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IAM261- Co-Founder and Author Passionate About Helping Organizations Deliver Exceptional Results

Podcast interview with Jim Haudan

As Chairman and Co-Founder of Root Inc., Jim Haudan has a passion that goes beyond leading Root to success. For more than 25 years, he has been helping the world’s most influential organizations transform their business, change how they engage their people, and deliver exceptional results.

Jim captures Root’s story in his bestselling book, The Art of Engagement: Bridging the Gap Between People and Possibilities. His latest book, What Are Your Blind Spots? Conquering the 5 Misconceptions that Hold Leaders Back – co-authored by Root CEO and President, Rich Berens – dives into the effective ways to engage and motivate employees at every level of the organization.

  • CEO Hack: (1) Servant leadership (2) Believe that your people are creators and not implementors (3) Take the voice of customers and turn it into strategies
  • CEO Nugget: (1) The desire to be liked is the start of being selfish and great chaos (2) Adversity is a gift
  • CEO Defined: Constantly looking at how you can help people realize their full potential and bring their best self.

Website: https://www.rootinc.com/

What are your Blind Spots? https://www.amazon.com/Blind-Spots-Conquering-Misconceptions-Leaders/dp/1260129233/
Art of Engagement – https://www.amazon.com/Art-Engagement-Bridging-Between-Possibilities/dp/0071544852

Full Interview


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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 0:27

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresham from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Jim Haudan a Root Inc. Jim, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Jim Haudan 0:35

It's a pleasure to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:36

Super excited to have you on Jim. And what I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Jim so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And as Chairman and Co-Founder of Root Inc., Jim H has a passion that goes beyond leading Root to success. For more than 25 years, he has been helping the world’s most influential organizations transform their business, change how they engage their people, and deliver exceptional results.

Jim captures Root’s story in his bestselling book, The Art of Engagement: Bridging the Gap Between People and Possibilities. His latest book, What Are Your Blind Spots? Conquering the 5 Misconceptions that Hold Leaders Back – co-authored by Root CEO and President, Rich Berens – dives into the effective ways to engage and motivate employees at every level of the organization. Jim, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Jim Haudan 1:21

I'd love to, happy to do just that.

Gresham Harkless 1:23

Definitely, definitely happy to have you on. And the first thing I wanted to do to kick everything off was to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story and what led you just start your business.

Jim Haudan 1:31

Sure. Well, it's interesting, I think when we started the business, we were actually in the trend business. And so we weren't. And I think we had a belief that if we can help leaders see what we saw, they can be more successful, we sort of fell in love with this statement that the future belongs to those of us that see the possibilities before they become obvious.

And so you know, the business was very much sort of a trend business, a futuristic business, helping leaders and people ride waves of change rather than getting swamped by him. And the interesting part is, we did that and we were the provocateurs who are leaders in their offsites.

And their retreats and their planning sessions, we usually had a great experience and toasted our collective brilliance at the bar during the session. But we really thought we nailed that. But we brought it back to the organization, sometimes six months, sometimes six weeks, sometimes six days later, and it was completely dead on arrival.

And so the real passion for the business became this emerging insight that we had the success was not determined by the learning speed of the brightest few, but on the understanding embracement and advocacy speed of the slowest, many.

And so how do we create companies, organizations, profit, and nonprofits where the common language is as fluent as any language, there is where people participate in it? You know, we jokingly say there's $20 billion that was lost last year in the US economy. And it was a number of people playing fantasy football and fantasy baseball at work time. So people are playing strategy every day, but just not ours.

Gresham Harkless 2:53

Yeah, absolutely. And it's great to hear that in my true entrepreneurial form, you didn't just see the vision for trying to help these organizations and these people, you actually created something that helped it as an author obviously authored some books as well to help out. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper and hear a little bit more about what you guys are doing and how you guys kind of help out these organizations.

Jim Haudan 3:11

Sure. Well, you know, we actually started out by trying to really help people become much more literate in their business. And so the question that we really faced was, so many things about the business are complex, you know, the marketplace, the economic system, you know, Where does the money come from? Where does it go, the customer value and how it's changing and morphing and migrating and, and even, you know, core processes in terms of when we work together? Well, how do we work together?

