Mentors Collective Entrepreneurs

From Entrepreneur to CEO: Leadership Skills with Ken Banta

September 03, 2020 Dr. Jay Feldman / Ken Banta Season 2 Episode 23
Mentors Collective Entrepreneurs
From Entrepreneur to CEO: Leadership Skills with Ken Banta
Chapters
Mentors Collective Entrepreneurs
From Entrepreneur to CEO: Leadership Skills with Ken Banta
Sep 03, 2020 Season 2 Episode 23
Dr. Jay Feldman / Ken Banta

Like it or not, every great entrepreneur needs a team. You need to develop leadership skills in order to create a successful business. In this episode, esteemed leadership coach Ken Banta shares key insights on leadership and how to get the most of your team in 2020. 

https://www.thevanguardgroupforleadership.com/ 

Support the show (https://mentorscollective.com/support)

Show Notes Transcript

Like it or not, every great entrepreneur needs a team. You need to develop leadership skills in order to create a successful business. In this episode, esteemed leadership coach Ken Banta shares key insights on leadership and how to get the most of your team in 2020. 

https://www.thevanguardgroupforleadership.com/ 

Support the show (https://mentorscollective.com/support)

Jay Feldman :

Everybody and welcome to the mentors collective on entrepreneurship. As you know, I like to bring in experts in certain subjects that I'm not an expert in myself. And on this episode, we're going to be discussing leadership. Now whether you like it or not, if you are building a business, you are going to have to adapt and learn how to be a leader and lead a team. I know I've gone through it myself. I'm very lucky today on this episode to have Ken Banta who's the founder of the vanguard group for leadership. He has trained sea level executive business owners, he's led executives and networking and building leadership skill. He's hosted seminars. We're super lucky to have him today. So Ken, thank you so much for joining us.

Ken Banta :

Thanks for having me with you guys.

Jay Feldman :

Course, and I know we just spoke about this briefly before we got started. But a lot of our listeners here aren't C level executives and aren't founders of major organizations, but maybe they're just getting started and maybe they're just starting to build their team. So we'd love to just start kick this thing off with some really great value for beginning that journey into leadership and going from entrepreneur to C. Yo, instead of just entrepreneur, talk to me a little bit about that, what is what is that journey? Like?

Ken Banta :

Yeah, so you know, I think one of the biggest shifts that people need to make is, first of all, moving from really dealing only with themselves to to leading other people. And the other aspect I'd say is shifting from what might be thought of as like management, to leadership. And so let's start with the first part of dealing with groups larger than yourself, when it's just you really, you have to convince yourself to do things and you decide when to stop things. When you have more than two of you and one of them is a follower, then you really are into a different role, which is also motivating and persuading people to do things. And that's the piece that takes you beyond yourself. It sounds simple, but it's a very huge step for all of us to make to go beyond deciding what I would do to thinking about what a group should do and then thinking about how do we get them to get there. The other aspect of it that I think is really important is that people often confuse management with leadership and The distinction that I make between those two things as management is more or less the day to day stuff, you know, paying the bills, keeping track of who's doing what, and maybe keeping track of your, your clients or vendors. Those are important things. But that's management. But the leadership part is, I'd say, much more developing perhaps followership. So in other words, you want to people talk about leadership all the time that great leaders have followers. And so you want to be able to develop those capabilities to get people to want to go with you to where you're going, the age of telling people what to do is pretty much over or if you try it, it doesn't usually work. And frankly, the younger the people are, the less likely it is to work. So you've got to develop capabilities to create people want to follow you to want to go with you and who are persuaded that the mission you're on is really worth doing.

Jay Feldman :

Yeah, I love that. And that's something that I've actually learned in my own personal business endeavors over the past year or so. And, you know, as we started to build up those leadership skills within our own organization, me and my business partner, we started to hold on to people more, we started to get more out of them, and I was starting to notice all of the mistakes that we had made in the past where people would quit after the first week, like what you said, it's so important to develop those leadership skills and really get people to buy into your mission, buy into your story and buy into you.

