Leaders must execute company strategies and reach company goals to be considered effective. This is a requirement, but leaders must also develop other leaders. From my perspective, it is just as crucial as getting the job done. Today’s guest is Blake Bozarth, Founder & CEO at CoThryve. CoThryve develops highly effective, mission-driven leaders who are connected and committed to your company through collective leadership development and coaching. Blake gives you insights on how to develop other leaders. Join us to talk about the art of creating others. Discover how to develop other leaders while executing at a high level simultaneously.
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Blake Bozarth: The Transcript
About: Blake Bozarth’s life’s work is mentoring and equipping others to lead lives and companies that truly thryve, powered by their Y (motivating purpose). And he is a huge believer in the power of intentionally curated mastermind groups to do just that. To grow, he experienced firsthand just how important it is to have structure, systems, and community that help him get clarity, keep momentum, and actually achieve results. Blake Bozarth is deeply passionate about helping people step out of their fears, doubts, and complacencies and IN to who they were designed to be — the best version of their self as a leader and whole person, changing the game for their personal lives and the companies they lead.
Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.
Blake Bozarth: [00:00:00] I think that when you can make the transition from it being seen as this is something that HR wants me to do or this is something this is a program. Or this is some some training that my manager would like me to go through when you can shift the mindset from that to wow. This is actually my favorite benefit that my company gives me when when when when people development when leadership development becomes your people’s favorite employee benefit and you know you’ve done something right? And so the way you go about doing that the way you get people to to want to. Versus to have to I think a lot of it has to do with well how are you approaching development into something that’s like more of a kind of stale kind of classroom training or some passive kind of learning management system library? Or is it something that actually engages them? That is they feel like it’s tailored to them as an individual that focuses on their personal growth not just some quote-unquote business or leadership skills that they can use for the company when they feel that personal investment. I think that’s where the magic happens.
Introduction: Welcome to Growth Think Tank. This is the [00:01:00] one and only place where you will get insight from the founders and the CEOs of the fastest-growing privately held companies. I am the host. My name is Gene Hammett. I hope leaders and their teams navigate the defining moments of their growth. Are you ready to grow?
Gene Hammett: I want you to think about the high performer that you have in your business right now. Are they ready to manage and lead other people? Now, I know the answer is because I hear a lot of people that come to me and say yeah I’ve got this really great employee. They’re really good at getting the work done. They’re doers but they’ve never managed before. So today we can look at developing other leaders. I specifically use the word leaders here because. You know management is good. We need to have people that can manage processes and improve things incrementally. And that is really important. But leaders are a different breed. You want leaders across your team as much as possible. You want to be a leader you want others to be leaders. And so today we look at developing other leaders. Our special guest today is a podcast host and he’s also got a company called co thrive. The podcast is leadership on [00:02:00] purpose. And we have Blake Bozart Blake and I talk about what is getting in the way of leadership development whether it be from the employee side and the myths around leadership development and also what’s getting in the way as leaders.
So all you have to do today is sit back and really you know be open to what you’re going to hear about developing other leaders. And when you think about your own journey as a leader are you really crystal clear about who you are where you’re going and what’s getting in your way? Well if you are a little bit curious about what I do as an executive coach here’s your chance. I want you to lean into this for a second. I would love to talk to you about what is getting in the way of your leadership from you being the powerful leader that you know you can be. Being a powerful leader doesn’t mean you get everything right. Does it mean that you tell everyone how to do it and you have all the answers but being a powerful leader is an really impactful catalyst across the company in so many ways. And it really is. I think the most important thing for you if your business is already scaling it’s already got money coming [00:03:00] in. You’ve got customers and you want to make sure you’re leading those people in a very powerful way. Let’s get on a call. Let’s talk about what is really going on inside your business inside your own leadership. What is getting in your way? Just go to GeneHammett.com and schedule your call. Now in that call it is not a sales pitch. It truly is a chance for me to connect and deliver with you and give you the insights that you need to be a more powerful leader. Just go to Genehammett.com and schedule your call today. Now here’s the interview with Blake
Gene Hammett: Blake. How are you?
Blake Bozarth: I am great Gene. Glad to be on the show.
Gene Hammett: I am glad to have you here. We’re going to talk about leadership development. Before we dive into this whole topic. Tell us about your business coach thrive and your podcast leadership on purpose.
