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The Learning Leader Show With Ryan Hawk

As Kobe Bryant once said, “There is power in understanding the journey of others to help create your own.” That’s why the Learning Leader Show exists—to get together and understand the journeys of successful leaders, so that we can better understand our own. This show is full of stories told by world-class leaders. Personal stories of successes, failures, and lessons learned along the way. Our guests come from diverse backgrounds—some are best-selling authors, others are genius entrepreneurs, and one even made a million dollars wearing t-shirts for a year. My role in this endeavor is to talk to the smartest, most creative, always-learning leaders in the world so that we can learn from them as we each create our own journeys.
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Now displaying: September, 2016
Sep 28, 2016

Subscribe on iTunes  or Stitcher Radio

The Learning Leader Show

“No matter your industry, don't build walls: Communicate, Cooperate, Collaborate, Coordinate."

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • "To thine own self be true" -- Be yourself, focus on working hard and forging your own path
  • As a graduate student, Amy cold called the Raiders asking for an unpaid internship
  • 14 years later, she was hired as the CEO of the team
  • The key was looking for projects to be part of (even if she wasn't initially chosen to do it) and add value to it
  • Approaching work with an intense curiosity - Amy learned every role within the Raiders -- Even stuffing envelopes the proper way
  • Learn about all parts of the overall business, not just what you do
  • Amy was hired to work on contracts, but she ended up doing many different roles
  • "Don't ever view something as "Not My Responsibility" - If you see it's a problem, then fix it"
  • The day to day life of a CEO of an NFL team
  • The Four C's To A Successful Career - Communicate, Cooperate, Collaborate, Coordinate
  • "The only people not making mistakes are the ones who aren't trying"
  • "You Negotiate Like A Girl" - Why use that title? Amy has operated without regard to gender her entire career
  • The original title for her book was "Without Regard"
  • Keys to being a great negotiator:
    • You must find out what's important to each party... Some of the issues will be of no importance (let the opposing party have what is important to them if it's not important to you)
    • "The best deals were forged when sitting alongside someone collaborating."
    • No posturing, no lying -- Tell the truth
    • Openly share what's important -- Create transparency

“To thine own self be true"

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 071: Nate Boyer - Green Beret, Texas Football, The NFL

Episode 073: Jay Bilas - World Class ESPN Basketball Broadcaster, Toughness, Fixing The NCAA

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

Did you enjoy the podcast?

If you enjoyed hearing Amy Trask on the show, please don’t hesitate to send me a note on Twitter or email me.

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

The Learning Leader Show is supported by Daor Design - Daor Design will help you build your brand like nobody’s business. Most of their work falls into one of four categories: Logo Design, Print Design, Web Design or Digital Marketing. They pride themselves in being a trusted, valued resource for their growing family of clients.

Sep 25, 2016

Episode 162: Adnan Virk - ESPN Broadcaster: Why You Should Always Say Yes

Adnan Virk works for ESPN. He is the first Muslim Sports anchor to be hired by ESPN. Adnan is one of the most versatile talents in all of ESPN. He is one of three main anchors for Baseball Tonight. In the baseball off-season, he has hosted SportsCenter and Outside the Lines. He is known as someone who will always say "yes" when a leader calls and asks him to fill in. He has filled in for Keith Olbermann, Mike and Mike, SVP & Russilo, and many others. He is a "cinephile." Adnan has an immense love for film, regularly picks the Oscars, and does movie reviews on radio and TV. Recently, he started his own podcast titled, "Cinephile - The Adnan Virk Movie Podcast." He interviews actors and reviews movies.  Some of his guests have been: Robert DeNiro (that story is discussed in depth on this episode), Viggo Mortensen, Denis Leary, Will Arnett, and more. His love (and knowledge) of movies is evident during this conversation.

