Welcome to Daring To, a podcast that finds out how CEOs and entrepreneurs navigate today’s business world – the conventions they’re breaking, the challenges they’ve faced and the decisions that they’ve made, and lastly, just what makes them different.
After more than 30 years as a senior executive in Financial Services, Pat Hurston has the honor and privilege to serve in the non-profit community fulfilling her passionate for women and girls issues, developing leaders and being a servant leader in the business community.
Pat currently is responsible for Corporate Sponsorship at Leadercast where she cultivates relationships to provide Professional Development to companies seeking to develop leaders worth following. In addition, Pat works closely with the CEO to develop leadership programs that focus on women already in their chosen profession, young women in college, soon to enter the workforce, and young people in high school.
Previously, Pat was Resource Development Director for Women In Technology (WIT) and is its Chief Fundraiser with responsibility for generating $1MM in revenue. In this role Pat developed short and long term strategies for generating funds from corporate and individual donors. She was also responsible for determining program strategies and leading the successful delivery of WIT’s free programs: WIT Girls, including under-served areas, WIT Campus and Women In Transition. Known for “delivering results”, under Pat’s leadership, WIT’s Programs grew by more than 50% and the number of volunteers increased by 70% in one year.
Pat also serves as the Executive Director for CEO Netweavers, an organization focused on actively engaging in outreach programs that help the business community. In this role, Pat serves as a consultant to the President and Operating Committee and leads the organization’s outreach and member programs.
Prior to her current roles, Pat served as Vice President of CNA Insurance Worldwide Billing and Collections leading a staff of over 200 associates in five operating locations. Pat came to CNA from JP Morgan Chase where she was Senior Vice President of Government Financial Solutions leading a staff of more than 400.
Pat holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Detroit Mercy, where she was inducted into the Hall of Honor; and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg graduate School of Management.
Intro: [00:00:02] Welcome to DaringTo, a podcast that finds out how CEOs and entrepreneurs navigate today’s business world, the conventions they are breaking, the challenges they face, and the decisions that they’ve made. And lastly, just what makes them different?
Rita Trehan: [00:00:19] Hi. I’m Rita Trehan. And I’m DaringTo, joined today by Pat Hurston, Corporate Development Director for LeaderCast, an organization that’s all about developing leaders that people want to follow. Pat, it’s great to have you here.
Pat Hurston: [00:00:33] Oh, Rita, thank you so much for having me. I am so excited to be here. And I definitely enjoyed our conversation over the past few weeks.
Rita Trehan: [00:00:41] Well, I have tons of questions to ask you.
Pat Hurston: [00:00:43] Super.
Rita Trehan: [00:00:43] And I think our listeners are going to be really intrigued about you and what you have to offer. So, I’ve kind of looked back a little bit over your career.
Pat Hurston: [00:00:50] Uh-oh.
Rita Trehan: [00:00:52] Well, I think they’re going to find it really interesting. So, there’s a couple of things that struck me. Here you are, a woman at the corporate world that worked there for a number of years, and then decided to sort of really gave herself to the nonprofit world. That’s sort of like very interesting within itself. But there’s also a theme that seems to run throughout your whole career and your whole life, which has two things to it – women, and young women, and young girls. Well, three maybe. So, talk a little bit about that, because I’m really intrigued at the fact that that theme is constant throughout your life it seems. Is that so?
Pat Hurston: [00:01:30] Oh, it is. And what a privilege. I have had a wonderful career. I’m not going to say that it’s always been rosy, but I’m so grateful for the journey that I took. And the one thing that even way back in high school, I’ve always wanted to help people. And that really is the theme. And it’s not just helping people, but it’s getting things done is important to me. And so, when I was coming up, I didn’t see a lot of people who looked like me. And I always wanted to be a businesswoman. I didn’t know what that meant even.
