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Podcast Interview with Kvon Tucker

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

This episode of the IAMCEO Podcast features the interview with Kvon Tucker, CEO, and Founder of Consciously, a purpose-driven Executive and Leadership Coaching firm. Kvon Tucker is a professional learning and leadership development expert who has dedicated a considerable part of his life to aiding leaders, teams, and organizations in learning, adapting, and transforming.

Tucker has made significant contributions to leaders at Netflix and Amazon, where he helped them adapt to hyper-growth and extensive scale through experiential learning and coaching. Currently, he oversees Manager and Leadership Development for Google's Staffing organization. He focuses on designing experiential learning and coaching leaders to help Google grow.

Tucker shares his CEO Hack as “owning his mornings” to get a productive start to the day. His CEO Nugget advises others to be easy on themselves since progress takes time, and setbacks are part of the journey. He defines a CEO as a change agent in society, leading the way and effecting positive changes.

Alongside his commendable professional commitment, Tucker holds a Master's degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and is also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC).

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Transcription:

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Kvon Tucker Teaser 00:00

But I would say be easy on yourself. And that might sound odd coming from someone who's started a business, has a growing business and also works full-time and as a parent and a husband.

But I have found that self-compassion is probably like the secret key to life and no one told me about it until I was like in my mid-thirties.

Intro 00:20

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:47

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them, business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners, or what I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month, we are focused on leadership management and coaching. When we think of leadership, management and coaching, we often think of doing all the other things, but often it's a person that's able to build up their team, that's able to cultivate a creative and innovative culture so that people can excel and actually be their own leaders. So that's why this month we're focusing on those three big topics because they make a huge impact on the organizations that we're part of.

Now you'll hear some of those topics this month, of course some really great perspectives on how people are even defining leadership, which I think is extremely exciting. So sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast.

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Kvon Tucker of Consciously. Kvon, it's great to have you on the show.

Kvon Tucker 02:06

Hey, thank you. I'm happy to be here.

Gresham Harkless 02:08

Definitely. Super excited to have you on. Happy to have you on as well, too. Before we jump into the interview, I want to read a little bit more about Kvon so you hear about all the awesome things that he's doing.

Kvon is the CEO and founder of Consciously, a purpose-driven executive and leadership coaching firm. Kvon is also a professionally trained leadership and leadership development expert. He has spent a 3rd of his life dedicated to leaders, teams and organizations, learn, adapt, and transform. His favorite tagline is all I know is how to help people grow.

He has helped leaders at Netflix and Amazon adapt to hyper-growth and tremendous scale through experiential learning and coaching today. He heads up Manager and Leadership Development for Google's staffing organization, designing experiential learning and coaching leaders as they help Google grow. Kvon also holds a master's in industrial and organization philosophy and is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach.

Kvon, great to have you on the show to hear about all the awesome things you're doing. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Kvon Tucker 03:07

Yeah, happy to man. Let's get into it.

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Gresham Harkless 03:09

Awesome. Let's do it then. So to kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit, and hear a little bit more on how you got started. What I call your CEO story.

Kvon Tucker 03:16

Yeah, my CEO story. I like to tell people that it was born out of a very, very difficult time. I was early in my career, maybe 5, 6 years into my career as a learning and development professional. And one day, I woke up and I was miserable. I realized that the work that I was doing wasn't really all that purposeful. It wasn't really meaningful. I had gotten away from what I got into this line of work to do, which is to support people and connect with people. So I went on my own little journey to reconnect with what my purpose is and explore what my purpose is, and I landed on coaching.

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I went into a coaching course looking for something that would feel a little bit more meaningful and purposeful for me and I walked out feeling like I had found my life purpose. So it's at that point, I knew that coaching was going to be something that I was going to do. And maybe a month later, I had found Consciously with my wife and say, hey, you know what, regardless of what goes on in my day job, I know that I need to coach so this is going to be the channel for me to do that. It's been a whirlwind.

Now coaching is a much more larger part of my life and Consciously is growing I'd say rather rapidly, not tremendously rapid, but it's growing. In that whole journey, I've also woven in this manager and leadership development aspect. So, if you think about my background in industrial organizational psychology, the whole goal of us is to help organizations thrive and help people work better together. And when you think about how to do that in organizations, focusing on the manager community has been, I think, the greatest revelation of my career.

I think they're one of the most important segments of an organization when you want to create change, sustainable change. And so helping managers be better managers and be better leaders as well as coaching them to do. So it's kind of where I've landed. So that's that's a little bit of my story in a nutshell.

Gresham Harkless 04:56

Nice. I definitely appreciate you for sharing that. And the quote that was coming to my mind, we were talking about sometimes it was a frustrating path that how everything came about was like, it's sometimes darkest before dawn.

I think so many times when we go through those frustrating moments, sometimes if we just explore, see what kind of can come out the end of the tunnel, sometimes it's our greatest purpose and the thing that we ultimately should be doing. Like it was in your case.

