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Samuel Knickerbocker | Fuel Your Legacy

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

Samuel Knickerbocker Show Notes Page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hump to Get Over

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

Advice for others

Love more, be more willing to give of yourself.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

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

Best Leadership Advice

Serve first and love more.

Secret to Success

Radical honesty and openness.

Best tools in business or life

Staying connected with God and my purpose.

Recommended Reading

The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict

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

Contacting Samuel Knickerbocker

Website: http://samknickerbocker.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ssknickerbocker

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

Resources and Show Mentions

The 9 Pillars to Build a Meaningful Legacy

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work


 

Show Transcript: 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Absolutely and I’m pumped. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Yep, that’s so true. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Serve first and love more,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader Legion you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/SamuelKnickerbocker. Okay, Samuel this is my last Hump day hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25, which for you is maybe last week, huh? 

 

Samuel Knickerbocker:     Yeah, that’s funny actually. 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

END OF AUDIO 

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gerry-barber-leadership-podcast-banner-fastleadershow

013: Gerry Barber: We were dysfunctional

Podcast Show Notes with Gerry Barber

Gerry was fortunate to learn a valuable lesson as a young leader that helped to change his path. Being an eager and confident leader he volunteered to lead a team in a business simulation as part of a leadership development program. Gerry thought he knew a lot about leadership, but he didn’t know what he didn’t know. His first day was a disaster and they were pretty much dysfunctional as a team. Listen to Gerry as he tells his story and the epiphany he had that caused him to turn things around so you can use his experience to move onward and upward faster.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“Leadership and learning are indispensable of each other.” JFK told by Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“If you stop learning you are not going to be a leader for very long.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“Change is absolute and change is happening so rapidly today.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“Social media is the future of interactions for our world.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“When you learn together you become stronger together.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“Leadership is about influence.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“Realize your team brings something to the table.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“To be a great leader you need to be able to give each team member the time they need.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“Sit down and write your leadership point of view.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

“Keep business simple.” -Gerry Barber Click to Tweet

As a young leader, Gerry got the got the opportunity to participate in a four-year executive management program. The group of 30 people was split into separate teams that would compete against each other in a simulation to run all aspects of a business. Being eager and confident Gerry volunteered to lead his team for the first year. He thought he knew a lot about leadership at that time, but he didn’t know what he didn’t know. That first day he had a very difficult time. He was telling people what to do and was asking folks to do this and that and wasn’t doing some of the things that he really should do as a leader. When the team convened that day they were pretty much dysfunctional as a team. After a long night of reflection about all that went wrong he finally came to the realization that leadership is not about telling people what to do or making decisions.

Leadership Epiphany

Leadership is not about telling people what to do or making decisions, it’s about influence.

Advice for others

Realize your team brings something to the table and while you are the leader it’s a collective experience.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Limited time to spend developing others.

Best Leadership Advice Received

You need to sit down and write down your leadership point of view.

Secret to Success

Living as a servant leader and putting my people first.

Best Resources in Business or Life

Books and CIAC certification, memories, mentors

Recommended Reading

You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere, Can Make a Positive Difference

Leading at a Higher Level, Revised and Expanded Edition: Blanchard on Leadership and Creating High Performing Organizations

The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded

Contacting Gerry

email: gbarber [at] deloitte.com

Phone: 615-882-7792

More Resources

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

Show Transcript: 

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

013: Gerry Barber: We were dysfunctional

 

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 intelligent practitioner, Jim Rembach.

Jim Rembach:   Thanks Kimberly. Okay Fast Leader legion, I am blessed to get the opportunity to introduce to you the person that I get to introduce to today. Gerry Barber has been a longtime friend and I always link to him to help me get over my own hump. He’s full of wisdom. He’s full of reserve energy that is rare and greatly appreciated, I don’t know, maybe he got that from living and growing up on the South side Chicago where he played a lot of baseball, and that’s one of the connections that we have together. I don’t know about the rock ‘n roll drummer that he was trying to be able to become but he had to grow up just like we all do. 

 

He moved into what I would refer to as operational excellence and he work with a lot of organizations and retail customer care and support and has built leaders throughout his own career. Today, he lives just outside of Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Jenny of 38 years and has two grown boys. Gerry Barber, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Gerry Barber:     I’m going to take you up and I’m going to take you over. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Awesome. 

 

Gerry Barber:     Let’s go.

