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IAM2069 – Operations Executive Helps Entrepreneurs Optimize Their Roles and Time

Podcast Interview with Joel Kahn

In this episode, we have Joel Kahn, an Operations Executive who helps entrepreneurs optimize their time and roles within their businesses by making the best use of time.

Joel, emphasizes transitioning from sales roles to more strategic positions and understanding the various components of a business.

The conversation covers various aspects of being a CEO, including being a visionary, taking responsibility for the business and its people, defining the success of the business, and leading the people in the company. It also mentions the importance of core values.

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Transcription:

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Joel Kahn Teaser 00:00

So I want to talk to people about what's their highest and best use of their time. Because sometimes they do have an entrepreneur where they don't love to sell, but they know that's what they have to do because of those one on one connections.

So we'll talk about what does that look like over the next three, six, twelve months. And do we start talking about how we get them out of that sales seat and more into just a rainmaker seat than eventually into an ownership CEO or visionary seat.

Intro 00:34

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 01:01

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Joel Kahn. Joel, excited to have you on the show.

Joel Kahn 01:08

Hey. Thanks for having me. Really appreciate it. Looking forward to our conversation.

Gresham Harkless 01:12

Absolutely. I'm appreciating you as well too and all the awesome things that you're doing. And, of course, before we jumped into that conversation, I wanted to read a little bit more about Joel so you can hear about some of those awesome things that he's been working on.

And Joel has always been driven by growing companies and making them better. People define the word better in various ways, but as an Operations Executive, COO, this means profitable growth, better margins, more engaged employees, more engaged customers, happier owners and stakeholders.

This has come from years of analyzing business situations and diving into what one company successful and one company fail. And throughout Joel's career, he has successfully managed both the revenue and cost side of P & L's as large as forty-five million dollars. And all his roles including that as an integrator for companies running on the Entrepreneur Operating System or EOS.

He has achieved an unbroken record of performance driving turnarounds and building expansions that has significantly elevated the revenue for revenue positions for the companies. Joel's strengths come from looking at the entire company and figuring out how the individual pieces fit together to make a cohesive unit so that the company operates at the highest level.

And he firmly believes that the sales needs Operation, which needs Accounting, which needs Human Resources, which needs Finance, which needs Marketing, which needs Sales. And Joel finds the best way for these groups to work together as a cohesive unit, proving that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

And absolutely appreciate the opportunity I got to connect with Joel. He was a wealth of knowledge and information. Super helpful and I always appreciate having an opportunity to connect with givers and people that are always looking to have that helpful attitude. And I really, really, really love his holistic approach.

That's the word I'm gonna use with how he approaches companies and how he helps them to reach their goals. So, Joel, excited to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

Joel Kahn 02:57

I'm ready. I'm excited as well.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:59

Absolutely. Me too. So I guess to kick everything off, let's rewind the clock a little bit, hear a little bit more on how you got started, what I call your CEO story.

Joel Kahn 03:06

Yeah. So thanks again for having me. Greatly appreciate it. So the story, I feel like sometimes I'm the old guy in the room because my resume looks like quite a travel block sometimes. But, even before that, I started working when I was eleven. Raising a single parent household, my mom was pretty straightforward. If you want something, you gotta go earn it.

So 11-years old, two dollars and fifty cents an hour. I worked for a local catering company on the weekend. I did those type of jobs, did some landscaping. And I bring up landscaping because my junior senior year of high school, I landscaped all summer with, a friend of mine, guy I played football with. And at the end of that summer, I said, I can't do this. I got a college. This is hard work.

So all those people in the skilled trades and blue collar that are getting their hands dirty every day, I give you all the credit, really all the credit. So I was lucky enough, went to school, paid for my way to go through school, went to Ohio State, otherwise known as the Ohio State University. Right. Right.

I am a Buckeye through and through, but a little irony there. I have a undergrad in Marketing. Got out. I didn't want to back when I went out, it was fundamentally sales. And I was like, I don't know if I wanna do this. And, actually went back and got a second degree in Accounting. And that was probably the precipice for me looking at companies a little bit differently and how the different pieces parts need to work together.

So now I start as an Accountant, in the home building industry, residential construction, accounting, and estimating, and operations that kinda moved my way up. And after about nine, ten years of doing that, actually had the ability over the stupidity. I haven't figured that one out yet and went off on my own and started my own custom mobile tech company.

