So I kind of stumbled upon this idea, and then really got serious about how a company would institutionalize a structure of dispersed power and shared leadership, where everyone felt like they had a voice. So we went to work really re-setting our core systems to be more inclusive, and to create more space for dialogue. Essentially, patience for process so that everyone could have an opportunity to participate in discussions around the most important choices the company was making. And we learned pretty quickly that the real key to making that work was to change the purpose and nature of listening. (08:46- 09:53)
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 has 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, the company, from 2010 to 2020, then we did from 1848 to 2009. (11:24-I2:13)
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. (17:59-18:17)
Scott D Clary: 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.
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 U.S. while going through this. He is now a champion of work culture, where everyone leads and every voice is trusted, respected, and heard.
His new book, The Seventh Power: One CEOs Journey into the Business of Shared Leadership, shares the philosophy, values and strategies Hancock Lumber Company 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 honored to be sitting down with the CEO of one of the largest and oldest privately owned company in the United States. I’m very excited to hear your story, your journey, some of the struggles that you’ve obviously had to go through and endured. But thank you very much. I appreciate it. Kevin.
Kevin Hancock: Scott, hello. Thank you for having me. I’m happy to be with you today.
Scott D Clary: No, it’s my pleasure. It’s my pleasure. So let’s get right into it. This is a very short summary, and it doesn’t do you justice. So 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.
03:40 Kevin Hancock: Sure. So our company began doing business in 1848. So before the first cannonball was fired in the American Civil War, our 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 the 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 in Maine and 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 a bit of trouble speaking. Something I had always taken for granted, never thought much about, and done a lot of. You know, as a CEO, really your tool is your voice. And suddenly, I couldn’t really use mine very much. I’ve recovered since, but at the time, I would not have been able to do this with you, I wouldn’t have been possible. So it 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 faced. 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.
07:43 Scott D Clary: So I think that it’s funny how you accidentally stumbled 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 must have must have been extremely stressful. I’m just, I’d love to know more about how you’ve recovered since then, 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 of work culture? What did you see come out of that?
Kevin Hancock: Yeah, good question. So I kind of stumbled upon this idea, and then really got serious about how a company would institutionalize a structure of dispersed power and shared leadership, where everyone felt like they had a voice. So we went to work really re-setting our core systems to be more inclusive, and to create more space for dialogue. Essentially, patience for process so that everyone could have an opportunity to participate in discussions around the most important choices the company was making. And we learned pretty quickly that the real key to making that work was to change 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 it 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 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. What we found really, I think, is fundamental human common sense. And that is that 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 has 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, the company, from 2010 to 2020, then we did from 1848 to 2009.
So the timeframe within which we’ve made this cultural shift, to really focus on the employee experience, corresponded with just a taking off 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 – an 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 is going to improve as a result.
13:17 Scott D Clary: Now I have a question. And I would like to just do a little bit more on your experience dealing with this, and some of the struggles that you dealt with within your family. Because if you are one of the oldest companies in the U.S., you have done things a certain way, quite literally, for years. This is literally quite, we’ve done this forever. Honestly, so we’ve done things a certain way, we’ve always led a certain way, we’ve built our business a certain way. Incidents happen, you can no longer manage in the same capacity as what you were managing in before. How does that family business dynamic, that 100 plus year business dynamic impact you? What are you going through? And how do you overcome that? Because if I was say, 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. Was the conversation not just, maybe we should hire somebody, maybe we should bring somebody in? So how did you sort of overcome that?
Kevin Hancock: Yeah, those are great questions. So I initially wondered if my voice condition was going to limit or even prevent my ability to keep doing my job. That was uncertainty faced, and it scared me. But I laugh about that now. I said to myself at the time, what possible good could. CEO be who can’t talk all the time? And today, I see that in a very different light. So it definitely created some uncertainty, and it took a good bit of courage in the way that all humans are called to face.
