EPISODE 010
Question Everything, Embrace Leadership, And Write Stuff Down
This episode is a conversation with Steve Worthy. While he is currently an entrepreneur, the majority of his career was in Corporate and he talks about how getting his MBA caused him to question everything. It was a gamechanger for him in many ways, especially as an Executive coach now.

settings
Read It
Would you prefer to read it rather than listen to it?

No problem.

Host - Monique Mills:

Before we get started into episode 10 I’m going to share with you the really raw behind the scenes conversation we had when we were first trying to get the recording going. It’s a little bit funny so I figured I’d share it with you. Take a listen.


Host - Monique Mills:

Can you hear me? Can you hear me now?


Guest - Steve Worthy:

Right? There you go. Can you hear me?


Host - Monique Mills:

Yeah. This certainly sounded like a T-Mobile commercial.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

Hahahaha.


Host - Monique Mills:

This is ridiculous. Oh my gosh.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

I'm sorry. I'm trying to tell you. Can you hear me now?


Host - Monique Mills:

Yea, I can hear you now. This should've been a commercial.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

I wish. We should. We should have recorded it and sent it to them. Be like, Hey, here's some creative for you.


Host - Monique Mills:

But to be honest with you, I did a post on LinkedIn that said that every call does not have to be a video call.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

True, true, true.


Host - Monique Mills:

People can still make phone calls. If the cell phone people kind of ran with that narrative and took this video where you and I were like, can you hear me? Can you hear me? It wasn't working and say, just pick up the phone, right?


Guest - Steve Worthy:

When you, when the last time you went out to meeting. I was like, okay, maybe she's just going to call me. And I was like, that'll work too.


Host - Monique Mills: 

Welcome to the Unpolished MBA podcast 

On this podcast we have conversations with tech startup founders and entrepreneurs and traditional corporate MBA’s.

Many say that Startups = The Unpolished MBA because those without the formal business education are scrappy and do many things untraditionally to achieve business success.

Anyone who has built a business from an idea can attest to the fact that the experience is another level MBA and there’s nothing quite like it. The candid conversations shared here is helpful to both sides of the fence.  One is not better than the other, just different. Let’s jump in.


Host - Monique Mills:

Hi I’m your host Monique Mills. In my work I get to have great conversations with a lot of smart and interesting people. 

In this episode I share a conversation I had with Steve Worthy. While he is currently an entrepreneur, the majority of his career was in Corporate and he talks about how getting his MBA caused him to question everything. Listen in as Steve shares his story along with some great personal development tips.


Host - Monique Mills:

Are you an entrepreneur or corporate employee?


Guest - Steve Worthy:

I am an entrepreneur.


Host - Monique Mills:

Okay. MBA or no MBA?


Guest - Steve Worthy:

MBA.


Host - Monique Mills:

Okay. So what took you into entrepreneurship?


Guest - Steve Worthy:

Well, it's interesting. So my first goal, my first foray into entrepreneurship was, was prior to my MBA. And so it was a derivative of the curve, my current business, which is Worthy Leadership Group. When I lived in Atlanta, I started a business called Worthy Business Solutions and it was, it was kind of a offshoot of something that happened at our church, where we were actually teaching people how to start a business. And we just got, we just got bombarded with people coming into this class. And the next thing, you know, I started this little offshoot at a coffee shop and people who were just coming and we would just start talking about business problems and issues, talent, strategy, market segmentation, all these different things. And so I said, Hey, I think I got something here.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

And I just started and I started writing business plans. Can you hear the dread in my mouth, in my voice? I started writing, writing business plans, marketing plans all these things that I could talk all day about. And help somebody all day long. I started writing them and it, it was just, it was horrible. It was, it was bad. It was horrible. It was bad because I just, I just didn't enjoy that aspect of the business. I enjoyed the teaching. The, Hey, that's what I could walk you through, read me your strategy, then I can critique it. And so I kind of moved into that where I started doing more consultancy work. And so that's where kind of the Worthy Business Solutions kind of started. And then a buddy of mine, we actually started a radio talk show, blog talk radio.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

And we just, we we've married that into the radio show. Where we were helping entrepreneur husbands kind of understand and balance, you know, entrepreneur, but also to be a husband as well. And then of course, as you know, I was still in corporate America at the time and you know, how things go. You start making a little bit more money. And then that business kind of went to the side. Fast forward four years ago, four years ago for fast forward, maybe another 10 years, if you will. The worthy business solutions kinda came out. I had went back to school and obtained my MBA and it opened up an entire different world for me from a corporate America standpoint. And that aspect of it, it just, it catapulted my career. So all those learnings from an entrepreneur, all of the struggles and all the mistakes and all the different things that you just had to read in books about and learn on the fly. And I had mentors and things like that.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

