An expert in leadership, change management, entrepreneurship, creativity and communication, Jeffrey Hayzlett is a bestselling author whose dynamic, insightful presentations make him a popular public speaker. He is also a prime-time television show host on Bloomberg Television. His business books The Mirror Test and Running the Gauntlet are both bestsellers.
SPEAKING.COM: In your book, Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless, you say it’s time for business leaders to empower themselves and tie their visions to actions, advance themselves past competitors and closer to their business dreams. You stress the importance of creating your own story, thinking big and acting bigger- because you can. What does it mean to “think big and act bigger?”
HAYZLETT: It’s a mantra for everything, in business and in life. We are so limited by the things we don’t do in life. Let’s start doing the things we want to do in the ways we want to do them. No more excuses. Steamroll obstacles; don’t take no for an answer; don’t listen to naysayers. It’s time for us to act.
SPEAKING.COM: The first step to owning your story and being a successful leader is setting your conditions of satisfaction. How do you determine your conditions of satisfaction?
HAYZLETT: I call them mutual conditions of satisfaction. In everything we do there is a performer and a customer. It’s about deciding what the customer wants and what the performer wants to give. Then both parties live up to the promises they made based on the conditions they determined to be mutually satisfactory.
SPEAKING.COM: Why is it critical to create a business identity you can own? How can I do that?
HAYZLETT: I think you have to have a sense of who you are. Everyone you meet has a personality. How do they speak or act? Businesses are no different. They should have a personality, too, and it should reflect of their brand.
SPEAKING.COM: People have called you pigheaded and irrational before, but you say it doesn’t bother you. In fact, you think it’s a good thing for business leaders to be a little pigheaded. Why?
HAYZLETT: Someone has to lead, and sometimes you have to stand out there alone in order to get everyone to come with you. I once listened to a leader of a large organization talk about how he needed to be irrational. At first, I thought he was crazy. Then I realized his point. He was saying the company needs to go from point A to point B, but I have to go to point Z in order to drag everyone else to point B. Sometimes we look at the boss and say he or she is crazy. Sometimes they are, but that is to push us harder and strive for better.
SPEAKING.COM: What did you learn when you visited the executive team at Domino’s while filming The C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett?
HAYZLETT: In 2010, Domino’s launched an advertising campaign announcing their pizza sucked. What makes a company do this? To learn what they didn’t know about their product. Domino’s story demonstrates that business owners need to understand that there will always be an unknown. However, there are steps you can take to be as educated as possible in order to help your business grow:
• Listen to your customers; you might learn something that leads to radical change.
• Respond to your customers. Once you have decided to listen, you need to make sure you are responding to
what they really want.
• Listen and respond to your people. Allow your employees to state, without consequence, how they feel about your company or product.
• Take a risk and get the whole team on board.
• Be transparent, open, and honest with consumers.
As human beings, sometimes we fail to see things that hold us back. We need to see problems or failures, not as obstacles, but as opportunities that allow us to own who we are—because we can and because we have to!
SPEAKING.COM: What do you mean by “create a company cadence that completely reflects what’s important to you?” Why is it important for companies to have a cadence?
HAYZLETT: People in the army march to a certain cadence – so that everyone marches together. If people aren’t marching to the same cadence, they fall out of step. When you walk into a business, you can just see it immediately. What is the energy level? Is it quiet or loud? All of those things make up the company cadence.
SPEAKING.COM: Can you tell us a few of the most important trends that will help businesses thrive today?
HAYZLETT: The focus needs to be on growth. For so long, we have been focusing on cutting our businesses, and it’s finally time to start focusing on growing our businesses. That means we have to learn a new behavior that isn’t about restricting, but rather expanding.
SPEAKING.COM: What do you see as the biggest drivers of change in today’s global marketplace?
HAYZLETT: Speed. Specifically the technology that’s available today and the speed it enables us to work at. We can automate tasks and spend more time on the tasks and strategy that move our businesses in the right direction.
SPEAKING.COM: What would you say are the three most important skills a company leader must possess to successfully Think Big and Act Bigger?
Be a little irrational. Meaning set goals that are greater than your team can achieve in order to challenge them.
To bring Jeffrey Hayzlett to your organization to help your business “think big and act bigger”, please contact Michael Frick at: Mike@Speaking.com.