BusinessI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM298- Best-selling Author Helps Executives Make Major Changes in Their Organisation

Podcast interview with Ron Carucci

Ron is the cofounder and managing parter of Navalent. Ron Carucci is the best-selling author of 8 books, and popular contributor at Harvard Business Review and Forbes. He is a 2-time TEDx speaker. Ron led a ten year longitudinal study on executive transition to find out why more than 50% of leaders fail within their first 18 months of appointment, and uncovering the four differentiating capabilities that set successful leaders apart. Those findings are highlighted in his groundbreaking Amazon #1 book Rising To Power, co-authored with Eric Hansen.

  • CEO Hack: Staying true to the mission and value statement of the business
  • CEO Nugget: Don't be afraid to disappoint people
  • CEO Defined: Using your power to change a lot of lives

Websitehttp://www.navalent.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/roncarucci?lang=en
Free ebook: http://www.navalent.com/transformation
Book on Amazon: Rising to Power: The Journey of Exceptional Executives


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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 0:29

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresham from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I've Ron Carucci of Navalent. Ron, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Ron Carucci 0:39

Gresham, good to be with you. Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

And I said that wrong, didn't I?

Ron Carucci 0:45

Navalent

Gresham Harkless 0:45

Alright, let me say one more time. Alright, Navalent. Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresham from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I've Ron Carucci of Navalent. Ron, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Ron Carucci 0:56

Gresham, great to be with you. Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:58

No problem super excited to have you on and what I want to do, which is read a little bit more about Ron so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Ron is the co-founder and managing partner of Navalent. Ron is the best-selling author of 8 books and a popular contributor at Harvard Business Review and Forbes. He is a 2-time TEDx speaker.

Ron led a ten-year longitudinal study on executive transition to find out why more than 50% of leaders fail within their first 18 months of appointment and uncover the four differentiating capabilities that set successful leaders apart. Those findings are highlighted in his groundbreaking Amazon #1 book Rising To Power, co-authored with Eric Hansen. Ron, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Ron Carucci 1:45

Gresham, let's go.

Gresham Harkless 1:46

Let's do it. So the first question I had was to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story well, that you start your business.

Ron Carucci 1:54

So I'm like many the accidental entrepreneur, I don't know that any I set out to start a firm two friends and I were working at a very large consulting firm in New York City and loved this work, love the work of leadership and change. But when we got acquired by a larger company, it wasn't really fun anymore. It was more like feeding the dinosaur. And so we thought we can still love this work. But we can do our own thing.

So we left to go do our own thing. But that, of course, that quickly meant well, we're going to need help. So having hired people, the challenge there, of course, is now you're running the firm. So I think for the 15 years Navalent has been around I think, you know, it's been a wrestling match of leading the work and doing the work are two different things.

And you have to love both. You know, I know a lot about being a CEO by the ones I coach and work with and help. And it's not a job for the faint of heart. I don't know that I would ever call myself a CEO owner because just it's a dreaded job. And I'm glad I have partners that run the firm with me.

Gresham Harkless 2:58

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And it's always great to have you know, like a great team around you to make sure that you're able to be successful, you're able to hit your goals and do all those things. But it's kind of great that you're also working with a lot of CEOs and you're able to have that perspective and provide insight to help them out and be part of their team as well.

Ron Carucci 3:14

It's not a job for the faint of heart. Many people don't know what they're thinking about what they're asking for when they say I want to be a CEO and many people want it for the wrong reasons. And the ones that get it, you know, there's no, I've never met a CEO, who has told me, this is exactly what I thought the job was going to be. Or Gosh, this job is really fun.

Most CEOs are surprised by how lonely the job is surprised by how little power they actually have to affect change how unforgiving the job is and how concocted they are by others, and how misunderstood they are. People just assume they get the trappings of wealth and success and notoriety and see all these easy perks that come with a role. And think that's unfair and unjust.

