- How to overcome the FEAR of CHANGE
Listen today as I take you on a journey back to episode 9, going into a topic that resonates with all of us: the fear of change.
Drawing from personal experiences and a powerful book I recently discovered, I explore the resistance many of us have towards change, even when it's inevitable. I share stories of individuals and organizations attempting to recreate past successes, clinging to familiar waters, only to find that change is constant.
Using a river analogy, I illustrate how life, like a flowing stream, is perpetually changing, and we must learn to embrace it. I reflect on my own challenges, including trying to revive the magic of my early radio days and resisting changes in my career. I also discuss the concept of "rugged flexibility," the ability to accept change and find opportunities within it.
Join me as we confront our fears, ask the right questions, and embark on a journey toward a brighter, more adaptable future.
[1:41] - We are revisiting a topic discussed in episode 9 today.
[3:43] - No one ever steps into the same river twice.
[4:32] - Change is inevitable, and we can either accept it or deny it.
[5:43] - I reflect on examples of how I have had to embrace change within my organization.
[6:56] - I offer an example of football coach Sean Payton trying to recreate past success.
[8:52] - Hear another example of how attempts to revive past radio success faltered due to change.
[11:00] - Think back on a time in your life when you feared change and tried to recreate past success.
[13:33] - I give another example from my time in radio.
[14:44] - I am currently reading Master of Change by Brad Stulberg.
[16:18] - I explain the concept of rugged flexibility.
[17:47] - Hear an example of a CEO whose CU was failing because he refused to embrace change.
[19:13] - Disorder events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, disrupt normalcy.
[21:47] - Resisting change can be harmful to your health, amplifying stress.
Books:23m | Nov 1, 2023
- Lead AND get out of the way
A lot of times, founders adopt a mindsight of "my way or the highway". But one of the best things they can do is get out of the way.
Randy Smith, the Co-Founder of CUInsight, joins me to have a candid conversation about how he went from a brokerage to owning his own marketing company. Randy shares how he was able to get out of his employees' way and let them succeed outside of his vision for success.
[2:15] - Randy discusses how CUInsight started as a side hustle.
[6:25] - Not many people like change, but Randy is one of them.
[9:45] - There was a lot of fear for Randy when he changed his career.
[13:14] - Randy had no idea what to expect from CUInsight.
[15:36] - Leaders in Randy's past weren't the type of leader he wanted to be.
[18:19] - Getting out of the way of your team's progress is essential to a successful business.
[22:41] - Empowering your employees is a sign of success as a leader.
[24:44] - There are no bad data points.
[27:00] - Active listening is where Randy sees the most improvement.
[29:30] - Entrepreneurs hire six months too late.
[32:15] - If you're not growing, you're dying.
[34:40] - Urgent and important aren't synonyms.
[36:50] - We create the space and time that we want.
Books:38m | Sep 20, 2023
- Overcoming Perfectionism as a Leader
"You're not a perfectionist. You're insecure about how your best effort will be received."
After a summer break, Bo is running solo to share one of his recent leadership struggles as an accidental leader. These struggles almost caused the end of the Accidental Leader Podcast. Listen in for a transparent and vulnerable conversation where Bo discusses his struggles with stoicism and relearning some things he's spent a lot of time learning.
[2:00] - Bo shares a quote that he needed to hear.
[6:11] - What do Bo's current and former employees say about the podcast?
[8:06] - Stoicism is something Bo's been struggling with.
[11:45] - Downtown Liberty, South Carolina, has become a passion project.
[16:06] - Learning to accept what's out of our control is important.
[19:20] - You will lose your peace and happiness if you try to control things out of your control.
[22:23] - Bo tells a story about when his flight was delayed.
[25:00] - The only things we have control over are the goals we set ourselves.28m | Sep 13, 2023
- Replacing the lies that hold you back with truths that push you forward with Guest Amber Harsin
Everyone tells themselves lies. These lies hold us back. Having the strength to push forward with truths is essential.
