'Leading In Uncertain Times' With PR Leader Ken Jacobs Destiny Awakening Interviews 21

May 19, 2021

 

Why you've got to check out today's episode:

  • Discover the most important part of being a leader...
  • Learn how to build more teamwork among your people and improve results ....
  • Find out how to step up to the next level in your career...

Resources/Links:

Check out Ken’s Website: https://www.jacobscomm.com

Ken's Gift: https://www.jacobscomm.com/how-to-lead-the-leaders-on-your-team/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JacobsConsultingAndExecutiveCoaching/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacobsconsultingcoaching/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kensviews/

Summary

Is your business struggling in these difficult and different times? Are you wondering how to lead your team into uncharted territories?

Discover what it takes to be a leader in these uncertain times...

Today's guest, Ken Jacobs, PCC, CPC (Certified Professional coach), is a PR executive and leader, consultant and coach to leaders in the PR Marketing and Communications related industries.

An expert on staff and leadership development, training, morale, recruitment and retention, Ken founded Jacobs Consulting and Executive Coaching 10 years after 25+ years in top Ad agencies like Ogilvy Mather, Adams Reinhardt and Marina Maher. Now he helps his top agency clients win more business, manage their businesses to profit, improve client service, team performance, communications, and leadership skills.

In today's episode, Ken unpacks the topic "Leading in Uncertain Times".

Check out these episode highlights:

  • 02:32 – Ken’s ideal client: “My ideal client, obviously, is in the PR, marketing, integrated communications, advertising and related space, but we've worked with others.…”
  • 04:44 – His client's biggest challenge: “I think it's understanding the difference between being a practitioner, a manager and a leader. I think it's about understanding that that style does not work....”
  • 10:21 – Ken’s #1 insight to help you: "Always lead with leadership. And that's more challenging. It takes thought. It takes work. It takes time. And, it is an investment on which you will get ROI. You will get return on investment, every single time. ..."
  • 11:33 – What concept, book, program, or talk impacted you the most: "The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever. It has the word coaching in it, but it's not really for coaches. It's about how leaders can bring coaching into their leadership style..."
  • 15:06 – Ken’s valuable free resource: "If you go to the website jacobscomm.com. And the first thing you'll see is the offer of How to Lead the Leaders On Your Team. It's an easy download...."
  • 16:57 – Ken’s last thoughts: "If you're successful, but there are a few gaps interfering with your ultimate success. You're not getting to where you need to be. You might be ready for executive coaching....."

Transcript

(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)

Narrator  0:00  
Welcome to the Destiny Awakening Interviews, a podcast with Andrew Wayfinder and his guests, bringing you powerful insights, inspiration and ways to break free, live life your way and make a difference in our changing and challenging world.

Andrew Hryniewicz  0:17  
So hello everyone, and a very warm welcome to another edition of the Destiny Awaking Interviews.

I'm Andrew Wayfinder Hryniewicz and I'm joined today by Ken Jacobs, PCC, CPC Certified Professional coach, a PR executive and leader, consultant and coach to leaders in the PR Marketing and Communications related industries.

And a very warm welcome to you Ken, and where are you hanging out today?

Ken Jacobs  0:42  
I am hanging out in  beautiful Asbury Park, New Jersey. Down the shore, if you know the boss Bruce Springsteen's greetings from Asbury Park. That's where he was. It's where he came to fame. And he's done a lot to support our little city by the sea.

Great, great venue for music, art, theater, restaurants, it's a joy living here.

Andrew Hryniewicz  1:06  
Lovely. That sounds very lucky.

Well, let's get on to your work and your experience.

So an expert on staff and leadership development, training, morale, recruitment and retention, Ken founded Jacobs consulting and executive coaching at jacobscomm.com 10 years ago to help his top agency clients win more business, manage their businesses to profit, improve client service team performance communications, and leadership skills.

Prior to that, Ken had a 25 year career in management and leadership positions with agencies such as Ogilvy and Mather, Adams and Reinhardt and Marina Maher communications.

