This week’s guest, Robert Jordan is a Founder and CEO of Interim Execs, as well as Co-Author of the book, Right Leader, Right Time. We discuss the four winning styles of leadership, discovering your highest and best use, successful leadership traits, and so much more. Join us for this endlessly fun conversation!
Founder, CEO, and Author, Robert Jordan has had a ringside seat to leadership success, in real-time, for years.
Today, we get into:
- Common characteristics of successful leaders
- The 4 Winning Leadership Styles
- How 90% of leaders are in the wrong role
- Discovering your “highest and best use”
- Diversity of leadership styles and teamwork
I find Robert endlessly fun and hope you’ll join us for this conversation!
We would love for you to let us know what YOU walk away with.
“90% of leaders don’t have the ultimate experience they could have in their careers. 90% are in the wrong role, according to Gallup.”
“The longer you do something, it should hopefully lead to more security, satisfaction, and happiness.”
Robert Jordan is a Founder and CEO of Interim Execs, as well as Co-Author of the book, Right Leader, Right Time. To learn more about Interim Execs, visit interimexecs.com. To purchase the book or to take the FABS Leadership Assessment, visit rightleader.com. You can also connect with Robert on LinkedIn (@robertjjordan) or Twitter (@Interim_Execs).
- I'm Celine Williams, and welcome to the Leading Through Crisis podcast, a conversation series exploring resiliency and leadership in challenging times. My guest today is Robert Jordan who runs a company called Interim Execs and is the co-author of "Right Leader, Right Time: Discover Your Leadership Style for Winning Career and Company." Thank you for being here, Bob. I'm gonna call you Bob, but thank you for being here, Robert Jordan, not the author of "Wheel of Time."
Thank you so much, Celine. It's a pleasure to be with you, not the author of "Wheel of Time." Correct, yes, yes.
We were chatting-
I'm gonna call that Robert Jordan the thief. He is the thief of all Google search for all Robert Jordans around the world who will never rank as highly as he will.
How dare he?
Exactly, and he did it pre-internet and it's not even his real name. I mean, it's just, really?
I know, he stole all the glory for the real Robert Jordans of the world. How dare he?
Exactly, and I'm trying to remember his real name, which is much more distinctive. I don't know what he thought. Like, why couldn't he have just, and it wasn't a strange name. It was, like, I don't know, Richard something, but what can you do?
There was a time where, you know, they suggested different names. I don't know when he started writing, but there was a time where it was often suggested a more marketable name would be blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and that's what they would give people. It's wild, the Wild West out there.
Maybe he wanted to be an actor and it was like, you know, actors where they would change their real names, right?
Marilyn Monroe, who was-
Yeah, Norma Jeane. Norma Jeane.
Yep. Well, despite the slight detour at the top of this, which I always appreciate, and if you can't tell, if you're listening or watching, Bob is gonna be a very entertaining guest today 'cause he is wildly creative and extremely fun to have these discussions with. I am gonna ask the question to kinda get this started, which is how I start all of these, which is when you hear Leading Through Crisis, what comes to mind, what comes up for you?
So thank you. It's the wonderful key question, but before going into this, I have to dish on you for all your listeners that we've already been diverting for an hour before we hit record, which was a ton of fun and-
On cats and dogs and everything in between, but I love your question about crisis because this book that Olivia Wagner and I just wrote called "Right Leader, Right Time," we identified four winning leadership styles, and the styles are fixer, artist, builder and strategist, and fixer is absolutely the style which is drawn to crisis and much more so than the other three. So a lotta leaders, they'll think, "Oh my God, I am just so great in crisis." Well, okay. Got it, but it turns out that there is unique genius around other styles, that, in fact, they're not particularly drawn to crisis as this one particular style is.
So can you tell me a little bit about the different styles? So a little bit about, you know, fixer, artist, builder, strategist, what each of them, I mean, a few of the characteristics, a little bit about each of them, but specifically around the, it sounds like fixers are not only drawn to crisis, but they probably are most effective in crisis. Would that be safe to say as well?
