1932 – Transforming Organizations through Passion, Innovation, and Growth with Claris Consulting’s Hugh Blane

Embracing Excellence: The Path to Transformative Leadership and Organizational Success

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Hugh Blane, the founder and president of Claris Consulting, on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. We explored the crucial roles that passion, innovation, and growth play in meeting strategic goals in the business realm, particularly in the wake of the pandemic. Blane, with his extensive experience advising top organizations like Microsoft and Starbucks, highlighted the importance of aligning strategy, execution, talent, and mindset to set a high bar for excellence and commitment in both personal and professional pursuits. He also stressed the transformative power of love in leadership—not romantic love, but a deep care for our work and those we lead.

In our dynamic business environment, leaders must be adaptable and attentive to the needs of their teams and clients. Blane passionately argued for the abandonment of obsolete practices and redefined leadership as a source of inspiration and a path to greatness for others. His upcoming book, “Lead Boldly: How to Coach Others to Greatness,” is set to offer a blueprint for leadership transformation, targeting senior leaders and middle managers to reshape not just individual leaders but entire organizations. The book promises to catalyze learning and create a space where leaders and their teams can excel.

To conclude our conversation, I pointed our listeners to the resources and self-assessment tools available on the Claris Consulting website, which can help refine strategic priorities. Blane invited anyone seeking further insight or assistance to reach out to Claris Consulting for their expertise. His insights are a treasure for those aiming to enhance their leadership capabilities and organizational success. Embracing a mindset of passion, innovation, and growth, and aligning our strategies to these values, is essential for transformative leadership. I urge you to ponder your leadership path and how you can apply these principles to become a revered leader. The journey to greatness starts with you.

About Hugh Blane:

Hugh Blane is a renowned leadership, athletic, and financial coach with over forty years of coaching experience. Hugh, the founder and principal of Claris Consulting, has coached successful CEOs to transform their leadership, which transforms their culture and results. As a coach, Hugh has generated over $75 million of client and enterprise value over the last ten years, and clients include Sony Pictures, Starbucks, Costco, Stanford University, Nordstrom, REI Co-op, and Wells Fargo.

About Claris Consulting:

We help executives, entrepreneurs, and investors accelerate business value by transforming human potential into inspired performance.

About Lead Boldly: How to Coach Others to Greatness:

This book has the potential to transform leadership and the results leaders achieve in unprecedented ways. Specifically, this book makes the case that there is a vast level of untapped potential in every nook and cranny of our personal and professional lives. Many leaders have employees on their teams or organizations who have great potential but do not perform at their peak abilities. When a reader internalizes the content of Lead Boldly with courage, humility, and discipline, they will coach themselves and others to deeply love the work they do, learn daily how to master their talent and mindset and lead boldly in a world of lukewarm and milquetoast ideas and aspirations. 

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Speaker 1 (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Are you looking for introductions to partners, investors, influencers and clients? Well, I've had private conversations with over 2000 leaders asking them where their best business comes from. I've got a free video you can watch with no opt in required, where I'll share the exact steps necessary to be 100% inbound in your industry over the next 6 to 8 months, with no spam, no ads, and no sales. What I teach has worked for me for over 15 years and has helped me create eight figures in revenue for my own companies. Just head to up my influence comm and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for great guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. I'd love to have you. With us. Right now it's Hugh Blane. Hugh, you are a well-known author. You are the founder and president of Clarus Consulting. Your website is Clarus Consulting dot net, your new book.

Speaker 1 (00:01:19) - It's it's forthcoming as of when we're recording this I do this summer. It's called Lead Boldly how to coach others to greatness. Hugh, it's great to have you.

Speaker 2 (00:01:30) - It's a delight to be here. Thank you.

Speaker 1 (00:01:32) - Yeah, well, give us an impact. I kind of just gave some high level touch points there, but tell us about the impact that you have in the world, who you serve and what you do.

Speaker 2 (00:01:40) - You know what the the impact that I have on the world is that there's a lot of people who are just kind of walking dead at work these days. You know, after Covid, there's a lot of people who are disengaged, and the numbers are pretty staggering about the people who are disengaged and, not really engaged at work. And that's the space where we step in and we actually say, how do you create a a mindset of passion, innovation and growth post pandemic so that you can create and, capture your strategic priorities sooner and with greater effectiveness? That's what we do every day.

Speaker 1 (00:02:17) - Yeah. And so tell me. Well, I if you don't mind me bragging on you a little bit. lest someone think you, that your small potatoes. Some of your clients include Microsoft, Pepperdine, Rei, Starbucks, Sony, Texas A&M, UC Riverside, to name a few. would you mind maybe just sharing a little bit more practically about what your engagement with your clients typically looks like?