Ken Banta :

Yeah, I would agree with you totally. Jay, I think, you know, if you had to pick one thing to start with, because it can get quite complicated to find, think about every aspect of leadership, you know, my own feeling is if you can help people to see that sense of purpose that's bigger than you and them that you're all going forward. That's really a huge victory. It's not always easy to define what that thing is. But once you have it in your hands, then it's really compelling. And then the other part is for them to really feel that you are working for them and not the other way around. And so in ordering people around assuming they know what's going on in your head, sharing your views without knowing that they do. Having those assumptions can be really really problematic as you probably found out and people will tend to not say there's a problem they'll just leave. But I think when they start leaving on a regular basis, you know, there's a problem and on that idea of purpose or mission You know, I think it's a huge difference between what you do and what it means. And so you know, you could be collecting garbage, and that is what you do. But what it might mean is being environmentally sound, it might mean a better neighborhood, it might mean giving unemployed people work, it might mean a lot of different things. So that's where the job versus meaning I think, are really important to figure out. So even if you have I mean, you guys have a very interesting and obviously important role that has its its purpose is pretty visible from what I can see of what your organization does. But other people might have a bit of a struggle trying to say, well, making widgets, what does that really do for people? Well, you got to get to the bottom of why the widgets matter, not that you make them. And if you can't figure that out, then you probably don't have a business. But if you start to see why people would want to have your widget and why it would be great to work with you making that widget then that's that's basically you've got your sense of purpose in a bottle. Absolutely. And story

Jay Feldman :

sells, it says it always has been and when you're working with employees, you're selling to them, and that's something that we've also learned along the way and others thing that we just touched on briefly was some of the mistakes that maybe leaders and business owners make when they're first starting to embrace that they are leaders and CEOs. We talked for a minute about some common mistakes that those leaders make, and maybe some things that they can do to avoid making those mistakes.

Ken Banta :

Yeah, sure. And you can tell me if they resonate, you know, for you as well. But farther, if you've seen them in action doesn't have to be you. But, you know, what I've seen with with a lot of leaders is, first of all, they can easily start to drink their own Kool Aid, by which I mean, they start to believe that what they think about themselves is truly real. And usually you need to have somebody, either yourself or somebody close to you has a good, honest appraisal of you know, you are not the best in the world of x, or one of your biggest problems is why and, you know, get really you're in charge of a company of five people, not 5000 because there is that tendency to start to see things through rose colored glasses, and that I'd say the other piece that's very important and it's related to that is what you might call confronting reality. confronting reality can mean lots of different things in different situations. But it's basically another way of saying, Don't get too caught up in your fantasy of what could be faced what really is the way things really are, and then build from there. And so you know, for, for example, someone might say, Well, you know, hypothetically, we could have 500,000 customers paying, you know, $500 each to be part of our organization or to buy our product. But you need the kind of, let's say, kind of realistic edge to that to say, Well, how many could we get in the next year? Maybe it's going to be 100th of that. And will they all pay that amount of money, maybe you'll pay one 10th of that initially. So let's start with kind of a realistic assessment of things. So it's realism first with yourself about you second realism about the business. Third might be realism about the environment. And then a fourth realism might be about your people. Are they all going to be brilliant entrepreneurs like yourself, or at least as you see yourself? Probably not. I mean, you can't have afford to hire people like that. And if they were all like you, they wouldn't be here because they'd be running their own business. So, you know, you got to have a realism about what they can do and what they can't do. And then that comes back to yourself. I think once you see what they can do, you have to kind of assess what are some people better at than you because the common fallacy of leaders is that they're great at everything. But the reality should be that you should be attracting people around you who are better than you at most of what you do, if not everything. So you may be great at marketing fine. You're the CEO and the head of marketing. But are you really great at Finance? Probably not. So bring in somebody strong and finance instead of pretending that you know all about that stuff. But those are some major errors that people make have really the Superman theory and for themselves, that they can do it all. And of course, the best answer to that is to just remind yourself that you're not

Jay Feldman :

Yes. Couldn't agree with that more. They're just as you said, there's so many things that I know now that I am horrible at and hate to do, such as finances, spreadsheets, data tracking, which are super important things but realizing as a leader that you're not going to have all the answers and aren't going to be the best at everything. I think is a really important realization to have. And just like you said, very important.

