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Aaron Edelheit Leadership Podcast Fast Leader Show

193: Aaron Edelheit: I’m going to turn off

Aaron Edelheit Show Notes Page

Aaron Edelheit was grossly over-worked, over-whelmed and way too connected. He found himself becoming less and less productive despite investing more and more time. Not only was work suffering so was his family and friends. Finally, Aaron decided he was going to turn off.

Aaron was born in Marlton, New Jersey new jersey but grew up in Boca Raton, Florida along with his two brothers Mark and Jon.

Around the age 9 his father was reading the Wall Street Journal and Aaron asked him what all the numbers were, pointing to the stock listings. He explained it to Aaron and it seemed fascinating. It wasn’t long until he was hooked.

Aaron has always been fascinated and interested in business and investments. For some unknown reason, he’s been reading the Wall Street Journal since he was 9. He started his own money management firm at age 23 and lived above his parent’s garage.

Then, he started a small side-business buying foreclosed homes and fixing them up and renting them out. He started with 16 homes in 2008 and built it up to 2,500 rental homes with 80 employees. He sold the company in April 2015 to a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust.

Aaron has been featured and quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg, and CNBC among others and has given lectures on business and entrepreneurship in the U.S., Canada and South Africa.

He is the Chief Strategy Officer of FLO Technologies and the CEO and Founder of Mindset Capital, a private investment firm and author of The Hard Break: The Case For The 24/6 Lifestyle.

Most importantly that I was a good father and husband and that I tried in my own little way to make the world a better place.

Aaron currently lives in Santa, Barbara, CA with his wife Valerie and his three kids Nora, Max and Miles.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @aaronvalue to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet  

“Over-work is actually hurting our chances for success.” – Click to Tweet 

“Once you work past 55 hours, in the long run, it’s all garbage.” – Click to Tweet 

“We’re connected every second to every person that has our contact information.” – Click to Tweet 

“We’ve ceded our control and freedom to everybody else having the ability to invade our lives.” – Click to Tweet 

“Why is there so much anxiety, anger and frustration – arguably this is the best time to live ever.” – Click to Tweet 

“Success in life is not about consuming more information.” – Click to Tweet 

“You’re actually not giving your brain the chance to be creative – to be innovative – to be problem-solving.” – Click to Tweet 

“What’s in short supply at this day and age – it’s time.” – Click to Tweet 

“A lot of people are starting to realize that’s it’s not necessarily things but experiences.” – Click to Tweet 

“Why not give yourself the gift of time.” – Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Aaron Edelheit was grossly over-worked, over-whelmed and way too connected. He found himself becoming less and less productive despite investing more and more time. Not only was work suffering so was his family and friends. Finally, Aaron decided he was going to turn off.

Advice for others

Don’t be in such a rush to get to a destination. Enjoy the journey.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

I need to do a better job of being more present.

Best Leadership Advice

Don’t focus on the short-term, really think about the long-term and the things that don’t change.

Secret to Success

My Sabbath practice, the hard break of turning off and being with friends and family.

Best tools in business or life

Communication – I can communicate complex things in a simple manner.

Recommended Reading

The Hard Break: The Case For The 24/6 Lifestyle

Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist)

Contacting Aaron Edelheit

website: https://www.thehardbreak.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaron-edelheit-0707b519/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aaronvalue

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

Public Speaking

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

193: Aaron Edelheit: I’m going to turn off

 

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.

 

Call center coach develops and unites the next generation of call center leaders. Through our e-learning and community individuals gain knowledge and skills in the six core competencies that is the blueprint that develops high-performing call center leaders. Successful supervisors do not just happen so go to callcentercoach.com to learn more about enrollment and download your copy of the Supervisor Success Path e-book now.

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who’s going to help us to stop doing something so that we can move forward faster. Aaron Edelheit, was born in Marlton, New Jersey but grew up in Boca Raton, Florida along with his two brothers Mark and John. Around the age of nine his father was reading The Wall Street Journal and Aaron asked him what all the numbers were while pointing to the stock listings. He explained it to Aaron and it seemed fascinating it wasn’t long until he was hooked. Aaron had always been fascinated and interested in business and investments. For some unknown reason he’s been reading The Wall Street Journal since he was nine, I think his dad had something to do with that. He started his own money management firm at the age of 23 and lived above his parent’s garage. Then he started a small side business buying foreclosed homes and fixing them up and renting them out. He started with 16 homes in 2008 and built it to up to over 2,500 rental homes with 80 employees and he sold the company in April 2015 to a publicly traded real estate investment trust. 

 

Aaron has been featured and quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg and CNBC among others and has given lectures on business and entrepreneurship in the US, Canada and South Africa. He is the chief strategy officer of Flow Technologies and the CEO and founder of Mindset Capital, a private investment firm. Most importantly he wants to be a good father and husband and that he tried in his own little way to make the world a better place. Aaron currently lives in Santa Barbara, California with his wife Valerie and his three kids: Nora, Max and Miles. Aaron Edelheit, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Yes. I am.

 

Jim Rembach:   I’m glad you’re here. Now I’ve given my 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?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Well my current passion is to spread the message about how being connected every minute and every second of every day is not good for us both business and professionally and also how overworked is actually hurting our chances for success. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I guess we have so many different mixed messages about this particular issue that we don’t know which way to go. We hear about you have to work harder than everyone else in order to be able to get ahead and then we hear that hey, you can’t burn the candle at both ends because you don’t function well and so on and so forth. And so we see a really big confusion around this. So when you start talking about trying to find clarity in your own place, really where does it start for someone?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    About 12 13 years ago I hit a wall. I had a lot of early success in my professional career and I worked all the time and then when I hit a rough patch, my personal life my social life that could all suffer, but it wasn’t until I hit a rough patch and then no matter how hard I work no matter how many hours I put in I didn’t see any change in the business results that I realized that something was wrong and really out of desperation I needed to do something different. So I began a journey to actually take a hard break or take a Sabbath where I turned off my phone I turned off my computer and I stopped working and I tried to give my brain a break. At first all I could do was try to make it four hours

I tried to make it till noon on Saturday, that’s how addicted to work I was, and then overtime over a couple weeks I’d built it up to the afternoon and then after some time a couple of months I built it up to a whole day. It transformed my life and it enabled me at a very rough time for many people in 2008 to actually have the vision have the courage to start a business that was fundamentally against what everyone was experiencing at the time, which was buying foreclosed homes when no one wanted to buy homes. It enabled all of my success the fact that I had this day every week, I have a vacation day every week like who doesn’t want that, and found that I had this time to decompress the process for renewal every week where I could get excited for the upcoming battle every week. 

 

After I sold my company I spent the last three years researching and writing this book. There are 200 footnotes in my book because my book is the business case for the Sabbath so I wanted to prove definitively that this is good for you. There are studies from like Harvard and Stanford and Centers for Disease Control showing—and once you work past going back to your original question, once you work past 55 hours a week in the long run it’s all garbage. In the short run you can grind yourself anyone can accomplish something over a couple weeks even a month or two months but in the end it’s going to affect your decision making, your ability to think clearly, be innovative, be creative and all of this has been shown over decades of research. And so, what I wanted to show in this book and share with people is that, okay, so what do you do with this information? And my idea is there’s a tool that’s actually thousands of years old that is practice across faiths and ideologies even secular people are basically taking the Sabbath. 

