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Jessica Hartung | Conscious Professional

221: Jessica Hartung: Change the way we think about work

Jessica Hartung Show Notes Page

Jessica Hartung is driven to build more mission-driven leaders. The things that are happening in our communities that are the fabric of our lives, are more often led by people who are self-interested and don’t have a healthy relationship with power. And our institutions and communities are suffering as a result. We need to change the way we think about work to lead our communities forward.

Jessica Hartung was born and raised in Downers Grove, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.   She had a very small immediate family – one older brother, and no cousins.  Her parents were both very active in the community.

Jessica’s mother was a teacher’s aide in an elementary school, and later worked at the Downers Grove Public Library – and still visits every library in towns where she travels, just for fun. Her father was a scientist, at Argonne National Lab, and became an activist for the environment, and engaged in urban planning to preserve the Lyman Woods and other irreplaceable natural habitats. In order to protect the environment and enact energy saving policies, he taught himself about the law, grass roots organizing, and public policy so he could testify before the necessary commissions to bring about water conservation and environmental protections. He was honored as Citizen of the Year by the Downers Grove Chamber of Commerce. As a clear example of a conscious professional who learned what he needed to create positive change, he has been an inspiration to Jessica on her path.

As a child, Jessica raised money for the neighborhood Park District as a way to show how important it was to protect the wild spaces.  Jessica grew up spending time by herself in nature, with a creek, trees and critters as friends as well as humans.

Intending to become a high school teacher, Jessica studied education at the University of Michigan, and after a conflict with her professor, she got a job working in a local start-up technology business.   Shortly thereafter she began a small consulting business, and began applying her desire to grow and develop the skills needed to create productive and enjoyable work environments.  Her first business; MacinTeach, was a Macintosh training and computer consulting firm that worked with non-profits and small businesses.  It was through working with the local Girl Scout Council as a computer consultant that she began to study leadership and learn about Frances Hesselbein, Peter Drucker and other leadership thinkers.

Today, Jessica inspires people to see the purpose of work as learning and development – and for us all to discover better ways of working that enrich our lives as well as create a positive impact. She is the author of The Conscious Professional: Transform Your Life at Work and founder of Integrated Work, a leadership development firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, and serves as a learning laboratory about progressive work practices. Jessica is on a mission to build more self-aware, ethical leaders, and she is encouraged by increasingly widespread movement to use business as a force for good.

Based in Boulder Colorado for the past 24 years, she has raised two children, a 16-year-old son and 21-year-old daughter, and lives with her husband, astrophysics Dr. Steven Hartung. Most early mornings she can be found walking around the Twin Lakes Open Space taking in the scenery and watching for owls, kingfisher, osprey and the great blue heron.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to Jessica Hartung of @integratedwork to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet

“When we bring the things that we value, that which is important to us, into our workplace we find there’s all kinds of opportunities we didn’t realize.” – Click to Tweet

“There is a mutual beneficial relationship between work and life when we bring who we are to what we do.” – Click to Twee

“All development that’s conscious, deliberate, intentional development starts with an awareness.” – Click to Tweet

“We go from awareness into willingness; and not everything are we willing to do.” – Click to Tweet

“If you can’t say no, your yeses mean nothing.” Jessica Hartung – Click to Tweet

“If you don’t actually really have choice, then you’re not wholly into it.” – Click to Tweet

“Willingness is really important because it’s where we put our values into action.” – Click to Tweet

“When we say yes and are willing to grow in a specific area, then we start to actually practice.” – Click to Tweet

“How you learn to be a great leader, you do it by practicing.” – Click to Tweet

“Sometimes we’re building our awareness based on having done the work.” – Click to Tweet

“There’s no reason why excellent quality professional development shouldn’t be available for everybody.” – Click to Tweet

“We’re constantly going through the cycle of awareness, willingness and skill.” – Click to Tweet

“When people are not aware of course they’re not willing.” – Click to Tweet

“It’s my practice and belief that we have leaders at every level of the organization.” – Click to Tweet

“Everybody wants to be working together to create that future that benefits them and those around them.” – Click to Tweet

“We can own our learning, not just related to our job, but related to what kind of future we want for ourselves.” – Click to Tweet

“Fear, doubt and uncertainty kind of constrain our world if we allow them to.” – Click to Tweet

“Your developmental edge changes as you grow in your profession.” – Click to Tweet

“There are transferrable skills between our personal and professional lives.” – Click to Tweet

“When we’re investing in ourselves and choosing to own our learning and doing it deliberately, we have more control.” – Click to Tweet

“Work is the place where leaders; at every level.” – Click to Tweet

“It’s our turn to lead regardless of what our job title is.” – Click to Tweet

“Employee engagement, employee satisfaction, retention all increase when folks are using work as a learning experience to benefit themselves.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Jessica Hartung is driven to build more mission-driven leaders. The things that are happening in our communities that are the fabric of our lives, are more often led by people who are self-interested and don’t have a healthy relationship with power. And our institutions and communities are suffering as a result. We need to change the way we think about work to lead our communities forward.

Advice for others

Work on building group facilitation skills to move ideas forward.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Making sure that I make time in the mornings to really connect to myself and have meditative and contemplative time.

Best Leadership Advice

If you’re going to go into business with people, go into business with people with integrity. If they don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.

Secret to Success

Bringing what matters to you to each interaction.

Best tools in business or life

To focus on what’s happening with the other person.

Recommended Reading

The Conscious Professional: Transform Your Life at Work

Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead

Contacting Jessica Hartung

Website: https://consciousprofessional.com/

Website: https://jessicahartung.com/

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

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-g-hartung-749346/

Resources and Show Mentions

How to Supercharge Contact Center Agent Performance, Onsite & @Home

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

 

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

   221:  Jessica Hartung:  Change the way we think about work

 

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

 

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

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay Fast Leader Legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who’s absolutely going to be able to help us all as well as individually move forward faster. Jessica Hartung was born and raised in Downers Grove, Illinois which is a suburb of Chicago. She had a very small immediate family, one older brother and no cousins. Her parents were both very active in the Community. Jessica’s mother was a teacher’s aide in an elementary school and later worked at the Downers Grove Public Library and still visits every library in towns where she travels just for fun. Her father was a scientist at Argonne National Lab and became an activist for the environment and engaged in urban planning to preserve the Lyman woods and other irreplaceable natural habitats. 

 

In order to protect the environment and enact energy saving policies, he taught himself about the law, grassroots, organizing and public policy so he could testify before the necessary Commission’s to bring about water conservation and environmental protections he was honored as citizen of the Year by the Downers Grove Chamber of Commerce. As a clear example of a conscious professional who learned what he needed to create positive change he’s been an inspiration to Jessica on her path. As a child Jessica raised money for the neighborhood Park District as a way to show how important it was to protect the wild spaces. Jessica grew up spending time by herself in nature with a creeks, trees and critters as friends as well as humans. Intending to become a high school teacher Jessica studied education at the University of Michigan. After a conflict with her professor she got a job working in a local startup technology business. 

 

Shortly thereafter she began a small consulting business and began applying her desire to grow and develop the skills needed to create productive and enjoyable work environments. Her first business machine teach was a Macintosh training and computer consulting firm that worked with nonprofits and small businesses. It was through working with the local Girl Scout Council as a computer consultant that she began to study leadership and learn about Frances Hesselbein, Peter Drucker and other leadership thinkers. Today Jessica inspires people to see the purpose of work as learning and development and for us all to discover better ways of working that enrich our lives as well as create a positive impact. She’s the author of, “The Conscious Professional: Transform Your Life at Work” and founder of Integrated Work, a leadership development firm that works exclusively with mission driven organizations and serves as a learning laboratory about progressive work practices. Jessica is on a mission to build more self-aware ethical leaders and is encouraged by increasingly widespread movement to use business as a force for good. Based in Boulder, Colorado for the last 24 years, she has raised two children a 16 year old son and 21-year old daughter and lives with her husband astrophysicist, Stephen Hartung. Most early morning she can be found walking around the Twin Lakes open space taking in the scenery watching for owls, kingfisher, osprey and the great blue heron. Jessica Hartung, are you ready to help us get over the hump? 

 

Jessica Hartung:     Absolutely, my pleasure. 

 

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.  

 

Jessica Hartung:         Absolutely. I really appreciate the introduction and the way that you chose to focus on the whole person. One of my passions right now is how do we bring who we really are to what we do. And the reason that I’m interested in that is because when we bring the things that we value that which is important to us into our workplace we find that there’s all kinds of opportunities we didn’t realize ways in which we can add our signature approach we can use our values we can follow our interests we can follow the things that really matter to us, and you know the reverse is also true. I was working actually today on planning an event for the New Year’s and we’re using the same project management technologies and ideas and concepts that we use in workplace in in our home life. And so there is a mutual beneficial relationship between work and life when we bring who we are to what we do and we actually sort of wake ourselves up a bit more so that we’re paying attention and we’re actually being deliberate in how we go about learning at work learning from work and bringing those back and forth between our personal and our professional lives. 

 

Jim Rembach:    When you’re here start talking about that, of course, I have to reflect upon my own experiences and I’m like, well, gosh for me it took age and a whole lot of knees and elbows skinned in order to kind of come to those conclusions. And I would say for me a lot of that as far as conclusion aspects of in AHA’s whatever we want to call them, really didn’t start happening within the last decade, and I just turned 50 this year so I think there’s an opportunity for us to do a better job of mentoring others teaching others and I would also dare to say that there’s a lot that go through their entire career and never figure it out. One of the things, in your book, that I really liked which is very simple but yet pretty powerful is the AWS cycle. 

 

Jessica Hartung:     Yes, I would love to. Jim, I’m really glad you raised that. As I was exploring how do people make deliberate change? Let’s say there’s an area that you want to improve or maybe you just generally want to get better at whatever your craft or your work is. Whether it’s leadership or management and you want to get better you want to first figure out where or what is it that needs to improve. What I find is that as a manager sometimes my role is to help people illuminate that and see, oh, this was an area they weren’t even aware could be improved or they weren’t aware of the impact they were having on others. All development that’s conscious, deliberate, intentional development starts with an awareness. Sometimes that awareness comes from ourselves internally sometimes it comes from information that we receive, a 360 degree feedback for instance, or a conversation with a colleague or even reading an article and realizing, oh, there’s something more possible or listening to a podcast that opens our minds a little bit more. So we go from awareness into willingness and not everything were willing to do. Which is actually a good idea because we want to focus on—there’s a phrase that says, if you can’t say no your yeses mean nothing. If you don’t actually really have choice then you’re not wholly into it you’re not actually choosing this. So willingness is really important because it’s where we put our values into action. That’s where we decide, are we going to take this on or not? And there are times when there’s developmental opportunities that we need to say no to because we’re focused elsewhere or we’re working on something that requires our full attention. But when we say yes and we are willing to grow in a specific area then we start to actually practice and that’s where we get into the development of skills. And that’s where, maybe we’re not very good at it at first, but that ability to get started and practice that’s what we do on a daily basis at work where we’re riding right on that developmental edge of our capability we might not really know how to do it yet. And so that’s where–there’s a lot of research now about deliberate practice and how people learn to be great athletes how they learn to be great musicians. The how you learn to be a great leader or a great whatever it is that you would like to be and work on that’s how you do it, by practicing. 

 

And so what I find is that people are constantly going through this awareness-willingness skill cycle in different areas of their work. Sometimes we’re building our awareness based on having done the work. So for instance writing a book, I had not done that before, and I thought I knew a lot more about it than I actually did. Once I started getting into it working with editors, oh, my word there’s a whole world, I just had no idea about. And so my awareness increased and I really had a commitment that I feel the executive, the leadership, development I’ve been doing with folks and individual conversations or in group conversations where there is an organization that wants to hire a professional development expert that’s too small of a group. I think this there’s no reason why excellent quality professional development shouldn’t be available for everybody who wants to engage in it we have the technology we can do this. 

 

So my willingness to put myself in an area where I don’t yet know how to do a great job and amplify my commitment that really spoke to my values of having an impact. I needed to write this book in order to improve the impact I have. And so then I build my skills and as I did, now I’m thinking about how the next book is going to be different because I’ve built more awareness. So we’re constantly going through that cycle of awareness willingness and skill and knowing that it makes everything make a lot more sense. Because when people are not aware of course they’re not willing. When they’re not aware of course they’re not working on it they’re not building their skills. And if you are a manager or a leader and you realize that someone’s aware but they’re not working on it it’s probably a willingness issue. So it gives you a chance to kind of diagnose where we are in the cycle and that gives us a lot more control.

 

Jim Rembach:    Gosh, as you were talking there are so many things that I started thinking about. First of all you actually have a diagram talking about the developmental edge, I want to talk about that in a moment, but then you also said something to me that resonated so heavily because it’s really why I developed call center coach is that we think that there’s a trickle-down effect that happens with leadership skills, development and competencies. Like, hey, if we give it—the investment and all the money to those folks at the senior level it’ll matriculate its way down to the frontline and that’s not what happens. 

 

Jessica Hartung:     I don’t think it’s a good bet. 

 

Jim Rembach:    It’s not, so we had this massive gap and we have this massive leadership crisis and we have a lot of leaders who are significantly worried about the bench strength of the leadership of their organization. 

 

Jessica Hartung:     Yes. 

 

Jim Rembach:    And so we got to be able to take it down to the frontline otherwise the crisis is just going to get worse. 

