S5E38: Off and Running Vulnerability & Generosity at the Fuel for Selfless Leaders (part 2)

“Great leaders shine the light and draw the attention to others.” Peter Margaritis

Improv Leadership sometimes means learning and being vulnerable as a tool that fuels the leaders’ thoughts and actions. It leads to turning the spotlight on others. Peter has explored different methods in today’s episode on how as a leader, one can motivate others and make them shine. The light shines every day, not just during special events.

Examples include Oprah Winfrey, Simon Sinek, and great movies like Remember the Titans and Don’t Think Twice. The Improv leader’s qualities and responsibilities regarding their teams and how they treat them.

S5E37: Return on Ingredients and the Restaurant Institute with Mark Kelnhofer

“Cost structure is a process; it’s about applying managerial cost concepts to the restaurant industry.” Mark Kelnhofer

My guest is Mark Kelnhofer, president, and CEO of Return on Ingredients LLC. Mark is an international speaker and author on recipe costing and menu engineering. In addition, he has more than 25 years of experience in the bottom line, boosting accounting. After graduating from Ohio Dominican University with his undergraduate degree, he immediately entered the manufacturing Academy. He spent eight years in various industries, including plastic injection molding, lighting equipment, transit buses, and tire repair products. Mark incorporates his extensive background throughout the episode as he discusses his entrepreneurial mindset.

Mark talks about cost structure and what it entails in a restaurant business—giving practical examples from his brush with the restaurant industry. His ability to make the lessons he has gotten from the diverse industries that he has been in and put them all in his company Return on Ingredients LLC.

In the restaurant industry, different things can lead to cost implications, and a lack of instructions on cost controls can significantly improve efficiency and measure waste and profit. The data being gathered daily helps an organization respond to a situation not only then but also on how to respond to the problem quickly. You may have the mechanism in place, but if you do not understand how to make proper decisions, you can easily create a wrong decision.

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S5E35: Break Through to Yes: Unlocking the Possible within a Culture of Collaboration with David Savage

“If I can attract people because they feel I’m serving their needs, confirming their dreams, and helping them get there, that actually makes more money for my shareholders.” David Savage

What does collaboration mean to you? David Savage believes that most people use the term without really fully understanding it and therefore aren’t able to access the full potential of true collaboration. Our guest today, David Savage, is the author of several books, including Breakthrough to Yes.

Over a ten-year period, David and his partners collaborated to develop five companies and four not-for-profits. Since 2007, his company, Savage Management, has focused on building capacity, innovation, and accountability in people and in and between organizations and communities. David works with leaders and organizations to advance their success through collaboration, negotiation, conflict resolution, and business development. In this interview, David shares his 10 Essential Steps of Collaboration. Collaboration is possible if one identifies the collaboration’s intention and goal. It also means being accountable to your team.

Listen to his advice on how to embrace conflict, the importance of not being a sideliner, how ego is the enemy of progress, and much more in today’s episode.   

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S5E31: From Birdies to Serving Clients with Anne Gannon

“Accounting is all about how hard one works at it, and it is a skill more than it is something that someone is born with.” Anne Gannon

In today’s episode, I welcome Anne Gannon. Anne is a certified public accountant who specializes in providing a monthly accounting and tax service that works for the business owner, not just the accountant. What makes Anne unique is that she is anything but your stereotypical accountant. After all, she spent her earlier years chasing the dream of professional golf. The time spent traveling the country playing golf had an impact on Anne, but she quickly realized that all the entrepreneurs and members of the hospitality industry she had met along the way were being underserved by their accountants. In 2016, she founded the Largo group, a firm specializing in over-delivering for entrepreneurs and business owners.

There are a lot of similarities between sports and being an entrepreneur or business owner. You have to keep looking forward, not dwell on the past. The one good thing in business as an owner is that you can control your business and improve it daily. If you can see a path forward, then you can make it happen.

When the pandemic happened, things were not very clear for a large number of businesses. The business owners that made it through had to change their mindset because some models just didn’t work anymore. Businesses had to listen and pay attention to their customers. They had to be more data-driven and not so bottlenecked into thinking they know what their customers want but realize they had all this data where they could find out what their customers wanted and answer.

Everyone in accounting should try to teach accounting as it makes you look at it differently when trying to communicate to people who don’t understand it. When you have to teach accounting, you realize that not everybody speaks that same language. It’s taught well in school, but there are a lot of things that they leave, and also, it is taught by a lot of people who haven’t failed in the public accounting world.

Accounting is all about how hard one works at it, and it is a skill more than it is something that someone is born with. If you really work hard and train yourself, you can teach yourself accounting. A lot of times, when people don’t get it right away, they get discouraged.

Accounting is not an option. If you’re going to run a successful business, you have to understand the fundamentals. When training non-accountants, it’s good to start slowly and then get people to open up about how much they understand.

With technology, providing that extra level of customer service to clients is important. To improve your communication, start with your favorite clients so as to focus on what it is that these clients love about you.

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S5E30: Peter Margaritis: Flipping The Script: Making It All About Them and Not About You (Part 2)

“Great leaders inspire and motivate through empathy, not ego, agenda, and emotion.” Peter Margaritis

It can be hard to teach leaders to flip the script when it comes to being more empathetic and even vulnerable if those leaders are wearing thick protective armor over their humanity in the workplace. Two-face, empathy-devoid leaders take pride in their distance. But unfortunately, their aloof and impersonal workplace behavior starts degrading relationships, and then projects begin to fail.

Self-absorption creates a toxic work environment. Empathetic leadership creates an empowered workplace, and one person’s behaviors and attitudes can impact many. A very effective way to increase empathy is by replacing assumptions with a sense of curiosity that opens us up to empathy. You achieve this through conversation and questioning to reveal what lies beneath the surface of the other person’s issue or perspective. Curiosity is a good thing. It helps us ask questions and gather more facts and information, which eliminates unfounded assumptions. The more questions we ask, the closer we get to the root of any issue, and once discovered, we can help devise a plan to help solve the problem at hand.

The word improv looks a lot like the word improve. It’s a powerful reminder that when we master improv, we improve relationships, teams, organizations, products, and careers. Improvisation is all about empathy for business leaders and provides an excellent foundation to empathize with others. First, as a leader, you must be a great listener and fully present during every conversation. When ego, agenda, and emotion are infused too strongly in a conversation, the conversation halts and negativity is nearly always an immediate result.

Great leaders inspire and motivate through empathy, not ego, agenda, and emotion. Developing the kind of empathy to improve your leadership in this way can start with an improviser mindset. People still find it difficult to understand that a leader’s emotional intelligence, of which empathy is a crucial component, is more critical to the organization than the leader’s technical knowledge. The truth is that technical skills are more accessible to learn than soft skills. To get promoted in today’s business world, you must master your interpersonal skills, which are hard to master. Mastering the soft skills is easier, thankfully, with an improviser mindset. The better you treat and understand the people you serve, the more empowered and loyal the stakeholders become.