Drive Your Career with Ed Evarts
Ed Evarts is a leadership and team coach, a strategist and author of "Raise your visibility and value" and his latest book, "Drive Your Career". He is also the host of Be Brave at Work Podcast, in this episode, learn from Ed:
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Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway Video Oscar Mix up courtesy of Eyewitness News
Full Transcript Below
Steve Rush: Some call me Steve, dad, husband or friend. Others might call me boss, coach or mentor. Today you can call me The Leadership Hacker.
Thanks for listening in. I really appreciate it. My job as the leadership hacker is to hack into the minds, experiences, habits and learning of great leaders, C-Suite executives, authors and development experts so that I can assist you developing your understanding and awareness of leadership. I am Steve Rush and I am your host today. I am the author of Leadership Cake. I am a transformation consultant and leadership coach. I cannot wait to start sharing all things leadership with you.
Our special guest on today's show is Ed Evarts. He is a leadership and team coach, a strategist, author of the book Drive Your Career. He is also the host of Be Brave at Work Podcast. Before we get a chance to speak with Ed, it is The Leadership Hacker News.
The Leadership Hacker News
Steve Rush: In the news today. We are going to explore the notion of productivity and how that has been impacted during the pandemic. UK staff admitted that they get away with an average of 2 hours and 20 minutes less work per day because their line managers and leaders are struggling to adapt to remote working habits during the COVID-19 era. Following a poll completed by workforce behavioural consultants, mindgym, where they interviewed 2000 professionals who are currently employed, which means they need neither furloughed nor serving notice. The poll shows employees could be really taken advantage of remote working patterns to disguise slack in their schedules, which if as leaders were not careful could trigger a productivity collapse.
According to the poll, 43% of respondents said they can carry out more than two hours, less work per day without their line managers even noticing. So let's explore some of the other key data in the poll. 37% of UK workers are less motivated in their jobs and as a result, 30% admit to being less productive. Half claim that their line managers have had no impact on their performance whatsoever during remote working. Almost a fifth claim, their line managers have had a negative impact on their work. 28% cite that either a clear lack of guidance or boredom with tasks as being key to their disengagement. More than a fifth claim to not know what is going on with their immediate teams on a day-to-day basis. In addition, a quarter feel tired and exhausted from working from home with one in five suffering from severe loneliness.
mindgym co-founder and CEO Octavius Blank said, “given the anxiety from lockdown and the ineffectiveness of managers in this new environment, masses of UK workers are likely to either opt out or burnout. The impact on UK productivity would be catastrophic. The way to prevent this crisis is not to stop remote working, which when properly handled can bring great benefits, but for leaders to step up and develop new managerial muscles needed to lead effectively in this turbulent era”.
And of course, this is not just a UK issue. Wherever in the world you are listening to this podcast from will all experience similar behaviours if we open our eyes to it and these behaviours can also be present in your business too. So is the answer stronger leadership to fix the problem? So in my experience, it would help if the standards, expectations and consequences of both positive and adverse behaviours were really clearly defined. We can properly assess our effectiveness together. Compassion is a key driver. How many of us as leaders would have asked over the pandemic? What do you need from me so that you can be good? You can do the best work you can.
And of course this isn't micromanagement. This is about unlocking a sense of autonomy in your team and what we have to do as leaders to recognize that we need to tune in to what our teams need from us as leaders and a much more deeper level than ever before, so that has been The Leadership Hacker News today. If you have any insights, news, or stories, please get in touch.
Start of Podcast
Steve Rush: Joining him on the show today is Ed Evarts. He is a leadership and team coach. He is the podcast host for Being Brave at Work, and he is a author of his new book. Drive Your Career, 9 High Impact Ways to Take Responsibility of Your Own Success. Ed, welcome to The Leadership Hacker Podcast.
Ed Evarts: Thanks Steve. It is great to be here.
Steve Rush: So it is always great to get a fellow podcast host on the show too. That is part of what you do now, but tell us a bit about the backstory, that got you to be author, coach, podcaster. How did that all happen?
