GoalSpan Logo
Nov 2, 2021
play_arrow pause
28. Founder/CEO, Building Champions
28. Founder/CEO, Building Champions
Jeff invites longtime coach and leadership expert Daniel Harkavy on to the show to discuss how to create organizational culture that is embodied by coaching and mentorship. Daniel Harkavy and his firm have been coaching business leaders to peak levels of performance and fulfillment for over twenty-five years. He is CEO and Executive Coach at Building Champions, and his team of coaches have worked with thousands of clients and organizations to improve the way they lead and live. Daniel and Jeff discuss his most recent book, "The 7 Perspectives of Effective Leaders.” Jeff and Daniel talk about the sacrifice required to learn and grow as you become an impactful leader, and how great things can happen with the right tools, structures, and disciplines. Daniel shares how a leader’s effectiveness is determined by just two things: the decisions they make, and the influence they have. Jeff and Daniel chat about how the most visionary leaders can avoid “leaving people at the train station” on their quest to achieve organizational vision. He also talks about how the best leaders live in two worlds – current reality and future state, and how they frequently communicate to all employees where they are headed through storytelling, reward structures, and feedback.


Intro: Duration: (01:33)

Opening music jingle & sound effects

Jeff Hunt:

Hey everyone. I'm Jeff Hunt, and this is the Human Capital podcast produced by GoalSpan. My quest on this podcast is to uncover the deeply human aspect of work. Today we're going to discuss how to create organizational culture embodied by coaching and mentors. And I get the pleasure of talking with an absolute expert in this area, Daniel Harkavy and his firm have been coaching business leaders to peak levels of performance for over 25 years.

He is CEO and executive coach at building champions, Daniel and his team of coaches have worked with thousands of clients and organizations to improve the way they lead and live. Building champions is known to have some of the most well-respected and effective coaches in the business. Daniel's a sought-after author and speaker and his most recent book.

The seven perspectives of effective leaders came out I believe a little bit less than a year ago. He's also written the national bestseller living forward, as well as becoming a coaching leader, the proven strategies for building your team of champions. Welcome Daniel

Daniel Harkavy:

Well, it's great to be with you, Jeff. Thanks for allowing me to share with your tribe.

Topic 1 Who or what inspired you to get into coaching and consulting? (01:23)

Jeff Hunt:

Was there one person or event that originally inspired you to get into this field of executive coaching and consulting?

Daniel Harkavy:

I don’t know if there was one person that inspired me to get into coaching. I started coaching when I was given the opportunity, to first manage people and I was 23 years old and, I didn't know anything about management.

I didn't know anything about coaching, but I figured out a formula as a result of having a belief that if you just help people to win. And if you're willing to really sacrifice in order to do so great things can happen. And I learned that through trial and error, but there is one person that made building champions possible.

And so when I knew I wanted to start the company, I met with a guy by the name of Todd Duncan. And he was a, and still is, he is a sales trainer and teacher well-respected in the mortgage banking industry, which was where I spent my previous decade, my twenties prior to starting building champions.

And I met with Todd. I had met him casually a little while earlier, and I told Todd, I said you put great content out there. You create cassettes, cassettes you do seminars. And I said I have a belief that 90% of the people that listen to your cassettes and attend your seminars, don't do anything with the content.

I think the only way people really transform is if they've got, they have a one-on-one relationship with a coach, a leader, a mentor, a guide. And I said, if you have belief in that and belief in me, I would love to help your tribe to be bigger raving fans of your content. And he said, Daniel if you start that company, I'll tell my people about that for as long as I'm in business.

And he, Jeff, he did it for like decades. He would be on the stage and my phone would light up. And I don't think there's one individual that has played such an instrumental role in really the broadcasting and promotion and overall awareness of building champions. No one has greater value than. He saw it. He believed in it and he followed through.

