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Sheer Clarity

Author: J. Kevin McHugh

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The podcast that helps you become a more confident, thoughtful, and successful leader.

In under 30 minutes each week, you’ll get access to more than 25 years worth of conversations and coaching that have been shared with thousands of CEO’s in management retreats, small group sessions, intimate coaching engagements and more. This show will help you find your intersection of business acumen focused on results, self-awareness in the secular setting, and spiritual awakening for your meaning and purpose in this world. Many super-smart and, successful people wield power over others but struggle to eliminate the self-sabotaging behaviors which cause a loss of reputation and influence. So whether you think you’ve been on top of your game for 30+ years, or you’re just starting the long journey to get ahead, Kevin will guide you to be a more confident, thoughtful leader. These powerful stories and institutional experiences will help you get woke, with a healthy mix of emotional intelligence and experiential learning like drum beating, dancing, sweat lodges, and smudging ceremonies, but without the mess, extra noise, or boring corporate training models. These stories will help you connect with yourself and tap into the best you have to offer in order to excel.
45 Episodes
Today we visit with Rob Follows.  Rob is the Chairman and CEO of STS Capital Partners.  Rob helps people who are ready to sell their business, giving them the freedom to contribute their time, treasure and talent to make the world a better place.As leaders, we can create success from challenges in life.  If we view adversity as a friend and teacher, there’s a potential for significant self-understanding. Listen as Rob shares his stories of adversity and the lessons he learned from it.He also explains how reflection and meditation are keys to self-understanding, the importance of finding a mentor, and putting a life plan in place.Key Topics:Rob gives us an overview of his company, STS Capital PartnersThe two things that led Rob to look for a mentor and the resulting mental exercise that helped him look forward and create a plan for his lifeRob explains how he aligned his life to his end of life objectivesRob explains how adversity built his inner strength leading him to make decisions to define his happinessAs a leader, Rob explains how he became unafraid to receive honest feedbackHow life planning, making a list and putting a 5-year date on it, leads to a focus on self-understanding, improvement, and learningKevin shares his sheer moments of clarity from his discussion with RobRob gives advice to his 23-year-old self
Every organization has or should have core values in place.  However, just writing them down and displaying them on a poster isn’t enough.  The hard part comes in living them. Today, I’m talking with Buddy Teaster, CEO of Soles4Souls. Buddy talks about his organization, what they do and how their core values have been integral to Soles4Souls’ success. We go in depth about what it means as a leader to put your core values into practice and how that benefits not only your organization’s bottom line, but also provides meaning to everyone in the organization. Key Topics: Buddy Teaster is the CEO of Soles4Souls. His organization collects unwanted shoes and clothing and puts them to good use – providing relief, creating jobs and empowering people to break the cycle of povertyBuddy is based in Nashville. He speaks to the devastation recent tornadoes left behind and how the community came together to help one another He also speaks to how recovery efforts are affected and other challenges they’ve faced due to the CoronavirusBuddy gives actionable advice to leaders when a crisis hits Meaning and Transparency are two of Sole4Souls core values. Buddy goes in depth about how these values have been so powerful for the organizationHow a leader can deal with being riled up due to frustration from constantly defending their position and why that is so importantBuddy discusses his path to becoming the CEO of Sole4SoulsHow long it took to reconcile with his father after choosing to take his own pathKevin goes over his moments of sheer clarity during this episodeBuddy gives his 23-year-old self some advice
In business, it’s important to not only make sure your executives, directors, and managers have the skills to lead, but it’s also crucial to help your employees unlock their own potential.  Ryan Niles is the CEO of Niles Industrial Coatings and Niles Plant Services. It’s his purpose to help his employees be the best they can be in all facets of their lives.In this episode, Ryan opens up to Kevin McHugh about his moments of sheer clarity as a leader, the values and characteristics he believes have helped him in his own journey and advice about tackling change and learning to trust. Stay tuned.Key Topics:[2.05] Ryan talks about his two companies and what his focus and purpose is for his employees[3:30] Ryan explains his approach to getting to know each of his employees[5:06] The response from Ryan’s employees when he launched the DISC assessment, what they’ve learned and the benefits they’ve seen[11:06] Ryan talks about the lessons and challenges he had growing up and how he used those to be successful in life[16:25] How encouraging employees to try new things and not be scared to make mistakes has resulted in success for the company[18:58] Steps to take if you feel you have a crappy boss[21:00] Change is hard!  How to push through the fear[26:06] Ryan discusses values he learned from his  father and uncle[28:14] The biggest people lesson Ryan has learned[31:54] Kevin goes over his moments of sheer clarity during this interview[36:14] Ryan’s advice to his younger self