 

Jessica Hartung:     And that is something I would like to comment on, it is my practice and belief that we have leaders at every level of the organization. In my organization our administrative assistant receptionist who is working, she has such power in the organization as a leader that she either takes on or she doesn’t. One of the great things about being in a small business is that I’ve been able to build the culture of my organization with that in mind. In really helping to encourage her leadership she sets up people’s calendars and all in a billable environment everything is orchestrated around that. There’s tremendous leadership and how clients are received in how they’re actually acknowledged and her ability to influence our logistical side of our business is tremendous. In many organizations she would not be considered a leader because she doesn’t have direct reports. I think about leadership in a different way. I think about it as how we create the future together because you really know a leader is working together with you when you are together thinking about what kind of future are we trying to create? Oh, a stress-free, productive help, when we’re both orienting towards that, that’s leadership. So what kind of future you’re trying to create and how you go about creating it and does it, is that kind of future that includes other people and it is of advantage to other people as well as the organization those kinds of leaders are people, people want to follow. They’re excited to be a part of their team they’re inspirational because everybody wants to be working together to create that future that benefits them and those around them. That that’s really the kind of leadership that I think all of us want to be a part of and want to exhibit when it’s our turn to lead.

 

Jim Rembach:    There’s a really important point that you are talking about there that was heavily written about within the book and that is being able to develop within the current position that you are in. Because for the longest time I have always fought against people thinking that position of greater responsibility becoming someone who is a leader authority means that I have to climb some rung in some ladder. Sometimes it’s being the expert right where you are and being able to find gratification and appreciation within that you talk about that.

 

Jessica Hartung:     Yes. The thing that I’m really passionate about that part is that, why wait? If we were going to be, let’s say—telemarketing is my job when I was in college and I took that job because that professor in my education class was so bad that I had to tell him so and he asked me not to come back to class. And so I went and got a job in a business and part of the thing that was so exciting for me was that if you apply the idea of experimenting and testing and let’s try this and let’s work together to figure this out right where we are, because no one else in the company knew how to do telemarketing, and I realized that and I thought, oh well then I guess I need to learn. And that moment changed my life because it made me realize that whatever job we have whether our managers are looking out for our learning or not we don’t have to outsource that it’s actually something we can take on ourselves and own our own learning. And we can own our learning not related to our job related to what kind of future we want for ourselves. So I always had an interest in making sure that my jobs served my strategic line-of-sight as well as the organization’s and that really promotes that kind of learning where you’re saying, well I know some point in my future I’m probably going to need to influence people. So I took a job in sales. I thought if I need to know how to influence people at least better have some experience with this. 

 

And so while I was working in that job, selling computers that was actually how I started my first company was I was selling computers, what I realized is people would buy the computers but they still couldn’t get done what they bought the computer for they needed somebody to help them with that so I found a need and I filled it. And that idea of creating my own learning so that I could be in the position I wanted to be in that’s was transformative and it’s been something that’s made a huge difference for clients that have taken that on for themselves. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Gosh, you talked about the line-of-sight and that’s something I wanted to talk about as well but I also don’t want to leave the fact that I had mentioned something about this developmental edge. For me the illustration that you have in the book about it really for me a kind of allowed me to get an understanding of different levels of this that I really didn’t consciously think about but really ring true. And so when you start talking about those different levels—first of all in the center you’re talking about mastery, when I’m doing my role, my responsibility and then we have a comfort zone and then we have a necessary stretch and then you had mentioned the developmental edge. So tell us a little bit about how you came about this and in addition this whole fear factor and willingness thing. I start thinking about this developmental edge, is like, I’m not going out there because I may fall off. 

 

Jessica Hartung:     It’s so true. I think fear and doubt and uncertainty to kind of constrain our world if we allow them to. In a zone of mastery you have some areas in your work and in your life where you feel really like you know what you know you have expertise and you are good at it, and that’s a zone of mastery. Now sometimes the zone of mastery will last a lifetime. I used to be a masterful desktop publisher, well that does not last a lifetime because unless you continue to renew those skills the world moved beyond my mastery set. When you are in a zone of mastery it’s not just that you’re good at it it’s that you feel a sense of flow and connection it’s the where you like to work. Now in your job you can also work in other areas. Areas that you’re comfortable in and would be in your comfort zone. It’s not hard for you, you can do it but it’s not necessarily your smaller zone of mastery where you’re really excellent in the comfort zone it’s a wider sphere. 

 

Now when we get into workplace challenges we often have to stretch. We might have to do public speaking we might have a difficult conversation with someone or in other ways stretch ourselves to be a little bit more capable than we might otherwise feel we had the ability to do and it’s that’s necessary stretch that actually as an entrepreneur has been a huge part of my experience. I did not know how to do cash flow statements I did not know how to do it via government contractor I had to learn those things they were all necessary stretches. And then sometimes your necessary stretch takes you out on the very edge the limits of your capability and your capacity and your competence and you’re hanging on to that edge saying, okay, there’s got to be a way to learn my way forward. You’re absolutely right and a lot of reasons why people don’t do that is because their fear of not being good enough. Yet how do we learn how to be good? We practice. Yeah, we practice. And as we practice especially in the areas where we can be paying attention and be aware of the fact –we don’t yet know how to do this. 

 

An example might be when I had first started writing proposals for contracting work and consulting work. I hadn’t had a whole lot of consultant proposals that I’d seen so I didn’t have a whole lot of models I had to figure something out and do something. And then I got feedback and some clients hired me, some clients didn’t some people said, oh, this was really helpful or that, and so I gradually learned. Of course, I wasn’t great at all of them and some of them failed and that was part of that process. And then my playing field expanded, I actually now can write much more sophisticated much more involved proposals and in fact at this point I’m not actually writing those proposals I am training people to write those proposals. So it transitions, your developmental edge changes as you grow in your profession. 

 

Jim Rembach:    You said it many times within the book that willingness piece is for me I think that’s a critical tipping point. I even have this struggle with, especially, my oldest son on the difference between can’t do and won’t do he’ll turn a lot of his won’t do’s and I can’t do that. I’m like, ahh, you didn’t try again meaning that you won’t do that. 

 

Jessica Hartung:     You know the distinction that I’d like to make there that I think would be helpful is it may be a different framing or a different way. For instance, talking about children, my daughter who’s in college, she’s always been interested in animal genetics. Well, that’s not a class that you can take in college. She wants to figure out where she’s going to go to graduate school and she started fostering kittens from the Humane Society as a way for herself to understand, do I really like working with animals? She could say, I can’t go and I have that interview or I’m not willing to go have that interview with the professor at such-and-such a university because I’m nervous and I’m scared and it’s beyond my necessary stretch I’m falling off the edge there I’m not doing it. But instead what she said is, I’m actually not willing to do that. But what am I willing to do? And I think that’s jujitsu sort of move there is that we can turn willingness into can’t but we can also turn can’t into what are we willing to do? To start to find creative solutions where we can take a step forward maybe it’s just not the step that someone else had outlined for us. 

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s a great point, such person that creative thinking has to kick in. Okay, so you talked a moment ago about the strategic line-of-sight. For me again it seems one of those pretty simplistic but has a lot of significance and depth to it, if you can kind of walk us through that I think that would be very valuable.

 

Jessica Hartung:     I would love to. One of the things I’ve noticed, I work a lot with executives and people in leadership team who are working on a board and getting strategic thinking rolling even at that level takes a little bit of work. They might be actually formulating the strategy and looking at the priorities and so it’s part of their work to do that and still we have to translate if our strategy is this how does that relate over here and how does that relate over here. Well, once again why wait do not wait, do not wait until you’re on the board or at the C level to have those kinds of strategic thinking happening in your work. When you look at an area of your work and you say, all right am I responsible for let’s say customer service numbers or I’m responsible for a particular type of organizational fulfillment, how does that relate to our strategy? Where is the strategic line of sight between this piece of work that I’m doing and what’s really important to the organization? 

 

And the reason why you want to know what that strategic line-of-sight is because that development along that path you will get support from your organization for. Because if you’re developing the things that are already important to the organization and working on that and improving things in that way you know that that’s what people are looking for. I think it also works personally. When you say, what’s the strategic line-of-sight with what I really care about? If I had a personal strategic plan what would be my goals? What would be my priorities? How can the work that I’m doing today relate to that? Like I was saying about having a sales job that was really intimidating very scary I didn’t know if I wanted to do it but it was a great opportunity for me to say I can see how this relates I’m going to need to know how to influence people I’m going to need to understand the finances behind things I’m going to need to know this, this, this in my future. And so whether it’s project management, budgeting, communications, these are skills that you can learn in many, many jobs. And you’re looking for transferable skills that can be learned, honed and grown right where you are. So that it helps you in fulfilling your strategic objectives.

 

Jim Rembach:    I think what you’re talking about is—I mean for us is one of the competencies that we have in our model for those emerging leaders in customer care and contact centers and existing supervisors. We’ve identified six competencies, and one of the things that I keep saying is that they will help you grow beyond this role because business acumen is what you were talking about having that competency knowing and understanding that whole strategic line, the strategic side, how things connect how and what you do every single day impacts that and being able to convey that with those that are on your team why and how you’re important and how it connects.

 

Jessica Hartung:     Yeah. And Jim, one of the things that’s been happening for me lately as I’ve been talking to folks is seeing the bridge in between the personal and the professional. Someone I was speaking with recently has raised six children, okay, you learn a few things about project management if you learn a few things about managing resources and so I think that there are transferable skills between our personal and professional lives as well as transferable skills between multiple professional roles and when we’re investing in ourselves and choosing to own our learning and do it deliberately what happens is we have a lot more control over where our careers head and what opportunities come to us next. Because we’re actually creating those opportunities we’re making those opportunities by preparing our self because we can see that strategic line-of-sight. What would someone in the job you most want need to know? What would they need to be able to do? Let’s get started on learning it right now because there’s nothing stopping you. 

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s great point. You have the consultancy, you just wrote your first book, and you even mentioned something about the next one, you have the kids and I think you’re getting close to being that empty-nester but you got a lot of things going on, so if we talked about all of that and you have one goal, what is that one goal?

 

Jessica Hartung:     Hmm, I think my work in life has been oriented towards the idea of building more mission driven deliberate leaders. The reason I think that’s so important is when you look in our communities and I see the school board, I see the County Commission for this, I see the Neighborhood Association, I see the things that are happening in our communities that are the fabric of our lives, they are sometimes being led by amazing leaders but more often they are led by people who are self-interested and don’t have a very healthy relationship with power and have not built these skills and our institutions and our communities are suffering as a result. 

 

So what’s really been important to me is that we change the way we think about work. Work is the place where we grow leaders at every level. And this is where we practice our capabilities so that we can lead in our lives so that we can lead our families forward so that we can lead our communities forward our communities of faith our government institutions that require citizens participation it’s our turn to lead it’s our turn to lead regardless of what our job title is. But when we start to see work as that developmental opportunity for building transferable skills an actual like a second job that we have where we learn, I find that that enriches our job. We actually are more engaged. All the things that employers want employee engagement, employee satisfaction, retention those things all increase when folks are actually using work as a learning experience to benefit themselves and so everybody wins. That’s why I’ve really been working so hard to create a book and a business and as a team and getting out there because I believe that this is transformative for us as a society.

 

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

 

An even better place to work is an easy to use solution that 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 guarantee 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, here we go Fast Leader Legion it’s time for the Hump day Hoedown. Okay, Jessica, the Hump day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Jessica Hartung, are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Jessica Hartung:     Yes. 

 

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

 

Jessica Hartung:     I think the thing that’s holding me back is making sure that I make time in the mornings to really connect to myself and have that meditative, contemplative time. When I do that my leadership is so much better. So changing my schedule so that that is something that is a non-negotiable every day that’s going to move my leadership forward and the lack of it holds me back.

 

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

 

Jessica Hartung:     If you’re going to go into business with people go into business with people with integrity. If you they don’t have integrity nothing else matters.

 

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

 

Jessica Hartung:     Bringing what really matters to you to each interaction makes you feel like you actually are a whole person. Like who you are is who you are wherever you are and that sense of integration is very fulfilling. 

 

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

 

Jessica Hartung:     Now I have to pick a different one besides awareness, willingness, skill because that’s a pretty good one. But I think the other tool that is very helpful to me is the ability to focus on what’s happening with the other person. I think through contemplation and meditation you focus on what’s going on with you but what that does is allows you to have greater capacity to identify and an outward mindset. What’s happening around you? What’s happening with others? And when you can do that you can develop solutions that are transformative.

 

Jim Rembach:         What would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion, and it could be from any genre, and of course we’re going to put a link to—The Conscious Professional, on your show notes page as well. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Thank you. There are so many wonderful, excellent books, right now I’m reading, Terah Moore’s—Playing Big, which is about that area of self-criticism and concerns that people have about how do we deal with our fears. So I’d recommend, Playing Big by Terah Moore as a great way to address that practically epidemic fear that people are having around, I’m not perfect therefore I can’t do it which then really limits the ability for you to play big.

 

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

 

Jessica Hartung:     I have been facilitating professionally for the last 20 years and during that time I’ve learned how to have conversations that people are excited to participate in and that create great results. If I could bring one skill back in time it would be facilitation skills, group facilitation to create an alignment and to create an understanding of what really matters and how do we move it forward. That’s something I’ve developed over time and boy bringing that back with me at 25 it would have changed a lot of things.

 

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

 

Jessica Hartung:     Absolutely. If you were to go to consciousprofessional.com you’d find out more about the book and current work that we’re doing there, jessicahartung.com also has some additional resources including some free downloads for strategies to help move your career forward. I’m happy to connect on LinkedIn as well as jessicahartung author Facebook page. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Jessica Hartung, 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 says 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 

 

Danita Bye - Millennials Matter

186: Danita Bye: This is not about complaining – it’s about doing

Danita Bye Show Notes Page

Danita Bye and her husband decided to buy a snowmobile sleigh manufacturing company. Then El Niño moved in and stayed for three years. Danita was angry at everyone. Then a mentor told her to stop playing the blame game. That’s when she developed the catalyst question.

Danita grew up on the TTT Ranch in northwestern North Dakota. 800 square foot house with no running water!  This means that she used an outdoor biffy daily and a took a Finnish sauna weekly. The sauna was located about a football field away from their house. Great in the summer time. Not quite as fun in the winter time when it was 30 below and the wind was howling at 30MPH!  FYI: Currently it’s offer one of the finest hunting preserves for pheasants in the nation!

