Welcome to the win at home first podcast. I'm your host, Cory Carlson. This podcast is where we talk about how successful business leaders win, not only at work, but also at home. On this podcast, we will go behind the scenes with great leaders to hear stories of how they win. Thank you for listening and on to today's episode.
(00:24): Hello, this is Corey today's episode with Kirk Perry is a great one. At the time, the recording, he was still president of brand for Google. Since then he has accepted a CEO position with a company called I R I, a market research company headquartered out of Chicago, but our conversation is in fact timeless. In the standpoint that it, he shares his insight and wisdom of how he's been intentional with both family, faith and career, whether it's at P and G and then Google. And obviously he'll continue to do those same things that I are.
(01:02): I, we talk about how life is about choices and consequences. So make good choices. There's great consequences, likewise, bad choices, bad consequences, but it's a fun discussion. We talk about the difference between liking and loving your spouse, how he has been a leader with intentionality with his employees and having one-on-one meetings and what that also looks like in his family. We talk about where you make investments in areas that you want to grow. So are you investing in the right areas? The conversation is fantastic. I hope you enjoyed as much as I did and onto today's episode, hello was Corey Carlson. You're listening to win at home first podcast, man, this is going to be a fun episode because I've been learning a lot from Kirk Perry from afar has a chance to see him speak at crossroads at different times beyond a podcast, you know, different episodes that I've listened to over the years.
(01:59): But Kirk Perry is the president of brand at Google. And before that he spent 23 years at P and G. So just an incredible career as well as a strong marriage, four kids and a huge man of faith. And so just excited to learn from you today, Kirk. So thank you very much for being on the podcast. Thanks for inviting me. I'm excited to be here. What is that key trait that you believe leaders need to have in order to win at home first? Well, I, I think for me, it's introspection and I was just actually sitting with my wife earlier at the kitchen counter reading a study in psychology today about strong marriages. And there's an interesting article. It was a mathematical article and it was just taught. That sounds intriguing, but it was, it was about a mathematician turns psychologist who looked at the traits of individuals who could presumably said he could
(03:00): Protect within 15 minutes, how long maybe married and how successful our marriage would be based on visual cues, listening to their interactions and so on. But one of the points he made was that the strongest marriages, aren't ones that avoid the small petty conflicts, but the marriages that allow individuals to quickly take responsibility for their mistakes own up to them, move forward, apologize and move forward. In other words, not conflict avoiding, but, or the introspection allows you at least does me. Cause I say a lot of just dumb things around the house. Honestly, I do. And I just stop and go in my wife will say things, say things to me. Like, would you say that at work? And that makes me pause and go, no, I would definitely not say that at work. And, and I think having a sense of introspection and humility allows you to say, Hey, you know what?
(03:55): I should've said that I was wrong and you know, can we forgive me? And I think that that's, that's hard to do because I think conventional wisdom of the world, particularly in business, you know, look at politics today is you don't apologize, right? Take no prisoners, get the results. And I think it's hard for people to stop and say, Hey, I was wrong. I'm sorry. And I I've been fortunate in my career to work for amazing leaders who always said they were sorry, who always took the responsibility from steaks who stopped the meeting to say, you know what, you're right. I was wrong. And so I've been fortunate to learn from them. And I think that spills over interestingly into my marriage as well, because being able to just admit when I'm wrong, I think is honoring of my wife, but I hope as well, it honors my kids because I want them to be able to see that, you know, you can, as an adult, make mistakes, you can in a marriage make mistakes, but you can course correct and continue to strengthen it. So for me, it'd be introspection and humility and being able to kind of stop and say, Hey, I was wrong. I'm sorry. Will you forgive me and move forward.
(05:06): Great with introspection. Or do you find yourself taking time to kind of reflect on these last 24 hours or the PSI was? Or have you found it well, it's usually when it's brought up to me and then I have to go think about it. It's, it's probably, honestly,
(05:21): Probably both, I think, as I've gotten older and I understand the dynamic in my family relationship and my work relationships as well, honestly, I think I've become more sensitized and understand when I potentially haven't been as empathetic as I should be or not as good of a listener as I should be or said something in the heat of the moment that I shouldn't have said. I think my spidey senses are up a little bit more. The older I've gotten, I guess we call that wisdom. But in the other hand, sometimes I'm tone deaf too. Right? Sometimes I need someone to point out to me the law in my own. I you know, so that I see it. Cause sometimes I don't see it or understand it as well as I should. So it's both, I think honestly it's a little bit of both, probably more than I would care to admit, but it is both
(06:09): Our spouses could do a great job of keeping us humble and reminding us of some of the things we do around the house. They do do that. And I think, you know, that's the other thing I tell my team this all the time, I think the more senior you get and accompany and I don't care how big or small their company is, the more trappings of hierarchy come into play. Like, you know, we're in a lot of ways people expect to serve the leader and, and I've learned through my faith, I think more than anything that leaders are there to serve, not the opposite. And I think, you know, when, when you're in a relationship with your spouse or with your kids, you know, it's, I think it's sometimes the spillover effect from people always wanting to serve you or always wanting to know to be in your orbit. When you come home, you need somebody to, to humble you, to remind you, like, you're not that it's like in the grand scheme of the kingdom, you are equal to everyone else.