And for anybody out there that's, taking that entrepreneurial step, it's a big one. It's a scary one. So I was very successful with that until the infamous mortgage meltdown of 2009. That was unfortunate, but it was a great learning experience. So I spent some time working for a company growing it profitably about three and a half years, got recruited to another one, and found that I really loved, being a COO.

Gresham Harkless 05:26

Nice. So I know you touched on a little bit on how you work with clients. I wanted to drill down a little bit more to hear, like, how that process works. So maybe even when people are aware that they need to give you a call or reach out to you, does do you have an experience or what that looks like?

Joel Kahn 05:39

Oftentimes, entrepreneurs, especially in smaller businesses, it can be one million to five million. Usually, as an entrepreneur, they're okay running. They start getting to that five to ten person team, two to four million dollars depending on the margin. They're doing so many different things that they're really not doing that one thing well.

So oftentimes or almost always, I'll come in. We start the conversation of what's working, what's not working. The other part of the conversation is I'll look at them and say, Gresh, what do you love to do? What do you wanna do? So some clients are saying, I've done this twenty years. I'm burnt out. I wanna move to the owner's seat. I just want to have a vision for the company and let other people drive it.

Sometimes they say, I'm a Salesperson. I love to sell. I've done it for 45 years. I wanna continue it for 25 years. I'm having one of those conversations right now. They're doing the operational piece. It's the most painful thing that they're doing right now.

So I want to talk to people about what's their highest and best use of their time. Because sometimes they do have an entrepreneur where they don't love to sell, but they know that's what they have to do because of those one on one connections. So we'll talk about what does that look like over the next three, six, twelve months.

And do we start talking about how we get them out of that sales seat and more into just a rainmaker seat than eventually into an ownership CEO or visionary seat. So those conversations oftentimes happen organically. I will say that the downside of it is most of the time, these entrepreneurs have to be feeling a decent amount of pain before they really start looking around for a better way to do things. And that's where most of my referrals come because everything I do is based on referrals.

Gresham Harkless 07:41

Nice. I appreciate you breaking that down. And do you feel like that's part of what I would like to call your secret sauce? That could be for yourself, the business, or a combination of both. But is it your ability to be attuned to that and, of course, have all the other experience, skills, and be ability to be able to execute? Do you think bringing that together is your secret sauce?

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Joel Kahn 07:59

But I would say that's one of my secret sauces. I go to more of a black and white secret sauce if I'm able to sit. And even though I'm the COO, I've sat in the scene of the CFO and the CRO, and I can do those things. I understand the orchestration of it. When we bring this up, I go, I think that is certainly one of them is to know.

Sometimes, Gresham, it's worth it. It's within the first five minutes. I tell the story of, I was I spoke with a gentleman who was looking for a fractional CO specific, and we were having a conversation, and he was ultra successful, really good looking. He was a salesman at heart, and I'm sitting across the table from this person going, no one has ever said no to this person.

And when I said, what do you what does thirty, sixty, ninety days look like as success for you? He's like, I don't know. Okay. So let me ask you a different question. What do you want out of this person? And his response was really, I don't know if he understood how transparent it was. He said, I just want them to do everything I don't wanna do.

And I thought, this is not a good fit because you're looking for someone just to offload and that whether that meets my whether that matches my skill set or not, doesn't match. You'll I don't wanna say he didn't care. He didn't care. He just said this is I just want this. And it was more of he wanted 25% Admin, 25% TOO, 25% Emotional Support Person, and 25% I couldn't define.

And at the end of it, thanked him greatly, and he said, what do you think? And I said, I think it's not a great fit. It's not for me. It's this isn't what I'm looking for. I'm looking for something different. And like I said, he was not used to not having people say yes to him. And he was, what am I missing? And I said, it's just very much it's not you, it's me. What I'm looking for out of somebody is more than what you want to do, and you'll find your first, but it it's not me.

Gresham Harkless 10:05

Yeah. And I appreciate you so much in sharing that. So I wanted to, switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or even a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Joel Kahn 10:17

So books, I go I'm a simple man. This is what I like to say. One of my favorite books is, Who Moved My Cheese. I'm Ken Blanchard. He also did Raving Fans. Loved Raving Fans. Really loved Who Moved My Cheese. And really about activity. So that was that's a book that if anybody hasn't read it or listened to it, and it's a fast read, it's a fast listen.