Kvon Tucker 05:18

Absolutely, man. I look back now at that time as a gift, it was like a message saying, Hey, you're not doing what you're here to do, what you're supposed to do here. You're not spending your time in the ways in which you want, there's more for you out there.

So for me, it was a note of opportunity for me to go look. And fortunately, I found coaching and I found manager and leadership development, and then I use consciously as the channel to do that work.

Gresham Harkless 05:41

Yeah, absolutely. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more, hear about this channel that you're using. Could you take us through a little bit more on how you work with the clients and how that manifests itself?

Kvon Tucker 05:50

Yeah, the number one way I work with my clients is 1 on 1. So I consider myself a leadership and executive development coach. What that looks like is usually I meet with them 1 on 1, 50 to 60 minutes bi-weekly. I do have some 1 on 1 arrangements that are weekly and that's if you're a leader and you really want to grow very rapidly, then we might do a weekly thing. And in that 50 to 60 minutes, we do a number of things.

One, we center on what we're going to talk about, what that leader wants to grow or what their challenge is. Let me spend about 80% of the time, just exploring that topic, going really deep, getting in touch with what parts of themselves they want to develop. And what does it look like? What does it feel like? What do they imagine? The results would be like, so do some visualization. We do lots of different things within these 50-60 minutes.

Then the last 20% of the time we spend or 10% of the time we spend landing on an action. So, it's never just hey, we're going to get together and talk about some fun, cool stuff. For me, a big part of coaching is action. What are we going to do after we've done all this exploration? Or what do you want to do? And whatever we come up with, it should be in service of that client's agenda or that client to want for their leadership development or for the executive development or just for their life.

So, yeah, just a little bit of finding the topic, exploring the topic and then doing some action to further development around that topic,

Gresham Harkless 07:07

I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce and this could be for yourself personally, or the business or a combination of both. But what do you feel sets you apart and makes you unique?

Kvon Tucker 07:18

I'd say a couple of things one is it's my journey, like many other people, I bring a lot of personal and professional experience into my coaching. So, there are a lot of coaches out there and a lot more coaches are getting certified and I have that as well. But what makes me different from someone who just found out about coaching last year, and then got certified all of a sudden is that my whole career has been dedicated to helping people learn and grow. I have two degrees in psychology, so I really understand human behavior.

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I really understand learning. That's been my whole career and I bring that into my coaching, so I do a little bit of education around learning and development. I do some education around sustainable behavior change that other coaches just can't because they don't have that background. So that's one aspect is just like my professional. Then there's my personal drive towards helping people find and fulfill their purpose. Consciously is founded and rooted on that. And I think that personal purpose and leadership purpose are like the most important things for people to achieve whatever they want to achieve.

It's our personal philosophy at Consciously that everyone's purpose is somehow tied to helping themselves and helping others do good for the world. And so I center all of my coaching around that, and it's just been my experience that when you start asking questions, what's important to you? What is your purpose? And you get someone to land on a purpose statement. It almost, I would say 100% of the time, it has something to do with helping other people.

So I love the center leaders around that, because I think if you can center more and more CEOs around finding and fulfilling the purpose, which ultimately is connected to elevating our species, then we can all do really great work together. So those are a couple of things that make me a little bit different from other coaches.

Gresham Harkless 08:54

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

Kvon Tucker 09:03

Yeah, I knew this question was coming and I know you're wanting something that might be a little bit different, but I don't and honestly, I've listened to your podcast a little bit. So I know that this isn't all that unique and it's the honest truth is really owning your mornings. I am religious about how I design my mornings and how I adhere to my mornings. I'm one of those people who like serve themselves. So, it's meditation, it's writing, it's exercise, it's eating good food.

I do all the things that are supremely important to sustaining me and sustain my energy before I do anything else. I'm a new father, so some of that stuff is not the same as it was before I became a dad. So I'm getting some of that stuff back, but my mornings, I'm religious about them.

So, like I said, I do 15 minutes of writing before I go to the gym. I always go to the gym and then I come back and I shower and I do 15 minutes of meditation, depending on the day and make sure I eat a good solid breakfast. Then I start my day and some combination of that has been life changing for me when it comes to being able to sustain the work that I'm doing.

Gresham Harkless 10:10

I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So you might have already touched on this, but this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client, or if you hopped into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Kvon Tucker 10:21

Yeah, that's a good one. This might seem a little different. But I would say be easy on yourself and that might sound odd coming from someone who's started a business, has a growing business and also works full time and is a parent and a husband. But I have found that self-compassion is probably like the secret key to life that no one told me about until I was like in my mid-thirties.

Yeah, be easy on yourself. If you're an entrepreneur and you have your own business, you're already an ambitious person and so you can lean on that ambition. Don't forget it. But also don't forget that beating yourself up to achieve more and grow faster is actually not going to get you there.

