Developing Leadership Skills for Work and Life Phil Bohlender Auther Mentor Coach Speaker TEDx Organizer Non-profit leader lgbt entrepreneur gay professional business owner Video Interview Podcast

Developing Leadership Skills for Work and Life – Phil Bohlender

In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Phil Bohlender is an author, #LGBT #entrepreneur, and a unique thinker on #leadership.

7 ESSENTIAL TRAITS OF LEADERS Developing Your Unique Leadership Style - Phil Bohlender LGBT entrepreneur author coach

Every day is a good day to focus on developing your leadership skills. However as we are in unprecedented recent times with the global COVID pandemic, if you choose, it is a fabulous time to reflect on your personal, professional, career, and/or entrepreneur ambitions through honing your leadership skills. We discuss the opportunity to adapt your business or launch a startup based on the new environmental conditions that COVID-19 has brought about. Change, adapt and grow or be like past iconic brands who didn’t and are no longer around. Be the new startup disruptor seizing new opportunities.

Phil Bohlender on OutBüro >


Video Timestamp Discussion

  • 2:00 Phil’s Came Professionally Out in 1982
  • 5:50 Book description – 7 Essential Traits of Leaders (Buy on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2O7vV0M)
  • 7:00 Book description – 7 Essential Traits of Coaches (Buy on Amazon: https://amzn.to/31TFuIR)
  • 15:00 Leadership in parenting, your relationships and all aspects of your everyday life
  • 19:20 Impact of COVID on Phil’s business and activities
  • 21:00 Changing what we do and how we do it due to COVID
  • 23:00 Leadership of politicians through a COVID lense – balancing people and profit
  • 25:45 COVID is a massive opportunity to create and adapt personally and as a business
  • 27:00 Analysing your competitors – do a SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
  • 29:20 Adapting your business marketing due to COVID predominantly online
  • 33:15 Phil serves on TEDx San Antonio discusses affects on this year’s plan events due to COVID
  • 36:00 Change can become normalized if embraced
  • 38:40 Reflecting on history can inspire innovation future
  • 41:15 Sgt Harry Tucker’s Leadership Lesson – Take responsibility, action, and communicate.
  • 45:00 Knowing your customers and taking one for the team
  • 56:30 Leadership and intuition

Phil Bohlender is an LGBT author, entrepreneur and a unique thinker on leadership. In our casual conversation, Phil states his book may be read cover to cover in just two hours and has reflective exercises at the end of each chapter. It may be kept close at hand to be a continual reference as you experience different situations. We discuss how leadership activities happen in all areas of your life from personal interactions with a spouse/life partner, parenting, family relations, and even friendships. Improving leadership skills is for all ages from teens in school, Young adults in college and starting there careers, and adults for personal and professional growth. Maybe you want to be a leader in a non-profit or step up influence at work. The skills Phil teaches are easy to grasp and put to practical use. For very early in his professional career,

Phil has been out as a gay professional. He is an LGBT author, entrepreneur, coach, consultant, and speaker. Further, grow your skills and grab Phil’s book on Coaching. Again the principles may be applied to nearly all your relationships. In our chat, we discussed some examples of leadership in our own past and current work as examples while having a laugh too. Phil is available for panel discussions, speaking engagement live or virtual as well as training/coaching individuals or groups.

Seed and Lead

7 ESSENTIAL TRAITS OF COACHES Developing Your Unique Coaching Style - Phil Bohlender LGBT entrepreneur author coach

Coaching is one of the ways High Performing Organizations differentiate themselves from others in their industry. As a result of partnering with an experienced coach; individuals and organizations are in a better position to develop stronger leaders, improve processes and increase profits. Organizations that work with coaches are better equipped to adapt to the changes that are inherent in every industry. Leaders have an accountability for delivering successful outcomes and must be educated, equipped and empowered to achieve them consistently. Companies looking for a high return on expectations as well as value, will achieve more success when working with skilled and competent coaches.

Seed and Leed on YouTube

Consulting allows organizations to access more successful strategies and tactical best practices. Organizations that focus on streamlined and more efficient processes, are more likely to be High Performing Organizations. The costs associated with processes are reduced when a consultant collaborates with the organization’s Subject Matter Experts to develop the new ways of getting work done for both their internal stakeholders and customers. The ROI for the coaching investment is achieved when the costs associated with the processes are reduced by eliminating the unnecessary steps and aligning the roles and responsibilities more clearly.

