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

Keith Pearce Show Notes Page

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

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

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

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

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

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hump to Get Over

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

Advice for others

Wait to talk and learn others points of views.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

More self-awareness.

Best Leadership Advice

Work hard.

Secret to Success

Work hard.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

Listening.

Recommended Reading

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Contacting Keith Pearce

email: pistolprce [at] yahoo.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pistolprce

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

Resources and Show Mentions

10 Steps to a Better agent Career Path

Increase Employee Engagement and Workplace Culture

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

 

Show Transcript: 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Keith Pearce:   Let’s do it. 

 

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

 

Keith Pearce:   More self-awareness.

 

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

 

Keith Pearce:   Work hard. 

 

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

Keith Pearce:   Also work hard. 

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

Keith Pearce:   Listening. 

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

Keith Pearce:   Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

END OF AUDIO

 

 

 

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088: Jocelyn Davis: I no longer had a platform

Jocely Davis Show Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hump to Get Over

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

Advice for others

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

Holding her back from being an even better leader

My extremely introverted personality.

Best Leadership Advice Received

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

Secret to Success

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

Best tools that helps in business or Life

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

Recommended Reading

Strategic Speed: Mobilize People, Accelerate Execution

The Greats on Leadership: Classic Wisdom for Modern Managers

Frankenstein

Contacting Jocelyn

Website: https://jocelynrdavis.com/

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

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

Resources

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

 

Show Transcript: 

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

088: Jocelyn Davis: I no longer had a platform

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Jocelyn Davis:    I am Jim, thank you. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Jocelyn Davis:    Yeah, absolutely.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

And even better place to work is an easiest solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award winning solution guaranteed to create motivated, productive and loyal employees who have great 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 Jocelyn, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster.  Jocelyn Davis, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Jocelyn Davis:    I am. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

END OF AUDIO 

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077: Adam Dorrell: It can be the kicker that gets you going

Adam Dorrell Show Notes

Adam Dorrell had been made redundant three times in his career. The first time he had small children. The most recent time he had another set of small children. Listen to what happened to Adam and how he was able to move onward and upward.

Adam grew up in a safe suburb of north London, in England – right on the edge of what they call the “green belt”. It was the best of both worlds. He used to travel to London on the tube, and as kid he would play in a huge expanse of woodland, greenery and golf courses that started at the end of his garden. Adam likes the outdoors and camping – he was a Scout, walked and hiked and doing lots of open air activities while growing up.

Adam was also interested in engineering, but his real hobby was electronics and robotics. He built radios and buzzing circuits from about the age of 9, graduating to using mains electricity in his early teens. It’s quite amazing that I did not electrocute himself fatally or start fires back then. At high school, Adam completed a working robot that interfaced with his computer (a Sinclair ZX Spectrum).

Life wasn’t too hard – maybe too easy. Adam found his competitive drive later in life!

Adam has had an interesting career. He’s been an advertising salesperson, and sold computers, but then he moved into marketing. His career took him to spend 3 years in Switzerland working for Digital Equipment. Back in the UK he worked for Compaq, Dell, Avaya. Then he moved back to mainland Europe to Brussels in Belgium to run the ecommerce platform for Sony. Then later to Amsterdam, Netherlands where he’s lived for ten years. He started a company there because he can’t speak Dutch and realized he was pretty much unemployable!

His next challenge is to move his family to the USA this year.

Currently, Adam is the CEO of CustomerGauge, a software-as-a-service platform that helps clients improve customer experiences using the Net Promoter System®.

Adam, currently lives in a 200 year old house in Amsterdam that is just “one room wide” with his Wife Camilla and their 2 young children that speak 3 languages fluently. Adam also has two grown up kids at college in the UK.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“Many businesses don’t really measure how many customers they’re losing.” -Adam Dorrell Click to Tweet

“It’s difficult to find somebody in the business who’s responsible for retention revenue.” -Adam Dorrell Click to Tweet 

“The people on the frontline know what’s needed.” -Adam Dorrell Click to Tweet 

“When you read customer comments and present them, that’s power.” -Adam Dorrell Click to Tweet 

“It’s really hard for organizations to empower people.” -Adam Dorrell Click to Tweet 

“Let people get on with it and then let’s discuss afterwards.” -Adam Dorrell Click to Tweet 

“Take quotes from the customer and then use them around the business.” -Adam Dorrell Click to Tweet 

“It can be scary to get the unvarnished truth from customers.” -Adam Dorrell Click to Tweet 

“Getting a good customer quote is fantastically energizing.” -Adam Dorrell Click to Tweet 

“Losing your job is sometimes the best thing that can happen to you.” -Adam Dorrell Click to Tweet 

“I come to work for the people I work with.” -Adam Dorrell Click to Tweet 

“If you’re an entrepreneur get some great people around you to work with.” -Adam Dorrell Click to Tweet 

“Become an entrepreneur earlier.” -Adam Dorrell Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Adam Dorrell had been made redundant three times in his career. The first time he had small children. The most recent time he had another set of small children. Listen to what happened to Adam and how he was able to move onward and upward.