(07:10): And it's, it's important to have that I really is because it's easy to get a big head. It's easy sometimes to be sucked into all of the trappings of what, you know, the, the world says is a big deal. And over the weekend, I was listening to a message at my church here in California. And our pastor was saying that 30, they did a survey, there was some research done, but it's a longitudinal study over time in 1975, like 5% of people claimed that they were important on the surveys, kind of solves for claimed importance. And now it's 30% of people claim to be important. And it's just a reflection of our society that everyone thinks they're important. And I think if you look at our divisions, if you look at our greatest issues, they're driven a lot by this sort of self-importance or this idea that you are more important than others. And I think, you know, in my faith, what Jesus has taught us is, you know, he, if he came to serve, we should start as well. And I think if more leaders did that, both in the workplace and at home, we could help, I think more in a lot of ways, more than other factions in the world bring not only our country, but our world together. I mean, that's very philosophical point, but I think it is, it is true in some regard.
(08:32): That's great. You obviously have had a very successful career, very demanding career. You know, we'll get into probably pieces of it, whether it was living internationally or domestically PNG, Google, but what does that look like over your career, but serving your spouse, serving your kids along the way, because it's hard when we're at the office, it's hard. We have to work late, we're traveling.
(08:56): So how have you found that way to, to win at home, to serve when you're actually, maybe at the officer at work? So this is going to turn into a concessional from inquiry like a black box and we'll hold. And I Guess, So I hate to say it out loud, but early in my marriage and in my journey of father exert for kids, my daughter is 28 and 25 and my sons are 20 and 16. So had a lot of years of being a dad now, as well as a husband, 31 years of marriage to my wife, Jackie. And one of the things about my background is I don't have to get into this, but the quick reader's digest version is, you know, I grew up, you know, it's a very modest means. And there, you know, spent a year of my life on welfare and age dependent children. And so it drove something inside of me, which said, I'd never want to put my family in this situation. And so what that looked like early in my career and someone told me my first week on the job at P and G work hard now work smart later.
(10:09): So I ran with that. I was the guy who, and my wife worked on Saturday. So I worked my first three years with the company six days a week. Like I was there every Saturday, something like my wife's working, what else am I going to do? I had no hobbies. I had no kids at the time. I was like, I'll just work. So I worked hard then, but I never got smart, honestly. And I had my first child in 1993 and we were second in 1996. We moved internationally and I used to, and as I recount this, I talk about the fact that, you know, I would leave in the morning when I was in Korea is for my girls, woke up and I would get home at night after they went to bed, I was at best a part-time dad, part-time husband. I was great to my employees because I was always there for them.
(10:53): And in a way they were my primary focus, but I justified it by saying, Oh, you know, I don't want to put my kid. I'm going to work hard. I'm going to succeed because I don't want to put my kids in the financial situation that my family was in when I was a kid. So it's okay. But then my world caved in. When my oldest daughter got cancer, it completely flipped everything. I believed in thought upside down because I realized the present is called that because it's a gift like there no guarantees of tomorrow. You know, someone said, yesterday is a memory. Tomorrow's a dream. Today is a present. And that was my wake up call. That was my epiphany moment where I said, I can't, I can't have a work calendar and a home calendar. Every Todd has to go to my family. I'm not going to put any business dinner ahead of my family.
(11:47): I'm going to be there for my kids events. I'm going to coach their sports. And the irony was when I made that decision to put my family. First, my career took off. I was the youngest GM at the time at P and G. When I got promoted, I got promoted at about 10 and a half years to general manager. Typically it took 15 or 16 years. And then social company was the youngest president on, at the time Bob McDonald's leadership team at P and G when I got promoted to that. And you know, I'm not the smartest guy in the room, I just worked hard, but I also got a lot more focused. And when I got more focused, because my family was important to me, it drove a lot of relentless prioritization, you know, cutting meetings and making sure that when I needed to travel, I truly needed to travel.
(12:32): It. Wasn't just a vanity trip to, you know, see someone for a few hours and fly back. I made everything that I did more meaningful at work so that I could spend more time at home. And then that led to, you know, every night I was in town, I had dinner with my family. I for 20 years coached kids sports year-round and I had a pretty demanding full-time job, but I was, you know, you football coach and baseball coach and basketball coach and even sports. I didn't know anything about like soccer when we lived in Korea, just so I could get on the U S army base. I'm like, sure, I'll be the soccer coach. But you know, for me, it was really that wake up call, which spurred that investment in my family and my kids today, which I've done, hopefully one thing right.