Topic 2. Should everyone have a coach? (03:45)

Jeff Hunt:

It’s such a testimony to the difference that one person truly can make in someone's life, which actually is absolutely connected to this concept of coaching. And I want you to help us unpack this share with our listeners, why people should have a coach. We have a broad range of listeners from senior executives to individual contributors. And yet everybody should have a coach, whether they are a leader or not. Don't you think?

Daniel Harkavy:

It's a question that I would answer this way. If your listeners are in a position where they really want to grow, and they have the energy. You have to have a passion and energy desire to see a better tomorrow.

After 25 years of doing this, there are some people that are just so content with where they are. Others are even complacent. They shouldn't have a coach if they don't see the energy trade-off to where they're going. They have a desire to see a better tomorrow. I don't know if a coach would be a good investment of their time and that's not a judgment statement. It's a reality.

And that might be today as we're recording this, there are some individuals listening, saying, God, It's humming now. I'm good. I just don't want to mess it up. So, I don't want to add that input into my life. Now there's a chance that two months from now, something will break that's life or they'll see an opportunity that presents itself and they will want that input of an outsider who can help them to go further faster.

And that connects to my last book, the seven perspectives, because Jeff, that book used to be the five perspectives that working model when I would work in organizations that were five perspectives and I didn't have peace with that. So I didn't write. And then over time, there was a sixth perspective and then the seventh is the outsider.

And that is that coach, that mentor, that guide. And I do believe that humble and hungry leaders who want to grow and want to make a difference and they know they haven't arrived. I think they should all have a coach or coaches, mentors who can help them to be the best they can be.

Topic 3. The seven perspectives (06:00)

Jeff Hunt:

Say a little bit more about this book and the concepts that take us maybe through these seven disciplines.

Daniel Harkavy:

Sure. The premise of it is that a leader's effectiveness is determined by just two things. The decisions they make and the influence they have. And in the book, I've got more than 20 amazing leaders who contribute to that belief and to some of those seven perspectives. And for years, I would get into conversations where I was looking for pushback and debate.

I met with Horace Schultzey, who was a CLO and one of the founders of the Ritz-Carlton hotels and Capella hotels. I mean, the guy. Phenomenal phenomenal! He's in the book, Frank Blake, who was the CEO of Home Depot. And now non-executive chair of Delta, Martin, Dom's CEO and chair of Daimler, like really accomplished leaders, Tim to SOPLAY Chick-fil-A these are well-respected leaders.

And I would ask each and every one of them. Do you agree with that premise's decisions and influence? That’s it. And every single one of them with the exception of Horst D he and I argued because he thought integrity needed to be there. And I said, well, no, that's required to be a good leader, not an effective leader, a good leader.

So, but then he came around, all of them had agreed. And then what we created was a model for how do you make the best decisions and have maximum influence? And the premise is that if you will fill your days by being intentionally curious and investing in each of these seven perspectives, Your leadership efficacy will improve because you'll make better decisions and have more influence.

Jeff Hunt:

What about the leaders out there that make selfish decisions and they may have a negative influence. Do you have a perspective on that? On how we can give them more self-awareness so maybe they can have better self-leadership first before they try to lead others?

Daniel Harkavy:

I think that's probably an area where your space helps to scratch that itch.

You know, feedback is so critical, and usually a leader like that. No, there's a heart issue. And there might be an identity issue. There's a core belief challenge with who they believe they are or aren't, or who they believe others are. So, when we're doing our deep dive work with our executive-level clients, we're always wanting to make sure that we understand who they believe they are.

And do they believe they're enough for that role? There's no superhero leader that has all the answers. And then what do they believe about their team? Do they believe their team has the ability to fulfill the vision and the mission of the company? And are they surrounding themselves with people that are better and smarter than them?

The best leaders know that's their job. And if you have insecure leaders or leaders who have some funky motives, that's challenging because those folks can actually intimidate them a bit and cause them to think they could lose their influence. But it’s the opposite. So you have to do some deep heart work belief workaround, your beliefs, about yourself, your team, your clients, the organization, and the future.

