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284: David Dye – Taking Action in Creating a Courageous Culture

284: David Dye – Taking Action in Creating a Courageous Culture

David Dye Show Notes Page David Dye experienced the lowest moments of his leadership during one particular team lunch. The things he was communicating to his team did not feel relevant to them. David realized that he was executing his own vision and did not ask the team what their vision was. Realizing his mistake, …

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082: Megan Constantino: From that hump I got a baby bump

Megan Constantino Show Notes

Megan Constantino decided to go on national television to share one of the most un-cool, un-sexy things you could think about. Being completely driven by God, she and her husband Frank decided to go on the Steve Harvey to share their struggles with infertility and it made all the difference for them. Listen to Megan’s story of courage and getting over several humps.

Megan was born and raised in Beckley, West Virgina with her older sister. And as a young girl Megan was best known for talking.
Megan has networked since birth so a career in public relations flowed naturally. But bigger than business, she believes anything is possible with God’s will and relentless hard work.

With His help, Megan has overcome some unique life challenges including conquering an eating disorder as well as infertility. Her and her husband shared their journey in marriage and parenthood very publicly to create awareness and hope for others in similar situations. This included national media interviews such as being guest on The Steve Harvey show and an article in Parade Magazine.

Megan’s life experiences have instilled a perspective in her of confidence and courage, making anything possible. She has a life mission to help others reach higher.

Megan is the Chief Creative Officer of Parachute Partners. For more than a decade Megan has helped to build brands through marketing, public relations, business acceleration strategies, social media strategies, advertising, branding, event planning, and product placement.

She’s been responsible for marketing and public relations for a host of organizations across a range of industries including higher education, sports, non-profits, established corporations, and startups. Her clients have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, Women’s Health, Parade Magazine, BBC, as well as television shows such as The Steve Harvey Show.

Megan now resides in St. Petersburg, Florida, as the proud wife of Frank and mother to Blake, their miracle 18 month-old son.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“It’s hard to promote yourself and sometimes you need someone.” -Megan Constantino Click to Tweet

“You need someone behind the scenes to do the scrappy work.” -Megan Constantino Click to Tweet 

“It is a marathon and not a sprint, it does require resilience.” -Megan Constantino Click to Tweet 

“You have a personal brand, you can choose to mold and craft that.” -Megan Constantino Click to Tweet 

“Social media has leveled the playing field for building your brand.” -Megan Constantino Click to Tweet 

“My entire career has been nothing but overcoming humps.” -Megan Constantino Click to Tweet 

“Parenting is the most exhausting and rewarding role.” -Megan Constantino Click to Tweet 

“Things I am learning as a parent I am able to apply in my professional life.” -Megan Constantino Click to Tweet 

“Sometimes you have to pare it back and focus.” -Megan Constantino Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Megan Constantino decided to go on national television to share one of the most un-cool, un-sexy things you could think about. Being completely driven by God, she and her husband Frank decided to go on the Steve Harvey to share their struggles with infertility and it made all the difference for them. Listen to Megan’s story of courage and getting over several humps.

Advice for others

Courage can help you to be the change that is needed.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Delegation…I like to do it all myself.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Fewer and bigger. Sometimes you have to pare it back and focus and do fewer and bigger.

Secret to Success

I am a natural connector. I look at every relationship and opportunity and I analyze to find every possible way that I can make a difference.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

My project management system. I do not have a virtual assistant so I send myself reminders. I use basecamp.

Recommended Reading

Each Moment We’re Alive. A Musical and Photographic Story Inspired by Cancer Survivors

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

The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace

Contacting Megan

Website: http://www.wejumpwithyou.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ParachuteMeg

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: 

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

082: Megan Constantino: From that hump I got a baby bump

 

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

 

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

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show who to me is someone of inspiration that we can all learn something from. Megan Constantino was born and raised in Beckley West, Virginia with her older sister who just won teacher of the year in Raleigh, West Virginia counties school. And as a young girl Megan was known for talking. Megan has network since birth so a career in public relations flowed naturally. But bigger than business she believes anything is possible with God’s will and relentless hard work. With his help Megan has overcome some unique life challenges including conquering and eating disorder as well as infertility. Her husband shared their journey in marriage and parenthood very publicly to create awareness and hope for others in similar situations. This included national media interviews such as being a guest on the Steve Harvey show an article in Parade magazine. 

 

Megan’s life experiences have instilled a perspective in her of confidence and courage making anything possible. She has a life’s mission to help others reach higher. Megan is the Chief Creative Officer of Parachute Partners. For more than a decade Megan has helped to build brands to marketing, public relations, business acceleration strategy, social media strategies, advertising, branding, event planning and product placement. She’s been responsible for marketing and public relations for a host of organizations across a range of industries including higher education, sports, non-profits, established corporations and startups. Her clients have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Inc. Entrepreneur, Women’s Health, Parade magazine, BBC, as well as on television shows such as The Steve Harvey Show. Megan now resides in St. Petersburg, Florida as the proud wife of Frank and mother of Blake their miracle 18-month-old son. Megan Constantino, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Megan Constantino:    Yes, absolutely. And I have to say just being quiet during that short period of time was a challenge for me. 

 

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

 

Megan Constantino:    Sure. I’m living my dream. I have long to live in sunny, southern Florida for many year and I feel that everything in my life work-related, and personal has led me to where I am, personally and professionally. I have started my own company, I finally jumped out front there and I’m having an exhausting but exciting ball serving really world re-known leaders, amazing companies and helping them grown their business in this world. 

 

Jim Rembach:    And I appreciate all the work that you’re doing. One of the things that I really wanted to have you on the show for is because in today’s world I think that everybody who wants to make a difference and make an impact really has to improve and enhance their own PR skills. And so when you start thinking about that, more social world those that are creating an environment and an inviting platform and things like that are the ones who are going to be chosen, followed and admired, respected, all of those things that we talked about in regards to leading, but when you think about folks and really that issue that many of them have associated with being afraid to put themselves out there being afraid to really be public, what would you say to those folks?

 

Megan Constantino:    Holy smokes! I can completely understand what they go through because I’m used to my clients being on your show. When you asked me to join you I nearly fainted, so, I can empathized with first the fact that it’s hard to promote yourself and sometimes you need someone who is outside of the box, outside of the picture to step in. and then secondly, you’re busy. You’re doing the work, you need someone behind the scene to help you research, to look at new opportunities and to do a whole lot of scrappy work to get your message in front of new audiences, and that’s my passion. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I think you bring up a really important point that so many folks maybe just don’t have exposure to. One of the things that I talk about is ignorance. If you look at ignorance in the dictionary what the definition means is innocent, unknowing. However, the word ignorant or ignorance has got a negative connotation on our society so no one would say, well I was just ignorant about it because they don’t want to be dumb but the fact is that I think so many people are just ignorant in regards to like for example everybody who says everybody has a book on them, right? So write your book and then, there you go. But the fact is that running the book is really the simple part of actually being published and being recognized, the harder part is promoting it.