(13:16): Is proved to them that you can atone, you know, for things that you're not proud of. And I'm not proud of sharing the story because, you know, it's not the highlight of my life for sure, but it definitely, if I could help anybody think about their career perspective and I had this as many, I had this conversation as many times as I can to let people know it's never too late to pivot and you will find amazing ability to make tough choices that the tie goes to your family. And it's made me a much more empathetic leader because I now understand, you know, especially during the pandemic, when I get young folks in my org all over the world who have small children, they've got to educate them in that school. They've got a balance, you know, caring for parents all the while working and delivering all those things. Like I understand way more now having been an involved dad and husband, and when I never would have, if I wouldn't have had that wake up call know 22 years ago, when my daughter got sick,
(14:20): I love that phrase. Every tie goes to the family. I just put it into that perspective. I have that belief as well and definitely live it out. But I just love that every time it was a family.
(14:33): And what, you know, one, one quick story on that. I'll give you one example of where the tie went to my family. I, when my kids were born, I, the greatest job in my life is, is one being a husband and two being a dad. And I, I promised myself, I'd never miss a kid's birthday ever. You know, because I hear these stories about people like, Oh, I was on a trip and I get snowed in. I can get back from my kid's birthday or yeah, I had to travel. I had no choice. I was away for my kid's birthday. I'm like, I'll never miss one. And I never did. And I came to Google and we had these significant meetings called site guys for, for major customers come in and we had this great resort in Arizona. And it just so happened that that Monday, October 19th, which is my son's birthday, happened to fall during this event.
(15:19): And so the event starts on Sunday and his birthday was on Monday and we had this tradition and every birthday that we get up in the morning and play this cheesy happy birthday song. And we made these pancakes in a heart shape. And so I'm like, I'm not gonna miss his birthday. So I left and I didn't tell him I was going to come back. So I love that Sunday night or Sunday afternoon. And I took a 6:00 AM flight out of Arizona. Back to California, I was in the house by seven 45, making breakfast, doing the cheesy happy birthday song, taking him to school. And then, you know, stayed until that night till we had dinner on his birthday. And then when he went up to bed, I hopped on a plane to fly back down to the meeting. And then I was there for Tuesday all day, you know, for the close the meeting.
(16:12): And I told my boss, I'm like, I know this is unusual, but I have to be there for my son's birthday. Like, I, I hope it doesn't have any implications, but I just, I can't miss it. It's about, I made to myself and to my wife and I'm just not going to violate that. And it's like, no, absolutely not. I'd love that you do that. It's great. And he shared it with his leadership things like, Hey, I just want to start it corrected. So sometimes when you think it's going to be detrimental, it actually is beneficial because you role model and show that you can do both. You can have this balance. Now I'm blessed to work for a company like Google, where, you know, I can't hop on a plane and come home and go back. I mean, not everybody has that flexibility. So I do have that flexibility. I acknowledge that. But I also realize that sometimes you don't know until you ask, but you don't know until you decide to do it. Right. So that's the thing I would say about that, you know, tigers to the family.
(17:07): Yeah. thanks for sharing that story. And you said you're blessed to work with a fan work for a company like Google and, and that's, that's great. My thought would be there someone that could sit in your exact same position and just say, because I worked for a big company like Google, I'm not risking it. I am not going to leave. I've got an incredible job. I'm not going to put this on the line. What if I get fired? What if this happens? What if you know the next promotion I don't get because I make too many family sacrifices. So yes, you may work for a great company, but I think people could still put the thought of big company it's public, you know, I can't mess up. Let's go, go, go. How have you just came to a peace? Know, I, the tiger is a family, and I'm going to ask these questions. I'm going to get on planes when I need to, I'm going to come home for a dinner meeting or a family dinner and skip a meeting. Like, how is that working out for you? And when did you decide? All right. Now's the time.
(18:07): Yeah. So, you know, I tell my kids this all the time. I told them this since they were born, because it was, you know, it was built into me as a kid. Life is simply choice and consequence, but you make choices good or bad, and there are always consequences, good or bad. And the key thing is being true to your values and principles when you make those choices. And to be clear, I want to make sure everybody listening knows I don't always make the right choices for sure. This isn't about like a signing ceremony. It's like, Oh, I always make great choices and know all the consequences are good. I mean, I've made dumb choices with, you know, not so great consequences, but when it comes to something like family, I have come to peace with the fact that if I make a choice for my family and it leads to negative consequences on my career, I can sleep well at night, knowing that that was a worthwhile choice.
(19:04): Some things that you make a choice about, you know, dumb choices that we all make mistakes, that we make have negative consequences that could derail your career, that aren't worth it. Right. And that that's, you know, then you have to say, gosh, was that, is that, was that really worth it? Was it worth, you know, name your thing, like you read it headlines all the time and the wall street journal or the New York times about people in positions of power, making really dumb choices and having things derail them, but I can sleep well. Knowing now that again, to be clear, I've been making these choices, your question around, like when did I start doing that? Since my daughter got sick, I, for the most part stayed very, very true to those principles and convictions. And it doesn't mean that, that like, there's times when I've made a trip and I'm like, should I have been home?
