“Too much work gives up your family, too much play, something else gives.”
– Jeffrey Hayzlett

Steve:   Welcome to The Steve Show. Today I have Jeffery Hayzlett on the show, and we’re going talk about how C-Level Executives can have the experience of more life (personal freedom) without sacrificing their energy, time, and joy in their jobs.

                Well, welcome to the show Jeffrey.

Steve:   So, Jeffrey, thank you for including me in the C-Suite. I’m excited to be able to help C-Level executive and the big thing for me is having had my ad agency—and that’s when me met—I think when you were at Kodak as Chief Marketing Officer.

I worked way too damn hard man, so now in my life I’m looking at balances and I think more executives are looking at that. You work so hard to get to the point in your career and then what?

Jeff H:   Well, why do it all for that and then when you’re all done, you have nothing you know?

Years and years ago a friend of mine by the name of Steven Covey, wrote a book—Seven Habits of Highly Successful People—one of the greatest books of all time. I’ve shared the stage with Steven many, many times and one of the things that he said and just always stuck with me was four—you need to have balance.

Balance, you know much like a teeter-totter and one of those teeter-totters that goes that this, you need that kind of balance because when you push on, say one side, this side, something’s got to give over here and that’s the way life is. Too much work gives up your family, too much play, something else gives.

So, one of the things that I thought was interesting that he said, you have to have a balance in your business, your friends, your family and your spirituality. I’ve always tried to stick with that because I’m also an addict—I’m an addict to work.

I love to go to bed at night so I could hurry up and sleep and get going the next day. But at the same time, I have to remember all those different pieces of my life because there’s more to me than just that.

Steve:   So, I’m curious—and thanks for clarifying that—how do you look at balancing while still yet growing the business? Because there’s this misconception if I let my eye off the ball or if I give myself time to go on a longer holiday or if I do this, that I’m going to lose business. So, how do you deal with that growth, because of continual growth right, and while yet you still have that balance?

Jeff H:   Let’s be clear. You might lose business. And by the way, if you don’t take of your family, you might lose your family, or your wife, or your kids or the relationship. So, it’s always about conditions of satisfaction, right?

Steve:   True.

Jeff H:   Condition of satisfaction for your work, conditions of satisfaction for your spirituality, for your family, for your friends. So, you must really know what those are. What are your conditions of satisfaction? Then, you measure and do the things based on those things.

Steve:   So about two years ago, I made a clear decision that I was willing to slow down my business even if I made less because I wanted to be with my kids, and my kids are younger right now, so I want to have that time. You know what though, it forced me to work smart.

Jeff H:   People must make those decisions all the time. You don’t always see them because you’re not in those situations. But let’s imagine my wife and I chose a different type of life because we wanted our children to have a more stable kind of life.

When I grew up, my father was in the military and we went from place to place to place to place. Now, a lot of people would say, “Well that wasn’t healthy.” Well no, it’s what I knew. Now, it was different. As opposed to my wife who lived on a farm and never went anywhere else from that county. Nothing wrong with that. I find that kind of weird or a ‘Little House on the Prairie’ kind of thing, but it’s just different, right?

Steve:   Right.

Jeff H:   It doesn’t make it right or it’s wrong. So, what we decided thought when we wanted our children to grow up in South Dakota, yet I had these big jobs all over the world.

So, what we decided to do was to make a sacrifice and we had to make certain sacrifices. That means I would have to travel to Australia, have a meeting and turn around and come right back that same day.

Steve:   Wow.

Jeff H:   You know? I could make the kids games, you know? Or we’d have a negotiation with the children about what we could do and what we couldn’t do. If you don’t want these things, if you don’t want us to have this, then, well that’s okay, dad will just stay home and not do those things. 

Steve:   Yeah, right, what do we all want as a family unit. I mean obviously, you’re looking at those balances. So, how was it for you to make those decisions? Like I mean, let’s say family doesn’t want you to do something, but the business requires it, how did you balance that?

Jeff H:   For me, we had certain conditions of satisfaction that we wanted to have in our life. So, my wife and I made those decisions together mutually because that’s the way we do things. I don’t arbitrarily just say, “Nope, I’m taking that job and doing that.” I know some men that do that, some women who do that, so we must have those kinds of hard discussions about what is it you want in life and what kind of partner am I going to be?

