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Samuel Knickerbocker | Fuel Your Legacy

226: Samuel Knickerbocker: I didn’t understand the impact I was having

Samuel Knickerbocker Show Notes Page

Samuel Knickerbocker was showing up one way as a leader, but not the way he perceived himself. That’s when he decided to make a shift on how he interacted with people and to learn how to lead out of love. Now Samuel teaches others to leave a legacy love, forgiveness, gratitude and self-confidence.

Samuel was born in Utah and raised in Parma, Idaho, a small town in on the Idaho/Oregon border. He is the son of two happily married parents and the 7th of their 11 kids. There was never a dull moment in his home, you always had at least one friend and one enemy.

Growing up Samuel was home-schooled which provided a lot more contact and conversation with the family financial situation. They reviewed and made financial decisions as a family, working as a team to accomplish financial goals. It was here that Samuel learned much of his leadership and management skills.

Samuel got his first full-time job at age 11 in a honey extracting plant and from there worked in the food, construction, sales, and service industry while never really losing sight of his passion. Samuel loves leading others to gain greater self-confidence and build stronger relationships.

The Legacy that he is excited to leave behind is one of action and love. When his generations are talking about him, he wants them to be saying that he was committed to lifting others around him and always looking for ways to pour belief into others about their infinite potential.

He now works as a wealth transformation coach, walking people through the habits, mindsets and behaviors required to build a financial foundation that can support a long-lasting legacy.

Samuel currently lives in Pleasant Grove Utah. He has the most incredible, angelic, beautiful wife, Sharlie and they have been blessed with two boys Declan and Quincy.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“What is so crucial from a leadership perspective, is really being able to understand what each person’s individual gifts are.” – Click to Tweet

“Why would we promote you if there’s nobody to fill your spot?” – Click to Tweet

“It’s super self-serving to make sure you’re training people.” – Click to Tweet

“You’ve got to always be thinking from a love and abundance standpoint rather than fear and scarcity.” – Click to Tweet

“If there’s somebody telling you that you can’t it, it’s really a reflection of what they believe about themselves.” – Click to Tweet

“I could have a huge impact if I chose to, and the next step is choosing to do so.” – Click to Tweet

“If your vision for your company isn’t sexy enough, then it’s not good enough.” – Click to Tweet

“Is your goal deceive enough?” – Click to Tweet

“Transparency is so crucial when you’re trying to create a movement of legacy.” – Click to Tweet

“You need to go identify your identity.” – Click to Tweet

“When you let your light shine that gives permission to other people to let their light shine.” – Click to Tweet

“Because I know whom I am, I can then go share who I am.” – Click to Tweet

“You can only love and believe in somebody else as much as you love and believe in yourself.” – Click to Tweet

“If you are ever treating people badly, that’s an outward representation of how crappy you’re treating yourself.” – Click to Tweet

“The only way to be truly selfish is to be self-less.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Samuel Knickerbocker was showing up one way as a leader, but not the way he perceived himself. That’s when he decided to make a shift on how he interacted with people and to learn how to lead out of love. Now Samuel teaches others to leave a legacy love, forgiveness, gratitude and self-confidence.

Advice for others

Love more, be more willing to give of yourself.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Being conscious of connecting with my team and making sure they’re focused on their specific gifts.

Best Leadership Advice

Serve first and love more.

Secret to Success

Radical honesty and openness.

Best tools in business or life

Staying connected with God and my purpose.

Recommended Reading

The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict

The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too)

Contacting Samuel Knickerbocker

Website: http://samknickerbocker.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ssknickerbocker

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samuel-knickerbocker-94511a133/

Resources and Show Mentions

The 9 Pillars to Build a Meaningful Legacy

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work


 

Show Transcript: 

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

226: Samuel Knickerbocker: I didn’t understand the impact I was having

 

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

 

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

 

Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who I think is going to help us with a very critical element to our overall well-being. Samuel Knickerbocker was born in Utah and raised in Parma, Idaho a small town on the Idaho, Oregon border. He is the son of two happily married parents and the seventh of their 11 kids. There was never a dull moment in his house you always had at least one friend and one enemy. Growing up Samuel was home-schooled which provided a lot more contact and conversation with the family financial situation. They received and made financial decisions as a family working as a team to accomplish financial goals. It was here that Samuel learned much of his leadership and management skills.

Samuel got his first full-time job at the age eleven in a honey extracting plant and from there worked in the food, construction, sales and service industry while never really losing sight of his passion. Samuel loves leading others to gain greater self-confidence and build stronger relationships the legacy that he’s excited to leave behind is one of action and love. When his generations are talking about him he wants them to be saying that he was committed to lifting others around him and always looking for ways to pour belief into others about their infinite potential. He now works as a wealth transformation coach walking people through the habits, mindsets, and behaviors required to build a financial foundation that can support a long lasting legacy. Samuel currently lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah and has the most incredible angelic wife named Charlie and they have been blessed with two boys Declan and Quincy. Samuel Knickerbocker are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Absolutely and I’m pumped. 

Jim Rembach:    I’m glad you’re here. Now, I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Yeah, absolutely. So for me one of my biggest passions my biggest dreams I was just—could make it happen today which I’m working on would be to speak in the Georgia Dome in front of a hundred thousand people about love, forgiveness, gratitude and self-confidence, self-belief in themselves and that my ultimate passion. I have been chasing that from a lot of different angles. I actually studied neuropsychology in college so got into the research and was almost going to be a neuroscientist but then I decided there’s so much going on and most of the social problems that we experienced depression, anxiety, divorce, domestic violence, and the list goes on and on most of these problems are in the socioeconomic status of the lower income. I saw that and I was like, man there’s no reason for me to go years of schooling to try and pick something that shouldn’t have never have been broken, shifted my whole focus in life to finance to ultimately have the same objective help people gain that confidence, to love, the self-respect those things but do it from a financial foundation perspective helping people gain that confidence in their life and in their ability to provide and for their loved ones or family. As they do that then everything else is actually able to be built on top of that but it starts with can you shelter yourself? Can you have transportation? Just have basic needs and once you satisfy those basic needs then it’s a lot easier to actually think about, oh well, what do I want to be remembered for? And actually start thriving rather than just surviving.

Jim Rembach:    As you’re talking—you and I had the opportunity to chat a little bit before the interview is I started thinking about a lot of people who I have interactions with in the contact center world and customer experience world and we’re trying to improve and support and develop the performance of people who are on the front line interacting with customers. You talked about that lower end of the economic status and economic cycle and economic position and a lot of those people are working in these contact centers and they’re working many times multiple jobs. So if I’m leading those people and I need to help them be more successful I must have their financial well-being in mind and this whole legacy and legacy creation for myself and them. 

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Absolutely. I would say from a position that I worked similar like that I bring in business partners and I train them how to do what I do and how to become good financial advisors or good people who understand the financial world and go out and serve families and sometimes they start in a very similar place. They’re just walking into the job thinking can this be a career for me? Can this be a purpose? Can this be a life? And what I think is so crucial from a leadership perspective is really being able to understand what each person’s individual gifts are. If you just blanket say, hey, I know you guys are all great at this or whatever if you haven’t really understood that individuals gifts and you start telling them that they’re good at something that inside they don’t believe themselves good at then they’re going to not believe in themselves even more and they’re going to kind of see you as somebody who’s telling falsities or just trying to build them up from an ego perspective rather than really identifying their gift and helping them know that you recognize what their main gift is. Maybe it’s like every time a customer walks in you smile that gift right there that’s what makes you special that’s why I want you on my team and you’re always helping them really identify their identity. And ultimately I would think in your position the goal would not to always be have them on the front line the goal would be a leadership factory where you’re bringing people in the front lines and you’re spitting them out and they’re being able to move on to bigger and better things and you’re impacting the world by having this leadership factory where people are coming in and they’re spinning out with so much belief in themselves that they’re going in and out and accomplishing just wonderful things.

Jim Rembach:    That’s a really interesting point that you bring up. I was just having this discussion with a top level executive in a financial institution it’s one of those that—do you have these in your wallet type of companies. And he was talking about so many vacant positions that they had in a senior leader type of position and even mid-level they just have a lot of jobs that are not going filled. I said you know while I may be able to assist and support you in finding  people to actually fill some of those roles I said reality is you have to groom them you have to develop them. When you even start thinking about successful sport clubs, sometimes I don’t like to use that analogy but I think it applies here and I love baseball, when you look at the most successful baseball programs the ones that are the most successful and can sustain it is that they’re developing their farm system they’re not doing it through going and trying to hire free eight in the free agent markets, unless of course you’re the Yankees you got the money, but  you’ve got to build it you’ve got a groom them you have to have that factory. And so for leaders I think, like you said, it’s really important for me to have the mindset of, I need to help people to surpass me that could be one of my most powerful legacies.

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Yeah, absolutely. There’s an industrial psychologist who end up being—I forget the college or the dean but David Bednar is his name and he’s written lots of papers on this and one of the things he said from a leadership perspective is, if you’re not actively trying to replace yourself like that should be your focus is like how can I replace myself how can I train my replacement then you’re never going to get a promotion. If you yourself, there’s nobody under you who can replace you then why would we take you away why would we promote you if there’s nobody to fill your spot? So like it’s super self-serving almost to make sure that you’re training people it’s counterintuitive because you think well if I train them to do my job then I’m going to get fired. No, if you’re good enough to train somebody to replace you then you’re going to be better than the other ten people on your same level and you’re going to get promoted out of that position. You’re going to end up, even if it’s just they create a position so you can go train all the other people, it doesn’t matter but you’ve got to always be thinking from a love and abundance standpoint rather than a fear and scarcity. Anytime you step into, well, if I do that then I might lose then you’re in fear and scarcity you’ve got to remove your mind from that. That’s a habit and a mindset that you have to be able to change to really be successful as a leader or to be successful and as a follower. Even you have to be able to build the shift, what do I believe my potential is? What’s my identity? And can I achieve that? 

