page title icon career path

Vicky Oliver Bad bosses, Crazy Co-Workers and Other Office Idiots

153: Vicky Oliver: It was a huge redirect for me

Vicky Oliver Show Notes Page

Vicky Oliver was working at an advertising agency on September 11, 2001. After that day, Vicky decided to do a career redirect. She set upon a path to use her skills in a different way that ultimately led her to write about Bad bosses, Crazy Co-Workers and Other Office Idiots.

Vicky was born and raised in New York City. She grew up as an only child. Her parents were divorced when she was young. Then her mom remarried.  Vicky’s mother, father, and stepfather were all in advertising — which was Vicky’s first career.

Her family talked about advertising at the dinner table. Vicky did not want to go into advertising, originally, but did want to write. She started writing poems at the age of 6.  She was even asked to start the school newspaper at one of her schools. By 17, Vicky was writing in-depth journalistic pieces for a newspaper that was free and could be found in the lobbies of buildings.

Vicky Oliver started her career life as a receptionist in advertising, then was promoted to secretary. After that she was promoted to junior copywriter. Eventually, Vicky became a creative director. At a certain point, she wondered what else she could write besides ads and TV spots that were making her clients rich.

Vicky noticed that she had had a lot of jobs in advertising and also always managed to secure good jobs. Once Vicky started hiring people to work for her, she began to think about a book on job hunting. Mainly due to all the mistakes the candidates Vicky met with made. She thought, “he showed up late, didn’t know my name, didn’t know the clients we have… I should write about this.” Then one day, she did.

Vicky Oliver, is a leading career development expert and the multi-best-selling author of five books, including Bad Bosses, Crazy Coworkers & Other Office Idiots. She is a sought-after speaker and seminar presenter and a popular media source, having made over 700 appearances in broadcast, print and online outlets.

Vicky currently resides in Manhattan, basically 30 blocks from where she grew up.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“The grass is not greener in another company.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“Some people, for whatever reason, drive us nuts.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“There are different personality types, that drive different people crazy for different reasons.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“You can escape a person, but you can’t escape that type of person.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“You will not advance as far if you keep job hopping.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“Growing within a company is usually your best strategy for career advancement.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“If you have a problem with somebody at the office, they have a problem with you.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“If you’re strong in certain areas you should hire people who are strong in other areas than yourself.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“Leadership is a certain skillset where you are literally inspiring the people around you to greatness.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“Leadership is a privilege, you have buy-in from the people you lead.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“You always have to be customer-centric.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“Sometimes it’s better to show up in person and be there.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“You have to build a level of trust within the other people in the company.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“It’s going to take you awhile to build credibility.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“Be mentally present, in the present.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“Sometimes you have to put your future aspirations on the back burner.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“You always want to be a person that solves a problem and not creating a problem.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“Sometimes you just have to figure out the path.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

“You have to say to yourself, take a risk.” -Vicky Oliver Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Vicky Oliver was working at an advertising agency on September 11, 2001. After that day, Vicky decided to do a career redirect. She set upon a path to use her skills in a different way that ultimately led her to write about Bad bosses, Crazy Co-Workers and Other Office Idiots.

Advice for others

You actually have to tell yourself to take a risk.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Sometimes you just have to figure out the path. If you figure out the path you get further.

Best Leadership Advice

Learn how to listen well and be a good speaker.

Secret to Success

I’m extremely organized.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

I have a depth of experience and learn from others. I now have a repository of wisdom.

Recommended Reading

Bad Bosses, Crazy Coworkers & Other Office Idiots: 201 Smart Ways to Handle the Toughest People Issues

How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age

The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success

Contacting Vicky Oliver

email: vicky [at] vickyoliver.com

website: http://vickyoliver.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vicky-oliver-737219/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vickyoliver

Resources and Show Mentions

Developing a Better Place to Work

Increase Employee Engagement and Workplace Culture

Empathy Mapping

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: 

Click to access edited transcript

153: Vicky Oliver: It was a huge redirect for me

 

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.

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.

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader legion, today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today that’s going to help us with something that probably all of us have an issue with that those bad bosses and crazy co-workers and other office idiots that drive us nuts. Vicky Oliver was born and raised in New York City. She grew up as an only child. Her parents were divorced when she was young then her mom remarried. Vicki’s mother father and stepfather were all in advertising which was Vicky’s first career. Her family talked about advertising at the dinner table Vicky initially didn’t want to go into advertising but she did want to write. She started writing poems at the age of six, she was even asked to start the school newspaper at one of her schools. By 17 Vicky was writing in-depth journalistic pieces for a newspaper that was free and could be found in the lobbies of buildings. Vicky Oliver started her career life as a receptionist in advertising and then was promoted to secretary after that she was promoted to junior copywriter. 

 

Eventually, Vicky became a creative director. At a certain point, she wondered what else could she write besides ads and TV spots that were making her clients rich. Vicky noticed that she had a lot of jobs in advertising and also always managed to secure good ones. Once Vicky started hiring people for herself she began to think about a book on job hunting mainly because a lot of candidates made mistakes, she thought, they showed up late, didn’t know my name didn’t know the clients we have, I should write a book about this, and then one day she did. 

 

Vicky Oliver is a leading career development expert and the multi best-selling author of five books including–Bad Bosses Crazy Co-workers and other Office Idiots. She’s a sought-after speaker and seminar presenter and a popular media source having made over 700 appearances in broadcast, print and online outlets. Vicki currently resides in Manhattan basically 30 blocks from where she grew up. Vicki Oliver, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Vicky Oliver:   Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.

 

Jim Rembach:   I’m glad you’re here. 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.

 

Vicky Oliver:   I really like to help people both who are looking for work and also help people survive their workplaces. I do that by writing articles, writing books, speaking out about it, giving seminars and also I run a small consulting practice here in Manhattan where job candidates come and talk to me in person.

 

Jim Rembach:   When so when you start thinking about all of those things that you’re doing, where do you that you get the most passion?

 

Vicky Oliver:   I get the most passion—I feel like I’m a writer first and foremost and I like to set my thoughts down in words first. But then once I feel like I’ve found the path the problem and the solution and kind of figured out how to solve something then I like to meet people in person and do it that way.

 

Jim Rembach:   So that makes sense. One of the things that I’d also noticed in the book is the way that you have it. The end of the book the thing for me that had the most meat because I definitely like the whole focusing on self being aware of self, it’s what we talk about an emotional intelligence, because when we can do that then we can start really making some changes for the better. One of the things that you said, towards the back of the book, to me I think was a gem. You said, if you’re considering leaving your job to run away from that particular person, a boss, a colleague and under League or even someone in a different department who drives you crazy rest assured you will encounter the identical problem elsewhere.

 

Vicky Oliver:   Yes. I feel that the grass is not greener in another company. If you have of difficulty working for the “Devil Wears Prada” then you’re going to have difficulty working for her at another company. Some people for whatever reason drive us nuts. My mother—I love you mom—my mother is very autocratic. When I was working in advertising I had difficulty working for extremely autocratic people. They reminded me of my mother who was also in advertising, right? So, that’s the type that drives me nuts. Somebody else the person that drives them nuts is the guy that’s never there they need their boss’s permission he’s never around they’re chasing him all over the country and maybe even to Europe can’t find him can’t do anything because he’s not there. They’re different personality types that drive different people crazy for different reasons and the idea of my book was to mark all of those personality types, I think they’re about 40 or something in the book, then as a reader figure out who is driving me crazy today? Go look up some proactive tips on what to do with that person how to deal with them and then put the book away for another day. it’s a thesaurus of all the people who can drive you crazy and here’s what you can do about that.

 

Jim Rembach:   Well, I think the fallacy is that people think that they can escape those people, that environment but that’s not always the case. The fact is that it could damage you and your career in the long term. 

 

Vicky Oliver:   Correct. 

 

Jim Rembach:   You can escape a person but you cannot escape that type of person. If it drives you crazy for someone to be looking over your shoulder, looking over your to-do lists, micromanaging you if that type of person drives you crazy that type of person is always going to drive you crazy until you learn how to conquer that personality type. And once you learn to conquer that personality type they will no longer drive you crazy. Now, let’s look at the opposite way, let’s say, oh

 

Vicky Oliver:   I’m going to escape that person I’m going to go to Company B now and then that person now that type will still be there me crazy now I’m going to hop to company C. What happens? Well, usually in the job hop you get a little more money when you hop so your finances will improve slightly. However, you lose a great deal too because you have lost the time you put in to pay your dues at those companies, you have lost the trust because you keep job hopping. You have lost a lot in your career by doing it that way. A lot of times you will not advance as far if you keep job hopping, you will not advance as far whereas if you stay in a place and you learn how to conquer some personality types then you grow within the company. Usually, growing within a company is your best strategy for career advancement not job hopping.

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a really good point. The thing that I see where people end up starting to hit their flow is when they really focused in on something and gain some subject matter expertise within it and then they’re recognized and appreciated for that depth of expertise. And that is what allows them to get the jobs of greater responsibility and even greater pay instead of that little bump. But if you can’t deal with these different types of personalities you’re essentially just kissing all of that goodbye. 

 

Vicky Oliver:   You are, you are. It’s a real issue and I think that a lot of people especially, not to paint a whole generation with a wide brush especially the millennial generation, I think that that is not something that young people are thinking about today. They don’t they don’t think in terms of my whole career they just think in terms of this job, this position, I think that’s a mistake I really do. It’s better often to learn how to deal with that personality and also a lot of times if you have a problem with somebody at the office they have a problem with you. And there problem with you may be making them look for work elsewhere. So, by resolving to stay try to conquer it and then if necessary make them leave a lot of times that is a way of getting yourself promoted. Like if that person is your boss and you don’t get along with the person but you try really hard you try and you try and you try and then eventually that person leaves there’s a space for you to move in to. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a good point. When you start thinking about that next step of responsibility or that higher step of responsibility at some point you’re still going to have to learn how to deal with those different personalities. The reality is if you build a team of people who you can only get along with, you’re cutting out a huge opportunity to gain benefit from having a diverse team. You’re only going to have people that essentially function a particular way or think a particular way and you essentially put yourself into the downsides of the groupthink, the negative side.