It's just so great about being active, making some decisions, and moving on those decisions. The other a couple other hacks, one that I loved, I heard this a couple weeks ago. I was in a it was in a planning session with one of my clients, and somebody had said we were talking about how we get started because this is there's a dividend going on.

And he said stop getting to a 100%. Stop getting to 90%. Let me give you the if you can get to 80% and start doing something, if you go another 80% on top here at 96% percent, 80% of 96%, you're at 99%. And the numbers nerd that I am, that was so that was another one that was powerful to me. It was stop trying to be perfect about it. Just just get out there.

When I went off on my own, somebody said, do you have a website? And I was like, I didn't even think about a website. Contacted my digital marketing person and said, how do I do a website? And she said, give me a few hours. Three hours later, it's one page, but it's up and running. Is it 80%? Probably not. And someone like you, Gresh, would look at it and go, Joel, you're not even 40%, but I'm up. Right?

So I sent him a note. I said, hey. Here's my website. Just got started. Let me know if you have any questions, but it continued the conversation. So that 80% rule, if you go eighty, ninety six, ninety nine, I just that's my latest one. And then the other one that I really like is, my last position.

I was with a start up, and we were talking about valuation. Everyone talks about valuation in startups. So we're trying to do this, we're trying to do that. And it's still out there that, a unicorn's at a billion dollars. If you need a billion dollar valuation, you're a unicorn. And I read an article, and I wish it would've saved it because I wanna give credit to the person who wrote it.

They said, don't be a unicorn. Be a donkey. And they said, unicorns are this mythical creature who have this great look and all of these things. Be a donkey, right? Be a workhorse. Be the one who gets things done. Because if you can figure those things out at the small end, you'll get them at the big end. If you're just looking at evaluation, what do you have? What do you are you building a house of cards?

So I'm sure there are CEOs out there listening to this and entrepreneurs are gonna listen to this and go, this guy doesn't know what he's talking about. Being a unicorn is what it's all about. Hey. Have at it. That's I don't wanna squash anybody's dreams. If you've got it, you've got it. But that was one another one that resonated with me, which was you figure out how to do the basics for sports fans, the blocking and tackling. Right, the feeling, the hitting, the bunt, hitting free throws for the basketball fans. When you figure out how to do those things, everything else is gonna come along with it. So be a donkey, not a unicorn, Gresh.

Gresham Harkless 13:39

Yeah. I absolutely love that. And I feel like that's even a nugget, which is, like, more the word of wisdom or a piece of advice and that you might tell your favorite client. I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. Our goal is to have different quote-unquote CEOs on their show. So, Joel, what's being a CEO mean to you?

Joel Kahn 13:57

For me, it's a multi-pronged. It's being the CEO, it's being the visionary. Being the CEO is having the responsibility for both the business and the people in it. Being the CEO is understanding where you wanna take your business. It's also defining the success of the business. So is it growth? Is it trying to get to that unicorn status? Is it trying to help as many people as you possibly can? Is it is it supplying jobs within an industry or area that needs it? It's really how you define success.

And I think another part of it is we go to that leadership or leader term or phrase is really leading the people in the company. And most importantly, core value. I have a client. They don't use the phrase core values. They use culture promises. And I love culture promises. It's just has a different way of saying really what's important.

And these are the things that we promise to do for our employees. And these are the things that we really want our employees to promise to our partners, whether they're referral partners, whether they're clients. And it's just such a strong phrase that, again, it changed my lens of what it looks like. So I think of being a CEO, it's all of those things.

Some days, it's being a little bit crazier than the next person. Sometimes it's working harder. Sometimes it's just having more arguments with your employee to figure out what's best for the company. But leadership is a big part. Vision is a big part. But I go back to the core values and the cultural promises. And as a CEO, are you withholding those? Are you walking the walk or are you just talking the talk?

Gresham Harkless 16:00

Awesome. Awesome. Joel, truly appreciate that definition. And, of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I want to do now is 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 people will get a hold of you, find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

Joel Kahn 16:13

Best way to get a hold of me is I do have a website, providentsolutionsgroup.com. Email would be joel@providentsolutionsgroup.com.

Gresham Harkless16:23

Thank you so much, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Joel Kahn 16:26

Yeah. Thank you, Gresh. I really appreciate your help.

Outro 16:28

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by CBNation and Blue16 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.