Episode 162: Adnan Virk - ESPN Broadcaster: Why You Should Always Say Yes

Subscribe on iTunes  or Stitcher Radio

The Learning Leader Show

“You will always have a job if you can do a lot of things. But you REALLY get paid if you can do one thing extremely well." - Mike Greenberg

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • The Top 5 Tom Hanks movies (we respectfully disagree but had fun discussing)
  • The reason he became a sportscaster
  • How he got his job at ESPN
  • Why he chose to study Broadcasting in college
  • Where his love of film came from
  • Originally wanting to be a director and the moment when he realized he should do something else (and why)
  • What he learned writing his first script -- "You have to be economical with your words"
  • The impact his movie knowledge had on his co-workers at ESPN -- And opportunities it created for him
  • Being a "generalist" -- How and why it's helped him
  • Movie Reviews - Big, Top Gun, Rounders, Cast Away
  • "You will always have a job if you can do a lot of things. But you really get paid if you can do one thing extremely well."
  • His interview preparation process
  • A great Robert DeNiro story - Meeting him, interviewing him, and what happened after it was over
  • The greatest part about having a podcast
  • Understanding the goals you have for each interview -- Having a plan
    • Have to be prepared
    • Research (a lot)
    • Be prepared to go anywhere
  • "Whenever there is an opening, always show up. Always be there for your boss. Be known as the person who says yes when your boss calls. Don't tell them about the trouble it takes you to say yes, just do it. Show up."

“Whatever your passion is... You have to find it. And do it. You need new challenges and goals to be entertained."

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 071: Nate Boyer - Green Beret, Texas Football, The NFL

Episode 047: David Marquet - "Turn The Ship Around"

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

Did you enjoy the podcast?

If you enjoyed hearing Adnan Virk on the show, please don’t hesitate to send me a note on Twitter or email me.

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

The Learning Leader Show is supported by Daor Design - Daor Design will help you build your brand like nobody’s business. Most of their work falls into one of four categories: Logo Design, Print Design, Web Design or Digital Marketing. They pride themselves in being a trusted, valued resource for their growing family of clients.

Sep 21, 2016

Episode 161: Hank Fortener - "The 5 Chapters Of Your Life"

Hank Fortener saw the transformational power of adoption when his parents gave forever homes to eight kids from eight different countries and fostered 36 children while he was a boy.

Because of this, Hank created Adopt Together. AdoptTogether.org is the world's first crowd funding site for adoption. In the first 4 years, AdoptTogether.org has helped over 2,000 families raise over $8.5M to cover adoption expenses and bring their children home. Hank also speaks on the topics of leadership and teaming. He has spoken to companies such as: Sony Entertainment, Cardinal Health, Cornerstone On Demand, and a host of others. He has a podcast titled, "Typically Hazardous." Hank lives in Los Angeles with his wife Sueann and two daughters Cora and Charlotte. Hank also loves two dollar bills, great ideas, and good coffee. He currently is on tour with Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato. Had had the privilege of speaking at TEDx on "How To Use The Internet To Solve World Problems."

Episode 161: Hank Fortener - "The 5 Chapters Of Your Life"

Subscribe on iTunes  or Stitcher Radio

The Learning Leader Show

“What are the five chapters you want in your life?"

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • A person who is "drunk in everything about their life" who has great, healthy relationships will lead to sustaining excellence
  • The importance of consistency -- "It's the only thing that has emerged to help me be successful"
  • How to be more consistent - Set up tools (Evernote), Write 10 ideas per day (via James Altucher)
  • Balancing his four main points of emphasis right now: Writing a book, podcast, running his non-profit, World Adoption Day
  • Most excited about? Building a one of a kind type of platform -- "Creating the life I want"
  • Currently hosting a pre-show on Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato's tour -- How it came about
  • What are the 5 chapters you want in you life? -- Write them out
  • Write previous chapters in your life that you liked and didn't liked
  • Why he doesn't do well with a boss, but also why he is not a good solo entrepreneur -- He needs a team
  • 3 Keys To Being a Fantastic Leader
    • Generous - Volunteer connections, energy, and compliments
    • Trust - Character, and Honesty
    • Overwhelmingly accessible - You must be there for those that you lead "You must show up"
  • How "World Adoption Day" came about
  • Scott Harrison - Charity Water CEO is involved
  • The "Seth Godin" approach - Pitch 10 people - If it comes back, it's good.
  • The significance of a hand with a smiley face
  • The process for "creating a day" with the United Nations
  • Why adoption? His family fostered 36 children. 19 million children don't have lead parents. He grew up with 8 adopted brothers and sisters
  • Why as the lead you must be "the first in and last out"

“Ultimately, being consistent has led to long term success."

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 071: Nate Boyer - Green Beret, Texas Football, The NFL

Episode 047: David Marquet - "Turn The Ship Around"

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

Did you enjoy the podcast?

If you enjoyed hearing Hank Fortener on the show, please don’t hesitate to send me a note on Twitter or email me.