 

Megan Constantino:    Absolutely. Really, there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scene, many months in advanced at times and you’re doing it really, really fine tune strategy. My favorite quote and probably every person I’ve ever had a long discussion about marketing or promotions with I always say to them it’s always about “The right person, asking or offering the right thing at the right time in the right way” and sometimes it takes five times of that. It is a marathon and not a sprint and it does require resilience but I think my real key is I’m going to encourage her and the people I work with they know they’re not alone, they’re not alone at 8 a.m. they’re not alone at 8 P M my eyes and ears are out there on their behalf at all times and to me that is a mission and it brings fulfillment to me to see them grow and to see them move forward and  they become one program like your show. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I appreciate you sharing that because I think we all need to be reminded of those things. I work with a lot of folks who are working with an organizations who I think have that same, you want to call it a platform problem, PR problem. One of my very good friend, a senior level leader in a very large organization, really got a comment from folks internally that you’re not known in the industry and then they view that as something that was a potential antagonist or preventative thing to help them to move on to yet even larger responsibilities with the organization. So, I don’t think anymore that it’s a situation where it’s just the entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, authors, even companies to have to really think about PR it’s also the individual.

 

Megan Constantino:    Yes. Whether you like it or not everyone out there listening you have a personal brand. You can choose to mold and craft that in the direction that you want to go or you can let it be as it is. Obviously people are going to have their own opinions but you have the opportunity to craft and move in the direction you want. And social media has level the playing field but I think more than that I think people need guidance they need a mentor and really you just need someone there to encourage you as well. And ultimately that busy executive you mentioned, they don’t have the time to monitor so it continually changes every day something new has change you just have to stay on top of it. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Yeah and I think you brought up a good point as far as a specialization. As you’re saying that I started thinking about—for me while you and I, we’ve been working in social media and doing all that for many, many, many years so it’s easy for us to pick up the things that do change and shift and we can switch gears, but gosh, to be able to put all of that in what we know into somebody else’s hands that now has to do it is not an easy thing, it takes a lot of effort.

 

Megan Constantino:    It is extremely overwhelming even for someone like myself that is neck deep in the industry all day every day the full marketing gamut, it’s ever changing and it’s exhausting.

 

Jim Rembach:    I think sometimes we also can get exhausted because of having to get over humps and goodness knows some of us have to keep getting over the same one, speaking for myself. But can you think of a time where you’ve had to get over the hump and it really made a difference for you and it really gave you that inspiration, can share the story?

 

Megan Constantino:    Oh! Yes. This maybe one of your juiciest you’ve had because it’s a personal story but it rolls into my entire life experience. I’ve had several humps. One I overcame an eating disorder. I did not do that alone and I share about it in a very public way both for myself and to help others and it took a lot of faith, effort and courage. So, fast forward to my adulthood every position I’ve ever had has been reaching higher perhaps stepping into situations I’m not comfortable with. So my entire career has been nothing but overcoming humps to get into straight, stretch, hurdles to the next hump. So fast forward to two years ago as you mentioned at the beginning of the show, how in the world did I end up on Steve Harvey in front of 3 million people talking about infertility? That’s quite the hump right there. I basically went on national television and shared about one of probably the most uncool, unsexy things you can think about out there but it was completely driven by God. Our families were hesitant, nervous but supported us and I’m telling you that hump in itself was larger than just overcoming infertility, it completely changed my mindset in life as a whole, there is a solution there is a possibility out there. So, we dove in, we went on that national TV show and it turned out the best it possibly could and God gave us our baby boy, I was pregnant literally a month later. So, how about that? You probably can’t—so, from that hump I got a baby bop. 

 

Jim Rembach:    We’re friends on Facebook so I get the opportunity to see some of your pictures of being on the beach when it’s cold where I am, although I’m not even that far north. I’m really happy for you and Frank that you’ve been able to have that gift be given to you and hopefully there’s more to come. I know you have a lot of things going on. Yes, you launched a new business and I love your tagline, please say it real quick.

 

Megan Constantino:    We jump with you. It’s Parachute Partners and our website is www.wejumpwithyou.com because when you’re going to jump off into a new area of business or a new area in your life and you need quality, affordable and hand and hand partnership, that’s us we will jump with you. If you’re going to jump from an airplane, we will be your tandem partner with that parachute.

 

Jim Rembach:    So, when you start thinking about all the things going on, family, business, what are some of you goals?

 

Megan Constantino:    Well, my first and foremost goal is to continue learning thing parenting thing. Understanding that I actually probably will never be an expert at this and I will continue to change, I will say that parenting is the most exhausting and absolutely most rewarding role in my life. The things that I’m learning as a parent I’m also applying in my professional life. For example, if you are present and working, work very hard be completely focused, give your best. The same thing with my child, I’m working remote I struggle with that, there’s a hump for you. A ping goes off on my phone, I need to spend time with my son. Do I answer that client’s email? So that’s actually a challenge that I’m going through. But everything that led from the humps, the reason I launched my business was, to be honest with you my husband lost the position that brought us here. So I had this moment of opportunity and I have been feeling like it was time to go out on my own. And at that point I jumped, I decided that now’s the time. I’m working hard, I may as well work hard and do exactly what I want and serve the type of folks that I want. So, I would say that almost an aha moment an epiphany as you call it, happened when Frank lost that job and actually shortly thereafter Frank did get a new and amazing position, but here I am had he not lost that position I would not have felt the courage and the motivation to go ahead and do what my heart’s desire and what I knew that I had in me. I’ve only been in business for myself now for four months and just feels so natural and the appreciation and the satisfaction in result they’re there, it’s amazing. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Megan Constantino:    I’m ready to hoedown. 

 

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

 

Megan Constantino:     Delegation. I like to do it all myself, Jim. 

 

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

 

Megan Constantino:    Probably I would say pure and bigger, I tend to want to do it all to have my cake and eat it too. Sometimes you have to pair it back and focus and do for your own baker. 

 

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

 

Megan Constantino:    I’m a natural connector. I look at every relationship and every opportunity and I analyze it and find every which possible way that I can make a difference.

 

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

 

Megan Constantino:    I’m going to default to technology and I love my project management system because I don’t have a virtual assistant so I send myself reminders to remind my clients if they’re coming on your show, Jim. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What is that tool?

 

Megan Constantino:    Base camp.

 

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

 

Megan Constantino:    Just one? Just one… I have three. One is, Each Moment We’re Alive, it’s a musical and photographic story inspired by cancer survivors, and that’s by Deborah Alts and you can find that on debrasong.com. Karen Hurst, Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results without Losing Your Soul, it’s written in plain English. It’s fun and it’s real. And Chris Edmonds’ The Culture Engine, a framework for driving results and inspiring your employees and transforming your workplace, and it is the real deal. 

 

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

 

Megan Constantino:    I would take courage because at 25 years old I work for a university that was ran in a very unhealthy way and today that university is closed and I imagine not only myself but probably all the faculty and staff would have—and I would take courage back. I’m not going to name the university because half of them will probably listen to this one’s I share it on social media but I would take courage back because I could have been the change that was needed. 