Blake Bozarth: Yeah. So CoThryve is all about helping companies develop leaders and I was fortunate to grow up in a pretty robust they call them a leadership pipeline program inside a large fortune 250 company was there for about a decade which surprised me cause I never saw myself in corporate America before then and came out of college and entered this leadership pipeline program spent a year to year and a [00:04:00] half in different rotations. Different parts of the company got to spend some time in London England and just kind of travel around with companies. Super cool experience fast-tracked into a leadership. Director role and then an officer on the company. And what I found through that is that my favorite part of my job no matter what part of the company on a what function I was in my hair part of the job was always in being able to pour into and develop other leaders and kind of naturally I was starting to meet with more people in informally and I got this vision for CoThryve
How do we help leaders and companies thrive powered by their why? So that’s why there’s a weird why and CoThryve instead of the I it’s about purpose and leadership on purpose at the same way. It’s a podcast like yours. That’s all about how do we help people lead on purpose and lead with confidence lead with humility? I I’ll just say that. I think the best way for us to change the world is to equip more purpose-driven leaders. And so that’s the mission I’m on much like you.
Gene Hammett: Well I love this conversation. We’re going to talk about developing other leaders. I just got off a call with a client about I’ve been working with an internal leader for about six [00:05:00] months and we’re just kind of looking at you know where does it go from here? And I was just so thrilled by being able to be a part of him. He was so eager to come. Now my founders are excited to come to my to their coaching calls too. But when someone self-selects themselves into being in a leadership development program they’re there they’re raising their hands saying yeah I want this. you’ve found some definite benefits when people self-select themselves right?
Blake Bozarth: That’s that’s right. And I think that’s a it’s a big key of one thing. One thing that we talk a lot about is I think that here’s my philosophy for developing people inside your company. I think that when you can make the transition from it being seen as this is something that HR wants me to do or this is something this is a program or this is some training that my manager would like me to go through. When you can shift the mindset from that to. This is actually my favorite benefit that my company gives me when people development and leadership development become your people’s favorite employee benefit then you know you’ve done something right? And so the way you go about doing that the way you get people to to want to versus to [00:06:00] have to I think a lot of it has to do with. Well what how are you approaching development of this something that’s like more of a kind of stale kind of classroom training or some passive kind of learning management system library? Or is it something that actually engages them? That is they feel like it’s tailored to them as an individual that focuses on their personal growth not just some quote-unquote business or leadership skills. I think it use for the company when they feel that personal investment. I think that’s where the magic happens.
Gene Hammett: I’ve seen the same thing too. It’s such a powerful benefit for our company to do investing in your employees is you know we talk about it a lot leaders do and this is a good way to do that. So I know you’ve got a lot of experience. What are the top myths that we’ve needed to get out of the way? The things that you’ve seen people believe that just aren’t true when it comes to developing others.
Blake Bozarth: Yes that’s a great question. I think the first thing that comes to mind when I when I hear that is I think it’s natural and I think we all fall into I think it’s natural to think that there’s just a certain [00:07:00] type that like a mold if you will that we’re trying to fit or that we’re trying to find. And so when it comes to. Selection let’s say. So how do you identify what people would make sense for developing into future leaders? I think one of the biggest myths is that there’s a there’s a type that you have to find and then to fit them and then select them into the program what we found is that number one we want to make sure we’re fostering a culture where we’re we’re developing. Every single one of our people every single one of our team members with that said there’s nothing wrong. And I think there’s actually a lot good with identifying certain people inside of your company that you want to give a special level of investment in. You want to give a special opportunity to to step into.
And that’s all I say the myth is that there’s a certain type but what I would say what we found is that at one of my favorite frameworks F from it guys for Patrick once you and I’m sure you’ve heard it the hungry humble smart. It’s a great framework for identifying what he calls the ideal team player. When we’re looking at more than just team player we’re looking at people that can become future [00:08:00] leaders that can actually lead at a higher level inside the inside of the company and produce an out-sized impact. We say Hey they need to have that prerequisite hungry humble smart. But more than that we want to be looking for people that have natural influence already. So they might not be like. The prototypical leader based on paper or resumes but when they speak people listen and they had the influence they had the ear of their peers of their team and even some of their superiors even. So they have a natural influence. They have a heart they have humility and they have visions. And so that those are the things that we look for and that can come in a lot of different forms they may not they might not look like the rest of your executive team right now but if you’re finding those things if you’re finding the ones that have natural influence that have heart that have vision then those are people that are really worth digging into and investing in.