Ed Evarts: Well, 12 years ago, I was not an author, coach or a podcaster. I was working in corporate America in a variety of roles in retailing and in business, business services with a business focus in human resources. I left my last organization in May of 2008 and decided I had really completed my experience working in corporations. I found that experience to be very unrewarding and exhausting, and so I decided to explore the idea of doing two things. One opening my own business, and working for myself and then figuring out what I would do. And the answer came quite easily, which was coaching and so I spent the summer of 2008, networking with people. To find out how to coach? When to coach? What you charge? How do you get clients? I mean everything that you can think of because I was really starting from scratch. And by September of 2008, decided I would open up my own practice, so today 12 years later. I do three areas of business in the marketplace. One is face to face one-on-one leadership coaching. Although today with the Coronavirus, most of my coaching is a virtual.
Steve Rush: Right.
Ed Evarts: I do team coaching, so I work with teams to be more productive and effective. And then I also do something I call business strategy, which is, I work with small businesses who are experiencing something they've not experienced before and it might be a new geography. It might be new technology, a new acquisition, new products or services, and they don't know how to move forward in effective ways. And so I help them think about that and then of course, as you've mentioned, a couple of secondary activities, although they are a highly active, the podcast Be Brave at Work and then my book Drive Your Career.
Steve Rush: Now we are going to get into Drive Your Career in a moment and have a think about some of the ways in which we can take responsibility for our own career development and success too. Before we do that though, perhaps just tell us of some of the key things that you are working specifically with on right now with your clients. Either themes or things that present themselves that would be of interest.
Ed Evarts: You know, one-on-one leadership coaching, the challenges that leaders have are very consistent from leader to leader for them, of course it is a unique situation, but the challenges that they face are very, very consistent. And these are leaders who are looking to be more visible or add more value to their organizations, and just are not sure how to do it. One of the things that we have not allowed to happen in corporations around the globe is spending time with yourself, right. Closing your door, and putting your feet up and looking at a whiteboard and saying, who am I? And what am I doing? Am I doing it? And am I where I want to be? And things of that nature, we have our heads down working on projects and objectives and goals and initiatives, and don't have time to think about ourselves.
So the beauty of one on one coaching is it provides people a time to do that and to think about themselves. And so that work is very, very exciting and interesting because you get to work in all sorts of industries with all sorts of people, with all sorts of challenges, and you're really helping them organize them so that they can move through very effectively. In team coaching, I utilize a program called the five behaviours of a cohesive team and this is based on Patrick Lencioni book, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, and with that program, we are really helping leaders figure out how to work better together. And it's fantastically rewarding for teams to learn about how they can trust each other more, how they can navigate conflict more, how they can hold each other accountable more. And I love delivering that program and working with clients on that, and then in business strategy. The challenges are varied and endless, right. So there's so many different areas, whether it's legal or real estate or marketing or sales or human resources, you know, whatever it might be that the client needs help with. With one client, I am helping implement a revised performance assessment program. The current program they have is over 10 years old. I mean, it was created back in a crazy year, like 2008 or 2009, right? And it needs updates, and so I'm working with that. Another client, we are doing a salary survey. It is the first one they have done at their organization and it is a non-profit, so it has all these unique characteristics that we need to be sensitive to, so I certainly have my hands full on a variety of different areas of interest.
Steve Rush: That is great to see Ed as well and they are not mutually exclusive what you talked about, are they? So, you know, leaders have to look introspectively. They often have the responsibility to help their team dynamic shape up and of course, strategy underpins all of that, so I should imagine, you are incredibly busy.
Ed Evarts: Well, and you know, when you look at one-on-one leadership, coaching. Is I tell my clients, my number one goal is to help them build their self-awareness, so that they can self-manage more effectively, leaders who have high self-awareness are going to be more effective connecting with others. Leaders with low self-awareness ones, assuming all of us, you, me and all of our listeners have experienced are very hard to work for and very hard to work with. And their career development can be very problematic, so a leader with high self-awareness is more likely to be successful.
Steve Rush: It is really interesting that I observed when I coach leaders too. That without the forced or unforced time that we spend through our coaching environment. We set some time aside, there is still appears to be this lack of not always, but a general lack of I'm not going to put enough time aside for me, that recovery time, that thoughtful time is just treadmill, head down versus spend time with the coach. What do you think causes that?
