Episode:10 A Discussion on Being a New Leader with Brian Comerford and Nick Lozano

Episode:10 A Discussion on Being a New Leader with Brian Comerford and Nick Lozano

In this episode Brian Comerford and Nick Lozano discuss what they think is important for people new to leadership roles. We cover everything from mentoring, leading vs managing, and different leadership styles.


Mentioned Books

https://www.amazon.com/Creativity-Inc-Overcoming-Unseen-Inspiration/dp/0812993012


Hosted By:

Brian Comerford
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/briancomerford/

Nick Lozano
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-lozano-97356621/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NickLLozano

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Show Transcript:

Nick Lozano  0:00
Hey everyone, this is Nick here from lead.exe. I've got a great episode here that Brian and I did. It was kind of a first cut rough draft, the audio is a little rough. We're kind of deciding what to do with it. It's about being a new leader. And recently we were at a conference. And, you know, we have lots of great questions come up, you know, lots of discussion with other people about, you know, being a new leader acquiring talent. And you know, going back through listening to this episode, there was just a lot of great content that I think people will find really valuable. Like I said, the little audios a little bit clip here. It's not as the top quality as you're used to hearing from us. But there's some great content in there. Go ahead and listen to enjoy. Thank you.

Brian Comerford  0:55
Hi welcome to this episode of lead.exe. I'm Brian Comerford.

Nick Lozano  0:56
And I'm Nick Lozano.

Brian Comerford  0:58
Thanks for being with us today. On this episode, we're exploring what it means to become a leader for new leaders. Where do we start? Nick, I know this is a topic that you introduced is something that's near and dear to you. Tell me a little bit about your interest in it?

Nick Lozano  1:17
Yes, so I mean, for me, we all kind of had our first management position where we were kind of thrust from being you know, that the hands on boots on the ground to kind of having to manage, you know, individuals that you were probably co workers or peers with before. I know for me, Brian, that's kind of how my my first leadership position came about, where I had to go on to be the leader of people who were my peers. It was that the same case for you.

Brian Comerford  1:48
You know, for me, it was one of those things, where coming into a leadership role was something that really evolved out of necessity. It wasn't necessarily something that was awarded to me. Because ultimately, my my first real leadership role was something that grew out of entrepreneurial work that I was doing. And so from that perspective, it was I just kind of took on anything and everything needed to be done. And when you're wearing that many different hats, it's it's the kind of thing that I think you just figure out that you are in a leadership role, as a result of what is required for you're doing that that's not necessarily the way that leaders are always appointed, or how folks evolve into leadership roles. And in fact, it's, I think, also one of those missteps, for how some people end up being promoted into leadership roles. As an example, I would, I would say that I've seen it many times and a number of different things, industries and companies I've worked for, where someone who's in a top sales position, for instance, ends up being appointed into a top management role. Although that's, you know, they're really not analogous skill sets. What made that individuals strong in one domain doesn't necessarily carry over into the other. And consequently, people end up being set up for failure, I think.

I think I'm doing a

Nick Lozano  3:33
completely agree with you. I completely agree with you. It's, it's that, you know, old saying that not everybody can teach, right? Because as your leader, you're kind of almost a teacher or a mentor, at least the way I see it. And, you know, when I first came on, I was kind of had all these questions. You know, where do I start? What do I do? I think the biggest thing for me was, you know, how did I transition from being hands on to doing more delegation and management day to day, especially when it's a role where I was in previously and hire someone in to kind of come in and do what I used to do? How do I stop myself, you know, from jumping in to kind of correct the problem or do anything, you know, and, and transition to completely kind of evolving into being a leader, not necessarily a manager, but a leader, I want to make the distinction between, you know, what I think a leader is and what a manager is. A manager, someone who kind of only looks at numbers, make sure deadlines are hit, and, you know, gets things on budget on time where a leader kind of will do all those things, and they motivate their staff, and they bring, you know, people who aren't up to speed up to speed, they bring their weak players up to the same level as their, you know, stronger players, they're able to kind you know, do things with a little more tact and a little charisma. And I know, it just kind of gave you a loaded question, but I mean, How do you transition from being completely hands on to, you know, trusting your new employees, or people who used to be in your peers to go ahead and do their jobs?