Jim Rembach:    What you’re saying too is—I think sometimes it could be misleading to say that I’m going to do this to get promoted because maybe it is that I just find my fulfillment and my legacy is in—that I was a leader who developed and created so many of all these other leaders I didn’t need to have that position of higher authority. As a matter of fact oftentimes when you get to positions of higher authority you don’t get as much opportunity to develop leaders because you’re too busy doing some other things that may not be as fulfilling. 

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Yep, that’s so true. 

Jim Rembach:    You and I also had talked about a couple of tools that you created to me that seemed very fascinating and interesting to me and I definitely would like to make your e-book available to all of our listeners, tell us a little bit about when you’ve developed with that.

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Yeah, for sure. I have an e-book that I’ve written it’s, The Nine Pillars to Build a Meaningful Legacy is what its current title it’s a working title I may shift it because I want it to be more focused on what it is kind of heighten the purpose of the book. But it’s really the reason there’s one overarching reason of why you must as a leader and as an individual, this goes all the way down to the bottom level, you must become wildly financially successful. A lot of people they have this opinion in their mind being coming financially successful rich people are bad money doesn’t grow on trees these scripts that we’ve just been taught and hammered into us and if we can be willing to put those off the ultimate reason—the first two reasons why you need to be financially successful or the first two sections rather are you have to do it for your haters and you have to do it for your supporters. 

And we go over your country, your family, your faith, and all the different reasons, there’s nine of them, but the first two are the most impactful. The people who don’t believe that you can be successful you need to go be successful for one reason and that is out of love for them because if there’s somebody who’s telling you that you can’t do it it’s really a reflection of what they believe about themselves. And so if they’re saying, no, you can’t be successful you’re never going to make it out of the project you’re never going to make it anywhere you’re always going to be living off the government you’re always going to be living off your parents you’re always going to be in your parents base whatever that’s because that’s what they believe about themselves. So, because of because you love your haters it’s your moral obligation to go and become wildly financially successful to allow them so they see, wow, I know him I know he’s just a normal person if he can do it then I can do it. It actually frees people, I forget who said it, but I love that quote—let your light shine so that all the other people it gives them permission to let their light shine. 

When you let your light shine it gives other people the permission to let their light shine. And that’s why it’s so crucial that we all become wildly financially successful as an act of love to help other people see that they can and have the confidence that they can. That’s the first tool that I’ve used to help people. With each section there’s a workbook so it’s like, hey, who are your haters? How would their life change if they saw you be successful? And then what are you going to do about it? It’s like a kind of workbook that helps people walk through the process of why should I as an individual, yeah I get that we should in general, but why shouldn’t me? How is it going to change my mom’s life the mom who’s telling me I’m never going to be successful? If I did go make a million dollars if I did become wildly financially successful how is her life going to be better? What would she choose to do if she believed in herself more? When you start thinking about that it becomes emotional you break down you start crying and like that’s where the change happens. What happens is you start to understand, wow, I could have a huge impact if I chose to and then the next step is just choosing to do so.

And so that’s tool number one. The second tool that I have is a webinar. The webinar really focuses, the title of it’s called you are worthy, and it goes into number one it goes into the fact that you are worthy of success in helping you believe in your worthiness believe in your ability to achieve success. Two, it helps you fix and heal your relationship with debt so that you can actually have a healthy relationship with debt and money in general understanding the difference between debt and investment different things like that. And then the third is how to actually manage your money, how to live with the live within your means and focus on abundance rather than fear and scarcity focus on love and abundance. Most people I’ve ever talked to they don’t want to get out of debt. If you could say, okay, you could be out of debt or dead broke or you could have some debt and have twice as much money as you need to pay off that debt but you’re over here investing it. People don’t want to get out of debt they want to make sure that they are able to get out of debt. So they’re more concerned about income mobility than they are about being in debt. We focus on that kind of interchanging the mind and how to actually progress through that to where you can actually live in abundance and love all the time. And then the last section in that is focusing on the monetary exchange versus value exchange just understanding and value exchange as a whole and how to—if you’re worried about not having enough income, and this is something as a leader, I would be absolutely teaching my people always. If you’re worried about, I don’t have enough money coming in, that’s a monetary value exchange the reason that that’s happening is because you’re not adding yet enough value to other people for them to pay you money. So it goes into that mindset and helps shift out of the mindset of take-take-take and I just need something and puts them into the mindset of okay, I need to start giving so much of myself that it hurts people not to pay me.

Jim Rembach:    As you were talking I started thinking about how many people come into the workforce that are just not prepared for what you just had mentioned. Talking about the whole, oh, I need to be able to give that in order to be real to receive that. Because when we’re younger we just think that, hey, I have this experience and this education and therefore you owe it to me. And you’re saying that’s actually the wrong mindset they have we need to think about that whole giving concept.

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Yeah. I’m a deeply religious guy and I think in what area of religion does anybody owe me anything? The only way I get anything as far as Christ’s forgiveness anything like that is, it’s not necessarily that I have to do works or something, but I have to be willing to give up of myself. I have to be willing to surrender myself to Christ for him to be able to have claim on me. If I’m not willing to surrender my will and surrender everything that I am and possessed and I’m willing to do then I can’t really expect the redeeming attributes of what he did for me. For me that goes into every aspect of my life. If it’s a principle and it’s true on one side of the equation and the religion side it’s got to be true everywhere in my life. And I just like to apply principles blanket if it can be applied blanket then I consider it a true principle and I’ll accept it into my life. If I can find somewhere where it doesn’t apply then I’m probably not going to be committed to that principle until somebody helps me make sense of it.

Jim Rembach:    Also we had talked about the whole legacy piece and then also the issue associated with being able to help other people to learn from it. I had shared with you a story being on the finance committee at my church and our elders was talking about his tithing and his giving back to the church and he said, I don’t share that with anybody because it’s personal. And so then I asked him the question I said, well then how do you expect the younger generation to learn to give like you give? He looked at me with a dead stare. And I think that’s another thing that people have to remember is that okay, well if I’ve gone through this and I’ve gone down this path and gone through this journey I now need to have and help others do the same thing. 

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Yeah, absolutely. And that’s another tool that I have it’s a more of a speech that would give to corporate leadership or managers, owners of companies, things like that but I’ve redefined SMART goals not to take away from the old definition but to help people understand how the SMART way that’s an acronym to actually create a legacy. I’ll just blow through those really quickly and if you want more definitions than then reach out to me, I give an actual corporate speech on this. The S is sexy, like when you state your vision when you’re bringing people into your company if your vision for your company isn’t sexy enough isn’t like-mind captivating enough to keep people focused on it and keep people thinking about it all day long then it’s not big enough it’s not good enough that’s not inclusive enough so that has to be the huge thing, massive. Is it big enough that it requires other people to help you? If I can accomplish my goal all by myself but I’m just going to graciously allow people to participate that’s not the same as like, look, you’re a valued contributing member of this and this is not going to work without you. If somebody feels that they are on the back of them to help this get accomplished they’re so much more willing to give they’re willing to stay up late at night and sacrifice for this ultimate goal for this legacy. Is it massive enough? Is it remarkable enough? Some things are remarkable, right? Carving for people’s faces on side of a mountain, Mount Rushmore, that’s a remarkable thing. Whoever thought up that and just like, hey, this would be fun but that’s like people come from all over the world to see that with their eyes because they just don’t believe it it’s like that’s just a picture. No, it’s really there, I’ve been there. 

Another one is like Tesla put a car in orbit of the earth something like it seems pointless but what’s cool about it is that the mind, it expands the mind as well, people are going to talk about this it’s advertising, right? Is it remarkable? Oh, I missed the A. The A is, audacious. So the A, I get kickback from this but that’s why I use it audacious, is your goal divisive enough? There’s going to be people who hate your goal and there’s going to be people who love your goal. But it’s important that your goal and what you’re chasing is divisive, it’s making sure that you are selecting out who is on you team and who’s not in your team who is passionate about helping your organization who’s not. And the people who are in your organization who are against they’re not passionately and they’re in your tribe, it’s not disrespectful but like, let them leave. Let them go find somewhere else that they can be passionate about. It doesn’t mean that they can’t be passionate it just means they don’t love your goal and that’s okay. As a good leader you should be able to recognize that and set that person free from having to be participating in something they don’t want to do. So is it audacious, remarkable, and then the last thing, and this is really the kingpin of what you had mentioned with the elder in your church, are you being transparent? Are you sharing it with the world not in an effort as a gaudy or egotistical way to share your goal? One is accountability to make sure you actually accomplish your goal. Two to inspire others to go and chase down their legacy goal. If Bill Gates never told anybody about Microsoft computers nobody would be using Microsoft computers. If Steve Jobs never took on Apple and said look, we’re going to be transparent we’re going to share this with the whole entire world what we’re trying to accomplish, then we wouldn’t all be in love with Apple. And so transparency is so crucial when you’re trying to create a movement of legacy.

