CBNationI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM149- Author and CEO Helps Clients Get Better in Communicating Authentically

Podcast Interview with Lee Caraher

Lee Caraher is the CEO of Double Forte PR & Digital Marketing; she’s known for her practical solutions to big problems. Lee’s the author of Millennials & Management based on her experience with failing and then
succeeding at retaining Millennials. Her second book, The Boomerang Principle was published in April 2017.

  • CEO Hack: Audible for listening to audio books
  • CEO Nugget: Trust yourself and have confidence (2) Our words have a heavier weight and should be used for good (3) Be self-aware
  • CEO Defined: Having alot of attention to what's going on in your team and with your clients

Website: http://www.double-forte.com/

                www.leecaraher.com

Twitter: @leecaraher 
Instagram: @leecaraher
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeeCaraher1/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leecaraher/


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Transcription

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:26

Hello, hello. hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Lee Caraher of Double Forte PR & Digital Marketing. Lee, it is awesome to have you on the show.

Lee Caraher 0:39

Right? I am so looking forward to talking with you today.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

I'm looking forward to it as well. And what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Lee so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Lee is the CEO of Double Forte PR and Digital Marketing. She's known for her practical solutions to big problems leaving the author of Millennials and Management based on her experience with failing and then succeeding at retaining millennials. Her second book The Boomerang Principle was published in April 2017. Lee, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”] 

Lee Caraher 1:09

I am ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:10

All right, let's do it. So the first question I had was to hear a little bit more about your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

Lee Caraher 1:17

I started my business in 2002. So 16 years ago, which seems like yesterday in some ways, and like years ago, in other ways, I actually wasn't intending to be an entrepreneur or CEO with my own business. But basically, life got in the way of that. And between my younger son who has special needs and requires a lot more flexibility in my calendar and my schedule than a traditional job, even in high leadership would do. And the fact that my mother was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2002.

And I decided I was going to be with my mom and my dad, well, she was sick, I live in California, she lives in Wisconsin, it was very clear to me between those two things that I had to be my own boss because I would have to. If I took the jobs that I was looking to take, I would have not been able to go to Wisconsin, which was not an option. So basically, I created Double Forte out of my own need, and haven't really looked back since

Gresham Harkless 2:15

That makes perfect sense. And obviously sorry to hear that about your mom especially but yeah, it's always interesting how sometimes, the circumstances, the universe, whatever kind of pushes us into the direction, whether or not we want to go there kind of puts us in the right path kind of works out that way.

Lee Caraher 2:30

So true. I mean, I've had very large, high-profile senior leadership positions, the two jobs before when I started my company, and I just had sort of never thought about it. And then well, I'm the breadwinner in our house. So I had to bring home some bread. There you go.

Gresham Harkless 2:46

That's the job, unfortunately, or unfortunately. So now I wanted to hear I guess a little bit more about Double Forte and hear what you guys are doing. How are you serving the clients that you're working with?

Lee Caraher 2:57

Sure. So Double Forte, as you said, it's public relations and digital marketing, and influencer marketing firm. We're based in San Francisco, we have a big office in New York, where it well when they say big, it's we're independent, and we got like 30 Some people and we're intentionally small, we serve clients in sort of three broad categories. One is the consumer lifestyle. So food in Bed, health and wellness, sports and fitness accessories, and digital life.

So video games, MRA, AR VR apps, and then professional services, organizations, and companies that serve other professionals. And what we do for them is, our job is to help our clients get better through communication. So we believe that everything good comes from great communication, great leadership, and great engagement.

Great customer relationships come from great communication, and however we can help our clients in those spaces, we will, so sometimes it's working with internal people on with the CEO and their HR people on whether they are communicating with their employees, do they understand sometimes it's doing media relations and analyst relations.