Advice for others

Become an entrepreneur earlier.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Better time management.

Best Leadership Advice Received

I don’t believe in luck, but the hard I work the luckier I get.

Secret to Success

Never giving up.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Excel and Power Point

Recommended Reading

The Ultimate Question 2.0 (Revised and Expanded Edition): How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World

Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Salesforce

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

The Best of Wodehouse: An Anthology

The Complete Sherlock Holmes (Knickerbocker Classics)

Contacting Adam

Website: https://customergauge.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adam-dorrell-b2944a

Twitter: https://twitter.com/adamdorrell

Resources

Adam’s Episode on YouTubehttps://youtu.be/OUMfKzbVKE0

Creating an even better place to work

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

 

Show Transcript:

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

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

 

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

 

Okay Fast Leader Legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show to me who was just so intriguing when I first met them that I had to actually have them on the show so you get to meet them too. Adam Dorrell grew up in a suburb of North London in England right on the edge of what they call the Greenbelt it was the best of both worlds. He used to travel to London on a tube and as a kid he would plan a huge expansive woodland greenery and golf courses that started at the end of his garden. Adam loves the outdoors and camping he was a scout, walked, hiked, and did a lot of open air activities while growing up.  Adam was also interested in engineering but his real hobby was electronics and robotics. He do radios and buzzing circuits from about the age of nine graduating to using mains electricity in his early teens. It’s quite amazing that he didn’t electrocute fatally or start fire back then. 

 

In high school Adam completed a working robot that interface with his computer, a Sinclair’s the ZX spectrum. Adam has had an interesting career he’s been advertising, salesperson, sold computers then move into marketing. His career took him to spend three years in Switzerland working in a Four Digital Equipment. Back in the UK he worked for Compact, Dell, Avaya he them moved to mainland Europe to Brussels in Belgium to run the e-commerce platform for Sony then later to Amsterdam, Netherlands where he lived for 10 years. He started a company there because he can’t speak Dutch and realized he was pretty much unemployable. His next challenge is moving his family to the US later this year. 

 

Currently Adam is the CEO of Customer Gauge a software as a service platform that helps clients improve customer retention using the Net Promoter System. Adam currently lives in a 200-year-old house in Amsterdam that is just one room wide with his wife Camilla and her two young children that speaks three languages fluently. Adam also has two grown up kids at college in the UK. Adam Dorrell are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Adam Dorrell:    I really am Jim. I’m ready when you are. 

 

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

 

Adam Dorrell:    I think my current passion Jim is all about reducing customer mortality. That’s a strong word, but many businesses don’t even measure how many customers they’re losing we can lose customer retention. And so, my passion really is to help bring businesses the tools and the skills that they can reduce that customer journey, increase the retention basically promote the bottom line.

 

Jim Rembach:    When I hear you say that there’s so many things that just start running through my head and one of the things that I often find is kind of counterproductive, counterintuitive, oxymoronic and there’s so many words you can describe to it. Inside organizations they often look for lien, ways to cut, ways to be more efficient and when you start thinking about customer experiences they say that the differentiator is really around just that, the experience creating relationships. And what I see is that oftentimes the companies really just cut themselves to the bone and have no way possible of putting that value back into that experience. When I say that, what comes to your mind?

 

Adam Dorrell:    I hear what you’re saying Jim. I think that really it comes down to examining what the least possible expense they can put to the customer experience. I’ll tell you what I found in my 10 or 12 years doing this. A company I’ve worked with often put somebody in charge of customer experience to measure it but it’s really difficult to find somebody in the business whose sole responsibility is retention revenue which is kind of a weird paradox. They try to fix the customer experience without having somebody responsible for the matrix to find if they’re going to be bringing more revenue or losing it. So that’s a really aspect that I find that I think—one of the reasons is there’s very few tools that help to do this there’s very little science and if anything it’s sort of a  Cinderella operation looking out to clients so that’s I guess why it hasn’t that much focus in the past. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I often find too and you can tell me whether or not this is something that you’ve come across is that—when you start talking about tools when you also refer to this issue in regards to skill set ability, experiences, there’s a very, very different thing that occurs when you start talking about being able to analyze data and then being able to take data and drive the insights from the data and make it into something that is now going to generate some change or even go to that change process there’s multiple steps within that conversion and it’s not a situation where you talk about one person that person would have to be extremely gifted to be able to execute it by themselves but it creates more but that person has to be the instigator and has to have the skills to do it. 

 

Adam Dorrell:   Going back to your point about companies cutting the resources to deliver great customer services. You know what I have to find is that the people in the front line they know what’s needed. Like when you go to the airline and may say, oh, you need to pay extra for this package, or you need an extra ticket without knowing that you’re a frequent flyer, they don’t want to put that rule it’s been imposed on them from above by a middle manager, he’s got another metric to me. But the overall bigger picture, the guys in the frontline they know that the whole time. And I think that’s one of the things I really love about in what I do. You know, when you read customer comments and present it around in the organization, that’s the biggest power that’s sort of the voice of the customer and I love giving companies the tools to do that. 

