Embracing Change and Fostering Innovation: A Deep Dive with Michael King on Leadership Talks

In an enlightening episode of Boardsi Leadership Talks, host Martin Rowinski sits down with Michael King, a visionary executive coach and keynote speaker, to explore the multifaceted world of leadership and innovation. Throughout their discussion, Michael unfolds his journey from a musician to a leadership guru, shedding light on the pivotal role of fostering innovation, collaboration, and emotional intelligence within today’s organizations.



This episode delves into the necessity of aligning personal and organizational missions and visions, a crucial element for fostering a cohesive and successful team environment. Michael emphasizes the importance of authenticity, transparency, and approachability in building a culture of trust and mutual respect, which serves as the foundation for any thriving organization.



Moreover, Michael provides actionable advice for leaders on adapting to the rapidly evolving business landscape, ensuring their strategies are flexible and resilient enough to inspire and drive teams towards excellence. His unique perspective on leadership is complemented by his surprising passion for riding motorcycles, adding an intriguing layer to his character.



Listeners will walk away with a wealth of insights on navigating the complexities of leadership, innovation, and team building, making this episode a must-listen for anyone looking to enhance their leadership skills and drive organizational success in an ever-changing world.

#LeadershipExcellence #InnovationInLeadership #TeamBuilding #EmotionalIntelligence #AuthenticLeadership #AdaptingStrategies #BoardsiLeadershipTalks #MichaelKing #ExecutiveCoaching #RidingMotorcycles #EmergingLeaders

In this episode, Martin Rowinski interviews Michael King, an executive coach and keynote speaker, about his journey in leadership and team building. They discuss the importance of fostering innovation and collaboration in organizations, tailoring coaching strategies to meet the unique needs of different organizations, and the role of emotional intelligence in effective leadership. Michael shares his insights on aligning personal and company mission and vision, adapting leadership strategies in a rapidly changing business landscape, and the surprising passion he has for riding motorcycles. He also provides advice for emerging leaders in navigating the complexities of innovation and leadership.


  • Fostering innovation and collaboration is crucial for organizations to thrive in a rapidly changing business landscape.
  • Leaders should prioritize authenticity, transparency, and approachability to build trust and create a culture of collaboration.
  • Aligning personal and company mission and vision is essential for effective leadership and team building.
  • Emotional intelligence plays a significant role in leadership, allowing leaders to understand and motivate their teams.
  • Adapting leadership strategies and embracing change are necessary to remain effective and inspire teams.


00:00 Introduction
00:37 Michael King’s Background
04:30 Igniting the Passion for Leadership
05:30 Fostering Innovation in Organizations
07:23 Cultivating a Culture of Collaboration and Innovation
08:21 Approaching the Challenge of Innovation
09:49 Key Characteristics of a Leader Cultivating Collaboration and Innovation
12:38 Developing a Self-Leadership Program
13:37 Stepping Outside the Company Brand
16:00 Tailoring Coaching Strategies for Different Organizations
22:19 Navigating the Complexities of Innovation and Leadership
25:35 Aligning Personal and Company Mission and Vision
27:30 The Impact of Misalignment on Personal and Company Growth
28:37 The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership
30:33 Adapting Leadership Strategies in a Rapidly Changing Business Landscape
33:27 Collaborating with Musicians
34:55 Surprising Passion for Riding Motorcycles
36:24 Advice for Emerging Leaders in Innovation and Leadership

Martin Rowinski (00:00.174)
So we’ll start it right now. Give it three seconds and go ahead and run your bit. So first one you want to focus on me.

Welcome to Leadership Talks, a podcast focused on speaking with visionaries and having conversations over leadership. I am your host, Martin Rowinski CEO and co -founder of Boardsi. And today in this episode, we’re excited to welcome Michael King in person in Las Vegas. In person, I’m here.

You are here, you made it. You said you would and you are here. So, Michael is a mastermind in executive coaching and a keynote speaker. He is renowned for his ability to transform leaders in teams with unparalleled clarity and impact. As a distinguished member of the Thought Council at the C -suite Network and driving force behind Gokert Traffic Agency and Teams Coach.