 

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

 

Gerry Barber:     I’m very passionate about what I do in my work which relates to contact centers and shared services. I have fun every day at the office but when I’m away from the office there are many other things that I like to get involved with. One of those is putting my top down on my little Miata and riding the back roads of Tennessee. It’s a great stress reliever and a fun way just to get lost on a Saturday afternoon, I can’t wait spring is coming and so I should get a lot of days coming up be able to do just that.

 

Jim Rembach:     Thanks for sharing that with me. I appreciate what you had referred to as far as the therapy associated with that and wish you sunny days. So, here on the Fast Leader Show we are always looking for inspirations that will help us get over the hump. And we like to focus in on leadership quotes or passages to help us do that. And I know throughout the course of your career you probably had several that you had to lean on in order to help you. But, is there one that stands out that you’d like to share with our listeners?

Gerry Barber:     Jim, yes. There’s one that throughout my career keeps on being in the forefront of my mind. Leadership and learning are indispensable of each other, that’s a quote by our late great Pres. John F. Kennedy, and simply put that, if you stop learning you’re not going to be a leader for very long. Change is absolute and changes are happening so rapidly today that that quote in itself is more important than any other that I think about on a daily basis.

 

Jim Rembach:    There’s some really important information that we can glean from that. But for you, how do you apply the meaning of that quote in your life today?

 

Gerry Barber:     That’s simple. I subscribe to servant leadership. Servant leadership means simply you put your people first. And when you put your people first that means you want to find the ways that they can grow. Grow in their career, grown in their lives and get satisfaction from what they do. So, I invest a lot of time in my team members and my people to insure that they grow as leaders.

 

Jim Rembach:     You had mentioned something to me before that I stood out when you started talking about having people that are better than you working for you. There’s  so many of us that live in fear and we don’t want transfer what we know to somebody else because—they may take my job—how do you overcome that fear so that you can thrive? 

 

Gerry Barber:     This is a question that’s a difficult challenge for one zig, alright and many of us leaders have somewhat of an ego. I’m going to be honest here, I’m in the twilight of my career, meaning that retirement is only a couple years away. And recently, I have worked very hard to help my team become the best they can be but I’ve also added a team member who I firmly believe has a greater chance of taking our contact center to an even higher level of performance over the years. One of the things that this particular individual brings to the table is a great and deep understanding of social media. Social media is the future of interactions for our world and with her here shall be able to help us move forward. I don’t have that fear anymore, I in fact been embraced the fact that will take the legacy of what we’ve built here and enhance it even more for the new social world. 

 

Jim Rembach:     I guess there’s maybe some struggle that some folks. If there’s somebody who has a particular skill or knowledge and you really develop their skills even more, how do you help that person do just that?

 

Gerry Barber:     One of the things that I’ve used, I was going to talk about it later in our  discussion but I’ll bring it up now, is that I’ve built a lot of learning on having book clubs. And so we’ll take a book and I don’t just sit there and teach, everyone who is part of that book club for the period of time, usually it is six weeks and we meet once a week, we take a chapter or two or three at a time to discuss. Each individual who becomes part of that book club will take a chapter, and the books are great book on leadership, on business or on contact centers. Whatever the flavor of the day is for us to grow we do it together. When you do it together you learn together and you become stronger together.

Jim Rembach:   Oh, some really sage and powerful advice there. However, I know that getting to the point to where you are now and being somebody who’s probably producing leaders at a much faster rate than you did at your youth you had challenges, we all have them, we have humps that we need to get over. Can you think of a time where you had to get over one and that kind of shape and guided you to really where you are today, can you share that with us please?

 

Gerry Barber:     Let me share a story, and you’re going to have to bear with me because this maybe a little drawn out here but I want to get some of the facts out. It’s circa 1983, I was very young leader, and I have been working with Quill Corporation at Lincolnshire, Illinois at that time. I got the opportunity to participate in a four year executive management program put on by the American Management Association. This program was built to meet once a year for a full week and then have homework and deliverables in between the year. So, it was it was set up where we were broken up into five teams of six people, so there’s roughly 30 people if my math is right, participating in the program together for all four years. We came together and on the first morning of the first day I think I had one of the best leadership lessons I could’ve ever had in my career. So, on that first morning we broke up into teams and six of us came together as a new team. 

 

Each of us came from a different business, different business model even maybe a different part of the country, because this was not just exclusively regional, there was folks from L.A. as well as Chicago and Boston and in other points in between. So we got together, and heady me, raise my hand and said I’d like to lead the first year, because he had to name a leader for each year, and I said I would be a leader for the first year. And so there we went on our first day and the object of the of the four years is through simulation run a business, everything from HR management, manufacturing, development and producing a products in paper and theory in this in the simulation all the way to managing profit and loss and managing the business. And at the end of four years, each year you would get rated as to where you were at against the other teams. 