 

Jim Rembach:    You’re talking about frontline I spent many years in the front line,  managing frontline and you’re right I think they do get put in a very compromising position and what I often find is that they aren’t  given the tools to be able to support customers in a lot of ways without using the dreaded word policy.

 

Adam Dorrell:    Yeah. 

 

Jim Rembach:    And for me as a consumer as a customer when I hear that word I now know because what I’ve gone through in my experiences, like there’s nothing else to talk about then let’s not waste our time. If you’re going to whip that word out to me, we’re done. 

 

Adam Dorrell:    I hear what you say. But Jim you know it’s really hard for organizations to empower people it is tough I really don’t understand this especially companies get larger. When they’re small it’s much easy to do that it hard with people but—the issue is how do you empower people on the frontline? It’s very hard to do that. I’ve seen some good example of how companies do that they allow certain frontline people the ability to spend $50 or 100 or to do certain things I think that’s a really good start. Kind of like a don’t shoot me policy is also a good way not to be missed  just let people get on with it and then discuss afterwards what happens.

 

Jim Rembach:    Yeah, that’s a good point. One of the reasons I wanted to have you on the shows because really you’re a subject matter expert. Okay, yeah, you’re a CEO of software company but you a depth of experience and knowledge from multiple cultures that really adds value to the work that you’re doing and the people and clients and customers that you’re serving.  When we first met you just struck me, and I have to share this because I want to know where this comes from, you asked me some questions that were very bold and typically I don’t find that coming from Europeans, I just don’t. For me I was actually take a back and I was like I didn’t know if I should share some of those things that you were asking me. But I’m an open person for the most part and so I’m like—why am I apprehensive because he’s now asking me. Where does that come from? Because I think it’s also been a contributing factor to where you are today. 

 

Adam Dorrell:    I think it has Jim, I live in Holland, Netherlands. I’m an English guy that lives in Holland and one of the things I first experience when I moved here was how direct the people are. There’s very little noise in the communications as where to get right to the point I really respect the Dutch about it, it’s great. Perhaps the other part my less (8:47 inaudible) past was my native rudeness and a lack of social awareness maybe that’s it, I don’t want to take too much out of it. But, yeah, I mean I like to sort of sometimes to indulge in too much small talk and I think I get a good connections straight away for example I felt comfortable asking those questions. I hope I didn’t offend you, I think it seem to work out okay. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I did too. Man, you’re here and believe me it’s one of those reasons why—and I’ve talked about this many times with previous guest is that—and Dave Randell who was a guest on the show talked about—he made some comments stating that, “You know what makes us weird is actually what makes us wonderful” something like that. So for me what I’ve been trying to be more mindful of is when things strike me as odd to not let them cause me to close down, if that makes sense. Instead I need to do is open up a little bit more and try to figure out where that’s coming from. And really that’s an emotional intelligence type of activity is to be able to be more active in your thinking, active in your listing process so that you just don’t close people off so I wanted to share—

 

Adam Dorrell:    I would turn around the other way Jim and I work a lot with Americans, I spend most of my time in America there days and I keep finding the other way around I find Americans refreshingly open and direct in a way that’s really not offensive, so I actually appreciate the—let’s take that as a compliment, thank you very much.

 

Jim Rembach:    Thank you. And from that—you’re a person of high energy. And we always look for sources of energy in the Fast Leader show and one of the ways we do that is though leadership quotes. And I’m sure in your travels and your studies and obviously you’re well read, is there some quotes or two that stand out to you that give you some energy?

 

Adam Dorrell:    Well I think so. I’m going to use that cliché we just break about the early rise. If you’re in business you take quotes from the customer and then you use it around the business especially positive customer quotes. I’m in the business of helping companies get a large amount of feedback and that can be kind of scary if you get the unvarnished truth from customers companies are not always willing to accept that. Every once in a while or depend on how good you are we get a good quote that’s fantastically energizing and I love that. You can pick out individual people all the offers is you pick something and you get awe they really nailed it, we really got to deal with that, so anyway that’s a bit of a cliché, I won’t do that. 

 

I can think of a few great quotes that I like, Winston Churchill he said, “If you’re through hell keep going” and I think it’s a good motto for me and I was just like going through it and just push it through the things. I’ve got a whole (11:36 inaudible) downstairs as I speak here from you in Amsterdam. I like to tell these guys the estimating a job is really difficult. I think it was the guy from Bell Labs that help to lick it up. He said, the first 90% of coding accounts were about 90% of the time and then testing it and finishing it off is essential for the other 90%, I think that’s about accurate it takes about twice as long to finish a coding job when you actually do. So that’s the kind of reality that we deal here. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Being somebody who has two families, you have some older children and some younger kids. You are a CEO of the software company. You had a couple of careers within your life, there’s humps that I’m sure you’ve had to get over and that have inspired you that cause you to go in a different direction, hopefully a better one, but is there story that you can share with us a the one you had to get over the hump where you were better off by going through it?