Her parents have been married almost 60 years. She has one younger sister and two younger brothers.

Her parents continue to make a huge imprint on her life. They are entrepreneurs who figured out how to not only survive, but thrive in homestead country. So, Danita is an entrepreneur. They are intent on stewarding their gifts of encouragement and hospitality, especially to young adults. So, Danita is focused on building next gen leaders.

After completing a pre-med degree, she decided to shift directions and move into the business world. She started her career with Xerox Corporation in sales.  After about a decade in the technology space, she became an angel investor and part of a turnaround management team in the medical device world.

Having sold that company, she analyzed what she got a kick out of doing. She decided she loved helping business owners in the STEM space (Software, Technology, Engineering, Manufacturing) get traction with the sales teams. So, she started her own sales development firm, Sales Growth Specialists.

Her current book, Millennials Matter: Proven Strategies for Building Your Next Gen Leader, is part of her legacy – to inspire and encourage senior leaders to STOP complaining about Millennials, and to START coaching and mentoring them.  To inspire them to be intentional about the imprint of their Leadership Legacy.

After living for 30 years in Minneapolis, she moved back to the ranch in North Dakota about 4 years ago. She operates a global sales development and global leadership firm, overlooking the beauty of a pristine animal preserve.

She’s been married to Gordon for 33 years.  Has 3 Millennial children. 2 delightful grandchildren…with one more on the way.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“They look mature, but they haven’t gone through all the trips, falls, and crashes that we have had in life.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“60% of business leaders express some concern with working with millennials in some way.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“It’s character that destroys a leader.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“If we want to be building good, strong, solid leaders for the future, we have to start coaching virtues.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“For long-term leadership success, you’re going to have to deal with a lot of no’s in life.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“What do you get out of bed and you just naturally do?” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“What is your core passion, what are you always thinking about.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“We can have a lot of discussion, but let’s put an action plan together.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“You’ve got too much talent, you’ve got too much opportunity, you’ve got too much brilliance – just shift into gear and get going.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“If you don’t create win alignment you’re not going to get the impact you want.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“You have your goal in place, you’re going to get obstacles, you’re going to get thrown off track and you just need to get back on track.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“Lack of accountability is a massive erodeer in our culture.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“If we will begin to look at what we can do differently, then that stimulates our own creative juices.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“Get active, get engaged in coaching and mentoring.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“Everything that you’ve been doing in life is preparing you to pass your leadership insight and wisdom and legacy onto the next generation.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“Don’t let excuses get in your way of making it happen.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“We don’t learn, we don’t serve, we don’t love by talking.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

“Everything we want comes from listening and caring about the people in our lives.” -Danita Bye Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Danita Bye and her husband decided to buy a snowmobile sleigh manufacturing company. Then El Niño moved in and stayed for three years. Danita was angry at everyone. Then a mentor told her to stop playing the blame game. That’s when she developed the catalyst question.

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

186: Danita Bye: This is not about complaining—it’s about doing

 

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.

 

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

 

Jim Rembach:     Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who’s opened up my eyes to several things and I think we’re going to have a great discussion that you’ll get some benefit from. Danita Bye grew up on the Triple T ranch in northwestern North Dakota 800 square foot house with no running water this means that she used an outdoor biffy daily and took a Finnish sauna weekly. The sauna was located about a football field away from their house, it was great in the summertime not so much fun in the wintertime when it was 30 below and the wind was howling at 30 miles an hour> Currently it offers one of the finest hunting preserves for pheasants in the nation. Her parents have been married almost 60 years. She has one younger sister and two younger brothers. Her parents continue to make a huge imprint on her life. They are entrepreneurs who figured out how to not only survive but thrive in homestead country, so Danita is an entrepreneur. They are intent on stewarding their gifts of encouragement and hospitality especially to young adults so Danita is focused on building next gen leaders.

 

After completing a pre-med degree she decided to shift directions and move into the business world. She started her career with Xerox Corporation in Sales. After about a decade in the technology space she became an angel investor and part of a turnaround management team in the medical device world. Having sold that company she analyzed what she got a kick out of doing she decided she loved helping business owners in the stem space that software technology engineering and manufacturing helping them to get traction with their sales teams. So she started her own sales development firm, Sales Growth Specialists. Her current book, Millennials Matter Proven Strategies for Building Your Next Gen Leader is part of her legacy to inspire and encourage senior leaders to stop complaining about millennials and to start coaching and mentoring them to inspire them to be intentional about the imprint of their leadership legacy.

 

After living for 30 years in Minnesota she moved back to the ranch in North Dakota about four years

Ago. She operates a global sales development and global leadership firm overlooking the beauty of a pristine animal preserve. She’s been married to Gordon for 33 years. Has three millennial children and two delightful grandchildren with one more on the way. Danita Bye, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Danita Bye:    We are ready let’s go let’s roll. 

 

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

 

Danita Bye:    You know what, my current passion is really about energizing and equipping those senior leaders to get on track, stop complaining and to start coaching and mentoring and working with those next gen leaders. So I’ve got posters all over my office that relate to that I dream about that that’s what I’m working on. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Now there are several things in your book that kind of stood out to me that I’m looking forward to talking with you about and there’s one phrase that you use that I think senior leaders including myself have to be very, very mindful of and that is you call it artificial maturity.

 

Danita Bye:    Well, that’s actually a concept by coined by Tim Elmore which is one of the people I follow, listen, and pay attention to. And where it comes is that with all the technology and information that’s at the fingertips for millennials if they can walk into any scenario and they look knowledgeable and confident and they look good but what business leaders are telling me is that when they trip and fall or they encounter something that they’re not finding on You Tube or Google that kind of confidence kind of cracks a little bit. And so it’s important for us as leaders and coaches to recognize that they look mature but they haven’t gone through all the trips and falls and crashes that we have had in life.

 

Jim Rembach:     You know the reason I bring that up is because I just had this conversation the other day with somebody where I talked about the perception of arrogance and I said you know, oftentimes, when we perceive somebody as being arrogant really what it is it’s a mask. It’s a mask for insecurity that doubt that whole self-assurance issue and it manifests itself as that arrogance. And so sometimes we just need to stop and take pause and say, okay, I shouldn’t judge this as arrogance and therefore be offended or irritated or someone buy it  but maybe try to seek out and discover what’s the underlying things that are going on here. 

 

Danita Bye:    Absolutely, absolutely. In the research that we did for the book sixty percent of business leaders express some concern in working with millennials in some way. And actually 53 percent of them cited what they call this know-it-all attitude and you’re absolutely right is to see it as a—you use the word mask I was going to say facade and it’s something for us as leaders to recognize and to push through and to keep asking questions and learning and asking questions and spending time in developing the relationship so that we could have an imprint on their lives. You’re absolutely right. 

 

Jim Rembach:     And I also love that with the acronym that you brought up in regards to helping really coach and mentor these folks in order to be able to build so that—you mentioned the word resilience and all that and it’s Dakota. Yes, not surprising, but tell us what Dakota means?

 

Danita Bye:    Well, let me tell a little bit of the backstory on that so as we mentioned in the intro I grew up on this cattle ranch in Northwestern North Dakota I’d been living in Minneapolis for 30 years and then through a series of events felt that it was important to move back to North Dakota, that’s where my parents still live, and to get involved with the business. It was about at this same time that I had this wake-up call in a sense to start focusing on millennials. And began to think about what are the things that are important for leadership that are important for resiliency and many of those things tie to the homes, the character, qualities in the immigrants and the homesteaders that I grew up with. And so I began to develop this concept of Dakota which is really taking some of the ancient virtues, which is a word we just don’t use in modern time as virtues, but taking those ancient virtues and put it into modern language. So D stands for determination A for awareness K knowledge O optimism T trustworthy and A accountability. And that really is taking some of those ancient virtues that make for solid long-term leadership and then put them into language at least I could understand and I’m hoping that our readers can understand it too. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Well, and I think when I started looking at my kids and their education and I don’t think they get that type of clarity on building the virtues, of course we’re trying to give those things at home and I say a lot of these words a lot because of what I get exposed to and all the people who I’ve met and so I mean they’re getting that benefit but outside of that I don’t see that it’s really occurring it’s just kind of like you were saying it’s non-existent not just in our vernacular vocabulary but just in our practices.

 

Danita Bye:    Just in our practices. When I first started researching and talking to colleagues about what I was working on millennials matter the pushback that I got from my colleagues and from business leaders when I mentioned the word character was, Danita, character that’s what you work on at home you don’t work on it in the business. And then there was a whole another set of colleagues, business leaders, who said character Danita that’s a little embarrassing to talk about in the workforce isn’t it? Yes, and we know when we look at all the headlines that it is character that destroys a leader that they can cover up the flaws but you know what? It’s that character flaw that will eventually undermine them. So if we want to be building good strong, solid leaders for the future we have to start talking about and coaching determination and trustworthiness and dealing with ethics and those virtues.

 

Jim Rembach:     Well, I mean you’re right. Because the reality of where we are today, you can try to avoid it all you want but it’s not going to help, is that there isn’t a lot of that taught in the home. I’ve had the opportunity to coach baseball for past couple years with some kids and I’m just looking at some of these kids and saying how they don’t have that strength and fortitude the courage it’s just non-existent they haven’t overcome things because it’s always been so simple and easily hand it to them they haven’t had the guidance in the mentoring and the tough love but we need that we all need it. So what’s happening is now they’re getting in the workforce and guess what they haven’t had it so you got to do it.

 

Danita Bye:    We got to do it, we got to do it. I was telling a story—I’m a pre-med student I shifted gears went to work with Xerox Corporation and in those days we had to make cold calls and our activity called for making 50 cold calls a day, excuse me 50 cold calls a week and of those 50 we would if we worked the numbers right we would get one yes. That means we got 49 no’s to deal with every week, ten a day. I would do pretty good the first time but you know, man, kind of thirdsy end of the day I actually had a rule that if I cried—this is when you just had like a tear well up if I had a tear well up three times a day I was still having a good day. And the fourth time I would call my boss Bob, who was a wonderful coach and a wonderful mentor, and I was telling this story and someone said, you know, Danita that’s the difference in today’s world people probably would quit and find a new job after the first no and what we know for long-term leadership success, man, you’re got to you’re going to have to deal with a lot of nose and life to get hold get traction so that is something that we as business leaders need to be acutely aware of and to begin nurturing that in our own teams and our own young leaders. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Without a doubt. And there’s one thing that you talked about too as well that I think could also be some of that fuel and foundation for some of that cure courage and you talked about knowing what your jazz is and I think we have to help younger people really do that I mean I think for many of us that are older that are supposed to be coaching and mentoring really don’t know what that is. I think everybody needs to find their own jazz.

 

Danita Bye:    Well yeah, I think where I’ve gotten at is just looking at myself. You know there’s times for all of us that we all—I ‘m not doing well I’m not having fun this doesn’t feel like it fits it’s not purpose a whole host of question that we have to wrestle with at different times in life. What’s been insightful for me is to keep just a mini diary for about a week on I loved doing this and this was the energizing and we can do the same thing with people these people are fun these people, man, you know they just SAP energy from me. And so I’ve found when I’ve been coaching young leaders and people going through transition that it just it provides some helpful aha’s. 

 

Jim Rembach:     So when you start thinking about helping people find their jazz what it is that that you do or that you guide people or to direct people or tools that you give people in order to be able to do that.

 

Danita Bye:    So I have a couple of tools that I like. One is a process called life’s core purpose. And in life’s core purpose you begin to look at what are you just naturally competent at what do you get out of bed and you just naturally do? So what’s your core competence and then what’s your core passion what are you always thinking about? I’ll use it an example for, I guess I’ll use for me, I am no matter what situation I am in I, I get things moving I get things moving off the dime. We can have lots of discussion but let’s put an action plan together no matter where I’m going about engaging so that’s a core competence. And then my core passion is about getting people launched on the growth path. To shift into gear for me it drives me nuts when people are status quo players. You’ve got too much talent you’ve got too much opportunity you’ve got too much brilliance shift into gear and get going. Once I was able to put words around that it was just helpful for me to be able to analyze activities and that’s one of the tools that I’d like to use. 

 

Jim Rembach:     So that’s interesting that you say that because with my son who’s 13 I’ve started asking him and I told him I’m got to ask it until he can actually help you know to formulate some ideas and thoughts around as I asked him I said what is that one thing when you go to bed that you have a hard time actually going to sleep you know because of it. And when you get up in the morning it’s actually top of mind and you’re like, I can’t wait to do this and be part of this and by the way, it can’t be a video game it has to be something that actually is got to better the world. So what is that thing that’s got to better the world that you really think about all the time?

 

Danita Bye:    I love that.

 

Jim Rembach:     Right now he’s like, I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know. I said well I’m got to keep asking. I said, you’re got to have to start seeking it out. I said, and if you can’t figure it out on your own I said we’re got to sit down and figure it out together. I said, because you have to have something that is a target for you something that gives you that internal juice and something that really causes you to take that extra step instead of sit on your hining. 

 

Danita Bye:    Absolutely. There’s lots of different ways it’s just a whole—obviously with parenting there’s a whole host of ways that we can do that. Interestingly when I was hiring and building a sales team I actually asked that as part of my interview process. Remember there was one in particular I asked that too and he was at that time he was 23 24 25 and he was a little cheapy she didn’t know if he should answer that and he says, well, what I really want to do is I really want to own an auto dealership, which had nothing to do with the medical device company that I was involved in which is the reason he was a little nervous about telling me this. And I said, great, let’s talk about owning that car dealership and why is that. What are the sparks? What are the things that are interesting? And then what sort of skills do we need to be developing on a regular basis so that you’re ready to run that auto dealership? And every time we had a rhythm of doing a quarterly review where we would step back and look at a big picture we talked about it every single time.

