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Recent Podcast Episodes

How To Know If You’re Really Leading? With Emi Kirschner

Episode Summary

Emi Kirschner joins us for a really insightful conversation on leadership. It’s not your regular chat. It’s full of easy to implement tips that will really open your eyes!

Join us as we navigate through the myths and missteps of the typical leadership role.

-how to evaluate yourself
-when and why to get fack back
-how to get meaningful feedback
-why you need feedback
-and so much more!

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Emi Kirschner Podcast Interview

[00:13:14] Kris Ward: Hey, everyone. Welcome to another episode of win the hour, win the day and I am your host, Khris ward. And today we have Emi  Kirschner here  you are gonna want to pay attention to this. Emmy is an investor, serial entrepreneur, coach and international speaker. And masterfully combines her intuitive abilities with her analytical sense to help driven entrepreneurs become the visionary CEO of their business resulting in doubling their revenue.  

[00:13:47] Emmy is an expert in  implementing strategic long term plans, increasing productivity, maximizing process, lead captures, and also we’re really going to talk a lot today about leadership and clarity. Welcome to the show Emmy. 

[00:14:03] Emi Kirschner: Oh, my goodness. Thank you so much. I am so super, super excited to be here with you today.

[00:14:08] Kris Ward:  Oh, thank you. And we’re happy to have you, so let’s dive in, you know, actually I do this all the time. I get let’s dive in. That’s my personality. Let’s dive in, but maybe you can tell me, back up a little bit. And how did you get to this passion or purpose of leadership? What does that mean to you? And, and why are you on this  path?

[00:14:29] Emi Kirschner: Yeah, absolutely. So for me it started day one when I had my first son who is now 21, and I made this commitment to him that like he was going to be the priority and my general existence, from the perspective of, I wanted to be the best mom and help him be the best person that he could be. And then obviously when I had my second son, same thing, and for me, it’s really about.

[00:14:57] Taking, intention or taking intentional action looking at where you can grow so you can help other people grow. 

[00:15:08] Kris Ward: Okay. So you saw it right from the beginning is something that would make you more efficient in your personal and professional life. And that dominating characteristic would be leadership.

[00:15:18] Emi Kirschner:  Absolutely. Okay. All right. Everybody’s a leader. And if, you know, if you’re thinking of it from that context, it changes the decisions that you’re making. I need to get my butt out of bed because I have people that need my help, my assistance, my love, my generosity, whatever it is. And 

[00:15:40] Kris Ward: [00:15:40] so let me dive in here though leadership, that role, that word is thrown around a lot. So you can be a great leader. Sometimes there’s, as I explained to my niece, who sometimes can be confused with bossy, but you need people to follow. So leadership doesn’t mean like I’m first and foremost, it means that I’m going to create a certain amount of inspiration or activity, you know, in your actions.

[00:16:03] So why don’t we get to right. What makes a great leader and what are some problems you see in leadership? Like, cause I think it’s one of these overused words. 

[00:16:13] Emi Kirschner: [00:16:13] totally. And for me, um, I think one of the most important characteristics is having clarity of vision and seeing a bigger picture and how we all, not just the person can live a better life regardless of how that looks for that person. But you’re striving for better. 

[00:16:34] Kris Ward: [00:16:34] Okay. And so what, what, like give us some hard knocks tactics. So I decide I’m going to be a better leader. I have a couple people on my team. How would my team recognize that? Like, again, I just want to get away from the nicety of, Oh, she’s a great leader. She’s inspiring leader.

[00:16:51] Like what actions do we need to take to start practicing or growing that skillset? 

[00:16:56] Emi Kirschner: [00:16:56] Yeah, the first thing I would do would be talking to my team. And open the conversation of, I want to do things better and get their feedback. Like they’re going to give them open space to be both with what’s working and what’s not working.

[00:17:14] And I like to do that quarterly with my team. And one of the questions that I asked and I actually asked this of my kids when they were living with me, um, is on a scale of one to 10. How do you feel about our relationship? And then, and then what would be, what would you like to see different? What would make it a 10?

And it gives you some barometer and some parameters of where you need to develop skills. 

[00:17:43] Kris Ward: [00:17:43] That’s interesting because I’m really big on communication. That’s a huge thing with our team. And I’m also really big on the circle of team. Like I want us to be a team and, and, and, and really in my mind, I know I write the paychecks, but in my mind, we’re equals in fact, my whole goal is to be the dumbest person in the room because I want to be surrounded with brilliance.