And think they don't work hard, and just go to go and play golf all day. I suppose there are CEOs that do that. But for the most part, most CEOs work super hard. 24/7 It's a job that you don't get a break in. And when you make mistakes, everything's your fault. And when things go well you're not given any credit for it. It's a very sacrificial job and a very ruthlessly unforgiving job.

If I tell CEOs who are aspiring CEOs, you better want to suffer. If you don't want to suffer, there are great things that come with being a CEO for sure. But if you don't want to suffer in your job or sacrifice for your job, you shouldn't be a CEO.

Gresham Harkless 4:48

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. It kind of reminds me of there's a quote by a guy who started Tesla but completely forgot his name and blanked on his name. But he basically said that starting a business or starting a firm is like true on broken glass and staring into the abyss, so that's times, it'd be very difficult to make that happen. So I'm glad you definitely shine a light on, you know what that looks like. And I know you touched a little bit upon some of the things you guys are doing to kind of help support CEOs, can you tell us a little bit more about you know, your services, what you guys are providing?

Ron Carucci 5:17

Yeah, kind of what I think I mean, from an individual leadership point of view CEOs and CEO transitions are a big part of our work, right? So you know, if there's very little in your career that can prepare you for that job, because there's not another one of them, right, you're the only one of you in the company. And if you've not done it before, first-time CEOs can get up there and find themselves enormously disoriented.

So just helping people transition into the job, and making sure they stick the landing, and making sure they know how to set their agenda and what they should first do in their six months, and how they should they build a team around them? And how do they set strategy, you know, some of the very basics of CEO leadership are the work we do with leaders, we also talk a lot about how you lead transformation, right?

So many CEOs are, are, are both given and also precede themselves to have a mandate of some kind, especially if they're an engineering CEO, if they're a startup CEO, and they're the founder, then the biggest challenge, of course, is how do you shake your “founderism”, and grow something beyond you, because most leaders who are founders build an organization around their own identity, and then they end up killing their own baby?

So how do you affect change and grow an organization and architect something beyond you? And how do you scale most CEOs if there is enter at a smaller stage, don't know how to bring maturity about and sort of arc story of growth? Many of them have never led. It's astounding how many CEOs have gone from leading a team of eight people to suddenly the way the hundreds of people because they had too fast a rise.

And so the other day, they get altitude sickness, right, they just get up there and they get too high. So we we accompany CEOs on that journey.

Gresham Harkless 6:55

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And if you might have our attention what do you feel is kind of like their secret sauce? Well, what makes you guys unique?

Ron Carucci 7:04

We get the role. I mean, when it comes to executive leadership, and the requirements of effecting change, we have a deep empathy and understanding for what that takes. We're not just coaches, we're not just consultants, we're trusted advisors, you know, we are our relationships with our lives, our intimate relationships that span many years, we don't come in and fix your hair up and tell you to sit up straight and go home. We understand that this is deeper work. And it's longer work and harder work.

And so I think because we go the distance, I think what our executives tell us is what sets us apart is how much we care. And how committed we are, we bring a lot of a lot to the table in terms of content understanding of what it means to sit at the top of an enterprise. But what it takes to actually help a leader get better at that, and how much we care to make sure it happens. This means we're not pulling punches, right?

So I think one of the things that clients appreciate about us is that you're never going to wonder where your stand, you're gonna get the unbridled truth from us. And sometimes it won't be, it won't be easy to hear. But it's the truth that nobody else is going to tell you.

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Gresham Harkless 8:04

Right. And that makes perfect sense. A lot of times like, like you mentioned, you know, actually knowing the position, not just saying you know, the position or hearing about the position, you guys actually know that and know and can provide that insight.

And a lot of times, that's the type of advice that you need. And sometimes when you kind of insulate yourself with, yes, men or women, you always say the things that you want to hear, but you want to hear the right things, because ultimately, I think most probably CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners want to be successful, and they need people like that in order to make that happen.