Yes. Yeah, and we'll just run through 'em quickly. Fixer is drawn to crisis. The difference between a leader where they solve a problem, whatever, and fixer-style leadership, and style refers to process, approach, system that a leader uses, is that fixer energy keeps on needing to do that. So the way that a leader evolves who tends to be a fixer is they were talented in a junior role typically and people around them said, "You know, they're doing a pretty good job. We've got a problem over here," another division, another country, a product line, a client, and they say, "Let's throw Celine at this one and see what happens," and you get into that situation which to everyone around it, frankly, it seems impossible. Well, you crack the code, you solve it, and fixer leader, what tends to happen is they're hooked. They need a new crisis, and the successful fixer leader, that is what they do, is go through troubled organization, troubled client relationships and continually have success at that. The difference with other leadership styles, which still have to handle the occasional crises, they don't particularly enjoy it and they don't get their energy out of it. They just go solve it and move on to something else. So second style is artist. Artist leader is the innovative, creative energy that, you know, a standout example, and I'm not trying to compare everyone to this, but it's Elon Musk. He is the premier leader in the world today who leads through innovation and creativity. It is a strength, and at the same point, you can see his weaknesses because he is continually in trouble with the SEC in the United States. He can be inappropriate in his comments, and a lot of, you know, leaders of large organizations, they would be thrown out if they said or did the things he did. He can get away with it because of his creativity, but so for the artist leader, they view the world as their canvas, a blank canvas or a piece of clay to be molded. It's just a very different mindset. So for example, the builder, the third style is builder. Now, everyone in business, of course, we all wanna be builders, right? We mean though a very specific thing, which is a particular style that takes a product, a service, a team and can move from small to something which becomes market dominant. The characteristic of builder leader though is once they get to that market dominating position, they will tend to move on. It could be that they take a company to an IPO and then you will see they will leave because they need to do it again from small size. The final style is strategist and this is the leader at scale. The strategist you can think of as conductor, the pilot, the captain. They're leading complex or large organizations, typically tens of thousands of employees, where your leadership style is absolutely beyond personal span of control. It's no longer where there are 10 or 20 or even 50 people on the team and you know each other and because of your personal commitments, you will do things for each other. The strategist leader doesn't have that at their disposal. Well, so how do you take an organization of 10, 20 or 50,000 people? How do you move forward faster and with better alignment than your competitors? That's the strategist.
Thank you for sharing all of that. It's very helpful to have that as a framework, and I'm curious how often people think, they hear one of these and they go, "Oh, I think I'm that," 'cause I felt myself doing that in certain ways. I was like, "I think I might be that," but how often they think they're something, and then upon further understanding, they're like, "Oh, I'm not that type of leader at all," 'cause I think a lot of people wanna be like, they're like, "Ooh, I wanna be like an Elon Musk and be an artist leader," or "I wanna be, that builder leader sounds really exciting," but that's not actually where their strengths or their passion lies ultimately.
You're hitting on the key point which frankly differentiates great leadership from the experience most, probably 90% of leaders have, which is not the ultimate or ideal they could have in their careers, and that 90% statistic comes from the Gallup organization, not from us. Gallup specifically has said 90% of leaders are in the wrong role, and if you look at organizations, you know, Celine, I know you're an outstanding coach, you know, so many organizations, they're not firing on all cylinders.
And it always points to problems in the way that leadership is being expressed throughout an organization. So one of the problems is that especially early on in career, you find a lot of people who are, well, they're just trying to be all things to all people. They want to be pleasing. They want to be successful. They wanna win and they don't yet know what their ideal way is that they will express their leadership at work. What happens with successful leaders over time is they come to discover what we would say is your highest and best use. Highest and best use for each of us is something that is unique, and successful leaders over time tend to reject what is not for their highest and best use. People who are not having the greatest leadership journeys tend to not do that, which is to say they take on too much, not too much responsibility, but too vague of a description for themselves of really what is the thing at which they should excel and be great at.
Right. How often is that a, do we see that showing up when organizations change what they need in various leadership roles? So they needed a, pick one, they needed a build, I mean, we're talking, the scaling one is easy, right? They needed a builder and so that person who is in a particular position made sense at a certain point in time, but what they really need now is a strategist and neither the organization nor the person can recognize, give up, flex, whatever the case may be inside of that, 'cause I can see that happening for sure.