And so we begin to be really focused on how do we demystify those systems for people so that they can really begin to not only understand but contribute to their future success. So we've begun to use visualization, visualization of these systems, which we create mental practice fields or brain gems for groups of eight to 10 people to really engage in it in a way that they hadn't previously engaged. And that became a big part of our initial success.

And in many ways, it was a killer app, and it was called Learning Maps. And so how do people have small conversations, whether there's just 100 people in your organization, or 100,000, that really began to put the essential drama we face in the business in their laps with the full belief that if they could see all that they would come up with even better responses on how we would be successful going forward. And it's worked fabulously well on that dimension.

And then we become a more of a full change organization. And so what we found out was leaders don't support or believe in the strategies, they co-author at least when it comes to executing that. And so how do they become the pace car for their change or for their strategic interaction, rather than just the author of it?

And then we go downstream and we look at how managers really enable that on a day-to-day basis and have begun to really focus on decoding what are the keys behind high human performance because most people don't wake up every day saying I can't wait to be average today. But yet some people figure out how to really ace it and really get to that top level. And so how do we unpack that, so that we make that much more visible and transparent to anybody that wants to perform at the highest level?

Gresham Harkless 5:13

Yeah, and it makes perfect sense that a lot of times as a leader, as somebody who has a team, a lot of times, you also have to make sure that you get people in the correct place. Because if you take somebody who doesn't know how to swim, and you throw them in the water, sometimes they're not going to be an expert, whereas if you put them in a different situation, they might be actually better.

Jim Haudan 5:31

And I think that's part of leaders as sort of conductors, you know, you know, their skills in the orchestra. And the question is not, you know, how do I keep trying to change the music? How do I keep trying to get the most out of the talent that we have? Recognizing that, in some cases, you know, they're as much a customer of our strategy as they are as an implementer? And so in that regard, what do they understand? Where do they think they most can contribute? How do they really feel the state makes sense versus when it doesn't?

Gresham Harkless 5:58

That makes perfect sense. And so now, I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for you or your organization, but what do you feel kind of makes you guys unique and sets you guys apart?

Jim Haudan 6:08

Yeah, I think, you know, when we wrote the first book, The Art of Engagement, I think what we really found out was that for the companies that were successful, and the ones that weren't, there were really two things. The first was that in most organizations when you ask them?

What about their processes, and especially in businesses, what about their core processes, they could articulate that pretty well, in terms of customer acquisition, in terms of product development, you know, in terms of the supply chain, but one of the most important processes most companies didn't have, and that was strategy execution through people. And so when we asked them, How do they do that? Well, they said, this group develops the strategy, then they throw it over the wall, and this group kind of begins to implement it. And then this group decided that the incentives are right.

And so it was really ironic that you know, the most important process we have, which is where most of our cost and our potential resides, and that's in people that we really hadn't figured out how to really consider it an ongoing business process. But the second one that I think is equally important, and I say this without any kind of, you know, tongue in cheek, that is, we have fundamentally forgotten that human beings work here, everything we do, and the way we do, it was made for an environment and an error that no longer exists.

It's more of the industrial era, where the way that we ran our businesses, and the way that we made sense of building new and better companies no longer makes sense, you know, and that actually connects to our second book, which is the blind spots. And I think, you know, we jokingly talk about the fact that you know, the first President of the United States, Washington actually may have died from bloodletting.

And so that was a belief at the time that he and others had that this was the best way to take care of your health. And if you go back in time, you'll find out that we gave kids cocaine cough drops, when they left the dentist in the 1880s, we had doctors all over recommending smoking as a relaxation activity. And as recently as the 50s, we had carbonated soft drink manufacturers suggesting the most healthy thing you could do for your baby was to lace the baby formula with carbonated soft drink 50-50.

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So they would, they would have a better experience. And all those are ridiculous. And I think we find that today, there are equally ridiculous beliefs, practices, and behaviors by leaders when it comes to how to really inspire the hearts and minds of people. And you know, and that relates to everything from the connectivity of purpose, to the way that we go on adventures, to the engagement that we have to the trust we have for our people, and also to the way that we create cultures of truth-telling where honesty and candor become the way we interact versus the way we rarely interact.

