Employee engagement: we know that when engagement goes up, performance often follows. So, why is this so important, and how do you grow and sustain it? Brian Hartzer shares that when we get the best people who are emotionally committed to the goals and purpose of the organization, they will positively impact the bottom line. As a leader, you need to provide clarity, get rid of barriers, and create a culture of appreciation.
This episode is brought to you by...
Remarkable Masterclasses. Each masterclass is designed to help you become the remarkable leader and human you were born to be. Details on how to get on board for a specific skill or get discounts each month can be found on our website.
Join Our Community
If you want to view our live podcast episodes, hear about new releases, or chat with others who enjoy this podcast join one of our communities below.
Leave a Review
If you liked this conversation, we’d be thrilled if you’d let others know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Here’s a quick guide for posting a review.
Kevin Eikenberry: Employee engagement. Is it the Holy Grail? It seems to be the thing everyone wants to talk about. The question would be, though, why are we chasing it so much? Why does it matter? And what can we as leaders do to grow and sustain it? That's what we're going to talk about. Today on another live episode of the Remarkable Leadership podcast.
And so glad that you're here. If you're with us live, you can start by saying hello, telling us where you're from. And while you're here, I hope that you will imagine that you're joining us for a cup of coffee that so that you can share your questions, your comments, your ideas. They will make for a better conversation and eventually a better podcast episode.
And if you're listening to this podcast, that means you weren't here live, but you could be in the future because all of these episodes are nearly all these episodes get recorded live first before they make it to the podcast. So if you want to hear them sooner, if you want to have the chance to engage with my guests, our guests, you can learn more about how to do that by joining our Facebook or LinkedIn groups.
Just go to remarkablepodcast.com/Facebook or a remarkablepodcast.com/linkedin. And today's episode is brought to you by Remarkable Masterclasses. Each Master Class is designed to help you become the leader and human you were born to be. Details on how to get on board for a specific skill or to get discounts each month can be found at remarkablemasterclass.com that I'm in with no further ado.
Without further ado, we bring in my guest. There he is a smiling face. You'll know what I meant about his time in just a second. His name is Brian Hartzer. He is the author of this great book, Leadership Star A Practical Guide to Building Engagement. See Promised Engagement. He is an experienced executive and leadership mentor who has served as the CEO of the Westpac Banking Group from 2015 to 2019 earlier he spent 15 years in senior executive roles at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and ANZ Banking Group.
He's also worked in the Financial Services Strategy Consultant at First Manhattan Consulting Group in New York, San Francisco and Melbourne Melbourne. He is currently an advisor and investor to several Sydney based startups, including Quantum, a data science company. He graduated from Princeton and is a chartered financial analyst holding dual US and Australian citizenship. He resides in Sydney, which is why I say to him, Good morning Brian, how are you?
Brian Hartzer: I'm great, Kevin. I'm ready to go. I've got my coffee and really, really pleased to be here.
Kevin: He's got his coffee, he's ready to go and we're glad to have you here. And we're going to talk about this great book, The Leadership Star. But you know, when I introduce people, introductions are always kind of the same, Brian. They you know, they tell us a little bit about who people are and where they've come from. But I'd like you to tell us a little bit about your journey, you know, sort of beyond that, like sort of how did you sort of end up where you ended up in short form?
Kevin: Because I think we learn a lot about you and even about our own journeys by hearing others.
Brian: Sure. Well, there's a line I heard a while back that life is what happens after you make plans. And I think that's kind of applied to me. I grew up in Connecticut, went to work in a financial services consulting firm in New York. And I thought I was going to be a consultant all my life or something like that.
My my first management experience was managing an ice cream store during one.
Kevin: That didn't go so well according to what I did.
Brian: Not go so well. And and yeah, the highlight was when one of my staff threw her apron on the floor and screamed, You're a terrible manager at me and stormed out. And that was.
Kevin: Our guest today writing a book about leadership. That's just it.
Brian: Well, you asked about my journey. It meant that I just decided, OK, I guess I'm no good at this management thing. And so consulting sounded like a good answer. And then ten years later, I found myself put into running a credit card business for an Australian bank managing a thousand people and realized, I guess I better figure this thing out and I'm not a schooled leader, but I knew that it was something I had to get my head around.
