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Kevin Hancock is the Chairman & CEO of Hancock Lumber Company, one of the oldest family businesses in America. Kevin has worked at the company since 1991 and is part of the sixth generation of his family to help lead the organization. Established in 1848, Hancock lumber grows trees and manufactures lumber for global distribution. Locally, in Maine and New Hampshire, the company sells a full line of building materials from its stores and truss plant. A six-time recipient of the Best Places to Work in Maine Award, the company is led by its 525 employees.
Throughout his career, Kevin has received the Ed Muskie ‘Access to Justice’ Award, the Habitat for Humanity ‘Spirit of Humanity’ Award, the Boy Scouts of America ‘Distinguished Citizen’ Award, and Timber Processing Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ Award. He is also a past chairman of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association.
An award-winning author and public speaker, Kevin’s first book, Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse, won three national book awards. His second book, The Seventh Power: One CEO’s Journey into the Business of Shared Leadership, will release on February 25th, 2020 and is being distributed by Simon & Schuster.
Kevin is a frequent visitor to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and an advocate of strengthening the voices of all individuals — within a company or a community — through listening, empowering, and shared leadership.
SUCCESS STORY PODCAST
Stories worth telling.
On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.
He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.
Machine Generated Transcript
company, people, business, voice, work, question, lead, employees, life, create, book, podcast, individual, feel, mission, hear, power, bit, organization, productivity
Kevin Hancock, Scott, Scott D Clary
Scott D Clary 00:06
Welcome to the success story podcast. I’m your host, Scott Clary. On this podcast I have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, politicians and other notable figures, all who have achieved success through both wins and losses. To learn more about their life, their ideas and their insights, I sit down with leaders and mentors and unpack their story to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between, without further ado, another episode of the success story podcast. Before we start today’s episode, a quick note from our sponsor, and throughout a fully comprehensive equity management platform. This is what they do.Business owners, are you looking to raise capital and unlock shareholder liquidity? Before hiring expensive consultants or brokers, you need to know about enthroned private businesses use enthroned to unlock liquidity without bloating costs. With enthroned equity Management Suite, you’ll be able to create liquidity, engage with shareholders and control your company’s Destiny all in one secure platform. Get your free guide to liquidity go to enthrone.com/liquidity That’s enthrone.com/liquidity
Scott D Clary 01:17
Thanks again for joining me today I am sitting down with Kevin Hancock who is the CEO of Hancock lumber. This is one of the oldest companies in America, and it is a sixth time recipient of the best places to work in Maine award in 2010. At the peak of the national housing and mortgage market collapse, Kevin acquired a rare neurological voice disorder called spasmodic dysphonia when his own voice became weakened, so he developed a new leadership style based on strengthening the voice of others. Keep in mind he is dealing with running one of the largest privately owned companies in the US while going through this he is now a champion of work culture, where everyone leaves in every voice is trusted, respected and heard his new book The seventh power, when CEOs journey into the business of shared leadership shares, the philosophy values and strategies Hancock Lumber Company was embraced, has embraced on its journey towards becoming an employee centric company, where leadership responsibilities are broadly shared, rather than just power coming down from the top. So I’m really I’m really honored to be sitting down with the CEO of one of the the largest and oldest, privately owned company in the States. I’m very excited to hear, you know, your story, your journey, some of the struggles that you’ve obviously had to go through and injured. But thank you very much. I appreciate it. Kevin.
Kevin Hancock 02:43
Scott, hello. Thank you for having me. I’m happy to be with you today.
Scott D Clary 02:49
No, it’s my pleasure. It’s my pleasure. So let’s let’s get right into it. This is a very short summary, and it doesn’t do justice. So walk me through, walk me through your story. What’s the story of you? And Hancock lumber? The family story, your personal story, I’d love to hear at all.