Jeff Hunt:

Yeah, and our tools definitely can help. And there one aspect, you have written feedback, which is a key element, but there's also a lot of other forms you can do, verbal feedback you can do one-to-one check-ins, you could do three sixties. Do you have sort of a favorite method of actually capturing feedback? Are there any key assessments? I know you guys have some assessments internally at building champions. Don't you?

Daniel Harkavy:

Yeah, we do. Most of ours are all third-party. We've found some just great tools that we like to add to our tool chest as primarily a coaching company. We believe that our coaches are most effective by knowing how to use the right tools in the old craftsman toolbox and when to pull them out at the appropriate times, not use the same tools for every leader, there are just different tools. And it depends on the setting. So Jeff, oftentimes I'll do a lot of work with executive teams, where I'll spend a few days with them four times a year.

My whole goal here is to help them to be as effective as possible at building champions. We say self-leadership always precedes team effectiveness and team effectiveness, always precedes organizational impact. And there's that sequence. So we're always operating in those three channels. Well, with team effectiveness, If I'm with a team live, which, you know, thank God I get to do that again.

And I was with one last month in Iceland, I'll be with a couple in the months ahead in California and then in Germany. And it's just great to see people again, you know, the whole mask thing inside is causing some challenges, but Hey, we're working through it. But we like to do a hot seat exercise.

We will start with the CEO and we will have everybody fill out, what you do that adds the most value to us as a team? And then what do you do that causes us pain or limits our efficacy or effectiveness of these things? And we just go around, no one can defend, you can ask clarifying questions and everybody says, thank you.

And then as a result of that, I send people off and have the kind of digest that. And then they have to come back with any key learnings, any key themes, any changes, and then usually the teams we get to work with. They're so awesome. They'll ask one another for help. They'll say, hey, if you see me do these things in the meetings, will you just please let me know, give me a nudge.

Give me a keyword. The organization, I was just within Iceland. They came up with all of the acceptable behaviors that will enable them to be a high-performing team. And we were at a hotel in Iceland called hotel Ranga on the Ranga River. And Ranga I looked it up while we were there in Icelandic means the wrong side.

So we use that as the marker, the monument word. It's like, if they see any funky behavior, all they do is they say Ranga, and they know what that means. I use a lot of different 360 is and keep start stops the poor man, 360, etcetera.

Topic 4. Advice for leaders that might be too visionary (12:15)

Jeff Hunt:

Okay. So let's talk a little bit about a common accusation of CEOs is that they can be too visionary and other words, they are exceptional at seeing a clear and compelling picture of the future.

But they end up leaving everyone behind at the train station. So what advice do you have for these types of CEOs and, or the executive teams that work with them?

Daniel Harkavy:

This is going to seem like I'm selling books right now. So please forgive me, but those seven perspectives, the first perspective is the current reality.

The second one is vision. And if you look at those two as waypoints on your GPS, if current reality is wrong, Well, then you're never going to get to your destination because you're going to get wrong directions. Wrong turns wrong mileage. Never reach it, you're going to wind up lost. So I see that being very true in business leaders in order to be able to be well balanced and make great decisions and have influence, they need to operate in both of those realities, the today, the historical, they need to know what levers need to be pulled in order to manage the business today.

That current reality is your firm foundation. It's your starting point. When you do that, you actually put the team's mind at ease because they know you get the business. So, influence starts to improve because you're making better decisions and you're allowing the right people to make the best decisions because you have both feet firmly planted in current reality.

So, if you don't have that, then you suffer from the problem that you're talking about, which is perspective too a leader only lives in vision. Then what teammates are doing this. There's trying to continually clean up the mess because yes, you may see global domination for the organization, but right now we have a serious competitor issue and we're getting squeezed out of the only market we're in, which is this one zip code.