When I, when I got my MBA, the MBA was just almost kind of the icing on the cake. It galvanized all of those learnings. And the biggest thing that MBA taught me as I moved into corporate America and into my current business was, it was truly critical thinking. I know I paid a lot of money for that, right. We all did it. It was more than critical thinking of course, but I think that for me, it just, it caused me to question everything. Strategy. How how to present, how to bring ideas to the table, and the critical thinking, helped me kind of dive deeper and problem solve so much quicker, so much quicker than my peers. And then now as an executive coach and also as a podcaster, the ability to be able to problem solve very quickly has boded well for me. However, now I find myself having to make sure I slow down a little bit and not try to get ahead of whether it's the guest or whether it's my executive coaching client or, the workshops that I'm doing, having to slow myself down and make sure I'm bringing everybody along for the ride, if you will.


Host - Monique Mills:

It’s so common now for people to create a website and call themselves a coach, so in this clip Steve talks about what executive coaching is NOT. There are many misconceptions and many types of coaches. Unfortunately, some people turn executive coaching sessions into therapy sessions and he clarifies the difference and then we also go into the differences in coaching, consulting, mentoring and sponsorship. These are all different but confused all the time so I think this will be helpful. Keep listening.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

So my executive coaching, we deal with black and minority leaders. And then we also deal with organizations and helping them understand how to balance or how to embrace leadership equity and understand that aspect as well. So we kind of marry the two. So I actually take the organizations and help them with workshops, but I also help coach some of their executive team and some of their, some of the black and minority executives. But then I also have the black minority leaders who are looking for executive coaching to try to help them understand the rigor that's associated with kind of go up there. It's not a given it's, it's just, it's not just going to happen for you. You have to be, you have to have the emotional intelligence, but also the self awareness to be able to understand your blind spots and to be able to move swiftly, understand diplomacy, understand communication, understand where you are in your leadership quality. I hate to use that word. Everybody's already use the word, your superpower, but if you will. To try to understand that, because that will help you as you, as you start to embrace different roles and different people within an organization. And so just try to marry those two, but the education truly comes in in helping people truly understand what executive coaching is.


Host - Monique Mills:

So describe it for those who are listening.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

Yeah. You know, it's okay. I'll tell you what, it's not. It's not counseling. It's not therapy. We don't spend an excessive amount of time talking about like your childhood, you know, and things like that. It, your socialization and your family dynamics do play a role in who you are. Absolutely. But we just take a piece of that. And, but we use a personality test to actually help you with that. But coaching is truly helping you, guiding you to a desired result that you define. Coaching does not provide the agenda per se, for you to get to that desired result. We are here to help guide and ask questions and to help you identify those gaps that are within your life. We just start with your current state. And then we talk about your future state, which is your results. Where do you want to be, but then we talk about the gap and then we close the gap.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

But the current state is probably the most important. If we don't define that current state, where you are emotionally, where you are from a mentality standpoint, career wise, what do you desire? What makes your definition of success. All those things. You have to be open and honest about it. And if you're not, then it doesn't matter where you want to go. Think from a coaching standpoint is that you actually truly have to understand, we are not here to kind of hold your hand through the process. We're not here to have you just kinda beat up your boss. Say my boss is horrible and this and that. It's not truly about that. It ss really helping you understand who you are so that we can help you get to where you truly want to go. And you help and you play 80% of that role. I think the tendency is that they think that coaches will be, it's like, 20/80. I'm like, no, no, this is your journey. This is your journey. We're here to help guide you with that process as well.


Host - Monique Mills:

So, you know, sometimes I think people confuse coaching with consulting and those are different things. And I also think coaching, consulting, and mentoring are different things.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

Ah yea. And sponsorship.


Host - Monique Mills:

Yes, sponsorship. Sponsorship is completely different. Yeah.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

Completely different. I just did a podcast on sponsorship versus mentorship. And I like this and demystify that because they're completely different. I had mentors that I specifically sought out because they had a, they was subject matter experts in a certain area. And we define that relationship, Hey, this is exactly what I need you for. I need you maybe to help me with the operational prowess, you know, your side of what I'm going to need for this company. Maybe, you know, the terminology aspect. Then I had mentors to help me from a a political standpoint and diplomacy, Hey, help me navigate. I'm going to be up for promotion here shortl., Or, help me navigate the waters. What does that look like? You're already there. So walk me through that process. Right? And then when I think about the sponsor, you know, everybody thinks about the sponsor, as the, or they should think about the sponsor, of course, is that person who's talking about you when you're not in the room. But here's the thing...Sponsorship is earned and is not given to you.