Kevin Hancock 03:10
Sure. So our company began doing business in 1848. So before the first Cannon Ball was fired in the American Civil War company was in business. Here in Maine, we’ve been doing business uninterrupted ever since. And the company’s been owned and cared for by the same family that entire time. So I’m part of the sixth generation of my family to work for that company. And today, we’re an integrated company. So we own timber land, and we grow trees. And then we have sawmills that manufacture lumber that we ship all over the world. And then it made a New Hampshire we have a series of lumber yards that supply building materials to homeowners and contractors, and there are approximately 550 People who work at the company who are part of the team. So to the story you mentioned in 2010. Right at the peak of the housing and mortgage market collapse, I began to have trouble a bit of trouble speaking. Something I always taken for granted never thought much about and done a lot of you know as a CEO, really tool is your voice. And suddenly, I couldn’t really use mine very much. I’ve recovered. Good, since but at the time, I would not have been able to do this with you, I wouldn’t have been possible. So I turned out I’ve acquired a rare voice disorder called spasmodic dysphonia. And in a hurry, I had to figure out how to lead differently without really speaking a lot. And what I started doing defensively initially really triggered all the change that followed, someone would come up to me or with a question or a problem, and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to give much of an answer. So I started saying things like, jeez, that is a good question, what do you think we should do about it. And this was not a management strategy. At first, it was just a voice protection tool, designed to put the conversation right back on the other person. But what really struck me Scott, after doing this hundreds of times, was people actually already knew what to do. This is what really struck me, they did not actually need as it turned out, a management centric, top down solution to the problem they face, they actually already knew what to do, what they really needed, was the encouragement, and the confidence and the safety, to trust their own voice, and take their own actions and lead the area of the business that they were working in. So that was actually the trigger that really got me thinking about the traditional leadership model of power to the center, and the potential for a new model of distributing power, and strengthening the voices of others, and sharing leadership broadly.
Scott D Clary 07:14
So I think that you It’s funny how you accidentally stumbled into into one of the most effective ways to lead somebody or lead a team. And it’s not it’s not a fun journey to go through this, it’s a must have must have been extremely stressful. I’m just I guess, you know, I love to know more about how you how you’ve recovered since then, and, and the steps you took even I just want to know more about this, this whole story? Because that’s there’s a lot to it, I think. But did you find that as, as you as you were, unfortunately, hit with a condition that forced you to act and be a certain way as a leader? What, what were the impacts on the company as people were forced to come to their own decisions? Were there tangible improvements, like KPIs like what culture? What did you see come out of that?
Kevin Hancock 08:11
Yeah, so good, good question. So I kind of stumbled on that site, the and then really got serious about how a company would institutionalize a structure of dispersed power, and share leadership, or everyone felt like they edit voice. So we we went to work, really, really setting our core systems to be more inclusive, and to create more space for dialogue, essentially, patients for process so that everyone could have an opportunity to participate in discussions around the most important choices the company was making. And, and we learned pretty quickly, that the real key to making that work was change, that the purpose and nature of listening. And I write about this in my book that the listening needs to be for understanding, not judgment. So when I was a younger manager, as I reflect on my own career, I think I spent a lot of time listening to people in the company to see if I was pleased with or agreed with their view. And if I didn’t, I would then start speaking to try to correct or change or adjust their view. But we’ve since taken got a bit of a different approach and really kind of breaks the idea that there aren’t really very many wrong answers. When someone says something. They’re just saying what they honestly feel or are experiencing at that moment in time. So the big focus in summary was, has been to try to create a work culture where everyone feels trusted, respected, valued, and heard. Now, the concern a lot of people might have with this as well, what about systems and discipline and efficiency and best practices, and all of those things, we found that really, I think, is fundamental human common sense. And that is, people are much more apt to support that which they’ve helped to create. So in this period, where we’ve tried to create space, for all voices to lead, our efficiencies improved dramatically, our accuracy is improved dramatically, our rework has gone down, our productivity has gone up, and the company’s performance really took off, I’ll put it in perspective, this way, we ended up earning more money, but company from 2010, to 2020, then we did from 1848, to 2009. timeframe, I am the timeframe within which we we’ve made this cultural shift, to really focus on the employee experience, chorus on it with a just a taking off of the company’s of the of the company’s performance. But what I’m quick to say, there is that improved performance in this kind of new model is really the outcome and important outcome of a higher calling. It’s not really the mission. As a result, the mission is to try to create a workplace where the employees are having a meaningful, valuable experience. And one of the outcomes of doing that is the performance of the company’s got to improve as a result.
Scott D Clary 12:46
Now I have a I have a question. And I would like to just do a little bit more on on how you’re experienced dealing with this, and some of the struggles that you you dealt with within your family.