 

Jim Rembach:   And the book is titled, The Hard Break: The Case for the 24-6 Lifestyle so it’s kind of funny that you’re saying that we’ve known this for thousands of years thousands of years but yet we’re not only just repeating a pattern we’re actually deepening the pattern and passing it down to even younger generations. Before we got on this interview we were talking about one part of the book where you mentioned specifically, and this is based on studies that you found talking about how teens are even especially at risk with all this, and these teens are going to be people who are in the workforce really darn quickly. When we look at that entire emerging generation of workers and also looking at the fact that we have so many unclaimed hours a vacation time, is this really going to ever stop? 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Well, that’s why I wrote the book because I want to make this case. You and I remember a time before cellphones before we were connected when you were home from work or you’d be away you’d be on vacation you might be able to call via payphone or you do long distance but it was kind of a hassle. Now we have instantaneous communications we’re connected every second but not only that were connected every second to every person that has our contact information. People can email us they can text us they can send us social media likes spokes all that stuff. They can tweet at us LinkedIn messages, so it gives us this sense of freedom that we can do stuff from everywhere and that’s why you have ideas like work-cation but it comes with a big downside and that we’ve essentially ceded our control and freedom to everybody else having the ability to invade our lives out peace and quiet our down moments and we’ve given up this freedom and there comes to be a pretty significant downside as I share in the book there’s a lot of negative downsides to essentially being on call which is what you are. First response may be well I can respond what I want but they know that you’ve read it they know that they’ve grabbed your attention and this has some pretty significant downsides to our young who have no tools to cope with this. And that’s why the number one way middle school kids die now by suicide that’s why college I believe college campus health clinics are being overrun with mental health issues where it’s growing at double-digit percentages. And we have the sense in our country right now why is there so much anxiety and anger and frustration arguably this is the best time to live ever in terms of health, well-being in terms of life span everything—violence it’s all in the right directions but people are very anxious and then you see this in depression medication. And so I think it’s tied to the overuse of technology and the fact that we’re running around like chickens without their heads cut off we have no downtime. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a really interesting point. You’re talking about the whole downtime part, I know when my kids are on their devices or when I’m on my devices I’m not moving, what do you mean I have downtime, right?  But no, the brain is always activated. I think there was something that I heard the other day where we start talking about the fuel that we put in our bodies, what we eat, even though that it’s not from a size perspective comparatively larger but the brain actually uses over 20 percent of that fuel. 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    That’s right. But it’s the same thing if you think about your brain it’s a very great analogy and I’m thinking about it, think about the amount of information we’re consuming every day compared to what people used to consume. I heard some crazy statistic that the average person consumes as much information like a day that a hundred years ago someone would consume in a year like we’re just being bombarded with information, breaking news, we’re just consuming so fast, we’re not machines and in fact, success in life is not about consuming more information. What’s really important about the brands, this is what I love you have this tradition that’s thousands of years old, that’s been practiced for across faith and then the latest in neuroscience says that when you’re actually resting, daydreaming, going for a walk in the woods, you think that you’re not using your brain but there’s a part of your brain called the default mode network that goes into overdrive. And what is the default mode network? The default mode network processes information and it takes all the experiences and data that the brain is collected trying to form patterns trying to gain understanding. Think about the proverbial idea in the shower, like why does that hit you in the shower? It’s because there’s a part of your brain that’s actually working when you think it’s not. What happens when you’re running around like a crazy person and you’re working and you’re emailing and you’re texting and  you’re on your phone all the time you’re actually not giving your brain the chance to be creative to be innovative to be problem-solving all the skills needed to succeed in today’s economy?

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a great point. I also heard study not too long ago that talked about when we start talked about—when we start talking about our listening skills and our active listening skills and our ability to be able to take information and therefore you can leverage it and decide upon it and use it intellectually is that even when we have to go to the bathroom our IQ drops like 10 percentage points because instead of listening and engaging and thinking we’re just thinking—I got to go, I got to go. 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    That’s right. And it’s the same thing—there’s another effect a psychological effect that has been documented for over a hundred years called the Zeigarnik effect, which is when a task is not complete it kind of remains as a weight on our brains. You think about all the tasks you have to do and it just sits there and it affects your decision-making it affects your ability to think clearly and so think about how the modern world works all the emails and all the stuff that you have to do constantly it never ends so you have this ongoing Zeigarnik effect, what’s one way to fight against the Zeigarnik effect? It’s to go ahead and say, I’m going to turn off for this period and I’m going to make sure that I get at it after this point in time. Again the idea of the Sabbath of knowing there’s this defined hard break it’s not something that I do in this period of time. 

 

Jim Rembach:   As you’re talking I’m thinking about what I see from a society perspective and a communication perspective and what people are focusing on right now is that I think there’s a growing, well first of all need, but then also presence in society about mindfulness. 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Yes. 

 

Jim Rembach:   And being really mindful of all the things that we’re talking about and in the back of the book you have the worksheets that’s kind of what you’re doing is you’re trying to get people to be more mindful of what they’re doing. You have questions to ask yourself but then you also have questions to ask your partner, friends, spouse and child. But the questions to ask yourself you have in here are, when was the last time that your phone was off for 24 hours? Did you respond to any work-related emails or texts over the weekend, on your last vacation? When was the last time you took a nap and rested in the middle of the day?–we’re not from pure exhaustion. When was the last time you read just for pleasure? It’s all these really mindful activities in order for you to say, hmm, I need to do a better job of creating structure and having that Sabbath. 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Yeah, it’s about creating a regular—. I am the chief strategy officer for a start-up that’s growing really fast. I am partnering to build houses outside of Atlanta, I have an investment partnership in Charlotte. I just wrote a book, it’s really hard. I have three small children. I’m on the board of a non-profit there is a lot of stuff going on in my life right now and frankly sometimes it’s overwhelming. But I already know what’s coming up right in a couple hours is I’m turning off and I’m going to take a deep, deep breath and I am going to be able to just become Aaron. I’m not work Aaron I’m not this title Aaron responsible for all these people and I get that renewal and that vacation every week and it’s the best thing that I do that’s why I wrote this book it’s why I’m preaching this message. Having this defined period this hard break where I can then be myself and then think about things and take a nap read for pleasure do all these things that make life enjoyable and give long-term satisfaction spend time with friends and family but then also having that renewal that when Saturday night rolls around. I’m excited to turn back on I’m excited to get but what did I miss? What’s going on? Oh, I get to check all this stuff it renews me every week. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Well, that’s definitely been a huge shift I’m sure from where you explained that you were doing that you had to find and do your research so you had a get to that rationale side and then also address all the emotional things that went along with it. And with that as far as that emotional piece, oftentimes we look towards quotes in the show to help give us some inspiration and hopefully point us in the right direction. Is there quote or two that you like that you can share? 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Well, one that I would share is from Abraham Joshua Heschel who is a very famous rabbi actually marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and it was called it praying with his feet which I love and he wrote a very small book, great book, called The Sabbath, and he calls it a palace and time. Do you think about what’s in short supply at this day and age? It’s time. I think a lot of people are starting to realize that it’s not necessarily famous but experiences and the value of time is incredible, why not give yourself the gift of time? Where people can grab—your attention won’t be taken away and that you can actually just be you. So give yourself this kind of palace, I’ve called it a vacation. I’ve always loved this turn of the phrase coined at the Sabbath is a palace in time. Here’s the thing it doesn’t have to be religious. I profile people in the book that or secular, Christian, Jewish, Mormon, Seventh-day Adventists, corporations that are doing it for non-religious reasons like Boston Consulting Group.

 

Jim Rembach:   There’s definitely some good practices in many of those face and religions and  if you don’t have one that you follow you definitely still have to have the things that we’re talking about is you have that mindful restful and this peace the reflection, all of those things are critically important. Now, I know that when you started talking about going through everything that you went through from a heavy work perspective and even before that and even since after that you probably had some humps that you’ve had to get over where it really got you to where you are today. Can you share one of those stories with us?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Well, I could tell you is I’m still addicted to my phone as much as everybody. My wife has taken my phone from my hand and thrown it in the bushes. She complains that she just sees the top of my head because I’m looking down at my phone. Just because I turn off—I wrote this book half to myself than to anyone else just to remind myself. I love Twitter, I’m on Twitter you can find me @AaronValue—this is not a screech or cry against technology it’s just like anything it can be good or bad and it’s how you use it. I just think that people were—we have this new technology we’re not realizing all the downsides from extreme overuse and from overworking. I still struggle all the time and I can tell you is that—and I write about this in the book about how important it is to prepare and how you can actually do this, there’s a lot of how-to tips but my scramble before I turn my phone off every week that’s still not something that I’ve perfected. Because there’s all this stuff to do I’m going to turn off like I’m off—there are emails to send there are people to call there’s stuff I’ve got to have be in place. And so I still struggle with it in some regards. I’m not saying and I have—please don’t think I have all the answers this is just one answer. 