Ron Carucci 8:33

And most of them don't know that. Right? So most of them as they go to hire people, they don't realize they're hiring in their own image. And then they don't realize that when they have done that, they're gonna get people who just give them the answer they want to hear.

They also don't realize how they hear when they hear bad news, or how to respond. But they don't know how to manage their emotions. They don't know how to get angry. They either don't filter their anger, or they suppress their anger.

And I tell CEOs all the time, look, you're allowed to be angry as long as you plan on it. But you have to be very thoughtful about what your anger in your role means to an organization. So it's, it's hard. And once you've set that culture in place where people don't tell you the truth.

Now you created a hybridization built on this seat. And one of the biggest challenges I get from executives all the time as I can't get good information. I can't get the data. It's all spun. It's all sanitized. It's all, you know, filtered. And I don't I can't make good decisions based on data that I can't rely on.

Gresham Harkless 9:43

Knows and so you help you guys help, you know, organizations, I guess, figure out how they can get the actual data or the what steps they need to take, I guess in order to make sure that they are getting the actual data they need to make the decisions to in order to be successful?

Ron Carucci 9:55

And how to get the leaders around them who give it to them, how to make sure the governance of the organization is Based on honesty, that people are governing, with, with, with, shared with truth-telling, with dealing with bad news and not sanitizing it.

Gresham Harkless 10:12

Yeah, And that makes sense. And it kind of, you know, makes me think of a point to where a lot of times you have to create that culture in order to do that. And sometimes, you know, you, you, as you mentioned, you will hire your own self in a different way. So sometimes you don't create that culture that makes it possible for you to have those conversations have those hard conversations a lot of times, but a lot of times it sounds like it starts and begins with a CEO for creating and fostering that culture.

Ron Carucci 10:40

Well, it depends, Gresham it depends on how big the company is. But certainly, CEO plays a disproportionate role. Right, if it's a smaller company, then it plays an enormous role. And many, many leaders don't know or don't appreciate their lifestyle on the Jumbotron.

Right, they you know, I tell newly arriving executives where they're at the top, or the CEO or one of the top jobs, you just assume that you have a megaphone strapped to your mouth 24/7. Everything you say is amplified, and every action you take has meaning attached to it, whether you mean it or not, people will quote you as having said things you never said you can't walk down the hall fast, without people thinking oh, my gosh, something's wrong as an emergency or he's, he's gonna yell at somebody.

And it could be you have to go to the bathroom. But people are going to make meaning out of it. And you can't control all that you can't try and manage all that perception. But you certainly can be aware of messages you send, or signals you send your cues you're giving that might reinforce behavior you don't want.

Gresham Harkless 11:41

Right, and I have always been a big believer in saying control what you can control. And last time, she can control the reaction that people will have. But you can try to, you know, as much as possible, manage, you know, your actions and things that you do and things that you kind of showcase. So I appreciate you for sharing that. 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 a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Ron Carucci 12:09

I wish every CEO would take their mission and value statement, off the wall off, off whatever swag they have it on, put it in front of their team, and say, let's hold this up as a report card. Let's talk about how are we not living this. Where we are in our lives, where are each of us in our organization, are we not being true to who we said we were, and fix one thing today?

Gresham Harkless 12:35

That makes perfect sense. And I love that because a lot of times when you're a founder or you have created the business or you're leading the business, a lot of times you lose sight of the mission. And having that in front and using it as a scorecard as you say to keep it keeps it all in line. Because a lot of times you can be playing an entirely different game when you shouldn't be playing the game that you set out to play.

And if you pay attention to the mission, the scorecard you're able to do that a lot better. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is 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?

Ron Carucci 13:08

Don't worry so much about how popular you are. Don't be afraid to disappoint people. Your leadership is the ability to disappoint people at a rate they can absorb if you if you're a benevolent dictator, and you want to try to be Santa Claus and get everybody to love you. And you're saying yes, way too many times you're institutionalizing mediocrity.