And I started out with this one idea, which was, well, if I can get the best people in that industry to want to work for me and create an environment where they do well, then hopefully will win. And so then I thought, OK, well how do I do that? And engagement was starting to be a topic people were talking about.
This is the late nineties. And so I started paying attention to people who were seemingly doing quite well at it and trying to look at what exactly they did. And like a lot of companies, we used to have an annual staff survey and the survey would come through and they would say, Well, this year you've gone up on this and down on that and communications is a bit better, but you know, pay is a bit less and all this kind of stuff.
And, and after I think probably the second year of this, I said to them, OK, that's great, but what do I personally need to do? And they couldn't tell me and they just I remember they just looked at me and that just bothered me. That fine, we can think about engagement as a set of policies or programs that the department does.
But as a leader personally, what do I need to do? And so I started paying attention to that question and ultimately developed this little framework for myself that I could use to make sure I was spending my time the right way on that aspect. I mean, and to your to your introduction, obviously there's a lot more to successful leadership than just engagement, but I think it's a really important lever because if you can get the best people to be in an environment where they feel emotionally committed and excited about contributing, then I think you're a long way ahead.
And in my mind, you can argue about there's plenty of statistical evidence to suggest that it drives better performance. And I've certainly seen that in my businesses. But even if you don't accept that, it's just basic logic that if you get people emotionally committed and wanting to work really hard and be creative, you're just bound to be advantaged.
So anyway, that that worked quite well for me. I was at this Australian bank for ten years then I got recruited over to RBC in London when our bank blew up as part of the financial crisis. And if you learn a bit of an engagement when you go to a company where I had about 60, 50, 50 or 60,000 people working for me who had we're all in danger of losing their jobs and many of them had lost their entire life savings because they'd been encouraged to buy the stock in the company.
So I walked into a pretty demotivated environment, had to learn a bit about that. And then a few years later I went back to Australia for family reasons and I started applying what I learned. I'd been teaching this framework to people who worked for me and and they found it really helpful and it ended up becoming a fundamental part of the leadership program at Westpac, which is Australia's oldest company and one of the largest banks.
And people along the way said to me, You should, you should put this in a book. And I said, I used to joke, well, if I ever get fired I'll write the book. And two years later to two years ago, just before COVID, I got pushed out in a regulatory issue that the bank had, you know, one of those kind of your short things and, and lockdown came along and it seemed like a good time to write it all down.
And it's and particularly with COVID, I think the challenges for leaders and how do you motivate people, particularly in a remote environment with all the extra stresses that they're facing, it just seemed like a good time to do it. So it's hopefully my contribution as someone who was an untrained leader and had to figure it out. Here's something people may find helpful.
It's the book I wish I'd had 30 years ago.
Kevin: We're going to talk about the book more and we're talk about that framework that you mentioned a couple of times in a second. I put up that. I put up that lower third with the question Why engagement? You answered the question in many ways, but and you answered you kept mentioning and tying engagement to this emotional connection, which I think is so very important, which leads me to my next question.
So, you know, most all of the work from consultancies and from all of the smart people have has focused on engagement as something leaders are supposed to do. To create this or whatever, like it's a leadership thing. So my question to you is this. Even though I know you just wrote a book with the title, The Leadership Star, and the word engagement is also in it, is engagement about the leader only or is it about the individuals or talk about that question a little bit like it's chicken and egg, I suppose, but is it about leaders or is it about individuals?
Brian: Well, I think of it as trying to kindle a flame that everybody has within them in some way. And what you're trying to do is find a way to connect what's important to that individual, to the external purpose of the organization. And so there's a couple of steps in that. One of the elements of this I talk a lot about is is context that people need to see what the external purpose of the organization is, and then they need to see how what they do all day contributes to that and therefore gives them meaning.
But ideally, you also need to understand what's inherently important to that individual and how can you connect what's important to them with with what they do. And and so I think it's to me, it's all about is it there are practices the leader can do to help nurture that connection. But you're absolutely right. In the end, it's about treating people as individuals and helping them make the choice that this is something meaningful for them to spend their time doing.