So if we don't get this fixed, we don't live to fight another day. No one follows you, everyone, you know, you start to lose credibility. So you really do need to have that first perspective. It's permission to play. The current reality is permission to play. Then you earn the opportunity to inspire. That longer-term vision.

Those two perspectives create an opportunity gap, which is perspective three strategic bets. Then your team together can begin to come together and create a strategy that will move the organization from current reality to that future vision. And you can do it in realistic timeframes to were Hey, world domination is going to happen by the end of next year. But you know, maybe 10, 20 years from now, maybe there's world domination. But right now we're going to focus on three years. And that's nine zip codes.

Topic 5. Taking decisions and sharing your vision as a leader (15:06)

Jeff Hunt:

Yes, exactly. Just in reflecting on what you're saying, Daniel, it makes so much sense, especially because when you say. That defining current reality really well puts people's minds at ease.

It's also about actually being open and authentic about what's really not going well. It seems like if leaders are able to be vulnerable in that way and admit that they're not perfect, they don't, I mean, the best leader seems to not have all the answers and know that and be willing to communicate that to their teams.

Daniel Harkavy:

I totally agree. You know, the best leaders are so good at saying help me. Yeah. Or help us. I don't know. What do you think? And the best leaders know who has the highest probability of making the best decision for this situation. And that brings us back to that earlier, little dialogue we were having around surrounding yourself with the best brightest people. I've seen it this way and it came to me. I like to create little visual models that help me to unpack more, maybe more complex concepts. The frequency of decision-making decreases the higher you climb on the leadership ladder. So if you just imagine in a ladder, right, two sides climb up one side.

Well, Let's say you're on a 16-foot ladder. The CEO's way up there at 16 feet. The view up there, you can see way over eight-foot walls and that's your job. That's your job. You need to be seeing way over eight-foot walls. You need to be seeing what's around the corner. You need to see future state CEOs are responsible for that.

So you make big decisions up at the top, but the lower you are on the latter, the frequency of decision-making is far more intense. The magnitude of them is less intense. You're usually not making decisions on that bottom rung that this decision is going to kill the business. But up at the top of the ladder, you can make decisions that will kill the business.

So great leaders understand that they don't need to know it all. They need to know who is on each of the rungs. And they push decision-making down to those who are closest to the opportunity or the challenge. And that requires a belief shift for many leaders where they just say, I don't know, what do you think? Who in the room has the D.

Jeff Hunt:

Also just thinking about the, going back to the current reality and the future state the vision again. The most effective organizations have to do both of those really, really well, because if they only do one well or, or the other well, it's not going to function. And so the other thing that I'm just reflecting on is I happen to be an open ocean sailor.

And so that one time I got the opportunity to sail from Tahiti to Hawaii. It was a 13-day open ocean sale. You can imagine if we missed our longitudinal coordinates by one degree, we would've missed Hawaii probably by hundreds of miles. Um, and so it's sort of analogous to the leader who is doing the vision casting.

They really have to do their best collaborative work at casting the right vision. And not doing it in a vacuum but exercising their competency to really lead the organization in a new and differentiated way that they're going to add value to the market.

Daniel Harkavy:

Absolutely. You know, and you on that team when you were on that boat, which had to be an amazing experience Tahiti to Hawaii, beautiful water.

You weren't sailing alone, so it required all hands on deck. And the same is true for a leadership team when we're talking vision and we're talking strategy and tactics. If the leader himself or herself is the only one that sees that and believes it well, we're toast. On your deal, if the captain would have been the only one and there were all these sub conversations, sidebar conversations, you know what, pull the sail on a little bit over here. You can go take a rest right now. You don't need to rig that, whatever it may be. Yeah. Well then you wind up

Jeff Hunt:

And imagine if we, got on board and he didn't tell us what our destination was. Imagine if he knew and he was all excited about it, but he didn't share it with anyone. And how are we going to be on the boat for five days or we're going to be on the boat for 50 days?