Because if you are one of the oldest companies in the US, you have done things a certain way, quite literally, for four years, like there’s there this is like this is literally quite we’ve done this forever, honestly, so we’ve done things a certain way, we’ve we’ve always led a certain way, we’ve built our business a certain way. incident happens, you are no longer in you can no longer manage in the same capacity as what you were managing in before. How does how does that family business dynamic that 100 plus year business dynamic impact you what what are you going through? And how do you overcome that? Because if I was say, I don’t know, I don’t know, the whole family situation. You were leading when you had this issue? And obviously somebody else in your family was leading before you I’m assuming? What was the conversation? Not just maybe we should hire somebody? Maybe we should bring somebody in? So how did you how did you sort of overcome that?
Kevin Hancock 14:04
Yeah, those are great questions. So I actually wonder if my voice can Shan was going to limit or even prove that my ability to keep doing my job that you know, was uncertainty faced and it scared me. But I laugh about that. Now. I set myself at the time what possible good, couldn’t see God who can’t talk all the time. And today, I see that in a very different light. So definitely created some uncertainty and it took a good bit of courage in the way that all humans are called the face. But the other party said that I think really interesting is the whole question of entrepreneurship, my favorite definition of an entrepreneur. I forget who said it. But the definition that I love is someone who create someone who takes a risk to create change. So when you look at industry, we always look at startups or new ventures as entrepreneurial in nature, which they are. But subtly, any company, or organization that’s going to survive generationally, is constantly going to have to reinvent itself. So one of the big challenges for a multi generational company, exactly this point that you’re getting at, which is how do you respect your past and honor your traditions, and yet constantly be being disruptive, with your own with your own model, I’ve worked for our company now for 30 years. And we have changed it so many ways that that not change, I don’t know that we would be here today. So in my view, every generation have a multi generational institution has to be entrepreneurial, by definition in order for that institution, to continue to grow and be relevant.
Scott D Clary 16:43
That’s a very good, a very good takeaway. I also saw one other one other point, I’m just I’m reading, I’m reading a few points that I took down from your book, because it sort of walks through it walks through your story. And then it sort of delivers some lessons. And I appreciate the the entre entrepreneurial by nature, even like within the organization where you’re respecting your past, but you’re still trying to be disruptive. Now, you mentioned that you were, you mentioned that you were disruptive in the sense that you were learning a new way to lead. So you are learning a new way to communicate with your staff, you’re giving them a seat at the table, so to speak. But you are also when I when I read through a couple points in the book, I’m going to read this quote, and then I want I want to just double down on this. So I could spend 65 hours a week at work. But this would not make me a better human or a better manager. The purpose of work is to support not thwart the meaning of life. Companies must create pay systems, work schedules and human missions that put time back into the hands of employees. The objective is to help everyone get out of their lane and to broaden their lives. So this is this is a step further, this is more of a work life balance. So when you shifted the focus to employees, did your mindset about what work is meant to be also shift? Is that something that came in tandem with it just because you were working in a different capacity? Because it seems like even though you, you adopted this mantra, you’re still saying that you saw increased returns? And I’m just wondering why something like this came out of a communication issue is still a good thing. But walk me through that point, because I thought that was very interesting.
Kevin Hancock 18:23
Right? I love that subject. I’m really happy that it came up, Scott, I’ve become very passionate about the idea of putting the work back in its place is important, super important, but not all consuming, and serving a large, balanced life for the people who do it. Which really comes to the very premise of this question in the 21st century, what what is the purpose of work? You know, it’s a work oddity, among other things to it, that’s the lives of the people who do it. And then you have to actually start to ponder that insertable question, what’s the purpose of life? And we can’t answer all of it, but we can answer a piece of it. It’s not just economic. Everyone can relate to that there is an important economic component to life. But economics is not the purpose of life. It’s a means to higher set of ends. And so you know, you think about productivity, how it continues to dance. So of course, we can use some of that productivity to make in our case for lumbar But we could also use some of that productivity to just play work class. You know, there aren’t many people in America, North America, Canada, that are part of that, too job economy working part time. And that’s a challenge in and of itself. But in our case, all of the jobs in our company are full time. And historically, people in our industry work 55 or 60 hours a week, and you kind of went home, Saturday afternoon exhausted. And if you’ve got enough Rasta on Saturday, Sunday, you could go back at it on Monday. And we’ve really tried to adopt a bit of a different model where we’re trying to work a bit last knot a bit more and still grow and advance and improve, not having it be one or the other. And but the other thing I’ll say about that is, when you take that goal on, you’re really tackling some deeply entrenched systems, likely overtime pay system, which I think is actually if you set out today, to invent the worst possible pay system for the 21st century, you’d invent overtime. Overtime rewards one thing, the longer it takes, the more you get paid, when really what we want everybody on our teams to do, right is to figure out how to make the work more accurate, more efficient, and take less time, that’s what should be rewarded. So we ended up taking our average, well, let me give you some data, we have doubled our sales this decade, and reduce the average work week from 48 hours to 40. And significantly increased the take home pay of our employees by increasing the base pay rates. And by building a brand new set of incentives, we call them we call it performance gold. That pays for accuracy, efficiency, safety, productivity, things that reduce time, not things that take more time.