Don't be afraid to say no. For the CEOs who are complete, narcissistic self-absorbed jerks who lead wakes up bodies behind them. I would just say if you aren't sure if you're that woman or guy, and there's a chance you might be getting feedback, make sure you have feedback coming to you all the time. Because if you are, if there's a revolving door, people coming in and out of your company, take the hint because your best people will quit and leave and your worst people will quit and stay.

Gresham Harkless 13:54

That's very true. It's painfully true. But it makes sense. A lot of times you know, you can live in a bubble. Like we kind of touched on it and say, Oh, it's not me or it's not that but a lot of times like we said, you know, being a leader is all about creating that culture and marching to a certain drum. And a lot of times people will follow you based on that.

So if you don't like the facts, you don't like the things around you then sometimes it's best to take a look in the mirror. So yeah, I appreciate that. And you already touched on this, but I want to see if you had anything else. It's 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 Ron, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Ron Carucci 14:35

Using your power to change a lot of lives you have a disproportionate level of power that comes with that role. Are you do you know the greater good you want to serve with it and are you serving it?

Gresham Harkless 14:49

Absolutely. No, I love that definition from that perspective. And, Ron, I truly appreciate your time. What I wanted to do was 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 I can get a hold of you and get a copy of all the exceptional books you've created.

Ron Carucci 15:05

Well, I think you know, I'd say Gresham, first of all, thanks for having me. It's been great. You know, if you're a CEO out there listening to this, and you're not sure how good of a CEO you are, get help. You know, there are plenty of people out there who are good at this work. Go talk to other CEOs, join YPO do something. Make sure you are bettering yourself in some way. Do not assume you've arrived.

Come hang out with us. We've got lots of great resources out there and navalent.com. We got books we got magazines we have a quarterly magazine on leading organizations you can subscribe to for free. Got its great video content you can watch. Certainly, if you if you're about to lead some significant change, we have a free ebook on our leading transformation for CEOs at navalent.com/transformation.

So stay in touch. I'm also you can find me on Twitter, @roncolucci, and LinkedIn too. So I would love to keep the conversation going.

Gresham Harkless 16:04

Nice. I definitely appreciate you appreciate your time. Appreciate all the phenomenal work that you're doing as well. We'll have all those links in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you as well and download all the great content you guys are creating. But thank you again, Ron. I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Ron Carucci 16:20

Gresham, you do the same. Thanks so much for having me. Thanks. Good luck on the roll.

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 0:29

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresham from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I've Ron Carucci of Navalent. Ron, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Ron Carucci 0:39

Gresham, good to be with you. Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

And I said that wrond, did'nt I?

Ron Carucci 0:45

Navalent

Gresham Harkless 0:45

Alright, let me say one more time. Alright, Navalent. Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresham from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I've Ron Carucci of Navalent. Ron, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Ron Carucci 0:56

Gresham, great to be with you. Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:58

No problem super excited to have you on and what I want to do, which is read a little bit more about Ron so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Ron is the cofounder and managing parter of Navalent. Ron is the best-selling author of 8 books, and popular contributor at Harvard Business Review and Forbes. He is a 2-time TEDx speaker. Ron led a ten year longitudinal study on executive transition to find out why more than 50% of leaders fail within their first 18 months of appointment, and uncovering the four differentiating capabilities that set successful leaders apart. Those findings are highlighted in his groundbreaking Amazon #1 book Rising To Power, co-authored with Eric Hansen. Ron, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Ron Carucci 1:45

Gresham, let's go.

Gresham Harkless 1:46

Let's do it. So the first question I had was to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story well, that you start your business.