 

So, I took that leadership position, I thought I knew a lot about leadership at that time but I didn’t know what I did know. And so, on that first day I had a very difficult time, I was telling people what to do. I was asking folks to do this, that and wasn’t doing some of the things that we really should do as a leader. When I left that day we were pretty much dysfunctional as a team. I went back to my hotel room and had a lot of time to think about all that went wrong and at the end of the day, and in the beginning of the morning, I came to the realization, and this is my Aha moment, that leadership is not about telling people what to do or making decisions for the larger group, and in fact with this group which is different than what I had managed before, these were all peers. They came from different organizations, they were probably senior managers of this or director of that. And so—why would they listen to me? They didn’t have to. They didn’t have any fear, I wasn’t paying them as would happen in my job before? And thus it occurred to me and that hump that I had to get over was, I had to learn that leadership is about influence that is the lesson that I learned. When I  so when I figured that out, and it’s probably two o’clock in the morning, I got a couple of hours of sleep and we met back again at 8 AM at the facility and I simply apologized to the team for my actions of the day before and that I wasn’t really displaying a leadership view. I was humble about apologizing and that I want to listen and engage and see where we could take it. Well, the good news is that I think alone my humble apology helped influence a change. And from there in the first year we came in second, the five teams. But had I not had that realization, and had I not kept that all these years, I don’t think I’d be the leader I am today. 

 

Jim Rembach:     So many pieces of insight. What you’ve learned that we can leverage to help us get over the hump much faster than we would otherwise. And that epiphany that you shared with us, we called them epiphanies, a lot of times here on the show, I think I’ve even been through myself, but when you look at many different pieces within that story and our Fast Leader Legion having the challenges that they have, what advice would you actually give them to help them move forward faster?

 

Gerry Barber:     Realize that your team brings something to the table and that while your leader assigned or unassigned whatever it is, and you don’t need a title necessarily to be leader—I love that book incidentally by Sanborn—that it’s a collective experience and the idea of trying to come to some clear vision with and for the team is extraordinarily important to success but listening first before doing.

 

Jim Rembach:   Oh, I love that, thank you for sharing that with us. When you start talking about what really excites you today with the work that you’re doing, what is it?

 

Gerry Barber:      While I mentioned I’m in the twilight of my career, I’m having more fun now in my career that I’ve had in all the years prior. I’ve had such tremendous opportunity to really become the leader I wanted to be and to act on that. After six years of leading the Lloyd’s contacts and our operations, I was given the opportunity and responsibility to lead now a full transformation of our expense management operations, which I am so excited about at this point time in my career because I can do all the things that I’ve learned and put them into practice again even at this late date, and I’m enjoying every minute of it. 

 

I’ve been into it a year now, it’s a cultural transformation, it’s a technology transformation, and it’s a process transformation. And while I’ve been in it for a year there’s still a lot of things that we need to do. The cultural side of it I think has been improved and were moving along with the great solid organization with a clear vision and the right strategies in place to be successful over time and take us from good to great and so, I’m excited. Now comes all of the technology and the process improvements that we’ve measured and have said, these are our strategies to the affect transformation. So, now I get to see and be part of a team who will unleash those transformational activities over the next two years before I say goodbye.

 

Jim Rembach:     The Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. 

 

Gerry Barber:     We’re having fun.

 

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

 

Gerry Barber:     I’m going to try, try my best. 

 

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

 

Gerry Barber:     That’s very simple. My time is at a premium and to be a great leader you need to be able to give each team member the time they need to improve themselves. I’m finding it harder and harder with having multiple responsibilities, contact center and the expense management of organization, to give the right amount of time. Hopefully I see my way clearer in about six months where I can really then begin to devote my time to individuals versus just the transformation.

 

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

 

Gerry Barber:     Actually it came from a book. And in that book it said: You need to sit down and write your leadership point of view. I think for your legions you’ll understand that it really talks about who you are and how you got to the point of the leader you are, what your expectations are for yourself, and what your expectation is for your team members and your peers in which you do business with or interact on any life situation? And so, that has been very dear to me. 

 

When I came first I had read the book, and the book incidentally, I know you’re going to probably ask me what’s my favorite book, this is it it’s called ‘Leading at a Higher Level’ it’s by the Blanchard group, it’s a copulation of everything they’ve done in the business world on leadership for a good number of years and it’s really great shelf reference as well. It walks you through thinking about and developing your leadership point of view, as well as part of the book. And so,  right before I came to Deloitte I had found that book and was using it as research in my role with CIAC, The Competency and Certification Group that was part of ICMI, and utilize a lot of thought processes from that book as we build competencies work [inaudible 16:34] our leadership.