Yeah, it's a great point. It is probably the leading reason why most organizations simply aren't doing as well as they could, that, you know, it's funny because, let's take this out of business and organization for a moment, okay?
If you and I are becoming friends and if you said, "Oh man, Bob, I have this worst pain in my foot," I'm gonna say, "Celine, you know what? I know a great podiatrist." I am not gonna say to you, "Oh, well, I heard of this cardiologist, and on the side, I think he can do feet too."
We in the Western world have come to expect and demand that in medicine, we will go to the best specialist we can. So there are 120 specialties and it absolutely has made the world a better place because longevity is increased, and moving away from pain and just a better health for all of us demands specialization, and none of us wanna go back. We don't wanna go back to 100 years ago where there was an undifferentiated thing which was a doctor and that was all we had. There are other professions where this has occurred as well. If you tell me you have a great idea for a patent, I absolutely am gonna tell you about a patent attorney who I think does great work. I'm not gonna send you to a litigator. I'm not gonna send you to somebody who specializes in maritime law. It's not gonna happen, and yet in business, we still have this completely vague undifferentiated sense of what it is to lead an organization, and we tend to assume that if a person has done one thing well or has made a lot of money in some way, oh my God, they must be great at everything, and it's simply not true, and it tends to send a lot of organizations into places where they're just not doing as well as they could.
I could not agree with that more, and I would, I'm going to posit a hypothesis here that in some ways that is an extension, different, but an extension of how we promote people for you are, I'm picking on programming, I always pick on programmers, I'm so sorry to all the programmers out there, but you are an excellent programmer and you are doing incredible work and you get promoted to now lead other programmers as though that leadership is the next level of something, even though you don't know how to lead and you don't know, so it's a different skill set, but now you are leading the programmers and now you're leading, you know, then you get to the point where you're a chief technology officer and now you're leading and you may not have the real desire, skills, strengths, whatever it is to do that effectively, but there's this linear way of doing things that to me is part of, kind of feeds into this idea of having leaders that, oh, well, you did this, so now you can do this.
That's not the case.
We all see this in and we know this in our lives with our family and our friends. My wife is a therapist. You know, there are physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and my wife's an occupational therapist. She did very well at a hospital in the US and they said, "We're gonna make you the manager of all the therapists." Oh my God, did she hate it. Oh Lord, did she hate it. Now, in her specialty, she was always dealing with little kids. She was genius at it, just a level of warmth and connection with children that is amazing. When she had to go manage all of the therapists and be less connected to actually treating, it was the worst thing in the world, and I think it's an example that there are so many forms of genius, human genius around us, and 99% of 'em don't have anything to do with leadership of organization, but we have this fixation with it because it's in the news every day and people get wealthy and, you know, all of us, you know, that if you invest in companies, you're kind of, you know, you see the stock market and you hope they do well and maybe you learn who the CEO is or whatever, and so in a way it became a celebrity sport. So I think it's important to understand leadership style, but at the same point, I think one great lesson to a lot of business leaders is get over yourselves.
Yes. I mean, that, we could just end right there. We're not going to, but we could 'cause really, that's often a piece of it, is I think-
Peace out. We're over.
Yeah, that's right, and great conversation, but that, yes. I mean, I think that there is a, I see a lot of leaders, especially at an organizational level, who aren't over themselves and who think, who they will think for themselves, "This one thing, I can do that thing. That's no big deal." It's, you know, whatever the next thing is because they want the accolades, the attention or the glory or whatever it is that they, the validation, that's the word I was looking for, that they get out of a piece of it and it is more about ego than anything else, and it's, we also value that. To what you're saying, that's what we put out in the world as valuable, and so once you have a taste of it, you're going to be the, it is not inevitable, but too often I think people are like, "Well, I can be all of these. I can be the fixer, artist, builder and strategist 'cause I have done this and I am special in this way, and this way, you know, I can be everything to everyone."