Michael has dedicated his career to fostering innovation and collaboration across various sectors. Michael’s multifaceted career showcases his adeptness at navigating the complexities of innovation, leadership, and team building. Join us as we explore Michael’s unique insights into creating thriving environments where leaders and teams can excel together, whether it’s through developing self -leadership programs,

implementing effective systems or inspiring collaboration. Michael’s strategies are designed to propel organizations to new heights. Michael, welcome to the show. I’m pumped, man. Thank you so much for having me. This is great. And you’re coming from a four hour meeting, so I appreciate you being up early and making it here. Absolutely. Absolutely. So to kick it off, I just recently learned that you’re a fascinating background as a music artist.

Martin Rowinski (02:03.278)
Didn’t know that when we first met. So could you share a little bit about your personal journey and the path that led you to the current position and your current passion? Man, you know, I, when I, when I started this whole thing, so I graduated from high school and didn’t necessarily know what I was going to do with my life, but I grew up in a musician’s home. So my dad being, being a professional musician and so music was just a big part of my life growing up. Went off on a path in.

went through the military band for a season and then had a life transformational experience in my own personal faith and felt that I was going to be called into Christian music. Launched or short ended up at Bible College, became a music pastor, Christian recording artist, and starting actually developing. I’ve always had a high level of business acumen and so, you know, being just a recording artist wasn’t good enough. So we actually had a label imprint helping other artists as well. And, and,

And just through it all, every church that we’d ever been a part of, I had always become kind of like this number two in the organization. So at the same time of me developing as an artist, as a singer -songwriter and a worship leader in the church, I also found out I have a passion for building teams and passion for leadership. So eventually, just as the growth trajectory of my career kind of matured, I found out I can actually do both. And so in 2015, I really started this.

this journey of went back and got my master’s degrees in executive coaching and organizational leadership. Started coaching Fortune 500 companies, but also at the same time, started to not necessarily, when I was in the church world, every day I showed up and I had my piano and my guitar and I knew that I was gonna be providing artistic and creative oversight of weekend services for thousands of people, but that was my job. And I kind of had lost the joy in it. Because…

Every time I looked at a guitar, it was work for me, right? And so now, you know, fast forward almost a decade later, I get to inspire and help leaders become the best that they possibly can to help their companies win and knock things out of the park. But yet at the same time, it’s like, I still get to put out singles and I still get to work with the music industry and write about things that are important to me. And it’s life -giving now, so it’s different. So that’s kind of the big trajectory. So yeah, but I mean, I’ve…

Martin Rowinski (04:30.774)
toured with some of the biggest artists in the Christian music industry, also produced in the general market as well. And so I’m thankful I have all the experiences that I’ve had. And here you are. And here I am. I’m in Vegas hanging out with my new good friend, Martin Ravinsky, and it’s phenomenal. That’s awesome. So speaking about leadership, can you share a moment or experience that ignited your passion? We pretty much did, but…

What took you from the passion of, because I know you did some coaching in church too. Yeah. I know that there was a trigger there that said, you know what? And we talked about it, but I don’t want to give it away. But you knew that you can do better. You can do more by stepping outside of being just in church and leading coaching leaders there and actually coaching executives. Yeah. And I’ll always have a sweet spot for church leaders in my heart, mostly because.

Their job is so difficult when it comes to leading an organization, being spiritually on top of leading themselves, but also being a care provider and resident theologian. And I mean, when you look at the job of a pastor and seeing them be successful, they literally have 30 different job descriptions under one hat. So it’s almost an impossible win for a singular player. But I remember, so this is going back probably,

2009 through 2012, joined a staff, one of the fastest growing churches in America. And when that happens and you’re from Lincoln, Nebraska, and your church starts to ping, people start asking you questions. Like, what are you doing? What’s working? How are you making this happen? And so that kind of propelled me into a space of recognizing that maybe the influence that God was having in my life was meant for something different, was something a little bit bigger outside the walls of the local church.

but also some of the leadership pain that I was experiencing internally, like my frustration with some of our team members and even just some of the decisions that we were making internally, it wasn’t bringing out the best in me and it wasn’t bringing out the best in them. And so I just assumed that maybe I was the problem. And so part of that therapy of me going, I gotta get better, is I decided to go back to school and educate myself in leadership, right?