Title: Transcript - Mon, 01 Apr 2024 12:23:45 GMT

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Date: Mon, 01 Apr 2024 12:23:45 GMT, Duration: [00:16:59.29]

[00:00:00.80] - Joel Kahn

So I want to talk to people about what's their highest and best use of their time. Because sometimes they do have an entrepreneur where they're they're they don't love to sell, but they know that's what they have to do because of those one on one connections. So we'll talk about what does that look like over the next three, 06:12 months. And do we start talking about how we get them out of that sales seat and more into just a rainmaker seat than eventually into an ownership CEO or visionary seat.

[00:00:34.00] - Intro

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, 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.

[00:01:01.39] - Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Joel Kahn. Joel, excited to have you on the show.

[00:01:08.79] - Joel Kahn

Hey. Thanks for having me. Really appreciate it. Looking forward to our conversation.

[00:01:12.70] - Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. I'm I'm appreciating you as well too and all the awesome things that you're doing. And, of course, before we jumped into that conversation, I wanted to read a little bit more about Joel so you can hear about some of those awesome things that he's been working on. And Joel has always been driven by growing companies and making them better. People define the word better in various ways, but as an operations executive, COO, this means profitable growth, better margins, more engaged employees, more engaged customers, happier owners and stakeholders. This has come from years of analyzing business situations and diving into what one company successful and one company fail. And throughout Joel's career, he has successfully managed both the revenue and cost side of p and l's as large as forty five million dollars. And all his roles including that as an integrator for companies running on the entrepreneur operating system or EOS. He has achieved an unbroken record of performance driving turnarounds and building expansions that has significantly elevated the revenue for revenue positions for the companies. Joel's strengths come from looking at the entire company and figuring out how the individual pieces fit together to make a cohesive unit so that the company operates at the highest level. And he firmly believes that the sales needs operation, which needs accounting, which needs human resources, which needs finance, which needs marketing, which needs sales. And Joel finds the best way for these groups to work together as a cohesive unit, proving that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And absolutely appreciate the opportunity I got to connect with Joel. He was a wealth of knowledge and information. Super helpful and I always appreciate having an opportunity to connect with givers and people that are always looking to have that helpful attitude. And I really, really, really love his holistic approach. That's the word I'm gonna use with how he approaches companies and how he helps them to reach their goals. So, Joe, excited to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the IMCO community?

[00:02:57.50] - Joel Kahn

I'm ready. I'm excited as well.

[00:02:59.30] - Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. Me too. So I guess to kick everything off, let's rewind the clock a little bit, hear a little bit more on how you got started, what I call your CEO story.

[00:03:06.40] - Joel Kahn

Yeah. So thanks again for having me. Greatly appreciate it. So the story, I feel like sometimes I'm the old guy in the room because my resume looks like quite a travel block sometimes. But, even before that, I started working when I was eleven. Raising a single parent household, my mom was pretty straightforward. If you want something, you gotta go earn it. So eleven years old, two dollars and fifty cents an hour. I worked for a local catering company on the weekend. I did those type of jobs, did some landscaping. And I bring up landscaping because my junior senior year of high school, I landscaped all summer with, a friend of mine, guy I played football with. And at the end of that summer, I said, I can't do this. I got a college. This this is this is hard work. So all those people in the skilled trades and and blue collar that are getting their hands dirty every day, I I give you all the credit, really all the credit. So I I was lucky enough, went to school, paid for my way to go through school, went to Ohio State, otherwise known as the Ohio State University. You know? Right. Right. I am a Buckeye through and through, but a little irony there. I have a undergrad in marketing. Got out. I didn't want to you know, back when I went out, it was fundamentally sales. And I was like, I don't know if I wanna do this. And, actually went back and got a second degree in accounting. And that was probably the precipice for me looking at companies a little bit differently and how the different pieces parts need to work together. So now I start as an accountant, in the home building industry, residential construction, accounting, and estimating, and operations that kinda moved my way up. And after about 09:10 years of doing that, actually had the ability over the stupidity. I haven't figured that one out yet and went off on my own and started my own custom mobile tech company. And for anybody out there that's, taking that entrepreneurial step, it's a big one. It's a scary one. So I was very successful with that until the infamous mortgage meltdown of two thousand nine. That was unfortunate, but it was a great learning experience. So I spent some time working for a company growing it profitably about three and a half years, got recruited to another one, and found that I really loved, being a COO.