Gresham Harkless 8:36

That makes perfect sense. And I love that you guys are tackling that and helping that. And I love that you gave that visual because a lot of times things that we're doing on a regular basis as leaders or even as individuals, sometimes we don't see how I guess, ridiculous they are. But you know, once we start to learn and pay attention to and actually see that it doesn't work, then it actually the light sometimes goes off.

Jim Haudan 8:55

Yeah. And I know that you know, the thing that's kind of fascinating. I think somebody once said, you can learn a lot by just watching. So just watch people in their natural state when they're engaged. You know, whether they're watching movies, or when they're reading books, or whether they're at a Comedy Theater, there are millions of examples where people are not sitting on their hands in playing it safe.

And just sitting back and waiting for someone else to go first all of those little lectures or instructions or observations or whatever they might be saying we need to transfer those into the workplace because people want to be engaged just not at work. And so that's unacceptable.

Gresham Harkless 9:28

Absolutely. Absolutely. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app or book or habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Jim Haudan 9:38

Well, I think, you know, I think there's there's a couple I think probably the one that's probably pretty common, more common these days is just the whole concept of servant leadership where you put service ahead of self and so you know when we first started this business, I don't think there was a single company now there's the majority of the companies are really looking at servant leadership. But I think that part of that is that you have to believe that your people are creators and not implementers.

And I can't overstate that. So what that means is that there is a prevailing belief we see a lot of times, and that is that you know, our people won't do the right thing unless we tell them what to do and hold them accountable to do it. And that is so wrongheaded. And all of our experiences. And what I think we're trying to say is that we have the belief if we engage our people in a way where they truly co-think the business with us, we believe that they will come up with better answers than we could ever script for them.

And to that extent, their creator is just waiting to be unleashed rather than implementers. That audit does what we think it ought to do. And the difference and that is profound. And so if there's a hack, the real hack is, you know, how do we unleash the creators versus get out of the mode of just trying to see our people as implementers. And to that extent, there's probably another one, and that is to see our people as customers and strategy.

So becoming just as curious about what they don't understand and what they don't connect with, and what they think could be better as we are about our customers. I mean, it's ironic that we spent all this time trying to take the voice of the customer and turn it into our products and services, but we don't take the voice of our people and turn it into the new methods and techniques of how to bring that aspiration for the future to life.

Gresham Harkless 11:10

Absolutely. And it's important to kind of understand that there are multiple stakeholders within a company. So you have essentially your investors you have obviously the employees, which sometimes get looked over or the team members. And then, of course, you have the clients and the customers who usually everybody's kind of looking at but sometimes you forget those other two.

Jim Haudan 11:26

Absolutely. Yep

Gresham Harkless 11:27

Right now, I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO, nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. And sometimes I say if you can happen to a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Jim Haudan 11:36

Well, my younger business self, I would tell two things. One is the desire to be liked is an act, not of great care, but an act of great selfishness. So that took me a long time to figure it out. And that is wanting people to like me is probably one of the most selfish things I can do. But the second one is probably my younger self would be that adversity is a gift.

And I think so many times we see adversity as an indictment, or we see adversity as something bad, we want to stick around. But I think every time we've discovered this and looked at a lot of research, adversity is the most valuable fuel for growth. And so how do we almost go out in the thunderstorm versus going in from the thunderstorm and recognizing that that is how we become the best we can ever possibly become? And by avoiding diversity, we almost guarantee that we will stop our growth and software development.

Gresham Harkless 12:26

Yeah, I absolutely love that. And kind of like what you said earlier, it's like no one wakes up and wants to be average. Usually, when you go out into that thunderstorm, that's where those opportunities are. So that's where, you know, you start to see what you're made of and start to really break ground and sometimes innovate in a lot of different ways. So I love you know, you bring that up?

Jim Haudan 12:43

Well, the two things you get to do first is you have to be vulnerable. So you have to now tell yourself the truth about yourself. And then the second, you get a chance to recommit to what you care about. If either of those doesn't work, you're probably not as vibrant and dynamic as you could be, then you tend to low we tend to lower yourself to sleep. So when adversity comes it's an opportunity, once again, to be honest with yourself and clear about what you really care about, and what you're willing to sacrifice to bring alive.

