Grow Great with Randy Cantrell (Returning To My Roots To Fuel Greater Growth) – Season 2020, Episode 34

I won’t bury the lead.

I’m going back to the long-used podcast show title, Grow Great with Randy Cantrell because it’s always been and will always be about leadership. And true leadership starts with us, our determination to lead our lives in ways where we have the most positive impact on others.

It still involves leveraging the power of others because we know it’s the truth – who you surround yourself with matters!

I hope to be just one of the people who surround you, urging you on, giving you some things to ponder, sharing some insights and experiences, and providing you with a free (the podcast) resource in your quest to grow great.

The subject matter won’t change so much, but the focus is going to lean more heavily into leadership whose aim is to help create the most high-performing teams, groups, and organizations possible.

Why? 

Three big reasons prompted this return.

One, I’m intentionally pivoting my work more heavily into serving city government leaders. While it’s true, leadership is leadership, context matters.

Since I was about 15 I’ve been involved in business. Selling is where it all began. Business is all about selling. It’s about getting new customers, serving existing customers better and not going crazy in the process. I’ve spent my entire adult life in those pursuits.

Then about 6 years ago I got an opportunity. Pure serendipity. And good fortune. I was blessed to get a phone call one day from a friend who didn’t quite know what I did. It was an opportunity to do some executive coaching for a city. City government leadership, something I knew nothing about. Truth is, I didn’t even know anybody who operated in that space really. But I got the engagement and as they say, “The rest is history.”

I’ve continued to operate in that space while simultaneously serving CEOs and business owners.

There was something special – different – about serving leaders in city government. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it for a few years, but within the past 18 months or so it’s become more clear. The focus is people. Not that high-performing businesses aren’t about people, but they’re necessarily focused on people in a different way. The work is very different. And I’m very familiar – I’m an expert at business operations. I should be. I’ve spent almost 50 years practicing the craft. Maybe that had an impact on this whole thing – city government was something new. Different. There was no focus on getting new customers. Gone were the operational elements of marketing and sales – trying to generate revenues and enhance profits.

Instead, city government leaders were focused on being efficient and effective through organizational behaviors that would contribute to high-performing cultures. At least the cities and towns who engaged me were. These weren’t folks looking for remedies. They wanted to get better. They wanted to grow great – or grow greater!

It was refreshing. Rewarding.

Two, the past few years have taught me the importance of a high-performing culture in organizations. I’d always believed it, but I had firsthand encounters with cultures that were once higher performing, but things changed. It slipped. And I saw the devastating effect it had on people – both individually and collectively. So I got more intensely focused on figuring out how high-performing cultures can be built and maintained through continual growth.

Three, and this is the most important reason. I’m going to my roots.

Maybe it’s my age. Experience. Maturity. Or maybe it’s my lifetime of interest, passion and worldview.

A few episodes ago I did a show referencing The Human Side Of Enterprise by Douglas McGregor, published in the 1960s. When I was a teenager, working for various owners of stereo shops (yep, there were once stores where people purchased speakers, receivers, turntables and all that stuff that made playing records possible). More often than not I worked for tyrants. Men who had no clue about how to build organizations. Or how to treat employees. Daily, I’d lament, “There’s got to be a better way!” But I didn’t know. I certainly hoped so.

While I loved business – still do – I realized I loved something else more. High-performing organizations comprised of the most energized people possible. Those are my roots going back to my teen years. So I’m coming home.

Today, my worldview and philosophy are more steeped in knowledge and experience than when I first wondered, “There’s got to be a better way!” Now, I know there is. And this podcast is my contribution to that. I hope you find it helpful.

Be well. Do good. Grow great!

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