Yeah, and, you know, and let's understand. We're not trying to pigeonhole people. We don't. We have a leadership assessment. It's called FABS Leadership Assessment and it's coming out in the next week or two and-
It'll be out by the time the podcast is out, so we'll have a link for it for sure.
Yes, but we would never say to somebody, "Oh, you're in this box and that's where you have to stay." The journey is your own journey. What we are saying, what we have observed, because in our business, we're matchmakers. We have organizations from around the world who call us up and they need some kind of leadership, remarkable leadership to come in, and so we started this matchmaking ability with these phenomenal leaders around the world. Well, we had a ringside seat and so we got to interview thousands of executives, and making this match, it's our contract, and so we would observe success and see it in real time, right? And so you could see these styles as they were being expressed, fixer, artist, builder, strategist, but among all of the leaders who, frankly, we could not work with because they were not of that high caliber, we just tended to see so much of trying to be all things to all people. Among the successful types what we saw was that, over time, they were charting their own course, but it became a series of doubling down, that when they experienced more and more success, if it was a creative expression or a turnaround expression or in terms of building product or service, that as they had that, they would keep on going in that way. So there were these commonalities among the four. One of 'em was doubling down. The second was collaboration on steroids. It's very hard if you're not secure in your own ego to actually share the limelight, the accolades, to understand I have a role on the team and maybe I even have the senior title, but I am not the whole team, and if I don't have the whole team with me, we're not gonna succeed. So it has to be collaboration on steroids, and the third point is, the way we put it in the book is leaders who don't hide, because what happens when you have leaders who are not in their highest and best use is they tend to do these behaviors. Well, I'll give you an example we cited in the book. There's a very large bank called Wells Fargo, and Wells Fargo for a number of years, every time they had a shareholder call every quarter they would talk about their success in cross-selling, cross-selling meaning you have a bank account and now they're gonna open another kind of account. Well, it turned out in the end that millions of accounts had been made up without the permission of the customer. Okay, well, it ends up congressional hearings in the US and then the Senate. The CEO is being grilled, "Why did you do this?" And this was just made up, and every single quarter for years, you kept on talking about how the greatest thing, "We're cross-selling more and more and more," and the response from this person who has since been barred from the banking industry was, "Well, it wasn't me. It was the board. The board sent the policy." Like, seriously? You think any of us are believing this? That's hiding.
That is not taking responsibility. The point of leadership is not perfection. The opposite, if anything, is to have the vulnerability to understand why you need a team around you and how really effective organizations only succeed through teamwork.
Absolutely, and so I have a question based on that, because I wonder how many of the successful teams and organizations and leaders have people around them that are, forgive the language, but are stronger in a different one of these types of leadership personality, whatever, you know, leadership styles, there we go, to balance themselves out. So the person at the head of this 20,000-person organization is a strategist, but at his or her leadership, at their leadership table, there is some balance of people who are really clear fixers or artists or builders or whatever the case may be. I'm curious from the research you've done and the conversations you had, is that something you see happening?
Yeah, you're hitting on such great points, Celine. With a lot of the strategists we interviewed for the book, when we went through the model, the first set of questions we had for them, we were not gonna tell them about this model of fixer, artist, builder, strategist. We just wanted to hear them in their own words because it's so fascinating how different the language is between these four styles, and a lot of the strategists would say, when we got to this, they would say, "Well, this is why I need artist energy around me." One of the artist leaders we interviewed, he was the key person at Intel around Andy Grove. They're probably their most famous CEO, and Andy Grove described this artist leader as, I think he called him his wild duck, and he just said that on the team, you had to have this one oddball, this renegade to make sure the team wasn't just gonna go off into boring sleepy land with what they already knew. Somebody had to challenge the system, so we kept on hearing this from styles about this appreciation for other styles in their team. One of the people we interviewed was the founder of a wealth network called TIGER 21, and when we described the styles, he said, "You know, this is interesting." He said, "Because I was an investor in a company and they were in trouble, and when they were in trouble, oh my God, this CEO we had in there, he was the greatest thing in the world." He said, "But you know, it's interesting. After all the crises were passed, he wasn't so good anymore."