No matter how well trained and educated you are, it’s important to remember that who you are as a person can sometimes bring as much value to your team as your qualifications. This rings true for our guest on the show today, Annie Yoder, who is Director of Development at Rea & Associates, a 300+ employee accounting firm with a national footprint. Annie is a trained CPA, CFF, and CPE but significantly she does no accounting work at her firm, having rather moved into a position that is strictly concerned with the interpersonal. In today’s episode, Annie shares the story behind how this happened and gives listeners a few golden nugget tips on the subject of good leadership, trust, and self-reflexivity. She talks about the lessons learned from her mother and her Amish upbringing, the idea that everybody has value and that people who hurt others themselves are hurt. Our conversation moves to the role she plays at Rea & Associates, and she shares some of the ways she leads employees to their growth, and the exercises she takes coworkers through to help them build trust in each other. We also hear from Annie about her growth process, the things that made her take a look in the mirror, and the idea that a person takes themselves everywhere they go. Ultimately, our interactions cause ripple effects in each other which have huge potential to help us be more compassionate humans or trustworthy leaders, so tune in to hear how these have taken effect in and through Annie today. Key Points From This Episode: What led Annie into accounting: her need for financial stability.How Annie has transitioned from being a CPA to Director of Development in her firm.A skillset of connecting dots, or leading people to answers they seek that Annie has.Coaching, conflict resolution, and ‘home-finding’ duties Annie does during her day job.Whether it is usual for qualified accountants to move into People Development.Four pillars that Rea & Associates prioritizes: people, clients, growth, and firm.The cornerstone at Rea & Associates which is investing in their employees.How investing in people leads to a feedback loop benefiting everybody.Ways that Annie’s Amish background and mother’s prioritization of education has shaped her.Annie’s career path from her MBA to litigation support as a CFE leading to the present.How her auditing and litigation support ‘dot-connecting’ background helps Annie today.Transactional vs relational interactions and Annie’s mom’s lesson that all people are valuable.Dealing with hurt people who hurt you, and whether both parties can grow.How people can help each other find a sliver in themselves to see the good in everybody.Ripple effects caused by interactions that lead people toward positive growth.How conflicts with coworkers, reading, podcasts, and Annie’s husband help her self-reflect.What Annie’s boss taught her about advocacy and trust by making her feel safe.Building trust between coworkers Annie uses: encouraging consistent behavior.The two branches of the trust tree: competency and character, and their offshoots.Future-focused thinking and other ripple effects of Richard Rea’s legacy in the firm today.Advice Annie would give to her younger self: stop worrying so much. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Annie YoderAnnie Yoder on LinkedInRea & AssociatesTrust ChartThe Speed of TrustRichard ReaSheer ClarityJ. Kevin McHughJKM ManagementSheer Clarity on Twitter
Neal Sherman is the Founder and President of TAGeX Brands, a company that liquidates restaurant equipment and other unused assets. Neal formed the company more than 30 years ago after seeing a lot of restaurant operators getting stuck without a paddle when it was time for them to shut down their businesses. Neal not only focuses on liquidation of assets but also the redeployment of assets and keeping equipment, furniture, and fixtures in the food industry out of landfills. He helps keep the world a little greener and he also helps people from the restaurant and food service deal with closures, remodels, and the corresponding equipment that comes into the market. Neal has also built a marketplace called RestaurantEquipment.Bid, which is an auction platform for unused restaurant equipment.Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: What Neal focuses on everyday in his line of businessHow Neal got into the restaurant equipment liquidation businessKevin discusses the importance of being self-aware and focusing on being a leader by attractionWhat Neal learned from his father’s work ethic and the critical nature of relationshipsThe 3 things Kevin has learnt from Neal's childhoodNeal's take on whether being a great leader and relationship-oriented person can be learnedWhy inner peace is necessary in order to be able to truly help and serve other peopleNeal's advice to his younger selfWhere to learn more about Neal's TaGeX Brands and  restaurant equipment businessesIn this episode…Whenever a restaurant or any other business in the food industry decides to close shop and shut down it’s business operations, one of the most stressful things for the owners tends to be the disposal of their store equipment. This, on top of the paperwork and letting go of their employees can give anyone a headache.Neal Sherman worked in the food industry more than 30 years ago and it was there that he came to find out about this particular dilemma that restaurant owners often go through when it’s time to close shop. What should they do with all of their unused equipment? He took it upon himself to help these people and thus TAGeX Brands was born.In this episode, Kevin McHugh is joined by Neal Sherman to talk about how he got into the business of liquidating restaurant equipment and what he focuses on in his line of business. Neal also shares his advice for nurturing great relationships and the importance of having inner peace in order to serve others. Stay tuned.Resources Mentioned in this episodeSheer Clarity J. Kevin McHughTAGeX BrandsRestaurantEquipment.BidNeal Sherman on LinkedInSponsor for this episode...JKM Management Development was developed by J. Kevin McHugh himself in 1990. They provide executive life and leadership coaching and the development of leadership teams that operate with extreme trust and honesty-based on the Sheer Clarity principles.They work with founding entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 executives, and closely-held family businesses of every size and shape. They have helped these entities develop and integrate trust, honesty, and a certain sense of vulnerability into their organizations.