Phil is an experienced and energetic global leader with expertise in leadership development coaching and business process improvement consulting. His corporate career spanned more than 35 years working with 7 companies, in 2 industries on 4 continents. 5 of the companies Phil worked with are ranked in the Fortune 100 list. Phil brings his experience, expertise, and best practices to each engagement with his clients. As a result of his passion for learning and sharing his knowledge with others; he is a powerful and proficient coach and mentor, who is highly sought after by leaders and business owners.

To connect with Phil find him on OutBüro here. https://www.outburo.com/profile/philbohlender/

Join me and Phil on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com

Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco. https://outburo.com/profile/dennisvelco/

Conversation Auto Transcript

The below was created through voice to text recognition. We will strive to edit for accuracy as time permits. It may not be perfect. It is being provided for the hearing impaired to still enjoy the interview.

Unknown Speaker 0:04
Hello, this is Dennis Velco with OutBüro you’re listening to out bureau voices, the video interview and podcast interview new sessions with LGBT leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals around the globe. Today, I am so thrilled to be chatting with Bill bohlander. We have actually had numerous conversations on the telephone over the last year or so. And this is actually the first time that we’ve had a video dialogue. So we have a lot of history and looking forward to our conversation now. Welcome so much, Phil to the show. Thank you, Dennis. It’s

Unknown Speaker 0:47
a pleasure to be on your show and also to get to see you.

Unknown Speaker 0:51
Well, Leonor, hey, I it’s early. I’m having my coffee. I’ve got the lightnings going. So yes, a little bit of time. Up here. It’s all good. It’s

Unknown Speaker 1:01
all good.

Unknown Speaker 1:03
Yes. So So Phil, you know, of course, you know, because you and I have had numerous conversations, even there almost weekly for a while. And, you know, so I have a pretty good understanding, I believe, but and every time you come up with something new, that you’re working on that for our listeners and viewers out around the world, give us an overview for you know, five or seven minutes of your, your background. And then, you know, let’s lead up into what you are doing now. And I see you have a couple of your books on your background. Obviously check it out. So take it away, Phil, thank you.

Unknown Speaker 1:49
I’ve been coached well, right this way this way, I think. Well. So thank you. Again, it’s very thrilling to be here. So what I love about your platform is that it’s a professional platform. And so what I want to share with you is that in 1982, if we could go all the way back to January of 1982, and I won’t take you through every year individually, I started my first corporate position. It was at a fortune 100 company. And for for whatever reasons I had the wherewithal to come out in the first four months, and this is at a time when working in Texas, I could have been terminated just for coming out. There was massive anti LGBT energy going on. And so I started my career by coming out and I remained out for 35 years in my corporate career, and my corporate career spanned working for six fortune 100 companies. In the service industry, I went on to a family owned business in the manufacturing industry. I was fortunate to work on five continents in 20 countries and all the while developing This passion and proficiency around leadership, I felt very responsible as a leader, I felt very responsible for the people that I was working with, and also for the work that was entrusted to me. So lots of focus and lots of attention on developing as a leader. And what’s key to me about being a leader is this coaching and mentoring model. So it’s not the heavy stick and you know, coming at people in really harsh ways, but really about empowering them and asking them questions about how they want to lead and how they want to become bigger and better leaders. And then what happened was, it seemed as though the place to be the one who developed other leaders was in the places where there was the most chaos. And so what I loved was I kept getting called in to take operations and turn them upside down and put them back together because they were completely out of whack. One example was I took the job. And it was very interesting because all throughout the interview process, I kept asking them So what am I walking into? So what’s the inventory? What are some of the key issues that you want me to take on right away and get solved? They wouldn’t tell me they wouldn’t tell me they wouldn’t tell me. I’m a risk taker. I liked enough about the job that I took the job. And I moved my family, my partner at the time to another city in order to take on this job. When I went into this job in the first week, I asked for the reports around the inventory, the reports came in and they were stacked this high, and they were all across my credenza. I said, I just want the summary page, show me the summary page. So it’s a summary page Dennis, and it had the number 83 on it, and I said, I thought the standard was five. I said it is I said so the inventory is at 83 days and we need to get it to five or under. So there’s a whole story around how I got it the fiber under with the working around the leadership development and the business transformation. So 35 years really excited about what i what i did during that time. I will tell you that I’m risk taker and an adventure when it comes to my career. So I’m not afraid of ever doing anything that other people might walk away from. And it was interesting as I reflected having my own business over the last few years, um, maybe just maybe some of the jobs while I was qualified for them. There probably weren’t people out there as crazy as me to take them. So I got, I got to take on these jobs and literally turn things upside down, put them back together. So just a rich, rich, rich corpora