Yeah. Yeah. I think that's, you know, I wonder for leaders who are out there how much of a difference it would make for them to be thinking about this ahead of time, to think, you know, "If I am the artist, if I have builders and fixers and strategists around me, look at," 'cause it goes back to the collaboration point that you were talking about, "look at what we could do when we balance each other out. We have the different perspectives and that, the diversity of leadership styles," as opposed to a bunch of people who think they're good at all of these things. No offense to all the people who fall into those categories, but also there's a lotta people who probably think that and are like, "Oh, we'll just get more people that can do them all."
Yeah, well, you know, hopefully life is continuing exploration and learning, right? I mean, if you're really gonna have a great experience at it, and I have to say, I selfishly got a lotta comfort out of this, that in my work, I'm surrounded by executives who are all better than I was operationally, but what I discovered from my ability kind of being a rainmaker, right, where I get to match these best executives in the world with organizations, is I'm better at that than they would be if they were in the same role. So operationally, yeah, I'm not the guy who is gonna take the $100 million division up to a billion dollars, but luckily I'm surrounded with those people who can go do that and so the thing they're not so great at, which is promoting themselves, oh my God, I'm a great agent. I'm a great agent for those people, and that's comforting to me that I didn't have to be viewing myself like, "Oh man, I must really suck because I can't do what this other person did. You know, I didn't save 1,000 jobs at this company and I didn't triple this other," well, okay, but I do have a highest and best use.
Yeah, and I think that's really important for people to hear because, especially in most corporate environments and the world of leadership, we have historically had a tendency to value very particular things to the exclusion of other things. If you can't scale a business in this way, if you can't make this amount of money, and by the way, I'm gonna say this as I see this happening in the world of entrepreneurship, where we glorify the hit the seven-figure mark or hit whatever it is, and if you can't do it in the way where you are doing all of the things to get there, then there's something wrong with you, that you're not as good an entrepreneur, as good a leader, that there's shame in it and we have shamed people, intentionally or not, in those moments, and I think it is really important and I appreciate you sharing that 'cause it's important for people to hear that it's actually a lot of comfort in knowing that you don't have to do all the things to be really great at certain things.
Yes, 100%, and, you know, I just keep remembering this with seeing all of these examples. Like, I was in Boston a while back and there's one, to my mind, outstanding dominant bakery. Okay, the greatest cookies, breads, blah, blah, blah.
You know you're gonna have to tell us all what it is, right? Just at some point.
And it's just, I just blanked. It's gonna come back to me, but it is the greatest. I mean, in Boston, it was like everywhere I like, "I have to find the bakery because every other bakery here just isn't as good," and they don't, from what I can tell, they have no plan for world domination. They're not trying to get into grocery stores or whatever. They're just gonna be the greatest local bakery and they're gonna dominate that one market, and why not? Why is that? So I think that applies to all of us in terms of what it is to define ourselves as successful, and the opposite is unfortunately the epidemic we have because of our phones and social media, which is a relentless 24 hour a day comparison with everybody else, that you can see their vacations on Instagram or Facebook or TikTok or whatever, that it is a relentless comparison. A secure adult personality can handle that. Heaven help children, where it is, it's just, it's not healthy, it's not good, but it is the way that it is.
Well, and also let's acknowledge that most adult personalities are not secure enough to handle that. So it is a rare adult who can even handle it, let alone a child or a teenager who doesn't have, who isn't emotionally and cognitively developed enough to have a perspective on it. Most adults struggle with it and get into the comparisonitis and can't take a step back and go that's someone's, so people are posting their highlight reels and people are posting, you know, with very specific intentions, so it's-
Right. So this is the sad thing that gets back to leadership, because I think this is what mostly drives, I mean, we've, having interviewed thousands of leaders, this is what we see drives. It's almost a sense of desperation, which is, you know, "I could do this. I can lead a small company. I can lead a big company. I can do this domestically. I can do it internationally anywhere. Doesn't matter what industry, manufacturing, business services, put me in." No, that's actually not true, and that sense of perhaps because you're comparing yourself to every other individual you've ever known or met in leadership, well, that's not gonna be a winning recipe.