Kevin McHugh is the President of JKM Management Development, a management consulting firm specializing in increasing organizational performance and coaching business leaders to develop emotional awareness, conflict resolution capabilities, and maximize executive effectiveness. Over the past twenty years, Kevin has traveled the world facilitating retreats and off-sites within North America, South Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Europe.McHugh has also served as an executive coach to hundreds of CEOs, helping them to improve their personal and professional leadership competencies. His clients include: American Funds Distributors, Anthem, Estée Lauder, Parker Hannifin, Sprint-Nextel, The Entrepreneurs’ Organization, CEO Roundtable, and Vistage.Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: [02:47] Kevin explains what leadership by attraction means[04:14] How to cultivate and develop the ability to practice leadership by attraction[09:07] Kevin talks about the emotional intelligence pyramid and the role it plays in leadership[10:57] What self management or self-regulation means and what it involves[13:35] Why time and curiosity are important  for leaders who want to practice in self-management[16:30] Roadblocks that Kevin faces when helping leaders to overcome their insecurities[18:34] How leadership by attraction works and why it’s considered as a lifelong journeyIn this episode…Some people are natural born leaders and that’s great. But leadership is something that can be cultivated and developed, especially when you’re looking to practice leadership by attraction. And for Kevin McHugh, there are steps that you can take to become the leader that will inspire the people who are set to follow you.In this episode, J. Kevin McHugh is interviewed by John Corcoran of Rise25 where they discuss what leadership by attraction means, how the emotional intelligence pyramid plays a role in leadership, and the challenges that leaders and CEOs face as they try to work on their own brand of leadership. Stay tuned.Resources Mentioned in this episodeSheer Clarity J. Kevin McHughSponsor for this episode...JKM Management Development was developed by J. Kevin McHugh himself in 1990. They provide executive life and leadership coaching and the development of leadership teams that operate with extreme trust and honesty-based on the Sheer Clarity principles.They work with founding entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 executives, and closely-held family businesses of every size and shape. They have helped these entities develop and integrate trust, honesty, and a certain sense of vulnerability into their organizations.
Lisa Stein is the Founder and CEO of Revolutions Inc. She is a tech entrepreneur from Columbus, Ohio who previously worked in an industrial design firm and Cardinal Health. Lisa also founded a software company that was called ORIS Intelligence which was purchased in July last year by PriceSpider.Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: [01:19] Kevin McHugh introduces his guest, Lisa Stein[02:38] Lisa talks about her company, what she does, and what keeps her focused [06:09] Lisa reminisces on her childhood and her family’s entrepreneurial background[08:29] How growing up with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) child with a supportive family worked to Lisa’s benefit[10:26] Lisa shares what she learned from working for companies and how this helped ignite her entrepreneurial side[11:58] Lisa’s first entrepreneurial venture and her first mentor as a budding entrepreneur[12:51] The value of a mentor and learning from others before embarking on entrepreneurship[15:47] Why the fear of failure will always exist and what you can learn from the inevitable experience with it[19:04] What Lisa has learned about leading people and why there is no downside to transparency and in owning up to your own mistakes[20:12] How being a woman in her 50s has helped Lisa expand her self awareness and her ability to accept her own shortcomings[22:53] Lisa looks back at experiencing being fired and what she was learned from that moment[24:56] Lisa  and Kevin talk about receiving negative feedback and how you can see it in a positive note[27:24] The value of having effective and consistent communication when working and managing a remote team[32:45] The importance of institutionalizing the company’s value system and having every person in the team on board[34:31] Kevin and Lisa talk about the imposter syndrome and how it can affect you more than it can affect your team[36:22] How being optimistic about your chances of winning and working with people with collaborative energy is a recipe for success[37:55] Kevin shares his takeaways from the book Good to Great[39:54] Lisa talks about what it’s like running a generational family business[42:47] Kevin's summary of sheer clarity moments from this episode[44:18] Lisa's advice to her younger self: Worry less about what other people think and don’t assume that people’s behavior has anything to do with you[46:05] Where to learn more about Lisa's companiesIn this episode…Being a leader is a tough job, but learning how to accept that your team might be failing because of you is an even tougher pill to swallow. But this comes with the territory, and learning how you can improve things to make everything work better for everyone is crucial in bringing your company to a pinnacle of success.Lisa Stein is the CEO of Revolutions Inc., the largest retailer of durable medical equipment in the US. She comes from a family of entrepreneurs and she has been exposed to the ups and downs of entrepreneurial life from an early age. And Lisa has so many things to share with budding and established entrepreneurs alike when it comes to business.On this episode of Sheer Clarity, J. Kevin McHugh talks to Lisa about what it was like growing up within such a vibrant entrepreneurial environment, and how this shaped her view of what it means to be an entrepreneur. They also talk about the value of efficient and consistent communication when working with a remote team, why it’s important to remain transparent and open as a leader, and how self-awareness helps you become the best version of yourself. Stay tuned.Resources Mentioned in this episodeSheer Clarity J. Kevin McHughRevolutions IncSpinLifeLisa Stein on LinkedInPriceSpiderGood to GreatSponsor for this episode...JKM Management Development was developed by J. Kevin McHugh himself in 1990. They provide executive life and leadership coaching and the development of leadership teams that operate with extreme trust and honesty-based on the Sheer Clarity principles.They work with founding entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 executives, and closely-held family businesses of every size and shape. They have helped these entities develop and integrate trust, honesty, and a certain sense of vulnerability into their organizations.