And I guess that's my assumption is we're lucky that we live in fundamentally pretty affluent societies, certainly by historical standards. And and people have choices and particularly at the moment with the great resignation and with unemployment where it is, people have choices. And so I think in that environment, people are going to make choices where they feel valued, where they feel that they they get a sense of meaning, where they feel that they're developing.
And so the job of the leader is really about putting those sort of conditions in place.
Kevin: Yeah, I like to think about it as individuals choose to engage or not, we as leaders can do an awful lot, as you've just described. It can help them choose. Right. Help them make that choice, help them maybe even have understand it and recognize it, which I absolutely love. So you keep talking about this framework, which you call the Leadership Star, which is the title of the book.
We're talking with Brian Hartzer, the author of The Leadership Star A Practical Guide to Building Engagement. And so you said that you came up with this framework yourself. So do you want to say anything more about it? We'll get to the components. And I actually want to sort of poke in at each of the components a little bit.
But like, how did you come up with this for yourself?
Brian: Sure. Well, as I said, I was trying to answer this question for myself about what do I personally need to do? And I started paying attention to other leaders in my company, reading lots of books, learning everything I could from companies externally, getting speakers in, talking to consultants. And I just started making notes of various ideas, really, and one day and applying them.
And after a couple of years, the engagement score in my business had had gone up dramatically. And our performance had gone up dramatically. And one of my colleagues in another business said, Can you come talk to my team about what you're doing? And at that point, I didn't have a framework. I just had various things we'd been trying.
And so I said sure. And I sat down with a piece of paper and I made a list of all the different ideas that I'd picked up. And it was a pretty much filled the page with this list. And then being a good management consultant, you can't have a list with more than five things on it. And so I started saying, Well, that one's like that, and that's like that.
And I drew lines between them and I boiled them all down and I found I could turn it into a list of five basic things. And then I found with a little bit of, of work, I could make them all start with the letter C which made.
Kevin: It work very hard, in my opinion, to do that.
Brian: Well, you'd be surprised, actually, but it did, it did come together and and then I thought I don't know about you, but I've read so many books and half the time I've forgotten them by the time I finished and and I thought, well, if this is going to be useful, it needs to be memorable. And so, OK, there's five things.
There's five points on a star. I'll call this the leadership star. An idea being I give you a visual metaphor. There's a star. And you think star, write five points. Oh, yeah, five points, five CS. What were the five C's? And then hopefully that helps you unspool it in your mind. So I did that as much for myself just to be able to remember it because a lot of the you had.
Kevin: To give a presentation about I can't remember what I'm going to say in this presentation.
Brian: Yeah, absolutely. And and I just, you know, it was really as simple as that is this I knew that if I didn't make it really memorable, it was kind of a waste of time because we've all read so many books and frameworks and everything and, you know, you forget it all. So I just try to make something memorable that that I could carry around.
It was as much for me just to carry something around in my head so that when I was trying to think, am I doing the things I need to do? Or If something's going wrong, what haven't I been doing? Oh, yes, I you know, I needed to spend more time on this.
Kevin: So everyone's got this mental image of the star. If you're watching, you saw me sort of clumsily hold it up for a second. But you said it's five C's, so. Yeah, what I'm going to dove in and ask you a question about each of them so you don't need to go for detail, but just like, what are the five C's right?
Brian: So the five C's are care, context, clarity, clearing the way and celebrate and we can go into detail each of them.
Kevin: Yeah, we're ready.
Brian: And they each have a subtlety.
Kevin: Yeah. So care, context, clarity, clear the way and celebrate. I want to talk about each of them. And so I think you know, we are probably we have a self-selected audience, right? We have a self-selected audience, Brian, because people that aren't working to be better leaders likely aren't here listening or watching. Right. So I can say that all of us collectively probably would say, well, yeah, we have to care, right?
Like we get that at some level. The question I have for you about care is what do you see us missing? What do you see leaders not getting here or falling short on around the care point in the start.
Brian: So, Kevin, it's a great set up. When I give this as a presentation to teams of groups of leaders, I ask them a question which is I say, how many people in the audience care about the people that work for them? Do you care about your people? And of course, everybody puts their hand up and then I say, OK, that's great, everyone, you care about your people.