(19:56): Should I have, I'll give you one example, this isn't one of my dumps versus my wife's grandma was, was slowly dying. She was in the hospital. She wasn't, she, she, you know, this was, this was 2010. So not that long ago, every year, my friends from college, we get together and they go to that. I went to Cincinnati university of Cincinnati and my college buddies for 30 years and we'd go into the conference basketball tournament. And so it was in March and the season was upon us and we were, we were planning to go and my wife's grandma was sick. And I remember she said to me, or are you still planning on going to, you know, to the tournament? And I said, well, yeah, why she goes, well, my, my grandma's sick. And I'm like, I know she's sick coming, but you know, what, what can I do to help her?
(20:47): Can't do anything to help her. You're her granddaughter you're here. Right? You're, you know, if I have to come back, I'll come back. You know, I promise you I'll come back. She didn't pass away when I was gone. But I remember leaving if they could, man, kind of a dude leaves his wife clearly was asking him to stay behind, to go meet his buddies at a basketball term. That wasn't a good choice. Now she lived another two weeks. But I think, you know, I regret that because I should have been there for her emotionally cause her, her lone languages are time and words that information. And so that time piece is the most important thing to her. And so not giving her that time and investing in her when she was, you know, really mourning the loss of someone who was probably the most influential woman in your life or about to mourn the loss of that.
(21:35): I should have done that. So that's an example where it didn't make a good choice and you know, there wasn't she didn't, she didn't leave to me. It shouldn't banish me to a spare bedroom for a month, but yeah, I know. And the fact that it hurt her probably was, you know, punishment enough for me because I definitely did not. So, you know, I learned my, the point is choice and consequence. I made a choice. There was a consequence for it that wasn't great versus other things that you make a choice for, like for the right reasons. And if you deal with the consequences, no, at least I do. I know that I've made it. You know, another example I'd give you is just, I've been a very vocal witness for my faith. I've made that choice over the last 15, 18 years or so.
(22:23): And like, you know what, I can't, I can't keep it under a land shade. I can't not share who I am. I mean, we all feel comfortable going into work, talking about our favorite sports teams or what we did over the weekend or vacations. We've had very few people talk about, you know, the sermon they heard or the small group they were in or, you know, about something they witnessed. That was amazing. Like we don't normally share that stuff. Been a very vocal and prominent speaker of my faith. And, you know, there was a, there was a situation early in my time at Google where I had speaking of crossroads church, in fact, and it was early, so it hadn't been 2014. So I was only there less than six months. And it was, I think it was in March of 2014 when I spoke.
(23:11): And so fast forward to may I get this call? I was six months with the company. And part of what I did it talked about in that message that weekend was, I said, you know, it was commuting and it was a month in and I was exhausted and I was, I was gone Monday through Friday and I signed up to Cincinnati and yeah, weekends and that's California wherever around the world. And I remember it was a Monday night, it went into the, the restaurant at Google and there were these three strips of paper over one urinals. And one of them, they were called the amusements in the bathroom. And I said, am I talking? So one of the cool things about Google is it, you can have the view, like the most extreme to the left, the most extreme to the right. And there's a place for all of those views.
(23:54): But you know, the company allows you to have those views. And I said, that's a powerful thing to be able to debate and talk about things that most companies you can't talk about. Right? So I set that up that way in it. But I said that the third [inaudible], I call it my Abraham moment. I looked at it and it said, family, friends, and religion. These are the three demons you must slay in order to be successful in business. And I took my breath away. It's like 10 30 on a Monday night. And I'm looking at this. I had a tough meeting that day with my new boss. And I'm like, is this God telling me like, Hey, you, haven't sold your house in Cincinnati and you know, P and G might take you back and Hey, you know, like all these salts are going through my mind.
(24:39): I'm like, wait a minute. I think God is telling me, no, your family, your friends and your faith, or what's important to help you be successful in business. So maybe that's what I'm here for. Maybe that's my purpose. Maybe that's why I kind of got a burst of energy. And sort of, I talked about that in my message. So I get this call and someone in our communications group was calling me and they were like, Hey Kirk, how are you? I'm saying, I'm good. I'm sitting on top of our office in Chelsea market, in New York city and this beautiful view on summer night. And he's like, yeah, well, you know, there's just internet going. There's internet video of you going around like, Oh, Katie, that's what videos that I think you're talking to the church and you're talking about using this in the bathroom, like, Oh yeah, but you're to Cincinnati very online.
(25:31): He's like, well, he said something in there. I don't know. I don't know if you want to have that on there. I'm like, so what do you mean? Well, what if, what is a tech writer sees this and sees you talking about the museum's in the bathroom and they're going to, the headline will be, you know, Google's a godless place. And I said, what are you, what are you asking me to do? Well, I don't think it'd be a bad idea if you maybe asked him to pull that down or, you know, edit it out. And I'm like, no, I'm not because I put the company in good line. I talk about the fact that very different views can be expressed and it's a wonderful thing. And so the context is super positive and anybody can pull anything out of context, but I'm not changing it.