Ed Evarts: I think it is the culture of the environment and I am speaking both from my own experience, being in corporations for 20 years, as well as a recurring experience I have with clients. And back when I was a corporate executive, we were so busy with so many initiatives and projects and activities and meetings and conference calls. We never had time to focus on ourselves nor did the culture and encourage it, so they never created a place where people could take a half hour a week just to think about yourself. They never created roles where someone could meet with you and say, hey, let's talk about you. How are you doing? How is it going? Are you working on what is exciting and fun for you? Those types of things don't exist naturally in organizations. And I think there are a few organizations that might do that type of work, but most organizations don't do it culturally and nor they have people at their companies who kind of foster that type of activity, and so ultimately it just doesn't exist. And I would tell you that the vast majority of my clients, and in my experience as a corporate professional, it doesn't happen at all.
Steve Rush: Yeah, it is really interesting, isn't it? And that whole kind of self-awareness is where it all starts of course.
Ed Evarts: It is, you know, I tell my clients all the time that at an organization, the one person who should know how people think about them and how people experience them in the workplace is you, right? I mean, you need to be the person who knows the most about how people experience you and what it is like to work with you. And we don't spend time really helping people do that effectively, and so it's a gap at most organizations.
Steve Rush: You are absolutely right and that whole self-awareness manifest itself in the same way when we look at our career development, which I suspect is aware your interest and appetite come from putting pen to paper. Just tell us, what was the driver behind you putting pen to paper?
Ed Evarts: So my first book was actually Raise Your Visibility & Value. Drive Your Career is my second book. My first book came really from my 20 years in corporate organizations and finding time, once I became an independent professional to really put what I had experienced and what I thought was happening in the world into a book. And so Raise Your Visibility & Value is really focused on helping people be more visible, a subset of which is networking but, you know, at the time I left my last organization, networking was the key word. I mean, if I had a nickel for every time I heard the word networking, I would be a billionaire. But I thought, you know, networking is a key activity, but there's really a bigger, broader umbrella, which is visibility, right? That I need to be very visible within my organization and industry.
And then if you are going to be visible, you need to ensure that you're providing value. You need to ensure that you are not just a person, everybody knows, but nobody knows what you do, but you are seen very, very valuable at your organization. So that was Raise Your Visibility & Value and then Drive Your Career really comes from my 12 years as a leadership coach and quite technically, Steve was one of those shower moments where I was just thinking about how there were current conversations I was having with multiple clients that were very similar. They were very similar experiences and stories that they were having that aligned, right? From time to time and, you know, the magic number became nine that I sat down one day and said, so what are these recurring themes or experiences that most of my clients are having most of the time over the last 12 years. And so I put the list of nine together and, you know, created some content around each of those and my goal certainly is to help people build their self-awareness by reading some information that can help them create greater alignment between themselves and their career objectives.
Steve Rush: How much of your experience Ed, do you think mind-set plays into this? Because you call out your nine high-impact ways to take responsibility for your own success, which I wholeheartedly subscribed to, but there is this mind-set thing that some people have a perception that it's not my responsibility, or I have to wait for opportunity. Ed How does that play out? When you think about that?
Ed Evarts: Well, there was a time in organizations where training, and development and career development were not your responsibility and organizations had huge structures that set up training for you and programs for you. And when you started as a junior executive, this is what you had to do and you kept growing and they kept developing you, et cetera. Today in most organizations, the responsibility for that is you and there is not these structures that require you to do X, Y, and Z in order to be successful. Of course, there is still training programs and things of that nature, but the emphasis has really shifted from the company to the individual. And it's really mostly about self-accountability. It is about being more knowledgeable as to who you are and what you want and looking for ways on how to achieve those objectives. And I'm not an expert on mind-set, but I would tell you that mind-set and getting your head around, owning your career, and that's why I call it drive your career because you need to drive where you need to go.
And what you want to do versus being a passenger is super critical because people who are passengers are going to wake up one day and say, how did I get here? What am I doing? Why am I doing it? Whereas drivers say, here is what I need next. Here is what I want to do next. How do I get there? And I go, and I figure it out to ensure that I get there.
Steve Rush: And take control of course.
Ed Evarts: And take control, right? You own your career. Nobody knows you better than you and you need to ensure that you are taking the right steps, investing the right amount of time and effort on the things that will help you. If roles or opportunities that you are presented with aren't going to help you advance your career, make good progress, you know, whatever the pluses are that you're looking for. It might not be the right next step for you.