Scott D Clary 22:41
Now, can I ask why it’s it seems like that is not the norm, yet a company. That is what literally one of the oldest companies is now adopting these forward looking policies. Do you have any idea as to why companies don’t change? Is it just the status quo?
Kevin Hancock 23:01
I think that I do. I don’t know that I have the answer. But I have an idea. And it’s a simple one. I just don’t think people are thinking enough about the purpose of work. And I don’t think there’s enough focus on mission. And mission really matters if mission, you know, and there is a lot of talk about this right now, in the business world, which is very healthy. But if the only purpose of a business is to maximize profit, in the short term, that’s going to create a set of outcomes. But let’s say like in our case, the mission is different. Our mission we chose to adopt is one that I’ve talked about as being employee set employee centric, excuse me, where the first mission of the company is to be valuable to the people who work here, and to have their job advance their life in more than just economic ways. So now, if that’s the mission, suddenly a whole new set of priorities and thoughts and outcomes start to emerge. Every body in that model that is not about kicking the company’s worth to the curb. Everybody in a company understands that well being of the company is a super top priority. And what we’ve seen and again, I think this is common sense if the people who work at the company feel Like the company is making them a priority. What are those people likely to do? The answer is really obvious, right? They’re going to make the company a priority. So serving others, this is just an obvious life lesson being applied to business serving others, often. It says, the lives of those who do it far beyond what they feel they’ve given. And that same thing holds true in a corporate setting. So answer your question, I just think it’s not enough thought given to what actually is the mission and purpose of this company, and a slight twist to think about profit as an important outcome of a higher calling.
As opposed to the as opposed to the only driver or the only metric? I like that a lot. And I think that Well, listen, it’s always nice to say, Oh, that would be so nice. If we ran our business like that. We always want to focus on people. But you know, we have shareholders, we have stakeholders, we have to, but now you’re you know, over the past decade, you haven’t you your use case, your your, your, your an actual example of how of how servant leadership of how this type of sort of sort of forward looking leadership, I wish I didn’t have to call it forward looking leadership. But you know, let’s call it what it is not, not every company considers that to be the benchmark. And I think that they should, so that forward looking leadership, and doing things a little bit differently, that’s actually paid off in spades. So it this is a perfect use case of showing how it actually how it actually can benefit a company. Now, can I? I, this is a really great topic. I don’t want to dive off and divulge. But I do want to just understand, I was just curious, because I didn’t it wasn’t clear to me when I was reading about, you know, when we first we first connected,
Scott D Clary 27:07
I was looking into the book that you wrote called, obviously the seventh power. And you know, what is the seventh power? I want to know what what that piece is that I don’t actually know what that is.