Host - Monique Mills:

That's right.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

It is not given to you. And that's something that, Oh my gosh, I need a sponsor. Well are you known? And is your work known? Because every time I've had a sponsor, I didn't even know that that person was looking at me. I didn't even know that that person almost kind of knew I existed. But here's the other part about sponsorship that I think is truly underestimated. Is that, and if you have a really good sponsor, they put you in situations where you don't even know that one year you're being, you're being stretched. Sometimes you may know that. Sometimes you may not. But the other side of it is that they are taking those opportunities to position you, because they're talking about you to their boss and their boss's boss. I have a great example that I used in the podcast, of Jim Hogan, who's just one of the best dudes anybody could ever meet.


He was my sponsor and a mentor and a friend. He had me create these documents. He had a business unit. He was over like 2.5 billion. And so he said, Steve, I need you to create like an overview, weekly overview. And we're going to send it out to the entire team. Then I was like, well shouldn't somebody else more seasoned, you know, do this? No, I want you to do it. I want you to do it. So I almost had a little bit of imposter syndrome going on. And we could probably talk about that in a little bit. I know he was sending it every week to his boss and his boss's boss. And so we ended up going to this whole corporate event. And there was one guy who I truly wanted to meet, which was Jim's boss. And I said I saw him come in and you know, I'm talking to him and I'm like, Hey, how you doing?

He said Hey, so your Steve.


Host - Monique Mills:

He already knew who you were.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

I'm like, yeah I am. Hey, I already know who you are. I already know all about you. I appreciate everything that you've been doing. Love what you're doing, love the talent that you're bringing on board, all this other stuff. And so, so that sponsorship piece is massive and it just helps you. It helps you build confidence and helps you kind of understand that people truly do care about you. But man, it is so ,it is earned so much.


Host - Monique Mills:

Do you coach, both inside of corporate and entrepreneurs?


Guest - Steve Worthy:

Yes.


Host - Monique Mills:

Do you notice any kind of difference in the levels of confidence between the two?


Guest - Steve Worthy:

Know what, I think entrepreneurs are a little bit. They deal with something different because it's the uncertainty of the future. It's like, Oh my gosh, I don't know if this, this market or this idea, this product is actually going to excel. Unless they've been in business for awhile. When I coach corporate clients, there's a surety because of the organization. And if the organization is on firm ground and they feel that they're on firm ground. However, when it comes to them trying to be noticed or to be seen, then that's where the issue lies. It's because they feel like their peers or they feel like somebody else is actually, you know, better than them. Where, and I, and I look at their credentials and we talk and I'm like, I have no clue. I don't know why you feel that way. I don't say that to them (laugh).


Host - Monique Mills:

Right.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

But in my head I'm like, I don't know why you feel that way.

So I work with them on confidence. I work with them on their voice. Right? I think the other side of that, when you, when you're in corporate, per se, you take on the corporate voice. You take on the corporate culture. And so you need to have your own leadership voice. And how do you do that? How do you stand out from your peers? It's not always disagreeing with your peers. Well, I'm going to stand up because I'm just going to disagree with everything that you have to say. That's not the way to stand out. No, it's not. I mean, you can. I can embrace whatever your idea is and even if I disagree with a little bit, I can embrace it and try to see the merit. And I think that's where we try to help them cultivate that ability of acceptance. Also emotional acceptance of space.


And what I mean by that is that if you feel upset about something, it's okay. And I don't mean that in a negative context, I actually mean that in a good context. Because you have, sometimes you have to stay with that emotion, but you don't allow that emotion to consume you because once you allow it to consume you, now, you can't see.


Host - Monique Mills:

I was interested in knowing how he broke down the process with working with people. And he broke it down into 3 things. Take a listen.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

Your thoughts, your actions and your habits, right? So all those, those three kind of combined. And how do you take a look at each one of those areas within your life and make sure that you actually have solid, continuous developing habits. The tendency with a habit is that we will try something. And it's not a really habit. It's something that we ended up doing. Well, we'll try something for a couple of days and it's not working.


Get up in the morning, I'm going to get up at five o'clock every morning. It starts with three days, you know? So you have to be ruthless. You have to be ruthless about, about your habits and consistent with them. But you also have to define what those habits are going to be and how they're going to impact your life and what those results that you want from those habits. The thoughts. Thoughts are the ones that, that is the, for me, that's almost like the foundation for everything else. If you have negative thoughts about your actions or about where you are in your plot in life, or where you are with the new organization or where you are. As an executive coach, I use myself as an example where I know so many, so many more seasoned coaches than myself, and be like, well, who am I?