Ken Banta :

Another thing I'd add, I mean, you could go on and on. But I do think another thing that is really important, and I'm terrible at this is to realize that often good is good enough. In other words, you know, you do want to be excellent in certain areas, but in a small organization, and even a really big one, you just can't be your team can't be great at everything. And also, if you're expecting everyone to be great at everything, they're starting to be good at nothing, because they're so burned out. And so worried about what you're gonna say, you got to have a tolerance for good is good enough, including with yourself, you know, maybe you are the only one in the organization right now, who can do the finances, okay? Well, you can't stand it. You're not great at it. But she'll try to get good enough at it that you don't sink the ship. But you also know that the minute you bring in someone new at a high level, it's going to be for doing that because you know, you don't like it and essentially said that you don't like it and you're not good at it. That's usually the way it is. If you don't like a certain function, then the odds are very high that you're also not particularly good at it.

Jay Feldman :

Yes, absolutely. Because who wants to practice it and try and get better?

Ken Banta :

Yeah, but sometimes you just can't. You know, I'm like I think the things you sound good, I'm pretty good at the things I can't stand are also the things I'm not good at, like tracking finances. I mean, I appreciate the end result that I don't have.

Jay Feldman :

Yes, absolutely couldn't agree more. Okay, I would let's just talk about kind of developing a track to become a great leader. Talk to me a little bit about your track. Well, how did you go from entrepreneur to business leader and then going to teach entrepreneurs how to be leaders? And how would somebody following that track?

Ken Banta :

First of all, I started out actually as a journalist, so I was with Time magazine for almost 10 years. And that was very interesting, but you know, how did I then go elsewhere? Well, I decided that even back then I didn't realize journalism was gonna go down the drain, but I did see that I should try something else before I settled on doing that forever. And so I went into a form of consulting that was business related, but it really borrowed on my skill. So it was public relations and Investor Relations type. an advertising type advising, so you know, that created a attract for me to go from a one kind of career was sort of a pivot point. to being in the business side of things, but not a business person at that point, really, I then was fortunate to get hired to work in a very big set of companies that were all as it turned out companies going down the drain. And I was lucky to work with a CEO who taught me a lot about how to turn companies around. So I was able to figure out how I could go from being a journalist, basically, and a consultant to someone who could become a driver of transformation in big organizations, how to get people to change the way they do things, how to get to large organizations to change direction. And that kind of borrowed on some of my previous skills, but obviously very, very different. And then that work basically kind of equipped me to be able to go out on my own and do course, after about three companies like that, to really pivot again and and start to help other people develop leadership skills. But it wasn't based on nothing. It was based on experience internally, helping people change the way they lead and how to get teams of leaders to move in a new direction. So it was kind of applying and exists capability but in a new way. And so I'd say that the lesson there for people who would like to maybe not follow in that track, but to kind of move from one area to another and to grow their career is, you know, I think could be really aware of what your capabilities are versus what job you have. So by that, I mean, like, in your case, currently, you're doing this form of business, but some of your underlying capabilities might be the ability to identify trends to have a journalistic approach to things to organize interesting material for entrepreneurs, that might lead you into a very different business, but it would build on those capabilities. So I think it's always good to kind of understand, kind of know yourself, know what your real capabilities are versus the job title. And then you can start to apply those capabilities in different ways, which is really more or less what I did. I think the other really big and important piece is to know where you want to go, not in a like a detailed way but you know, not everyone needs to be a CEO, you know, you might actually think you want to become a CEO, other people might want to be Come a CFO, or they might want to become simply very, very good at a technical capability and not be running things. So it's I think, very important to understand your capabilities and your also your own goals, your real goals, not what other people tell you you should be doing, but what you want to be doing. And then you can start to plot a course it'll kind of lead maybe zigzag route to to that thing. The final element that I'd say is really, really important is to have a mentor to around you know, who can give you good feedback tell you when you're making really just don't make any sense, letting you know, when you maybe hit a wall, what you should do differently. And those mentors come in all shapes and sizes. And I, in some ways, acted as a mentor to some CEOs that were many years older than me. And then I've also more recently been mentoring people who were a lot younger than me. So it's not really an age thing. It's more like a role thing. But I think if you can't, you know, you'll find one somewhere, but you should really have one in your toolbox. You know, someone you trust and someone who knows you and someone who also whose advice you can You can follow.