Speaker 2 (00:02:44) - Yeah. So typically what happens is that the executives that we work with, they have a very strategic priority that they want to accomplish. And what we do is we kind of think about it this way. Josh, there's four wheels on a car. The front two wheels are strategy and execution. Those need to be completely aligned not only with business strategy, but also with the leadership strategy as well as team strategy. If there's any misalignment, what happens is you burn through rubber and it takes more fuel to accomplish to get where you want to go. The two rear wheels are talent and mindset, and if you don't have the right talent to execute on your strategy, then you're going to have false starts and you're not going to get there as quickly as you want.

Speaker 2 (00:03:27) - Think about it from an F1 racing perspective. You've got to have a Lewis Hamilton behind the wheel to execute what will then be the Ferrari strategy. And you know, but then there's this mindset piece and the mindset is are you playing to win. Are you or are you playing not to lose. And leaders are the steering wheel that drives this whole thing. And what we do is we help them get aligned. And every one of our clients says we got a business strategy. But what we're missing is an individual leader strategy that they can execute with excellence on a daily basis, that cultivates higher levels of talent and also brings in an elite level of performance mindset into their work. And that's the space where everyone is saying, we we have less time and we want to accomplish more. How do we do that? And how do we get rid of the friction so that we can go faster and at the same time, have fun doing it. You know it's not supposed to be. Work is not supposed to be a slog through enemy territory on your belly with bullets flying over your head.

Speaker 2 (00:04:35) - And that's how a lot of people feel these days.

Speaker 1 (00:04:38) - Yeah, certainly. Hugh, what does it look like when I think about, you know, being a great leader of people? Like, in a perfect world. How might leaders, invest their attention and resources to ensure that we're just not giving lip service to investing in our people? You know.

Speaker 2 (00:05:00) - And that's a great question, Josh. One of the things somebody came up to me after I did a speech recently and they said, here's what I'm really struggling with this. I don't see people really, you know, giving their full throated effort to something. And I said, okay, great, let's do this. Tell me, do you have a definition of excellence for every person on your team? Including yourself. And there was this long pause and they went, I just figured out what the problem is. So we don't have a high standard. We've got a standard, but there's not excellence is not the standard. So here's what I would do.

Speaker 2 (00:05:38) - I would look at a leader and say, just do me. Answer one question. What is it you really, really want? What is it you want personally? What does you want professionally? And you have to make it something that you have fallen in love with it. You care so much about that you are willing to exert effort and to pursue excellence if you don't have that. It's going to be lukewarm. It's going to be half hearted. So where I start is tell me the thing that you love the most, and that you will absolutely, unreservedly not allow it to go unfulfilled. You've got to start there. And in my most recent book, there's three. There's three sections Love Deeply, Learn Daily, Live Boldly. And I'm going to suggest if you want a flourishing business, then you need to have a flourishing customer experience. You've got to have a value proposition that people go, Holy smokes, you are indispensable. I got to have you in my life. The only people that ever deliver on that are your employees.

Speaker 2 (00:06:49) - So here's the rub. You want a flourishing business? Great. Have flourishing employees. How are you going to do that? You're going to become the role model and the avatar for flourishing. And if you're not, you cannot think that somehow or another, employees are just going to. Pick up on it through the ether. It's got to be done purposefully. Intentionally. You got to curate that and give a holy crap about something. Excuse me? So that people want to follow you. And if they're not following you, then you're you're missing the boat. Did I answer your question?

Speaker 1 (00:07:27) - Yeah, certainly. Certainly. so let's think about trends, Hugh, that, you know, this is this is what you do. And, you kind of mentioned some things, you know, again, kind of in a post-Covid world. are there any other trends in leadership that you think, particularly what I'm thinking of, things that are a little bit imminent, like what's going on right now as of when we're speaking, that you're seeing happening within organizations that that leaders may want to pay attention to.

Speaker 1 (00:07:57) - Yeah.

Speaker 2 (00:07:57) - So here's the data point from 2018. It was research done by Microsoft. And here's just the state of affairs that you need to be aware of. Everybody listening. That employees said that they trust strangers more than they do their managers. So there's nothing really new here. People don't leave companies. They leave their direct supervisor. We've known that for years and years and years. So here's the thing that I would say that the trend is going back to something that is old and it is tried and true. Are you worthy of being followed? Period. You know, so I would suggest don't look for anything new and remember this too. There are things that you are doing that have gotten you to where you are, that are simply not going to serve you anymore. Don't look to add anything to what you're doing. Here's the real differentiator. EPO elimination precedes optimization. Find the one thing that you're doing that no longer serves your customer, no longer serves your employee one thing and get really good at eliminating it.

