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Cort Dial - Heretics to Heroes: A Memoir on Modern Leadership

137: Cort Dial: You’re not telling me the whole story

Cort Dial Show Notes Page

Cort Dial was working with the leaders on a capital project in Saudi Arabia. 3 years and 8 million man-hours where required to build this project. Cort asked the supervisors to go all in and sign up to build the project without harming anyone. After months of being told no, Cort had a break through and got over the hump.

Cort Dial is a native Texan, born and raised in Houston and living today in Austin, Texas with his wife Julie, their children and grandchildren.

Cort was the third of four boys whose parents were happily married until their deaths. Cort’s dad was a fire fighter and his mom was a homemaker. His family is Catholic, however, Cort attended public schools where he excelled in basketball and golf.

When Cort was 15, his family moved to a golfing community in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma where Cort spent his days playing golf, fishing and swimming with his brothers and friends. Cort met his wife of nearly 40 years in high school and they were married two weeks after he graduated from Oklahoma State University where he majored in engineering.

He immediately joined Monsanto Chemical Company where he rose through the ranks and ultimately retired while in the corporate staff after 14 years. Ever since, Cort has been the sole proprietor of Cort Dial Consulting, LLC.

Shaped by the firsthand life and death stakes of his early career as an engineer in eight different chemical plants, Cort developed a profound commitment to “the health, safety and wellbeing of the men and women who design, build, operate and maintain our world.” That commitment has guided Cort most of his adult life and is the source of his belief that “business results are best produced through people, not systems or equipment.”

The Dial clan owns and operates two businesses grounded in a simple principle, “You’ve reached the summit of leadership when you can create extraordinary results while caring for people.” Cort’s consulting practice specializes in what he calls “performance transformation” and his unique approach to leadership he calls “All-In™ Leadership”.

The family’s other business, Trent Reynolds Player Development, is led and managed by Cort’s son-in-law, Trent and his wife Katy, is a youth baseball development enterprise whose guiding mantra is “Baseball is for a season, character is for life.” Katy and Trent are the parents of Cort and Julie’s grandsons Max and Jake. Cort’s son, Charlie, is a rising professional golfer making the long journey to the professional tour.

Today, Cort spends his days in Austin writing and teaching others his methodology. He is the author the Amazon Top 10 business book, Heretics to Heroes: A Memoir on Modern Leadership; named “The Best Business Book of 2016” by Canada’s Globe and Mail.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“What forms a leader is a circumstance, a coach, and an individual that wants to develop.” -Cort Dial Click to Tweet

“There has to be a big game that everyone’s excited about playing.” -Cort Dial Click to Tweet 

“In our society, if you can’t touch or feel it, it isn’t valued.” -Cort Dial Click to Tweet 

“The most important thing for business performance can’t be quantified.” -Cort Dial Click to Tweet 

“By nature, we don’t follow procedures or anything, unless there’s good reason.” -Cort Dial Click to Tweet 

“Give people a good reason to come to work every day, passionate about what’s going on.” -Cort Dial Click to Tweet 

“Let’s start working in the self and social fields.” -Cort Dial Click to Tweet 

“If you create five conditions within your organization, people will give you a good rating.” -Cort Dial Click to Tweet 

“It’s built in our DNA to be part of a group.” -Cort Dial Click to Tweet 

“Give people opportunities to grow and develop, but only in service of the mission and vision.” -Cort Dial Click to Tweet 

“No organization or individual can outperform their self-image.” -Cort Dial Click to Tweet 

“In our society, we tend to turn human beings into its. And in reality, they’re thou’s.” -Cort Dial Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Cort Dial was working with the leaders on a capital project in Saudi Arabia. 3 years and 8 million man-hours where required to build this project. Cort asked the supervisors to go all in and sign up to build the project without harming anyone. After months of being told no, Cort had a break through and got over the hump.

Advice for others

Treat others as sacred human beings, instead of its.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Trying to find others to help as clients.

Best Leadership Advice

Most things that are important for performance can’t be measured.

Secret to Success

Knowing what needed to be said or asked and being willing to ask it.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

The ability to interpret circumstances that best serve the people I’m leading.

Recommended Reading

Heretics to Heroes: A Memoir on Modern Leadership

Inspirational Presence: The Art of Transformational Leadership

Contacting Cort Dial

Website: http://www.cortdial.com/fastleader

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CortDial

Resources and Show Mentions

Increase Employee Engagement and Workplace Culture

Empathy Mapping

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

 

Show Transcript: 

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

137: Cort Dial: You’re not telling me the whole story

 

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 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 improved customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get over your emotional hump now by going to empathymapping.com to learn more. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who likes to lay it on the line but does it with humility. Cort Dial is a native Texan born and raised in Houston and living in Austin, Texas with his wife Julie their grandchildren and children. Cort was a third of four boys whose parents were happily married until their deaths. Cort’s dad was a firefighter and his mom was a homemaker. His family is Catholic however Cort attended public schools where he excelled in basketball and golf. When Cort was 15 his family moved to a golfing community in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma where Cort spent his days playing golf, fishing, swimming with his brothers and friends. 

 

Cort met his wife of nearly 40 years in high school and they were married two weeks after he graduated from Oklahoma State University where he majored in engineering. He immediately joined Monsanto Chemical Company where he rose through the ranks and ultimately retired while in the corporate staff after 14 years. Ever since Cort has been the sole proprietor of Cort Dial consulting. Shaped by the firsthand life-and-death stakes of his early career as an engineer in eight different chemical plants, Cort developed a profound commitment to the health, safety and well-being of the men and women who design, build, operate and maintain our world. That commitment has guided Cort most of his adult life and is the source of his belief that business results are best produced through people not systems or equipment. 

 

The Dial clan owns and operates two businesses grounded in a simple principle, we’ve reached the summit of leadership when you can create extraordinary results while caring for people. Cort’s consulting practice specializes in what he calls performance transformation and his unique approach to leadership he calls all-in leadership. The family’s other business Trent Reynolds player development has led and managed by Cort’s son-in-law. Trent and his wife Katie is a youth baseball development enterprise whose guiding mantra is, “Baseball is for a season character is for life.” Katie and Trent are the parents of Cort and Julie’s grandsons Max and Jake. Cort’s son Charlie is a rising professional golfer making the long journey to the professional tour. Today Cort spends his days in Austin writing and teaching others his methodology. He is the author of the Amazon top ten business book—Heretics to Heroes-A Memoir of Modern Leadership named the best business book of 2016 by Canada’s Globe and Mail. Cort Dial are you ready to help us get over the hump? 

 

Cort Dial:  Yes I am Jim. 

 

Jim Rembach:   And I’m glad you’re here. Now, for everybody who isn’t aware we actually had a little bit of an issue with our first interviews so this is a redo and I want to thank Cort for coming back and actually helping us make sure that we had a good recording because the information that he actually provides both in his book and just in his in his teaching is very valuable to all of us and has a very unique perspective. So, Cort, I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you share with us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better.

 

Cort Dial:  My passion is to help leaders capture the hearts and minds of their people and then focus that energy on whatever their business imperatives are. And right now I just completed a six year engagement with a large company and you know I’m excited about who’s around the next corner, who’s the next individual leader that I’m going to be coaching.

 

Jim Rembach:   I think you bring up a really interesting point when you mention and you talk about a six year journey. People oftentimes think that, hey just go to a training session or let’s just have a two-day or three-day workshop and everybody’s going to be better at communicating and connecting but that’s just not how it works, does it? 

 

Cort Dial:  No. What I believe forms of leader is a circumstance, a coach, and an individual who wants to grow and develop into extraordinary human being, extraordinary leader those three things together are what I look for. I bring the coaching I look for the circumstance and I look for the leader. In the case of this recent six years it was a gentleman who was in charge of deep water drilling, offshore in Gulf of Mexico and if you’re we’re what’s happened out there with the horizon disaster and then dropping oil prices he had a lot to do to change his organization make it profitable.

 

Jim Rembach:   There’s a whole lot of challenges when you start talking about that type of business and that type of industry and the different level of I guess you’d say people different types of organizations have everything from the day laborer or the laborer to very sophisticated and complex skill sets and jobs and education. So, when you start thinking about all of that how does an organization bring those multi different groups together?

 

Cort Dial:  Well there has to be a big game that everyone’s excited about playing and that’s one of the key jobs I believe that the leader is to articulate the vision if you will the big game were a lot to playing here. And in the case of this gentleman his big game was we got to be able to drill every well on budget on time the first time which has never been done in the industry in the Gulf of Mexico and that was a huge game for everyone. And like you say in his organization he has top one percentage from Stanford engineers and then he has people with probably an eighth grade education out on his rigs and everyone in between. Ultimately they were able to do that for months and saved him about close to million dollars and demonstrated the corporation, hey this is still a viable business. 

 

Jim Rembach:   When I started reading Heretics to Heroes and scanning over it– first of all it’s a really different and interesting approach that you’ve taken with writing that book because it’s more in the first person than it is talking about theory and ideas and maybe even practices and case studies about other companies but this was your life.

 

Cort Dial:  Yeah it’s essentially a nonfiction novel the way I look at it and that’s what I tried to do. I tried to have people follow my journey development and then once I reached the point where I was capable of coaching others what does it look like when I coach these others and I wanted to put people in the room when outstanding, coaching an extraordinary leadership was going on have and see and feel and hear what it looks like. And the feedback I’ve gotten on the book is—and even the gentleman who selected as a best book of the year is they love it because it touches them so much and affects him emotionally and inspires him so much.

 

Jim Rembach:   Definitely. For me oftentimes we think about in certain industries certain job types and the people who oftentimes you know fill those particular roles and when you start thinking about engineers, accountants, lawyers a lot of times they aren’t perceived as being touchy-feely people oriented type of folks and so their leadership comes across as very structured and very distant but you actually kind of changed that type of a characteristic or even a stereotype within these organizations and that’s what’s made the difference.

 

Cort Dial:  Yes. Well in our society in general if you can’t touch and feel it isn’t valued. What is the mantra in most businesses? If you can’t measure, you can’t manage it. And one of the first lessons I learned as a young man I was fortunate to work for the gentleman named Dr. Edwards Steming who was pretty famous in the 80’s and he said to me once, Cort the things that are most important for business performance can’t be quantified. And that started me thinking about what does he mean by that? So, that’s what’s missing in most organizations. They have great systems and programs and processes and they know all the behaviors that need to be exhibited in order to perform well it’s just getting people to do it is a challenge. By nature we don’t follow procedures we don’t follow anything unless there’s a good reason for doing it that’s the leaders job. Whoever’s at the top of any organization one of your main functions is to give people a good reason to come to work every day, passionate about what’s going on and ready to behave in the ways that we need to behave to perform.

 

Jim Rembach:   One of the stories that you talked about or situations, experiences I guess I should say, in the book is you introduce something that I just never heard before and correct me if I’m not pronouncing a correct but that was it Inshallah 

 

Cort Dial:  Mmm-hmm, Inshallah.

 

Jim Rembach:   Inshallah. Tell us about where that came about for you?

 

Cort Dial:  Well one of the things a leader was putting in front of a major capital project over in Saudi Arabia was that we’re going to build this thing we’re getting ready to build. Work three years, millions of man-hours and we’re not going to harm a single person and that anyone who’s done that type of work knows that’s impossible but that’s why it was such a big game. And I was working with the supervision of the initial supervisors, initial supervisors on that project because it’s always important to get the core there before anyone else shows up. And their answer to my question, my invitation was, can you sign up to build this thing without harming anyone was no for months. And they kept throwing this thing called Inshallah in my face which is a concept over there which essentially the way they put it was it’s in God’s hands we don’t have any control over whether anybody gets hurt. Ultimately I found that that wasn’t actually what Inshallah meant means is with my hard work and God willing it will happen, that’s me paraphrasing it and that’s what I was taught. I went to one of the mosques in Bahrain and met with a teacher there and he helped me understand it. When I went back and confronted these guys and said, hey you’re not telling me the whole story ultimately they committed to it and what they came to realize was it wasn’t that we need a new programs or systems we needed to start treating these men, and I say men because in Saudi there were no women, we need to start treating these men’s as we would any loved one look after them the way we would our own sons and think like that. Ultimately they worked million man-hours and didn’t have a single person leave the project for any medical attention which is impossible but they did it. And when you ask them why they did it? How did they do it? They’ll tell you because I was a father. I became a father I was much more than a supervisor I was a father.

