Catalytic Leadership

Charting the Course of Authentic Leadership: Adam Sinkus on Earning Authority and Cultivating Culture

January 22, 2024 Dr. William Attaway Season 2 Episode 27
Catalytic Leadership
Charting the Course of Authentic Leadership: Adam Sinkus on Earning Authority and Cultivating Culture
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Discover the alchemy of authentic leadership with Adam Sinkus, the mastermind behind A Purpose Partnership and the Winning Tactics podcast.  Adam shares a candid tale of ascension through the ranks, challenging the notion that leadership is simply a reward for high performance. Instead, he unveils the true requisites of command: trust, respect, and earned authority. Delve into Adam's revolutionary anti-agency business model, an antidote to the bait-and-switch of senior figures selling dreams only to pass the baton to less seasoned teams. His ethos? Ensuring that strategic direction and expert oversight aren't just promised—they're delivered.

Feel the pulse of your organization with the ACES framework, an ingenious tool to synchronize the heartbeat of executives and frontline employees. We dissect the startling statistics of cultural disconnection, and how Acknowledgment, Cultivation, Empowerment, and Success can be the compass leading to common ground. In this high-energy exchange, we unravel the transformative strategy of marrying passion with training, and how a positive spin on post-mortem meetings can set the stage for a future-forward mindset. Communication is not just a thread but the very fabric that binds a thriving corporate culture, and Adam will guide you through making every interaction with your team a stepping stone to collective triumph.

As the conversation deepens, we lace the talk of leadership and culture with strands of personal growth. From the importance of humility to the balance of profitability and the human element, we leave no stone unturned. Transparency and authenticity emerge as non-negotiable leadership traits, with Adam and I sharing our own vulnerabilities and growth spurts. The books that sculpt our philosophies find mention, inviting listeners to continue the journey beyond the airwaves. Leadership is a service, not a spotlight; it's about inspiring and empowering, not directing. If you're seeking to ignite a spark in your path or to fan the flames of your existing leadership style, Adam's insights are your kindling. 

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Meet Dr. William Attaway, your guide to peak performance. As a seasoned Executive Mindset and Leadership Coach with nearly 30 years of experience, William empowers high-performance entrepreneurs and agency owners to conquer challenges and maximize their potential. Join him on the Catalytic Leadership podcast as he shares insights on achieving Clear-Minded Focus, Calm Control, & Confidence, helping you thrive in business and life.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to Catalytic Leadership, the podcast designed to help leaders intentionally grow and thrive. Here is your host author and leadership and executive coach, dr William Attaway.

Speaker 2:

Hey, it's William and welcome to today's episode of the Catalytic Leadership podcast. Each week, we tackle a topic related to the field of leadership. My goal is to ensure that you have actionable steps you can take from each episode to grow in your own leadership. Growth doesn't just happen. My goal is to help you become intentional about it. Each week, we spotlight leaders from a variety of fields, organizations and locations. My goal is for you to see that leaders can be catalytic, no matter where they are or what they lead. I draw inspiration from the stories and journeys of these leaders and I hear from many of you that you do too. Let's jump in to today's interview. I'm so excited today to have Adam Senkas on the podcast. After over 10 years in the BPO industry, adam learned that call centers were not where he wanted to be. In 2019, he joined the team at Elevator to help build the business processes to grow and scale. They helped their clients build over $4 million in additional revenue. At the beginning of 2021, he realized there was a bigger opportunity to split off their home services brand my Roofing SEO. Since then, he's been building and growing that brand. In 2020, he launched the Winning Tactics podcast to help business owners share strategies that they could use to survive the pandemic. That eight-week project turned quickly into a passion, where now he has 60-plus episodes of actionable insights for small business owners that they can apply tomorrow. Adam, I'm so glad you're here. Thanks for being on the show.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, glad to be on the show. Thanks so much for having me.