 

Vicky Oliver:   Yes. I think that’s actually an excellent point. A lot of times people do hire people who remind them of themselves and who are basically duplicating their strengths. And so you end up with these lopsided teams which are very strong in certain key areas but exceptionally weak in other areas. Whereas if you master different personalities that will not be a factor that will not be a factor for you. You will be able to organize teams and think about team building in a different way where you are basically using people’s strengths. If you’re strong in certain areas you should hire people who are strong in other areas than yourself so that you have more of a balance.

 

Jim Rembach:   It also brings up the point and you and I had talked about this before where there’s a difference between managing and leading. We may have many years ago been able to get away with not having skills in both particular areas because we had so many different levels and hierarchies within organizations but all that stand out so now I have to build skills in both. 

 

Vicky Oliver:   Right, you do. I just want to quickly sort of talk a little bit about what at least I think the differences are. For me management is something that is process oriented, it’s task-oriented but that is not leadership. Leadership is a certain skill set where you are literally inspiring the people around you to greatness. You can be the boss and hopefully you are, try to inspire your people to greatness but you can also do it from a mid-level position. The point is leadership is a privilege and a privilege means you have to have buy-in from the people that you lead. You might not be a boss and you might have 20 people underneath you but if they’re not buying into your vision and what you see for the company they are not going to extend themselves for you they’re not going to take risks for you. 

 

Jim Rembach:   You bring up a really interesting point for me on the Fast Leader show I kind of try to always pull things back to the customer experience and talk about customer centric leadership. When I start thinking about leading, leadership and talking about all the people who you’re focusing in on today, how much is that customer experience aspect come into play with all the work that you’re doing versus say just a few years ago? 

 

Vicky Oliver:   I think you always have to be customer centric a company always has to be thinking about the end person, that’s really critical. A lot of times just feedback mechanisms that you can build will help you figure out what the customer experience is and that is really essential. What I’m talking about here is leading a group a company to become better at what it is that they do. Part of that is just being able to take risks and inspiring people to take risks and not being so frightened sometimes if a risk fails. 

 

Jim Rembach:   When we start talking about all of this and dealing with all of these people whether we get along with it or not it’s loaded with passion. One of the things that we look at on this show in order to be able to energize us our quotes. Is there a quote or two that you can share that you like? 

 

Vicky Oliver:   I’ve always liked leadership as a privilege I just think that’s a great quote. And I also it’s a sort of the opposite—I also have always really liked the Woody Allen quote, 50% or maybe it’s 80% of life is showing up. I think that sometimes 80 % of life is showing up and that doesn’t mean just showing up and going through the motions necessarily. For example, I think it’s interesting to think about in today’s environment with flex hours, people working more from home, sometimes it’s better to show up and show up in person and be there. Sometimes it’s better to not skip the meeting, show up be there, get enthused. Have a group discussion about your goals so that you can all be more productive together. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a really good point. There was a study that I reading the other day talking about the workplace and saying how one of the key factors in this whole engagement component, and you even talked about it a moment ago, is kind of in line with that whole concept of privilege as a leader is the whole appreciation component. And when you were talking about the show up I started thinking about people kind of see that as an appreciation.

 

Vicky Oliver:   Yeah. They’re showing up and they’re showing up. One of the things I talk about especially in terms of job hunting, but I think it’s appropriate here too, is being mentally present. If you are at a job interview E and you show up but you are sitting there in the reception area on your cellphone, on your mobile device texting your friends while you’re waiting, you are not mentally present. If you’re in an in-person meeting at a company and you’re texting your wife, hey what are we having for dinner? You are not mentally present. Showing up and going through the motions that’s not what I’m talking about. You should show up and really put your cellphone on vibrate and don’t look at it, don’t look at it you’re there to have an in-person interaction with the people that you’re working with. I think that will go further in terms of your team goals than just showing up and sort of shuffling through the motions.

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, so when you were talking I started thinking about this whole Bad Boss Crazy Co-Workers and other Obvious Office Idiots and how much your own mental presence has to play in all of that.

 

Vicky Oliver:   It does, it really does. To just show up in terms of—30 40 years ago people could sort of show up and just go through the motions that’s not going to work today because they’ve gotten rid of all these middle layers. So, everybody has to be there and be really super pumped and do three jobs. You have to lead, you have to manage and you have to be the mailroom guy you’re doing three jobs when you’re there so you have to be really mentally present.

 

Jim Rembach:   And you can’t do all that stuff well if you’re a job hopper, right?

 

Vicky Oliver:   I think you can do it well but I think the problem is the other people. If you job hop and then you go to a new company those people, especially some old-timer who has paid their dues for 20 years they’re not going to give you the great assignments they’re not going to give you the plum assignments on day one. You may want them and you may feel like you deserve them but you’re not going to get them. You have to build a level of trust within the other people in the company. They have to see that you’re a good team player, that you have great ideas, that you’re enthusiastic that you work late and hard all those values you have them and it’s going to take a while to build that kind of credibility that’s the problem. They’re not going to give it to you on day one you have to put in another year. Just of think of that, every time you say, I hate this person at the office and he’s driving me nuts I got to leave, do you really have to go? Or could you tame him train him work with him discuss it as an issue make peace with that person. Make peace with his imperfections and his foibles and work together so that the year you just put in counts and it counts towards your future advancement.

 

Jim Rembach:   It’s easy I think to pick on a particular group of people, oftentimes we talk about managing millennial and all that because they want the corner job today and then they get frustrated because they can’t get it. When I was younger I kind of had that same mindset, I’m like, hey give me the opportunities based off of my performance  not because there’s some concept in your mind that I have to pay a dues. How does one learn how to do what you had said in the book which is, have patience learn how to practice these things and persevere? 

 

Vicky Oliver:   I’m not sure how you learn it but I think it’s just a helpful mindset to try to get into it. I’m thinking back when this is kind of you want to know personal story, I think this is kind of a funny story, when I first started in advertising as a receptionist I was dating somebody at the time and I think he was more embarrassed about the fact that I was so low on the totem pole at this place than I was. We would run into friends of mine in New York, in Manhattan where I live and he would be like, oh she’s an account executive she’s an account executive Vicki’s an account executive** a receptionist. So I know I had a little impatience back then also but you just have to say that some people there have worked very, very, very hard and long to rise and other people are superstars maybe and they’ve worked a little faster but no matter how it goes you want to do the best job you can do every day. Again it’s sort of about being mentally present in present to say, okay even if this is a low-level job that I’m at and it’s not that exciting it’s not that mentally challenging I’m going to do the best job I can do today at this task because I’m mentally present I’m here in the present I’m not here plotting my future 25 years from now I’m here right now. If you do that every day and you just do the best job you can that minute, that second, that day, people will recognize you. And it will happen faster for you probably than if you’re sitting there like, oh how come they haven’t promoted me I’ve been here for three months? Because that kind of attitude will get some people very, very annoyed at you like the person hired you. They hired you to do a task and here you are saying, get me out of this task I can’t stand it I’m too smart for this, they’re not going to like you and they’re not going to want you to succeed. Sometimes, you just have to put your future aspirations a little bit on the back burner and do the actual job you were hired to do which usually comes down to solving problems. You always want to be like a person that solves a problem and it’s not creating a problem.

 

Jim Rembach:   I think that’s a great point. Okay, so you kind of talked a little bit about that time where you may have learned something and those are important things for us. When you start thinking about getting over a hump and it became something that—was really something that you could learn from and help you change a particular course of direction for the better, can you tell us that time?

 

Vicky Oliver:   I know that in New York City around the time of September 11, 2001, when there was a terrible terrorist attack here in New York I was in Manhattan and was working at an ad agency at that time, and then a few months later there were all these articles that came out about people switching their careers. Because it was a giant wake-up call in general, I would say, for everybody. Especially here in New York City a huge terrible wake-up call where we suddenly realized like, oh, tomorrow we may die. And for me I said to myself it looks like a year-long process after that day but I said to myself, I’m a really good writer but I’m not sure if I want to die just making big corporations wealthy maybe I could use my skills to either make me wealthy or make other people wealthy but not huge, huge companies it just it was like a redirect. For me I just started to take a lot of writing classes—I took screenwriting classes and I took fiction writing classes and I took journalism classes I took all these classes at night because I was in advertising working  as a copywriter/creative director during the day writing ad copy. And I just began to say, what else can I write? Obviously I know how to write but what else should I be writing? What should I be using my writing skills for? And for me it was a huge redirect. And I started writing articles about advertising first, because you have to get some credentials to be that kind of a writer, and then I began thinking I’ve always wanted to write this book on job hunting maybe I should do that. So, I think sometimes something is so shocking that you just wake up and you’re like. Oh, my god! I have to change my course of life. That’s why I began writing that kind of a book that I began writing.

 

Jim Rembach:   Well I’m glad you did because I really appreciate it. The subtitle of this book is 201 Smart Ways to Handle the Toughest People, and just like you said it’s a good reference book that I think we can learn a lot of things from and don’t have to necessarily try to absorb it all at one time. We talked about—there’s another book I’m sure that you’re working on, you’re doing the coaching, you’re doing different work with other people but when you start looking at all of those things, what’s one of your goals?

 

Vicky Oliver:   Well, I think my big goal, I haven’t reached yet. I would like to have a radio show, that’s my goal. I’ve been on the radio about 500 times but I would like to have my own radio show. I don’t mean through a podcast necessarily. I mean like a real traditional radio show, that’s one of my goals. I haven’t gotten there yet. 

 

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

 

An even better place to work is an easy-to-use solution that improves the empathy and emotional intelligence skills in everyone. It provides a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement and provides integrated activities that will improve the leadership and collaboration skills in everyone. This award winning solution is guaranteed to create motivated, productive and higher performing employees that have great working relationships with their colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work visit beyondmorale.com/better.

Jim Rembach:   Alright here we go Fast Leader legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Vicky, 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 that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Vicky Oliver, are you ready to hold down? 

I hope so. 

 

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

 

Vicky Oliver:   Sometimes you just have to figure out the path. Like I want a radio show I don’t know how to do it so I have to figure out the path. I think if you can figure out the path you get further. 