 

Adam Dorrell:    Yeah. Oh, man there’s been a few humps in my life. I’ve been made redundant three times. And when you have young families that’s always a challenge and I think you speak to people they take that in many different ways. The first time I was made redundant was actually after a very unhappy, short employment that I had I wasn’t relieved to be honest to be out of that and I came out of that I was lucky enough to find some consulting work, so that was it for my first taste of entrepreneurial ship. But at the most recent time it was a complete blessing, I left with a generous package that I was able to go off and spend a little bit of time reflecting, that’s actually why I went to Amsterdam I had enough money to survive for a couple of months and even to start the business that I now running, Customer Gauge. Whatever happens even if you live in a best way, being made redundant really does calls you to look at yourself it’s a memo for personal reflection, it’s never a good thing—I think could I’ve done it better? Could I change it? Ultimately it can be the kick that gets you going and I’m just delighted to have that experience and to move on and much as a how does it seems losing your job is sometimes the best thing that can happen to you, you have heard that before Jim I gain another cliche that I really think it can be very positive. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I think sometimes we do need a good push and while it doesn’t feel good while it’s occurring, if we can just—with your Winston Churchill type of quote, okay it’s hell but keep on going, if we can do that oftentimes we do come out better on the other end. I also notice that your wife works with you within Customer Gauge? 

 

Adam Dorrell:    Yeah.

 

Jim Rembach:    That can be very challenging when you start talking about being essentially with somebody all day long at work and after work and being able to come over a lot of the humps both personally and professionally, how do you guys do it?

 

Adam Dorrell:    Well, I first of all would say I consider myself super lucky that I’m in this position because sharing your work and life with someone is great, actually it’s tough. It’s not so much spending the time together, because oftentimes we’re travelling, we’re just doing things outside so we’re not sitting opposite each other night and day. It’s really positive in that we really get to think deeply about it we really care about ourselves so we got to think about how we can plot our careers and help a lot other people on our business problem luckily were also very well matched. Camille is responsible for the finance, the operational details she’s great at that, whereas I’m more creative, prone to a flight to fancy, a real drive, so that’s a really good balance that happens. I think it could be difficult not all investors are big fans of a husband and wife team. And I think it could be perhaps challenging for new hires after coming in and see a dynamics work. But I think, we both, Camille and myself we had long careers in large enterprises so we try to bring good corporate discipline to the table. And I think it’s really I found the dynamics, the watchful in all organization. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I also had the opportunity to listen to somebody who was talking about entrepreneurial ship, basically what they were saying is that it’s just isn’t for everybody. There’s so much buzz, there’s so much hype an talk, there’s so much out there with regards to—hey, start your own business, hey do this do that search your own future all of those things but when you start looking at the percentage of folks that are actually successful at being an entrepreneur, it’s an extremely small percentage point. Of course we all hear about the glory folks who hit it big, so to speak, but it just isn’t, it isn’t for everyone. So if you were to talk about a piece of advice that you would give to somebody who is contemplating or thinking about entrepreneurship, not that we want to stop them from doing it, but if you want to give them a piece of advice, what would it be?

 

Adam Dorrell:    That’s a really good question Jim. We talked about quotes, I would say Woody Allen said, “Eighty percent of success is just showing up.” The reason is about just being in the game, just keep going so working hard is definitely part of it. I would just say to anybody contemplating any career it’s just do something that you love. We have to go out for long time these days and it’s hard to keep motivated and I just think the more we think about it just three things that you love and just can work on. I’m blessed by having a great team around me. I come to work with—I really love the people I work with and I think we’ve been able to build a community of doing things we—I like to think we help businesses become more successful and that’s a common thread that runs through our company and we got a great team. And that alone makes you want to show up for work and if you’re an entrepreneur, get some great people around you, you enjoy working with and step on and I think success will follow. 

 

Jim Rembach:    When you start talking about goals, what would be some of your goals?

 

Adam Dorrell:    I want to be able to put customer retention on the map, it’s a real Cinderella science. Everyone’s talking about bringing in a new businesses and acquiring customers and that’s super important to growth but very little attention is paid to keeping customers at the other end. When I research a former employee we were spending a million a month in Google Adwords and nothing on retention and I just saw the waste there not that as you already spoke one of my passion again talking about customer mortality. So I’d love to put that on the map, I love to become modestly customer attention guard. And I’d love to try and take the business as far as it can. I’ve also got another passion which is to teach kids robotics and electronics. I do that with my son, my nine year old son’s school and I really get some great pleasure at looking at the way the kids fiddle around with electronics and robotics and just create some crazy machines. That’s the sort of passion I can really pass on, that they could just tinker around with some stuff, have some fun. Look at me, I’m 30 years tinkering with the robotic, I’ve got a software company I never thought that would happen. If I really trace it back it really goes back to the roots just messing around my transistors and computers.

 

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

 

“Developing your contact center agents using surveys are what monkeys do. Elevate your ROI and BOC by building integrity and agent engage mode to survey calibration process only available in the award winning in the External Quality Monitoring program from Customer Relationship Metrics. Move onward and upward by going to customergradeacall.com/fast and getting your $7500 rapid results package for free.”

