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Cash Keahey - Eight LeaderTypes in the White House

175: Cash Keahey: I had to win their respect as a leader

Cash Keahey Show Notes Page

Cash Keahey was facilitating strategic planning for corporate executives when he realized he wanted to try leading people. He was placed in an operations role and was seen as a corporate outsider to many on his new team. Listen as Cash describes the tactics he used to move onward and upward faster.

Cash was born in Natchez, Mississippi, Cash Keahey grew up in Columbia, Louisiana, the oldest of 3 (with a younger brother and sister), to a crop-dusting, dirt-farming father who served the public and his profession at the local, state and national levels, and who built airplanes and boats in his spare time; and to a strong mother, who went back to work at 65, and recently retired at 82.

Early on, Cash’s parents encouraged independence and travel, sending him to Europe when he was 12, and to work in France for 3 summers when he was a teenager. They provided many other life-enriching experiences (piano and tennis lessons) and led by personal example. Their legacy is reflected in Cash’s growth mindset, strong work-ethic, and persistent optimism.

After receiving an undergraduate degree in Marketing, Cash began a 23-year career inside large, global organizations where he was exposed to many different corporate cultures and leadership styles. Along the way he picked up an MBA in Finance from the University of Houston, and several leadership roles himself. Cash’s first job as manager, leading development of marketing programs, led to his managing a sales territory, which led to his leading an enterprise-wide culture change for that 10,000-employee organization. Through these roles Cash realized the symbiotic relationship between leadership and culture: that leaders create a culture around them, but to succeed, must lead in a culture that values their uniqueness.

Cash now engages audiences around the world, having facilitated workshops with leaders in 21 countries on 6 continents. Certified in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and other assessments, Cash received the Excellence in Leadership award from the Association for Psychological Type International (APTi). Based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality types he developed eight LeaderType™ profiles. His book, “Eight LeaderTypes in the White House” is a culmination of twelve years of research into eight ‘great’ or ‘near great’ presidents, revealing how their unique LeaderType shaped their style and this country. For now, the book represents Cash’s legacy and his purpose: to help new and emerging leaders be their best and most authentic leader-self.

Notwithstanding the book, Cash is proudest of his relationship with his two grown children: a son, Jared, working on his graduate degree in counseling, and a daughter, Jillian, a middle school social studies teacher. He lives in Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas-Ft. Worth.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to Cash Keahey to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet  

“I hate to hear managers, six months into the job say, I really like being a manager, it’s the people I can’t stand.” -Cash Keahey Click to Tweet

“Most people are thrown into the job of leader or managing a group of people.” -Cash Keahey Click to Tweet 

“I don’t care what your personality type is, you can be a great leader.” -Cash Keahey Click to Tweet 

“A leader at 20, is not the same leader at 40, is not the same leader at 50.” -Cash Keahey Click to Tweet 

“If I’m trying to get stuff done through people, I’ve got to begin where you are.” -Cash Keahey Click to Tweet 

“I can’t just use the power lever and say, do it because I say so.” -Cash Keahey Click to Tweet 

“Compliance does not equal commitment.” -Cash Keahey Click to Tweet 

“If I’m going to drive performance, I better first engage you.” -Cash Keahey Click to Tweet 

“A lot of times leaders don’t take the time to be one-on-one with people.” -Cash Keahey Click to Tweet 

“If you keep focusing on your job and yourself, you’ll go nowhere.” -Cash Keahey Click to Tweet 

“How often do you get a great idea when you’re focused on the problem, rarely.” -Cash Keahey Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Cash Keahey was facilitating strategic planning for corporate executives when he realized he wanted to try leading people. He was placed in an operations role and was seen as a corporate outsider to many on his new team. Listen as Cash describes the tactics he used to move onward and upward faster.

Advice for others

Have more self-awareness

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Lack of self-confidence.

Best Leadership Advice

Have more confidence in your competence.

Secret to Success

I’m approachable. I’m human and I know it.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

Listening and observing.

Recommended Reading

Eight LeaderTypes in the White House: Discover and Leverage Your Oval Office Leadership Style

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

Contacting Cash Keahey

Email: cash[@]leadertype.com

website: http://www.leadertype.com/

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

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

 

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

175: Cash Keahey: I had to win their respect as a leader

 

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 the kiss that I have on the show today is really going to give me, maybe a little bit of insight to whether or not I have that presidential type of feel. Born in Natchez, Mississippi Cash Keahey grew up in Columbia, Louisiana, the oldest of three with a younger brother and sister to a crop dusting, dirt farming father who served the public and his profession at the local state and national levels and who built airplanes and boats in his spare time and to a strong mother who went back to work at 65 and recently retired at 82. Early on Cash’s parents encouraged independence and travel sending him to Europe when he was 12 and to work in France for three summers when he was a teenager. They provided many other life enriching experiences piano and tennis lessons and led by personal example. Their legacy is reflected in Cash’s growth mindset, strong work ethic and persistent optimism. After receiving an undergraduate degree in marketing Cash began a 23-year career inside a large global organization where he was exposed to many different corporate cultures and leadership styles. Along the way he picked up an MBA in finance from the University of Houston and several leadership roles himself. Cash’s first job as a manager leading development and marketing programs led to his managing a sales territory which led to his leading and enterprise wide culture change for that 10,000 employee organization. 

 

Through these roles Cash realized the symbiotic relationship between leadership and culture that leaders create a culture around them but to succeed must lead in a culture that values their uniqueness. Cash now engages audiences around the world having facilitated workshops with leaders in 21 countries and 6 continents. Certified in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and other assessments Cash received the excellence in leadership award from the Association for Psychological Type international. Based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality types he developed a fleeter type profiles. His book, Eight Leader Types in the White House is a culmination of 12 years of research into eight great and near great presidents revealing how their unique leader types shaped their style and this country. Now withstanding the book Cash is proud of his relationship with his two grown children a son Jared working on his graduate degree in counseling and a daughter Jillian a middle school social studies teacher. He lives in Richardson Texas which is a suburb of Dallas Fort Worth. Cash Keahey, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Cash Keahey:   I am indeed, thank you Jim.

 

Jim Rembach:   Cash, I’m glad you’re here and I’m really excited about this book because I always wondered about the types of people that actually get into the White House meaning that who are they really? Notwithstanding some of the current presidential personality types and behaviors but looking at those people who really shaped the country like you were saying. So when I start thinking about you and the current passion that you really have, what is your current passion, please share that with us.

 

Cash Keahey:   Really, Jim it’s about helping new and emerging leaders. I’ve always worked with leaders on the front line and that’s where my niche is, to help them understand the transition from individual contributor to leader. Whether it’s a supervisor or a team lead or now they’ve been put into the job of managing people. I hate to hear managers six months into the job saying, you know I really like being a manager it’s the people I can’t stand, something went wrong there. I’m trying to help leaders craft a brand early in their leadership to understand themselves so they can be more authentic as leaders.

 

Jim Rembach:   Well, that’s great to hear because for me I’ve been working on launching a project called call center coach in the Academy and that’s what we do is we focus on—in the call center that frontline leader that that one who’s actually really getting all the work done and managing that frontline staff. Typically their development is a situation of, hey, you were great as an agent guess what tomorrow you’re supervising these people here’s a book go do a good job. 

 

Cash Keahey:   Yeah, and that’s the way most people are thrown into the job of leading or managing a group of people. So, what they tend to fall back on, I don’t know if you’ve seen this Jim, but they fall back on kind of—well, this is my style this is who I am and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. But if they don’t understand that they are coming from one of eight different ways of leading then they’ll miss out on other ways to motivate and engage their employees. 

 

Jim Rembach:   You’re right and so for me I’d like the way that you identified those eight and if you could just run through those real quick. 

 

Cash Keahey:   Sure, these are four pairs of opposites and that’s the thing that I want—you said it very well at the very beginning we get this idea of these presidents that they’re on Mount Rushmore and they’re in stone and they are this role and we don’t understand the nuance and the differences and how incredibly different George Washington was from Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I called George Washington the prudent leader type and that’s a word that Thomas Jefferson described him as very prudent. Innovating, FDR and that’s the label for his leader type he innovated in terms of the office of the presidency and the new deal. By the way, that’s an indication of an innovating leader type they’re always about the new the improved the different. George Washington wanted to look backwards and look at presidents and do what was best. Next let’s take John Adams who I call an independent leader type very much a thought leader. We wouldn’t have the form of government we have today had it not been for John Adams. The three branches of government the upper lower house of legislative those are things that are attributed to John Adams. He could not be more different from Harry Truman who was the engaging, persuasive and that’s the label I use for that leader type very persuasive a lot of extraversion a lot of engagement and motivate—if I could just talk to people I can convince them of what I need to do. Next up let’s go down the chronological order Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson one of my favorite quotes is, I prefer the dreams of the future to the history of the past, he was a visionary he was the first visionary. It was really his vision that came in clash with Alexander Hamilton’s and how that played out and how that continues to play out shows what a consequential impact he had on this country. Now the opposite of that and I think it’s very interesting he called this person a dangerous man. Andrew Jackson is the exact opposite of a Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson is very proactive, very pragmatic, very in the moment my favorite quote on Andrew Jackson is, when the time for action arrives stop thinking and go in, so just do, go, get it done and that was not the deliberate Thomas Jefferson. And then you move forward to Abraham Lincoln who I see as an inclusive leader type. He was inclusive with respect to the country and trying to hold it together. He was inclusive in terms of making African-American slaves truly part of the American experience. And he was inclusive with his leadership team, Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote the book, Team of Rivals. So, that inclusive leader is trying to pull everyone in and get them to all agree on, here’s the way we move forward. You might think of it as a servant leader that’s another way to describe the inclusive leader type. The opposite of that would be Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt was just a walking force of nature. He was extraversion to the extreme but he took charge of situations. He took charge of negotiations but had a strong sense of fairness as well. So, think about Mount Rushmore now you’ve got four of those eight up there and they are very different personalities. 

 

Jim Rembach:   As you were talking I also started thinking about timing. I started in retail many, many, many years ago when I had gotten out of college and I remember when we had certain stores that were underperforming they would switch out the manager and they would bring in a person who was essentially a cleanup person he had to set things straight. But those people they weren’t there to stay forever, it was a situation where they came in they did their work and then they moved on and they had to get him to someplace else because they weren’t the ones that were going to nurture and sustain and do all that they were there to do something specific. So, of these presidents the ones who we kind of hold our minds the ones who’ve been really the driving force, is part of their success also a timing issue?

 

Cash Keahey:   I think absolutely, Jim. I think it would be very hard for a George Washington to be elected president today with his personality type, highly conscientious. Now here’s where we get into the struggle of what does it take to get elected versus what does that look like once they’re in office. And of course, the need for a candidate that is outgoing and extroverted I think has been shown by other researchers but what does that predict about what they’re going to be like once they get in the office. And so, I totally agree and I think there’s been an FDR kind of set a template for leaders going forward, he was about the New Deal, JFK was the new frontier, Clinton was a new Democrat—you see that word new? They are all in that mold and that has been proven to be fairly successful in recent history. Of course, I was going back way back because these eight their history has been written we know what the consequences are of their presidencies. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Well one of the things that also kind of struck me—when you start looking at historical record and you’re trying to essentially determine somebody’s personality type, how clean is that data? 

 

Cash Keahey:   Here’s where I benefited tremendously Jim from a book that had been written about 12 years ago, that’s when I got the idea. Two psychologist, Steve Rubinser and Bill Fashion Bower they got historian experts who knew these presidents and in the case of these eight between 13 to 20 experts in these presidents did a psychological assessment of them. Now what I did was I got ahold of their data and for a nondisclosure agreement and I used that data to develop—and what I saw, I translated it into Myers-Briggs types and that used by 80 percent of the Fortune 500 and 89 percent eighty-nine percent of the Fortune 100, that’s a more common language that people in the corporate world know, the I know my type. And what I couldn’t believe is in the top ten US presidents of all time were eight different leader types which shows to me that I don’t care what your personality type is you can be a great leader and that’s my concern in a lot of organizations. If they don’t see their leader type in the top leadership the team or accepted or valued or respected in their organizations they’re not going to develop that they’ll develop a mask to wear that makes them successful in the moment. I think that’s unfortunate, I want leaders to understand you can be a great leader no matter what your personality. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a really great point. Because even for me thinking about the course of my history and career and life for that matter is I’ve adapted. When you have to adapt it just sucks the life out of you we call it burnout we call it a lot of different things. But it’s hard to get up it I don’t want to come into work anymore all of them things that we associate with just being done with it mentally it’s because of—I think what you’re talking about. 

 

Cash Keahey:   Yes. And here’s the other thing I think that’s part of it I think you’re absolutely right. As opposed to other typology systems which put you in a box or say that you are one of these eight guess what I believe as Carl Jung did you are all eight of these leader types. Over your lifetime—and this is one of the things I’m most proud of in the book Jim, is I’ll even looked at stages of these leaders lives and how they changed over their lifetime and you know that. A leader at 20 is not the same leader at 40 is not the same leader at 50 their nuances, there’s growth and when I saw healthy type development meaning they incorporated all eight of these the more successful they were. And so I think that’s a lesson for leaders as well. 

 

Jim Rembach:   The whole thing as you’re talking I start thinking about—and you said it a moment ago it’s really valuing the difference, it’s referred to for me as difference management. It’s quite different than diversity, diversity is a whole different ball game. When we start talking about difference management it really gets down and has a more personal view to it. If I’m leading somebody I try hard, not to say that I failed because I do fail, is I try not to force them to be adaptive and be something else. I try to focus in on their differences and leverage that and I also try to point that out and I’ll say, look I’m not good at this you’re good at this so therefore that’s why we work well together. They appreciate that because oftentimes they don’t see that. 