 

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

 

Vicky Oliver:   I think one can learn a lot from Dale Carnegie, I know it’s old-fashioned but I went there and I took the Dale Carnegie course on public speaking, I think if you learn how to listen well and also be a good speaker you will go far.

 

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

 

Vicky Oliver:   I’m extremely organized. In fact, sometimes I think I should write a book about organizational skills like how to be an organized person, I deal with lists I stick with my list I do everything on my list that’s it just write a list and do it.

 

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

 

Vicky Oliver:   I think just—this may sound vague—I have a depth of experience now because I have dealt with people and I’ve heard their problems and I’ve conquered some of my problems and so eventually I think you develop kind of a repository of wisdom. What I want to try to do is share my repository of wisdom with people. 

 

Jim Rembach:   What would be one book that you’d reckon to recommend to our listeners, it could be from any genre and of course we’re going to put a link to Bad Boss Crazy Co-Workers and other Office Idiots, on your show notes page as well.

 

Vicky Oliver:   Okay, thank you. Since I’m talking about Carnegie I would say, How to Win Friends and Influence People. I think Dale Carnegie wrote that in 1933, if I’m not mistaken, and I still think it’s very cogent, pertinent advice. Another book I would recommend which we were talking about earlier is the book, Emotional Intelligence, I think those two volumes are fantastic. 

 

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

Vicky Oliver:   I’d say ay that sometimes you do actually have to say to yourself, take a risk. I know that when I was in college I wanted to write self-help books the kind of books I write now but I didn’t know how to do it how to begin. And if I had started then I’d have more in my library that I’d written now. 

 

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

 

Vicky Oliver:   Okay, thank you for having me I really appreciate it. You can reach me at vicky@vickyoliver.com 

 

Jim Rembach:   Vicky Oliver, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Lead 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 

 

Kelli Barabasz on from Notary Association on Career Pathing

135: Kelli Barabasz: They were scared to death of me

Kelli Barabasz Show Notes Page

Kelli Barabasz had the best team with the most sales. Then her manager asked her why her team performs. Kelli was shocked to hear her say that they perform in fear of her and not for her. Kelli refused to believe her and then she learned the truth. Listen to how Kellie was awakened and learn to move onward and upward faster.

Kelli hails from the very small town of Westwood, in Northern, CA.  Although there were only 1500 residents in Westwood, it was not boring.  Kelli found ways to experience all there was to offer in her young life.   She enjoyed spending time with her parents Gary & Gloria, her older sister Kyra, and her younger brother Troy.  The close-knit family accompanied Kelli to her many extracurricular activities, volleyball, basketball, softball, & band.  She was a competitive player in everything she did and was almost always selected as the team captain or lead on all of her teams.  It was at this point that Kelli discovered she had a knack for leading teams.

Kelli and her family moved to Portland, Oregon when she was 15.   She went on to graduate from High school and attended college where she studied general education and pre law courses.  Unfortunately, her scholarship money ran out so Kelli did what came naturally to her which was to join the US Army!  After completing boot camp and training, Kelli was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  Kelli had the honor of joining 3 other soldiers as the first group of women to be assigned to the Special Operations Support Battalion (responsible for supporting the elite Navy Seals, Army Rangers, etc.)  It was while serving in the Army that she met and married her husband Jason.

After being honorably discharged from the Army nearly 23 years ago, Kelli and Jason moved back to Portland, Oregon where Kelli began her career in the call center industry as a customer service representative.  She was one of 22 agents when she started, but when she left 10 years later she had advanced to become the Director of Operations & Workforce Management, and the company employed over 3,200 agents in 5 countries.

The company was acquired and Kelli spent the next 12 years working in various locations all over the United States, at an Outsourcer (APAC) in Green Bay, WI, then onto a retail chain (QVC) in Port St. Lucie, FL, next to a Pharmacy Benefit Management Company (SXC Health Solutions) in Phoenix, AZ and now she currently resides in Southern California where she is a Vice President of Customer Care for the National Notary Association.

Kelli and her husband Jason have been married for 24 years and have 3 adult children; Dillon, 23 lives in Phoenix and works as an IT technician, their daughter Alexys lives at home while attending college, and their youngest son Dominik just graduated from High School and will be moving to Iowa this fall to attend Buena Vista University and will continue pursuing his football career.  Kelli says her greatest personal accomplishment to date has been raising her three children.

Kelli feels her greatest professional accomplishment and her passion have definitely been in the area of career development.  She has been able to guide many of her direct reports to reach higher levels of management.  She takes great satisfaction in seeing her team members move up and move on.  Kelli still has her competitive nature, she is always looking for a challenge, and takes pride in helping to career path all levels of her staff when she notices they have the competitive bug as well!

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to Kelli Barabasz to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Why would you think people would really want a career path in a call center?” -Kelli Barabasz Click to Tweet

“Not every single person has the want to move up.” -Kelli Barabasz Click to Tweet 

“You have to be willing to lose good employees.” -Kelli Barabasz Click to Tweet 

“Using career pathing techniques, our attrition has dropped significantly.” -Kelli Barabasz Click to Tweet 

“In the real world, people want to be respected.” -Kelli Barabasz Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Kelli Barabasz had the best team with the most sales. Then her manager asked her why her team performs. Kelli was shocked to hear her say that they perform in fear of her and not for her. Kelli refused to believe her and then she learned the truth. Listen to how Kellie was awakened and learn to move onward and upward faster.

Advice for others

As a leader, you need to keep up with technology.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Time constraints.

Best Leadership Advice

Never give up.

Secret to Success

Being humble.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

Listening to others around you.

Recommended Reading

The Chameleon

The Chameleon: Life-Changing Wisdom for Anyone Who has a Personality or Knows Someone Who Does

Contacting Kelli Barabasz

email: kbarabasz [at] nationalnotary.org

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelli-barabasz-aa84628/

Resources and Show Mentions

10 Steps to a Better agent Career Path

Increase Employee Engagement and Workplace Culture

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: 

Click to access edited transcript

135: Kelli Barabasz: They were scared to death of me

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.

Jim Rembach:   Hey Fast Leader legion today’s episode was recorded live at call center week. I had the opportunity to chat with Kelli Barabasz of the Notary Association and she shares some really important information in regards to making an impact on that burnout and turnover problems that so many of us experience especially in contact centers. Much like this wisdom that is shared, we provided additional insights for you to get on the show notes page from Kelly’s episode, so just go to fastleader.net/Kelly Barabasz. Our goal on the Fast Leader show is to really make a difference for others and you. So, if you could subscribe, download and share and recommend the fast leader show so that we can help even more move onward and upward faster. Now on to the interview with Kelly.

 

It’s time to put humanity in your contact center. Measuring your contact center agents using your surveys is what monkeys do. You want agent and executive buy-in then you need the survey calibration process and it’s only available at the award-winning post call IVR survey programs from Customer Relationship Metrics. Move onward and upward now by going to customergradeacall.com/fast and getting your $3,500 rapid results package for free. 

 

Jim Rembach:  Okay, Fast Leader Legion today I’m excited because we’re talking about something that’s critically important in the contact center and that is helping your agents be more successful and the guests that we have on the show today has a great framework that she’s been using for many years and has actually been spread throughout the entire organization. Kelly Barabasz hails from the very small town of Westwood in Northern California. Although there were only 15,000 residents in Westwood it was not boring. Kelly found ways to experience all there was to offer in her young life. She enjoyed spending time with her parents Gary and Gloria, her older sister Kyra and her younger brother Troy. The close-knit family accompanied Kelly to her many extracurricular activities volleyball, basketball, softball and band. She was a competitive player in everything she did and was almost always selected as team captain or lead on all her teams. It was at this point that Kelly discovered she had a knack for leading teams. Kelly and her family moved to Portland, Oregon. When she was 15, she went on to graduate high school and attended college where she studied General Education and pre-law courses but fortunately her scholarship money ran out so Kelly did what came naturally and she joined the US Army.

 

After completing boot camp and training, Kelly was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Kelly had the honor of joining three other soldiers as the first group of women assigned to the Special Operations Support Battalion responsible for supporting the elite Navy SEALs and Army Rangers. It was while serving in the Army that she went and married her husband Jason. After being honorably discharged from the Army Kelly and Jason moved back to Portland, Oregon where Kelly began her career at the call center industry as a customer service representative. She was one of 22 agents when she started but when she left ten years later she had advanced to become the Director of Operations and workforce management at the company that employed over 3,200 agents and in five countries. The company was acquired and Kelly spent the next 12 years working in various locations all over the United States and an outsourcer in Green Bay, Wisconsin and then on to a retail chain QVC in Port St. Lucie Florida next to a pharmacy benefit company as XSEED health solutions in Phoenix and now she is the Vice-President of customer care for the National Notary Association. Kelly and her husband Jason currently live in the Los Angeles area and have been married for 24 years and have three adult children Dillon, Alexis and Dominic. Kelly says her greatest personal accomplishment to date has been raising her three children. Kelly Barabasz, are ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Kelli Barabasz:   I am ready, let’s see bring this thing on. I’m ready let’s go. 

 

Jim Rembach:  I appreciate your being 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?

 

Kelli Barabasz:   Oh, absolutely. Probably it’s because what we’re speaking about today my passion is career development helping people understand their potential. And so for me this is exactly what Jim is talking about today and (4:16 inaudible) today this is my passion helping those who don’t necessarily know where to go and help them figure out how to get there. 

 

Jim Rembach:  In order to prep for this particular interview we talked about the process of going through that career path implementation and I think you had implemented it on other organizations besides the Notary Association but what has morphed and grown into is really quite tremendous. Can you kind of tell us that progression and what has happened there?

 

Kelli Barabasz:   Sure. Working in just a call center environment when I was an outsourcer I started this about 18 years ago. It was just a call center so there was no other real advancement for the agents outside of just call center job positions. So the career paths really started on how do I become ex-human or a supervisor or a manager? How do I become something on those range? And then it evolves throughout the different organizations that I been in because we found that just because you’re in the call center doesn’t mean that that’s really what your career path is. So we started looking at other opportunities around—what if they wanted to be an accountant? What if they wanted to be in communication employee? They wanted to be business development or sales, what could we do differently to career path agents not just through the call center hire thing and what they thought was the only path that they have.