Gene Hammett: Blake, I think one of the biggest challenges I hear commonly from founders and CEOs is the fact that I’ve got a really good high performer that is capable of doing their job but now I need them to lead a team and they’ve never led a team before. They’d never [00:09:00] managed a person. How do you respond to. You know how do you get that person ready to actually be a leader across this team?
Blake Bozarth: Great question. And I and we see that I see this all the time as well. And it’s it’s one of the things that especially I know you work with a lot of scaling companies growth stage companies that are growing. When you go from being Hey we’re a lean team. And we are fairly flat and we’re successful. So we’re growing we’re adding new people. We’re starting to ask some of our top performers to start managing those people. It’s not a and you know it it’s not a one for one thing that Hey if you’re a top performer in this role you’re going to be able to lead people. Well the good news is though we believe that leadership can be developed and can be coached. So are some people more naturally wired with certain giftings that we think of for leaders? Absolutely. But the good news is it can be coached so I would say I think it’s a good thing to measure like Hey who are on top performers? More than that though I would be looking at Hey who am I? Who am I a great team players?
They’re already difference makers. However, you measure that there are difference makers but there are [00:10:00] people that already have. Some kind of natural influence in the organization. Those are that’s. I think that’s the best metric or the best trait to be able to say how is that going to translate into a leadership role? Do they already have natural influence? How are they viewed and perceived by their peers already? Because if they don’t then that can be more of an uphill uphill battle. But again the good news. You can take a top performer who might not be naturally skilled at leading and managing people and you can coach and you can develop. And there’s there’s a lot of ways you can go about doing that which I’m sure you have experience with as well but it’s not as easy as just giving them a team and saying Hey make them as good as you are.
Gene Hammett: Absolutely not. I mean from my experience that’s actually a disaster because when they do that they get frustrated because they a lot of times these high-performers have figured out for themselves. And they will actually break that mold. They will not figure it out for themselves. They’ll actually do the work for their their people. They will hand feed them and really micromanage because they’ve been so attached to the doing side of [00:11:00] the job instead of the leading side of the job how do you get people to break from that habit?
Blake Bozarth: That’s so true. And I think it’s a mindset shift Gene. I think it’s helping them realize Hey what does success look like in this role that you’ve been given versus what success looked like in your prior more individual contributor role you’re you a lot of times we measure our success. We define productivity in certain ways as you step as you invite people into formal leadership roles where they’re leading teams of performers doing the work doing the day-to-day. It’s helping them transition their view their own view of what success looks like for them and and elevating that game. And so I was recently having a coaching discussion with a senior executive in a company. And even for for this senior exec one of the things that we’re working through is what does it look like going from a VP at a high level that that’s leading a team that’s having they say leading leaders that people to now being an SVP that’s leading leaders of leaders of people and just the way the way you up you up-level [00:12:00] your view of what of the value you bring to the organization. So it’s helping them center on Hey my value is not tied to the day-to-day. Production quote unquote that I’ve that I do as I as I’ve defined it in the past is tied to how do I get the best out of the people around me?
And the best leaders are able to come into a team of people and to be able to draw out the best from them and to play to their strengths. To understand where the gaps on the team where do we need someone to actually step in over here and compliment someone else’s gaps what somebody’s strengths that we can really accentuate. And when you get them to transition to say Hey it’s no longer about what I’m individually performing. It’s about how I am motivating how I’m inspiring how I’m coaching and ultimately how I’m I know it’s a buzzword how I’m empowering the people around me. And one thing we’ll do I’ll I’ll just add here. we we take some of those buzzwords like what does it mean to delegate? I know that’s a hard thing, especially for people that are top performers to actually be able to delegate. What does it really mean to delegate? And it starts with a lot of people think of [00:13:00] delegation as Hey I’m just going to be able to give away some tasks.
I’m going to give those to somebody else to do. That’s great but that’s the first rung in the ladder. As you go up the delegation ladder it’s really looks like how do you delegate more and more authority away versus just tasks. So it’s getting people to be comfortable saying Hey I when I’m really trying to empower people when I’m trying to delegate what I’m really doing is I’m giving away power. That’s what empowered me. And I’m giving away power as much as possible. And I’m trusting and it requires trust. But I’m trusting a team trusting my people around me to to produce. And that’s what great leaders do. They ultimately are the ones who extend the trust they provide the clarity. We we say there’s two currencies to empowerment. Get this from Greg Rochelle who I know you will appreciate as well to currency to empowerment clarity and trust. So great leaders are there. They’re providing clarity. What does success look like? what is the why behind this? How does this fit into the big picture? They’re giving clarity. They’re extending trust. They’re not they’re not they’re not looking over their shoulder. They’re they’re truly trusting someone else to own [00:14:00] something and they’re verifying the driving accountability. But when you’re doing those things well and you’re getting away true power and authority that’s how you help somebody see that see their role differently and transition to really being a leader versus just a great individual attributor performer.
