Madeleine Maddy Niebauer is the CEO and Founder of vChief, helping overwhelmed leaders, like you and I, get on top of our to-do list and spend more time where we can have the most impact.
She has more than 20 years of professional experience, including 8 years as a chief of staff, an MBA from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor’s Degree from Stanford University. Her company, vChief, or virtual chief of staff, supports leaders from all sectors and domains, who are looking for high-level strategic support on a part-time basis. Interesting.
And, knowing my background, you will love this. Maddy travelled with her family for 8 months internationally in Central and South America while running her company from the road. She discovered great tips for working remotely internationally, travel with family and “world-schooling” kids.
Episode Summary: Are You Ready to Hire a Chief of Staff with Maddy Madeleine Niebauer
Danny Gutknecht is the CEO and co-founder of the advisory firm Pathways helping organizations tap into their potential through people strategies. He has worked with individuals and companies around the world and recently authored the book, Meaning at Work & Its Hidden Language
Episode Summary: Create Opportunity with Passion, Not Talent with Danny Gutknecht
Steve Robertson is the CEO of Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs, an organization specializing in youth-to-adult programming that turns curiosity into passion and skill. What started out as a weekly tennis camp quickly grew to include golf, cooking, business, fitness, academics and more.
Steve has been with the company for 18 years. In this role, his primary responsibility is to cultivate a culture that results in memories lasting a lifetime.
Episode Summary: The Confidence to Be a Serial Connector with Steve Robertson
Kathi Lipp is a national speaker and the author of 17 books including Clutter Free, The Get Yourself Organized Project, and The Husband Project (my wife’s husband certainly is a project). She is a frequent guest on radio and TV, and has been named Focus on the Family radio’s “Best of Broadcast.” She is the host of the popular podcast Clutter Free Academy with Kathi Lipp. AND Over the past 10 years, has helped hundreds of people increase their platform through teaching and coaching through Communicator Academy. She is a frequent teacher at writer’s conferences and has helped countless authors and speakers find their audiences. Today, Overcome overwhelm with Kathi Lipp.
Episode Summary: Take Control of Your Overwhelm with Kathi Lipp
Today’s featured guest is Connor Gillivan; a 27 year old serial entrepreneur and published author. After founding his first company in his college dorm room buying and selling text books on Amazon.com, he grew it to over $20 million in sales with a team of over 60 people.
Connor co-founded his second company, FreeeUp, after becoming an expert at hiring and managing remote freelancers. FreeeUp now serves as an online hiring platform where business owners can quickly hire reliable, pre-vetted freelancers from around the world.
Episode Summary: Social Entrepreneur, Successful Founder & Only 27 w/ Connor Gillivan
Rabbi Lapin is known widely as America’s Rabbi. He is a noted rabbinic scholar, best-selling author and TV host. He studied in England as well as Israel and established a boat building business in Johannesburg South Africa before immigrating to the US and founding the Pacific Jewish Center in California.
In addition to writing the bestselling book, Thou Shall Prosper, Which is actually his 3rd book, he is a frequent speaker for hundreds of organizations including keynoting the Congressional Bi-Partisan opening of the 106th Congress in Washington, DC. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, The Jewish Press, and The Washington Times
Episode Summary: Thou Shall Prosper with Rabbi Daniel Lapin
Leadership is influence. But what is influence? It is the ability to affect change, progress, productivity and improvement. Leaders need influence to get important things done. The best way to build influence through trust. But how?
Today we discuss 10 ways that you can build influence through trust by being more authentic, a giver, and emotionally connecting with your team.
Episode Summary: 10 Ways to Build Influence Through Trust
Avoid Arguments – learn how to handle shock, be patient, not impulsive
Admit mistakes – be vulnerable
Start with right tone
Tell a story – cast the vision
Give credit where credit is due – appreciate the effort
Connect emotionally – be genuinely interest in others
The Problem Solving Leader has a leadership superpower characterized by creativity, delegation, resourcefulness, strategic planning, and taking risk. How do we exercise the problem solving skill within each of us?
If problem solving is your superpower you are in good company; Jack Dorsey (CEO Twitter), Steve Jobs (Apple), Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) and Scott Adams (Dilbert Cartoons)
Episode Summary: Find the Solution – Use Your Problem Solving Superpower
Tom Schwab knows how to build an online business. Marketing, at its heart, is starting a conversation with someone who could be an ideal customer. Tom helps small business owners, entrepreneurs and soloprenuers get featured on leading podcasts their prospects are already listening to. Then he shows them how to turn listeners into customers.