 

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

 

Megan Constantino:    Sure. You can find me on Facebook, just look me up, me our company—Parachute Partners. Or you can email me if you have any questions. If you want to get together have a chat and brainstorm, I can be reached at megan@wejumpwithyou.com

 

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

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 

 

END OF AUDIO

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073: Bill Treasurer: I was embarrassed and tried to joke it off

Bill Treasurer Show Notes

Bill Treasurer was in his performance review when his boss told him to close the door. Bill knew what was coming next was not going to be good. He told Bill he was concerned he was becoming a brown-noser. Bill was embarrassed and ashamed. Listen to what he said next that made all the difference.

Bill grew up 22 miles from Manhattan, in a town called Larchmont, NY. While his friends were mostly old-moneyed rich kids, his dad worked at the NY Telephone Company and drove a Volkswagon bug.

What makes Bill, Bill, is that he never had it easy. He prides himself on earning the things he’s gotten, the hard way.

Bill was a scrawny kid who never excelled in team sports. One day, though, he and some friends were jumping around on the diving board at the public pool and, by mistake, Bill did a back flip. It was a moment that changed his life.

Springboard diving became his sport, his discipline, and his love. He won the Westchester county diving championships three times and later got a full scholarship to West Virginia University. Eventually, he became the captain of U.S. High Diving Team and performed over 1500 dives from heights that scaled to over 100 feet. Some of the dives Bill performed were while doused in gasoline and lit on fire. By the way, Bill has a debilitating fear of heights.

Now, Bill considers himself a leadership plumber. For the last two decades, Bill has worked with emerging and experienced leaders every single day. Sometimes he works with leaders on succession planning. Other times he’s doing one-on-one coaching with them. And sometimes he’s sharing what he’s learned from leaders with other leaders. Bill has done hundreds of keynotes and workshops sharing insights he’s learned from his leadership clients.

Bill is the author of Leaders Open Doors, which was inspired by a conversation with his then 5-year-old son, Ian. 100% of Bill’s royalties are being donated to programs that support children with special needs.

Bill is the father of three children, Ian, Alex, and Bina. Bina has cerebral palsy and is deaf. Bill considers her to be one of his greatest teachers. The common virtue that runs through Bill’s life and career is courage.

It was courage that allowed him to walk through his fear of heights, leave a six-figure job to start his own business, be a truth-teller to dominate executives, and face the challenges, realities, and joys of being the father of a child with special needs.

Along with his wife Shannon, Bill and his family live in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“You’re not going to find your courage in your comfort zone.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet

“You’re job as a leader is to make people uncomfortable.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“You don’t find what’s better in your current condition.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“You need to encourage people into their discomfort zone.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“Listening is a sign of respect.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“Fear is really a question; what are you afraid of?” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“If you get on the backside of fear it will have taught you a lot about yourself.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“You better learn the do’s just as often as you learn the don’ts.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“If you stay in the safe place too long it becomes dangerous to your career.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“We learn best and deepest mostly though embarrassing experiences.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“We learn more through pain than we do from times that are painless.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“The greatest aspiration of a leader is to be confidently humble.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“You learn humility though humiliation.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“Sometimes it takes a good slap in the face from life that humbles you.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“Leadership is not about the leader it’s about those being led.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“If you’re puffed up and not humble you’re due for a face slap.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“If you get a right-sized ego you can become confident and modest.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“Our parents are our first imprint of what does a leader look like.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“You speed through this life, so you’ve got to make the most out of it.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“Play it less safe and learn to live without a net.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

“Keep doing the next right thing especially when you are afraid.” -Bill Treasurer Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Bill Treasurer was in his performance review when his boss told him to close the door. Bill knew what was coming next was not going to be good. He told Bill he was concerned he was becoming a brown-noser. Bill was embarrassed and ashamed. Listen to what he said next that made all the difference.

Advice for others

Use your life now and use it for good.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

The desire to be a more present father and husband.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Stop brown-nosing and believe in yourself.

Secret to Success

I’m really afraid of death. So I’m taking advantage of life because it’s fragile and moves fast.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Writing is my passion place.

Recommended Reading

Learning Leadership: The Five Fundamentals of Becoming an Exemplary Leader
Self-reliance and Other Essays

Contacting Bill

Website: http://giantleapconsulting.com/ and http://www.billtreasurer.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/btreasurer

Resources

Leaders Open Doors, 2nd Edition: A Radically Simple Leadership Approach to Lift People, Profits, and Performance

Creating an even better place to work

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

Show Transcript: 

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

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.

 

An even better place to work is an easiest solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement leadership skills in everyone. Using this award-winning solutions guaranteed to create motivated, productive and loyal employees who have great work relationships with their colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work, visit beyondmorale.com /better. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay Fast Leader Legion today I’m excited because we have somebody on the show who uses a phrase that’s just totally fascinating to me and I’m looking forward to talk about it, it’s called Purposeful Discomfort. Bill Treasurer grew up 22 miles from Manhattan in a town called Larchmont, New York. While his friends were mostly old money rich kids, his dad worked at the New York Telephone Company and drove a Volkswagen bug. What makes Bill, Bill is that he never had it easy he prides himself on earning the things that he’s gotten the hard way. Bill was a scrawny kid who never excelled in team sports. One day though he and some friends were jumping around on the diving board at the public pool and by mistake Bill did a backflip, it was a moment that changed his life. Springboard diving became his sport, his discipline and his love. He won the Worchester County diving championships three times and later got a full scholarship to West Virginia University.

 

Eventually became the captain of the US skydive team and performed over 1500 dives from heights that scaled to over 100 feet. Some of the dive Bill performed while being doused in gasoline and lit on fire. By the way, Bill has a debilitating fear of heights, now considered himself a leadership plumber. For the last two decades Bill has worked with emerging and experienced leaders every single day sometimes he works with leaders on succession planning other times he is doing one-on-one coaching with them sometimes he’s sharing we learn from other leaders. Bill has done hundreds of keynotes and workshops sharing insights he learned from his leadership clients. Bill is the author of Leaders Open Doors, which was inspired by a conversation with his then five-year-old son Ian. A hundred percent of Bills royalties are being donated to programs to support children with special needs. 

 

Bill is the father of three children Ian, Alex and Dina. Dina has cerebral Palsy and is deaf. Bill considers her to ne one of his greatest teachers. The common virtue that runs through Bill’s life and career is courage. It was courage that allows them to walk through his fear of heights, leave a six figure job to start his own business, be a truth teller to dominant executives and face the challenges, realities and joys of being a father of a children with special needs. Along with his wife Shannon, Bill and his family live in beautiful Ashville, North Carolina. Bill treasurer are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Bill Treasurer:    Jim I can’t wait to help you get over the hump especially the Fast Leader Legion.

 

Jim Rembach:    Thanks Bill. Now, I’ve them 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. 

 

Bill Treasurer:    Man, my current passion is partly Purposeful Discomfort. I think it’s really important that people be courageous in their life and you’re not you find your courage in your comfort zone  you’re going to find it by stepping outside of your comfort zone into what I would call your discomfort zone. 