Terrific. Now imagine that you weren't here. But instead I had all of your people in the room. And I said to them, Do you think your leader cares about you as a human being? What percentage of the hands do you think would go up? And at that point, the same thing happens every time I've done this, it's really interesting.
About two thirds of the hands immediately go up and then another there's a giggle or a sort of nervous laugh, and then another ten or 15% of the hands stick up. And then there's 20% of the people who just don't put their hand up. And I say, OK, well, isn't that interesting? You've told me that you care about your people, and I believe you that your people don't perceive that why is that?
Well, it's because care is an action verb. It's not just a state of being. What steps do you take? You know, do you know their name? Do you know their partners? Name, do you know what they like about their job? You know what they hate about their job. You know what they'd like to be doing more of where they feel like they're not contributing as much as they could do you know what they went on what they do outside of work, you know, and when's the last time you actually asked?
And so it's it's starting to demonstrate that you have to take a genuine interest. That's the first piece. And the fact that it's about the individual human being, not just the generic caring about human resources.
Kevin: Well, yeah, it's not just people you know, people are our most important asset. Well, OK, right. Yeah, I love that. It's wood. I love that phrase. And in fact, I won't be surprised if that becomes the the quote that we create for you here. Care is an action verb, not a state of being absolutely loved. Yeah. So I think what we're missing is do people know, right?
Do people know?
Brian: It's do people know? And then do you take action? Do you take action to help them be better? Do you take action that reflects their personal circumstances? You know, when we talk about flexibility work from home, part of that is about each individual has their own challenges, their own struggles, their own things they're dealing with. So are you adapting in a way within reason that helps them be their best and that they feel like you're you're taking a genuine interest in them?
And also but there's a subtlety, there's a hard edge to this, which is are you giving them feedback that makes them better because I like to say you're not caring about people. If you're not telling them where they fall short. Now, they have to believe you're genuinely doing that with their best interest in mind. So you have to build the relationship that allows you to have that difficult conversation.
But it's not just about being nice to people. It's not just, you know, how are you in the morning and how is your weekend? It's it's taking a real interest in taking actions that show you want people to be their best. And, and if you do that, they tend to feel valued. And that goes a long way. And I think that's the the if there's one thing to remember out of this, it's probably that.
Kevin: Another C for you, everybody. And that's coaching. I mean, you know, basically what Brian's just talking about is coaching as it relates to and it's connected to and we all know that the people who have been most successful in coaching us in our, in our lives careers are people that we know care about us because we're much more likely to hear that feedback from them because we know that their intentions are in our, in our best interest.
Right. You were talking already sort of earlier. We were talking about context and almost the next bullet up because and you've really kind of already answered this question about why context matters so much. I want to make an observation that you can add to that earlier this week in terms of your live, I interviewed Dr. Sanjay Gulati who wrote a book called Deep Purpose.
And he and I were talking about purpose. And so for all of you on the podcast, I think I didn't have it because this just came up. I think it was last week's, but you can find it, and I hope that you will listen to it as well. We talked about purpose and the connection of that to context.
Right and even the fact that that's hugely a huge component of why people choose to engage. So you want to say any more about context and or do you want to connect it to that point about. Yeah, well.
Brian: You know, a lot of companies talk about mission and values and vision. I actually like the word purpose I think that it's more action oriented and it is this notion of why does the organization exist? What impact is it making beyond making money and maybe one of the subtleties here is that when you're a senior leader in an organization, you can you know that intuitively.
But often people who are at lower levels in an organization, it may not be as clear what the impact is of what people do. And I think it's the job of leaders to make sure that you're emphasizing that and you're helping people connect their daily work with with that external purpose. You know, in banking, my little one of the ways that I illustrate this, I used to visit lots of bank branches, and I'd go in and introduce myself around and I'd say, you know, Hi, I'm Brian, what are you?
And they'd say, Oh, you know, I'm Robin. So hello, Robin, what do you do? And often people would say, Well, I'm just a teller, and I used to conclude that if someone told me I'm just a teller, then their manager wasn't doing their job because they didn't understand clearly that actually they were the face of the bank.