Toby LaVigne is the CEO of CleanMark Labels, a multinational label manufacturer headquartered in the pacific northwest. He and his team strive to live the word of God in everything they do in order to succeed not just as a business but to make prosperity possible for everyone involved. Toby feels a deep responsibility to help everyone he can in their hunt for purpose.Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: [1:51] Kevin introduces his guest, Toby LaVigne[3:41] Toby talks about pursuing his passion and being a CEO[4:40] What it was like for Toby growing up and finding purpose[7:35] Leadership: What’s the notion of push and pull?[13:22] Toby talks about when he learned there is a better leadership approach than the push system[16:38] Why the push leadership approach fails in the long run[17:55] The importance of pull leadership to your business[22:30] How to begin your transition from pull to push leadership[24:37] Why business leaders resist the transition to pull[26:39] Toby shares insight about the identity crisis stopping leaders from changing their old beliefs and behaviors. [31:09] How to reprogram yourself to get over your identity fear[36:51] Moments of sheer clarity[40:21] Toby’s growth advice for young adultsIn this episode…We’ve all been conditioned from when we were kids to learn that the world is about a push to be goal getters and get rewarded. But what we fail to realize early on is that people who have that go ‘get’em’ attitude often exude a repelling force or energy. And for Toby LaVigne, that force stagnates growth and makes it hard for people to be attracted to you at some point. So you have to shift from a push to a pull approach. Toby is the CEO of CleanMark Labels, a multinational label manufacturer headquartered in the pacific northwest. His vision for his role is a deep responsibility to help everyone he can on their hunt for purpose so that together they can make the next American dream possible. In this episode, Toby talks to Kevin McHugh about how making the transition from push to pull requires some serious rewiring of your underlying belief system about what the game is, shifting your old beliefs to new beliefs and eventually changing old behaviors to new ones. Stay tuned.Resources Mentioned in this episodeHunting for PurposeToby LaVigne LinkedIn Sheer Clarity J. Kevin McHugh
Dave Maney is a national economic and financial writer and commentator. He's also the executive chair and co-founder of Deke Digital, a digital media company that combines their deep knowledge of industry segments and their understanding of the ever-changing media landscape. Deke Digital uses knowledge and experience of the complex world of digital marketing to create innovative and highly effective marketing programs and solutions.Dave has written a number of publications and columns for national publications, and he’s frequently seen on and is a commentator on Fox Business, as well as on CNBC, Fox News, and CNN.02:20] Kevin introduces his guest, Dave Maney[03:40] Dave Maney talks about Deke Digital[05:54] Dave talks about his early entrepreneurial experiences that culminated into the beginnings of Deke Digital[11:05] What is the real essence of the mission statement of Dave’s company[15:57] The truth about the value of sharing your knowledge[21:14] Why you need to zero in on the role that you are going to play in your business[23:56] Dave talks about how we all learn best through painful failure [28:41] Dave shares why you cannot fail if you’re doing something that you truly love[32:31] Dave talks about the bridging moment or the risk you take in letting somebody else do a job that you usually do[35:58] Identifying what risk means to you and what you can get from it[40:27] Why knowing yourself can give you the confidence to take the risks that your business needs you to do[46:34] What advice would Dave give to his younger self?In this episode…Are you somebody who already owns a business but feel like it’s time to bring things up a notch? Do you have any idea on where to start? Do you have the guts to do what it takes to take that risk for your business? For Dave Maney, these are the things you need to think of the moment you decide that you’re ready to step up your business A-game and bring things to a whole new level. And this, he says, is where his team can help you best.Dave Maney is the executive chair and co-founder of Deke Digital, a digital marketing company. Their company thrives on the success stories that they have made for their clients who are primarily dynamic financial services and healthcare organizations through their expert media marketing services.In this episode, Kevin talks to Dave about identifying the best role you can play in your own business, recognizing the necessary risks you need to make, and the importance of knowing yourself in order to have the confidence to do what needs to be done. Stay tuned.Resources Mentioned in this episodeDeke DigitalDave Maney on LinkedInDave Maney on TwitterSheer ClarityJ. Kevin McHughJ. Kevin McHugh on LinkedInSponsor for this episode...JKM Management Development was developed by J. Kevin McHugh himself in 1990. They provide executive life and leadership coaching and the development of leadership teams that operate with extreme trust and honesty-based on the Sheer Clarity principles.They work with founding entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 executives, and closely-held family businesses of every size and shape. They have helped these entities develop and integrate trust, honesty, and a certain sense of vulnerability into their organizations.
The Sheer Clarity podcast is getting ready to evolve.  Moving forward, episodes of Sheer Clarity are going to feature interviews with business leaders from companies of every shape and size, sharing how they are putting their leadership skills and practices to use in the world.  We'll talk about what they have learned as leaders by attraction, what mistakes they have made, and what lessons they want to sheer with you as you strive to become a leader by attraction. Look out for the first new interview episode featuring Dave Maney, CEO of Deke Digital.  
Managing vs Leading

Managing vs Leading


If I aspire to be in a leadership role, how can I get there? What should I do to get myself to be identified and placed in such a role? How do I communicate my ambitions and experiences when I’ve taken on leadership responsibilities but don’t have the title to show for it? If you find yourself asking these questions, this is the episode for you.As an ambitious high achiever, you have probably taken on more than your share of responsibilities at work. At first glance, the terms management and leadership may seem synonymous but in fact, each one requires a very different skillset. As we continue on the journey to sheer clarity, it’s important to not only be able to distinguish between the two but to ensure that you are embodying the key traits of a leader and creating value for your organization.In this episode, Mathew and I investigate what it means to be a leader versus a manager. Mathew shares his experiences in his previous corporate career, and we talk about why a title is not as important as you might think, how to demonstrate and communicate your leadership abilities, key characteristics of a leader, what it means to create value, and so much more!Once you’ve learned the differences between managing and leading you might be wondering whether you’re wired for leadership. We’re going deeper into this topic and looking back at your personality assessments as we explore that aspect next week. Until then, let us know: what has your experience been with communicating your leadership ambitions? Do you feel better able to demonstrate them? We look forward to hearing from you!Key Topics:Mathew’s frustrating experience with having an unofficial leadership role in his corporate career (2:09)The catch-22 situation you can end up in when you are applying for your first official leadership role (3:05)One key differentiator between a leader and a task-doer (5:26)Why it’s so hard to get your first job in a leadership role (7:29)How Mathew ended up with unofficial supervisory responsibilities (8:15)The questions you might ask yourself about communicating your leadership abilities (9:06)The difference between counting value and creating value (10:06)What you should ask your boss right now to improve your leadership opportunities (11:24)The essential connection between leadership and influence (12:19)Distinguishing between a leader and a good manager (12:40)How to demonstrate your leadership (14:30)Why you should use the language of leadership (15:07)An example of how you should talk about your leadership ambition and experience (15:44)How to go from a task-doer to a leader (17:04)Being good at your job doesn’t automatically make you a good leader (20:26)Using coaching as a leadership tool (22:01)Why initiative is an integral leadership trait (23:00)And much more!THANKS FOR LISTENING!Be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.  And feel free to drop us a line at Follow Sheer Clarity on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook!  