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

The Learning Leader Show is supported by Daor Design - Daor Design will help you build your brand like nobody’s business. Most of their work falls into one of four categories: Logo Design, Print Design, Web Design or Digital Marketing. They pride themselves in being a trusted, valued resource for their growing family of clients.

Sep 18, 2016

Episode 160: Liz Wiseman - Why Lack Of Experience Is Your Advantage

Liz Wiseman teaches leadership to executives and emerging leaders around the world. She is the President of The Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley. Some of her recent clients include: Apple, Disney, eBay/PayPal, Facebook, GAP, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Roche, Salesforce.com, and Twitter. Liz has been listed on the Thinkers50 ranking and named as one of the top 10 leadership thinkers in the world and recipient of the 2016 ATD Champion of Talent Award.

She is the author of three best-selling books: Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter and The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools. She has conducted significant research in the field of leadership and collective intelligence and writes for Harvard Business Review and Fortune and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Inc. and Time magazines. She is a frequent guest lecturer at BYU, and Stanford University.

A former executive at Oracle Corporation, she worked over the course of 17 years as the Vice President of Oracle University and as the global leader for Human Resource Development. During her tenure at Oracle, she led several major global initiatives and has worked and traveled in over 40 countries.

Liz holds a Bachelors degree in Business Management and a Masters of Organizational Behavior from Brigham Young University. Liz lives in Menlo Park, California with her husband and four children who share her over-active curiosity and sense of adventure. (Bio from thewisemangroup.com) (Picture from thinkers50.com)

Episode 160: Liz Wiseman - Why Lack Of Experience Is Your Advantage

Subscribe on iTunes  or Stitcher Radio

The Learning Leader Show

“The leaders job is to pull out the greatness around them."

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Having an outward orientation and thinking beyond yourself will lead to sustained excellence
  • Liz describes a "genius vs a genius maker"
  • "The leaders job is to pull out greatness around them. They are past themselves."
  • Larry Ellison is a prime example of a leader who pulls out the greatness in others
  • How to earn the trust of the CEO
  • Why learning beats knowing
  • Only 15% of what we know today will be relevant 5 years from now
  • Why lack of experience is your advantage
  • Career advice to younger workers: "Don't try to replicate someone else. Don't be a "Steve Jobs wannabe" -- Be yourself
  • Managers need to understand the value of rookies
  • The disciplines of a "multiplier vs a diminsher"
  • Signs you've reached a plateau in your career:
    • Things are running smoothly
    • You have "ready answers"
    • You're getting positive feedback all the time
    • You're the mentor
    • You're busy but bored
    • You start to play it safe
  • Diminisher = Energy killer, puts a blanket on new ideas
  • Multiplier = They use their own intelligence to amplify and help others grow and succeed
  • A Diminsher is
    • A trophy collector... Treats talented employees like trophies (until they leave)
    • A tyrant... A creator of stress
    • A "know it all"
  • A Multiplier is
    • A talent magnet... People grow around multipliers and other great leaders flow to them
    • A liberator... They give space
    • A challenger... They invite people to do hard things. They get comfortable inviting others to be uncomfortable. They create a warm environment.
    • Someone who creates a safe environment for intellectual curiosity and creates stretch

“Don't be intimidated by what you don't know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else." - Sara Blakely

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 071: Nate Boyer - Green Beret, Texas Football, The NFL

Episode 047: David Marquet - "Turn The Ship Around"

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

Did you enjoy the podcast?

If you enjoyed hearing Liz Wiseman on the show, please don’t hesitate to send me a note on Twitter or email me.

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

The Learning Leader Show is supported by Daor Design - Daor Design will help you build your brand like nobody’s business. Most of their work falls into one of four categories: Logo Design, Print Design, Web Design or Digital Marketing. They pride themselves in being a trusted, valued resource for their growing family of clients.

Sep 14, 2016

Episode 159: Henry Ward & Josh Merrill - CEO of eShares: How To Hire, Manage, & Lead

Henry Ward is the CEO of eShares. Josh Merrill leads product and Marketing at eShares

Hiring Principles:

Hiring means we failed to execute and need help

Startup employee effectiveness follows a power law

False Positives are okay, False Negatives are not

Culture is defined by who we hire

Hiring Heuristics:

Hire for Strength vs Lack of Weakness

Hire for Trajectory vs Experience

Hire Doers vs Tellers

Hire Learners vs Experts

Hire Different vs Similar

Always pass on ego

Episode 159: Henry Ward & Josh Merrill - CEO of eShares: How To Hire, Manage, & Lead

Subscribe on iTunes  or Stitcher Radio

The Learning Leader Show

“The success of a company is the sum of the people in it."