 

Cash Keahey:   A lot of people don’t Jim. And if I could relay that is situational leadership whether you believe Paul Hershey’s model or Ken Blanchard’s adapting to the person. But when I teach people on the front lines maybe you see they more often than not feel they have to adapt to their manager rather than their manager adapting to them. And we have to begin with, if I’m trying to get stuff done through people if I’m trying to get you motivated I’ve got to begin with where you are. I can’t just use the power leaver and say do it because I say so. One of the big truisms I’ve found is compliance does not equal commitment. If I’m going to drive performance I better first engage you and really get you on board to set you up for success and so that we all succeed. 

 

Jim Rembach:   I was just having a conversation with somebody the other day and they made some type of comment to the effect of, I need to be motivated. I’m like, that has to come from within. I said if you’re looking for me to motivate you I said, that’s the wrong place to be looking. 

 

Cash Keahey:   Yeah, that’s the classic intrinsic versus extrinsic and we know intrinsic works. Extrinsic is short term, the carrot and the stick kind of thing. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Absolutely. When I start thinking about the work that went into this your journey of it also the data that you leveraged I start looking at a lot of different things that have had a significant impact. One of the things that we look at that has impact on the show are quotes and I know you have a ton of them. Is there one or two that stand out for you that you can share? 

 

Cash Keahey:   You have no idea how much I love quotes Jim and there’s over 200 of them actually in the book.   I actually find quotes as a great way to type someone and that’s one of the ways that—if this quote really resonates with you and the opposite you’re like, no that didn’t sound like me,  that’s telling you something about your preference and about your type. I have to go back to a quote though that I said on stage, I’m a sometime actor and I love Shakespeare and there’s actually been books on Shakespeare and leadership. It was in the role of Polonius in Hamlet where he’s giving advice to his son and he says, to thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day thou canst not then be false with any man. And that is something that I believe that if you begin with know yourself be yourself that is incredibly powerful empowering to leaders. So that’s one of my big messages. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Thanks for sharing that. As you were talking—and we’ve been talking a lot about this what can seem to be appeared to be all things that are happening from an internal perspective of an organization is that all of what we’re talking about here totally affects the customer experience as well. Because if you don’t appreciate the differences if you don’t bring those differences into your organization and use those in order to focus in on serving the customer better you only end up trying to serve the customer in one way and that never works. 

 

Cash Keahey:   Absolutely you’ve got to begin with the fact they’re buying from you, how do I get them to understand? How do I get inside their head to really understand them? So begin with the end in mind begin with them in mind. 

 

Jim Rembach:   So I’m sure with this entire journey that you’ve had, just even in your career, that you’ve had several humps that you’ve needed to get over yourself and I know writing the book is huge and the even bigger hump is actually promoting it so I’m glad you’re on the show. When you start thinking about a time where you’ve had to get over the hump and you learned a lot is that something you can share with us?

 

Cash Keahey:   Absolutely. It really relates to why I want to help leaders on the front line with the transition. It’s when I got my first manager job and I’ll never forget I’ve been in the corporate headquarters, they called it galactic headquarters, that gives you kind of an idea of the opinion of that role it was an individual contributing role it was facilitating strategic planning for the corporate executives, but I realized I wanted to grow and try my hand at leading people and in a reorganization I got tapped to be brought into the operations. The customer-facing group which was developing marketing programs, and I’ll never forget David Osmond my first boss who hired me as a manager I now look back on him as a very different type from me but I didn’t know it at the time but they brought me in because of my personality type to facilitate a culture change in a group. I came into an organization where there were of course, and I know a lot of your listeners can relate to this one they get promoted to manager, there were other people reporting to me who wanted my job who thought they should have got my job and who is this guy from corporate that’s coming in. And what I found worked for me, Jim, and this kind of goes along with my personality is coming in with some humility coming in with I don’t have all the answers but I am going to ask questions and tough questions. And so I think that facilitative leadership worked for me and that’s part of my gift also kind of the optimism and the energy and extraversion helped as well but not—you know, one of the big challenges as a new manager I see this I hear this all the time in my classes is micromanaging. The idea goes I was put in this position because I was the best doer and so shouldn’t people do it exactly the way I do it? I don’t have that mentality I believe everyone has their best way of doing that you manage the outcome you don’t manage people around how exactly they do it and so that worked for me. I’ll never forget that led to a larger position managing managers in a sales role and so I thank David Osmond for that. It was a challenge though because I had to win the respect of the people reporting to me, like what is your value add here? That was certainly a challenge.

 

Jim Rembach:   For me as you were talking I started thinking about what we were mentioning a moment ago the whole issue around that difference management and focusing in on the individuals. If you were to say the people who you know were the ones who were kind of bitter that wanted your job? 

What did you have to do differently to them or with them in order to win them over so to speak? 

 

Cash Keahey:   I think it was building a rapport individually with them, Jim. I think a lot of times leaders don’t take the time to just be one-on-one with people and get to know them and understand what’s important to them what matters to them, how can I help you? One of the things they appreciated was—and one of the guys reporting to me actually then did get promoted I said, how can I help you get the next promotion that comes along? How can I you know help you grow? I think Jack Welch said it really well in a YouTube video that you can find on candor he was talking to Stanford MBAs he said, before you become a leader it’s all about you but the day you become a leader it’s about them and your success is tied to their success and if you keep doing your own job or kind of focusing on yourself you will go nowhere in a layered society you’ve got to build the people around you. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Well, that’s so true but we know that it’s not easy to do it’s very simple to say. 

 

Cash Keahey:   Yes and I think one of the challenges managers and I was getting pressure from above but you’ve got to manage that with the expectations from below and to understand these are the people that are going to actually get the work done, how do I best engage them? I think that rapport building that respect building turns into trust that you leverage. 

 

Jim Rembach:   To me even when you were explaining it you didn’t come right out and say the specific bit it sounded to me like your tactic was more forward-thinking as well. 

 

Cash Keahey:   Yes. I’m trying to get them to think not now but in the future where do we want to be. Because my strategic planning background that really kind of resonated with them that at least I had the future vision that I could help them with. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That whole foresight component is something that I’m seeing coming up as an issue in a lot of different ways in today’s work. I just got through some parent-teacher meetings with kids it seems to me like we don’t necessarily do a good job of foresight teaching people foresight abilities and skills what do we need to do differently in order to change that? 

 

Cash Keahey:   Well, let me give you the bad news first. By the way, I’ve learned that from the book by Daniel Pink, it’s better to give bad news before you give good news. For that just that little sound bite there may be useful to some of your listeners but the bad news is I think that’s a very rare gift. We’ve all got it within us but it’s like you’ve got to be paying attention to things we don’t usually pay attention to your unconscious. Where did that idea originate? Where did that come from? How might that play out? See, giving your mind space to dream to even fantasize and to think what could be what might be I think in our high-pressured go go, go, do do do world we are not given the space to really spend that time in recreation and thinking because that’s where the insight and the vision comes. It’s amazing to me how much comes from play, how often do you get a great idea when you’re focused on the problem? Rarely. When you get great ideas is when you read something else that you then relate to what you’re working on. Or you go take a walk or you’re kind of like, wow! That—it’s having those moments of reflection and paying attention to what’s going on in your unconscious to me that’s the only way you’re going to develop that. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, so that’s an interesting connection because when you start reading about some of these people who now we associate as being just absolute genius they did some of those really tactics associated with what you’re talking about. I was reading somewhere about someone who used to take a two-hour afternoon walk and would intentionally go and do things that were more out in nature and then that helped them be more creative in their thinking process. 

 

Cash Keahey:   Absolutely. If you look at Steve Jobs his mindfulness, his Zen, his meditation, I think that was one of the big keys for him that he gave himself some space to get away from. Not that you can ever eradicate your thoughts but just to examine your thoughts and say, what is that about? And where did that come from? And where is that going? 

 

Jim Rembach:   I’m really excited about being able to learn a little bit more about these people who are on Mount Rushmore and how they were different and then seeing how the whole of timing fits because I think it does give kind of perspective and good opportunity to do some self-reflection. But when you start looking at all the things that you’re doing, we talked about your passion we talked about the book and promoting the book and all of that and a lot of things you have going on but if you had one goal right now what would it be? 

 

Cash Keahey:   I would say it’s—the world needs better leaders and I don’t mean just at the top. Look at what’s happening in schools right now look at what’s happening around the country and around the world we need leaders, A, and we need leaders earlier and better leaders. So, that is what I am most about how can I facilitate that how can I work with them to help them realize their potential and to help create the next generation of leaders. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cash Keahey:   I am ready. 

 

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

 

Cash Keahey:   I think it’s lack of self-confidence and I need to work on that. 

 

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

 

Cash Keahey:   It ties in with what I heard from Rita Baron, Cash, you need to have more confidence in your competence. 

 

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

 

Cash Keahey:   That I’m approachable. I’m, human and I know it. 

 

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

 

Cash Keahey:   Has to be listening. Listening and absorbing. 

 

Jim Rembach:   What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners, and it could be from any genre, of course we’re going to put a link to Eight Leadership Types in the White House on your show notes page as well.

 

Cash Keahey:   Of course. A book that I not only read and re read is, The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday.  

 

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/Cash Keahey. Okay, Cash, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25. And you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you. But you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. What skill or a piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Cash Keahey:   I would take back a copy of Carl Jung’s, Psychological Types. I didn’t discover that until I was 40. If I’d known that when I was 25, I would had tremendous more self-awareness.

 

Jim Rembach:   Cash, 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? 

 

Cash Keahey:   Absolutely. Reach out to me on email, cash@leadertype.com, my email inbox is always open. Check out my website leadertype.com, it’s really a platform where leaders can understand themselves and coach themselves. So, look forward to connecting with you on Linkedin or wherever. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Cash Keahey, 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

 

Ian Golding - Customer What?

169: Ian Golding: This is my reason for being

Ian Golding Show Notes Page

Ian Golding felt like he beat his head for 15 years working in an organization as a champion for the customer. Over the past 6 years he has traveled to over 60 countries and worked with organizations to help support those that thrive on the customer experience to be heard, recognized and supported. Listen as Ian shares insights on the future of customer experience as a discipline and profession.

Ian is a born and bred Londoner with his older brother Mark. Ian claims that he received the brains and the beauty. 😉

Ian’s dad is an accountant. For over twenty years, Ian’s dad had aspirations Ian would be become an accountant as well. Ian decided to rebel!! Ian’s dad was also a committed soccer fan. You would imagine that coming from London, he would have been a fan of a world-famous team – like Arsenal.

Unfortunately, not only was he an accountant, he is a fan of the mighty Leyton Orient. He’s amazed, he turned out ok, really!!

Having obtained a business degree, Ian landed his first job in the financial services industry – the start of a 17-year career in a variety of corporate organizations. In the late nineties, Ian ended up working for GE – a career and life changing experience.

Having ultimately, becoming certified as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, he had the profound realization that every fiber in his body was focused on helping organizations to do the right thing for customers.

In 2012, he finally decided to set up his own business – advising, guiding and teaching organizations, about the tools and techniques necessary to turn customer focus into a sustainable reality.

In almost six years, he has worked in 37 countries with over 90 different organizations in multiple industries. Ian has also become an avid writer in the subject of Customer Experience, publishing over 400 articles – his first title Customer What? Is sure to be his first of many to come.

In 2005, Ian relocated from London to the beautiful Roman city of Chester in the North West of England where he lives with his wife Naomi, three children (Ciara, Caitie and Jack), two dogs and a tortoise!! When he can, Ian runs… a lot… and has completed 28 half marathons and three marathons – one dressed as the pink panther!!!

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“Customer Experience is a science.” -Ian Golding Click to Tweet  

“There is such a big disconnection between leadership and the rest of the organization.” -Ian Golding Click to Tweet 

“There is always a reason not to do something.” -Ian Golding Click to Tweet 

“The way that organizations traditionally have built themselves to interact with others is inhumane.” -Ian Golding Click to Tweet 

“The politics of corporate organizations is the biggest single thing that is holding back the science of customer experience.” -Ian Golding Click to Tweet 

“Those who eliminate the corporate politics are the ones who will win.” -Ian Golding Click to Tweet 

“How many organizations are led by people who stay for the long-term?” -Ian Golding Click to Tweet 

“Customer experience relies on long-term business focus.” -Ian Golding Click to Tweet 

“The Customer Experience profession can change the corporate world.” -Ian Golding Click to Tweet 

“Around 15% of all organizations have thrivers, but too often their voice isn’t heard.” -Ian Golding Click to Tweet 

“The world is very imbalanced economically, but academically it isn’t.” -Ian Golding Click to Tweet 

“What we are here to do is to help as many people as possible.” -Ian Golding Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Ian Golding felt like he beat his head for 17 years working in an organization as a champion for the customer. Over the past 6 years he has traveled to over 60 countries and worked with organizations to help support those that thrive on the customer experience to be heard, recognized and supported. Listen as Ian shares insights on the future of customer experience as a discipline and profession.

Advice for others

Learn to translate your thoughts in to words.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

I’m the world’s worst protagonist.

Best Leadership Advice

Be yourself.

Secret to Success

Honesty

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

My voice.

Recommended Reading

The Catcher in the Rye

Contacting Ian Golding

website: www.ijgolding.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ijgolding

LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/iangolding/

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

Empathy Mapping

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

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

169: Ian Golding This is my reason for being

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.