 

Jim Rembach:    As I was reading and learning more about what your thoughts around Purposeful Discomfort actually is there’s something that stood out to me that is something that I’ve really been advocating and talking about for a long time and to be honest with you something that I question myself about whether or not I should be doing that and that is that your job as a leader is to make people uncomfortable. 

 

Bill Treasurer:    Isn’t that surprising, it’s such a surprising statement. We would think that your job as a leader’s to pat people on the back and to make sure that they’re comfortable and to take good care of them and all that stuff is true but what’s really true is your job as a leader’s to make people uncomfortable. And that means nudging them outside of their comfort zones so that they’re growing, stretching, expanding their capabilities, constantly striving to do better than they did yesterday. A key question a leader needs to constantly be reinforcing and asking is, sure that’s good enough but what’s better? What’s better? Those two words are very powerful and you don’t find what’s better in your current condition, you find it outside of your current condition into what I would call your discomfort zone. 

 

Now, we need to be clear Jim, this doesn’t mean that because you’re making people uncomfortable that you have to be intimidating you don’t. I think that you should not—my title is Chief Encouragement officer. I believe in encouraging people, meaning putting courage inside of people not in-fearing by putting fear inside of them. That said you need to encourage them to move into their discomfort zone nudging them to get into discomfort so that they can grow, progress and evolve on behalf of their career and then on behalf of the company. So, your job is to make people uncomfortable.

 

Jim Rembach:    You bring up, as you’re talking—thanks for sharing that—there’s several things that run through my head, for people that don’t have the opportunity to see through this audio is I’m a big guy, I’m 6’4, I was 250 lbs. two months ago and I’m working on losing some weight I’m on my way to 220 lbs. and I made it public so now I got to do it but the doctor wants me 185 lbs. I said, “You’re nuts” but anyway, I’m a big guy and I’m not afraid of making feel uncomfortable when I see that they have more in them that for whatever reason they’re not allowing out. And one of the things that I found is because when you start putting in the fact that I’m a big guy I’ve got a big brow all of those things, I can be intimidating just by my presence than itself can do it. And so I’ve tried to be really mindful and try to really connect with people first at a level that is much deeper than the superficial and also I’ve learned more to share my intent so that it isn’t as fearful in the intimidation but regardless I’m going make you uncomfortable.

 

Bill Treasurer:    It’s a good point especially if our size is sort of imposing for others and if we ask them and invite them to do and encourage them to do uncomfortable things, we don’t want them to do it out of intimidation or fear we want to do out of their own want so that they excel and that they can close the gap between their potential asset that exists today and actualizing their potential as needs be tomorrow. Some of that takes good trust building between you and that person. If they see fit you truly have their best interest in mind in nudging them into their discomfort they’ll give you a lot more leeway than if they think you’re pushing them into discomfort because it’s going to somehow benefit you, make you more powerful, make your leadership spread around more so some part of it is the motive, are you asking people to do uncomfortable things as a leader does it benefits you and the organization or because it actually helps them add more value by increasing their skills and capabilities?

 

Jim Rembach:    Yeah. And so for me, I think, as you were saying that, without actually not cognitively assigning it previously. I guess what I’m trying to do more often that I was just totally aware of is earn the right to do it, if that makes sense. 

 

Bill Treasurer:    Yeah and I think your earn it. By you to do that investment upfront time to know what their goals are, their desires where they want to end up with their career, what their aspirations are and if you take that time and put that investment and really listen to them, you know, listening is a sign of respect it shows that you respect that person, you care about them, then once that trust is built you have a lot more latitude to be able to push and sometimes push forcibly because they know that that you’re doing it for their best interest cause you’ve taken an interest to find out what their best interest is. 

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s true. When you start talking about the things that we’re referring to and the learnings, there’s a lot of things that we need in order to help us stay on that direction. One of the things that we use on the show is leadership quotes, because they can have such a huge impact for us to stay the course maybe even go in a different or better direction or reset a direction. Is there a quote or two that kind of stands up for you that you can share?

 

Bill Treasurer:    Yeah. I love quotes and there’s the quote in the immediacy of the moment when I read a book, Oh, my God, that’s a great quote. I’m don’t remember them but I did recall a quote that means a lot to me and it’s because so much from my life is dedicated to courage, one of my website is couragebuilding.com because I’m a courage builder, that’s what I do, so as part of my practice as courage building, so this quote to me by Marilyn Ferguson, “Fear, she says, is a question. What are you afraid of and why? Just as the seed of health is an illness because illness contains information so she says, just as the seed of health is in illness because illness contains information your fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if you explore them. So I love that idea that fear’s a question and it’s a treasure house of self-knowledge if you explore your fear. Most of us see fear as something that we need to run away from, maybe occasionally fight or get frozen by and choke because we see it but really fear if we stay with it and get willing to work through it, walked through it and attend to it and listen to it, it might be telling us something on the inside. So fear’s really a question, what are you afraid of and why? And what it’s trying to tell you. So, it’s taught me a lot about the idea of courage to be present when you’re afraid and don’t run from your fear but stay with it because you’re probably, if you get on the backside of fear it will have taught you a lot redeeming things about yourself that is going to make you stronger individual in the long run. 

 

Jim Rembach:    As you were talking I started thinking about something that happened here recently. I’m helping coach my 10-year-old son’s baseball team and they actually go through a draft process to make sure that the teams are even, which is great it’s fantastic. After we got done through the drafting process the guy who’s in charge had said that one of the kids that we selected through our draft process, Coach Chris I helped him I’m the assistant, he was telling Coach Chris and I that his mom said please try not to put him on a team where somebody’s going to make him cry. And for me the things that you were just talking about—courage to me is a learned behavior and building that is a learned behavior we’re born with a clean slate we don’t know what fear—what do we always worry about kids? Why do we give them gauge at stairs? Because they have no fear. So the fear learned and then therefore courage has to be learned to overcome that fear. And I started thinking about that mother, I’m like, what are you preventing that child from learning, experiencing, growing? If you want to do that him.  

 

Bill Treasurer:    You know, she’s a loving mother who wants to protect his kids it’s kind of normal behavior. And you’re right we do too much of the teaching the don’t, don’t talk to strangers, don’t play with matches, don’t cross the road without looking both ways but the truth is you’ve got to learn to use matches and you got to have to learn how to interact with people so you better learn the do’s just as often as you learn the don’ts. But you’re right we over attend to protection and we do that internally too with self-protection. So, we avoid situations where we think we’re going to get harmed and we often stay in the comfort zone because it’s the safer place we think but if you stay in that safe place too long it can actually become dangerous to your own career, to your ability to have more influence as a leader. 