 

Jim Rembach:   When you start thinking about the different generations that are in the workplace thinking also about how these generations have been brought up even going back to the whole, I have a day laborer it’s a sixth eighth grade education all the way up to the Stanford, Doctor and Engineering you have a situation where connecting to those people at that deeper level is not an easy task and so I know you talk about the big game but you also mentioned something about the five conditions of performance, how does all of that come into play so that that collaboration and that connection at a significantly deeper level than just, hey here’s my title and here’s my job responsibilities take place. 

 

Cort Dial:  A lot of times leaders will ask me, okay how do I capture the hearts and minds of people? And because what we really want them to do is stop working and when I call the systems and behavior fields not stop but don’t put any more investment in there you put enough in there let’s start working in what I call the self and social fields and that’s what’s going on inside of people in between people the social constructs in an organization. And so I I’ve developed years ago this sort of quick fixers, quick start up approach and basically you will create five conditions in the organization people will give you well beyond what if they normally give you to get a good rating and keep the boss happy. And those five things are a big game to play their commitment and confidence that we’re going to win this game especially confidence and commitment that the leader has. A sense of belonging, it’s built in our DNA to want to be part of a group and belong to a group throughout all our evolution if we were excluded from the group or excluded from the leader it meant death and so psychologically we are very hungry for belonging. People are looking for opportunity to grow and develop especially these newer generations coming in but what’s important is to give people those opportunities but only if they’re in service to the mission and the vision. And then to work on people’s positive—give them a positive self-image no organization or individual can outperform their self-image. 

 

So for example, what I was working on with those men over there was changing who they were being. Who they were being were like you said early accountants they were they were using the predictive mechanical part of their brain to say I know this is impossible I had all my experiences we can’t do this without hurting people, people die when you build things like this. And have them access another part of the brain we have which is the part that loves and cares and has concerned and can see the impossible and can say I don’t care if it’s impossible my son is not going to get hurt. I was trying to pull that out of them and has since have them shift on who they were being from being like mechanical predictors to human beings. You said it’s tough to access these things it’s actually very easy and simple if you just become a human being and stop being a manager stop being a supervisor and start looking across at this other human being and interact with them as if you’re interacting with something sacred a sacred being. And in our society we tend to turn human beings into it’s and in reality they’re thou’s and if you have thou relationship to all the different human beings you come in contact with you’ll have a profound effect on their hearts and minds.

 

Jim Rembach:   You bring up a really interesting point, thanks for sharing that. There’s things that kind of hit me and one of the things that you bet I think about, and I kind of ran into this the other day just at the grocery store, some people you just can’t make that connection with and they just refuse to give it back even though if you keep giving it and giving it you’re just not going to get it in return. So, when I start thinking about an organization and I have multiple thou’s throughout the organization is that there’s some who are just going to—I absolutely refuse to participate and engage with that. What do then especially if they’re in a key role?

 

Cort Dial:  Well, if they’re in a key role you either need to move them into a more of a single contributor role definitely get them out of a leadership role or in most cases they will remove themselves. People don’t like to work in an organization where everyone’s going this direction and excited about it I’m one of the few that isn’t. The other thing I share with leaders is don’t expect everybody to sign up immediately. When you work with people in the way that we were talking about here you’re basically creating a psychological container with your vision and with your leadership that you’re putting people in. It’s like popping popcorn, you put the kernels in there those are the people your vision the future you’re inviting them to become part of is the actual popper and you’re the source of heat as a leader and if you do this well some of the kernels are going to pop. But there isn’t any popcorn popper, there’s some kernels of pop early some will take later and some that never pop, so, they expect everyone to pop that’s not going to happen. There’s certain strategies for treating all those different groups as they slowly start to sign up and get enrolled in what you’re inviting them to sign up for.

 

Jim Rembach:  I think that’s a great analogy. For I started visualizing all that and it totally makes sense in it. That is kind of the way it happens, I mean it’s simplistic in it’s vision but I mean that is what occurs. 

 

Cort Dial:  The people that resist to change like this are very useful because they’ll point out everything you need to overcome all the challenges all the reasons why it can’t happen and that’s essentially what you’re going deal with. Ultimately you want them and you want to guide them through these different stages ultimately into exploring your invitation and then you can’t force anyone to say yes so there is no choice so as a leader you have to be perfectly okay with anyone saying no thank you. However as you said earlier if some of them are in critical positions if they can’t find a way to say yes then they need to be moved or reassigned or whatever.

 

Jim Rembach:   So without a doubt when we’re starting to talk about all of this especially the length of the journey that’s necessary and the effort and the activity that needs to go involved there’s a whole lot of an emotion we need in order to be able to pull this off. One of the ways that we look for that on the show is through quotes and your book is just loaded with quotes for sure but is there one or two that kind of stands out to you that you can share?

 

Cort Dial:  I guess the one that I always go back to is that, you can’t quantify, Dr. Deming. What he basically said was, young man as you mature you’re going to come to realize that the things that are most important for safety, quality, productivity in any business result or human endeavor cannot be quantified. And that hit me like a ton of bricks and it caused me to begin a journey that I’ve been on ever since which is what are all these things that you can’t count you can’t see they don’t exist in time and space but I have a profound effect on our performance? 

 

Jim Rembach:  That is so deep and so profound in so many different ways. I think I kind of like what you’ve really alluded to with it as well is that it’s a lifelong journey in order to figure all that out and being mindful. I guess that’s where it starts and like you even said a moment ago is that it’s the whole self-peace all those things that start with me. 

 

Cort Dial:  Especially in a world that most people see this stuff as I’ve had it people call it psychobabble. We’ve all grown up in this world where if it doesn’t exist in time and space it isn’t real that’s it through the education system and through all the business. It’s funny though if you go back a few hundred years just the opposite was true where the mystical the spiritual was all that mattered and everything science was evil. So all I’m all I’m trying to do is, hey let’s bring this other half back into its rightful place. I’m not saying the mechanical and the system’s behaviors aren’t important, absolutely critical. As my dad used to say this an old Texas saying, you’re half-ass which ever cheek you’re missing. I’m not suggesting we stop doing the things we’re doing but we have to start learning how to access this other half of the equation and those who do leave other people in the dusk perform at a level no one ever thought was possible.

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a great point. I know with the things that you’re doing with your work the book trying to develop—mentor others and really make us all in something that more people can actually participate in but—grandkids got a lot of things going on, what’s one of your goals?

 

Cort Dial:  One of my goals is to write a second book which is about the—how to do what I do. I’ve created this thing I’m calling a summit which has captured the entire process and all the materials involved. I’m now hosting these small very groups to come spend a week and meet with me in Austin and learn how to do what I do. People who would attend that are like people that are leading a major change in an organization or coaches those type of folks. And then the second big thing as I said I’m working on is writing a second book because a lot of people have loved the book and said, now how do I do what I’ve read about in that book? 

 

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 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 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 legion, it’s time the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Cort, 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 are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Cort Dial, are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Cort Dial:  I am ready. 

 

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

 

Cort Dial:  I’ve sort of been spoiled because I’ve never had to look for clients and now I’m trying to figure out how do you reach this broader audience and give away in a sense give to others all that I’ve created over the years. 

 

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

 

Cort Dial:  We already talked about it. Most things that performance can’t be measured.

 

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

 

Cort Dial:  Because I had this knack of knowing what needed to be said it was dying to be said or asked at the moment and I was willing to ask it. 

 

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

 

Cort Dial:  The ability to interpret circumstances in the way that best serve me best serve the people I’m leading.

 

Jim Rembach:   What would be one book you’d recommend to our listeners, it could be from any genre, of course we’re going to put a link to, Heretics to Heroes on your show notes page as well.

 

Cort Dial:  Inspirational Presence is by a gentleman named Jeff Evans.

 

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/cortdial. Okay, Cort, 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? 

 

Cort Dial:  Storytelling. Because it affects people emotionally captures their hearts and minds.

 

Jim Rembach:   Cort 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? 

 

Cort Dial:  Yes. I’ve actually created a landing page on my website, it’s cortdial.com/fastleader and that will tell them everything about me. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Cort Dial 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 thefastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

[/expand]

 

136: Keith Pearce: That’s probably where I grew up the most

Keith Pearce Show Notes Page

Keith Pearce was a young manager working for a company that was in decline while living in Europe. He was given the corporate script to read as he told employees they no longer had a job. He practiced his speech and then he had to look people in the eye. That’s when his plan required a change.

Keith was born in Colorado Springs, CO the son of a career Air Force officer – and raised with the dual identities of a southerner from his father’s roots in North Central Florida and a New England identity from his mother’s roots in Boston.  The youngest of 3, the values of family first, serving others, supporting those less fortunate and hard work were consistent themes of the Pearce household.  This showed up in the form of weekend chores, a home environment run with military discipline, and sports and work participation from very early ages.  At 13, Keith had his first job bussing tables at Perkins Restaurant.  He’s lived in eleven different states and two different countries from his upbringing and career.

For over twenty years Keith Pearce has pursued a passion for customer service and technology — working in multiple facets of the service industry to help companies realize the benefits of great service. At Siemens, he worked in sales and marketing to grow the market for its call center solutions. At start-up SpeechWorks, he helped create the initial market for speech recognition software, working in business consulting and marketing. While at contact center software leader Genesys, Keith ran EMEA marketing from Paris, France before leading the company’s solution and corporate marketing functions.

In his current role as Vice President of Product Marketing at Salesforce, he continues to pursue his passion for the service industry, and the service trailblazers who work in it, by emphasizing the opportunity for business leaders to connect with their customers in a whole new way — while creating awareness for the company’s leading Service Cloud solution. He is a frequent speaker, blogger and commentator on how technology is changing the way companies and their customers communicate.

Keith holds degrees from the University of Florida and Georgetown University.  He lives in Moraga, CA with his wife, a kindergarten teacher, and two boys, ages 13 and 16.  The legacy he is proud to leave behind is consistent with what he enjoyed from his early upbringing: serve others, leaves things better than you found them, be kind, show compassion, be a global citizen and, more than anything, stay humble.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“There’s various ways people can serve; we’re working in customer service.” -Keith Pearce Click to Tweet

“The fundamental thing in business is serve customers.” -Keith Pearce Click to Tweet 

“Bells and whistles can only appease for so long.” -Keith Pearce Click to Tweet 

“For a company to differentiate itself, it isn’t by bells and whistles.” -Keith Pearce Click to Tweet 

“It’s very hard to beat a great and consistent customer experience.” -Keith Pearce Click to Tweet 

“Get into a relationship thinking about long-term value for both.” -Keith Pearce Click to Tweet 

“Products are customized with services and elevated to experiences.” -Keith Pearce Click to Tweet 

“How do you communicate change in different terms than your own narrative?” -Keith Pearce Click to Tweet 

“Sometimes there’s no good way to deliver bad news.” -Keith Pearce Click to Tweet 

“We fall into patterns as people and look up, and something tragic happens.” -Keith Pearce Click to Tweet 

“You’re serving people, not a machine or computer.” -Keith Pearce Click to Tweet 

“You get closer to having it figured out by taking someone else’s perspective.” -Keith Pearce Click to Tweet 

“Everyone has something they do better than you.” -Keith Pearce Click to Tweet 

“The more you think you’ve got it all figured out, the more trouble you’re in.” -Keith Pearce Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Keith Pearce was a young manager working for a company that was in decline while living in Europe. He was given the corporate script to read as he told employees they no longer had a job. He practiced his speech and then he had to look people in the eye. That’s when his plan required a change.

Advice for others

Wait to talk and learn others points of views.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

More self-awareness.

Best Leadership Advice

Work hard.

Secret to Success

Work hard.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

Listening.

Recommended Reading

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Contacting Keith Pearce

email: pistolprce [at] yahoo.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pistolprce

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

Resources and Show Mentions

10 Steps to a Better agent Career Path

Increase Employee Engagement and Workplace Culture

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

 

Show Transcript: 

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

136: Keith Pearce: That’s probably where I grew up the most

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.

 

Jim Rembach:   Welcome Fast Leader legion. Today’s episode was actually recorded on location at call center weekend Las Vegas. We’re at the Mirage Hotel and had an opportunity to do it in front of a live audience at the event. I hope you enjoy this interview. And now on to the interview with Keith Pearce. 

 

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Okay, Fast Leader legion today I am really excited because I have somebody on the show today who can give us a global perspective of what is like to work in the contact center customer experience space. Keith Pearce was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A son of a career Air Force officer and raised with dual identities of a southerner from his father’s roots in North Central Florida and a New England identity from his mother’s roots in Boston.  The youngest of 3, the values of family first, serving others, supporting those less fortunate and hard work were consistent themes of the Pearce household.  This showed up in the form of weekend chores, a home environment run with military discipline, and sports and work participation from very early ages.  At 13, Keith had his first job bussing tables at Perkins Restaurant.  He’s lived in eleven different states and two different countries from his upbringing and career. 