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

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today who actually gives us some practical insights on the global customer experience world. Ian Golding is a born and bred Londoner with his older brother Mark. Ian claims that he received the brains and the beauty—well, wait a minute we have to find out about that. Ian’s dad is an accountant and for over twenty years his dad had aspirations that Ian would be become an accountant as well. Ian decided to rebel. Ian’s dad was also a committed soccer fan. You would imagine that coming from London, he would have been a fan of a world-famous teams – like Arsenal but unfortunately, not only was he not an accountant he is a fan of the mighty Leyton Orient. He’s amazed, he turned out okay. 

 

Having obtained a business degree, Ian landed his first job in the financial services industry – the start of a 17-year career in a variety of corporate organizations. In the late 1990s, Ian ended up working for GE–a career and life changing experience. Having ultimately becoming certified as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, he had the profound realization that every fiber in his body was focused on helping organizations to do the right thing for customers. In 2012, he finally decided to set up his own business–advising, guiding and teaching organizations, about the tools and techniques necessary to turn customer focus into a sustainable reality. In almost six years, he has worked in 37 countries with over 90 different organizations in multiple industries. Ian has also become an avid writer in the subject of Customer Experience, publishing over 400 articles, because he spends a lot of time on the plane that is why. His first book, which would probably one of many, is titled, Customer What? In 2005, Ian relocated from London to the beautiful Roman city of Chester in the North West of England where he lives with his wife Naomi, three children Ciara, Caitie and Jack, two dogs and a tortoise. When he can, Ian runs—a lot—and has completed 28 half marathons and three marathons – one dressed as the pink panther. Ian Golding, are you ready to help us get over the hump? 

 

Ian Golding:   I am as long as you don’t talk about the Pink Panther. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Well I can’t make any promises my friend. I’ve given our legion a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better. 

 

Ian Golding:   My current passion genuinely, and I don’t want to sound sad, the pleasure I get in helping people do this stuff they do the stuff that people think is so easy it’s an intuitive thing I love seeing people realized that they can actually take something like customer experience and make genuine change. So many people are finding it hard to do that when I get a phone call from someone saying, Ian they just told me that this is amazing that is what I wake up for in the morning apart from my family. 

 

Ian Golding:   As you were talking, and of course I believe in the family thing too that’s for sure, is that customer experience and the discipline of customer experience for a lot of organizations they’re dismiss again saying no it doesn’t pay off there’s really no benefit for us to go through these transformational processes. But obviously it’s one of those issues where it requires a whole lot of effort to do and it’s not easy. So when you start thinking about the common things that you’re seeing with organizations when it comes to going through the transformation process, for those who were saying, what, this is the way, what are you coming across?

 

The reality of this it was last year that someone in a training course that I was delivering said to me she realizes now that customer experience is a science and I think it was one of the best slightly profound descriptions of what we do that I’ve heard. She said she’s always learning intuitively as a leader that it’s important but she didn’t realize that actually if you don’t understand the science you’re just talking. You are talking about something to make sense but you won’t actually change behavior and what I’m seeing in organizations all over the world actually. This lady was in South Africa but I see in mainland Europe I see it in Middle East and that there is such a big disconnection or misconnection between leadership and the rest of the organization. As a result what is happening and what has happened probably for the last 20 years is that most customer experience efforts have relied on people like you and me practitioners who’ve been on the inside you have known this is the right thing to do when they started to do it they probably didn’t realize it was a science either they’ve developed that science over time but whilst we’ve been doing that the people still running organizations of all shapes and sizes have not developed their own learning to realize that this thing does make a difference.

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay that’s a really interesting point. I was actually watching somebody present something the other day about their particular niche in industry saying how one of the biggest issues that people had, and I think they were talking about technology selection is what it was or service providers selection process or an outsource relationship something that wasn’t a core part of their business but what they were saying is that people are so absorbed with what they have to do within their own four walls that they often just don’t have the opportunity or the time to do some of that education piece, what’s going on out there? And so when they go to make their decisions and they get pressured—you’ve got to do something you’ve got to move forward they’re kind of stuck with what they already know they don’t know what they don’t know is what the person was saying.

 

Ian Golding:   Absolutely, I certainly agree that to me there’s always an excuse there’s always a reason not to do something. This is a horrible analogy but it’s like losing weight, we always want to lose weight but when do you start? When is the right time to start? Well, we’re going out for dinner tonight, there is tomorrow—no, no actually tomorrow I’ve got a party so we’re doing that—and you never end up changing the habit. I think unfortunately business not just commercial businesses but any organization we have been almost brainwashed into believing that there is a way organizations are run and there are things that people do they have certain tasks they need to perform they have numbers they need to hit. And because that’s the way it’s been done for decades, centuries in some cases, when you start to realize that actually the way that organizations traditionally have built themselves to interact with others is actually quite inhuman and that what we’re trying to do here is to change the nature of the way people think about the things they do. People often will accuse us of being evangelical but that takes it to a different level but it’s true the politics of corporate organizations is the biggest single thing that is holding back the science of customer experience becoming something that truly helps them succeed those who eliminate the politics are the ones who will win. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Man you really hit a chord for me on that one. I had this conversation the other day with a particular councilor within an education organization and I had mentioned something about the fact that when it comes to brain science we’ve learned a lot about how the brain works just within the past few years it’s been a very short window because of some of the technologies that just didn’t exist that now exists so that we can do brain mapping and all these other things that we’re slowly getting a better understanding of how that thing works. And I said—if an educator is essentially teaching within the classroom like they were three years ago that’s a problem because we’ve learned so much about how people learn, kids adults all of that, and if we haven’t adapted as educators we’re doing them a disservice. Her reply to me was—well the teachers at our school are actually teaching students how they would become successful in our school. That was such a political response.

 

Ian Golding:   This is the thing. I suppose the biggest challenge for our industry is that if there is a lot of dim  and gloom at the moment there’s a lot of people predicting the end of CX is nigh and it’s going to go the same way as this that and the other . I am one of those people. I wrote an article at the end of last year that talks about the 7-year itch. We’ve reached this point but the thing is it’s not all dim and gloom but if we are definitely at a point where people are starting to question does the science really work? Now the science does work there are enough publicly available studies around the world that have proven beyond doubt and the fact that we have to saying that to wear red in the face is quite remarkable. If anyone wants to have an argument about does doing the right thing for the customer make money? Then good luck to them.

 

The point is that what we have got to try and reinforce in people’s minds that it entail those who run organizations recognize that the best way for them to build a legacy the best way for them to achieve their goals in the long term are to do the right thing for the organization not for themselves. The thing is we have become, I think, especially in the last 30, 40 years even more so as a humanity very greedy and people want to make money and they want to make as much money as they can as quickly as they can and that unfortunately does not align with the principles of customer experience. If you want a successful customer experience and approach to be embedded into the organization if there is even a sense of that happening it’s never going to work. I don’t want to sound like I’m being too brutal about this I am being brutal about it but it’s true. The biggest likelihood of success is if the person who is brought in to drive the approach to customer experience is brought in by a CEO who is going to stay in the organization for 10, 20 years if that’s the case it will work and that’s the problem. How many organizations are led by people who stay there for the long term? 

 

Jim Rembach:   I think you bring up a really interesting point. I think they say the average tenure for example just of a chief marketing officer is like two and a half years. 

 

Ian Golding:   Absolutely. 

 

Jim Rembach:   For many CX organizations that’s who that person reports up to, why is that tenure such that it? 

 

Ian Golding:   Some of it is lack of lack of ability to focus. Some of it is because those individuals are very ambitious and they want to make money and they want to move—and this is why my man crush always says it’s Jeff Bezos who probably is the man crush or even it serves the many CX professionals. He is my man crush because he’s the perfect example of someone who created something with the desire to do it a certain way and he’s still we’re, still doing the same thing, however many years later—now the risk to Amazon the biggest risk to Amazon is what happens when Jeff Bezos retires. Already we can see with Apple which is not the most customer centric of businesses but we can see that they have the nature of that dynamic has changed since sadly Steve Jobs passed away. I always say how many truly transformational leaders can you really allow? There are few of these guys. There are so few people who have that genuine commitment not just to make money in the short term but to see something through in the long-term and that’s what sadly customer experience relies on long-term isn’t a swipers.

 

Jim Rembach:      It is true. It’s easy to get a short term gain but can you do it a time after time after time and continue to do it for not just your lifetime but it’s the lifetime of the people and their families it’s a generational impact. 

 

Ian Golding:   Absolutely. Some people have actually said to me because money has never been my motivation I know it sounds—no come on Ian that can’t be true—but it’s true. Of course I need to make a living and I’ve got a family that I need to support and everything else but I don’t do what I do for the money I do it because this is my vacation I love doing this. The thing is you get to a point where a few (14:20) someone described me as a philanthropist which I still find difficult to say but they are basically saying almost suggesting that I’m giving this stuff away. They weren’t saying in a derogatory way that’s really interesting that someone sees me trying to do the right thing and they still think that I’m giving something away, do  what I mean, right? It’s a difficult thing to describe, I hope you will understand more than many.

 

Jim Rembach:   For me I could see what somebody would say from that perspective if you start thinking about it from a betterment of the world perspective. Philanthropy for me that’s one of the areas that they try to focus on is that I want to make an impact on the world. And really what you just talked about the entire—your bio and everything else and all the works that you’re doing and all the different countries that you’ve traveled and all the different—that’s what you’re doing in. 

 

Ian Golding:   It’s so cool. But that’s the point I think now I’m on the other side as you described I’ve spend 17 years as an employee. Seventeen years smashing my head against a brick wall being made to feel stupid, I wasn’t right for a business I now know that I was always right. No, I don’t want that to sound the wrong way there are many times I’m wrong but what I was trying to do was the right thing even though at the time it felt like it was the wrong thing. Now I’m in a position where people are asking me to help them and that is a wonderful thing. Does it sound too much to say that I want to change the world? To some people maybe be but genuinely that I say the CX profession and change the call for world. It’s not just me I think there are many of us who by doing what we’re doing there is no doubt despite the dim and gloom we are having a massive impact on the way businesses, organizations of all shapes and sizes are thinking about the way they work. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay. I want to really point in or hone in on something you said just a moment ago as far as that head banging on the wall and all of that stuff is that there’s a lot of people in the organizations that are probably going to this episode that are like—Gosh! I just need to get out. I actually want to say that the reason that you have those frustrations is because you’re a creative individual and what organizations do to creative individuals is cause them to bang their heads on the wall.

 

Ian Golding:   Yes, that’s true, that’s true. Interestingly I talk about three types of employees in organizations. It’s a description someone else stated to me but I love the description—I call it the thriver, survivor and nose-diver.  There is almost certainly an academic study that will translate those into academic terms. Around 15 % of all organizations have thrivers. People that want to do the right thing that love change. Those people too often their voice isn’t heard or they speak but no one’s listening. And what happens is that 15 % at the other end of the spectrum, the nose divers, the ones who’ve been there for too long they come in just to pick up their paycheck they hate the job but they don’t have a choice those guys try and drag everyone else down with them and you leave that 70% of the masses in the middle who are just surviving. They’re turning up for work every day and they’re hearing the nose divers say everything’s terrible they see the frustration in the thriver, what we need to do?

 

You’re absolutely right, give this thriver hope. What I see so often around the world, and interestingly I’ve done a lot in Africa and I think to come to where there is not a great deal of disposable income these are these are places that are very different—they are thrivers, they want knowledge they want to know, how can we make this better? When you start talking to them about the science of customer experience their eyes open because they are—right I’m going to do something to this and they go and do it. In a way it’s fascinating to see a country like Zimbabwe there has nothing but it’s got people in there that want to do better they want to take things forward. I suppose one of the things that gives me hope is that the world is very imbalanced economically and academically it isn’t and I’m very much hoping we’ll see some of these smaller economic parts of the world increase in their capability as they continue to do the right thing. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s why they call them emerging markets.

 

Ian Golding:   That’s right, and they are. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Also one of the things that you pointed out is coming from a point of scarcity you end up appreciating things quite differently from a world that is filled with abundance and that’s one of the things—trying to raise kids—when they have all of the abundance of things around them, I jokingly say, I’m going to drop your tail off in a third-world country for three months so that you can actually experience what it’s like to not have all of these things that you take for granted. 

 

Ian Golding:   Absolutely. I don’t say that’s my kids just they get back I say that’s the CEO’s. You take everything for granted you need to go and sit not in this beautiful 30th floor office you need to go and see what the real world is like. You need to and sit where your customer’s sitting and see what happens to them. All community knows all of these stuff but at the end of the day we’ve become a society generally that just expects things to come to us. We expect the money to come we expect the customers to come. Yes, people will say the right things until they’re prepared to change that behavior and put other people before themselves we’re not going to see fundamental changes. Does that mean CX as a profession dies? No. What it actually means is that our profession becomes even more important and it may need more and more of us to keep doing the things we do. 

 

Jim Rembach:   A good deal. Okay, so what we’re talking about here is just loaded with a ton of inspiration, ton of frustration that emotion is something that we like to point to as for with quotes on the show. Is there a quote or two that you’d like to share that will help us think differently?

 

Ian Golding:   I want to repeat what I said at the beginning because it is the most profound quote anyone has ever shared with me. The lady who said it doesn’t like me telling anyone it was heard had said it and interestingly because she’s a very humble person herself it’s not about her exact words were—I always knew that customer experience was important but I didn’t realize it was a science and behind the science is a heart. For me that is, and actually I have put that quote in my door and albeit without her name that she knows it’s her, that’s the main it sums everything up. We know it’s important but it is a science if you cannot apply the science with a little bit of humanity behind it. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a good quote and it’s true I think that’s where some of that philanthropy piece— I can’t even say it. 