Steve Rush: Right. Within the book. There were a couple of chapters. That I thought would be useful. just to unpick because they intrigues me, as I spun through it. The first one was positive relationship with your boss. Tell us a little bit about how important you, believe that to be?
Ed Evarts: So I don't put the chapters in order of importance, so it's not like number one is the most important. Then number nine is the least important. I think all nine are important. Although I will tell you, number one, I started it with a reason because I do think having a positive relationship with your boss is very important in the workplace. And when you think about a boss at the workplace, your boss is really like an umbrella that kind of covers your career and covers you as a participant in the organization and when people want to know about you or delegate work to you, oftentimes they're going to go to your boss first. And so your boss is the person who, if they are a good boss and I know not all bosses may fall into that category. Needs to be the gatekeeper for you.
And so you need to ensure that you have, what I call positive relationship with your boss. It does not mean you are best friends. It does not mean you go out on Friday nights, and get margaritas and visit each other at your home on weekends. But you need to ensure that if somebody asks your boss about you, they have something very positive to say. People who have a good relationship with their boss will have greater career satisfaction. People, who have a bad relationship with their boss, will have less career satisfaction. There is always a third thing in the room. There is you, there is my boss and then there is this third thing of animosity or bias or frustration or anger, whatever it might be. That is always there conflicting our relationship, and I need to get rid of that to ensure that I have a positive relationship with my boss
Steve Rush: And it does take work, it takes practice, it takes thought, it takes crafted thinking so that you communications, right. And it is a positive dialogue you having, otherwise very quickly some of the things that could present themselves, unconsciously, such as biases and so on and so forth could also then play in. In my experience Ed, this is kind of fundamental because they are the gatekeeper to whether you get on or not, aren’t they?
Ed Evarts: They are, as I mentioned. This book came from 12 years of leadership coaching and while I am not a statistician, I would tell you that 85% of my clients wish they had a better relationship with their boss. And I'm not saying the relationships were bad or that they were enemies, but they wished that their relationships were better and part of the impact they were experiencing in the workplace. Partially was due to the relationship not being better.
Steve Rush: Right, absolutely spot on. Now, there was one chapter in the book that really made me chuckle. I am keen to get inside this with you and its bell curves rock. Tell us about that?
Ed Evarts: Well my wife is a math teacher and she hates the fact that I use that phrase because she thinks of misusing what bell curves are. But you know, this is essentially a reminder to folks that as a present information to their team, as they prevent present information to their organization, they may be presenting information to a board of directors. You know whomever it might be is to recognize and think about the information they are presenting like a bell curve, which of course is as you know, bell shaped a mathematical calculation, but on the right are all the people who are going to love your idea. And that's where we tend to spend most of our time. Why is this a good idea? Why is this going to be great for the company? Why is this the most wonderful thing that anybody could ever do?
And that's where we tend to spend most of our time. We don't spend enough time on the left side of the bell curve, which are people who won't like the idea and why won't they like it? And what are the problems it might create? And what are the obstacles that we have to get through? And oftentimes when people go to present information. They spend a lot of time on why this will work and why this is a wonderful idea and they are under prepared for any challenges or pushback they might get. And so it's essentially a reminder to be equally prepared for the lovers and the haters, right? The lovers of the people who love it, and think it is a fantastic idea and let's do it tomorrow. And the haters who are concerned about cost or scope or time or people or whatever it might be, you want to ensure that you're equally prepared for both sides, so you can continue to make progress. The number one thing that will stop you in an organization or slow you down are the people who don't like your idea, who cause you to have to revisit and go back and redesign stuff. And if you had thought about those issues and concerns upfront, your likelihood for making progress would be much more likely.
Steve Rush: And they can be great advocates as well, can't they?
Ed Evarts: They can be, oftentimes in organizations, people who have customer complaints will tell you. They love a customer complaint, because if they turn it around, they now have a great story that they can tell about how somebody came, who did not like the company, or did not like the service or offering that they provided and we converted them and then people love conversions. And so, you know, these haters as I call them, are people who pushed back on your idea in the bell curve are people who you can convert, who can become great heroes for your project, your initiative, whatever it is that you're trying to convey and do to be more successful at your organization.
