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.
RSS Feed
The Learning Leader Show With Ryan Hawk





All Episodes
Now displaying: October, 2017
Oct 29, 2017

Episode 229: Henry Cloud - "Be So Good They Can't Ignore You"

Subscribe on iTunes  or Stitcher Radio

The Learning Leader Show

"If you're a leader, you will get what you create or what you allow."

Show Notes:

  • Henry constantly striving to do more... Why?
    • "I'm a practitioner, need to continue doing the work"
  • Advice to "normal" people who have a 9-5 job. Henry was willing to start with very little money, but grew into his passion slowly and kept at it.
  • Inflection points -- My football career.  Henry's gradual growth. Critical mass moments -- Henry did leadership coaching and consulting from day 1.
  • "You have to love what you do."
  • "You have to get moving."
  • "My first book Integrity was written based on my teaching for 15 years." 
  • Boundaries -- A simple, yet profound concept - A property line: This is you
  • "In relationships, people put pressure on us"
  • Leaders are "ridiculously in charge"  -- "If you're leading it, you're in charge"
  • "If you're a leader, you will get what you create or what you allow"
  • 3 Keys to Executive Success (Executive Functions Of The Brain):
    • Attend to most important/what's relevant -- Need to name the priority -- Boundary of Attention
    • No multi-tasking. Your brain CANNOT do this -- Inhibit everything else
    •  Working memory - Must be a flow to it
  • Advice for listeners who have a bad boss?
    • Don't fret, we've all been there
    • Create your own culture, do lunch and learns, build what you want within the situation 
  • Vision Statement -- Get so good they will say, "What are they doing?" How do we grow? How can we do that?"
    • Perform, develop leaders in your own corner of the world/buisness
  • "Be So Good They Can't Ignore You"
  • "They work their butt off"
Oct 22, 2017

Episode 228: Renee Mauborgne - How To Make Competition Irrelevant (Blue Ocean Strategy)

Renee Mauborgne is the co-author of the global bestseller Blue Ocean Strategy and the just released, indispensable follow-up, BLUE OCEAN SHIFT: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New GrowthBLUE OCEAN SHIFT is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller, and an International Bestseller. Her book Blue Ocean Strategy has sold over 3.6 million copies and is recognized as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written. It is being published in a record-breaking 44 languages and is a bestseller across five continents. 

She served on President Barack Obama’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for the President’s two terms. She is also a Fellow of the World Economic Forum. Renee is ranked in the top 3 management gurus in the world in the Thinkers50 listing of the World’s Top Management Gurus. She is the highest placed woman ever on Thinkers50. 


"If you're going to look at other people, you're going to look like other people."

Show Notes:

  • Common Themes of Leaders who Sustain Excellence:
    • Not focused on competing with others
      • They create their own space, independent point of view
    • Always interested in learning. Focused on pieces of information
      • Insatiable curiosity, high level learner, a note taker
    • Enormous propensity for hard work
      • Smart people don't look for short cuts
    • Willing to reinvent self if needed
  • How to not compare yourself to others?
    • "Focus on  delivering a leap in value -- they will come to you."
    • "I don't look at social media. I look at how creative people are."
    • "We are all far more creative than we think we are"
    • "If you're going to look at other people, you're going to look like other people"
  • Blue Ocean Strategy - What is it?
    • Most companies focus on existing conditions, red oceans, bloody, with sharks
    • Blue ocean companies/people "don't focus on competing, they focus on creating"
  • How can this help someone with a side hustle? Or someone who wants to create a side hustle?
    • Don't go into red oceans - don't do what everyone else does - Create your own distinctive space
      • "It's not about market competing, it's about market creating"
  • When people talk about startups, they think "disrupt" -- Renee prefers "non disruptive creation"
    • Tony Robbins didn't disrupt anything. He created a new market (life coaching). He helped create a $2B market
    • The idea of David killing Goliath is romantic but it doesn't typically work that way
  • New industry recently created -- Viagra, Sesame Street, Coaching to get into MBA school, YouTube stylist, Bumble
  • Growth model
    • Solve a new problem (ie. Cyber Security)
    • Redefine the problem the industry focuses on -- Cirque du Soleil -- "Circus and theatre"
    • AirBnB
  • Expand the opportunity scope
    • "Are there patterns that allow them to be linked"
    • "Creation is not a black box"
  • Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos look to deliver overwhelming value, they do not compete

"It's not about market competing. It's about market creating."

Social Media:

Oct 15, 2017

Episode 227: Jeff Goins - How To Be A Thriving Artist (Real Artists Don't Starve)

Jeff Goins is a writer, keynote speaker, and award-winning blogger with a reputation for challenging the status quo. He is the best-selling author of five books, including Real Artists Don't Starve, and The Art of Work, which landed on the best­ seller lists of USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, and the Washington Post. His website is visited by millions of people every year. Jeff was previously on The Learning Leader Show Episode #028

The Learning Leader Show

What does it take to stand out? "Show UP, Do the Work, and most importantly: FOLLOW UP. Nobody does this."