Kevin Hancock 27:20
Yeah, so there’s a second part to this, or a first part is my own voice condition, which we discuss. The second part is, two years later, in 2012, I began traveling from my home in Maine, to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the southwest corner of South Dakota, on the northern plains, that resume, Shin is the biggest, most low, most traditionally disenfranchised, today, poorest of all the Sioux reservations on the northern plains. So and I’ve now been there over 20 times, there, Scott, I discovered, or Matt, an entire community that didn’t feel fully heard. So I was kind of traveling out to the plains a couple times a year, searching a bit for my own voice on a on a literal and spiritual level, ended up doing so amongst an entire community that felt as if their voice had been pushed to the side, I putting those two experiences together, I concluded that there were lots of ways for humans to lose a piece of their voice in this world. And that perhaps even again, back to the question of the purpose of life, perhaps it was to self actualize, to find your own voice, and to be comfortable in it, to own it, and to live it and share it with humanity. But that across time, leaders have established organization to probably done more to restrict or limit the voices of others than to free them. And that’s what I started to think about my own voice condition as a liability, but maybe an invitation to lead differently. Now to the question of the seven power. The the SU coat symbol that’s most cherished by them is the medicine wheel. And the Medicine Wheel honors what they talk about as the six great external As the power of the West, the North, the east, the South, the sky and the earth. At the center of that wheel, however, I had someone show me one day, those who know the old ways of the SU know that a seventh power exists. And that seventh power is you. It may, it is the individual human spirit. So this whole approach of dispersing power, giving everyone a voice sharing leadership is really tapping back into a piece of long standing indigenous wisdom, which is celebrating and honoring the power of the individual, it would be a bit like that iconic climb from Rudy Kipling’s The Jungle Book, that strength of the pack is the wolf. And you create strong communities, one individual at a time. And just to wrap that up, when I got looking at empire building, historically, whether it was corporations or nation states or religions, I really felt that that entity has been building an empire centric model, where the individual was taught to sacrifice and make themselves small, for the good of the empire. But there is a reason today, why say engagement at work or confidence in government is so low. And that is in the 21st century. In the Aquarian Age, more and more individuals are waking up to their own sacred in a power that you are an empire within your into and of yourself. And my approach, and the end, the entire mission of the book, is to reinvent organizations tap into that power. So that’s a bit of a long answer. Sorry, but that’s, it’s good. To answer that title. Yeah, that’s, that’s what the seventh hour represents.
Scott D Clary 32:21
Understood. And and that makes a lot of sense. And I think that in terms of finding your own voice, owning your own strengths, building your own personal empire, I think there’s a lot of powerful things you could take from that. But let’s, let’s look at tactically in an organization, when you have an open communication style, when you have a servant leadership style when you have everyone owning their own. I guess they’re owning, owning their own success owning the company success. How have you seen this type of behavior, benefit your company and perhaps hinder some companies during the pandemic, when all of a sudden commerce is flipped on its head businesses flipped on its head, everyone has to go work from home, entire organizational structures are having to revamp digital transformation, all these things in a very short period of time. So what have you seen with your company? What have you seen? So good, good example of your company? Perhaps some poor examples with other companies?
Kevin Hancock 33:23
What What a lovely collection, and I think, so timely for many reasons. When you think about combating the virus, who asked to lead that effort? Everybody, every single human in North America has to lead that effort because the IRS moves one person at a time. Think about some of the other major issues facing humanity or the planet today take global warming or the planet’s health who asked to lead that everybody take social or racial equality who asked a tribute to that change? Everybody? We’re living in a world today, where the big the big opportunities require everybody. The big opportunities require everybody. So I believe this bottle of disbursed power is the optimal model for the 21st century internet connected 24/7 transportation enable world to this specific case of this virus. So our company was, quote unquote, essential industry so we never closed during the box. And if you think about our business, we, well, we’ve not figured out how to be able to make lumber, from our couch and our sweat. So everything, everything we do, we either have to be at or to do it, or doesn’t happen. So not only we work the entire time, we’ve we’re on site the entire time. And we do have a few administrative jobs that could be done from home. But we decided to all stand together. And we’ve all been coming to work every day uninterrupted. Since the middle of March, we’ve not had a single virus case, among our 550 employees, we’ve not had a virus case, among our customers. And in our share leadership bottle, we’ve simply asked everybody to take responsibility for what they’re doing outside of work for the cleanliness of themselves in their area at work. And then we put a big emphasis on spacing, I never would have thought this was possible. But we can do every job in our company, from the forest to construction job site, in six foot increments. And the other thing we found, once we spaced out a little more, is some of our symmetric started getting better safety got better, productivity got better at so we feel like we’ve stumbled on some things that make sense permanently. And we have not found operating during the virus to be rocket science develop developing a vaccine might be close the rocket science, but running a business and staying spaced and staying smart and staying clean. Is not that complicated. And I appreciate the opportunity to talk about that, because I’m hoping it may help give others confidence who hadn’t been working remotely or haven’t been at work about the ability to come back and do that safely.