[00:05:26.00] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. So I know you touched on a little bit on how you work with clients. I wanted to drill down a little bit more to hear, like, how that process works. So maybe even when people are aware that they need to give you a call or reach out to you, does do you have an experience or or what that looks like?

[00:05:39.30] - Joel Kahn

Oftentimes, entrepreneurs, especially in smaller businesses, it can be it can be one million to five million. Usually, as an entrepreneur, they're okay running. They start getting to that five to ten person team, two to four million dollars depending on the margin. They're doing so many different things that they're really not doing that one thing well. So oftentimes or almost always, I'll come in. We start the conversation of what what's working, what's not working. The other part of the conversation is I'll look at them and say, Gresh, what do you love to do? What do you wanna do? So some clients are saying, I've done this twenty years. I'm I'm burnt out. I wanna move to the owner's seat. I just want to have a vision for the company and let other people drive it. Sometimes they say, I I'm a salesperson. I love to sell. I've done it for twenty five years. I wanna continue it for twenty five years. I'm having one of those conversations right now. They're doing the operational piece. It's the most painful thing that they're doing right now. So I want to talk to people about what's their highest and best use of their time. Because sometimes they do have an entrepreneur where they're they're they don't love to sell, but they know that's what they have to do because of those one on one connections. So we'll talk about what does that look like over the next three, 06:12 months. And do we start talking about how we get them out of that sales seat and more into just a rainmaker seat than eventually into an ownership CEO or visionary seat. So those conversations oftentimes happen organically. I will say that the downside of it is most of the time, these entrepreneurs have to be feeling a decent amount of pain before they really start looking around for a better way to do things. And that's where most of my referrals come because everything I do is based on referrals.

[00:07:41.69] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I appreciate you breaking that down. And do do you feel like that's part of what I would like to call your secret sauce? That could be for yourself, the business, or a combination of both. But is it your ability to be attuned to that and, of course, have all the other experience, skills, and be ability to be able to execute? Do you think bringing that together is your secret sauce?

[00:07:59.00] - Joel Kahn

But I would say that that's one of my secret tosses. I go to more of a black and white secret toss if I'm able to sit. And even though I'm the COO, I've sat in the scene of the CFO and the CRO, and I can do those things. I understand the orchestration of it. When we bring this up, I go, I think that is certainly one of them is to know. Sometimes, Gretchen, it's worth it. It's within the first five minutes. I tell the story of, I was I spoke with a gentleman who was looking for a fractional CO specific, and we were having a conversation, and he was ultra successful, really good looking. He was a salesman at heart, and I'm sitting across the table from this person going, no one has ever said no to this person. And when I said, what do you what does thirty, sixty, ninety days look like as success for you? He's like, I don't know. Okay. So let me ask you a different question. What do you want out of this person? And his response was really, I don't know if he understood how transparent it was. He said, I just want them to do everything I don't wanna do. And I thought, this is not a good fit because you're looking for someone just to offload and that whether that meets my whether that matches my skill set or not, doesn't match. You'll I don't wanna say he didn't care. He didn't care. He just said this is I just want this. And it was more of he wanted twenty five percent admin, twenty five percent t o o, twenty five percent emotional support person, and twenty five percent I couldn't define. And at the end of it, thanked him greatly, and he said, what do you think? And I said, I I think it's not a great fit. It's not for me. It's this isn't what I'm looking for. I'm looking for something different. And like I said, he was not used to not having people say yes to him. And he was, what am I missing? And I said, it's just very much it's not you, it's me. What I'm looking for out of somebody is more than what you want to do, and you'll find your first, but it it's not me.

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[00:10:05.89] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. And I appreciate you so much in sharing that. So I wanted to, switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or even a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:10:17.60] - Joel Kahn