And also making sure that those people who are reporting about different categories know who our client is and what they're about, and all that kind of stuff. And sometimes it's in social media, making sure that how companies and people portray themselves on social media is authentic and real. And that they're engaging in a very positive, authentic way

Gresham Harkless 4:22

That makes perfect sense and often seems like I guess communication is something that a lot of people don't understand, like how it kind of infiltrates literally everything that you do, but just like you talked about, whether it be somebody that's talking about their brand, or somebody that's trying to communicate with a millennial or an employee or whoever you need to have those communication skills to be able to articulate what you want, but also make sure that they understand and you can have that kind of back and forth it sounds like and now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce and this could be like your differentiate or what you feel kind of says either you or Double Forte apart from everyone else,

Lee Caraher 4:54

I think from a differentiated point of view. So my agency and other lots agencies have never just gone to New York, we defend ourselves on a couple of things. One is that most of us have been in-house, meaning I have been the client. And when you've been a client served, I think you serve better, because there's a reason agencies get hired is that as to take some weight off the people who, work for the company. And if the agencies don't have that point of view that we're here to serve, they're here to lift the weight off your shoulders, agencies can be more trouble than they're worth.

And so we aim to be the easiest agency to work with that brings, positive value all the time. And we can do that because we have different points of view. That's number one. And number two is that we're super pragmatic. We just, sometimes lose in competitive pitches, because it's not very sexy, or Sisley, and probably half the time, though, where we lose because of that people come back around to us later and say, Oh, we wish you hadn't spent all that money on that stuff.

So we're very pragmatic because we're very focused on the business, you can be super busy in PR and communication and social media and get nowhere, and we will not do those kinds of activities that just have a flash agenda instead of a business agenda. So I think those are the things that differentiate us, between us and our competitors in the space.

Gresham Harkless 6:16

Yeah, I love that. And I can imagine myself just like, you know, I've heard people sitting in restaurants or creating something, and they're the consumer. And they're like, I can do such a better job of doing X y & z Whether it be, making whatever or creating whatever product, and it kind of sounds like that's what also kind of laid the foundation of that before I say this, because you guys in the ag being in consumer, you've been able to kind of create something. And I love that pragmatic aspect as well because it gets down to the nuts and bolts so that you're able to do what you're actually hoping to do. Not all the smoke and mirrors. Sometimes that happens.

Lee Caraher 6:46

Yeah. Well, I think, PR in general social media, is for the people who don't do it, it seems really simple, like, oh, just make a phone call on calls or something on Instagram. And frankly, some of the smartest people I know in the world do what we do for a living and some of the dumbest people I know, in the world, do I do for a living? And I don't know how good their living is. But in general, I just live to be frictionless.

So the more we can do things that advance our client's business goals, the more we're gonna be valuable to them. And, and how it pays off for us is, you know, I'm really proud of the fact that most of our clients have been with us, our longest so we're 16 years old, I'd like the longest client has been with us for 12 years, or shorter square, we designed the client last week, but what I mean, our average client engagement is over five and a half years, which is two times the national average for the agency. So from my perspective, that means we're doing something good.

Gresham Harkless 6:46

Absolutely. Yeah, that secret sauce is working. Well, it sounds like so that's great to hear that you guys have that long-term type of client relationship that you've had for him from your, clients and stuff. So now I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an Apple book or habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

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Lee Caraher 8:05

I think audible makes me more efficient, I think the most important thing for a CEO for a leader is to listen and to read and to get new points of view. And, I think the best leaders I know, are just voracious readers looking for and don't believe they know everything. And so they're looking for other inputs. And because I commute, sometimes I'm driving sometimes on the train, whatever, I listened to a lot of books on audible on my iPhone, and it's just as a time saver for me to make sure that I'm reading my goal is to read a book a week, and that lets me do it.

Gresham Harkless 8:41

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And especially anybody that's especially Go, go, go, And as you said, commuting or just you know bouncing from meeting to meeting to be able to, listen to a Chapter, in between an appointment or something or while you're on your way to your work, whatever it is, that kind of is a phenomenal CEO hack that a lot of people would take advantage of.