Scott D Clary 37:31
Do you think it’s do you think it’s too far of a stretch? And forgive me if I’m reading but do you think is too far of a stretch to say that when you do have a workforce? That that that feels like they’re empowered the cares about the business? Do you think that they would take an extra I don’t know, an extra step of caution. If they if they feel like I don’t know if that’s too far. I’m just wondering if when you when you enable a workforce and they feel like they’re contributing something that they want to actually contribute to? Do they take an extra step of caution, knowing that they now feel aligned and and really just on board with the team and they’re all going through this together? Like I feel like there’s an added sense of camaraderie which can, which almost can augment the individual’s carefulness in their in their outside of work interactions, just because there’s that there’s that there’s that pressure to to not let the people down that you’re that you’re with every day that you feel almost not indebted to but like grateful for. I don’t know, if that’s too much of a stretch, I’m just thinking aloud, because it seems like the team is really taking the precautions and they feel like you know, if, if they’re going to put anyone at risk there, they’re not going to do it. They’re not going to come into work or whatnot, because you have 550 people with no cases, it just seems like an uncommon metric across other businesses that are still in business.
Kevin Hancock 38:56
So I love that question. And when you think about our approach, there is a key thing that happened first, I was not interested in making anybody work. And what this Yeah, I didn’t know we didn’t know how people were going to feel about working. So we asked them. We said, What do you want to do here? Should we take some time off? Or should we try or figure this out? We took the time to add that dialogue? And in our case, the answer was a resounding no. We want to work but think about the subtle difference in that step versus skipping it. So now everything that happened next was something they were of their own freewill helping to create And that I think made all the difference for us. So it’s really again, you saying your mission, at every critical juncture in your company’s decision making, you know, we have 10 test orders for manufacturing facilities. And I was like, well, if if half the people really want to work, we will run half of them, it three quarters of the people want to work, we’ll run three quarters of the facilities, if nobody wants to work, we’ll wait till people feel better. Or if everybody wants to work, we’ll, we’ll go figure this out.
Scott D Clary 40:49
And they and they, and they chose they chose to they chose to work, they owned it, they own the circumstance, they own the the requirements needed to make that to make that change into a working environment that was safe. While you’re still you know, in office, even even people like you mentioned, like the admin people, were choosing to come in and be part of that team effort, which is, which is very, very inspiring, because it just shows you hear so much negativity in the news about all my goodness, so much negativity in general, but I mean, people that are essential businesses that are still open, I think there was something there was a huge store, I can’t remember the name of the meatpacking plant, it’s a huge, enormous organization probably provides like the X percentage of meat across all of North America, where there’s just tons of people getting sick, they’re not being offered sick leave, they’re being forced to work like this is all these negative stories about people working during pandemic when for essential services. So it’s really just nice to hear a positive story for once because there’s so much negativity, all these people being forced to work and not you know, they don’t have a choice, you know, sick leave, they don’t have benefits, what do they do need to provide for their family. So the company isn’t shut down now, like, you know, you get 50% of the employees are sick with with COVID. It’s just all this negativity. So it’s nice to hear a positive story. I appreciate that a lot. What I wanted to I always have some closing questions, to just tee up, like your your life experience. But I also wanted to give you the floor for anything that we didn’t discuss, that you wanted to bring you wanted to bring on to the podcast? Was there anything in your career at the tip or story? Or in the book that we didn’t go into?
Kevin Hancock 42:33
Thank you know, we’ve covered a lot. But there is one question for the future that might be caught templates. And it’s simply this What if every body on Earth felt trusted, respected, valued, heard, and safe? Why what my change? I think everything might change. Where can that occur? I think the place of work is an exceptional candidate, to create that kind of feeling within individuals, you know, where where, where adults get to continue to grow and find themselves school ends, when we’re when we’re 18 or 22, or whatever. But we still got so much growth to do we all know that that never ends. So we need institutions that can foster that. And I believe quite some work is the prime candidate, in part because so many people work at second because the place of work becomes stronger when you take that approach of serving the individual voice. So when we think about change on this planet, I think when we look to governments or big bureaucratic institutions with all due respect, I think we’re looking in the wrong place. I think change needs to happen on a souls level, one individual at a time. And the power of making people feel trusted, respected, valued and heard. I think get transform humanity.