Jay Feldman :

Yeah, absolutely. Obviously, this is the mentors collective. I'm a huge source. I'm part of mentoring groups. And I couldn't recommend that enough to people. I know I have them I have a leadership mentor, I have a any commerce and add mentor was not everyone's going to be the best at everything. So I like to segment my mentors.

Ken Banta :

I think that's a good idea. But you know, you've got several, some people have none. So I'd say if you look around and you don't see your mentor, among your listeners and viewers, you know, that would really be a top priority. And ideally, it should not be well, it really shouldn't be someone in your organization because then they can't really see clearly either but right I mean, yours are probably outside, but know you well enough to be able to in your business well enough to give you some good advice.

Jay Feldman :

Okay, so some questions. I was just jotting down as you're talking about leadership skills, what are the leadership styles that you really teach? I know there's a lot out there. You know, the Gary Vee is very empathetic. He doesn't expect his employees to care as much as he does, whereas the Steve Jobs was hammering his employees to get them Most of them do teach a specific leadership style. And in your teachings, have you found that a specific style gets better results than

Ken Banta :

others? You know, that's a really interesting question. First of all, I think leadership is different over time. I mean, obviously, back in the ancient Rome, certain things like technology issues and other matters, you led in a different way, it had to be quite authoritarian, even in a semi democratic form, because there's no way to communicate directly with people in a quick way, as you move along in history, you know, different factors make different aspects of leadership more, more or less important today, I think, you know, one very important factor is the, you know, well, the cliche of the millennial generation and maybe even younger now, there are a lot of things that may or may not be true about this group, but for sure, they've got a much different expectation of what they're going to put up with in a job and what they expect from leadership. So it tends to be a lot more sort of demanding and inquisitive. They don't take leadership for granted and they don't take someone's word for granted. They also won't necessarily stay in a company forever. Also. Because they don't really feel like the company will stay with them necessarily, which is absolutely true. So why should they be, you know, this whole idea of the company is some sort of big happy family, I don't think sells very much with this group. And why? Well, they've got good reasons not to believe that. I mean, it's great to be there for a role and a job and to be with people you like, but you owe the company anything, you know, it doesn't seem to you anything, why should you owe a company anything? So that's a big change. When you're thinking about the sort of leadership aspects of how to operate these days. One thing is to take account of that generation, you've got to be much more of a persuader only because there's no point that this group will they don't leave the company, they just won't be paying attention, which is almost worse. So you got to be on the same wavelength. And to do that, I think you've got to be leading by persuasion, not by dictation. However, you know, I think rather than say that there's one leadership style that would be right for any particular company or situation. I think the best leaders are, what I would call situational leaders. And by that, I mean that they, they have the ability to use different stuff. of leadership at different times. So, for example, while I said most of the time they need to be persuading, they know that in a crisis, you don't have time to persuade people. So you got to tell people what to do. But you'd probably have to pre amble that activity was saying, look, I am going to tell people what to do, because we are in a crisis. So that's how it's going to work. That's why and then you'll probably get the buy in some of those millennials who might otherwise say, Well, why should I just do what you tell him? So you have to be quite clear about the comp, the context of your leadership. At the other end of the spectrum, you can have, you know, what is known as consensus leadership, where basically you don't do anything until everyone on the team agrees? Well, you know, that is an interesting model that some people would say is good, but that that can sometimes tie you up for weeks or months of discussion. And, you know, and it's worse, that's what Scandinavian companies sometimes seem to be, which is consensus driven models. You got to get the labor union to agree you've got to get everyone on the management team to be in favor. It's not enough to say it's a good idea and you're the CEO. You've got to convince everybody To be with you, that can be a pretty, I think, a very dangerous situation because you may not be able to move quickly and they make good decisions. So like, but you know, you look at Steve Jobs, I think, you know, basically kind of a horrible leader. He was basically a dictator and a genius, right. But he wasn't a great leader, other people who are very pleasant and fun to be around, and warm and fuzzy may or may not be great leaders, if they don't get things done, then they're not really leading. So I think that, you know, in terms of a takeaway, I'd say this idea of developing a capability to be a situational leader, is really a huge asset. And I think if you think about it, and work on it, you can do it. Not everyone is good at all aspects of that again, but if you really think of leadership is not like one way or another way, but it's like a set of different capabilities that you bring out at different times when you judge the situation need them. That's what I think really great, great leaders can do.