Jim Rembach:    I love that, thanks for sharing that. Everything that we’re talking about here even talking about the upbringing with all those brothers and sisters and the house and home schooling with mom, your poor mother oh, my gosh, she’s definitely should be sainted if she isn’t already. Man, it’s all filled with just a ton of emotion. And we need that when we start talking about legacy because some of it is just so far out there that we don’t see it quite clearly and we just need to drive towards it. But we use quotes on the show to help us drive some of that passion, is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?

Samuel Knickerbocker:     That’s a good question. Let’s see what are my favorite quotes? Honestly, I don’t even think about quotes that often, but my favorite quotes are probably some my own quotes when I quote myself. That sounds maybe a little bit self-serving but honestly I’ve never heard anybody say things like, you need to go identify your identity. Like, really? Clarify who you are. When I think about what I’m doing, my daily actions, am I living up to the legacy I’m living? Have my identified my identity? That is something that rings in my head all the time and just motivates me to really get after it. Another quote that I already shared on the show is, when you let your light shine you that gives permission to two other people let their light shine. Those are probably the two that are the most commonly in my mind going through because it’s motivating it’s giving me power it’s helping the accomplish more in my life. Because I know who I am I can then go share who I am. This goes into another aspect of my message but I think it’s crucial for a leader, you can only love and believe in somebody else as much as you love and believe in yourself. That goes into relationships with your spouse, your children, your business partners, it doesn’t matter what relationship that is you can only love and believe in somebody else to the level in which you do for yourself. 

And so like for me, my wife didn’t understand this when we first got married, but I’m infatuated with myself. Like I love myself so much that it’s easy for me to go and give love to other people. Because I’m so in love with myself I know who I am I know all my imperfections and thus I’m able to have compassion for other people’s imperfections. I know all the greatness that’s inside of me that I’m not fully expressing and thus I just intuitively believe and know that there’s greatness inside of others that they’re not quite yet expressing fully then if I can help them identify it and identify who they are then that’s just going to lift everybody up around them it’s just going to help everybody. And then that feeds into the letting your light shine so that other people around you can shine along with you. So those are the two quotes that I would say are like always in my mind I’m always thinking about.

Jim Rembach:    Well, I think those are really good. And I think for me when you started talking about loving yourself I mean a lot of people could take that as a negative but you’re not talking about it from a position of conceit you’re talking about it from a position of abundance and awareness it has to have some boldness within itself. That in itself is audacious to be able to talk and feel that way but the reality is if we all stop and think about that is that you’re dead on right. There’s no way we can positively impact others if we don’t have that positive coming and radiating and generating from ourselves.

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Yeah, everything in my life goes back to Christ on one level or another. For me I think there’s no way that I can conceive Christ doing what he did without knowing his identity knowing what his purpose was what his mission was what his potential was and who he was as an individual. He was able to love and is able to love us because he loved himself first because he kept the greatest commandment of all. Do unto others as you would do unto yourself. You have to be able to do it to yourself if you’re going to do it to others. And the dark side of that that we don’t talk, I try not to touch on too much but like, if you ever are treating people badly that’s an outward representation of how crappy you’re treating yourself. And you really have to think about that and if you’re receiving if people are treating you badly and you’re feeling all this resentment and anger and all this stuff feeling victimized by others you are already and you probably have been for years feeling a victim to yourself you’ve already been cheating on yourself you’ve already been not fulfilling your own dreams. And so then when somebody points it out now you’re upset at them for pointing out something you already know. It’s easier to be upset at them than it is to look inward and say, oh, crap that’s a belief I already hold I just don’t like it being pointed out. 

Just as good as it can be, love yourself that so you can love others. There’s the opposite side of that, we’ve got to help at least understand that’s where people are at, and so when it comes to coaching and leading people out of that if you don’t know where they’re at how are you going to go get them and rescue them. You got to know where they are and be willing to go to where they are at least with them on an empathetic level and then to show them the light and point in the directions.  Hey, look there’s a light over there I can teach you how to get there, take my hand and let’s go. But if you’re just standing over there and yelling at them, hey, come on over here I have no idea why they should move, unfortunately. 

Jim Rembach:    When I start thinking about you being able to gain the wisdom that you’re gained, gosh, such an early age. I’m still working on some of the things that you’re talking about where ready. So I’m looking forward to hearing you share with us the time you’ve gotten over the hump and what it meant for you.

Samuel Knickerbocker:     That’s a great question. There’s two stories that really come to my mind and I’ll tell one overarching story and I’ll point out which two moments it really happened for me. As a kid, my mom so far and everything I love her and she’s gotten the help that she needs now but she was extremely narcissistic, very abusive, as a child and probably in large part because her emotional irregulation because she had so many children. There’s no way that I’m going to condemn anybody there and as an adult I can understand it I could comprehend it as a child I didn’t I felt very attacked, very unloved, very abused. My way of choosing you to protect myself from that and protect my family was to become a leader in the house to make sure that everything got done so that my mom wouldn’t get upset and then beat us. The downside to that was, and what I didn’t recognize is I actually had become my mom to my siblings I had become the oppressor I had become the person who was abusing in order to save them from her abuse. In this weird twisted way it didn’t really click until I was about 13 or 14 years old and my older brother Rex came home from college and he was witnessing me going in and impacting my will on my brothers and sisters to force them to do what I wanted them to do. And he came in he held me down and just like wrestled me down to the ground he just held me really tight and in his mind it was for an indefinite amount of time he was just going to hold me there until I got it. We had a conversation, I was struggling couldn’t get out I literally felt like I couldn’t move anything and he says, hey, Sam this is how people feel emotionally when you walk into the room they feel this restricted this captive by your presence. It never occurred to me and here’s why it was inconsistent with what I believed about myself I thought I was showing up one way but I wasn’t. 

When I was about four or five years old maybe six I remember a time driving with my grandpa. We were driving to the dump to drop some stuff out at the dump and we’re listening to the radio he turned down the radio put his hand on my knee and he said, hey, Sam your voice is really pleasant to listen to you could probably lead people the greatness maybe even be on the radio someday. That was the first time I ever experienced love ever experience somebody believing in me and so from that young age I had identified in my identity that I was a leader that I could lead people the problem is I didn’t understand how to lead people. I didn’t understand the impact I was having. I was a leader I still got things accomplished we didn’t get beat by my mom anymore so it’s like all these great things but then I had become my mom. When I was sitting there with my brother and he helped me switch that like turn my mind there the penny drop and I was like, oh, my gosh that was really the hump for me when I decided okay, I can be a leader in two different ways. I can be the communist dictator, where you just do what I say because I said to do it and if you don’t then I’m going to force you to do it. Or I could be a leader out of love and so I actually shifted my whole way of interacting with people. At this young age, 13 14 years old I would go to my siblings and say look, two rules that I’m going to give you that you can gauge me off and hold me accountable to as a leader. One, I’m never going to ask you to do something that doesn’t need to be done immediately, so that that’s rule number one. Rule number two, if you don’t do it then I will get up and do it to show that there was accountability. And then the third thing was you have permission, I finally gave them permission to tell me no, just say no I’m not going to do that. What happened was over the course of 3 weeks to maybe a month of me being very clear, hey, I need this done and can you do it? Asking them rather than telling them and then having them say no, I don’t want to do it and then me getting up going and doing it and getting them feeling comfortable that way. After a month and month and a half they were actually better at following and better at getting things done by me just inviting them to do it rather than me forcing him to do it. And they were doing out of love to the point where I could be sitting on the couch, I could say hey, could you get me a glass of water, Afton, my older brother and he’d like, yeah,  I’d love to. They loved to help me once they realized that they didn’t have to help me. And I think that is what really helped me get over the hump when it comes to leadership is when I made that shift. 

There are two motivating factors, there’s two ways to get somebody do something there’s motivation which is force pushing—you’re going to get fired if you don’t do this whatever the case may be, there’s motivation. And then there’s inspiration, inspiring people is always more effective. Love will always trump hate, fear, anger and love is always going to beat that out it’s just do you have the patience to let love do its work? This is more immediate movement it takes some cultivating and takes integrity to make sure that when you ask somebody to do something if they don’t do it you’re going to go do it because like it has to get done you’re not just pointlessly asking people to do stuff for busy work nobody enjoys that no employee no leader nobody enjoys doing busy work. And so if it doesn’t need to be done then why are we asking people to do it. I had to learn that as a leader that had a pretty young age.

Jim Rembach:    Samuel Knickerbocker, I’m looking forward to being one of those ticket holders of the other hundred thousand that’s in the Georgia Dome to see you. And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor:

An even better place to work is an easy-to-use solution that 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 for the Hump day Hoedown. Okay Samuel, the Hump day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Samuel Knickerbocker, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Oh, yeah, let’s do this. 

 

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

Samuel Knickerbocker:     The biggest thing I find in myself that’s holding me back is being conscious on a daily basis of connecting with my team and making sure that they’re focused on their specific gifts and not trying to have an overall system for them to just like feed into my system but help them recognize their gifts and exploit their gifts for their benefit.

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

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Serve first and love more,

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

Samuel Knickerbocker:     I think it is radical honesty and openness. I’m not always the nicest person I admit that. From my heart it comes from a good place always but I’m very direct with people I don’t mince words and so to be in my presence or to be coached by me you’re going to get very direct communication and that helps people know, they don’t always like me, but they know that they don’t ever have to wonder what I’m thinking about them or what I’m thinking. That contributes a lot to—people are willing to join my team because they know that they’re going to get all of Sam, all the good and all the bad, and they know what that is and they’re okay with it they don’t have to guess who I am.