 

Jim Rembach:  Now when you first introduced this, the very first time you introduced it at an organization what kind of reception did it receive?

 

Kelli Barabasz:   Why would you think that people really want a career path in the call center? That was really the response I got from our upper management and I said, you know what? Because I want (6:07 inaudible) within the call center and I want to grow and I want to develop. And so, what would you think that they—and so you know I was very, very fortunate than my senior(6:20 inaudible)said, alright play with it Kelly go ahead see what you can do. And then years later it just evolved and that was with the first company I was with which is Live Bridge for ten years. And I’m happy to say that there are various employees that I helped career path that are being teach today, directors today, managers, workforce managers or workforce directors and the thought that just being able to run with something take it and really evolved them into something great has been tremendous. 

 

Jim Rembach:   So I know a lot of times the contact centers that I’ve been in and managed is that a lot of people want to discourage and stop the whole career path process because they think that the contact center is where most of our employees reside. We have just for example 500 employees they’re actually in the call center and we have just very, very few support positions and very, very few positions in other parts of organization and they’re like, why would we want this entire group to flow? But that’s not the way it works, does it?

 

Kelli Barabasz:   Absolutely not. You have agents that want to be agents. You have agents that want to be the best agents they can be not every single person either want to move up or even the ability to move up. So you really have to take a look at that individual and see what are their strengths? What opportunities do they have? You know if tomorrow one of my agent says, my goal, my career path goal, is in one year I want to be CEO, you have to be realistic you have to talk to this person and say, what is your background? What is your agenda? What work are you willing to put in to this? Obviously in most companies they look at  career pathing as well they think, gosh, I’m going to end up losing some of these people probably to continue the work path that we’re going but there’s nowhere for them to go. That’s true, you have to be willing to move your employees but you also have to know that you help those employees move to that next level.

 

Jim Rembach:  In addition what I found is when you support and help and coach people outside of the organization in a successful way that comes back tenfold. 

 

Kelli Barabasz:   Absolutely does. It comes back over and over again. There’s quite a few individuals that not just myself but some of my staff that started career path that we built that relationships within different businesses throughout years and years with their support. It’s amazingly that I can move that same individuals whether they’re at call center they come up to me they don’t know that I’m going to be here they’re managing a booth and they come up to me and they’re like —Oh, my god, it’s is Kelly it’s my old boss, and it’s wonderful to see that. You been on the great things, you know that you’ve done all these great things so you can follow people. I love, love, love following people they see me where they leave from the point of when they left.

 

Jim Rembach:  I would dare to say that when you think about the industry as a whole we have leadership crisis and actually the leadership part I should say is in many different industries because of this whole development component. So when you start talking to other organization, cause I know you do have those discussions you talked about connecting and networking, what questions are they asking you about career pathing? 

 

Kelli Barabasz:   A lot of times it’s the same five things that I dealt with 10, 15, 20 years ago, does it work? How does it work? What percentage of your staff does it work with? How much money do you have to put into career pathing? How much time do you have to take out of the day? And is it worth it? Is it worth it? And absolutely, the answer is absolutely it’s worth it. It takes time a lot of time it takes a lot of resources it takes a lot of purchasing training materials or booking them at different options for using visuals because it changes every single day. You know if someone’s career path is into the tech world it’s different today than it’s going to be tomorrow. So if I’m trying to give them training material that I pulled out three years ago it’s outdated you just kind of have to stay up a bit and be willing to do whatever it takes.  

Rembach:  Now the return on investment for doing career pathing can come in many different ways. You and I had the opportunity to talk about your turnover experience. Tell us a little bit about that? 

 

Kelli Barabasz:   We found, obviously on the call center we think that the attrition problems typically we’re starting at very low rates sometimes lower rates with commissions. And we found that using a career a pathing techniques our attrition has dropped significantly. When I started in the organization I work today in the National Notary Association our turnover was 120 persons. We’re in Los Angeles, it’s obviously a more difficult place to staff. Our turnover last year we lost one individual this year zero so we do not have attrition anymore. The reason is not just career pathing but culture in many, many case and probably I (11:57 inaudible) so on and so forth. But I truly think that career pathing is the key to keeping the people because they are ready and willing to move up. In our organization in the five years that I’ve been there we have career pathed 18 individuals to the next level within our organization in the marketing department, communications department we have team them over to IT, certifications (12:23 inaudible) and help them continue on. So, I think t’s definitely worth it.  

 

Jim Rembach:   So when you start thinking about the different generations that we talk about in the workforce today and you mentioned that you had start the career pathing journey for yourself many years ago, well that was a different generation when I was in the workforce, so how has it differed in regards to what the employee wants from the career path perspective then versus now?

 

Kelli Barabasz:   Oh, it’s definitely different. I have three children they’re 18, 21, 23, so we know that their entire careers are different from what where looking at three, five years ago so, we found that engagement is much different. The engagement before is sitting down with an individual and talking to them and saying, what is it that you want? What point is for you? Now it’s more electronics. So it’s, okay guys here it is a career path folder ** performed today but they wanted to be booked up to different training that they thought would entice them to move to  those next level. So the trainings are different for each than purchasing for those next level—for these individuals is much different than it was just five years ago, ten years ago. So previously it was just books people read books now they want e-books, they want to listen to a book in the car audio, they want online training they don’t want to go sit in the training class so we’re evolving as the generations evolve that what’s really, really makes a significant difference. 

 

Jim Rembach:   I can imagine. When you start thinking about developing people, when you start thinking about culture all of these things there’s a lot of passion that’s associated with that. One of the things that we like on the Fast Leader show is to give a quotes that are favorites from our guests. Do you have a favorite that you can share?

 

Kelli Barabasz:   I actually do. My current CEO is just a great guy and prior to coming here, the National Notary Association, I was always afraid to make a mistake. You just don’t screw up you could lose your job. What do you do when you have a mistake and how big a mistake before you do lose those job? I was actually meeting a project about two years ago and it wasn’t going up fast at all. I kept saying, oh, my gosh! You cannot just let this people work, I’m not going to hit my deadlines unless something happen. And my boss said to me, well, Kelly mistakes are going to happen timelines are going to be missed but there’s one thing to remember be perfect in your recovery. You make a mistake be perfect in your recovery and the (15:30 inaudible) that you have set. And since that time I realized, you know what? Nobody’s perfect, nobody can do everything right the first time every time and so that is probably my favorite quote. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a good quote I think that also applies for our frontline staff. Mistakes are going to happen it’s how we recover. 

 

Kelli Barabasz:   That’s right.

 

Jim Rembach:   I know when you start talking—and the opportunity to learn a little bit more about your background being in the military, being in charge of those Special Forces Group that that’s just amazing I can only imagine the stories you can tell for that. But there’s a lot of humps that we have to get over in life and they teach us a lot. Is there a time that you had to get over the hump and it helped you?

 

Kelli Barabasz:   It’s kind of funny that this is—the type of manager I am today is much different than when I first started. The reason being is I was in the military, my dad was in the military. I grew up with a very, very strict family you do this, you do this, you do this and you do not go outside of those boundaries. So, when I first started leading 25 years ago back at Live Bridge, one of the things that I did, I had the best team for most I had the best of everything I had to be the best of everything I did. And the manager who manage me she (16:51 inaudible) she said, can I talk to you? I said, absolutely. She said, do you know why your team performs? I said, because I’m good. She said, yeah, you’re good but you really, truly know why your team performs? And I said, because I’m good, why? And she said, you know, they perform out of fear they do not perform for you they perform out of fear of you they don’t want to make a mistake so that is why they’re performing. I believe the whole mundane, yeah, right, right, that’s not true I know, they all like me they there’s no way I perform because I’m the best. I learn a lesson that’s for sure. 

 

Jim Rembach:   How long did it take for you to actually learn that lesson?

 

Kelli Barabasz:   I went home and stay home for about two days and at the end of the two days I decided, you know what I’m going to ask one of my supervisors that works for me. I know she’s going to be honest because she told me everything. And so I pulled her in and I said, tell me about my leadership style. I said, no, no, no, tell me why the team performs? She’s scared to death for telling, you really want to know why? And I said, what do you mean you’re scared to death of me? And she said, they don’t want to make a mistake because they’re afraid of what consequences will follow. Then I thought, really? I’m not yelling, when they don’t perform I call them to my office and I talk to them and saying, you know what? You got to perform better, you have to do it. You want more money perform better, and they would walk out on me. Then when she said that, wow, is this real? Is it true? Is my style a military? Am I the manager that people really don’t want to work for? Then I realize that was the fix. It was a blew away thing but thanks heavens that my manager 23 years ago chose to tell me that and helped me to change the path that I was taking. 

 

Jim Rembach:   The part that you played in that was huge because a lot of people just take that stoop for the two days and just continue to do what they’ve always done and maybe even move on to another organization and still their behavior never changes. So, for you to go through that transition, how did you do that? How did you—because of changing behavior doesn’t happen overnight, where did you start? 

 

Kelli Barabasz:   Where I started was I went back to that manager who told me about my style. And I said, tell me what I can do differently? Tell me how I can change this. And it was a shock to me because I really thought—well my manager did, I am doing great my staff is doing great so it took a little bit of pull back and say, alright I’m not the best manager here how do I change that? So I actually had some simple managing process, I read some books that still didn’t change overnight it took me about 12 months to understand who I was, how I to manage better, how I to manage differently and looking at different leaders out there. I actually went to a few different conferences where I talk to different leaders and ask them, what do you perform yourself? I had to change to I was, I have realized that people didn’t want to be managed by the iron fist and say we’re going to do it this way we’re going to do it that way, that was military that’s what I have to do there but in the real world I have to learn that people wanted to be respected. If you respect them they respect you back and I think that for the next 22 years in my career I have the opportunity to evolve and I think need to evolve generations change the way that people wanted to be managed and I have to change with that too. I can’t manage people the way I did five years ago because the people are different and the expectations are different.

 

Jim Rembach:   I know when you start going through a transition like that often times you don’t know what effect is actually happening to your people. Now, did you have the luxury of actually having that team stay with you while you were going through the transition? And if you did, when did you start getting feedback from them of them noticing?