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Patience, long term thinking, and understanding that your success will be determined by the people you surround yourself with will lead to sustained excellence
  • Product focused and understanding "The Artist's Dilemma"
  • The best produce it for themselves
  • How eShares was created
  • Why their partnership works so well
  • What Josh feels Henry doesn't do well (Interesting moment!)
  • Why don't more companies publicly share what they believe in?
  • eShares hiring process
  • Why you shouldn't hire someone because they are a "culture fit"
  • Why you shouldn't have performance plans -- Once you've deemed the person is not working, then fire them immediately
  • Hiring for trajectory vs. experience
  • How it's similar to the LA Rams drafting Jared Goff with their #1 pick... Being patient to develop him
  • How should you grade employees? Don't... Teach them to grade themselves. Don't give people a number grade -- "How am I doing?" "You're doing a 2."
  • How to fire someone:
    • Give sincere explanation for why
    • Don't make it one-sided
    • Help them with what's next
  • Be intrigued about what you do -- "eShares is a learning experience for me. I'm doing things I've never done before"

“False positives are okay. False negatives are not."

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 071: Nate Boyer - Green Beret, Texas Football, The NFL

Episode 047: David Marquet - "Turn The Ship Around"

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

Did you enjoy the podcast?

If you enjoyed hearing Henry Ward and Josh Merrill on the show, please don’t hesitate to send me a note on Twitter or email me.

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

The Learning Leader Show is supported by Daor Design - Daor Design will help you build your brand like nobody’s business. Most of their work falls into one of four categories: Logo Design, Print Design, Web Design or Digital Marketing. They pride themselves in being a trusted, valued resource for their growing family of clients.

Sep 11, 2016

Episode 158: Amy Jo Martin - How To Build Engagement, Trust, & Serotonin

Amy Jo Martin, author of New York Times best-seller Renegades Write the Rules, founded Digital Royalty in 2009 to help corporations, celebrities and sports entities humanize their brands online through social communication channels. Amy Jo has worked closely with world-renowned brands such as Hilton Worldwide, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal to successfully humanize their presence. Her motto: humans connect with humans, not logos.

Amy Jo herself has a social media following of more than a 1.1 million people and was named the third most powerful woman on Twitter by Forbes. Amy Jo believes the future of technology is the future of humanity. She conducts clinical research studies and travels the world to speak about this topic and many other topics. She recently spoke an audience of 10,000 people.

In 2012 Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, and Baron Davis, NBA player, invested in Amy Jo and her company. After a successful seven-year run as the Founder & CEO of Digital Royalty and growing the business globally into ten different countries, Amy Jo recently exited the company.

As a young female building her career in male-centric industries, Amy Jo has developed a passion for helping women thrive in business leadership. She is currently spending her time researching the relationship between technology and humanity. She is also investing in other female entrepreneurs so they can reach their full potential.

Amy Jo is also a contributor to news outlets including the Harvard Business Review and Sports Business Journal. She has been featured in top-tier media outlets including Vanity Fair, TIME, Forbes, The New York Times, Fast Company, ESPN SportsCenter, USA Today, MSNBC and Newsweek.

Client portfolio includes: Hilton Worldwide, Shaquille O’Neal, Motorola, FOX Sports, The X-Factor, Chicago White Sox, UFC and Dana White, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Los Angeles Kings, Jabbawockeeez, Doubletree by Hilton, Tony Hsieh CEO of Zappos.com, Monte Carlo Resort & Casino, KC Royals and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Episode 158: Amy Jo Martin - How To Build Engagement, Trust, & Serotonin

Subscribe on iTunes  or Stitcher Radio

The Learning Leader Show

“Don't focus on the number of followers... Focus on the connection you are making with your followers."