Brian Comerford  5:20
Yeah, I think that's a very valid question. The fact is learning to let go, as a leadership exercise is one that I think challenges a lot of different people, it's difficult to release something that you have the comfort of knowing and step into something that is completely out of your element. Maybe it's not out of the element of all people who end up making that type of transition. But I recall seeing a TED talk not too long ago, where the speaker, her entire stick was really centered around the idea of you've got to fake it until you make it. I think that's kind of where a lot of folks really end up as their starting point. When they move into leadership roles. They're, they're handed a set of responsibilities. And they really are trying to figure out every step of the way, how do I pick this apart and determine what's my role today versus what it has been? In some cases, it can be easier to delegate out some of those things that aren't sort of in your preferential nature, right? Like the things that you know you like to do, those are always the easiest ones to say, All right, now, I've got another resource here, and I'm in charge, I'm going to pull rank, make sure that those are the things that get factored out of my workload, first, it's having a more strategic mindset, to really go through a strategic pruning exercise, and identifying, you know, what are those things that are ultimately appropriate for what I'm doing today versus what I have done in the past? So to that effect, you know, I would say that leadership is one of those things that, while it certainly can be taught, and, you know, I know, you're an aficionado of military leadership styles. Obviously, the military has officer training schools. I mean, there's There are all sorts of different layers of training that are offered up to individuals so that they can become skillful leaders in certain domains. But by and large, I think for most folks, leadership is something that ends up being learned, versus necessarily being taught. We talked a little bit about the Learn by Doing approach, which I think is probably how most people kind of get thrust into things. But just from a sort of a framework perspective, looking back on my own experience, what are some of those things that have made the transition for me something that I believe to have been more effective? I think the first is really understanding what the job entails? Because I heard you say it just a moment ago, Nick, about the distinction between ultimately, what is management? And what is leadership? management is certainly a component of leadership, and that, from my perspective, you need to know what a job entails. And and I'm not saying that, you know, in terms of, you know, you have, you have sort of a pipe dream version of where you believe that the role is going to take you. It's really about the nuts and bolts, all those tactical things, what is required for whatever that division is that I'm leading to be successful, what are the things that we have to execute on, in terms of day to day work activities in terms of responsibilities that are expected from the business? From there, it's easier to start breaking down definitions around, what are the types of roles that are ultimately necessary to help fulfill successfully completing those activities. And once you get into the definitions of roles, That, to me is a leadership exercise where you're applying some strategic thinking to some department design. So that, you know, hopefully, you've got a staff of more than one person. It's an exercise that becomes pretty brief. It's either yours or mine. But

Nick Lozano  9:28
In the restaurant industry, we call that the butcher, the baker, the big money maker, when you kind of give everything

Brian Comerford  9:38
there it is. Well, and you know, really kind of going through the process of identifying, you know, okay, who where's the accountability, ultimately roll up to, you know, that's an ownership role. Once a stakeholder role, right, we hear about this and in terms of racy charts, right, who's responsible, who's accountable, who's the one she's consulted, it's really taking an exercise like that. And going through the process of determining who on the team needs to fall into those different areas, so that you can start to divvy up, whereas responsibility. And then I think, really, not only managing to that, but ensuring that everyone within your team is aligned to their purpose within each of those things. That's when you have staff members who can start to look to you so that they can follow your direction. And I think I said it in our, our episode zero, where one of the most influential quotes to me in my trajectory of leadership experience came from Bob Lewis, and he said, if people are following, if people are following your leading, otherwise, you aren't

Nick Lozano  10:52
sure, I'd like to just spring up, I heard you say something there. That was kind of interesting, you who is responsible, right? You know, what is the job responsibility, who is responsible for what, and I kind of have this, you know, feeling that you know, you as a leader, you are ultimately responsible for everything and anything that happens.

Whether whether you pass that on to your folks or not, you should take responsibility for everything that you're in charge of, I don't I don't know how you feel about that. Or if you agree or disagree or CounterPoint. But, but to me, that that's a big thing. Anyone who works for me, I feel like I'm ultimately responsible for their deliverables, what they're doing, and ultimately, to make sure that they're successful. I feel that if I'm not doing everything that I can, and they're not delivering, you know, work that's do or deliverable that I feel like that I've probably failed them in some capacity, I have let them down. I should probably be doing more to find out what they need to get their job done, or what I'm not doing to help them get their work done, or what I need to do what I need to give them. I know that's kind of a long, explanation roundabout way. I don't know what your thoughts are on that.