Lee Caraher 8:58

I mean, I think there's downtime, and then there's so I try, I usually have two books in play at a time, and I'm trying to get a mix of what's practical like and I and my company, I have a book club and every quarter I gave everybody in the company three books, in general. One is, a skill that you need to learn and one is an idea about what we do for a living and then one is a different voice that we can learn from either in fiction or in nonfiction. So like this quarter, I gave everybody Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Is there any that's like a standard? And but I realized, if you haven't read it, you gotta read it. Right? And then a book by Jay Baer and then another book and so when I have those for myself. And I always like something that has a different voice and something that's really work-related, like how-to stuff.

So when I'm in audio form, I listen to the things that are different voices this is not the thing where I have to take lots of notes, although I do find that like, oh, I want to quote that. Oh my god, that's so good. I have to go back.

And I usually get the book in audible form and either in paper or in Kindle form. So I'm going back and forth between the two.

Gresham Harkless 10:13

Yeah, that's fine. Yeah, do the exact same thing, because I find it so hard to get the quote. Oh, that's amazing, Jim, that I just heard from the book. And now I have to find out. How do I save this? Share it out and keep it

Lee Caraher 10:25

Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 10:26

Though, that's absolutely awesome. That, obviously you do that. But you also do that for your team. And especially I love that out-of-the-box type thing. So it might be fiction and might be nonfiction, but it's something that kind of gives you that different perspective, which I'm sure translates into all the work that you guys do.

Now, I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget, you might have already touched on it. But do you have a word of wisdom or a piece of advice? Or if you can happen to a time machine? What would you tell your younger business self?

Lee Caraher 10:26

Oh my gosh, what would I tell my younger business self is trust yourself. Trust yourself more? I think many of us have impostor syndrome, even though here we are CEOs, we run companies, and people work for us. And then I get together with CEOs, women, and men who go to you and believe they follow us. I think more about trusting ourselves. And if I trusted, I mean, I do trust myself and have a lot of competence.

And I think the trade-off for the dichotomy is you know how you have a healthy ego and listen to impostor syndrome all at the same time, I think, you know, my name is CEO. And I think I would have wasted less time charting my own course if I trusted myself more.

Gresham Harkless 10:51

There you go. Yeah, that's definitely a good reminder. And sometimes you think that I always say like, if you're a trailblazer or an innovator, sometimes you're not, quote-unquote, leading people, because it might be so far aligned. But if you continue your path, then all of a sudden you turn around and you are leaving a bunch of people.

Lee Caraher 11:51

Yeah. And you never know when and  I think particularly with social I mean, I've had really huge Tamino at my last job, I had over 700 people that died before that I had over 650 people in this job, I have 30 Something people in this company, right?

So you never know who's listening to you, as a leader, you never know, you're always gonna have an impact. And, still, like I was literally in the airport the other day coming home from New York, and this person who had worked in my team 20 years ago, that's how old I am, oh, my gosh, 20 years ago, came up to me and I started recognizing the face. But as I tried to place this face, and, he said, I'm Jack, whatever. And I worked for you at this company. And you said this thing when we had this really crappy day, and you said this thing. And that has stayed with me forever. And I don't have a clue what I said.

But it really sort of brought home to me and reminded me that we have great responsibility when we're leaders as well, right? When we're trailing or blazing new trails, people are counting on us that our words have a heavier weight, and they can be used for good or for evil. And the more we can use them for good, the better it is.

Gresham Harkless 13:04

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And a lot of times like when you're authentic and alignment, when you show up that way and everything no matter where you're at like you said, you can have that influence that somebody 20 years later can say, I remember when you said x y & z and that changed my life or something like that.

Lee Caraher 13:17

And it was like another day, which sounds really like, I understand how flippant that sounds. But I don't mean to be flippant, I just mean to be purposeful.

Gresham Harkless 13:26

Yeah, well, no, it makes sense, like you said, because you never know, like, what that thing might be everything to somebody else. So sometimes it may not be the same for you. But at the same time, it may influence everybody. So that's why it's so important to kind of understand the platform kinda we all have.