 

Ian Golding:   I struggle, I struggle. 

 

Jim Rembach:   So we’ve talked about a lot of the things that you have that are going on—you’re doing a bunch of travel you’ve hit 38 countries and you said this year that number is definitely going to go up even more and you got a lot of things going on—family’s important—but if you looked at one goal what would it be?

 

Ian Golding:   I think one of the challenges and this is personally me is that—as you can tell I’m so passionate about this stuff this is from a work perspective this is my reasons to be in. What I can’t do is to be in 38 different countries all at the same time and so my goal is to change people’s perception of people like me and the CX community. What we are here to do is to help as many people as possible. To give them the knowledge to give them the tools to give them the guidance this is not about competition. I find it really difficult when people don’t believe me. I say to someone in a different country talk to me and I’ll help you and they won’t because they think I want their business. No, what I want genuinely as a goal this year is a more open community that works with each other and supports each other to take this further. Because as I’ve said organizations need us more now than ever but if we’re not working with each other it’s not going to happen. I’ve never worked out how many commercial organizations there are in the world but I suspect that there are enough to put around the 700 of CCXP’s of them, however, anymore I haven’t got there yet and we don’t need to be seeing each other as competition we need to be urging each other on and supporting each other so that we can help more and more. That is my goal for 2018, to see if I can I can encourage others to believe in that.

 

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.

 

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 www.callcentercoach.com. To learn more about enrollment and download your copy of the Supervisor Success Path eBook now.

 

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

 

Ian Golding:   I’m just pulling my sleeves up, I’m ready,

 

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

 

Ian Golding:   I’m the world’s worst protagonist. 

 

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

 

Ian Golding:   Be yourself. 

 

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

 

Ian Golding:   Honesty.

 

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

 

Ian Golding:   My voice.

 

Jim Rembach:   What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners and it can be from any genre and of course we’ll put a link to, Customer What? On your show notes page as well. 

 

Ian Golding:   The Catcher in the Rye. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to www.fastleader.net/iangolding. Okay, Ian, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to back to the age of 25. And you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now and you can take them back with you but you can’t take it all you can only choose one. What skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Ian Golding:   I think it’s my ability to translate my thoughts into words. The ability to write publicly existed when I was 25 it’ll be fascinating to see where I was today. I didn’t realize that I have the ability to write. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Ian 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?

 

Ian Golding:   Yeah, I’m delighted for anyone to get in touch with me. I write every week, I’m prolific and irritating some might, but you can find all the information you want about me at my website which is www.ijgolding.com and to get my blog it’s /blog. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Ian Golding, thank you thank 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 www.fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

 

Dianna Booher Leadership Podcast

132: Dianna Booher: I laid awake for two or three nights

Dianna Booher Show Notes

Dianna Booher found herself with only 10 days of cash flow. She made a huge investment in developing people and was now faced with making a decision to lay them off. She was able to avoid that decision and shares what she learned and how to prevent it from reoccurring.

Dianna was born in Bynum, Texas, a small farming town in central Texas, where she and her younger brother Keith were helping her dad and mom pick cotton and hoe corn before she was four years old.

Fed up with farming, her dad got a job as postmaster and the family later moved to Arlington, Texas, where she attended her last two years of high school. And by that time, a baby sister Angela had arrived to delight the family.

Dianna was the first of the extended family to go to college and also to go on to receive her Masters in English literature.

Growing up, Dianna was always involved in sports—either playing basketball, volleyball, or cheerleading for varsity football. Between sports and her many church youth activities, she had opportunity to interact with many great coaches and strong leaders who shaped her thinking and instilled a passion to help others.

From those experiences, it was a natural to want to influence the lives of others in the same way—to help young people learn decision-making skills and communication skills just as she’d learned at the feet of her parents, coaches, sponsors, and church leaders. So she started out full-steam ahead: Finishing her undergraduate degree in three years and with a teaching certificate under her belt, her first few years were spent in the public school room. She taught junior-high Spanish and English literature to seniors.

But after three years in the classroom and dealing with a husband struggling with severe depression (they eventually divorced and he’s now deceased), she decided to stay home and care for their two preschoolers herself while she earned her Master’s degree. The big question: How to continue to make a difference in the lives of youth? The answer: Write articles and books.

She sent off the first article to a major magazine and an editor asked her to turn it into a book. Simon and Schuster went on to publish an entire line of her books for young adults. After more than a dozen nonfiction books and novels for the youth and general adult market, Booher turned her attention to the business market.

When her first business book was released and her publisher sent her on a media tour, Shell Oil and IBM called to say, “Come out and talk to us.” Thus, Booher Consultants, a communication training firm began to grow into a multi-million-dollar firm that has been in business for the past 37 years, serving more than one-third of the Fortune 500.

Dianna has gone on to found another company, Booher Research Institute, where she currently works and continues to write books, coach on executive presence, deliver keynotes, and consult with organizations to help them communicate a clear message. Her latest release (her 47th) is Communicate Like a Leader: Connecting Strategically to Coach, Inspire, and Get Things Done.

Dianna currently lives and writes in Colleyville, TX with her husband Vernon of 28 years.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“This one key question can either enhance your career or get you no attention.” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet

“You need to start thinking in a broader way to stand out.” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“You must ask yourself, how does my work affect the whole organization?” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“Start thinking big picture and communicating that way.” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“Start connecting across all functional lines.” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“How does your work communicate in a much broader way?” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“Take a stand, make a point, and then sell that point.” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“At the senior-level you need to be a persuasive thinker to get buy-in.” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“You can have a gazillion ideas, but without execution, what good is it?” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“You have to keep focusing on the fundamentals.” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“It’s not the idea, you have to actually do something.” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“Have a skill, have a plan, and execute on it.” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“It is all about execution.” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“If you don’t set some self-improvement goals, you’re not going to improve.” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“I’ll do better, is not a plan.” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“You need someone in your organization who watches what you don’t know.” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“The most difficult thing you have in business is finding the right people.” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

“The single most important thing to be successful in business is to get the right people.” -Dianna Booher Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Dianna Booher found herself with only 10 days of cash flow. She made a huge investment in developing people and was now faced with making a decision to lay them off. She was able to avoid that decision and shares what she learned and how to prevent it from reoccurring.

Advice for others

You have to think both deeply and broader to move to the next level.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Time. There are too many ideas to accomplish.

Best Leadership Advice

Watch your cash flow. Get the best people, even if you have to go without.

Secret to Success

Do it now. Never put off tomorrow, what you can do today.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

My iPhone.

Recommended Reading

Communicate Like a Leader: Connecting Strategically to Coach, Inspire, and Get Things Done

Real Leadership: 9 Simple Practices for Leading and Living with Purpose (Business Books)

Contacting Dianna Booher

website: http://www.booherresearch.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/diannabooher

Resources and Show Mentions

Increase Employee Collaboration

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

132: Dianna Booher: I laid awake for two or three nights 

 

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

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

 

Jim Rembach:  Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because the guest that I have on the show today is a master educator in leadership communication. Diana Booher was born in Bynum, Texas a small farming town in Central Texas where she and her younger brother Keith were helping her dad and mom pick cotton and hoe corn before she was four years old. Fed up with farming, her dad got a job as a postmaster and the family later moved to Arlington, Texas where she attended her last two years of high school and by that time baby sister Angela had arrived to delight the family. Diana was the first of the extended family to go to college and also the go to receive her Master’s in English Literature. Growing up Diana was always involved in sports either playing basketball, volleyball or cheerleading for varsity football. Between sports and her many church youth activities she had the opportunity to interact with many great coaches and strong leaders who shaped her thinking and instilled a passion to help others. From those experiences it was a natural to want to influence the lives of others in some way to help young people learn decision-making skills and communication skills just as she’d learned at the feet of her parents, coaches, sponsors and church leaders. 

She started out full steam ahead finishing her undergraduate degree in three years and with a teaching certificate under her belt her first few years were spent in public school rooms she taught junior high, Spanish and English literature to seniors. But after three years in the classroom and dealing with a husband struggling with severe depression they eventually divorced and he’s now deceased she decided to stay home and care for their two preschoolers herself while she earned her master’s degree the big question how to continue to make a difference with the lives of youth the answer write articles and books.

She sent up her first article to a major magazine and an editor asked her to turn it into a book,  Simon and Schuster went on to publish the entire line of her books for young adults. After more than a dozen non-fiction books and novels for the youth and general adult market Booher turned her attention to the business market. When her first business book was released and her publisher sent her on a media tour Shell Oil and IBM called to say, come out and talk to us, thus, Booher Consultants, a communication and training firm began to grow into a multi-million dollar firm that has been in business for the past 37 years serving more than 1/3 of the Fortune 500. Diana has gone on to found another company Brewer Research Institute where she currently works and continues to write books on coaching, coach on executive presence, deliver keynotes and consult with organizations to help them communicate a clear message. Her latest release her 47th is, Communicate Like a Leader, connecting strategically to coach inspire and get things done. Diana currently lives and writes in Colleyville, Texas with her husband Vernon of 28 years. Diana Booher, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Dianna Booher:  I am.  It’s great to be with you.

Jim Rembach:  I’m glad you’re here. 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?

Dianna Booher:  It is writing, it’s always been writing since that that turning point.

Jim Rembach:  Talking about loving it—your 47th book. I have to sit here and say as someone who’s looking at putting everything together for their first book it’s how would I ever get to 47, how have you done that? 

Dianna Booher:  You’ve got to do something missing all those airplanes, sitting in the airport, sitting in those hotel rooms at midnight thinking I want to be home so you might as well write a book to take your mind off of those travel with terrible cancellations and those kind of things. 

Jim Rembach:  I can totally understand that and so for me I get a lot of my good reading at that time too. But when you start thinking about this particular book, how is this this one particularly different than the previous ones? 

Dianna Booher:  Basically it is a compilation of all the questions that I’ve been asked by people who’ve come to me for coaching. In these 3 decades when they’re getting ready they have all the fundamentals down but they think, here is the issues I’m struggling with and they finally come for coaching. Then these are these are the key questions that that are holding them back going to the next level I call it finishing touches that they need. And so I put them together I sit down I wrote a list here and I started with sixty chapters, nobody is going to read a book like that. But I call it down into what I considered the top 36 questions that I get. And then I put them into chapters, I thought, what ways do you interact when you’re a top leader? You’ve got basically six ways. You’ve got to write to people, you’ve got to talk with them, you got to negotiate, you just have to interact one on one, you keep your network alive and then you have to develop people that you work with—you hire, you give them feedback etc. and I group them that way and then viola! There’s the book.

Jim Rembach:  One of the things that I noticed too is you talk about all those chapters can usually be daunting but in fact what I think is that you made it a lot easier for me to go through it and I’m sure everybody else would experience the same because you could easily take and combine the first eight chapters into one. But I think it would overwhelm when you start talking about the different aspects and the different areas that are actually broken out so for me I found it easier read.

Dianna Booher:  Yeah, you can just look through the chapters and find whatever you’re struggling with. In fact, the titles of each of the chapters telling you what the point is. Nobody today has time to sit down and read through cover to cover the whole book and so you can just skim through it and say, oh I need to know more about that, oh, we waste time in meetings and you just go right to that chapter about how do you know how much a meeting cost you. Oh, I have trouble with people who dominate our meetings, how do you control those people? You just go right to that full section.

Jim Rembach:  One of the things that stood out to me very early on is the title of your second chapter which is, Have an answer ready for this one key question, always. So, what’s that question?

Dianna Booher:  Yes, we just get asked a lot of questions—is the merger happening? You have to work over the weekend but the one key question is, what are you working on? And most people plan, what’s not a big deal? I just tell them I’m working on this report or I’m trying to get this done or get that proposal out but that one key question, can either enhance your career and make you very visible and very vital or you just brush it off and you get no attention. And that one question has really three parts almost always that you need to use when you answer that question. The first part is you need to say, here’s the problem I’m working on solving and you can usually do that in one sentence. And the second part should be, and this is why it’s important to the organization we solve that problem. The third part of your answer should be and you have the benefits to solving that problem and here’s the outcomes, the physical things the advantages to solving that problem. And then depending on who asks you that question you might want to add, and here’s how it’s going to affect your timetable or your budget. So, if you put those three parts in your answer, and again it might not be three sentences you will answer it correctly and you will gain visibility for your answer.

Jim Rembach:  Going back to what you were talking about as far as people being able to move on to the next level being able to see be seen a little bit differently within an organization is oftentimes in their studies that have shown this is that people kind of hit that ceiling in their mid-40s. They have technical skill that’s gotten them to a certain point but they need to be able to flip and be able to—also well, yes, speak and communicate at a strategic level. But they also need to understand the human and the emotional side of the business and draw and make those connections. And so, can you confirm and see when people finally come to coaching that that’s about the age that it occurs or is it later or earlier?

Dianna Booher:  Well. I don’t know that it’s a certain age but it’s a certain position and generally it happens yes because they’ve been out of college, they’ve gone through a college program they’ve been on college about 15, 18, 20 years and they are through mid-management and even if they’re on their own entrepreneurial venture they’ve gone through and they’ve got it up and started and then they think what’s next plateaued? And they need to get to that executive leadership position. Are they wanting to get there? And they just plateau there and they think they’ve got to get more visibility they’ve got to get more polish and they need to get more strategic in their thinking and they need to stand out and that’s how they stand out. They need to start thinking in a broader way, what is the big picture not it’s (9:27) silo here but how does my work affect the whole organization and they need to start positioning their answers to position themselves for the whole organization and not focus on what am I doing right here in my little bubble but start thinking big picture communicating that way and connecting across all functionalized.