 

I had used the leadership point of view as my letter to my new teams here at Deloitte when I arrived and I can tell you that it closed a lot of gaps that people normally have like, who the hell is this guy? And what’s he’s going to do us? It was all there in black and white, where I came from, what I believe in, what I expect from myself, and what I expect from them and where we might go as a team together, and it was great. I use it again when I took the leadership role of our expense management organization just a year ago, to also introduce myself and move quickly from ‘we don’t know this guy’ to ‘hey, we’re part of a team. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What do feel is one of your secrets that contributes to your success?

 

Gerry Barber:     I mentioned it earlier and that’s living as a servant leader and putting your people first and making sure that we work together to have a clear vision and chart the right strategies for our journey. That journey continues in the contact center and in our expense management organization. 

 

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

 

Gerry Barber:     My best resource is always to go to books and I use that leadership at a higher level as a Bible, so it’s a great desk reference, I think I mentioned that earlier, and I go to that. I also believe in the competencies in the art and science of contact center leadership. So, I utilize the developmental manuals that were built for the CIC certification as my guide too in leading contact center. Beyond that its memories and interactions with a couple of great mentors that I had my career. One that comes to mind is Jack Miller who was the patriarch of Quill and got it started and let it for a good many of years before it was sold to Staples. He always told me in business keep it simple. If I’m going to sell you a pen, here’s what it is and here’s how much it cost and you make the transaction and you go on, so keep business simple.

 

Jim Rembach:     Great advice. So, you already mentioned your favorite book were going to take that and give links to that on our show notes page where you’ll be able to find at fastleader.net/Gerry Barber. Alright Gerry, the last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning and you were 25 years old again, you’re supposed to now manage a group that is underperforming and are disengaged but you’ve been blessed you get to retain everything that you’ve learned up until today. So, you get up in the morning, you head out to work, what you do now?

 

Gerry Barber:     In a way that happened to me last year. No, I didn’t go back to 25 and wasn’t able to run a fast 40 a yard dash, but it really is that scenario, I was moving into an area of our operations that I didn’t have a lot of subject matter expert for expense management, expense audit card management, if you will for our organization. I was asked to bring my leadership skills to the table to help in this transformation of group, I won’t say that they were disconnected, they were doing good work, didn’t have the right technologies didn’t have the right processes and sorely needed the right leadership.

 

There’s another book that I will share and that’s called ‘The First 90 days. It was a book written by Michael Watkins, it’s a Harvard Press, I believe, but don’t quote me on that. It’s a book I used when I arrived at Deloitte and it’s a book I used again when I took on the responsibilities for the transformation. Basically in that book it helps you understand how you should go about taking on that new responsibility, that new transformation, that new organization that needs to be improved. And in that first 90 days, it’s so crucial to be listening to help people understand who you are to begin to craft an understanding of what is needed and then to rally people around a clear vision to go into the future for that journey that you’re about to take together. You should not make rash judgments and decisions in that 90 days just to appease your boss or some other group who wants to see the transformation done the week after you get in there, you got to resist those type of things. Following the guidance in the First 90 Days book is absolutely a wonderful way to go about tackling the scenario that you talk about. And so, I would encourage anyone who is starting a new job, starting new roll or taking over a transformation of another part of their organization to read that book and let that book guide you through the process.

 

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

 

Gerry Barber:     That’s easy. Again I work with Deloitte, I could be found at GBarber@deloitte.com or you can give me a call at 615-882-7792 be happy to chat with anyone who wants to talk about leadership anytime. 

 

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

 

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

 

END OF AUDIO

 

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Leadership Freak Dan Rockwell on Fast leader Show Leadership podcast

008: Dan Rockwell: I’m afraid I won’t matter

Podcast Show Notes with Dan Rockwell (Leadership Freak)

Dan was identifying himself by others and as a people pleaser he eventually became lost with needing to define himself by others. Then Dan had an epiphany where things became clearer and he realized he had more in him and he began to turn to his strengths, talents and gifts. Listen to this episode and learn how Dan Rockwell transformed into the Leadership Freak.

Dan Rockwell is a farm-boy from Maine who lives in Central Pennsylvania with his wife of 39 years. He says she is the joy of his life.

He prefers country to city living. He thoroughly enjoys looking out the window and seeing deer in the field. He has three children and four grandchildren. He believes Grandchildren are one of life’s compensations.

