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When we stop preening and performing, that’s when we open ourselves up to our people and the community around us and embrace the fact that a good leader is one who recognizes it’s not about them. If you’re still wondering what love has to do with leadership, this episode is for you.
For over 30 years as an executive coach and facilitator, I’ve been asking CEOs to drop their armor and be vulnerable long before it became popular. I met my guest today, Keith Alper, over 15 years in my work as a YPO facilitator and we’re both on a mission to teach and bring this message to the world. He deeply embodies this concept of authenticity and love and believes that is what is at the heart of good leadership.
Keith Alper is the CEO and co-founder of CPG Agency and author of From Like to Love: Inspiring Emotional Commitment from Employees and Customers. With over 30 years of expertise in marketing, branding, business strategy, and event production, Keith has produced events, video/film, broadcast, and major entertainment projects across the world. His uniquely strategic, creative leadership helps steer the agency while leaving room for his love of producing large-scale projects. An active member of the entrepreneurial community, he serves as a high-level strategist, innovator, board member, and consultant for many Fortune 500 companies, CEOs, and executives, as well as large non-profits.
In this episode, Keith and I talk about how he’s been able to do what he loves his whole life, meeting his business partner while working at Six Flags as a teenager, how he brings authenticity and a focus on engagement to all his businesses, what loss has taught him about love, why great leaders are those that understand it’s not about them, your five basic needs as a leader, and so much more!
• Keith’s early dreams of a career in show business (2:55)
• The single toughest experience of Keith’s life (3:45)
• How Keith met his business partner of over 35 years (4:54)
• Why coaching young people is Keith’s favorite aspect of his business (6:09)
• Being ahead of his time with Geniecast (6:45)
• How Julian Assange lit the spark for Geniecast (7:50)
• Don’t build the pipeline, build great content (9:34)
• Using Geniecast to combat Zoom fatigue (10:36)
• The messages I’ve been getting about creating video content (12:07)
• Key elements of good content (13:53)
• How engagement is driving how we communicate (14:45)
• The need to genuinely connect with yourself first (15:59)
• Working on your mind, body, and soul as a daily practice (18:55)
• Why great leaders are those that understand it’s not about them (20:26)
• How Southwest Airlines embodies love at every level of their company (21:15)
• The exponential value of hiring people who love their job (23:09)
• Why I use the voice dialogue model for self-development (23:56)
• Being the kind of leader who genuinely loves their people (25:15)
• Recognizing that you can’t save every employee (26:47)
• Why doing good for your community is a power driver for your company (28:05)
• Leadership lessons from the CEO of Carnival, Arnold Donald (30:23)
• The obstacle you create when you’re focused on performing (33:13)
• When I started waking up to what love means (34:30)
• Why it’s important to take a day off to escape (36:45)
• Keith’s evolution as a leader (38:14)
• Why diversity and inclusion are vital for all companies (41:13)
• What we can learn from Ken Frazier, CEO of Merck, and Randall Tucker, Chief Inclusion Officer at Mastercard (42:44)
• The five basic needs for every leader (46:25)
• Why I’m talking to you (47:11)
• The advice Keith would give to his 25-year-old self (50:31)
• And much more!
Mentioned in this Episode:
• CPG Agency
• Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO)
• Keith Alper’s Book | From Like to Love: Inspiring Emotional Commitment from Employees and Customers
• Sheer Clarity | Why Leaders Must Move from Push to Pull Leadership with Toby LaVigne
• Dan Sullivan | Strategic Coach
• The Executive Leadership Council