[00:18:03] And so. I, I don’t like the way a lot of systems are set up where I find they’re like parental, like here’s the boss. And then here’s, you know, the submissive obedient employees. And that doesn’t work for me, but I have to admit, I mean, I, I think that I, I think people like working with me, I get that praise a lot and I’m very generous in other areas and a very supportive and I, you know, all kinds of things, but I don’t ask for feedback.

[00:18:34] No, not saying that it couldn’t, I’m just saying it never occurred to me because I felt like when we had the meetings, people’s like, they’ll say something like, Oh, I’m so thankful you did that. Or that some of these got a Sue family that’s sick or something. And I’ll say, look, family comes first. Will we all chip in?

[00:18:46] We’ll cover your day. So I, I have felt I’ve stepped up and they’ve praised me for that. Uh, Incidental as the things happen, but I think your structured way of saying, Hey, it’s a quarterly thing. Let’s have an official review. I think that’s a really great point. And I was overlooking that when in fact that whole aspect of it is very important to me.

[00:19:07] I was overlooking that very obvious and simple question, 

[00:19:10] Emi Kirschner: [00:19:10] right. Because a lot of times people look at the boss or leader or whatever in a very hierarchal, um, Situation and kind of linear, you know, down to, so they feel like they shouldn’t say something or a lot of women in particular. I think women more than men will not share ideas because they don’t think they’re supposed to, or they’re afraid to.

[00:19:33] It’s not a good idea. So this is opening that space up and that dialogue for, um, getting the information so you can all make. 

[00:19:43] Kris Ward: [00:19:43] Great decisions. 

[00:19:44] Emi Kirschner: [00:19:44] And I did this with my, my kids and referred to it as being a democratic dictator. 

[00:19:50] Kris Ward: [00:19:50] That’s a really good point. Cause I’ll tell you would that have, would have never occurred to me.

[00:19:54] Cause you know, especially depending on their age, you know, you don’t really, do you want feedback from 14 year old? Like, I mean, yes, I see your point. You do. But sometimes you’re like, Oh, that’s a bit skewed through the lens you’re looking at. But I think it, I mean, I think that, and I’m here by myself.

[00:20:11] Nobody on my team is they can all listen to this after the interview. I think they’re very open with their feedback with me. One of my bad habits and I’ve really, um, we’re, I’m aware of it now, if. I’m a recovering Russia holic. So if I start getting into a pace where I start rushing again, I know it’s not a good energy.

[00:20:31] And that’s where a whole thing about when the are, when the day is, and the outsourcing playbook for busy entrepreneurs is when you’re not leveraging on your team, you start to get into this busy frame mine, and you’re not productive. You’re just running around busy. And when that happens, Sometimes there is a sharpness to my tone, because I now speaking in a rush tone instead of changing the influx of my voice, if I’m teaching them how to do something right.

[00:20:56] And they will call me out, they will tell me, uh, your tone, Chris. Right. I feel like, Oh, okay. All right. So let me say this differently. So, you know, so then I really get that. So they’re comfortable to call me out, but I, I have nurtured that over the years and stuff like that, that we, we all have things that we need to work on and I’m totally aware of mine, but I do think a quarterly thing makes it much more, um, much more professional, much more reliable, much more, you know, the backbone of our system really then.

[00:21:27] Emi Kirschner: [00:21:27] Yeah, absolutely. And just like the 14 year old, you’ll see where sometimes your team is looking only through their lens and it does with you and that’s okay. It’s just taking in that information other times, you’re going to see, you know, Oh, well I could make these tiny little tweaks. Right. And you know, like you said, like your team calls you out on, on the tone and then working in a very fluid place.

[00:21:53] And when that happens, that’s where like true performance is really kicking in and you not only are getting more done, which is great, but everybody feels good. And you accomplished like the end goal faster. 

[00:22:07] Kris Ward: [00:22:07] Yeah. I do think this. Is not discussed enough and I’m like obsessed and passionate about it. And we talk about that a lot.

[00:22:15] Whenever we bring anybody on, like, I’m really big about outsourcing and that’s again, you know, we’ve got this whole launch coming with the, um, the outsourcing playbook for busy entrepreneurs. And, and one of the things, you know, when people are dealing with that, there are cultural differences when you’re dealing with people around the world.

[00:22:32] The world for sure. And, but that just means that it’s more upfront, like in our welcome package, when we send them that we talk about the pillars that really matter to us and that we’re not looking for a BDM people, we’re looking for good communicators that have ideas and all kinds of stuff. So we really.