 

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:

 

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team building session? My keynotes 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:     Alright, here we go Fast Leader Legion it’s time for the Hump day Hoedown. Okay, Aaron, 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. Aaron Edelheit, are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    I’m ready to hoedown. 

 

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

 

Aaron Edelheit:    I think that I need to do a better job of being more present and like everyone else put the technology away and make sure I’m really focusing on the person in front of me. 

 

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

Aaron Edelheit:    Don’t focus on the short-term really think about the long-term and the things that don’t change. The things like what Jeff Bezos has said, it’s the people’s want, great customer service, convenience those kind of things never change.

 

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

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Oh, that’s easy, that’s my Sabbath practice, the hard break of turning off and being with friends and family. 

 

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

 

Aaron Edelheit:    I would say it’s communication. I think that I can tell a good story and communicate complex things in a simple manner. 

 

Jim Rembach:      What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners they could be from energy genre of course we’re going to put a link to, The Hard Break: The Case for the 24-6 Lifestyle on your show notes page as well. 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    I just actually read a wonderful fiction book called, Pachenko, and it tells a couple of generations of Koreans that lived in Japan before, during and after World War II, it’s wonderful.

 

Jim Rembach:      Okay, Fast Leader Legion you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/aaronedelheit.  Okay, Aaron, this is my last hump day hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity go back to the age of 25 and you have been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. So what skill or a piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Patience. I was in such a rush to be a success I even left college early you tried to graduate college early and I wanted to get out there and work and got a job and then immediately started managing money and started seeing success and I was so focused on just being a success as opposed to having a balanced life. And so when I suddenly hit a wall, and I described this in my book, and it got sick and my personal life was in shambles and then suddenly work which was everything was struggling I had no real foundation to rest upon I went to a really dark place. Now, luckily for me it was a wonderful turning point in my life and led me to start a Sabbath practice, started take taking better care of myself. I wrote this book so hopefully people don’t have to go through the same thing that I did. If I just had a little more patience wasn’t in such a rush to get to a destination kind of quaint to say enjoy the journey a little more take better care of myself and build myself up to be more successful in the long term, I would have been much better off.

 

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

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Sure. Well, you can find my contact information on my website, thehardbreak.com. You can find me on Twitter as I said @aaronvalue. You can find me on Facebook, Aaron M Edelheit the author of Hard Break and you can find my book on Amazon.

 

Jim Rembach:      Aaron Edelheit, 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 

 

Olga Mizrahi - The Gig Is Up

178: Olga Mizrahi: I publicly thanked them for the negative review

Olga Mizrahi Show Notes Page

Olga Mizrahi knows that reviews are part of the gig economy and the future of work. So, after reading a negative review about her book she had three choices that we all can choose to take. After much contemplation, she decided to respond publicly in a way that’s surprising and bold.

Olga Mizrahi was born in Europe and, via London, landed in South Bend, Indiana, at age five. After her dad’s relocation for work, she and her younger sister grew up in and around Los Angeles. Her parents were hard-working immigrants, who both had a love of science and engineering. As such, from an early age, Olga was encouraged to think analytically while engaging in creative problem solving.

Olga is widely known for her two bestselling books: “Sell Local, Think Global” and “The Gig Is Up.”  Of course, it took her some time to amass the know-how in those pages.  She started her career in the dot com world, went on to teach web design at the ripe old age of 24, earned a master’s degree in business, and eventually started her own successful design firm.

Now, coming full circle, she teaches Transmedia for the University of California CE, Irvine’s Digital Marketing Program.  She’s proud to be able to show her family that “living the dream” is truly possible when you put your mind to it.

Olga is multifaceted, engaging in intellectual pursuits and well as getting out in nature, skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, and mountain biking for fun.  She embraces the “work hard, play hard” philosophy.  She is a lifelong learner, who is always connecting with others, reading “how to” materials, listening to podcasts, and attending seminars that foster perpetual growth.

She currently blogs at ChunkofChange.com and leads a small team at ohso! design, which serves a wide variety of clients in web design and development, as well as business consulting and strategic marketing.

Olga currently lives in Long Beach, California with her husband of 21 years and their multi-talented preteen daughter, who keeps her even busier with extracurricular classes and performances.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“There are so many opportunities out there to take advantage of the future of work.” Click to Tweet  

“85% of millennials want to telecommute to work 100% of the time.” Click to Tweet  

“A lot of people have side hustles, how about we nurture that.” Click to Tweet  

“Freelancers aren’t new, what’s new is the technology behind it.” Click to Tweet  

“One out of three people identify with being part of the #gigeconomy right now.” Click to Tweet  

“There is a necessity as we go into the future of work to say, what is it that is our essence, that we can’t outsource.” Click to Tweet  

“One of the biggest challenges with this new influx of gig workers is the communication aspect.” Click to Tweet  

“I don’t think there’s shame in contract work like there use to be.” Click to Tweet  

“Do you have a pre-flight checklist for when you bring gig workers and contractors on?” Click to Tweet  

“It’s the bold that get any attention or cut through everything that’s out there.” Click to Tweet  

“Don’t be afraid to launch and launch often.” Click to Tweet  

Hump to Get Over

Olga Mizrahi knows that reviews are part of the gig economy and the future of work. So, after reading a negative review about her book she had three choices that we all can choose to take. After much contemplation, she decided to respond publicly in a way that’s surprising and bold.

Advice for others

Understand

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Letting go of perfection.

Best Leadership Advice

You’re not thinking big enough.

Secret to Success

Constant lifelong learning.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

Embracing automation.

Recommended Reading

The Gig Is Up : Thrive in the Gig Economy, Where Old Jobs Are Obsolete and Freelancing Is the Future

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Contacting Olga Mizrahi

website: http://www.chunckofchange.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/olgamizrahi

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

 

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

178: Olga Mizrahi I publicly thanked them for the negative review

 

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.

 

Call center coach develops and unites the next generation of call center leaders. Through our e-learning and community individuals gain knowledge and skills in the six core competencies that is the blueprint that develops high-performing call center leaders. Successful supervisors do not just happen so go to callcentercoach.com to learn more about enrollment and download your copy of the Supervisor Success Path e-book now.

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who really has some insight into the future of work as we really are seeing it now and growing tremendously. 

 

Olga Mizrahi was born in Europe and via London landed in South Bend, Indiana at the age of five. After her dad’s relocation for work, she and her younger sister grew up in and around Los Angeles. Her parents were hard-working immigrants who both had a love of science and engineering. As such from an early age Olga was encouraged to think analytically while engaging in creative problem-solving. Olga is widely known for her two best-selling books, Sell Local think Global, and The Gig is Up. Of course, it took her some time to amass the know-how in those pages. 

 

She started her career in the dot-com world went on to teach web design. At the ripe old age of 24 she earned a master’s degree in business and eventually started her own successful design firm. Now coming full circle she teaches Trans-media for the University of California CE Irvine’s Digital Marketing Program. She’s proud to be able to show her family that living the dream is truly possible when you put your mind to it. 