Daniel Harkavy:

So, let's riff on that one. Leaders listen to this. Oftentimes leaders make the mistake of thinking that they did the vision. They hired the consultancy. They did it. It was a two-day retreat. They shared it. They built the posters they're everywhere, and now they're done. The best leaders actually live in two worlds, they live in current reality and they live in a future state and they communicate like that all the time. So, they're always reminding everybody of where they're headed, and they're doing their best through storytelling, through rewards systems and structures, through feedback to let everybody in the organization know why their role is so critical in order for the organization to reach that vision.

See people, especially in today's times where they're isolated and they're working in home offices that might also be kitchen tables or master bedrooms or garages. Oftentimes people after a long zoom grind day. They forget why they're doing what they're doing. And their world is just two computer screens, spreadsheets, survey responses, you know, sales calls, whatever their function is, they lose the connection of this specific function to a greater vision. That's a leader's responsibility over and over. Remind, remind, remind. We need you. You're playing a bigger role.

This allows us to do what we do in our community, in the world for the businesses we serve or the customers we serve. Your work matters. That reminding of what people belong to and who we're going to become, what we're going to build three B's that great leaders answer with vision over and over and over. It's just talking about it all day long.

Jeff Hunt:

It seems like leaders sometimes make the mistake of thinking that they need to teach their teams rather than remind them right? So, if I just teach them what our vision is, and I say at once, we're going to be good to go. But your point is. It has to be like a really good ad campaign where you're saturated. Like every employee knows unequivocally what that mission is, what the vision is, where they're going, what those core values are, that sort of undergirding their behaviors, right?

Daniel Harkavy:

Yeah, absolutely. You know, you and I would be remiss if we didn't talk about where we first met, which would have been more than a decade ago at Patrick Lencioni's and you know, Patrick's famous for saying that CEO's need to be the chief reminding officer and they do, it's a regular part of a CEO's job.

Remind, remind, remind. It's not always teaching. Remind. And you hire to it, so, everybody on your team should know what it is that together we're going to build and who we're going to become. Because that's part of onboarding, that's part of coaching and it's constantly being mentioned, and people are being reminded of it. Exactly.

Topic 6. Humility and curiosity to become an effective leader (22:34)

Jeff Hunt:

Talk about the importance of curiosity and humility in an effective leader.

Daniel Harkavy:

I think in living in the seven perspectives, I say that you have to have intentional curiosity. You have to be intentionally curious. It's like going to the gym and for the first time working out a body part that you've never worked out before, it's so uncomfortable and it's painful and you may not like it.

I hate working out legs. I'd rather run. Well, the same is true for leaders who are moving so fast, they kind of can get to it, and it happens to us. Been there, done that. I've got the answers. You don't need to finish your sentence. This is the answer. When that happens, you start to lose influence in your grade.

You're at greater risk of making wrong decisions. Sometimes the right decision is not to make the decision like we were talking about earlier and it's to push that decision down and allow somebody else to take the risk and make the D even though they might make the wrong one, coaching opportunities, people learn as they're empowered.

So intentional curiosity is birthed out of humility. It's birth out if you absolutely know that as the leader, you don't need to have all the answers, but you need to surround your people who have the highest odds of making the best decisions and having the right answers. I just have always found it fascinating to sit in front of CEOs who seem to be more interested in me than I might seem to be interested in them.

And I can tell you from when I was in my twenties, Jeff, I can tell you about Clemson. Who was my first leader? He was the CEO of this mortgage banking firm. And whenever I would drop into his office, he would just ask the most obscure questions about my meetings, about surfing, about what it felt like, about myself.

And back then, my girlfriend, who became my wife, about parenting, about death, he was just this sponge and I was always fascinated with, and he sure asks a lot of questions. Why? Well then as I got older and decades passed. I realized, the best leaders, they're just sponges. They're so curious about everything because it gives them information that enables them to understand people around them and then to make the best decisions.