Dan’s leadership career began with a leadership position in the nonprofit world at the age of nineteen. His experience, over thirty-five years, includes business ownership and fifteen years as a Workforce Development Consultant for a regional Penn State Special Affiliate.

Dan’s contribution to the leadership community includes writing the highly recognized Leadership Freak blog. Leadership Freak was the most socially shared leadership blog in the world 2012, 2013, and 2014. Leaders in every country on the globe gain encouragement and insight from his writing. Over 300,000 subscribers have opted into Dan’s social media channels.

The American Management Association lists Dan as one of the Top 30 Leaders in Business (2014). INC recognizes Dan as one of the top 50 Leadership and Management Experts in the English speaking world (2014). INC also recognizes Dan as a TOP 100 Leadership Speaker.

Currently, Dan coaches leaders, consults with organizations, and delivers corporate and community presentations.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Check out @LeadershipFreak sharing his story and fears on @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“The logical extension of Servant Leadership is being a coaching leader.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“There are some misconceptions about being a coach.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Once you make a decision curiosity ends.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“A coach is a person who maximizes the talent and skill of another person.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“When you tell someone what to do you enhance their helplessness.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“You are going to maximize your performance and I am the person to help you.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“If you’re going to talk about it, do something about it.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Don’t talk about it if you’re not going to do something about it.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Are we moving toward action and behavior or are we just chasing our tail?” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“You are not the person to find the answer, they are.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Wanting to please people is a good thing; needing it is not so healthy.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Love people and serve people but don’t do it to gain their approval.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“When you are a deep people pleaser it’s hard to disagree.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“What you see now is a drive to matter.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“I made a lot of mistakes, so I have a lot to write about.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“I want to matter and I’m afraid I won’t.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“My word for this year is extend…my service to others.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“How can I find new ways to serve people?” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Stay curious and open your heart.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Seek other perspectives and be a learner.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“You got to pour more into yourself than you pour out.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“Success doesn’t depend on me, it depends on them.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“My performance is really about their performance.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

“When I was young I thought it was all about me, now I realize it’s all about them.” -Dan Rockwell Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Dan was identifying himself by others and as a people pleaser he eventually became lost with needing to define himself by others. Then had an epiphany where things became clearer and Dan realized he had more in him and he began to turn to his strengths, talents and gifts. Listen to this episode and learn how Dan Rockwell transformed into the Leadership Freak.

Leadership Epiphany

Needing to get approval and pleasing people is not so healthy. Wanting to please people is a good thing. Needing it is not.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Insecurity and the fear of failure, and the need to succeed.

Best leadership advice ever received

If we do it your way we’ll end up with nobody. Stop cutting people out.

Secret to Success

Being a learner. Pour more into yourself so you can pour more out.

Best resources in work or life

Listening to others

Recommended Reading

The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations

Contacting Dan

Leadership Freak blog: https://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com
Via email: dan [at] leadershipfreak.com

More Resources

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

Show Transcript: 

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

008: Dan Rockwell: I’m afraid I won’t matter

 

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

Jim Rembach:   Thanks Kimberly. Okay Fast Leader Legion you’re going to want make sure that you go to iTunes and that you subscribe, rave and review this episode so that everybody gets a chance to hear it. Because I’m going to introduce to you today a farm boy. Not just any ‘ole farm boy he’s a farm boy from Maine and lives in central Pennsylvania with his wife of 39 years, and he says that she is the joy of his life. He prefers country living than city living because there’s nothing like looking out the window and seeing a deer running in the field. He has three children and four grandchildren. And he says the grandchildren are one of his life’s compensations. When he’s not enjoying good books and his family he delivers keynotes, workshops, and coaches’ leaders and he writes—and man he writes a lot. I have Dan Rockwell on the show. That’s right the leadership freak himself. 

Dan’s contribution to the leadership community includes writing a highly recognized leadership freak blog. Leadership Freak was the most socially shared leadership blog in the world, three years in a row. Leaders in every country around the globe gain encouragement and insight from his writing. Over 300,000 subscribers have opted in to Dan’s social media channels. The American Management Association list Dan as one of the top 30 leaders in business. INC recognizes Dan is one of the top 50 leadership and management experts in the English-speaking world. INC also recognizes Dan as a top 100 leadership speaker. Dan Rockwell, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Dan Rockwell:   Let’s rock ‘n roll. 

Jim Rembach:     I love it okay. So, I’ve given our listeners a brief introduction can you please tell us what is your current passion so that we can get to know you better?

Dan Rockwell:      My current passion is developing coaching cultures in organizations. I believe in servant leadership. I believe that the logical extension of servant leadership is being a coaching leader and that means developing the organizations that are embracing a coaching culture where people understand what it means to be coached and what it means to coach.