 

Olga is multifaceted engaging in intellectual pursuits as well as getting out in nature skiing, stand-up paddle boarding and mountain biking for fun. She embraces the work hard, play hard philosophy. She is a lifelong learner, who is always connecting with others reading how-to materials, listening to podcasts and attending seminars that foster perpetual growth. She currently blogs at chunkofchange.com and leads a small team at Ohso! design which serves a wide variety of clients and web design and development as well as business consulting and strategic marketing. Olga currently lives in Long Beach, California with her husband of 21 years and they’re multi-talented preteen daughter who keeps her even busier with extracurricular classes and performances. Olga Mizrahi are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Olga Mizrahi:      I am ready. Bring it. 

 

Jim Rembach:   I am glad you’re here. Now I’ve given my 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?

 

Olga Mizrahi:      My current passion is truly the gig economy. There are so many opportunities both on the corporate side and outside of corporate to really take advantage of the future of work. It is just amazing right now it’s filled with anxiety too I don’t want to completely sugarcoat it but there’s so many opportunities and I want to make sure that your listeners know there’s something out there for . 

 

Jim Rembach:   I think there’s something out there for them. So for me—there’s a lot of podcasts out there that talk about being an entrepreneur doing your own thing and I know you get on a lot of those podcast but mine’s a little bit different we have more people who are in organizations that are actually listening to the show but I see the whole entrepreneur aspect as well as an opportunity for organizations from a coaching perspective, say to some of their top employees and top talent and say, have you ever thought about doing this as a side hustle? Or opening up more opportunities for you for growth?

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Eighty five percent of milennials, the fastest-growing segment of the US workforce, want to telecommute 100% of the time they want to be remote 100% of the time. So if you have top performers in your organization it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a little bit more from the gig economy in terms of mentality. A lot of these people have side hustles they have other interests, how about we nurture that so they feel like a whole person and they want to stay because they love that you understand that.  

 

Jim Rembach:   I think it’s very short-sighted to think of development and skill development and growth from an organization’s perspective and a person who’s in an organization as a leader to say that you’re only going to get that here. Maybe it’s a good opportunity to really stop and say, what is gig economy? I think your definition is a little bit different than what I have seen before, so if you can explain that to me. 

 

Olga Mizrahi:      I think there’s a lot of confusion around the gig economy. Because we start hearing things like, sharing economy, app economy, knowledge economy, connection economy, well they’re all the same flippin’ thing. The thing is most people go, oh, crap does that mean I have to be an Uber driver? Does that mean that I have to have somebody now stay in my house and be an Airbnb? No. There are hundreds of platforms out there that cater to your project work and that’s the key, project work and technology combined. Freelancers aren’t new we’ve had freelancers forever, so what’s new? It’s the technology behind it. There are, like I said, hundreds of different apps and platforms that now feed this definition. The gig economy is project based services or on-demand that can be really provided by anyone at any time, it’s that simple.

 

Jim Rembach:   For me it was also kind of a AHA when I started looking at some of the statistics associated with as your definition of gig economy is looked at across the entire economy how really prevalent this is but even by 2020 there’s some amazing statistics that I think we’re probably going to reach sooner. Can you share some of those?

 

Olga Mizrahi:      One out of three people identify as being part of the gig economy right now. Does that mean full-time contract work? No. That can mean somebody who identifies because they’re doing it as a side gig but it also does include full-time freelancers and contract workers in that statistic. What’s amazing is within two years that’s going to be one out of every two. One of every two people in the United States is going to have some sort of 1099 income coming their way from being part of the gig economy, and that is mind-blowing. Think about what that means for you if you’re not necessarily interested in the gig economy. Well guess what? There’s probably a loved one that is either by choice or not and there’s probably somebody on your team that is. So there’s something that we know is coming around the corner let’s look at it let’s take it head-on and really take advantage of the opportunities coming our way.

 

Jim Rembach:   I also see from an organizational perspective that they’re really going to have to change the way that they look at work and how to get work done how to resource and deploy against all of those different tasks and all of that. I see that organizations as a core from an employee perspective, we seen it over time, but I think they’re missing one side of it. Meaning that they’ve thinned out but yet they placed more responsibilities on the people that are left and expecting them to do more. We just know from a human perspective we can really only focus in on one or two things at a time. We need to have people and resources that are outside of the organization to be able to handle the three four five six seven eight nine ten things that I’m not getting to.

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Right. So, what is the essence of your organization? There’s this competitive advantage number one and number two almost necessity as we go into the future of work to take a really hard look and say what is it that is our essence that we can’t outsource? That is our competitive advantage. And then those things that you can, what about you don’t even maybe know? What if you said to a top performer, look I’m going to give you a budget this week here’s $500 bucks, here’s a $1000 bucks I want you to find something that frees you up by going to Upwork, by going to Fiverr by going into any of these platforms and have something get done, will you manage that process? But hopefully it’ll free you up. So you’re not only teaching that employee a new skill as far as managing remote workers but also you’re asking your whole organization to say, okay what is your essence? If you can outsource that it’s not your essence.

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, so that brings up a really interesting point. As I started thinking about that fact that a lot of organizations may say that their essence is really their culture. And so if I’m using a lot of outsourcers or gig-gers to do a lot of my work, how am I going to maintain or even grow that culture and get them to engage within it?

 

Olga Mizrahi:      What an excellent question? One of the biggest challenges with this new influx of gig workers is the communication aspect the idea of how to bring them also into the culture. There’s also by the way a lot of contract workers that are coming on-site to companies. Guess what? There’s a little bit of a discrimination happening still. I don’t think there’s shame in contract work like there used to be. They’re used to be really like this, you would go into corporate and you’d be like, oh that’s just a temp guy. But now I think appreciate more these specialized skills that people bring to the table. They’re coming on-site how about we make sure they don’t have the broken chair? And we haven’t stolen all their office supplies and we also invite them to the meeting because we forgot that they were part of the team because we don’t see them every day in front of our face. Those types of things can be easily remedied by checklists and by bringing that into the organization after all like there’s no harm in checklists. Really people, why do you think we fly safely? It’s all because of checklists it’s like, do you have a pre-flight checklist for when you bring gig workers and contract workers on?

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a great point. I do see that onboarding process that engagement process and all of that in itself from an organization perspective requiring our unique set of skills that now has to be taught to a lot of different parts of the organization as they’re bringing these workers on and many times multiples of them for longer periods of time and also managing all of the whole deployment aspect of it. Managing of people knowing that they’re in the right place the right time focusing on the right things that in itself is huge. 

 

Olga Mizrahi:      There are some technology helpers. Like your audience right now hears me and that’s wonderful but you actually see me because we’re using a program so that we can connect as we’re talking. And for all you know we’re actually sitting in the same studio in North Carolina. But in reality I’m in Long Beach so there’s many more technologies that allow that connection whether it’s as simple as FaceTime. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been through airports or through a local Starbucks and you see people on FaceTime working, why is that? Because it creates a certain level of connection that you don’t get on a conference call that nobody’s paying attention to any day. 

 

Jim Rembach:   You are so true. It’s kind of funny that you say that t’s kind of funny that you say that because I’m currently on retainer for an organization and working on some of their materials and content, sales materials, marketing materials doing some other project work because of the skills that I’ve built and emotional intelligence in connecting with people. And so, when I come on we use go to meeting a lot—there’s a product that they’re using that when I come on I’m automatically activating my webcam. There’s someone made a comment today, Jim’s you turn your web cam on. 

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Very nice, good training good training. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Exactly right. I think it’s just your new habits, right? And that’s really what I’m getting at. We have to undertake new habits that we haven’t used in the past and never have been though about because of this future of work that we’re really talking about. 