Gresham Harkless 13:07

Absolutely, absolutely. And now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different clinical CEOs on the show. So I want to ask you, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Jim Haudan 13:18

I still go back to the conductor concept. And that is, you know, being a great CEO means that you're constantly looking at how you create the conditions for people to bring their best selves and contribute that freely. That's the goal. I mean, I think, you know, I do think you want to help people think big, but for the most part, people are very capable of that.

I mean, it's the environment that causes them to think smaller to think protectively. So I think as a CEO, what you're really trying to do is, you know, from an orchestra standpoint, finding ways for them to play at their fullest potential, and equally important, finding ways to make sure that they do that and play together. Because you know, most of what we face today is cross-functional cross-discipline, cross skillset involves diversity and involves all this stuff.

So you know, playing together is not necessarily one of the first traits that we think of sometimes we think it's more yours or mine, and then we sort of just take and run with it. But I really think, you know, creating the conditions for people to bring their best selves and then to bring their best selves in concert with others is one of the most critical roles of the CEO.

Gresham Harkless 14:18

Well, Jim, I appreciate your time. What I wanted to do was passionate, 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 they can get ahold of you.

Jim Haudan 14:26

Yep. I'm not sure. I think you did a great job. I mean, the questions you asked were outstanding. I just think that you know, for me, the only other comment is that the fact that we still have 70% of our workforces, and most organizations that are not actively engaged is not just a business or nonprofit issue.

It's a moral issue. And so as leaders, we have got to find a way to change that condition. You know, in the last 30 years, you know, cancer deaths are down around 30% traffic fatalities around 30% their Big Society issues we went after engagement of people in the workplace hasn't improved much at all. It's almost it's still 70% So So I Think that's a moral issue as much as a business issue.

And I think that that suggests that in this time when there's a lot of discussion about disruption, it's time that as leaders, we really begin to need to think about how we disrupt our leadership to find a better way to bring all of our people's talents to the adventures and to the better ways that we're really trying to create together?

Gresham Harkless 15:21

Yeah, I definitely appreciate you for, you know, doing your part and taking your energy and putting it towards that towards making sure the leaders and also the employees, you know, understand, you know, how best to you know, create a lot of these products and services that we have and ideas that we have and bring them to fruition and do that in a very exciting environment as well. So people that want to get a copy of your books and want to get in contact with you, what's the best way for them to do that

Jim Haudan 15:44

info@rootinc would be the best way to do that.

Gresham Harkless 15:46

Okay. Perfect, perfect, perfect. Well, Jim, I appreciate your time and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Jim Haudan 15:51

Thank you. It's my pleasure, and I really appreciate your time. Thanks.

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Outro 15:54

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

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 0:27

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresham from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Jim Haudan a Root Inc. Jim, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Jim Haudan 0:35

It's a pleasure to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:36

Super excited to have you on Jim. And what I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Jim so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And as Chairman and Co-Founder of Root Inc., Jim H has a passion that goes beyond leading Root to success. For more than 25 years, he has been helping the world’s most influential organizations transform their business, change how they engage their people, and deliver exceptional results. Jim captures Root’s story in his bestselling book, The Art of Engagement: Bridging the Gap Between People and Possibilities. His latest book, What Are Your Blind Spots? Conquering the 5 Misconceptions that Hold Leaders Back – co-authored by Root CEO and President, Rich Berens – dives into the effective ways to engage and motivate employees at every level of the organization. Jim, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Jim Haudan 1:21

I'd love to happy to do just that.

Gresham Harkless 1:23

Definitely, definitely happy to have you on. And the first thing I wanted to do to kick everything off was to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story and what led you just start your business?