Pat Hurston: [00:02:03] And so, I got into the business world, went to school, and all those, didn’t do anything traditionally because I went to school and worked at the same time. So, I was a learner and doer all at the same time. And I would watch people. And then, one of the things I saw was, again, I didn’t see people who really had the notion of, “Let me help mold this person. Let me tell you what’s about to happen or what could happen.” And so, when I started to be in corporate, and I could see the people who were being successful, I started to think if others could know what it took, how awesome and how quickly they could move up.
Pat Hurston: [00:02:41] So, my passion, even when I was in corporate, and I had a wonderful career, was always serving on nonprofit boards, trying to do things for the underserved communities. And then, particularly women, because I feel like if you help women, you help the world. And so, it was important to me that we help women, and then young women, because I see these young people today. They are brilliant. They know all kinds of things. But how is it? What role can you take? What is it? And I was struck by that.
Pat Hurston: [00:03:13] I was at my church one Sunday, and the girl was graduating from high school. And I said to her, “What college are you going to?” And she looked at me like, “College, what is that?” And that took me on that journey to say, “I’m going to help as many young people as I can to understand that you must get an education, that high school isn’t the end,” particularly, again, in our underserved communities and just people who don’t know. How do we break that cycle to let people know? It’s expected that you’re going to go ahead and get more education.
Rita Trehan: [00:03:44] So, that’s really interesting. Let’s talk about the underserved community, because we talk a lot about women in business, and in education, and in areas of professions that typically women don’t do. I mean, you started out in the business world several, several years ago, like myself, when it was pretty tough then.
Pat Hurston: [00:04:03] Yes.
Rita Trehan: [00:04:04] I think it’s still pretty tough now-
Pat Hurston: [00:04:05] Yes.
Rita Trehan: [00:04:06] … that we talk a lot about it, but we don’t often talk about the underserved areas and underserved communities that don’t even think about the idea of going to college. And yet that’s such an important population. You talked about the brilliance of young children. I heard you speak about that and recently in saying that’s an untapped community, and they are so brilliant, and they’re so smart. And if I can get them off the streets, and not be in gangs, and just show them how they can use their skills, that would be so important. Why aren’t enough organizations investing in helping underserved communities?
Pat Hurston: [00:04:37] I just think that it is something that we’re to talk about a little bit more. And that is is that being bold, and really going out, and reaching them. Let me just tell you something. When I started out in my career being—I think I was a receptionist in a bank. As I tell people, we were poor, but we didn’t know we were poor. And so, all I knew is that I wanted to get a job because I wanted to make money because I love shoes. That’s all I wanted to do. And then, I got in there and I said, “Oh, wow, this could be a career.” I didn’t even know. Nobody was talking to me about—I tell people all the time, I graduated from the University of Detroit, but let me say to you that for years, we would ride down the street, and we would see this big university, we didn’t know what that was. And you wouldn’t have told me that I would end up going to that college because nobody was talking to us about that. I think that we need to be talking to these young people about it and letting them understand the art of the possible.
Rita Trehan: [00:05:39] So, you’d be also being very modest because you are actually at the Hall of Fame at your university.
Pat Hurston: [00:05:43] Well, okay. I didn’t want to go there.
Rita Trehan: [00:05:43] And let’s like call it out, because that in itself is a massive recognition. You are actually putting on an event. LeaderCast is actually putting on an event, which is all about courageous, being courageous, and it’s focused on women. So, talk about that because I guess that’s what you’re really trying to get across. And is that population the population that you trying to get out there to spread the message around how important that is?
Pat Hurston: [00:06:08] Yeah, we see in corporate America—and again, I was courageous but didn’t know I was being courageous. I know that in a lot of times I was the first, the only, and all that stuff. I didn’t want to be. But I will tell you that I was always standing on the side of what’s right. And so, when I saw something that was not right, just because we learn the golden rule, do unto others as you want them to do unto you. And so, when I would see things and I was just that naive, I go like, “Well, hold on now, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be, and that’s not right.” And so, it was calling things out. I didn’t know I was being courageous at the time. I was just trying make sure people were treated fairly.