Kevin: 100%, numerous people who the bank is, it's the teller that they walk.
Brian: Exactly. Exactly. And so you can't take that for granted. You have to be continually and reinforcing that. You have to be bringing it for light, bringing it to life for people. You know, in someone working in finance or operations who maybe doesn't see customers, you need to work extra hard to help them understand why this thing that you do is really important to us contributing more broadly and ideally then linking that back to people's personal values.
Kevin: And I would 100% say that in, in, in our future world of work, which won't always have people, which won't always have people physically together, that this becomes even more important. Because if we were having trouble connecting the dots for people when they saw each other every day, and they saw the signs on the building and the metrics on the monitors in the hallway, like it's harder now.
And so we've got to work even harder to do, that's more important, I think, than ever. This is the third C is clarity. Clarity. And we could all say, well, yeah, as leaders, we need to create clarity. I'm going to say clarity of what yeah.
Brian: So I break this into three categories role clarity, which is what's your job? What's the broad expectations of the role? How do you fit in? Who are you meant? To work with? And so on. Then goal clarity, which is OK, what specifically do you need to deliver over this next period? And there's a subtlety there, which is what is good look like and what is great look like.
And if you've got that clear enough, people can actually my measure of this is can people do their own self-assessment at the end of the period? If you give them 30 pages of metrics, that's, you know, that's not clarity, right? You've got to give them a small number of things, but you've got to help them say, OK, this is the level of X, given where you are.
This is aren't my expectations of what a good result would be. But by the way, and here's my, my favorite question to ask people when you're when you're doing this is what result if you achieved it would make you incredibly proud. And so you try to engage people in setting their own goals that that motivate them because they think, wow, if I could if I could do this, I may not know how to do it, but if I could achieve it, that'd be really motivating for me.
And and that that sort of motivation unlocks creativity and helps drive better performance rather than setting a low bar and saying, right, you have to, you know, sell ten widgets or whatever it is. And then they get to ten widgets and they're done. It's, it's how do you build that into something that becomes self motivating? Then the third aspect of clarity is behavioral clarity, which is kind of what it sounds like, but it's, it's making sure people know what behaviors, OK, and what behaviors not OK.
And obviously it goes with all the above that there need to be consequences that if, if, if people if you don't actually follow through and hold people to account for for what they need to achieve and how they need to achieve it, well then it's not going to be as as effective.
Kevin: Obviously and you can't do that unless it's clear. Right. So like, you know, all of this role, clarity, goal, clarity, behavioral clarity is all about you use the word expectations this is at the core of our role as a leader. And how can people possibly be successful if they don't know what success is. And you you described it here.
Brian: And Kevin, one, one quick thing that I found practically on this one, and I talked about this a lot in the book, is that you can't delegate this entirely to the department. This is that people tend to spend a lot of time on reviews and not a lot of time on on setting goals. And that just seems to be the way it works in big companies anyway.
And my tip is it should be the other way around. If you spend more time being really, really clear on what's important, what the goals are, the review actually becomes pretty easy because people know.
Kevin: Yeah, they know. Here's the other thing about the goals. Everybody. That's something that's in the future. We can do something about the future. The review is already happened. Can't change that. Yeah, sorry.
Brian: I said it's great point great point.
Kevin: Right. I want to talk about the other two CS. There's a lot more in this book than those, but I'm looking at the time. I want to just do those two and then we'll sort of go on and the fourth see is clear the way. And of the five, that's probably the one that people might not immediately have some clue about.
And it really is about getting rid of barriers. So what are the kinds of barriers that you think you want to highlight for us right here?
Brian: So barriers can be obvious, things like physical constraints, not having the right tools, not having the resources, the budget or the rest. But the other piece here is there can be emotional barriers that can be intellectual barriers, there can be political barriers. And the key point here is that it's up to the leader to ask and to take an interest and not to just assume that people can solve all their own problems.
Part of the reason that you're in leadership is because you're experienced and you may to.
Kevin: Solve problems before.