Speaker 2:

I would love for you to share some of your story with our listeners, Adam, particularly around your journey and your development as a leader. How did you get started?

Speaker 3:

Oh gosh, that goes way, way back Back to that BPO space that I got out of. Call centers are gnarly business. I think we all start somewhere in leadership. What typically happens in a lot of industries high performer, I got promoted, you're a leader, you're a trainer, you're this, you're that Didn't really have the right tools. Yeah, it's like surprise, you're going to do this thing and you got people that you're responsible for. Now, the reality set in that I either needed to figure this out for myself or I needed to go find great leaders and start modeling them. I did a combination of both. Over the years. What I realized is that, especially in a lot of high turnover industries, the leadership model and the promotion model is so, so broken. We have leaders that have no business being leaders, not because they aren't great employees and because they don't in their contributions are phenomenal, but because they're not really set up to be a leader. Yeah, I took a step back and I became a training manager for a large call center site, and I took a step back and I said wait a minute. We have this leadership program. That's a self-guided path that our leaders are going through Once a month. Let's just get together and talk leadership. We started these leadership trainings once a month and we talked about things like having difficult conversations and communicating better with your employees, how to manage KPIs the right way Started just having conversations round table conversations about these challenges with a training mindset in focus. From there it just grew into a passion of mine to help understand that there is actually a better way to be a leader. We have to step back, drop our ego, be real that we don't know everything and step on the train that we're here to improve our employees' lives.

Speaker 2:

I love that. That's fantastic. Given your experience and so many different venues of leadership that you've been in, I'm curious how would you define that word leadership?

Speaker 3:

I get asked this question a lot and then every time I struggle to come up with what the answer is. But the reality is leadership isn't a title, it's something you earn. You can be given the title of manager, team leader, whatever your company calls it. Leader in itself is something you earn by building trust, respect and authority with your team.

Speaker 2:

That's good. You describe your current business as an anti-agency.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

I've never come across that before and thought, wow, I want to learn more about that. What do you mean by anti-agency?

Speaker 3:

Yes, A purpose partnership. We came to the table and were like, look, we've worked in agencies before consulting agencies, marketing agencies and we realized that there's this huge broken opportunity. It's the model of senior leadership and this wonderful, glitzy, glammy salesperson show up to your sales meeting and they sell you the dream and you're like this is great. Then you get your team and you realize that none of those people that you've trusted their experience to come to the table with are actually involved. We flipped the script on that and we're like look, there's no reason that every project shouldn't have some sort of strategic senior leader that understands how to shift the landscape. Because I don't know about you, but I go through projects all the time and I'm like this is what we presented. And we get halfway through and we realized that we need to make a strong left turn at Albuquerque so we can get right back on track. When you have junior people that just don't have that level of experience in there, they don't know how to make that left turn. We believe in our anti-agency model that our senior leadership is involved to some strong degree in every contract that we have. We bring in senior level people to run the daily work that's done on these. We do have some junior folks and they bring their own individual contributions to the projects, but they're part of a larger project team. It helps them learn and grow but also make sure that we can stay on track with what we need to accomplish with our clients.

Speaker 2:

That's really good and I think you're spot on. I mean so many times and I think listeners can definitely relate to that you buy the model in the showroom and then you get home and you're like this is not what was advertised, the experience level, the skill level of the people that are now engaged in my project not what I saw, it's not what I heard in the sales call.

Speaker 3:

Yeah yeah, all too often that happens and it's frustrating. Even now I'm seeking and sourcing vendors for different stuff and it's like I see it all the time. I'm like oh man, I'm just not engaging with you because you go so totally against what we believe in.

Speaker 2:

I'm imagining that would change the way that you sell now that you engage with new people, because, hey, this is not going to be like every other thing that you've experienced in the past.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely yeah. I mean, we lead with that right, we lead with that mindset. We talk about passion. We talk about doing the work that we love to do. We've niched down considerably from where we started, not just because it's the smart thing to do from a business perspective, but because we've found niches and types of clients that we're passionate to do the work with.