Brian Comerford  12:26
Yeah, you know, I think you're touching on things that, again, from a roles and responsibilities perspective, having clear definitions of who's doing what, to me is one of those key leadership activities. It's not really about the managerial nature of dictating, you know, what is the tactical process behind each of the activities that fall into respective functional areas in a team that you might lead, it's more about setting the expectations, letting those who you have placed responsibility into manage those things independently to their best, the best of their abilities, and to continue to come in and really create dialogue around where are some of the bottlenecks that they're encountering? Where are they having successes, how can you help remove obstacles for them through whatever their workflow processes are? So that ultimately, it leaves you as a leader in a position where you continue to set the strategic direction, or anyone who's on your team. That means really empowering people with some degree of their own leadership sensibility, so that even if you've got someone who's ultimately responsible for administrative tasks, you're helping to imbue that resource with a degree of critical thinking, that can help them really not come to you every step of the way. as they're going through their processes, it's more of empowering people to be able to feel like they can tackle some of their own Problem Management, come back to you and have a dialogue where some of what they've encountered they already have a solution for and they may just be looking to use a sounding board, versus You're the one who's going to dictate whether or not things move forward stock based on their own assessment.

Nick Lozano  14:31
No, and I completely agree with you, you kind of brought up a good point there. And you say, how do we enable people to solve problems? Because when we look at jobs, it's mainly were were hired to do some work to solve some type of problem some way or somehow. So So how do you, as a leader, help enable people to solve problems?

Brian Comerford  14:56
I think the first thing again, goes back to my mind goes back to ultimately having those clear definitions around who's doing what. So if I know that, for a certain task, I've got a resource who I've really appointed as the lead resource responsible for the successful completion of that task, then the dialogue ends up being around, you know, what is the process today? How are some of those things efficient or inefficient? Where could there be bottlenecks that we can look at removing, and really going through a discussion about, you know, the things that are of a tactical nature, but also ensuring that that resource is informed about what is our overall intent, right, because that's, that's your compass pointing towards the strategic orientation of where you want to take your staff, the department here, initiative, whatever it is that you're leading, when those two things are in place, to my mind, you have an understanding of strategic orientation, you have an understanding of the fundamentals of how work needs to be done, then you can have a resource who feels equipped to be able to have their own ideas about where improvements might need to be made, how they might be able to remove themselves from responsibilities that aren't effectively contributing to whatever it is you're trying to deliver. And it sets the wheels in motion for some of that critical thinking to start to take place. For individuals that might be reporting up to, you.

Nick Lozano  16:42
Know, good, good stuff, you're going to find me completely in agreement with you there.

Brian Comerford  16:50
Well, you know, there's also a lot of resources out there that I think can be beneficial to help form both yourself as a new leader, as well as that you can share with members of your your own direct report down line. Some of those, those critical resources, you know, can be in the form of books, Ted Talks, you know, podcasts like this one, there are all sorts of different things that you can put in the hands of your resources to help empower them as well. To mean, having the sense of your own strategic direction, helps create those guiding principles and imperatives for your own strategy, that can then start to really shape what the underlying culture is. And, you know, part of what's critical for me is really having a communication style that allows for an equitable exchange of information. So really, what that means to me, say what you mean, and let's not leave each other reading between the lines to try to figure out what's happening. That that is a, to me a key leadership trait that I see sidestep time and again, to the detriment of, you know, individuals as well as their teams.

Nick Lozano  18:19
And so you bring that up that that reminds me, right now, I'm reading a great book called creativity, Inc, by at Ed cat Mo, who's, you know, one of the founding members of Pixar, which I'm sure most of our listeners, and you know, you know, it's all the Toy Story movies, then, you know, car movies, all those big box office hits. And one of his lines in there, I thought I thought was great. And I wrote it down. Because I literally just heard this today. And I was like, That was perfect. That almost covers exactly what you said, right? He says, Be patient, be authentic, and be consistent. And the trust will come. That that almost completely sums up everything that you just said. So you want to be patient, with your people, authentic with your people, and consistent in your leadership style, so that you're predictable. And then your the people that you're leading will come to trust you in the end. I think that fills me, you know, what you just kind of said, great. I don't know what your thoughts are on that.

