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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: January, 2018
Jan 29, 2018

Sustained Excellence = "They're over themselves" - They do not have an ego. They figure out the big truths, get over feelings, have clarity, vision. Great communicators - Like an athlete, they can be obsessed.  Keenly aware, active listeners, intentional with actions.

  • Why write The Culture Code?
    • Spending time around great teams and businesses, "I love the vibe, it's different." Had a desire to understand how that happens.  How to create trust"Typically we think of culture as in your DNA or not, but it's not.  "Great culture is something you can learn"The competition with Dan's two brothers growing up led to this fascination and curiosity with building great team culture"We routinely deeply underestimate our environments and the effect they have on us."
      • "As leaders, we need to create the conditions for excellence"The 3 Skills -- 1) Build Safety 2) Share Vulnerability 3) Establish Purpose
        • Build Safety - Why do a group of kindergartners do better than a group of CEOs?  The kindergartners have now agenda or care about credit.  They focus on doing the best work.  CEOs (in the study) were worried about who got credit and tearing each other down.
          • Safety is the single most important piece of foundation needed for great culture
          • Greg Popovich overdoes the "thank yous" - He regularly says thank you to the members of his team.
          • A painstaking hiring process - The single most important decision is "who's in and who's out."
            • You should script the entire first few days of a new employees time at a company -- Pixar example (20 minute mark) -- "At Pixar, we hired you because we need you to help us make our movies better."
          • John Wooden would routinely walk the locker room and pick up trash
        • Share Vulnerability - Functional notion that's so important
          • "Sharing a weakness is the best way to be strong" -- Navy SEALs example: The AAR (After Action Review)
          • The most important 4 words a leader can say, "Anybody have any ideas?"
            • Also, "I screwed up"
          • Over-communicate expectations
            • "We shoot, move, and communicate
            • "The only easy day was yesterday"
          • How to be a great listener
            • "Your goal as a listener should be to add energy." Ask questions, don't just sit there and nod.  Listen and absorb.  Help them leave higher than when you arrived.  Follow up to go deeper.  Being a great listener is a heroic skill.
            • Have "empathy and energy" as a listener -- dig in to assumptions (unearth)
          • Aim for candor, but avoid brutal honesty - good groups care about relationships, not brutality.  Candor is a better word
          • "Culture: From the Latin word cultus, which means care."
          • Great teams are made up of players who don't want to let their teammates down.
            • Greg Popovich and other great coaches disappear on purpose to let their team figure out it through tough moments.  Smart leaders create opportunities for teams to struggle and figure it out. --> "The leaders job is to make the team great without him/her."
          • Build a wall between performance review and professional development -- When you combine the two, you get neither.  Toggle, create safety so you can be more open and honest.
          • Establish Purpose
            • What's important now?  You must define that
            • Value statements aren't super useful -- "fill the windshield with a story."
            • Clear narratives guide attention
            • Name and rank your priorities
Jan 22, 2018

The Learning Leader Show With Ryan Hawk

Episode 241: Austin Kleon - How To Steal Like An Artist

Austin Kleon is the New York Times bestselling author of three illustrated books: Steal Like An ArtistNewspaper Blackout, and Show Your Work! His latest release is The Steal Like An Artist Journal: A Notebook For Creative Kleptomaniacs. His work has been translated into over twenty languages and featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS Newshour, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street JournalNew York Magazine called his work “brilliant,” The Atlantic called him “positively one of the most interesting people on the Internet,” and The New Yorkersaid his poems “resurrect the newspaper when everybody else is declaring it dead.” He speaks about creativity in the digital age for organizations such as Pixar, Google, SXSW, TEDx, and The Economist. He grew up in Ohio, but now he lives in Austin, Texas.

"Reading is so essential to writing... I don't even think about it.  I just always do it."