Speaker 2:

So, in your view, looking across the landscape of the digital marketing world, it feels like things are shifting a little bit. Things are changing not just in the marketplace itself, but even in people's mindsets and viewpoints on things like KPIs. What are you seeing across the landscape right now?

Speaker 3:

Well. So there's a couple of things at play, and it really depends on where businesses are at in their growth cycle growth and scale cycle. So when we look at small businesses, with the advent of tools like chat, gpt and the hundreds and hundreds of great AI tools out on the marketplace, the question that's coming to mind is can I create the same quality or level of content that a marketing agency creates for me for free using one of these tools or for a nominal monthly subscription? And so that creates an interesting space, because now, as marketers, we have to talk about not only how we develop and think about content, but also how we do that in a way that supplements and complements what AI technology is out there. Why are we better, why is it still better to have a person versus the robots? And I'll be honest, I'll be the first one to tell you we use AI on a daily basis. Chat, gpt and a few other programs are like constant tabs on my browser window every day. But that's the start of the process. As we look at companies that are larger in execution, what we're seeing is that we're seeing the way people are focusing on. Kpis is different. So it used to be social media, kpis was likes and follows. That's all that mattered. Now we're looking more at conversions. So there is an element of likes and follows it's eyeballs, it's on your eyeballs and engagement on your content. But how engaged is your audience and are they actually clicking from your social to a sale point? And that's a. For most business owners and most businesses, that's far more important. But up until probably a year or two ago, we were still really enamored with likes and follows because they were feel good metrics, absolutely so. I don't know about you, but I always look at how many people have liked my posts. Sure absolutely.

Speaker 2:

It is a vanity metric, though, because what does that like or follow put into your bank account as a business?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely, absolutely. So some of it is about trust and building that trust in the marketplace, and there's value to that right. It also helps us see what content works and what doesn't. Yes, so there is some value to it, but not in the sense of the ultimate KPI. That you should be worried about is is my social media campaign converting into dollars and cents in my bank? Yeah, absolutely. When we look at website traffic, there's so many AI driven tools out there for websites now, and it used to just be. You looked at your Google Analytics and maybe you might have had some fancy tech for looking at how people experience your page, but now we're looking at it more from. We're scraping a lot more data from websites. Now there's integrated tools so we can actually see down to your IP address locations like very, very niche, tight locations. What's going on? If you've signed up on a form, we capture your IP, we capture your email address, capture your information right to the website, and now every time you come back and visit, we can see and we start to get this user profile for you right, and so we're seeing a lot of tools like that becoming a lot more commonplace, built into the back end of the websites, which is giving us smarter data to work with, and so that's the big changes in the marketplace is, as marketers, we have to embrace the technology because we are creative types by nature and that's okay. But we have to embrace the technology, but we also have to realize, and we have to educate people on, how does the technology play with the creative side and how do we get that all to come together in a useful and impactful way.

Speaker 2:

But you think there are ways to leverage that in a strategic way to get better leads from your website?

Speaker 3:

Oh, absolutely Absolutely. So I'll give you a grade from a content side. This is how we bring everything together, right? So I will take blogs that either we write for our clients or that our clients have written. I'll feed them into some AI tools to generate out some base social media posts. Now, I'm not going to leave those as they are, because machine posts look like machine posts. They lack that human touch, but we look at those and that creates a foundation, right? So if I need 15 social posts for this blog, instead of me sitting there spending three, four or five hours looking at that blog and trying to build out the social posts, now I spend 20 minutes building out a core of social posts from that blog, and then I spend another hour or two making them right, making them human, making them emotional, making them impactful right, and so what we're seeing is we're seeing people work smarter with the technology, which means we can do more, right? So now we have the capability to do more. It's a double-edged sword in the content world, though, right, because there's so much content coming out because of AI, right? What do you do with it all? How do you get eyeballs on all of it?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it feels like you need a partner to help you develop a strategy for the whole thing.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. That's the other side of it. So we do all of the content creation, but what really brings it together is the strategy behind that. Right, you know it's not just, we're not just, you know, putting up a map of topics on the wall and thrown darts at it. Right, there's a thought process to this. It's a mapped out strategy so that we're focusing on and targeting on specific goals. Right, and not every business this is what's interesting Not every business needs to focus on direct money ROI from marketing spent Sometimes in the brand journey. We need to focus on reach right, we need to get to build the social profiles right, because we know that down the road that will translate to ROI. But in the here and now, you got to spend a little bit to get that. Build the followers, build the reach, so that when we do the things that are high impact ROI activities, they actually will work.

Speaker 2:

So you're building a foundation for the building that you're eventually going to put up.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely, absolutely Right. Other times, you know, it's just looking for eyeballs into a new marketplace, like we might take an. We have a client right now we're working on taking their established software company and we're taking them from a small business space to an enterprise space. You know so. Do we need to position them as a market leader at this point? No, they've already done that. Now we just need to. We need to shift them, shift the eyeballs, right, right, you know so. Yes, we're going to eventually seek dollars and cents ROI from our activities, but for now, we just need to start shifting. Can we get them seen in the right space by the right people? Right, so there's no direct the ROI? Is the eyeballs to them, right?

Speaker 2:

No, that makes sense from a strategic perspective. I mean, I love the intentionality of that and this is what you help your clients do, absolutely. It's. When we were talking previously, you mentioned a framework that you use called ACES. Yes, I would love for you to unpack that, because I found this very interesting.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so ACES is a leadership framework, and it's really built around how we develop leaders to have a cultural mindset that drives KPIs Right, and we didn't talk about the stats, so I'm going to give a little bit of background for the listeners here. So a couple of things, right? So number one is CEOs and the leaders all think that culture is incredibly important in their companies, and employees tend to agree with that, so we've established a culture is important. What we are seeing, though, is that executives seem to think that culture is connected in their companies, but frontline employees seem to think differently. A variation of in one study, I was looking at a variation of up to like 20% in certain categories, yeah, yeah, so that's a huge gap, right, you know, and we're still not even talking about great numbers. The CEOs are at like 40 to 55% in these categories, right, so you know? So we're only talking. Like. Half of CEOs are thinking like their companies are impacting on these cultures in this culture space, and then employees are like yeah, like less than a quarter of employees in some instances. Yeah, so there is a huge, huge, huge disconnect with culture, and the reason being is because companies are tend to be more focused on what's in it for me right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And I'm okay with that, because the company does need to be profitable in order to retain employees and do what they do and provide their services to the marketplace. Totally on board with that right. However, if your employees love to show up to work on Monday morning, they are much more inclined to help. You have happy customers, happy shareholders and make more profits. That's a good word Makes perfect sense. So how do we do that right? So this is where the ASIS framework comes in. So ASIS is an acronym for Acknowledge, cultivate, empower and Success. Acknowledge is all about how we communicate with our employees. This is the good, bad and the ugly. This is taking those coaching conversations from hey, you know what you sucked at this this month to do better, right and actually having impactful conversations. I've presented those early on in my leadership career because that's what I was told, and I've received more of those than I can possibly ever.