Brian Comerford  19:25
No, I think that that is very concise and well written. Really framework as a starting point for where leadership needs to begin. I think the, you know, using something like that to create a strong foundation is what makes it possible to allow you to iterate around how effective your leadership style is in Confluence with those who are empty. So that in a very agile approach, you can continue you to review and assess, right? And as, as you start to see, you know, how is the culture really taking hold that can embrace some of those ideas? And how well is the following occurring? For the leadership trends that you're setting? That's when you can start to evolve into some other areas where you know, that trust is emboldened? Where you can really start to communicate things like strategy is everyone's job. Right? And until you have a solid foundation like that, you can't really leap into the next phase of your organizational maturity. It's like sending a flagstone right, you have to have that key piece in place, so that there's the ability to continue to add on to it.

Nick Lozano  20:52
Correct? No, I completely agree with you. And I think one of the things a lot of man new managers, or leaders struggle with is kind of, you know, letting their team members know what what the mission is, or what we're trying to accomplish. If you're not sharing that, with, you know, the people you're leading, it can be very difficult when you're a follower to understand why you're doing something, you know, why are we trying to hit this deadline? Why that why is Brian making me work all these extra hours, it's, you know, when you could be totally tongue telling them? Exactly, now we're trying to deliver this client project, you know, and Hey, guys, if, if we can deliver this on time and not be late, this can lead to more projects down the road, which then can lead to you getting more hours, we can hire more people here, we can grow business, you can grow up to an leadership role, you have the opportunity to have your own team, kind of letting them know what the mission is, of everything that we do in the background. It's not that we need to tell everybody who works for us every little detail of everything that we're doing. But I think if if they know what the overall mission of what we're trying to accomplish as a company, or a firm, or, you know, any type of enterprise is very important.

Brian Comerford  22:15
You touched on something that's near and dear to me. And as I have worked with folks from a lot of different types of industries, I've heard the question asked a lot about how do you set strategy, right? Where does that come from? When you just broke down there, I think is is very simple. Everyone needs to know, what's the intent, right? What are we driving towards? And what are the outcomes that are going to determine our success? So to me, strategy doesn't have to be something that comes in a 25 page strategic plan, document, it's, it can be something as simple as just jotting down on a piece of paper, you know, maybe even into college. One are imperatives and connecting to those imperatives? What are the goals? When you know those two things, then you can start to figure out? How is the work going to be done? Who's going to do the work? And what are the outcomes that are going to be expected from?

Nick Lozano  23:20
Correct. Now, the way I always think of it, too, is, you know, we're going to build a piece of software, what are the requirements? What are the functional requirements? How are you going to achieve those functional requirements, because in the very beginning, you know, what you're trying to build, always kind of try to, you know, when I'm speaking with non technical individuals, I give it to them examples, like building a house, right? You told me you wanted a house, I can build you any kind of house, I can build you a 14, you know, room mansion with 17, bathrooms and a yacht, or I can build you a shack that has no rooms in the dirt floor, which is the house, we haven't defined what makes this house our house to you. So in the end, your interpretation of a house and my interpretation of a house are two completely different things

I can build, build your house, but I haven't been given the requirements that you need that defines a house to you.

Brian Comerford  24:19
Having that alignment is absolutely critical. And you know, one thing that I should mention that I think ties into what you just said there, Nick, I've been in roles where as a leader, I've been on the hook for delivering strategy in the absence of an overall corporate strategy. And so as an IT leader, specifically, I can recall an instance where I had a CEO come to me and say, we're going to need your IT strategy put together and I said, that's great, happy to do it. Let's sit down and talk about what the corporate strategy is, well, no, no, we're going to have to have the iced tea strategy first. And then we're going to develop the corporate strategy. Now, that might be one approach that you can take if your core business is technology. But if technology is in a service, support and administrative capacity for your organization, then it's the kind of thing where it really needs to follow alignment with what that overall strategic architecture is for the entire corporate entity. And it's something that is easy to kind of get backwards when you have a leader at the top, who isn't necessarily certain about how they should follow undertaking their own steps to setting strategy. I think, again, it goes back to what my comments were around, it doesn't have to be something exhaustive, but you have to be able to start with a fundamental understanding of what are your imperatives? And what are those goals, once you have those two pieces in place, you can start to understand how the rest of the things roll up into it in terms of workload and responsibility. You know,

