This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Clint Pulver. Clint is an Emmy Award-winning, motivational keynote speaker, author, musician, and workforce expert. He’s been a professional Drummer for over 20 years, playing with top headlining fellow musicians in venues like the Vivint Arena, the Stadium of Fire, and the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. Something I want to talk further with him about in a unique way today.
Known as the Leading Authority on Employee Retention, Clint helps organizations retain, engage, and inspire their team members from the front desk to the board rooms and everyone in between. Clint was featured in Business Q Magazine as one of their “Top 40 under 40” as a premiere Corporate Keynote Speaker. He has transformed how corporations like Keller Williams, AT&T, and Hewlett Packard create lasting loyalty through his work and research as the Undercover Millennial. He’s also appeared in feature films and on America’s Got Talent.
Needless to say, Clint is the go-to for teaching leaders how to create organizations that people never want to leave. And I’ve asked him to come on and share his best secrets to help you in your business.
When Clint was a young kid, he had a hard time sitting still. Everyone saw it as an issue. He had one teacher named Mr. Jenson who asked him to stay after class in grade school. Mr. Jenson noticed him tapping constantly with his hands while switching back and forth writing with both hands. He said he thought Clint might be ambidextrous. He gave Clint a few tests and said, “I don’t think you have a problem, I think you are a drummer.” He then gave him his very first pair of drumsticks and told him to see what happens.
22 years later, he has traveled the world playing with top musicians and at top venues and speaking. All because someone helped live a better story.
Clint never set out to be a speaker. In fact, he wanted to be a pilot, but had an eye disease he was diagnosed with at 21 that prevented him from being one. He was told we go blind by his early 30’s. When he was younger, he had spoken in church and someone in the crowd approached him to speak at an event they were doing. He got paid $500 and did the event and loved it. He put together a workshop and other groups asked him to speak. He spoke first to High School students, then groups, and then business.
He also started the Undercover Millennial after talking to a business owner he said “You have to adapt or die in business” but ironically didn’t think he needed to adapt his leadership.
He tells the story at the 9-minute mark.
“The perception of leadership vs. the reality of employee experience is many times completely different.”
What is the difference between mentorship vs. management and why is it so important?
- When an employee hates their job, they talk about their manager. When an employee loves their job, they talk about their mentor.
- There is leadership, mentorship, and management. • Leaders lead or sail the ship, managers make sure the ship is seaworthy and can continue to sail, mentorship is taking care of the people on the ship.
- “Mentor” cannot be given to a leader or manager – it has to be earned and your people will decide.
The 5 C’s of a great mentor…
- Confidence - They exudes trust and have a humble confidence.
- Credibility – They have the experience.
- Competence – Competence. People want to mentor with someone who practices what they teach, not just a theorist.
- Candor – Great mentors create relationships so strong that honesty and trust exists.
- Caring – The ability to care about the people that they are managing and leading.
What are the 4 types of managers?
- Two things that determined employee satisfaction. The standards (expectations) of the manager and the connection people had with the company, their manager, their co-workers, etc.
- Manager Type 1: The Removed Manager. These people are burned out and low on standards and low on connection. They don’t care and are just there.
- Manager Type 2: The Buddy Manager. These people are low on standards and high on connection. They care about being liked more than they do accountability. This created entitlement.
How does someone walk the fine line of being a leader and a buddy?
- It is stating up front and consistently that you have expectations and standards.
- A mentor is not a friend. There is a line. It does not mean they don’t care or won’t help you, but they have standards, and they matter.
- You then uphold those expectations/standards.
- Manager Type 3: Controller. These people are high on standards, but low on connection. They are command and control. They use fear to get results – but the results don’t last.
- Manager Type 4: The Mentor Manager. High on standards, but equally as high on connection. They aren’t always liked, but they are respected, and they get great results. They hold employees accountable, but also back them up.
What are lessons from your experience as a drummer that have translated to entrepreneurial success?
- Cleanliness. This is a word from drumlines where all drummers are in exact unison.
- Cleanliness relates to entrepreneurship in that when you work to have everything in lock step and everyone doing their job exactly as they should at their optimum level, you get cleanliness in business.
- Simplicity. As entrepreneurs, we are so busy boiling the ocean and our “to do lists.” But the greatest entrepreneurs know what they need to stop doing. Drummers are the same in that great drummers don’t add things in where they aren’t needed, etc.
- The basics done well make the difference.
What are best tips on how to communicate effectively as a leader?
- Every audience is asking the question, “Let me know when it gets to the part about me.”
- We have to bring the sense of humanity back into our conversations.
- Make sure it is not about you and that those are finding value from what you are saying.
- Always have the audience, the customer, interests in mind.
Other entrepreneurship lessons you feel people should know? • The ET Theory. This is based on the movie ET.
- At the 42 min mark, Clint shares the theory and it’s best to listen.
- ET dethroned Star Wars and was the #1 grossing movie for 11 years straight.
- It sold over $6 Billion in just ET dolls/toys.
- ET was iconic and the process to create a lasting character is the same for a great business.
- #1: Concept – what is the idea?
- #2: Illustration/design – writing out and draw the character – it is the same in designing a business.
- #3: Sculpting – this is where you see the character for the first time.
- #4: Casting/Molding – the core of the character like the core of a business
- #5: Mechanics – How to make it move, etc. In business, this is marketing and how you will make the business go.
- #6: Fabrication – it comes to life, just like a business will if you follow the process.
- The details are the most important. Every brick carefully and thought through. This creates quality.
- If you create an ET out of your business, you create something timeless.
Best Quote: We are not getting out of this life alive. Be a “do it, did it, done it,” NOT a “woulda, shoulda, coulda.”
Clint's Misfit 3:
- Get really good at creating a “to don’t” list. Get good at what you need to stop doing.
- To live is the rarest thing in the world, for most people just exist and that is all - Oscar Wilde. We are not getting out of this life alive. Be a “do it, did it, done it,” NOT a “woulda, shoulda, coulda.”
- It’s not about being the best in the world, it’s about being the best for the world. Significance over success.
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