And in that time, he founded and led the MMC Masters, which was an industry leading and recognized training program.

As well as writing leadership articles, and a column which he still continues for public relations, tactics, PR news and the public relations strategist. So thank you, Ken, for your time today. And the topic is "Leading in Uncertain Times".

And, Ken's going to unpack that topic in answering six questions.

Okay, so the first question Ken: Who is your ideal client? And, what is the transformation your work helps them achieve?

Ken Jacobs  2:31  
Thank you.

So, my ideal client, obviously, is in the PR, marketing, integrated communications, advertising and related space, but we've worked with others. They are primarily on the agency side that we work with others.

And they tend to be you know, at the agency level, they tend to be the CEO, and Executive Vice President. You know, a Senior Leader, Senior Executive, Senior Manager, that kind of person.

And we work quite often with the transformation they're looking for, and they get from executive coaching, is: they often are very good at what they do. They're very good at the PR.

And now, of course, nowadays, PR includes communications, content, data, social, SEO, you name it. And many of them are promoted into positions of leadership before anyone's asked, "But are they a great leader?"

"Do they have an engaged, inspired following?" People that, when you say, you know, here's the vision I have. Are they in the boat with them, so to speak.

Many have issues with command and control, you know. "My way or the highway", as we say, here in the States. And, that can work temporarily. But it really does not work over the medium, and the long term.

So, we have this issue. On the agency side, we promote them because they're good at what they do. They're great with clients, they're great with prospects, they build the business, they bring in the money.

But after a while, that leadership style, if that's what the issue is, does not work.

Because the clients think, "Hmm, I've had the same senior vice president on my business for five years. But why do I have a different vice president every other year? Why do I have a different account supervisor, new account executives?"

It's because they're walking out the door. And, that does not work!

Andrew Hryniewicz  4:38  
Yeah. So what's the biggest challenge that that the person at that level is facing?

Ken Jacobs  4:44  
Yeah, I think it's understanding the difference between being a practitioner, a manager and a leader. I think it's about understanding that that style does not work.

I think it's, for many, about understanding some of the basic tenets of leadership, including having a vision for your organization that you share with them.

And they understand their role in achieving the vision. That you share and reiterate the values, "What brings us into work every day?"

And you know, not everyone on the team has to have the same values, but you need a certain amount of alignment with the organization's values and the leaders values. And your followers have to understand, as I said, the vision and their role in achieving it.

You know, two more I'd add are you know, the importance of trust. Of being a trusted leader that your folks know, you really have their backs, and you trust them for that.

And then, the last thought for now is this notion of respect. Consistently communicating respect, especially when you have to share what I call constructive feedback.

I don't call it constructive critique, but constructive feedback about workplace behavior, or output, or performance. That respect is so absolutely essential.

Andrew Hryniewicz  6:14  
Well, certainly, a lot of my clients, sound like they're people who are reporting to your clients. And, they're not very happy about the experience.

Because, I think there's, there's an awful lot of... it's like that old T shirt. "The beatings will continue until morale improves."

Ken Jacobs  6:35  
Which I've purchased. I won't wear it... and I think that you change the entire outcome for your organization when you step up and truly lead.

When you really listen, really listen. Well, let me put this in the right order.

When you ask, rather than tell. When you learn how to ask truly empowering questions. Because the way that it makes your followers, or your peers, or even your boss's brain light up in a different way.

And then you learn to really listen, ask another question, and then another, and another. It can be an absolute game changer.

But you know, as I remind my clients, you know, in the PR agency or the PR leadership graveyard, there's no tombstone that says, "She doubled her billings in a year", right?

It doesn't happen.

But, when you talk about having a true leadership legacy, when you have all these people who say "I learned so much about leadership". Not just from their words, but from watching that, watching them in action.

And, I was very fortunate in my career. I worked for two agency glass ceiling breakers, Jean Scoonover, and Barbara Hunter. And I didn't work for them in the late 60s. But in late 69, they bought their agency.