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Yeah. And so if we get back to—I love that you have entrepreneurs. I remember back in the late 90’s I went in house at Pacific investment Management Company and it was the first time that they had ever had a website and then very quickly they discovered the beauty of an intranet. Here I am basically snot coming in like knowing web design which very few people did at the time and also I was like hot beep because all of these managers were coming to me and saying, hold on you mean our accounting department can put on the expense sheets and people can download them but people from the outside can’t see them? And so this is kind of an extension of—you have to sell people back then on the value of an intranet. Now a lot of times these sites are larger, most the time actually, than the external versions and they’re always trying to get more efficient and more things out of them. The same thing with videoconferencing and things like that all of those who’ve kind of come in to the mainstream, this is the next level this is the next thing. I feel like the more prepared you are as an entrepreneur to say, how can I take advantage of these technologies and of these resources that are worldwide? It’s not that it’s easy it’s kind of like saying, oh, I don’t want to hire them it just doesn’t work when I go on web work really because hiring temps back in the day worked. These are human issues so that’s not going away it’s how you’re dealing with the humanity and the connection. Especially with younger generations they crave that connection it’s not like in fact if anything they have maybe some boundary issues. But should we be surprised we’re asking them to be on 24/7 when their dings, slack channel anyone? You know what I’m saying. 

 

Jim Rembach:   You’re totally right it goes back to change transformation when we have to do things differently and that doesn’t come easy because we’ve been wired to conserve energy and put things in cruise control so we just have to take it out of cruise I guess. So, when we’re talking about all of this, the economic transformation our individual transformation our organizational transformation, all those things there’s a lot of motion wrapped up in that and one of the things that we look at on the show in order to help us get focused on the right emotions are quotes, so is there a quote or two that you can share that you like?

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Perfect is the enemy of the good. In today’s environment the launch is quick and so some of us are still back in that perfect thing, I can’t go because this isn’t perfect and I’m going to get reamed I’m going to get reamed and what happens is then you don’t go or you don’t go as boldly and yet it’s the bolt fortune favors the bold in essence that get any sort of attention or cut through everything that’s out there so, don’t be afraid to launch and launch often. It’s tough to even have stuff that’s out there I’m not immune I just flexed the muscle more that’s it. It’s a muscle that I flex and the more that I kind of put out there the better I am at not trying to reel it back in because it’s not perfect. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Yeah, we all talked about that you have to fall in order to get up and it’s not how not what happens but how you actually react to all that but still nonetheless painful and often times we shy away from it and like you said it’s a flexing of a muscle. I always like the things were people are getting interviewed and talking about that success that was just wild and it just took everybody by storm and sometimes you’ll hear them say, let me tell you about the 200 other times I failed. 

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Right, it’s the overnight success that took 20 years. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s exactly right. Talking about your transition being born in Europe being in London I know you were young when all of that happened but especially with the family and the immigration or some culture shock and Tiffany come from South Bend, Indiana to California had to be a huge one but I know also there’s been some transitions and humps that you’ve had to get over and we learn a lot by those, is there a story that you can tell when you’ve had to get over the hump? 

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Getting over the hump? Honey, I’d do that every week right. I’m going to share something from a long time ago and then I’ll share something really recent and I’m going to start with a recent one. When we talk about flexing muscle and really putting our money where our mouth is I recently—look, obviously as an author you look at your reviews just like on LinkedIn you would look at your ex or if you’re a business owner you look at Yelp and get mad say, how do I turn this Yelp thing off? You don’t. Anyway, so I got a negative review on the book and I read it, of course, and my first reaction was this person didn’t even get past page three because they admitted it in the review and they also had gotten like a free copy or something. And so your first thing is like, you didn’t even read it? What’s going on why do that? But I had to reel myself back and say, reviews are so much a part of the gig economy and the future of work this is not about me just responding to this person or responding at all I have a choice to not respond at all to respond directly to the person or to respond publicly and that’s what I did I responded publicly. The first thing I did was thank them because I truly appreciate it that they took the flippin time that means a lot so they didn’t connect with me. Okay, so then I went and put forth the issue that they couldn’t get past on page three actually had a whole chapter dedicated to it in the book on ethics. And so I just asked, did you get to the ethics chapter? People have told me that they really enjoy that and they’ve been giving me good feedback on that. So maybe we still have a chance to connect or not but just I’d throw that out there to be helpful. Not only am I responding to her in a very—not only cordial but respectful way but I’m doing it for everybody else that reads it because it’s important for them to know that this is a conversation this is your opportunity. You can think Amazon, just in general for all of us getting reviewed now because they’re the ones that started it, but we make those snap decisions now so it’s important to be okay with having your neck out there a little bit. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Very much so. And again I get think that’s one of those changed things we’re we just haven’t been used to that. I still have that conversation even with myself I just need to do it get out you know stick the neck out and just not worry about it and like for you I would like to respond to everything too regardless of whatever it is it’s just giving myself the pause so that I don’t respond it was some type of passive-aggressive thing, right?

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Exactly where you’re just kind of, hey (20:52 inaudible) right?

 

Jim Rembach:   Exactly. 

 

Olga Mizrahi:      I promised you an earlier story. So because I came to this country so young, I obviously don’t have much of an accent or anything like that, but talk about getting over the hump—I didn’t know what a fireplace was. I’m five or six years old in kindergarten and where we came from, including by the way in London, there’s just not a lot like they have these kind of old coal almost like things in the middle of the room and so we’re coming around Christmas that’s when we came to this country and there’s the stockings on the fireplace and this is all new to me and I get handed like a color sheet with this and I don’t know what this is and I’m also very shy and I’m just learning the language. The teacher automatically assumed that I was special so that’s my first time to get over—

 

Jim Rembach:   You are special just not in the way that she thought. 

 

Olga Mizrahi:      No not the way it is. I won’t tell you what she actually wrote because I don’t think it’s politically correct to use that word anymore but you get the idea. Needless to say that was like probably within one month of coming here and your first challenge as a child. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Well you definitely have overcome that. I really enjoyed going through the book and some of the work that you’re doing I have not even been exposed to some of the work that you’re doing with chunk of change so I’m looking forward to that. I do want to make sure before we move on we talk about one thing that you address because I see it more and more and you talk about the robopocalypse.

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Yes.  

 

Jim Rembach:    Tell us about that. 

 

Olga Mizrahi:      O-M-G, Jim I just posted this crazy video on like—do you know how to share videos on Facebook? If you guys haven’t seen it the Boston Dynamics the robot company has this terrifying looking like huge dog that can run something like 35 miles an hour and I’m already thinking of like the military implications like scaring myself to death. Well, somebody posted on Facebook it must have been one of the engineers where this thing is walking through their house and coming around a corner and they just put like banana peels down and they went down and they’re like bananas will save us from the attack of the robots and that’s the whole thing. AI is here, artificial intelligence machine learning, when we think about just Google Translate what Google Translate does, they realize this a few years back, they realize that it doesn’t make sense for Google Translate to translate from English to Spanish it created its own language. And so every single language that translates from it goes English Google language Spanish, Spanish Google language French, so it has an underlying basically machine learned language that is now like 90 some odd percent, like high 90s like 95 98, I don’t remember the exact statistic accurate and that’s also allowed for speech to be that way. So those of you that have an echo or a Google home or any of those types of things in your house the whole reason you can talk to it is because of AI and because of machine learning. I actually nicknamed Arse wiretap and it’s in my daughter’s room it does not live anywhere else in the house. If you want to talk to the wiretap you go on ahead but I’m a little old-school when it comes to that. 

 

Jim Rembach:   You’re still not sure about who’s listening. 

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Still not sure. It raises this whole host of other questions which is what we see now anyway in terms of technology and all that stuff which is we can’t keep up as far as the laws and understanding and whatever. Something in the news recently was that the transcripts from one of those was asked for by prosecutors from a supposed murder of a wife-husband thing, anyway like we have all that. It makes great news too because we’ve been taught from Terminator to like everything is dystopian like our future’s dystopian I am so sorry like nothing is happening. And yet we don’t really appreciate the fact that for instance seniors in their home now have somebody to talk to, can order things, can get things done and there are other sides to this stuff guys and there are ways that we can also implement it that makes sense. 