Compassion in Crisis

Compassion in Crisis


If someone who works for you is having serious challenges at home, do you believe that they would confide in you? Being compassionate towards your team is one thing but how do you handle a situation where you are the one who is going through personal issues? In becoming the consummate leader by attraction, compassion in crisis is one of the toughest lessons we have to learn.In previous episodes, we’ve spoken about the importance of creating a culture of caring and in difficult situations like these, the tone from the top becomes even more important. As leaders, we have to be able to not only navigate these situations but also to prepare ourselves to walk the fine line between having compassion and the need for productivity.In this episode, Mathew and I talk about what it means to be compassionate as a leader in times of personal crisis. We dive into the importance of compassion for leaders, the significance of good relationships within a team, how you should set the tone at the top, finding the balance between compassion and the need for productivity, and do much more!As always, thank you for listening! To hear more great stories lessons on leadership, life, and compassion for yourself and others in the workplace, join us on next week’s episode. What has your experience been with compassion in the workplace? Are you open with your team? Have you had to handle a situation with a team member whose productivity suffered? Let us know - we love hearing from you.Key Topics:How you can benefit from learning about compassion in a crisis (2:32)The significance of good relationships during a crisis (3:44)Why a culture of caring starts at the top (4:41)The questions leaders ask themselves as leaders during a personal crisis (6:52)Mathew’s dilemma as a business owner (8:29)How to be honest with yourself about your crisis readiness (9:39)What the military can teach us about leadership at all levels (11:37)Figuring out whether you have open and honest relationships in the workplace (12:56)Walking the fine line between compassion and the need for productivity (14:46)The real cost of compassion (16:27)Why high performers find it difficult to be vulnerable (18:09)The incredible compassion I experienced during a significant personal crisis (19:22)And much more!THANKS FOR LISTENING!Be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotifwithy, or wherever you get your podcasts.  And feel free to drop us a line at Follow Sheer Clarity on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook!  
No Time To Care

No Time To Care


Picture this: You know how valuable it is for people to care about each other, so you organized a team-building retreat. The retreat is a success but within a few weeks of returning to work it all fades away and it’s back to the status quo. What happened?Most work environments are completely counter to this idea of peace, patience, and kindness. The incredibly fast-paced nature of the corporate world has us focused on productivity and performance metrics and in all likelihood, there is no time being carved out for reconnection. So how can you make the shift towards compassion and support?In this episode, Mathew and I explore why you should create a culture of caring. We discuss how most corporate environments inherently displace kindness and caring, our biases about spending time connecting, why leaders should care about their teams, how you can start to walk the talk and lead your team into openness, and so much more!Thanks for listening! Check out the YouTube page for full episodes and our new Moments of Sheer Clarity directly from me to give you that extra boost of sheer clarity between our weekly episodes. Remember to share your experiences, feedback, and questions with us - we love hearing from you. Key Topics:Why being in touch with yourself is critical for leaders (3:15)How your workplace culture counteracts the progress you make on retreats (6:31)The effect of the super-fast corporate pace on kindness and sensitivity (8:38)The problem with our approach to time-wasting (9:33)How you can implement reconnection time in your organization (11:34)Why should you make time to care? (13:12)Mathew’s experience with developing personal relationships with his team (14:45)What happens to leaders who fundamentally do not care (17:21)The steps you can take to foster a culture of caring (18:25)Your role as a leader in normalizing vulnerability (20:21)Why you need to nurture relationships of caring (21:00)And much more! Mentioned in this Episode:Young Presidents' OrganizationTHANKS FOR LISTENING!Be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.  And feel free to drop us a line at Follow Sheer Clarity on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook! 