 

Jim Rembach:         That’s what we need to do some people talking about the status quo people they would say, well gosh I don’t want to hire this person because they don’t want to work here long they just want to auto dealership and they’re just not going to stay they’re not going to be motivated. That’s not what you should do what you should do is what you did is you take that and you use it as the way for you to actually get them to motivate themselves. There’s a saying that I heard a long time ago a Kirk Weisler who was actually a guest on my show, he said, don’t make the mistake. He goes, you don’t motivate anybody that’s not the way it works people motivate themselves your job as leader is to create the environment by which they will motivate themselves.

 

Danita Bye:     Absolutely, absolutely. When typically my work is with sales organizations and getting them unstuck and moving forward and one of the very first things that I find that we have to do is to help each salesperson create alignment between their personal goals and their professional goals. Often to get alignment we have to look at what their personal goals are, which is where we talk about what jazzes them, and we have to look at what their professional goals are not what their managers goals are not what the company’s goals are but what their goals are. Then we take those and start to weave those together to create something that is inspirational, fun, energizing that they can get out of bed in the morning and have some hope and some direction for the future.

 

Jim Rembach:    I think we’re a lot of leaders make a mistake is that they don’t realize that the manager meeting his sales numbers the company meeting their sales numbers and all that’s really an output that’s an output of all the things these other things that you were just talking about. 

 

Danita Bye:    Absolutely, absolutely. There’s at least three wins like a win, win, win strategy because no matter what you do it has to be the win for the salesperson employee it has to be a win for the company it has to be a win for the client it has to be—there are so many wins and unless you create that kind of win alignment you’re not going to get the engagement you’re not going to get the business growth you’re not going to get the impact that you want so it does all need to align and come together.

 

Jim Rembach:     Without a doubt. One other thing that you expose me to and I actually had to reach out to a friend was something called the Sisu spirit, which has some Finnish origin so I reached out to my Finnish friend Yona she gave me some additional insights into Sisu, but tell us a little bit about the Sisu spirit.

 

Danita Bye:    Well, growing up in the Finnish background, you mentioned it in the bio, this going to the sauna which was a football field away when you’re three years old and four years old and it’s 30 below and the wind is howling our parents never let us off the hook this is what we needed to do. So as I look at the growing up and leading that is that’s just what you do you have your goal in place you are going to get obstacles you’re going to get thrown off track and you just you need to get back on track. I pulled this out to make certain that I got my quote correctly. I was a young salesperson at Xerox, who as I’d mentioned got tears in my eyes like three times a day, but there was a quote that I blew up into a poster I know that you’ve heard it before but it goes like this—what you do when you don’t need to determines what you will be when you can’t help it. And isn’t that the Sisu spirit that there’s a whole host of things in life that we don’t want to do? In sales we maybe don’t want to make sales calls or we don’t want to talk to this person because they’re scary we don’t want to ask this other question cause really one with send people –there’s a whole host of things in life that make us uncomfortable or they don’t make us uncomfortable. And yet in doing those things it develops that resilience and that determination and that ability to keep going and I call that the Sisu spirit coming from my Finnish heritage. 

 

Jim Rembach:     It’s definitely something that I want to research a little bit more and hopefully expose my kids to that because I’m always trying to give them things that will hopefully help them find stronger and more firm footing. Anxiety is a huge problem with a lot of youth today, quite frankly for everybody today, for a lot of different reasons. 

 

Danita Bye:    Yes. We live in an anxious, anxious ridden society. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Without a doubt. You shared that quote, thanks for doing that, and I’m sure too when you start thinking about—you talked about that sales experience and actually growing through that you talked about in your bio being an investor a lot of different things that you’ve done having this business the book, but I’m sure there’s humps that you’ve had to get over that have taught you a lot. Is there one of those stories that you can share so we can learn?

 

Danita Bye:    So my life is filled with hopes it just seems like we’re always kind of working through. There’s one in particular that there was a mass of learning for me. I had been with technology business with Xerox Corporation for about ten years I had been in the medical device world for about a decade which I loved and then we were having some shifts and changes in our life and we decided that I would buy a snowmobile sleigh manufacturing company. Now in retrospect it was absolutely an idiot decision. Why would some—there were so many idiot decisions on this but anyway we did it. That was 1997, El Nino hit that winter there’s no snow. Most people don’t know this but the El Nino actually lasted for three years there’s no snow and I have a bit snowmobile sleigh manufacturing business. I was not happy. I was angry at my clients because they weren’t purchasing things. I was angry at my husband because he was the one who had kind of persuaded me that this would be a good idea and I was angry at God he’s the  one who makes it snow, right? 

 

As I was working with this I had a mentor who just really pushed in and said, Danita you’re playing the blame game and you are sapping your own creativity and energy and you need to shape up. Of course, I did not like that conversation I think I walked away angry from that conversation also. However, I guess I begin to process that and work with that I thought, okay, I’ve been sitting with this company that I hate for three years I’m just got to sit down and do a white boarding session and see what ideas I came up with. So, my husband and I sat down we came up with ten ideas. One idea was to sell the company and I thought that’s great because I don’t want to expand the company I want to sell it I hate it. We did everything we put all the paperwork together got the word on the street we had it sold in 45 days. And I sat and complained for three years and we sold it in 45 days? It was just a huge, huge lesson for me. Out of the experience and research developed a concept which I call the catalyst question. And there’s four things that I had to learn, one is, I can’t point the finger at anybody else I have to look at me. What might I do to get the results I want? And then number two is they use the word might. Might is a creativity question, so that’s what helped me to generate my options. What might I do, this is not about complaining this is about doing to get the results that I want? So that’s a key question that as I’m working with leaders that we start to integrate because lack of accountability is a massive eroder in our culture. 

 

Jim Rembach:     And that word has always kind of played a little bit of an irritation for me. Because for me I need to hold myself accountable. But I as a leader I need to create the environment by which people take ownership as well as convey that as an expectation because I think lazy leaders use accountability in the wrong way and they say, I’m going to hold you accountable and it becomes a control issue and I think it’s just totally misapplied in so many different ways. 

 

Danita Bye:    what a lazy leader will do. In my work with sales organizations we have actually researched over a million salespeople sales professionals and our statistics show that 60% of people within sales or the revenue generation side of a business have a tendency to point their fingers at someone else for not achieving an objective. They’re going to blame the economy they’re going to blame the competitor they’re going to blame the boss they’re going to blame the marketing department they’re going to blame someone and yes there are realities that we deal with. The reality is that if we will begin to look at what we might be able to do differently that kind of stimulates our own creative juices and helps us to reach out to the right people it helps us to ask a better set of questions. Again that’s an area where we as leaders we don’t hold people accountable we help to develop that culture of ownership.

 

Jim Rembach:     I really like the book and I highly recommend it and we’re going to actually put it on your show notes page. So for me when I start thinking about where you’re going with this and how things are progressing and you look at all these goals that you can have for your business and everything else what is one of those goals? 

 

Danita Bye:     Well, one of the goals is the message. The message of—get activated get engaged in coaching and mentoring. We baby boomers across the nation are retiring at record speed and many of them are at this time of searching for purpose. Some are afraid to retire because they don’t know what they’re going to be doing others are wrestling with feelings of relevance or it could be a really confusing time. One of my messages is that everything that you’ve been doing in life is preparing you to pass your leadership insight and wisdom and legacy on to the next generation. And I believe that this generation is calling out to us as senior leaders and that we as senior leaders need to respond and recognize that that that is a huge leadership legacy and responsibility that we can step up to. 

 

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

 

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

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

 

Danita Bye:    I think so, I don’t know. 

 

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

 

Danita Bye:    Focus. 

 

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

 

Danita Bye:    Listen and ask more questions. 

 

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

 

Danita Bye:    Prosperity mindset don’t let excuses get in your way of making it happen. 

 

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

 

Danita Bye:    One of my best tools it’s called a life map. And it outlines my goals and three areas of my life and I go back to that on a monthly basis just to recalibrate and make certain I’m on track. 

 

Jim Rembach:     What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners that could be from any genre? Of course we’re got to put a link to Millennials Matter, on your show page as well. 

 

Danita Bye:    Yes, the book that we need to read is the Bible and specifically Jesus. Jesus is this phenomenal leader that we can learn a lot from.

 

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

 

Danita Bye:    It’s the ability to ask insightful deep questions so that you can also listen well. The reason behind that is one of my assets in life is to talk but the problem is we don’t learn we don’t serve we don’t love by talking everything we want comes from listening and caring about the people in our lives. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Danita, 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?

 

Danita Bye:    I am at danitabye.com 

 

Jim Rembach:     Danita Bye, 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 

 

 

Doug Sandler - Nice Guys Finish First

173: Doug Sandler: I had no system and that’s the problem

Doug Sandler Show Notes Page

Doug Sandler was hired to be a DJ at a party hundreds of miles from his home. He was feeling on top of his game but within 15-minutes of the four-hour event, he realized why he was really hired sight unseen. He also realized that everything he had done in his career to that point was just about being lucky.

Doug Sandler grew up in Baltimore Maryland with his older brother David, his parents split when he was 2 years old.

He remembers growing up and loving life as a little kid…even though they had no money, they laughed and enjoyed life. His mom has been a huge inspiration in his life. Although he was not close personally with his dad, he was a strong influence in my business life. His life was cut short in his mid-60’s and he still follows the advice that he thinks his dad would be providing even to this day.

Doug has always had a love for the the service aspect of any job. From food service in college to the mortgage business when out of college, real estate, DJ, podcaster, author, blogger, speaker.

Doug Sandler is an entrepreneur and industry leader. His book, Nice Guys Finish First is a #1 ranked Amazon Best Seller.  As a podcast host of The Nice Guys on Business, Doug has interviewed Gary Vaynerchuk, Arianna Huffington from HuffPost, Dan Harris from Good Morning America, Ron Klain, White House Chief of Staff and dozens of celebs. Doug is a nationally recognized speaker, writer, and founder of TurnKey Podcast Company, providing podcast production, editing and launch services.

The legacy Doug wants to leave behind is that nice guys finish first.

He currently lives in the Washington, DC area with his wife Danielle and 2 kids Adam and Rachel.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“You do have the right, when you are working for another organization to follow what you love.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet

“You can still have a wonderful life working for someone else.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“You can be a nice guy, you can be vulnerable, you can be empathetic and show gratitude without being a doormat.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“Those tapes that are going off in your head telling you once you’re down to stay down, you’ve got to erase those tapes.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“You’ve got to put yourself in a position to win every time.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“It’s not the circumstances that life is going to deliver to you, it’s how you handle the circumstances in your life.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“We’re all dealing with the exact same scenarios, we are all given the same opportunities.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“It’s just a matter of how we respond to the circumstance we are dealt in our life.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“You can say ‘no’ and be a nice guy.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“The negativity is certainly exposed a lot more often than ever now because of social media.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“People give themselves a mental enema almost every day on social media and share the crap that’s going on in their life.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“The good in the world is shared a lot more now.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“That person in customer service now represents the entire brand to the person they’re dealing with.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“Even as a nice guy, I still have negativity in my life.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“Social media and technology make it so easy for us to complain.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“Instead of being so negative and critical of everyone, I challenge you to find something they’re doing right and compliment them.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“When the negative thing happens you’ve just have to remember all of that positivity that’s come back.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“Don’t let that negative action put you in a period of stinkin’ thinkin’.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“So, what do you do to differentiate yourself, it’s all going to be in the service and support.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“Instead of letting life happen to me, you have to make life happen to you.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“Always stay in action, don’t let life happen to you.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

“You’ve got to staying in your zone of genius.” -Doug Sandler Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Doug Sandler was hired to be a DJ at a party hundreds of miles from his home. He was feeling on top of his game but within 15-minutes of the four-hour event, he realized why he was really hired sight unseen. He also realized that everything he had done in his career to that point was just about being lucky.

Advice for others

Keep moving.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Staying in the grove. Stay in your zone of genius.

Best Leadership Advice

Fail fast, and it’s okay to fail.

Secret to Success

Just return your phone calls.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

The microphone.

Recommended Reading

Nice Guys Finish First

Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

Contacting Doug Sandler

website: http://www.dougsandler.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/djdoug

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/doug-sandler-1a346649/

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

Empathy Mapping

 

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

173: Doug Sandler: I had no system and that’s the problem

 

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

 

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

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader legion, today I’m excited because I get the opportunity to really have a good discussion about something that’s kind of been bothering me for a long time about being nice but not too nice. Doug Sandler grew up in Baltimore, Maryland with his older brother David. His parents split when he was two years old but Doug remembers growing up and loving life as a little kid even though they had no money they laughed and enjoyed life. His mom has been a huge inspiration in his life. Although he was not personally close to his dad he was a strong influence in his business life. His father was cut short in his mid-60s and he still follows that advice that he thinks his dad would be providing even to this day. 

 

Doug has always had a love for the service aspect of any job from food service in college to the mortgage business when he went out college real, estate, DJ, podcaster, author, blogger and speaker. Doug Sandler is an entrepreneur and an industry leader. His book, Nice Guys Finished First, is a number one ranked Amazon bestseller and has a podcast host of the Nice Guys on Business. Doug has interviewed Gary Vaynerchuk, Arianna Huffington from HuffPost, Dan Harris from Good Morning America, Ron Klain Wine House Chief of Staff and dozens of celebrities. Doug is a nationally recognized speaker, writer and founder of TurnKey Podcast Company providing podcast production, editing and launch services. The legacy Doug wants to leave behind is that nice guys finish first. 

 

He currently lives in the Washington DC area with his wife Danielle and two kids Adam and Rachel. Doug Sandler are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Doug Sandler:   Oh, yeah, let’s do it hump day is here. Come on Jim, let’s do it.

 

Jim Rembach:   I’m glad you’re here. 

 

Doug Sandler:   I’ve never heard a 1,500 word bio read in 32 seconds, so nicely done.