Jim Rembach:  And one of the things I noticed too and for me I when I started thinking about this on my own career and the progression and the stall the things that you basically just described is that I think someone who is even at the frontline per se at the introductory or entry level of an organization if they were actually being able to learn these types of skills and be able to improve those if they’re going to fast-track and they’re going to move up faster than anybody else.

Dianna Booher:  Absolutely. 

Jim Rembach:  So when I looked at this book to me I kind of saw like a self-assessment. 

Dianna Booher:  Yeah, that’s true. In fact, I had a client who came to me and he said, he was Vice-President of a large telecom and he said, my whole division just got laid off and I have hired now, he got venture capital together got two other partners and he said, we’ve just bought another small telecom and I went over and hired 40-45 mid-managers ahead of our old company and put them in leadership positions in my new telecom. And he said they’re brilliant, Diana, they’re brilliant at their technical jobs but now they need to think at a higher strategic level because they’re going to have to go out in the community and bring in business and sign contracts with our new clients and speak and bring in goodwill for our new organization and they need to connect at a more strategic level. And to do that they need to change the way they communicate they’re not just communicating with their colleagues here they need to think in a much broader way and then they need to communicate there. They have the fundamentals but it needs just be at a higher level that they know how to communicate to walk into a C-suite anywhere and communicate up and down the chain no matter where.

Jim Rembach:   Okay, I could be sitting here and saying, I have an advanced degree. I wouldn’t got an MBA and I’ve taken business communications class, what’s different with what you’re actually have on this book and what you’ve learned? How come those people who’ve gone through all those classes aren’t able to effectively apply it and move forward faster?

Dianna Booher:  I think that they are still thinking of people who are on the same plane. They’re thinking of connecting with a colleague in their same department. They’re still using the same jargon, they’re still thinking about the people who can almost read their mind. They can take shortcut words, shortcut phrases and they’re not thinking how does my work here communicate in a much broader way? For example, I know this is simplistic but you wouldn’t take the work that you do every day and explain it to your grandmother in the same way because she has much broader perspective on everything because she’s not only interested in your work she’s interested in what your brother does in another organization and she’s interested and understands from a perspective of 80 years maybe and she understands how the whole country works. It’s not that she doesn’t care about what you do but she just has a long-term perspective and she is thinking about how is this going to affect your grandkids she sees further down the road and she has a much broader interest so, don’t think about this person not understanding. That’s what a lot of times people think when they’re so educated in one area they are thinking deeply and I’m not saying don’t think deeply I’m saying you have to think broader and that’s what a c-suite officer is thinking. They’re saying I hired you to think deeply I need to think broadly and so you need to be both deep and broad that’s what the change or the difference. 

Jim Rembach:  That makes a lot of sense to me but I often would think that people would potentially discount it and say that—because here’s what I’ve seen happen people will do that and then if there isn’t that connection if they’re not able to communicate and see that they’ve gotten a response to connect with the person who they’re trying to convey the information to they’ll just say, well they just don’t get it. 

Dianna Booher:  The point is they’re saying, I need you to get it and I’m paying you to tell me what you think in other words to take a point. Let me give you an example, let’s say just in the field of making a presentation you’ll have somebody in their area and they’ll say I’ve research this and I’ve researched this and I know everything there is to know about this topic. And they come in to the c-suite and they say here’s a situation we need to make a decision about what kind of software or hardware we’re going to use in this area. Here are all the pros and cons and they start talking about it and the c-suite officer is saying, give me the bottom line and tell me what we should do here I don’t need to redo your thinking that’s what I paid you to do. And then that person in that area is thinking, yeah but there’s some drawbacks I don’t want to stick my neck out here but let me tell you the advantages and disadvantages and get your making mistake. And that executive is saying no I don’t want to redo your job because I have 25 other people who have an equally important decision and I don’t have time to redo all of their thinking I want you to stick your neck out and take a stand. And that’s what someone who’s forty-five years old for example who’s going in and saying, hear all of my thinking and rethink this with me. And they’re saying no, I don’t want to rethink it with you. 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a really interesting point. One of the things that I have—over the course of the past several years gotten into the practice of doing is when I put together a presentation deck that I have to use to communicate and convey. It used to be that, for example, I’d have  40 slides, what I do now is I have five slides and then 35 back up slides if I need them. 

Dianna Booher:  Yes, in case somebody has a question. So, what that executive is expecting you to do is to take a stand make a point, what is your attitude about it and then sell that point. Can you sell that point? Can you make it memorable? How effective are you and selling that idea across functional lines? Say at the mid-management level they’re checking your logic and making sure that you’ve got it right and you’re a logical thinker but once you’ve convinced them at that mid management level you’re a logical thinker then at the higher level you need to be a persuasive thinker to get buy-in, there’s a different skill there.

Jim Rembach:  Totally. And what I find and what I found myself doing is that it was TMI, it was too much information I was overloading people and I sold them in the first minute or two so to speak, and then I talked them out of it.

Dianna Booher:  Right, that’s the number one problem that CEOs tell me. When they send one of their, let’s say not an executive vice president maybe a junior vice president to me they’ll say they ramble they get down in the weeds and they get lost we ask them a question they have no authority they are wishy-washy. So, it’s that polish that they communicate like a leader that book goes through those issues that when somebody comes to me, that their boss has said this is the problem that’s what this chapters’ address.

Jim Rembach:  Without a doubt. When we’re starting to talk about this career progression, hitting these walls, going over these humps, there’s a lot of passion associated with it. And one of the things on the show that we like to do is focus on quotes in order to help us focus and go in the right direction. Is there a quote that you can share that will help us do that? 

Dianna Booher:  Yes, I like the quote by Marge Chang, he says without strategy execution is aimless. Without execution strategy is useless. And what that always says to me is, you can have a gazillion ideas but if you can’t execute them what good does it do. People today do talk about strategy all day but if you don’t carry it out then what good does it do? And then other people in their organization focuses on doing the same thing over and over and over but you can run around particularly on social media, you see people just run around on social media—this, this, this they’re on every platform but it’s just scatter approach, it’s just spray and it has no meaning so they have to go hand.

Jim Rembach:  Thanks for sharing that. When you said that I started thinking about something that is a problem for a lot of organizations and that is execution it is actually getting things done. I kind of see what you have in this book and really it’s kind of that tipping points to execution, okay, it’s strategy and then we put this in place and guess what we’ll finally move things forward. 

Dianna Booher:  Yeah, and what you have to keep focusing on the fundamentals you have to keep focusing on the ideas. Somebody tell me early in my career ideas are a dime a dozen. I know when I went to the to two friends who were businessmen one in ExxonMobil an engineer in ExxonMobil and the other was an was an engineer at Shell Oil and basically they got me started—you read my bio when my husband’s struggling with mental illness and he was hospitalized over and over and over and over and just could not overcome and I thought I’m going to have to make a living for myself I’m going to have to make a living for two toddlers what can I do? And I said, I like to write. And they said, we’ll introduce you into some companies, you write a book and we’ll introduce you. And when I started here they said, Diana, ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s not the idea you have to actually do something and that’s the issue that I’ve thought about over and over in my career, you have to learn how to have a skill, have a plan and actually execute on it. I have so many colleagues who it’s like an idea week, a sort of a plan a week and in that I’ve seen them come into business and fail, go into business and two years later they’re not in business anymore it is all about execution and that’s when somebody comes to me for coaching on how to build their business how to build a speaking business how to build a consulting business if it is actually following through. The same thing with communication on these skills as an individual if you don’t set some self-improvement goals to improve your communication you’re not going to improve it by just—I’ll do better, that’s not a plan.

Jim Rembach:  I tell me my 13-year old daughter that all the time—I’ll do better—okay, what’s your plan? What? I’ll just work harder. No, let’s get to some specifics here.

Dianna Booher:  Yeah, yeah and in it matters even if you’re giving feedback sometimes people have trouble giving feedback. Whether they’re trying to handle an apology situation with the customer or whether they’re trying to give feedback to an employee if you don’t know here are specific guidelines like in how to communicate like a leader here are five things you need to do when you apologize here, five things you need to do when you give feedback. If you don’t know what those five guidelines and you don’t go through them then chances are every time you sit down to get feedback it’s not going to get any better and you still frustrate people.

Jim Rembach:  That’s a great point. Everything that you’ve talked about as far your younger years and being able to make a living for two toddlers and starting the Institute and how you’ve gotten to the point where you’ve written you’re 47 book, Jesus, it’s amazing.  I know you’ve had a lot of humps to get over and we can learn from that. Can you share a story where we can you know learn from and helped us get over the hump faster?

Dianna Booher:  I think probably the most severe hump I had was learning to watch cash flow. When you are focused on doing everything yourself and you don’t have a background in particular area you need to find someone in your organization who watches what you don’t know get a complimentary employee who has the skills you don’t have and I when I start in business I just wanted to focus on writing and developing training programs to that work based on the content of my book which is how I’ve grown my business and I didn’t have a background in finance so I didn’t really know how to read a financial statement very well I depend on my accountants to do it and take in the books to the accountant let them read it. 

When there was a big oil crunch I had a lot of oil and gas companies were my clients the big one and all of a sudden there was a big bust and I think it was the mid 90’s and I looked at the cash flow and whoa! we’re going to have a problem here and it came down we have ten days of cash flow had some big projects coming in but am I going to have to lay off these trainers and I had poured two and three years into training them because they all have Master’s degree and they had to follow us around in the classroom for two or three years to be well trained and it was a huge investment to keep them on staff when they weren’t busy but it came down to I’m going to have to lay these people off. And I laid awake for two or three nights thinking what am I going to do but fortunately a big project came in and I didn’t have to make that layoff. But learning that what you don’t know and hiring the people to keep you on track for the skills that you don’t have and always keeping your eye on the cash flow is a huge issue.

Jim Rembach:  And as you were saying, thanks for sharing that and of course you came out the good side of it so that was awesome, but it goes back to kind of the thing that full circle pieces that as an individual you need to get a coach in order to help you with the things that you’re not all that great at that you need to be great at in order to further your career.

Dianna Booher:  Right. And hiring the right people that’s another thing. The two people who were coaching me as I started out my business they said Dinah the most difficult thing you’ll have in business is getting the right people and I thought, Hah, that’s not a big deal but I learned it is a big deal. I didn’t have experience in interview now I’ve learned in 30 years the questions and in fact I put those in my book there’s a chapter on hiring on core competency I put in the nine most important questions I think to ask to get at people’s character and to test their confidence. But I didn’t know that know that back then but I have come to agree that the single most important thing you can do to be successful in business is to get the right people not just people that you feel comfortable with not people that you like but the people who are in alignment with your character and your values. You can teach people skills, you can train them but you cannot teach them values and if they don’t share your values you’re going to be in trouble.

Jim Rembach:  It’s a great point. You have to maybe see what happens as far as how many more you have in you and I will be sitting here with your 67th book and having a discussion I don’t know. But I know you had a lot of things on your plate when you start looking at one of your goals, what is it?

Dianna Booher:  I would like to get back to writing novels. I’ve written novels in the back I’ve written a lot of Christian books and at the back with an inspirational message. I’ve also written a lot of business, probably as many business books and self-help as Christian books but I enjoy writing novels. For some reason when I did my Master’s degree thesis was novel and published five novels so I’d like to do both I’d like to keep both of those going. But one key goal right now although I’m still in the business arena and writing business books is to help other authors share their stories so I’m also helping coach other authors who want to get published to go through that process—you’re having to find an agent, you have not decide the best way to get published and looking at their pitch letters and proposals so that’s the key goal right now as well.

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:

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. 

 

Alright here we go Fast Leader listeners it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. 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 robust yet rapid responses are there going to help us move onward and upward faster, Dianna Booher, are you ready to hoedown?

Dianna Booher:  I am. 

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

Dianna Booher:  Time. Just too many ideas to accomplish.

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

Dianna Booher:  I think it’s watch your cash flow and get the best people even if you have to go without.

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

Dianna Booher:  Do it now and never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

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

Dianna Booher:  I think that would have to be my iPhone. I can take it anywhere and accomplish anything on that phone.

Jim Rembach:  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 Communicate Like a Leader.

Dianna Booher:  Real Leadership by John Addison, I love that book.

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

 

Dianna Booher:  I would take back the skill of being able to do projections. I’ve never been able to do a huge financial projection and I’ve learned that through the years but at the beginning I had no clue how to do that.

Jim Rembach:  Dianna it was not her to spend time with you today can you please share with Fast Leader listeners how they can connect with you?

Dianna Booher:  Yes, www.booherresearch.com

Jim Rembach:  Dianna Booher, thank 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 a fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

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

Ron Carucci Show Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hump to Get Over

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

Advice for others

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

Holding him back from being an even better leader

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

Best Leadership Advice Received

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

Secret to Success

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

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

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

Recommended Reading

Rising to Power: The Journey of Exceptional Executives

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

Contacting Ron

Website: http://www.navalent.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RonCarucci

Resources and Show Mentions

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

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

 

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Jim Rembach:    All right. Now I’ve given our legion a little bit about you, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Ron Carruci :    Yes, it’s true. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Jim Rembach:    Exactly. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Jim Rembach:    Oh, yes. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Ron Carruci :    Let’s go hoedown. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

115: Kathleen Peterson: I actually flew off the handle

Kathleen Peterson Show Notes

Kathleen Peterson was in the midst of a large training project when she clashed with the project manager. She was right and she chose to fight. This episode sent Kathleen on a journey of discovery and learning. Listen to learn where she went and how she ended up learning that being right is useless.

Kathleen was born in Boston, Massachusetts – fifth born of 10 – 2nd girl. All of her siblings were close in age – no birth twins.