 

Kelli Barabasz:   I actually did stay with that team but what I actually did I pull them in as I started going through this and I ask them to get me a feedback. I want you guys to know I didn’t realize the type of manager I was. I want you guys to know I still have this high expectations I’m not going to lower those expectations what I have or you shouldn’t either but I want you guys to tell me when I’m leading you in a way that you’re not comfortable. I want you guys to tell me, hey we would like to have this or could we change it to that. I started asking them for their opinions. I started asking them for their feedback on my performance and that was significant. And we all had, everyone have 365 done on them I did one for myself. I said you know what guys? I want all of you to fill this up. I want you to tell me now and I want you to tell me a year from now what has changed it was significant because the change was significant. I tell you what reading those initial feedback, when at first I look at those first ones when I first handed those out it took everything to not want to cry. It took everything to not want to walk away and say, you know what? This is too much, let me go somewhere else to be the best leader I can be there. I have to really contain them inside myself and say, is this really fair (23:09 inaudible) if so then I need to change me. 

 

Jim Rembach:   You bring up a really good point, and thanks for sharing that. You bring up a really good point about the 360 process and that a lot of organizations, institutes 360 and do it in a way that is actually detrimental because they use it for stack ranking of their leaders and they use it in order to compensate them or not compensate them. However what you just described is really the way 360’s were intended to be used and you used it in a way that was quite vulnerable and made a huge difference for your career because you’ve gone on to like you said earlier create a lot of leaders that are in this industry now, so we thank you for that. I know you have a lot of things going on, you have some good work that you’re still doing with the Notary Association, but when you start looking at family and all those things, what’s one of your goals? 

 

Kelli Barabasz:   I would have to say my goal right now is just continue on with what I know. My son just graduated from high school, final trial get out go on to college, and so I will have more time to dedicate to myself at the bottom of that raising three children. So my future goals are just to find a way to career path more people. It time constrains since really stop me from doing it as much as I would like to. With it I’ve been training my staff to be better leaders in the career path arena. And so my goal is to continue training people continue getting (24:40 inaudible)to not just myself but others so that they can career path in the future. 

 

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

 

It’s a massive mistake to promote or hire contact center supervisors and leave them to figure out how to make their way to success. Call center coach both develop and unite the next generation contact center leaders. Through our e-learning and community, individual knowledge and skills on the six core competencies that is the blueprint that develops high performing contact center supervisors. Successful supervisors do not just happen. Go to callcentercoach.com to learn about enrolment and download your copy of the Supervisor’s Success Path e-book now.

 

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

 

Kelli Barabasz:   Of course, let’s go. 

 

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

 

Kelli Barabasz:   I think we just fine process for a little timing constrains so I have time for those individuals that I really want to help so I think that’s pulling me back right now. Just for personal life I’m really looking forward to my son going on to college and we have more time to put in to career pathing. 

 

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

 

Kelli Barabasz:   Never give up. That leader 25 years ago say, you know what Kelly? You can do this never give up. 

 

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

 

Kelli Barabasz:   Being humble. I think you have to be humble to be successful.

 

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

 

Kelli Barabasz:   Best tool—listening. Listening to everyone around,

 

Jim Rembach:   What would be one book and it could be from any genre that should recommend?

 

Kelli Barabasz:   The Chameleon.  

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Lead listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/Kelly Barabasz, Okay, Kelly 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. So, what’s skill or a piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Kelli Barabasz:   I would actually take back the ability to follow every bit of technology that happen. Because as a leader and being in this industry for 25 years (27:28 inaudible) and then you come to a show like this and you’re like, there’s a new technology? So I would definitely take that with me following all the different technology that happen.

 

Jim Rembach:  Kelly, 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?

 

Kelli Barabasz:   Oh, absolutely, kindly look me up on LinkedIn and also the National Notary Association if you go out there and our post out there(27:55 inaudible) our leadership or you could email directly. 

 

Jim Rembach:  Kelly Barabasz, thank you for sharing your time and knowledge and 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 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.

 

Show Transcript: 

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.

 

Max on contact center agent performance is impossible unless your customers involved in grading and coaching agents. So, make it simple for you and customers with the award-winning External Quality Monitoring program from Customer Relationship Metrics. Get over the hump now by going to customersgradeacall.com/fast and getting your $7500 rapid result package for free.

 

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.

Show Transcript: 

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:

 

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 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 operate. Get over you 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 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 

 

 

060: John Tarnoff: We didn’t see this coming

John Tarnoff Show Notes

John Tarnoff was the co-founder of a tech start-up in the late 1990’s. In the middle of 2001 the tech sector collapsed and John and his partner lost several deals due to the downturn. After a meeting with their lead investor, they decided to bring in someone to help them raise capital. This guy tried to help raise capital and then used it to steal the business. Listen to John tell his story of how he got over the hump and move onward and upward.

John was born and raised in New York, NY but has lived in Los Angeles since graduating college in 1973.

In the ‘70s and ‘80s, he developed and produced movies for Warner Bros, Columbia, MGM and others, founded a technology start-up during the 1990s Tech bubble, and then shifted back into entertainment as Head of Show Development for DreamWorks Animation, where he led the artistic leadership training and university outreach programs.

Inquisitive, creative, unconventional, and an early adopter, John has held eighteen positions over his career, as talent agent, studio executive, film and game producer, talent manager, BizDev consultant, project manager, and program developer. He has the distinction of having been fired 39% of the time in his career, a statistic that has, ironically, enabled him (or forced him, depending on your point of view) to figure out the reinvention process.

John Tarnoff is a career reinvention coach, speaker and author who helps his fellow Baby Boomers transition to meaningful and sustainable careers beyond traditional retirement. He currently co-runs a graduate management program for Carnegie Mellon University.

In 2012, he developed the Boomer Reinvention® coaching curriculum to help his generation stay active, engaged, relevant – and solvent. He is the author of the forthcoming book: Boomer Reinvention: How to Create your Dream Career After 50.

John holds a MA in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, and a BA magna-cum-laude from Amherst College.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“The myth of retirement is staring us square in the face.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet

“We’re going to have to keep working beyond the age of 65 if we are going to survive.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“We need to be much more entrepreneurial in the way we look at our roles.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“You never want to think of yourself as an employee…think of yourself as a consultant.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“Realize and define your value to yourself and to others.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“Reinvention on a career has to happen from the inside out.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“We tend to get complacent and it becomes more difficult to dare.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“We create all sorts of ideal circumstance before we dare.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“You have to dare first and then things will actually fall in place.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“You never really know what you are capable of until you are confronted with the challenge.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“At the end of the day you just have to believe in your ability to weather the storm.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“The value of tough times for all of us…these are the experiences we are thankful for.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“I could not have done anything I have done without going through adversity.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“I wake up often in the morning and ask; is that still working.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“Our value as we get older is to help others come up the ranks.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“How is this experience today going to play out down the road?” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“How can I use this experience to help people in the future?” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“There is nothing holding me back, except myself.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

“Find a mentor…ask questions and ask for guidance.” -John Tarnoff Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

John Tarnoff was the co-founder of a tech start-up in the late 1990’s. In the middle of 2001 the tech sector collapsed and John and his partner lost several deals due to the downturn. After a meeting with their lead investor, they decided to bring in someone to help them raise capital. This guy tried to help raise capital and then used it to steal the business. Listen to John tell his story of how he got over the hump and move onward and upward.

Advice for others

You your experiences and humps to help others come up the ranks.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

There is nothing holding me back, except myself.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Don’t take things personally.

Secret to Success

Always listen for the subtext.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

I’m a good listener.

Recommended Reading

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

Contacting John

Website: http://johntarnoff.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/johntarnoff

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boomerreinvention/

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.

 

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

060: John Tarnoff: We didn’t see this coming

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligent practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Whether in the office or on the road work with your community or coach to practice great behavior and produce great organization results. Capture real time behavior practice from competency based development plans and invite feedback in an elegant and simple application. Take top performance mobile by going to www.resultpal.com/fast and getting a $7,500 performance package for free. 

Jim Rembach:    Okay Fast Leader Legion today I’m excited to share with you the guest that’s on the show today because he actually came to me from one of my, “How in the heck did I get here” moments. It was a situation where I’ve started doing some research and reading and I found his Ted talk. I found it so fascinating and intriguing in regards to what he was sharing as well as his back story, that I invited him to be on the show and he accepted. John Tarnoff was born and raised in New York, New York but has lived in Los Angeles since graduating college in 1973. In the 70’s and 80’s he developed and produced movies for Warner Bros., Columbia, MGM and others and founded a technology startup during the 1990’s, Tech Bubble and then shifted back into entertainment as the head of show development for DreamWorks animation, where he led the artistic leadership training and university outreach programs. 

 

Inquisitive, creative, unconventional, and an early adapter, John has held 18 positions over his career as talent agent, studio executive, film and game producer, talent manager, biz development manager and consultant, and program developer. He has the distinction of having been fired 39% of the time in his career, a statistic that has ironically enabled him or forced him depending on your point of view to figure out the reinvention process. John Tarnoff is a career reinvention coach, speaker and author who helps his fellow baby boomers transition to meaningful and sustainable careers beyond traditional retirement. He currently co-runs a graduate management program for Carnegie Mellon University.

 

In 2012 he developed the Boomer Reinvention coach curriculum to help his generation stay active, engaged, relevant, and insolvent. He is the author of the forthcoming book Boomer Reinvention—How to Create Your Dream Career after 50. John holds a Masters in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica and a BA magna cum laude from Amherst College. John Tarnoff, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

John Tarnoff:    I am ready, Jim. Thank you so much for that great intro. 

 

Jim Rembach:    John thanks for being here and I really appreciate it. 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?

 

John Tarnoff:    I think you kind of nailed what my current passion is it’s helping the boomer generation, my fellow boomers, transition through this very uncomfortable period that we are having, post 50, what’s now become the myths of retirement seems to be staring us square in the face and the idea that we grew up with which was get a good education, we get a good job work, you work for  40 years and you get handed your retirement and sail of into the sunset, well that just didn’t turn out the way we thought it was going to turn out.