Today, I'm joined by Amber Harsin. Amber is the CEO at Prodigy. We have an eye-opening discussion about the lies Amber had told herself throughout her journey to leadership. She talks about how her attitude shifted from just wanting a seat at the table while not being the head of the table to being a CEO of a company.
[2:40] - Amber introduces herself.
[7:50] - When she was in High School, Amber never imagined she'd become a CEO.
[9:40] - Lean into the fear and try it.
[12:00] - Trust the people you know love you about the lies you tell yourself.
[15:40] - There's more to being a leader than having a degree.
[19:00] - Karen recounts how she became a leader.
[23:13] - When you're a leader, you have to be able to take risks.
[29:00] - Don't avoid risk. Manage it.
[31:30] - Karen remembers a specific polarizing leader who helped shape her as a leader.
[37:09] - Finding a balance between work and life is essential43m | Jun 28, 2023
- Getting Over the fear with Guest Evan Leaphart
Pushing yourself outside your comfort zone is essential to being a leader.
Today, I get over my fear and step outside my comfort zone to interview Evan Leaphart, someone I don't know very well. Evan is the Founder of Kiddie Kredit and the Co-Founder of the Black Men Talk Tech Conference. We have a [something] discussion about Evan's entrepreneurial journey filled with ups and downs.
[3:08] - Evan introduces himself.
[5:30] - Inspired by his own "financial ruin," Evan created Kiddie Kredit.
[7:12] - Learning from people smarter than you and always taking feedback is the key to success.
[9:20] - Fear is always going to be there.
[12:18] - There's a lot of value in the middle.
[13:20] - Evan discusses the impact his father had on him.
[16:56] - Evan's Mount Rushmore of leaders.
[21:16] - People who bridge gaps are who Evan admires the most.
[24:42] - No one's perfect.
[26:20] - Staying true to his vision is how Evan has been successful.
[30:00] - Evan gives his advice to fellow accidental leaders.
Find Evan Online:34m | Jun 7, 2023
- What is your "root system?"
A leader's root system is what makes them the leader they are today. Our root systems tell us what to do, how to react, communicate, and think about things. It's not a choice. It's how we were taught.
Today, I'm flying solo to discuss in-depth what a root system is. I get vulnerable and share a specific instance in my life that played a major role in negatively shaping the way I saw myself. And I detail what it took to stop seeing myself in that negative light.
[1:00] - Bo is flying solo for this episode.
[2:30] - Your root system is like wine.
[6:00] - Bo talks about a moment that shaped who he is.
[9:12] - Sometimes, you need to get out of your head.
[11:23] - Bo wonders what it would be like if he hadn't experienced a specific trauma.
[14:14] - Our root system tells us what to do.
[15:20] - What issue do you wish you could be better at?18m | May 17, 2023
- When your ego is your enemy
When new leaders come into an organization, it can cause a lot of fear. It's important to keep your head down and worry about what you can control.
Today, I'm joined by Bob Quick, a Director of Radio Partnerships & Traffic at Motor Radio Network. Bob has been through numerous acquisitions in various companies he's worked for. He shares what he did to get through each one and the leaders that helped him. We also share a few laughs as Bob recounts his career path and our shared time in radio.
[2:26] - Bo recounts the importance of thanking those who impacted your life.
[4:20] - Bob introduces himself.
[7:00] - The Motor Radio Network combines two of Bob's passions.
[9:30] - The sitcom, WKRP in Cincinnati, inspired Bob to get into radio.
[12:00] - Bob relates how he ended up in North Carolina working at his dream job.
[15:00] - Having a good support system is everything.
[17:05] - Bo and Bob share a laugh about their old boss.
[19:08] - When an organization is sold, it can cause a lot of fear.
[21:13] - Getting a job with someone else creates a bond.
[24:44] - Being empathetic is essential to being a leader.
[27:09] - For leaders, sometimes it's best to give employees the tools they need to succeed and get out of the way.
[31:20] - Few people say they want to grow up to lead people.
[35:15] - Not everyone who's good at their job is the right person for a leadership position.