 

For over twenty years Keith Pearce has pursued a passion for customer service and technology — working in multiple facets of the service industry to help companies realize the benefits of great service. At Siemens, he worked in sales and marketing to grow the market for its call center solutions. At start-up, SpeechWorks, he helped create the initial market for speech recognition software, working in business consulting and marketing. While at contact center software leader Genesys, Keith ran EMEA marketing from Paris, France before leading the company’s solution and corporate marketing functions.

In his current role as Vice President of Product Marketing at Salesforce, he continues to pursue his passion for the service industry, and the service trailblazers who work in it, by emphasizing the opportunity for business leaders to connect with their customers in a whole new way — while creating awareness for the company’s leading Service Cloud solution. He is a frequent speaker, blogger and commentator on how technology is changing the way companies and their customers communicate. Keith holds degrees from the University of Florida and Georgetown University.  He lives in Moraga, CA with his wife, a kindergarten teacher, and two boys, ages 13 and 16.  The legacy he is proud to leave behind is consistent with what he enjoyed from his early upbringing: serve others, leave things better than you found them, be kind, show compassion, be a global citizen and, more than anything, stay humble. Keith Pearce, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Keith Pearce:   I am. I’m ready to try this, thank you.

Jim Rembach:  I appreciate it your being here. Now, I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better.

Keith Pearce:   I’m very passionate about this area of customer service, customer experience. I didn’t choose this career deliberately to go into. And as you read my father came from military background up to the ends of my family but there are various ways that you can serve whether it’s support in government in the military or working in this industry, customer service. And for me I just get a lot of pride at helping people it makes us feel good. We help people solve problem speed that—customer service department, retail department anywhere you interact with the customers for me that’s sort of the innate and just what I love to do.

Jim Rembach:  Thanks for sharing that. You bring up a really interesting point because oftentimes people are almost ashamed to say that they work in the contact center industry. But based on what you were just saying and even your family upbringing it’s actually a quite noble profession. 

Keith Pearce:   I think it’s extremely noble. I think it’s kind of interesting with all the pride and innovation to see the companies all of this strategy, all the smart CEO’s the fundamental thing some of the stalwarts in business start as Henry Ford’s and Walden on and on it’s just to serve customers. And that ethos I think we got away from when we rushed to kind of launch new products and you price promotions and things like that sensing how it keeps them around. When they started customer service customer experience did that at one time as a differentiator for business. A lot of people did very well felt the industries innovated with that sort of (5:00 inaudible) what they did.

Jim Rembach:  I can only imagine too looking at your background and experience in that when you start talking about products and solutions many years ago it used to be the whole features and benefit things this are our bells and our whistles and when you start looking at the buyer of today, are they still looking for the bells and whistles? Or are they looking for something different? 

Keith Pearce:   I think they’re looking for the experience, the whole experience and they realize the bells and whistles are—they can only last so long and then sort of piece what they’re looking for. The thing that’s consistently sustainable for company to differentiate itself aren’t bells and whistles—they’ll have the same look for an iPhone since the iPhone watches. If they want a competitive interest rate another bank will have it just literally within days sometimes within hours that’s where technology works best they’re able to do that but it’s very hard to be the great consistent customer experience and if you can deliver on that that differentiate in long term. 

Jim Rembach:   So there used to be unless we’ve heard—when you’re starting about domestic and international you have that global experience and exposure with what you do, what big differences do you see globally when you start talking about the experience and the service piece? 

Keith Pearce:   It’s interesting having lived in Europe for almost third of my life and travel a lot there is a change in the dynamic between the company where provider and customer outside the working area context. In some places you have to take all of the wall—so that being a good customer and not just having when can expectations are going to be serve the same way you’re served in U in  parts of your Europe for example. Some of that speaks to their culture and the heritage and frankly but—we went to a shop in France people are tripping over themselves to serve you, why? In their society you’re in their home and they’re very proud of what they have. So the greeting that you make to the shopkeeper to acknowledge you’re in their home is really important it diffuses some of the tension a lot of Americans receive when they make bad sounds from the French. And I just know new flat with French If you know how to get service there the best customer experiences and moments I’ve ever had. In France right, and most of the (7:20 inaudible) have a very different view and opinion of that, they’re arrogant, they’re snobs, you’re in their home, you’re in their country if you make some basic efforts to show that you appreciate their things what they’re providing the return you get is just incredible. 

Jim Rembach:  For me, I’m certified in emotional intelligence and the whole employee engagement piece and the leadership is important component and when you start thinking about a client-vendor relationship I’ve heard where you think about the EMEA market specifically there’s a whole different way that business is done that is absolutely more heavy on the relationship than we experience here tell us more about that?

Keith Pearce:   I think back to the culture and the heritage I think that general statement but you know Americans are—maybe our geography, we’re engage in shorter relationship it seems like just want to move from one to another quickly. In Europe, my experience is they have eager relationships for longer amount of time because it’s harder to really make a relationship and then have one that is more sustained. And I think that’s the way they view customer relationship as well once you have a customer that’s like a member of the family you treat them with all the dignity sickled with that all the respect, courtesy and openness. Whereas in the American side at least in perspective it’s more of what are you trying to get out of a relationship? What are you finding? And often those conditions are I think it’s just fin the meaning in a relationship and next to sustainable. 

Jim Rembach:  So when you start thinking about overall value on both sides of the purchase, whether it’s the client’s side and the actual vendor side and the relationship being such an important component. When you start thinking about the differences globally, what can we learn here in the States that others are doing in order to help us get more value out of the relationship that we have with our vendors? 

Keith Pearce:   Yeah, I think it’s probably the move from sort of transactional—what can I sell you now? How can I move to the other—you don’t have to look very far in the last couple of months to see what kind of trouble like can be things in you name it. Companies like Uber reputations they have where they’re going to exploit the customer somehow and that might not be overt initially that might be something you have to dig for but that kind of bad behavior just kind of has a way of coming on the roost just like. So, I think if you begin a relationship thinking about long term value of creation for both in that how do I transact? How do I sell you the next thing till I’ve really deliver for what I set? How do I perform my promise as a vendor for a client? For me those are the kind of relationship customers are looking for today what they’re willing to pay more for. It doesn’t only show up on the Balance Sheet on the first quarter or the second quarter in the first year than long term. It’s interesting if (10:27 inaudible)their business model hasn’t change in a long time, put customers first do everything you can to serve the customer, probably read the books about the things they do it’s just old fashioned ethos. It’s moving into the digital, yes, but people still hang on premium for goods there and probably stay because of that service and that relationship.

Jim Rembach:  If you’re going to give somebody some advice who was looking for a solution and they have a mindset like, hey, I’m going to look and have everybody just kind of compete and bid against each other, who would you tell that type of person? 

Keith Pearce:   I think it depends on the industry that you’re in but I just don’t think you’re setting yourself up for long term value of creation or gain if you do that, If you’re engaged in that kind of transaction. It depends on the industry but if you’re trying to sell a commodity then maybe that makes sense. As long as (11:20 inaudible) it doesn’t matter where they comes from that’s being (11:23 inaudible). Try to sell something that’s got value and background and has a service background. We’re in an experience economy where goods and products are customized and services and I think they’re elevated to experiences. That doesn’t translate across every industry but in main stream industry is where the goods are very hard to distinguish from each other this is so easy to replicate it but it’s the overall experience (11:49 inaudible).

Jim Rembach:  So when you start thinking about when you came onboard with Salesforce you inherited quite (11:56 inaudible) and so when you look at all of the things that you had in front of you what was the thing that you actually addressed first?

Keith Pearce:   We’re still addressing it’s the awareness that Salesforce has a service solution. Salesforce by our name we’re synonymous with sales. And the company starts 17 years ago as a cloud base provider, an Internet service for sales persons. Our sales people maintain our contact list within our forecast, grow the pipeline identify leads in that system. That suppose something is challenge whenever there’s opportunity because it’s not a name in the name and we do service and we’re not going to change the name of the service force right away. So that’s the biggest challenge how do you take a company that’s known for Salesforce automation, that does great things around marketing and elevate this great service  solution that we have that not enough people of those bounds are using. 

Jim Rembach:  Oftentimes, they talk about the disconnect between sales and service in organization a situations where—this is just an example, sales roll a promise and then services unable to deliver and the marketing messages is very convoluting. So when you start thinking about your relationship with your sales organization, how do you create a tighter bond and bridge to let you have more success?

Keith Pearce:   Yeah, it’s now in Australia but it is it’s all about customer success. What we’re selling is a subscription it’s not like a subscription of a magazine. If the customers like they can cancel the subscription so that business model requires you to make customers successful for their own. So, that for me is part of real compelling nature of foul economics but also putting customers at the center breaking out that wall. There’s a paragon we’ve talked about earlier, I don’t have the name of the company that was selling accounts to customer they didn’t know I have, why? Because it worked and the shareholders wanted to see more cross central activity, you know exactly what we’re talking about and it’s time we need to know. So short term gain, yeah, they knock down the stock price? Yeah, did that make some people a couple more hundred million dollars (13:56 inaudible)? Sure (13:59 inaudible) and a bunch of sold accounts to customer if they didn’t know they had one they didn’t know they want. So, their transformation is hard with learn in line with sales and service where it’s not about what did I sell it’s like how can I provide value in a relationship and how do we grow that together at the time. 

Jim Rembach:   So when you start thinking about your role within Salesforce as an organization and what you’re trying to do as service cloud and you look at the competitive landscape, which like you were saying is kind of hard to tell your solution providers from one to the next, what about Salesforce from a culture-perspective and a relationship-perspective sets you apart from the rest?

Keith Pearce:   It’s the ethos of customer success. When you come to our bench, yes, there’s the grandstanding every company does having their evangelist talking about where the technology is going, we do that great, but everything we deal is constant the customer talking about how to use it. So we go and qualify the little amount about having a customer sort of bouncing for it and talking about how they’re using it how it’s saving the money or how investment and that’s I think a reflection of that model of customer’s success. You don’t have that if you don’t have this ethos of make every customer successful. And you don’t have to come to work every day thinking about how we’re going to make customer satisfied. We hear that a lot that and that clings on a different meaning when someone will turn you off like that.

Jim Rembach:   So when we start talking about this industry that we’re in, when we start talking about the buy- sell the vendor relationship climate all those things there’s a lot of passion with that. One of the things we look at on the show are quotes because a lot of times they can kind of give us the energy, is there a quote that you can share?

Keith Pearce:   Yeah, it’s interesting you ask that because I didn’t workshop living in the side that the workshop session it falls on Tuesday, the day we’re together now. I use this quote from Socrates of ancient Greece which is—the secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new. That’s one that have meaning to me on my personal level, business relationship level where we talked about before but also in the context of where the system is going and change. If you think about change in those terms I’d say a long time ago and still just down until today. 

Jim Rembach:   Definitely it carries on for and will forever till the ends of days as they say. I started looking at your background a look at the companies that you work with the moving around you had a whole lot of experiences for certain but you’ve also had probably a lot of humps to get over. Is there one that you could share with us?

Keith Pearce:   Yeah. I think about when I was in Europe and I was working for a company that was in decline and was clear to everyone. And so that isn’t always a pretty environment to walk and do every day when you know you got to make tough decisions. At a fairly young age where I have to make tough decisions about who’s going to be on the team moving forward and who wasn’t? The way people embrace change or don’t can create challenges from end at such fairly young man at that time. That learning from how you communicate change and put them in context for people in different terms than what is your own (17:24 inaudible) You want to practice you’re own speech and this is going to be the best case for everyone is that it doesn’t always translate, it’s doesn’t always flow over say that sort of step out of your shoes and think of that from other people’s perspective helps me pack it down. And sometimes there is no way to deliver good news but now I think seeing change from other people’s perspective than your own. You get the script from the company to read and yet when you’re looking somebody in the eye you have to tell them this stuff as exactly as it was that’s when you can grow up and that’s when you really get humbled about change.

Jim Rembach:   So when you start thinking about those times are really, like you said they are really challenging, but can you think about one of those interactions that kind of stands out with you that you could share with us?

Keith Pearce:   Yeah, I think part of the downsizing and having to tell people they don’t have a job anymore. In European context there’s a different, there’s an informant from my—sense versus this decision the company has made there’s not so much from recognition with that. So, I think in going through that and having to have those conversations with people and helping people understand how their talents and skills quite outside of where they were already. I went from—I’m going to start with this script and everything else will be great to really help and understand if a person will when everyone I was talking to how this would impact them and how their skills will be used in another places and ways. And it just getting beyond the whole (19:03 inaudible) and having human conversations and human interactions and taken off the blinders if you will and looking people in the eye and having emotional intelligence. That’s where I grieve the most beside understanding self-awareness it isn’t about me it’s about them, so how do I put myself in that point.