Pat Hurston: [00:06:51] And so, what’s important now is that it has from when I started in corporate America to what it is now. It’s so much more complicated technology and all those kinds of things. One of the things in working with young people in the technology field, we have found that women are generally much more competent than their counterpart males, but they don’t have the confidence. And when God made me, he gave me an extra portion of confidence. I could give it to some people. And so, I had that confidence. And we want to teach women that that is okay. And the women we’re bringing to LeaderCast Women on October 18th at the Cobb Energy Center – there are nine of them – they have some fantastic stories. They’re coming from a wide diversity of backgrounds and and have some incredible stories. And how is it that we can get people to be courageous, young women, women in general? It’s by telling the story. “Oh, I can do that,” because, again, it’s the art of the puzzle. “What can I do? If I put my mind to, I really can do this. It’s really okay.”
Pat Hurston: [00:07:58] What’s also important is that other women are supporting those women. When we take a bold move, we need to know that we got some sisters behind us that are going to help us as we go forward to really say call out what’s not right and let’s be fair about things. And so, we need to bring these young women, women, in general, together so that they can hear about others’ story and know that they can do it too.
Rita Trehan: [00:08:26] So, let’s talk about that. Women sort of supporting other women.
Pat Hurston: [00:08:29] Right.
Rita Trehan: [00:08:31] Statistics tell us that when you ask women how they got to where they’ve got to, it’s often not because their female counterpart has been—has played a big part in that. So, it kind of says that we’re actually not necessarily supporting each other in the way that we should. That actually many of them that will recount men within organizations that helped foster their careers, and helped them to climb up the ladder, and be who they are – confident women making a difference, making a contribution, and moving forward. What is it about us women? What’s our problem?
Pat Hurston: [00:09:00] I think, sometimes, women feel like, “If I help you, that’s that going to do for me?” or “If the man sees me helping you.” I mean, I don’t really—I can’t really explain it because I’m not that smart. I just know that it’s the right thing to do to help somebody. I feel like if I help you rise, you will help me. Is that you’re going to—and in fact, I tell—what is the saying? Each one teach one each or each one reach one. I really feel that if we just take all of being fearful of what other people are going to say and just band together to help women, I think we’re going to be better. We have to because women now are dominating the workforce. If we don’t help each other, then you’re not going to have a good staff, because the staff is women that is dominating.
Pat Hurston: [00:09:47] And so, I think that I’m beginning to see with organizations that are being formed that women are being supportive. There are a number of women, particularly here in Atlanta, that I have run into. And having worked with women and technology and some other organizations, I have seen women by the thousands who will raise their hand and say, “I will help.” And they will help these young girls, which is extremely important. We have some of the best universities here in the State of Georgia. And when I have gone around to those universities, I have hope. I have a lot of hope.
Pat Hurston: [00:10:23] And they—absolutely, I tell all women out there, if you’re in corporate America, these young girls are watching you. There’s somebody watching you. When I was coming up, there were one or two women who I would watch, and I would emulate what they’re doing. Know that you can make a difference. If you just take the time to talk to these women and try to help them say, “Oh, well, you don’t want to do that, because this is what is likely to happen,” or “Go this way,” give advice because it’s all going to come back around and help you. So, I think that while there is some of that, I am seeing that there is a lot more that people are being conscious that we got to help each other.
Rita Trehan: [00:11:02] I agree with that. And I also see that much more so within the younger generation that they are really stepping forward to make a difference for their fellow colleagues. Now, clearly, you were ahead of your time in that thinking because you’ve been doing this for a long, long time. And so, I want to talk-
Pat Hurston: [00:11:17] Okay. Well, I’m not that old.
Rita Trehan: [00:11:18] No, I mean, like—neither am I, but I was going to get there with that long, long time, to me, means like a few years.
Pat Hurston: [00:11:23] Yeah, right.
Rita Trehan: [00:11:23] I’ll be right there, right? So, let’s just call that out.
Pat Hurston: [00:11:25] You’re right.