[37:00] - Bob recalls what it was like leading Bo.
[40:13] - Bo remembers when his ego was out of control.
[43:10] - Finding a mentor is the key to being a better leader.
Links46m | May 10, 2023
- Making tough decisions for life balance as a leader with special guest James Robert Lay
Fear of change is a part of being an accidental leader. And if we're not faced with change and fear, there's probably a problem.
Today, I'm joined by James Robert Lay, CEO of Digital Growth Institute. We have a free flow conversation about the fear of change, letting go of bad habits to grow and how to trust ourselves. We talk about the importance of executive coaching, therapy and putting in a lot of uncomfortable work to become better leaders and people.
[2:30] - Bo introduces James.
[3:30] - James talks about going from a punk rock band to a CEO.
[7:02] - The fear of the unknown precedes the fear of change.
[10:13] - You have to lead yourself before you can lead others.
[14:04] - As a leader, you need to be able to trust yourself before you can trust others.
[18:38] - Working with new coaches helps give different perspectives.
[21:30] - James defines what perspective means to him.
[25:00] - When it comes to coaching a lot of people get sticker shock.
[28:20] - Making pros and cons lists helps put you into perspective.
[30:35] - You have to let go of things to grow.
[33:43] - Being non-committal is a recipe for failure.
[37:14] - It's important to be comfortable being uncomfortable.
[40:09] - Eight years before writing his first books, James laughed at the idea of writing a book.
[42:28] - Accidental leaders need to have faith in themselves.
Books45m | Apr 26, 2023
- Learning to lead yourself
To be a great leader, you first have to lead yourself. You have to focus on yourself as a person and understand your traumas and your past.
Today, I'm joined by Mary Jane Walsh, life coach and business coach from New Orleans. We have a candid conversation about coaching sessions with Mary Jane. We detail how Mary Jane was able to dig deep and ask thought provoking questions to help me grow as a leader but more importantly, a person.
[1:45] - Bo introduces Mary Jane
[2:30] - When coaching someone Mary Jane treats her clients the way she'd like to be supported.
[4:00] - Mary Jane pushed her clients to ask themselves the hard questions.
[5:45] - Her clients always worry that Mary Jane isn't an expert in their industry.
[6:30] - Coaching isn't for people who need it, it's for people who want it.
[9:45] - Bo gets candid about his time working with Mary Jane.
[15:00] - Coaching with Mary Jane has given Bo perspective of his past.
[19:15] - Mary Jane discusses some of Bo's triggers.
[23:16] - Coaching is about fixing the problem, not the symptom.
[27:40] - Bo and Mary Jane discuss how she works with his team of leaders.
[30:30] - Mary Jane describes how she went from a chef to a life coach.
[35:15] - Athletes are some of Mary Jane's clients.
[40:00] - We often tell ourselves lies so we can stay complacent.
Links:43m | Apr 12, 2023
- You can't step into the same river twice
"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." This quote from Heraclitus illustrates that in both life and business you can't go back. You can only go forward.
Today, I discuss my recent trip to my hometown of Binghamton, New York and how it reminded me of that Heraclitus quote. It made me consider a series of "what-ifs" and helped me gain clarity about the river I stand in today.
[2:18] - Bo tells a story that illustrates how in business you can't go back.
[3:30] - Remembering his first radio job, Bo tells stories about some former listeners.
[6:00] - During a recent trip back to his hometown of Binghamton, New York Bo noticed how much things have changed.
[9:30] - His trip back home made Bo consider a series of "what-ifs".
[12:00] - Where would Bo's team be had he never left Binghamton?
[14:30] - Bo recites Garth Brooks lyrics.
[16:30] - Sometimes memories are better left as memories.17m | Mar 23, 2023
- Overcoming your "can't" with Special Guest: James McBride
"Can't never did a thing." Every time we use the word "can't" we've already ruled out the possibilities of what we can and can't do. When we say "can't" we've already failed.