Nick Lozano  25:59
I completely agree with you and that you know, us as it leaders, we often get thrust into that mode, come up with the IT strategy, and then we'll come up with the business strategy. What she said like, if if you know, the technology portion of it's not your core competency, or the core part of your business, it's very difficult to structure that around anything. And, you know, you can bring that up to your leadership. And I feel like people have a tendency, they want things to be perfect, want the perfect plan, they want to execute it right away. You know, everything needs to be perfect. We can't do anything tell tell something's perfect. But always like to think of it this way is don't be afraid to fail. And don't be afraid to fail fast. Right? We just need some kind of strategy. Right? Absolutely.

Brian Comerford  26:51
And that's, that's good.

Nick Lozano  26:55
Yeah. Cuz I, sorry, I feel like we just need we need something right. People often are afraid to fail, because they only look at the outcomes that can come that are bad, right? Oh, well, if we initiate the strategy, and then we fail, it could be, you know, my job, you know, it could mean we could lose an account, it could mean, you know, we lose a large number of customers, instead of thinking, well, what if this works? What's the opposite side? What's the flip side? What if this works? Do we get, you know, a million more dollars in accounts? Do we, you know, grow the business by X percent, at the end of the year, instead of looking at just all the negative things that happen, you should also look at all the positive things that can happen, and we take that software development, agile, you know, approach and we iterate and we iterate and we iterate. It's not that it's set in stone, but we definitely shouldn't be afraid to fail.

Brian Comerford  27:51
I love hearing that. I'm a deep believer in failing fast. And, in fact, it's if you take that term, and you reverse it, it's it's really actually about how quickly you can continue to measure success, right? Where are those areas where things are working. And, and that way, you can continue to course correct along the way. But there also needs to be an acceptance and a tolerance of degrees of failure. Right. And that's especially true in the domains of technology, because there's a lot that can go wrong, particularly the more complex, either an environment or a product or tool becomes. So having that flexible mindset that allows you to implement, review, adjust, right? Again, in that very agile kind of approach. To fail fast really means to quickly start setting the clear course, for what the direction of your success should track along. And I think you'll appreciate a, you know, coming out of a military leadership perspective, I think there's a quote that goes something to the effect that plans really survives first contact with the enemy, right? So you need to have the plans in place, but you also need to have the flexible mindset to be able to attune yourself to really what's going on once you're in the trenches.

Nick Lozano  29:30
Practice now. And that comes back specifically, specifically to what's the mission, right. If everyone on the team knows what the mission is, you then know what the risk tolerance probably is, you know exactly what to pivot because you know what that end goal point is you're trying to achieve. When the mission is not defined, it's very hard for you to pivot and kind of, you know, adjust as you go.

Brian Comerford  30:01
And, you know, then there also becomes an acceptance, that disruption is a natural part of whatever cycle you're going through, to try to establish some stability and track certain leaders kind of thrive on that. You know, the uncertainty that comes with being in the battle effectively. I know that one of my, my favorite leadership books from quite a few years ago at this point, is a book by Andy Grove called only the Paranoid survive. And yeah. So me, one of the key chapters in that book was one where he talks about let chaos rain, because there is a certain creativity that comes out of being confronted with a lot of these different inflection points, that ultimately can start the wheels turning so that you can see, where are there escape routes that might be critical, right, to next steps that you can take either with your business or the way that you're operating division is functioning, all of those those different elements. But you, you know, again, to your point, knowing what the ultimate strategic direction is, for some of these things, is one of those key drivers. That gets you to to be able to adhere to a path where you're directionally correct, regardless of how much chaos is being foisted on you.

Nick Lozano  31:38
Correct, I remember that quote, specifically from him. It success breeds complacency, complacency breeds failure, only the Paranoid survive.