Rita Trehan: [00:11:26] But I want to talk about a topic that often we don’t talk about because people get uncomfortable about it. They kind of like go, “Oh, let’s not talk about that. It’s a bit controversial. Let’s just keep it on the nice stuff.” Well, this is about daring to. You’re person that dares to make a difference. So, we’re going to talk about a topic that both you and I can relate to. We are both women of color, and women in color that have had big roles in the corporate world. Now, I don’t know about you, but I know that it has its challenges and its obstacles, and we still see that today. Would you share some of your experiences around that?
Pat Hurston: [00:12:02] Absolutely. Let me just start by saying the women that are in big roles today that I have met, they are doing a fantastic job, and they’re handling it far better than I did when I was there because, again, I’m one of these naive, “Well, we all want to do the right thing, don’t we?” And so, it never occurred to me that people would be looking at me because of my color or because of my gender.
Pat Hurston: [00:12:30] It is—you began to see that when you get into the room. Well, the first thing you’re going to notice is you’re the only person, a woman in there. Then, you start to see a person of color. Well, it could make you nervous, and you’ve got to make sure that when you speak that they are listening because you got something to say and bring to the table. The first thing women of color have to deal with is, “Okay, I got this layer of I’m a woman. Okay, I got to get through that. I got another layer of a person of color.” And now, we’re even, sometimes, thinking what are the biases of the people around this table? Are they going to take me seriously? What are they going to do?
Pat Hurston: [00:13:08] I always believe that your work, first of all, if you got to the table, you did something right. And I believe that your work is always going to speak for yourself. Do you have to call people out? Absolutely, you have to sometimes do that. “Okay, well, John, when you said this, you may not have been aware, but this is how it came off for me. And you probably don’t want to repeat that.” I’ve had so many teachable moments I can’t even tell you, but I feel that it’s not so much an extra burden as much as it is, is that I’m going to carry myself in the fashion of which the people will understand that all I come to the table with is, I want respect, and I got something to bring, and I want us to work together.
Pat Hurston: [00:13:46] And so, I think that when we are able to go through that and get to that, then after a while it doesn’t matter. Same thing happening for all the teams that I have led. People are thinking about it first, but when you start working together, all that goes out the window.
Rita Trehan: [00:14:02] I think that’s really helpful advice for women, in general, actually, not just women in color—of color, because actually women face a lot of challenges. We see that time and time again. We’re still seeing stats that tell us women aren’t making it to senior levels in organization. Companies aren’t trying to make a difference. But do you think we need to start much earlier? Do you think we need to start at schools, to start to tell kids at schools, girls at schools that, “Look, you can be who you want to be and those careers that you you’ve never thought about are careers that are open to you”? Do you think that we fail at the school system to do enough in that area?
Pat Hurston: [00:14:34] Yeah. And let me say to you that we are doing—I’m seeing a lot of work being done at the college level, and I would submit that’s too late. I really want to see us reaching those high schools, again, in those underserved areas, because what I see is some very smart young women in those underserved areas, but because nobody—they’ve had nobody who has gone before them, nobody is showing them the art of possible, or the things that they could do that we need to be reaching in there because we would be role models to them. They’re not thinking about coming into the city, and being in a corporate building, and work in a corp because they don’t see that. They’re thinking about two-hour or an hour job because that’s what they see.
Pat Hurston: [00:15:16] And so, bringing those those people, we would take bus loads of them, and bring them in the city, and some of these fantastic companies here who would allow those young girls to come in. And let me also say to you is that going back to the point of teaching these young women to support each other, I would say that when you have women, and you’re right, women, don’t matter what the color or whatever, other women, I want to say, when you see a woman who is at a senior position, you help that person. If you’re on their team, make them look good. Help them because it going to do nothing but help you. And that’s what we wanted to teach. Get this mean girl stuff out of here but start to be really supportive of each other at the young level.
