italian family. Ron has been fortunate to be in a field that he loves and his passion about for the last years. Although his career began in the arts as an actor and singer in New York and toured around the world he was blessed to discover relatively early that just telling stories wasn’t going to sustain his interest but helping others change their stories and write new chapters of stories was thrilling and he’s never looked back. Ron is co-founder and managing partner at Navalent working with CEOs and executives pursuing transformational change for their organization leaders and industries.


He has a 30 year track record helping some of the world’s most influential executives tackling challenges of strategy, organization and leadership. From startups to fortune tens, non-profits to heads of state, turnarounds to new markets and strategies, overhauling leadership and culture to redesign for growth, he has worked in more than 25 countries and on four continents. He is the best-selling author of eight books including the recent Amazon number one, “Rising to Power”. He’s a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review where his work on leadership was named one of the management ideas that mattered most in 2016. He’s a regular contributor to Forbes, his work has been featured in Fortune CEO magazine, Inc , Business Insider, MSNBC,  Businessweek, Smart Business and Taught Leaders. Ron currently lives in the Seattle area with his wife Barbara and two amazing kids Matthew and Rebecca who are growing up and finding ways to make the world a better place. Ron Carruci, are you ready to help us get over the hump? 


Ron Carruci :    Hey, Jim it’s great to be with you. Let’s get over it.


Jim Rembach:    All right. Now I’ve given our legion 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?


Ron Carruci :    Yeah, sure. So I have a very good fortune of getting to wake up every day and think about what’s our part in making the world a better place? By partnering with our leaders and organizations who are on some very auspicious journey. They’re trying to enter the world with clean energy they’re trying to bring new products and services to market, they’re trying to cure cancer.  They’re trying to do all kinds and noble things between them and that dream is the thing called an organization full of things called human beings. And sometimes those things are as compatible as you might want them to be and so we get the joy of coming alongside them and untimely match spaghetti ball and figuring out how to help them get to the place they have set out to get to.


Jim Rembach:    It’s funny the way you explain that because just a moment ago I completed an interview with somebody who started as an astrophysicist who’s now got in to leadership development stuff. And I said, “You know the joke is that when things seemed simple we all say that, well hey it’s not rocket science, but actually when you start thinking about dealing with humans it’s significantly more complex than rocket science.


Ron Carruci :    It is, it’s far more complex. I’ve always said to my clients you take four walls and a roof throw it up to the people it’s going to be ugly. I began my career, I began my graduate studies in clinical psych, and quick l realize I have no desire to see what people’s individual craft I just didn’t have the patience for it, I didn’t have fortitude for it.  So, I went into org psych only to quickly discover they bring it all to work with them anyway now I just get it mess. 


Jim Rembach:    It is so true. For whatever reason we have this you know misconception that when people come to work all of a sudden their behavior and their baggage gets left at the door and they become this different individual. 


Ron Carruci :    No they bring their baggage with them and some of them bring their porters with them to come to work. There is a flip side which is what keeps me engaged in the work they’re human beings when united again in some greater force for good they’re inspiringly beautiful. They’re darkly dysfunctional when they’re under LED and left to their own devices, we all are, we’re not the exception. But when you can unify them and coalesce them into an endeavor they all want to share and they can get past that inner struggle, we all have that inner struggle of me, we. I want to be an individual, I want to be part of a community. And when my need for me combats your needs for we got a little problem but if we can get people past we help leaders figure out how to do the dance of that beautiful things happen but it’s not second nature. It is not second nature. 


Jim Rembach:    And based on what you were just saying too, one of the things that I try to you convey to folks is that you also can’t expect those things to occur in the superficial. Meaning that if you expect people say and you say, “Hey, guess what? You’re now colleagues and that they’re going to actually act like colleagues you need to really recheck yourself. 