Steve Rush: It is a neat visual, if you think about that whole bell curve and I think it just helps give people the context of where their focus should be, really neat, I like it.
Ed Evarts: Good.
Steve Rush: Another section of your book, which I found really intriguing was pausing, is powerful. Tell us a little bit. About how that came about?
Ed Evarts: So, this also came from client experience with business owners who are very, very fast paced and these are people who think about their business more than anybody thinks about their business. And they think about their business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks, a year, and operate at that speed. And most of the people who work for you, who love you and love what we do and love the organization are not, you know, 24 by 7 by 52 weeks a year. And they find it hard to keep up, and so it's very important for leaders to recognize that their pace may be a little bit different than the pace of others. And in order to manage that pace a little bit, it can be very effective to pause. And so pausing is not stalling. Pausing is not slowing down. Pausing is ensuring that you are saying to people, things like, hey, you know, I heard a lot of great ideas at the meeting today.
I would like to think about them tonight and I will get back to everybody tomorrow with an update. It's providing an opportunity to slow down a little bit, to ensure that you're thinking deeply about whatever it is that you need to do now to remove issues and concerns and confusion later on. Most projects I have worked on, and organizations and most projects my clients have worked on. I asked, you know, are there times when you have kicked off a project down the road, do you have to pause or stop or redesigned because there was confusion or people did not do what they were told to do, or people did not understand what they were asked to do. And the answer, you know, 95% of the time, yes, we always do that. So pausing becomes a way to shift later what you're going to be doing to today to ensure that you're kicking it off much more effectively and reducing the likelihood that you're going to be late much closer to the deadline.
Steve Rush: I have also observed that those leaders, who demonstrate that thoughtfulness before they respond, tend to create more buy in as well.
Ed Evarts: Well, they create much, much better connections and I won't share the story today, but in my book, some of you who might be movie fans may remember the 2017 Oscar telecast where Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong picture.
Steve Rush: Yes, remember it very well.
Ed Evarts: Right, so that is a great example of pausing because if Warren Beatty upon looking at the envelope at the beginning realized there was an error. He could have said, hey folks, I need to pause for a minute. I don't think I have the right envelope. Someone would have come out. They would have given him the right envelope, which you know, later on in photos; you could see he had the best actress envelope. He did not have best picture, and the whole thing would have been solved, but you know, Oscar telecasts run long, right? They are historically run way longer than people would want and it killed, you know, 8 to 10 minutes of time with people apologizing and confusion and craziness because he did not pause to think about what was happening.
Steve Rush: It is a perfect example. When you watch it back, isn't it of communication, application, leadership. There is loads of lessons in there.
Ed Evarts: Oh, absolutely. And you know, my favourite is when, you know, he paused, I say he pauses, but he wasn't pausing. He was looking at the envelope and he did not know what to do. And people thought he was being melodramatic, right? Cause sometimes you go silent before you announce a winner just to build up the emotion in the room. But in reality, he didn't know what to do. So what does he do? He hands it to Faye Dunaway. It is like, here, you take care of this, right. I don't know what to do, and she announces it of course incorrectly, right? So the whole thing to your point was just a series of errors that could have been prevented if he paused at the beginning and said, you know, I think we need to do something a little bit differently here.
Steve Rush: And just so, our listeners know what we are talking about, I'll drop the YouTube link into our show notes so that when they've finished listening to us talk, they can actually go ahead and watch it and I'll make more context for it.
Ed Evarts: That would be great. Like you said, it's really interesting to watch.
Steve Rush: Sure is, so if I am a leader Ed and I'm wanting to unlock my next career move. Giving your vast amount of experience, both in the corporate world and as a leadership team coach, but what would be your recommendation I do first?
Ed Evarts: Well, I am a big fan of helping people build self-awareness and so my first recommendation would be that you ask what I call the million-dollar question. And the million dollar question is for subordinates. It is for peers. It is for bosses. It is a question that you ask, you know, two or three times a year. You don't ask it every week, but you ask it on occasion. And the question is what's one or two things I could do differently to be more effective? And I like it because you're only asking for one or two things. You are not asking for, you know, 30 or 40, you are asking what you can do differently. You are not asking what you are doing, that is bad or you know. What can you do? That is better. Cause people don't like judging and they don't want you to feel like they're judging you and differences a nice levelled word, and then who wouldn't want feedback to be more effective. I would love to give you feedback to help me be more effective, so I think if leaders are more curious in respect to how people are experiencing them in the workplace. Listen really well to the feedback they are getting and of course the answer is always thank you, no matter how critical or costly it might be, you know, that's a great way to build your knowledge of how people experience you in the workplace and modify how you're operating in effective ways.