Lee Caraher 13:40

I think I'm going to add another hack though, can I hack?

Gresham Harkless 13:43

Yeah, absolutely.

Lee Caraher 13:44

The other hack is to know yourself, the most important thing I think, for leaders, is to understand and be self-aware, right? And the more self-aware we are, the more confident we can be and the better we can be at who we are. And, we all know that leader who thinks is the greatest, the greatest ping pong player and whoever right since Forest Gump. And they're not for, they think they're the best writer and they're terrible.

You know, being self-aware, having to get real input, doing a 360 on yourself, which is so hard to do when you're the boss, right? How do you get to 360 by hiring a coach so they can do it for you, whatever it is taking, I really like different personality tests and assessments, and some of them are, for me less valuable than others. But the more I can understand myself, and how people might be viewing me, the better leader I can be. So that's my other hack.

Gresham Harkless 14:38

I love that. I love that great reminder. And now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO and we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So Lee, what is being a CEO mean to you?

Lee Caraher 14:50

Being a CEO means that, I live in a high input low democracy framework, which means that I am paying lots and lots of attention to what's going on in the marketplace to the people who work for me and to the customers that we have. And I'm charting a course forward for all those constituencies based on what I'm listening to, and how I'm reasoning it all out. And then I am doing it in a compelling enough way that people come along with me to make it.

Gresham Harkless 15:20

That's a great reminder. Lee, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and our listeners know. And then of course, how best people can get a hold of you and get copies of your book.

Lee Caraher 15:32

Oh, well, the best place to get a hold of me is on my website, leecaraher.com or you can get to my agency Double Forte, from there you can find my books, which are also on Amazon and anywhere else you can buy books. So The Boomerang Principle and Millennials in Management, my blog is there too. And you can find me on Twitter @leecaraher and on Instagram. And I think I would just say in closing, if communication is the key to leadership, the key to marketing, and the key to relationships, the more you can understand yourself and how you communicate. And if it's effective or not, the more effective and less friction you'll have in your day.

Gresham Harkless 16:12

That makes perfect sense. And that's an absolutely great reminder. And we'll make sure to have those links as well in the show notes just so that you can follow up with you, Lee but again, I truly appreciate you and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Lee Caraher 16:22

Thank you so much, Gresh.

Outro 16:24
Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co

I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Intro 0:02

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Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:26

Hello, hello. hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Lee Caraher of Double Forte PR & Digital Marketing. Lee, it is awesome to have you on the show.

Lee Caraher 0:39

Right? I am so looking forward to talking with you today.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

I'm looking forward to it as well. And what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Lee so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Lee is a CEO of Double Forte PR and Digital Marketing. She's known for her practical solutions to big problems leaves the author of millennials and management based on her experience with failing and then succeeding at retaining millennials. Her second book The Boomerang principle was published in April of 2017. Lee, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Lee Caraher 1:09

I am ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:10

All right, let's do it. So the first question I had was to hear a little bit more about your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

Lee Caraher 1:17

I started my business in 2002. So 16 years ago, which seems like yesterday in some ways, and like years ago, in other ways, I actually wasn't intending to be a entrepreneur, CEO with my own business. But basically life got in the way of that. And between my younger son who has special needs and requires a lot more flexibility in my calendar and my schedule than a traditional job, even in high leadership would do. And the fact that my mother was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2002. And I decided I was going to be with my mom and my dad, well, she was sick, I live in California, she lives in Wisconsin, it was very clear to me between those two things that I had to be my own boss, because I would have to. If I taken the jobs that I was looking at to take, I would have to not be able to go to Wisconsin, which was not an option. So basically, I created Double Forte out of my own need, and haven't really looked back since

Gresham Harkless 2:15

That makes perfect sense. And obviously sorry to hear that about your mom especially but yeah, it's it's always interesting how sometimes, the circumstances, the universe, whatever kind of pushes us into direction, whether or not we want to go there kind of puts us in the right path kind of works out that way.