Speaker 2:

I think we all have.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, right Too, positive communication as well. Right, taking that extra step to thank people for coming into work. Thanks for being here today. I really appreciate your contributions to this project. Things like that, just those simple pieces of communication, tend to be really important as well. The other piece and this is something you can go and do today, it's super, super easy Set time in your calendar every day to have what I call the walk-by touch point with every single employee on your team. The walk-by touch point, I like that, yes, yes. So this is, you know, stop by their desk or, in a virtual environment, send them a ping. Hey, got two minutes. You know, ask them how their day is going. You know, if it's a Monday, what you should do over the weekend, just like something simple, like that doesn't have to be work related, shouldn't be work related. You're just checking in and going hey, I see that you're here. Thank you, I appreciate you. Right, you should do that every single day with every single employee. I used to put a half an hour on my calendar every day, at different times of the day, to make sure that I scheduled a touch point with each employee. You know and what that does. Over time, you start to build this trust because they're like oh you know, adam stops by my desk every day and says hi and make sure I'm OK, that's good, right, so the C is cultivate. This is all about training and we have to rethink training, right, you know, as an organization, we're like OK, we need people, we need 10 people with this skill set, right, and what do we do? We go to our leaders and we go hey, leaders, I need you to find 10 people on your team you can afford to send to this training. Right, and our leaders go OK, cool, you know, brian, jill, john, jane, y'all are going to training for this, whether they like it or not. And we show up to training and we go and do the bare minimum, just enough to pass the training, and come back to our desk and we sit down. Instead, what we need to do as leaders is we need to understand what our employees love to do and what our employees want to do more of, and then we take those training opportunities as they come down and we go OK, you know, jane told me that she's more interested in learning how to use Python and SQL to create better marketing and reporting. Cool, I have a Python training and a project coming up that I'm going to be using this for. Let's get Jane into that Python training. Now. Jane is super excited about this because she's like, yes, I'm getting Python training, I want to do this, right. And then she comes back to her desk and this is where the E comes in Empower and this is all about how we mentor Jane from the time she comes back from that training to the time that project starts to get her started working on that skill immediately. So we go from concept to mastery much, much quicker and we create the opportunity to make sure that six months down the road, when that project is in full play, that we don't have to retrain Jane on those skills. So last piece of this is success, and this is just about shifting the mindset in the organization. Right, you think about the post mortem meeting. We show up to the post mortem and what's the first question that's always asked what went wrong, guys, right? Yes, and everybody puts their head down at the table. You know, or you know, or in the virtual world, you know, everybody sits there on mute, nobody says anything. That's right.

Speaker 2:

Find your spot on the table.

Speaker 3:

Yep, yeah. And so we change the mindset here and we start to ask the questions like what do we do well that we can take to the next project? Right, it's a simple we're getting the same information.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

We're just doing it in a way that makes people excited to talk about it. Yes, so that's what success is all about. It's just shifting how we have conversations, not ignoring the negative ones, because we have to have those once in a while, but how we have the rest of the conversations. Yeah, so that people aren't so reserved when something does go wrong that they won't share.

Speaker 2:

I love that, adam. I think that's so helpful when I'm talking to my clients about doing a hot washer post mortem. There's three questions I give them and I'm like you need to cover all three of these in this order what went right, which is exactly what you're describing right? Celebrate?

Speaker 3:

the win.

Speaker 2:

Celebrate the win, because that's so easy to skip past. Then what went wrong? Okay, what went right, what went wrong? Process through that and then how would we do it different next time? And that's where you process that learning, so that it becomes then something you can have available the next time you're in a similar situation.

Speaker 3:

Let me give you a shift on that second question. Right, what went wrong? Yeah, wrong is a very, very negative shutdown. Closing word Hopefully Right. So what could we have done better? I like that. Right, it's a subtle shift. No, it's good, that's good. But again, getting back to that success conversation right, it's the words we use now. Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's so good. You know, when you use this ASUS framework, I can imagine this is changing mindset, not just organizationally but individually, with people around the table, Like how have you seen that shift play out with clients that you've introduced this framework to?