Steve Rush: Right, like it, so now we get a chance to turn the leadership lens on you and this is where I get a chance to hack into your leadership thinking and your leadership mind.
Ed Evarts: Uh-oh
Steve Rush: The first place I would like us to kick off though. Would be to find out what would be your top three leadership hacks?
Ed Evarts: So I think I just shared one of them, which was to ask the million-dollar question. This is not a question that gets asked a lot in corporations around the globe. And it would be super critical that people take time to find out more about how others experienced them in the workplace. And people you asked the question to will have one of three answers for you, either they’ll be ready to go and say, gee, I'm so glad you asked that question. Here is a couple of things I think you could do definitely to be more effective. They might say, gee, that is a great question. I need to think about it a little bit, so can I give you an answer next week? Or they might say, you know what, Steve, you're the best boss ever. I can't think of anything different you could do to be more effective. Everything that you do is fantastic, and all three of those are possible and you don't want to let people off the hook. So if they need more time, give them more time. If they tell, you are the best boss ever. Thank them and say, you know, I would love to still hear and maybe you just need to observe a little bit differently. What I can do a little bit different on my part to be more effective. So, you know, that is one leadership hack that I think people should take very seriously.
The second is really to listen more leaders. And we talked about it earlier, especially those leaders that don't pause or go, go, go and believe that the higher they get in the food chain, the more they know and because they know more, they can tell more. And it comes a tell exercise and of course, great leaders are not themselves, the ones that make all this decisions and do all the great work, but they have a team of people who have careers who want to grow and get challenged and developed. And so, you know, listening more and listening a lot is a great way to build your effectiveness as a leader, and most people can listen more. I can listen more. You can listen more. We can all listen more effectively to be better leaders.
And then the third, tie to listening more is being more curious. Sometimes in order to listen, you have to ask questions, and so rather than give answers to people off the top of your head. When someone comes into your office and says, hey, Steve. Client A call, they want us to do XYZ. What do I do? Most telling leaders would tell you the answer, but you know, what you might want to do is be a little bit more curious and say, wow, that sounds like a challenging problem. What do you think? And if the person says, well, I don't know. That is why I am here. Say, well, why don't you think about it a little bit. Why don't we meet later today at two o'clock and why don't you come in with two or three things you think we could do differently to be more effective? And so being more curious, listening more and asking the million dollar question are all great ways to help you build your self-awareness.
Steve Rush: Ed they are super hacks. I really love that whole philosophy of curiosity, by the way, because by default, you also start to create a coaching culture. Cause you asking the questions of other people to think on their feet, to be more agile in their thoughts. That is also the start of our coaching conversation.
Ed Evarts: It is, and you know, it’s amazing Steve, because it sounds easy to do, but it is hard to do, right? So it sounds like an easy idea. Be more curious, okay, and yet you have to remember to do it and then you have to benefit from doing it and you have to do it on a recurring basis. I have had leaders who swear to me that they are being more curious, and then as I have seen them operate one-on-one with people they are not curious at all. And you know, one of the benefits of coaching is you can call people on it without fear of bias or agendas. So it is really easy to think about, but hard to do.
Steve Rush: Practice makes perfect of course and the more you do it, the more it becomes second nature.
Ed Evarts: You got it. Most of the things that I work on with clients, most of the things I think you do require practice.
Steve Rush: It does, yeah, absolutely does. So the next part of the show, we call it affectionately Hack to Attack, so this is where something in your work or your life in the past, hasn't gone as well as planned. Maybe we screwed up with something. It may be that we have bumped into some adversity, but as a result of that experience, we've used that experience as a learning in our life and our work, what would be your Hack to Attack?