Show Notes:

  • Sustained Excellence =
    • "I wrestle with jealously about others who do better work than me... Until I realize it's very rare to see someone who doesn't deserve it based on how hard they work."
    • The people who sustain excellence are typically the hardest workers over the long term
    • "If you want to do better, work harder."
  • Austin's ritual
    • Write a page a day like Stephen King
      • Little bits of work add up over time
      • When you do something you love, you're always working... It's an endless stream
      • "I try to be a good boss to myself" -- But there is no punching the clock in and out... It's always in
  • Steal Like An Artist
    • Wrote an article titled "10 things I wish I had known when starting out" -- That became the best-selling book
      • The blog post and speech that went with it went viral
  • The Creative Process
    • Daily writing... Eventually show the audience to test if it's useful for them
  • "It's like a factory"
    • Collect
    • Make time to write
    • Gather to longer piece to essay
    • Put it out to the world
    • Collect feedback (live audience sometimes)
  • A daily blog helps the book writing process
    • Collect, synthesize, make, share -- "Stealing & Sharing"
  • Reading is a massive part of the writing process... Must read a lot
    • "Reading is so essential to writing.  I don't even think about it, I just do it."
  • "My job as an author is to point people to things people haven't seen"
  • "Being a leader... You have to be curious... You have to find great stories and examples." -- You must read a lot to do this
  • What advice do you give to others?
    • "You need hobbies... People used to have hobbies, not they have Netflix."  Try to restore something, do work, have a hobby -- It will build creativity
  • The two desks
    • Analog desk -- pens, markers, paper, scissors... Make stuff
    • Digital desk -- computer
  • "Walking is an insanely creative activity"
  • Enjoying captivity -- Be useful on train rides, flights... No wifi
  • The open office plan is a nightmare for an introvert like Austin
  • "You want hearts, not eyeballs." -- Focus on engagement of your audience, not just the size of it.
    • "The number of people doesn't matter as much as the quality of the people who follow you."
    • "Becoming a friend of someone you look up to is one of the best things that could ever happen"
      • Creating great work gives you the opportunity to do this

"You want hearts, not eyeballs." -- Focus on engagement of your audience, not just the size of it.

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

Jan 15, 2018

The Learning Leader Show

Todd Henry is the founder of Accidental Creative, a company that helps creative people and teams be prolific, brilliant and healthy. He regularly speaks and consults with companies about how to develop practices that lead to everyday brilliance. He is the author of four books (The Accidental Creative, Louder Than Words, Die Empty, Herding Tigers), speaks internationally on productivity, creativity, leadership and passion for work, and build tools for creative people and teams. In short, he's an arms dealer for the creative revolution.  His latest book is called Herding Tigers: Leading talented, creative people requires a different skill set than the one many management books offer. As a consultant to creative companies, Todd Henry knows firsthand what prevents creative leaders from guiding their teams to success, and in Herding Tigers he provides a bold new blueprint to help you be the leader your team needs. Learn to lead by influence instead of control. Discover how to create a stable culture that empowers your team to take bold creative risks. And learn how to fight to protect the time, energy, and resources they need to do their best work.  

"Great leaders have great rituals. Great leaders are connected. Great leaders have set questions they ask when they meet someone for the first time."

Show Notes:

  • Sustained Excellence =
    • Great leaders have great rituals
      • Disciplined time to study/reflect
      • Well read
      • Go on walks
    • Great leaders are connected to their network
    • Great leaders have set questions they ask someone when they meet for the first time
  • Todd's rituals
    • Same breakfast everyday, same coffee mug everyday
    • 1 hour of study/read/time to think
    • Writes morning pages (3 full pages long hand)
  • Creating space for yourself
    • Predictable space, a buffer - "I have a ritual of taking a long walk in the middle of my day" -- "It helps me get lost in thought"
  • Set questions to ask when you meet someone
    • "What's the most important thing I should know about you?"
    • What's inspiring you right now?"
  • Cover bands don't change the world
    • Go out and present YOUR ideas to the market place
    • "If you want to have a voice in the market place, you have to have a voice" -- You can't just regurgitate what others say: Take what you learn, synthesize it with your own thoughts and have a voice, a point of view
      • "Your synthesis is what is valuable"
  • Writing The Accidental Creative was hard and lonely
  • Leading Creatives - We assume they get it... No, you must be clear that they do.  Walk them through your thought process, what you expect, why you expect it
  • Brian Koppelman (Creator of Billions) - Leading with influence vs being a micro-manager.  The director must own the show... They must have a compelling vision, point of view. Koppelman must create the space to give the director of each episode that ownership (he owns it all)
  • Creative people need two things
    • Stability - Protect them, give them the space they need, be clear
    • Challenge - Cannot allow boredom
    • These two exist is constant tension, push/pull.  You have to know how/when/why to turn the dial on each
    • "Your entire career, up until you're a manager, you have complete control -- As a manager you must shift from control to influence (it's hard) or the team cannot scale beyond you
  • Your team must understand the WHY behind what you do -- If not they just inherit tactics but don't know why they do it.  It can't scale without knowing the WHY
  • Need to make certain creative people feel ownership of the work
    • Influence is about principle
  • Why is implementation and execution so hard?
    • Leaders struggle with insecurity
      • "Your area of greatest insecurity can inflict the most damage to your organization... It's about ego more than confidence"
  • Why write Herding Tigers?
    • "I wrote the book I wish I had... A lot of people don't have the model of what great leadership is"
  • Here's what it feels like right now:
    • Action
    • Pause
    • Reflection
    • Redirection
    • Action

"Cover bands don't change the world.  Find your own voice."

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

Jan 8, 2018

Episode 239: Dan Pink - The Scientific Secrets Of Perfect Timing (When)

Daniel Pink is the author of six provocative books — including his newest, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, to be published in January 2018. His other books include the long-running New York Times bestseller A Whole New Mind and the #1 New York Times bestsellers Drive and To Sell is Human. His books have won multiple awards and have been translated into 37 languages.  If you'd like to listen to the first time Dan joined me on The Learning Leader Show, CLICK HERE.

Dan's TED Talk on the science of motivation is one of the 10 most-watched TED Talks of all time, with more than 19 million views. His RSA Animate video about the ideas in his book, Drive, has collected more than 14 million views.(from DanPink.com) (Photo Credit - HOW Design)

The Learning Leader Show

"It's like brick laying.  I show up every day and I hit my word (count) goal.  Day after day after day.  Every day."

Show Notes:

  • Dan's book writing process:
    • "It's like 1930's football... One short play at a time."
    • Brick laying, very laborious...
      • Get in office by 8:30 and hit the writing (word count) goal every single day... Day after day after day after day...
      • Write 700 words a day, every da
        • "I show up and hit my number, every single day"
    • Combining research with interesting stories -- work in chunks, have research in a Word doc, and the book in a separate doc. Review, go back and forth
    • Go through the (printed out) research, highlight, underline, review a lot
    • If you do this every day, it adds up
  • Why write about this topic? The topic of When
    • As a writer, you must pick a topic you are VERY interested in... You spend years on the project (research, writing, speeches)
    • "I wrote this book because I wanted to read it"
  • How to know if an idea is worth exploring?
    • "You don't... But when you share it with others, does it create curiosity in them?  Do they ask follow up questions?  If they do, you may be on to something"
  • The 3 stages of our days
    • Peak - Analytical work, smart
    • Trough - The afternoon "Bermuda Triangle" -- A bad time to make decisions
    • Recovery - A creative time
  • Why lunch is the most important meal of the day -- This is a time where you need to leave what you're doing, go outside, go with a friend, disconnect from work, don't look at your phone, need to recharge
  • Breaks are enormously important - Social breaks (with friends) are better than solo breaks
  • Napping for 20 minutes in the afternoon is very helpful
    • Drink a cup of coffee, set you iPhone for an alarm to go off in 23 minutes, lay down with an eye mask.  If you fall asleep in 5 minutes, you get an 18 minute nap, and you wake up and the caffeine starts to kick in
  • Why NBA players who get more "touches" have more success than others... Scientific evidence supports this
  • The importance of endings... How we end things:
    • Energize - More 29, 39, 49 year olds run marathons than any other age.  People want to end on a high note
    • Encode - Evaluate and record experiences - How something ends is very important. Look at Yelp reviews -- People remember the experience for how a meal ended more than anything else
    • Elevate - People prefer rising sequences. Dan's favorite tip:  When sharing good news and bad news, always START with the bad news, and end with the good news
  • We are very intentional about who, what, why... why aren't we intentional about WHEN?  We should be...