(26:15): I said, if you're asking me to, I'm going to turn my resignation because I can't be expected not to be able to talk about what's important to me. And what's critical to not saying none of them cause I'm serious. I will leave. And I remember it was a very catalyzing moment for me because it's the first time I've ever had to say, Hey, if my faith somehow has a stumbling block in this company, this isn't the right company for me. And it, it galvanized me and made me even more vocal when I believe something because of my faith and you know, it, it just, it's just another example of, I think having principles and values and living up to them and not being afraid to take the risk when it is the right thing and consistent with your value system. That's all I think about it.
(27:07): No, that was great. The first part of the story I knew because I was there when you spoke at crossroads, I was there and I just, I was encouraged inspired because at that moment I still had a corporate job. I had not started the coaching business. So I was still there and I was inspired and thinking that through and so love hearing that part even again. So that's great. The second part of the story where, you know, you get the call from the CUNY communications department. I did not hear that. So that is very interesting to hear. And it's timely in the standpoint where I work with a lot of CEOs and executives now, and whether it's a public company or a private company, this tension of faith is so interesting right now and cancel culture and all these different things that are happening is people are becoming timid to, Oh, I don't know if I want to have God in my vision statement or not.
(28:03): You know, if it's a say it's a smaller company then, or it's, you know, I don't know if I want to talk about faith in the office. So it's inspiring to hear you say, Hey, I'm a Google man. One of the biggest places in the world, and I'm talking about my faith, because a lot of the leaders I work with, they're getting, they're getting timid and which is exactly where we need to be bold and step out in faith. How has, as you stepped out in your faith in, have you seen that positive ripple effect with, with Google and with, with the other folks that you mentor, what does that look like?
(28:37): Yeah, it's interesting. So you go to crossroads, you prior to be talking about this, I, I was diagnosed with cancer and in early 2015, and it ended up becoming more aggressive than the early stages. So I ended up having stage four cancer. And I remember talking to my boss at the time telling him what was going on. And I, and I said, Hey, I obviously need to let you know you and your team now because I'm going to be getting treatment and surgery and the treatment. And, you know, so there were side effects and other things associated with that. And I'm also going a lot of my work now. And he's like, ah, you, I don't want him to worry. I don't want them to be freaked out by the fact that you're sick. And, and I said, well, you know, it's just how I roll.
(29:20): And I want to be very honest and upfront with people. And so instead of video out the next day, and at the time I had, I think, six or 700 people on my global org, it's still early in my tenure at Google. And so people were still getting to know me and I did about a five minute video explaining the situation, what was going to go on, you know, what surgery and treatment. So I say there's two things that I would greatly appreciate us. The first thing is if you could just deliver the business, that would be a huge help to me because it's one less thing that I have to worry about. So man, if you can nail it, that would be much appreciated. This is the second thing is if you wouldn't mind praying for me, I believe in the power of that.
(29:59): I believe in the benefit of that. And if you're so inclined, I would love it. If you wouldn't mind praying for me, if that's something that you believe in as well, that would be huge. Then I, and I finished up with a quote from Charles swindle and have to be a pastor. And it's about attitude. And the very last sentence is life is 10%. What happens to you 90%, how you react to it. And so for me, I don't know how this is going to end, but I do know that no matter what, that I've got a family that loves me, I've got a God that loves me and I've got an organization that I'm proud of and that's how I ended it. So it was last thing I did that day. And I try and I'm going to be honest. I don't always do a good job of this, but when I get home, I try to like leave my work phone flipped over in my cubicle so that I don't have to think about work and not always successfully, I might add, but I came in the next morning to work.
(30:52): I usually get an early, when I was in the office and my assistant's like, Oh my gosh, I had to set up a folder for you. I dropped all of the responses and the folder. You're not going to believe it. So sat in my office. And I opened this folder. She had set up for me. I had like 350 responses to my video, but it got more. So the stories that people in the organization shared with me breathtaking about things they had been through or their faith journey or their, you know, their struggles in life. Some weren't faith-based at all. People just appreciated my honesty and the fact that I was so overt about what I believed and why I believed it. And to this day, you know, six years later, I will still have people say, I remember that video you sent, or I remember you're a man of faith because of a video you sent, maybe I don't remember the context, or I remember hearing a story about a video that you sent through that occasionally.