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Having an innate curiosity and learning from failure will lead to sustained excellence
  • How Tony Hseih and "The Rock" have helped Amy Jo learn about leadership
  • The art of asking questions -- The Tony Hseih approach
  • Creating an online business -- How she did it and how to grow it
  • Not focusing on the number of followers, but the manner in which Amy Jo engages with them
  • Listening more than talking
  • How to figure out your value
  • The power of a positive outlook
  • How to boost serotonin (it's contagious)
  • The importance of mindfulness
  • "The unfollow exercise"
  • How she built her large Twitter following -- engagement
  • Why she wanted to start her own podcast
  • "Why Not Now?"
  • Definition of her success? Identifying your purpose, passion, and skill
  • A series of experiments including living on a boat

“Serotonin is contagious"

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 071: Nate Boyer - Green Beret, Texas Football, The NFL

Episode 047: David Marquet - "Turn The Ship Around"

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

Did you enjoy the podcast?

If you enjoyed hearing Amy Jo Martin on the show, please don’t hesitate to send me a note on Twitter or email me.

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

The Learning Leader Show is supported by Daor Design - Daor Design will help you build your brand like nobody’s business. Most of their work falls into one of four categories: Logo Design, Print Design, Web Design or Digital Marketing. They pride themselves in being a trusted, valued resource for their growing family of clients.

Sep 7, 2016

Episode 157: Chris Zook - The Founders Mentality: A Bias For Action & Front Line Obsession

Chris Zook is a partner in Bain & Company's Boston office. He was co-head of the Global Strategy practice for 20 years. During his more than 25 years at Bain, Chris has specialized in helping companies find new sources of profitable growth.

A best-selling author, Chris published his fifth book,The Founder's Mentality in 2016. Based on a decade-long study of companies in more than 40 countries, The Founder's Mentality shows how leaders can overcome the predictable crises of growth and set their companies on a path of sustainable growth. Chris has been a featured broadcast guest, including NPR, CNBC, Fox News and Bloomberg TV. He has been a keynote speaker at a wide range of international and business forums including the World Economic Forum, the World Knowledge Forum, the Forbes' CEO Conference, the BusinessWeek CEO Conference, the Economist Summit and Endeavour’s entrepreneur summits. In the last five years, he has done over 500 talks and workshops across more than 35 different countries.

Episode 157: Chris Zook - The Founders Mentality: A Bias For Action & Front Line Obsession

Subscribe on iTunes  or Stitcher Radio

The Learning Leader Show

“The leaders who have a deep intellectual curiosity to continuously learn" will sustain excellence over an extended period of time"

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Having a burning intensity and passion around a topic/cause and a love of the details will lead to sustained excellence
  • Walter Chrysler was a great example of this.. -- Also Phil Knight (Nike), Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX)
  • The importance of a "deep intellectual curiosity to learn"
  • Front Line Obsession - Do you treat your front line sales and customer service employees as the heroes of the business? Do you do whatever it takes to support them?
  • Customer Advocacy - Do you relentlessly try to create loyalty with your customers? Is the voice of the customer fully represented in all important meetings?
  • An Owner's mindset:
    • A bias for action - Making decisions with speed. Quick to take on personal responsibility and risk to do the right thing
    • An aversion to bureaucracy - Have you simplified your initiatives to focus on the biggest priorities? Are your planning and review processes the best in the industry and do you reallocate resources to make your front line more competitive?
  • The amount of time spent on the preparation for quarterly meetings (building PowerPoint decks, etc...) is immense -- However, it's not focused on customers, which is a problem
  • How Home Depot went from great to poor to great again... 
  • The 9 Nike Maxims -- Make sure you celebrate your front line employees
  • How can a company deal with cost reductions?
  • "Train the guns on thet thinkers, not the doers" -- The bureaucracy has to go
  • The importance of mindfulness
  • Have a bias for action... Be a doer, not a talker
  • 85% of a companies issues stem from internal issues
  • Why a company needs one dedicated person to owning the customer experience 
  • The hero of WWII - General James Gavin
  • New Leaders - Spend the first 6 weeks in the field. Learn what is happening and why. See it for yourself
    • Send an email to every person in your organization and take the time to thoughtfully respond to every email
  • How Chris helped build Bain from 100 employees to 5,000+
  • Thought of "Learning Leader" as an academic term originally, but after being a guest on the show views it as a way to bring ideas from an outside audience and share with others

“Complexity is the silent killer of growth"

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 071: Nate Boyer - Green Beret, Texas Football, The NFL

Episode 047: David Marquet - "Turn The Ship Around"

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

Did you enjoy the podcast?

If you enjoyed hearing Chris Zook on the show, please don’t hesitate to send me a note on Twitter or email me.