Ron Carucci 1:54

So I'm like many the accidental entrepreneur, I don't know that any I set out to start a firm by to two friends and I were working at a very large consulting firm in New York City and love this work, love the work of leadership and change. But when we got acquired by a larger company, it wasn't really fun anymore. It was more like about feeding the dinosaur. And so we thought we can still love this work. But we can do our own thing. So we left to go do our own thing. But that, of course, that quickly meant well, we're going to need help. So having hired people, the challenge there, of course, is now you're running the firm. So I think for the 15 years Navalent has been around I think, you know, it's been a wrestling match of leading the work and doing the work are two different things. And you have to love both. You know, I I know a lot about being a CEO by the ones I coach and work with and help. And it's not a job for the faint of heart. I don't know that I would ever call myself a CEO owner because just it's a dreaded job. And I'm glad I have partners that run the firm with me.

Gresham Harkless 2:58

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And it's always great to have you know, like a great team around you to make sure that you're able to be successful, you're able to hit your goals and do all those things. But it's kind of great that you're also working with a lot of CEOs and you're able to have that perspective and provide insight to help them out and be part of their team as well.

Ron Carucci 3:14

It's it's not a job for the faint of heart. Many people don't know what they're thinking about what they're asking for when they say I want to be a CEO and a many people want it for the wrong reasons. And the ones that get it, you know, there's no, I've never met a CEO, who has told me, this is exactly what I thought the job was going to be. Or Gosh, this job is really fun. Most CEOs are surprised by how lonely the job is surprised by how little power they actually have to affect change by how unforgiving the job is and by how concocted they are by others, and how misunderstood they are. People just assume they get the trappings of wealth and success and notoriety and see all this ease perks that come with a role. And think that's unfair and unjust. And think they don't work hard, and they just go to go and play golf all day. I suppose there are CEOs that do that. But for the most part, most CEOs work super hard. 24/7 It's a job that you don't get a break in. And when you make mistakes, everything's your fault. And when things go well you're not given any credit for it. It's a very sacrificial job and a very ruthlessly unforgiving job. If I tell CEOs who are aspiring CEOs, you better want to suffer. If you don't want to suffer, there are great things that come with being a CEO to for sure. But if you don't want to suffer in your job, or sacrifice for your job, you shouldn't be a CEO.

Gresham Harkless 4:48

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. It kind of reminds me of there's a quote by a guy who started Tesla completely forgot his name and blanked on his name. But he basically said that starting a business or starting a firm is like true on broken glass and staring into the abyss, so that's times, it'd be very difficult to make that happen. So I'm glad you you definitely shine light on, you know what that looks like. And I know you touched a little bit upon like some of the things you guys are doing to kind of help support CEOs, can you tell us a little bit more about you know, your services, what you guys are providing?

Ron Carucci 5:17

Yeah, kind of what I think I mean, from a from an individual leadership point of view CEOs and CEO transitions are a big part of our work, right. So you know, if there's very little in your career that can prepare you for that job, because there's not another one of them, right, you're the only one of you in the company. And if you've not done it before, first time CEOs can get up there and find themselves enormously disoriented. So just helping people transition into the job, and making sure they stick the landing, and making sure they know how to set their agenda and what they should they first do in their six months, and how they should they build a team around them? And how do they set strategy, you know, the some of the very basics of CEO leadership are our work we do with leaders, we also talk a lot about how you lead transformation, right? So many CEOs are, are, are both given and also precede themselves to have a mandate of some kind, especially if they're an engineering CEO, if they're a startup CEO, and they're the founder, then the biggest challenge, of course, is how do you shake your founderism, and grow something beyond you, because most leaders who are founders build an organization around their own identity, and then they end up killing their own baby? So how do you affect change and grow an organization and architect something beyond you? And how do you scale most most CEOs if there is enter at a smaller stage, don't know how to bring maturity about and sort of arc story of growth. Many of them have never led. It's astounding how many CEOs have go from leading a team of eight people to suddenly the way the hundreds of people because they had too fast rise. And so the other day, they get altitude sickness, right, they just get up there and they get too high. So we we accompany CEOs on that journey.

Gresham Harkless 6:55

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And if you might have our attention is what do you feel is kind of like their secret sauce? Well, what makes you guys unique?