[00:22:48] Emphasize that in the welcome package. And I know a lot of people don’t and then that’s when you get into, well, what do you mean? You’re giving me your notice, right? So I think as much as it’s such a huge part of what we do, I think for most people it’s overlooked. Yup. 

[00:23:02] Emi Kirschner: [00:23:02] Absolutely. I feel like they’re just presuming the other person is completely understanding them.

[00:23:08] Right. And not thinking consciously that that person has their own filter, their own lens, their own experiences. So everything that you’re saying all the time is, is being taken in by that person’s, um, filter and lens. And it’s only when you kind of open that box and you start asking, thinking about, well, what do you mean by that?

[00:23:29] And what does it mean for you and how are you feeling right. That you can identify that and then really come into a togetherness in the communication piece. 

[00:23:40] Kris Ward: [00:23:40] So what are some of the biggest mistakes that you see in what people interpret or misinterpret leadership to be 

[00:23:45] Emi Kirschner: [00:23:45] about? I think most people interpret leadership as one.

[00:23:51] Somebody who’s accomplished like this massive thing, right? Like, you know, the president or yeah. A leader in that way, or do you know, 

[00:24:00] Kris Ward: [00:24:00] really high up at all or something, 

[00:24:03] Emi Kirschner: [00:24:03] somebody will be remembered for tens of thousands of years or whatever, as opposed to really looking at how they can affect other people.

[00:24:15] And how can they innovate for other people? 

[00:24:19] Kris Ward: [00:24:19] So really like role modeling. 

[00:24:21] Emi Kirschner: [00:24:21] Yeah. Cause for me leadership, isn’t about, you know, it’s kind of, we touched on before it isn’t about the me, it’s about the other people. Showing up for other people. 

[00:24:33] Kris Ward: [00:24:33] And what would that look like? Could you give us an example where somebody, you know, what are some ways I could change my behavior this week and say, okay.

[00:24:40] And just show up for other people on my team, what would that look like? So the 

[00:24:44] Emi Kirschner: [00:24:44] question I ask is, you know, who do I need to be to help my kids succeed too? Um, really, you know, help drive the goals home for my team, right? Like what do I need to tell them, how do we need to lay out the project, et cetera, what feedback do I need from them?

[00:25:05] And then, you know, from the people that I serve, what can I create? That’s going to help them right now. Okay. 

[00:25:12] Kris Ward: [00:25:12] Okay. So you’re working on a project with your team, your entrepreneur, and you know, sometimes we get a little caught up and we think, Oh my gosh, I’ve got this new project and it’s all hands on deck.

[00:25:23] Right. Which again, I hate to keep telling you, but that’s usually people cause you don’t have a team or a team that’s working for you. So then every time you get a new opportunity, there’s a bit of a wave, a bit of a wave you have to endure. And it disrupts things for, for a lot of entrepreneurs. Right. But if you don’t enjoy that, call me.

[00:25:40] So there is that. So what happens is what you’re saying is slow that down during that process and say, okay, this is happening. How, how is it feeling for you guys? Because I might be indicating that, you know, we’re in panic mode or how, how are you feeling about being rushed kind of deal. 

[00:25:58] Emi Kirschner: [00:25:58] Right. And like, I like to go over what the goals are for the quarter with my team, so that they know what I’m trying to accomplish because we work essentially all remotely as well.

[00:26:10] Right. And you have that clarity in what the vision is, is they can bring their knowledge base because I don’t know everything. Nor do I want to know everything and I’ve hired people who specialize in their area. So I’ve got the idea, but the other piece too, is we really hone, um, like the project or whatever we’re working on for the quarter.

[00:26:35] And. I think most entrepreneurs have squirreled disease where it’s like the shiny object or they’ve got all these ideas and I try to back burner all of that stuff so that we’re not adding piles of projects, does things into the quarters so that we can really look at what we want to accomplish. And that doesn’t mean that we don’t pivot on occasion, but it’s got to really answer the question of.

[00:27:01] Does this get me to the results I want. Does this feed the thing that I’m working on right now? 

[00:27:07] Kris Ward: [00:27:07] Yeah, that’s a really good point. I talk about that in my book when they are, when the day, because one of the things I talk about is how, how, just how the brain is impacted when you’re, what you think is multitasking.