And when people, another truth. The number one way we show people we care about them is by how we listen to them, while powerful questions are unique. And then when you listen, you're actually showing that you care. CEOs that are doing this are increasing influence because they're demonstrating, they care about their people and what their people think, believe, want, and need.

Jeff Hunt:

I love that. I love that. And influence, of course, you were saying that it's about the decisions and the influence. So if we can increase that, we're going to have the ability to actually take the organization and shape the culture in ways we never could otherwise.

Daniel Harkavy:


Topic 7. How to make decisions that are not too risky or too risk-averse? (25:33)

Jeff Hunt:

Yeah. That's great. Let’s talk a little bit about what you were talking about decisions I want to stay on this for just a second. And early we were talking about the ladder, how the CEOs at the top of the 16-foot ladder, making less frequent decisions. I'm curious as to your perspective about making these heavyweight sorts of strategic bets to close the gap between their current reality and their vision. How do they do that so that the decisions they make are not too risky or too risk-averse?

Daniel Harkavy:

So, perspectives four, five and seven perspective four is the perspective of the team, perspective five as the perspective of the customer perspective seven as the perspective of the outsider. So if you understand where you're at, you've got current reality, you understand, and your team buys into perspective to vision, then your team and your customers you know what your customers want and need, not just today, but in the future, whether you're B2B, B2C.

Then what happens is you engage your teammates and your customers in the conversation to where the team is making the decision together around the strategic bets so that your bets aren't too risky and they're not too conservative, but there are still bats. There's no guarantee that they're going to pay off.

So, in organizations, depending on where you are in kind of your life journey. When I started building champions 25 years ago, most bets that I was placing back then really were life or death, 'cause you're starting. And you know, you're putting all your eggs in one basket, but as you mature and you grow older and the organization becomes more established, we just came back from a gathering.

Our entire team was together in central Oregon last week, where we shared our three strategic bets, our three-year plan. And each of those bets are big, but if we fail on any of them, they don't kill us. they just change things. And we learned from them and we might pivot and pursue differently. So, you're gonna make the right bets when you're grounding them in current reality and anchoring them in long-term vision. So they can really move you to that future state, but you've got the input, the buy-in, and the best thinking of your teammates around you. And you're always thinking about how does this better serves the customer? The customer is always at the end of the arrow. They're always the bullseye.

So if you're doing that and you're having those conversations, which we could riff on perspective five, the best CEOs. Yeah, they use survey monkey and yes, they look at whatever metrics their organization has put in place to see what the experience was like with the customer in times past.

But the best CEOs are actually sitting down, breaking bread with the users of their product and service, and saying, what do you like, what don't you like? What could we do to improve? Where are you going five years from now? What do we need to be doing in order to add more value to you five years from now? The best CEOs do that. It's part of their weekly routine.

Jeff Hunt:

That resonates absolutely with me because in our company we have made so many clients informed product development decisions. It's like, you hear it enough from your customers. If you put it into play, then you solve problems in a unique way. And your products become more sticky.

So it seems like it has multiple benefits, for sure.

Daniel Harkavy:

Yeah. A quick story for us. You mentioned becoming a coaching leader, which was written and released in 2006. And that book came about because I was in a coaching session with a leader by the name of Michael. And I was asking Michael about his vision and purpose for his role in his organization.

And he came back after doing a lot of soul searching and some of the exercises we walked him through and he came back and he said, I want to do for my teammates, what you do for me. He brought in his CEO, who is today one of my partners, Jerry Baker. I coached Jerry 20 years ago. As a result of this, the customer Michael wanted to be equipped to be a coaching leader.

So we developed a whole strategy around it did start 20 years ago. And just last year we released becoming a coaching leader e-course because customers still want that. Customers, organizations are trying to figure out the engagement challenge. They're trying to figure out this thing that's being called the great resignation.