But the other part of your question that I think is 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 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 is exactly this point that you’re getting at. Which is how do you respect your past and honor your traditions, and yet constantly be disruptive with your own model. I’ve worked for our company now for 30 years, and we have changed in so many ways that had we not changed, I don’t know that we would be here today. So in my view, every generation of a multi-generational institution has to be entrepreneurial by definition, in order for that institution to continue to grow and be relevant.
17:14 Scott D Clary: That’s a very good takeaway. I also saw one other one other point. I’m just, I’m reading a few points that I took down from your book. Because it sort of walks through your story, and then it sort of delivers some lessons. And I appreciate the 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 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 read through a couple points in the book, I’m going to read this quote, and then 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 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 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. It’s still a good thing, but walk me through that point, because I thought that was very interesting.
18:53 Kevin Hancock: 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 as important, super important, but not all consuming. And serving a larger balanced life for the people who do it. Which really comes to the very premise of this question, “In the 21st century, what is the purpose of work?” You know, the purpose of work ought to be, among other things, to it, that’s the lives of the people who do it. And so then you have to actually start to ponder that unanswerable 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 a higher set of ends. And so you think about productivity and how it continues to advance. So of course, we can use some of that productivity to make, in our case, more lumber. But we could also use some of that productivity to just plain work less.
You know, there aren’t many people in America, North America, Canada, that are part of that two 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 got enough rest on Saturday and 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 less, not a bit more, and still grow, and advance, and improve. Not having it be one or the other.
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 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 reduced 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 it ‘performance goal’, that pays for accuracy, efficiency, safety, productivity. Things that reduce time, not things that take more time.
23:11 Scott D Clary: Now, can I ask why it seems like that is not the norm, yet a company that is 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: 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. The mission we chose to adopt is one that I talk about as being employee-centric, 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. Everybody in that model 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 enhances the lives of those who do it far beyond what they feel they’ve been given. And that same thing holds true in a corporate setting. So to 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.
Scott D Clary: As opposed to the only driver or the only metric? I like that a lot. And I think that 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. But now, over the past decade, you haven’t you your use case, you’re an actual example of how servant leadership, of how this type 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 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 can benefit a company.
Now, 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 it wasn’t clear to me when I was reading about, you know, when we first connected. 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 that piece is, I don’t actually know what that is.
27:53 Kevin Hancock: Yeah, so there’s a second part to this. The first part is my own voice condition, which we discussed. 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 reservation is the biggest, most remote, most traditionally disenfranchised, and today the poorest of all the Sioux reservations on the Northern Plains. And I’ve now been there over 20 times.
There, Scott, I discovered 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 literal and spiritual level. I ended up doing so amongst an entire community that felt as if their voice had been pushed to the side. I put 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 of established organizations have 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 not as a liability, but maybe an invitation to lead differently.
Now to the question of the seventh power. The Sioux Lakota 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 powers. 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 Sioux know that a seventh power exists. And that seventh power is you. It’s me. 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 line from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, “The strength of the pack is the wolf.” And that 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 humanity 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 innate power that you are an empire, within and to yourself. And my approach, in 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 the background behind the title. That’s what the seventh power represents.
32:52 Scott D Clary: Understood. 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 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 they’re 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? So good example with your company. Perhaps some poor examples with other companies?
Kevin Hancock: What a lovely question. And I think so timely for many reasons. When you think about combating the virus, who has 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 has to lead that? Everybody. Take social or racial equality, who has to contribute to that change? Everybody. We’re living in a world today where the big opportunities require everybody. The big opportunities require everybody.
So I believe this model of disbursed power is the optimal model for the 21st century, an internet connected, 24/7, transportation enabled world. To this specific case of this virus. So our company was, “ essential industry”, so we never closed during the virus. And if you think about our business, we’ve not figured out how to be able to make lumber from our couch and our sweatpants. So everything we do, we either have to be at it to do it, or it doesn’t happen. So not only have we worked the entire time, we worked 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 shared leadership model 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, 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. Developing a vaccine might be close to 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: Do you think it’s do you think it’s too far of a stretch, and forgive me if I’m reaching, but do you think is too far of a stretch to say that when you do have a workforce that feels like they’re empowered, that cares about the business, do you think that they would take an extra step of caution if they feel like… I don’t know if that’s too far. I’m just wondering if 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 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 can almost augment the individual’s carefulness in their in their outside of work interactions, just because there’s that pressure to not let the people down 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 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.