If you’re using retreats as a catch-all for everything you want to get done in your company, then this episode is for you. As leaders, we have to have a long-term focus but that same focus can cause us to skip over the essentials which need to be in place before strategic planning can happen. Without connection, your team is just a workgroup that is not equipped to adapt and succeed when plans go awry. To build that connection, team building should be your priority. To help with that I’m sharing the critical elements you need to incorporate into your retreats – and no, we’re not talking about trust falls. In this episode, Mathew and I talk about the right way to plan a retreat. We discuss where most retreats go wrong, what it means to be a team, why you should prioritize relationships, how to structure your retreats, why you can’t tackle several issues in one retreat, the importance of a leader’s vision, and so much more! If you’re tuning in for the first time, I highly recommend going back and listening to our early episodes about trust, honesty and appropriate vulnerability. These elements are the foundation for becoming a leader by attraction and play a key role on the path to sheer clarity. As always, thank you for listening and please continue to share your feedback, questions, and experiences - we love hearing from you!Key Topics:Why we’re talking about retreats today (0:44)Where a lot of companies go wrong with their retreats (3:45)The importance of the meeting before the meeting (4:34)Why team building should be your primary focus (5:46)Building trust within a team (6:22)What every seasoned executive does in their first six months (8:17)The elements that make a team more than a workgroup (10:38)How a team responds to unexpected challenges (14:46)Why I hate trust falls (15:56)Planning a retreat that encourages honesty, vulnerability, and disclosure (17:14)Questions you can ask to help team members get to know each other (19:54)The significance of the leader’s vision in closely-held businesses (23:42)Figuring out the long-term vision for your company (24:19)How you should approach planning your retreat (26:36)The benefits from a recent retreat focused on building a connection (27:53)And much more!THANKS FOR LISTENING!Be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.  And feel free to drop us a line at Follow Sheer Clarity on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook!  
Happy New Year! Around this time of year you’re bound to be getting a lot of countdowns and “Best of” lists so we thought, let's join the party. Following the conventions, we’re giving you the top five themes of Sheer Clarity in 2019. As a bonus, we’re also sharing a sneak peek at how the show is going to evolve in 2020 and the exciting changes we have in store for you.In this episode, Mathew and I share the most popular themes from the show in 2019 and discuss our takeaways. We talk about how to go beyond a simple apology, using the 24-hour rule for handling tension, the connection between self-honesty and self-reflection, the importance of quiet time, how vulnerability can help you in the battle with imposter syndrome, the New Year’s resolutions you need to make, and so much more!Thank you so much to everybody who is taking part in this adventure with us of Sheer Clarity. We would love your feedback on what we've been doing and what you'd like to hear from us in 2020. All of your support and feedback so far has been phenomenal and we know we can't do without you. Key Topics:Exciting changes in store for the podcast in 2020 (1:28)A sneak peek at the first guest who will be interviewed on the show (1:45)Top Theme #5: Appropriate vulnerability (4:01)Hitting the ceiling as an entrepreneur (6:01)The signature moment from a vulnerability session I recently led (6:18)How to go beyond simply saying you’re sorry (7:07)Using the 24-hour rule for handling tension in an important relationship (7:45)How Mathew benefitted from using the 24-hour rule (9:16)The additional step you can use to gain clarity before talking to the other party (9:48)Top Theme #4: Honesty (11:44)The connection between self-honesty and self-reflection (12:12)How a lack of self-honesty can contribute to conflicts with your team (14:28)The significance of sitting in silence (15:33)Top Theme #3: How Will You Measure Your Life? (17:23)Finding a work-life balance (18:41)Why I have people deliver their eulogy from three perspectives (21:15)Top Theme #2: Battling Imposter Syndrome (22:33)Why CEOs of closely-held businesses are so susceptible to imposter syndrome (23:30)Embracing the doubt with humility (24:41)How vulnerability can help you in the battle with imposter syndrome (25:06)Mathew’s experience with overcoming his imposter syndrome (27:01)My experience with imposter syndrome as a board member (28:17)Top Theme #1: Trust (30:35)The difference between a workgroup and a team (31:45)The hard truth about how to resolve the issue of team members who can’t trust each other (33:40)The New Year’s resolutions that will help you start strong in 2020 (36:51)And much more! Mentioned in this Episode:Our series on appropriate vulnerability:Sheer Clarity Episode 7 | Appropriate Vulnerability Part 1: What is It?Sheer Clarity Episode 8 | Appropriate Vulnerability Part 2: How to be Appropriately Vulnerable as a LeaderSheer Clarity Episode 9 | Appropriate Vulnerability Part 3: Encouraging it in OthersThe Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)Gino Wickman’s Book | Traction: Get a Grip on Your BusinessOur series on honesty:Sheer Clarity Episode 4 | Honesty Part 1: Deep Self-ReflectionSheer Clarity Episode 5 | Honesty Part 2: Being Honest with Other PeopleSheer Clarity Episode 6 | Honesty Part 3: Knowing When Others Are Honest With YouSheer Clarity Episode 11 | How Will You Measure Your Life?Clayton M. Christensen’s Harvard Business Review Article | How Will You Measure Your Life?Sheer Clarity Episode 10 | Battling Imposter SyndromeOur series on trust:Sheer Clarity Episode 2 | Trust Part 1: Characteristics of a Trusting RelationshipSheer Clarity Episode 3 | Trust Part 2: The Character to Command TrustMy Trust ChartMy LinkedIn Article | How To Become a Better Leader By Building and Gaining TrustNew Year’s Resolutions ChecklistI will be more vulnerableI will be more openI will be more honest with myselfI will actually look at my work-life balance and do a better job with itI will battle any imposter syndrome symptomsI will not try to fake it, I will at least be honestI will work on trust and if I’ve got a trust problem, I will go and make every effort to address it.Our series on feedback:Sheer Clarity Episode 17 | The Philosophy of FeedbackSheer Clarity Episode 18 | The Positive Side of FeedbackSheer Clarity Episode 19 | Navigating Negative FeedbackMy LinkedIn Article | How To Deliver Effective Feedback 
