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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S5E36: Off and Running Vulnerability & Generosity as the Fuel for Selfless Leaders (part 1)

“Improv is not about being a solo performer. It’s about relationships.” Peter Margaritis

Leaders who lead with an Improv Leadership Style have a foundation of respect, trust, and support for their organization and people. These leaders know how to prepare in advance and, at the same time, empower the people who are under them to shine. These leaders understand that it is not only about themselves and what they bring to the table; it’s also about their leadership in delegation and listening to their teams’ suggestions and opinions.

Peter gives us amazing insight into how a leader can make himself valuable to his team and those he leads. He also puts into perspective through his demonstrations of the effects a leader can have if not taking the chance to listen to their subordinate staff.

Individuals require a leader who will act as a unifier and believe in individual contributions. Trust is the virtue required to achieve this kind of respect and unity. And when it comes right down to it, it’s up to the leader to create that environment of mutual trust and respect.

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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S5E34: Way Off Base: The Death of the Ego in Modern Leadership with Peter Margaritis (Part 2)

“Ego leadership is outdated because it generates behaviors that are no longer tolerated in today’s workplace.” Peter Margaritis

Vulnerability, empathy, and the willingness to let go of our ego matter when it comes to developing the kind of leadership capacity our employees, peers, and other stakeholders deserve from us. Crucial to the development of dynamic, admirable leadership is learning to communicate in a way that doesn’t negate the experiences of others.

Listening and presence exercises can kick your leadership into hyperdrive when added to the ‘yes..and’ collaborative approach. The sense of not knowing when someone is looking intently at us for an answer is hard for all of us, but it’s especially difficult for leaders with overdeveloped egos. One of the biggest challenges in leadership is, by and large, the perception that not knowing is a sign of weakness. Instead of driving their egos crazy during these moments of ignorance, leaders should lean into the not knowing, stop talking, and listen to their team for direction and vision.

Exercise two is talking without ‘I’, an Improv exercise demonstrating how to park your ego. Each player tries not to use the words ‘I’, ‘me’, or ‘my’, and instead responds to the other person using ‘we’ or ‘us’. This exercise aims to help us park our ego, so we can collaborate with our partner using the general philosophy ‘Yes… and.’ The idea is to develop stronger self-awareness about the degree to which your everyday language and decision-making might be, by default, a little bit more self-centered than you realize.

Exercise three is ‘thank you’, which demonstrates how to park your ego and show gratitude. This exercise aims to show gratitude to the other person for the information they are providing. The more we offer appreciation, the more the other person appreciates our efforts. Learning to accept praise with a ‘thank you is also valuable and can be a sign of humility.

Sometimes good people with decision-making authority just make bad decisions. When difficult situations arise, the ego can take center stage, but doing the work to minimize the role of your ego when we lead will ultimately take us to a place of more effective leadership.