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

Samuel Knickerbocker:     I would say honestly staying connected with God. In my opinion the greatest leader the greatest legacy all of that staying connected with God and my purpose is a daily occurrence every morning I wake up and that’s the first thing I do. I get connected with who I am my purpose, my goals, and then I get connected with God through meditation and prayer. If you’re not doing that, even if that’s all you did, it would change the way you interact with the world entirely.

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

Samuel Knickerbocker:     I think the Anatomy of Peace is probably one of the best books. The Anatomy of Peace and the Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. Anatomy a Peace is by the Arbinger Institute’s, if you’ve heard of leadership and self-deception that’s all about the corporate world the Anatomy of Peace is the precursor to that about how the character Lu learned everything and that book has had a greater impact on my life that I think any other book bar the scriptures. And then the Four Tendencies is a great way to actually communicate. It gives you a language to communicate expectations. Inner expectations and outer expectations and from a leader to subordinate or just relationship wise it helps people understand, okay, why am I not performing in this area that I know I need to? And what things can I put in place to help me fulfill those expectations?

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/SamuelKnickerbocker. Okay, Samuel this is my last Hump day hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25, which for you is maybe last week, huh? 

 

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Yeah, that’s funny actually. 

 

Jim Rembach:    –and you’ve been given the opportunity to can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything, you can only choose so, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Honestly, it would just be to love more. Be more willing to give of yourself. I have this phrase that I say to myself I’ve never heard anybody else say it but, the only way to be truly selfish is to be selfless. The best feelings I’ve ever received in my life are when I was in the service of others and so I was just chasing the best feeling, the best high, the best everything I’ve ever received then I would spend every waking minute of my life serving others and loving them unconditionally. And so that’s what I work on every day I’m not perfect at it, anybody who thinks they’re perfect I’d like to meet you. For me I’m not perfect I don’t want people to think I’m perfect but that’s what I would say, love unconditionally and be willing to serve more.

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

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Absolutely. I am Sam Knickerbocker on Instagram, Samuel Knickerbocker on Facebook, LinkedIn Twitter, YouTube. I also have a podcast called Fuel your Legacy and this podcast has simply focused on habits, mindsets, and behaviors of the world class and how to actually build a legacy, so what’s essential to build a legacy. I do a three-part show, Monday I introduce a topic Wednesday, I do a book review on the topic and then Friday, I have a guest on that week that’s going to really help us dive deep into their personal experience and their life experience on that habit mindset or behavior. That’s a fantastic podcast just to listen to.

Jim Rembach:    Samuel Knickerbocker, 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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096: Paul Larsen: I became very alone overnight

Paul Larsen Show Notes

Paul Larsen was promoted into a manager role. He wasn’t up for it so the authority went to Paul’s head. After a short period of time, Paul found himself all alone. One Thursday night, all of Paul’s direct reports went out to celebrate a birthday and he wasn’t invited. That’s when Paul realized he needed to make some changes to get over the hump.

Paul flew into his Northern California home in the early 60s, being raised in the Bay Area communities of Hayward and Livermore. The youngest of 4 spirited children, Paul is the son of an airline pilot and a very creative homemaker and talented artist.

Instilled at an early age to the value of education and learning, Paul consistently found himself in “teacher” roles no matter if his job was flipping hamburgers, selling shoes or bagging groceries. It seemed that friends, family, colleagues and strangers always sought him out for advice, counsel and coaching. It was this intuitive talent that led Paul to his various and successful corporate roles, such as leading human resources or learning and development teams at Charles Schwab, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Adobe Technology.

However, it was not until later in life, in 2009, that Paul truly “found his voice.”  On a warm day in June, Paul was sitting on a solid church pew with the sun streaming in through the stained glass windows. He was listening intently to people as they each extolled the virtues of a man that had recently passed away. That man was Paul’s father, Alf N Larsen, Jr.  Each person got up to the microphone and talked about the positive impact that Alf had on their life…as a colleague, friend, family member and Army Air Corp fighter pilot of WWII. It was during this “lovefest” that Paul had one of the biggest epiphanies of his life: “What will people be saying as my memorial service? What will my legacy be? What impact do I have on other people…my communities…the world? What impact do I want to have?” Calling this a final “mentoring moment” from his father, Paul set out to find his “true voice” and realize the potential he knew was still hiding within him.

Saying good-bye to the traditional corporate roles, Paul created his core message around “Find Your V-O-I-C-E as a Leader” by discovering your Values…creating your Outcomes…exercising your Influence…demonstrating your Courage…and communicating your overall Expression for positive impact. This is what his parents had always modeled…he was just putting it into practice to share with the world.

Paul now works at his true calling as an established executive coach, partnering with incredibly smart and committed leaders across all industries and organizations. His talent and ability to help leaders “find their voice” comes from his own life experience of successes, failures, loves and losses. He is the author of the new book, “Find Your VOICE as a Leader”, and is a board member of the wonderful foundation, “Together We Can Change The World” which supports the education and empowerment of women and children throughout Southeast Asia.

When not traveling the globe, he lives in San Francisco, CA with his partner of 25 years, Steve, and relishes his relationships with his 7 nieces and nephews and his 25 “great-nieces and nephews”…while always living by his motto: “Life is too short not to find your voice…so what are you waiting for?”

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“You don’t have to have the title to be a leader.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet

“Find your true calling, find your voice, and take a stand.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“Corporations stifle creativity because of the bureaucracy.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“Bureaucracy creates leaders who are all the same.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“Conventional wisdom would say that the author of our legacy is someone else.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“What’s your legacy; what’s the legacy you’re leaving?” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“Author who you are as a leader.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“Do not let other people author your legacy.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“You better take the steps to establish the legacy that you want.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“Without knowing your values, how do you know where you’re going?” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“What do you value and how do you know you value that?” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“Values are at the forefront of conversations, but do we really know what they are?” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“It’s not about likability; it’s about creditability.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet 

“The ability to be self-aware establishes who you are.” -Paul Larsen Click to Tweet    

Hump to Get Over

Paul Larsen was promoted into a manager role. He wasn’t up for it so the authority went to Paul’s head. After a short period of time, Paul found himself all alone. One Thursday night, all of Paul’s direct reports went out to celebrate a birthday and he wasn’t invited. That’s when Paul realized he needed to make some changes to get over the hump.

Advice for others

Write your own legacy.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Jumping to conclusions too fast.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Hire smart people and then get out of their way.

Secret to Success

Stepping out of my comfort zone on a continual basis.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

An egg timer.

Recommended Reading

Find Your VOICE as a Leader

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Contacting Paul

Website: http://www.paulnlarsen.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VoiceasaLeader

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”]

096: Paul Larsen: I became very alone overnight

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

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

 

Jim Rembach:     Okay, Fast Leader Legion today I’m excited to have the guest that we have on the show today because he has a system that I think can help us all. Paul Larsen flew in to his northern California home in the early 60’s being raised in the Bay Area communities of Hayward and Livermore. The youngest of four spirited children Paul’s the son of an airline pilot and a very creative homemaker and talented artist. Instilled that an early age to the value of education and learning, Paul consistently found himself in teacher roles no matter if his job was flipping hamburgers, selling shoes or bagging groceries. If seeing that friends, family, colleagues and strangers always sought him out for advice, counsel and coaching. It was this intuitive talent that led Paul to his various successful corporate roles such as leading human resources and learning and development for teens at Charles Schwab, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Adobe Technologies. 

However it was not until later in life in 2009 that Paul truly found his voice on a warm day in June. Paul was sitting on a church pew with the sun streaming through the stained-glass windows he was listening intently to people as they each extolled virtues of a man that had recently passed away, that man was Paul’s father. Alf N. Larsen Jr. each person got up to the microphone and talked about the positive impact that Alf had in their life as a colleague, friend, family member and Army Air Corps, fighter pilot of World War II. It was during this lab test that Paul had one of his biggest epiphanies of his life. What will people be staying at my memorial service? What will my legacy be? What impact do I have on other people, my communities & the world? What impact do I want to have? Calling this his final mentoring moment from his father, Paul set out to find his true voice and realize the potential he knew was still hiding within him. 

Saying goodbye to the traditional corporate roles, Paul created his core message around find your voice as a leader by discovering your values, creating your outcomes, exercising your influence, demonstrating your courage in community and communicating your overall expression for positive impact, This is what his parents had always modeled he was putting it into practice to share with the world. Paul now works at his true calling as an established executive coach helping leaders find their voice and is the author of the book “Find Your Voice as a Leader.” 

When not traveling the globe he lives in San Francisco, California with his partner of 25 years Steve and relishes his relationships with his seven nieces and nephews and his 25 great-nieces and nephews. While always living by his motto, Life is too short not to find your voice, so what are you waiting for, Paul Larson are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Paul Larsen:  I am ready Jim to help us all get over the hump. 