Speaker 3:

It's really important that we get the people at the top of the organization ingrained in this. They've got to love it before anything else happens. Right, because your leaders of the organization are the ones that are going to drive the rest of the change. That's good. So what we see is we see this waterfall effect. We see the leaders get really excited. They're like we're going to improve culture. It's important we get it right. Now they're disseminating that down through their teams and because it's so employee focused, so communication focused, so people focused, it's easy to connect with as you get you know. Lower, you know down to the frontline employees, because in frontline employees there's three main levels of leadership in every company. You've got your C-suite or your executives. They are worried about profits and shareholders let's not be, you know, candy-coated this right. You've got your mid-level management, you know, and some this could be directors, associate directors there's numerous titles. Right, they are trying to translate profits and shareholders to people and time. Right. So they sit in a really difficult, crazy spot. It's frustrating. And then you have your frontline leaders and their sole job is to keep your frontline employees happy, efficient and productive. Right. So we go from money to how do we get money and humans to match to humans right, and so that's why we start at the top. When we start with that shift, you know, we know that they got to worry about, you know, profits and shareholders at the top of the organization. It is what it is. But if we can help them worry about that in a human way, then everything else trickles them.

Speaker 2:

You ever have pushback on this. You've heard people who are just like super negative in their mindset and they, just like you know the Debbie Downers of the team.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. How do you deal with that?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. So we deal with that with the numbers, right, because you know, let's be honest, you know at the end of the day we have to measure success some way or another, and so we do that with the numbers. We look at team performance of the Debbie Downers and we look at team performance of our culture champions and you know, there's almost always a very clear distinction between the two. I will not say always, because sometimes it's close, but you know. But the reality is we can take that data, those KPIs and performance, and go, look, you know this makes sense. If there isn't a clear disparaging performance perspective, then we might go do some culture surveys with the team, right, Just quick, you know five, ten questions, survey out to each. You know, out to the employees of, you know of that division of business, right, and we will capture team leader names and we'll disseminate that data down by team leader and go, look, happy employees, not happy employees, attrition. We know unhappy employees tend to a trip about 40 to 50% quicker than happy employees, you know. So oh, look, you have unhappy employees and over the last three months you lost three or four people off your team. Right Now we have clear data that says your way is not working Right. And often we find we see that people that don't believe in the system and don't believe in positive culture and culture in the workplace Don't believe in it because they've come up with the boss that degraded them, the boss that just said do better, you know, and they've had a series of those bosses and they figured out how to crack the code and become friends, friends and they got all it, you know, with that person and got themselves into a place where they were the next in line, Right, so that boss moves up. They move up because, oh well, I've been training under this guy's leadership style for, you know, forever and ever and ever, right, you know so. So that's typically how they get into those roles in it. So it's like, you know, that's kind of the piece there that we have to go look like that may have been the way it was, and I don't think it ever was that way. I think all our generations just tolerated it because of certain incentives that companies offered and the way they offered those incentives, and now we have people that are holding leadership and companies accountable for performance and expectations.

Speaker 2:

Well, in tolerating unhealthy culture, in tolerating unhealthy team members, I would have a dramatic impact on the profit and on how the shareholders are going to perceive the value Right, absolutely. I mean the C-Suite leaders who are like yeah, this whole culture thing feels kind of woo-woo. I don't know about that. Does it really affect the bottom line? You believe it?

Speaker 3:

does Absolutely. You know, companies that put a strong focus on culture typically see between a 60 and 80% improvement in performance. There's been companies that have reported up to 85% more in earnings year over year by focusing on culture. So there's a huge, huge opportunity there. Because it goes back to what I first said If I'm happy to show up Monday morning and excited to do the work, I'm going to work harder, I'm going to work more efficiently, I'm going to work better and, in turn, I'm going to take care of our customers better to generate the revenue.

Speaker 2:

That's so good. So really for people who are listening, they really should not apply what you're saying unless they want a 60 to 80% improvement performance.

Speaker 3:

I mean, yeah, if you don't want to, that's cool too.

Speaker 2:

I mean media, if that's what you're after.

Speaker 3:

Find somebody else to take that market share for you.