 

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

 

Adam Dorrell:    I’m ready for the square dance Jim. 

 

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

 

Adam Dorrell:    I’d love more time to do things. So better time management would be good.

 

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

 

Adam Dorrell:    What is that one from Jefferson something like, I don’t believe in luck but I find that the harder I work the luckier I get. 

 

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

 

Adam Dorrell:    Never giving up.

 

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

 

Adam Dorrell:    Excel, Power point probably.

 

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

 

Adam Dorrell:    I’ve got a few books, I forgot some Jim, Fred Reichheld and Robert Markey’s The Ultimate Question cause I think that Net Promoter track is one that’s worth following. You know Jacky Huba? She had a great book Creating Customer Evangelist, I love that book. Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and then of course the Kickback, PG Wodehouse, Gibson (22:00 inaudible) books and Sherlock Holmes obviously.

 

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

 

Adam Dorrell:    Do not be afraid to start a business earlier. Become an entrepreneur earlier and why? Because I should have started earlier. 

 

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

 

Adam Dorrell:    Sure. You can always get hold of me adam.dorell@customergauge.com 

 

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

 

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

 

END OF AUDIO 

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

Nate Brown Show Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hump to Get Over

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

Advice for others

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

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Fear

Best Leadership Advice Received

Find laser focus.

Secret to Success

Authenticity

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Interpersonal communication skills

Recommended Reading

Leading Change, With a New Preface by the Author

Contacting Nate

Website: http://customercentricsupport.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CustomerIsFirst

Resources

Customer Grade the Call

Creating an even better place to work

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

 

Show Transcript:

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    That’s excellent, very true.

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    Nice

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    That’s good.

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    Oh wow, okay. `Catchy.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    Very true

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    Amen

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    Any goal to come out of that?

 

Jim Rembach:    Yes.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    I am

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    Fear, absolutely, fear.

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    Find laser focus.

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    I would say authenticity.

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    Inter personal and communication skill. 

 

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

 

Nate Brown:    “Leading Change” by John Kotter.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

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leadership-podcast-jesse-jackson-episode

012: Jesse Jackson: I was deeply hurt

Podcast Show Notes with Jesse Jackson

Jesse tells his story of a time when he was terminated and how for the first time in his life he felt so inadequate. After his boss shared the reason with him Jesse knew he needed to make a change. Jesse learned he needed to self-engage at work to stand out above the rest. He learned that his effort was needed to find more fulfillment personally and professionally. Listen to Jesse tell his story of pain, transformation, determination and resilience to help you move onward and upward faster.

Jesse Jackson grew up as a Military Brat and went to 12 different schools during 1st through 8th grade.  One of his earliest memories is going to work with his Grandmother who managed a Post Exchange located in Fort Polk Louisiana.  She would allow him to pick out all the comic books he wanted.

For over 30 years Jesse has worked in a contact center with roles in inbound sales, outbound telemarketing, customer service, technical support, been an agent, a supervisor, manager & a director. He believes that successful contact centers strive for excellent customer service, a culture of constant improvement and a place where you should laugh often.

Jesse lives in Dallas Texas with his lovely bride Linda. They are proof that a mixed marriage can work.  She is currently training for her first Ironman Triathlon while Jesse is at home watching way too much TV and reading way too many comic books.

Jesse loves podcasting and is the host of Next Stop Everywhere: A Doctor Who podcast as well as Storming the Castle, a podcast all about the ABC show Castle.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to Jesse Jackson to get over the hump @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“If you’re dumb surround yourself with smart people.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet

“If you’re smart surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet 

“If mine is the only idea on the table, it’s the best idea.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet 

“Collaboration is the most successful management style.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet 

“Clear the air and then move forward.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet 

“Whatever the hardship, whatever the challenge, figure out what to do and move forward.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet 

“When you can, fight your fight and shoot for the goals you want.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet 

“Sometimes you need to have faith in yourself…and you need to do it.” -Jesse Jackson Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Jesse was told by his boss that he was going to be terminated. His boss told him that while he was happy to have a job, he was not happy to have this job; and he needed someone that wants this job. Jesse was hurt deeply because it was the first time where he felt he was not good enough. That’s when Jesse realized he needed to change his outlook and behavior to give more and ask others if they need help. He decided to put himself out there through volunteering and taking risks which ultimately has led him to greater career and financial success.

Leadership Epiphany

The teacher’s pet are the leaders in business. They are not brown nosing or sucking up they are saying, “I want to help the company succeed.”

Advice for you

Fight your fight, live your dreams, work on what you believe in.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Lack of confidence

Best leadership advice ever received

Love what you do and trust your instincts.

Secret to Success

Honesty and willingness to help

Best resources in work or life

Friends and a network to reach out to and to ask, “what would the hero do.”