Kathleen’s three older sibblings were boys so she was sort of brought up by wolves, learning early on to hold her own with “men”. When she was 5; which was 1957 – the family moved from Boston to New Hampshire; her father had taken a job with a “start up.”

Her father was a self made man, literally rising from “messenger boy” to a senior executive and member of the board of directors for, at the time, the largest private employer in NH. He was extremely smart; very impish, always challenging the status quo with smarts, wit, and humor. Kathleen inherited a lot of her business savvy from him and patience from her stay at home mom.

With 10 kids, if you wanted “extras” that was up to you. So Kathleen had her first paying job at the age of 11. She was a “mother’s helper” for a neighbor with six children. Kathleen had a lot of jobs; she worked in a movie theatre, several retail stores, cocktail waitress, bartender, chamber maid, office worker, and technical illustrator; in 1979 she began what would be her “real” career when she went to work for my husband in the telecommunications business.

That led to her understanding of technology as a “support” tool to meeting objectives. She witnessed firsthand the misconception that technology alone is the solution; which was the seed of what she does now.

Kathleen is currently celebrating her 30th year in business as founder and Chief Vision Officer of PowerHouse Consulting – a management consulting firm that specializes in “operational-izing the customer experience.”

She works with many growing, quality focused organizations looking to achieve excellence when it comes to delivering on the Customer Experience – across all access channels.  She has a very strong practice in Healthcare right now working with many systems to elevate their Contact Center environments to the level of strategic asset by optimization in key areas like people, process, and technology.

Kathleen lives in Bedford New Hampshire since 1957, she lives in a house next door to her childhood home. She also has two sisters, two brothers, a niece and nephew living on the same “compound”.

She’s been married since 1979 to David, her husband and partner in PowerHouse. He leads the Voice & Data side of the practice. And she has two sons and one grandson.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @PowerHouse603 to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“The healthcare industry is the most changing industry on the planet.” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet

“The number one success factor is leadership at the executive level.” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

“It’s the change management that’s causing the success or failure.” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

“I can’t fix it’s not working. What’s not working?” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

“We’re in this wonderful moment of massive change.” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

“Without proper leadership it’s going to be a constant source of irritation.” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

“We have cynicism around vision because it’s not experienced in the operation.” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

“90%+ of people say the customer experience is part of their strategy.” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

“What does a great customer experience really mean?” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

“Senior executives need to champion the contact center being properly managed.” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

“Change is iterative.” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

“Progress is almost always in spirals.” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

“Being right is useless if you can’t effectively communicate it.” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

“You will perform better and manage your own state of mind when you communicate better.” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

“Being smart is as stupid as being right if you can’t communicate it.” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

“Contribution is a privilege to be able to enjoy.” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

“Improvement is a natural byproduct of learning.” -Kathleen Peterson Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Kathleen Peterson was in the midst of a large training project when she clashed with the project manager. She was right and she chose to fight. This episode sent Kathleen on a journey of discovery and learning. Listen to learn where she went and how she ended up learning that being right is useless.

Advice for others

Being able to effectively communicate is the key factor in successful change.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Nothing because I have a passion for learning and leading follows learning.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Never lose you sense of humor.

Secret to Success

Telling it like it is.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

Nurturing my emotional intelligence and a healthy work life balance.

Recommended Reading

Backstage at the Customer Experience: Musings for Contact Center Leaders

The Corporate Mystic: A Guidebook for Visionaries with Their Feet on the Ground

Contacting Kathleen

email:  kpeterson [at] powerhouse1.com

Website: http://powerhouse1.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathleen-peterson-9119228

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PowerHouse603

Resources and Show Mentions

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

 

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

115: Kathleen Peterson: I actually flew off the handle

 

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

 

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

 

Jim Rembach:     Okay, Fast Leader Legion, today I’m so excited because I have somebody who has a wealth of information and something I even have a passion for, and really we’re going to have insights that we can actually share with so many. Kathleen Peterson was born in Boston, Massachusetts, fifth born of ten, second girl all siblings were close in age but no twins. Kathleen’s three older siblings were boys so she was sort of brought up by wolves learning early on to hold her own with men. When she was five, which was in 1957, the family moved from Boston to New Hampshire where her father had taken a job with a start-up. Her father was a self-made man literally rising from a messenger boy to a senior executive and member of the board of directors.

 

Kathleen inherited a lot of her business savvy from him and patience from her stay-at-home mom. With 10 kids, if you wanted extras that was up to you, so Kathleen had her first job at leap age 11. She was a mother’s helper for a neighbor with six children. Kathleen had a lot of jobs, she worked in a movie theater, several retail stores, cocktail waitress, bartender, chambermaid, office worker, and technical illustrator. In 1979, she began what would be her real career when she went to work for her husband in the telecommunications business. That led to her understanding of technology as a support tool to meet objectives. 

 

She witnessed firsthand the misconception that technology alone is the solution which was the seed of what she does now. Kathleen is currently celebrating her 30th year in business as founder and chief vision officer of Powerhouse Consulting, a management consulting firm that specializes in operationalizing the customer experience. She works with many growing quality focused organizations looking to achieve excellence when it comes to delivering the customer experience across all access channels. She has a very strong practice in health care right now working with many systems to elevate their contact center environments to the level of strategic asset by optimizing in the key areas like people processing technology. Kathleen lives in Bedford, New Hampshire and she’s been there since 1957. She lives in a house next door to her childhood home. She also has two sisters, two brothers, a niece and a nephew living on the same compound. She’s been married since 1979 to David her husband and partner in Powerhouse, he leaves the voice and data side of the practice. She has two sons, and one grandson. Kathleen Peterson are you ready to help us get over the hump? 

 

Kathleen Peterson:     I am ready. Absolutely Jim. 

 

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.

 

Kathleen Peterson:     Our current passion today is working in the health care industry. It’s the most changing industry on the planet I believe from every aspect, from the provider side from the patient side and from the leadership side.  When we look at what it takes to be successful in this, what we really have identified as the number-one success factor is leadership. It’s the leadership at the executive level being able to understand and sustain their strategic objectives. But it’s really whatever the strategic objective is it’s the change management that’s causing either the success or the failure. And the ability to communicate why something is happening, why we centralize, why we have to gain efficiencies, why the brand is going to benefit from this. So being able to really take the change through the providers and stand tall in your decisions. 

 

We have to really guide our executive teams to not abdicate their responsibility of making these massive changes effective and make them work because we know how important they are from an efficiency perspective. But efficiency is only efficient if everybody is on board and engaged in what the objectives are. I had a conversation yesterday with a client who brought to our attention from a call center that went live in December the feedback they were getting from the physicians was, well, it’s not working, it’s not working has no meaning. I mean it’s not working could be—I couldn’t find a place to park, the elevator was broken that not anything anybody can fix we need to know what about it isn’t working. And that people will accept an assessment of its not working and then bring it to somebody else is ludicrous because if someone says to you it’s not working you have to say, “What about it that’s not working?” I can’t fix it’s not working. But when an executive-level has abdicated their leadership responsibilities and allowed peer-to-peer that’s where them and us comes from, and the contact center and the provider community or the practice community in the case of what I was just referencing when those two parties look at what they do as a handoff we need to move them towards—this is hand in hand, the contact center and the practice environment when the contact center is supporting that that’s a hand in hand activity not a handoff and the executive level needs to be the party that brings it together and says, “You know, if it’s not working let’s talk about what about it’s not working and how we’re going to fix it because this is the future and this is the way it’s going to be.” And we’re in this sort of wonderful moment, at least I feel privileged to be in it, because we’re party to this massive change. When you look at healthcare you’ve got minute clinics you’ve got all these are urgent care environments you’ve got all kinds of options that are challenging the status quo of what we know. So, when the changes come to support the new models it has to be supported from a leadership perspective or honestly no matter how good your technology no matter how wonderful your management it’s not going to work it’s going to be a constant source of irritation without proper leadership. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Thanks for sharing that story. As you were talking a lot of things started going through my head and one of the things about the fast leaders show for me which has been such a tremendous life impacting type of experiences. I get to hear all these different stories and hear these different perspectives I start seeing common themes and threads and it’s just really—when you were talking I started thinking about what I hear a lot of folks sharing in regards to vision and as well as communicating intent. And for me it seems like the more that people make their message and their focus and the things that they say repetitive and simple it kind of helps lead through that change process but you can’t waver,

 

Kathleen Peterson:     No you can’t waver and that’s where the strength of leadership comes in and just be consistent and inclusive. When people are making statements their pain statements. If the user community has a statement it’s just not working they’re in some sort of pain. The good news about physicians, particularly in healthcare, physicians are scientists so when—I volunteered yesterday to sit down with musicians because I know from past experience when I say to them where’s—we all appreciate evidence based reasoning so what’s the evidence for this? When you get into a dialogue they actually talk themselves out of the problem. 

 

So the challenge is having the confidence to address that, and you use the word vision that’s why I’m the chief vision officer because my job in a lot of our engagements is to clarify the vision. And when I say vision clarity I’m talking about actual operational plan for what that vision statement actually means. Because the reason we have cynicism around vision is because it is not experienced in the operation of the enterprise. To make vision really significant we need an operational plan to support that vision.

 

Okay, that’s a very important point right there. Kind of help me understand that a little bit better when you start—so for me I think that—when I see vision I’m not connected to it. So, how do you actually enable that connection to take place?

 

Jim Rembach:     The process that we use is we build for our clients what we call a straight tactical map. So, it’s your strategy which vision is the seed of your strategy. And we identify the tactical elements. It starts with a very simple plan. It starts with—here’s the vision, what are your financial perspectives? What are your growth objectives? What are your efficiency objectives? The next lane is define the customer experience? Because everyone says, 90 plus percent of people say the customer experience is their primary objective as part of their strategy. And what happens is we get in rooms, I get in rooms with senior-level executives and I say to them give me a top three strategies, it’s always customer experience is one of them, so let’s pick that one. What do you want for your customer experience? And almost universally, and I’m sure you already know, what they want, they wanted to be great. If you’re an e-commerce they want you to be surprised and delighted. And then you say to them, well, those are nice words but what do they mean?

 

Kathleen Peterson:     I was in a room with a group of a CEO and his team and when I asked them what that meant there was silence, and it was uncomfortable silence. And finally the CEO said, “I am embarrassed that none of us at this table can answer that question.” And I said, “It’s okay, that’s why we’re here, we’re going to help you do that. “ And we extract from them through a conversation as a consumer what do you want? What makes you feel like you’re getting what you need? So, when they say to us, “well we want a quick answer, we want an informed rep, we want them to recognize and know us so we can get those. Once we get those nuggets we then say, “Okay, are we all clear here? This is who we want to be? Growth and efficiency how are we going to get there? Here are the experience elements. Then we go through a process of saying, “Here are the processes and technologies that are required to achieve that. Here’s the human capital that’s required to achieve that, here’s the information capital required to achieve that, and here’s the culture or organizational model that’s going to help you get there. So, we take their vision and we operationalize it through a strategy we call vision clarity. It operationalizes, I have to say it’s a magical outcome. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Okay, when you were explaining that I started thinking about executives being so far removed from that actual patient or member or customer interaction that oftentimes what they say they want from an experience perspective has the potential of not being aligned with what the customer, a member or a patient actually wants. I mean, did you find at times there is that disjointed or disconnected or unrealistic expectations?

 

Kathleen Peterson:     Well, I think sometimes you have to assist them in defining what, based on their vision, what that patient experience should be? I haven’t found that the gap is very large. The biggest gap is in understanding that when you build a plan or you build out your vision that you come to the realization of what your operational infrastructure has led to. When you look at health care as an example what we find is all of a sudden someone wakes up one day and they go, “Wow, I have a hundred locations across my ten hospitals who have deployed on automatic call distribution of call center technology.” What the heck is everybody doing? So, then they start looking at, “Oh my goodness, billing centralized, so that’s over here, oh finance centralized that’s over here, oh my goodness we had a centralization of appointments in our southern tier, oh, we have another call center over here that’s doing that they’re all making independent agree arrangements with the vendors they’re all taxing the heck out of IT because there’s no strategic model for them to follow from an infrastructure perspective and the consequence desire as anyone in contact centers know they wind up focusing only on the challenges. 

 

What’s wrong with it? We got too many calls in queue, we don’t have enough people, we have so many applications we have to have open that have timeouts and resets that are causing pain, if we could even just get dual monitors would be better off. So, what we’re finding is that enterprises have begun to recognize they need, at the executive level to have some influence and persuasion over these environments because they’re costing them a fortune, they’re not yielding the outcome. In fact, in many cases they’re damaging the brand. And that’s why it usually gets to the executive level because now complaints have come in now and it’s really because when you lack an operational plan for your strategy the interpretation of that is deluded as it goes through the enterprise. And when business units who appear to be despair but are actually operating on the same platforms you want those platforms at the executive level they want to look at every performance report looking the same. 

 

We had a client with, I think 11 hospitals, and we did this assessment. We went to all these contact centers and we just had one slide with all the varied performance, the dashboard reporting and it was complete chaos. So the executives could never know what their investment strategy should be for these organizations. So the executive has in some ways abdicated their responsibility for operations because I think traditionally in the siloed model of business that was the approach, we’re beyond that now. The senior level really needs to champion these centralizations champion the objectives that surround those and hence champion the contact center being properly provisioned and managed. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Well, the reality is that they have a fiduciary responsibility and if they’re not doing those things they’re not executing on their fiduciary responsibility. When you start talking about all this change and reorg and transformation, there’s a lot of passion associated with that and on the Fast Leader show we look at quotes to help us, to guide us give us vision all of those things. Is there a quote or two that you can share if you like? 