Speaker 2:

Because they will Sorry. Adam, I want to turn to you for a minute. You are leading at a different level than you led at five years ago, and a year, three years, five years from now, your company's going to need you to lead at a higher level still. How do you stay on top of your game? How do you level up your leadership?

Speaker 3:

So number one, absolutely number one, is humility. Okay, you know people are going to people all the time tell you, go read books, go read books. No, no, no. Number one learning opportunity is humility, that you are not the end, all be all. You are not always right and you don't always have the answer.

Speaker 2:

Well said, well said.

Speaker 3:

So, you know, I'd say probably 50% of what I learned comes from being humble and realizing that I have hired a whole bunch of smart people and I just need to let them be smart. So that's the number one place I learned things. I spend a lot of time reading. Obviously, because of what I do, I read a lot of Gallup, roycewater, clearinghouse, deloitte, gartner, leadership information. Forbes has tons of great information on leadership and what's happening in the marketplace. You know from everything from generationally to you know leadership by the numbers, you know in the stats and things like that, and I think the stats are important to show that the market is changing. But the stats don't really tell that to me, don't tell the picture in the respect that we're still all human, right. And then the last piece you know, I think, is, you know, finding a mentor, finding somebody that you can reach out to and ask those questions when you're like, oh crap, I don't even know what to do here. Right, you know, yeah, and so that's really, really important. I encourage every leader that's going to you know, that wants to level up and move to their next leadership role or the next phase in their leadership and their company, to go find a mentor, somebody that has been doing that for the last five or 10 years and you know whether you got to pay them to be your coach or whether you want to find some. You know some agreement that works out. You provide them some services. They provide you, you know a phone call away type stuff, right, you know. However, you want to arrange that go find somebody that's been doing what you want to do or what you think is the next step for the last five years and rely on them. You know it's easy for me. That's where I've learned.

Speaker 2:

Yeah it's easy for nobody to listen to you and think man, you've, just you've, you're just up into the right, like you're not facing the same challenges I face. You know you haven't had difficulties in your journey. I mean, I think it's easy for somebody to listen to that or to look at you online, because so often what we see is somebody's highlight reel. I'm curious are there challenges that you have faced as an entrepreneur? Have you had those difficult moments?

Speaker 3:

Oh, every day, Every day, you know from you know working so many hours a week because, well, that's what I thought I needed to do to be successful and alienating my wife and my kids and dealing with some of the frustration with that too. I remember back when I was probably my second or third team, I ran a team meeting and I decided that this great new wave idea is going to run an open forum where we could talk about all the frustrations in the department. Yeah, bad idea, don't do that. But I think the reality is is, you know, most people do put their highlight reel out there. You know social media is a fake facade of Mayberry. It's Mayberry, right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and so one of the things that I have done over time, when I talk about leadership, talk about marketing, is I talk about some of my misses, right, but it's not leaving it at misses, because that I think that breaks trust in people. It's here's the miss and here's how I, here's how I overcame that, or here's what I learned from that. Absolutely, you know, I think it's important for transparency because we aren't, you know, I don't get to rip my shirt in half and have a big A on my chest, you know, and wear my spandex suit, right? So you know. So I think we just have to be real about that, out in the marketplace with our teams. You know, I one of my favorite questions to ask my employees and you got to do this once you've built some trust because they won't, they won't tell you right off the bat is how am I failing you?

Speaker 2:

What a great question.

Speaker 3:

You know, and then just sitting there and taking it right. Sometimes it hurts. I'll be honest. I've had some pretty gnarly ugly conversations and the only thing I can say to them at that point is I'm sorry. I need a day to go back and think about all the feedback that you've given me so that I can fix this for you.

Speaker 2:

What a great question, but it does take humility to ask the question and to receive what you're going to get.