Ron Carruci :    Despite that people do it all the time. I’ve watched companies merge. We certainly watched some massive global powerhouse by a bunch of little companies and put them together into a platform and say great, now you’re a company. From under what rock did you crawl? And these are no doubt smart people, they bought the right companies best in breed companies put them together and do the right things for the right reasons so strategically it was thoughtful they just thought the self-evident brilliance of the move would rule the day and common sense will just take over and it’ll work itself out. Boy, it’s astounding how many people think all that stuff will just work itself out, I don’t know why you would think that. Based on what evidence would you say, ‘sure, bunch of human beings—so they’ve met before now you’re a team, now you’re a company, now you’re these, call me if you have any questions. You just have to scratch your head. 


Jim Rembach:    You definitely do. And you said something to me that kind of resonate as well the whole me-we thing. In that if you were to stop and think about would you subject other people to those conditions your answer would be, ‘yeah, if I have to do it I’m going to do it.’ But if you were to ask yourself do I want to be subjected to that? Your answer would be the definitive, ‘heck, no.’


Ron Carruci :    Nope, nope, it’s good for you not good for me. You move people around in an organizations and their cultures are predisposed—great example here in Seattle, Microsoft, highly, individualistic to an extreme they’re winning and hired people. Suddenly now they have platforms and products with collaborations required. We were there for three years you couldn’t get them to collaborate with a gun to their head. First of all it’s hardwired, it’s genetic that we have innate desire to distinguish ourselves and stick out. We have innate desires for intimacy and community and connection. Some people have more of one than the other but we have both. But if you have an orientation and organization of one toward the other the one you don’t predisposed to both are going to suffer. 


And so people who are introverted who naturally like to work by themselves suffer in a very collaborative environments. People who are extroverted don’t want to work on their own but they annoy people when they walk into their office and say, ‘hey, got a minute?’ No, I don’t. So, you have to allow your organization design, your governance, your strategy, all of it has to accommodate enough opportunity for people to distinguish themselves, enough opportunity for people to connect. But to your point, it’s great point Jim, if you try and get people to fake it or you fake your intention to have that work people see through that in four minutes. And people’s BS parameters—I always ask fine leader people when I speak, how many of you feel like you have phenomenal BS parameters? Like within three seconds yours is fibrillating you just know it. People, go hands up. Then I ask, how come you feel like other people’s bs parameters aren’t as good as yours when you’re doing it? But people are so certain they’re buying my smoke, it just baffles me. 


Jim Rembach:    Okay, so how do we get over this hump? You and I also had the opportunity to have a great conversation off mic and we were referring to people getting, putting in positions of power that quite frankly they’re just not ready for and we slough it off and we just discount and say, Oops! That’s a Peter Principle they got promoted to incompetency. And we just essentially squashing and killing a lot of potential stars, we’re snuffing them out before they have a chance to actually glow.  How do we move past this? 


Ron Carruci :    Great question, Jim. So, the great news is in our research for rising to power which was ten years of information we comb through. We didn’t just find all the land mines, all the reasons why leaders are flaming out spectacularly on their ascent, we also found the reasons why those that are thriving and succeeding are doing so. And we were very proud to watch those ideas get embraced very humbled by Harvard Business reviews honors last year for that idea. We were kind of caught off guard about the response to it but we found in all of the research and data four consistently recurring patterns among the leaders that distinguish themselves. In fact, my research department was ready to shoot me because the way I made them do different regression analyses on the data not because I wasn’t sure what it said, I said I didn’t like what it said. And these four patterns, you had to do all four well. And I thought, “Well I don’t want to say that sounds like you have to be Jesus.” Well can I say, that’s not fair to say that but is three out of four okay? What if they do two great, one okay and one they’re going to work on, is that make them—the bar was very clear below doing all for exceptionally you were a beat you on the beating and there was no way around it so we had to say it. 