(31:57): But, you know, I was, I talked about being bold in my faith and that I think it was a bold face statement, but it opened up a line of connection to my organization that I otherwise wouldn't have had. If I wouldn't have done that, I could have easily not told them what was going on. I mean, I could have a lot of people believe like as a leader, you shouldn't be vulnerable. And I, I think the opposite, I think leaders are humble, authentic, vulnerable. And I think that's my, that's my big three on leadership. And I think I tried to be that I'm not always that all the time again, I get that, but I think great leaders figure out how to do that the preponderance of their time. And so it opened up communication and lines of communication. I've had, you know, several people who will reach out to me and say, Hey, I just had a young woman in my org who I've known for years. And I do this monthly office hours where I open up my calendar for an entire day, from seven 30 to six 30 at night, 15 minute blocks, anybody in my order can jump on. And we talk about everything from what they're doing on their job to career advice and everything in between.
(33:02): And it's my favorite day because I get to beat people that I otherwise would get to spend that much time with if at all. So it's, it's my energizing day, the month. And I had a young woman in my organization say, Hey, I'm really curious. I know because I've heard you speak and use words like blessed and faith. And the pandemic has really caused me to examine my faith and I have some questions for you. So we spent our entire 15 minutes and at the end, she said, you know, this has been so great, but I feel like I just got a nugget. Is there, can we set up more time and say, absolutely. So we set up another half hour and just had the opportunity to interact with her on questions of faith. And it was, and I remember clicking out of the meeting and thinking, gosh, thank you God, for the opportunity to share who you are with people in a way that I otherwise wouldn't get to because you've opened these doors that you've led me through and enabled me, cause I would have been voted least likely in high school to ever share my faith because I was always taught that it was something, you know, not high, but it's very private.
(34:08): You don't share. My dad used to call people who openly shared their faith Bible beaters and Bible thumpers. So it was never like a thing that I would have ever thought of it. And I was uncomfortable. And now I get in front of, you know, a thousand people and kids easily in a business setting. You know, I, you know, I don't look, I tell people all the time, I don't wear like a, I love Jesus neon sign on my forehead. But what I do is weave in my faith in ways that, and you know, God loved the guys were standing in the corner with the megaphones. Like God loves them. That's not me. Like that would not attract me or draw me at all. What does attract me and draw me is when people drop hints as to what they are, who they are and allows me to follow up and investigate more, ask questions and really get to know them differently. And I think that's the thing I try to do is plant seeds and drop seeds. So I use words like blessed and you don't talk about, you know, well, my faith is really important to me. Yeah. In fertile soil. That's a good one. Fertile soil fruit. Exactly.
(35:09): The whole thing about that, the Bible. And, but it's, but it's, you know, again, it's not like, Hey, let me tell you, let me, I'm going to convert you on. I just don't. I think in God's time, he's the one that brings people's hearts to him, not us. We simply are the tenders of that field that we pull the weeds and we water and prune and we, we help nurture and bring it along. But we don't, we don't bring anyone to the Lord. He brings them and then he doesn't need our help. And so I'm a helper, you know, along the way, in whatever small way I can to open up the aperture to ask this
(35:45): Jesus. So that's, that's what I think my role is. And that's great. Thank you very much for listening to today's episode. I hope you are it so far before we go back to the rest of this episode, I want to share with you my book when at home first, some of you have read it. So thank you very much for others of you. You have not. And I encourage, if you're looking for a resource to help you with these times of your work is now in your home and your home is now in your work and what this looks like. This book is being helpful to many leaders like you whores magazine said it was one of seven books. Everyone on your team should read in the book is broken up into four different sections to help you versus about you. Understand who you are. The second is marriage in ideas and tips to help with your marriage. Third is parenting and the last is work. So these four different sections to help you recalibrate during this time and to help move forward. So if you are needing additional resource, I encourage you to check out my book went home first. It is available on Amazon, as well as audible and so on to the rest of the episode. Thank you very much.
(36:58): And what about externally facing, you know, with customers or suppliers or as you're engaging? I mean, there's gotta be a positive ripple effect there as well. Cause I have heard from leaders at times, like, well, inward we'll be w we may talk about faith, but we go outward. Well, they don't say this, but it's the risk of losing revenue. It's putting profit over purpose. And so how's that looked as you have gone out
(37:23): Or yeah, I think again for me, it's how do you bring it up in an appropriate way at the appropriate time? Like, you know, if you're, if you're in a meeting and you're discussing your deals, you know, your deal structure for the next year and there's no appropriate time, there's no perfect. I think there's a time and place for everything, right? Will you be, you know, when you're, when you're chatting one-on-one after the meeting or, you know, the opportunity comes up because I think that's, you know, that's where I try to try to plant those seeds, but I'll give you one example, a really close friend of mine in Indianapolis. This guy has, he's an entrepreneur, but he has such a heart for, for servitude. And he, he owned his own firm commercial, snow removal and landscaping business. He sold his portion of it.
(38:11): And he'd been looking for another opportunity to do something. He had a heart for people who are suffering from addiction. So he started this company called hope, grows and Indianapolis, and it's got this beautiful visual on all of his trucks and his, his vehicles, but he has this beautiful visual hands going like this. And when you, when you click on his website, where he shares is that his company actually takes an employees, people who are in addiction, recovery programs and puts them to work, because one of the hardest things to do when someone gets out of prison or someone gets out of an addiction facility is finding full-time employment. I have family members who've gone through this and it's really hard to land a job. And so he's created this, he built, he bought a company that actually had a property that he's turned into a thing.