Today, CEO of Lion's Share Credit Union, James McBride joins me to discuss how his diagnosis of cerebral palsy set him up for a life of not letting other people's perceived limitations become actual limitations. He's never let anyone tell him what he can't do and today, he instills that mindset into the employees he leads.
[1:00] - Bo recounts a story about how his kindergarten teacher fostered his creativity.
[4:00] - James doesn't let other people's perceived limitations affect how he lives his life.
[8:45] - Being a rebel is how James has accomplished what he has. When he was told he couldn't do something he set out to prove them wrong.
[10:10] - Perfection isn't what's important, it's the pursuit of perfection that matters.
[12:05] - No one but you can decide what you can't do.
[15:05] - When James joined Lion's Share, the first thing he wanted to do was meet each employee and understand them as individuals.
[18:30] - As a new CEO, building trust is the key.
[22:00] - Making tough discussions is the unfortunate job of all leaders.
[24:30] - It's challenging to know when it's the right time to give bad news.
[28:00] - Once a tough discussion is made, it's like a sigh of relief.
[30:02] - Invest in people while they're with you, not because they're with you.
[33:00] - James shouts out his leadership mentor.
[37:40] - Making your employees make their own decisions helps them grow.
[40:00] - "Can't" is oftentimes just a different way of saying you don't want to do the work.
Links:41m | Feb 22, 2023
- Leadership and Mental Health with special guest Paul Gaumer
Leadership and mental health isn't talked about often. It's uncomfortable and people often don't want to acknowledge it out of fear of it being perceived as a weakness. But when a leader is struggling with their mental health it's not a weakness.
Today, author Paul Gaumer joins me to discuss his experience struggling with his mental health. Paul is the COO of an Illinois Credit Union. Today, he describes how he pushes through when his Bipolar disorder is causing him to experience severe self-doubt.
[2:46] - Bo tells a little known story about Abraham Lincoln's mental health.
[7:00] - Paul introduces himself and recounts his past experiences with his mental health.
[10:05] - When Paul was at his lowest, he started going to church and thought everything was going to be better.
[11:50] - Every morning Paul wakes up with self doubt.
[14:30] - Looking back at everything his credit union had accomplished helps Paul quiet his self doubt.
[15:40] - Bo has two Johns who shaped his leadership and Paul has two Toms.
[18:33] - Paul tells a story about how he met his first Tom.
[21:40] - A good leader always reassures their employees that they deserve to have the job they have.
[22:30] - We hear about Paul's second Tom.
[25:20] - Leading by intimidation and deception is a recipe for unhappy employees.
[28:00] - Taking the time to get to know your employees is essential.
[32:43] - To be a good leader, you have to be willing to listen.
[37:31] - Paul recounts a story highlighting how to help someone struggling with their mental health.
[40:00] - The days of heavy handed leadership are gone.
Links:47m | Feb 8, 2023
- "How did I grow into becoming a great (accidental) leader?" Guest - Jennifer Pham
No leader's path is the same. But all leaders have certain things in common, authenticity, kindness and honesty just to name a few.
Today, Jennifer Pham joins me to discuss her journey from a junior graphic designer to a Vice President at Your Marketing Company. Going from a team member who barely spoke in meetings to a true leader, Jennifer is the true definition of an accidental leader.
[2:30] - Jennifer Pham joins Bo and explains how she joined Your Marketing Company.
[7:20] - She never really wanted to become a leader, Jennifer describes how she learned what a true leader is.
[9:00] - Good communication is the key to being an effective leader.
[11:30] - Understanding yourself is the key to being a good leader.
[14:00] - People really remember when they've worked with a bad leader.
[17:08] - The hardest part about being a leader for Jennifer, is when she has to fire people.
[19:36] - Letting people go from a company never gets easier.
[22:05] - When you're a leader, especially an accidental leader, it's progress over perfection.
[25:00] - A lot of times, leaders talk themselves out of things. It's important to trust your gut.
[27:55] - If your people succeed then you succeed.
Links:31m | Jan 25, 2023
- Finding balance in your leadership life with Special Guest: Jason Vitug
Money is a resource we focus a lot on as leaders and profit isn't something we should be ashamed of. But sometimes profits aren't everything, we also have to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally.