Lee Caraher 2:30

So true. I mean, I've had very large, high profile senior leadership positions, the two jobs before when I started my company, and I just had sort of never thought about it. And then well, I'm the breadwinner in our house. So I had to bring home some bread. There you go.

Gresham Harkless 2:46

That's the job, unfortunately or unfortunately.So now I wanted to hear I guess a little bit more about Double Forte and hear what you guys are doing. How are you serving the clients that you're working with?

Lee Caraher 2:57

Sure. So Double Forte, like you said, it's public relations and digital marketing and influencer marketing firm. We're based in San Francisco, we have big office in New York, where it well, when they say big, it's we're independent, and we got like 30 Some people and we're intentionally small, we serve clients in sort of three broad categories. One is consumer lifestyle. So food in Bed , health and wellness, sports and fitness accessories, digital life. So video games, MRA, AR VR apps, and then professional services, organizations, and companies that serve other professionals. And what we do for them is, our job is to help our clients get better through communication. So we believe that everything good comes from great communication, great leadership, great engagement, great customer relationships come from great communication, and however we can help our clients in those spaces, we will so sometimes it's working with internal people on with the CEO and their HR people on are they communicating with their employees do they understand sometimes it's doing media relations and analyst relations and making sure that those people who are reporting about different categories know who our client is and what they're about, and all that kind of stuff. And sometimes it's in social media, making sure that how companies and people portray themselves on social media is authentic and real. And that they're engaging in a very positive, authentic way

Gresham Harkless 4:22

That makes perfect sense and often seems like I guess communication is something that a lot of people don't understand, like how it kind of infiltrates like literally everything that you do, but just like you talked about, whether it be somebody that's talking about their brand, or somebody that's trying to communicate with a millennial or an employee or whoever you need to have those communication skills to be able to articulate what you want, but also make sure that they understand and you can have that kind of back and forth it sounds like and now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce and this could be like your differentiate or what you feel kind of says either you or Double Forte apart from everyone else,

Lee Caraher 4:54

I think from a differentiated point of view. So my agency and other lots agencies have never just go in New York, we defend yourself on a couple of things. One is that most of us have been in house, meaning I have been the client. And when you've been a client served, I think you serve better, because there's a reason agencies get hired is that as to take some weight off the people who, work for the company. And if the agencies don't have that point of view that we're here to serve, they're here to lift weight off your shoulders, agencies can be more trouble than they're worth. And so we aim to be the easiest agency to work with that brings, positive value all the time. And that's, we can do that, because we have a different points of view. That's number one. And number two, is that we're super pragmatic. We just, sometimes lose in competitive pitches, because it's not very sexy, or Sisley, and probably half the time, though, where we lose because of that people come back around to us later and say, Oh, we wish you hadn't spent all that money on that stuff. So we're very pragmatic, because we're very focused on the business, you can be super busy in PR and communication and social media and get nowhere, and we will not do those kinds of activities that just have a flash agenda instead of a business agenda. So I think those are the things that differentiate us, between us and our competitors in the space.

Gresham Harkless 6:16

Yeah, I love that. And I can imagine myself just like, you know, I've heard people sitting in restaurants or creating something, and they're the consumer. And they're like, I can do such a better job of doing X y & z Whether it be, making whatever or creating whatever product and it kind of sounds like that's what also kind of laid the foundation of that before I say this, because you guys in the ag being in consumer, you've been able to kind of create something. And I love that pragmatic aspect as well, because it gets down to the nuts and bolts so that you're able to do what you're actually hoping to do. Not all the smoke and mirrors. Sometimes that happens.