Jim Rembach:    It’s really interesting that you say that in the context that you say it because I think oftentimes as a society we get very confused between the difference of training, counseling, coaching, mentoring—for you when you say coaching, can you help us a little bit more to understand what that means?

Dan Rockwell:     I think there’s some misconceptions about a coach. I’ll tell you a quick story. I coach my wife, and I used this story when I talk to people about how to coach. As soon as I say I coach my wife, the eyeballs roll the eyebrows go up it’s like, “Wow, that must be an interesting kind of experience.” And the reason our eyeballs roll and we go, “Oh, wow.” It’s because we still have this idea that a coach is a person who knows more than I do, a coach is a person who has all the answers and can tell me what to do, that’s not the case all. Think about Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods has a golf coach that golf coach is not a better golfer than Tiger Woods. So, when it comes to coaching I think about—a coach is a person who maximizes the talent and skill of another person, helps them find their strengths and helps them figure out what their path forward is to exceptional performance.

Jim Rembach: I think there’s some really important things for me that’s resonating when you’re talking about that. One is discovery, being able to discover. Interpretation being able to interpret. Encourage being able to do that and apply, four critical components right there when you start talking about coaching as you defined it. What else would you say?

Dan Rockwell:    I think it’s important in a coaching culture that the people who are being coached understand the process. There’s a traditional view of what it means to be a leader. And so now here comes the coaching leader and the traditional view would be—‘Well, tell me what to do and I’ll go do it.” And so now if a leader comes and was the coach an employee through a process to find their maximum performance the person being coached is like, “What are you after? Why you asking me these questions? Why don’t you just tell me what you want me to do? We experienced this kind of resistance in organizations where we try to help develop the coaching culture because people want to be told what to do. But here’s the thing, when you tell someone what to do you really are enhancing their helplessness and their dependency.  So what we want to do when we think about coaching is maximize your strength and focus on your abilities and put responsibility for performance in your lap, not in the leaders lap, not in the coach’s lap in the sense of you’re going to make the decisions you’re going to maximize your own performance I’m the person who was helping you do that. 

Jim Rembach:   That was fantastic advice thank you for sharing. Those insights are so valuable to help us get better definition of what is coaching and what isn’t. Now, Dan I have to say that I’m quite intimidated to ask somebody like you my next question but it’s something that’s important to us in the Fast Leader show because inspiration we all need it and we look to leadership quotes in order to help us. 

Some people have passages or things like that, but I’m sure you’re volumes of things that you’ve read, because people who write a lot typically read a lot, is there something that stands out to you as a reminder that you always hear in your head and it replay’s like a song that never gets out that gives you inspiration and drives you from a leadership perspective? Can you share that with us please? 

Dan Rockwell:    Wow, that’s a tough question. The first thing that comes to mind, I’m not sure it’s a quote anywhere—if you’re going to talk about it do something about it or say it the other way, don’t talk about it if you’re not going to do something about it. I just get so frustrated with all this conversations that are not going nowhere and so that for me is a sort of a guiding principle, I keep that with me a lot. I’m listening to myself talk and I listen to conversations and I’m asking myself, are we moving toward action and behavior? Or are we just chasing her tail?

Jim Rembach:    Oh, I love the quote. It resonates for me so much but I have to share with you and be transparent and say that that’s one of the frustrations that I have as a husband. I wonder if there’s a gender difference when it comes to that because my wife often tells, “Look, I don’t necessarily want to do anything about it, I just want to tell you about it.” And so, sometimes for me like I’m like, “Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know because I’m going to do something it.” Do you see that fall on gender lines or is it more of personality traits?

Dan Rockwell:   Well, in building a relationship with my wife I know what you’re saying. I’m glad you brought it out because there is this bias to action that if you’re not careful it short-circuits just some of the necessary conversation that needs to happen. I would say this though, I think back to—I been married for almost 40 years now, I got married when I was 19—“it is by the way I hear you, let’s talk through, let’s just listen, let me just listen” and part of coaching my wife, she says she can tell when I’m trying to fix her and when I’m just listening, so there is some value there. 

But I think also I love to ask the question, like say we have maybe a tense conversation, I love to ask a question toward the end of it well “what do you want? Let’s think about what you want?” and kind of put that in behavioral terms. So maybe the fixing thing is not so much she doesn’t want me to fix her but let’s work on what the relationship looks like behaviorally, but anyway I hear you it’s good thing to bring up. 