 

Jim Rembach:    We got a few curve balls throwing out way in the interim and a lot of us particularly after the recession where people lost about a third of the value of their retirement accounts, they lost third of the value of their homes, many  people still underwater with their homes and facing increasing downsizing the loss of defined-benefit pensions in corporate America which is dropped double-digits percentage wise from what it used to be all of the statistics which are pointing us in one direction which is that we’re going to have to keep working beyond age 65 if we’re going to be able to survive. And I could go into scarier statistics about that. It’s a reinforced fact that we’re in a bit of a crunch. 

 

It’s really interesting John all the messages that you’re bringing in regards to this particular issue we could easily spend a lot of time talking about why, we can talk about this that and the other but the fact is that—and you and I had the opportunity to chat about this moment ago, it’s affecting all different age groups. I have several of my friends who are now finding themselves to where they had some senior leadership roles those are no longer roles that are available, they were let go, whatever, the case may be downsize, you had a situation where companies merge and now all those extra people have to go somewhere, all these different factors that start coming into play…

 

John Tarnoff:    It’s happening all over.

 

Jim Rembach:    Exactly.  And so, I think too that that it’s really important for us when you start talking about the planning piece is to put our proper planning in perspective. So when you start talking about fast leader and really what we’re trying to bring out is that in order for us to be able to move onward and upward faster we’ve got to do some things correctly and part of that is our planning process and investing in ourselves.  And so, when you start thinking about all the elements that you’re referring to and so for me—like for example I am not even considering or planning US Social Security to be part of any of my income after I retire. At some point it has to cease to exist when you start looking at the number of payees versus the people who are trying to draw, it’s going to flip-flop in a few years and it’s already supposedly under water, so I’m not implanted for that. So, what are some of the things that people should be thinking about so that essentially they get ahead of that reinvention curve, if you know what I mean?

 

John Tarnoff:    Right. I think the fundamental thing which I talk about to the folks in my generation and I think this really is no surprise to anyone who has been building their career over the last 10 20 years, is that we need to be much more entrepreneurial in the way we look at our roles. This is actually something that I say to my grad students in terms of them getting out into the marketplace and getting their first job and that is that you never think of yourself, you never want to think of yourself as an employee under the direction of the supervisor, you always want to think of yourself as a consultant providing value to a client and that kind of distinction for someone who has been an employee in a, dare I say, at wage slave for the last 20 years may be in one company for 20 years, that can be a very disturbing and intimidating prospect. 

 

So, the reinvention methodology that I’ve been developing and using is an attempt to cut through that and to help people realize and define their value both to themselves and to others and to reach out to make the connections necessary to create that next career whatever that may be. And ‘m not a traditional career coach who uses assessments and traditional bucket and boxes to lodge people into jobs and job descriptions, I just don’t think that it works anymore and I’m seeing that in the HR world that is being thrown out a lot. So, my perspective is that reinvention on a career has to happen from the inside out. You’ve got to figure out what it is that you like to do, what is that you’re good at, what it is that you feel good about getting up in the morning and doing no matter what every day and building from there.

 

Jim Rembach:     I think you bring up some really good points and they’re extremely important for all of us to kind of I don’t want to say heed, but really kind of pulled in and use it as part of our overall planning process is to think of ourselves as our own entity regardless of whether or not we’re employed and definitely many of us if we do find ourselves unemployed that it can potentially easy become employable even if it’s ourselves, we employ ourselves. That’s a great mindset. I know seeing you speak talking about and you sharing some of the stories within your TED talk and all the work that you’ve been doing and all the incredible stories about people finding and having to reinvent themselves under pressure that you’ve had to seek and find inspiration as well as 39% of the time you find yourself to reinvent, move and we like to use leadership quotes in the show to talk about inspiration. Is there one or two quotes you can share with us that does that for you?

 

John Tarnoff:    Yup. I knew you’re going to ask me this question so I did a little digging. I do like to collect quotes. I’m in the process of collecting a set of applicable quotes to the boomer reinvention process which one it says, when I hit 365 I’m going to publish a calendar but in the interim I found a really applicable quotes from the Roman philosopher Seneca and here it is: “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.” So, I think the value for that, for me for someone particularly someone who has been sitting at a desk and I don’t mean to be demeaning of the value that you can provide as a manager in a corporation and a tribe of people that you’re working with successfully, but I think we do tend to get complacent and it becomes more difficult to dare and we create all sorts of conditions and ideal circumstances that we would like to have set out before we dare. Actually the way the world works you got to just forget about that you have to dare first and then things will start falling in place.

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s a very good point that you bring up. I was having a conversation with somebody the other day talking about we all get sucked in by marketing, me too we all do. And one of the huge areas of hype associated with something that you’re referring to is this whole entire concept of taking control. Take control of your weight, to control of your personal finance, take control of your…take, take, take control and when you start thinking about just that concept of take control if I’m taking control of safety, if I’m taking control of not stepping outside, in fact what I’m doing is creating a worse scenario for me and I control nothing.

 

John Tarnoff:    Right. I think that’s very true. 

 

Jim Rembach:    It’s the releasing that’s going to make the difference, so I appreciate you sharing that. Now also one of the things that we do on the show is we talk about getting over humps because the beauty about story is that we get the chance to hopefully educate ourselves and move onward and upward faster by learning about situations where people had to get over their own humps. If something weird that happens in our bodies so we definitely want your help to get over some of these humps that some of us now are facing, maybe some of our friends are facing, maybe even you have faced in regards to the things that you’ve gone through. Is there a story that you can share with us that will help us get over faster?

 

John Tarnoff:    I’ll tell you a story of a particular challenge that I had to get through when I had my start up and I hope maybe it will inspire some people, it will certainly reassure people that it is possible to get over incidents that where you really feel that the deck is stacked against you. I had a tech startup in the 90’s that I had founded with a partner and we were developing a really interesting product around artificial intelligence using animated character. If you think about what you get with Siri on the phone this was a character, this is an animated character on the screen that had that kind of artificial intelligence engine behind it. It was very innovative and we had a big deal with Sprint that we rolled out in the beginning of 2001 where we create a customer service character for their website and around the middle of 2001 the entire tech sector just fell apart, the entire thing collapsed. And so, everything within a period of two or three months just fell apart.

 

The Sprint deal of fell apart, they pulled back all of our secondary financing at our startup pulled backed, we started laying off staff and by the time August, September rolled around my lead investor came to me and he said, “Look, we need to bring someone to help you guys raise the money and turn this thing around and re-state the value propositions. So, we found a guy, came out Wall Street really smart young of a guy had been in the start-up field, and  he started working trying to restructure this and bring new funding into the company and we were running out of cash but he was working very hard. One Wednesday afternoon, I’ll never forget this, he calls my partner and me together we sit in my office and he says to us, “You guys are not to be able to meet payroll on Friday, we’re probably about 25 people on the payroll” he said, “I’ve got the money lined up but there’s one condition, you guys have got to go.” And you can imagine we didn’t see this coming. 

 

Here’s a guy who comes in who’s supposedly working for us to try to help us save the company and he’s decided he’s going to steal the company. So, we were really shocked. He got up walked out of the office, left the office, and basically I think he thought that when he came back on Friday morning we were going to hand over the keys to the company. Instead, my partner and I got on the phone and we started dialing for dollars, as they say, that Wednesday night all day Thursday, Thursday night, by Friday morning we had raised enough money to meet our payroll, there is money in the account and this walked back in the office and we told them to churn right around and get the hell out and we used some more indelicate language than, but it was it was a real shock. And it was a real trial for us to dig deep and to figure out how we were going up to save this thing that we had worked at for I guess at the point, five or six years, this was our baby. Now, in retrospect the company still went belly up about a year and a half later, we just couldn’t keep it sustained but we were able to hold our own. I think the lesson for me is that you never really know what you’re capable of until you’re confronted with a challenge. And you got to believe in yourself right through all of the upturns and downturns, at the end of the day you just have to believe in your ability to weather the storm to reach out to the people that you need who are willing to help you to trust yourself to get through them. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Thanks for sharing that, John I’m sure that had to be a tough times going through that. Not only those shipped to together thanks for Sharon and Josh Turner had to be a tough times going through that not only those few days where you’re trying to raise the funds but through the remaining year and a half until you had to move on. 

 

John Tarnoff:    It was a really tough time. But I tell you the value of that and the value of tough times for all of us, and I’m sure your listeners who have been through similar straits will agree with me, these are the strengths that you look back upon and are thankful for because of the strength and the resilience that they allow that they become the foundation for the way that you move forward. I could not have done anything that I’ve done since then without having gone through that adversity. 

 

Jim Rembach:    It definitely makes us stronger on the backend, right?

 

John Tarnoff:    Absolutely.

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, John. I know you got a lot of things going on when you started thinking about grad students, I think you have a daughter going to grad school, author a book, speaker, coach, all these things, if you will start thinking about just one thing that gives you a whole lot of excitement that you’ve set some goals around, what are some of those goals?

 

John Tarnoff:    This really gets back to my mission statement for what I’m doing with the boomer reinvention program. And I have it in front of me, it does tend to shift a little bit but basically the mission that is driving forward now is to help my fellow boomers find sustainable and meaningful careers as 50. And that is a… I kind of wake up in the morning often and say, “Is that still working?” and it is and it continues to sustain me. When I was, I guess maybe as far back as my 30’s or 40’s when I was thinking about the future, it was not particularly clear and I was working at a business which I love and still love it’s a great business the creative and the manager aspects of actually making movies and TV shows and contact is it a lot of fun, great business is great fun. But I always thought that education and sharing my experience and helping others was where I was going. And that ultimately that was—and I think for many, if not most of us ultimately our value as we get older is to be able to help others come up to the ranks, come up to the rungs of the ladder and share our experience and mentor other people, to the extent that we can visualize that as our future a think is very helpful and provide a real sense of purpose to us going forward. It’s a context in being able to see…how is this experience today or this success I’m experiencing or these challenges that I’m experiencing, how is all that going to play out down the road? What are those lessons? And how can I use this to help people in the future? I’m kind of giving you a long-winded answer to the question but it explore some of the dimensionality of what’s getting up in the morning and giving me a reason to keep going. 