Jim Haudan 1:31

Sure. Well, it's interesting, I think, when we started the business, we were actually in the trend business. And so we weren't. And I think we had a belief that if we can help leaders see what we saw, they can be more successful, we sort of fell in love with this statement that the future belongs to those of us that see the possibilities before they become obvious. And so you know, the business was very much sort of a trend business, a futuristic business, help leaders and people ride waves of change rather than getting swamped by him. And the interesting part is, is we did that and we were the provocateurs are leaders in their offsites. And their retreats and their planning sessions, we usually had a great experience and toasted our collective brilliance at the bar during the session. But we really thought we nailed that. But we brought it back to the organization, sometimes six months, sometimes six weeks, sometimes six days later, and it was completely dead on arrival. And so the real passion for the business became this emerging insight that we had the success was not determined by the learning speed of the brightest few, but on the understanding embracement and advocacy speed of the slowest, many. And so how do we create companies, organizations, profit and nonprofit where the common language as fluent as any language, there is where people participate in it. You know, we jokingly say there's $20 billion that were lost last year in the US economy. And it was a number of people playing fantasy football and fantasy baseball on work time. So people are playing strategy every day, but just not ours.

Gresham Harkless 2:53

Yeah, absolutely. And it's great to hear that my true entrepreneurial form, you didn't just see the vision for trying to help these organizations and these people, you actually created something that helped it as an author obviously authored some books as well to to help out. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper and hear a little bit more about what you guys are doing and how you guys kind of help out these organizations?

Jim Haudan 3:11

Sure. Well, you know, we actually started out by trying to really help people become much more literate in their business. And so the question that we really faced was, so many things about the business are complex, you know, the marketplace, the the economic system, you know, Where does money come from? Where does it go, the customer value and how it's changing and morphing and migrating and, and even, you know, core processes in terms of when we work together? Well, how do we work together? And so we begin to be really focused on how do we demystify those systems for people so that they can really begin to not only understand but contribute to their future success. So we've we've we began to use visualization, visualization of these systems, which we create mental practice fields or brain gems for groups of eight to 10 people to really engage in it in a way that they hadn't previously engaged. And that became a big part of our initial success. And in many ways, it was a killer app, and it was called Learning Maps. And so how do people have small conversations, whether there's just 100 people in your organization, or 100,000, that really began to put the essential drama we face in the business in their laps with the full belief that if they could see all that they would come up with even better responses on how we would be successful going forward. And it's worked fabulously well on that dimension. And then we become a more of a full change organization. And so what we found out was leaders don't support or believe in the strategies, they co author at least when it comes to executing that. And so how do they become the pace car for their change or for their strategic interaction, rather than just the author of it? And then we go downstream and we look at how managers really enable that on a day to day basis and have began to really focus on decoding what are the keys behind high human performance because most people don't wake up every day saying I can't wait to be average today. But yet some people figure out how to really ace it and really get to that top level. And so how do we unpack that, so that we make that much more visible and transparent to anybody that wants to perform at the highest level?

Gresham Harkless 5:13

Yeah, and it makes perfect sense that a lot of times as a leader, as somebody who has a team, a lot of times, you also have to make sure that you get people in the correct place. Because if you take somebody who doesn't know how to swim, and you throw them in the water, sometimes they're not going to be an expert, where if you put them in a different situation, they might be actually better.

Jim Haudan 5:31

And I think that's part of leaders as sort of conductors, you know, you know, their skills in the orchestra. And the question is not, you know, how do I keep keep trying to change the music? How do I keep trying to get the most out of the talent that we have? Recognizing that, in some cases, you know, they're as much a customer of our strategy as they are as an implementer? And so in that regard, what do they understand? Where do they think they most can contribute? How do they really feel the state makes sense versus when it doesn't?

Gresham Harkless 5:58

That makes perfect sense. And so now, I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for you or your organization, but what do you feel kind of makes you guys unique and sets you guys apart?