Lee Caraher 6:46

Yeah. Well, I think, PR in general social media, is it for the people who don't do it, it seems really simple, like, oh, just make a phone call on calls or something on Instagram. And frankly, some of the smartest people I know in the world do what we do for a living and some of the dumbest people I know, in the world do I do for a living? And I don't know how good their living is. But in general, I just live to be frictionless. So the more we can do things that advance our client's business goals, the more we're gonna be valuable to them. And, and how it pays off for us is, you know, I'm really proud of the fact that most of our clients have been with us, our longest so we're 16 years old, I'd like longest client has been with us for 12 years, or shorter square, we designed the client last week, but what I mean, our average client engagement is over five and a half years, which is two times the national average for agency. So from my perspective, that means we're doing something good.

Gresham Harkless 6:46

Absolutely. Yeah, that secret sauce is working. Well, it sounds like so that's great to hear that you guys have that long term type of client relationship that you've had for him from your, clients and stuff. So now I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an apple book or habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Lee Caraher 8:05

You know, I think audible makes me more efficient, I think the most important thing for a CEO for leaders is to listen and to read and to get new points of view. And, I think the best leaders I know, are just voracious readers looking for and don't believe they know everything. And so they're looking for other inputs. And because I commute, sometimes I'm driving sometimes in the train, whatever, I listened to a lot of books on audible on my iPhone, and it's just as a time saver for me to make sure that I'm reading my goal is to read a book a week, and that lets me do it.

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Gresham Harkless 8:41

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And especially anybody that's specially Go, go, go, . And like you said, commuting or just you know bouncing from meeting to meeting to be able to, listen to a Chapter, in between an appointment or something or while you're on your way to your work, whatever it is, that kind of is a phenomenal CEO hack that a lot of people would take advantage of.

Lee Caraher 8:58

I mean, I think there's downtime, and then there's so I try, I usually have two books in play at a time, , and I'm trying to get a mix of what's practical like and I and my company, I have a book club, and every quarter I gave everybody in the company three books, in general. One is, , a skill that you need to learn and one is an idea about what we do for a living and then one is a different voice that we can learn from either in fiction or in nonfiction. So like this quarter I gave everybody Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Is there any that's like a standard. And but I realized, if you haven't read it, you gotta read it. Right? And then a book by Jay Baer and then another book and so when I have those So myself and always have like something that is a different voice, and something that's really like work related, like how to stuff so when I'm in audio form, I listen to the things that are different voicesThis is not the things where I have to take lots of notes, although I do find that like, oh, I want to quote that. Oh my god, that's so good. I have to go back. And I usually get the book in audible form and either in paper or in Kindle form. So I'm going back and forth between the two.

Gresham Harkless 10:13

Yeah, that's fine. Yeah, do the exact same thing, because I find it so hard to get the quote. Oh, that's amazing, Jim, that I just heard from the book. And now I have to find out. How do I save this? Share it out and keep it

Lee Caraher 10:25

Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 10:26

Though, but that's absolutely awesome. That, obviously you do that. But you also do that for your team. And especially I love that out of the box type thing. So it might be fiction, and might be nonfiction, but it's something that kind of gives you that different perspective, which I'm sure translate into all the work that you guys do. Now, I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget, you might have already touched on it. But do you have a word of wisdom or piece of advice? Or if you can happen to a time machine? What would you tell your younger business self?

Lee Caraher 10:26

Oh my gosh, what would I tell my younger business self is trust yourself. Trust yourself more? I think a lot of us have impostor syndrome, even though here we are CEOs, we run companies, people work for us. And then I get together with CEOs, women and men who go to you believe they follow us.I think more around trusting ourselves more around trusting ourselves. And if I trusted, I mean, I do trust myself and have a lot of competence. And I think the trade off for the dichotomy is you know how you have a healthy ego and listen impostor syndrome all at the same time, I think, you know, my name is CEO. And I think I would have wasted less time charting my own course if I trusted myself more.

Gresham Harkless 10:51

There you go. Yeah, that's definitely a good reminder. And sometimes you think that I always say like, if you're a trailblazer or an innovator, sometimes you're not, quote unquote, leading people, because it might be so far aligned. But if you continue your path, then all of a sudden you turn around and you are leaving a bunch of people.