What kind of father am I going to be? I wanted to be better than my own father, so I had to do certain things differently.

Steve:   Where does that teeter into working as smart as you can? So, like what were the areas, if there was even one, that you can suggest that people can start working smarter?

Jeff H:   So, it always becomes focus. Focus. In my book, Think Big, Act Bigger, and the rewards of being relentless because it’s not the lucky win it’s the relentless right? Day in and day out.

So, for our biggest things that we all must do is focus right? And really know what’s important for us in terms of our goals, for our businesses, our goals for our family, our goals for our children, our goals for life, whatever it might be.

So, what are those goals? Then we must have focus, because here’s what happens…

There’s a movie called Up. In the movie Up, there’s this Ed Asner character, old man, and this young scout and they go on this adventure to Paradise Falls and they run into this dog called Doug. Doug the talking dog, remember that?

Steve:   I do.

Jeff H:   Doug runs up and he’s got this collar on and this evil master’s outfit on that allows you to hear his thoughts and he comes up and goes, “Oh you seem very nice. You smell like vanilla” or something like that. Remember that?

Steve:   I do.

Jeff H:   Exactly. It’s a great movie. And then he says, he goes “I’m a dog and you can hear me because my master has given me this collar” and he goes, “Squirrel”. Right?

That’s what happens in business all the time. That’s what happens in life. We start chasing this or chasing this or chasing this and it’s real important for us, and it’s really important for business people especially when it comes to your business to have the focus.

Even on your business, apply the same thing to your life, to the things that are important for you in your life and things start putting … you know, following in place the way you’d like to have them, you can have it all. You really, truly can. You can have it all or you can have something that’s healthy and good the way you want it to be.

Steve:   That’s beautiful. Then there’s that saying, I don’t even know who said this, but where your focus goes, energy flows.

So, what I want to do is reach out to as many executives and that’s why I’m excited about C-Suite, because this is an opportunity where you’re bringing so many C-Level executives together and being able to help them. So, maybe share a little about your vision of C-Suite because this is like, what 2 year now?

Jeff H:   We have two years and we’ve established the C-Suite Network, a trusted network for the most powerful executives in the world. So, if you’re a VP or higher in a company of 5 million dollars or greater, we want to talk to you. We want to create a safe environment.

Much like, I don’t want to say it’s a country club, but a place and a place to gather. A community for folks that says we will let you in, but you must be this tall. And the reason we do that is because we want everyone to have a trusted environment.

If I am in a room full of the same kinds of people then I know I can have certain kinds of conversations and that’s really what this is about, to be able to share information, to be able to learn from one another, to be able to cheer and to network and do business. With other places that are out there, like LinkedIn and others, I don’t know who’s coming at me.

In fact, most executives as we know, today, don’t even put their real address in there. They put a secondary or not even a secondary, a third or fourth or fifth email, that they rarely even check because they just don’t want to be bothered because of the people who are trying to sell to them.

So, this is a really trusted network, and then what we do is we give them content to C-Suite TV, much like we’re doing right now, the C-Suite Book Club, the C-Suite Radio, which is podcast content on everything from lifestyle to learning to education, management.

Then, we have all of our meetings that we do, all over the world, over 150 meetings that we’ll be doing this year. Our counsels of different groups and verticals of CMO’s, CFO’s, chief digital officers, women in the boardroom, women corporate directors, a whole host of different groups and then we also have a concierge. Concierge is a service that we provide. Especially because we know how tough it is to be in this. It’s not an easy thing to be in the C-Suite.

Without question, I don’t want to say that, we have privileges too, you know? But we’ve earned those privileges, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but we also must make a lot of decisions. What we try hard with the C-Suite Network, is to help you and other executives who are a part of it, be the most strategic person in the room.

We’re not the smartest. I’d like to think I was, but I’m not, but my job is to be strategic. In the C-Suite, that’s what we must be able to focus on and we need to focus on it as much as possible. The demands on our time are so great, you know? Because from the time we wake up and we get into a meeting our time is spoken for.