Today, author and entrepreneur, Jason Vitug joins me to discuss his career path from cleaning airport toilets to being a high level VP at a credit union to becoming an accidental entrepreneur. He talks about the moment he knew he needed to set more boundaries around his work life for a healthier life.
[2:00] - If you're making a lot of money, but don't have time to enjoy it. Why bother?
[5:28] - Jason introduces himself and recounts his journey as an accidental entrepreneur.
[7:20] - The entrepreneur life isn't for everyone and there isn't anything wrong with a traditional 9 to 5 job.
[9:50] - No one can tell you when or if you'll be satisfied with your work life.
[11:00] - When Jason started getting physically ill he knew it was time to re-evaluate his work life.
[14:30] - It's really important for us to set realistic boundaries at work.
[18:00] - When setting boundaries, don't be too rigid.
[20:40] - You don't want to set a financial goal that takes you away from the way you want to live your life.
[24:30] - When we're present in the moment, that's when we can build the life we truly want.
[27:14] - Gears that grind too long get worn down and thrown out. It's the same with people.
[32:09] - Everyone is very unique. No one's journey is the same.
[33:15] - Passion is a combination of your time and resources.
[36:00] - You make much better choices when you want to do something instead of when you have to do something.
[40:00] - Money can buy happiness when we spend it on wellness.
Links:43m | Jan 11, 2023
- Special Guest: Leadership Coach Brian Rollo - Turning Failures Into Learning Opportunities
Leaders can't lead a team if they can't lead themselves.
Today I want to discuss a tough question. Leadership coach Brian Rollo joins me to discuss how leaders can't be great until they've learned how to lead themselves. To do that leaders should use the ACT Framework. Accountability, Communication and Trust. Once you've mastered this with yourself, you're then able to turn that framework to your team and be a great leader.
[1:15] - Instead of asking "how can I make my team better?" Ask yourself "how can I lead myself better?"
[3:40] - We meet Brian Rollo with a quick introduction of himself.
[4:55] - Brian discusses the two types of people that typically don't work out for any given organization.
[6:00] - Influential leadership is leading yourself and being self aware.
[7:30] - For successful leadership follow the Accountability, Communication and Trust Framework.
[9:00] - It's easy to hold other people accountable but it's hard to do the same for ourselves.
[11:27] - Brian gives us some tips for how to know you're successfully leading yourself.
[15:11] - When people observe a CEO they get non-verbal messages on how to act.
[17:10] - Influence is the best way of leading a company. Not demanding things out of employees.
[19:10] - Leaders have to continue to invest time in learning how to lead themselves.
[21:30] - Team training is like a shower, it isn't a one and done thing. You have to make training a habit.
[24:00] - Being able to confide in other leaders is invaluable.
[25:00] - As a leader, you can't just flip a switch to get your team to trust you. You have to gain trust person by person.
[28:00] - Everyone has their own root system that influences their judgment of leaders.
[30:15] - The consequences of not leading yourself will show in the success of your organization.
[33:30] - Brian tells the most tragic story of a leadership fail he's encountered.
[36:20] - We hear about a time when Brian made a mistake as a leader and lost a valuable employee and work friend.
[39:00] - Poor leadership has a trickle down effect.
[41:50] - Brian recounts a positive success story he's encountered.
Links:46m | Dec 28, 2022
- Special Guest: Author and Speaker Ash Davis - Finding Joy In Our Journey
Time. It's simple but it is so important. Leaders have the unique ability to control their time. That's why it's so important to replace 'I didn't have time' to 'that project wasn't a priority'. Then sit back and reflect on what else you prioritized instead. Then reflect on whether you truly have your priorities straight.
On today's episode, author and speaker Ash Davis joins host Bo McDonald. With failing health, Ash's father decided he wanted to write letters to various people who played important roles in his life. Those letters were eventually turned into Ash's book, A Life Through Letters. Today, Ash discusses the importance of time and finding out what priorities are important.
