LearnChair Radio Host Bob Dragone interviews the CEO of the Business Thinking Institute, Ram V. Iyer. Ram was invited to the podcast because of his innovative approach as to why businesses fail. As he notes, over 70 percent of businesses fail but not usually for the reasons owners believe. Ram subjected this issue to one of his annual “hard thinking projects.” and after much time and effort came up with his conclusions. Most owners think they fail because they lack something - funding, marketing or some other external reason. Ram discovered that the main reasons for failure are internal. In a recent article in businessthinking.com Ram lists 9 internal reasons for failure. For instance, people think that because it is easy to start a business it is easy to obtain success. Ram also notes that people have what he terms internal thermostats - the level at which they will be satisfied with the money they obtain. Exceeding this level causes them to lose what they have made. In such cases, Ram states that 80 percent of owners would have gotten better returns if they had invested their money rather than using it to start a business. Ram believes that leaders fail for the same reasons businesses do. The reasons are internal. People start businesses, call themselves a CEO and believe they are leaders. True leaders, Ram says, must work at being a leader every day. True leaders are aware of both their strengths and weaknesses, and work at improving both. Education is key, and true education is taking what you have been taught and adapting it to the needs of your daily life. Ram lists three characteristics of good leadership. Again, it is being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses. It is having an open mindset. Third, always being teachable. His final lesson is when you stop learning you start dying. This is a novel approach to business success and well worth a listen.
LearnChair Radio host Bob Dragone interviews best selling author Jason Jennings on his work analyzing great businesses and great leaders. Jason discovered a number of years ago that his main goal is to find the world’s great leaders and great companies. As a result, he is a world renowned author of eight books on business and leadership based on his research of 220,000 companies. Jason publishes a book at two year intervals. He interviews 800-1000 executives each year as research for his books. What is not fully explored in one book often becomes the main topic of his next one. Currently, his research centers on explorations of culture and inclusiveness. He explains why these are important and what he has discovered so far. For example, he notes that the more a company looks like its customers the better its financial performance. Jason states that his biggest discovery is that great leaders do not recognize themselves as such. Great leaders, rather, are good, solid stewards. Do we currently have a crisis of leadership in America today? Jason feels that we have many great leaders but they go unnoticed. They do not bring attention to themselves and do not confuse leadership with notoriety. His prime example is given in an insightful comparison of Uber versus Lyft. Finally, Jason gives 6 characteristics of good leadership - a good moral compass, authenticity, good stewardship, purpose, a set of guiding principles and a balance of IQ and EQ. Jason’s comments on leadership are based on sound research and vast experience.
LearnChair Radio host Bob Dragone interviews chef and Texas barbecue master Jeffrey Hobbs on an exploration of leadership in the culinary field. Jeffrey is owner and operator of the Slow Bone restaurant in Dallas which is famous far and wide for its succulent smoked meats and excellent service. Jeffrey’s approach to the restaurant business goes beyond just serving good food, but centers on hospitality in all its aspects. Jeffrey describes his beginnings in the food industry and how he got involved in the hotly contested Texas barbecue arena. For those of you interested in what makes good brisket, sausage and ribs, Jeffrey’s approach to smoking these delicacies will add to your barbecue knowledge. The conversation goes beyond this, however, and really centers on Jeffrey’s leadership principles and how a good owner serves both his patrons and his staff. The interview reveals a man who is just as much concerned with doing his business right as he does for serving good food. Please listen to the interview if you want to learn more about Texas barbecue but let Jeffrey add to your knowledge of what good leadership is all about.
Are you interested in art and antiques? Do you want to know what are the best collections you should visit and who has the best private collections? What media is being avidly collected these days and who are the artists drawing the most attention? These questions are answered in this episode as LearnChair Radio host Bob Dragone interviews Miller Gaffney. Miller is an internationally renowned art and antiques appraiser who many of you may know from her two TV shows, Market Warriors on PBS and Art Breakers on Ovation. Miller explains how she got interested in art and how she developed as both a recognized expert and TV personality. In this lively discussion Miller talks about what’s happening in art and antique collecting and some of the pitfalls of the profession. How do you spot a forgery? What happens to stollen art masterpieces? This is a very concise and informative master class in art collecting from one of the world’s foremost experts.