Brian: You solve these problems before. It doesn't mean you do people's jobs for them. But equally, the other extreme isn't helpful either. So it's it's asking people, so what's getting in the way and getting people to show you what they're struggling with? Because often you can knock something over for them. There's some things people can't solve themselves, a political barrier where another part of the organization doesn't want to help them.
That's the leader's job to go and sort that out for them. So it seems like that it's really about being curious, taking an interest, being willing to dove into the detail occasionally and then taking action.
Kevin: You said something else really important there, I think, which is that we have to ask because sometimes we don't know they're there or they seem so obvious to us that they wouldn't need our help, which you hit you hit on. But we've got to ask what's in your way? What are the questions I ask my team members all the time is what what can I do to make your job easier?
What's what can I do to help you be successful? What's in the way? What are the barriers as a really is?
Brian: That's it. And Kevin, one quick thing here. I'm a bit politically incorrect on this, which is that empowerment and delegation is is so trendy. And I actually think it's slightly overcooked because it's led leaders to think it's not my job to take an interest in the detail and that means that people end up getting stuck and spinning their wheels.
And so I think there is a there is a role to to dove into the detail occasionally.
Kevin: Well, and that doesn't and that doesn't mean that we should be able to do everybody's job because I trust me, my team doesn't want me because most of them do not want me doing their job. But we got it. We've got to ask the right kinds of questions. We've got to be aware and we've got to have enough context so that we can make make sense of that the last of the season, celebrate oh.
Kevin: And kind of much like the first one about caring, everyone says, yeah, yeah, yeah, we ought to celebrate. But how do we make it relevant and meaningful? Because I think too often leaders are afraid to do much of it because they're afraid it won't come across the way they wanted to. And so there's there's a lot of cynicism, I think, around this talk about this one a little bit.
Brian: Yeah. So celebrate is really about recognition and creating a culture of appreciation so that you create this positive spiral where people deliver what's been expected of them, that they're then rewarded for that in an emotionally fulfilling way. Which makes them want to do more of it. And and so this is the subtlety here is it's not about pay and promotions and the annual certificate or statuette.
That's, that's fine. Those things have that sort of formal recognition has a place. But it's, it's as much about the informal things that you do. It's as much about team recognition as well as individual recognition. It's about creating peer recognition as well and doing it on a regular, frequent basis. And it doesn't have to cost a lot, but it's, it's about finding ways to single out what people have achieved and make sure they really appreciate that they really feel appreciated for what they've done.
I'll give you one little story to illustrate this. What my first job, three months in my father rang me up and said, I just got a letter from your boss. And I you know, I panicked. And he said, let me read it to you. And and it said, dear Mr..
Kevin: Before you go on, the story has got to say something. It's the same thing I say to people all the time about the word feedback. We hear that word. We're like, oh, yeah, right. And so the first thing you thought was, what did I do wrong? That is so true. Go ahead. So, yes, so dad's not good.
Brian: So Dad rings me up and he says, it. He says, let me read this to you. He says, dear Mr. Hearts are just wanted to let you know what a great job your son Brian is doing and how proud you should be of him. He's been here for three months. He's fitted in really well. He's making great contribution already, and we think he has a terrific future here.
And you should be very proud. And, you know, I was completely blown away, totally surprised. My father, of course, was over the moon. And I think it had a lot to do with why I stayed at the company for ten years, because every time I would get, you know, upset or thinking about leaving, my father would say, oh, no, you know, remember, these guys are really good at it.
And and you think about that. And that was 30 years ago. And I still at over 30 years ago, I still remember it.
Kevin: And the letter everybody. Yeah. And, and, and.
Brian: And you know, it took my boss 10 minutes cost nothing a stamp and yet had a huge impact. And I think it's, it's a great way to to point out that it's, it's not about these formal processes. They have a place but it's more about that human connection where people feel like, OK, you know I am really appreciated for this thing that I did and I like that and I want to do more of it.
Kevin: Yeah. We've been talking with Brian Hartzer, the author of this book, The Leadership Star A Practical Guide to Building Engagement. We've been talking about it. There's a whole lot more obviously a lot of practical ideas in every chapter for each of the CS. Brian, Brian's just sort of outline some of those as well as we've gone and and, you know, Brian, these episodes aren't supposed to be specifically about the book, right?