Speaker 2 (00:09:15) - Because that's going to keep your employees engaged. That's what's going to help them flourish, and that's going to make for a much better customer experience.

Speaker 1 (00:09:24) - Yeah. Your website. Well, I want to talk about your book. and so I know and again, I know that this is, imminently, getting ready to be published by eight. Yeah. Okay, well, congratulations on that. And, the title is Lead Boldly How to Coach Others to Greatness. Who is this book for, and what would you expect? The transformation that would take place when someone undertakes the journey?

Speaker 2 (00:09:50) - Love that you use the word transformation. Here's what I'm thinking. I want people to transform the way that they approach work. So I have a I have a deep, unbridled commitment. Infuse the word love into your work. And let's get back to the word love being a catalyst for greater profit, greater performance. What is it that you as a leader really love? Tell. Tell your employees what that is and is it rooted in them being successful? So the book is really about how do you accelerate the learning for yourself, as well as for your team around the ideas that everyone has fallen in love with, and that when you can articulate that and then learn about that every single day, there's an audacity for you to do something that is bold and to experiment, to take risks and to do things that you've never done before.

Speaker 2 (00:10:47) - You know far too often what I see in the world of work and who I wrote this for, are the people who are, yes, senior leaders. You can be role models and avatars for coaching people up. And then there are people who are in the messy middle, who are on the front lines, who are trying to figure out how do I engage my employees. So it's kind of a double helix. Get really good at transforming your leadership first, and then you'll transform the organization. And I start with the leader so that they can know the context. And then I give to the middle managers the content with questions. This is how you do it. So it's senior execs and then the people who are in that messy middle.

Speaker 1 (00:11:36) - Now, who? Your website is clear is consulting dot net. to our friend that's been listening to our conversation and and, you've definitely piqued their interest. what does it usually begin kind of at the beginning of that relationship or how you might be able to engage together?

Speaker 3 (00:11:56) - It.

Speaker 2 (00:11:56) - It starts with just a conversation saying, hey, listen, here's where I am and here's where I am. Notice the vocabulary I'm gonna use here. Josh, here's where I'm committed to being. Now, here's what I would tell everyone. Whenever we have a conversation, if there is something that you really, really want to accomplish and that there is a a line in the sand, there's no way we will not accomplish it, then what we help you do is reverse engineer. How are you going to get there? We clearly define that future state for you, with your help, of course. Get crystal clear on that. And then we just identify all of the obstacles and the barriers, and we eliminate them faster over the course of 100 days. We call it a stretch 100. And we show you how to accelerate your learning in such a way, that you can accomplish your most strategic priorities, or at least some of them within 100 days. That's the whole purpose of that thing we call the million dollar dialogue.

Speaker 1 (00:12:59) - Yeah. Your website is clear as consulting. Net and by the way, we talked about the book, but I just want to make sure that I put a point on this, because if it is July, then you should be able to go to Amazon and you should be able to order this book. Also, you can find it if if you go to Klara's consulting net. And again just search for the title. It's called Lead Boldly How to coach Others to greatness. Very great timing. Very apropos for for right now. But it clears consulting net. Aside from the book, what else would be kind of the next steps for our friend that's listening to us? You know, here's.

Speaker 2 (00:13:32) - What I would do is there is a clear you know, when we talked about strategy, execution, talent, mindset, there's additional context there about what that really means. And if you go to the website, you can then see some of the key questions about these are the things that you're going to notice.

Speaker 2 (00:13:49) - There are four questions or statements for each one of those areas. Go there, take a look, do a self-assessment. And then if there's something where you go, I want to know more about that. Then you can just do the contact us, send us an email, and we will follow up and answer any or any of your questions.

Speaker 1 (00:14:09) - Excellent and again the website Clarus Consulting dot net cube Lane. You are the president and founder of Clarus Consulting. Again, congratulations on the launch of the book. Again, it's titled Lead Boldly How to Coach Others to Greatness. Hugh Blain, it's been a great pleasure. Thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 2 (00:14:28) - Okay. Lead boldly.

Speaker 1 (00:14:36) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence. Com and click on podcast. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day.

Speaker 1 (00:14:57) - Together, we are empowering one another as thoughtful leaders. And as I mentioned at the beginning of this program, if you're looking for introductions to partners, investors, influencers, and clients, I have had private conversations with over 2000 leaders asking them where their best business comes from. I've got a free video that you can watch right now with no opt in or email required, where I'm going to share the exact steps necessary to be 100% inbound in your industry over the next 6 to 8 months, with no spam, no ads, and no sales. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create eight figures in revenue for my own companies. Just head to up my influence. Com and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. Make sure to hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right, seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes every single day.

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