 

It’s funny that we’re talking about this, because I’m literally right now in the midst of writing a new book and the working title of the book is called, A Leadership Slap in the Face, and the idea is that we as leaders learn best and deepest mostly through embarrassing and humiliating experiences. We learn through pain, we learn more through pain than we do from the times that our pain less that we are always trying to avoid pain so we get into a pain less situation. And yet I of the humiliating experiences that I’ve had in my leadership life and they’ve been so important and informative and they’ve shape me as who I am. I think that the greatest aspiration of a leader is to be confidently humble. You’ve got to have confidence, true confidence authentic confidence, and grounded to humility but the reality is you learn humility through humiliation. You have a humiliating experiences and suddenly you’re not so far out of your skis anymore you bring your ego back into a right sized condition. And sometimes it takes a good slap in the face from life that sort of humbles you that then you can allow authenticity come in and get much more grounded and real and stop thinking of yourself as more important than the people that you lead because leadership is not about the leader it’s about those being led but if you’re puffed up and on yourself and not humble you’re due for a face slap. So the new book is a leadership slap in the face and it’s about that idea that not only are you going to have painful experiences, if you’re a leader worth your salt you certainly going to have them, but you might as well learn from them. So, let’s plan those experiences so you can benefit from them. 

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s a perfect segue to one of the things that is the main standpoint of what we do on the show. We talk about humps that we had to get over, it’s just that out, we learn. And here’s the beauty about stay assail standpoints of what we do on the show is that we talk about humps that we’ve had to get over, right? It’s just that we learn and here’s the beauty about the stories being told by our guess is that it gives our listeners the opportunity to learn through those experiences. So, when you start talking about learning, failing all of those things we have to do that if we’re going to grow, we have to. And we have to get as many experiences but we don’t really have so much time on the earth so learning through the experiences of others and then we can help them take them as our own as valuable. So can you think about a time when you’ve had to get over a hump and that really taught you a lot that you could share?

 

Bill Treasurer:    Yeah. I tell you on embarrassing, humiliating experience that was so transformative for my career. I worked at a company called Accenture, it’s one of the world’s largest management consulting companies very reputable, and I was there and I was doing well and I was in the change management practice. In my performance review my boss said, “You know you’re doing pretty good over here’s some areas I’d like you to improve and there’s one other thing that I want to tell you, please close the door.” And I knew this is kind of serious, I said, “What it is? He said, “I’ve started to see something in your behavior and it really concerning me. My concern is that if you don’t address it it’s going to become a drag on your career. And if I’m noticing it other people are definitely starting to notice it. And you’re going to want to remedy it or you’re not going to actualize your potential as a leader and your career will plateau.” I said, “What is it? He says, “I think your becoming a brownnoser.”

 

Oh it hurts, it stung. I was embarrassed. I was like ashamed and I look at him and I tried to joke it off. I said, “What do you mean?” Hey, you’ve got a nice tie. And he didn’t laugh. But what he said next made all the difference. He said, “Bill, you’re a smart guy, you’re a clever guy don’t rely on laughing at my jokes harder than they are funny to get ahead because not only is it dishonest it’s manipulation, you try to get ahead by being a false friend to me. He said, I rather have you be a truth-teller, I’d rather know what you’re actually think about something than have you sucking up to me so that you can get farther ahead in your career. Trust yourself Bill, trust your inclinations tell me what you really think. That was so liberating. It was it was one of the most important things I’ve ever learned in my career and one of the most important things I ever learn about leadership and the ultimate message was to trust myself. And it freed me up it gave me permission to care less what other people think about me and it made me a stronger writer and a stronger consultant and I think probably stronger friend. By getting that face slap that humiliating, embarrassing moment that had to sting in order for me to bring about useful and maybe even profound change.

 

Jim Rembach:    You know it’s kind of funny that you say that, that whole brown nosing concept is something that kind of rebelled against for long times so I went the other end of the spectrum. Meaning that I wasn’t going to show people that I care. I wasn’t going to do that because I don’t want to be labeled as a brown noser and that in itself impacted me just as much as if I was one.

 

Bill Treasurer:    Interesting, interesting. This is an embellishment and I’m not saying that you and I are either one of the things that I’m going to talk about. Literally this morning before I got on with you today I’m into a chapter, and this is wild end of the spectrum of both conditions, the person who was into flattery or too much into modesty. The chapter is called. Pig heads and weaklings the end of your pig head it’s all about sizing your ego and the falseness of your showmanship but depths that is going to hurt you in a way that it did in my case.  In your case it might have been on the other side, I was the pig head and in this example if I’m too modest it can hurt my career too because I’m not going to get notice and I’m not going to get as paid attention to them I’m might not be included as much so there’s the danger of that too. I think the middle place is if you can get to the right place, what I would call right size that you can get a right size ego you can become confident, which is important, and modest at the same time.
Confident and humility but not false level of either condition. You don’t want to be overly modest and certainly don’t want to be overly on yourself, conceited. So it’s a delicate bounds that pig heads and weaklings is one of the chapters today. 

 

Jim Rembach:    And mine came from probably multiple years of getting beaten up by my two older brothers. I had to show them that I was the tough guy and can handle it. And also that they wouldn’t be able to intimidate me. So, you’re not going to win over me, man. And so I kind of cared a little bit of a different aspect to it. If you start feeling back to machismo I’m a soft hearted guy. 

 

Bill Treasurer:    Right, right. Yes funny how that works and how we respond to face. And now I’d say I went a little bit on the other direction too. My dad was a really dominant, my dad was a hot head my dad was one of those fathers that you do see at the ballfield. They’re yelling at their daddy and all that kind of stuff the big red face when he’d get upset about something. I love my dad, he was a great man but he was a hot head. So I think I rebelled against authority at a certain times in life in particular my late teens and early 20’s because he was the ultimate authority figure and I saw his authority as dominance and intimidation, I thought I don’t want to be like that it’s funny how we do respond to the situations in our family. 

 

I really think our parents our first imprint of what is a leader look like and a lot of times we do one of two things we either adapt their style wholesale without questioning whether that self fits us or we reject that style and say, I’m going to go on the opposite direction because I won’t be anything like that. I think what matters is how we end up getting our own style that’s unique to us and sometimes it takes years to develop that. 

 

Jim Rembach:    It’s definitely been that for me. Okay, so I know you’ve got a lot of things going on and we talked about some in the bio—with the coaching, and you referred to writing another book at the moment—the kids, the charity work that you’re doing, a lot of stuff going on. If you’re to say you had a goal, what would it be? 

 

Bill Treasurer:    My goal is to—I just love this idea of Mother Teresa, I’m not saying I’m anything like Mother Teresa but what I’m saying is I love her idea of being God’s instrument that uses his pencil. If I can situate myself into really being connected with the Divine Providence, and then if I can allow whatever that Providence wants to work through me to say that and have a positive impact on people then I feel like I’m doing my job. So I guess my goal is to be a good steward of the message that Divine Providence wants to put through me and give to others. To be a pencil in a way that Mother Teresa was. 

 

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

 

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Jim Rembach:    Alright, here we go legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Bill, 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. Bill Treasurer are you ready to hoedown?

 

Bill Treasurer:    I’m ready for the hoedown. 

 

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

 

Bill Treasurer:    Probably the desire to be a more present father and husband. I’m on the road so much that I’ve lost sight of the fact that leadership begins at home. And so so much of my, this is not holding me back from being a better leader per se it actually helping me a more well-rounded leader. I’m out of balance in one world, my work world and having to bring my presence back to my family and home life and that might be giving up some things in order to do that. That is my current emphasis. 