Yes, and I don't think we, I don't think we do a really, I don't think we do a very good job of acknowledging people for the strengths that they have when it doesn't hit all the marks, if that makes sense. So if someone is like, I mean, I'll pick on myself for a second. I have many shortcomings in this life. I can talk about all of them for hours. One of the things that I know I'm good at is I'm good at working with people. I'm good at helping them see other perspectives, you know, getting out of their own head in terms of a story that they have, helping them figure out and get the best out of various relationships. I do this with teams all the time, right? How are they relate? These are the things I'm good at. I will tell you that for most of my career and life, that was not a thing that people saw as valuable, right? And that was it wasn't until I started working with certain executives and certain teams who were like, who acknowledged it, that I was like, "Oh, this is a thing that is not, that it's a positive. It's reinforced this is a thing that I'm good at and it's valuable," and I think too often we don't do that. We don't acknowledge and validate these unique abilities that people have, skills that they have because it doesn't hit all of these specific things at the same time and that's what we're looking to validate.
I think I just discovered another one of your super powers, Celine, because we were talking about this before we started recording, but clearly, one of them is that you have some vulnerability and humility in your own leadership style, which is a necessary thing because if you are going to be a great coach and you're, I know you deal with a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners, they got ego. They have a lot of it, and so coming into something successful as a coach, I think it demands not having all of the answers, but the same thing, what you're talking about, it applies to all forms of genius, including leadership, which is some humility to, you know, in the book, we just go on about what we call highest and best use. If I can bring up one example.
Not completely relevant, but one of the things that fascinates me that we described in the book, because I'm not, let me just say, I'm not an athlete. Okay? I'm not. When we described-
Me neither. You're in good company. I appreciate that.
There we go. When we described the what it is that skateboarders do to drop into a bowl, you know, skateboarding parks, they have these bowls and there's an edge and it's a vertical drop about five feet, right, and it rounds out at the bottom, and one day I'm like, "You know, you can read everything online, and so how do you do that?" Well, there's this step-by-step guide to how to drop into a bowl, okay? You literally, you place the skateboard at the edge of the bowl. You put your weight, all of your weight on your back foot. Front foot goes straight out, 90 degree angle. Well, there comes this moment of truth. The moment of truth is where you have to lean out into space straight down, straight down, and the way that, I forget the name of the author of the post, what he said is though, "This is a 100% thing you have to do," and the way everyone learns and wipes out is because they're so terrified. It's only five feet, but they're so terrified because you have to lean your entire body into the bowl. You're looking straight down and it's the only way you will come out at the bottom of the bowl with your feet still on the board and that you can keep your balance, and if it's a 90% thing, a 95, a 99, it won't work. You'll wipe out because you're trying to hold back and so therefore you won't come out right, and I just am reading this. I thought, "So this is yet another form of genius," right, and it does not express in any other way, but it absolutely is a form of genius, and it's a great reminder I took from that, which is, "Am I 100% percent in?" Can I be 100% percent with you when we met, you know, and when we talk? Now we're doing this. Can I just be right here and not anywhere else? And to go think about that then in career or for leaders, which is, "Can you be there with all of you?" And for all leaders, that means other human beings, and this is a failing with tech companies in particular. You can see failings in leadership everywhere, but tech companies, for example, because there is such genius around measurement, around the creation of algorithm, around AI, around software, well, a lot of big organizations, this is how you measure and manage employees in your teams. They're done with technology. They're not so much done with human beings anymore in terms of management being based on, you know, the relationship you and I are going to have and how we get to know each other, as opposed to, how am I measured as the manager? How are you measured as the coder or as the program manager, right?
But it's pretty interesting, so that in a way, all of this firepower at our disposal, right, all of this technology doesn't necessarily help us become better leaders.
Yes, I'm not gonna, I think a lot of times it becomes a crutch to not being a better leader, quite frankly.
I wanna ask a question before we wrap up because, and there may not be a connection here, so this question may come out slightly convoluted and you are completely free to say, "That makes no sense, Celine. That's, you did not, what just happened in your head?" But what you were just talking about, that commitment.
Celine, what just happened in your head? Sorry. I just said that.