And, they were one of the first women owned PR agencies, at least in the States. And I also got to work for Lenore Cooney, who was a remarkable leader and you mentioned Marina Mar, earlier, of Marina Mar Communications, MMC.

And, it's so funny, all of us who are alone... and many have gone on to just stellar communications leadership careers. We all talk about, how we think about, what we've learned from her. And how we reflect on her "Marina-isms" which  inspire us.

That's a leadership legacy. That is so much more rewarding, I think, than many of the great things we get to do, and I got to do, in the agency business.

Andrew Hryniewicz  8:50  
Okay, so that seems to tie in both to question number three and question four: What's the number one insight you would share?

Ken Jacobs  8:57  
Yeah, so I'm being a very bad podcast guests and bouncing around questions.

Andrew Hryniewicz  9:03  
That's great.

Ken Jacobs  9:07  
So, tell me your question again.

Andrew Hryniewicz  9:09  
So yeah, what's the number one insight you would give, to help someone as they're facing these sorts of challenges of stepping into that leadership role?

Ken Jacobs  9:18  
Right, thank you. You know, it's "leadership..." step up from management into leadership.

There are all kinds of things you can do in management: increase your profit, increase your income, expand, grow, you know, merge, purchase, become more profitable. All the things that you might want to do in the management of a firm.

But first, start with leadership.

Start with some of the things we talked about before. The trust, the respect, the listening, the vision, the values, all those important things. Because, when you do that, you'll be become a more effective and inspiring leader.

And, once you do that, it's so much easier to create any management change.

Because, you've got people supporting you. You've got people wanting to implement with you. You've got people wanting to do their part in the most challenging management situations.

So, always lead with leadership. And that's more challenging. It takes thought. It takes work. It takes time. And, it is an investment on which you will get ROI. You will get return on investment, every single time.

I believe that passionately because I've experienced it in my own career. And then, I've experienced in the work we've done this last decade, with leaders.

So, know the difference between managing and leading. And always start with leading. And, when you know... when you turn around, and you see inspired people who want to achieve that with you, talk about rewarding and fulfilling.

Andrew Hryniewicz  11:08  
Right, so question number four: What concept, book, program, talk or experience has been most impactful in in your development?

Ken Jacobs  11:19  
You know, I think that the book right now, that is just so incredible for me, and I've encouraged every one of my clients to purchase it. And, I have no relationship with the author, let me be clear about that.

But it's "The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever". By Michael, I hope I'm pronouncing his name right, Bungay Stanier.

And it's funny, it has the word coaching in it, but it's not really for coaches. It's about how leaders can bring coaching into their leadership style. And it's so effective.

And it is all about some key questions to ask. You know, I needed to create a mantra for myself, when I shifted from agency leadership. Which is, you know, basically you're a consultant to your clients, right.

And, I had to shift that. I created this mantra of "Don't tell, ask."

Because every time I or any leader asks, as I think I mentioned earlier, you're engaging a different part of the brain--of your follower, of your peer, of your boss.

And, it's the part of the brain where passion lives, where inspiration lives and where engagement lives. And if you ask questions, their brains kick in, and they take over, and they're able to figure out so much more.

So if we're just quiet and ask these questions... And every one of my clients I've recommended it to, they've told me, it's a game changer. So, I highly recommend it.

And, even before you buy it... And it's easy to read. It's practical. It's light, you know. It's wonderful. And, you just start asking these questions. Everything changes. It's really remarkable.

Andrew Hryniewicz  13:14  
That's great. Well put that in the show notes. For sure.

It reminds me of something that... I don't know if it comes from Zen or from Buddhism, but the statement that: "The conditioned mind attacks and defends. The unconditioned mind gets curious."

Ken Jacobs  13:32  
It's funny, you mentioned that, you know, one of the biggest trends we're seeing in both leadership and coaching, not that new anymore, but it's "neuroplasticity".