Jim Rembach:   I think you bring up an interesting point because I know for me I haven’t had those conversations before knowing that I was probably one of those that was going to be affected as well.  When you start thinking about making that separation and also deviating from the script in order to get real inhuman, how do you know when to do that? 

Keith Pearce:   I think for me it was just framed around what do people really want to do? It’s interesting people will follow patterns. We look up something tragic happens, a job lost is a tragic event it was like a death. Having a conversation around—is this what you decide yourself to do when you’re growing up? Is this what you really want to do? It’s interesting because you have some transform analysis of people where they realize, you know what I’ve got no (20:19 inaudible) I got no pattern the passions not there never really was it was there and it’s gone. So where is the passion? In all of those things that made people feel fulfilled and happy and gratified I found a line to what their passionate about doing. Sometimes you can make it really good living like that or sometimes you have to make a lifestyle change those are some of the conversations that I went through. And probably some of the proudest things that I’ve done because humans and the people’s reaction always been where I—is most passionate about as far right now in this industry is observe people not observe machine or computer. When you can be instrumental on how can somebody find that true and event that maybe didn’t plan for and then you can see them just grow and foster and (21:11 inaudible) that’s great and got a lot of pride (21:15 inaudible) 

Jim Rembach:   For me as a parent of three kids I can also connect that to home as well. I like to see that type of growth and people spread their wings and being able to exceed their own expectation and help them do that and find myself doing the same thing for my kids. So when you start looking at all of the things that you have on your plate, of course make sure that this brand as far as the service cloud get its identity that you’re trying to get it to have, and them also family, you got the boys, wife, I know you have to travel in ton trying do what you’re doing, what’s one of your goals? 

Keith Pearce:   My primary goal is to be a good father, be a good son, be a good husband and a brother because I have brother and sister and uncle and try to live my life as a model to the people that need me for support. Everyone has different stage in life where they’re dealing with different things. By now I’m dealing with my parents getting elderly. All our lives they’ve been who we turn to where this people that are in my age back in—probably right there, that they were your support and it’s an interesting thing and that changes in you become support to them. So that’s one of my goals, how do I do that and maintain the balance I need to give the most to my immediate family as well and to my job as well. Well as everyone is here my wife and my family it’s not a long time been it’s patterned how we work and how to be a useful person. 

Jim Rembach:   And the And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now let’s hear a quick word from our sponsor: 

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Alright here we go Fast Leader legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Keith, our Hump Day Hoedown is the 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 that are going to move us onward and upward faster. Keith Peirce, are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Keith Pearce:   Let’s do it. 

 

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

 

Keith Pearce:   More self-awareness.

 

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

 

Keith Pearce:   Work hard. 

 

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

Keith Pearce:   Also work hard. 

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

Keith Pearce:   Listening. 

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

Keith Pearce:   Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

 

Jim Rembach:  Okay, Fast Leader listeners you could find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/Keith Pearce. Okay, Keith, this is my last hump day hold on 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?

 

Keith Pearce:   I think it would be learning to listen instead of waiting to talk and learning to understand the point of view before we express our own.

 

Jim Rembach:   Why, why did you learn that one? 

 

Keith Pearce:   I think when you’re at that age you think you got it all figured out. I’ve got kids, believe me, it’s not just 25, one who’s 16 he said he had all figured it out and we’re all the same way when we were that age. But the irony is you get closer to having it figure it out by taking someone else’s perspective and letting them from your own. That was the book that I’ve read, Team of Rivals with Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet. Can you imagine today the President’s cabinet are diverse? And I mean diverse in the  sense that we think about today but in terms of party affiliation, religious beliefs I can go on and on completely mix that and everyone said you’re crazy. But the genius of Lincoln was he said, I could take something from each one of you and (25:51 inaudible) in context that’s so warm, can you imagine? So that for me is—the more experience I get and the older I get the more I realize everyone has something they do better than you. And the more you can cut if off (26:48 inaudible) in the more trouble you’re in.  

 

Jim Rembach:  Keith, 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?

 

Keith Pearce:   Sure, they can connect with me on LinkedIn, Keith Pearce, Twitter@pistolprce

 

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

 

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

 

END OF AUDIO

 

 

 

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099: Steve Mariotti: They attacked me with knives

Steve Mariotti Show Notes

Steve Mariotti went out for a jog and was mugged by a bunch of young men with knives. Experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, Steve was taught to change the sentences in his mind. As part of his ongoing therapy he became a teacher and he found out that he enjoyed helping people achieve their life through entrepreneurship.

A native son of Flint, Michigan, Steve Mariotti grew up with his younger brother Jack.

Steve received his B.B.A in business economics and his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His primary interest in school was Entrepreneurship as he had been unable to get a job as a teenager in Flint and started seven different businesses to fund his education.

After receiving his MBA, Steve was appointed the treasury analyst for South Africa for Ford Motor Company where he led the internal effort to prohibit Ford from selling Surveillance equipment to the racist government of South Africa. Ford adopted Steve’s recommendations and their policy of not selling to non-democratic governments remains in effect to this day.

In 1982, Steve was mugged by a group of youths armed with knives. After seeing Therapist Albert Ellis, he was advised to become a public high school teacher in New York City’s roughest neighborhoods as part of his therapy.

So Steve decided to leave a successful business career to become a teacher. On his first day of teaching special Education students in the worst school in New York City (March 6th 1982), his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the mugging, disappeared and he knew he had found his life’s work. Steve discovered he could reach even his most troubled students by teaching them to run small businesses.

In 1987, he founded the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) to bring entrepreneurship education to low-income youth. Since then, more than 700,000 students in 22 states and 12 countries have graduated from NFTE programs. Steve’s vison is that every low income youth will be taught the basics of starting a business so they will have an opportunity to escape poverty.

Steve has authored 30 books, including An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto. Over 10 million of Steve’s book are in print and used in over 30 countries.

Steve is the Fellow of Entrepreneurial Education for the PhilaU Center for Entrepreneurship at Philadelphia University. In announcing this appointment, Diana Spencer, president of the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation said, “Steve Mariotti is a visionary who takes the road less traveled, encouraging others to think big and create their own entrepreneurial journeys.

Steve currently lives in Princeton, New Jersey where he enjoys hiking, playing chess and adding to his collection of more than 7,000 rare books.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“Every human being has the ability to find a comparative advantage.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“Every human being, is basically always in business for themselves.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“Your life is to determine how to best use your resources.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“Each human being has unique knowledge of time and space.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“It’s very healthy to teach people to be thinking of themselves as entrepreneurs.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“The happiest people in the world today are American women entrepreneurs.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“Some of the great minds in the world never shine.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“In one generation you can go from doing everything wrong to everything right.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“We have a corrupt and evil tax code.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“In the art world, so often the entrepreneur is portrayed as a negative.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“Common core has made people’s unique knowledge not of value.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“The standardization of curriculum really benefits no one.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“It’s the entrepreneur that creates the wealth.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

“Empathy has created great happiness for me and wealth.” -Steve Mariotti Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Steve Mariotti went out for a jog and was mugged by a bunch of young men with knives. Experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, Steve was taught to change the sentences in his mind. As part of his ongoing therapy he became a teacher and he found out that he enjoyed helping people achieve their life through entrepreneurship.

Advice for others

Talk to local school districts about local programs to teach kids about starting businesses.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Organization

Best Leadership Advice Received

Integrity

Secret to Success

Listening

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Reading a book a week.

Recommended Reading

An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind: Updated

Contacting Steve

email: stevemariotti [at] gmail.com

website: http://www.stevemariottipartners.com/

Huff Post: http://www.stevemariotti.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-mariotti-534647103

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SteveJMariotti

Resources

Five Spot Soul Food – Five Spot Restaurant & Lounge

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

 

Show Transcript: 

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

099: Steve Mariotti: They attacked me with knives

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

 

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

 

Jim Rembach:     Okay, Fast Leader Legion, today I’m excited because the guest that I have on the show today has big ideas for a big problem that we all face. Steve Mariotti was a native son of Flint Michigan where he grew up with his younger brother Jack. Steve received his undergrad in Business economics and his masters from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. His primary interest in school is entrepreneurship as he had been unable to get a job as a teenager in Flint and started seven different businesses to fund his education. 

 

After receiving his MBA, Steve was appointed to the Treasury Analyst for South Africa for Ford Motor Company where he led the internal effort to prohibit Ford from selling surveillance equipment to the racist government of South Africa. Ford adopted Steve’s recommendations and their policy of not selling to nondemocratic governments remains in effect to this day. In 1982, Steve was mugged by a group of youths armed with knives. After seeing a therapist, he was advised to become a public high school teacher in New York City’s roughest neighborhoods as part of his therapy, so Steve decided to leave a successful business career to become a teacher.

 

On his first day of teaching special education students in the worst school in New York City, which is back in March 6, 1982, his post-traumatic stress disorder from the mugging disappeared and he knew he had found his life’s work. Steve discovered he could reach even his most trouble students by teaching them to run small businesses. In 1987, he founded the network for teaching entrepreneurship to bring entrepreneurship education to low income youth, since then more than 700,000 students in 22 states and 12 countries have graduated from NFTE programs. 

 

Steve’s vision is that every low income youth will be taught the basics of starting a business so they will have an opportunity to escape poverty. Steve has authored 30 books including an entrepreneur’s manifesto, over 10 million of Steve’s books are in print and used in over 30 different countries. Steve is the fellow of entrepreneurial education for the PhilaU Center for Entrepreneurship at Philadelphia University. Steve currently lives in Princeton, New Jersey where he enjoys hiking, playing chess, and adding to his collection of more than 7,000 rare books. Steve Mariotti, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Steve Mariotti: Yes. I’m glad to be on the show Jim, thank you. 

 

Jim Rembach:     And thanks for being here. I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so we get to know you even better?

 

Steve Mariotti: Absolutely. I spend my time reading and writing on the issue of entrepreneurship and what happens to entrepreneurs during times of emergencies such as wars and natural disasters and how we can help entrepreneurs be peacekeepers and help them connect with one another around the world and create a global movement of entrepreneurs that are interconnected and act as a force for good globally, which I’ve always believed.

 

Jim Rembach:    When I started reading your book, And Entrepreneur’s Manifesto, I started really coming to the realization that I don’t think the title matches what’s inside because it has such a huge foretelling as well research of the past on the impact of business and entrepreneurship in society as a whole.  You even talked about—that everybody could be taught entrepreneurship and I’ve kind of say I’m a skeptic on that but how is that possible? 

 

Steve Mariotti: I think that every human being has within them the ability to find a comparative advantage. And every human being is basically always in business for themselves even if you’re working at the Post Office your life is to determine how to best use your resources, time, energy, knowledge. And through the concept that FA (4:37 inaudible) develop to when Nobel Prize in 1974, I was fortunate enough to be his assistant, and he came up with the idea that each human being has unique knowledge of time and space and with that knowledge you can make a livelihood either as self-employed or working for someone else. I don’t think the barrier between being a worker and an entrepreneur or owner or capitalist is legitimate, I think we’re always basically trying to maximize our revenue, financially and intellectually and psychically in trying to minimize our cause so I think it’s very healthy to teach people to be thinking of themselves as entrepreneurs or business people.

 

Jim Rembach:     You bring up a very interesting point because the use of part-time help, contract labor and even outsourcing is just going to continue to grow and I have a lot of our listeners that are in customer care and customer experience so when you think about customer service a lot of companies are actually taking on those folks as contract workers and they have to bring things with them. So, learning those entrepreneurial skills earlier on would be important for those folks to be successful and sets a goal where they want to go. 

 

Steve Mariotti: Absolutely. That’s been my whole career of 35 years, is to get an international movement for every country in the world so that every child in the world will learn how to start a business before they graduate high school. Some point in their career that will pay off. They have a boss that doesn’t like you, or if you have a company that wants to use contractors or if you want to try make more money or have  it is to and from for every country in the world said every child in the world learn started business before the graduate school she standpoint new career that will penalize him up asset is thank you working at a company that wants to use contractors everyone tried in the long money on have flexible hours, the highest rate of business formation in the world today are American women. And also the happiest people in the world today are American women entrepreneurs.