Jay Feldman :

Going along with that. I know you said you can kind of develop these skills to become a situational leader. How much of this do you think is natural and how much you think? can be taught, for example, I know some entrepreneurs who are in my network, who are strongly considering hiring a CEO to replace themselves as the operator of this company, the executive officer of this company, do you think this is something that can be taught him, some people just are never going to be that great leader that gets the most out of their employees, and then maybe hiring a CEO might be a good idea.

Ken Banta :

I think that's very valid. I mean, I think I don't know if anyone's ever really proven it. But I think that, you know, some traits of leadership are either inherited, or they're developed very early. Also, they're things that demonstrate what people really want to be as grownups, you know, some, I think some people who are really bad leaders really don't like the leadership role very much. And so, you know, they prefer to dictate things or they prefer to abdicate things, or they prefer to be loved and liked versus effective. So I think you have to get us becoming a good, good self knowledge, you know, and it sounds like some of the people you're talking about have said to themselves, well, you know, I may not enjoy it very much and therefore also, maybe Not very good at it. So let me bring in somebody who is and let me be the the founding genius and the develop the next new lightbulb or whatever, but I'm going to find someone else to help develop it. And, you know, I think that's quite admirable if you can have that level of self knowledge, I think what's really detrimental is to not have that insight and to try to be the thing that you're not in the end, you know, destroy the company were wrecked the lives of the people that work for you could have had a great career and you kind of brought it to an end because of the way you operate. You know, that I think is not the way to fly. So I think that comes back to that self awareness in my mind and then acting on it. So I think that idea of some people so I'd say leaders are partly born and partly made, okay, and I'd say maybe, you know, one one way of judging it is that you can change people from you know, one, being good at something to really good at it or mediocre great at it, like 20% movement is possible. Just like in behavior if someone is not someone who ordinarily earns trust from people There's a lot of work, you could get them to maybe be 20% better how to do that, but they're never going to become probably 100% better. And the same thing on leadership, if they're really awful leadership, then getting 20% better is not enough, if they're pretty good at it, but want to become even better than you could have, like a really good leader, that that's feasible, but it's that it's that percentage element, I think that is important. And ultimately, you know, you might hear it from other people partly who might say, you know, you're really not good at this, but also you have to really internalize it and decide, you know, are you really cut out for this leadership? And then a final thing to consider is are you cut out for this kind of leadership? I mean, you know, there's lots of different forms of leadership and different kinds of I mean, you might or might not Jay be really good at leading an auto profit, but that's very different than what you're doing now. And so whether you actually are kind of a not for profit, you know, I mean, it's a, you could be in a social not for profit, would that be the best use of your capabilities? Maybe or maybe not, you'd have to kind of again, look at what does that organization need and what would I bring to it in terms of capabilities, not just terms of experience.