But the fourth thing, the great news is and I’d share with you listeners they’re learnable. And I think the response from the HBR community on this was so resented because people resonated they recognized that yes the great leaders that I would follow anywhere do those four things and they were these, first was context. These leaders could read tea leaves they knew the context they knew how their business has made money. It’s astounding, Jim how many companies I walk into and I asked people, how do you make your money? What’s your strategy? And they don’t know they give me goals, and mission statements and financial plans and quotas but they can’t finally tell me how they compete. These leaders could read context they could also read tea leaves inside they didn’t bring stuff from their past and try and slap it on this current environment like a formula they really could adapt. They realized that their job was to allow the addition to change them as much as they seemed to change it. Second, was breath, these were leaders who could go from being first chair to orchestra conductor. They knew how all the pieces put together they knew that the most value of an organization is at the seams it’s not any one function. So they group in finance, they group in marketing, a group on sales they didn’t play to their strengths they broaden their view and looked across the organization and stitched it together into a cohesive whole. And how they made decisions and how they resolve conflict and have a set priorities reflected a full understanding of the business not just part of it. The third was decision-making, in short we call it choice. These leaders who weren’t afraid to make hard calls. They weren’t afraid to get the right data. They could balance intuition and instinct with data and voice. They knew whose voices and how much of their voice to coalesce into the right choices. They weren’t awfully directive, they weren’t overly domineering, they weren’t overly consensus driven so they paralyze the place they really know how to construct great choices and they had a narrow priorities to a vital few they didn’t say yes to everybody and they didn’t only say yes to their pet projects. And the last was not surprisingly, connection. 


These are the people that had relationships of deep intimacy and trust, up, sideways and down, direct reports, peers and bosses, these are the people every company has them everybody wants to work for them. Everybody adores them. They’re smart, they’re enjoyable, they can’t wait to be in the presence it’s those people. But turns out breaths, context, choice and connection they get all four well they’re all learnable. The time to learn them is not when you get your first VP job the time to start learning those things is at the very beginning of your career. And the great news is if you look back on these successful leaders’ exemplars careers they began building those muscles way, way back.


Jim Rembach:    I think that’s really important to note is that—as you were talking–thanks for sharing that, is that I started thinking as well about the finance, so I have a finance background I went to college and I got double major in finance, real estate and I ended up in customer care and customer service, and leadership so that’s kind of how I evolved, but in finance they talk about when you save early at your young age by the time you hit retirement you’re going to have significantly more than if you doubled your time that you are investing in and started late. So it’s that early development. 


Ron Carruci :    Yes, it’s true. 


Jim Rembach:    Getting them when—all those synapses aren’t becoming a little bit more stale and hardwired and start developing those things that really makes a difference. 


Ron Carruci :    And now the great news is, Jim, two things, one now we know what they are. We have 10 years of research that say, these are the thing, these are the muscles you’re got (13:58 inaudible). Yes, they’re big muscles and they’re intimidating but if you wait till you already recognized you haven’t got them, just start building them, you’re behind the eight ball. The second thing is to use your great phrase we’ve all been—in 20 years I’ve called the Peter Principle, you know when that happens? I turn to HR and the hiring manager and say, “This your fault, this is entirely on you?” It isn’t that they didn’t know the job or that they didn’t adapt. Sure, but you put them there. If you invited them to take on a role, in our research it was scary 69% of our sample said they were not prepared for the jobs that are given and more than 50% of them said their companies didn’t do anything to prepare them, how is that okay? HR people should be hanging their head in shame to understand that you’re doing this to people and it’s your responsibility and you have billions of dollars of budget you’re spending on this, why isn’t it working? There’s no excuse for it. 


Jim Rembach:    Yeah, and we even shared off mic the amount of destruction something like that actually makes, of course, upon the individual, the organization, all the families that are involved. 


Ron Carruci :    We’re back to the point before about—we put people in a room and say be a team and we wonder why it doesn’t work. Why would you take somebody even who is promising and talented and smart in the role they’re in, put them in a bigger, broader role and say, good luck you’re great here, she’ll be great there and then wonder why they flame out. 


Jim Rembach:    Exactly. 


Ron Carruci :    It’s illogical and yet we do it regularly it’s really astounding. 


Jim Rembach:    Well I can only imagine that when you start talking about your background in starting in theater and just your color and the way that you are so quick-witted just in our discussion. I could spend all day talking with you. But I know that you’re an inspiration maker but you’re also got to be an inspiration seeker. And we look at quotes on the Fast Leader show in order to help us with inspiration, is there one or two that you can share with us?