 

Kathleen Peterson:     My favorite quote comes from Madame de Staël, who is a French-Swiss writer in the late 1700s, the quote I have relied on for decades is: “The human mind always makes progress but it is a progress in spirals. “I mean Napoleon banned her, exiled her from Paris. First out of Paris she had to be taken at least miles away because he said she was teaching people to think who had never thought before. Then he had her exiled from France so she was very much a thought leader in her time, in those turbulent times. I’ve always appreciated that because the world is iterative. Change is iterative. When people look at projects and engagements and they want to know—give me the five things that we have to do—I don’t know them yet. We have to appreciate the iterative nature of the world we live in and recognize that progress is almost always in spirals. For me, recognizing that helps not get caught up when you are challenged. We’re all challenged. I look at those kind of challenge as opportunity, I know that’s sort of a classic thing to say, challenges are opportunities. For me they’re mostly communication opportunities. 

 

Jim Rembach:     That’s a great point and a great quote I really appreciate your sharing that. And when you start thinking about—reading your bio and thinking about your upbringing, your childhood, and how it really seems like your family is still close-knit, it’s quite amazing. During your career, your life, I know that you’ve had a lot of humps that really made you who you are today. Is there a story that you can share that kind of gives us a view into that? 

 

Kathleen Peterson:     I can. I was very blessed to have this happen to me 30 years ago because at the beginning of my company we did a lot of post-sale implementation of telecommunications services and a lot of them were for the phone company. At that time in Boston, I think New England telephone had already become 9X but we were engaged, probably a very early outsourcer, because my husband and I had on what was before divestiture called an interconnect company so we were actually selling systems. We sell that company in 1986 and then David and I went into two different consulting practices I had my own he went to work for somebody else. But we were engaged by 9X, we were doing three projects at the same time, major hospital in Boston with a 10,000 line replacement, a major university in Boston with two campuses which was a 20,000 line replacement in the entire city of Boston which was I can’t even remember how many months. 

But if you think about the timing that was when we were going from truly the big old phones when people would say, “Hey Jim, pick up line one, and you’d press the big flashing button on the phone and you’d pick up line one. It had gigantic 25 pair cables coming all copper, you know the things could be a weapon if you threw one of those phones at someone it would definitely cause pain if it hit so we were going from analog technology essentially to digital. Interestingly enough there was also a similar intense transition particularly in the healthcare world going the secretary answers the call the doctor picks up the line, now we’re telling them that’s going to be history you’re going to have to transfer that call there are no more in intercoms it’s all digital, there was a of anxiety in that. One of the functions we have is the trainer. 

 

One night at the end of the day I got a call from the project manager at the university we had a group of trainers on campus that day that training location was going to be taken down, move to a different location and she called me and told me that she expected my trainers to break the room down, take the phones, carry them across the campus back to their location. And I said, “Because now we don’t touch equipment we’re not insured to touch equipment, we’re not hired to touch equipment. I don’t think I said it very nicely, I was young, I was tired, I thought we’ve been helping you so much now I have the—poor me, and she just caught me at the wrong moment and I actually  blew up the handle but I was a right fighter. So she then ask that I be removed from the project and that caused all kinds of you drama. I will have to say at that time, and I’m not sure that companies would do this today, my client stood behind me a hundred percent. They said, nope, you know she’s absolutely right they don’t touch equipment, they can’t touch equipment and plus we’re not going to remove her from the project. We’ll make her go away for a couple of weeks but we’re not going to take her off. So, as that was happening it was horrible blow to my ego because I thought, “Oh, I’m so right, who does she think she is?”

 

I had been at that time very interested in Tony Robbins. I had bought his—actually received his book for my sister-in-law in 1988, Unlimited Powers, I had been reading that book and I always sort of went back to it. And then I taped program, so while this is happening on one side I’m listening to all these tapes about communicating others, I got to tape seven it doesn’t work. So I call up Tony Robbins, this is before the Internet I mean there was a time before the Internet, so I call them up and I tell them about the tape and I they going to send me a new one and I said to them, what else do you people offer? Because she has—well, we have—they call it at that time a certification program. It was a two-week long seminar with Tony Robbins in Hawaii. It was $5,000—I mean $5,000 is still a lot of money but then it was a ridiculous amount of money but I was in a state I can remember to this day going right out to the driveway and talking to David and saying, “Look, it’s $5,000 dollars even talking about it now I still can remember how intensely exhausted I think I was. And he just said, hey, go. What the heck? You sort of have two weeks off from Harvard so you might as well just go. So, I said, “Okay, I’m going to go.” And I went and I’m going to tell you that period of time taught me that it’s not being right is pretty close to useless if can’t effectively communicate it. So the ability to look at what that other person needs and how your rapport skills are going to enhance your message that’s one side. But I think the bigger side of it for me was it’s first what you’re telling yourself so the whole communication thing is really –do you have enough evidence to support this belief. 

 

So I can think and sit and think this woman is an idiot. What evidence are you using for that? The fact that she’s stressed out because she has a test that has to be done. I’m stressed out because I don’t want—it put me in the path that I attended after that a lot. One of Tony Robbins other quotes, Is repetition is the mother of skill.  So I kept going to these—I think that was the last two week event here ever did but I kept attending events of his, and in fact was by the late nineties staffing events for them being a staff I could attend again for nothing and do the fire walk and do all the crazy things, but if you take the crazy things out of it the yield is you will always not only perform better when you communicate better you will manage your own state of mind.

 

Jim Rembach:     A lot head nodding going on here for those that can I actually see the video, I think people have this false perception that once they gain a particular piece of knowledge is going to change their outcome. And one of the things that you talked about which is really the one of the most important points and all that is that you didn’t stop you kept going so that you can actually change your own behavior.

 

Kathleen Peterson:     Exactly. 

 

Jim Rembach:     You got to practice it. 

 

Kathleen Peterson:     It needed changing. I was an attention hunt being the fifth of ten you’re in the middle of a calamity. So the only way you’re going to get—it didn’t matter whether it’s positive or negative just attention. Though I had undo a lot of my reactionary response conditions that had just—as I said I was very fortunate to have that happened at the beginning of my career because it established a real genuine obsession with being able to effectively get the message across. Because being smart is, again it’s as stupid as being right if you can’t communicate it.

 

Jim Rembach:     I love that. Okay, so now I know you got a lot of things going on and you’re a machine you just keep going and going. But when you think about all that you have going on, what’s one of your goals?

 

Kathleen Peterson:     My goals have pretty much always remained the same and it’s really contribution. I feel like contribution is something that is a privilege to be able to enjoy. Our organization—we feel passionately that we are not just a consultant we are advisors we are support people we help move help define and move a very real objective forward and bring to it the associated personal challenges that come with change. We’re very good at the optimization side, the technical side the training development all those things we can do that. But again even though that’s all the right stuff to do if it’s not properly implemented, if the messaging is inaccurate because a lot of people advertise—you know, it’s like they’ll advertise internally—oh, this is going to be fantastic well that remains to be seen. So, for me contribution has always been the fuel that keeps me going. And I have to also say I’ve always thought I’ve been blessed. For me workers was introduced as something fun I guess it was getting out of the house and having my own money but I’ve always had an expectation that work should be a pleasure and contribution for me is a basic human need. 

 

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

 

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

 

Jim Rembach:     Alright, here we go Fast Leader Legion, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Kathleen, 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 some onward and upward faster. Kathleen Peterson are you ready to hold down?

 

Kathleen Peterson:     I hope so.

 

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

 

Kathleen Peterson:     Well, you know, I don’t want to seem arrogant but I’m thinking nothing. Really because I’m a—improvement is a natural by-product of learning. And I have a passion for learning and that is—leading follows learning. 

 

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

 

Kathleen Peterson:     I got it from my father he said, “Never lose your sense of humor.”

 

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

 

Kathleen Peterson:     Telling it like it is.

 

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

 

Kathleen Peterson:     Nurturing my emotional intelligence and a healthy work-life balance.

 

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

 

Kathleen Peterson:     I have this book in my office to this day it’s called, The Corporate Mystic by Gay Hendricks and Kate Ludemann, fabulous.

 

Jim Rembach:     Okay Fast Leader Legion, you can find links to that another bonus information from today show by going fastleader.net/KathleenPeterson. 

 

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

 

Kathleen Peterson:     Well, I want to tell you—I was 25 in 1977. My gut instinct is I would take back the Microsoft Software program and beat Bill Gates to the punch, that’s probably not what you mean. But as a time traveler, I wouldn’t want to go back to 25 but if I did I’d be better to my knees. I just got told the other day after the knee replacement so you know that and maybe the skill of being a better communicator earlier. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Kathleen 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? I can be reached at

kpeterson@powerhouse1.com. Our website is www.powerhouse1.com. And my book—Backstage at the Customer Experience—is available on Amazon.

 

Kathleen Peterson:     Kathleen Peterson, 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!

 

Jim Rembach:     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 

 

 

039: Annette Franz: Running into the same wall constantly

Annette Franz Show Notes

Annette Franz has experienced a series of humps that when strung together culminate into running into the same wall. Trying to do right by her staff and by her customers, Annette found the same people getting in the way. Listen and learn how Annette got over the hump to move onward and upward.

Annette grew up on a farm in West Salem, Ohio.

She is an animal lover through and through and, as a young girl, had dreams of becoming of a veterinarian. An intense dislike for Chemistry courses, of which six were required to get into vet school, and a serious fainting reaction to the sight of blood woke her up from that dream. After completing three years of Animal Science study at Ohio State University, she moved to southern California and completed her degree in management at California State University.

Her love of math and writing came into play when she saw a posting for a position with J.D. Power and Associates, and 20+ years of career progression through a variety of firms later, she continues to call this customer experience space home.

In 2011, she started her blog at CX Journey as a way to share her passion for all things customer experience, to help companies not only understand the importance of the employee experience and its role in delivering an exceptional customer experience but also transform their cultures to ensure the customer is at the center of every conversation. She was recently recognized as one of “The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter” by Business Insider and has been recognized by several organizations as a top influencer in Customer Experience. She is an active CXPA member, as a CX Expert, CX Mentor, and a SoCal Local Networking Team Lead; she also serves on the Board of Directors.

For fun, she loves writing, working out, running, going to the movies and to sporting events, playing at the beach, and hanging out with her boys, who are 10 and 13.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen and @annettefranz will help you get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Working out has instilled a lot of discipline in me.” -Annette Franz Click to Tweet

“It’s all about prioritizing and making to-do lists.” -Annette Franz Click to Tweet

“Actions speak louder than words.” -Annette Franz Click to Tweet 

“If you say you’re going to do something, do it.” -Annette Franz Click to Tweet 

“Don’t just tell me, show me.” -Annette Franz Click to Tweet 

“Leadership is about a lot of different things.” -Annette Franz Click to Tweet 

“If you don’t have any followers than you are not a leader.” -Annette Franz Click to Tweet 

“Leadership doesn’t mean you have to be in a role where people report to you.” -Annette Franz Click to Tweet 

“Speak your mind…your opinions matter” -Annette Franz Click to Tweet 

“You can only blame yourself where you are today versus where you want to be.” -Annette Franz Click to Tweet 

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” -Annette Franz Click to Tweet 

“Do your homework and be prepared.” -Annette Franz Click to Tweet 

“Follow your head and not your heart.” -Annette Franz Click to Tweet 

“In the end, everything turns out the way that it’s supposed to.” -Annette Franz Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Annette Franz has experienced a series of humps that when strung together culminate into running into the same wall. Trying to do right by her staff and by her customers, Annette found the same people getting in the way. Listen to what Annette ran into, that you probably run into, and how you can get over the hump to move onward and upward faster.

Advice for others

Speak your mind because your opinions matter.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Myself

Best Leadership Advice Received

When you come to a fork in the road, take.

Secret to Success

Being prepared. Reading, learning, always being in the know. I love having Google at my fingertips.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Knowledge and awareness.

Recommended Reading

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

Contacting Annette

Website: http://www.cx-journey.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/annettefranz

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

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

039: Annette Franz: Running into the same wall constantly

 

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.

 

“Developing your company’s talent and leadership pipeline can be an overwhelming task but your burn is over with ResultPal you can use the power of practice to develop more leaders faster. Move onward and upward by going to resultpal.com/fast in getting a $750 performance package for free.”

 

Jim Rembach:    Alright, Fast Leader Legion, we’re going to have a great show today because I have one of those folks that I’ve admired for a very long time, I think her wit is just as fantastic as her skill and expertise, her name is Annette Franz, she grew up on a farm on West Salem, Ohio. She’s an animal lover through and through, and as a young girl had dreams of becoming a veterinarian but an intense dislike for chemistry courses, and she six of those in vet school, and a serious fainting reaction to the sight of blood woke her up from that dream. 

 

After completing three years of animal science study at the Ohio State University she moved to Southern California and completed her degree in Management at Cal State University. Her love of math and writing came into play when she saw a position for JD Power and Associates and 20 years of career progression through a variety of firms she continues to call customer experience home. In 2011 she started her blog at CX Journey as a way to share her passion for all things customer experience and to help companies not only understand the importance of the employee experience and its role in delivering exceptional concerts but also to transform their cultures to ensure the customer is the center of every conversation.