 

Jim Rembach:   I appreciate that. Now what people don’t know is I probably messed it up three or four times and I’m editing it so you hear it clean.

 

Doug Sandler:   Those of you in Jim’s community that are listening to this at one and a half or two X speed, slow it down.

 

Jim Rembach:   I’ll tell you we’re going to have a good time today. Now, I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better.

 

Doug Sandler:   I love the podcasting space. This new media space has been great after reinventing my career probably a handful of years ago I discovered this space and fall in love with it and there’s no better way to make money than from your pajamas. So, I do love it for that reason. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a really interesting point. You and I had the opportunity to talk off mic and we talked about the prior life and how you kind of—I think many of us we should be more aware and mindful and kind of follow the money. A lot of my listeners are actually within organizations and sometimes they have to follow the money for others. But even from an individual perspective and the whole “nice guys” concept for me. When and when you start thinking about—oh! gosh, being too nice and that tipping point to where you become someone who gets walked on. I’ve always kind of struggled with that like how much is too much nice? 

 

Doug Sandler:   Yeah, Can I comment on something that you said just a moment ago first and then I’ll get into how much nice is too much nice. What you said was, a lot of people follow the money and I do agree with that people do follow. Even when they work for organizations they follow other people’s money, I guess, but what I would say is step back because you do have the right when you are working for another organization to follow still what you love. Follow what you love follow the thing that you’re passionate about and that doesn’t mean that you have to be your own person and be an entrepreneur and take all the risk. You can still have a wonderful life working for someone else within their organization. Certainly I’m not conflicting with what you’re saying but I wanted to add a yes and you can still follow what you love to do even when you work for someone else. There’s plenty of people that do that whether it’s an architecture engineer or professionalism or whatever it is that they’re doing.

 

Jim Rembach:   Yeah, I’m glad that you added that. As a matter of fact Laurie Bocklund, on the last episode, actually just talked about that yes and that she learned in her improv class.

 

Doug Sandler:   Oh, yeah, it’s the greatest. And I do feel like instead of saying but the yes end is an easy way to go. I never took improv but a lot of my friends have been through the comedy route so for me it’s very interesting to hear the yes and—and it does make you feel a little bit better when you hear, yeah and let me add this instead of, but, but, and the buts always stopped me dead in my tracks.

 

Jim Rembach:   Well, that’s an interesting point. Okay, so, we’re talking about nice and too nice but I would dare to say if you are nice you’re definitely using the yes end instead of but.

 

Doug Sandler:   Yeah, I agree. I agree. I think that now it becomes my habit not the yes end because I don’t know why those words even came in my head, I don’t think I’ve used those word for weeks or months the yes end. But let me answer the other question which is really cool, I think that as we discuss Nice Guys Finish First, it wasn’t just a book that I wrote but it’d the anti-nice guys finish last mentality. It really is you can be a nice guy you can be vulnerable you can be empathetic and show gratitude and do all of those things that I would consider being nice without being a doormat. It doesn’t mean that you’re a pushover at all it means you understand even more firmly the ground and you’re the security of the ground that you’re standing on allowing yourself to be vulnerable but still be a leader still be strong and not be stepped on.

 

Jim Rembach:   Well, that’s really interesting. As you were talking I started thinking and the word that popped in my head was values. And talking about that firm ground and knowing where you need to stand and that values component because I know for me I feel like I am a nice guy but then I’ve also let certain environments change my demeanor so it wasn’t so nice because I kind of lost sight of what my values were and got caught up in the moments. And of course, as I got older I could reflect and be able to identify those but when I was in it I didn’t necessarily do it all that well. So, how can somebody make sure that they’re always grounded well?

 

Doug Sandler:   I think you just have to understand where you are and who you are. As long as you’re comfortable with you scan those tapes that are going off in your head that tell you to once you’re down to stay down you’ve got to erase those tapes. You’ve got to put yourself in a position to win every time. You’ve got to put yourself in a position it’s not the circumstances that life is going to deliver to you, it’s how you handle the circumstances in your life that’s going to make all the difference in the world. We’re all dealing with the same exact scenarios we all are given the same the same opportunities out there. If you don’t think that you are you’re not putting yourself in a position. A lot of people say, well you’ve been lucky you’ve been able to reinvent your career and look how fast it’s going to—it hasn’t gone fast in my mind it’s so slow it feels like an overnight success in 30 years it takes you a long time to get there. Sure, I could have turned around based upon the circumstances that have happened in my life. My dad passing away in his mid-60s and I’m not having that leadership role in my life any longer. My mom becoming ill at some point everybody in my family around me having cancer and devastation I could look at that and say, my gosh there is so much, I don’t know if your show is explicit but if it’s not there’s so much poop in this world. And I look at that and say, with all this poop around there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere. And I think it’s just a matter of how we respond to the circumstances that are dealt in our life. Part of it is understanding that you can say no, be a nice guy, still say no say it gently say it with empathy say it with compassion and conviction and still have a friend on the other side of that no because they respect where you are because you’ve consistently taken action the same way throughout your entire life. And that really is what the true definition of nice to me. Consistent attitude, consistent behavior and it’s all positive.

 

Jim Rembach:   Thanks for sharing that. I also started thinking talking about that environmental component and proximity and all of those things that we have really to contend with in today’s world. I was talking to somebody the other day and I was like well I’ve actually worked out of a home office with the jobs that I’ve had in order to pass 17 years I’ve been in a home office and so sometimes the whole proximity component not being around certain people and having that negative thing constantly being on your shoulder and pressure to perform and all these things it’s kind of hard to slough those things off and really remain positive. So, when you start thinking about especially in the environment that we are today and thinking about the nice guys philosophy, values and all of that, do you think it’s declining or it’s actually growing?

 

Doug Sandler:   Well, I think because technology is so prevalent nowadays we see so much more than we have ever seen. So, I would love to be able to say I think negativity or positivity or whatever it is I can put a number on it and say it’s more prevalent now. I would tell you that the negativity is certainly exposed a lot more often than ever now because of social media. You have a problem with an organization or a leader within an organization you’re going to see it oftentimes directly on social media it give themselves a mental enema almost every day on social media and share all of the crap that’s going on in their life good bad or indifferent I’m not sure. From other perspective I think that the good in the world is shown a lot more now based upon the way that social media and the technology is out there. When a small act is rewarded or gratitude is shown through social media that’s good as well. I think that nowadays the lead-in towards being nice is definitely stronger now than it’s ever been because people realize how exposed their message and their brand is to the public. It’s so easy to get onto the computer and bash a company or say great things about them. So companies are very aware that it’s no longer Nike let’s say it’s that person in service that is dealing with Nike they now represent the entire Nike brand to that person that they’re dealing with. You better believe that there’s got to be some instructions given to that person in service and support how they have to handle or what they should be doing and how their customer service should be to that one customer.

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s interesting that you say that. For me I try to refrain—and you see it a lot in this industry that I work in which is customer care customer experience where a lot of the influencers, I won’t say a lot, some of the influencers in in the industry and experts in the industry, that word kind of has shaky ground in itself, like to videotape and then therefore on their own social platforms push out the bad experience they had at a restaurant or an airline or a retailer I try not to do that. And even when people ask me to contribute to certain things and they’re like, hey, tell us about your worst experience. And ‘m like, umm I kind of cringe when I want to do that because there’s just so much of that negativity. I would choose to rather focus in on the opportunity that exists. If we have all these things that are going on that are so negative and not customer centric and focused and what about the things that are and how do we actually get to that point? Let’s ditch the bad and focus on the good.

 

Doug Sandler:   Yeah, I mean I would like to say that I’ve never said a negative word on social media but that wouldn’t be the reality. Even as a nice guy I still have negativity that happens in my life and again I want to expose that to those that are close to me if they ask me my opinion on a particular product or I have an issue. On my show all the time and I have 600 episodes of the Nice Guys on business podcast under my belt. We’ve done plenty of negative, hey, listen this happened on this airline or this happened with this brand and we like to see how they respond. You give them an opportunity we invite people on our show all the time we invite people to respond to us on social media all the time. Some big brands tended or choose to ignore it and some big brands—I like to see where people sit because I’m in the world of customer service. For me I love putting somebody to the test and having them pass the test I’ll give them accolades if they pass the test. But I’ll also give them negative words if they don’t pass the test aren’t I important as a customer? Why? Why would my they want to ignore me I’m just a guy that has a product or service that has a—they’ve presented their product or service I have a problem with it, let’s hear what they have to say I’m curious I always curious.

 

Jim Rembach:   As you were talking I started thinking as far as the process by which you go and actually share that feedback. I remember there’s one time where I was sitting next to a guy on a flight he was just enraged the fact that he wasn’t able to be in first class and not only was he not in first class he was at the very, very back of the plane right against the bathroom, needless to say he couldn’t recline his seat and he had noise the entire trip, but I booked my flight late and it’s what I expected. He was just nasty and I’m like, do you think that would ever get you moved up?

 

Doug Sandler:   Yeah, there’s got to be that limit in your head that says, I think this is fair based upon the circumstance how much of this is me just wanting to run my mouth because I feel like I’m being anonymous in my bashing and how much of this is—if that CEO was sitting in front of me would I be okay having that conversation? The test that I run through is I’d love to have a conversation I’d love to invite that person on my show so that they could actually share why it happened this way and how we can try to resolve this from happening again. I don’t know I think it’s a very challenging thing I think that social media and technology makes it so easy for us to complain. On the other side of it, Jim, it makes it so easy for us to be able to say positive things too and we do much more of that than we do of bashing on our show. For me personally I do the same thing I love being able to share great news and great information as well.

 

Jim Rembach:   I think really that’s the key we just need to outdo what the norm is and the norm is that most people complain especially when it comes to customer service and customer experience than they do praise. Someone was talking to the other day about a letter that they received and I was actually kind of shocked and I’m like, people still do that they wrote a letter? I’m like, how old was that person? Sure enough it was someone who is of older age who was more familiar with the writing process. Every once in a while I think we do have to pull out the pen or even a pencil whatever it is and just write a note.

 

Doug Sandler:   We call it catching people in the act of doing something right. And if we can do that a little bit more often I think that you’ll have a lot—that’s all a part of that—if there’s a philosophy behind what nice is it’s showing gratitude and compassion and empathy and showing the gratitude instead of being so negative and being so critical of everyone I challenge you those that are in Jim’s community listening to this right now, when you stop listening to this episode at your office or whoever it is that you talk to next find something that they’re doing right and complement them. It’s so easy to do and it makes—it’s almost like it’s a selfish act because it makes you feel almost better than it makes them feel as well. I always want people to feel better about themselves after having had met me than before they got in my company. 

 

Jim Rembach:   I’m glad you said that. For me I think one of the best pieces of feedback that I received the other day was a video call that I had with somebody and when the call was over with and between their laughing they said I really appreciate because every time I talk to you helped me see things more clearly and it removed the worry that I have off my shoulder. To me that was the best feedback I think I could have ever received. 

 

Doug Sandler:   That’s great, yeah, that’s great. That shows that you’re in the right zone and when something negative happens to a nice guy like you or like me or like many of the tens of thousands millions of nice guys that are out there when the negative thing happens you just have to remember all of that positivity that’s come back and don’t let that negative action put you in a period of stinking thinking just stay your course and keep that nice attitude it’s all about consistency and that’s what people expect from you. 

 

Jim Rembach:   I believe it. Okay, so what we we’re talking about here we’re talking about the nice talking about really improving our emotional intelligence skills and when we want to do that as an organization but that that path a lot of times we need to have beacons of light and one of the things that we look at on the show as a beacon of light are quotes.  Is there a quote or two that you can share?

 

Doug Sandler:   Sure. I don’t remember I think it might have been Henry—I can’t remember who said this, whether you think you can or you can’t you’re right. I’m trying to remember who it was that said that. It’s so true all of the things that we want to accomplish in life whether it’s personal or professional if you think that you can—maybe it was Dale Carnegie, I can’t remember. If you put your head in the right position and you think that you can do it you absolutely will be able to do it. If you’re negative about it and you don’t think that you can do it the same task you’re not going to be able to accomplish it.

 

Jim Rembach:   As you were talking I started thinking about my—and I’ve mentioned him before, my oldest son,  is that he’s more motivated by fear and so a lot of the things that will come out of his mouth are negative and that’s what happens when you kind of got have that fear wiring. I keep telling him I’m like, whatever comes out of your mouth is what you are. He’s like, what do you mean? I said, well, if you talk about negative things you become negative. I said, if you talk about other people in a bad way you become that. Whatever comes out of— he says, that’s just dumb. And I said you’re reinforcing through your head whatever you’re going to end up feeling. And sooner or later maybe it’ll click for him.

 

Doug Sandler:   The quote was a Henry Ford quote, I quickly looked it up and it is a Henry Ford quote. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Good job, the beauty of the Internet at your fingertips. I am reading your bio and you talked about the pivoting you talked about all of those things. To get to where you are today I’m sure there was a lot of humps that you had to get over, can you share a story with us so that we can hopefully get over our own?

 

Doug Sandler:   Sure absolutely. There’s a couple that come to mind and one of them which was really the creation of many of the conscious thought of this nice guys system that I’ve created over the last 30 plus years but really instituted within the last handful of years. I spent the last 30 years as a as a DJ. This this family hired me sight unseen to fly down from D.C. down to New Orleans to do their son’s celebration. I can recall very vividly getting down there they paid my bill they carted me from everywhere my ego was so in the way right now because I felt like they really were engaging my services. Within 50 minutes of this four hour event I remember setting up and they took me to the venue and the guest was like 75 or so adults and fifty or so I would call them kids but they weren’t any kids I’ve ever seen before they were more like monsters. So within 15 minutes of this four hour event they had managed to suck the helium out of every balloon threw pea soup on the walls they were drinking at the bar at 13 years old they lit toilet paper on fire in the bathrooms and this is all within 1/16th of the of the event 15 minutes into this four hour event. And I did what I thought any self-respecting entertainer or DJ would do at the time I put my head down and focused on my job and I started playing music. And of course I was playing music basically to a rowdy room of kids that would not respond no matter what I did. 