Scott D Clary 44:46
That’s a very strong statement. And I agree with that, because we always look to the other to fix our own problems. But let’s, let’s let’s start at home. Let’s start in our own cells. But also, where do people spend most of the time where do people get influenced the most, what has the biggest impact? Well, my goodness work, it’s what we do for a living. It’s what it’s what it’s what we live, we spend more time at work with our colleagues and peers than you know we do with our spouse and our family in most cases. So let’s Let’s optimize that environment and build and facilitate growth in that arena. Because when we don’t, that’s that’s that it just ruins it ruins people’s lives, when when they are just stuck in an environment with a company that doesn’t think the way yours does. I think that that’s the number one place that we can start. And and all of it is just shifting that lens and like I love, I’m so happy, you brought out some actual KPIs and some actual some actual data points that sort of back up what you’re discussing, because there’s a lot of talk about leadership. But I don’t think that I don’t think I have a ton of I have some don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of great companies do a lot of great things. But I don’t I don’t enough are sort of preaching the data points that they’ve seen in relation to some of the some of the, I guess, the forward looking sort of improvements they made in their culture and how they manage how they lead and how their employees sort of engaged with with the upper executives, right. I think that that balance of power is very important. I wish more people would sort of speak to that, and speak about the positive benefits like just exactly like what you did, because there’s a, there’s a really strong story for switching the way that we work and the way that we manage in the way that we lead and the way business is conducted. And it doesn’t have to always hit the bottom line. Just because we’re thinking in different ways doesn’t mean that we’re reducing our margins, or our shareholders are not getting the same return or whatever, you know, you’re excuse me for not trying to switch things up. Anyways, I really appreciate I really appreciate the conversation, I want to ask a few just incite life lesson questions. Because you’ve gone through a lot. So one, one question I like to ask is, if you were going to tell your younger self one lesson anything, what would it be? If you want Wow, it’s
Kevin Hancock 47:04
a it’s a loaded way. No, I love it, it would be to become the change that I caught it quote from Gandhi, to learn to look in the word for growth and progress that the external world it can be all consuming. But the real truth that we’re seeking and the opportunity for growth that we’re seeing, seeking lies with n. So I tell myself to start looking in the right place for change, which is Acme, not anyone else, but may. That’s a good lesson.
Scott D Clary 47:55
It’s a very good lesson. I think that if more people looked inside themselves and actually focus on themselves first, that would start to accomplish some of those utopian goals that you are listing out, which I can only hope we try and we try and you know, move towards achieving a lot of social change happening right now too. So I think that a lot of that introspection can be a very good thing. Another another question. What is one one resource that you would recommend that you that you’ve learned from it could be a book a podcast and audible a person that you would suggest somebody go read, go listen to go look into?
Kevin Hancock 48:35
Yeah, say my favorite business on there is Jim Collins, who’s got a bunch of books out but like, favorite, his two favorites are built to last, and good to great. And within the book mill, the last, my favorite idea that he writes about is the power of the end versus tyranny of the bore. I thought about that a lot with respect to work, and let’s pandemic. So, in one bottle, the frame this way we can work or we can be safe. In the other model, that frame with this connector, we can work and we can be safe, a whole new set of possibilities emerge. So the possibilities often derive from how the question or the proposition is framed and he talks about the tyranny or the limiting of the word or the limiting power and the liberating power of the word. And so Jim Collins,
Scott D Clary 49:56
very good. And last question and most important question Where do people go to find more about yourself your journey? Your book is their LinkedIn website. All those resources.
Kevin Hancock 50:07
Sure. Thank you so you can see our company, Kok lumber.com. Then you can specifically connect with me at Kevin de hancock.com. D is in David. there on that site, there are a bunch of resources, including my books that you can order there or you can access this blog and swan on Amazon or anywhere that books are sold.
Scott D Clary 50:41
That’s all for today. Thanks again for joining me on another episode of the success story podcast. You can download or stream this podcast wherever podcasts are available, including iTunes, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, I heart, radio, and many others. You can also watch his podcasts on YouTube. If you haven’t already. Please subscribe and share this podcast with your friends, family, coworkers and peers. Please leave us a rating on iTunes. It takes about 30 seconds as it allows other people to find our podcast and lets our amazing guests reach even more people with their message. And remember any rating is fine as long as it contains five stars. I’m Scott Clary from the success story podcast signing off