I know it seems a little counterintuitive for folks, and it was counterintuitive for me for years to think that being gentler and kinder to myself would actually help me achieve more, but after years of practicing that myself and helping other leaders practice self-compassion, it's been proven that being gentler actually can help pave the way for you to achieve more and grow faster.

So, I would say, if you want a secret golden key that most people aren't talking about for entrepreneurs or business owners, self-compassion will change your life. And if you ever want to talk about that, feel free to contact me, because I love to talk about self-compassion.

Gresham Harkless 11:37

Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate you for sharing that. It's so funny because this past year I was saying, my word after the pandemic and everything was giving yourself grace because I think so many times we can beat ourselves up, but I love that self-compassion word even more.

Because I think that so many times, we forget and working and wanting to get to a certain level will beat ourselves up because we're not at that level and we can take that energy and put it in a positive, more positive way.

Or we could put that energy towards whatever solution we're trying to solve, but beating ourselves up is not going to necessarily move that needle forward. So we have to understand that and give ourselves that self-compassion.

Kvon Tucker 12:12

Yeah, absolutely. I think grace is a form of self-compassion. So I would have to 100% agree with you. I think grace is a beautiful thing. If you can give yourself that you give yourself space to breathe and space to grow. When you're down on yourself, you're working with limited room.

So when you breathe self compassionate and space into your environment, you give yourself room to meet the challenges that you want to meet. It's also just a more enjoyable experience than being mean to yourself. So there's that too.

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Gresham Harkless 12:41

Yeah, absolutely. I think I saw something on, I don't know if it was on Instagram or something along the lines that a lot of times if we write down what we tell ourselves, we wouldn't want to hang around that person. But yet we tell ourselves that on a regular basis.

So to check what we're saying to ourselves and give ourselves that self-compassion is something that is good because it'll make us want to be around ourselves as well too.

Kvon Tucker 13:02

Yeah. Yeah. That's what we need, especially if we have businesses that depend on us. It's important for us to be kind to ourselves. And then this is a leadership thing too. So if you're mean to yourself, like, how do you think you're acting to other people? And if you're a leader who lacks self-compassion, what does that mean for the culture that you're creating in your organization, right?

That's the conversation that I love to have with leaders.

Gresham Harkless 13:20

Yeah, absolutely. I definitely appreciate you for holding space to do that. I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on the show.

So Kvon, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Kvon Tucker 13:36

I think being a CEO is the same as being a change agent in society. I think if you're a CEO, you're leading the way in some meaningful way, some material way. So it doesn't mean, making a whole lot of money. It doesn't mean that you have to have a whole bunch of employees.

I think being a CEO means you're leading the way and you're responsible for the change that you want to create. You might have people under you, might have 100, 10, 000 depending on where you're at, but you are leading the way. It's important for you to own that and then build the team that's going to support this change that you want to create.

Gresham Harkless 14:14

Yeah. And I think that's one of the most beautiful things about entrepreneurship is a lot of times like an opportunity or something not being done or something not being fulfilled. Do you want to create that change?

So I love that change agent piece, because I think so many times when we take ownership of that and we start to take the actions, of course create this space so that we are actually evaluating that and know our purpose as you do so well, it creates that momentum that can truly create that change that we hope to see in our organizations and our businesses and our lives.

Kvon Tucker 14:40

Absolutely. That's it. Yeah, I agree 100%

Gresham Harkless 14:43

Awesome. Kvon, I truly appreciate that definition and I appreciate your time even more. What I want to do is just pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best they can get ahold of you and find about all the awesome things that you're working on.

Kvon Tucker 14:58

Yeah 1st, thank you very much for this time. I'm happy to share a little bit more about what's important to me and the work that I'm doing consciously. If you want to find me, the best way to find me is to look me up on Kvon Tucker on LinkedIn, or you can find me on Instagram, which is at consciously_kvon is another way to find me.

You can also go to consciously.one which is my website. You can find more information there or reach out to us if you would like to work together. But yeah, for me, I just want to say thank you. And for anyone out there who's listening, if you're thinking about doing something big or becoming a CEO or already CEO, or you have an idea for society, I would encourage you to think about what is your purpose. If you don't have an answer for that, then I'd say start to look for that answer.

I just think that is the most important work that we can be doing as CEOs as entrepreneurs is figuring out what is our purpose here and then using our businesses as channels to achieve that purpose.

Gresham Harkless 15:54

That's extremely powerful. We will have the links and information to the show notes as well too, so that everybody can follow up with you. But so powerful just to remind ourselves of the power that we have within to be change agents as we talked about and how we can use our businesses as channels, the conduits to make that happen.

But it really takes and goes to a different level when we are alone with our purpose and what that looks like and how we can create space for us to evaluate that. So thank you so much for taking some time out. Thank you so much for the work you do and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Outro 16:23

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and 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. Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at blue16media.com. This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless, Jr. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

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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