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

Bio From Bain.com

Chris has authored numerous additional books with Harvard Business Review Press, including Repeatability: Build Enduring Businesses for a World of Constant Change (2012), an argument for simple, great repeatable models to realize enduring, profitable growth. In 2010, he published Profit from the Core: A Return to Growth in Turbulent Times, an updated edition of his 2001 best-selling business book, Profit from the Core: Growth Strategy in an Era of Turbulence, which offers an approach to assessing and making the most of core business opportunities. Chris's sequel, Beyond the Core: Expand your Market without Abandoning your Roots (2004) examines how companies that have fully exploited their core businesses can systematically and successfully expand into related, or "adjacent" areas. Unstoppable: Finding Hidden Assets to Renew the Core and Fuel Profitable Growth (2007) completes the series and examines what to do when your growth formula of the past begins to approach its limits, demanding that your company change its strategic focus and redefine its core.

These “growth trilogy” books have received widespread critical support. Beyond the Corewas recognized by The Economist as one of the top five business and economic books in the year it was published, and it was also voted one of the top 100 business books ever written. Unstoppable was identified by The Financial Times as one of the notable business books of the year. Based on his work on how companies grow, Chris was included by theTimes of London in its biannual list of the 50 Most Influential Global Business Thinkers. He has written dozens of articles with Harvard Business Review Press and other business publications, such as The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New York Times,Fortune, Forbes and BusinessWeek.

He received a bachelor of arts in mathematics and economics from Williams College, an M.Phil. in economics from Exeter College, Oxford University, and earned master’s and doctorate degrees from Harvard University.

Sep 4, 2016

Episode 156: Greg Wittstock – The CEO Must Guide The Culture

Greg Wittstock has been dabbling in water gardens since the age of 12. He began with a concrete creation and evolved to the naturally balanced, #1 contractor-installed ecosystem ponds that Aquascape is well known for.

After graduating from Ohio State University with a degree in Interpersonal Communications, Greg founded Aquascape Inc., which experienced incredible growth during its early years. The company appeared on Inc Magazine's coveted list of 500 Fastest-Growing, Privately-Held Companies in North America from 1999-2002. Greg later appeared on the cover of Inc Magazine, along with a feature article about his leadership and entrepreneurial spirit.

 

Episode 156: Greg Wittstock – The CEO Must Guide The Culture

Subscribe on iTunes  or Stitcher Radio

The Learning Leader Show

“The first job of the CEO is to guide the culture"

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Most excited about: The 25th anniversary of his company, Aquascape
  • Growing a business from college hobby to 120 employees and over $60m in revenue at one point
  • "Those who sweat together stay together"
  • Values of Aquascape
    • Character
    • Team
    • Winning
    • Fun
  • The importance of playing football and how they taught Greg about teamwork
  • How The Chicago Tribune story launched his business to another level
  • Why he didn't speak with his Dad for 9 years
  • The average pond they build is $15,000
  • Overall philosophy to the profession of sales: Help those who have had a bad experience, sell the lifestyle, share statistics about how a pond can change your life
  • Find someone who has done what you want to do and learn directly from them
  • "The greatest satisfaction in life is helping other people succeed"

“Find someone who does what you want to do and learn directly from them."

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 071: Nate Boyer - Green Beret, Texas Football, The NFL

Episode 047: David Marquet - "Turn The Ship Around"

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

Did you enjoy the podcast?

If you enjoyed hearing Greg Wittstock on the show, please don’t hesitate to send me a note on Twitter or email me.

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

The Learning Leader Show is supported by Daor Design - Daor Design will help you build your brand like nobody’s business. Most of their work falls into one of four categories: Logo Design, Print Design, Web Design or Digital Marketing. They pride themselves in being a trusted, valued resource for their growing family of clients.

Bio From Aquascapeinc.com

In 2004, Greg was nominated for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year award. Greg also received the Best Boss' award from Fortune's Small Business Magazine and Winning Workplaces in 2005, and earned the University of Chicago's Entrepreneur Hall of Fame award in 2007.

At the end of 2005, Wittstock's dream of a workplace utopia came true as the company moved to Aqualand, a 256,000 square foot office and warehouse facility that boasts the largest sloping green roof in North America. Aqualand received Silver Level recognition in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating system.

Greg has been interviewed and featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times in 2009, and has appeared on a variety of television shows over the years including Good Morning America, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, and cable home improvement shows.

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