Ron Carruci :    A woman who’s been my mentor and dear friend for -something years came alongside me early in my career and has been there ever since and she told me early on, and I think she got this advice from her mom, she’s in her mid-seventies she’s still teaching PhD students consulting around the world, teaching executives, going strong, brilliant woman but she said to me, nothing is irrevocable except death. And the permission that gave me to say the fear, the tapes in our head, the anxieties that stop us from trying new things or from what people are going to think, the permission if that gives you to say you get two hours you two hours. You can say I’m sorry. The unnecessary excess of caution we apply when considering precedent is so wasted and that mantra has liberated me to make some very hard choices and some very risky and scary choices but to great ends. 


Jim Rembach:    Well I think what you were just also explaining right there reads perfectly into what one of the things that we talk about is getting over humps. It’s the undo or unjust block that we put upon ourselves often prevents us from moving to the next level. And we have to come through a lot of learnings in order to come to different conclusions and those are humps that we got over and mistakes that we made. Is there a story that you can share where you’ve gotten over the hump?


Ron Carruci :    Oh! My gosh, and it’s fairly recent. About, maybe year and a half ago. I was at a place very discouraged, a place in my career where I thought, gosh! We had worked with some clients that that we’re not enjoyable, I love my clients but when they’re sociopath I don’t love them. And there are some clients I don’t—we’re small boutique firm we’re not for everybody—and we’re gone a couple of years where perhaps we took on clients I didn’t feel good match for me. And I was discouraged. Gosh, I’ve done all the things I thought I should do, to be a thought leader to be a guru dump and notoriety wasn’t my aim but it was just sort of have influence and have impact with the people that I thought I could have it with and I thought I’d done everything I could to attract those kinds of leaders and I wasn’t working. I didn’t understand why after this point in my career was it’s so hard to connect with the clients I wanted the most to connect with. So, I hired a coach. At a very discouraged and scared place I stalked somebody, in fact she’s going to be a guest on your show in a couple weeks, Dorie Clark. 


Jim Rembach:    Oh, yes. 


Ron Carruci :    And I stalked her for a little while and connected with her and finally on LinkedIn I said, “Hey, Ms. Clark I think I have a client for you and I said, “It’s me.” Jim, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had read her material. I liked her thoughts she was obviously shopped, had incredible endorsements and she seemed like, I don’t know if I’m helpable, I’m beyond help, I  just made detours too many turns too far back that this was not correctable. But I said, “Here’s what I want to do. And so she sharp, wise, insightful and said, “So, I’m clear your goal would be to attract higher quality clients that you’re a match for with less—and so she got it. So, she went under the diagnostic work, did her magic work, came back with the feedback report and I’m sitting there thinking, “Wow, this is what it’s like to be on the other side of me” this is me taking my own medicine now and it’s not easy. 


And so you read this data report and you gulp and you start sweating and it’s both depressing and it’s like, yap I knew that and well I hadn’t thought of that before and oh, my gosh and then you said okay let’s get on with the plan. And it turns out—first of all, the things that I was doing is not the things I should have been doing I wasn’t anywhere the things I should have been doing. So to your point before but we have to show the world who we are, she said, if you’re a goal for you and your firm was to be the best kept secret in consulting you’ve done great. She said, but you’re spending all of your time talking to people who know you. There’s nobody—she said that, I couldn’t have actually—to find you was difficult—she did offer digital pathways and she said you’re needed to phase out, really do a major pivot and talk to people to the clients you want in ways they need to hear it who have no idea who you are now. I’m like, that sounds like a great theory, how do you do that? I mean I really had no idea. And then she started telling me the ideas she had on my—I can’t—that’s not—no—I thought she was nuts. I thought—she said, just trust me. And at every given point in the process she has pushed me to do things. And at this point in my career it’s not like I’m afraid of stuff it’s just like now it’s a practical thing, I’m too old or I passed that or I don’t know if I can do but just a lot of angst about—or just thinking that the ideas would, not dumb but like not applicable to me. 