Unknown Speaker 5:31
e career. Awesome. Ok

Unknown Speaker 5:36
y. And so Hey, tell us about some of the books though that because you do have them right up in your background. So why don’t we jump into those? I know you and I could then spin off into lots of dialogues.

Unknown Speaker 5:48
xcellent. So what I’ll tell you about it, the first book, it’s on the top there. You can tell I’ve never done the weather. So the first book is called the seven essential traits of leaders And what came to me was that every leader must have a style. So it’s the thing around being intentional. And the thing about having, as we call it now a brand around your leadership. So the seven essential traits for leaders, for me, leaders is an acronym. And so each of those acronyms is a trait characteristic that you want to take into your leadership style. It’s, it’s what I modeled my leadership style around. So if not these seven, pick three or seven or some number that works for you. So I’ll just tease with the first one. The first one L is for listening. And what I know over and over again, is that being Lisp, being a listener is about being intentional. It’s about pausing and letting the other person in, you know, inviting the other person to share and speak. So that book is really exciting. And it’s gotten a lot of attention in terms of doing some speaking gigs, some workshops here locally and now of course, in the COVID environment. I’m delivering a program around that book in the virtual world. The coach’s book is the second of the books that I didn’t even know that I was going to write. And it’s really around being a coach within the leadership model. And so I’ll let you figure out what the coaches acronym are. And what’s interesting about it is it’s a really great compliment to the leadership. And I thought, Okay, I have one for one end of the book, and you know, the shelf and the other end of the book, so shelf rather. So now I have these bookends, and I’m done. And now you know, recently, I got this idea for writing a book called The seven essential traits of mentors, because at my age, I’m really stepping into being a mentor for other leaders. And so what I’m going to do is I’m going to offer those seven traits around how to be a mentor to others. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be my age in order to be a mentor. Certainly there are younger people who mentor me around technology on a regular basis and I’m really grateful for them. So really, so my books are really centered around leadership coaching and mentoring. Um, and, uh, the whole, the whole idea to it is be intentional as

Unknown Speaker 8:09
a leader. Awesome, very g

Unknown Speaker 8:12
od. And I pardon man, and I do like the, you know, you were always evolving. Yes, businesses are always evolving. You’re always evolving. Well, that’s well, no, let me take that back. Businesses are not always evolving. And if they don’t constantly evolve, what do they do? They go out of business. Yeah. Yeah. don’t adapt. You know, look, look at industry, look at businesses that we that were common household names just eight years ago, 10 years ago. Yes. And they’re nowhere now. Exactly. And, you know, like Barnes and Noble, for example. I mean, they’re there. Very few stores I think are even out there. Yeah. And as people, we have to do the same, right? Yeah. If If we don’t constantly take a learning, which is I personally like you love challenging situations and my corporate consulting, I was known as a paratrooper. So I would go into the worst accounts, and the worst accounts and where projects were not being delivered the consultants on it, you know, like, because at one point, I had 38 staff. And so you know, like, let’s say I and I was the founder of the company, so, but even before I became a business owner, I was known for that. So if I was working for a consulting firm, that had a project, and if I had any at all, not even domain experience On what was going on just pure project management? Yes, they would send me in. And so, so, but yes, so for, for me constantly learning is is one of the hallmarks, and constantly adapting. And so you’re, you know, started out with the leadership book and the coaching book and moving on to the mentorship book, I think is great. Now, would you recommend kind of reading them in that order? Or is there maybe now that you have three? Is there maybe a different order that you think makes sense for someone? Are they each and then and to themselves, you know, kind of their o