You’d like to think as a boss or the C-Suite, the CEO, the CFO, the CMO, that you can’t make those changes, you really can’t because there’s lots of things that are duties, responsibilities, accountability that you must have in that position. So, therefore, you can’t always know what’s going on outside in the world.

We help you by channeling information, giving your services and providing advisors like the C-Suite and others, that help you to become and stay the most strategic person in the room.

Steve:   That’s brilliant. I mean, I can’t tell you, I’ve had one-on-one coaching consulting to grow myself, to grow my businesses and my life, and I’ve also noticed when I’m in a mastermind or in a mentorship group, you know I can tell you, time and time again, it’s the questions somebody else asks that I wouldn’t ask.

Even in my mind, I’ve had someone brings up a question and I’m like, “oh, I got that” and then the synergy of the room, I’m like, “what? I didn’t ever think of that.” Some of my most profound shifts in business and in my personal life have been from other people’s questions and I think … and I’ve been to the events and I’m participating in C-Suite so I can speak to it, but I wanted to hear your point of view because the dynamics of having this group that you’re pulling together, that’s never been done before.

Jeff H:   Never. As we started, and we almost called this the CEO network and actually we own those domains.

And we own the PowerPoints and all the stuff in then the night before, I was doing my show on Bloomberg, I turned to the team and everybody kept telling me about their team and the CEO’s were saying, “Jeez Jeff, I’d like to do this, but I’d really like to bring my Chief Financial Officer, my VP of Finance, my VP of Sales, my Chief Operating Officer,” and we said, “Wow, we should pay attention to what these people are saying”.

Steve:   What they’re asking.

Jeff H:   Exactly. So, what we’re doing is building that network of team and many times you see the CFO become the CEO. You know, the Chief Sales Officer become the Chief Marketing Officer.

So, why not include them all. To quote a former presidential candidate, it takes a village so to speak.

Steve:   Absolutely. Then that also tends to help what we were talking about, work-life balance. You get to be with your peers, you like, “well how do you do it” and you just get that engagement.

Jeff H:   And that’s the thing. Look, it’s a very trusted environment and that’s important. You talked about masterminds. Well, C-Suites don’t have masterminds, typically right?

It happens in the C-Suite. It happens in the boardroom. It happens in those meetings; the strategic meetings that the companies have all the time, but sometimes it’s very helpful to get an outside experience and how do you get an outside experience? Who do you trust? Well who you trust is a person just like you. So, we help you divide up between billion-dollar businesses.

We’re talking billion-dollar businesses. Mid-cap company is mid-cap and industries by rolls and by geography because even big companies need to talk to small companies in Kansas City. So, that’s what we’re really trying to do is bring the community together in a very trusted environment, so we put that red velvet rope so that you know that everybody that’s in the room deserves to be there.

Steve:   Right and then it’s already vouched for, like you can go in protected. It’s like metaphor of going through a metal detector. You know, like okay, people aren’t packing, but you’re in the room.

Jeff H:   Exactly. There’s no nunchucks coming out. Well it’s interesting you know, I’m the CMO of Fortune 100 company and I know another CMO of another Fortune 100 company, there’s an unwritten understanding.

Steve:    With all this, what is most important around the content that you’re delivering with C-Suite.

Jeff H:   It’s critical because it’s changing and changing and changing. At the same time, there’s certain things the same way.

So, the C-Suite today is still a little bit older, still a little bit more skewed men than women, although that is changing. So, while everybody else is moving one way or the other, some of that stuff must stay traditional, but yet some of it has to be new.

Like, educating people on video through TV. That’s a lot different than it was. Used to be we would do TV and you had to go home, you had to turn it on at a certain time, and you had to watch it and that’s when you watched it right?

Steve:   Right.

Jeff H:   Now you can watch it on your train ride home, or in a plane, or in bed, or wherever you’d like to be able to watch this type of show. So, what we’re trying to do is, again, let’s examine it very much like a great restaurant. Now I’m sure that you like some fine things in life, right?

Steve:   Of course.

Jeff H:   When you go to a certain restaurant that’s one of your favorites, and when you go to that restaurant, they know who you are and when you sit down they bring over to you your favorite drink, your favorite scotch or set you in a certain table because they know you and your wife like to sit there. The same thing is here and what we’re going to see is content delivered by your behavior and by knowing you better, and that’s what we intend to do.

