Do you know your business blind spot?

Welcome to Constructing Brands, with Eric Lanel

Episode 31: Do you know your business blind spot?

What You Will Learn:

  • How to become self-aware to be a stronger leader.

In the latest episode of GWP’s Constructing Brands podcast, Eric guides us through the importance of being self-aware as we lead our building materials businesses so we can become stronger leaders.

About Eric Lanel

Eric Lanel began his professional career in research at a television rep firm. He quickly moved to strategy and negotiation at CBS Television, where he created a new division focusing on the late news in all major markets across the country. He was then recruited to oversee a team at Go.com, Walt Disney’s foray into the internet. Eric joined DoubleClick in 1999, when he was recruited by the founder to develop and oversee a new division. After successfully launching this division, in 2001, he was brought into a special division created by CBS and Paramount. Eric, with a team of 11, was charged with laying the foundation and developing the strategy for the two networks working together in overlapping major markets. In 2002, Eric left corporate America to become the President of GWP Inc., a top 100 promotion agency, where his understanding and knowledge of television and online shaped GWP into what it is today. GWP, is a full-service advertising agency, with five award-winning divisions, working with local, regional and national clients. Eric, born in Queens, and raised in northern New Jersey, currently lives in Livingston with his wife Francine and daughter Zoe. Eric also has two adult sons, Adam who works in advertising and Griffin, in the building industry. When not working on strategy and developing content, Eric can be found on a golf course or fly fishing in a stream.

Resources

Intro (00:03):
Building materials manufacturers run a complex business, but we are here to help you plan for the future. Whether you are launching a new product, rebuilding a brand, trying to get thoughtful communication strategies in place or everything in between. Here on Constructing Brands, we will be talking with leading experts in construction, architecture, engineering, marketing, and manufacturing, to help make your building materials company stronger and more profitable. With 15 plus years of experience helping building materials, companies succeed and grow your host, Eric Lanel.

Eric (00:46):
Good morning and welcome to Constructing Brands. Today we're going to do a solo cast. I'm going to make this tight, but it's a topic that I really felt like was important to shine a big flashlight on, and that is self-awareness. As people who were in charge of, responsible for the success of a building material company or any company for that matter, incredibly important to understand where your skills are, what makes you the leader that you are, what your pros and cons are. Really understanding and being self aware of where you can lead really, really well and where maybe you need to find support to help grow you, drive you and make sure that you're hitting it on all cylinders. So I just want to start by saying, let's think about this. There are right brain and there are left brain thinkers. That's fact. We know that right brain imagination, intuition, rhythm. Right brain thinkers, just, they think a little bit differently. They think in colors and they think in pictures where left brain very clearly logic, linear thinkers think in sequencing, think in facts. Now, interestingly enough, as you can imagine, at least in my experience over the last 20 or so years, business leaders, presidents, CEOs, owners of businesses for the most part are really strong, left brain thinkers, who think logic. They understand the numbers, they look at their P&L's on a very regular basis. Where as right brain thinkers are the people they bring in, maybe to help design help drive kind of a thought. Right brain thinkers are very holistic in thinking they like to see the connective tissue, the left brain, maybe not so much, and doesn't really understand why. So, that's the first thing. Are you a right brain or a left brain thinker? If you are a left brain thinker, then you probably feel as though you really understand and have good control of the company that you're running. But what I'd argue is that you need to take a step back and understand what are the pieces, what does that holistic piece of the puzzle that you need help with, and who in your organization maybe can help you look at that?

Eric (03:39):
Now what I would like everyone to do is write down this name, the Johari window. Now, a client of mine actually yesterday and a good friend, we were talking about something and she brought up the Johari window. I wasn't familiar with it. Since then, I've done a lot of digging into it. And I thought it was a really important thing to bring up. And I think it plays very well in with what we're talking about. For those of you who aren't familiar with it. If you Google it, Johari window is really a measurement of your emotional intelligence and the window, it has four quadrants, real simple. And it's, if you think about it on the left, it's what I know about myself and on the bottom quadrant, it's what others know about me, right? Known to others known to myself and quadrant one would be facade, which is things that I know about me that nobody else did. And to the right of that would be arena. Those are things that everyone knows about me. Underneath that to the left would be the unknown. These are things that are known to no one I don't know about myself and others don't know about me. This is opportunity. This is weakness. This is the exploration place. And then fourth, and the one that I think is really an interesting one and I wanted to land on last is blind spot. This is known to others, not really to myself. So this is, you know, this is me saying to everybody, I'm chill. I'm a very relaxed person. I'm easy breezy. And maybe your wife, husband, or significant other really knows, you say, you might you think about that. You might think you're that guy, but you're not, and it's not only me who sees it, everyone sees it. Now that blind spot, that harnessed really, really works well to understand and dig into, because if we are, you're responsible for the success of any business, any company blind spot, and your unknown. Those are the things that to me are really interesting and exciting. Now, your facade that's, you know, that's who you think of yourself and your arena, this is what everyone sees in you. Well, those are the things that on the surface, I'm sure you're very keenly aware of. And if you are successfully running a company, you have those in check. The unknown, well that just speaks to unknown. Where is your opportunity? Where can you drive you're emotional and intellectual intelligence to help grow your business. And the blind spot exercise that I'm going to suggest is there's someone in your life that really knows you, that you feel you could have a safe conversation with, speak to that person about your blind spot. Simply ask the question as it relates to something that you're actually thinking about and how people might be perceiving you in it. As a guy who works very closely with CEOs, companies, I try to get out to lunch, grab a drink every couple of months with these folks. And it's funny, our conversations leave marketing real quickly and delve into, you know, I have this situation. I want your take on it. And right from there, they dig into blind spot area. Because when I work with clients, I really take an active role to be a partner with them. And that means, really understanding their strengths and weaknesses and how my agency could help support that. And what we can do to promote and drive their success. Well, when we have these conversations, what I recognize is the blind spot is really the spot where these intelligent, incredibly intelligent folks are recognizing they could use some, some help and assistance. What do you think about this? And this is how I handled it. And what do you think about that? So this is an opportunity for them to get some insight from a safe place in me, to get some understanding about not only how they might've handled this situation or how they might handle a situation, but also recognize that other people might see them a certain way and their actions could either reinforce or take away from that.

Eric (08:33):
What this has to do with running a successful building material company? Well, I think everything because a strong leader drives marketing, drives revenue, drives success. The only way to be able to drive all those, every facet of your business is to recognize one, are you right or left brain thinker. Two, how are you supporting? Or how are you balancing out your business to make certain that at the highest of levels you have somebody or a team of people who can help drive decisions or help you drive decisions that you trust. And three really importantly, where's your blind spot, is that whether you ask about it or not, it's there, where is it and how do you support it and make certain that you are positioning not only what you're doing for your company, but your entire brand, your brand in the best possible light to drive the most success for your company.

Conclusion (09:37):
Thank you for listening to another episode of Constructing Brands. Your feedback is how we thrive, so please leave us a rating and review on your favorite platform. And if you want access to even more great information, go to constructingbrands.com.