Ron Carucci 7:04

We get the role. I mean, when it comes to executive leadership, and the requirements of effecting change, we have a deep empathy and understanding for what that takes. We're not just coaches, we're not just consultants, we're trusted advisors, you know, we are our relationships with our lives, our intimate relationships that span many years, we don't come in and fix your hair up and tell you to sit up straight and go home. We understand that this is deeper work. And it's longer work, and harder work. And so I think because we go the distance, I think what our executives tell us is what what sets us apart is how much we care. And how committed we are, we bring a lot of a lot to the table in terms of content understanding of what it means to sit at the top of an enterprise. But what it takes to actually help a leader get better at that, and how much we care to make sure it happens. Which means we're not pulling punches, right. So I think one of the things that clients appreciate about us is that you're never going to wonder where your stand, you're gonna get the unbridled truth from us. And sometimes it won't be, it won't be easy to hear. But it's the truth that nobody else is going to tell you.

Gresham Harkless 8:04

Right. And that makes perfect sense. A lot of times like, like you mentioned, you know, actually knowing the position, not just saying you know, the position or hearing about the position, you guys actually know that and know and can provide that insight. And a lot of times, that's the type of advice that you need. And sometimes when you kind of insulate yourself with, yes, men or women, you always say the things that you want to hear, but you want to hear the right things, because ultimately, I think most probably CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners want to be successful, and they need people like that in order to make that happen.

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Ron Carucci 8:33

And most of them don't know that. Right? So they most of them as they go to hire people, they don't realize they're hiring in their own image. And then they don't realize that when they having done that, they're gonna get people who just give them the answer they want to hear. They also don't realize that when they hear some when they hear bad news, how to respond. But they don't know how to manage their emotions. They don't know how to get angry. They either don't filter their anger, or they suppress their anger. And I tell CEOs all the time, look, you're allowed to be angry as long as you plan on it. But you have to be very thoughtful about what your anger in your role means to an organization. So it's a it's, it's hard. And once you've set that culture in place where people don't don't tell you the truth. Now you created a hybridization built on this seat. And one of the biggest challenges I get from executives all the time as I can't get good information. I can't get the data. It's all spun. It's all sanitized. It's all it's all, you know, filtered. And I don't I can't make good decisions based on data that I can't rely on.

Gresham Harkless 9:43

Knows and so you help you guys help, you know, organizations, I guess, figure out how they can get the actual data or the what steps they need to take, I guess in order to make sure that they are getting the actual data they need to make the decisions to in order to be successful?

Ron Carucci 9:55

And how to get the leaders around them who give it to them, how to make sure the governance of the organization is Based on honesty, that people are governing, with, with, with, shared with truth telling, with dealing with bad news and not sanitizing it.

Gresham Harkless 10:12

Yeah, And that makes sense. And it kind of, you know, makes me think of a point to where a lot of times you have to create that culture in order to do that. And sometimes, you know, you, you, like you mentioned, you will hire your own self in a different way. So sometimes you don't create that culture that makes it possible for you to have those conversations have those hard conversations a lot of times, but a lot of times it sounds like it starts and begins with a CEO for creating and fostering that culture.

Ron Carucci 10:40

Well, it depends, Gresham it depends on how big the company is. But certainly CEO plays a disproportionate role. Right, if it's a smaller company, then it plays an enormous role. And many, many leaders don't know or don't appreciate that their lifestyle on the Jumbotron. Right, they you know, I tell newly arriving executives where they're at the top, or the CEO or one of the top jobs, you just assume that you have a megaphone strapped to your mouth 24/7. Everything you say is amplified, every action you take has meaning attached to it, whether you mean it or not, people will quote you as having said things you never said you can't walk down the hall fast, without people thinking oh, my gosh, something's wrong as an emergency or he's, he's gonna yell at somebody. And it could be you have to go to the bathroom. But people are going to make meaning out of it. And you can't control all that you can't try and manage all that perception. But you certainly can be aware of messages you send, or signals you send your cues you're giving that might reinforce behavior you don't want.