39:27 Kevin Hancock: So I love that question. And when you think about our approach, here is a key thing that happened first. I was not interested in making anybody work. And when this hit, 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 have 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, using your mission at every critical juncture in your company’s decision making. We have 10 stores and 4 manufacturing facilities. And I was like, well, if half the people really want to work, we will run half of them. If 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 go figure this out.
Scott D Clary: And they chose to work. They owned it. They owned the circumstance, they owned the requirements needed to make that change into a working environment that was safe. While you’re still in office even people like you mentioned, like the admin people, were choosing to come in and be part of that team effort, which is very, very inspiring. Because it just shows you hear so much negativity in the news about 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, 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 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 they don’t have a choice, no sick leave, they don’t have benefits. Doing what they do need to provide for their family. So the company isn’t shut down now, you get 50% of the employees are sick with COVID. It’s just all this negativity. So it’s nice to hear a positive story. I appreciate that a lot.
What I want to do, I always have some closing questions to just tee up your life experience. But I also wanted to give you the floor for anything that we didn’t discuss, that you wanted to bring on to the podcast. Was there anything in your career to tee up your story, or in the book that we didn’t go into?
43:02 Kevin Hancock: Thank you. No, we’ve covered a lot. But there is one question for the future that might be contemplated. And it’s simply this, what if everybody on Earth felt trusted, respected, valued, heard, and safe? What might 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. Where do adults get to continue to grow and find themselves? School ends when we’re 18 or 22, or whatever. But we’ve 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 the place of work is the prime candidate, in part because so many people work. And 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 can transform humanity.
Scott D Clary: 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 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 we live. We spend more time at work with our colleagues and peers than we do with our spouse and our family, in most cases. So let’s optimize that environment and build and facilitate growth in that arena. Because when we don’t, that just ruins people’s lives, 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 all of it is just shifting that lens. And I’m so happy you brought out some actual KPIs and 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 have a ton of – I have some, don’t get me wrong – there’s a lot of great companies that do a lot of great things. But I don’t think enough are sort of preaching the data points that they’ve seen in relation to some of the some of 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 the upper executives. 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, just exactly like what you did. Because there’s a really strong story for switching the way that we work and the way that we manage and 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. Excuse me for not trying to switch things up.
Anyways, 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 question I like to ask is, if you were going to tell your younger self one lesson, anything, what would it be?
Kevin Hancock: Wow, it’s a loaded one. No, I love it. It would be to become the change, that iconic quote from Gandhi. To learn to look in the word for growth and progress, that the external world can be all consuming. But the real truth that we’re seeking and the opportunity for growth that we’re seeking lies within. So I tell myself to start looking in the right place for change, which is in me, not anyone else, but me.
Scott D Clary: That’s a good lesson. 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 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 question, what is one resource that you would recommend that you’ve learned from? It could be a book, a podcast, an audible, a person, that you would suggest somebody go read, go listen to, go look into?
Kevin Hancock: Yeah, I’d say my favorite business author is Jim Collins, who’s got a bunch of books out. But my two favorites are Built to Last and Good to Great. And within the book Built to Last, my favorite idea that he writes about is the power of the “and” versus tyranny of the “or”. I thought about that a lot with respect to work and this pandemic.
So in one model, the frame would work 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: Very good. And last question and most important question, where do people go to find more about yourself, your journey, your book? Is there a LinkedIn, website, all those resources?
Kevin Hancock: Sure. Thank you. So you can see our company, hancocklumber.com. And then you can specifically connect with me at KevinDHancock.com. D as 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 book and my first one on Amazon or anywhere that books are sold.
Scott D Clary: 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, iHeart 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.