We want people to leave with tangible ideas. I think we've achieved that. And yet we haven't even gotten to a whole other section of the book which talks about the inside of the star, which is ourselves and and the communication that runs around the top, the outside of it. And I know we don't have time to do any of that justice, but I'll just ask this question, is there one thing, one more thing we haven't talked about or one more thing that you want to say that we haven't talked we haven't said.
Brian: Yeah, really quickly. People can spot a phony. And and so self-awareness, authenticity, I think is really important. And and leaders need to spend time making sure that they're really clear in their own mind about what they're about, why they have a sense of purpose that connects to the organization, what it is that they want to to create for others.
And if they're genuine about that, then I think that goes a long way to engaging people as well. And so my tip would be do the work, do the work on yourself, get a coach get 360 degree feedback, whatever it is that you need, go to the hard places emotionally if you need to that are holding you back and deal with them.
And if you get that right, that sets you up for for success.
Kevin: So thanks for that, Brian. Before we finish, a couple of questions and sort of shifting gears as we start to wind down, the question I like to ask smart, successful people is what they do for fun. So Brian, what do you do for fun?
Brian: I read a lot. I, I do some cycling. My wife and I have six kids, so we, we chase them around a bit.
Kevin: Well, you don't need to say much more like we know we don't know what you do for fun, but we know what you do. You guys teach kids. You got a lot going on with all those.
Brian: Yeah, well, Sydney is a great place to live. We enjoy Sydney. The weather's good, the food's good. Come on down and check it out if you hadn't been here.
Kevin: All right. And so since you mentioned fun and reading, what are you reading these days?
Brian: Yeah, so I read a lot. All sorts of eclectic things. I think two books that are probably worth mentioning. I read something called The Code Breakers by Walter Isaacson, which is about some of the people who created CRISPR, the ability to edit DNA. I don't know a lot about science, and I found that really, really interesting. And then I'm a I'm a history buff, so I've gotten into another podcast called The Rest is History.
And off the back of that, one of the presenters there wrote a book called Rubicon, which is about the Roman Empire and Caesar. And again, I was a modern history major, so I don't know anything about ancient history so I've been reading that and really enjoying it.
Kevin: All right. Well, thank you for that. So now I have a question for all of you who are watching or listening. Is the question if you're a regular, you know? Oh, no, I got one more question for you. First, the most important question of all, like where do you want to point people? How do people connect with you?
Anything else you want to tell people about you, the book, where they can find it, et cetera?
Brian: Sure. Well, I'm on LinkedIn, so easy to find there. There's a website WW dot, the leadership starcom all one word. And if you sign up there, you can get a free chapter of the book emailed to you that you can buy the book in all the usual places. And there it is. And there's, you know, this is the book I wish I'd had 30 years ago.
So I've tried to write it for people to make it really practical and hopefully people find some value in it.
Kevin: I will tell you all that Brian succeeded and this is a book that you ought to have a copy of. I think that you, if you've been with us for the last 35 minutes, you have a good sense of, of, of who wrote it. And you've gotten a lot of insights that are in the book and there's a whole lot more there.
I encourage you to get a copy. And now the other than that, now my question I have for all of you is this everybody, not Brian he's done he can take a breath now what what are you going to do with this? We gave you specific ideas about things you could do at every turn throughout the last 35 minutes.
So the question is what actions are you going to take as a result? Right. What are you going to do differently attached to the action of caring perhaps? How are you going to connect the dots for people to provide context and purpose and help them find that in their work? What are you going to do? We could go right on down the line.
The question is, and it doesn't matter what I would say, what matters is what will make sense for you. Because at the end of the day, if you don't take action on this, what was the point There's lots of podcasts you could watch or listen to if all you want is to be entertained. I hope that you were entertained by I hope much more than that.
You were challenged and you were encouraged to go out and try something to be a better leader. And Brian, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your ideas and your insights and and being inspirational for all of us today.
Brian: Thank you, Kevin. And thanks for doing your podcast because leadership is just so important right now. So well done to you.
Kevin: It's my pleasure. So since since we have been doing it, we're going to keep doing it. So next week, we'll be right back here with another episode of the Remarkable Leadership podcast.