(38:59): It was like a halfway house where these guys come out of addiction, recovery centers. They go into these homes and they worked for him at some point they graduate and move on, but he gives them that bridge. And so is it again, the logo, the website explains it all. It doesn't say like, Hey, this is about Jesus. It's about God, but it's more about this. Like how do you help a fellow human being out and give them an opportunity? And I think that invites questions, it opens things up, it creates a conversation and it's an opportunity to talk about it. So I just love that he does that. And I think there's room for, you know, some level of specificity when it's right. But I also think there's room for how do you see plants to get people interested that they didn't follow up and you know, then you can, you can have a more in-depth conversation.
(39:45): Yep. No, that's good. You talk about the day of the month where you do those 15 minute increments and the intention that you have of, you know, one-on-ones with your team. How's that look like from a family perspective? Do you know, do you and Jack, you have a rhythm of X amount of date nights per month. And then what about the one-on-ones with your kids? Obviously you have some out of house and you still have your son in the house, but what what's that look like from your intentionality of spending time with them, especially as you travel?
(40:13): Yeah. So one of the things we've been very blessed with is we've had spread of ages. So we had four in the house. We always had a built-in babysitter, which was nice because when we moved overseas in 1997, we were, you know, one of the things about being an ex-pat is it's a great, vibrant social scene. And we were living in the U S we didn't really do anything socially because we were too busy with kids and work and family being close. So that opened up an aperture of, of social life that we never really had. So we were abroad for six years. So we got in this rhythm of spending time together, alone, out with friends out, and it became such a part of our fabric of our lives. Then we moved back. We by definition, just built in at least a date night, a month, at least one, but subsequently more.
(40:59): When we had the opportunity, we always took a trip every year, just she and I, we have five days just to get away and remember where it was joke. Remember why we love each other. Then I also wanted to role model for my kids. Do you have to invest in your relationship because it's just not a given that once you get married, it'll just be there forever. Like you have to invest in a relationship like you invest in keeping fit. Like you invest in your career. Like you invest in the stock market, you have to stay up with it, or it's going to get weak and not be as bold for the longterm. But with my kids, my girls were young. I did for all of them. I did one big trip. So I took the girls to New York and we went to like a Broadway show.
(41:44): We went to statue of Liberty and all the things that York has to offer my 20 year old, we went to Washington DC because it was a history buff. And this was between the ages of like seven and 10. And then my youngest guy, he and I went to Hawaii for spring break alone and deep sea fishing, scuba diving, golf thing, you know, just hanging for for weeks. So, and they all remember those trips there, but I also had dates with them. You know, I would just go out with them one on one, or, you know, coaching their sports. But that was more of a group thing, but, you know, investing in them. So most three of my four, well, all of my kids want one of their love languages is time. They just like spending time. And so we're at the end. I mean, we're a year, a little over a year out of being empty-nesters and we we've been really trying to prepare ourselves for what that will be because we've been so like we'll 29 and a half years of kids under roof, and it's going to be a shock to the system to all of a sudden, just be she.
(42:46): And I like what's our rhythm together because I think the pandemic has prepared us a little bit for that. We had a saying that we always love each other, but we don't always like each other. And love is a choice and liking happens. And I think, you know, for, for us, it's making that investment so that we have the emotional capital to weather, any storm. We had some challenges with my daughter's cancer, my cancer, with other things going on in our lives with extended family that, you know, we're tough and we'll fight through anything, but we want to have an enjoyable, you know, second act and do things together. But it's built upon a foundation of investing in each other along the way, because I don't think you can just wake up when the kids are gone and go, okay, what do we mean now?
(43:33): I think it's a, it's like running a marathon, there's a training schedule and regimen. You don't have to do long slow runs and you've got to do speed work and you've gotta do interval training and you've gotta be weight training and nutritional training. And there's a lot to prepare for a marathon. I think marriage is that way. I mean, you know, the entirety of that marriage. And so that, that's how I've invested, you know, in them individually. And to this day, I still talk to my kids every day. Now there may be a few days here and there where we don't connect with their full-time workers, or full-time my 20 year old plays football at Cincinnati. And that's like a full-time job for him in addition to school. So he, you know, so we, we talk every day, but there may be a day or two in this, but it's just important to stay connected because, you know, they're the most important things in my life. So I don't want to mess up that investment. Yeah, no, that's great. And I talk about, I mean, the phrase we'll use in our house
(44:32): As being roommates, like if we could see that that drift is happening, where we just start to feel like roommates, it's like, all right, let's, let's have the conversation, but the introspective portion of it and then going on the dates. So it doesn't drift too long. Kirk, what are you hearing from God? Right?
