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Going against the Status Quo

Leadership coaches typically have the same theme when it comes to driving success for their clients. The usual is to remain an effective communicator, be supportive, collaborate with everyone, earn respect, listen to others, and be fearless. What if you go against the status quo and just said, "F**k it all?"

In my podcast, Jess Get Hired, episode 18 features Eric Harkins, author of the book, "Great Leaders Make Sure Monday Morning Doesn't Suck." We throw out the usual antics of professionalism and discuss leadership in a way that resonates with most employees and organizations. We take a look into his book and he explains how getting fired twice helped him to learn a valuable lesson about leadership.

I used to work for Eric when we were both at a large wireless retailer. He was the Chief People Officer and I was the Head of Talent Acquisition. I wouldn't say we had a harmonious relationship, but I did learn a lot from his leadership. He was very different than many managers I had before him. He found a way to connect with everyone and really could care less about how other C-Level executives acted. He wasn't going to change who he was just because he had "Chief" in his title. While many leaders in the organization would retreat to their offices or spoke with the utmost level of poise and professionalism, Eric did the opposite. I'm not saying he dropped "F" Bombs all the time, but he knew to pick and choose the audience he was talking to in order to get his point across.

Did that make him a jerk? Or, in his words in Chapter 15 of his book, "an asshole?" Most probably saw it that way, but Eric knew that in order to make a cultural change, he also had to be himself.

Eric says on my podcast, "I don't understand why being a C-level executive means you have to act differently. If you high-fived people in the halls when you weren't a C-level executive, why don't you high-five them now?" Among the topics we discuss in this episode, he shares the 3 lessons he's learned along the way. Chapter 3 of his book discusses:

  1. "It's Okay to Have Fun at Work."

  2. "Poor Performing Employees Don't Quit Voluntarily"

  3. "Assholes are Assholes. They Don't Change."

These three lessons are guiding principles of how Eric teaches and advises organizations about employee work culture. He also shares how he has transformed organizations using LEAD (Leadership Expectations and Development). Here are the highlights:

  • Create a culture high performers want to be a part of

  • Bring energy and enthusiasm to work every day

  • Build relationships at all levels of the organization

  • Support the direction of the company - no hidden agendas

  • Be decisive - make the tough call when it needs to be made

  • Manage the performance of your team(s)

  • Consistently deliver results

  • Help the company grow by developing others

(Page 120. "Great Leaders Make Sure Monday Morning Doesn't Suck" - Eric Harkins)

The premise of his book is to ensure that as a leader, you have to "make sure Monday Morning Doesn't Suck." That comes with a little bit of responsibility. Leadership is about taking care of your employees. Treat people right. Tell your high performers they are doing a good job before it's too late. Recognize the employees that are dragging down the team, and make a change.

You'll want to catch more on this topic by listening to our episode, "Who F**kin' Cares?!" on the Jess Get Hired Podcast. Eric's book, "Great Leaders Make Sure Monday Morning Doesn't Suck" is available on Amazon.

About Eric Harkins:

Eric Harkins is the President and Founder of GKG Search and Consulting, a Minneapolis-based consulting firm that helps organizations Get Talent, Keep Talent, and Grow Talent. He is a motivational speaker, consultant, executive-coach, and an expert in helping companies create a culture high performers want to be a part of. During his 25 year career in corporate America, Eric held leadership roles ranging from Manager to Chief Human Resources and Chief Administrative Officer.

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About Jessica Fiesta George:

Jessica Fiesta George is the host of the podcast, Jess Get Hired. Jessica has over 15 years of Talent Acquisition experience. Currently, she is the Head of Talent Acquisition for a management consulting firm for a private equity group. She advises founders, CEO's, and start-up companies on talent and recruiting strategies that position them for growth. She also is a career coach that helps jobseekers and business professionals level up their opportunities through personal branding, interview techniques, salary negotiation, and more. Learn more at:

Jess Get Hired is a podcast for jobseekers, business professionals, the underemployed, and the unappreciated employee. Find it on your favorite podcast platform (iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio, GoodPods, Anchor, and others) and leave your 5-star review and comments!

Jess Get Hired was ranked Top 20 Talent Acquisition podcast in 2021 (Welp Magazine), Top 10 Recruiting and Career Podcast 2021 & 2022 (Feedspot), and has been featured in various news publications across the globe.

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