 

Jim Rembach:     That brings up a really interesting point when you start talking about those younger generations really wanted to make an impact on the world and a lot of folks I think have very important thoughts in regards to making that impact but they don’t have the funding behind them to really make a difference and I think you brought the two together it could make a bigger difference for all of us. 

 

Steve Mariotti: Absolutely. I think one of the most important things to teach at a young age is the concept of capital. How do you save capital? How do you make it grow? And just as important, how do you get other people to invest in you. There’s millions of ideas that could improve the world and many times people are taught to be afraid to ask for help or they don’t know how to put together a two page business proposal or all the little nuances of business language which can learn in a 100 hours. So some of the great minds in the world never shine and it hurts the world because their idea dies with them. So, there’s something about business and the ability to enhance people’s productivity to get things done to help them psychologically—and most important is to develop ideas and businesses that help other people in their communities. 

 

Jim Rembach:     That’s really interesting as you were talking, thanks for sharing that, I started thinking about a lot of organizations today that are trying to instill more that entrepreneurial mindset within their own workforce, these are people unemployed and they want to bring more innovation and things like that to the table but based on what you’re saying they’re not taught those things when they’re younger growing up. It’s a missing skill but yet it can be learned. So, how do we actually make this change? Before I go there I think that’s what the book is about, you talked about coordinated support within the book, what is that?

 

Steve Mariotti: Coordinated support really means building communities that support creativity, individualism, ideas, the to fail, the right to be successful, building a community that is supportive of the entrepreneurial process the uniqueness of it, the many failures of it. The beauty of that is that you have a community that understands it and keeps with it. I really point it to great examples, Israel.

 

Steve Mariotti: I went to Israel 1993 and at that time the majority of the leaders of Israel in my opinion were socialists, were based on the original Israeli, bellows and astern and those guys vision of forage which a very socialist state ownership, very regimented society and in 1993, and I think it was in a small part because nifty came but there was young Israeli entrepreneur okayed a huge homerun and went public the New York Stock Exchange, I believe, and the culture begin to change and now Israel has created a community that I think is the most pro-entrepreneurial community in the world. They have 34% of the new companies on NASDAQ were founded by Israelis. So it shows you in the 22 year period, one generation, you can go from doing everything wrong to everything right and that’s the power creation of community and the power of idea, the power of vision every strategy and tactics and I want us to do that right here in America particularly in low income communities that would benefit the most from a renaissance of entrepreneurship.  

 

Jim Rembach:     I definitely can see that that would be a benefit to those areas but it’s almost like it’s really being tossed across the entire economic spectrum because one of your articles on Huffington Post you talked about how there’s more college graduates that are living at home now than ever before because there’s no jobs for them and universities are failing them. And you also had mentioned something where by 2030 three out of five people living in cities will be under the age of 18. We have a huge employment problem that’s going to continue to get bigger. 

 

Steve Mariotti: It’s very scary. And it’s much worse in the Middle East and certain parts of Africa. Certain parts of Africa blooming, certain parts have the same problems with the Middle East than we do, and we’ve got to start talking about it and thinking of solutions but getting our tax code right, we have a corrupt and just evil tax code. I wouldn’t use those words if I didn’t actually believe them but it’s 4,800 pages with another 80,000 pages of [12:01 inaudible] that you have to check as your reading for the tax code. And we’ve got to get rid of that, make it simple, fair and in my opinion flat. We’ve got to get rid of all regulations that don’t help people with health and safety but rather prevent competition. We’ve got to change our culture in particularly the earth world which so often the entrepreneur is portrayed as a negative, mean, dishonest person. Something like 90% of the villains in movies and TV’s are small businessman or large businessman and women too. And it’s a terrible message to send to all children, particularly children in poverty, so I think in my generation certainly in a decade we can turn this around we get the tax code right, we grow at 5%, we get the regulations right, we grow at 7%, we get universal ownership and entrepreneurship education in every school in America and we’ll grow at 10%. That means we double every seven years and that means we eliminate poverty in about 14 years in America. And if we can do it here, we can do it anywhere in the world. No one should have to grow up in poverty which in the next 25 years we should wipe poverty out of this world. 

 

Jim Rembach:     And that’s an action-based way of wiping poverty out that’s proactive instead of continuing to contribute to entitlement programs, and I love that big thinking. Obviously, with the people who you’ve had the opportunity to be mentored by and work with and some of the experiences that you had, you had a lot of inspiration in your life and your inspiration person yourself and oftentimes on the show we look to quotes that we share. So is there a quote or two that you can share that gives you that inspiration?

 

Steve Mariotti: Yes. Dear God give me an [14:07 inaudible] sense of purpose. And my second one is: Never, never, never, never compete. Find out what everybody else is doing then don’t do it. Create.

 

Jim Rembach:     It was two very good ones, thank you for sharing. I know also, even reading to the book that you’ve had several humps to get over and I think that’s probably why you are the person you are today. Is there a story that you can share with us when you had to get over a hump? 

 

Steve Mariotti: Absolutely. In 1981, I was in the business of import/export which I was very good at and I enjoyed it. And I went out for a jog in September ’81 in New York City along the East River, broad daylight and five or six young men couldn’t be more than 13 years old attacked me with a weapon, knives and humiliated me in front of my young girlfriend and also robbed me and it was a very humiliating and very, very scary.  And I got post-traumatic stress disorder which is anybody has had it, it’s just horrible. It basically came from your mind and all you think of are the moments that are [15:36 inaudible] in your mind by the trauma and the stress of those moments. So, for six months I was pretty unable to do anything it was a very difficult time in my life. And my friend took me to a psychologist who is very famous at that time named Albert Ellis, and taught me how to change the sentences in my mind. So, instead of being humiliated and a victim of a mugging in front of your girlfriend in broad daylight, I became a survivor, a hero who escaped five/six young man with knives and save my girlfriend and I felt totally better within an hour. 

 

And then the next day I became a special lead teacher as part of the therapy in boys and girls high school in Brooklyn, New York, which is at that time the most difficult high school. They’ve had two children who’d been shot there, none of the teachers wanted to go so they were very glad that I would go. And I just walked in and my post-traumatic stress disorder was totally gone I never taught of it in a painful way again. And I found that I enjoy talking to children that was disconnected from themselves and from God and from a craft where they can make a living, and that became my life’s work. I was eating one, I’ve been doing it for 35 years thinking about how to help people achieve their life through the skills of thinking about ownership, entrepreneurship, self-reliance, planning, goals, action, being pro-active, understanding money, respecting money, and most important the golden rule is for you really are successful. Try to help other human being get what they want. Treat them the way you want to be treated and most of the dreams of your life will come true. 

 

Jim Rembach:     What you’ve been able to accomplish as a result of that event? 

It’s almost a blessing that it had happened to you, I know that may sound strange.

 

Steve Mariotti: It is a blessings. All spiritual I think, but it was a major blessing. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Even in the book you shared a couple of some pretty amazing success stories that had come out of this particular program, can you share one of those with us?

 

Steve Mariotti: Absolutely. Our children in whole 700,000, become more business literate, become aware of time preference they see further in the future and most important 99.5% of them which means 199 out of 200 would recommended highly without qualification to a best friend. So, to me what the child says is very important. We have many success stories around the world, we’ve recreated cultures in certain countries we’ve recreated cultures in certain cities. The story I like most is a student of mine that I’ve had at 1988. His name was Monique Armstead and his business is in New York City and it’s a restaurant. He started at ’93, I went to the neighborhood it was a very difficult neighborhood in Brooklyn, I went to look at the neighborhood and I said, “Monique don’t do it, it’s too rough. I felt nervous there during the day, which is always a bad sign. And he said, “Absolutely not, I’m going to do it.” And sure enough within eight years he owned the whole two blocks. As one more successful restaurants in Brooklyn, and he’s created, I think 71 jobs, and the neighborhood’s change. He got this young people starting businesses, they come over and talk to him like a senior fellow. He’s venture capital in young people in businesses, he’s got kids to college, and he sponsors sports teams. One entrepreneur over a lifetime can have a huge impact on another human being. So you don’t have to be the Bill Gates or the Steve Jobs or Michael Dells, you can be just in your community and affect thousands of live over your career. It’s a beautiful way to make a living.

 

Jim Rembach:     Steve that was a great story. But you’ve got to tell us the name of the restaurant.

 

Steve Mariotti: It’s called Five Spot Soul Food.

 

Jim Rembach:     Okay, make sure Fast Leader Legion, if you ever get down in Brooklyn, right? 

 

Steve Mariotti: Yes, it’s at 459 Mrytle Ave. and again the name is Five Spot Soul Food, you’ll love it and it’s one of the New York City’s top entrepreneurs, I’m very proud of him. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Okay, Fast Leader Legion, if you ever get down to Brooklyn make sure you go see Malik and tell him Steve sent you. Steve I know that you got a lot of different things that are going on. Your mission what you’re doing with the entrepreneurial center and all of those things, you’re writing on Huffington Post, I want to help you as much as I possibly can cause I see that your positive method and solution for addressing some of these big societal problems is something that seems just so simple but just needs an extra push. If you were to give a recommendation to listeners on how to help make this change happen, what would be your advice?

 

Steve Mariotti: Number one, I would begin to talk to the local school district particularly if you have  children. And say, what is our program to teach kids how to start businesses? And see what they say. Most won’t have one but they will if local community people talk about it. Ninety percent is exposure, many, many teachers have part time businesses, so you have a wealth of genius within that school. And tragically under common core and this whole centralization of the state over monopoly public school system has made a lot of people unique knowledges of value in the school system. So you’ll have a great teacher whose run an auto mechanic shop after school for the last 25 years and 10 years ago that would be part of his curriculum. Every kid would come out knowing about this basic business because that’s what he did. Even if he was an English or Science teacher. But now the standardization of curriculum really benefits no one, I think it was a major error and it’s not where you win your Nobel prize, it’s not where you generate great wealth and I encourage people to talk with their local school systems if they have the time and the money to run for office, it’s the most important thing you can do other than starting your own business to change society.

 

Jim Rembach:     When you  when you start thinking about all the things that you have on your plate, and I know there’s a lot,  but if you were to talk about one being a goal that you wanted a pushover, what would it be? 

 

Steve Mariotti: My biggest goal right now is to capture the stories of entrepreneurs who have stayed alive and helped other people to war and natural disaster and how did they do it. What entrepreneurial mind frame that they have to get through absolute horrors of things that have happened and they kept going. When you read history the entrepreneur is invisible. With Churchill who I’ve read everything he’s ever written, I’m a big fan, but he’s got exactly three sentences on small businesses out of 3.8 million published words and he won the Nobel Prize for literature. And that’s sure with almost everybody that has won the Nobel Prize in literature or any major writer. They take the entrepreneur out of history and they substitute them in for the large government leaders. Stalin, Hitler, Mao, our own George Washington, and I’m a huge fan of, but they don’t define entrepreneur in those societies. And it’s the entrepreneur that creates the wealth, get things done, supplies the sacks and if we could raise the consciousness of the entrepreneurs similar that [25:04 inaudible]we’re raising the consciousness of women in ’63 with her pioneer work or Martin Luther King did with the African-American community around liberty and voting and Robert Kenney did and George Washington did and Gandhi and Mohammed Yunus, I would like to be one of many raising the self-esteem, the consciousness of small entrepreneurs and big entrepreneurs and view it as one community.

 

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

 

The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions. So, move onward and upward faster by getting significantly deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop you’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, Steve, 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 response that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Steve Mariotti, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Steve Mariotti: I’m ready. 

 

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

 

Steve Mariotti: Organization. 

 

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

 

Steve Mariotti:   Integrity.

 

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

 

Steve Mariotti:    Listening. 

 

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

 

Steve Mariotti:  Reading a book a week. 

 

Jim Rembach:     On that note, is there a book that you’d recommend to our listeners, and it could be from any genre? Of course we’re going to provide a link to An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto, but what book would you recommend beyond that?

 

Steve Mariotti: The best book ever written for entrepreneurs is The Power of the Subconscious by Murphy published in 1963.

 

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/Steve Mariotti. Okay, Steve, 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 could only choose one. So, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Steve Mariotti: Empathy.  The ability to try to understand how people feel and what I can do to help them. Because that for me has been the best way to help people and has created great happiness for me and enough wealth so that I can live comfortably. 

 

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

 

Steve Mariotti: Absolutely. Stevemariotti@gmail.com is my email and stevemariottipartners.com is my website. 

 

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

 

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

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

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088: Jocelyn Davis: I no longer had a platform

Jocely Davis Show Notes

Jocelyn Davis got a splash of cold water in her face. Being an executive at a consulting firm she was easily published by Harvard Business Press. But when she tried to get her next book published after departing from her firm she learn a sobering lesson. Listen to Jocelyn tell the story of her journey of getting over the hump.