 

In my book, I don’t know if you saw this little picture in there, I was looking for examples of how like we’re not there yet we can’t just think like, oh great, we’re just done for and it was that they had a robot basically doing the choosing for phone cases on Amazon. So this artificial intelligence—and basically they were saying, hey just give us the really popular stock photos and we’ll make them into phone cases on demand, kind of an interesting idea except that they got things like old man and diaper in other words they didn’t quite realize that there’s a lot of stock photography that’s used by companies selling stuff to old people or whatever. And so like all sudden you have these phone cases that nobody in their right mind would want to buy like some guy with sexy abs and like a piece of cheese on it like you’re just like, what is this? So random because a human didn’t do the choosing. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Well I think from a gig economy perspective when you start thinking about AI a lot of people think that it’s just, we’re going to have a lot of jobs wiped out. I was actually reading a study that talked about, okay so over the next couple years we’re going to lose 1.8 million jobs using artificial intelligence however there’s going to be like 2.1 or 2.2 million jobs created because of AI and I that’s going to have a huge impact on the gig economy. 

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Yes, absolutely. I wanted to—for those of you that are truly kind of in disbelief about the fact that if were already picturing The Terminator to robot coming and taking your job I’d like you to look at James Zorroski and he writes in the Great Tech Panic, Robots won’t take all our jobs, that since automation allows companies to produce more with fewer people a great wave of automation should drive higher productivity growth. Yet, in reality in the past decade by historical standards productivity has been kind of dismally low. Back in the heyday of the US economy from ’47 to ’73 labor productivity grew at an average pace of nearly 3% a year but in the past 10 years, in this case since 2007, it has grown at a rate of around 1.2 percent the slowest pace in any period since World War II. Over the past two years productivity a mere 6% and that the very years when anxiety about automation spiked. So it’s simply not what you’d see if efficient robots we’re replacing our human inefficiencies on mass so that’s a little bit of a reality check for all of us. And this is where you go, okay, well then what’s taking all these jobs? Because they love pointing at automation and it’s almost given you read some of these articles and it’s just given robots will take our jobs, not a given. 

 

What’s actually happened is that, and it’s kind of like China, because 2.4 million jobs have disappeared from 1999 to 2011 alone due to massive trade deficits driven by manufacturing. By the way people, that’s all of us purchasing crap on Amazon, do you know I mean? We somehow want to blame China but like, hmm did kind of order all my child’s dance tights on Amazon in like a six pack for what one would have cost from the dance store and it came in a strange package that was from China that means that I contributed to that and so did all of us. I think it’s one of those things like, can we just kind of take a little bit of responsibility too that we’re part of the problem?

 

Jim Rembach:   Most definitely. 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, Olga, the Hump Day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. 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. Olga Mizrahi, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Olga Mizrahi:      I’m ready.

 

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

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Letting go of perfection.

 

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

 

Olga Mizrahi:      You’re not thinking big enough. 

 

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

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Constant lifelong learning. 

 

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

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Embracing automation. 

And what would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners, it could be from any genre, of course we’re going to put a link to the–Gig is Up-Thrive in the Gig Economy where old jobs are obsolete and freelancing is a future–on your show notes page as well.

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Well I’m a huge fan of Seth Godin, so let’s go with Linchpin. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader Legion you can find links to that another bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/Olga Mizrahi. Okay, Olga, this is my last Hump day hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity go back to the age of 25 and you have been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. So, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why? 

 

Olga Mizrahi:      I would work in Silicon Valley instead of Orange County. I started before the dot-com bubble so I’d be on a yacht right now. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Olga 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?

 

Olga Mizrahi:      Easiest way, chunkofchange.com which is where I blog and you can find out more there and I really appreciate the Fast Leader Legion for having me on today and let me know how I can best support you in the future. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Olga Mizrahi, 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

 

 

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:

 

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Jim Rembach:    Alright, here we go Fast Leader Legion, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Mark, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Mark Nathan are you ready to hoedown?

 

Mark Nathan:    Let’s hoedown. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader Legion you could find links to that and other bonus information from today show by going to fastleader.net/Mark Nathan and we will also put a link to, Delusion of Passion: Why Millennial Struggle to Find Success. Okay Mark, this is my last hump day hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 19 and you have been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything you can only choose one, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why? 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

 

pele-ugboajah-leadership-podcast-banner-#leadership-#podcast

015: Pele Ugboajah: Go ask your boss this

Pele Ugboajah Show Notes

Pele had a high-paying job with a fancy title but it wasn’t enough. He left that job for another with a bigger title and a bigger salary. After only after a year, the bigger job and salary was taken away when Pele was impacted by layoffs. He was left with nothing. So he went back to his previous boss, but he did not ask for his old job back, he asked him for something else. What his old boss told him has driven him to his biggest passion in life. Listen to Pele as he shares his story of perseverance, passion and behaviors.

Pele Ugboajah, PhD was born and raised in a war-torn African refugee village during the Biafra civil war. He was named after Pele of Brazil – the greatest soccer player on earth – whose influence was so great that it stopped that civil war for two days in 1967. Inspired by the myth of his namesake, Pele refused to believe that his own dreams were impossible. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a head full of passion, he overcame numerous obstacles and completed a journey from third world poverty to the highest reaches of the American dream.

Pele holds an MBA and a PhD in Organization and Management, with a specialization in leadership behavior. He is an avid software innovator, storyteller and musician, and has worked for many years in various executive and entrepreneurial roles. As a vice president of human resources, he managed and monitored HR budgets of $10 million, and as an executive coach, he sold leadership development experiences and learning technology solutions to Fortune 500 companies. Today, as a software entrepreneur, he has developed and delivered ResultPal, a practice-based performance management solution that helps organizations turn talent into results.

Through music, motivation, and mentoring software such as ResultPal, Pele passionately believes in the power technology has to change and improve organizational behavior. Just like his namesake from many years ago, he is on a mission to convince the world that individual, team, and organizational success comes from the willingness and ability to change and improve behavior, one person at a time.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Check out @peleugboajah getting over the hump on @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Nothing really succeeds or fails unless behavior happens.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“If we can help people change their behavior for the better we can impact the world.“ -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“Behavior is invisible.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“Changing behavior comes down to getting down to small tiny chunks.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“Leadership is influence.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“We don’t nurture and develop people on a one-to-one level anymore.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“If we could help others be successful…in the end it creates a better world.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“Go ask your boss what are the three things I need to change.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“Everything you do creates a culture of success or failure.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“If you’re waiting of an end of the year performance review, forget it…they don’t work.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“You owe it to yourself to find a coach.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

“The best success, comes not necessarily from a great coach, but from a great coachee.” -Pele Ugboajah Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Pele had a high-paying job with a fancy title but it wasn’t enough. He left the company that nurtured him and gave him a good opportunity. In a year he had nothing. The bigger title and salary, that he left for was gone. The victim of a layoff, Pele returned to his old boss and was told three things. It took Pele several years to figure out just what his old boss was trying to do. Listen to Pele still work to get over that hump of many years ago and share what he has learn and what he is doing now.

Leadership Epiphany

We’ve got to help people understand where they, what they need to develop, and then coach them so they can get better over time.

Advice for others

Go ask your boss, what are the three things I need to change. And are you willing to help me change them right now.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

I need more people on my team.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Influence comes from helping others.

Secret to Success

You got to play something. Get away and get lost in playing something.

Best Resources in Business or Life

Google; you can find knowledge with the click of a button.

Recommended Reading

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Contacting Pele

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peleugboajah

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peleugboajah

More 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

015: Pele Ugboajah: Go ask your boss this

 

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.