Show Notes:

  • Sustained Excellence. Common Themes of Leaders who Sustain Excellence:
    • Passion - A fire to pursue their "why"
    • Discipline - Daily habits, routines, rituals to be best every day
      • Coach K -- Sit down and analyze after every single game to improve
    • Great Learners - Hungry learner. How to do it better?
  • Real Artists don't starve
  • Starving artist vs. Thriving artist
  • The myth of the starving artist
  • Why Michelangelo was a thriving (rich) artist
  • "Do you really have to starve to be an artist?" -- No
  • You aren't born an artist (or a Leader) -- It's a result of the choices you make. The human brain is malleable. A person can learn and master a craft.
  • "Leaders are made. Artists are made."
  • The story of John Grisham -- A lawyer who wrote novels on the side.
    • He wrote one page a day for years... And then he had a novel
  • You can gradually re-create yourself
  • Wake up a little earlier every day and do the work. Make it a habit
    • Change happens slowly
  • The way we talk about it is not actually the way we do it.
  • We do not need to take a giant risk. When we look at the facts, we can take measured risks
  • 2 Resources at The University of Wisconsin -- A study of 5,000 entrepreneurs
    • The Two Types
      • Burn The Boats -- 33% more likely to fail
      • Side Hustlers -- People who didn't initially go "All In" statistically were more likely to succeed
      • It took Jeff two years to quit his job. He built one year of runway
  • The rule of apprenticeship -- Ryan Holiday - Be an Anteambulo. Clear the path for others
  • A "master piece" came from the time of Michaelangelo
  • What it takes to stand out -- Show up, do the work, FOLLOW UP (nobody does this), show what you've learned, help others
  • Jeff has lunch every Wednesday with a mentee -- Rarely do they follow up. Do this.
    • "The best thing you can do is take notes, and follow up. Put it into action."
  • Jeff was/is mentored by Michael Hyatt -- He followed up constantly
  • How do you do X? "It's easy to talk about stuff, it's hard to do it."
  • "If you're teachable, it puts you in a class of people that sits apart."
  • Do not work for free -- The rule of value
    • Charging brings dignity to the work
    • "Working for free is often not the opportunity we think it is"

"Leaders are made. Artists are made." -- "You aren't born an artists."

Social Media:


Oct 8, 2017

Episode 226: Steve Wojciechowski - How To Win Every Day

Steve Wojciechowski is the head basketball coach at Marquette University. He has has enjoyed a wealth of success in collegiate basketball as both a player and a coach. Wojo has established his “Win Every Day” philosophy as the foundation for the Marquette program. Wojciechowski also served as court coach and scout for the USA Basketball Men's National Team. He helped lead on-court duties as well as game preparation from 2006-12, including the program's gold-medal performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics. The Olympic teams included NBA greats such as Marquette alumnus Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

As a player, Wojciechowski ("Wojo") was named the top defensive player in the country his senior year, a two-time All-ACC choice and honorable mention Associated Press All-America. He appeared in 128 career games for the Blue Devils and earned 88 starting assignments.

The Learning Leader Show

"My greatest edge was that I didn't think I had an edge."

Show Notes:

  • Sustained Excellence. Common Themes of Leaders who Sustain Excellence:
    • Passion - A fire to pursue their "why"
    • Discipline - Daily habits, routines, rituals to be best every day
      • Coach K -- Sit down and analyze after every single game to improve
    • Great Learners - Hungry learner. How to do it better?
  • WIN Everyday - daily process to pursue excellence in every way. Basketball is a vehicle for that (for Steve)
  • Develop trust - "Not always done quickly, but definitely done intentionally. Must be consistent, you must do what you say you will do"
  • Wojo's Dad's hard hat -- It's hanging up at his house as a reminder of what hard work looks like
    • "The first great team I was on was the Wojciechowski team. My dad was a longshoreman. Did hard work and hard labor."
  • Going to Jesse Itzler and Sara Blakely's retreat. A 90 yard hill, 40% grade... An endurance race
    • Growth - Getting outside of your comfort zone
  • "As a long time listener of your show, I marvel at your guests"
  • "My greatest edge was that I didn't think I had an edge"
  • Why it was important to be teamed with Russians and other international players who didn't speak English at a high school all star camp
  • Coach Krzyzewski (Coach K)'s reason for excellence:
    • Ability to build relationships with players as people
      • Incredible communication skills
      • Intentionally taking time to build relationships
    • Preparation - Disciplined preparation
      • Habits, routines
      • "His preparation on a daily basis is championship level"
  • How has Coach K showed Level 5 leadership to help his assistant coaches be great when they earn their own head coaching job?
    • "He allows coaches to take ownership - He pushed them and allowed them to have a voice. On the job learning"
  • Culture
    • Start with your value system: What do you believe in? How do you build it?
  • Wojo's Stated Values:
    • Pursuing excellence - WIN every day
    • Being Selfless
    • Being Accountable - "Do what you say you're going to do"
    • Being Relentlessly competitive
    • Discipline - Do what need to do at the time it needs to be done
  • How is it coaching millennials?
    • There is a lot of noise. Continuous feedback loop. Need to be constantly engaged. But kids still want the same things... They want to grow, want discipline, be part of something special... Something bigger than them
    • How to communicate with young people?
      • Social media: Must use it, need to be there
      • Spend most time face to face with them
  • Typical day?
    • Be intentional about how allocate time
    • Plan ahead -- Must cover what's most important. Must prioritize
    • Control own energy - Track sleep and work out daily
    • Set weekly goals (write them down) for face to face interactions, time to learn/read/podcast listening, time with family/friends. Carry a book to help keep track
      • "Sometimes I fail, sometimes I crush it"
  • Read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
  • Read Legacy
  • Learning Leader - I was first turned on to the show because of the title.
    • Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant - "Their ability to learn was what I was impressed with most about them. LeBron remembered everything you said."