Happy Holidays! Whatever it is that you celebrate at this time of year, as long as you do it with love and kindness, we hope that you are having a great celebration. In this season of gift-giving, we want to highlight the gifts we’ve received from you, our listeners and give you some things to think about as you're getting ready to start 2020 with a bang.In this episode, Mathew and I review your feedback and answer questions from our listener mailbag. We talk about being thankful for the gifts we received this year, what some listeners have shared about how the show has impacted them and their team, how to have an honest conversation with a defensive boss, the what and why of introducing vulnerability into the workplace, and so much more!Thank you to everybody who has provided feedback, support, and encouragement so far. If you haven't reached out yet, we still want to hear from you! Share the experiences you’ve had on your journey to becoming the consummate leader by attraction and let us know how we can help you even more. Again, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey. Key Topics:Why we’re thankful for the gifts we’ve been given (0:56)A look at some of the feedback we’ve received for the show (3:20)Why your light is important as a leader by attraction (4:33)The impact of considering your motive on the feedback process (7:56)How to be honest with a defensive boss (11:06)Why you should prioritize your team members (12:30)My step-by-step approach for communicating your concerns about your relationship with your boss (13:19)When to avoid having an honest conversation with your boss (17:35)The right way to introduce vulnerability into the workplace (20:00)The deeper meaning of vulnerability (21:10)What to do when you find yourself in a position beyond your experience (21:30)Why should you care about vulnerability in the workplace (23:36)The power of storytelling and connection (24:09)My four power questions about storytelling (25:10)And much more!Mentioned in this Episode:Our series on feedback:Sheer Clarity Episode 17 | The Philosophy of FeedbackSheer Clarity Episode 18 | The Positive Side of FeedbackSheer Clarity Episode 19 | Navigating Negative FeedbackOur series on appropriate vulnerability:Sheer Clarity Episode 7 | Appropriate Vulnerability Part 1: What is It?Sheer Clarity Episode 8 | Appropriate Vulnerability Part 2: How to be Appropriately Vulnerable as a LeaderSheer Clarity Episode 9 | Appropriate Vulnerability Part 3: Encouraging it in OthersSheer Clarity Episode 10 | Battling Imposter SyndromeThe Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)My four power questions about storytelling:Share a memory of a happy time or a happy event that you have in your life as a child.Tell a story about one of your life's most challenging times or situations.Tell a lesson that you have learned from the challenges you faced because those are the ones that tend to teach us and how it has affected the way you treat other people.Tell us one thing going on in your life that gives you joy and one thing that makes you sad.[AS1]Kevin mentioned putting these up on the site, not sure if he has a PDF/link instead but wrote them out in case he just wanted them to be outlined here
In our last episode, we started to explore how our brains talk to us through our inner voices. Now we’re shifting gears and looking at the practical side of things and what you can do to manage your headspace as a leader.To be a super leader by attraction, you have to exhibit a level of calm and control that causes people to have confidence in you. And that outward expression of being present and engaged only comes from emotional intelligence developed through reflection and self-awareness. By doing the inner work to understand yourself, you can work on your weaknesses and ultimately become a stronger leader overall.In this episode, Mathew and I discuss how to develop your awareness of your primary and disowned selves. We talk about why managing your headspace is a necessary leadership skill, how our fast-paced lives conflict with the need for quiet reflection, the consequences of not exploring your inner voices, how our sub-personalities are developed, and so much more!If these discussions have triggered something inside of you, we want to know. We'd love for you to share your experiences with us and let us know how you manage your head space. Did you try the exercises we shared in this episode? Have you discovered anything about yourself that you weren’t aware of? We look forward to hearing from you.Key Topics:Why leaders need a high level of self-awareness (1:01)Mathew’s key takeaways from our first episode about the inner voices (5:21)How the fast pace of our lives makes it hard to be reflective (6:37)The surprising impact of 5 minutes of quiet time (9:16)Why you should make an appointment with yourself this week (10:00)The consequences of not exploring your inner voices (11:52)Giving yourself and others the gift of quiet time (13:13)The fundamental function of our primary selves (14:19)How your childhood impacted the development of your primary self system (14:56)Where disowned selves arise from (16:43)What you can learn from being aware of your disowned energy (18:03)How to identify your disowned self (19:34)The exercise you should do to connect with your inner voices (20:55)And much more Mentioned in this Episode:Voice Dialogue
Today we’re talking about the voices in your head. Right now, they’re probably speaking to you, saying what on earth is he talking about. Doing work on my inner voices has been transformational for me and after listening to this episode, I want you to at least start to be conscious of yours.Your brain speaks to you through your thoughts. For humans, these thoughts go so many layers deep that sometimes you might not even be aware that they’re there. Do you want to be more in control of your situation and to have the opportunity not to react at the first sign of trouble? As a leader, I want to challenge you to do a better job of listening to those underlying thought streams.In this episode, Matt and I explore our inner voices and thought streams. We talk about the art of hearing yourself, the Voice Dialogue model, where these inner voices come from, how you can respond to them, why this awareness is important as a leader, why you need to figure out your natural energy patterns, the problem with being unaware of your primary selves, and so much more!We’re going to continue talking about listening to the inner voice on our next episode. Until then, let us know what discussions you had with your inner voices while listening to this