Jay Feldman :

Yes, I couldn't agree with you more with everything that you said especially that not everyone is born a leader, there is a certain amount that you can develop. I'm sure there's a lot of great educational and mentoring standpoints where you can become the best leader that you can be. But in a lot of cases, that still might not be good enough. So really being self aware is huge for me as well. I mean, I strongly believe in that knowing where your wheelhouse is, and where you struggle is going to be huge for filling positions and figuring out really what the next

Ken Banta :

steps are. I agree. And, you know, while I've been involved in various leadership roles, I've not been a CEO of a large company, and I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn't really enjoy that or be good at it. I probably much better at what I do, which is to help advise people and think about leadership. I do have some leadership roles myself, but I'm, I think in you know, sort of self aware enough to know that that whole business of really trying to get you know, large teams of people to be with me every day is I'm not me, I tend to think everything's working fine, which is exactly the wrong thing.

Jay Feldman :

Same Same here. Sounds like we have a lot of similarities in that department. Anyways, I guess we have to talk about this now because especially for those listening in the future, we are currently in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, which is just an ongoing, fun circus. And I would love to talk just briefly here your thoughts on what leaders are currently doing right now? How leadership might be changing, shifting?

Ken Banta :

What are your thoughts regarding that? Gosh, well, you know, I think it depends a lot on, you know, on where they're being leaders. But I think if it's anything bigger than like a three person organization, and even then maybe they're thinking about it, I think a lot of the issues that are being faced are both internal and external. So on the inside, you know, the people part of it is in turmoil, you're working from home now, suddenly, perhaps, you're possibly got employees or colleagues who have family and children running around and maybe you as well, all at the same time. You're trying to deal with new technologies for connecting with people. So you're not seeing them face to face a physical way. So all of that stuff is a piling up. Plus what I think is often under appreciated is just the sheer anxiety level that this pandemic is causing. So you don't, you can't kind of see it, but you can feel it that people are worried about their children, they're worried about going, where they're going to go to school, or they're going to go to school, they're worried about whether people in their family are going to contract this virus, if so, what happens, you know, all kinds of kinds of things that keep you awake at night, and that you can't actually solve for because they're not in you're not in charge. And, and those are always the most stressful experiences of any kind is uncertainty. And so, here we are in month six, or something of massive uncertainty. It takes a huge, huge toll on organization. So for the leader, you know, it's not only deal with these issues for themselves, but now they've got to kind of rise to the level of leading other people through it. And you don't do that by just telling people you know, Louder, louder. what they're supposed to do. Do you got to spend more time I think on the phone empathizing with what's going on hearing what they're thinking, pay attention, when you're on a zoom conference call, you no longer just listen to what people are saying, you listen to how they're saying it because it may mask or show some aspect of anxiety or concern, and it's your job to try and identify that or is there somebody on that call who isn't talking, that might be a signal that there's something wrong for them. And in a normal conference room, you'd see that here, you've got to kind of like Intuit that maybe you're not seeing something tells you there is something and that's you know, that's a huge burden for leaders on top of everything else they're trying to do. So I think that internal peace is extremely demanding. And again, it's back to EQ and self awareness in a way you've got to have that level of kind of understanding that there's not just a rational assessment of what's going on. But you know, each person on your team probably has different feelings and experiences around this and you've got to try and figure that out. And either, you know, help them through it or identify the workaround or whatever it may be. Then the other piece, you know, that is clearly a huge factor for everyone is the external environment you have, you know, all kinds of situations with clients who are, you know, yes, they'd like to work with you, but not yet they need to wait till this thing resolves itself, you have suppliers who can't, you know, provide stuff. And so I think another huge aspect of the CEO job now is really kind of our external crisis management. And again, it's crisis management in a, an ongoing crisis of uncertainty. It's not like you know what the end result is going to be, but you got to manage your way through it. And in fact, our organization has been leading a series of dialogues that are digital around just this topic with CEO saying, How are you handling these different matters, and it's just eye opening, you know, people, first of all, a lot of people listening in, who are also CEOs and secondly, just, you know, amazingly, everything from very profound problems to like really basic ones, you know, who's going to have you deal with vacation when everyone's at home. I mean, I don't know where that where they're going to go. And then I think the third element j is the future you know, you can't stop To predict most most organizations operate on some level of for planning predictability. Now, he may not be perfect, but you figure based on past experience, the sales cycle is going to be x in January and February, we're going to need why all that's out the window, no one knows whether they can fly anywhere. No one knows whether anyone's going to need their product or is going to be able to supply what they need for making what they make. So it's a that that that lack of clarity about the future, I think is a kind of a new learning for a lot of CEOs, probably a good, you know, probably good basic training. I mean, if you can get through this, you can get through a lot of things. I suppose it's you know, we think this is terrible. But imagine, I suppose what it would be like to be trying to work in Syria, I guess, you know, this is mild by comparison. But for a lot of people, it's the first time they've seen this kind of just chaos.