Martin Rowinski (06:56.526)
I found out through that problem that it wasn’t necessarily that I was the problem. I just wasn’t in the right seat. And, you know, now where there are natural leadership dynamics that were difficult. Yeah, I worked for a guy who was a high level charismatic leader. And then I was responsible to lead his staff. Problem was that most of what we call is like first degree nepotistic leadership. A lot of the people that reported to me were direct relatives or first line friends.

with the senior leader. So I had this experience in, tell me if you can relate to this comment. I had a lot of responsibility with no authority. Great recipe for burnout. But it affected my family, it was affecting my marriage, it was affecting even just my emotional and psychological health. And so I had to make some pretty drastic shifts. But people don’t want to embrace change until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.

And I had gotten to that place where it was like, okay, this pain of me staying in this spot is too much. I got to go. Well, I’m glad you chose that path because it led you to meeting me and I’m sure meeting lots of other great people. You’re sitting in this seat. So yeah, great path, great choice. No complaints so far. Awesome. How do you approach that challenge of fostering innovation within organizations that may be…

resistant to change outside of church. I’m talking about our corporate world. You know, I was just actually talking to one of our leaders earlier today about this idea of just embracing change. And you get this, you work with leaders all the time. And one of the things that you kind of have to work through the BS a bit, a little bit on the, those are first original conversations, the first 90 days, maybe the 120 days in a relationship when you’re working with a leader.

is finding out are they truly really serious about embracing change or are they just telling you that they’re willing to embrace change because they know that’s the right answer. Right? And so for example in this case study today, working with an organization that has global implications like massive market reach all the way from Europe all the way through an ever expanding booming market within North America. But they have an incredibly flat organization and flat organizations typically what you find out is that they don’t want to embrace innovation and change because they

Martin Rowinski (09:18.99)
fear factor is just too great. Like how do I empower more people? How do we embrace new ideas? And so the idea of embracing an innovative thought, but just like you, we’re talking about what you’re doing through podcasts, what you’re doing through personal brand. In order for innovation to be alive and well in any organization, every leader that’s responsible within that organization has to commit to trying new things. If they don’t try new things, and if they don’t attempt new ideas.

then their organization will eventually die. So nothing lives without the new. The world changes and you got to change with it or you die at the vine, right? Well, absolutely. I mean, and we’re in the middle of like, if there’s one thing that 2023 and 2024 is going to be known about, like you just posted about this on your LinkedIn page earlier today about AI and just some of the new things that are coming along. AI is not going to replace people.

AI is going to replace people who aren’t embracing AI. Correct. And that’s the conversation. And so we’ve had two massive disrupting events in the last five years in the global workspace. And innovation is the only answer. COVID, how do you survive it? Innovation. OK. ChatGPT, AI, how do you survive it? Innovation. I mean, there’s people that have.

grabbed onto AI and started up businesses that didn’t even exist. Absolutely. And they’re millionaires. So did AI really hurt? Yeah. Like you said, it hurt certain people that are fighting it. But I think if anything is there to enhance work, better work, and you just have to understand it and I guess you can say go with it, right? Well, it unlocks genuses within people.

that they didn’t know that they were geniuses in the first place. So I have three kids. Chloe’s my oldest. She’s gonna be so cool. She’s going into commercial airline business. So she’s been accepted to UND and so she starts school this fall. But then Amelia and Chloe, or Amelia, Mike Middle, and then Emerson, my son, both of them recently were, we found out that they were ADD. And so I’m not like a huge fan of like trying to figure out how to just throw medication at people.

Martin Rowinski (11:40.662)
You know what I mean? It’s like you try to stay away from those things, but also same time, like if you can provide a tool or something to be able to help people be more focused and for them to unlock ideas that were in their head to keep them on a singular path so they can have success. I’m all about it. Let’s give it a shot. Chat GPT is kind of like that for some people to where they lacked focus. They didn’t necessarily know where they were going to come up with their next new idea or developing a simple system strategy or tool or resource in order for them to get their idea off the ground.

but then all of a they’re able to sit down and within five minutes, they’re to come up with a five -year business plan with clear, tangible next steps on what they need to do to execute. I think it brings out the best in people. Absolutely, as it should. Yeah. Enhancement. Yeah. In your experience, what are the key characteristics of a leader who successfully cultivates a culture of collaboration and innovation? I would say, you know, just kind of going through some of these attributes that I look for in leaders.

I’m looking for high levels of authenticity and transparency. If you’re not real, and if you’re not approachable and transparent with your motivations, you don’t foster a community of trust that is absolutely necessary for an organization to win. So beyond that, am I looking for innovative spirit? Am I looking for all those things? Well, I am, but I’m looking first and foremost, is a leader approachable? Are they authentic? Are they truly who they say they are?