episode. Will it change how you lead and interact with people on a daily basis? What questions did this raise for you? We look forward to hearing from you.Key Topics:What the voices in Mathew’s head are saying about his personality assessment (2:15)How your brain speaks to you (3:57)Mathew’s thought streams as we’re recording the show (5:27)The changes to Mathew’s thought streams since receiving his personality assessment (6:02)Developing the art of hearing yourself (7:34)Why you might not even be fully aware of all your thoughts (8:33)How I became familiar with the Voice Dialogue model (9:30)The Voice Dialogue methodology (10:24)The role that your primary selves fulfill (12:34)Having a conversation with yourself about external situations (14:02)The connection between selves and energy (15:42)How our selves are developed (16:38)Measuring preferences through a personality profile (18:03)The two primary sets of voices (19:35)Why primary energies can be so tiring (20:16)Figuring out your natural energy patterns (20:39)The problem with being unaware of your natural energy patterns (21:19)Balancing your opposing selves (22:52)And much more! Mentioned in this Episode:Frequently Asked QuestionsVoice Dialogue Models[AS1]Hal and Sidra Stone, founders of Voice Dialogue
Granting Forgiveness

Granting Forgiveness


Whenever a group of people comes together, conflict can occur. Whether it’s a squabble over misplaced Tupperware or a fundamental disagreement about how to handle a client’s account, the result tends to be two people being angry simultaneously with each other. Regardless of how it all started, someone has to make the first move toward resolution.Many people hold on tightly to their anger, thinking that the offense committed against them cannot be excused, however, forgiveness doesn't mean you have to let go of the fact that a transgression was committed. Forgiveness means letting go for your own sake, with no requirement for positive feelings towards the other person. But what do you do when the person you need to forgive is yourself? With interpersonal forgiveness, no reconciliation is needed but in self-forgiveness it’s essential. So how do you navigate these negative thoughts and feelings? And why should you even take on this task that’s often easier said than done?In this episode, Mathew and I break down what it means to forgive. We talk about how conflicts can arise at home and in the workplace, why you don’t need to forgive and forget, the consequences of letting resentment fester, how grace is different from forgiveness, why it’s so difficult to forgive yourself, and so much more!We would love to hear from you about your experiences with getting and granting forgiveness, the lessons you have learned and the struggles you have had with it. Email Kevin at or share your comments and feedback through the form on our home page. Tune in next week as you continue on the path to becoming a successful leader by attraction.Key Topics:Our Thanksgiving experiences (0:44)Defining forgiveness (2:51)Why letting go is an essential element of forgiveness (3:30)How to forgive while disengaging from a negative situation (4:30)Separating forgiveness from reconciliation (6:31)What it takes to be able to forgive and let go (7:10)How grace differs from forgiveness (7:35)Why forgiveness is important for the forgiver (9:15)How anger and resentment can show up in the workplace (9:43)Detaching forgiveness from having positive feelings towards the offender (12:24)Recognizing when you need to forgive yourself (13:20)Why it’s so hard to forgive yourself (15:11)Navigating self-forgiveness (16:42)And much more!Mentioned in this Episode:Brené Brown, Researcher and StorytellerFind a transcript at
Happy Thanksgiving! Before we dive into the show, I want to express my deep appreciation for you. I am thankful for you plugging in and spending time with us, week after week. The idea that there are people actually listening and caring about our content and maybe taking away stuff that we share and using it to better their lives is something I am very grateful for. Thank you! This week, in the spirit of this national time of celebration, we’re taking a closer look at gratitude and what it means for the consummate leader by attraction. Gratitude is one of the easiest things to fall by the wayside in the chaos and fast pace of the corporate world and its benefits are often undervalued. So, how can you make time for gratitude in your daily life? And with everything else on your plate, why should you?  In this episode, Mathew and I talk about gratitude in the context of family and business. We share how our families’ Thanksgivings have changed and evolved over the years, why clashes are inevitable during mergers and acquisitions, what you can do to stop a bad mood, how to be thankful in a fast-paced corporate environment and retain an attitude of gratitude, and so much more! Next week we’ll be diving into a very misunderstood topic: forgiveness. It’s an essential attribute for leaders and should be a part of your organizational culture but how do you practice it? And does it mean you have to excuse the offense? Until then, let us know what you’re grateful for and how you’re using gratitude in your life at home and in business. We love hearing from you! Again, Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for listening to us here on Sheer Clarity.  Key Topics: Mathew’s Thanksgiving traditions (1:27)My evolving Thanksgiving experience with my blended family (1:58)The impact of the vegans and vegetarians in our families on the Thanksgiving table (3:53)The inevitable culture clash when families or companies are blended (5:15)Why I’m so thankful for our listeners (8:20)How corporate environments make it hard to remember to give thanks (9:35)Mathew’s experience with gratitude in the corporate world and his business (10:16)How busyness stifles gratitude (11:40)What you can do to stop a bad mood in its tracks (13:38)The tangible impact of a smile (15:28)How I use gratitude as a tool for my corporate clients (16:04)Why you should make a gratitude list before you get re-engaged with work (18:08)Reframing forgiveness is a key attribute and quality for leaders (19:02)And much more!Mentioned in this Episode:EDS Herding Cats CommercialLearn more and find a transcript at - FOR LISTENING!Be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.  And feel free to drop us a line at Follow Sheer Clarity on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook! 
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Leonard Rankin

Merry Christmas, hope you and your family are doing well....this is Leonard from St. Louis MO John's brother

Dec 27th
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