Recommended Reading

The One Minute Manager

Contacting Jesse

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JesseJacksonDFW

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jesse.jackson.372

Podcasts:

https://www.facebook.com/StormingTheCastlePC

http://www.southgatemediagroup.com/next-stop-everywhere-the-doctor-who-podcast

Via email: jesee.jackson2 [at] verizon.net

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”]

012: Jesse Jackson: I was deeply hurt

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 have Jesse Jackson on the show today. This one grew up as a military brat and went to 12 different schools during first grade through eighth grade—that had to be some character building happening right there. One of his earliest memories is going to work with his grandmother who managed a post exchange located in Fort Polk, Louisiana, she would allow him to pick out all the comic books he wanted. For over 30 years Jesse had worked in a contact center with roles in inbound sales, outbound telemarketing, customer service, technical support. 

He’s been an agent supervisor, manager director, and he believes that working in a contact center is really a place where you should have fun and that the focus on excellent customer service is actually driven through people having intrinsic drive and motivation and a reason to be there. He lives in Dallas with his lovely bride Linda and their proof that a mixed marriage can work because she’s training for her first Ironman triathlon, and you know Jesse sitting at home, watching TV and reading his comic books. He’s also a podcaster. He’s the host of Next Stop Everywhere which is a Dr. Who podcast as well as Storming The Castle podcast all about an ABC show named Castle, I’m sure you’ve all heard of, Jesse Jackson are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Jessie Jackson:     I am. I am excited, so proud and honored that you’ve asked me to talk today, so I am ready, let’s do it.

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

Jessie Jackson:     Absolutely.  I am a call center guy, I’ve been doing it so long I still say call ·call center not contact center. I love working in the support industry. I love talking to clients and helping resolve issues. I love taking a new agent that’s afraid to be on the phone, comforting them telling them look, ‘This is a harder job to learn then it is to do, you’ll be amazed how easy that first phone call will be” and helping them to grow, find their voice and their place in the organization.  One of the things that I’m most proud about, Jim, is helping the internal turnover people that find role outside of support or in customer service, my previous job, and the joke we use to make is that they were feeder sales and one day that Jesse will shout the world rise up and then all these people that I had sent to all these departments we would rise up and have a friendly coup and we would take over company.

Jim Rembach:     That’s really can happen if you develop…a lot of organizations are really in need of really in need of, I guess you can say the coach and the developer of others,  and so that’s a very, very valuable asset to have and if you can conquer a mole, I’m sure that’ll be gladly accepted. Now, Jesse I know that you’re a very creative person, I had blessing of being able to present alongside you at a recent event, and I really admired your character and your depth and your storytelling. I know that you probably have some good things to share in regards to inspiration for us and we like to focus on quotes on the Fast Leader Show because they do just that they give us inspiration and oftentimes they have some depths to them that gives a whole lot of meaning in a lot of different ways, but is there a quote that stands out for you as a guiding principle that you can share with us?

Jessie Jackson:     Absolutely. A very quick story. I was a Cub Scout leader early in my life, my son is now 26, but when he was in Cub Scouts and it was a [inaudible 4:17] den.  I wasn’t very artistically creative but one of the other Den moms, called Den Leaders now but you think of herself as Den moms said, “Jesse you’re a dad that’s important and understand remember this, good Cub Scout leaders come up with new ideas, great Cub Scout leaders steal from other people. And I’ve decided that’s my management philosophy. In that’s spirit, there was a show Aaron Sorkin did called Sports Night before he did West Wing and one of the lines was, ‘If you are dumb you surround yourself with smart people. If you’re smart surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you, and that is a philosophy that I say often.

I believe that as leaders you want feedback and you want people to tell you when they think you’re on the wrong track or when you perhaps haven’t thought of everything. You know Jim, it is really frustrating at times when someone comes to you and says, “Ah, I saw something that’ll work but they don’t have any other feedback. And if minds, the only idea on the table it’s the best idea, so let’s talk about it, let’s figure out what you aren’t sure about our path, why you think it may not work or why there’s a different path and discuss it.

I think collaboration is the most successful management style. I realize other people have different management styles but I’m most comfortable when you get the team together you tell them here’s the goal I want to go to and then let’s altogether figure how we’re going to get there and then go forward.

Jim Rembach:   And there’s one thing that stands out as you’re telling that story, and thanks for sharing those quotes. There’s several in there but there’s two that stood out, they’re very powerful. But there has to be an element of humility into what you were just saying and oftentimes I see people have the intent saying, ‘Hey, I want to collaborate.” “Hey, I want those things as far as…’tell me the ideas, challenge me” but then they cut people’s legs out from under him. Over a course of time they continue to ask how  can you know these people just aren’t sharing anything with me it’s because they haven’t really created the environment they don’t have that humility associated with it. How have you been able to overcome that?