Jay Feldman :

Yes. And I was just in Mexico, and they don't really have online business in Mexico. So it was a whole nother story over there. And I just want to add something to what you said the first point whereas all our employees are now working at home for the most part Our offices are empty, everyone's virtual. And you can kind of tell that some people are starting to feel the anxiety to feel the uncertainty. And we actually hired a head of human resources about two weeks ago. And it's been one of the best decisions that we've made, it is quite a bit of a time burden to not just pay attention to see like, okay, who's, who's been a little off, Who should we check up, check up on and then go ahead and do that. So having someone on board to really head that battle, who's had experience with it is has been a huge help for us.

Ken Banta :

That makes sense to me, it kind of underscores the obvious thing that we're talking about, which is that people sometimes forget that, you know, businesses are people it sounds sort of obvious, but they often assume that well, you know, just tell people what their job is, they'll get on with it, and then the business will happen. But, you know, as you're saying, if people aren't feeling right, then the business isn't going to work. Yeah,

Jay Feldman :

it's a strange environment. Everyone's gonna be we have bi weekly zoom calls. And you can tell I mean, everyone's at home and just like going through the motions, but having someone there to check up on purse And say, listen, is everything okay? Anything we can do to improve your experience really goes a long way.

Ken Banta :

That's going to be fun to find fun and interesting to hear how that works out. Because I'd love to know what what happens with that, because you're kind of an interesting, sort of interesting leadership experiment, right? I mean, you do care about it, but you can't be doing it every minute. So and you get a kind of a HR person to help handle that aspect of it. And does that work? Well, hopefully, yes.

Jay Feldman :

Yeah. And it's very much an experiment for us too, as well. I've never hired someone to run our HR department before. And it's still very new. She's been active for about a week now. But

Ken Banta :

I'm very hopeful that we'll catch up in a month and see what's going on. I'm sure it's gonna be a good idea. It's just how to be interested in how to make.

Jay Feldman :

Yeah, we'll definitely catch up in a month. Okay, so far, this is packed with a lot of gold. I would love to just open up the floor for you to leave some of your last tips, tricks for aspiring leaders, and then maybe something for leaders such as myself, who I mean, I'm running a 30 person organization, and I would love to take my own leadership skills to the next level. So Tips for starting tips for tips for people like myself.

Ken Banta :