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

Paul Larsen:  Yeah. My current passion is working with leaders in any capacity in life. You don’t have to have the title to be a leader. So get out and lead, find your true calling, find your voice, take a stand as you just so eloquently put in terms of my story, life is too short for us not to find our voice, so get out and lead and that’s really what I work on.  My experience has been in the corporate world so I really work in leaders because a lot of times corporations do a job of trying to stifle creativity, stifled communication and they do that because of the bureaucracy, because of momentum they need to have around their business but what it does is creates leaders who are all the same, who norm all the same. And what I want to do is I work with leaders individually so they create their unique voice, that unique value, that unique set of DNA to make them stand up and have an impact for the people in their community. 

Jim Rembach:     I appreciate your energy and your passion for this because definitely contagious and for me I want to get on the edge of my seat. Now, we had the opportunity to talk earlier and there’s several things that stood out to me and there’s a couple that I’d like to focus on. You had said that the reality is for all of us is that our legacy is currently being authored. And if we stop and think about the author of our own legacy, who is it really? 

Paul Larsen:  You know Jim that’s correct. Conventional wisdom would say that the author of our legacy is someone else. If you look at folks and you look at leaders and you look at people in the community many times the legacy is being written by people other than the individual. When I work with leaders one of the very first questions I asked, I’ll always ask, what’s your legacy? What’s the legacy you’re leaving? And the look I get is beyond that chicken and beef look, or what are you going to have for a drink, it’s like—wooh! I’ve never thought of that. I think my legacy is this. And what I want people to do is really have an anchor, author who they are as a leader, author who you are as a community and not let it be authored by other people. Certainly, in today’s world we live in a society we are bombarded with all the media, we are bombarded with likes and tweets and postings and so forth that can certainly shape people’s viewpoints but you have an absolute accountability to establish who you are especially in a leadership role and especially the impact you want to leave. 

There’s always the old adage I remember when growing up, there’s always an old adage I remember my grandmother and my aunt, who are of course older at that time, reading the obituaries and I’m thinking to myself, why are you reading obituaries it just sounds depressing? It just sound like, gosh! You just want to see who has passed or who dies, but if you really think about it the obituary is an archive record of the legacy of that person. And many times that obituary that is printed online or in the paper is not even written by the individual who it’s about. So I use that as a lesson because it’s not about writing our obituary but it is crafting a legacy because no matter when you’re gone, and when I say gone I don’t necessarily mean gone from the world I mean gone from the meeting, gone from the room, gone from that organization that legacy stays there. So, you better have an accountability, you better take the steps to establish that legacy that you want and author it yourself. 

Jim Rembach:     So many things are running through my head as you shared that, and thank you for doing that, is that even last night when I’m driving home with my 11-year-old son from baseball practice, and one of the things that my wife and I always try to focus on with our children is their effort, and he was not putting together a very good effort last night. And so I asked him the question I said, “What do you want people to think about you when they hear your name?” 

Paul Larsen:  Beautiful.

Jim Rembach:     And he goes, he stop for a moment he goes, “Good.” And I’m like, “What do you mean?” What do you mean by good? You want them to think good, good about what? And so I tried to get him to talk and think about that and then I tied it back around to his behavior. I said, “So, do you think people think good about you when you sat down in that field and didn’t want to participate?” Do you think people felt good about you when everybody else is running and you are dragging your feet? So, when you talk about having people think good about you, what do you have to do in order for that to happen?

Paul Larsen:  Yeah. Jim that is a brilliant example on so many levels. Number one, you touched on the questions that we should always think. You touched on the definitions that go beyond just good, just go beyond to say, “Well, I think I want to be used thought of as good or okay or a nice person, what does that mean? But more brilliantly and what you just described is that it was 11-year-old son that you were talking to and talking with. And if you really think about this, if we took the responsibility in today’s community and we had discussions like that with our children, with our students, with people who are up-and-coming in life, and up-and-coming through our academic process, think the difference that will have long-term I have no doubt, not even knowing your son and knowing the relationship but I have no doubt that will stick with your son and that will carry forward as he progresses to 12, 13, 14 and into later in life and he will remember that and be very deliberate with his actions and that legacy. The brilliancy of that I just applaud you on that. 

Jim Rembach:     I appreciate that and I can tell you it came from a lot of hard knocks and that’s why there’s fall and loss on top of my head and I know that I’ll probably having to have this conversation repeatedly for many years and probably until—maybe I get my I don’t want to say satisfaction because I don’t but when he’s sitting in the pew and the light is shining in his eyes, hopefully he’ll have his moment. Now, one of the things I also too I think is really important because you and I had chat about this a little bit is that, I want him to be able to know and understand his values as he progresses throughout his life. And we talked about that finding your voice in that first step, to me I think is one of the most critical ones is having people to identify their own values.

I was conducting a workshop with about 50 or 60 leaders where we we’re doing some values identification and I asked folks, as we’re like three quarters away through the workshop, I said, how many of you have ever done anything like this before? And maybe three people raised their hands. And the only reason they had done that is because those folks were part of the corporate environment that went through this discovery process. 

Paul Larsen:  Right. Right.

Jim Rembach:     But when you talk about values most people, I don’t think really know what they are. 

Paul Larsen:  Right. You’re absolutely right Jim. And if you really thing about it without really knowing who we are without knowing what our values are, how to we know where we’re going? How do we know the decisions that were making are going to be the best decisions whether it’s for today, next week, next year, for ourselves, our family, our friends, whatever that might be, and really understanding our values, our core DNA that is everything around how we judge, it’s everything around the actions we take, it’s everything around the purpose that we have, it’s how we behave. So to your point around the folks that are really looking at sort of like, (11:28 inaudible) what do I value? One of the first things I ask when I enter into a coaching partnership, certainly, when I ask the user, what do you value? And how do you know you value that? And the reason I ask the second piece which is the kind of the ROI or the return on investment of your values because many times when I ask leaders to your point around the corporate world, I’ll ask leaders like, “What do you value? All of a sudden start to get a list of values that are cock tip on their wall because they’re the corporate values or the corporate mission which are great and those are wonderful and we all have had experience with those and companies need that as a compass but more importantly I want that leader to understand what is their compass. 

So I’ll get that superficial response first, which is, well, I value teamwork, I value open door, I have an open door policy, I value open communication. Like, really? Then why is door close every time I come in here? Why is it when I ask your team members they say you’re completely unapproachable and you’re never available? So the behavior does not match what you’re actually saying. And a lot of times, not all the time, but a lot of times when I dig deeper through discussions, through assessments whatever that might be, truly the values come out, it’s like no I don’t really value that. I actually value a different type of style or I have a different motivation and that’s all good. This is not judgement on what’s a good value and what’s a bad value but leaders in organizations get to a point where they think they need to value X or they need to value Y because if I really value A or B that’s not good for this organization or that’s not good for what people will think of me or like me for. And thus we get wrapped up in that so people just kind up to your point they don’t do the work on values and then they wonder why they’re like a ship that just kind of drifting, kind of rudderless. And then they wake-up seven years later it’s like, “How did I get in this company where I don’t like what I’m doing? How is my life like this? It’s because it didn’t start with that core sets of beliefs and really identifying what those are and then living those out with your behavior, your impact and again it goes back to creating that legacy. 

Jim Rembach:     You know, oftentimes we hear a lot of differences about generations, multiple generations and workforce and we talk about bloomers, Xers,  it just goes on and on and on. However when you start thinking about values a lot of times value seemed to be something that’s inherited and passed throughout family generations and things along those lines. When you start talking about values and working with different folks, what do you see are some of the interesting dynamics of it?

Paul Larsen:  I work with millennials, I work with the Gen Y’s, I work with the Gen X’s, I work with the Baby boomers and to be honest with you sometimes I’m so confused I don’t even know what’s what except what you said was key. Many times when I’m working with let’s say, let’s take the millennials who had come up and they certainly have a brand, right? We hear that all the time that’s the workforce of the hour right now. How do you manage millennials? And how do engage millennials and all that stuff? But they actually come up, and I think it’s because of just the communities had been raised in the parents and or the mentors or the guides they’ve had, they come up with the true set of who they are and what their values are. And many times those values that the millennials are espousing, of course not everybody, but many of them in leadership positions are contrary to the values of let’s say the Gen Xer’s or the baby boomers or the older generations of which, by the way I’m part of so I own that, and hence we get all this kind of contradiction or we get this gaps that come in around—the millennials are XYZ because they don’t share XYABC over here, in other words, the values are in contradiction when in fact the values are just different and the values are identified early on.   

The Gen Xer’s have certainly have a value of working hard and really being committed and persevering. The millennials have a value of really looking at where can I do the best work? What does that look like? And if I’m not doing engagement here, I’m not making an impact I’m going to go somewhere else, so they get the reputation of they’re just flighty, they cross over, they go from company to company when in fact, when they’re at those organizations they’re working as hard, at least my experience has been, they’re working as hard as the Gen Xer’s. And this isn’t about one generation is better than the other but there are certainly brands and there are certainly value judgements that are made because of the way that they live and the way that that behavior then is espouse by the values. And I think if you really think about today’s work and you think about where we are as a society, where we are as a community, our global community, those of us in the United States values are at the forefront of all conversations. But yet even though they’re at the forefront of all conversations and they drive conversations, do we really know what our values are?

Jim Rembach:     Is there a quote or two that kind of stands out for you that you can share?