"We are very intentional about who, what, and why.  We aren't intentional about WHEN.  We should be."

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Jan 1, 2018

The Learning Leader Show

Episode 238: Neil Pasricha - Why Action Creates Motivation: 1,000 Awesome Things

Neil Pasricha is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Happiness Equation and The Book of Awesome series, which has been published in ten countries, spent over five years on bestseller lists, and sold over a million copies. Neil is a Harvard MBA, one of the most popular TED speakers of all time, and after ten years heading Leadership Development at Walmart he now serves as Director of The Institute for Global Happiness. He has dedicated the past fifteen years of his life to developing leaders, creating global programs inside the world’s largest companies and speaking to hundreds of thousands of people around the globe.

"Most think motivation leads to action... No, motivation doesn't cause action... Action creates motivation."

Show Notes:

  • Commonalities of leaders who sustain excellence:
    • C -- Clarity - Clear, succinct, memorable
    • O -- Optimism -- "Find the good in everything"
    • P -- Patience -- Delaying decision making until the last possible moment
      • The quality can improve if "we let the tension live"
  • Empower others - "Parkinson's Law" - Work rises to the time needed to complete it.
  • "I don't want to fight the customer."  -- Thinking about everything from their perspective. Wal-Mart
  • Being a Harvard Business School graduate
    • "Chase the companies that don't come to Harvard to recruit.  You'll learn more." -- Why Neil went to Wal-Mart
  • Neil's 30 second pitch to why someone should hire him for a leadership role when he was very young
  • "I had to be artificially confident"
    • His pitch -- 3 quick questions
      • Do you value internal promotions?
      • What's the #1 program you've seen?
      • Would you be interested in topics of developing leaders at Harvard?
        • Get their email address and follow up
  • None of the companies were hiring when he was leaving school... Neil had to "create a job" within companies to get hired
  • Brene Brown - "If you go through life trying to find confirmation you don't belong, you'll find it."
  • 2008 - The world was falling apart, his marriage ended, his best friend committed suicide..
    • He started the blog, 1,000 Awesome Things
    • Won a webby award for best blog in the world
    • Wrote The Book Of Awesome
  • He moved to NYC... Didn't know anyone, lived alone
  • He was going through pain while starting the awesome things blog.  Focused on three things:
    • Make the blog public - hold him accountable
    • Use a countdown - From 1,000 to 1 -- Helped him know it was going to end at some point
    • Finite - There is light at the end of the tunnel
  • "Most think motivation leads to action. Not true. Action creates motivation."
  • The importance of consistency - Neil's idea was not unique, but doing it everyday made him different from most
    • "Try to be receptive of other people's ideas" -- Helps you "notice things"
  • "Your questions are fantastic.  I'm not surprised."
  • Working on deadlines -- Neil wrote for a newspaper for four years.  Helped with this skill
  • "I believe in consistency"
  • Actionable advice: You have three, 56 hour buckets of your week.  They are:
    • 56 Hours - Sleep
    • 56 Hours - Work/Job
    • 56 Hours - What are you spending this time on? You can do whatever you want...
  • The happiness equation - Work/Life balance fulcrum -- Flywheel
  • Taking his side hustle and making it his full time job -- "I should have done it sooner."

"If you go through life trying to find confirmation that you don't belong, you'll find it." -- Brene Brown

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