Pat Hurston: [00:15:58] We were—when I was working with women in technology, we were having this competition for the girls to come up with the website, and design, t-shirts, and stuff. And one thing today, young people work very well by themselves because they’re always on their cell phones. And so, they’re working. And so, I said the issue that we have in corporate America is the ability to collaborate, the ability to work together. And so we said, “Let’s force the girls to get in a team. You select your own team and work together. Someone has to be the leader and so on. And the rest of the team has to support that leader.”
Pat Hurston: [00:16:36] And so, when you start to do that at a young age, as I said, middle school, high school, it helps people say, “It’s all right if I help you. There’s nothing going to be taken away from me. By the way, I’m gonna learn because at the end of the day, this is all about leadership. I can lead from the front, and I can lead from the behind.” Listen, I believe that the best leaders are those who have to lead people that don’t report directly to them. So, when you can influence other people because they want to emulate what you do, they want to—they catch the vision, they want to do better, I think that that’s the best in the most magnificent leader is to have people following you that don’t have to.
Rita Trehan: [00:17:14] So, that’s a really interesting concept. It’s about being a leader without actually having necessarily the authority to be a leader, right? It’s about inspiration. It’s about capturing somebody’s imagination. Is that how you see it?
Pat Hurston: [00:17:25] I’d absolutely see it that way. If you’ve got a vision, and you’re able to articulate that vision, and people see that you are really passionate about what you want to do, and it’s for the good, right, and moving the team forward. People who are going to want to lead, they don’t care what team it’s on, that you’re on, right? And nowadays, we’re seeing those lines of direct report and all this business, because these young people, they don’t do what you say, what you tell them to do. They do what they believe is the right thing-
Rita Trehan: [00:17:54] Have a different way of working.
Pat Hurston: [00:17:55] Absolutely have a different way. So, you got to be able to capture them and to take and motivate them to want to move forward. And how do you do that? Back in my days, like you do whatever your boss says. As soon as your boss said anything, you better hurry up and jump to it, right? But nowadays, that’s not the case. You’ve really got to convince these people it’s the right thing to do in motivating. And then, they want to know what’s in it for me, right? Well, how is this going to benefit? And if you can help and direct them that waym the sky is the limit for all of these—for these young people.
Rita Trehan: [00:18:29] So, look, you made a tremendous contribution when you were a woman in technology. You grew the organization. You grew the number of programs. You grew the number of companies that were investing in that. You created that free program for young people to come and actually see what technology creators were about. And now, you’ve taken all of that capability and all of that passion that you’ve got, and you’re bringing it to Leadercast. Tell me how you are helping companies today to recognize the importance about following leaders that you want to follow. I find that a really interesting concept.
Pat Hurston: [00:19:01] So, it is when I did my work in corporate for all of those many years, I was—even if I go back to elementary school, I was always telling the kids, “Okay, let’s put our lunches together and do something,” right? And so, some people would call that bossy. All right. I call that resistance.
Rita Trehan: [00:19:20] I can understand that. I can relate to it as well. [Crosstalk].
Pat Hurston: [00:19:26] Bossing, right? But it really was about trying to accomplish something. And so, what I have learned over time is leaders—and, again, these leaders worth following. So, I was leading. I wasn’t being bossy, I was leading. And we ought to enhance and embrace that. I feel that my past, to your point, has really prepared me to be in this role, which is leading the resource development for corporate sponsorship because we definitely need to bring in our corporations this whole notion of leadership.
Pat Hurston: [00:20:00] Now, every company has wonderful training and development. But I have to tell you what Leadercast brings is this ability—you’re not going to find another organization that has as much diversity of speakers. Our roster, in our library of all the thing all the leaders that we have and what kind of wisdom they impart about leadership, there’s something there for everybody. Nobody else is doing that. And then, we culminate all of that by having two big events, one Leadercast Live, which is in May next year. It will be May 7th. And then, we have a Leadercast Women coming up October 18th at the Cobb Energy Center. We’re going to bring over 2000 women together. First of all, the lineup, again, as I said earlier, is fantastic. But what we also know is women learn from each other just being in the room together, right? Having the time that we could network with each other.