Brian Comerford  31:52
Well, and I think one other component that is important, particularly for leaders who are stepping into the role for the first time, the flip side of everything that we've been talking about, is to track your commitments, right? Once you've effectively established what the roles and responsibilities are, have an understanding clearly of the work that needs to be done, what are those imperatives and goals that are going to drive you towards success, it's, it's not a one and done, you don't put the plan together and start doing the work. And then you're kind of finished with it. It's making sure that every step of the way you continue to track what your commitments are. And they may come in the form of action items. Usually, for leaders, you walk into a meeting with the expectation that you're the one who's going to be delegating out whatever work needs to be done. But oftentimes, we end up with a longer list, pretty much anyone else in the room. So being able to effectively identify what are those things that put me in the accountability seat where the buck is going to stop, even if you've got direct reports, who you're going to delegate those things out to, you need to be able to tie all of those action items together. And then you need to go through some kind of grooming process on a periodic basis, so that you know you're not missing dates, or you're not going into something that's going to be a sizable amount of work unprepared. So that you can continue to maintain driving towards whatever your accountable targets are. That's part of what helps maintain that continuity of morale within the teams that you're leading. At least that's how it's been in my experience.

Nick Lozano  33:46
No, and I completely agree with you. And, and I'm thinking about this from the new leader. perspective. That's a lot of weight on your shoulders, your first time now, to go into those big meetings, get tested these all these deliverables. Normally, you're very quiet in your first meeting like that, right? At least I know. I was. Like, yes, I'll get that done. Yes, I'll get that done, you know, just a green along on it. It brings me to a point I, I think it's a good idea for someone who's a new leader or just anyone in general to find a mentor. Someone they can springboard ideas off of, they can reach out to you when they have questions, whether it's, you know, an in person, mentor or someone virtual, you know, with all the technology we have today, it's not very hard to find somebody who's kind of willing to take you on the reins and teach you. And I also feel like you should also be a mentor as well to, to one of your staff members. You know, when one of your team members who works under you, you should probably be trying to train them to take over your job one day. You know that that's just something I find very important. You know, being a mentor and finding a mentor, what are your thoughts on on that?

Brian Comerford  35:07
Well, I resonate with that, very strongly. I have had my own mentors throughout my professional career, I can think back to everyone who I would categorize as a mentor and identify very specific things about either their leadership style, their personality, things that they taught me. Things that ended up being key influencers to how I've developed my own leadership style. It's critical, I think, for you to have an understanding that, again, leadership is not something that necessarily is going to happen right out of the gates. It's the kind of thing that you step into, and you continue to review and assess and iterate and your own leadership style, just as you do with your your work. habits, a sort of a a quiver full of, you know, different arrows that help pinpoint exactly what you feel are the clearest targets that have been effective for you, coming from your own mentors are things that are likely some of those success factors that you can continue to pass down the line. And I think it goes back to what we started off earlier in the conversation talking about with empowering people, right, there's a need to interact with everyone, as if they could be the next generation of leader for whatever the team is that you're overseeing. Because ultimately, that's what really starts to foster some of that sense of responsibility where folks feel comfortable undertaking their own critical thinking, they get into their own private problem solving. Soon, they're coming to you having identified things that they believe strategically need to be addressed, in order for your group to continue working effectively. And at the point that that's happening, you know, that you've got a team of strategic thinkers. And really, at that point, nearly any one of them could ultimately step into a leadership role, if desired.

Nick Lozano  37:23
Sure, and I think I completely agree with you. And I think the word that was key for me there when I heard you say anything, was the word trust. You know, I feel that we've all had those leaders, at least I've had a few leaders that have gone through that, I'd crawl through class for them, you know, I do I do anything that they would ask me to do. And that's because there was a good trust relationship there. I knew anything that they were saying to me. Whether it was criticism or praise or anything, they were saying, I knew that I could trust that what they were saying was, they were genuine, they were authentic. It didn't leave me second guessing what they were trying what they were trying to say to me, or if there was hitting meaning behind that, and that they really had your back when you tried to do anything, or if something went wrong, you know, you had somebody, a leader who had your back, and I feel like as a leader, you should kind of strive for that. And it goes back to that, quote, you know, that Be patient, be authentic, and be consistent. And your team members will come to trust you, and you'll come to trust them.