[00:27:18] There’s really no such a thing. It’s context switching and the disruption. And it’s like your phone, it eats down at your battery really quickly. If you’ve got a whole bunch of apps open. Right. And I talked to people about that, but here’s the thing that most people don’t look at is you, even though you’re the leader or, you know, it’s your team.

[00:27:35] You can be their disruption. So if we say this is the new priority, and we’re getting our, you know, outsourcing playbook for entrepreneurs out in this quarter, we’re doing a launch, that’s fine. But then every time I’m looking for something or I can’t find it, or I’m rushed or feeling frustrated, I can’t be reaching out to the team.

[00:27:51] Where’s this? Do you have that? Remember? What was that called? Cause now I’m their disruption and people. I. I think somehow think leadership is like, you’re over here and then you have followers and you don’t realize that you can be a negative impact. You, you can be a negative impact on your team. 

[00:28:10] Emi Kirschner: [00:28:10] Yeah.

[00:28:10] And in larger organizations too, that impact can trickle down several levels because yeah, you’re creating panic or upset and frustration with the person that you’re interacting with. And then that person is in turn talking to the person that’s lower than them. And. Um, you know, then they’re having to react.

[00:28:32] So what I teach, um, particularly when I’m talking to, you know, corporations is really aligning yourself and being aware of like your time blocking and your calendaring and creating moments. Um, so that you’re, you’re answering those types of questions that really aren’t emergencies like triage, right? I mean, if the website crashes for the entire company and you’re about to, you know, Have something go live on it, then obviously everybody needs to stop what they’re doing and all hands on deck.

[00:29:04] Yeah, but for the most part is taking this time to respond to those types of things in batch time blocks or timeframes. 

[00:29:13] Kris Ward: [00:29:13] Yeah. 

[00:29:14] Emi Kirschner: [00:29:14] I think, 

[00:29:15] Kris Ward: [00:29:15] I think with our audience, they’re mostly entrepreneurs with, you know, a small team or no team. And so what I would say is we all seen that back in the day, we’ve all had a job at one point.

[00:29:25] Right. And all of a sudden now this big project, so it’s almost like, you know, mommy’s. Coming home from work and she’s stressed. And so we’re all running around. Like, I really do think he gives that parental effect in those big corporations. But I think what happens when you’re dealing with a smaller organization and you’re the entrepreneur and the visionary, and you feel that most things are, your responsibility are coming through you.

[00:29:44] I think you don’t. Recognize or appreciate the impact you can have on, even if there’s two people working with you that is not only still a team, but that there’s a lot more intimacy to that team. We’re in those old days, when we had jobs in bigger corporations, you can be like, Oh, I gotta go to the bathroom again.

[00:30:02] Let’s see. I see him coming down the hall. So I think it’s, I think it’s even more neglected to my audience where it’s just like, Oh yeah, Like we’re, we’re, you know, there’s only three of us. How, how much of a culture can you really create with three people? And I’ve certainly found that quite a culture.

[00:30:20] Emi Kirschner: [00:30:20] Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s more intimate because they have more time to together, you know, even if you’re not spending huge amounts of FaceTime together, but you’re, you’re working together on the same thing day in and day out, more frequently. 

[00:30:38] Kris Ward: [00:30:38] So I want to be a better leader today. I’m going to start doing stuff where I talk to them quarterly about, Hey, can I get some feedback, which I’m sure the first time they’ll look sideways.

[00:30:49] Hey, who wants to go first? Right? Um, yeah, but give us, what’s it. What’s another thing that we can start implementing sooner than later. Right. So 

[00:31:01] Emi Kirschner: [00:31:01] I would definitely look at, you know, how you’re communicating to your team and you know, whether or not you’ve got those squirrel projects coming in, because they’re really frustrating and their time.

[00:31:13] Yeah, you’re 

[00:31:14] Kris Ward: [00:31:14] right. You’re so right. Yeah, because then what’s everything what’s happening is really, you’re just like constantly like a firefighter, but you’re somebody standing there constantly ringing the bell like you. And then, then they can’t possibly know. I mean, I work with clients all the time about that.

[00:31:30] And when they come with us in our coaching program, you know, most of it is we’re helping them set up a team, but a big part of that is systems because without that. Everything you send out is like, Oh, this is a new priority. Oh, this is the newest new priority. And then people, because you’re the one shoving it out as an entrepreneur.

[00:31:46] Not only then do you come back and say, well, you know, I got a team and it didn’t work because like, you can’t see, you can only see out, you can’t see it. So you’re right again, you’re there disruption. And then you’re just constantly crying Wolf. Although, I will tell you as a childhood story, that that was very traumatizing.