Unknown Speaker 10:39
n island? So that’s a really great question and one that I wouldn’t have thought of because of the fact that I only thought I was going to write the one book. Now I have to with the third one on its way, right. So if I were coaching, let’s say if I were leading coaching or mentoring someone and they asked me that question, likely what I would do is I would have them start with the leadership book, I firmly believe that everyone is a leader in their life. So they may have the formal title of it or they may not. However, I think being a leader is a universal. And so for me, I would have people read the leaders book first, and then follow it by the coaching because the coaching really gives the underpinning to the leadership model. Because when you’re a coach and the leadership role, you’re going to be more engaging, empowering, supportive, these kinds of things that really, they my experiences this, Dennis, that those things in your leadership model, then include coaching, bring out the best in others, people are more likely to do more for you. They’re more likely to do more for the organization, when their coach and coaching Of course, for me is around asking versus telling, and then opening the space for them to find their own solutions to it because people Let’s face it, people don’t want to be told what to do. They want to be asked for their opinions and valued. So first book leaders, second book coaches, and then when mentors comes out, by all means, buy it and read it. And what I’ll tell you is that these are very, very quick reads. These are not meant to be textbooks, they’re not meant to be, you know, long laborious reads. These are typically reads that can be done in under two hours. At the end of each chapter, there are a set of reflection questions as well as review. So it’s intended to have the reader do some application immediately thereafter. So not only do you read it, not only do you do the reflections at the end, but you put it somewhere close to you that you can pick it up when you want to look at something around, let’s say educating. So you’re in the middle of something that calls for you to educate, pull the book out, read the chapter, see what comes to you, either from the chapter or from your own thoughts, and then mov

Unknown Speaker 12:51
forward. Okay, so is that the

Unknown Speaker 12:53
hole book is about a two

Unknown Speaker 12:55
our read? Yes, yes. Yeah, they’re less than they’re less than 160 pages. intentionally, intentionally Okay, yea

Unknown Speaker 13:04
, gotcha. Well, I’m a slow

Unknown Speaker 13:06
eader. So it’ll take me a little bi

Unknown Speaker 13:08
of time. Well, it’s funny that you say that because I was brought up where my dad read books at night before we go to sleep. So I’m conditioned to fall asleep when I start reading, so I have to, I have to be in a very uncomfortable chair with a lot of light on me, has a book in front of me in order to read it not fall asleep.

Unknown Speaker 13:27
Oh, okay, well, and I’m more I even even as a kid Personally, I’m more of an auditory learn

Unknown Speaker 13:34
r. So you tell me something. That’s

Unknown Speaker 13:36
like what like, you know, YouTube’s watching YouTube’s you know, people go you know, if you want to learn something, or it’s probably on YouTube, right? You want to change oil. Look it up on YouTube. You’re making model is probably there and it’s true. It’s out there. And yeah, right now I’m learning video editing for a particular new software editing system and You know, just YouTube after YouTube after. So I can watch it and I can hear it. Yeah. But if I were to have to sit down with a manual, like, especially this, because it has everything you could imagine in it, I mean, yeah, hollywood Hollywood movies are made on the software that Oh, wow. And so, I mean, the book would be this thick, right? So there’s, there’s no way so I appreciate as a as, as someone, so that would be a size of book that I would possib

Unknown Speaker 14:30
y tackle. Oh, nice.

Unknown Speaker 14:32
hank you. So so so that’s good to know. And it’s good that you have those those little reflection, you know, kind of internal mental workshops at the end of each small chapter. So you know, and as you were talking something, you know, that that I was thinking about, I was intently listening, but you, you triggered something in me as

Unknown Speaker 14:57
a parent. Uh huh. And you kn

Unknown Speaker 15:01
w, Where, and just as a person as a human

Unknown Speaker 15:07
as a past lif

Unknown Speaker 15:09
partner, single right now, but still, you know, I recall the days it wasn’t so long ago, is, you know, the leadership skills that you learn for your work environment can also be applied in your everyday life. You know, hell, how many times have had, you know, at least in my past relationship, just deciding on where to go for dinner on Friday night? Yes, you know, if I didn’t make the decision, it typically didn’t happen or it was you know, I typically had to be the one my my ex is just like that. And so, it wasn’t necessarily that I was trying to lead or try to make a decision is just we’ll just say it’s a I’m looking for more of a way A different kind