Episode Summary: Play Bigger & Don’t Chase Rabbits with Tom Schwab
To be a leader you must have followers. There is no leader without at least one follower. But, leadership is more than just having followers, or a title, or a corner office. Even with all those things, you cannot be an effective leader until your team trusts you and is willing to follow your lead.
While some leaders try to enforce rules through fear and intimidation, the successful leader has followers who want to follow.
At age thirteen I took my first summer job working two hours a day in a downtown pizza shop. The type of establishment that caters to the busy profession, selling pizza by the slice, swarming from 11:30am to 1:30pm and then empty the rest of the day.
My first boss, Randy, was a skillful leader who calmly managed during the few hours of chaos; the type of leader who made everyone feel important and necessary. Daily he increased the amount of responsibilities I had, helping me grow into a contributing part of the team.
My first day I was assigned cardboard box duty, breaking down the delivery boxes for the recycling bin. During the next week, my responsibility increased to include mopping the bathrooms, and then washing the dishes. By mid-summer I was helping in the back to mix, cut and roll the dough. My most exciting assignment came near summer’s end when I had the chance to work behind the counter putting the forty-nine perfectly overlapping slices of pepperoni on the pizza.
Proud to work
I was proud to work and I felt empowered by a leader who knew his team and knew what we were each capable of. I felt important during a very busy lunch rush and Randy trusted me to get the job done. I worked for him for two summers before moving on, but not before learning the value of being a leader your team is willing to follow.
Good followers are attracted to good leaders.
If you want to be the type of leader that attracts the top talent and retains the best employees there are certain personality traits that you must develop.
8 qualities of a skillful leader
Solid, not arrogant. A skillful leader does not belittle his team. He is firm in decisions and has high expectations of excellence but is not condescending. People follow a skillful leader out of loyalty and respect not fear or intimidation.
Flexible, not weak. Leaders needs to adjust. As new ideas or opportunities are presented a change of approach may be necessary. A willingness to change when the situation warrants is not the same as being weak. Weakness is allowing your team to walk all over you and sway your course based on their desires, not what is best for the organization. Being likable is not the same as being weak, kindness has its own strength. When a follower makes a mistake, you should correct them. It is how you correct, with the spirit of improvement, making the person a better team member.
Humorous, not silly. There is no faster way to lose the respect, and ultimately the productivity, of your team than to do something inappropriate. Being approachable and having a pleasant attitude makes you relatable and likable and easy to follow. Being embarrassing, inappropriate, crude or vulgar diminishes the respect your followers have in you, undermining your leadership.
Honest, not cruel. People screw up, your followers will disappoint, it’s going to happen. And sometimes it’s going to be bad. You will have plenty of chances to sit and mentor team members on what they did wrong, work through the consequences of their actions, and create plans for moving forward. You must be firm, direct, open, and honest. This is not an opportunity to be cruel. Embarrassing a follower in front of the rest of the team or belittling them in front of a client doesn’t make you look strong, it makes you look insecure and out of control.
Delegate, don’t dump. The art of delegation is one you must learn to master. You should be delegating to your team. Your followers need the opportunities to learn new skills, they need responsibilities that will test their commitment, and they need the same chance to prove themselves as you had. Additionally, you need to delegate to free your time to focus on higher priority projects that require your involvement. But, delegation is not dumping. The difference is not the assignment but how you are assigning it. The same project can be sent down as properly delegated or improperly dumped. Proper job descriptions and clear expectations allows you to properly distribute the work to the person most capable of handling it.
Positive, but grounded. With positive thinking, everything becomes a little bit easier, not easy. Have a positive attitude that inspires your team, helping them through tough times, but don’t gloss over reality. The truth is the truth, reality is reality, and sometimes things are just going bad. Face challenges with optimism grounded in reality.
Intuitive, not knee jerk. As a leader, you sometimes must go with your gut. That instinct comes from years of facing similar situations. You developed a sixth sense for how to respond. You may not know exactly where that intuition came from but it feels This is different from hasty reactions with no foundation. Skillful leaders know when to trust their gut and when to pause for more information.
Have their back, not micromanage. As a leader, your team wants to know that you have their back. When confronted with difficult situations, lead from the front. Your followers will earn to trust that you will be there, alongside them during the tough times. This is different from constantly managing every decision that they make which results in feelings of mistrust.
Being a leader is a development process. To be the type of leader your followers will respect and follow you need to be a quality leader. Quality leaders, in turn, attract quality followers. It is a positive cycle of growth. Develop the personality of a skillful leader.