We need to be skilled and bought into and believe that leaders can actually affect a better outcome by outcome, by caring more for their people and elevating their, that that is a priority and elevating the style and skill in those conversations. But that came to us because a client said, I want this and I am so glad we heard because it changed our business.

Jeff Hunt:

I love that. And you were to share just kind of the high points of building a culture that is really focused around coaching and mentorship, is it a combination of competency developing that competency within everyone and discipline? So you have sort of both coming together or give us the thumbnail.

Daniel Harkavy:

Yeah, so those two are required, but it's birthed out of the third, which is really the first and it is a heartbeat, passion, love, and belief that one person can affect a better outcome in the life of another. So, when you're around our team at building champions as I said, there were, I think 35 of us together last week for three days, celebrating our 25 years.

The energy is just so good because we all love each other. We love what we get to do, and we love our clients. They're all just amazing humans. And they come to us nine times out of 10. They come to us because they believe they can grow. We're very rarely the company that organizations call for a problem. Hey, this is an HR check the box before we fire the leader that that's not our product.

Jeff Hunt:

Well, I know your brand equity is extremely high, so you probably don't have to do a lot of marketing.

Daniel Harkavy:

Thank you. And thank you for helping, but yeah, I would say it's a skill, it's discipline, it's tools.

But it's a heart to just listen and to ask questions that very few people would ask and then the courage to be a mirror and say, hey I see something, you know, do I have permission to share it with you? Are you in a place to hear it? Two weeks ago, we talked about this. This is what I'm hearing today.

Unpack that for me. What's going on?

Topic 8. Lightning-round questions (32:34)

Jeff Hunt:

All right. I'm going to shift us into some lightning-round questions. Are you ready?

Daniel Harkavy:

Yes. I'm ready.

Jeff Hunt:

Just give me your top-of-mind answer. I think most of them are going to be pretty easy for you, Daniel, so you don't have to worry. The first one is really reflecting on the fact that Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I would love to know what you are most grateful for?

Daniel Harkavy:

I tell you what, I've been blessed beyond belief, and I am most grateful for my bride, Barry and I celebrated 33 years together this July, and she makes me better. I've known her since I was 11 and because of her we're parents and grandparents, and we've had a pretty rich life, a life of purpose and passion, and most grateful for my bride.

Jeff Hunt:

Huge. What's the most difficult leadership lesson you've learned over your career?

Daniel Harkavy:

I would say it has to do with my insecurities. So, I don't have a college degree. My education came through a lot of experiences, so I have the education. It just came in a much different way than maybe you would acquire in a four-year or an eight-year or whatever it may be.

But I had to really come to grips with the fact that at the age of 46, more than a decade ago, I didn't need to know it all. And it was so liberating and free. When I pose, I have the imposter syndrome when I used to do that more than I do today and act like I had the answers and become a little bit control and command and control and dogmatic.

I always hurt myself, my team, the organization, and it was difficult for me to come to grips with that and really get comfortable from a belief perspective that my job is not to know it all. It's not. My job is to surround myself with people who are super smart and then help them to be the best they can be.

And you would think as a guy who's run a coaching company for 25 years, I would have figured that out 26 years ago, but now it, it happened about 11 years ago and I'm still learning. So, there you go.

Jeff Hunt:

There's so much wisdom in that. I'm just, I'm going to go on to the rest of our lightning round questions, but I just have to reflect on it.

The golden nugget that you just gave our listeners, because really what you've shared is the willingness to be authentic and, and open so that you're in alignment. You're in alignment with what you're thinking, feeling, and doing in a way that maybe you weren't earlier in your life.

Daniel Harkavy:

It makes leading so much more fun. It makes it easier. When you can laugh at yourself and you allow your teammates to laugh at you like, oh, I botched that. Wow. Thank you. I thought we should have gone left. You saved us. People please save me and save us. Push back, push back. Challenge me.

Jeff Hunt:

Exactly, so helpful. Who is one person you would interview? If you could living or not.