Unknown Speaker 16:03
f person. One with a little bit

Unknown Speaker 16:06

Unknown Speaker 16:08
it. But, but that’s what made me think about, you know, the the leadership skills in your own personal life. Whether that’s with friends, and it’s not about lead in this way do I say now right now i’m not talking authoritarian, right? We’re talking leadership and leadership is also about working with other people and and not always being the leader at all and every 100% of the moments at the time, right? Because that’s not being a good leader, though. So, so just trying to bring that out so folks can I can hear that. And so, learning leadership skills, everyone out there, it is printed to your entire life. And what’s great is is whenever you as a as a parent, for example, let’s say, you know, you’re like my son’s 10 and a half. And there are definitely leadership skills and parenting. And if you and I don’t, you know, I can’t think of any book out there not that I know off the top of my head that really talks about parents, he didn’t get away. That would be a really good book, not for me to write. But if you’re out there someone who is a parent and a leadership coach, I just gave you a fantastic book idea. Yes. And, and then there’s also the nonprofit world. And you know, obviously, and there’s even for students, so if you’re a student out there, there’s, you know, leadership in and around your school, you’re doing activities within your your community, and all of that could lead to scholarships. Yes. So it’s a very, very fundamental ability. That is probably why you started with th

Unknown Speaker 18:10
t. Right? Well, it’s it’s very interesting because you’re, you’re you’re spot on with this. And what I love about it is that part of my mission is to share ideas, thoughts and whatnot, either through the book or other things, and then cause people to go into their own reflection and thoughts. And that’s exactly what you did. And so two things come to mind for me one, one of the very first people that I worked with is a single mother who has, I think, four or five boys. And when she saw my book and read it, she reached out to me and said, I wish that you would work with parents because I would love to be here quiet. And I said, Well, why wouldn’t I work with you as a parent? And so we work together and it was really exciting. Seeing her has some shifts in how she parented these boys. And how they continue to grow in ways that, you know, are supported by that. And then the other is it’s kind of interesting that you picked up on this. So when I did my intro, I talked about the service industry. So in the service industry, I spent about 25 years of my 35 years. Then I went into manufacturing and I spent about almost 10 years in manufacturing. So that was all about learning and growing and reinventing myself and don’t you know, right now, it’s all about nonprofits. So I serve on several boards of nonprofits here locally. I’m a volunteer with several nonprofits and I’ve just been accepted into a program that’s specifically designed to ready individuals to be nonprofit leaders. So I think my next frontier um, you know, if everything lines up, my next frontier is going to be in the nonpro

Unknown Speaker 19:52
it world.

Unknown Speaker 19:53
h, right. I’ll keep y

Unknown Speaker 19:56
u posted. Whether here o

Unknown Speaker 20:00
offline. Yeah, exactly. I mean, because let’s face it. So if there’s some of the service industry in the manufacturing industry, and then I go into nonprofit, the next thing is I’m going to have to leave the planet and go figure out what to do on anoth

Unknown Speaker 20:13
r planet. Well, they’re very interesting. And who knows, maybe some revelations will wait with all the news coming out. I’m sorry. Now, I won’t go there. Politics. There’s so many weird stuff coming out. Yes. New. Yes. And things happening. So. So I was going to say, so so who knows what announcements might be made? Maybe maybe two major companies actually have a space program that we don’t know about right now. Exactly. Anyway,

Unknown Speaker 20:48
digress. I appreciate a lot. I appreciate that. You reflected on that and you like I say, you were spot on, you picked up on a couple of things that are near and d