Jocelyn Davis grew up in a Foreign Service family and at last count she has lived in 29 neighborhoods and 8 countries. Some of the places she has lived include: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Kingston, Jamaica; Newport, Rhode Island; Vientiane, Laos; Pittsburgh, PA; Panama City; Boston, Mass; and Toronto, Canada.

After college Jocelyn planned to be an academic. But she didn’t like grad school, so she took off for Los Angeles (having picked up an M.A. in philosophy and my husband-to-be; we are about to celebrate our 27th anniversary) and got a job in publishing. In 1989 they moved to Boston and she answered a classified ad for a copyeditor at The Forum Corporation, a leadership- and sales-training firm. At that time, she’d never heard of the corporate learning industry.

Jocelyn stayed with Forum for 20 years, working her way up to become EVP, R&D. Her team was responsible for developing all the standard training products. One of her proudest achievements there was co-authoring her first book, Strategic Speed (HBR Press), which argues that fast execution is all about the people stuff.

Today, Jocelyn is an independent consultant and author. Her passions are helping others learn and grow, leading creative teams, writing books, designing learning programs, and working at the intersection of business and the humanities.

When she left Forum, she had a vision of a consulting business built on the idea of leadership as a liberal art. She thought, hey, I’ll write a book to support the business. Turned out, the book became the business! It’s called The Greats on Leadership (Hachette UK)—it’s 25 centuries of the best ideas for leaders, featuring great thinkers and storytellers like Plato, Shakespeare, C.G. Jung, Jane Austen, and lots more.

Jocelyn lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband Matt and daughter Emily.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @JocelynRDavis and over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet 

“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.” Churchill by Jocelyn Davis Click to Tweet

“Often people are a little too eager to be forward thinking and innovative.” -Jocelyn Davis Click to Tweet

“When you look backwards it’s all there to be learned from.” -Jocelyn Davis Click to Tweet 

“A great leader can come from anywhere.” -Jocelyn Davis Click to Tweet 

“You don’t need status in the hierarchy in order to lead.” -Jocelyn Davis Click to Tweet 

“Today, there are so many different ways to be successful.” -Jocelyn Davis Click to Tweet 

“Having a child is one of the greatest leadership learning experiences.” -Jocelyn Davis Click to Tweet 

“If you’re a leader you’ve got to get comfortable with talking to your monsters.” -Jocelyn Davis Click to Tweet 

“When things go wrong, remember it’s about helping the other person.” -Jocelyn Davis Click to Tweet 

“This is not about me; I need to focus on that other person.” -Jocelyn Davis Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Jocelyn Davis got a splash of cold water in her face. Being an executive at a consulting firm she was easily published by Harvard Business Press. But when she tried to get her next book published after departing from her firm she learn a sobering lesson. Listen to Jocelyn tell the story of her journey of getting over the hump.

Advice for others

Find a way to be okay, but never give up.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

My extremely introverted personality.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Of the master when his work is done, his tasks fulfilled, the people will say we did it ourselves.

Secret to Success

I do things that scare me. I made a vow to not let things that scare me stop me.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

My daughter. She is not really a tool but I think that being a parent is one of the greatest leadership experiences one could ever have.

Recommended Reading

Strategic Speed: Mobilize People, Accelerate Execution

The Greats on Leadership: Classic Wisdom for Modern Managers

Frankenstein

Contacting Jocelyn

Website: https://jocelynrdavis.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jocelyn-davis-a0b9868

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JocelynRDavis/

Resources

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

 

Show Transcript: 

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

088: Jocelyn Davis: I no longer had a platform

 

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

 

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

 

Okay Fast Leader Legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today that gives a fresh perspective on some classic leaders. Jocelyn Davis grew up in a Foreign Service family and at last count she’s lived in 29 neighborhood and eight countries. Some of the places she had lived are Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Kingston, Jamaica, New Port Rhode Island, Vientiane, Laos, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Panama City, Florida, Boston, Massachusetts and Toronto, Canada. After college Jocelyn plan to be an academic but she didn’t like grad school so she took off to Los Angeles taking her soon to be husband with her and got a job in publishing. 

 

In 1989 they move to Boston and she answered the classified ad for a copy editor at the Forum Corporation, a leadership and sales training firm, at that time she’d never heard of the corporate learning industry. Jocelyn stayed at Forum for 20 years, working her way up to become the Executive Vice President of Research and Development. Her team was responsible for developing all the standard training products. One of her proudest achievements there was co-authoring her first book, Strategic Speed published by Harvard Business Review Press, which argues that fast execution is all about the people stuff, Huh! doesn’t that  sound interesting? Today, Jocelyn is an independent consultant and author. Her passions are helping others learning grow, leading creative teams, writing books, designing learning programs and working at the intersection of business and the humanities. When she left Forum, she had a vision of a consulting business built on the idea of leadership as a liberal art. She thought, Hey! I’ll write a book to support the business, it turn out the book became the business, it’s called The Greats on Leadership, it’s 25 centuries of the best ideas for leaders featuring great thinkers and storytellers like Plato, Shakespeare, CZ Zhong, Jane Austin and lots more. Jocelyn lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband Matt and daughter Emily. Jocelyn Davis are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Jocelyn Davis:    I am Jim, thank you. 

 

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

 

Jocelyn Davis:    Sure. My current passion is, well you already mentioned it, it’s this new book that I just came out with, The Greats on Leadership and that’s what I’m all about at the moment it’s really about ticking that book out to leaders out there in the world of all stripes and helping them become better leaders with some of these ideas and great stories from ages past. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Now, one of the things that I found interesting is that—we often talk about history and why do we study history so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes cause that’s what’s we’re supposed to be doing as one of our main objectives for learning history. But when I started think about these classic leaders of leadership it’s like I would asked myself, how can we haven’t figure all the stuff out already?

 

Jocelyn Davis:    Yeah, good question. The book starts out with a quote from Winston Churchill, he was a great leader and a great writer, great author and he said: The further backwards you can look the farther forward you’re likely to see. I really believe that’s true and I think the answer to your question why haven’t we figure it out yet is because I think often everybody is a little too eager to be forward thinking and innovative and that’s what you’re supposed to be as a business person, is always looking for what’s coming down the pike but we sometimes forget that when we look backwards you look at everything that’s happened and this great thinkers and this great ideas and stories from the past it’s all there. It’s all there to be learned from, it’s all there to be gleaned, so I think we often forget to do that and we should. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Sometimes  that look back could prevent us from taking a step forward if we don’t have some type of confidence in that step that we take and we have to have some boldness in a lot of the innovation of today is not occurring because of fear and not taking that step forward. When you start talking about looking at some of these classic leaders and having that boldness grit some of that foresight to be able to know when to go, where do you find it when you’re looking back?

 

Jocelyn Davis:    Yeah, yeah, great question. It’s actually one of the main themes in the book. This idea a great leader can come from anywhere. That you don’t need a big title or thousands of followers on Twitter or the corner office, you don’t need that sort of trappings of success or that status if you are on a hierarchy in order to lead. And I’m really pretty passionate about getting this message out to people and I think you learn this from looking back at not just great leaders of the past but great thinkers, great masterminds of the past. Because you see that they’re not talking about as CEO, that’s pretty recent invention—the CEO the modern day organization is only maybe a 100 years old. So, you look back at this great stories and you see all kinds of people, people of different genders and tribes and personalities and there’s just these great stories and ideas that anybody can really latch on to and feel great about the impact that they’re already making as a leader and then maybe try to do even a little bit more.

 

Jim Rembach:    As you were talking, I started thinking about too as I myself has studied—I wouldn’t necessarily say leaders but studied some folks that today we essentially revere as famous during their day and age and their time they may have been so far out in front of the conventional wisdom and thinking that they’re almost ostracized. So when you were going and doing your research, were you finding that there are certain leaders that at that time when they were alive they weren’t considered leaders however posthumously all of the sudden gain this leadership wisdom?

 

Jocelyn Davis:    Yeah that’s interesting. There were many authors that I’ve looked at are famous today and I was intentionally going for that, for people who are well-known—Shakespeare and Plato and Churchill we all know those names, but then I also found a few authors, thinkers that are not well known at all today. And one of them is this guy named Theodore Dodge, he was a colonel in the civil era was in the United States and then he became a university professor after that. He wrote this book or series of essays called, The Great Captain, it’s about the great war leaders of the past like Alexander the Great and Caesar and Hannibal, and so Theodore Dodge—he’d been a soldier then became an academic, nobody’s ever heard of him he’s an obscure historian but I put him in my book because he has this great, concise stories of these great captains of Hannibal and how he beat the Romans and Alexander the Great and what he did. It’s interesting I think sometimes we have to look to the lesser known, not just leaders but the lesser known thinkers and people who had looked back at these great leaders and had written about and pay attention to what they said.

 

Jim Rembach:    I think great you bring up a really interesting point on one of the things about the Fast Leader show is that there’s leaders amongst us, they’re all over the place and the beauty about what I get to do on the Fast Leader show is highlight those folks and the things that they’ve learned so that they can teach us all. And thanks for being one of those folks are here because I think you just saying and pointing that out about Dodge is critically important. And I know it may not seem so related but to me I think it kind of fit and this is just my oddball way of thinking, there was something I was reading talking about the types of apples that we eat and just like the—only a 150, 200 years ago there were like 200 or 300 varieties and because of us only focusing on one or two there’s really only eight varieties that are currently really farmed, it’s really small so it’s really amazing what we’ve done and so I think that we can actually enrichen and deepen our bounty if we seek and look for those lesser-known leaders like you’re talking  about and thanks for bringing them to life through your book, I appreciate that.

 

Jocelyn Davis:    Yeah, absolutely.

 

Jim Rembach:    Now I know as doing—research and looking at these classics and looking at things that are not as known you probably have come across tons of different quotes and we love those on the Fast Leader show because they will help to inspire us and do a lot of different things. But is there one or two that kind of stands out for you that you can share with us?

 

Jocelyn Davis:    Yeah. There’s one quote that I came across several years ago by Maya Angelo, who’s a great poet. She was a poet laureate probably in United States for a while’s and what she said—said a lot of great things but the quote of hers that’s my favorite is: “They’ll forget what you said, they’ll forget what you did but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.” When I first hear that quote it just took the top my head off cause I was like, ‘Wow! That is profound.” Because that just says so much about how—leaders make this mistake often, I make this mistake of thinking that, Oh, everybody is paying attention to what I’m saying, and they’re paying attention to what I’m doing, and I got to be really good and say all these good stuff and do all this good stuff, but really what that quote says to me is that, nobody’s going to remember any of that and I’m relate them and remember a bit of it, but really what they remember is how you made them feel. Did you inspire? Did you encourage? Did you make people feel like they could be leaders? Did you make them feel good? Or did you make them feel like crap? That’s what it really comes down to when you’re talking leadership. So, I try to remember that quote. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I think that’s a good point as far as it’s something that it always has to be brought back into the forefront of our mind because it is so easy to lose sight of that. Thank you for sharing that. You and I had the opportunity to chat about a couple of different things previously and I really enjoyed getting to meet you and know more about you. We talked about humps and we talked about a couple of different humps amongst ourselves. Is there a story that you can share with us that will help us get in a better direction like it did for you? Can you share that?

 

Jocelyn Davis:    Yeah, I’m happy to no question in my mind when you said share a story of hump where a challenge or struggle. There’s one story that immediately comes to mind for me which is the story of how I got fired from the company that I had worked for 20+ years and then went on to get past that and move on to other things but the interesting thing about that whole experience, one of the many interesting thing, is that I had written a book at that company several years back and I was really proud and pleased with that book, Strategic Speed it’s called and you mentioned that earlier, I was reading up to this issue where, and you Jim came in, so things weren’t right and I end up getting fired for insubordination of all things which is I kind of feel proud of that now because I’m not a very insubordinate person and the fact that I got fired for insubordination is sort of makes me truckle a little bit. But leading up to that point I was—I was an executive, I was head of R & D, I’ve written this book—co-authored this book,  and it was very easy to get that book published and I thought at that time, “Oh, it’s because it’s such a great book and Harvard Business Press loved it. It is a good book I think and I’m sure they did love it but what sort of a rude awakening for me after I got shown the door was that I realized when I decided to write my next book, I realize pretty quickly that I no long had a platform. I no longer was an executive at a consulting firm with a platform that would allow me to quickly sell another book. So it was a real cold water in the face for me I guess, because I left and I was like—oh, you know, no problem okay about…the fire that’s kind of drag, but it’s okay because I’m going to go on and write my next book and have my own business and be independent. 