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader legion, you absolutely want to make sure that you go to iTunes and download and subscribe the Fast Leader Show because you’re going to want to rate this particular episode with the guest that I have for you today ‘cause he’s fantastic. Pele Ubgoajah was a PhD that was born and raised in a war-torn African village during the Biafra Civil War with nothing but the clothes in his back and a head full passion. He overcame numerous obstacles and completed a journey from the Third World poverty that he was born to the United States where he actually took advantage of his opportunities and now holds an MBA and a PhD in organization and management with a specialization in leadership behavior.

As a former Vice President of Human Resources, he managed and monitored HR budgets of several million dollars. He’s an avid software innovator, storyteller, and musician. He had worked for many years in various executive and entrepreneur roles. Today, he is a software entrepreneur and has developed and delivered a solution called ResultPal which is a practice based performance management solution that helps organizations turn talent into results. His mission is to convince the world that individual team and organizational success comes from the willingness and ability to change and improve behavior one person at a time. Pele lives in  Austin, Texas with his wife and three kids, E. G., O.B. and Aiket. Pele Ugboajah, are you ready to help us get over the hump? 

Pele Ugboajah:    I am  and ready, thank so much.

Jim Rembach:     You’re more than welcome and were excited to have you. Okay, so I’ve given our listeners an opportunity to learn a little bit about you, but we want to know what your passion is, could you share with us a little bit what’s driving you today?

Pele Ugboajah:     What’s driving me today is the desire to help change the world through behavior. I’m really passionate about the topic of behavior because nothing succeeds or fails unless behavior happens so if we can help people change their behavior for the better, we could impact the world.

Jim Rembach:    There’s so much depth in what you’re just saying in association with behavior and behavior change, behavior modification. What I was reading something recently that talked about changing behavior’s the most difficult thing that we could ever do. So, how does that come into play when you start talking about helping people do just that change behavior? 

Pele Ugboajah:     You’re right. It is difficult to change. The reason why changing behavior is so difficult is because behavior is—invisible. It is happening all the time and we just aren’t aware of it, we don’t stop to say: “Wait a second, I am behaving this way” or “I am behaving that way.” And to make matters worse when you add my behavior to your and to the behavior of a lot of people that share our community, that’s when you get culture. So, when a lot of us is behaving badly we end up with a company called Enron, where you got talented people and you have bad behavior, and it causes potentially they could have cost a global catastrophe of finance and failure. And so, my behavior, your behavior if we can just change it by focusing on it and making it less invisible, that’s when we create a success in our lives. 

Jim Rembach:    When you talk about that there’s one thing that came to mind when you mentioned Enron and the behavior piece, in that, there’s something in social science that talks about—when you think about mob mentality, mob behavior, that an IQ will drop by more than 50% and you start doing things because of the mob mentality that you otherwise didn’t do. So, when you start talking about Enron so you’re saying some of that mob behavior was in place and people’s IQ just dropped all over the place?

Pele Ugboajah:     Absolutely. And the interesting thing is when you look at leaders or really anyone in work or in life we are always exercising certain skills and these skills are what allow us to be successful. But behind these skills in order to get good on any of those skills, are there little subskills or actionable behaviors that we’ve got to get good at it. It’s like if you’re going to learn how to play the guitar, first you’ve got to know how to hold it, that’s a behavior. Them you’ve got to know another behavior and the behavior and so changing behavior, in order to avoid this problem of culture we’ve talked about, the Enron level, changing behavior comes down to getting really down to its small tiny chunks of behavior. Once we get down to those tiny chunks you can change them one tiny chunk at a time until we end up with a person who’s become a better leader, and so on and so forth. It’s a fascinating stuff to the science of behavior change.

Jim Rembach:  And talk about fascinating, for us in the Fast Leader Show, we really liked to focus in on things that inspire us in a lot of different ways and quotes, passages and things like that are something that we all find energy and power and have different and cause different behaviors, but is there a particular quote or leadership passage that drives you to help you be the person that you want to be?

Pele Ugboajah:     Absolutely. It’s three words, leadership is influence. If you’re influencing anyone, if no one’s following you or your ideas, you are not a leader. If you’re in a company and you title is Vice President and no one [inaudible5:55] what you say, no one agrees with you and no one is influenced by you, you’re not really a leader. And so, I think for me, the greatest three words about leadership are that leadership is actually influence. 

Jim Rembach:     Definitely for me I’ve had the opportunity go through some workshops and certification classes that help with that influence and persuasion piece, and for me it’s made a world of difference in a lot of different ways both personally and professionally. I talk about it a lot as being an expert for the Customer Experience Professionals Association and how that—persuasion and influence is important if you want to create a more human centric organization. In context, we’re talking about customer centric but it’s a critical and core component that we all can get some significant benefit from, if we improve our skills in that area. But I would say that for you, talking about history and where you are today, there had to be a lot of humps that you had to get over in order for you to be where you are today—you don’t have a family that, I know you cherish a lot and I’m sure cherishes you, can you share a story with us about a time where you’ve had to get over the hump so that will help us?

Pele Ugboajah:     I have a story that has never really left me. It’s something that I always measure my life against. I was a younger man in the corporation, I had fancy title, I was Director of Technical Marketing at this company and I got there not because I was great leader but because I had a boss who just promoted me. He’s the boss who once told me that leadership is influence, by the way, but one day out of fear or out just not knowing the terrain of the corporate world I was afraid to be in that company and I resigned to accept a position at a larger company. 

So, I basically left the company that had nurtured me and went and started somewhere new because I had bigger title, and more money and so on. After a year the bigger company that brought me on laid almost everybody off, and so I have nothing. I had climbed the corporate ladder, I’d achieved a whole bunch of things and now I had absolutely nothing. 

So, I went back to that boss of mine, and I asked him I said, “I know you’re not going to have me back the way I resigned probably hurt you a little bit, tell me what I can do to improve?” And he said, “Look, you’ve got three problems” and I never forget that, he said, “You struggle with loyalty?” “Yeah.” “You struggle with patience?” Again, “Dah” “And you struggle with teamwork.” And said, “If you could have just done those three things very well, you would still be here and you’d be whatever he thought I could have potentially been. And I thanked him for his help, but I really wish he would’ve told me that before I left, the very first time. 

And that’s the problem with leadership, we don’t develop and nurture people on a one-to-one level anymore. We could have easily sat me down and had that conversation and I would have stayed, I wouldn’t have been lost in my fears, but he didn’t do that. So now, I’m passionate and committed to providing tools and technologies that will help people identify the behaviors they need to change and improve on so that they can be successful where they are. That’s the hump I had to get over. [Laugh]

Jim Rembach:     And those are common ones but your story is the unique one, and thank you for sharing that with us. Now, if you were to talk about something that hit you as that opportunity to do something different within that story, and even he shared with you, can you remember when that really hit, was it at the moment he told you or did it came later?

Pele Ugboajah:     It came many year later when I realized that what he was trying to do was identify behaviors. But he didn’t identify those behaviors and he didn’t coach me he just allowed me to go do whatever I wanted to do. We’ve got to help people understand where they are, what they need to develop and then we’ve got to cause them and keep them accountable to those behaviors so that they can get better over time. I think that if we can help others to be successful where they are in end it creates a better corporation or world or family or whatever. And so, that’s really what my mission is now, if you will. 

Jim Rembach:     If you were to give  Fast Leader legion a piece of advice or two, what would it?

Pele Ugboajah:    I think—first of all I’d say this, but I would say, glass through boss. What are the three things I need to change? And are you willing to help me change them right now? Because if you’re not having that conversation, you’ll never really know what’s going. You’ve got to recognize that everything you do creates a culture of success or failure and some of us are lucky to hear about it sooner than later. 

If you’re waiting for an end of year review, performance review, forget it because everybody hates those things they don’t work. You need to go and understand in real-time what you need to do to become a better leader, a friend or whatever it is you need to succeed at, at the level of behaviors not just at theoretical level. Here’s what you’re going to do first, here’s what you’re going to do next in terms of the leadership behaviors in your life. 