Commentary: We’ve just wrapped up the first part of this whole section with like and I wanted to just recap this for a second. The selection part is when the most important pieces you can do. And leadership development who are the people on your team that are influencers already. They’re probably pretty good at what they are doing. They probably have a good strategic sense of where the business is going and they have a very good picture of the vision that you’ve already cast but are they able to build trust with others? Are they able to collaborate? You have to ask yourself these questions because those the people you’re probably going to be your best leaders. They understand people because those that don’t understand people it’s hard to teach them how to build trust because a lot of stuff gets in the way. And usually it’s themselves. They think it should be one way and it’s not they get frustrated very easily and there’s a whole bunch of things. Find the [00:15:00] influencers across the company the ones that are already building trust. Now one of the things I was just talking to a client of mine about what you really want to make sure is you’re able to develop this person inside because going outside the group finding someone that managed outside of them. It’s a real big challenge and you want to make sure you can find that person inside your job is to develop other leaders. So please select the right people back to Blake.
Gene Hammett: I want to transition into part two of this conversation because we’ve been talking about developing other leaders but I’m sure you’ve seen leaders of the people that you’re developing across all of these the work that you’re doing like that are making some mistakes. They’re there. They’re getting in the way of their leaders developing what is getting in the way. That you see?
Blake Bozarth: Yes there’s a lot ethics for one thing. I think we can overdo it sometimes and for all the best intentions we can overdo the way that we’re trying to develop people. And one thing that I see a lot of is Hey we’re gonna we’re gonna have them go through these courses. I’ve been working with a client now that wanted wanted [00:16:00] to make available and even require for certain level of leadership to go through. Some online courses that were actually through some top universities and it was a great kind of certificate program. The problem is that the way that this this training that this that these courses were delivered it it wasn’t fitting the bill for what their team felt like they really needed. And it was kind of impersonal it they felt like they were just kind of having to go through some additional busywork in order to earn a certification so I think that’s one common mistake that a lot of leaders can do is Hey we know we need to be developing our people. So let’s let’s figure out a budget and let’s let’s figure out the programming to do that.
Let’s decide on the programming to do that. I would say for all the best intentions you can actually that can be counterproductive. That can cause people to become even more disconnected from your company. And you won’t get much ROI on that kind of investment. If if you start on the front end and say Hey what is the thing for our team for for for our leaders that we want to invest in what is the thing that’s really going to make them come alive? And again for me I think one of the keys to this is is really [00:17:00] focusing on the personal growth angle and making them feel like Hey this is something that it’s like an employee benefit back to the employee benefit piece. Like I feel like I am I am growing as a as a person and as a leader and in my career at this company when you combine those things that’s where the magic happens. So that’s one thing I think where we can go wrong. By investing and requiring actually the wrong sorts of development activities and programming but also think that we can do a bad job. Speaking of clarity we can do a bad job of of giving them a clear picture of what success looks like. We might assume that they know what success looks like.
Hey you’re in this level of leadership and I’ve been in this I’ve been in leadership for 20 plus years. I think a lot of times we might assume that that those leaders we’re trying to develop understand what it means to be successful in their role but I think that’s that’s actually where I spend a lot of time with with coaching clients is on being able to really get clear with your team on painting a picture for success and then being able to support and then challenge effectively. And one [00:18:00] thing that we talk a lot about. If you if you think of it there’s there’s something called a support challenge matrix. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of this Gene but I learned this from a guy named Jeremy kubitschek had him on the podcast in the beginning of my show incredible incredible thought leader in leadership space but he has this he calls it the leadership the support challenge matrix excuse me. And the idea behind it is that the best leaders are high in support and they’re high in challenge meaning that they’re high in support. They’re there for you. You feel like they’re there for you as a person not just for the team results are there to coach there to encourage they’re they’re very uplifting and here’s the key.