But she’s gracious, and said, just trust me just do it or stop whining just do it. And I tell you Jim we just begun our second year of work together and I think it’s just getting good. But the notion of having to learn a whole new set of muscles at a very seasoned part of your career it can be done. And if you had told me a year ago, a year from now you’ll have written 58 articles for HPR and Forbes you have been on 25—I’m like, what pills did you take? Cause I want some of them. But I would have—absolutely said, this is no way any of the— if you would have said, here’s the kinds of people you’re going to interview for your column, here’s the kind of new relationships you’re going to form these kinds of people, I would have said you’re absolutely a psychopath. And yet here we are and I’m thinking, can we just consolidate those winds and she said, no we’re getting warmed up. 


So, the major lesson there, ask help. Like asking for help is a great thing there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell I could have done any– first of all I wouldn’t even known to do it and it’s gone extremely well and I was able to take skills that I have and applied them to new context. But without the guide of somebody who knew what to do, I would have been wandering around aimlessly in the wilderness even more discouraged than I was when I called her. And so I’m like, wow, I hope people for this delighted when they call me for my help. I feel having asked for the expertise of somebody that I didn’t have and just get some guidance and some support along the line, change is hard enough as it is but without help I don’t know how you do it.


Jim Rembach:    Thanks for sharing that story, Ron. I keep telling myself the same type of thing and often find that I put a roadblocks for myself. I’ve been trying to do a better job of seeking the wisdom of others. I always say that the good Lord actually made our eyes point.


Ron Carruci :    I think the good Lord made our faces so we couldn’t see them because we’re making the others, we’re made to be in relationship. It’s not about what you do to or for other people it’s what you do with them. And we are intended that the only transformational experience we have in life is in relationship. There’s no change of merit that ever happens of any kind that is in the context of a relationship and you can’t do it yourself. The idea of self-improvement is an oxymoron it doesn’t happen that way and so you have to have help. 


Jim Rembach:    So, you’ve heard here at the Fast Leader Legion, Ron Carucci just brought down a multi-trillion dollar industry of self-help. 


Ron Carruci :    Well, let’s get realized about that industry. Those people are looking to sell their help, so by virtue of the fact that you’re reading a book means you’re not doing it yourself. The question is are words on a page going to do it? And they’re not. Because anything you put into practice, anything you put into play someone else has to be touched by it and if they don’t know you’re doing it and then you’re not changing anything. 


Jim Rembach:    That’s a great point. And I think absolutely that parlays into what we’ve just been talking about as far as the leaders developing their folks and it’s all about being in relationship and being more effective at those things. And even the four things that you found, you can also drill all those back down to relationship components and drivers, trust, all those things. 


Ron Carruci :    We tell people about those dimensions in the research. They’re not four things, they’re one. You can’t one do breaths with our relationship you can’t do context without decision-making they all require each other. But we did say each of them are one-fourth of one thing. But we did say this, we did notice that when people failed connection, relationship was one of the things that made them fail fastest. You could fake context and breaths before people figure it out, especially if you are in an environment that didn’t value those things. Or you could fake choice if you were around the decision makers. Like connection, especially with peers and direct reports, if one of those was amiss it was like it was like putting gas on a fire it was an accelerant to a demise. 


Jim Rembach:    Awesome. I know you’ve got a lot of things going on. You talk about the coaching and—thanks for sharing that and showing the vulnerability so that we can all get over our own hump—the work that you’re doing with your firm. All of these things continue to grow your platform being on the Fast Leader show, what’s one of your goals?