Gresham Harkless 11:41

Right, and I always a big believer in saying control what you can control. And last time, she can control the reaction that people will have. But you can try to, you know, as much as possible, manage, you know, your actions and things that you do and things that you kind of showcase. So I appreciate you for sharing that. 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 a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Ron Carucci 12:09

I wish every CEO would take their mission and value statement, off the wall off, off whatever swag they have it on, put it in front of their team, and say, let's hold this up as report card. Let's talk about how are we not living this? Where we are in our lives, where are each of us were in our organization, are we not being true to who we said we were and fix one thing today.

Gresham Harkless 12:35

That makes perfect sense. And I love that because a lot of times when you're a founder or you have created the business or you're leading the business, a lot of times you lose sight of the mission. And having that in front and using it as a scorecard as you says keep it keeps it all in line. Because a lot of times you can be playing entirely different game when you shouldn't be playing the game that you set out to play. And if you pay attention to the mission, the scorecard you're able to do that a lot better. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is 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?

Ron Carucci 13:08

Don't worry so much about how popular you are. Don't be afraid to disappoint people. Your your leadership is the ability to disappoint people at a rate they can absorb if you if you're a benevolent dictator, and you want to try to be Santa Claus and get everybody to love you. And you're saying yes, way too many times you're institutionalizing mediocrity. Don't be afraid to say no. For the CEOs who are a complete, narcissistic self absorbed jerks who lead wakes up bodies behind them. I would just say if if you if you aren't sure if you're that woman or guy, and there's a chance you might be get feedback, make sure you have feedback coming to you all the time. Because if you are, if there's a revolving door, people coming in and out of your company, take the hint because your best people will quit and leave and your worst people will quit and stay.

Gresham Harkless 13:54

That's very true. It's painfully painfully true. But it makes sense. A lot of times you know, you can live in a bubble. Like we kind of touched on it and say, Oh, it's not me or it's not that but a lot of times like we said, you know, being a leader is all about creating that culture and marching to a certain drum. And a lot of times people will follow you based off of that. So if you don't like the facts, you don't like the things around you then sometimes it's best to take a look in the mirror. So yeah, I appreciate that. And you already touched on this, but I want to see if you had anything else. It's 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 Ron, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Ron Carucci 14:35

Using your power to change a lot of lives you have a disproportionate level of power that comes with that role. Are you do you know the greater good you want to serve with it and are you serving it?

Gresham Harkless 14:49

Absolutely. No, I love that definition in that perspective. And, Ron, I truly appreciate your time. What I wanted to do was 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 I can get a hold of you and get a copy of all the exceptional books you've created.

Ron Carucci 15:05

Well, I think you know, I'd say Gresham, first of all thanks for having me. It's been great. You know, if you're if you're a CEO out there listening to this, and you're not sure if how good of a CEO you are, get help. You know, there are plenty of people out there who are good at this work. Go talk to other CEOs, join YPO do something. Make sure you are bettering yourself in some way. Do not assume you've arrived. Come hang out with us. We've got lots of great resources out there and navalent.com. We got books we got magazine we have a quarterly magazine on leading organizations you can subscribe to for free. Got it's great video content you can watch. Certainly if you if you if you're about to lead some significant change, we have a free ebook our leading transformation for CEOs at navalent.com/transformation. So stay in touch. I'm also you can find me on Twitter, @roncolucci and at LinkedIn too. So I would love to keep the conversation going.

Gresham Harkless 16:04

Nice. I definitely appreciate you appreciate your time. Appreciate all the phenomenal work that you're doing as well. We'll have all those links in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you as well and download all the great content you guys are creating. But thank you again, Ron. I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Ron Carucci 16:20

Gresham, you do the same. Thanks so much for having me. Thanks. Good luck on the roll.

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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