Yeah, I mean, it's fair, it's totally fair.
You and I, we talked about improv before, so I'm sorry.
No. It was snarky, but I had to do that.
We do not apologize for making jokes.
Oh, that's right. Improv, there's no apologies.
No apologies for jokes. No apologies for feelings. They're all good. When you were talking about that commitment and you used the example of the skateboarder, which by the way is terrifying to me, but I appreciate the example of that 100% commitment, I'm curious about something you mentioned before and I'm gonna get the language wrong, but it was that higher and best self or higher and that concept.
Highest and best use.
Highest, there we go. When I heard that, there was a link there somehow between that commitment and being the highest and best, and I'm curious if that, first of all, does that even make sense, but if it does, if you saw that or if you have any thoughts on that, because I hear that and I'm like, "There's something there."
Yeah. You know, that's great. I've never been asked that. It's funny because the phrase highest, we would never, we didn't say 100% percent because that's just such a math sounding thing. Highest and best use, I don't know. I think there is some element of spirit or some something beyond even the five senses of discovering your purpose, your purpose in life, which is the gift of being in career and being in life over time, which is there's no way you get all of the answers instantly. There's a great quote from a minister we put in the book and it is, "Just because you have a song to sing doesn't mean you don't have to learn how to sing it," and this idea that we're all going through an exploration and that that's how you come to this discovery. Some leaders, by the way, will evolve. You know, Fred Smith, he just retired. He was the founder and CEO of Federal Express, right? Everyone knows FedEx. Well, he evolved, you know? When you write a paper as a student about this crazy idea to use airplanes to move, you know, a letter or a package overnight, right, looked crazy. It's a famous story. He moved through fixer mode. They ran out of money. He ran through builder mode, da, da, da, and became one of the greatest strategist leaders of the modern era. For most of us, that's not what's going to occur. It's not. You're going to be drawn to one thing or another. In the beginning of your career, most people describe it to us as an accident. "Well, this was the job I got when I got outta college." Whatever, or, "I didn't go to college and this was the first thing I did," but the more that their careers go on, the more that they see the logic of this, and they see with hindsight that something makes sense and so they develop more and more security and hopefully satisfaction and happiness over this discovery that, yes, in fact, they do have a purpose and they can see it being expressed. Yeah, I love, it was either Freud or Jung, and he said, "Basically, you got two things. You have love and you have work, and that's it," and humans, we have to express ourselves through love or you're not gonna have a fulfilled life and you have to express yourself through work, you know? And if you know anybody that, you know, was born with huge amounts of money, that didn't give them a leg up on either of those two, and so I think there really is something about this idea of this discovery we all go through to figure out what is your purpose. What is your highest and best use at work?
Yeah. Yeah. You are endlessly fun, Bob Jordan.
As are you!
I have really enjoyed chatting with you. I know all of our listeners are gonna get a kick outta this and learn a ton, which is a great combination. Where can they find more about you and the book online? It'll be linked in the show notes, but for anyone listening, where can they go?
So for the book, all the usual suspects, you know, Barnes & Noble and Target and Amazon, "Right Leader, Right Time." For the company, the easiest site is to go to interimexecs.com, and the FABS Leadership Assessment is going up at rightleader.com. It'll also be a link at Interim Execs, and we hope people will be kind because it is still in beta mode, and so it's about a three-minute assessment and we're very eager as people take this to let us know, to be in touch and to let us know, gee, do you think it was right or, you know, you think your combination was builder artist or do you think you're more fixer or what kinda energy is going on here? I already know some stuff about you, Celine, and you know you gotta mug coming your way, which can be any one of the four you want, but I know because you are artistic and creative and such leading as you do with this innovative sense, you have a strong artist streak in you.
I mean, I will take that. Thank you very much. I appreciate that.
Thank you for being a guest. It has been really lovely and I appreciate your time very much.
Thank you so much, Celine. It's been a pleasure.
[Celine] Thanks for joining me today on the Leading Through Crisis podcast. If you enjoyed this conversation, please take a minute to rate and review us on your podcast app. If you're interested in learning more about any of our guests, you can find us online at www.leadingthroughcrisis.ca.