Someone said, imposter syndrome theory. Well who am I to go in here and try to coach some of these individuals. But I've been able to have a really good measure of success because I've been able to show up differently. I've been having, I've been able to take my thoughts under control. It's a consistency that's associated with those thoughts and how you approach it. And then your actions are just about execution. It is how are you going to look at your habits that builds your thoughts, and then your actions are just a combination of all these things. And then, how are you showing up? But once again, the underpinning for me is always just a consistency within there, because you can start something all day long. But if you don't have the consistency to kind of see it through, it just doesn't matter. It doesn't matter.


Host - Monique Mills:

But I tell them, I'm like, when we meet, I need you to be writing stuff down. I need you to be putting it in your Evernote and your note section. Because you will find, I mean, we're just constantly overwhelmed with messages. We all are. You want to, once they dig deep with, especially in a session with you, for example. When you're going through your thoughts, your actions, and what's the execution. I mean, we're just human. We tend to forget. We forget. And then you've got to keep repeating the lesson and it wastes time. You know, let's go back and revisit these notes.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

Yeah. Before we even start, get your pen and pad. I said, I'm old school. Get your pen and pad, or get your notepad or iPad, because I am a, if you can't see my desk, thank God you can't, because I have post-it notes and stuff all over the place. But I'm a firm believer in writing it down. Write it down. Those who write it down, have a better tendency to actually execute, on it. Because now it's written, it's almost a form of accountability.


Host - Monique Mills:

I'm a fan of using the technology of like Evernote or whatever it is people use, because I'll just type in one word and it'll bring up all my notes about that. And I'll skim through and say this is what I need to lean on this, in this moment.


Host - Monique Mills:

Steve is a great storyteller and in this final clip he is going to share a story about his experience in the Air Force. Take a listen.


Guest - Steve Worthy:

And so I tell the story about when I was in the Air Force and the DTI training instructor said Worthy, I want you to be squad leader. And I'm like, I don't want to be a squad leader. I'm 18 years old. I'm not being a squad leader. And I'm not being responsible for like 20 knucklehead dudes. I'm just 18. And some of them were older than me too. I'm like, I'm not doing it. And so I found the opportunity. I found a way out of it and I got out of it or, I thought I got out of it. We were marching and I was just doing some crazy stuff. And, and he was like, Worthy get in the back? Get in the back. You're not a squad leader anymore. I said yes! Awesome. We get back to the barracks.


He calls me in and he says Worthy, you think you got away with it. I saw what you were doing. I'm like, what are you talking about? He said, you know, I just, I didn't say it to him. Cause you know, the service you can't say, what are you talking about? Well, you know, I'm, I'm paraphrasing here. And he said, you know, no, you thought you were getting out of squad leader. So you're not squad leader anymore, but now you're a latrine queen. And I'm like, Oh. So any, if anybody who's ever been in the service, everybody kind of instantly like, like, Oh. So now I'm responsible for the bathroom. For cleaning the bathroom. For sixty 18 to 26 year old, 27 year old dudes. And we are in Lackland air force base in the summer in San Antonio and San Antonio, Texas. We're marching. We're doing PT. We're doing all this things and they're coming back.


And so now I'm in charge of this, but what he said to me, and this was at my seminal moment. He said, well, when you're called to lead, lead. Because somebody sees something in you. And if they have some experience, they're not just going to pick you Willy nilly right there. They have seen things. There's something inside you. And he told me that at the end of the basic training, and he says, I'm glad you stepped into your leadership. I'm glad you showed up if you will. Because I saw something in you.


Host - Monique Mills:

And that’s it.  In this episode Steve shared how his MBA caused him to question everything, dig deeper, and also problem solve much faster than his peers. Now he has to slow down to bring everyone else along for the ride as he helps others win in their own careers. I like how he shared what Executive coaching is not. Taking this opposing approach to explaining a concept is actually really effective so, take notes on that one to use for yourself. He talked about how imposter syndrome creeps in and how when you write things down you’re more likely to execute.  And finally his point about when asked to lead, go ahead and lead. Sometimes insecurity about your abilities or as he mentioned, imposter syndrome, can get in the way of you making upward progress in your career. Don’t let that be your story.

The Unpolished MBA conversation continues, and you can be a part of it by going to unpolishedmba.com. Thank you for listening.



settings
GET IN TOUCH
Connect With Us

                                   Unpolished MBA © Copyright 2021, All Rights Reserved.                                                                                                                               

[bot_catcher]