 

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

 

Developing your company’s talent and leadership pipeline can be an overwhelming task. But your burden is over with Result Pal you can use the power practice to develop more leaders faster. Move onward and upward faster by going to resultpal.com/fast and getting a $7500 performance package for free.

 

Alright, he we go Fast Leader Legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, John, 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. John Tarnoff are you ready to hoedown? 

 

John Tarnoff:    I am. 

 

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

 

John Tarnoff:    There is nothing holding me back except myself. 

 

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

 

John Tarnoff:    Don’t take things personally. 

 

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

 

John Tarnoff:    Always listen for the subtext.

 

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

 

John Tarnoff:    I’m a good listener.

 

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

 

John Tarnoff:    There’s a book called, Steal like an Artist by Austin Klingon.

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to the fastleader.net/John Tarnoff.  Okay, John this 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 skill you have now back with you but you can’t take everything you could only choose one so what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

John Tarnoff:    I would tell myself to find a mentor and the reason for that and this certainly based on my personal experience looking back now, is that I did not seek out as much guidance as I should have, as I would’ve liked to have. I was afraid to reach out and ask questions and ask for guidance because I didn’t want to appear foolish. And that was a big mistake.

 

Jim Rembach:    John 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. 

 

John Tarnoff:    Yes, absolutely. The easiest way to do this is through my website, which is johntarnoff.com and contacting me on the form on that site. You can also find me on Twitter@johntarnoff. And check out my Facebook page BoomerReinvention, one word. 

 

Jim Rembach:    John Tarnoff, 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 www.fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

 

END OF AUDIO

 

059: Trip Durham: You’re not going to have two birds in a bush

Trip Durham Show Notes

Trip Durham woke up one morning knowing he was going to receive two job offers. He knew that two recent interviews went very well and that he was going to have to make a choice. But for Trip, he decided to make the choice an easy one. He did get two job offers that day and what he did was shocking. Listen to Trip tell his story about how he decided to move onward and upward faster.

Trip was introduced to this planet in the maternity ward of the now defunct Alamance County Hospital in Burlington, North Carolina. He was birthed in Sports Administration by serving as a club house manager for the Burlington Indians, the (then) rookie league team for the Cleveland Indians.

Trip has been a working, full time professional since January of 1991. He started as a teaching assistant for LD and BEH students at an area high school in Alamance County, North Carolina. In June of that year, he was fired due to staff reductions.

He spent that summer typing 162 letters to 162 minor league franchises, hoping that his summers spent with the Burlington Indians and his degree in English would give him an edge. 100 flush letters came back, complemented by four letters of interest.

The Winston-Salem Spirits hired him in October of 1991 and he served faithfully for three seasons. Then he was fired due to change in ownership. After stringing together some part-time work, he was hired by Elon (then) College in May of 1995 to start a marketing department as the school was moving from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I. After fourteen years of faithful service, he was fired due to changes in leadership.

In May of 2010, he was tired of being fired and opened up his own college athletics consulting agency. He hasn’t been fired since.

Trip has rebounded – leveraging his resume and the experiences. Each time he was fired, someone gave him an opportunity. While everything happens for a reason, nothing happens without the help of another. Positive association is the motto by which Trip lives – personally and professionally.

He makes it through his days, his projects, his time collaborating with others by using humor, empathy, flexibility and energy.

His professional hobby is public address announcing and he is currently in his sixth season as the announcer at Cameron Indoor Stadium; home of the Duke University basketball team.

Trip started announcing in high school, in tenth grade, when fellow Bulldog alum Jim Rembach (Fast Leader Show Host) was just a pup.

He is married to the former Caroline Hearn of Winston-Salem. They’ve shared travel adventures for 21 years, a stretch that has yielded zero kids – by design (the kids part, not the marriage part he is floored she has stayed with him this long).

When he is finally asked to leave this planet, he hopes to leave behind his ethics – both spiritually and in memory.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @2DConsultingLLC and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“If you’re resolved to do something…grab it with gusto.” -Trip Durham Click to Tweet

“You have to be able to have a portfolio of experience or people you know.” -Trip Durham Click to Tweet 

“You really don’t get anywhere unless somebody else helps you to get there.” -Trip Durham Click to Tweet 

“The network and the experiences, you’ve got to have it.” -Trip Durham Click to Tweet 

“If I can help you reach your goals…that’s the way I reach my goals.” -Trip Durham Click to Tweet 

“There’s only one of me…capacity is holding me back.” -Trip Durham Click to Tweet 

“You need to pay attention and value every hand shake.” -Trip Durham Click to Tweet 

“Make sure that they know…they bring value to the table.” -Trip Durham Click to Tweet 

“It’s pretty easy, it’s all on how you approach it.” -Trip Durham Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Trip Durham woke up one morning knowing he was going to receive two job offers. He knew that two recent interviews went very well and that he was going to have to make a choice. But for Trip, he decided to make the choice an easy one. He did get two job offers that day and what he did was shocking. Listen to Trip tell his story about how he decided to move onward and upward faster.

Advice for others

If you’re resolved to do something…grab it with gusto.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Capacity. There’s only one of me.

Best Leadership Advice Received

You may not know who I am but people know who you are.

Secret to Success

Being calm and being considerate, all under fire. No pressure.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Being able to give people the opportunity to share their voice and share their ideas and being present.

Recommended Reading

Winnie-the-Pooh

Contacting Trip

Website: http://2dconsultingllc.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/2dconsultingllc

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.

Show Transcript:

Click to access edited transcript

059: Trip Durham: You’re not going to have two birds in a bush

 

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we uncover the leadership like hat that help you to experience, break out performance faster and rocket to success. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligent practitioner, Jim Rembach.

Whether in the office or on the road work with your community or coach to practice great behavior and produce great organization results. Capture real time behavior practice from competency based development plans and invite feedback in an elegant and simple application. Take top performance mobile by going to www.resultpal.com/fast and getting a $7,500 performance package for free. 

Jim Rembach:    Okay Fast Leader Legion, I am so excited to have the guest that I have on the show today because I’ve known him for a very long time even though we haven’t necessarily been connected all the time. He’s somebody who provides an important connection to my past as a former high school colleague. Chip Durham was introduced to this planet in the maternity ward of the now defunct Alamance County Hospital, that’s not why it’s defunct, but he was birthed in sports administration by serving as the clubhouse manager for the Burlington Indians, the then rookie league team for the Cleveland Indians. Trip has been a working full-time professionals since January of 1991. He started as a teaching assistant for LD & BEH students. In June of that year he was fired due to staff reductions. He spent that summer typing 162 letters to a 162 minor league baseball franchises hoping that his summer spent with the Burlington Indians and his degree in English would give him an edge. A 100+ letters came back complemented by four letters of interest. The Winston-Salem Spirits hired him on October of 1991 and he served faithfully for three seasons then he was fired due to a change in ownership. 

 

After stringing together some part-time work he was hired by Elon, then, College in May of 1995 to start a marketing department as the school was moving from NCAA Division II NCAA Division I. After 14 years of faithful service he was fired due to change in leadership. In May of 2010, he was of being fired, he opened up his own college athletics consulting agency. He hasn’t been fired since. Trip has rebounded leveraging his resume and his experiences each time he’s fired someone gave him an opportunity. 

 

While everything happens for a reason nothing happens without the help of another. Positive association is the model by which Trips lives personally and professionally. He makes it through his days, his projects, his time collaborating with others by using humor, empathy, flexibility and energy. His professional hobby is public address announcing and he is currently in the 60’s and is the announcer at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the home of the famous Duke University Blue Devils. He is married to the former Caroline Hearn of Winston-Salem. Trip Durham are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Trip Durham:    Well, Jim now that you pointed out to the world that I’ve been fired three times, sure why not? I’m laced up, I’m strapped and let’s go.

 

Jim Rembach:    You’re already thick skin, right? Okay, so 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?

 

Trip Durham:    The passion is the industry that I work in which is sports administration specifically college athletics. Every day since the early part of my college career in the early or the late 1980’s I’d always wanted to work in college administration. And having done so at Elon for a good number of years. Having worked in minor-league baseball, I feel like I’m in the right spot. Every day I wake up and I’m like, I get to be a part of an academic year between August and May that is full of all kinds of stories, all kinds of great people, great settings in this planet, so for me to be able to wake up and get to go do it, I think that’s passion with a capital P and probably capital SS in the middle as well.

 

Jim Rembach:    Now I tell you that—thanks for sharing that—just listening to you and just knowing even when we we’re young kids your devotion, commitment to sports and how it was really a serving component,  that for me stands out now that I reflect on that. You’re one of those kids that didn’t necessarily need to have the spotlight on you, you were really focused in on helping others received the spotlight and I really admire that in you and that’s one of the reasons why I want to have you on the show.

 

Trip Durham:    I don’t know that I ever would have framed it that way but now that you said it out loud, I’ve got a bit of a cold chill running through me. You’re probably right, I know that I’ve always wanted to be one of the smallest guys in the room although what I do as my professional hobby with public address makes me want to allow this guys in the room. I’ve always wanted to be behind-the-scenes, propping up others, not that I’ve got that type of humanitarian fiber in me but I guess it’s just what I do naturally. When you think about what I do professionally it all does sort of marry up really well. In the first five or six minutes you’ve highlighted something for me that I hadn’t even thought about.

 

Jim Rembach:     I  wanted to share that with you because I think one of the reasons that the Fast Leader show has been created and has the guest on that it has on, is to really highlight the fact that in order for us to move onward and upward faster within our personal and professional lives it’s to be able to make these connections with others so that collectively, synergistically  we can all kind of raise all ships so we can all move onward and upward faster. 

 

Trip Durham:  That’s fair too and I’m not going to start playing myself up here but to your point about lifting other people up probably the best way that you can create that synergy is to know that you’re going at it with the idea that you’re going to help someone along as opposed to bring your ego into it and try to stifle the entire process of not only as fast leader on a great track or highlighting all that stuff. I think this conversation alone in the first couple minutes is tracking the right way. 