Paul Larsen:  Yeah, there’s one I have Jim, I use it. It’s not as probably eloquent as a lot of other quotes that we see now all over social media that come out. And especially in today’s climate in our society, the political climate as well, and it’s about, “Hey leader it’s not about like ability, it’s about.” Find your voice, get out and lead or get out of the way. There are enough leaders in today’s world that will hide in the shadows or hide at the coattails of someone else, it’s like then get out of my way I’ve got better things to do, I want to get out and lead and make a difference. I would much rather have in my career and I think about all the leaders I’ve interacted with both from a team member, both as a peer, and certainly now as a coach, I would much rather have a leader in front of me who I may not agree with but I certainly understand where they’re coming from. I certainly understand their opinions. I certainly understand their decisions they make their values. I may not agree with them at all and I may even judge that, that’s okay, I know where they coming from versus somebody who sits there and shakes their head and does the bubble head leadership and you never know what they’re thinking, you never know what their thoughts are, you never know what their decisions will be until they zing you and they zing you in a way that it would be a blind site. And we have so much of that in today’s world where people are for whatever reasons resistant, hesitant, afraid, intimidated to actually speak up and really take a stand  especially as a leader.

Jim Rembach:     That’s true and I don’t know what’s it’s going to take in order to get over fear, I mean really then, just individuals doing it. And it comes back to—you had mentioned about the epiphany that you had sitting in the church pew and to get to that point, to get past that point, to do all of these things, to stand up, to find your voice, you have to get over a lot of humps to do that, that’s for sure. Is there a time that you’ve had to get over the hump but it helped you find your voice that you can share?

Paul Larsen:  In my very, very first job as a manager. I was promoted into a manager role and I’ve got to tell you—it was a software company it was it was decades ago, and when I got that promotion I wasn’t even up for the promotion. I was just kind of cap on the shoulder, so man, my ego just went—my head must have been like big head, it was just expanded. And I’m sitting there like, wow! I’m going to be a manager and going to have 15 people,  nowadays I would probably run screaming with 15 people without any kind of leadership strength or bench strength or succession management but at that time it was like, 15 people and of course where did I go? Right to power? Right to ego? Right to all those things you’re not supposed to go but will make your head implode. 

But where I went also was that popularity piece, so, this was really key for me, Jim this was such an “aha” moment. It was a software company we’re in a big business park I got a nice big office, I was like, Wow! Look at the size of this table, how many chairs I get, look at all these stuff. All of a sudden now I was really alone. I became very alone over night because all of a sudden with the ego, the power trip, the whole bit—I was not a great popular or influential manager. I became the manager of my peers and who I thought were my friends and overnight I became absolutely a pariah. I became that pariah leader, that pariah manager, like, what happened to Paul? And I was looking at myself like, I haven’t changed. I haven’t done anything different, I’m not manager I can control this, I control your work. So, I remember it was a Thursday night, and to this day, it was a Thursday night, it was 6:30, I was in the office the light were kind of dim and it was raining outside and the whole group of folks that I’d managed, again this 15 folks I been pretty close to, had all gone out for dinner for a birthday party and I was not invited. And I sat there feeling sorry for myself in that little office as it got progressively darker outside and I sat there just like the victim. And I remember just sitting there thinking, “Oh, woe was me, just woe, woe, woe was me and I am like, what happened? And then in an instant I’m sitting there like, what’s going on? Who is this? Who is this person sitting in this chair thinking this? Cause I’d always been, sort of like somebody that was always looking for kind of the next, next and kind of growing, and kind of like –looking the kind of like expand sort of my skills and comfort zone and everything my parents had done such a wonderful job with me. And I’m sitting there feeling so sorry for myself and I’m like, this is not who I am. 

Now, at that time, to be honest with you, I would love to say I have the strategy and the force out to like, oh! I want to build my legacy. I’d (21:57 inaudible)get through Friday, which was the next day but I said I got to change, I have to change something. I’ve got to change my mindset if I want to be successful in this role I’ve got to change my thinking. And I went right outside and my boss’s door was open, she was still in and I said, “Hey, can I grab a minute with you?” and I said, “I don’t know what to do.” And right there in that moment I kind of show he vulnerability if you will and I kind of open myself up which up to that point do not happen. And she says, “Yes” she goes, “I was kind of wondering how long did it was going to take for you to come in here? And I said, “You—what do you mean?” she said “Your struggling” and she goes, “They don’t want anything to do with you? And you are creating, you’re just digging a hole” and she goes, “I was just kind of wondering at some point, I knew something would hit you and I was wondering if today would be that day given what was going on.” Cause she knew as well we weren’t that huge of a company and sure enough she goes, “as soon as you became manager, you became the topic of dinner conversation at their tables every night, you became the manager. You took on a different role that Paul the friend, Paul the fun guy, Paul the humorous, Paul the nice colleague, you became the manager and that build something very, very, different. This is before we—again this is early 90’s, it was way before we talk about brand as a leader and all those things, but they’re definitely that was such a moment for me, Jim in terms of like, what do I do? And she goes, “You can figure it out.” She goes, “I want you to go back and fix it, and I’m not going to tell you.” She was a great coach and again it was an introduction it was like, “figure some staff out because you got it in you because I’ve seen it that’s why you’re in the role you’re at. And you have to kind of go through this to come out on the other side otherwise I’m just telling you and you’re not going to learn anything.” And of course, it was a struggle it took some time and then I had to really kind of very purposeful with what I wanted out of my role as a manager and the impact I wanted to have with this folks. I’m not by any stretch of imagination, I’m not going to say things changed overnight, I’m not going to say, “Oh, I just became this—I still had the triggers in my mind as we do as folks. As Marshall Goldsmith love to say, “What are your triggers? What triggers you?” 

And at that time I had a lot of triggers they’re going off all the time. But I took the time, I was very methodical I built new relationships with these colleagues I had one by one. And they were new relationships because I was in a new role. And that was such an epiphany for me to say, “Wow! This is so different, I’m not going to say that it was something I necessarily just engendered with or was happy about because it really foster a lot of hard work but that became the core and foundation of who I am today.

Jim Rembach:     Thanks for sharing that story. The advice that she gave, well, that is the coach response is still painful because you’re looking for answers. 

Paul Larsen:  You have no idea. I didn’t walk out of there kind of kicking out and walking lighter, I walk out of there like, Wow! Now what? But it was a food for thought and it was just that little spark of awareness that we all look for, right? And sometimes we get in so many aspects in our life. Like maybe your 11-year-old son got when you ask what’s good, definite good.  It’s that little spark of awareness that came up that I didn’t drill deeper on. And you’re absolutely right, I was sitting there like, why are you not given me a checklist of what I should be doing? Why are you not doing that right now? And what it also then taught for me was, “Oh, that’s how I want to be as a manager.” So, I don’t want to necessarily always direct people. You know, situation as we all know, there’s different situational leadership scenarios but that’s what I wanted to subscribe to be at some point. So, yeah, it was a great, very visceral reaction.

Jim Rembach:     So I know you got a lot of things going on, the release of your book. But what are some of your goals?

Paul Larsen:  One of my goals—it’s always been—I think I’ve always been somebody who has really prided himself on being a multitasker. The more I can multitask, the more successful I am. So, all the roles I had in the corporate world, I can do this, this, I can be a generalist, I can be specialist, I can be generalist and specialist in the same minute. I can do everything and I do it really, really good. And so I really, really work hard, Jim on multitasking. And you look at today’s world now, we live in a multitasking environment we have so many ways to multitask. So, I have now flip that, I have become so much more deliberate with my actions, with my thoughts, with my purpose, and with my message that even when I had the epiphany in my mentoring moment with my dad about six years ago, seven years ago, I still approached it from my multitasking environment. I can now like, okay, I’m going to do coaching, I’m going to this, this, I’m going to touch everybody, it’s like—I have now funneled it down, I take deep breaths, I create a mindset in myself where it’s like I want to be much more deliberate with everything that I do so that I have that maximum impact that I want that I desire. Because for me the multitasking is not a success ratio anymore. It really is being very deliberate with my message hence the first outcome of that, in which I’m celebrating and I so appreciate this ability to engage with you, is the book. It really forced me to just say I have a message, I have craft, I have something I want to share, may not agree with everybody people may not like it that’s okay I have something I want to share that was my first step in being very deliberate and committed. So that’s actually what I’m working on.

Jim Rembach:     And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move 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 solution guaranteed to create motivated productive and loyal employees who have great work relationships with their colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work, visit beyondmorale.com/better.

 

Jim Rembach:     Alright Fast Leader Legion, now it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Paul, 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 a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us onward and upward faster. Paul Larsen are you ready to hoedown?

 

Paul Larsen:  Absolutely. I am ready to hoedown. 

 

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

 

Paul Larsen:  Jumping to a conclusions too fast.

 

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

 

Paul Larsen:  Hire smart people and then get out of their way.

 

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

 

Paul Larsen:  Stepping out of my comfort zone on a continual basis.

 

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

 

Paul Larsen:  An egg timer. 

 

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

 

Paul Larsen:  Absolutely, Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

 

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

 

Paul Larsen:  Absolutely. I can even remember 25, but if I went back to 25, Jim, it would be ability to be self-aware. The ability to be self-aware because that starts everything. That ability to have that self-awareness establishes who you are, establishes that ability to self-monitor and self-regulate. Establishes the ability to deal with any type of environment. So that one skill, that one attribute to be able to be self-aware would be absolutely, especially, taking that back to my aged of 25 I would take that in a heartbeat.

 

Jim Rembach:     Paul 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?