Lee Caraher 11:51

Yeah. And you never know when you know, I think particularly with social I mean, I I've had really huge Tamino at my last job, I had over 700 people that died before that I had over 650 people in this job, I have 30 Something people in this company, right? So but you never know who's listening to you, as a leader, you never know, you're always gonna have an impact. And, still like I was literally in the airport the other day coming home from New York, and this person who had worked in my team 20 years ago, that's how old I am, oh, my gosh, 20 years ago, came up to me and I started recognize the face. But as I tried to place this face, and, he said,I'm Jack, whatever. And I worked for you at this company. And you said this thing when we had this really crappy day, and you said this thing. And that has stayed with me forever. And I don't have a clue what I said.But it really sort of brought home to me reminded me that we have great responsibility when we're leaders as well, right? When we're trailing or blazing new trails or, people are counting on us that our words have heavier weight, and they can be used for good or for evil. And the more we can use them for good, the better it is.

Gresham Harkless 13:04

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And a lot of times like when you're authentic and alignment, when you show up that way and everything no matter where you're at, like you said, you can have that influence that somebody 20 years later can say, I remember when you said x y&z and that changed my life or something like that.

Lee Caraher 13:17

And you know, it was like another day. So meaning, which sounds really like, I understand how flippant that sounds. But I don't mean to be flippant, I just mean to be purposeful.

Gresham Harkless 13:26

Yeah, well, no, it makes sense, like you said, because you never know, like, what that thing might be everything to somebody else. So sometimes it may not be the same to you. But at the same time, it may influence everybody. So that's why it's so important to kind of understand the platform kinda we all have.

Lee Caraher 13:40

I think I'm going to add a hack to though, can I hack?

Gresham Harkless 13:43

Yeah, absolutely.

Lee Caraher 13:44

The other hack is to know yourself, the most important thing I think, for leaders is to understand be self aware, right? And the more self aware we are, the more confident we can be and the better we can be at who we are. And, we all know that leader who thinks are the greatest, the greatest ping pong players and whoever right since Forest Gump. And they're not for, they think they're the best writer and they're terrible. You know, being self aware, having getting real input, doing a 360 on yourself, which is so hard to do when you're the boss, right? How do you get to 360 hiring a coach so they can do it for you, whatever it is taking, I really like different personality tests and assessments, and some of them are, for me less valuable than others. But the more I can understand myself, and how people might be viewing me, the better leader I can be. So that's my other hack.

Gresham Harkless 14:38

I love that. I love that great reminder. And now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition for what it means to be a CEO and we're hoping to have different quote unquote CEOs on the show. So Lee, what is being a CEO mean to you?

Lee Caraher 14:50

Being a CEO means that, I live in a high input low democracy framework, which means that I am I paying lots and lots of attention to what's going on in the marketplace to the people who work for me and to the customers that we have. And I'm charting a course forward for all of those constituencies based on what I'm listening to, and how I'm reasoning it all out. And then I am doing in a compelling enough way that people come along with me to make.

Gresham Harkless 15:20

That's a great reminder. Lee, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and our listeners know. And then of course, how best people can get a hold of you and get copies of your book.

Lee Caraher 15:32

Oh, well, best place to get ahold of me is on my website, leecaraher.com You get to my agency Double Forte. From there you can find my books, which are also on Amazon and anywhere else you can buy books. So The Boomerang Principle and Millennials in Management, my blog is there too. And you can find me on Twitter @leecaraher and on Instagram. And I think I would just say in closing, if communication is the key to leadership, and the key to marketing and the key to relationships, the more you can understand yourself and how you communicate. And if it's effective or not, the more effective and less friction you'll have in your day.

Gresham Harkless 16:12

That makes perfect sense. And that's an absolutely great reminder. And we'll make sure to have those links as well in the show notes just so that you can follow up with you, Lee but again, I truly appreciate you and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Lee Caraher 16:22

Thanks so much Gresh.

Outro 16:24

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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