Pat Hurston: [00:20:58] And so, it’s important to me that people understand that you can be a leader. A little girl in the Girl Scouts can be a leader. She is a leader. And so, for all of us to understand that we are leaders and that people will follow us, we have to have lots of the content, of information that we understand how to be. And when I say that I’ve been prepared for this job, I know what not to do when I’ve seen bad leaders, when I haven’t made the right decisions myself, and how we want to. And I really want to impart that on people. And people don’t learn in the traditional way.
Pat Hurston: [00:21:38] So, what Leadercast has to offer is not only those two programs. And by the way, we do it around the world. So, if people want to and they don’t—if they can’t be at our event at that day, we have what we call Flexcast. And you can purchase that and show it at any time around the world because what needs to happen is we all need to be singing off the same page in the hymn book. We all need to know, here’s what we’re really wanting to have our leaders be. And all of us are leaders, right, in some shape, form or fashion.
Rita Trehan: [00:22:10] I think you hit like over a hundred thousand people on this like one-day event.
Pat Hurston: [00:22:14] Absolutely.
Rita Trehan: [00:22:14] That’s just like mind blowing-
Pat Hurston: [00:22:16] And nobody is doing that.
Rita Trehan: [00:22:17] … that you’ve been able to reach that. Then, you must have something that is really attracting them of that.
Pat Hurston: [00:22:22] Because we’re passionate about wanting to fill the world with great leaders. It’s absolutely critical. We also have Leadercast Now. So, it’s like professional development on demand, So, you can at any time, in our library of over 150 speakers, look for something that is inspiring to you. Let me tell you, sometimes, I’m sitting, and I am able to look at some of the speakers for the on-demand. It is so inspiring. And I learned something. And then the fun of it is being able to apply it. And then, we have certifications in leadership, so people can get certified in leadership excellence and innovation.
Pat Hurston: [00:23:02] We are also looking to take this into the universities. So, one of the things that Leadercast has is what we have this whole site. So there in some of the rural areas where they won’t be able to bring all these people in, so we bring it to them. And in addition to that, we want to partner with the universities because, again, we want to bring those young people in, so that they too can have this rich content that they can take with them everywhere they go. And we’ve been going and talking to universities about this. So, this is like the most exciting job I’ve had because I’m like a big thinker. I just want big things to happen.
Rita Trehan: [00:23:41] I’m sitting here being like inspired by what you’re saying. And I’m thinking actually, like, you guys have really tapped into a market that hasn’t actually been tapped before. The fact that you want to go into universities and work with the universities to help people to understand what they can learn around leadership way before they leave to get a job, I think that’s very interesting because there’s loads of stuff that you can get at senior level. Some of it good, some of it not so good. I think if you’re listening, listeners, go look at the Leadercast stuff because it is really good. And so, I would encourage you to do that. But very few are really focusing at that time when they’re in university-
Rita Trehan: [00:24:18] Yes.
Pat Hurston: [00:24:18] … or they’re focusing it right at the end when somebody is looking for a job. So, that, I think, is really important if it gets traction around that. And are you seeing universities responding positively to that?
Rita Trehan: [00:24:28] Yes, absolutely. As a matter of fact, my colleague, Adam, and I are going to go to university tomorrow. And they’re very excited. We’re doing a lot of good work with Kennesaw State, for example, as one of them. But we are talking to these universities, and I’ll tell you the ones that—all of them want them, but I look at these technical schools as well, and all of the schools where you’re learning the technical stuff. But, baby, what you learn in corporate, I learned on the job, right? You’re stumbling and falling. And nobody’s telling you. And by the way, they’re looking because they know you’re getting ready to fall in that hole right there right.
Rita Trehan: [00:24:59] That’s right. Those mistakes that we make, they were the best ones, right?
Pat Hurston: [00:25:03] Right, exactly, right.
Rita Trehan: [00:25:03] And you learn so much.