So, continue to make it the most strategic and so you’re going to see the content change and shift in the way it’s being delivered and how it’s being consumed as we get to a younger demographic. As we get to a demographic that becomes more accustomed to it because you can’t change behavior overnight.

So, what we do is, adapt the behavior and predict it based on your usage and the way you do it and then continue to feed you that kind of information.

Steve:   Which, this is not just for what the value of C-Suite is, but just something for all companies to think about. I mean this is what’s happening right now and how things are being consumed and how we’re looking to get information and be able to just get it for what we want. No more mass communication.

Jeff H:   You know years ago we were talking about segment marketing, in fact, I even talked to somebody the other day and he was talking about segment marketing and I’m like “Dude, segment marketing of one”. That’s really what this is about. This is where we’re going, so you really can, if I’m going to find women who are less than size 14 shoe, left-handed, played softball, you could find it right?

Steve:   Yeah, and then now you’re talking to who you need to talk to, which speeds everything up. It maximizes your exposure of expenses or costs for that marketing and then also can maximize your ROI.

Jeff H:   Yeah and it shifts the model too. So, before we were truly about eyeballs and ears, clicks. Now we’re about hearts and minds. So, you don’t need a million clicks, you just need five. So that’s what we’ve realized with C-Suite TV and C-Suite radio with our podcasts, the book club and all the things that we’re doing in delivering the content is let’s be not shotgun, not rifle, microscopic.

Steve:   I like that you brought up the heart because there was a time as technology got so advanced right now and all this social media craze, everyone was just hearing like scatter gun everywhere and now it’s like, let’s utilize the technology, but then let’s bring it back to the heart of who are we connecting with, why are we connecting with them and make it meaningful.

Jeff H:   I’ll give you a great line that I’ve coined over the time with all the work that we do. It is content is king, activation is queen, but context is the kingdom and that’s really what C-Suite is about is look, serving and giving the context of the information, giving the context of the value, giving the context of the services, giving the context of the relationships, giving the context of everything into the right place at the right time and that’s really what it’s about.

So, when you’re being inundated by people who want to be your coach or trainer, these are friends of ours. They’re advisors and we have vetted them for you, and you know you can trust it. Again, the most trusted network of executives in the world.

Steve:   That’s beautiful. I would say you’re out there and you’re striving to be at the C-level than you should be following what C-Suite’s doing because that’s going to give you clues on how to get your career.


Jeff H:   You know it’s a very lonely place. A lot of people think it’s very busy and a lot going on. If you ever saw the show West Wing, you know in the West Wing back in the days, they’d show the White House with people rushing around it. It’s not like that. It’s very quiet. There aren’t a lot of people. On the C-Suite floors, on my floor, on the State Street in Rochester at the World Headquarters of Kodak, there were four people on the floor. On the whole floor.

So, it’s crickets and it’s a lonely place and you’re having to make decisions, so it’s great to be able to make those decisions knowing there are other people you can call on as friends, as colleagues, who have been there before because they’ve been there before.

Steve:   Which I think this is part of being human and it’s something we all must do so that we can live a better life. I think people were tired of just working hard and then what? Then you retire and most likely you die because it’s the end. So, this is awesome what you’re doing because we can have great business, do great things, move things and have the life that we desire.

Jeff H:   Exactly. Because it’s not just about the business I can also ask you, “Hey, how did you do this in your own personal life?” Or someone’s going through whatever I might be in personal relationships, it’s good to know you can trust that person because they’re having the same kinds of trials and tribulations that you have an they’ve struggled with it and then they found a solution.

Steve:   That’s beautiful.

Jeff H:   Come to C-SuiteNetwork.com. You can find us. Watch us on C-Suite TV, C-Suite Radio. Just type in hashtag C-Suite. You can find us.

Steve:   Boom. You’re going to find it and I’m so thankful that you came on the show today, and anything you guys want. More content. Also, let us know what was the greatest value you got from this and until next time, choose gratitude and create freedom. 

Until the next episode…

Choose Gratitude Create Freedom

Steve Napolitan

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