Unknown Speaker 20:57
ar to me

Unknown Speaker 20:58
Awesome. Ye

Unknown Speaker 21:01
h. And so So what are you

Unknown Speaker 21:06
oing now? Yes. So by my count, I have been home for about 115 days. So my last gig was speaking at the the Leadership Forum for the Bank of association ibank Association of America here in San Antonio. They were one of the last groups to come into San Antonio for the convention. So I spoke at their event in March, and then don’t you know, a couple days later, there started to be this news about this COVID thing. And so my husband is actually a transplant survivor. And as a result of that he has a suppressed immune system. I’m told that I’m in the vulnerable population being over 60. And so between the two of us we decided that we were going to stay at home. So I think I’m home now about 115 days I’ve been out five times, most recently to go vote because voting is very important to me. So what am I doing right now what I’m doing is I’m working with these, these people that I’m collaborating with. So a woman in Israel, a woman in Canada, a woman and several women around the world, different programs that we’re working on. The most notable One is we put together this program for people who are leaders to navigate how to transition through the COVID-19. So there’s information on how to be a leader, how to do the logistics, how to create wellness, etc. So that program is taken off. And it’s been very interesting to put it together because let’s face it, we’ve never done this before. We don’t know what to do when people can’t work in their offices anymore. San Antonio is now at an infection rate of one in five people who are being tested are being tested positive. Well, a lot of ways in which we need to change the way we do business. And one of the things that I’ve always done is be that change agent. So what I’m working on now is programs and collaborate. with people in other parts of the world around coaching, around adding content, material programs, that kind of stuff, I’m writing a lot. I write a column, right for a column every week, and I put that out there. So yeah, a lot of internal work, since I can’t go out into the community, um, and based on the numbers that are coming out of San Antonio in the last few days, I’m thinking I might be home another hun

Unknown Speaker 23:29
red days. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. Yeah, it’s just this has been very

Unknown Speaker 23:37
ifficult. Yeah, here in Florida, you know, we we reopen? Yes, had just an incredible, you know, Spike record record numbers, you know, new cases. And it’s going to be very interesting. And my sister and I were talking the other day and she just heard From her son’s University, he’s in his first year of college out of state. And he’s been home, you know, since this is happened, like all universities have been shut down. Right. And he’s on summer break now. Right. But they just got notice this last about two days ago that there’s a high potential that the new fall semester will likely be at hom

Unknown Speaker 24:28
as well.

Unknown Speaker 24:29
Oh, okay. Yeah. So where and they’re, they’re still they’re just getting the heads up, that that might be a potential. But if so, you know, you’re looking at that would, you know, that’s going to be through

Unknown Speaker 24:43
December? Yeah, it’s interesting, because in Texas, the announcements are made that the students are going to go back to school. And so now everyone’s you know, scrambling and trying to figure that out. Here’s the thing that I’ll tell you and it goes back to my passion around being a leader. I’m so sorry. One of the models for leadership that we have available to us on a regular basis is politicians. And I don’t necessarily talk about politics, because that’s not part of who I am. And I don’t want that to be out there in the world. Because that’s that’s not how I show up or what I do. However, when you look at politicians, as leaders, which many people do, because they like to call them leaders, right, they don’t call them politicians, they call them leaders. And you look at something like COVID. And you look at it not only within your community, because we have a mayor, we have a judge. We have a governor. And then of course, we have a president and then you look beyond that to the globe. You look at countries like New Zealand with their prime minister, and you start looking at the ways in which leaders lead around these events. And what’s interesting for me is, this is why I have a passion around leadership coaching and mentoring. There is a way of approaching these things that you can balance the people and the profits because let’s face it, opening the economy is about profit. It’s not about people. And what happened in Texas, they politicized it to the point where the governor wanted one agenda. And the local authorities wanted another agenda. While we were under the initial agenda, it was flat. When the governor’s agenda was implemented it, we had 1200 and 68 cases one day this week. That’s an insane number of cases. So again, this might sound political, but it’s not. It’s an observation of leadership. And what I was impressed with, from the very, very beginning of this whole thing, no matter where you were, was, it was about the capacity volume model, which is a key component for any leader, what is the amount of incoming and do you have the resources to take the amount of incoming that’s coming in, and it’s all based on the hospital beds. So now looking at the numbers because the numbers haven’t been managed or taken care of properly. We’re now in a situation where we may not have enough beds and enough personnel to be able to support those patients. So this COVID thing has been a massive lesson. And watching leaders and how different leaders do what they do. I mean, one last thing, my husband bought me this amazing mask, because we had some masks that a friend made and sent to us. And he said, I want to take our mask up to the next level. And I’m like, you know, honey, five days out. And in 115 days, it doesn’t work, spending $20 on a mask, he’s like, No, I want you to have the best mask ever. Who would have thought wearing a mask is a statement on who I am and how I show up. It’s a mask. I’m taking care of myself. So anyway, thank you for letting me get on my soapbox. It’s not very tall. I don’t stay on for very long. This COVID thing is just a massive learning opportunity when it comes