Jim Rembach:     I want that you brought up that coaching concept piece and the framework and all of that that kind of helps me a lot because I need to make sure that I’m putting that hat on sometimes and just really listen do a better job of active listening. 

Dan Rockwell:     I’ll give you a tip. It comes to me from John Stoker who wrote overcoming fake conversations, he’s a coach, and he taught me that the way to tell whether you’re trying to fix or whether you’re just listening and being a coach and helping someone else find their way forward is that sense of tension, anxiety or frustration you feel in your heart. As soon as that starts to bubble up you know you’re trying to fix.

Jim Rembach:   Gosh, I feel that often. [Laughter] 

Dan Rockwell:    I know, and I’ve learned to just monitor my own emotions and as I see it start to heat up I realize breath let it go, you are not the person to find the answer, they are.

Jim Rembach:    Again awesome, sage advice. Just to let you all know, we go through and we pull out a lot of the different tidbits of information and put them in quotes on our show notes page and Dan has already dropped so many, I wanted to make sure that you know that. You can find those on the show notes page which will be fastleader.net/Dan Rockwell. Okay Dan, life we know is not always a piece of cake. We often have humps that we have to get over and there’s so much teaching and learning and probably coaching that goes in those moments, can you think of a time where you’ve had that hump to get over and you found a situation where it kind of define you or help you set a new direction, can you share that story with us?

Dan Rockwell:    I think the story of life is that we start off identifying ourselves by others. There comes a stage in life where you start to move away from that and start to define yourself by yourself and who you really are, that’s a long process. I’m a people pleaser and so a large part of my life has been spent pleasing people and identifying myself that way. 

About five years ago I took a month off, or maybe six years now, I remember the day it was one of those midlife crisis moments—and I’ve had many midlife crisis I’m a huge fan of them we all have lots of them—and it was then that some things came clear I just said to myself “you have more in you” and I realize I was defining myself by others. And it was in that moment that I said, “You know what, I don’t need any of these. I don’t need any job that I have. I don’t need any of it.” It doesn’t mean that you turn mean and nasty, what it means is you turn to your strength, you turn to your talent, you turn to your gift and you begin to bring that authentically versus doing it to get approval and pleasing people. I still love to please people and so do you and it’s a good thing but needing it is not quite so healthy.

Jim Rembach:   So, can you tell us about the situation as it occurred? What happened?  

Dan Rockwell:    I think our lives kind of drop in to ten-year segments, I think it’s more of a timing thing than a specific situation. For example, when you go off to college, 18, 19, 20, you’re going to have a crisis an identity crisis. And then somewhere around the 30’s probably got married and so there’s going to be some of that and then the kids come. Researchers showing that you really almost on the decade markers, and for me it started just before the 50’s or just around the 50’s and it was about a two or three-year period of frustration then it they finally boom it just came clear for me and then things changed.

Jim Rembach:    So, what did you do differently?

Dan Rockwell:    First of all there’s an attitudinal difference and that’s the biggest thing. You still love people and you still want to serve people but you don’t do it to just gain their approval and so there’s great freedom. I think there’s freedom to serve and there’s freedom to speak your own heart and mind kindly when you disagree, for example. When you’re deep pleaser it’s hard to disagree so you stuffed down some of things really think. So for me one of the changes is to kindly speak to have candor. I just talked to Jack Welch last week and he said his mom taught him to be authentic early on, he’s known for candor and I said, “Tell me is this the foundation for candor?” and he said, “Absolutely.” Just knowing who you are and sticking with that it allows you to be candid. So, anyway, one of the things that change for me is freedom and the kindness and candor that comes out and then I started writing Leadership Freak, I tie that to that experience as well so I started writing Leadership Freak and then rest is history.

Jim Rembach:    So, that refocus and rededication—when you start talking about writing of Leadership Freak and the proliferation of it is just amazing to me how much volume and variability and in that content that you actually can generate. With that change did there also come a different sense of discipline, focus, habit that you can allude to being more concrete, structured then, ‘Hey, I just did something different?’

Dan Rockwell:     Yeah. I’m a farm boy from Maine and so I know what it means to get up and work hard and I would get up before school and work and work has been part of my life all along. I get up very early to write the Leadership Freak blog and that’s a little bit of my nature but I think the thing that’s driving this proliferation, as you put it, is a need to matter. In those years, in those darker years the part of that is I felt like I could matter more and I was disappointed in how far I’ve come and so what you see now is the drive to matter. A lot of people don’t like to hear this but I’m just going to say it to you, people ask me, “Why are you writing so much?” First of all, I’ve made lots of mistakes and I got lots to write about because I made lots of mistakes, but I want to matter. I’m going to put it to you in the negative languages well, I’m afraid I won’t. And there is in my own life some of this fear that I won’t matter. Also sometimes when I think, ‘You know what, why don’t you just sleep today?’ and there’s that voice that says, ‘You know what, you bring it down there’. It’s not the noblest thing in the world but that’s part of the story.