 

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

 

Bill Treasurer:    Stop brown nosing and believe in yourself. Attach to that be courageous. 

 

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

 

Bill Treasurer:    I am really, really afraid of death. And I think that’s a good thing. I know that life is fragile and it’s staying fast and you speed through this life. So you’ve got to make the most out of it. Take a big a bite of this apple before you kick. Use it to your fullest advantage because it’s fragile and it’s going to go and it’s going to be very fleeting. So use your life now and use it for good. 

 

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

 

Bill Treasurer:    I’m lucky because I can’t do so many things. There’s so many things I’m incompetent at but the one thing I have a little degree of confidence for but more important passion for is writing. When I get lost in writing usually it’s a dreamy space and good things come out of that. So if I pay attention then it’s my passion plays my head tingles when it’s working well. Writing is my tool. 

 

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

 

Bill Treasurer:    Your listeners are going to really love this book. It hasn’t come out yet it’s by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, they’re friends of mine, their great leadership luminary gurus and they have a new book coming out this spring and it’s called, Learning Leadership and it’s a fantastic book about basically how do you learn leadership, so that’s’ a great one. And then I would say for any reader one of the pieces of work that had the most profound impact on me and my thinking is Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay and it’s called Self Reliance.

Jim Rembach:    Okay Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information from today show by going to fastleader.net/Bill Treasurer. Okay Bill, 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 now have 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?

 

Bill Treasurer:    Play it less safe. Learn to live without a net and trust yourself. Just show up keep doing the next right thing but take action especially when you’re afraid. So do the next right thing, learn to live without a net, trust in Divine Providence and you’ll do great things in this life. Don’t play it so safe. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Bill 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? 

 

Bill Treasurer:    A bunch of ways, billtreasurer.com, couragebuilding.com, leadersopendoors.com, and my company giantleapconsulting.com.

 

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

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

 

END OF AUDIO

 

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044: Sarah Simon: The blood drained out of my face

Sarah Simon Show Notes

Sarah Simon was in a new role and had little experience when her boss came down with a terrible migraine headache. She told Sarah to take over as the facilitator for a very important client meeting. Sarah had to make the choice of embracing her fear or running away from it. Listen to Sarah tell her story and how she was able to get over the hump.

Sarah Simon was born on the west side of Cincinnati, Ohio, where she was an outspoken, mischievous and athletic youngest child. Sports were central to life her childhood home, and she gravitated especially to soccer and competitive swimming.  She was fortunate to come of age at a time when kids were free to wonder all day in the woods without a map or bicycle long distances without a helmet. Her dad was a career academic, but the lure of her mother’s clicking heels and power suits was irresistible and Sarah followed her mother’s path as a businesswoman.

Sarah started her career as a number-crunching data analyst for a boutique market research, headed by a husband-and-wife team of Burke alumns, where she quickly realized she found a home in business intelligence.  She worked her way into program management with web survey pioneer Intelliquest in Austin, Texas.  Three months of triple-digit Texas heat became too much to bear and the high technology market itself was on fire, so she ran to the Rocky Mountains to work for Heat Software as their in-house analyst. In 2003, despite dire warnings that she was senselessly “pigeon-holing herself” into the dead-end world of customer engagement, Sarah leapt happily into the world of Voice of Customer research.

Currently, she serves as VoC Consulting Director at Confirmit, where she uses in-depth needs analysis to architect new feedback initiatives from scratch, and runs diagnostics on existing programs to optimize structure and function to yield business insight. She is a 2015 CXPA CX Expert, CX industry blogger and occasional speaker.

Sarah takes her free time seriously, and can be found climbing the high peaks of Colorado (and the word!), riding her Harley Davidson or off-roading in her Rubicon, caring for her large second-hand mutts and working on her small acreage.  Sarah loves cooking and travel and hikes a section of the Appalachian Trail northbound every year.  She has a weakness for wine, music and muscle cars.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“A lot of times my best work…is when I say don’t hesitate, just go.” Click to Tweet

“Innovation requires risk, success requires risk.” Click to Tweet 

“We get so afraid of making a mistake that we check for threats that aren’t there.” Click to Tweet 

“Stop over focusing on analyzing things to death.” Click to Tweet 

“Being courageous isn’t about not having fear, it’s about facing fear.” Click to Tweet 

“The longer I hesitate, the longer I wait, the more fear manifests itself.” Click to Tweet 

“I need to take fear and turn it into excitement and positive energy.” Click to Tweet 

“If you’re a little bit nervous with something just jump out and do it.” Click to Tweet 

“You’re not going to innovate…if you’re constantly fearful of failure.” Click to Tweet 

“Do not hesitate, go.” Click to Tweet 

“It’s okay to go by the seat of your pants when you’re smart.” Click to Tweet 

“Sometimes you just need to trust your gut and make things happen.” Click to Tweet 

“When I’m where the buck stops, backing down is not an option.” Click to Tweet 

“You’ve got to save your social and business capital for the fights that matter.” Click to Tweet 

“Happiness is a choice.” Click to Tweet 

“It’s up to me to play the cards I have been dealt.” Click to Tweet 

“Anger and sadness don’t hurt anybody but me.” Click to Tweet 

“The universe does not have an agenda against you.” Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Sarah Simon was in a new role and had little experience when her boss came down with a terrible migraine headache. She told Sarah to take over as the facilitator for a very important client meeting. Sarah had to make the choice of embracing her fear or running away from it. Listen to Sarah tell her story and how she was able to get over the hump.

Advice for others

Do not hesitate, go.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

I’m actively trying to understand my growth limitation and when I identify it, I am going to kill it.

Best Leadership Advice Received

You need to pick your battles.

Secret to Success

I love to build things from scratch. When I do, I am a woman on fire.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Confidence in new situations.

Recommended Reading

The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation

Contacting Sarah

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VOCMountaineer

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: 

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

044: Sarah Simon: The blood drained out of my face

 

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.

 

“Whether in the office or on the road, work with your community or coach to practice great behavior and produce great organizational results. Capture real time behavior practice from competency base development plans and invite feedback in an elegant and simple application. Take top performance mobile by going to resultpal.com/fast and getting a $750 performance package for free.” 

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay Fast Leader Legion, thanks for joining us today I have the excitement of being able to have a good time with the guest that we have today. Sarah Simon, was born on the west side of Cincinnati, Ohio where she was an outspoken mischievous and athletic youngest child that loves soccer and competitive swimming. Sarah feels she was fortunate to come of age at a time when kids where free to wander all day in the woods without a map or bicycle without a helmet. Her dad was a career academic but the lure of her mother’s clicking heels and power suits was irresistible, and Sarah followed her mother’s path as a businesswoman. 

 

Sarah currently serves as the VoC Consulting Director at Confirmit, where she uses in-depth needs analysis to architect new feedback initiatives from scratch and run diagnostics on existing programs to optimize structure and function to yield business insight. She’s on the CXPA expert panel along with me and is an Industry blogger and occasional speaker. Sarah takes her free time seriously and can be found climbing the high peaks in Colorado and the world riding her Harley-Davidson or off-roading in a Rubicon. She loves cooking and traveling and hikes a section of the Appalachian Trail north bound every year and when not doing these things she easily succumbs to her weakness for wine, music, and muscle cars. Sarah Simon are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Sarah Simon:    You bet I am Jim. Thanks for having me.