Our brains ability to learn and relearn and learn new things. And a lot of us said, "Well, I'm hardwired that way." I know the beauty of this is that, you're you're not as hard wired as you think.

And, you can rewire.

And, when you learn how to do that, through reading, through websites, hopefully with you know, an executive coach. It is remarkable, the kinds of outcomes you can get.

The brain is really a special thing, a special place, a special concept. And once you harness that, anything can happen.

Andrew Hryniewicz  14:21  
Okay, great.

So question five; What's the free resource you'd like to share with the audience to help them out?

Ken Jacobs  14:27  
So, I've been doing a lot of research and writing, obviously, about leadership for a long time. And, I've created our third leadership ebook, which is "How to Lead the Leaders On Your Team".

And it is, you know, because many of the people we work with, and I'm sure many of your listeners and viewers aren't just leading teams and individuals and followers.

They're leading leaders in their own right, or they're leading leaders in training, or they're leading folks with great leadership potential. And the tools you use, the strategies, the techniques, are somewhat different than the core leadership tool.

So, if you go to the website, I'll spell it www.jacobscomm.com. And the first thing you'll see is the offer of "How to Lead the Leaders On Your Team." It's an easy download. And we've gotten very good response to it.

And it is based on interviews I did with some major leaders in the field. They happened... and they're not just leaders. They they've lead leaders. They lead leaders. And the fact that they're in PR, marketing PR communications, is not what's important.

It's the fact that they are so respected for their leadership skills.

And, it all started with an article, in the Public Relations strategist. I've turned it into a course, I've turned it into an E-book. So, I think we've hit something there.

I think it's resonating with senior executives who get... the leaders on my team, even though they may report to me, I'm still leading them. But there are some special techniques I can use.

And then everyone benefits. Everyone.

Andrew Hryniewicz  16:27  
Great. That sounds like a powerful resource. And again, we'll that will also be in the show notes.

So the last question, question number six: Ken, what should I have asked you that I didn't?

Ken Jacobs  16:39  
Yeah, well, I, you know, I hear a lot about "How do I know if I'm ready to hire an executive coach, or a leadership coach?"

So, I'll just share a little bit, you know... if you're successful, in many ways, but there are a few gaps interfering with your ultimate success.

You're not getting to where you need to be. You're not able to sustain your success. Just one or two big things get in the way, you might be ready for executive coaching. You know, if in your career, it's three steps forward, and then a step back. That's something that we can work on.

If you're successful, but not fulfilled, you know, this life short. Let's not wait till we're retired. Let's figure out a way to get fulfilment from our work, and our life... then you're a candidate for executive coaching.

You know, if you find yourself saying, "Oh, I could never ask that, of my boss, of my peer, of my client, of my team member." Executive coaching could be right for you.

If you're... if your workplace is filled with conflict... If you or your team can't manage your time. If you're managed by your time, rather than the other way around... if you're managed by your calendar, rather than managing your calendar.

If you constantly feel stressed, you can just never get it done. If you're a slave to email, you know... If you've been trying to improve any or all of these things, and you, right now you can't, why go it alone. That's where an executive coach comes in.

Now, let me state this one thing. Being a coaching client, takes work right?

Unlike, when I was in the PR business and I was an agency manager leader. And I was the lead consultant: if the program didn't work, I had to correct it. And my team, we had to correct it.

The client didn't, we had to... In coaching, the client does the heavy lifting. The client does the majority of the work.

So, I always say, you know, if you're willing to go deep, if you're willing to do the work that is required of sustained and positive change, and you're ready for sustained positive change, then it might be a good time to look for an executive coach.

Andrew Hryniewicz  19:04  
Thanks, Ken, so much for your time today.

Ken Jacobs  19:07  
Thank you, for having me. It's been a joy. And, I've enjoyed it.

Narrator  19:12  
Thanks for listening to the Destiny Awakening Interviews. If you have a friend who would benefit please share, and subscribe to the show on iTunes and leave a review. We really appreciate it. And remember, always use your power for good

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

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