 

Paul Larsen:  Absolutely, Jim. I’ve got a website at www.paulnlarsen.com

 

Jim Rembach:     Paul Larsen, 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

[/expand]

 

075: Nate Brown: I didn’t have to buy into that narrative

Nate Brown Show Notes

Nate Brown and his wife moved to Nashville for a job. Placing a lot of his identity in his job, Nate felt like he lost everything when he was removed from the business. Some of the words that were used when he was terminated hurt deeper than anything he could imagine. Listen to Nate tell his story of how he was able to get over the hump.

Nate was raised in Seattle, Washington, but has lived all over the South East since then.  Growing up, Nate specialized in sports that no other kids thought were cool.

These included golf, tennis, badminton, and ping-pong.  Most of his afternoons were spent kicking around a golf course, followed by evenings in the game room.  The pinnacle of his youth came when he won a talent show by reenacting Disney’s “The Lion King” on rollerblades.

Once the country club dream faded into real life, Nate has been slightly more ambitious.  He began working for a safety technology company soon after attending Toccoa Falls College, and has been working to make workplaces safer ever since.

He has held a variety of roles in the services department of UL Workplace Health and Safety including Customer Service Representative, Migration Consultant, Training Manager, and Support Manager.

More recently Nate has been participating in the larger support community through blogging and speaking.  He has led sessions on Customer Effort Score and Gamification at the 2015 ICMI Conference and Expo and looks forward to speaking at both ICMI and HDI conferences in 2016.  He is also the author and founder of the blog CustomerCentricSupport.com.

More personally Nate has two daughters and wife who capture most of his attention and time.  He finds his home in Nashville, Tennessee where he enjoys disc golfing, fishing, photography and serving in his local church.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“Photography has helped me to just see what’s there and to find it beautiful.” -Nate Brown Click to Tweet

“There’s always going to be a situation where you can feel like you’re the victim.” -Nate Brown Click to Tweet 

“You always have the ability to choose in a way that’s going to edify people.” -Nate Brown Click to Tweet 

“Telling everybody but that one person about a problem] ruins your credibility.” -Nate Brown Click to Tweet 

“We make so many commitments in our mind; sometimes that needs to flow through our hand.” -Nate Brown Click to Tweet 

“What is behind that leader that’s causing them to act and behave that way?” -Nate Brown Click to Tweet 

“Great leaders apply their skills to benefit the people that are around them.” -Nate Brown Click to Tweet 

“When I see a leader that I aspire to be it’s that person leading with authenticity.” -Nate Brown Click to Tweet 

“A true leader is committed to the betterment of the group.” -Nate Brown Click to Tweet 

“I can change the narrative in my own mind and make a new legacy.” -Nate Brown Click to Tweet 

“The goal is to always to get better and there’s no finish line.” -Nate Brown Click to Tweet 

“I try to look at me through everyone else’s eyes.” -Nate Brown Click to Tweet 

“I’m there to further the causes that I believe in.” -Nate Brown Click to Tweet 

“Live in the moment and be satisfied to make those around you happier.” -Nate Brown Click to Tweet   

Hump to Get Over

Nate Brown and his wife moved to Nashville for a job. Placing a lot of his identity in his job, Nate felt like he lost everything when he was removed from the business. Some of the words that were used when he was terminated hurt deeper than anything he could imagine. Listen to Nate tell his story of how he was able to get over the hump.

Advice for others

The goal is to always to get better and there’s no finish line.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Fear

Best Leadership Advice Received

Find laser focus.

Secret to Success

Authenticity

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Interpersonal communication skills

Recommended Reading

Leading Change, With a New Preface by the Author

Contacting Nate

Website: http://customercentricsupport.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CustomerIsFirst

Resources

Customer Grade the Call

Creating an even better place to work

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

 

Show Transcript:

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

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we 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.

 

How do you get higher contacts center agent performance it’s when customers grade the call and their ratings and comments are used to motivate and coach agents, uncover hidden secrets and replicate your best agent with the real-time insights from the award-winning external quality monitoring program from customer relationship metrics. Move onward and upward by going to customersgradethecall.com/fast and getting a $7500 rapid results package for free. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay Fast Leader Legion I’m excited today because I am sharing somebody who really resonated with me in an article that they wrote called The Promise of Positivity. Nate Brown was raised in Seattle, Washington but has lived all over the southeast since then. Growing up Nate specialized in sports that no other kids thought were cool, these included golf, tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. Most of his afternoons were spent kicking around a golf course followed by innings in the game room. The pinnacle of his youth came when he won a talent show by re-enacting Disney’s the Lion King on rollerblades. Once the country club dream faded into real life, Nate has been slightly more ambitious. He began working for a safety technology company soon after attending Toccoa Falls College and has been working to make workplaces safer ever since. He has held a variety roles in the services department of UL workplace, health, and safety including customer service representative, migration consultant training manager, and support manager. As a practitioner, Nate is a sought after speaker and participates in a larger support community through blogging. He recently led a session on customer effort score and gamification at the I CMI conference and expo and is slated to do even more. Nate currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee where he enjoys disc golfing, fishing, photography, and serving at his local church and spending the most of his valuable time with his two daughters Aubrey, Kennedy, and his wife Crystal. Nate Brown are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Nate Brown:    Jim I’m ready, I’m excited.

 

Jim Rembach:    So am I, I can’t wait to talk about this promise of positivity but for now I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you share what your current passion is so that we get to know you even better.

 

Nate Brown:    Yeah. It really has been photography. The last year, I feel like it open up a whole new side of my brain, I’ve never been an artistic person but as soon as I got a couple pieces of equipment it’s like I see light and the whole color and just everything differently, I love it.

 

Jim Rembach:    Now that’s really interesting that you say that, for those who don’t know Nate and I are actually looking via video so that we can make a better experience for you as a listener but if I was able to turn the video camera Nate would be able to see my video studio that I do some video as well and dabbled in photography so I look forward to that, but when you start talking about seeing things a little bit different and opening up a different side of your brain what specifically are you referring to?

 

Nate Brown:    Yeah, just the artistic quality of everything. I really feel like I get caught up in what’s next and what do people expect me to do next and what am I going to do in an hour, what am I going to do in two days and I definitely struggle to live in the now and to be content in my current situation and photography has help me to just see what there and just to find it beautiful.

 

Jim Rembach:    So that’s really interesting. So as you were saying that I started thinking about—it’s making you more mindful. 

 

Nate Brown:    True, that’s a good way to put it.

 

Jim Rembach:    And also when you started talking about that and what you just shared and thanks for doing that, it really connected me back to that whole promise of positivity that I read on your blog, and so I don’t think I even mentioned that but you’re the founder and author of the blog customer centric support.com, on that on that post you had talked about five different things in this promise of positivity book but there’s was one phrase, and to me it’s really a quote and it’s pretty powerful, you said: “Your reaction is the variable” what do you mean by that?

 

Nate Brown:    Well, I mean there’s so many dynamic things that happen in our offices and in our working relationships and I feel like there’s always going to be a situation where you can feel like you’re the victim but you do not have to do that and you always have the ability to choose and to choose in a way that’s going to edify people and that’s going to help people and that is the variable that’s there in any situation.

 

Jim Rembach:    So when you start talking about those five components and for me, I kind of chuckle with number five and number five was, I will not harm my coworkers through  conversation that tears them down whether they’re there or not.

 

Nate Brown:    Bingo! It’s whether they’re there or not. Like it’s one thing to be direct with somebody and have robust communication to their face, it’s another thing to I guess have the cowardice of not being able to approach the person when there’s something that you know that they can do better or something that frustrates you, you’ve got to deal with that individual. I mean if you’re telling everybody but that one person you’re doing them a huge disservice and you’re ruining your own credibility and I just don’t want to be about that.

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s a really good point there was a quote that I heard and gosh now I can’t think at the top of my head where the source was but it was essentially that you’re not a loser until you start blaming other people.

 

Nate Brown:    That’s excellent, very true.

 

Jim Rembach:    It is true and so that’s one of the things I keep trying to instill within my kids who are at the moment 12, 10, and 7

 

Nate Brown:    Nice

 

Jim Rembach:    Even at the dinner table last night when my 12-year-old daughter started talking about an athletic situation and talking about one of her teammates in a way that was not positive and I was like you need to stop right there, okay just stop, and she was like why I need to tell you this and I’m like no you don’t, you’re done.

 

Nate Brown:    That’s good.

 

Jim Rembach:    So when you start, there’s a mentor of mine who also said or one of his phrases is that you need to create a no moan zone.

 

Nate Brown:    Oh wow, okay. `Catchy.

 

Jim Rembach:    It is very catchy. And so a no moan zone includes a little bit more than just talking about the coworkers it’s just the overall workplace theme, culture attack, all of those different things. So when you start thinking about creating this positivity component, this positivity culture. How does one start?

 

Nate Brown:   It’s definitely in your own mind. I mean for me this was a commitment to myself that I was going to be a different person and I that was going to stop the games that I play with myself and that I was playing with my coworkers. It was definitely an evolution, it did not happen overnight but for me not only doing that for myself but putting it out there publicly, and I had a lot of great response from that post. I had a lot of people that were saying that they were rooting for me and that they were making their own commitments to positivity as well and that could look different for everybody. But that brings in a communal accountability that really help me to know that it was real and this was a commitment that was going to stick. I wrote that post a while ago and it really has, am I perfect? No,` but I can definitely notice a distinct difference between the person I was before writing that and the person that I am today.

 

Jim Rembach:    One of the things you also mention is signing a contract.