Ron Carruci :    I would say, and this is part of my coaching  awareness—we’re in a season now Jim–we’re in a political season maybe you’ve noticed a few things going on out there –we’re in a season where organizations, as we talked about before their dysfunctional they’re being vilified, obesity, human rights, atrocities, what used to be the pinnacle of employment is now their employer of last resort. People want to be entrepreneurs, working the geek economy, they want to be freelancers everybody wants to go on their own nobody wants to be part of an organization anymore because it’s been this “do the five thing.” Well, it’s companies of help, it’s not like people made this stuff up, thanks Wells Fargo, but in my heart of hearts I still know companies are good. They can do things, they can change the world, they can have impact they can innovate in ways individuals can’t. Actually about the entrepreneurs is they’re all saying, “I want to be thought, I’m part of something greater than myself.” And I’m thinking, “How are going to do that by yourself?” Or like three of you? So I thought it’s an odd desire that “we” thing but maybe you can do a “we” thing for me, it didn’t work. 


But I don’t disrespect the aversion, I get it but I think we’re throwing babies out in the bath waters. But now if you presume that our new administration is what it is, if you assume that regulations are going to be quelled a little bit organizations will be turned loose but to do what? And my hope is it’s not to do more crap, I hope. So if I had to say to you, if I had a platform right now of what I do, I want to redeem organizations. I want to reframe how we see them and demonstrate because a lot of great ones out there are doing it. There are great organizations out there with trusting reputations, very socially responsible, very community-minded, treating their people really well, and doing good work in their fields, they’re there. We don’t care about those whole lot but they’re there. And so for me, I’m in a season where I’ve spent my whole life organizing human endeavor and being fascinated by that and studying that improving that and I feel like the one mechanism in the world we have that organizes human endeavor in ways that can be magnificent unlike a football team or a local church committee, which are all great. Organizations can do things can reach that other mechanisms can’t and I feel like I want to turn some heads back and say, maybe they’re not all horrible, maybe entrepreneuring isn’t for everybody. Maybe we should look again, especially by the ones who are doing magnificent things and studied them and see how we emulate them. 


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

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


Ron Carruci :    Let’s go hoedown. 


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


Ron Carruci :    I’m still—wherever I work at a virtual firm and leading in a virtual firm takes a lot of work and figuring out what are the creative ways to bring cohesion in connection to a virtual firm, still figuring that out.


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


Ron Carruci :    Leadership is a relationship. It’s about what you do with people not to them or for them. 


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


Ron Carruci :    I have a sense of humor, probably notice that, and I think it’s important that we get people laughing. And to my leaders, my clients never wonder how much I care about them. I put their success first and I have to say some really hard things to them but they always know underneath that I’m really committed to their success.


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


Ron Carruci :    The fact that I don’t spend my whole life doing it. I do have other parts of my life where I volunteer and have community and have friendships and I spend my life being a human being outside my work. 


Jim Rembach:    What is one book you’d recommend to our listeners, they could be from any genre, of course we’ll put a link to Rising To Power on our show notes page. 


Ron Carruci :    Thank you for that. One of my favorite all-time books by Max de Pree called Leadership Jazz, it’s an old timeless text but I just love it. It’s a metaphor of leadership as a jazz musician about the riffing and the innovation that comes from improvisational music. It’s a timeless text that every leader should read.


Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to Carucci. Okay Ron, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity 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. So, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why? 


Ron Carruci :    I bet it will be fun to go back and see how many of your guests answer the question the same way but I’m going to say at this this, all of the time you angst it over how much or what other people thought of you was wasted because they weren’t thinking about you at all. If we made choices in life free of the projection of judgment of other people, free of the assumption of the ridicule, of the mockery or the hesitancy of what other people thought, it’s a license to be a jerk and be inconsiderate but the guard we put on ourselves because of the judgment and evaluation of others, and organizations put these in place performance or reviews whatever, gosh, the choices I would have made differently, the courage I would have had, the joy I would have not the oppression of—oh, we’re going to break—I would say, gosh, all the folks who are so obsessed of what people are thinking of them, rest assured they’re not thinking about you at all, don’t worry about it. 


Jim Rembach:    Ron, 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? 


Ron Carruci :    You can find me at You can find me on Twitter @roncarucci. You can find me on LinkedIn and all those places have individual connections to me so I look forward to hearing from you.


Jim Rembach:    Ron Carucci, 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 so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 





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