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Leading People and Making America Beautiful

It was exciting to be the keynote speaker for a large gathering Schwarze Industries hosted for all their distributors. And to my great fortune (and probably a little to his misfortune) I got stuck in traffic for 90 minutes with the president of Schwarze Industries—Howard May.

Howard told me some stories of great leadership and I learned so many good leadership lessons from him that I just had to have him as a guest on my leadership podcast.

Howard May has made his career out of being a bit of a turn-around guy for companies. Since taking over as President of Schwarze Industries in 2011, Schwarze has doubled in revenue and is on pace to triple in revenue by 2019.

Even though those are impressive numbers, Howard May says revenue isn’t the goal, “It’s about the process, the results . . . take care of themselves.”

I hope my listeners are starting to see a trend in the successful CEOs and leaders I have as guests on my leadership podcast. The founder and former CEO of Million Dollar Baby Company, Daniel Fong, told you, my audience, profit isn’t a goal; profit is a result, its a validation. And now Howard May is saying, success is about the process and the results will take care of themselves.


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That’s the sign of a great leader. You don’t want to be the smartest person in the room. You want to find people smarter than you and challenge them to take you to new levels. @DQuiggle


 

Here are some leadership concepts and practical insights I think you’ll want to listen for in episode 024 of Garage to Goliath | Leaders Building Legacies:

  • The practical leadership application of how Howard May steps into a new leadership position [7:55]
  • The absolute, first thing you must do when you are in a leadership role
  • The story Howard tells a story of why a good leader is a balanced combination of brains and brawn
  • Why businesses aren’t democracies, but that leaders can (and should) practice inclusive leadership to bring people along in the process
  • What Howard spends 60% of his time doing as the leader of Schwarze Industries
  • The new customer relations concept Howard implemented at Schwarze Industries and how he infused it into the culture
  • The 3 things Howard May looks for when interviewing people [21:51]
  • The advice Howard May would give to his 20-year-old self [58:00]
  • The business or life advice Howard May gives to his children and grandchildren  [58:32]

Here are some leadership quotes from our talk together :

“Culture is not just something that is important to an organization, it is THE most important part.” -Howard May

“I don’t want bobble heads around me. I want people to feel comfortable disagreeing with me. And I want healthy, passionate conflict in an organization. I want people to always question the data. . . And I want them to question me.” - Howard May [20:31]

“That’s the sign of a great leader. You don’t want to be the smartest person in the room. You want to find people smarter than you and challenge them to take you to new levels.” -Dan Quiggle [25:07] 

“Everything in life is relational. You lead people and manage assets.” -Howard May


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Everything in life is relational. You lead people and manage assets. -Howard May with @DQuiggle


“If you're not failing you're not developing . . . I develop best when I’m scared.” -Howard May 

“Leaders who don’t listen end up surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” -Howard May

I hope you listen to and enjoy episode 024 of my leadership podcast! 

Lead well,

Dan-Quiggle-Leadership-Keynote-Speaker.jpg

Thanks for listening! You are part of helping this leadership podcast succeed, please:

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Show Notes:

  • Dan Quiggle tells the story of how he got to know Howard May [1:20]
  • Howard May talks about Schwarze Industries and his career in business start-ups and turn around situations [2:03]
  • Why, Howard says, you have to focus on the process [5:26]
  • Dan asks Howard how you get the people and the process right [12:00]
  • Howard tells Dan a story of how he determines if people aren’t a good cultural fit [17:11]
  • Howard’s strategy to deliberately build and preserve a healthy a company culture and empower others to build it along with him [19:29]
  • Howard talks about how he interviews people and how he looks for the intersection of three important character traits [21:51]
  • Dan asks Howard about being a successful relationship builder [25:38]
  • Dan asks Howard to share a story about when Howard needed to walk away from a deal [30:47]
  • The word that comes to mind when Howard May thinks of Schwarze [43:21]
  • What leadership means to Howard May personally [43:41]
  • Howard’s strategy for painting the vision for others to follow [47:03]
  • The one trait Howard May looks for in his top people [50:24]
  • What Howard May has found to be the optimal number of direct reports [54:60]
  • What Howard May spends his time thinking about [55:35]
  • A little about Howard May’s personal life [56:33]
  • The one piece of advice Howard May would give to his 20-year-old self [58:00]
  • The business or life advice Howard May gives to his children and grandchildren  [58:32]
  • The big why of Schwarze Industries [1:00:14]
  • How Howard May wants his children to describe him to his grandchildren [1:01:18]

Show related links:


Learn more about Dan as a  leadership keynote speaker and invite Dan to inspire your team to lead with purpose, direction, and optimism

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

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