Hello, and welcome to the Leadership Done Right Podcast, Episode 32: Start with Purpose with Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr.
Get to Know Frumi
Live Your Why
She lives her “WHY” (purpose or cause) daily: creating a safe environment for leaders and their teams to talk about the tough issues that matter most to build profitable and sustainable organizations.
Begin with the Culture
She has a unique approach. She always begins with culture – the competitive advantage of any company. Building ridiculously successful businesses is what it’s all about.
Her Bestselling Book!
She is the author of A CEO’s Secret Weapon: How to Accelerate Success. The book was ranked top business book of 2012 by ExecRank and has a forward by her colleague Simon Sinek, international author of bestselling Start with Why.
I am honored and humbled to have her on the show today. Our guest is Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr. Name, welcome to the show!
Having the Right Team and Start with Purpose
When you hire the right people, you have smart people on your team. Leadership is really about having followers, knowing why you do what you do, and inspiring people.
As a leader, it is essential that you let people know why you are doing it so they can follow you through the tough times. This is especially true in a startup environment since there is more risk. When they know why you are doing it, they will follow you on your adventure. Think about “Why would someone come and work with you? They have to know why you are doing it.”
Being a leader is all about painting the picture of what the future can look like and how each person can contribute to that. You also need to start with purpose.
When you are a leader, if you don’t have a purpose, that leadership journey will end quickly. “Your ‘why’ or purpose is the engine that actually allows you to overcome all your challenges.”
Frumi interviewed 40 CEO’s from around the world and she asked each of them what their biggest challenges were. She distilled those challenges into the chapters of her book, A CEO’s Secret Weapon: How to Accelerate Success. “Knowing your purpose allows you to overcome the challenges that you face.”
Focus on Your Purpose
Frumi has been very successful by making an intense focus on her purpose. She explained that her why is, “to create a safe place to discuss what matters most.” She said, “everything that I choose to do now, I make sure that it is in alignment with my purpose.” That is why she loves to work with teams.
Creating a Safe Environment
She explained, “People need to feel safe talking about their vulnerabilities, their challenges. You have to create that safe environment for people to be willing to share and look for solutions to make things better. If you have an idea, for example, and a business partner has a different idea, how do you take those ideas, make no one feel wrong, but find a better solution because you’re piggy backing on both the ideas and combining them to make something better?” This is “an art form” because of the different perspectives, egos, and desires of the team members.
Keys to Create a Safe Environment
Frumi explained keys she follows to create a safe environment.
Start with a culture review. This done by talking to each member of the team before even getting into the room with them. Talk about what is going well in the company. She asks them the provocative question, “What would you do differently if you were in charge?” That question leads to a wealth of information. The results are kept very confidential.
When this is done, it is incredible what people are willing to share.
Combine (summarize), merge, and share the ideas. She shares this information with the pertinent people within the organization so they know the mood of the company.
Use a series of assessments. Frumi uses assessments like DiSC, to determine personality traits and how people can better communicate. She also uses the Five Cohesive Behaviors of a Team created by Patrick Lencioni.
Benefits of the Defined Purpose
Once you define your purpose, you can easily define what activities are worthwhile and meaningful in your life. Once you find your purpose, it is easy to select where you spend your time. If something aligns with your purpose, do it! If it doesn’t, say no.
The Speed Round
- Who is the one leader you look up to most and why? The most impactful leader in my life has been an author by the name of John Strelecky. He is a thought leader. He has taught me how to lead a little differently. She networks a little differently because of John’s example. She puts her “Big Five for Life” on the back of her business card. Those are the five things she wants to do, see, and experience for her life to be a success.
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Leadership is not one size fits all. You can be an authentic leader, a strategic leader, and probably the most important thing is to be a conscious leader. Don’t try to fit into one box, instead use your brain. You have a head on your shoulders for a reason.
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? Always looking to learn something new. One of my strengths is being a continuous learner. I never want to stop learning.
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? I can’t choose one book and I’ll tell you why. I have written more than 200 book summaries on all kinds of books. The site is called 100MustReads.com. My favorite book is always the one I am reading right now!
- On a light-hearted note, what is your favorite hobby? Reading.
Connect With Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr
What’s the best way to connect with Frumi?
- Website: Scaling4Growth.com, http://bigfiveforlifeenterprises.com
- Email: DrFrumi@Scaling4Growth.com
- LinkedIn: Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr
One Final Question
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice when you first started your leadership journey, what would it be and why? Always be learning. It is important for all leaders to be thirsty for learning. There’s so many ways to learn. With Audible books, for example, I never go for a walk with my dog without listening to a book. There’s so many ways to be learning that there is really no reason to not be learning.
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