Because here’s the thing, you get this, like you’ve been leading teams for a while, there’s nothing that’s more unattractive to leading a team than to find out that the person that you’re following isn’t the person that you thought they were. And so if you can figure that thing out and for you to be comfortable in your own skin and be willing to invite the right people into the places. And first and foremost, I think when you think about collaboration, what’s your definition of collaboration of what you think about when you think about collaboration? I want to get in.

everybody. Yeah. And I want people to be transparent and free to speak. You know, some people say I have an idea, but it’s probably stupid. That’s fear talking. It is. I believe there’s no such thing as stupid ideas. May not work. Yeah. That doesn’t mean it’s a stupid idea. Or maybe they’re bringing an idea that we’ve already tried and they didn’t know. Yeah, that didn’t work. But be free to speak. Don’t be scared to provide ideas and bring it.

Martin Rowinski (14:06.862)
your input. That’s what I love about people in teams. So I’ve always spoken my mind and been shut down many times. They didn’t shoot me down, meaning I’m still gonna be me. So. That’s powerful. And one of the things that even just through like our Apex coaching programs and things that we do with teams .coach, it will affect you. You guys are actually on the Clover platform, right? So the reason why we did that was because…

when it comes to collaboration and innovation. There’s nothing like having unrealistic expectations for relationships that will cause everything to go south, everything. And so if you put yourself in a room and you’re expecting to collaborate with people that they’re just not good at it, it’s not their strength, it’s not their wheelhouse, then you’re gonna eventually start to kill collaboration on your team. But if I’m able to give you a dashboard and say, hey Martin, by the way, here are the 25 people that are.

that are within your reach. You’re the 25 people that are in your purview of the day -to -day operations, so you know that when you walk into a room, you’re gonna take these seven people in because collaboration is one of their strengths. It makes it so much easier for you as a leader to go, oh yeah, I can believe in collaboration because in this setting, it works. But sometimes when you put the wrong people in a collaborative room just because you say that you value it, if you don’t know how to execute it, you’re gonna fail. Yeah, knowing who the people are is a great start.

Oh my gosh, yes. Could you walk us through your process for developing a self leadership program and how it benefits both leaders and their teams? Yeah, so we take people through our teams methodology. And so when I’m talking about from a singular perspective of a person all the way through full company and organization implications, what we found is that is focusing on these five specific areas.

for development, it keeps things moving and gives people, it’s not perfect, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is such thing as a perfect system, right? There’s no perfect human. No, but when we think about it, it’s, you know, so like our team’s methodology gets broken down this way. T stands for targets, E stands for engagements, A stands for action, M stands for momentum, and then S stands for synergy. And so the way that…

Martin Rowinski (16:25.646)
that breaks down from a team perspective is like, okay, target, what’s our bullseye? Let’s make sure that we’re clear on the target and what we’re all here to do in the first place. That solves a lot of problems. Engagement, what are the three levels of engagement? How are you engaging with yourself as a leader? Are you being truly honest with yourself and are you leading yourself in a way that’s honorable and represents your team well? Number two, how are you engaging with the people that are on your team? If you say that you have an open door policy, but everybody’s afraid to come in and have a conversation with you, you’re not engaging with your team.

And number three, kind of leads into that personal brand study. How do you engage with your audience? Are you willing to get out from the protection of your company brand and put yourself out there in a place where you can actually grow your impact and your influence? With engagement, action steps. What are the things that we’re doing this week that keeps us on point to try to hit the bullseye of the target? And then momentum. None of the things that we can add to go faster, but what are the things that we can take away that’s keeping you from going faster? Don’t do more.

do focus, right? And then synergies more along the lines of like, hey, let’s celebrate the right wins, getting those things. And so all those things, the same implications that we have for big corporate team environments, we have basically micro programs that are built around that to making sure that a singular meter can be developed and accomplish the wins that they truly do want. That’s interesting because one of the points you brought up is, are you willing to step outside and not hide behind your brand?


I never actually thought about that. Obviously I’ve stepped outside quite a bit. But I always believed, and I don’t know if you can agree with me, but I always believed by doing that, aren’t you really improving the brand as well? By doing self -improvement or stepping outside also, I mean, just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you’re not doing any help with your company or brand. Yeah, and I think that there’s a fear factor.