Brian Comerford  38:31
I think thats so well said.

Nick Lozano  38:33
yeah, I just had to pick that out. I heard that also cool. Yeah, I gotta gotta break that down. That's, that's a great thing. It's a really good book, I recommend anyone go out and read it, it has a lot of stuff about, you know, animation, the creativity process, but he really kind of goes through, you know, all of, you know, their shortcomings to the things that he did wrong. You know, it's, it's a really good read. And it's, it's a fun one enough, if you kind of read a lot of business leadership or leadership books, in general, it has a different take to it. And when you hear him talking about different movies and productions, you know, you've seen the movies, at least, you know, I have I have a kid and I know you do Brian, too. So you've seen a lot of those Pixar movies. So so when they bring it up and discuss it, it's, it's a very good read.

Brian Comerford  39:23
That's a great recommendation. Well, as my own recommendation all fall back on it all, Bob Lewis, particularly for new leaders stepping into the domain of leading it, leading any any type of technology practice, really, his second edition of leading it called still the toughest job in the world, is one that I've found to be just insightful and meaningful, to really wrestling with sort of a different breed worker from other industry types that I've I've had to lead in, simply because, you know, you've got a lot of varying types of personalities, ranging from folks who are sort of pure engineering types, and they don't really have any social interaction skills, all the way to people who have incredibly strong personalities, and are very determined to enforce their own frameworks that they might have grown up with, on whatever your workflow process might be. I think the key, again, comes back to ensuring that whatever your organization's goals are, are aligned with your goals as a leader and aligned with the goals, the strategic intent that you've set, for the team that you're overseeing? When all of those things come together, I think it makes being a leadership role, a lot easier to undertake, whether you're new to it, or have been doing it for a number of years. And the one component that I think is also critical is having that capability of being self reflective, right, continuing to think carefully about perceptions that others might have, about how they see you, versus your own abilities about how you see yourself establishing you know that those goals and values that are driving the work activities and set the tone of the culture, that those are things that you as a leader are clearly aligned with, when you have all of those components in place, I can't imagine that you won't be a successful leader will be the kind of person that really creates a magnetic force for those working around you.

Nick Lozano  41:53
Now, I think that's what you just said the importance, being able to kind of step back and separate yourself from what's going on. And look at yourself, you know, and see how you're doing from an outside perspective. And that that's where having a mentor is great, you know, having that soundboard talking about a difficult time you've had or something you said in a meeting that didn't work? Well, maybe your mentor can see that easier. That's a third party, you know, it's not involved in the situation at all. You know, I feel like that's a good, good strong point, especially if you're a new leader, you should buy, at the very least find a mentor. You know, you can kind of take your time, I feel like I'm being a mentor, but you should probably definitely find one to give you that that sounding board. You know, when things get tough to kind of just, you know, grab their ear and run things by them, even if it's just them letting you talk.

Brian Comerford  42:52
I think that's a great point. So it's sort of a perfect place to conclude as well, knowing that every team needs a good coach. It doesn't mean that once you're in the coaches See, the coaching has to stop for you either, right?

Nick Lozano  43:06
Nope, hundred percent agree. It's correct. You should. As a leader, you should always be trying to learn just kind of like, as we work in this technology industry, we spend all our time learning. I feel like as a leader, you should always be learning as well. Whether you're learning from other it, oriented folks, or being someone who works in the textile industry, there's always something to learn. There's always somebody who knows something that you don't know.

Brian Comerford  43:33
Well, and hopefully this program can be one component of that mentorship for folks who are feeling their way along in the dark, just like the rest of us. And before you get into leadership roles throughout their careers.

Nick Lozano  43:50
Perfectly said I think that's a good spot to wrap. I'm Nick Lozano. And he's a Brian Comerford and if you could just go ahead and subscribe, like us on iTunes. Give us What is it five stars? Is that what we need? And just go ahead and subscribe. Hopefully we got some more great content going forward. Do you have any closing remarks, Brian?

Brian Comerford  44:16
Tune into the next episode. Thanks.

Nick Lozano  44:22
Alright, thanks.

About Nick Lozano

Co-host of the > Lead.exe_ Podcast and owner/consultant at CornerStack, LLC.

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