Jessie Jackson:     I had been on the receiving—when I started with my current position at Real Page the guy who hired me, I’ve been there about a year and we had our first annual review,  and he had given me feedback that he thought I was too timid that it took me almost nine months and he says, “I can actually see the moment when you said in a meeting, ‘well, I guess I’m not the new guy anymore’ and he says, “I saw you turn a corner” and I said, “Dave, my first three weeks here I bought doughnuts for the team that was less than $20 bucks and you asked me why I was doing it” and said “Well, you know, you should talk to me beforehand.” And there was a time when I said that a server was down and your listeners are not seeing the [8:02] and I got yelled at that we never say the word down, that it had a problem. I said so very quickly. You told me both in action and in words, ‘Don’t take too much responsibility. Don’t step outside your kazone, this is my room and you’re just living in it. It was the most healthy discussion I think I’ve ever had with a leader because it got a little tense, Jim, both of us raised our voices it was a lot of give-and-take and at the end we both felt better and since then we were in sync till he ended up getting promoted for the next year and half, and we always talk about that’s really how it should work. You should be able to talk to your leader or talk to your employee, your teammate, clear the air and then move forward. 

So, I think what helped me is, I know right out of college I had a horrible boss, his name is Joe I will not get the last name. I work as dispatcher. I work 12 hour a day and I could not leave the office unless someone was there to cover me. So, he would go off and I would not have any lunch, I would not have break and he was just a horrible, smart aleck and demeaning and I kept saying, “If I’m ever a boss, I don’t want to be this kind of guy.” And it’s a cliché, if you’re going to talk, talk yet you had to walk to walk. If you say I want to hear your input you have to realize sometimes the input may’ve hurt your ego, you got to put it aside for the good of the organization. 

Jim Rembach:    That almost seems beyond that. The reason I say that is because you talked about having that conversation with your boss, what happened to him? He got promoted. He moved onto something bigger, and not necessarily better, but he moved on to something bigger, right? There’s growth and opportunity for growth within that. I think that’s a great story, thanks for sharing that.

Now, that was a hump that we talked about that you had to get over with that particular boss, I know you have another hump that he had to get over that you’re going to share with us because that was a really defining moment for you that essentially got you to the position to  where you are today. Can you please share us that story and what happened? 

Jessie Jackson:     I absolutely will. Once we settled in Lake Charles, Louisiana, I had lived there and it was a heavy petrochemical environment everything was based on the plants. The economy was really bad in the early 80s’ so I went through a lot of different jobs. We ended up moving to Dallas in 1986, and I was working for a company, and one day Mike Whitaker came in to me and asked me to go in his office and he said, “Jesse, we’re going to release you. We’re going to layoff.” And I went, Wow, and I kind of, back and forth. As we started talking he said, “I wasn’t going to tell you all these but I think we should, you’re happy to have a job but you’re not happy to have this job.” And it really struck me to my chord, Jim, because it was the first time I’ve ever been told, ‘you’re not good enough, you’re not giving the passion that we want.’ And the story I tell a lot is, when you’re kid you mock the teacher’s pet, the person that says, ‘hey can we have extra credit or you didn’t give us our homework or your follow up, but in business those are the people that leaders. The people that sit there and say, ‘Hey, I have some extra time, what can I do? What can I do to help you?” That isn’t someone who is ‘brown nosing’ or ‘sucking up’ or whatever cliché you want to give. If someone was saying, ‘I want to be here and I want to help the company succeed.’

Roger Shiloh is a manager that I partnered with. He was working at contact center. He tells every new person, and I told my son this when he learned the contact center and I tell in new class, “To be successful contact center, no matter what the dress code is, wear khaki pants and a polo shirt every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s okay to be jeans too, be early never be late. Three, volunteer for any extra assignment or any overtime that’s available. If you do those three things, you are above everyone else in the contact center. I think that’s a lot to say for that. 

Jim Rembach:    That goes beyond a contact center. I think those are good principles to follow regardless of where you are, regardless of what position you’re in. You are perceived differently when you aren’t essentially stepping in, I don’t want to say step up because that’s a different context from my perspective, but you got step in. You’ve got to put that right foot in. You’ve got to put it out, you got to shake it all about, right?

Jessie Jackson:     Absolutely. The job after I was laid off, I was selling substandard car insurance over the people, people who had DWI and a lot of speeding tickets were our customer base. I worked there for couple years dedicated anything I can do, they laid me off. Instead of saying, “Gosh, this new philosophy didn’t work” I just said, “Nope, I’m going to plug it in.” So, I started with a company called BancTec and in 1989 I had a 2-month-old baby. I started working and I stayed there till 2005 when I was director and they decided to outsource the company and I worked myself out of the job for a year. 

I believe that putting yourself out there volunteering, sharing, taking risks ultimately will lead you to success, if not financial and career success, personal success.

Jim Rembach:     And also there has to be an element of perseverance associated with that. As you were telling your story those transitions that took place, you always keep your chin up, you always kept looking forward. Where does that come from? 

Jessie Jackson:     My wife says it’s because my family tends to be a pretty negative group. And my immediate family, cousins, aunts, uncles, and she and my mother-in-law said it was in spite of my family’s little literary humor, I have just been blessed, Jim, with accepting the fact that what things are and then where we go next. I talk about my wife a lot because we’ve been married over 30 years and we’ve got a lot of experience. She shared with me that our first three or four years in marriage’s she thought I was just too bullish to be worried. She’s like, ‘He just doesn’t have enough sense to be worried.’ And then she realized, no it’s just that’s just his nature. 