 

Nate Brown:    Yeah. In our day and age if you don’t put your John Hancock on a piece of paper we make so many commitments to our self and in our mind but sometimes that needs to flow through your hand and if for nobody else for yourself that way you can go back and you can see it. We have this organization that they partners with UL, it’s called Patrick Coaching and one of the techniques that they do that’s so powerful is when they do an executive session with you, they have you make a commitment, that’s not even specific to business it’s a commitment that you’re making to better yourself and then ultimately better every aspect of your life including business. They have you put that down on a postcard and sign it and they actually mail that to you three months later with just a question at the front, how are you doing? And it’s just such a powerful accountability knowing that you’re going to get that postcard and you’re going to have to look yourself in the eye and answer that question.

 

Jim Rembach:    That is definitely, talking about that accountability piece and also it’s very inspiring. One of the things that we focus on the show is leadership quotes because it can do just that. Do you have a quote or two that kind of stands out for you that inspires you that you can share?

 

Nate Brown:    Yeah I do. And this is a John C. Maxwell quote and I love this and I’ll get into why, “It’s true leadership must be for the benefit of the followers not to enrich the leader.” And the reason that I love this quote so much is because you see these great leaders, and I’ve been fortunate to be around a lot of them, but the first question that I ask when I see somebody with leadership qualities is, what is their motive is? What is behind that individual that is causing them act and behave the way that they are behaving? Because I feel like I’ve seen and I’ve been a part of a lot of people with leadership skill that have ultimately proven to be very self-serving and for me that’s a very sad moment of truth that I found with certain individuals or I come to understand that they have these great skills and that they’re not being applied in a way that’s ultimately going to benefit the people around them. And when I see a leader that I aspire to be it’s not necessarily that person with all the charisma and all the communication skill and that everybody’s just rallying behind, it’s that person that’s leading with authenticity and that’s leading because they’re not doing it for themselves they are actually there committed to the betterment of whatever it is that that group is trying to accomplish. And that’s the person that I start to see now as a true leader rather than the flashy folks that I used to really honor and respect before.

 

Jim Rembach:    Thanks for sharing that and one of the things that stood out to me was a discussion that I had with the previous guest who’s actually in the Nashville area as well, Jerry Barber

 

Nate Brown:    Oh yeah, I know Jerry, amazing.

 

Jim Rembach:    Jerry talked about kind of not leaving that component to the people to be able to figure out as a leader you need to actually share what your intent is, share what your objectives and beliefs are so that it doesn’t come into question or misinterpretation or being presumptuous in a different way. And to me that was something that just has carried with me and I’ve recommended Jerry’s episodes to a lot of folks who are trying to find their way and excel and move onward and upward faster in regards to leading is concern. So thanks for sharing that.

 

Nate Brown:    No that’s really interesting Jerry Barber is absolutely a mentor of mine we served together on a nonprofit board for the HCI counsel and he’s been fantastic.

 

Jim Rembach:    Yeah good guy. So thanks for sharing that. Okay, so you talked about several different things in regards to the things that you’ve learned, what you were in customer service and support you went into training, helping a lot of different organizations, doing the public speaking, well in order to be able to gain that type of experience and wisdom we have humps to get over because they really teach us some very valuable lessons that we can hopefully share with others.

 

Nate Brown:    Very true

 

Jim Rembach:    Yeah, is there a time that you can remember and share with us when you’ve had to get over the hump?

 

Nate Brown:    Yeah I might have struggled for this a little bit and it was definitely a difficult time. It was when me and my wife had first moved to Nashville. We actually moved here for a job and have no family here, no support structure that was here it was literally just this job. I was essentially fresh out of college and I really thought that it was a great place and if I was  going very well and it’s actually where I learned that I love customer service and I love being on the customer facing aspect of an organization. Well, as it turned out it was not going as well as I thought with a certain individual who was my direct manager and for several months he had been building a case against me that ultimately had removed from the business and it was an incredibly vulnerable time for me and young wife. We were there and just looking around and trying to figure out should we even stay in Nashville? Should we be here? What is going on? And as a provider to my family, as a person who really find a lot of identity right or wrong in my job I just felt like I have lost everything. I never expected that to happen to me and my wife where I was removed out of a position without me actually initiating that. 

 

Some of the things that they said when they were terminating me still stick with me and it was definitely the hump. And basically what they were articulating to me is that I was not special enough and that I was not good enough at the job and that I was only average and that they could not sustain average people in their organization. It wasn’t like something that I did wrong that I knew was a mistake or like just something that went really poorly it just something about what they articulated to me was just such an undermining thing because they were basically telling me that I was no good and that I wasn’t worth a paycheck to them and that hurt deeper than anything that I could’ve imagined at that time. So there was many months after that where I was definitely in a little bit of state of depression and luckily I had a best friend Jim Rich who I said, “Jim you got help me just get my mind right and get out of this, will you come out with me into the woods and lets just hit the Appalachian Trail for a few days and just help me hit the reset button?” And he was gracious enough to do that and just being out there in God’s creation and just have that clarity of mind out there I realized some of the lies that I’ve been told and I realized that I did not have to buy into that narrative and that I could go ahead and move forward.

And so after that time I’ve got the call from what would later become UL and they asked if I would come in an interview for the most front-line customer service position possible, I mean just on the phone, just being with customers and remembering that I had realized even in that other job that ultimately end up being very bad thing that I still love the customer, I love customer service and that I was good at that and I wanted to prove that to myself and prove that to those around me. And so I went in and I was interviewed and absolutely love the culture, the organization that I saw there immediately. We have people like Allison Everett who went to my rival high school and wore a leather jacket from my rival high school for my interview and just some amazing people that were there and I knew that there was a better place and there was a different place than what I had moved to Nashville for and that company that I was with was not necessarily a representation of all corporate America.

 

And so, I had confidence in that moment I could come in and that I could change the narrative in my own mind and that I could make something different I could make a new legacy that was there. I just dove into that job and I just loved the technology, I love the people, I love the customer and through the process of doing that job and doing it well I got my confidence back and I started to really excel in that role  and just to win. I mean win for the customer be that voice of the customer, be somebody that people that were in the organization as an internal stake holder enjoyed working with because they knew that I was out to make the customer experience better and that they could trust me and that I was credible for them. And it was only five or six months into the job where I had a very different reputation that I had at the other organization and that’s something that I’ve been building on ever since. But for me that was the hump that moment where I was told that I was not good enough and I bought into that lie and luckily I was able to make a different narrative.

 

Jim Rembach:    Wow! Thanks for sharing that story and I can tell you for me personally there’s several things that I connected with cause I kind of went through a similar scenario more than once unfortunately but it took me, gosh I can remember the blues whether it  was depression or not clinically speaking, I don’t know but you start questioning worth, value, abilities all those things and I can say thank you to Jim and all of those Jims out there who will do what he did because that’s awesome we need more like that.

 

Nate Brown:    Amen

 

Jim Rembach:    So I know you talked about photography, you talked about the of course the progression UL, your public speaking, your writing and your children, your wife, all of those things also the work that you’re doing at your church you’ve got a lot of things on your plate, but if you say that you had one goal, what would it be?

 

Nate Brown:    To narrow it down to one goal it would be to further God’s kingdom, to make a legacy that ultimately he will be proud of even beyond my family which would be the second one that’s what’s most important to me.

 

Jim Rembach:    I appreciate you sharing that. So I know that you had mentioned something about this commitment and this promise of positivity and the response that you got from that and how positive it was, do you have a goal for that?

 

Nate Brown:    Any goal to come out of that?

 

Jim Rembach:    Yes.

 

Nate Brown:    Well that’s kind of a tricky question because that is a never-ending evolution of maturity for me. I mean the goal is just to always get better and that that is the goal, I don’t think there’s a finish line to that goal but I do want to consistently reassess how am I doing? How am I maturing? And to raise that bar for myself on a consistent basis.  And one of the things I do for myself to make sure that that is happening is I try to get out on at least a couple times a year where I get back out in the woods, get out in creation and I have an opportunity to think through to the winds of everybody except myself. What am I doing? What are the type of relationships that I have right now? Are they edifying? Are they helpful? Am I turning people away? Am I being too selfish? The very best that I can I try to look at me through everyone else’s eyes and I look and see if I’m accomplishing the objective of being that leader that John Maxwell’s talking about, the one that’s not there to further me but I’m there to further the causes that I believe in and I’ve got several as you just mentioned. I honestly believe that my organization has an incredible mission to keep people safe and nobody does that like you well and I’ve bought into that and I am trying to make that happen in my own special way.

 

Jim Rembach:    And the Fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get 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, Nate, 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. Nate Brown, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Nate Brown:    I am

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    Fear, absolutely, fear.

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    Find laser focus.

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    I would say authenticity.

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    Inter personal and communication skill. 

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    “Leading Change” by John Kotter.

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    That’s a great question. I think that I would choose contentment and I have great answer of why other than, I mean if you can live in that moment and be satisfied with the life and the opportunities you’ve been given then you’re going to make things work out and you’re ultimately going to make yourself and those around you happier.

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    Yeah, I would love to connect with everybody on Twitter. My handle is @customerisfirst on twitter and if you connect with me on Instagram my photography, one of my projects I’m doing right now is trying to creatively document silly holidays so my Instagram is @tfcdawg and I find ways to celebrate silly holidays, so you can find me on Instagram or Twitter.

 

Jim Rembach:    Nate Brown, 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 legion today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

 

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