Jim Haudan 6:08

Yeah, I think, you know, when we wrote the first book, The Art of engagement, I think what we really found out was that for the companies that were successful, and the ones that weren't, there were really two things. The first was that in most organizations, when you ask them, What about their processes, and especially in businesses, what about their core processes, they could articulate that pretty well, in terms of customer acquisition, in terms of product development, you know, in terms of supply chain, but one of the most important processes most companies didn't have, and that was strategy execution through people. And so when we asked them, How do they do that? Well, they said, this group develops the strategy, then they throw it over the wall, and this group kind of begins to implement it. And then this group decided that the incentives are right. And so it was really ironic that, you know, the most important process we have, which is where most of our our cost and our potential reside, and that's in people that we really hadn't figured out how to really consider it an ongoing business process. But the second one that I think is equally important, and I say this without any without any kind of, you know, tongue in cheek, and that is, we have fundamentally forgot that human beings work here, everything we do, and the way we do, it was made for an environment and an error that no longer exists. It's more of the industrial era, where the way that we ran our businesses, and the way that we made sense of building new and better companies no longer makes sense, you know, and that actually connects to our second book, which is the blind spots. And I think, you know, we jokingly talk about the fact that, you know, the first President of the United States, Washington actually may have died from bloodletting. And so that was a belief at the time that he and others had that this was the best way to take care of your health. And if you go back in time, you'll find out that we gave kids cocaine cough drops, when they left the dentist in the 1880s, we had doctors all over recommending smoking as a relaxation activity. And as recently as the 50s, we had carbonated soft drink manufacturers suggesting the most healthy thing you could do for your baby was laced the baby formula with carbonated soft drink 50-50. So they would, they would have a better experience. And all those are ridiculous. And I think we find that today, there are equally ridiculous beliefs, practices and behaviors by leaders when it comes to how to really inspire the hearts and minds of people. And you know, and that relates to everything from the connectivity of purpose, to the way that we go on adventures, to the engagement that we have to the trust we have for our people, and also to the way that we create cultures of truth telling where honesty and candor become the way we interact versus the way we rarely interact.

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Gresham Harkless 8:36

That makes perfect sense. And I love that you guys are tackling that and helping that. And I love that you gave that visual because a lot of times things that we're doing on a regular basis as leaders or even as individuals, sometimes we don't see how I guess, ridiculous they are. But you know, once we start to learn and pay attention to and actually see that it doesn't work, then it actually the light sometimes goes off.

Jim Haudan 8:55

Yeah. And I know that you know, the thing that's kind of fascinating. I think somebody once said, you can learn a lot by just watching. So just watch people in their natural state when they're engaged. You know, whether they're watching movies, or when they're reading books, or whether they're at a Comedy Theater, there are millions of examples where people are not sitting on their hands in playing it safe. And just sitting back and waiting for someone else to go first all of those little lectures or instructions or observations or whatever they might be say we need to transfer those into the workplace because people want to be engaged just not at work. And so that's unacceptable.

Gresham Harkless 9:28

Absolutely. Absolutely. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app or book or habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Jim Haudan 9:38

Well, I think, you know, I think there's there's a couple I think probably the one that's probably pretty common, more common these days is just the whole concept of servant leadership where you put service ahead of self and so you know, when we first started this business, I don't think there was a single company now there's the majority of the companies are really looking at servant leadership. But I think that part of that It is that you have to believe that your people are creators and not implementers. And I can't overstate that. So what that means is that there is a prevailing belief we see a lot of times, and that is that, you know, our people won't do the right thing unless we tell them what to do and hold them accountable to do it. And that is so wrongheaded. And all of our experiences. And what I think we're trying to say is that we have the belief if we engage our people in a way where they truly co think the business with us, we believe that they will come up with better answers than we could ever script for them. And to that extent, their creator is just waiting to be unleashed rather than implementers. That audit do what we think they ought to do. And the difference and that is profound. And so if there's a hack, the real hack is, you know, how do we unleash the creators versus get out of the mode of just trying to see our people as implementers. And to that extent, there's probably another one, and that is to see our people as customers and strategy. So becoming just as curious about what they don't understand and what they don't connect, and what they think could be better as we are about our customers. I mean, it's ironic that we spent all this time trying to take the voice of the customer and turn it into our products and services, but we don't take the voice of our people and turn it into the new methods and techniques of how to bring that aspiration for the future to life.

Gresham Harkless 11:10

Absolutely. And it's important to kind of understand that there are multiple stakeholders within a company. So you have essentially your investors you have obviously the employees, which sometimes get looked over or the team members. And then of course, you have the clients and the customers who usually everybody's kind of looking at but sometimes you forget those other two.