 

What I discovered during that pivotal moment in my life was had I actually invested a little bit of time and energy and resources in this client I would have discovered that this was not only the 49th of 50 events of these kids had been to that year through there, let’s call it the bar mitzvah circuit, but no matter what I did they wouldn’t respond positively and my feeling was why were they doing this to me? So, I invested no time, energy, resources in this client they had gone to so many events they didn’t hire me because they thought I was a good entertainer they hired me because I was so far geographically out of their area that there was no way that I possibly would have ever heard of these kids. And so you completely take a shift and you say why didn’t I just ask some important questions? Well, somebody might say, well, why didn’t they tell you? They don’t know what to tell me and what not to tell me I was the professional. So that’s the invest component of my program and actually inspired them to take action come up with a plan A and plan B in case this particular—I knew enough to know that that potentially could happen but it didn’t arm them with any plans. And then I had actually executed a plan I mean I wanted to execute some of those kids but I had actually executed a plan I would have carried out these plans perfectly. For me everything that I did in my in my career so far I was just getting lucky until I created this invest, inspire, and execute system I’d never realized that there was actually a system I could have put in place for that.

 

Jim Rembach:   I love that story that’s pretty good. They actually have to go outside of their geographic region, right?

 

Doug Sandler:   Right. Totally right.

 

Jim Rembach:   Listening to that I kind of started thinking that, well, part of that is just wisdom. You have to go through the experience in order to know that you needed to come up with the system so that it didn’t happen again. 

 

Doug Sandler:   Well, yeah, or you’re a guy that’s smart enough as I wasn’t at the time, and yes probably things going on all around me right now to know that I should be plugging into a system I had no system and that’s the problem. There was no consistent effort there was no phone calls there was no returns of voicemails there was it was like I would just do whatever I thought I wanted to do in order to get the next job I was so focused on the transaction and not focused on the relationship that it wasn’t good.

 

Jim Rembach:   That kind of—is where a lot of organizations start in addition to that they continue to do that way and then they ultimately become one of those organizations that becomes affected because somebody disrupted them.

 

Doug Sandler:   When your services begin to be a commodity because all you’re doing is going through the same action that everybody else is going through and the proof in the pudding for that business, for my entertainment my DJ business, is that I outlasted. I was 30 years into the business I’ve just recently within the last handful of years reinvented myself and what’s so great about it is that the majority of my competition or guys in their 20s and 30s–I’m 15 or 20 years older than them and five to ten times more expensive than many of those guys that are in maybe three to ten times expensive more than many of those guys that are in my market. I know it is not coincidence it’s understanding what customer service means it’s understanding how to invest that time and energy and your client and resources in your client understanding how to execute a plan. It’s not about playing music at a four-hour event it’s the year and a half that leads up to that event where you can build a relationship that’s the critical component of that business. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s interesting you to say that, I started thinking about differentiation you can choose how to differentiate because the fact is you need to do that how you are going to go about doing that. If you differentiate by product that’s a risky proposition these days. When you start talking about the fact that anybody can come and knock you out anywhere around the globe to me the smart choice is to differentiate on the entire experience component.

 

Doug Sandler:   Well, you have to. When you have two people that you’re never going to compare exactly apples to apples especially in the entertainment world if you have a commodity, a light bulb is a light bulb, so what do you do to differentiate yourself from someone that wants to buy from you? It’s all going to be in the service and the support. In my particular case, yeah, we still have to be able to do a great job on event day but the challenge is most people think it is about job day it’s about the celebration. Let me give you an example, two years before an event I’ve met with a guy and his wife and they’re designing this wonderful celebration. The host name is Jim and all the way through the process I’m calling the guy Jim and I know it’s Jim, and I know it I own that name. I get to event day and I’m introducing them and I say, welcome to the stage John, okay, so I’ve screwed that up.  On Monday morning, my agent is not going to get a call that says, he didn’t even know my freakin’ name. Because it was an honest mistake and we got it and I built a relationship. Now let’s take a slightly different track, I don’t call this guy and I’ll talk to Jim I don’t know anything about Jim on event day I just show up and I’m about to do Jim and Jan’s job. They’re about to be introduced and I say welcome to the stage John. On Monday morning my agent is going to get a phone call saying, you didn’t even take the time to learn my name. Okay, honest error, honest thing happened same exact end result except the different relationship was built on the first scenario as opposed to the second scenario. I’m going to swim through that first scenario, I’m going to sing on that second scenario.

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s true. You’ve got to invest in it, right? When I start thinking about where you’ve come and where you are I would suspect that even with a lot of the organizations that you’re working with a lot of individuals that you’re focusing in on, the family, you’ve got a lot of  things that you can look at from a goal perspective. If there was one that you had to choose from what would it be?

 

Doug Sandler:   I would say one of the goals is set goals. I think one of the critical opponents of this reinvention that I went through in 2013 when I discovered that I was not going to be a DJ until I was in my 70s and I couldn’t imagine spending my time doing the cha-cha slide in the cupid shuffle at 65   years old on the dance floor I needed to set a goal and I needed to take action. Instead of letting life happen to me you have to make life happen to you I set not only a practical goal of where I’m heading with my life but I set out a plan. This is what I wanted to do and it’s a jumbled mess along the way looking back but still this whole reinvention has been wonderful. So, I would say put yourself in a position where you do set some goals for where you want to go. Examine the goals frequently readjust if you need to and keep moving forward but always stay in action and just don’t let life happen to you because if it does it’s never going to take you in the path that you wanted to. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Doug Sandler:   Okay, let’s go. 

 

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

 

Doug Sandler:   Staying in the groove. You just got to stay in your zone of genius. Once you start slipping out of that you become less effective much less productive and you slow yourself down. So stay in your zone of genius.

 

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

 

Doug Sandler:   Fail fast. It’s okay to fail. 

 

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

 

Doug Sandler:   This is an easy one, just return your phone calls it’s amazing how many people don’t return their phone calls.

 

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

 

Doug Sandler:   Let’s see, I’m going to say the microphone. Because I’m in a podcast environment so I would say that tool I could not deal without. 

 

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

 

Doug Sandler:   Thanks Jim, I always promote this book because I think it’s so wonderful with its parable, the way that it’s written, Who Moved my Cheese, by Spencer Johnson. 

 

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

 

Doug Sandler:   I’d say that it would be more of a piece of advice it’s, keep moving. You want   to keep moving you can’t stay still nothing ever stays the same you’re constantly evolving and as long as you keep moving make decisions never have a doubt about the decisions you made just keep moving forward that would be any advice that I would give myself at 25. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Doug 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?

 

Doug Sandler:   The best way to reach me is just through my website which is dougsandler.com. 

 

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

 

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

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

 

079: Curtis Kopf: It takes time to get over that

Curtis Kopf Show Notes

This episode was recorded on location at the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) Member Insight Exchange.

Curtis Kopf has a point of view on what he wants to do and he just wants to go do it. But when Curtis encounters someone with differing opinions he has had to learn how to prevent himself from dismissing them and pushing them out of the way. Listen to Curtis as he shares how he gets over this hump.

Curtis was born and raised with his younger sister in Narragansett Rhode Island, surrounded by ocean, fishing boats and clapboard houses.

Curtis Spent spend much of his teenage years working on his uncle’s offshore lobster boat in southern Rhode Island. In the summers, they went more than 100 miles offshore on a 75-foot steel lobster boat for three to four days at a time. He learned early what it meant to do hard work, to depend on the people around you and to build strong teams.

Curtis has held a variety of leadership roles in his career – from serving as Amazon’s first General Manager in the UK to developing curriculum and teaching at the University of Washington’s Mobile Business Strategy Certificate Program. He has an undergraduate degree in English from Brown University and a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins.

Curtis is a visionary leader and digital innovator who has built industry-leading customer experiences at Alaska Airlines, Microsoft and Amazon.com. As Vice President of Customer Innovation for Alaska Airlines, Curtis built award-winning mobile apps and customer feedback programs, as well as pioneered such innovations as online bag-tags and the use of biometrics. Future Travel Experience named Curtis as one of 25 global innovation leaders in the airline industry and Alaska’s mobile app was named by Fortune as the best travel app in America in 2015.

Curtis is currently the Senior Vice President of Customer Experience for Premera Blue Cross where he is working to transform healthcare and he serves as the vice chairman of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Puget Sound.

Curtis is a transplanted East Coaster living in Seattle, Washington with his wife Abbe and daughter Ellie. His son Sam is attending college at the Naval Academy, where he also plays lacrosse.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @ckopf1 and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Culture beats everything else; it’s the single most important thing.” -Curtis Kopf Click to Tweet

“Embed the Voice of the Customer in everything the company does.” -Curtis Kopf Click to Tweet 

“There are companies that are turning entire industries upside down overnight.” -Curtis Kopf Click to Tweet 

“Innovate, the world is changing quickly.” -Curtis Kopf Click to Tweet 

“People want to be part of a bigger mission; you have to start with the why.” -Curtis Kopf Click toTweet 

“For all of us trying to drive change it’s about getting everyone else on board.” -Curtis Kopf Click to Tweet 

“You have to be curious because sometimes you’re wrong.” -Curtis Kopf Click to Tweet 

“Change has to come from us.” -Curtis Kopf Click to Tweet 

“I’m going to be curious because maybe there’s something I need to learn.” -Curtis Kopf Click to Tweet 

“If you want to have impact you have to bring other people with you.” -Curtis Kopf Click to Tweet 

“Sometimes it’s less important to be right and more important to get everyone aligned.” -Curtis Kopf Click to Tweet 

“Worry less; 98% of the things you worry about don’t happen.” -Curtis Kopf Click to Tweet 

“Be in the moment, spend less time worrying.” -Curtis Kopf Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Curtis Kopf has a point of view on what he wants to do and he just wants to go do it. But when Curtis encounters someone with differing opinions he has had to learn how to prevent himself from dismissing them and pushing them out of the way. Listen to Curtis as he shares how he gets over this hump.

Advice for others

Be curious and remember that of you want to have impact you have to bring other people with you.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Being a better listener.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Believe in yourself.

Secret to Success

There’s a lot I have learned from running that helps me in my life – focus, discipline, and maybe the biggest one of all is preparation.

Recommended Reading

Discover Your True North

Contacting Curtis

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/curtis-kopf-a99903

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ckopf1

Resources

Simon Sinek Power of Why

Empathy Mapping

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

 

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

Curtis Kopf: It takes time to get over that

 

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

 

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

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader legion this episode that I’m going to share with you today was an interview that was recorded on location at the Customer Experience Professionals Associations Member Insight Exchange. I had the opportunity to interview Curtis Kopf who was one of the keynote speakers at the conference. Curtis was born and raise with his younger sister in Narragansett Rhode Island surrounded by the ocean, fishing boats and clapboard houses. Curtis spend much of his teenage years working on his uncle’s offshore lobster boat in southern Rhode Island. In the summers they went more than 100 miles offshore on a 75 foot steel lobster boat for three to four days at a time. 

 

He learned early what it meant to do hard work, to depend on the people around you and to build strong teams. Curtis has held a variety of leadership roles in his career from serving as Amazon’s first general manager in the UK to developing curriculum and teaching at the University of Washington’s Mobile Business Strategy Certificate program. He has an undergraduate degree in English from Brown University and a Master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins. Curtis is a visionary leader and digital innovator who was built industry-leading customer experiences at Alaska Airlines, Microsoft and Amazon.com. As vice president of customer innervation for Alaska Airlines Curtis built award-winning mobile apps and customer feedback programs as well as pioneers such innovations as online back tax and the use of biometrics. Future travel experience name Curtis as one of the 25 global innovation leaders in the airline industry and Alaska’s mobile app was named by Fortune as the best business travel app in America in 2015.

 

Curtis is currently the senior vice president of customer experience for Premera Blue Cross where he is working to transform healthcare and he serves as the vice chairman of Big Brothers Big sisters of Puget Sound. Curtis is a transplanted East Coast live in Seattle, Washington with his wife Abby and daughter Ellie. His son Sam is attending college at the Naval Academy where he also plays across. So now on to the interview with Curtis.

 

Okay Fast Leader Legion today we have a special guest on the show from the Member Insight Exchange which is the Customer Experience Professionals annual member meeting. I’m blessed to have on the show today Curtis Kopf. Born and raised in Narragansett, Rhode Island with his younger sister in a lobster fishing family. Curtis is the vice president of customer experience for Premera Blue Cross which is located in Seattle, Washington. Curtis Kopf, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Curtis Kopf:    I am ready to help you get over the hump. 

 

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

 

Curtis Kopf:    Yes sir, my passion professionally is to make health care better for people. To literally make people’s lives better by making health care better. My personal passion is my family. I have a son who is in college, a daughter in high school, I’m married I have a few dogs that comes before everything else. 

 

Jim Rembach:    You had mentioned something a moment ago off mic where you said that your son is actually in the Naval Academy.

 

Curtis Kopf:    Years at the Naval Academy, He’s in his first year at the Academy and it is very challenging. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Now I know that you spend summers on a lobster fishing boat but I don’t think it’s anything like —

 

Curtis Kopf:    No. You don’t have to wear uniform at a lobster fishing boat. You don’t have to march and shine your shoes, make your beds—so, no. I think he’s got a little tougher.

 

Jim Rembach:     I think you also had mention something—are you really in many parts of your family didn’t come from a military family?

 

Curtis Kopf:    No. 

 

Jim Rembach:     So, when you start talking about passion there has to be a lot of passion inside of folks in order to take, let’s just say the military route?

 

Curtis Kopf:    Yeah. 

 

Jim Rembach:     So, what do you think that you instilled at home that caused him to have that kind of passion?