[00:32:02] So we won’t use that example, but you’re running around in panic all the time, so, and then everybody else is going to be in panic.

[00:32:09] Emi Kirschner: [00:32:09]Yeah. Yeah. And I think the last thing too is be accountable. It’s your business, it’s your team. And regardless of who messes up, cause at some point somebody’s gonna mess something up. Like it’s your problem. 

If you own that, that, again, it changes the dynamics and the conversation with your team members. 

[00:32:25] Emi Kirschner: [00:32:25] So like I had an assistant last year and the things just weren’t working and, um, and. I asked her, I’m like, what needs to change? Like, what am I doing? That’s creating this. And it took all of that pressure off of her to really be like, you know what?

[00:32:51] I need more support, you know, the labor of doing project management, isn’t working for me, you know, yada, yada, yada. And it just opens that up. If you’re like, I need to know what I need to change. 

[00:33:06] Kris Ward: [00:33:06] That is really great because. I think a lot of people would have thought they were doing good asking the question, but I bet you at least seven or eight out of people at attend would have said, are you happy here?

[00:33:17] What’s going on? I noticed X, Y, Z. So you think you’re checking in, but you’re checking in with an, a friendly approach of let’s figure out how many different ways this is your fault. Yeah. Yeah. I’m big on processes too. Cause the big thing I always think is everything we do as a process and I’ll be like, okay, so let’s look at the process.

[00:33:35] How did that get missed? Because. It’s always the process. And I tell that to people all the time, it’s like, you know, they look around all this doesn’t work. It’s like, well, you have a hiring process. You have a training process, you have everything at some point, you know, it has to be you. 

[00:33:50] Emi Kirschner: [00:33:50] Absolutely. And I think the more you can process or systematize what you do here, it is for everybody to come on board, get up to speed and just create.

[00:34:05] And I know some people don’t like structure and having been one of them at one point, like, I love it. Like I’m a planner geek. I love process and structure and we’re very linearly, but it makes it so much easier for my people. 

[00:34:21] Kris Ward: [00:34:21] It really does, because I know it doesn’t have a sexy name when you talk about process or systems, but, you know, it’s just that you don’t.

[00:34:27] I tell people all the time business is not run on memory. Like nobody hands somebody at FedEx, Oregon that has to get to Chicago to save a life. And you say, you’ve got the address, right? Like that’s not how it works. Right. So I know. For us. We just recently a VA assistant of mine was with us seven and a half years.

[00:34:44] And she moved on for a couple of reasons and we had a new person within a week. And, you know, within that week she’s up to 80% capacity. It was just simple. Oh, we do this on Tuesdays. Here’s the checklist. Boom, boom, boom. Right. And it was just all ease. And now we can’t imagine life without her. So it’s not about having these.

[00:35:01] That check this, that weigh you down. It’s so that you, when you do think it’s for creative, it’s for visionary. It’s for you not remembering your recycling on that hamster wheel all day long, 

[00:35:12] Emi Kirschner: [00:35:12] right? Otherwise you’re just recreating the same 

[00:35:15] Kris Ward: [00:35:15] stuff. Yes, yes. Yes. That’s how I started this journey many, many years ago.

[00:35:20] Like in the first couple of years of my business, like where I went, like, I don’t know, two years without sleep and thought I could do it myself. And what I learned was you can change your whole life once you start building a team. Right. That was the turning point. Yeah. And sometimes I would have what I thought was a great idea.

[00:35:35] I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is what we’re going to do. And then I realized, Oh, I had that great idea. Three months ago, we just, we tried implementing it for two and a half weeks and it fell off the grid. So I was recycling, even my good ideas. Right. Fabulous. All right. I mean, we’re so lucky to have you here.

[00:35:50] Can you tell us where people could find you? Where, where, where should they check you out? 

[00:35:54] Emi Kirschner: [00:35:54] Absolutely. So I invite everybody to come play with me over on Facebook. Um, I have a super fun Facebook group called the tribal leaders and it’s free. So just come on in and, uh, I would love to be able to see everybody there.

[00:36:08] Kris Ward: [00:36:08] Awesome. Okay. Tribe of leaders and Chris, thank you so much for, you know, the biggest gift people give you is their time. So thank you so much for being generous with yours today and, uh, yeah, everyone else we’ll see you on the next episode. Thanks so much.