Unknown Speaker 27:38
to leadership. Absolutely, and it’s a massive opportunity in so many

Unknown Speaker 27:48
ays, you know? The necessity is the mother of invention. Yes. So, you know, so entrepreneurs out there, that current business you know, businesses or want to be entrepreneurs? This is your time. Yep. As we talked about earlier, we weren’t even talki

Unknown Speaker 28:10
g about COVID. Rig

Unknown Speaker 28:12
t. Right. But, you know, we were talking about how, you know, if you don’t adapt, you die, yes a business. And, you know, but there’s also in in the, in the, in the

Unknown Speaker 28:29

Unknown Speaker 28:31
tile ground of change and chaos. There’s also that opportunity to seed and lead, seed and grow. Yes, see, seed, a new business and grow. Now, in doing all of that, you also have to do a few other things. And that is look at your competi

Unknown Speaker 28:56

Unknown Speaker 28:58
andscape. And

Unknown Speaker 29:00
and for that, I

Unknown Speaker 29:01
have, I think, a pretty good article on

Unknown Speaker 29:07
t. It’s called analyzing your competitors. It’s doing a SWOT analysis, which is your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You know, look at the, the likelihood that that anywhere is going 100% go back to where we were just six months ago,

Unknown Speaker 29:34
s really slim. So, you’

Unknown Speaker 29:38
e already seen people, you know, start little mini businesses on creating face mass creating fashionable, just face masks. Yes. Okay. So, you know, and you know, lots of people pulled out their sewing machine that they haven’t used in 15 years and threw stuff together. And then for example, there’s this one fella dow

Unknown Speaker 30:02
in Fort Lau

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erdale, Florida. And he makes some pretty dang cool face masks. I mean they are truly beautiful. Yeah, where the world he gets all of his fabrics from bu

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y, really cool. And, you know, so that’s a little mini business or is taking something he already was doing and just adapted it yes to the current situation and you know taking a look at even your own current business and how do you adapt. So for example, on yesterday’s or just uploaded today, there is another show which kind of goes into this and that is, I think it does or I’m going to make it stretch and and tell you what, there’ll be a rate up here, go ahead and click on that. Right click it and open a new window finish this video. But then watch that one right there here in a minute. And it’s called local SEO, which is search engine optimization. So local SEO for small businesses during COVID. And so in that example, there was a local small business for a shop in New York City well with the COVID and everything was shutting down. And these two guys who run that that business a, a ag to media in New York City, that that flower shop has been their client, they did their branding and so forth. And you know, in New York City, you live and die by the foot traffic and word of mouth. So it all looked great. And the the out the gate business owner had great business. Well, so these folks took, took a leadership role and said went back to to that customer and who who was who had to let go all of a staff that said what about your local SEO? And that is getting online as nowadays people you know, they want to search online and they want to find your business online, see what you have possibly place an order online or calling an order. So you know you in order to lead it’s not just that you have to, you know, have 50 staff to lead sometimes, you know, I’m even currently still a business one, and I even have to sell lead myself. Yes, you know, and but you as a business owner or a new business owner, you have to lead your business and think about how our customers and clients finding you and engaging with you and if you don’t have the foot traffic that you did or you’re starting a new business, you know, think about it being predominantly online is, you know, one of the other factors of that, you know, for example for you, you know, obviously Phil having speaking engagements, it’s so much more common now to have a speaking engagement and do it all via online as we are talking now. Yes. So, in the past paradigm, a speaking engagement might have been had you have included either on your costs for the organization’s costs, travel expenses, right, yes

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airfare food hotel, plus, all the

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acilities, the event Where, where? And yes, there is a there is an energy

