Today’s guest on the Answers From Leadership podcast is Karin Hurt. Karin is a keynote speaker, leadership consultant, and MBA professor.
Karin helps leaders improve business results by building deeper trust and connection with their teams. As a former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over twenty years of experience in sales, marketing, customer service, and human resources.
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Karin, what else do you want listeners to know about you?
I am just passionate about helping people discover their true authentic leadership style and helping people to grow.
How did you become a leader?
My mother would tell you that I was a leader when I was in diapers. She said I was the only kid she ever met who would organize her stuffed animals and tell them what to do.
Leadership just kind of came naturally to me.
And what does leadership look like to you?
Leadership is all about achieving great results. It’s having a significant vision that you are working on rallying a team towards that vision.
I always talk about 4 components of leadership: the continuum of confidence and humility, then results and relationships.
Would you be willing to share a difficulty you’ve encountered?
A couple of things come to mind. The biggest struggle for me has been the balance between patience and impatience.
As a leader, one of my greatest strengths is that I’m impatient about mediocrity. I’m impatient when things aren’t going the way they should. And you need that.
But you also need to be patient with human beings. If you don’t have that balance, you begin to frustrate people.
You have a book with David Dye called Winning Well. What does Winning Well look like for a leader?
The whole title is Winning Well: A Managers Guide To Getting Results Without Losing Your Soul. That gives you a sense of what the book is all about.
Winning Well is all about achieving long-term results that last.
The subtitle of the book is great. Why do you think some leaders lose their souls?
It happens for a variety of reasons. Primarily it’s because there’s such a pressure to get results quickly.
People feel very squashed from the pressure above and yet they have a team that has concerns and it can be a very high-pressure environment.
If a leader loses his soul, can he find it again?
Yes, at least I believe so. No leader is perfect and leadership is an evolution.
The trick is, is that when you find yourself slipping into the behaviors you’re not proud of, is to find a way to get yourself re-grounded, re-focused, and to try again.
How should a leader handle those types of problems?
The first thing you’ve got to do is to get to the root cause of what the problem is. You also have to stay calm and take a step back so you can assess.
Why is it important for a leader to have credibility?
People have to trust you. For a variety of reasons.
They need to know that you know what you’re doing. If you’re leading people towards a vision, and they believe you’re wrong… They are not going to be motivated to help.
They’ve got to believe that you’ve got competence and confidence.
And then credibility also comes from the idea of whether or not I trust you as a human being.
Is there a way that a leader can change the direction of his leadership if he’s going in the wrong direction?
I do. That’s why we break it down so tactically in the book.
You need to get grounded in your own leadership values. And you need to establish your operating principles.
What do you wish you would have known about leadership 10 years ago?
The leadership lesson that I learned too late in life is that your peers are your lifeline.
We already mentioned your book Winning Well for growing leaders. Do you have any other book recommendations?
I’m a big fan of Liz Wiseman’s book Multipliers
Anything that Seth Godin has written
Adam Grant – Give And Take