Martin Rowinski (18:25.038)
from the company perspective, right? So in working with Fortune 500 companies and then some of what we call like disruptive companies within industries, and even in the church world, by the way, this was something that I had to work through. I had to work through consistent indoctrination telling me in my head that I wasn’t allowed to be seen or heard because there was somebody else that needed to be more known within the church. And I was going to upset.

his personal brand by me being too well known or something like that. So I hid behind band names. I’ve been in a band called Passing Through, I’ve been in a band called Epic Hero, I’ve been in a band called Undying Anthem. My worship project was called Breathe Deep. And it wasn’t until probably five years ago when in working with the label, it was just to where they kind of go, okay, you’re not working for a church anymore, bro. We’re gonna put an album out that has your name on it this time. But it was in that moment of me recognizing, oh, I have.

failed like representing myself well through my own personal brand. Now companies, they do the exact same thing. I find myself in some significant tug of war arguments with senior leaders because the old school mentality says, hey, you work for the company and everything that you do needs to represent the company. But what they don’t recognize is that a leader that’s growing, a leader that’s making high levels of impact,

And a person who’s willing to get behind their name and making sure that they’re not just chasing dollars, but they’re chasing influence and impact. They’re raising the overall efficacy brand of the company. That’s exactly what I believe. Yeah. A hundred percent. So the people that work for you, it’s like, they better be on speaking tours. Yeah. Like you should want your number twos and your number threes to be some of the most famous people in this space. Yeah. Followed what I do. I love speaking and it’s always, you know, in one way or another, it always comes back to boards.

in my speech. Speech could be about anything and it always comes back. And it’s always represented by that. And I think leaders are tied to their brand, you know? So, I don’t know. Hearing your story about the church and hiding behind a band name, I feel like that’s just fear from the top leaders not understanding that Michael King is tied to that church and him raising his brand.

Martin Rowinski (20:49.358)
being tied to that church is raising the church awareness as well. So, I mean, that’s just me talking, I don’t know. Yeah, and that’s kind of the way that I felt about it. But also too, was like when you’re not the main, in church world they use this idea, whether it’s right or whether it’s wrong, of coming underneath what they call spiritual submission of the senior leader. And so, you kind of guard it closely to where it’s just like, if the thing that you’re doing with your own personal things, if it’s not making the senior leaders,

feel like they can champion you and get behind you and be your biggest cheerleaders, then you might feel like you’re stepping out from underneath their spiritual authority. So that’s where you kind of feel like you just got to have to take a little bit of a back seat. I didn’t do it right. I wasted a lot of my years caring more about what other people thought than I cared about the vision that God had put in my heart. And it took some rude awakenings for me to embrace maybe a reality of what God was really calling me to in the first place and for me to be brave and bold enough spaces.

makes sense. How do you tailor your coaching strategies to meet the unique needs of different organizations, especially in diverse sectors, but more important, I mean, you work with, I don’t know if I can do any name dropping, I just know one client you visited today, you work with large companies and you work with small companies. So you’re working with, I mean, you got to tailor that somehow because it can be the same cookie cut approach to everybody.

You can name Drunk If you want, I just don’t want to. No, it’s fine. I think, you know, well, part of that is that leaders are leaders. And at the end of the day, everybody has a heartbeat and everybody has a very unique skill set. And so if I can work with a leader to clearly identify, OK, what are the things that are slowing us down in the first place and keeping us from getting to the big scalable dream? You know, what is the type of impact that they want?

For me, by the way, so I’m the executive coach. There’s two things that you need to know about me when I’m working with a team is that I’m not the executive coach that you bring in if you want to eliminate people from your team. Typically, like those conversations, you’re gonna find me being a little bit more passionate along the idea of like, hey, if you’re bringing me in to do your cleanup work, your dirty work for you, I’m not the coach for you. Because that’s just really telling me more that you’re the problem than it is everything else.

Martin Rowinski (23:15.726)
I’m also not the big coach to bring in either if you only want to increase top line revenue. We will raise top line revenue. Like I’ve been a part of stories from the disruptor to the small tech startups to where I’ve literally seen them go a 300 to 400 percent increase in top line revenue over a period of two to three years because they did the right things because I don’t think that companies have system and strategy problems to start with.

I think companies have structured problems. And so their human capital, how are they using their team? And then we can go, okay, let’s build out. But when it comes to like customizing it down to singular leaders and bigger companies, everybody first and foremost needs to find out like, what is their demon? What’s the thing that’s holding them back? What’s the thing that’s in their head? Yeah.

