In this podcast, Kevin Hancock speaks to Create What You Speak host Sloane Freemont about the leadership style he implemented at Hancock Lumber where everyone leads and power is dispersed. By sharing the leadership responsibility with many instead of consolidating at the top of the organization, Kevin is helping strengthen the unique voices of his employees and helping them gain confidence in themselves and their ideas. He tells Sloane about the journey he undertook to find this new leadership style and how the business has been affected by the changes. He also discusses how this is a model that is built for any type of community and does not have to be limited to a business setting.
Here are a few highlights from the podcast (click here for the full transcription):
- So picture this age-old setting, someone comes up to me at work because I’m the CEO or one of the “bosses” with a question or a problem. Normally I would have given a directive and an answer and an instruction. And now I started simply saying, “Well, that is a good question. What do you think we should do about it?” And while at first that was just a move to protect my voice, what really struck me over time was simply this, people already knew what to do. When I gave them the opportunity to respond, I found that they already knew what to do. They didn’t need a top-down kind of leadership directive after all. What they really needed was kind of permission and safety and encouragement to trust and follow their own voice. (04:40-05:41)
- And I really ultimately came to see my own voice condition as a bit of an invitation to strengthen the voices of others. (06.41-06.52)
- Yeah. And I think in the modern age, in which we live, we’ve really got to rethink the very meaning of winning to your point. We all grew up or read history, or you think about the Roman Colosseum, it was a kill or be killed or sports to win you have to defeat someone else, but I think in the modern world where we’re all so connected where the world has become so flat and we really are a single human tribe, we’ve got to change the definition of winning. And the simple way I like to talk about it now is winning Isn’t winning unless everybody’s winning. [24:45-25:32]