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay Sarah, I’ve given our listeners a brief introduction but can you tell us what her current passion is so that we get to know you better?

 

Sarah Simon:    Absolutely, Jim. I have a lot of ways that I love to focus my energies in my free time but I am spending a lot of time and energy right now on home renovation and also doing some work in maintenance around my small acreage.

 

Jim Rembach:    So when you start talking about home renovations, I mean, for me the planning process and going through that was just as important as doing the work. So when you start thinking about some of the things that you’re working on right now, how do you go about tackling, getting something done?

 

Sarah Simon:    Well Jim, first of all something will just kind of bite me as I need to take this project on. And just the other day I was looking at my cabinets and I thought, why is it they’re looking tired, I’m tired of the light colored maple, I’d want some deeper richer color, so you go out on Google and you Google cabinet refinishing at-home cabinet refinishing, you get some tips and tricks but at the end of the day what you need to do is just say “Here’s my color, I’m going to do this.” So, you follow some of the steps for prepping and cleaning the cabinets, the de-natured alcohol, the scrubbing, the light sanding and then you just take that leap of faith and apply that new gel finish and stand back and hope that you like what you see it. Fortunately I do.

 

Jim Rembach:    So for me I kind of, almost can get an insight into your head and looking at a particular process. The reason I asked you that question is because many of the guest that I have the opportunity to have on the show and for our listeners, we focus in on improving the employee experience and the customer experience and the strength of leadership that’s necessary, the depth of leadership, the skills associated with all that in order to be able to create more human-centric organizations, and one of the biggest and chief humps, I guess you’d say that a lot of people have to get over, is the difference between looking, measuring, and actually doing and impacting and having enough fact. One way or the other whether it “Hey, it didn’t come out right, I need to do it over again or hey that turned out pretty well but I actually did something”, so how do you get folks that are struggling with that hump of actually doing something to get over it? 

 

Sarah Simon:    Jim I find that a lot of times my best work that I produce is when I just say don’t hesitate just go. And innovation requires risk and success requires risk and one of the things I think in this voice of customer experience, employee engagement space, it is important to measure right, just like with a home improvement project you say measure twice cut once. But sometimes we get so afraid of making a mistake, so afraid of looking like a fool in front of our colleagues or doing something wrong that we get into the second guessing this over analyzing, we’re checking around every corner for threats but threats that aren’t really there what’s the worst thing that can happen if you jump up and try to make an improvement to the customer experience? We need to get a little more into some calculated risk taking and stop over focusing on analyzing things to death. Some of my favorite quotes or thoughts are around courage and a lot of people think when they see someone who’s brave, when they see someone who’s courageous, that that person doesn’t have fear and the opposite is true, being courageous isn’t about not having fear it’s about facing fear, acknowledging fear, and overcoming it.

 

Jim Rembach:    I think you bring up a really valid point. Even when you started talking about tackling and fear and going on the Appalachian Trail, hiking the Appalachian Trail, and the difference in the fear component, and how you actually approach it from a mind-set perspective, there’s a difference between seeing fear in front of you and putting the fear behind you. Often times when I think about folks that I’m having conversations with about their own voice of the customer data, their employee data that’s associated with engagement and those things is often times I’m talking to folks that their only fear is that I have to measure and get my measurements out. It isn’t the fear of, we have to make some changes and make some movements and I am fearful that it’s going to go bad, so it’s almost like they’re focusing in on the fear of their current responsibility that has been given to them. So when you talk about being able to have that person increase their ability to carry the data, the information, the insight forward to folks that have to make the decisions, how do you advise them?

 

Sarah Simon:    Wow, wow! Jim that’s a good one for me to ponder. I would say this, one of the things that I’ve noticed for myself whether it’s a business, climbing mountains, long distance back packing trips, riding motorcycles, when I find myself being fearful the longer I hesitate the longer I wait, the more that fear manifest itself, it grows from just being a fear in my mind to a physical reaction in my body. And I’ve learned overtime that when I feel that fear coming on I need to just channel it and I need to move. I need to take that fear turn it into excitement, turn it into positive energy and do whatever it is I’m doing whether it’s riding my motor cycle on a wet road or downhill skiing on a slope that I look at “Ooh maybe that’s a little too steep for me”, I just need to do it. And I would encourage customers experience professionals, if you’re a little bit nervous with something just jump out and do it, I’m not talking about being rash or being careless but I am saying maybe you need to be a little less cautious or a little less careful than your being because if you’re spending all of your time measuring customer feedback, measuring employee feedback you’re not going to have any time left to actually act on somebody’s gut instincts when you start seeing a trend emerging in the data and you think that’s exciting, that’s the kind of thing that we can a wrap a campaign around to get our colleagues excited about the customer and about a partnering with the customer to build this customer experience, jump out and do it, just go ahead and try, take some risks. 

 

I likened to, when I was a kid we had a big diving board at the swimming pool we would go to, and if a kid would get towards the end of the diving board and hesitate sometimes they crawl back down. And I’m like, “Get over it, just jump.” Sometimes you just need to get to the end of a diving board, jump off and make something happen that’s when the excitement and the innovation happens. You’re not going to innovate in your customer experience program if you’re constantly fearful of failure.  

 

Jim Rembach:    Listening to you say that, it actually reminded me of a story that my older brother Dan tells about a time when we had gone to a public swimming pool. At that time this is, I think it’s unique when you talk about it today, but they had like a 20 foot diving board it’s a big facility, and I was in front of Dan, Dan’s afraid of heights, I went to the edge of the diving board and for me, that water seem like it was close yet far away but I jumped anyways and went head first, and let me tell you, it was a good smack on the head but I got up and did it again. So, as you were talking about this whole fear thing and where you place it, and also one of the things that you said that kind of stood out to me is that, and I have to ask the question and this one has to be directed to myself as well is that, am I practicing fear or am I practicing boldness? Because it does come in one of those scenarios to where, you’re going to get what you practice and if I continue to practice fear, that fear is going to be the first thing I see and it’s going to stop me dead in my tracks. So thanks for sharing that.

 

Sarah Simon:    Absolutely!

 

Jim Rembach:    So quotes, you started mentioning quotes and you mentioned about quotes of courage and things like that and quotes are important to us in the show, is there one or two that kind of stands out to you and gives you that bump of courage?

 

Sarah Simon:    You know Jim really it’s just, “Do not hesitate, go!” For me that’s been the most important, there’s nothing eloquent about that quote, it’s direct into the point. I don’t want to steal from Nike and say “Just Do It” but sometimes we need to do that. And having kind of cut my teeth and come of age in the business intelligence world we can be a very, very cautious bunch. But as I started spending more time with sales, I’ll admit it first, when I first started working heavily with sales people they annoyed me because they made me nervous because they’re willing to go by the seed of their pants but then I watched them have huge success doing business by the seed of their pants without over planning, sometimes you just have to have the confidence to trust your gut and as I saw that happening in the sales world as I worked farther towards the tip of the sphere with the business development process I realized it’s okay to go by the seed of your pants when you’re smart. If you have good judgement, you don’t need to always plan things to death, you don’t need to analyze things to death, sometimes you need to just trust your gut and make things happen that’s where change happens, that’s where excitement happens, that’s where things get fun, that’s where innovation starts to emerge.