Whatever the plan, whatever the hardship, whatever they challenged I’m going to look try to figure out what to do and move forward. She says when I’m worried, she really gets worried it’s like, “Okay, if Jesse doesn’t know what to do, holy molly, we’re in trouble.”

Jim Rembach:      That’s a vote of confidence right there, I tell you. Thanks for sharing all that that you’ve shared with us. If you were to—based on all that you have shared—if there was one piece of advice you’d give to the Fast Leader legion, what would it be? 

Jessie Jackson:     I’ll try to keep this short, because I know I tend to talk a lot. I been thinking about this a lot lately, the wonderful singer-songwriter Harry Chapin in an interview once said that there is good tired and had tired. Bad tired is at the end of the day and you may have won you may have accomplish your goals but you were fighting someone else’s fight, you were living someone else’s dream, you are working on someone else’s goals, and even though you won you’re tired and you’re depressed. But good tired, maybe a day where you failed, maybe you didn’t reach your goal but you were fighting your fight, you were living your dreams, you were working on what you believed in. And I think you can’t always choose but when you can, fight your fight. Fight the things you believe in. Shift for the goals you want and go for what you think is going to make your company successful, you successful, your family successful. And I think that if you have that core knowledge, if you know what you want to be when you grow up, I think that helps.

Jim Rembach:     That’s great advice. That is absolutely information that will help our Fast Leader listeners move onward and upward faster. Okay, now, I know your current business and you have a lot of things going on we’ve kind of mention that before, but it was one thing that really excites you about your work that you’re doing today?

Jessie Jackson:     As you know, I am in a transition, I will be looking for a new role soon and I think that’s what exciting me, what’s next in my career? What is going to be the next journey I’m going to take? I believe that with my knowledge and my passion that there is something good coming up where I can take all my knowledge and my experience and help another team grow. The thing that I find, and I talked about this before even in this podcast, one of things that I find most satisfying is taking employee that other people said, “Ah, they’re mediocre best” I don’t know if they have the skill set, but finding their talent and finding the company’s needs matching them, there’s just nothing better than that. 

Jim Rembach:    I can appreciate that. The entire Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best, Jesse. Alright, here we go Fast Leader listeners, it’s time for the—Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Jesse, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. I’, going to ask you several questions and your job is to give robust, yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster.  Jesse, are you ready to hoedown? 

Jessie Jackson:     I am ready to hoedown

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

Jessie Jackson:     Sometimes lack of confidence. You know in your mind what you should do but in your heart you have doubts and fears and you’re afraid to take that risk, and I think that’s me. 

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

Jessie Jackson:     Love what you do and trust your instincts. 

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

Jessie Jackson:     My honesty and my willingness to help. I believe in—you do a lot of favors, you correct favors, and then therefore when you need something they’re there to help you. 

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

Jessie Jackson:     Two things: Friends and network of people you can reach out to, to say “Hey, I’m worried about it or I need some advice.” Two, I read a lot of comic books and science fiction and I always think what would the hero do? What’s the right thing to do?

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

Jessie Jackson:     It’s a standby but the ‘One Minute Manager’ I go back to fairly often. Just the idea of that sandwich talk about the action not the person ending with a positive thing, I remember that a lot because no one wants to feel personally bad. There’s a  saying, you hate the sin love the sinner, and so I think in a secular terms, you’re unhappy with the action but you are a fan of the employee. 

Jim Rembach:     Thanks for sharing. Alright, Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to the show notes page and you’ll find that on fastleader.net/Jesse Jackson. Okay, Jesse here’s the last question for the Hump Day Hoedown: Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning and you were 25 years old again and you are supposed to begin a new job as a manager of a team of people that is underperforming and disengaged. But you’re very blessed because you’ve got to take everything that you’ve learned with you. Now, your task is to take the team around. You get up, you get ready and you head out to work, what do you do now?

Jessie Jackson:     That is a great question. I would listen but I would not be afraid to make changes sooner. When I did this and when I started with this with the current company in 2005, I got a lot of feedback, ‘Oh, no, that will not work here.’ And I was reluctant to ‘break too many eggs’ to try to push the boundary and I’ve said if I had to do it over again I would have pushed a little bit harder, a little bit sooner. Understand their feedback, incorporate it but not be afraid to make the changes. I think that goes back to my core concern. Sometimes you need to have faith in yourself and say, I know what needs to be done and you need to do it.

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

Jessie Jackson:     Absolutely. I am at jwj170104 on Twitter. I am on Facebook, Jesse Jackson in Lewisville, Texas if you want to reach that. As you were nice enough, if you want to hear my podcast on a less serious note but we have a lot of fun, I did a couple of podcast Next Stop Everywhere about Doctor Who, Storm in a Castle is about the ABC’s show Castle. I talked about Game of Thrones a little bit and a little bit of everything, so I do a lot of fun. I can be reached jesse.ackson2@verizon.net, so if they want to send me an e-mail. I’m on LinkedIn and all the other social networks.

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

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

 

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