And are they able to clearly articulate the vision of what they want for their lives? And are they able to clearly articulate the vision of what they want for their company? If they can’t clearly articulate that, that gives us a really good place to start because then we can pull it back and go, okay, as the spice girls would say, so tell me what you want, what you really, really want. Right? But that’s an uncomfortable conversation for somebody who is maybe they’re not dealing with their own money. Like some of these bigger companies, like you’re in an interesting situation because…

Like you’re in one of the partner seats and you’re also one of the founders, right? But there’s people that are gonna come in after you that maybe you’re not the last CEO of this company. And they’re gonna be coming in and it’s not their money. It’s a higher role. And when that happens, all of a sudden there’s a whole nother level of insecurity that tells them that maybe their vision of what they want for their life doesn’t count. And so that’s why it’s so important just to get down to the singular player. Let’s talk about vision. Let’s talk about mission.

Let’s find out what you truly really want, making sure that we have a roadmap to build out what you want. Hopefully, top line revenue increases a part of that equation. But culture is so much more important and your values are so much more important. And they’re all tied together at the end of the day. There. Speaking of vision and mission, since you brought it up and say, bringing in outside CEO in your world changing.

Martin Rowinski (25:35.63)
Don’t you agree that personal mission and vision, and I’ve written about this many times, personal mission and vision should be aligned with company’s mission and vision. It certainly helps a lot. You can avoid so many headaches by making sure that you’re actually, well, first and foremost is like, if you go out and you’re finding somebody, we do a really good job of taking some of the guesswork out of hiring the wrong people. Yeah.

And so making sure that vision, mission, values are all aligned is such a key component to that. Can you grow into those things? You can grow into it, but if there’s a natural alignment, it takes a lot to force it.

And obviously, I mean, especially the mission of a company, what they stand for.

Some companies that you might not align with and they might pay you a lot of money, but I truly believe no money can make a person stay if they truly don’t believe in what the company stands for. Eventually they’ll break and they’ll be like, you know what, I can’t do this. That’s why I believe in alignment, right? It has to be leading the same, in the same direction or else they’re wasting their time and they’re not going to feel like they can be creative or out of value.

Absolutely. And you’ve been in situations in which you’ve been a part of positions in which you stayed there because of what you’re getting paid and maybe you stayed too long because of that. And it’s only through a period of like self -discovery and maturation that you get to the place where you’re going, okay, I think I’m willing to sacrifice some things in the temporary to embrace the bigger picture. And that’s the sound of a pretty mature leader. I mean, because it’s pretty easy to get dazzled by…

Martin Rowinski (27:30.958)
high dollar paycheck working for a bigger company, but man, if there’s not alignment with the personal vision and mission, it’s gonna be a painful process.

change your personality and your lifestyle and may cause personal life issues. Oh, all the time. Or family issues, right? I well, I mean, that’s really, I mean, even in my own personal journey, like I was, I knew that I was a part of something significant, like the church is booming, things are growing and moving along so fast. But there were some personal things that made me feel squelched and somewhat manipulated and sometimes abused and unheard.

And if you’re in that environment for over 10 years, you’re gonna start making some compromising decisions. And so sometimes you have to be able to go, okay, before this destroys me, I have to make a change. And that is a really, really big swing for people and it’s a painful one. Yeah, change is never easy. What role does emotional intelligence play in effective leadership and team building?

based on your coaching experience. And you know what, I believe that emotional intelligence is gonna be, well, I said this before I found out about ChatGPT. And I think that that’s one of the things where things shift quite a bit, is that I do believe that emotional intelligence is gonna be something that is gonna be one of the number one things talked about in leadership spheres, probably at least the next decade. It’s cool to be on the other side,

of the conversation in which understanding what motivates your team, understanding what their personal preferences and opinions, what their personal convictions are, understanding how they like to be communicated with, what makes them tick. I like that we’re actually on the other side of the conversation now to where senior leaders are now responsible to making sure that they get their teams into the best possible situation to win. And that means that we have to understand them.

Martin Rowinski (29:36.046)
It’s no longer good enough for us to be able to just create an organizational chart and put people and names and outcomes attached to specific things because all you’re doing is you’re telling me that you went and you developed a world that’s according to the grand design of Martin Browinsky. But you’re not telling me that you actually took time to find out what makes the organization tick. You’re telling me that these are the things that you feel like you need, but you didn’t tell me that you found out. What makes Joe win?