 

Curtis Kopf:    Yeah. I think a desire to serve others. A desire to be part of a bigger mission and wanting to be a leader, wanting to really have a purpose in life, I think is very, very important.

 

Jim Rembach:    You just shared also during your keynote that you’ve had the opportunity to work with some very large brands who are on the forefront of customer experience. The one that you’re in now is wanting to do that, there’s many aspirations. But when you started talking about that care component I started thinking about all those brands that you were with how they’ve operationalized the caring for others. Can you talk about those three things that you covered in the keynote which were so important that you see these companies differentiate with amongst all others?

 

Curtis Kopf:    Yeah, absolutely. I think having worked at companies like Amazon.com, Alaska Airlines, really accomplish and do a great job with the customer, I think there’s three things. One is the culture, I think the culture beats everything else it’s the single most important thing. Having a culture where every single employee is focused on the customer. Number two is embedding the voice of the customer in everything that the company does. And then thirdly is innovation, we’re in the times when there’s a lot of change. There are companies like Uber and Air BnB and others that are turning entire industries upside down overnight. So it’s really incumbent that all of us with more established companies to innovate because the word is changing quickly. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Very true. And you also had mentioned something I think which is happening form an innovative perspective is this whole idea around inspiration. I think you mentioned it a couple of times within your keynote. One of the things that we do on the Fast Leader show is we look at leadership quotes or quotes I should say in general to help us with inspiration cause sometimes we just need to buckle down and we need that reminder. Is there a quote or two that stands out for you that you can share?

 

Curtis Kopf:    Yeah. I’ll give a couple. I think one, what I was thinking when you said that there’s a TED talk by a guy named Simon Sinek called the Power of Why and I think that really resonates with a lot of what we’re talking about in terms of inspiring employees and companies, it’s really important people want to be part of a bigger mission you have to start with the why, and I find Simon Sinek is very inspirational. Just in terms of the basic leadership quotes, I’m a big Winston Churchill fan and just the, Never, Never give up is something that sticks in my mind all the time, this is a very iconic quote. There’s another one by Margaret Mead which is something to the effect of—Great things in the world are always accomplished by small groups of passionate people. I like that as well.

 

Jim Rembach:     You had talked about a couple things associated with passion and persistence even within your keynote. And sometimes we had to get over humps and sometimes we have to be persistent in order to be able to get over those humps. Can you think of a time where you’ve had to get over the hump where we can learn? 

 

Curtis Kopf:    Yes. I’ll give you one and we’ll see if this fits the definition. Like a lot of people I’ve done this assessments that people on corporations where they assess your personality type and they indicate where you strengths are, what your weaknesses are. So, when I think of a hump that’s a hump that you need to get over. Specifically like a lot of people one of my strengths is that I’m Type A I have appointed you on what I want to do and I just want to go do it. And a hump for me is when encounter someone who has a different point of view and who maybe thinks I’m focusing on the customer in certain cases isn’t the right thing to do. And so one of the humps for me is when I encounter someone who actually has a differing opinion rather than being dismissive or just trying to push that out of the away, being more curious rather than getting immediately jumping to wanting to be argumentative to take a step back and try to hearing lesson and be curious, maybe there’s something to that person’s point of view because in large corporations I think for all of us who are trying to drive change it’s about getting everyone else on board and you absolutely you’re going to encounter people who have a different point of view. And you have to be curious because sometimes you’re wrong, sometimes I’m wrong. So, hump for me is being more curious when someone doesn’t have the same view as I do. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Can you think about time where you’ve had the most challenging person where you’ve been able to connect with? What happened? 

 

Curtis Kopf:    Yeah. My belief is that change has to come from us. And I think for me the changes in being in a situation and instead of feeling my blood pressure go up in and lean forward and start to argue just to take us so literally maybe slide the chair back and just say, before I get argumentative I’m going to listen. I’m going to ask more questions. I’m going to be curious because maybe there’s something here that I need to learn from it. And so I’ve noticed a change just by doing that work, it helps me to be more effective. But that’s a hump it takes time to get over that. 

 

Jim Rembach:    We have also talked off mic a little bit is that sometimes those humps they always present themselves, it’s like they never ever go away, they make it smaller with time but it seems like we always have to address this humps sooner or later. And the one you’re talking about I didn’t found that as one that I’ve had to get over to be able to do a better job of active listening, being mindful, being curious, asking more questions. But if you were to say there was one piece of advice you’d give somebody that was having struggles with opposing views or different views with somebody what would you tell them?

 

Curtis Kopf:    I would give them the same advice I give myself which is be curious. Be curious and remember that if you want to have impact in a large organization you have to bring other people with you. I think a lot of us grow up with the tendency to want to be right sometimes it’s less important to be right and it’s more important to get everyone aligned and moving forward. So that would be my best 

 

Jim Rembach:    I know you’re working on doing transformation, let’s just say, with a company who has been established for many years and then the industry it’s very tough. However, when you start thinking about one of the things that really excites you about the work you’re doing today, what is it?

 

Curtis Kopf:    I think a couple of things. The mission is exciting because health plan if we can do a better job we can actually help people to be healthier, we could help a cancer patient recover or help a diabetic person take better care of themselves so I think that’s the number one thing. I think the number two thing for me it’s about people and team. What gets me the most excited is when I’m part of a team of like-minded people who are passionate and excited about what they’re doing and they’re having success that’s sends me home with a smile on my face. 

 

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

 

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

 

Okay, Curtis now’s it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’m going to ask you a few questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster.  Curtis Kopf, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Curtis Kopf:    I am. Yes sir. 

 

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

 

Curtis Kopf:    Be a better listener. None of us do that on purpose but sometimes our minds are so filled with what we want to say, being a better listener that’s number one.

 

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

 

Curtis Kopf:    Man, that’s a hard one, you know probably something to the effect of believe in yourself.

 

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

 

Curtis Kopf:    Here’s one. I’m a runner, I love to run and there’s a lot that I’ve learned from running that helps me in my life focus, discipline, persistence maybe the biggest one of all preparation, it’s all about—I had a big presentation last week and in the end of my views I’m walking into that presentation confident if I’m prepared, if I’ve done the preparation.

 

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

 

Curtis Kopf:    Yeah. Because we’re talking about leadership the first thing that came to mind is True North by Bill George. It’s been around for a while, he just revised it’s the greatest book on leadership I’ve ever read. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay Fast Leader listeners, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today show by going to fastleader.net/Curtis Kopf. Now, just be aware that you spell Kopf. Okay Curtis this 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 knowledge and skill that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything you can only choose one, so what skills or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Curtis Kopf:    Worriless. You think back on all the things you lie awake and worrying about, 98% of them don’t happen. Worriless, be in the moment, spend less time worrying.

 

Jim Rembach:    Curtis 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?

 

Curtis Kopf:    They can follow me on Twitter, ckopf1, you can look me up on Linkedin as well. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Perfect. Curtis Kopf, 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 

 

 

034: Louis Efron: I told my team to leave

Louis Efron Show Notes

Louis moved to Japan to head up HR and build a consistent global culture for the organizations he was working for. Louis focused on learning the Japanese language to help lead his team, but it’s what he learned about the culture that taught him the big lesson. Listen to Louis tell his story of learning about leadership behavior and what leading by example really means so you can move onward and upward faster.

Louis Efron was born in Santa Monica, CA, but has since lived and worked across the US and four continents.

His work experience ranges from Broadway theatre management and production and serving as VP of HR for a Fortune 300 medical device company. Currently Louis serves as the Head of Global Employee Engagement at Tesla Motors.

In addition, Louis is a contributing writer for Forbes and Huffington Post and the author of How to Find a Job, Career and Life You Love.

Louis hold a BA from California State University, Fullerton, as well as a BS and JD from Saratoga University School of Law.

He is an awarding winning Fortune 300 Human Resources Executive, thought leader, speaker, husband, father and the founder of the charity World Child Cancer USA.

He is currently working on his second book that will help organizations transform their employee engagement, culture and business success.

Louis currently resides in Livermore, California with wife and kids.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“My purpose in life is to inspire, enlighten and teach“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“The foundation of purpose is the magic that makes great organizations.“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet

“Being paid fair is one of the lowest factors for employee engagement.“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“Everyone wants to go into an organization where you feel cared for.“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“If you don’t have trust in any relationship…you can’t go any further.“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“If you don’t trust your organization…you’re never going to have that magic.“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“Employees need to feel you care about them across the board.” -Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“It’s about helping other people become successful, grow and get wins.“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“Be the change you want to see in the world.“ -Ghandi by Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“Your actions…is ultimately what drives their behavior and actions.“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“Be who you want the world around you to be.“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“Be who you want your team to be.“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“Be who you want your direct reports to be.“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“Be yourself, be genuine, be authentic.“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“The more you can be yourself in life the more success you’re going to have.“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“You always want to hire people better than you.“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“Relationship building has been the key to all the success.“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet 

“My best tool is shutting everything off and taking time to actually think.“ -Louis Efron Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Louis moved to Japan to head up HR and build a consistent global culture for the organizations he was working for. Louis focused on learning the Japanese language to help lead his team, but it’s what he learned about the culture that taught him the big lesson. Listen to Louis tell his story of learning about leadership behavior and what leading by example really means so you can get over the hump move onward and upward faster

Advice for others

Be yourself and be genuine and authentic. The more open you are with others, the more open they will be with you. Practice being yourself. People will appreciate you more and follow you.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Time. Trying to work smarter and not harder is the key thing.

Best Leadership Advice Received

I want to be the biggest idiot on my team. Rephrased to: You want to hire people better than you.

Secret to Success

Relationship building

Best Resources in business or Life

My mind. Meaning there are tons of tools that can be distracting, sometimes I need to shut things down and take time to actually think.

Recommended Reading

Purpose Meets Execution: How Winning Organizations Accelerate Engagement and Drive Profits
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Contacting Louis

Website: http://louisefron.com/

LinkedIn: https://twitter.com/LouisEfron

Twitter: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/louis-efron/8/908/22b

More Resources

Get a FREE Chapter from “How to Find a Job, Career and Life You Love

Free $750 Performance Package from ResultPal

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

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

034: Louis Efron: I told my team to leave

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

 

Jim Rembach:    Contributing to the annual $150 billion loss in training and development investments is downright demoralizing so raise your spirits in training ROI by increasing learning transfer with ResultPal, get over the hump now by going to resultpal.com/fast and getting a $750 performance package for free. 

 

Okay, Fast Leader legion, I’m excited today because we have a glamour man from a glamour brand. Louis Efron was born in Santa Monica, California but has since lived and worked across the US and in four continents. His work experience ranges from Broadway theatre, management and production, and serving as a VP of HR for Fortune 300 medical device company. Currently, Louis serves as the head of Global Employee Engagement at Tesla Motors. In addition, Louis is a contributing writer for Forbes, Huffington Post, and an author of the book, How to find a Job, Career and Life you love.

 

Louis holds a BA from California State University, Fullerton as well as a BS and JD from Saratoga University School of Law. Louis is an award-winning human resource executive, thought leader, speaker, husband, father and the founder of the charity World Child Cancer USA. Louis Efron are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Louis Efron:    Jim, I am ready, thank you for having me.

 

Jim Rembach:   Hoh, hoh, I’m so excited. Now I’ve given our Fast Leader legion a little bit you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you better?

 

Louis Efron:    Yeah. I love writing that was something I’ve always love. But I always say my purpose in life is to enlighten and inspire and teach. So, my goal in life is to shift the employer-employee engagement issue where majority of people around just don’t really like what they’re doing. They don’t like their jobs and not fully engaged, I just think there’s such power, a global power in our economy, in our community to helping people align with what their purposes in life where they’re great at, with their passion about and just the explosion of potential around that, it’s really where I’m really passionate about where I focused most of my energy.

 

Jim Rembach:    For the past decade, I’ve kind of been studying in the whole area of employee engagement and retention because my whole customer experience in customer service side led me to the realization that until you have that piece, that foundational piece, it’s darn, darn near impossible to have the other. So, if the inside, doesn’t have the engagement, have that intrinsic drive and motivation, people need to be there and feel that they’re making a contribution and then therefore, guess what—Great! Customer experiences are just going to be a default really. But when you think about what you have focused on in regards to purpose, there are several studies that basically say that: Purpose, and it’s not just me and my individual purpose, but it’s the purpose of the organization that really is what drives the worker of today and for generations to come. What are your thoughts on that?

 

Louis Efron:    Yeah. I couldn’t agree more. When you understand what your purpose is in life, like why you exist, why you’re on this planet and you’re able to find an organization that aligns with that purpose—so, you jump out of bed each morning wanting to change the world, your align with an organization is changing the world along the same lines that you had passion around and what you believe your focus is, that is remarkable you can’t get better engagement. And as you said, there’s a lot of research showing the connection to mission on purpose is by far the most important thing, baseline foundation behind employee engagement. And as you mentioned, once you have a ingrain and play engagement it naturally transitions over to high customer engagement and it naturally transitions in the business results. So the foundation purpose is the magic that makes great organizations and makes the things we’re talking about today. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Absolutely. And the other thing that I been finding in the research that I’ve been following in the work that I’m doing is that, the component that really helps with that purpose piece is really around well-being. When you look at the traditional way that organizations go about measuring employee engagement, measuring employee satisfaction, there’s so many different words that you can label that with. They oftentimes go to—hey, how do you like your performance package or your compensation package? How do you like—do you have a best friend at work? And it doesn’t seem like those things really make as much difference as—you know what, I feel valued. I think you’ve given me the tools that I need to do my job. Have you seen the transformation for you being in charge of the employee engagement, those measures are carrying significantly greater impact than—hey do you like this, would you refer us? 