[1:25] - Leaders have the unique ability to be able to control their time.
[2:00] - Instead of saying "I didn't have time" say "that wasn't a priority" then reflect on what you did instead.
[5:20] - Ash introduces himself and tells us about his professional background.
[7:00] - Bo recounts how he and Ash met.
[8:00] - With his health failing and wanting to recap his life, Ash's father wrote letters to various people in his life.
[14:00] - Young leaders should find people who speak the truth even when they don't want to hear it.
[14:20] - The first letter in Ash's book, A Life Through Letters, is to a man nicknamed Stone Man.
[17:00] - A lesson about empathy can be learned from the letter to the Stone Man.
[19:30] - As we all age our perspective of each other changes.
[21:31] - Ash reflects on which letter from his book is his favorite.
[25:00] - Many readers have told Ash that his book has inspired them to write letters to people in their life.
[28:15] - In a digital world, writing a letter can seem so permanent and the fear of making a mistake can scare people into not starting.
[32:42] Ash wraps up with how to find him online.
Links:37m | Dec 14, 2022
- The best leader I ever worked for
Being passionately curious and taking risks are just two of the key lessons that John Davison, Program Director at WHWK taught me when I was a teenager. I've carried those lessons and so many more with me throughout my entire journey as an accidental leader.
Today, I wish I could have John on the show with me but due to scheduling conflicts, it's not possible. Instead, you'll hear me share some of the lessons John taught me about being a leader.
[1:00] - Change of plans. Due to a scheduling conflict John Davison won't be joining Bo today.
[4:45] - Why did John hire 15-year-old Bo and put him on the air?
[7:09] - Bo recounts how John took time out of his day to teach him the skills he needed.
[8:00] - We hear about all the people that John mentored over the years.
[11:08] - You can come up with the best business plan ever, but it takes people to build it.
[13:50] - It's important to hire other leaders who are people people.
[14:30] - Listening to your team members and keeping an open mind about honest feedback makes you a better leader.
[17:15] - When a team member brings you a problem. Ask them to come with a solution.
[18:02] - The importance of being passionately curious.
[21:15] - Bo remembers a time when John was looking towards the future and took a risk to stand out.
[24:43] - John was a quiet leader – the anti-Steve Jobs.
[26:10] - Take risks and invest time on people you see high potential in.
Links:31m | Nov 30, 2022
- What IS an Accidental Leader?
What in the world is an accidental leader? In short, it’s anyone who finds themselves in a leadership role when they never had plans of being a leader. They never expected or maybe never even wanted to become a leader. And now, they have to make the best of it.
When people are thrust into these positions they’ve had no formal leadership training so they have to rely on their root systems.
Root systems are developed over time. It’s developed by every leader you’ve worked or lived under. Your parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, managers and bosses. Whether you realize it or not, they shape the way you approach being a leader. For the good and the bad.
Being an accidental leader is all about adapting and learning from your mistakes. When a certain approach isn’t working all you have to do is dig into your root system and try a new approach.
[00:45] - We learn what to expect from The Accidental Leader Podcast.
[2:35] - What in the world is an accidental leader?
[3:26] - Bo explains what a leader’s root system is.
[5:14] - We hear about Bo’s first job as a radio DJ.
[7:00] - After seeing what radio sales people were driving, Bo decided to switch to sales.
[8:50] - The tale of two Johns. We learn about the first man named John who shaped Bo’s leadership style.
[11:00] - Bo discusses his first confrontation with John.
[13:00] - After approaching leadership roles like the second John, Bo wasn’t seeing the results he expected.
[14:20] - Chris Locurto helped turn Bo’s leadership style around.
[17:12] - What steps did Bo take to become a better leader?
[19:44] - When you get free advice, take it.
[22:05] - What would John do? Bo realizes his first boss was the leader he wanted to be like.
[24:45] - Go to the concert was the best advice Bo had ever heard.
[25:00] - Bo gives us a list of questions to ask ourselves to become better leaders.
Links:29m | Nov 16, 2022