How do I motivate Joe? Like, how does Joe show up and become the best leader for the vision of Borgs Eye today? We fired Joe. I’m just kidding. Can we get Joe back in the room? In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, how should leaders adapt their strategies to remain effective and inspire their teams?

Martin Rowinski (30:33.902)
That’s a good question. I think the key word is when you ask the question, how should leaders adapt their strategies to remain effective and inspire their teams? Well, first of all, when we started talking about just embracing the innovative spirit and recognizing that there’s going to be, we are moving so fast when it comes to technology and innovation and the tools that we have available to making sure that our teams can succeed. But without clarity of vision,

without clarity of mission and without clarity of values, you might as well throw everything out. It doesn’t matter what type of tools and resources and strategies that you have in place if you can’t lead with clarity. So you have to be willing to address change. You have to embrace it. You have to be able to fight for clarity. Whenever there’s muckiness in the water, whenever it’s cloudy, you have to figure out ways to put things into place to make sure that clarity is your true north.

You’ll hear me say this a lot, this idea that to be clear is to be kind. There is no bad news. It’s just news. The only time it’s bad news is when you’re not being honest and when you’re not being clear. And so understanding people, making sure that you’re leading with people first over your ideas type mentality and making sure that you are willing to champion the right people to lead them on the team. Whatever you make visible is what you replicate. Think about that. Yeah.

So on a music perspective, for example, this is like going back to my church music days, right? If I put a horrible guitar player up on the stage who doesn’t reflect the high morals and ethics of the people that we want to be able to have on our team, but also just from a talent perspective, he’s just a horrible guitar player. What do you think that he’s going to attract to the music teams of that church?

Martin Rowinski (32:27.758)
You’re gonna attract horrible guitar players. You literally just put a billboard that says, hey, below average is welcome here on our stage. And there’s the development side of that, and I don’t really want to get into that, but it’s the exact same thing with our companies. You promote people within your leadership infrastructure that don’t represent your vision, they don’t represent your mission, they don’t represent your values. The thing is, is that if there’s misalignment on those things, they’re actually going to attract the things that they’re about.

of being the things that we’re about. Yeah, and we’re back to mission, vision, and values. Absolutely. Alignment is extremely important. And speaking of music since you brought it up, if you could collaborate with any musician, past or present, on a project, who would it be and why? Oh my gosh, well, I mean considering that we’re actually in Vegas right now, if I could collaborate with you too,

and figure out how to get inside that sphere, you know, that would be pretty phenomenal and collaborate. But I have a wide spectrum of music. You know, my favorite big band jazz album of all time is this album called One More Time With Feeling. It’s the last big band album that Doc Severins and the Tonight Show Orchestra recorded when they were ending their time with Johnny Carson. Some of the best tenor saxophone performances ever on that album. Phenomenal. So I’d love to be a part of that.

modern day stuff, I mean, I am all about like, like it’d be awesome to do something with like Imagine Dragons or Sarah Borell. If put me in 1978 and let me be on the stage with Elton John and figuring out Rocketman and seeing that thing play off live, like let’s go. That would be pretty awesome. That’d be pretty amazing, right? So I went to YouTube this year last weekend. I know you did. You should make it. I think.

I think this weekend is the last weekend before they leave. Well, we should talk. Yeah, so you can get last minute tickets. Alright, alright, alright. Outside of work and music, what’s one happier activity that surprises people when they learn you’re passionate about it? Okay, so I’m going to share this a little bit and just because I got to actually meet with some of the leaders from this, but I write a Ducati Diavel 1260F.

Martin Rowinski (34:55.918)
So, riding a Ducati 1260S, I remember when I was in, we just moved into our neighborhood and people, we live in Waverly, Nebraska, and I think we threw some people a curve ball because I didn’t fit the profile that they thought when a pastor was moving into their community, you know? But here I was, you know, I love riding my bike.

And then I have three massive dogs. Well, I got, I got a St. Bernard and St. Perdoodle. St. Bernard’s a complete awesome, gentle giant type of dog. Or St. Perdoodle, he’s a little bit of a jerk. So. So you got both. Yeah, I got a little bit both. But then I got this little dog that I rescued from the barking lot out in San Diego last year. So sometimes he even travels with me. Is he the boss? The little one? Well, he’s, he’s a rescue, so he’s neurotic.