 

Jim Rembach:  Thank you for being part of the part of the Legion now and hopefully going forward. You’re one of those folks that also I know can just rattle off of course statistic from athletics but you can also rattle off all kinds of different snippets, pieces of information and quotes which is something that’s important to us on the Fast Leader show. And they’re ones that make us start into deep thought and of course make us laugh, but is quote or two that stands out for you that gives you some energy?

 

Trip Durham:    That’s pretty good, honest on the spot question. I don’t know that there’s one that comes to mind. I used to use—it was a standard, and don’t tell anybody that I’m telling you this. When it was my time to give a toast to a wedding reception, I would always use the closing lines from Robert Frost in The Road Less Traveled. The idea that two roads diverse in the wood and I took the one less traveled and that has made all the difference. I used to frame that with the people that was toasting, “Hey, me meeting you that made all the difference.” But I guess in my journey being able to look at the opportunities that are a bit different than the standard opportunity or the one that everybody said we have to follow this. The one that is less trodden sometime is obviously the more adventurous one it can be the most scary. As I think back of all my days professionally, maybe even personally, I’m probably that guy that has walked a bit of a different path and to quote Frost that has made all the difference for me. I don’t know if other people look it paths the same way but in my world that’s the way it’s done. 

 

Jim Rembach:    And  unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to stay as connected with you over the years as I have and hopefully that’ll change with the show and going forward because I definitely look forward to that and learning more about those times where you’ve taken that unique path. You’re right, those are the things that really cause as to differentiation in life. And with that too we also find humps because that path, going down that path is not smooth. It can be quite rickety, and rigid and painful and something that we have to hack through. Can you think of a time when you’ve had to get over a hump because of maybe taken a unique path and maybe it such a better direction or clear the way, can you share it with us?

 

Trip Durham:    It’s a different way to spin your question. In the late summer of 1991, I was waking up one morning knowing that I had two successful interviews behind me. One in sports administration with the aforementioned Winston-Salem baseball club and then also with the school system down in the eastern part of North Carolina, I was a English major in college so I thought that I just needed to run down all the way out and just be a teacher full time. So, I woke up one morning knowing that both of them were going to call that day, it was just a feel in my gut that both were going to call, I thought that both were going to offer me the job and I resigned myself that morning to whoever calls first I’m going to take that job. And so sure enough about 10:30 10:45 that morning the Winston-Salem ball club called, offered me the job and I said I will take it. I had said you’re not going to have to birds in the bush and try to think that there’s something better out, take what’s given to you. 

 

About 45 minutes to an hour later the school system call and they offered me the job and I had to say, “Look, I’ve already taken the other position.” I don’t know that it’s a hump but I knew that there’s going to be some type of hill that I had climb that day and it was sticking to my guns and saying that this is the job I’m going to take whoever calls first. And I wonder Jim if you and I are even having this conversation today if the school system had called first. What type of path will I be on not trying to be the tall path analogy? But where would I be right now? I certainly wouldn’t have the opportunity that I’ve had with public address, with working with various campuses over the years, the travel that I’ve had, schoolteachers don’t travel a whole lot. The lifestyle that I have is partly due not only because they call first, I told myself I’m going to take the job of whoever calls first. So, I guess I’m a little prideful that I’ve stuck to it yet being that young back then and maybe there’s a lesson in there that if you resolved to do something and if to appoint you need to resign yourself to it, well then, grab it with just going and go do it. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Wow! I don’t know if I could’ve done that. Of course talking to so many people around the whole regret component especially when you start referring to the fact that you’re not still with Winston-Salem ball club.

 

Trip Durham:    Cause they fired me, I think you mentioned that in the intro. Didn’t you?

 

Jim Rembach:    I think once or twice, right?

 

Trip Durham:    Once or twice. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I don’t know if there’s a really soft way of saying this but we know that there’s not a whole lot of high income in minor league baseball or in teaching so I don’t know if it was the situation of looking at prosperity from an income perspective is really decision. But when you start talking about making that decision and sticking to it, what would you say was the most difficult hump to get over to show up at Winston-Salem ball club?

 

Trip Durham:    The idea of that at that time you could count on the North Carolina State system to take care of their teachers and retirement, full benefit knowing at your bested to the hilt. My mother’s a retired English teacher, I’m not saying that she was in my head saying that you need to look at the financial aspect 30 years down the road but in ‘91 I was 25 or so 24, to know that in 30 years I could be bested and have full retirement, that was big. Or I could go to the Winston-Salem minor league club and make $18,000 a year and figure out who I’m going to live with or how I’m going to make ends meet but again it goes back again to passion too Jim. I’ve known sports for a really long time. You’re first basement in high school, I remember washing all of your uniforms and obviously there’s something about the process of being involved that made me want to involved so $18,000 be damn or state pension be damned I’m going to go into  sports. I guess the challenge of the financial was it but passion of what I like in sports probably overwrote it.

 

Jim Rembach:    It’s funny that you say that, and thanks for sharing that, because I was just having this conversation the other day where somebody was in a startup company and they were talking about not being able to get attention of others and use it as a means by which they can grow their business, advisory-type, volunteer-type, even offering some commitment in regards to ownership of company  through their time but the whole complaint was were not making any money therefore nobody has an interest and I said, wait a minute right there, and I think you gave an example of it isn’t the money the passion’s going to override, so how can you create the passion. 

 

Trip Durham:    But you’ve also got to be able to have a bit of a portfolio of either experience or people that you know. Again it goes back to—yes you got all the skills such in the world but you really don’t get anywhere unless somebody else helps you to get there. So, yes there may be startups that say, we’ll nobody’s interested  or maybe they’re not interested because going into it you didn’t either have the network or the experience behind you to go farm and cultivate on where interest could be. And there are people at 30 and 34 years old that I talked to that say, “Yeah, I think I want to be a consultant.” I don’t think you’re old enough to be a consultant, you’re not well-worn and you don’t have enough notches in your belt to say that you’ve got the expertise to be able to tell or show somebody else how to do it. So, again portfolio the network and the experiences, you’ve got to have it. 

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s a really good point. And at 25…

 

Trip Durham:    No way. 

 

Jim Rembach:    We don’t have that nor the wisdom, that again is one of the thing that we hope to bring on the Fast Leader show is that people can experience other people’s stories and hopefully wisdom will come to them faster. Because it’s all information is what it comes down to but it’s the wisdom piece that really makes the difference.  I know that we had talked briefly about some of the things that you’re working on and the different areas that you’re taking your business, I think you’re doing some launches of services and solutions, you talked about traveling with your wife, and yet she is still married to, that’s awesome. 

 

Trip Durham:    Yeah. You and me and about half the society, we’re all just as a surprise. 

 

Jim Rembach:    But if you started thinking about goals, what is one of those goals that just giving you a whole lot of drive and excitement?

 

Trip Durham:    I really like to be able to work with an athletic director, a conference commissioner or even in the for profit sector, a CEO or a CMO. I really like the collaboration in being able to hear their pain points, to understand the challenges in where they want to be with their goals and then assessing for them where I think they are and really working with them on a daily basis to say, this is where I think you can go. I don’t know that I am as much goal-driven at times as the people I work for are goal driven, so if I can be an extension of their hopes to be able to help them accomplish what they want to accomplish, well them maybe at the end of the day those are my goals. You know when we we’re in high school I never had the inkling, I don’t know that I had the guidance from parents or grandparents to say you need to a flag in the ground and you need to run towards it, I just sort take the environment as it comes I’m able forecast a little bit, I’m able to predict certain scenarios and then again based on portfolio of experience and network I sort of find the opportunities. I’m hoping that five and half years into my business I’m to a point where the phone is ringing in a little bit and it is, I still got to go and find it but I don’t know that I wake up every morning going, “You know today I got to call 15 people and I got to make sure that I got this amount business secured by the end of the month, it just not how I’m wired but if I can help you reach your goals then maybe again de facto that’s the way I reach my 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. 

 

Developing company’s talent and leadership pipeline can be an overwhelming task. But your burden is over with Result Pal you can use the power of practice to develop more leaders faster. Move onward and upward by going to resultpal.com/fast and getting a $7500 performance package for free.

 

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

 

Trip Durham:    I am and this is going to be speed reading 101, buddy. 

 

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

 

Trip Durham:    Capacity. There’s only one of me. I don’t have the ability within the 24 hours of the day to either do the things I want to do or think the things I want to think, so, capacity is holding me back. 

 

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

 

Trip Durham:    I was standing face-to-face with an individual years ago, we were talking I had no idea who he was, in context clues, I was trying to figure out who he was and then when he walked away he walked right back to me and he go, “You have no idea who I am, do you?” I said, “No sir, not at all.” He looked at me right dead in the eye and said, “You may not know who I am but people know who you are.” So, the lesson was you need to pay attention and value every handshake. 

 

Trip Durham:    What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

 

Jim Rembach:    Being calm and being considerate all under fire. No pressure just breathe and think it through. 

 

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

 

Trip Durham:    I think being able to give people the opportunity to share their voice, to share their ideas, and to be present in a meeting or in a group setting to make sure that they know that you know that they bring value to the table.

 

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

 

Trip Durham:    The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. And I tell you that because that is the lighter side of life, the way that A. A. Milne wrote, it allows you and your toughest of moments to be able to  pick-up something light and be reminded that, you know what, it’s pretty easy it’s all on how you approach it.

 

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

 

Trip Durham:    You and I go way back so you are not going to be offended, I hope when I tell you this. I wouldn’t take anything back, to me your question is one of regret that I wish I had it—Gosh, I regret that I didn’t have it. Everything that happened 25 years ago has put me in this position today whether it’s financial whether it’s personality, whether it’s my mindset, how I approach any particular facet of my day, it’s all because of what happened 25 years ago so to say that I was going to go back and change it, no that’s sort of like quantum leap in which Sam went back and he had to not mess with the one thing…forget it, it’s not what I want to do.

 

Jim Rembach:    Trip 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? 

 

Trip Durham:    Website is 2dconsultingllc.com, they can also give me a phone call at 336-229-6699, smoke signals are good, courier pigeons are even better, turtles are way too slow, so no notes on the top of their backs, okay?

 

Jim Rembach:    Trip Durham, 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 www.fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

 

END OF AUDIO