"How"Their ability to learn was what I was impressed with most. LeBron remembered everything you said." -- Wojo discussing his time coaching Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant

Oct 1, 2017

Episode 225: Dan Heath - The Power Of Defining Moments

Dan Heath is a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s CASE center, which supports social entrepreneurs. At CASE, he founded the Change Academy, a program designed to boost the impact of social sector leaders.

Dan is the co-author, along with his brother Chip, of three New York Times bestsellers: DecisiveSwitch, and Made to Stick.’s editors named Switch one of the Best Nonfiction Books of the Year, and it spent 47 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. Made to Stick was named the Best Business Book of the Year and spent 24 months on the BusinessWeek bestseller list. Their books have been translated into over 30 languages.

Previously, Dan worked as a researcher and case writer for Harvard Business School. In 1997, Dan co-founded an innovative publishing company called Thinkwell, which continues to produce a radically reinvented line of college textbooks.

Dan has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from the Plan II Honors Program from the University of Texas at Austin. One proud geeky moment for Dan was his victory in the 2005 New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest, beating out 13,000 other entrants. He lives in Durham, NC.

What have you failed at this week?" "There's no such thing as a good mentor who doesn't push you."

Show Notes:

  • Sustained Excellence. Common Themes of Leaders who Sustain Excellence:
    • Decision making - The ability to make a string of good decisions
      • Avoid traps
      • Narrow framing -- Cannot just think of 1 option
  • Decisions are often made because of political reasons, persuasive people, or PowerPoint... They should be made through experiments instead
  • The process of writing with his brother Chip Heath
    • 10 year age gap (54-44)
    • They are different people. The work is the glue for their relationship
    • Chip is a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business
    • The life changing effect of their book Switch. They hit the jackpot --> Time magazine, The Today Show
  • What is it that allows change to happen?
    • Our brains are wired with two independent systems:
      • Rational
      • Emotional
        • What makes change difficult is when those 2 disagree... The same forces are at place within organizations. The heart of Switch -- The emotional side is stronger than the rational side. We must get that in order to change.
  • How do we make an experience better? -- We must take the reins to make a moment better
    • The John Deere new hire experience -- You leave your first day thinking "Wow, I belong here." They intentionally take care of their people.
    • Transition moments are so important. We need to pay attention to them and be aware. --> Graduation, weddings, retirement, first day at a new job, etc
      • "Cultures pay attention to big moments"
  • Sara Blakely story growing up... The question her Dad asked her and her siblings at the dinner table -- "What have you failed at this week?"
    • We need to get comfortable with trying new things... And failing sometimes. It builds resilience, GRIT
  • David Scott Yaeger 2 part formula for mentors and mentees
    • High Standards + Assurance -- "I have high expectations for you... And I know you can do it."
    • "There's no such thing as a good mentor who doesn't push you." -- STRETCH
  • The powerful story of Eugene O'Kelly and how he chose to live his life when he found out he had 3 months left to live
    • "I experienced more Perfect moments and Perfect days in two weeks than I had in the last 5 years or than I probably would have in the next 5 years had my life continued without the diagnosis."
    • Look at your own calendar, do you see perfect days ahead? Could you create 30 perfect days? What would it take to motivate you to create a Perfect Moment?

"How Look at your own calendar, do you see perfect days ahead? Could you create 30 perfect days? What would it take to motivate you to create a Perfect Moment?"


Social Media:

More Learning:

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

Episode 216: Jim Collins -- How To Go From Good To Great

Episode 179: How To Sustain Excellence - The Best Answers From 178 Questions

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

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

The Learning Leader Show is supported by Callaway Golf. We have partnered to give away The #1 selling Driver in 2017.  The Callaway GBB Epic Driver.  This club is valued at $499 and we are giving one away to a loyal listener of the show.  To enter the drawing: Tweet (or post on Instagram) a favorite leadership quote from an episode of The Learning Leader Show and tag/@ me on Twitter or Instagram.