Jim Rembach:     That’s very helpful. I can give you a scenario and we’d love to hear your thoughts on this because I know somebody personally, and I’m going to protect their name, who has not had a leader who will sit down and spend the time with them to do just. And if they were to go and ask them, they may not get any reply or answer and probably would just get some avoidance or something off-the-cuff that’s not really genuine and sincere, what if you don’t have that person that you can go to and ask those questions, what do you do?

Pele Ugboajah:     The interesting thing is—that’s why I develop my current product which you mentioned called ResultPal, because it helps to extend the activities of a coach or even when the coach is not there or when the manager is not there. So, if this individual can’t talk to their manager I would highly recommend that they get a coach. And when that coach is not physically available they should be tracking their behaviors in a tool-like ResultPal because if you don’t have that kind of visibility and accountability for your coach regarding the behaviors you’re implementing, you’re not going to do them quite as well to be quite honest. It’s like playing a musical instrument, we need coaches because coaches help us get better.

Jim Rembach:    You bring up a really important thing for me in regards to when I had a large staff that I was managing. I think it’s typical that I would have a pretty consistent amount of folks that would say: “What are you going to do to develop me?” And I would always have to throw it back and said, “How are you going to develop yourself?” I mean, there’s really two pieces to this pie here, Okay, here are the things that we sponsor or that we support as an organization and then here’s things that you have to do outside of that. And that what makes a holistic type of approach and benefit in regards to success when it comes to coaching in your development.  So, it’s not just know you, you, you, it’s also me, me, me from the perspective of I have to do something on my own as well, and be proactive with that. 

When you referred to coaching, a lot of organizations don’t offer coaching, would you recommend that somebody does not allow that to stop them from being coach and go out and find their own coach?

Pele Ugboajah:     I would, specially leaders, emerging leaders. You owe it to yourself to find a coach. Michael Jordan, Pele of Brazil, these are some of the best performers in their field and they all had coaches. There’s a lot of value to a coach but the thing about coaching is that, and you’re very correct it’s very well supported there’s research that shows that the best success comes not necessarily from a great coach but from a great coachee, it is the willingness of an individual to implement the behaviors that are recommended by a coach, that’s what makes the difference. When you’re implementing this behaviors even in the absence of the coach and you track the results and you can show what you doing, you really get success out of that. So, I would suggest that anyone, whether or not their managers are actively involved, seek out a mentor, seek out a coach, seek out someone and create an environment where you can interact with them even if they’re not going to be with you 100% of the time, at least there’s a soft [inaudible 15:07] because you know someone cares and someone’s watching.

 Jim Rembach:     Those are all great pieces of insight and information and hopefully many of the folks who’ve been on the fence and who are listeners will take a final leap and if they’re not being provided a coach, they go get one. Alright, so you talked a little bit about ResultPal, and tools and the mechanism and how you’re focusing on that now, what really excites you about where you are with the development of that solution?

Pele Ugboajah:     What excites me is, I think I’m on the bleeding edge of something here. Because there’s no industry yet, there’s no product yet for what I’m doing. There is no such thing as a BMS, Behavior Management System, it doesn’t exist in a corporate or in a leadership of business world. We have learning management systems, we’ve got contact and CRM systems, who is managing behavior? Nobody. So, ResultPal really wants to create a world in which we can define behaviors, we can manage them and use this tool to help people get better at ‘me’, as you said. 

Jim Rembach:     I have been in contact center space from many years and have seen a lot of different technologies come and go and I had an analyst tell me one time, “You should never try to create an industry that does not exist, it takes too much money.” [Laugh] So, how are you doing that?

Pele Ugboajah:     Luckily for me, the industry of behavior has been here since the very first person came out, wherever we came out from, behavior is something you’ve been trying to manage through religion, through politics through all kinds of mechanisms there’s nothing  new about behavior, modification or behavior change. But what we now have is we have technologies like mobile device, wearable technology, voice activation and listening systems, and where all these technologies come together you now have the ability to reproduce a coach when no coach is there. That’s really what’s exciting, it’s not an industry that’s being created, it’s a way of doing what we’ve always done through technology.

Jim Rembach:    Got it, thanks for the clarification. We wish you the very best Pele. Here we go Fast Leader listeners it’s time for the—Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Pele, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insight fast. So, I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Pele are you ready to hoedown?

Pele Ugboajah:     I’m ready

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

Pele Ugboajah:     Now is that me or anyone?

Jim Rembach:      You. 

Pele Ugboajah:     Me, okay. I need more people on my team.

Jim Rembach:      That’s insulting me back. 

Pele Ugboajah:     When you’re in a startup environment and your bootstrapper the biggest gift you can get is finding good people to join your team and I’m actively looking for those people. When we increase our strength by numbers we will be a much more effective team, and I will be a better leader as result. 

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

Pele Ugboajah:     Influence which is what I started out with in our conversation comes from helping others. It doesn’t come from demanding it, leadership is influence but you gain that when you help other people, it’s amazing how that works, but that’s the magic formula. 

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

Pele Ugboajah:     I play guitar, I play the piano, I write songs, I play soccer with my kids, you’ve got to play something, you’ve got to get out of this hard work environment and there’s a spiritual you go to, for me when I’m playing with my kids or my musical instrument, you can’t pay for it—it’s magic. So, if you can go there for a while, go away, get lost in playing, when you come back to work you become so much more powerful. 

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

Pele Ugboajah:     Google. I know this is a plug for an African plea but I got to tell you. After I got my PhD and I spent all that money trying to get an education I realized I got more education by searching for stuff on Google. So I have to say, when we walked this earth, and at any point in time we can find knowledge with click of a button, that’s a resource. 

Jim Rembach:      For sure. I know there’s probably several but, if you could recommend one book that our listeners should read.

Pele Ugboajah:     Oh, boy, there are so many. I would say—I’m trying to come up with something smart here but I don’t think I’m thinking of one, I  would stick with “The Seven Habits, ” I always come back to that. Stephen Covey was just—he meant a lot to me, I met him once, and he’s one of those people that can inspired tears. So, if you could read that book again for the perspective of—this book is going to be around for years, it’s going to mean something to me for years, it’ll will do something for you, it’s a good book. 

Jim Rembach:     That definitely gives us a renewed vision into that particular book. Alright, we’re going to put link to that book and other bonus information from today’s show and you’ll be able to find that by going to fastleader.net/Pele Ugboajah. Just go to fastleader.net it [inaudible 20:50] and you’ll be able to find it. Alright Pele, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning and you were 25 years old again. You were supposed to begin a new job as a manager of a team of people that is underperforming and disengaged but you have retained all of the wisdom and skill that you currently have. Your task is to turn the team around, you get up, you get ready, you head out to work, what do you do now?

Pele Ugboajah:     Oh, boy. I think the first thing I’ll do is I’ll call them and I’ll have all of them give a speech. What I mean by that is I’m not going to be the speaker, I’m not going to motivate, I want you to motivate the rest of us regarding how you are going to be great at your job, and how are you going to help us all succeed so much. There’s something magical that happens when you give other people the platform, when you’re not taking it for yourself, all of a sudden they become the implementers of behaviors. And that’s why I’m so passionate about creating a software tool like ResultPal that helps people implement behaviors, because when they’re the ones driving, they’re the ones succeeding. So, yes I get them all, put them on a soapbox and say where here to listen. 

Jim Rembach:     That’s awesome. It was an honor to spent time with you today, please share with the Fast Leader listeners how they can connect you?

Pele Ugboajah:     You could go to www.resultpal.com, I think that’s the best place to start.  I’m also on LinkedIn, and I believe you’re going to provide that link. 

Jim Rembach:     I absolutely will, it’ll be on our show notes page.  Pele, 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 fast leader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.