 

But I quickly discovered that as I started to try to sell this next book to publishers that they we’re like well you know, who are you? You’re not famous, you’re not an executive with the company anymore so you don’t have what they call a platform. So, I had to really sort of take a step back and say, “Okay, what am I going to do here? Am I going to persist and try to build that credibility, kind of do it on my own really do it on my own. I thought I had done it on my own before but I really hadn’t, I had done it based on being a part of this company and having this title. And I realize that I no longer have that title, I no longer have that platform so I was going to have to do it based on other things like just being really, really persistent and resilient I guess. So, that’s what I did and it took me two years to write the book and two years to sell it. So I was writing and selling, trying to sell all along to that whole period and really the answer at the end of the day was that sheer persistence, thinking, realizing that I was going to get a lot of no’s but eventually I would get a yes, and eventually I did get a yes, so that’s’ my hump.

 

Jim Rembach:    Thanks for sharing that and I know—you and I had kind of talked about  how a lot of those things had strung together in regards to you being terminated and then trying to get the book sold and one of the things that you didn’t share that you shared with me is that there was a lot of rejection along the way. It wasn’t a situation where you continued to beat the pavement on trying to get that thing published. And a lot of people probably sitting there saying, Gosh! It’s easy all you have to do is just self-publish. But that’s not as easy as it seems to be either there’s a lot of a romantic thoughts about the of the whole self-publishing concept but it still comes down to if you want to sell you still have to have the platform. But traditional publishers as well as self-publishing the difference between a book that is recognized and one that isn’t comes down to the marketing and promotion aspects. The traditional publishing houses they’re not good promoters and marketers that’s still left to the person who writes the book even though it may have gotten published.

 

Jocelyn Davis:    Right. That’s right. And funny because I know you’re going to ask about an epiphany that I had in connection with this this story. And the epiphany that I had was actually related to what you’ve just said about self-publishing because you’re right I got so many rejections. I even went out to get a literary agent, first I thought I could do it on my own, go directly to publishers that didn’t work so I got a literary agent, that’s the whole process filled with rejection in itself. But eventually made it through that, I got the agent. And then thought, hurray, I made it now I’ve got an agent now it’s smooth sailing, but my agent was not able to sell the book either so that again another huge splash of cold water in the face. So then the epiphany for me came after my agent said, “You know what I don’t think we’re going to be successful in selling this book” so no hard feelings and we parted ways. 

 

And I thought to myself, “You know what, I’m going to keep trying, I’m going to keep trying to get a tradition publisher but I also realized that if I needed to self-publish then I was going to be absolutely okay with that. So there were sort of a mental shift and I really think this says something about, acceptance or just really being okay with wherever you are right now because I remember thinking to myself, “You know what, I’m may have to end up self-publishing this book and if I do that is absolutely okay because I believe in the book, I believe in what I’ve done, I know I can do and it, I know I can get out there and it’ll be okay. And I think that somehow that sort of made the universe, this is sound crazy but I think this sort of made the universe shift a little bit because the next day I went back and I Google self-publishers and hybrid publishers and little publishers, independent publishers and I was just Googling around and I came across this two British based publishers that just sort of there was something about them that I find, “aha, this seem like they’re my people.” So I reached out to them and almost immediately got responses back from both of them saying ‘yes we’re interested, we’d like to see a proposal and then went forward with Nicholas Brealy which was the one that ended up really, really liking the book a lot, and the rest was history. And then they published it and then were bought by Hashet, which is one of the big five publishers so that was fortuitous. But the point is just my epiphany was realizing that at some time in a process like this you have to just make peace with what you’ve done and whether or not anybody buys it, whether or not anybody gives you money for it you need to be okay with what you’ve done. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I think finding that place as well as you also had the persistence to keep going. You found a place but you still kept going so it wasn’t like you use it as an approval to quit, so good for you. 

 

Jocelyn Davis:    That’s right, exactly. It wasn’t about saying okay, I’m okay and now I quit it was just that you know I’m going to keep going and whatever happens it’ll be okay.

 

Jim Rembach:    Yeah. I think that’s a really important thing to point out here, don’t give yourself the okay to qui because time and time again when you start looking at a lot of people who have found success is because of the persistence piece it is not because of the permission piece.

 

Jocelyn Davis:    That’s right.  You’re absolutely right. There’s so many ways these days to be successful and not just in publishing but in any endeavor. There’s just new ways to get your message out there whether you’re an entrepreneur or you want to be part of a large company or you want to be a driver for Uber or whatever you want to do there’s just so many different ways now to do it. So I think for me it was also about that agility, knowing that I was going to keep moving forward and so I had that goal in mind but there were different ways that I could get there maybe it would be one way maybe it will be another way but that was okay because I knew what the end goal was. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I know you’ve got a lot of things that are going on. Of course the book and promoting that book and consulting practice. But if you start looking at all of those things, what are some of your goals? 

 

Jocelyn Davis:    Let’s see. So, my main goal is to frankly, just get this book into as many people’s hand as I can. The other is sort of a sub-goal if you will, is to develop training, learning program that goes with the book, because that’s something that I know how to do that’s what I’ve done my whole life, for my whole professional life is to build learning programs. And so, I’m working on that and again I’m hoping that I will be able to partner with a company to an existing company to do that but that doesn’t work out I’ll be okay doing it on my own. But I really want to get the book out there several different forms, the ideas in the book ** out there in several different forms. 

 

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

 

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

 

Jocelyn Davis:    I am. 

 

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

 

Jocelyn Davis:    What’s holding me back is my extremely introverted personality which mean that I don’t really enjoy or I find it tiring to be out there talking to people interacting with lots of people all the time. You know when you’re a leader or trying to be a leader you do need to interact with people you can’t just sit in the room and write book. So, that what’s hold me back.

 

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

 

Jocelyn Davis:    The best leadership advice I have ever received is from Lao Tzu who is a 6th century BC Chinese philosopher, he wrote the Tao Teh Ching, a very famous work of philosophy poetry. And he has a verse in the Tao Teh Ching it says, “Of the master when his work is done his task fulfilled the people will say we did it ourselves.”

 

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

 

Jocelyn Davis:    Secret that contributes to my success is I think I do thing that scare me so I’m often scared to do things but I made a vow to myself many, many years ago that I was never going to let that stop me. Being scared of something was not going to stop me, so I do things that scare me.

 

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

 

Jocelyn Davis:    Okay, so this is not a tool actually but I’m going to say it anyway because it’s a person, she’s not a tool, it’s my daughter. I think that being a parent, having a child is one of the greatest leadership learning experiences one could ever had. My daughter she’s not a tool, she’s a person but she just teaches me every day how to be a better leader. 

 

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

 

So, I’m going to recommend, well of course I would recommend my book, The Great’s on Leadership, that’s one but the other one that I would recommend is a book that I talked about in the Greats on leadership, which is surprisingly Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly. And everybody when I talk about this book they were like, “That’s not a leadership book, what are you talking about.” But I will tell you, Frankenstein is one of the best book for leaders that anybody could every read because it is all about a leader who fails miserably engaging with this creature that he’s created, that he’s built. And it’s about this scenario that so many leaders run into when you’ve created this thing, this project and ** new and it’s not working out and what do you do? And Frankenstein is all about a leader who really does the wrong thing, he does not talk with his monster. What I say is that, if you’re a leader you’ve got to get comfortable taking with your monsters because that’s what real courage is is.

 

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

 

Jocelyn Davis:    So I would take back the knowledge that it’s really never about me. That when there’s a conflict or when things are going wrong or somebody’s screaming at you or whenever things are going awry you have to remember that it is all about the other person. It’s about helping that other person through whatever it is they’re going through, and you can always do that you can always make everything right. But it’s really important to understand that they’re not thinking about you they’re thinking about themselves. So if you’re a leader, you need to realize this is not about me I need to focus on that person help them and that’s what it means to be leader.

 

Jim Rembach:    Jocelyn, 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?

 

Sure you can go to my website which is jocelynrdavis.com 

 

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

 

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

 

END OF AUDIO 

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014: Ramesh Subramanian: Be ready to hit it

Ramesh Subramanian Show Notes

Ramesh lived a nomadic type of life in his early years. He found himself with an entirely new set of friends every few years. This had a profound impact on Ramesh as he wanted to grow and learn but was delayed by not having strong friendships. Being able to learn how to connect better and prepare better has helped him to have a better career and life. Listen to Ramesh tell his story about what he learned and what has helped him to be successful in a career with global responsibilities so you can move onward and upward faster.

Ramesh calls himself a nomad as he was born in the East of India, moved to the south of India, and then to the west of India for his education.
His father worked for an oil company and the family moved every 3-4 years. At a young age, Ramesh was fascinated with computers even though it was not prevalent during the day. Eventually he received a bachelors in computer science from Pune University. And then followed his father’s footsteps and received a Master’s in Marketing.

Ramesh started his career in consulting and worked in Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Denmark, UK, Sweden, Brazil, and Thailand before coming to the US.
Now Ramesh considers himself a global citizen and loves to meet people from various cultures and experiences and creating his family’s social network. But to no surprise he does not want to uproot his family.

In Ramesh’s current role he creates strategies for consumer care and identifies and cross-pollinates best practices across various global markets for Electrolux.

Ramesh and his lovely wife Megana are the proud parents of two young children, Ishita and Ishan.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“If you don’t learn you are obsolete.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“Life experiences teach you more than any book can.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“You need to give people time to ensure that they understand you are worthy of their trust.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“Trust is foundational to any relationship.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“Always know there will be curve-balls and be ready to hit it.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“There has to be a level of thrill in whatever you do.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“When you are doing something you feel is adventurous you give more than 100%.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“First and foremost I would have more emphasis on people.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“People together contribute significantly.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

“As I grew up I realized the importance of people.” -Ramesh Subramanian Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Ramesh moved are a lot as young boy and as a young adult. Building a new set of friends every few years that could help him adapt and thrive was a difficult hump. It’s one that Ramesh got over after a lot of lessons were learned. Listen to Ramesh share many stories about his life that have allowed him to be successful with his responsibilities for a global consumer brand. Through his life experiences we can all learn some valuable lessons about how to adjust, connect and get ahead. Ramesh shares an amazing story about his arranged marriage and the roller coaster ride his wife had after they were married.

Leadership Epiphany

Always prepare for the curveballs because they will always come.

Advice for others

  1. Have a plan to take care of your family first.
  2. How adventurous can you make your life?
  3. Try to be patient.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Being more patient

Best Leadership Advice Received

A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

Secret to Success

Insatiable desire to learn

Best Resources in Business or Life

My crooked mind…always figuring a way out.

Recommended Reading

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t
First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding under Any Conditions

Contacting Ramesh

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/ramesh-subramanian/5/a96/17b
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rameshdon
Email: rameshdon [at] yahoo.com

More Resources

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

Show Transcript: 

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

014: Ramesh Subramanian: Be ready to hit it

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

Jim Rembach:   Thanks Kimberly. Okay Fast Leader legion, I have the nomad today, he’s a good friend of mine, and his name is Ramesh Subramanian. He calls himself a nomad because he was born in East India, moved to the South of India and then moved to the west of India for his education. His father worked for an oil company and the family moved every 3 to 4 years. At a young age Ramesh was fascinated with computers, even though it wasn’t necessarily prevalent during the day, but he eventually received the Bachelors in Computer Science from Pune University and then followed his father’s footsteps and received the Masters in Marketing.

Ramesh started his career in consulting and worked in Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Denmark UK, Sweden, Brazil and Thailand before coming to the US. Now, Ramesh considers himself a global citizen and loves to meet people from various cultures and experiences. But to no surprise he does not want to uproot his family. Ramesh is an avid cricket fan and played against WB Raman who was a player on the India National Team, but Ramesh considers himself to be a better fan than he is a player.

In his current role he creates strategies for consumer care and identifies and cross pollinate best practices across various global markets for Electrolux. Ramesh was a fortunate benefactor of an arranged marriage. He and his lovely wife Megana are the proud parents of two young children Ishita and Ishan. Ramesh Subramanian, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Ramesh Subramanian:     Absolutely. I’ve never been on a camel but I’ll try. 

Jim Rembach:  That sounds good. I’ve given our listeners a brief introduction but can you please tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you better.

Ramesh Subramanian:     Sure. I have multiple passions that kind of ebbs and flows, so to speak. Currently, my passion is essentially on my kids football games and how they are trying learn the game and I’m trying to be a good father figure,  role model, to encourage them to learn the game but I don’t have a clue how to play that game. It’s a very interesting process that we’re going through wherein I encourage them to play and give them a lot of instructions without knowing anything about how to play the game. I feel that I am perfectly fit for leadership and management roles now. 