 

Jim Rembach:    You know, it reminds me also of a quote that was from a previous guest that had a similar type of message about, just get moving, he said: “Look, look folks we’re not killing babies here, no babies are going to die here.”

 

Sarah Simon:    [Laugh] I tell clients sometimes Jim, we’re improving the customer experience, we’re not curing cancer, so if we’re one neuron off in our estimates that’s okay.

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s a really good point. You have to put it in proper perspective and, but that goes back to what I was mentioning as far as sometime we feel that our job is at jeopardy and if I don’t do this that means I’m going to get that. And you could say that’s it’s a culture issue associated with that organization, however I think as a society we live with that fear. It’s just one of those that I think that we have like you say put behind us and have that fear be behind us and hopefully propel us to make that right decision and continue to move forward.

 

Sarah Simon:    Years and years and years ago, I’ve said, more of a junior associate, kid in my 20s, I was on site with my boss and the company owner for some focus groups for a major technology client and I was there running support for her, I was making sure the recordings were working, making sure that any late arrivals were ushered in and was also there to learn and help to manage and socialize with the clients while she ran the focus groups, I had never in my life ran a focus group, maybe some round tables but this was a learning opportunity for me. Right after the first focus group of two that night, my boss pulls me aside she says, “I am terribly sick, I have a roaring migraine, I cannot do the next focus group, I need you to do this for me.” The blood drained out of my face, and I’m like, “You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m 20 something kid, I have no training in this.” And she said, “You don’t understand I’m sick enough that I think I would go to the hospital with this migraine, I need you to run these focus groups.” She handed me the discussion guide and in I go, this 20 something kid, I’ve never done a focus group in my life and I sit down with that discussion guide and I just had to sit myself up in that chair, summon my confidence and be the expert and I did it, I got through it, I lead my first focus group. I had no preparation I just went through the discussion guide and frankly the client seemed quite happy with what I did and that’s an example. I could’ve ran from that, I could’ve ran out of that room and said, “I refuse I can’t do this, I’m going to mess this up, I’m going to upset the client, this is going to be a disaster” but that wasn’t a choice.

 

Jim Rembach:   Listening to you tell that story it makes me reflect upon my own kids and looking at the different personalities that they have, and birth order, and things along those lines and even listening to your bio and where you grew up and being that mischievous child and the one that would hang out and get lost in the woods and go crazy on her bike and do all the competitive stuff, I’m not surprised that you were successful with that, I really not. However when you start thinking about that, going through that, addressing that fear moving past it, what do you think it permitted you to do after that, that you would’ve never expected?

 

Sarah Simon:    I think it taught me to trust my expertise and know that when I’m where the bucks stops backing down isn’t an option,  I’ve just got to get it done. I might be scared but I’ve just got to hide that fear from the people who need to have confidence in me at that time and push forward and just do what has to be done to get the job done.

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s one of the reasons also I wanted you on the show, you seem like a woman who has a set of confidence that comes from a place that is not really fear motivated. I mean, when you start thinking of confidence and people having that type of persona and projecting that type of persona a lot of times it comes from a place of total fear, “Hey I don’t want to mess up, I need to have this certain Image” and unfortunately, when you have that as your primary driver as your basis when it cracks it shatters but I don’t see that in you, so when you start looking at all of the things that you have done and that you’re yet to do, what are some of your goals?

 

Sarah Simon:    Wow! Well some of my goals, it’s sounds cliché, I want to travel the world. I want to see the entire world and I have an insatiable curiosity and an insatiable desire to just make that happen, even if it’s got to happen one step at a time, one country a year but that absolutely one of 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. 

 

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

 

Sarah Simon:     I am ready to Hoedown Jim. Let’s do it.

 

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

 

Sarah Simon:   You know what Jim, if I knew the answer to this I’d be a better leader already. I’m going to be real honest with you, I’m actively trying to understand my growth limitation and when I identify it you better believe I’m going to kill it but I haven’t found it yet.

 

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

 

Sarah Simon:    Absolutely hands down. Dad would tell me when I was a kid you need to pick your battles, you can’t fight every fight, you need to know which battles are going to make the most sense to engage in, do a cost benefit analysis, there are downsides to each and every engagement each and every battle, you might break or damage relationships, you might lose credibility, but dad taught me you’ve got to save your energy, you’ve got to save your social and your business capital for the fights that matter and just let the lower guy you battles pass.

 

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

 

Sarah Simon:    I love to build things. Jim, as a kid I loved building little cities out of whatever I could find. Sand, old bricks, tissue boxes, discarded woods, I would pirate things from my big brother’s train set and build them into my own little cities and I assumed everyone was like this but I found over time that not everyone likes to build things from scratch. For some people building something from scratch is overwhelming and it’s no fun but for me building something from scratch it summons this creative energy that can overwhelm almost any lock in my pathway, it can overwhelm fatigue, frustration or a bad mood, there are few things that I love more than building something from nothing, when I get to build something from scratch I am a woman on fire.

 

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

 

Sarah Simon:    We touched on this just a little bit earlier in the conversation Jim. It’s confidence in new situation. Let me tell you when I was a baby my parents taught me how to swim as an infant and the amazing thing about a baby is if you throw her in the water she just swims it’s instinct, she doesn’t have time to be afraid, she doesn’t have time to second guess, she doesn’t have time to come up with a plan, the arms and the legs start kicking, the little nose and mouth pops up periodically for air and the kid swims and I’ve taken that same confidence in new situations into my work world.

 

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

 

Sarah Simon:    The Challenger Sale

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader listeners you can find links and other bonus information from today by going to Fastleader.net/Sarah Simon. 

 

Okay Sarah, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age 25 and you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take everything you can only choose one, so what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Sarah Simon:    So Jim I would sit down and tell that 25 year old Sarah “Happiness is a choice” I didn’t know this when I was 25 but I know it now. I had to come to the realization that I cannot control other people, I cannot control other people’s actions but I can control my reactions to circumstances and my reaction to the behaviors of others. So I decided it’s up to me to play the hand of cards I’ve been dealt, I can’t choose that hand of cards but I can choose how I’m going to play them. So I choose to smile and be happy, I’ve realized that anger and sadness these things, they don’t hurt anybody but me, if I want to carry them around with me and burden myself with them that’s my problem. So, no crying over spilt milk, that the universe does not have an agenda against you, just let go of negativity, there are rude people, there are mean people, there are negative people, I will not give them power over me to tell me how I’m going to lead my today and my tomorrow.

 

Jim Rembach:    Sarah 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?

 

Sarah Simon:    I absolutely Jim! Easy place to find me is out on Linkedin. You can also find me on Twitter I am @vocmountaineer.

 

Jim Rembach:    Sarah Simon, 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

 

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