Jim Haudan 11:26

Absolutely. Yep

Gresham Harkless 11:27

Right now, I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO, nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. And sometimes I say if you can happen to a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Jim Haudan 11:36

Well, my younger business self, I would tell two things. One is the desire to be liked is an act, not of great care, but an act of great selfishness. So that took me a long time to figure it out. And that is wanting people to like me is probably one of the most selfish things I can do. But the second one is probably my younger self would be that adversity is a gift. And I think so many times we see adversity as an indictment, or we see adversity as something bad, we want to stick around. But I think every time we've discovered this and looked at a lot of research, the adversity is the most valuable fuel for growth. And so how do we almost go out in the thunderstorm versus go in from the thunderstorm and recognize that that is how we become the best we can ever possibly become. And by avoiding versity, we almost guarantee that we will stop our growth and software development.

Gresham Harkless 12:26

Yeah, I absolutely love that. And kind of like what you said earlier, it's like no one wakes up and wants to be average. Usually, when you go out into that thunderstorm, that's where those opportunities are. So that's where, you know, you start to see what you're made of and start to really break ground sometimes innovate in a lot of different ways. So I love you know, you bring that up?

Jim Haudan 12:43

Well, the two things you get to do first is you have to be vulnerable. So you have to now tell yourself the truth about yourself. And then the second, you get a chance to recommit to what you care about. If either of those don't work, you're probably not as vibrant and dynamic as you could be, then you tend to low we all tend to lower ourselves to sleep. So when adversity comes it's an opportunity, once again, to be honest with yourself and clear to what you really care about, and you're willing to sacrifice to bring alive.

Gresham Harkless 13:07

Absolutely, absolutely. And now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different clinical CEOs on the show. So I want to ask you, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Jim Haudan 13:18

I still go back to the conductor concept. And that is, you know, being a great CEO means that you're constantly looking at how do you create the conditions for people to bring their best selves and contribute that freely? That's the goal. I mean, I think, you know, I do think you want to help people think big, but for the most part, people are very capable of that. I mean, it's the environment that that causes them to think smaller to think protectively. So I think as a CEO, what you're really trying to do is, you know, from an orchestra standpoint, finding ways for them to play at their fullest potential, and equally important, finding ways to make sure that they do that and play together. Because you know, most of what we face today is cross functional cross discipline, cross skillset involves diversity and involves all this stuff. So you know, playing together is not necessarily one of the first traits that we think of sometimes we think it's more yours or mine, and then we sort of just take and run with it. But But I really think, you know, creating the conditions for people to bring their best self and then to bring their best self in concert with others is one of the most critical roles of the CEO.

Gresham Harkless 14:18

Well, Jim, I appreciate your time. What I wanted to do was passionate, 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 they can get ahold of you.

Jim Haudan 14:26

Yep. I'm not sure. I think you did a great job. I mean, the questions you asked were outstanding. I just think that, you know, for me, the only other comment is that the fact that we still have 70% of our workforces, and most organizations that are not actively engaged is not just a business or nonprofit issue. It's a moral issue. And so as leaders, we have got to find a way to change that condition. You know, in the last 30 years, you know, cancer deaths are down around 30% traffic fatalities around 30% their Big Society issues we went after engagement of people in the workplace hasn't improved much at all. It's almost it's still 70% So So I Think that's a moral issue as much as a business issue. And and I think that that suggests that in this time when there's a lot of discussion about disruption, it's time that as leaders, we really begin to need to think about how do we disrupt our leadership to find a better way to bring all of our people's talents to the adventures and to the better ways that we're really trying to create together?

Gresham Harkless 15:21

Yeah, I definitely appreciate you for, you know, doing your part and taking your energy and putting it towards that towards making sure the leaders and also the employees, you know, understand, you know, how best to you know, create a lot of these products and services that we have and ideas that we have and bring them to fruition and do that in a very exciting environment as well. So people that want to get a copy of your books and want to get in contact with you, what's the best way for them to do that

Jim Haudan 15:44

info@rootinc would be the best way to do that.

Gresham Harkless 15:46

Okay. Perfect, perfect, perfect. Well, Jim, I appreciate your time and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Jim Haudan 15:51

Thank you. It's my pleasure, and I really appreciate your time. Thanks.

Outro 15:54

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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