Jim Rembach:      It’s a good training ground, isn’t it?

Ramesh Subramanian:     No doubt. 

Jim Rembach:      There’s a lot of inspiration on what you just shared right there. Getting to learn something together that’s new creates a much more powerful bond in a lot of ways. I would think that that particular opportunity that you have with them will be something that will resonate and carry forward for everybody’s lifetime and generations, so I commend you on that.

Ramesh Subramanian:     Thank you. 

Jim Rembach:      Oftentimes at the Fast Leader show we look for inspiration in a lot of different ways through the  stories that are told and were looking forward to you sharing some of your life journey. But quotes, passages and those things can really be powerful things for us, is there one that you could share with us that guide you and helps you be the person that you want to be?

Ramesh Subramanian:     There have been many, actually, but there’s one that I think has had a big impact in my life and when I heard of it first I never really understood the gravity or the depth of this saying. The father of the nation of India, Mahatma Gandhi had said this: “Live as if you will die tomorrow and learn as if you will live forever.” And I think that’s extremely powerful and deep statement that he admit. In the context of 1940’s, 1930’s, I’m talking about which is still absolutely relevant even today, it has impact not only on the individual but also society at large. So, essentially, if you look at it—live as if you will die tomorrow, essentially tells you that drive everything with the sense of urgency, that’s what I’m talking about. My interpretation of that is, how you can drive sense of urgency in everything that you do so that you can drive results quickly be it personal life, be it professional life. I’m sure you’ve experienced that when we used to work together, a little bit of my sense of urgency and madness, so to speak. 

The other aspect is about learning continuously. How do you continuously learn because in today’s day and age if you don’t learn you’re not only obsolete but you’re pretty much dumb in the sense that you’re extinct?  That’s very important to understand especially given the 21st century economy and also the competition that our kids are going to face which are very global in nature. So, it has a lot of relevance from a personal standpoint, from a community standpoint as was professional standpoint. 

Jim Rembach:      It sounds like it definitely has even when you started talking about learning new sport with your kids that you have no basis in [inaudible 6:04]The constant reinvention and I would dare to say that it has also made an impact to you as you’ve gone through the chapters in your life. One of our previous guest talks about—you can almost look at it on and retain your marker where you have to reevaluate, reassess, look and see where you’re going, have a better sense of urgency maybe for the next couple of months—that’s ten years, and really chart a path and reinvent yourself on a continuous basis and you just reinforced it, that quote has a very powerful meaning for you. Thank you for sharing.

 Now, I know that with all of the different things that you been through and even when we were working together side-by-side for a while. The challenges that we often face are so varied in nature and sometimes come very rapidly, however, there’s some that really shape and define us more than others. We talk about humps on the Fast Leader show, and we need to get over those humps. Can you remember a time where you’ve had to get over the hump and it was really one of those major defining moments for you, can you share that story with us please arrive?

Ramesh Subramanian:     Absolutely. Funny that you ask that question because there had been several humps, so to speak. I’ll go back to when you were talking about me being a nomad, and why I call myself a nomad. Just to give you a context of that the hump I use to face is we use to have a new set of friends every few years. And as you can imagine, when you’re growing up friends are a very important context of who you are. And what really helped me understand is the importance of friendship, that got instilled in me but I learned about it really, really young, in terms of how important friendship is.

 And it also helped me understand that I need to—the small amount of time that I’m going to spend with whoever that person is, to enjoy the time because those are things that we take for granted but typically they are not. So from young age I would say that was one of the humps that it took me awhile to really understand and adjust because we were moving quite frequently. Again to extend that nomad story, when I move to college, when I went to move to the West of India to do my Bachelors—I don’t know how much you know about India but when you go from the south of India to the rest of India it’s a whole different country, different culture, completely different we don’t even speak the same language there, it’s like you’re learning everything from scratch—the dynamics between people, how to feel part of the society or part of the school, that was a huge learning process, I think. 

And these learnings are never thought in books, these are experiences and I think life experiences teach you more than any book can. While the biggest things I learned through that whole process was—you need to give people time to ensure that they understand your worthy of their trust. Because trust is foundation to any relationship. To some people it is faster than others but time is definitely a factor when you’re essentially trying to get into a new climate or new environment and trying to be part of it. Be it social, be it professional even for that matter be the new school you’re kid go to, there has to be a level of ‘toying’, so to speak, that means to hop.  

So, I think that maturity came during my college years. And I think one which is more relevantly new I would say is when I came to the US first time to live. I travel to the US multiple times for consulting on various for assignments and engagements but about a decade ago, I moved here with my family and my daughter, Ishita is was six months old. When you come here to live the challenges are completely different because you don’t have a Social Security number, you don’t have any credit history and the challenges that a first generation migrant goes through is not easily explained or understood when you are—again you take things for granted. What’s a big deal in getting credit card for example, when you don’t have credit history you will understand how important a credit card is. And to rent a place, because they won’t rent a place to you because you don’t have a credit history. They don’t know that you are not a criminal, for example, because there is no history. 

The initial couple of months, the challenge we went through, especially with my daughter being six months old, we pretty much lived in a hotel suite for about three weeks to a month and that was a very interesting time of our life because it thought me a lot but I think a few things that it did teach me was the importance of being prepared. I think that we we’re not prepared enough, we could have done much better research or much better understanding of what the environment will be where we’re going to. 

And the second I would say is, always know that there will be issues and there will be troubles and be ready to hit it. Don’t just get dejected or down because there are trouble coming at you because they will always come, it’s about the attitude in which you face those troubles. 

Jim Rembach:     There’s so many things, as you were talking that started running through my mind because I know your wife wasn’t the nomad and a traveler that you were, how were you to manage that relationship? 

Ramesh Subramanian:     That’s a phenomenal question, Jim because my wife cannot be more opposite in our life  experiences. When we got married she was about 24 years, and for 24 years she had been in the same house and it was a giant family that they had. In India there is a joint family wherein all the brothers live together with their parents. Her father’s elder brother and younger brother and their kids and wife use to live in the same place—the same house. So for 24 years all she knew was this place, which was in a thousand square feet apartment. Then all of a sudden she gets married to me, and within the first month we were in UK and she didn’t know what hit her. And then we came back to India to have our daughter and six months later we are in the US, so for her, it was a roller coaster ride she didn’t know what was happening to her. 

So, I think she brought a level of –I don’t know what the right word is—she kind of settled me down in a sense that the way I approach towards life was not always about what’s the next, what’s the next, what’s the next, in terms of where am I going to go. That’s also one of the reason why I move from consulting to industry because in consulting you always tend to travel, part of it. You just brought me back to some of the nostalgic things. 

Jim Rembach:  If you start thinking about a piece of advice that you would give our listeners what would it be?

Ramesh Subramanian:     I’m not sure I have enough experiences to give advice but I can definitely share a few things that I think are important. Let me start personal first. First and foremost I think you need to have a plan to make sure to think out the family first, what I mean by that is not only financial but even otherwise. At least that’s the way I was built or that’s what the value system in which I’ve been brought up. So, first and foremost it’s what do you need to do to take care of the family? How adventurous can you make in life? What I mean by that is that the adventure, not in the traditional sense of going bungee jumping, for example—you should do that if you can but there has to be a level of thrill in which we are doing, whatever you do, in my belief. Because when you’re doing something with a lot of zeal and passion and you feel it is adventurous, you give more than 100%. It doesn’t matter what, it really doesn’t matter what it is. 

The third one is, and this is something that I continue to struggle with honestly, is try to be patient. Try to be persistent, persevere and don’t ‘jump the gun quick’. What I mean by that is to be [inaudible 16:09] in any given situation, we are very quick to come to a judgement, very quick to come into conclusion. Certain things take time and the understanding and the maturity and the patience is required but I can just freeze that I don’t practice it as much as I know I should. But I think those three things that I at least, I want to live at. 

Jim Rembach:     So, talking about excitement and zeal and all of that, what is one thing that really excites you about the work that you’re doing today?

Ramesh Subramanian:     Wow! Couple of things, actually. The basic is, thinker of consumer. If you look at any industry that reason you survive is because of having a good customer base or consumer base. The reason for existence of the company as for that matter is because of their consumers. They are the key part of your business.  So, being part of the Consumer Care Organization globally that by itself was a big thrill for me. And I’ve been doing last couple of months, starting Q4 of last year, is I been part of a transformational journey that we have initiated within Electrolux and that’s called the digital transformation. 

So, we are going through and looking at the digital experience that are consumers are having through the Consumer Care journey, or actually the whole journey [inaudible 17:45] to journey that consumers have with us. From pre-purchase to at purchase and post purchase and how can we make sure that they are providing world class experiences to our consumers so that we are top of mind when it comes to brand selection and also they can love our brands and recommend our brands to their friends and family. 

So, we are looking at very specific high intensity touch points where we can leverage that. I think that’s something that’s going to differentiate us in the industry. And I believe that it is going to be not only transformational within our company but also more importantly the people who will touch in this process are going to be enormous, I mean, internal as well as our consumers.

Jim Rembach:     I know the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Alright, now here we go Fast Leader legion. It’s time for the—Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Ramesh, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’ve 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. Ramesh are you ready to hoedown?

Ramesh Subramanian:     Absolutely. 

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

Ramesh Subramanian:     I think I just shared with you Jim, being patient. That’s something that I need to learn and learn fast.

Jim Rembach:     I’m right there with you brother. What is the best leadership advice you have received?

Ramesh Subramanian:     I think the biggest start of a man is by the product of his own parts, what did things he becomes. I don’t know if you heard of that it’s a very powerful advice that I had receive from a couple of people and it helped me to be positive and be optimistic in scenarios and situations because if you think positive you become a positive man. 

Jim Rembach:  What is one of you secrets that you believe contributes to you success at work or at life? 

Ramesh Subramanian:     I think both. Work and life is about learning, insatiable desire to learn. If you don’t learn you become obsolete. 

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

Ramesh Subramanian:     Well, best resource I would say is my crooked mind. It’s not my crooked mind, I don’t know if you have known in a certain interviews you go they draw a triangle, a circle, a squiggly line and they say in a circle, and they say which one do you relate to the most? And I always go for the squiggly line, and apparently, what that means is you always figure a way out. 

Jim Rembach:     Definitely fits with a nomad status. What would be one book that you would recommend to our listeners?

Ramesh Subramanian:     Oh, wow! There are so many, Jim, I don’t think it’s fair to just give you one book but I’ll give you a few that maybe worthwhile for the readers to consider. One of my favorite is “Good to Great”, First, Break All Rules is a good one, and Execution by Ram Charan is a good one too, if you’re focus on execution and stuff like that. And one of my favorite is “Iceberg is melting” It’s a very famous book, quick read, actually I’m asking my daughter to read it now.  

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader listeners, you’ll be able to find links to that and another bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/Ramesh Subramanian. Okay, Ramesh, here’s the last question on the Hump Day Hoedown: Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning and you were 25 years old again and you’re supposed to begin a new job as a manager of a team that is underperforming and disengaged but you’ve been able to take everything you know and all the skills that you have back with you. Now your task is to turn the team around, you get up, you get ready, you head out to work, what do you do now?

 

Ramesh Subramanian:     Number one, I will be a much more wiser man when I get up, so to speak, when I’m 25 years old. It’s about life’s experiences, like if you learn a lot, and if I get an opportunity to go back and with all this wisdom, I think first and foremost, I’ll have more emphasis on people. I think people together contribute significantly especially in our turn around scenario. The importance from a leadership standpoint is clearly defining the strategic priorities, once the team understand what the strategic priorities are they needed to communicate and get the team together as a unit.  

Defining the strategic priorities is, number one, giving the clear direction and getting them to work as a team is number two. And making sure that they come back and tell us what the socks’ look like for that particular [inaudible 23:11] so how do they contribute to the strategic objective? How do they consider that when they do XYZ they feel that they have contributed to that cause and they will look successful? And that’s something that they have to find for themselves rather than dictating. And some of us has to be objective, [inaudible 15:01]. When it comes to individuals to make them feel a sense of pride in what they do goes a long way to achieve the overall objective. My emphasis is more on people because I did not have the people aspect when I was 25 years old and I think as I grew up I realized the importance of the people aspect of that.  

Jim Rembach:    Ramesh 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?

Ramesh Subramanian:     Sure. You can reach me in LinkedIn, Ramesh Subramanian. And you can email me, rameshdon.atrip@yahoo.com 

Jim Rembach:    Ramesh Subramanian, 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 to the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 

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