In this week’s memorable and uplifting show, Marcel Schwantes chats with Kevin Hancock, who shares his inspirational story of finding purpose in the midst of adversity and re-scripting his definition of leadership as a result. They also discuss his new book, The Seventh Power: One CEO’s Journey into the Business of Shared Leadership.
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- Kevin is the CEO of Hancock Lumber Company, one of the oldest and best-known family businesses in America, and a six-time recipient of the Best Places To Work In Maine. Kevin has been awarded the Ed Muskie Access to Justice Award, the Habitat for Humanity Spirit of Humanity Award, the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award, and the Timber Processing Magazine Person of the Year award. [2:08]
- Kevin’s ‘why’ is self-awareness: “… to come to know my own true voice and to follow it as best as I can.” [4:00]
- Marcel asks Kevin to share his personal story. Kevin relates the personal tragedy that struck him in 2010 and his struggle to lead his company in the wake of it. He soon realized, however, that what he initially saw as a loss was actually an incredible gift. How he viewed leadership was completely changed because of it. [4:32]
- “Everyone has a valuable, powerful, unique, never to be repeated voice and the best cultural model for an organization is to release those voices, not restrict them,” Kevin says. He sees his experience as an invitation to strengthen the voices of others. [10:49]
- Marcel and Kevin discuss his book. Kevin says that the seventh power is the power of the individual human spirit. His book is “an invitation to turn inward for strength and meaning and purpose, and for leaders to create cultures that make it safe for people to do that.” [15:45]
- The seven lessons for the age of shared leadership include:
- Great people are everywhere.
- Culture makes the difference.
- Real change is created first from within.
- In the 21st century, leadership will be about localizing power and shrinking the center.
- Listen for understanding, not judgment.
- Overreaching has consequences: it collapses back upon the people that do it.
- An invitation for places of work to broaden their mission. [18:41]
- “If you were a manager or a supervisor, leadership was something to be shared and dispersed; and if you were an employee within the company, leadership was something to be accepted and embraced… The invitation was for everybody to share the responsibilities of leading,” Kevin says. [23:51]
- “People are more apt to support authentically that which they helped to create.” [24:49]
- Kevin’s philosophy is that work should take less time as productivity expands. His company has revamped its compensation system in line with this principle. [25:44]
- Leaders who want to create a culture of shared leadership should talk less, sit still more, have faith in their people, and engage their power. The way to get people to pick up more, he says, is simply to occupy less. “[T]he power of them all leading is just immeasurably greater than anything I could do on my own,” he comments. [29:43]
- Marcel says that “fear and control are relics of the industrial age that have been passed on from generation to generation.” [34:46]
- When leaders focus on becoming the change they want to see, the effects ripple throughout the organization. [36:00]
- Kevin wants listeners to take away these ideas:
- It takes everyone to lead to defeat the virus.
- We need a new definition of winning.
- We have to start thinking more about our shared collective humanity.
- “Your voice is unique by design. It will never be repeated, and your gift to humanity is to do the best you can to release it and share it and bring it forth into this world.”
- In nature, power is meant to be dispersed. [38:30]
- Matthew Emerzian: Everybody Matters (Episode #52)
- Robb Holman: Going All In (Episode #44)
- Mike Vacanti: Creating Value By Putting Humans First (Episode #38)
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