 

Louis Efron:    It’s funny, there are couple of things you’ve mentioned that’s really interesting. Number one, when you mentioned about money and compensation there’s a great book by Daniel Pink called, Drive, and if you read that book. There’s research in there that shows that compensation—as long as you’re being paid fair you’re not getting robbed. That means paid fair, that is the lowest factors for employee engagement that drives employee engagement but that connection and mission and purpose in adding value is actually key. You mentioned about having a best friend at work, funny you mentioned that because I did—I work with Gallup Q12 for many years as Stryker and for 11 years I was going around doing action planning sessions and addressing that particular question, because that’s one of the questions in their engagements survey. And everybody always challenged it but it was a very emotional question a really good question I think, because it also helps bring in that value and care.

 

Everybody wants to go into an organization you’ve so cared for, you’ve so valued and the workers, people that you’re working with, are more family, I’m not saying family like they become who we have dinner with, but family that look out for you and care if you’re sick or there’s personal things going in your life. So, I think one of the main things that I’m trying to drive now when I look at employee engagement the three key factors are, reestablishing trust, demonstrating care and practicing servant leadership. These are three tenets that I’ve written about before, I’ve been talking about at Tesla and other places, it’s really, really key. And if you don’t have trust for example in any relationship, whether it be a personal relationship or your business relationship, you can’t go any further. If you don’t trust the people you’re working with such as your organizations or leaders, you’re never going to have that magic that’s going to drive engagement. 

 

And then moving into care, if people only feel that you care about products, that you’re trying to force out the door and the hours your working at work and you don’t care anything about their personal lives—if it’s the kids birthdays that you don’t care about, or people getting ill, whatever it is it, employees need to feel that you care about them across the board. And then in demonstrating practicing servant leadership, is essentially when you’re doing the job yourself you’re responsible for making that successful. And you’re leading other people, it’s about helping other people become successful and grow and get wins, that’s how you establish more trust and more care. If you do that, if you practice serving others and being a leader that serves your team as opposed to serving yourself, those three combinations together really create that magic that we’re talking about here where people still care, value and so they’re winning they’re successful, and then you get the strong engagement that you need to drive business results. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Yeah. With what we’re talking about here, obviously you and I are singing from the same choir from a passion perspective, we feel so strongly about this. For me, we focus on leadership quotes on the Fast Leader show and when I say leadership it doesn’t mean that it comes from a business perspective per se but it just leads us both as individuals as well as maybe our teams that we help with. I know with your background in theater and everything from the artistic perspective as well as the human component and condition and passion, is there a quote for you that has stands out that gives you some drive and energy?

 

Louis Efron:    Yeah. I love quotes and I frequently quote a lot of great speakers, but one quote that I really love is a quote that most people knows from Gandhi, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” For me it’s leadership by example. When I talk to leaders and I talk about what’s really, really important it’s what your actions and the way people perceive you and what you do is ultimately what drives their behavior and their actions. And so, that quote sums up for me what great leadership is about—be who you want the world around you to be and be who you want your team to be and be who you want to direct your reports to be cause that’s how it works and it’s the essence of great leadership.

 

Jim Rembach:    There’s so much depth of a lot of the quotes of Gandhi and that is one that you can use as a continual challenge of self, challenge of team, challenge of organization, it goes on and on and I think it will live through the rest of human history. With that and with the passion, with the background and many things that you’ve done and the different continents that you lived in, I know there’s had to be humps that you’ve had to get over in order to be able to move forward faster, is there a hump that you can share with us that you had to get over and how it affected you, can you tell us that story?

 

Louis Efron:    Yeah, definitely. A couple of stories, the first time I move, I move to Japan one time that’s the first time, it’s about six year ago I move to Japan to head up an HR for Stryker when I was working over there and it’s a remarkable experience and a chance from HR perspective to move into a totally as foreign cultures you possibly get, from language to history to just people practices, and I was sent over there to help to form HR department and build a consistent culture across our company—a global culture. We really hadn’t touched Japan much, Japan was always a very, very, successful business for us and as we got bigger and the economy start changing we needed to get in there and make sure that we had that consistent global feel in the organizations as well. 

 

So, I came in, you had to learn a little Japanese, about a year before my wife and I took some Japanese and brush up when we got there and then we took some there, so I was trying to understanding the culture studying as much as possible, so I got to my office in the first day, I was essentially—I was trying to catch up on things and learn the business, I was in my office to probably about 10:15 at night, had my door closed and when I was done I open my door and I looked out, my entire team was sitting in front of my office at their desk so I’m like, “What are you guys doing here? You guys can go home. What are doing?” 

 

And I found out that intrinsic Japanese cultures, your employees don’t leave before your boss.  And so I said, “Listen guys, if you’re done with your work you can leave. You can basically leave when you’re done and I’m fine with that.” So, I reiterated that a few times and still there was no difference in their behavior. I was trying to lessen my hours, and this is not so funny, I realized that the only way I’m going to get this changed of behavior is if I start leaving at 5:00 o’clock so they’ll feel empower to leave. So what I start doing is I literally start leaving the office at 5:00 o’clock doing the work I needed to at home and queuing up e-mails for the morning to sending them the nights they didn’t think I was working and then suddenly they felt I could leave. It took time evolve but what I learned from that is essentially that, as a leader people follow your lead. Especially in Japan, such a traditional environment around that, it’s so blatant and clear to me but it really drove home the message, again leadership by example. The behavior I’m putting what people see that I’m doing is how my team’s going to behave. And if I want to change that behavior I’ve got to change my behavior and that was a great example that demonstrate to me how the power of that. That was one story around it. 

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s a really good example. One of the things you referred to quite often is the servant leadership aspects of the work environment. For me, as I started seeing more and more of the generational changes and societal changes, I started talking also more about servant teamwork and that we have to have more collaborative environments and that also the folks that are the team players have to do really a little bit more of what those folks and in Japan were doing, and that is you give that respect to the leader and the rest of the team and step up. Oftentimes I see us going the opposite way and to say that, “Hey, it’s me, me, me and I don’t necessarily have to participate in that?” But when you look at the why we are wired and where we do find purpose and then get to that point of having satisfaction with our well-being is we have to be part of a group we’re made that way, that’s the way we’re hardwired. 

Hopefully we can find a blend—is Hawaii got in the middle? Is that where we all need to be? [Laugh]

 

Louis Efron:    I’m onboard. Give me a ticket, I’ll hide out there with you, right now? [Laugh]

 

Jim Rembach:    Let’s go. Alright, when you start thinking about all of the experiences that you have had and even that story, if you are going to give our listeners a piece of what would it?

 

Louis Efron:     Number one is, as a leader to be yourself. Be genuine. Be authentic. The one thing that shows a lack of care to employees, and people pick this up, humans are intuitive. I always talk about from coming [13:43 inaudible] when I talk of the subtext of life and in a play there’s the words and then below the words is the emotion and when you move by a piece of theatre or a piece of film or a piece of a TV program whatever it is, you’re not moved by the words you’re moved by emotions of the actress and connection to what’s happening and how it connects to you. So, as a leader if you’re not yourself and your trying to be someone else, and being someone else’s is too difficult to become perfectly honest it doesn’t make any sense it’s too hard and usually it doesn’t work, so the more you yourself and the more genuine you are, the more people are going to see that and the more they’re going to trust you and the more open you are with them, the more open they’re going to be with you.

 

I see far too many leaders out there trying to emulate other people, we all know we work for certain boss and that certainly just colors our leadership during those times when we’re working for those people because that’s how it is, again leadership by example. That I’d really encourage anybody listening in the leadership perspective is to really practice being yourself and it seems crazy, right? Practiced being yourself but it is a basic thing that a lot people dismiss. And if you’re not if you yourself and it’s not working, maybe you’re in the wrong environment, maybe you’re in the wrong role. But the more you could be yourself in life the more success you’re going to have. So, that’s one key piece of advice  I would give is, be authentic, be a genuine leader and people will appreciate that and they will follow you more as a result of it. 

 

Jim Rembach:    When you’re talking and explaining that one of the thing that came to mind for me was in a current assessment that somebody invited me to take, so it was like, “Okay, I’ll give it a shot.” They talked about energy units, meaning that here’s how you think you need to behave in your role and here are your natural tendencies and if there is a wide gap between those you end up using more energy units. So, you have to emulate and be what you think you need to be even though that’s not you and after a while you just get wiped out. And it makes sense, so the question would be is if we can emulate long enough so that we actually do make some behavioral modifications and it becomes second nature you don’t use as many energy units, that’s yet another test I’m sure I had to pay for. [Laugher] But it makes sense what you just said and it connected for me, so thank you for sharing that. 

 

If you start thinking about –you mentioned something about writing your next book, I know the work that you’re doing at Tesla Motors is giving you a whole lot of excitement especially with the way that you all are expanding and the recognition that you’re getting for having such a fantastic culture and I know for a fact that your work is contributing to that. But if you were to say that there’s one thing that’s giving you a ton of excitement right now what would it be?

 

Louis Efron:    It’s watching—being environment, I’ve been very, very lucky in my life to have been blessed with my career. The environment where I saw a lot of people that are connected to their purpose in life and so have [16:40 inaudible]the mission and purpose of what they’re doing, certainly test is a great example of that. Pretty much every employee at the organization are connected to the larger mission and purpose of changing the world. Speaking about this, I got to meet a lot of other passionate people that are really in the right roles in life, that are making a difference and you just show the energy, we talked about the energy, there’s nothing more energetic and much more they’ll charge your batteries, and being around someone else who’s also has a fully charged battery, and that’s exciting. So, that’s the thing that really gets me out of bed in the morning, have a chance to interact with people like that in my life. The more I can do that the better I feel and the more positive I felt about my life.

 

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

 

“A dry leadership pipeline shouldn’t clog your business from moving onward and upward. Get over the hump by filling the gap between leadership development and top performance with ResultPal. Rocket to success by going to resultpal.com/fast and getting a $750 performance package for free.”

 

Alright here we go, it’s time for the rapid pace part of our show and it’s the—Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Louis, 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. Louis Efron are you ready to hoedown?

 

Louis Efron:    I am ready to hoedown, Jim.

 

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

 

 Louis Efron:     The bottom line is, Time. I mean there’s never enough time in a day and I think just trying to be more efficient and work smarter, harder, trying to balance your teams at work, balance your family, your wife, your friends, your personal interest—there’s so much and especially the more you do in life, the more—adding to your life, it’s amazing how that works. So, time is by far the key thing that if I had more of it or more actually—I can’t get more of it so the more efficiently I can get, how I use my time is probably the key thing I would say. 

 

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

 

Louis Efron:     The best leadership advice was is when I was back in High School, I was working at a video store and one of the manager said to me, “I want to be the biggest idiot on my team” and I rephrase that by saying the, “You want to hire people better than you” and that’s what he was trying to say. I think that’s the way how my career is, you want to always hire better than you. If you hire better than you, what happens is, when those people take over from you the organization gets better and they hire better than them and the organization can just get better. So, the success I’ve had in my life is because of great people around me. So I think it’s the one thing you ca do is hire best people they only not make you look great and that’s the way it works. 

 

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

 

Louis Efron:    Relationship building by far. That’s something I think out of everything that I do in life, it’s one thing I’m best at, really connecting with people I enjoy it, it’s a natural thing for me, so relationship building has been the key to all the success and bring the right teams together for me and inspire people. 

 

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

 

Louis Efron:    This is going to sound like a crazy response, but my mind. What I’m saying by that is, there’s so many tools out there, and your iPhones, whatever you’re using all day—BlackBerry whatever it is, that are great tools but I find them incredibly distracting sometimes to thinking. We are in a constant treadmill and life is so busy and there’s so many things and with e-mails and tax and social media you can’t get a break, so that my best tool quite frankly is shedding everything off and taking time to think and use my mind, which we use to do prior to all this technology to make decisions. I make much when I have the time to really think and use my mind effectively to balanced out, I’m a big runner so I go out for runs it gives me time to think, then I get the best outcomes as a result of that better than using any technology around. It’s a weird response but for me that’s it.

 

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

 

Louis Efron:    One of my favorite staple books is 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell. I think every leader should have it in their and their bookshelf. It’s is powerful, it makes sense, it’s simple and is the essence of good leadership in there.

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay Fast Leader legion you can find links to that book as well as a bonus chapter to Louis’ book on the show notes page that you’ll find at fastleader.net/Louis Efron. Okay, Louis this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age 25 and you have been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you know what, 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?

 

Louis Efron:    This may sound like a shameless plug but I’m going to say it anyways, my book How to find a Job, Career and Life you Love, I wrote after—I’m 48 now and I wrote it based on my journey and watching the journeys of other peoples in their lives trying to find and where they need to be aligned in life. And in the book, I’ve written a lot of questions to ask. Had I had the experience I have now that I’ve written in this book back 25 years ago, to start asking the right questions I would’ve got to a point where I was happier and fulfilled and more successful a lot quicker because I find that majority of time in life people are on their deathbed when they start questioning, “Should I have done this? I wish I’ve done that” because you just get in the rat race and you try to make money and you’re trying to support your house and your family and things like that, but the earlier in life you can ask, and it’s never too late to change. The book is basically written so that as long as you start asking these questions you can always revert your path but the earlier in life you can start asking these questions the sooner you’ll get on the right path and the sooner you’ll have success, and the longer you have to work on your success the more successful you’ll be, which makes perfect sense. So that’s what I would say, if they’re having good questions, if I had the tools of those good questions back 25 years ago it would have made a world of difference to my life.

 

Jim Rembach:    Louis 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?

 

Yeah, definitely. You can reach me on my site, it’s louisefron.com at Twitter@louis efron, my Facebook is Louis Efron The voice of Purpose, as you mentioned I write for Forbes, Huffington Post, I’ve got a lot of articles on there, Amazon.com is where you can get my book. I always love meeting new people so please LinkedIn with me I use LinkedIn intensely and I publish all my speaking engagements on my website and LinkedIn, so if you want to see me live somewhere, you can catch me there as well. 

 

Louis Efron, 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