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hat you get from

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it. Being in person, all of everyone has to adapt and still be able to lead their organizations lead their nonprofits lead their, their, their industry associations, and so forth, and still have great speakers come in. And so this is an opportunity to lead. And so even for you, you know, hopefully you’re already doing this, but, you know, reaching out to people and saying, I’m available for virtual virtual summits, and here are my topics, right? Yes, being able to lead and adapt and change. So. So I just wanted, you know, to kind of retouch on that that subject, as well, because I was very impressed with that example that I got yesterday that’s now on YouTube. And again, yeah, I’ll put another link right there. And so, we have been talking we don’t have to say the name again. But we had been talking t

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In the past about a a big summit that you were working o

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, is that comp

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etely still on hold? So are you talking about the one that was going to be done here locally in Santa Fe? Yes. So here’s the exciting news. So I’m the earlier when I talk about nonprofits, one of the nonprofit’s that I serve on is TEDx San Antonio. And so while it’s my goal to be a TEDx speaker, I love getting to know organizations from the inside out. It’s just part of how I tick. And so I have the opportunity to serve on that nonprofit. And in doing so, last December, it was I was part of the organizing committee for the women’s salon, which is where we had live speakers and video speakers, all focused on women’s issues. And what came out of that was the licensee here in San Antonio asked me to be the lead organizer for a TEDx salon, specifically focused on the LGBTQ community. And so you might imagine in January, I was like kicking up my heels, I was all excited, you know, that hadn’t been done before. There’s a minimal number of talks on TEDx that are related to this. And something I really energizing, I really excited about it. And then COVID hits. And when COVID hit, I found myself being on more and more conversations, virtual conversations around, what do we do, it was that whole thing about reacting to it. And so one of the things that I did while on one of the calls was support, not having it and not having it virtually. And so that was really hard for me, because I was so excited about it. However, I knew and it’s what you talked about earlier, that I think is really a suit on your part to have that kind of event virtually would not have conveyed the full the full experience. And so rather than turn it into a virtual one, which I saw, you know, all the virtual prize and all that stuff, and kudos to them. That was really cool. And wonderful and all that I wanted to be a part of something that was going to be in person. And so at this point, it’s not going to happen this year. My hope and the conversations that I continue to have with the licensee is that we can do it next June because June, obviously is the month to do it. So at the rate that we’re going, when we start in the fall and start planning for it, it’s going to be one amazing experience. So yes, thank you for bringing that up. Because I think that’s all part of this change that we’re experiencing right now. And let me just tell, tell you this, and I know that you already know this. And it’s interesting the way that he talks about change. Anytime that I went into change, what I knew was that eventually it was it would become normalized. So you and I having a zoom conversation right now is normalized by the fact that all of the night time talk show hosts, and all of the daytime talk shows and all of that are all being done on zoom or Skype. And so something that you and I will I’ve done six months ago because I was on zoom however far back. Now all of a sudden, everybody’s changed the zoom. And it’s normalized because you turn on the TV and you see the TV show being done in zoom format. So reality is that if people will embrace the changes that are in front of us, they’ll eventually be normalized to them. And quite frankly, they don’t go through near the pain that they think they do around the change. I mean, you still click the TV on you still get the program. It just looks a little bit different because you’ve

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oxes of people. Yes, yes, they don’t. It’s a little less production value. But But you know, what, also I find this interesting is is normalizing it and make and

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it accessible. Yes, I mean, that that we’re able to do this that you know, I then take this and turn it into podcasts that gets on 13 differe

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t podcasts. Exactly. So, I was just reminded in my Facebook feed 11 years ago this month, I was working for a massive consulting firm with global presence. And what was interesting was they asked me to do a virtual train the trainer and I’m like, Uh, what? Like we want you to do virtual trading to trader. So being the risk taker being the adventure being the guy who’s willing to jump out there. I was like, Okay, so what does that look like? So the short version is that I had my laptop, I had it in home. The color the The training was that maybe four o’clock in the morning because of the global time zones. So four o’clock in the morning, I have my laptop, and I am virtually delivering a train the trainer to I don’t know 35 4050 people around the world. That was my first exposure to that ever when I was done with it. I was like, so excited. I thought you know, I I entered into the space age. call centers. And now I look 11 years later, and what am I doing? I’m having a virtual conversation with you over a cup of coffee, just just the same as if we were sitt

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About the author: Dennis Velco Verified icon 1
An LGBTQ social entrepreneur who focuses on strengthening the global LGBTQ+ through connecting, engaging, online, and in person.

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