(44:48): Yeah. There's a lot going on. I mean, I'm, I'm in an interesting phase of my life. Like I said, it's you know, what I'm hearing from God right now is a focus on what's next. Because as I think about, I've got less time in the, in the business world than more, obviously I just mentioned my youngest will be graduating and going away next year. So we're actually nesters. We're, you know, really like what what what I'm asking God to do is help me figure out like what he has for the next, because I've learned the hard way I'm unfortunately thick headed. And I don't always hear what God is telling me as overtly as I want to, but I'm really trying to listen and discern God's voice. I think sometimes that's hard because I always have to stop and say, all right, is that my ego talking to me is that my wishful thinking, talking to God, talking to me, you know, and I have spiritual friends in my life, close friends who I ask like, Hey, I, you know, I think I'm hearing this from God.
(45:50): What do you think? And they'll ask really good questions. And I'm like, Ooh, you know, one of my friends and I was having some conversations recently about what I do next. He's like, well, you know, I've always found that if my head and my heart are in the right place with God will honor whatever decision I make, because, you know, he said, I think there are, there are many paths you can take in your life that will honor God. There isn't just one. And you know, does God encourage you? Like when I came to Google, it was a definite, like not only was God encouraging me. It was like, banging me over the head. There were, I could write a book about the overt, specific instances where God spoke to others or from a stage or in a book or whatever about me coming here to California.
(46:39): Yeah. Almost eight years ago now. And other things aren't as clear and obvious. And so what does God telling you now I'm just, you know, back and forth with him right now. And what's next for me? How do I think about my career? How do I think about my relationship with my wife and my kids as we enter this phase? How do I think about my investment in my future related to how I impact the kingdom? Because that to me is the most important job I have the back part. I mean, I'm, I've lived more in my life than I will live from this point forward 54. And so the reality is that less time than more. And so I want to maximize every moment, there's a book, two books I've read recently, one's called transference by Walt Reykjavik, which was an amazing book. He was the CEO of pro logics, which was the, was the offset or not office.
(47:29): But the, I forget what they were not a real estate commercial real estate company, I guess they were kind of a commercial real estate company, rent facilities, leased facilities, incredible story, but leadership. But he's a faith-based guy. It's part of a group I'm in called the CEO forum, which is a basic leadership group. And he's part of that. And he wrote this book. It was, it was amazing. The other one is a book by Bob [inaudible] who wrote halftime, but his second book was about what comes after halftime. Like what do you do? And I'm, I'm looking for it. I can't see it right now in the corner of my eye and my Oh, finishing. Well, it's called finishing well, and it's right there. I saw it now finally, but it's about like, what do you do in the back half of your life to use the gifts God's given you while using what you've learned that business world to make an impact.
(48:21): And I think that's the thing that, you know, I, I'm spending a lot more time talking to God about wrestling with God, about as what you want me to do next. And I think, you know, reading things like that has given me some insight, but how do I leverage my guests? How do I take what I'm passionate about? But also what God's calling me to do. The other thing I've learned is, you know, if I want to resist God, God's okay with that. He'll let me resist him. But then back to my choice and consequence, there is a consequence of resisting God, you know, they're there, you won't, you won't be as fulfilled, right? You won't maximize your kingdom impact. You won't be able to leverage all the skills that he's blessed you with and learned over the years to help others. And so I think there's choice and consequence there too.
(49:08): And I'm, I'm really, really, really trying to one of the books I might jump in here, sorry, Ryan Atkins. I think, you know, Ryan, he goes to crossroads. He was a young man who had a tragic accident where he's paralyzed as a quadriplegic. And he wrote a book called one step closer. It's about a state journey. This kid who was an all star in college and was going to have an incredible business career and his senior year as a tragic accident and ends up quadriplegic and spread his journey. And so again, you just read about people like that were impacting others, even in tragedy. And I think, gosh, how can I impact others in a way that I leverage those things that God has blessed me with? And so that's what I'm talking to God about now and what I'm trying to listen for really clearly now.
(49:56): Yeah. That's good. One thing you said in there that it was hard for me to realize, but learn is God doesn't need us, but he wants us. So if we want to resist God, I mean, he doesn't need us to expand the key to me. He's doing it already. He's at work, but do we want to participate? That's a whole nother story. And are we going to raise our hand and step up and I need to check out transference. Yes. Ryan Atkins book, man, that is an amazing book and super inspiring just, just while he's gone and gone through and how he can still keep his you know, ha you know, eyes has, you know, his face set on God. So it's pretty cool. Kurt. What's the best way for people to get ahold of you best way is probably LinkedIn, LinkedIn sort of giving my Google email address out. But yeah, just do LinkedIn. That's great. You never know. So, well, thank you so much for being on here and I could keep talking, but love to just continue the conversation and just, you know, thank you for the time and investing in and went home first audience and sharing your faith and being bold leader out there for, for us just to learn and get inspired from. So thank you very much. Thank you so much for having me on.
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