Speaker 3:

Yes, yes, absolutely. You know, we just have to remember, as leaders, as business owners, as entrepreneurs, as much as we are here to make a dollar for ourselves and anybody listening, you're going to be like but it's not about the dollar. It is about the dollar, right, we all have things we like houses and cars, and things that we like. So it is about the dollar, but, ultimately, your dollar that you're making is about serving the people that you support.

Speaker 2:

You're a continual learner, Adam. You are constantly learning and you've mentioned a number of ways that you do that the listening you do, the intentionality of the questions that you ask. Is there a book that has made a big difference in your journey that you would recommend to leaders who are listening that they add to their to read list?

Speaker 3:

So there are a couple of them, three to be specific. So the first one is one of the first kind of business life books that I ever read and it's by author Mitch Albone, who's a radio talk show host up in Detroit and he did Tuesdays with Maury. Oh, that's a great book. Yeah, yeah, he's heard of this book. He sits down with his mentor from college on a weekly basis and has these conversations as his college professor is dying from a terminal illness and it's just all the lessons in life that he learned in these conversations. And it's such a wonderful book, so really just kind of puts life into perspective. It truly does. The Energy Bus by Rob Gordon. So this is, it's told, in a parable style. It's a really short read and in fact, the first time I ever read it. I literally read the entire book in a three-hour flight. So, but it's all about surrounding yourself with people that carry the right energy Super, super powerful message. And then the last one is who moved my cheese? I love that book.

Speaker 2:

I used to read that book to my kids when they were small.

Speaker 3:

I'm very, very particular about things I always have been, and that that book is just that constant reminder Like it's okay if your cheese moves, it's totally okay, that's right.

Speaker 2:

So many principles and lessons in that book. I love that so those are the three. This has been so great. I have so enjoyed this conversation. Typically, people are going to walk away from from an episode like this with one big idea. If you got to decide what that one big idea is that you would want people to walk away with, what would you want that to be?

Speaker 3:

Being a leader is not about you. It's about the people around you that trust you, respect you and are inspired by you to do better every day. So think about your actions and what are you doing to build trust, build respect and inspire those around you. If you can't figure out what that is, then be humane, you know. Be human enough to go have those conversations and ask them.

Speaker 2:

I know folks are going to want to stay connected with you and continue to learn from you, Adam. What is the best way for folks to do that?

Speaker 3:

Go find me on LinkedIn. I'm Sinkus. I am the one and only you can also Google search me and find all the places I show up on roughly the first eight pages of Google at this point. So you know, from my podcast, which is hopefully going to be making a resurface here in 2024, to LinkedIn, to articles I've written to our company website, apurposepartnershipcom. So best places to find me and if you love Cornhole, come find me on Facebook and TikTok. That's where I share all that information Fantastic.

Speaker 2:

And thank you for your generosity today, adam. This has been again super insightful and I appreciate your generosity of spirit today.

Speaker 3:

Thanks so much for having me as a blast.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for joining me for this episode today. As we wrap up, I'd love for you to do two things. First, subscribe to this podcast so you don't miss an episode, and if you find value here, I'd love it if you would rate it and review it. That really does make a difference in helping other people to discover this podcast. Second, if you don't have a copy of my newest book, catalytic Leadership, I'd love to put a copy in your hands. If you go to catalyticleadershipbookcom, you can get a copy for free. Just pay the shipping so I can get it to you and we'll get one right out. My goal is to put this into the hands of as many leaders as possible. This book captures principles that I've learned in 20-plus years of coaching leaders in the entrepreneurial space, in business, government, nonprofits, education and the local church. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn to keep up with what I'm currently learning and thinking about. And if you're ready to take a next step with a coach to help you intentionally grow and thrive as a leader, I'd be honored to help you. Just go to catalyticleadershipnet to book a call with me. Stay tuned for our next episode next week. Until then, as always, leaders choose to be catalytic.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to Catalytic Leadership with Dr William Attaway. Be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you don't miss the next episode. Want more? Go to catalyticleadershipnet.

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