Dan Rockwell: But is the human story. And that’s one of the things that we could go for and really pull out here on the Fast Leader show. For the longest time you and I had talked about this—leadership and leading, I think almost hijacked. And it was hijacked by folks that said that this is only for the elite, this is only for the high potential folks this is only for the people who are above this point within an organization or in this age group. I call hogwash on that. We all have the opportunity to lead if at least it’s ourselves and there’s no way we can ever have followers if we don’t do a good job of that. I think you shared through your story a lot about that self-leadership component which has allowed you to impact so many leaders and others. 

Jim Rembach:    I thank you for sharing that and really appreciate it. I know that all of the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the best. We want to know what your goals are for the future.

Dan Rockwell:    In the short-term my word for this year is ‘Extend.’ I practiced a word for the year, there’s a book called One Word, I don’t really like the New Year’s resolution thing but I do practice one word, and this year my word is ‘Extend.’ I want to extend my service to others. I want to extend my speaking engagements, I’m becoming a little more cognizant of that type of thing. In the long haul, I’ve really enjoyed coaching and that’s important to me. I just look forward to opportunities to serve people that’s what extend means to me, how can I find new ways to serve people.

Jim Rembach:   So, based on everything that you shared with us so far—extending and all that, what is one piece of advice you would give to our listeners?

Dan Rockwell:   Stay curious. Open your heart.  I think leaders can be quick to make decisions and once we make a decision curiosity ends and then we start defending that decision. I would encourage leaders, especially young leaders, to be curious. What that means is to bring the outsiders in, to seek other perspectives and be a learner.

Jim Rembach:    So, when you start talking about part of the future and give them back there’s also a business side to it. What is one thing that really excites you about the work that you’re doing today? You mentioned the coaching, what else?

Dan Rockwell:    The opportunity to do keynote work for an organization is a wonderful opportunity and is a good business opportunity as well because you get to learn about what they’re doing. The keynote obviously is not going to radically change an organization but a keynote presentation, you gave to align with where that organization is going and speak into it and feel that fire, so I do enjoy the keynote opportunities.

Jim Rembach:    That’s fantastic, the entire Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Alright here we go Fast Leader listeners it’s time for the rapid part of our show, and that’s the, Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Dan, 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 robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Dan Rockwell, are you ready to hoedown?

Dan Rockwell:   I’m ready to hoedown.

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

Dan Rockwell:    Insecurity. The fear of failure and just the need to succeed. 

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

Dan Rockwell:    If we do it your way we’ll end up with nobody, it can be hard on people. I had a friend of mine look me in the eye and say, ‘You know what, you’ve got to stop cutting people out.

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

Dan Rockwell:  Being a learner. The ideas is you’re going to pour more into yourself than you pour so keep pouring in yourself and then you have plenty to pour out.

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

Dan Rockwell: Listening to others.

Jim Rembach:     What would be one book you would recommend to our listeners, and I know that’s tough, but give it a shot.

Dan Rockwell:   The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner. 

Jim Rembach:    Thank you very much. Alright Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that information as well as to the Leadership Freak blog, if you haven’t subscribed already, and other bonus information by going to fastleader.net/Dan Rockwell. Okay Dan, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning and you were 25 years old again but you’ve been blessed you have all the knowledge and wisdom and you get to take it with you, now your job is to manage a team that is underperforming and disengaged. Now you get up in the morning you go to work, what you do now?

Dan Rockwell:    I realize that success doesn’t depend on media it depends on them and that my performance is really about their performance. When I was young I thought it was all about me and now I realize it’s all about them.

Jim Rembach:    Age does have something to do with that? But we’re hoping that at the Fast Leader show  that are younger listeners can hear that sooner and it’ll click for them sooner and that’s really what the Fast Leader show is about—it isn’t about doing things quickly it’s about doing things right. Dan Rockwell It’s an honor to spend time with you today. Can you please share with the Fast Leader listeners how they can connect with you? 

Dan Rockwell:    If you go to Google and type in Leadership Freak you can’t miss me. And if you’d like to email you can e-mail Dan@leadershipfreak.com.

Jim Rembach:    Dan Rockwell, thank you for sharing her knowledge and wisdom, the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. 

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

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