They’re also there to challenge meaning that they’re there to stretch you meaning that they’re they’re very candid in their communication. They’re very clear in their expectations and they’re very comfortable driving accountability. Right? Most of us if we’re being honest with ourselves I say 99.9% of leaders are not naturally high in both of those things. And so what happens is we typically tend to gravitate towards one of those spectrums over the other either support or challenge for me I am naturally high in support [00:19:00] and I’m not naturally high in challenge. I love stretching people. I love helping people grow where I naturally in my again my natural state where I fall down is that I am not good at driving accountability. And I’m not naturally good at kind of clear expectations and feedback that could be I never want to hurt somebody’s feelings. Right. I grew up in I grew up in a culture where we sugarcoated everything in our family and and that’s just the way it was. I’ve had to really work. So for me I have to be intentional knowing that about myself.
I have to be intentional to say Hey I’m going to have to put myself outside of my comfort zone. And again that comfort zone has grown over the years as I’ve worked on this. To be higher and challenge. And so I think I think that’s something that we’re we’re not painting a clear clear picture for our people of what success in our leaders our emerging leaders even of what success looks like in their roles and where we’re not providing enough support. If that if that’s the case for you or we’re not providing enough challenge and there’s always an opportunity to to stretch yourself more on what doesn’t come as natural to you. Either the support piece where the challenge piece
Gene Hammett: one last question Blake after the training’s done what do you wish leaders knew that they don’t seem to [00:20:00] know about how to keep that person growing and evolving and really plugged in so that they actually realized the benefits of leadership development.
Blake Bozarth: I love that question. One thing we see is that is it’s a tragic statistic but 95% gene 95% of these high potential talent programs they fail to drive what we call development follow through. So they might have. Incredible planning on they might have the best curriculum and and even delivery of the training but they don’t they don’t actually experience the sustained development follow through. That’s why that’s why three quarters of executives feel like their leadership programming is failing. They know they need to be doing it but they feel like it’s failing that. They’re not seeing the pellet. They’re not actually seeing people equipped to step into greater levels levels of responsibility. So in terms of what can you do about that? I think a big piece and we’re very passionate about this. I know I know you do this as well with with the clients you work with a big piece of driving that follow-through is tapping into the power of micro-community.
What do we call it? Tapping into the power of a peer group and the idea behind this is very simple I know you’re familiar with this [00:21:00] concept. It’s called a mastermind concept but the idea is how do you surround talented people with each other and give them a form where they can support each other. They can challenge each other. They can share learnings and ultimately they can accomplish more and help each other elevate it’s really hard to stay consistent on a growth plan when you’re doing it in a vacuum when you’re doing it with your peers at work and you can see that these are the things that Gene is trying to accomplish this quarter. These are the things that Gene is going after this month. That’s inspiring. I love seeing that and I’m going to encourage them. I’m going to actually provide a little bit of accountability for him to do that. And when others are doing that for you it’ll it’s no one can do it for you but when you tap into the peer group in the right way that your chances of actually driving real momentum and sustaining momentum go up exponentially
Gene Hammett: like we’ve gone through this entire episode. We forgot to bring up the special project that you have a book that’s come out and it really is about our younger leaders in life. Tell us just a little bit about this before we wrap up.
Blake Bozarth: Yeah. So I mentioned before in the beginning of the show I really think that the [00:22:00] best way to change the world is by inspiring more purpose-driven leaders and this book with a project purposeful for that. And so I think it starts from a young age. I think that the more that we can get people seeing themselves as leaders and embracing what leadership really means serving others and ultimately being difference-makers in the world having something they’re passionate about that they have purpose in and driving change the younger that we can get people to do that the better. So this is a kids book about leadership. It’s called. I want to be a leader when I grow up and it was a super fun project at some point I’ll be writing business books , and leadership books as well for grownups but I got it. I got to tell you Gene it’s a lot of fun being able to talk about and promote a kid’s book because as parents we we definitely want to help our kids channel their inner leaders.
And if you’re you know a kid that you want to help them do that but it’s really about seeing it come to life in the kids’ eyes and making a book. That’s actually fun. Had some great help from from my buddy Timmy Bauer at dinosaur house publishing that was able to provide great illustrations but also some of the. Some of the fun reaction triggers that make it enjoyable read for the kids but to just [00:23:00] help them understand Hey this is what it means. You don’t have to wait to be a grownup to be a leader. That’s the whole point is that the title is I want to be a leader when I grew up and it’s crossed down in it says now you can choose to be a leader now and you can embrace the influence you have now. And you don’t have to wait. We’re excited about it. It’s great to see it out in people’s stands and in kids enjoying it.
Gene Hammett: Blake thank you so much for being here on the podcast sharing your insights around developing other leaders and really appreciate it.
Blake Bozarth: Thank you, Gene. Thanks so much.
Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.
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