Daniel Harkavy:

All right. So I'm a man of faith and I think the story if any of you are people of faith, there's this character in the Bible who was just a crazy man. The guy was insane, right? His name's Paul. He's been credited for writing a whole bunch of the new Testament. His story is nuts. The guy was a rebel, you know. Paul did some bad things. And then his life turned around. So. Jeff, you can see on my wallet says hooligan, which was the name of all of our high school surfing friends. And here we are, grandpa's all still surfing together, but we were hooligans. Yeah and I resonate with the apostle Paul, so to learn about him, love to have that interview.

Jeff Hunt:

Okay. So, this is probably going to be easy for you, but what's your what're one or two top books that you would recommend. Of course, I'm going to recommend your books. And by the way, I have two of our listeners. I've also read that your living forward book, it's an old book now, but that's a really good book that has withstood the test of time. But what are some books that you can recommend?

Daniel Harkavy:

I can tell you what I'm reading right now. So I really liked an older book. I've already said I'm a person of faith, so the Bible is always going to be the answer, but I think you want more than that. Thinking fast and slow. Was it a game-changer? It was a really good book by Daniel Kinnaman.

And then in that same theme, Adam Grant's book, think again, I just cracked open the extended mind. I'm into that right now, I'm into that really understanding the science and neuroscience behind how people think and behave, but I've been enjoying those. I do like learning it's one of my convictions at building champions, we are lifelong learners and we can only give away what we possess.

So there are just so many books. I'm an awful critic because I usually like everything that I read. If I don't, I don't finish it, but I like that.

Jeff Hunt:

That's great. All right. What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

Daniel Harkavy:

My aunt Eileen. I was a young boy. I was probably eight years old. We were at her home. She was making breakfast. I already told you I was a hooligan. I was naughty. And she left her, her kids alone with me and my sibs. And that was never good. Like there was always trouble happening. And I remember her making breakfast, leaning across the bar as she was cooking up against it.

And she looked at me and back then I was Danny, I wasn't mature Daniel. And she says, you know, Danny, she said, you seem to have a lot of influence for a young person. She said if you figure out how to use it for good. You're going to do a lot of great things she said, but if you don't and you keep using it for bad, I'm worried you're going to hurt a lot. Boy did that stick? It was a coaching moment. Truth-telling. But that stuck and in this last COVID year, she passed and she was just such a force. How to use that influence? And to be aware of it, to be aware.

I'm known for saying flip switches upon the hearts of everybody that you meet. Flip switches up, flip switches up. I talk about that all the time because I believe we humans have the same opportunity to flip switches up and down as does a light switch on the wall. It either illuminates or it darkens, it just depends on which way you push it. And there's no in the middle. So how we see people, how we love people, how we serve people. It's a choice that we make every single moment, every interaction. Do you see her? Do you see him? It's the clerk. It's the waitress. It's the coworker. It's the teammate, but don't forget. It's the spouse. It's the kids. It's the grandkids.

It's the neighbors. It's those that don't treat you all that well, right?

Jeff Hunt:

Yeah. It's the opportunity to interact with so many people and make a positive influence. Isn't that?

Daniel Harkavy:

It's a gift. We all have. It can all do that.

Jeff Hunt:

Thank you, Daniel, so much for sharing all of these incredible insights today. This has been a great conversation.

Daniel Harkavy:

Well, Jeff, I have so enjoyed speaking with you. You're a great host and you're doing great work and thank you for allowing me to be your guest.


Closing music jingle/sound effects

Jeff Hunt:

Thanks for listening to the show this week. We release new episodes every other Tuesday. Let me know what you thought of this episode by emailing humancapitalgoalspan.com. Human capital is produced by GoalSpan. Subscribe, wherever you get your podcasts. And please share this podcast with your colleagues, team, or friends. Thanks for being human kind.

Human Capital — 28. Founder/CEO, Building Champions
replay15 play_circle_filled pause_circle_filled replay15