Ed Evarts: So I think my Hack to Attack would be around transparency, I will be very candid. When I first started my independent practice, I was looking for ways to generate revenue, but I was also not being very transparent with my significant other on how it was doing. And I was presenting a much more frosty or rose coloured impression of how things were going. Then things really were because I did not want her to have to worry. And that created a number of challenges for us from a relationship perspective, and so I learned, and I can't remember when I learned it, but I essentially flipped a switch and began behaving in a different way. And today I'm extremely transparent with her. About how it is going, what is working, what is not working, did I land a client? Did not land a client, things of that nature to ensure that she is very clear on how things are going. Because if she is clear on how things are going, our life is clear on how we operate and how we can move forward. So I think a lot of people, when they start something new, whether it's, you know, I can make an endless list of projects, whatever, you know, maybe a little glossier and frostier in respect to how they're making progress. And I would encourage people to really focus on clarity and transparency to ensure, you know, everybody is kind of rowing in the same direction.
Steve Rush: I love that, and I can resonate with that too Ed. Having had some similar experiences over both my consulting career and my corporate career. And you know, what, I've also learned is that people believe what you say. So if you say it is beautifully and there's gold and it is shiny, then there is an expectation that is what we give. And if subsequently you can't deliver that, then you lose credibility, ironically, don't you. And of course, therefore being transparent gives you the opportunity to be candid and to be open and naturally reduces lots of stress and anxiety that comes with it too.
Ed Evarts: Yeah, and you know, you make a great point regarding credibility because if you're not transparent, you're losing credibility and now you have to take more time to get back to zero and then grow credibility, right? So you've got to dig yourself out of a hole even to get back to zero before you can start moving forward. So it's more work to get from where you might be if you're not transparent. And I just encourage people to be transparent because then you're starting from base and moving forward versus kind of digging yourself out of a hole.
Steve Rush: Sure, so the final thing that we get to do today Ed is to do a bit of time travel. So our listeners will be very aware now that we're going to take you to a place when you were 21. And we're going to ask you to have the opportunity to give yourself some advice. What would your advice be to Ed at 21?
Ed Evarts: Well, at 21, I was graduating from the University of Arkansas in beautiful Fayetteville, Arkansas, and heading out into a career in retailing where I would spend about 20 years and then another 10 years working for a business-to-business services company. I think my advice would be, and ironically is to find a way to work for yourself sooner.
Steve Rush: Okay, yeah.
Ed Evarts: You know I left my last organization due to a layoff. I worry sometimes, or I think sometimes. I would still be there today, if that did not happen. So what was the worst day of my life where I got laid off. I tell people 12 years later was the best day of my life because I got kicked out into the cold cruel world of unemployment and independent consulting and it turned out to be a fantastic, fantastic experience and I wish I had done it sooner.
Steve Rush: If only we could have had that crystal ball. Right?
Ed Evarts: If only.
Steve Rush: Exactly right, so, Ed I guess from today, folk are probably listening, thinking, how do I get hold of a copy of Drive Your Career? And how can I learn a little bit more about the work that Ed does? Where is the best place they could 1, find the book and 2, learn a little bit more about your work?
Ed Evarts: So you can go to my website, excellius.com and that is e-x-c-e-l-l-i-u-s.com. You should get a popup that talks about Drive Your Career and you can order the book there. It will take you to a link that has a number of ordering platforms across the globe to order. So it's not just Amazon, but a bunch of other connections that you can make to order the book. And that also has a lot of information about me, excellius.com or firstname.lastname@example.org is email, and you can always contact me there for information.
Steve Rush: Awesome and all of the information about you Ed, the website, your book, we will make sure in our show notes as well.
Ed Evarts: Fantastic Steve, thank you.
Steve Rush: Ed it has been absolutely brilliant talking. It is no surprise to me, why you have been so successful on your own outside of corporate America. And helping others develop, and I wish you every success with Drive Your Career. I am pretty certain it's going to be a big game changer for a lot of people looking to take responsibility to their career, but thank you ever so much for being with us today on The Leadership Hacker Podcast.
Ed Evarts: Thank you, Steve. I have really enjoyed speaking with you.
Steve Rush: I genuinely want to say heartfelt thanks for taking time out of your day to listen in too. We do this in the service of helping others, and spreading the word of leadership. Without you listening in, there would be no show. So please subscribe now if you have not done so already. Share this podcast with your communities, network, and help us develop a community and a tribe of leadership hackers.
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