And, but it’s kind of like, I am entertained by his neuroticness, but my family’s not entertained by his neuroticness. All right. Lastly, what advice would you give to emerging leaders to help them navigate the complexities of innovation and leadership in their journey? The advice that I would give is kind of just,

true fold is that we talked about this a little bit, but people are willing to spend so much money on systems and strategies. And I think the reason why they’re willing to do it, I mean, you go off to leadership conferences and you’re looking at the latest and greatest software platforms eventually with the advancement of AI and all these different things. And people are willing to pay for short wins with systems and strategies because it’s a little bit sexier, you know?

Like it’s so much fun to be able for you to be able to bring a new software platform back to your tool and then call everybody into a meeting and go watch what this can do. Like, do you remember the first time that you actually kind of showed off chat GPT to your friends? I was showing it off to everybody. Yeah, it was amazing. I was, I spoke at this conference. One of my clients, they’re the heritage clubs international and they’re tried to do travel banking clubs for banks, right? And so I was speaking at their, that their peer group yesterday in Chicago and it was amazing because.

Martin Rowinski (37:22.412)
You know, here they’re providing travel clubs for banks to provide opportunities to give rewards for people to do business with their banks, right? And I was shocked to learn how much of their time that they spent actually showing travel banking representatives how to use AI. And so two weeks ago I was out in San Diego at Social Media Marketing World, Social Media Examiner, another one of our awesome clients.

Michael Stelzer, by the way, just a complete brilliant leader, man. I can’t stress how cool he is. But I was shocked at how much of a disruptive force this AI is. Like everybody’s talking about AI, even if they don’t have any expertise in AI, they’re talking about it because there’s that wow factor to it, right? But that’s the part of, you know, when we talk about systems and strategies, there’s a sexiness to it. It’s something that is so cool to get everybody in the room to be able to go, hey, by the way,

You want to come up with a job description within the next three seconds of something that’s going to bring clarity to your organization. I can hit this one button, done, boom, done. Well, that’s cool. But structure is the only thing that moves your organization forward. People that are running flat organizations, it’s really, really hard to coach them at times because guess what? If there’s a problem, the only person that you can blame is yourself. If you haven’t decentralized your leadership and…

really empowered great people around you, then you’re not gonna win. You know, so, cause if there’s problems, it always comes back to just a singular person. But if you can, if you can figure out how to crack the code that gives you the structure that you can clearly empower people that you trust, you’re attracting the right talent to your team, and you’re developing leaders, and you can truly embrace the idea of collaboration and empowerment, then you have something that’s scalable, and then you can take it to the next level. But if you’re not willing to have the structured conversation, which is hard, that conversation is really hard.

We’re talking about people. But if you’re not willing to have that conversation, just don’t try. You’ll just be spending a lot of money on things that are short lived. I love it. Thank you for sharing everything. And if anyone out there is looking for a team coach or just an executive coach, I highly recommend, bare minimum, at least having a conversation with you. If they didn’t get a note from this podcast. Oh man, I’m honored. When we started our company,

Martin Rowinski (39:48.462)
back in 2016, 2017, I started it with the idea that, hey, I’ve had some bad team experiences, so I’m gonna go ahead and start my company and call it Teams .coach because I want to help organizations have great teams. What I wasn’t aware of was just how many great, singular people, we have people from Fortune 500 companies, all the way to some of the most disruptive organizations, so we’re only coaching maybe just the senior leader for that one company.

But it’s all about relationships, it’s all about people. And I think my superpower as an executive coach is that I work with people that I don’t believe in. There’s gotta be something there that makes me go, okay, I see what you’re trying to do and I know how to get you to a great thing to go. But I also want people to know, like, I’m the greatest champion. You know, I want them to know that there’s somebody else here that can believe in them and can help them win. And if you’re an executive coach and you’re just doing this because you decided…

on the other side of COVID that is just easier to work for yourself or you became a consultant, that’s not good enough. Like if you are a real executive coach, you have to have a strong why and a strong passion to see people win. Absolutely. I love it. Thank you, Michael. Thanks for coming out. Appreciate it, man. Pleasure meeting you in person, finally. Finally, right? Yeah, so that’s awesome. Thank you very much. Thank you. Let’s wrap.



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