Yeah, so let's see, for startup people, I think the you know, the most important thing is to really look at every aspect of your role as a kind of a learning experience for what you would do in the future. So, you know, one way to do your job today is to just get it done. Another way to look at it is what can I learn from what I'm doing today that will really help me grow into an even bigger job for the future. So you know, for example, if someone currently is working in sales, you know, one way you look at it is I'm doing sales, I work nine to five and then I'm going to go home, and that was a sales job. The other way you can look at it is that I'm what I'm learning is how to persuade people how to change people's opinions, how to lead even if it's just one to one, you're still learning skills that you can use to lead larger groups of people. So I'd say very consciously think about some of these capabilities. And again, I keep talking about capabilities, restrict the capabilities you're developing as a leader and think of them as leadership. capabilities versus simply job capabilities. So I think that's one thing you know, when you're in a more junior level, but you're aspiring to bigger roles. The other thing, I think, you know, is always to be open to taking new roles, and not always necessarily ones that take you higher up in the organization. But sometimes ones that take you sideways, because a lot of people think that you're going to be more important by going upward in an organization. But the reality is, when you look at what most CEOs have, as experience, they have a lot of breadth of experience, too. They've done a lot of sales, they've done marketing, they've, they've experienced a lot of different parts of operations, and they've been really good at them versus just a corporate job. So I think, you know, there's always this illusion that having a corporate job is really important. But honestly, most people who have a corporate job, never become a CEO unless they've had a lot of operational experience too. So that's something to keep in mind, I think. And then the third thing would be to really kind of look at things in bite sized pieces. I mean, you can't, you can't develop every aspect of being a great leader in you know, you For two or three years, but you know, maybe think about two or three things that you're really not particularly great at as a leader, and try practicing those things in your day to day work, or you know, or even with, you know, friends not in the nasty way, but just asking them if you know, the way you're presenting yourself is kind of addressing one of the problems that you have. So for example, perhaps you either don't talk enough, or you talk too much in a conversation with people try and see and how you listen better. And then, you know, you can do that with friends ask them that I you know, am I getting better? Am I still the only one talk and that can be quite helpful for people at you know, at your level. I mean, there's so many things to develop. I mean, I would have thought, I think, you know, one of the most useful things is actually reading things like HDR, because you get so many interesting experiences there. And it sounds sort of trite, but I mean, you know, it's a great resource for leadership learning for people at your level. And in a lot of case studies, which are really cool to see. And the other thing I would do is what you're doing clearly already, which is I think, you know, a lot of learning from others, you know, going out to other events, you've got your own group, I think of young leaders to get together. And you know, I think that's a perfect way to do things. But a lot of young leaders you know, don't do that they're kind of loners, where they just, you know, kind of, they do their business and then they go home, but they don't really try to learn from other people. But I think that's really one of the best things you can do at this point. Because you know, when you get really busy and suppose you're, you know, CEO of a company of 10,000 people, well, you're not, you're not gonna have time anymore to do that. So you're kind of running on, you're kind of running on the gas you already put in the tank. But at this point, you know, you can put a lot of gas in your tank of of experiences and people and networks because the more you talk to those folks, the more you develop networks, and it's kind of a cliche as well, but you know, networks are really important. So that would be what I would be doing

Jay Feldman :

so they couldn't agree with you more you know, I believe networking and mentorship and yeah, like we talked about before we started the podcast, my recent trip to Mexico, my eight other leaders super helpful. I mean, we were able to, you know, work with each other figure out what our weaknesses were. I learned a ton for everybody in the house. So there's anybody listening who wants to join mentorship leadership group, please like Let me know and can With that being said, I just want to thank you so much for being on the show with me. And what are the best places for people to find you. I know the vanguard group for leadership calm, which I'm going to link up over in the bio fernan, who wants to link up with your organization

Ken Banta :

that's this way. And I can give you my email as well. And I'd be delighted to hear from your colleagues. Thank you for doing that. Yeah,

Jay Feldman :

let's do email as well. So anyone with questions for Canada leadership or anything like that, please be sure to send him an email. I'll also link his LinkedIn in there as well. But this has been awesome. Thank you so much for joining me. Likewise. Thanks for having me. I'll talk to you soon, Ken. And we'll catch up in a month unless you know how to HR.

Ken Banta :

Absolutely. Thank you.

Jay Feldman :

This is Dr. Jay Feldman. And I just wanted to take a moment to thank you so much for your support, and also ask you for a little bit more that you can take the next 10 seconds and write us a review on iTunes, Google Play or Spotify. So let me know your feedback. It means the world to me again, thank you for watching. If you love this episode, please share it with your friends. Share it with your family. Until next time!