 

She was recently recognized as one of the 100 most influential tech women on Twitter by Business Insider and has been recognized by several organizations as a top influencer in customer experience. She is an active Customer Experience Professionals Association member and expert and mentor along with myself, and a SoCal local networking team lead and she also serves on the Board of Directors. For fun she loves writing, working out, running, going to the movies and sporting events, playing on the beach and hanging out with her boys who are 10 and 13. Annette Franz, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Annette Franz:    I am ready. Yes, and that was quite a mouthful. Thank you very much. [Laugh]

 

Jim Rembach:    I think it was all worth it. Because you have gained, not just high but loyal following, within the customer experience based and it’s well learned, so it’s been my pleasure. I’ve given our Legion a little bit of information about you but can you tell us of your current passion is so that we can get to know you better? 

 

Annette Franz:    My current passion continues to be customer experience, but you want me to tell you outside of customer experience? I am a fitness nut. I am all about working out, growing up I ran in track and cross-country. I competed in bodybuilding about 20 years ago and that instilled lots of discipline in me through life and in my career. I still work out every day until this days, so that is my passion outside of professional life. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I know one of the things when you start talking about that passion and that exercises that diet that comes into it, tell me what’s the deal with the sushi thing?

 

Annette Franz:    I hate sushi. I hate sushi. I don’t eat fish actually, at all, I hate fish. [Laugh]But throw me a big steak and some potatoes and I’m good. [Laugh]

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, so, I know also that as a single mom all the things that you have to do in regards to work, home, exercise and all that, how do you find time to get all those of those things accomplish? Because for me, when I look at the proliferation of your writing, your social media activity and knowing all of those other things that you have to do and being a single parent, how do you do that?

 

Annette Franz:    I’m a workaholic. [Laugh]Hello, my name is Annette, and I’m a workaholic, yes, that’s it. I get up early prioritize, it’s all about prioritizing and making yourself to do less. And I’ve done—my kids are 10 and 13 and, by the way, they’re absolutely my passion as well, but I say that fitness is my passion because it gives me sanity so I can deal with everything else that happens throughout the day. [Laugh] But, yeah, realty it’s all about prioritizing and that discipline that I mentioned carries over into my life. I am very discipline person, I have this schedule and the structure that I go by every day and every week. I know when I need to write, I live by deadlines and I live by my calendars, so that’s how I get through the day. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I’ve also noticed here, I don’t know if it’s just been a recent epiphany but it’s seems to me, especially on guest on the show, when they have mentioned that they grew up on a farm, all have that kind of discipline, how is that?

 

Annette Franz:    It’s a crazy—first of all, I come from German parents, so I’ve got this amazing work ethic that is in my genes, it comes from them. But growing up on a farm, it’s hard work, we had beef-cows, we had sheep, we had chickens, and we had all of it. We had to get up in the morning and feed them –dirge, horse and at the end of the day you’ve got to come back and do the same thing. You’ve got crop out in the field, and I’ve learned how to drive a truck when I was 12 [Laugh] so, it is a hard life, it’s a lot of hard work and it really that alone instills great work ethic into you. 

 

Jim Rembach:    And it sure seems that it has and it’s so much like a brotherhood, so to speak, that everybody kind of have that discipline when it comes to a farm. For me it’s like, uhm, do I need to move to a farm to have my kids work so that their discipline would be instilled in them?

 

Annette Franz:    I wouldn’t trade it for the world. People ask me about it all the time. I think about how would my life be different had I grown up in the city? It would have completely different, I wouldn’t trade for the world that I grew up on a farm, did all the things that I did, saw all the things that I saw that most people would never see in their lifetime, so that’s pretty amazing. Maybe, yes, you should move to a farm.

 

Jim Rembach:    I think I might do that. 

 

Annette Franz:    Get the kids out there now, it’s a good time to get them out there now.

 

Jim Rembach:    Definitely. 

 

Annette Franz:    I’ve taken my kids back to visit my parents who still have the farms back in Ohio and we come back here and they’re just completely different kids one we’re there [6:35] come back here. 

 

Jim Rembach:    When you start talking about discipline, when you start talking about drive, when you start talking about structure we often have to continually remind ourselves to focus and execute, and one of the things that we do on the shows is we look at leadership quotes because they seem to help a lot of us in a lot of different ways, do have quote or two that helps you?

 

Annette Franz:    My absolute favorite quote is, “Action speaks louder than words.” It’s the mantra that I live by it’s something that I tell my kids all the time. In my professional it’s the same way, with my staff it’s the same way. If you say you’re going to do something, do it right, don’t just tell me, show me, that kind of thing. I think that’s probably my number one of my favorite quote. 

 

Jim Rembach:    There’s also a piece in there that I think for me in the past year or two that I’ve really been focusing on and that’s the word, “Integrity.” A lot of people don’t, including myself, I’m not saying that’s someone’s issue it’s mine as well.  Not really certain what that word means because when you ask folks, “Do you consider yourself to be a person of high integrity?” Their natural response is, “Yes, of course, absolutely I am.” [Laugh]However they don’t tell the truth, they backstab, they say they’ll call you back they won’t call you back, they say that they’re a person who you can trust and then they’re untrustworthy, so it seems to me like it’s really interesting how that word has so much importance for folks but they don’t know how to execute upon it.

 

Annette Franz:    Yeah, absolutely. I absolutely agree with you. That doesn’t just apply to leadership but applies to the world that you and I come from as well. The customer experience space and talking about all the things that they’re going to do—their advertising or their marketing, but what comes down to it, the experience is what you actually do for the customer do for your employees that really matters. And yeah, that all wrap up in integrity, absolutely I agree with you. 

 

There’s a slide it has five different things that starts with I on it that I like to use as a conversation piece. It has things like, of course integrity, but it has innovation, ignition and a couple of other things I can think about, it’s on the top of my head right now, and so I ask people, “From this five things that are sitting out here, they all start with I, which one is most important to you? For me, I work with a lot of contact center leaders, and apps that are responsible for customer care and contact centers, and 90% of those folks say, integrity. It’s just overwhelming but then when there’s a situation where you start talking about what they do as far as interacting with customers and interacting with employees and how everybody gets treated things like that, that integrity piece falls apart really fast. 

 

And I think that’s why it’s easy to—rather than saying integrity because I think people don’t always get what that means, like you said. When you say, action speaks louder than word, they pause and think about it for a second but then they say, “Oh, okay. Yeah, I get it, okay.”[Laugh]

 

It’s a great point, thanks for sharing it. When you start thinking about that transition and even when you had the dream of going and being a vet and then having the harsh realization that couldn’t make it through chemistry, that’s a big hump to get over.  And also you made a huge shift from the farm and move to Southern California and, I know just because of a lot of the conversations that we had in the past that you’ve had humps, we’ve all had humps. Can you think of one that you’ve had to get over that defined you?

 

It’s interesting and I like that you add that defined you because I wouldn’t call it just one hump, I would say it’s a series of humps. [Laugh] I’ve had some challenges in my career and the interesting thing is, obviously they made the person that I am today, the leader that I am today. I won’t tell you the story of each hump, just that we can protect the not so innocent, but I feel like each of them strung together really culminates in running into the same wall constantly, hitting the same wall constantly. Trying to do right by my staff, trying to do right by customers and that hump, that wall that I kept running into was the leadership above me. 

 

I was running various departments at different companies and it was really about the actual leadership above me, so we’re talking about CEO’s, and the C-suite, and sort of getting in the way and thinking that they’re doing the right thing or have the right approach to it or not supporting what I believe is what’s best for my staff or what’s best for my clients, and that’s something that I’ve run into so many times. And I would go back and then refer to them as “leadership” because leadership is about a lot of different things. It’s about caring about your people, it’s about being accountable for you it’s about inspiring others to do great things and being inspirational. And when you’re not that, “are you really a leader?” In order to be a leader you have to have somebody who’s going to follow you. And if you’re not willing to follow, if you don’t have any followers then you’re not a leader. There’s got to be those people in line who want to be part of what you’re doing. And so, that’s one of the struggle that I’ve had in my career, is the leadership. 

 

You might say, “Hey, maybe that’s your problem then, not the people above you.” 

But if you went back to look at my history, you would probably agree with me that there were some leadership issues there in some of the organizations I worked for. I think what it really reminded me of is that leadership doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be in a role where you got people reporting to you. I think leadership also means that you have people, like I just said, who are willing to follow you because you inspired them, because you do great things, because you’re doing things other want to do because they like what they’re seeing in what you’re doing or when you’re role playing being a good model for them. I know it doesn’t necessarily fall into your hump story, but it’s sort of like I’ve had string of events that made me who I am today. 

 

Jim Rembach:     What you’re talking about is a common thing. It isn’t a scenario where you’re unique from the perspective of having that difficulty in trying to get the agenda as well as maybe even calling people out and getting all of those things moving forward. Because of some of those experiences that you’ve have had, have you found that there is something that seems to help move things a little bit better than others?

 

Annette Franz:     I think the best thing is don’t be afraid to speak your mind and say what you’re thinking. And your opinion matters whether it makes a difference at the moment or not, thing might come back around and somebody later down the line may say, “Hey, you’re right” or “Hey, you know what, I’m glad you spoke your mind because that was an important part of where are we now, where we’re headed now in terms of”—those kinds of things. I firmly believe that making sure that you speak you mind, don’t let people walk all over you. You’re opinions matter always be true to yourself. And leave knowing that you said and did everything that you could to hopefully leave things in a good place and like you said, “I have something to come back later, and you know what, we thought about it and that was right.”

 

Jim Rembach:     I know even for myself that when I was younger I’m known for being blunt at times, and if you have a glass of wine or two and gets that way pretty easily—when I was younger you used to just be, Boom! This is the way it is. And I’ve tried to do a better job of that, of course with family it’s a little bit different. A professional situation and you haven’t met people a lot, you soften a little bit—have you seen that there’s been, like I use to do this and I do this now and seen that there’s some kind of different effect that happens with that an executive buy-in?

 

Annette Franz:     Yeah. Absolutely. Coming from the background that I come from, and we’ve talked about it, the German, we sit and we listen—we’re not, maybe some Germans are but I’m not it wasn’t brought up that way, we are a little bit more reserved and I’m always been the kind of person who gives my opinion when I’m asked or a situation has gotten so bad that something needs to be said. That’s where I’m coming from, ironically in the position that I’m in right not it’s a 180, I’m in a position now where I’ve been hired for very specific reason and I been told, “You’re the expert, don’t wait for somebody to ask you. What you’re thinking or if you hear something say it don’t be afraid to put your opinion out there just say it.” Which is great, I love it. I love to be in that—it’s hard for me though because they have to keep reminding me so. It’s a transition but I’m getting there. [Laugh]

 

Jim Rembach:     I would also say too that—it seems like has been earned. 

 

Annette Franz:     Thank you, I hope so. After 20+ years in this field and knowing the things that I know and have learned—I’m never the kind of person that take that as being arrogant or anything like that I’m a very humble person. So to me—yes, thank you, I think it has been earned. And finally it’s great to be working with somebody who appreciates, it’s awesome. 

 

Jim Rembach:     I think that’s a great point. I know for me, when I was a youth it wasn’t appreciated even though I have had some skills and I didn’t know better to keep quiet. [Laugh] You know that it did serve me well but now –started to fall apart [Laugh] There’s a little bit more a recognition that, “Hey, May I know what the heck you’re talking about?” and so I can appreciate that. If you’re to look at—with all that you have on your plate right now, what is that one thing that’s really giving you a lot of excitement?

 

Annette Franz:     Wow! There are a lot of things on my plate right now. The thing that always excites me the most and I think I can wrap it into a nutshell because it encompasses or embodies a lot of things that I’m doing right now is, teaching. Teaching others, sharing with others what I’ve learned. And I think that’s why I like being in a leadership position. I like being—I been a department head a couple of ties and I like being in that role because I can step in and help other people be successful, I think that’s the goal of mine. 

 

Jim Rembach:    The Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now, before we move on let’s get a quick words 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, Annette 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. Annette Franz, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Annette Franz:    I am ready. I feel like I should have had my red bull this morning but I am ready. 

 

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

 

Annette Franz:    Myself. You can only blame yourself where you are today versus where you want to be—myself.  

 

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

 

Annette Franz:    When you come to a fork in the road take it.

 

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

 

Annette Franz:    Being prepared. Reading, learning, always being in the know, just being prepared. I love having Google at my fingertips. Just like the greatest thing, I can be in a conversation, I can be in a meeting and somebody said something and I’m like, “Oh, I can look that up, see what I can find out about it” It’s always been, always, always been, do your homework and be prepared.

 

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

 

Annette Franz:     Other than my calendar because if it’s not on my calendar it doesn’t happen. I would say just knowledge and awareness in general. 

 

Jim Rembach:     What would be one book the you would recommend to our listeners?

 

Annette Franz:    I’m in the middle of reading this book. I’m almost done but I think it’s a fabulous book, it’s the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader listeners, you can find links to that book and other bonus material from today’s show and quotes that you can tweet, by going to fastleader.net/Annette franz. Okay Annette, 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, so what piece of skill or knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

 There’s so many things. [Laugh] You don’t get to this age and, go man if I was 25 and knew what I knew today but I would say, I would go with, follow your head not your heart. This one is a tough one for me because I’m a big softie, I’m a very caring and a very giving person and there are times when I should have followed my head and it would have been a whole lot less painful. [Laugh] but in the end everything turns out the way that it’s supposed to and not—it’s a great advice from my dad. My dad has always said, “Things happen the way that they’re supposed to.” So, listen to your head not your heart. 

 

Annette 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? 

 

First of all, I’d like to say, thank you Jim, I really appreciate you for inviting me to participate, this has been a lot of fun it’s been great. I’m always happy to catch up with you and chat with you. Couple of different ways, my blog is www.cx-journey.com or on Twitter@annettefranz or Twitter@cxjourney. 

 

Annette Franz, 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 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.

 

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