So books, I go I'm a simple man. This is what I like to say. One of my favorite books is, Who Moved My Cheap? I'm Ken Blanchard. He also did raving fans. Loved raving fans. Really loved Who Moved My Cheese. And really about activity. So that was that's a book that if anybody hasn't read it or listened to it, and it's a fast read, it's a fast listen. It's just so great about being active, making some decisions, and and and moving on those decisions. The other a couple other hacks, one that I I loved, I heard this a couple weeks ago. I was in a it was in a planning session with one of my clients, and somebody had said we were talking about how we get started because this is there's a dividend going on. And he said stop getting to a hundred percent. Stop getting to ninety percent. Let me give you the if you can get to eighty percent and start doing something, if you go another eighty percent on top here at ninety six percent, Eighty percent of ninety six percent, you're at ninety nine percent. And the numbers nerd that I am, that was so that was another one that was powerful to me. It was stop trying to be perfect about it. Just just get out there. When I went off on my own, somebody said, do you have a website? And I was like, I didn't even think about a website. Contacted my digital marketing person and said, how do I do a website? And she said, give me a few hours. Three hours later, it's one page, but it's up and running. Is it eighty percent? Probably not. And someone like you, Gresh, would look at it and go, Joel, you're not even forty percent, but I'm up. Right? So I I I sent him a note. I said, hey. Here's my website. Just got started. Let me know if you have any questions, but it it continued the conversation. So that that eighty percent rule, if you go eighty, ninety six, ninety nine, I just that's my my latest one. And then the other one that I really like is, my last position. I was with a start up, and we were talking about valuation. Everyone talks about valuation in startups. So we're trying to do this, we're trying to do that. And it's still out there that, a unicorn's at a billion dollars. If you need a billion dollar valuation, you're a unicorn. And I read an article, and I wish it would've saved it because I wanna give credit to the person who wrote it. They said, don't be a unicorn. Be a donkey. And they said, unicorns are this mythical creature who have this great look and all of these things. Be a donkey. Right? Be a workhorse. Be the one who gets things done. Because if you can figure those things out at the small end, you'll get them at the big end. If you're just looking at evaluation, what what do you have? What do you are you building a house of cards? So I'm sure there are CEOs out there listening to this and entrepreneurs are gonna listen to this and go, this guy doesn't know what he's talking about. Being a unicorn is what it's all about. Hey. Have at it. That's I don't wanna squash anybody's dreams. If you've got it, you've got it. But that was one another one that resonated with me, which was you you figure out how to do the basics for sports fans, the blocking and tackling. Right, the feeling, the hitting, the bunt, hitting free throws for the basketball fans. When you figure out how to do those things, everything else is gonna come along with it. So be a donkey, not a unicorn, Grish.

[00:13:39.50] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. I absolutely love that. And and I feel like that's even a nugget, which is, like, more the word of wisdom or a piece of advice and that you might tell your favorite client. Perfect. I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. Our goal is to have different quote quote CEOs on their show. So, Joel, what's being a CEO mean to you?

[00:13:57.10] - Joel Kahn

For me, it's it's a it's multi pronged. It's being the CEO, it's being the visionary. Being the CEO is having the responsibility for both the business and the people in it. Being the CEO is understanding where you wanna take your business. It's also defining the success of the business. So is it growth? Is it trying to get to that unicorn status? Is it trying to help as many people as you possibly can? Is it is it supplying jobs within an industry or area that needs it? It's really how you define success. And I think another part of it is is we we go to that leadership or leader term or phrase is really leading the people in the company. And most importantly, core value. I have a client. They don't use the phrase core values. They use culture promises. And I love I love culture promises. It's just has a different way of saying really what's important. And these are the things that we promise to do for our employees. And these are the things that we really want our employees to promise to our partners, whether they're referral partners, whether they're clients. And it's just such a strong phrase that, again, it changed my lens of what it looks like. So I think of being a CEO, it's all of those things. Some days, it's it's being a little bit crazier than the next person. Sometimes it's working harder. Sometimes it's just having more arguments with, with your employee to figure out what's best for the company. But leadership is a big part. Vision is a big part. But I I go back to the core values and the cultural promises. And as a CEO, are you withholding those? Are you walking the walk or are you just talking the talk? Awesome. Awesome. Joel,

[00:16:00.29] - Gresham Harkless

truly appreciate that definition. And, of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I want to do now is 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 people will get ahold of you, find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

[00:16:13.50] - Joel Kahn

Best way to get ahold of me is I do have a website, providence solutions group dot com. Email would be joel at providence solutions group dot com.

[00:16:23.39] - Gresham Harkless

Thank you so much, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

[00:16:26.00] - Joel Kahn

Yeah. Thank you, Chris. I really appreciate your help.

[00:16:28.50] - Intro

Thank you for listening to the I Am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue sixteen Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I m c e o dot c o. I am CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community. Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at Blue sixteen Media dot com. This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless junior. 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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