Pat Hurston: [00:25:03] Right, right. But I tell you, you don’t have to make those same mistakes. First of all, we got to have this leadership as early as possible because things are changing in a nanosecond. You got to be on your game, and you have to be ready for managing and leading. And I don’t want to say managing. I want to say leading everybody. This is the first time in our history that we have five different generations in the workforce at the same time. You don’t operate with all of those the same. So, I would say that the job of leading is even more challenging because you got to appeal to so many different people. But it’s all good because I believe every generation can help the next. It’s just a matter of us working.
Pat Hurston: [00:25:44] So, yes, it’s important. We have been—it’s been very well received, I’m excited about it. I’m excited about the fact we go on these whole host sites, we go to those chambers. And we’re also pulling in and talking to as early as the high schools. How do we help those folks? Because it’s really all about community. What can we do together because we got to be able to move quickly? At the end of the day, how are we being effective? How are we creating good products, making good sales, and just being good citizens of the world,
Rita Trehan: [00:26:18] So, let’s talk a little bit more about that in particular. Your ethos has always been about servant leadership. I’m a big believer in servant leadership. I think it’s evolved over the years. And I think if ever there was a time in the world today that we needed servant leadership, it’s now when we see what’s happening around the world, just how things are changing. Whether that’s political events, or economic events, or just changes full stop, servant leadership is something that’s going to drive us forward. What is servant leadership to you?
Pat Hurston: [00:26:49] So, it is all about not me wanting to get something from you, but it’s about what I can do for you and help you. And I work with an organization, CEO Net. I was just on the phone. I think I told you I made a wrong turn because I was on the phone with one of our CEOs. And we were talking. And before he got off the phone, he says, “What can I do for you? What help do you need?” If we could just stop trying to take and start saying, “How can I help you? What can I do to help you?” It really doesn’t take that much time. So, it’s really about, how can I help serve you is what servant leadership is about and what people are doing to make the world better.
Rita Trehan: [00:27:34] It’s really interesting, when I offer that to people, sometimes, they look at me, it’s like I’ve got three heads or something or like I’ve got some stuck in my teeth.
Pat Hurston: [00:27:40] They’re not expecting it, right?
Rita Trehan: [00:27:42] And yes, people just feel very—It’s almost like a surprise. And yet, for me, it seems like. Well, you’ve given up some of your time. So, how can I help is something that comes naturally. But it isn’t something that comes naturally. How are you helping CEOs to sort of understand that? Because they play such an important role in servant leadership, right? About giving back as much as they have to lead. And by the way, they’ve got a lot on their plates, right? Whether you’re a CEO of a small company like myself or a massive multinational company, you know what it’s like. How do you help them think about servant leadership and not being like just a theory, but this idea about ask what you can do to help?
Pat Hurston: [00:28:20] Yeah. A lot of this is really about practice and about helping them. Again, it’s back to people telling their stories. At the end of the day, the people I run into really do want to help. They just don’t know how. And it’s because we’re in a fast pace. Everybody’s trying to, “Okay, we’re here for a particular reason. Let’s get it done.” We are trying to help people understand that it’s okay to ask what can you do. And it’s not going to be one other thing on your plate, because most of the time is, “Can you make an introduction to whoever?” And the connection of that takes a nanosecond to do.
Pat Hurston: [00:29:03] And so, we’re showing, we’re teaching people by doing. We are showing them how you can make this very easy. And it’s a win win for you. These corporations, CEOs, they understand the importance of helping each other. They understand the importance of the bottomline. So, usually it’s not a big deal. Their problem is time to do it. And if we can show them that it’s easy to do to just make a phone call, send an email, they then find, “Well, it’s not that hard.” And then, they just start doing it. And then just by saying to them the consciousness, I always ask people, what can I do to help you?
Rita Trehan: [00:29:42] What would you advise sort of young leaders today, young women leaders today, or women that are in roles where they have an influence. How would you advise them to reach out to other women beyond maybe their own organizations or their own networks. What would be your advice to them do you think?
Pat Hurston: [00:29:57] I think that we’re in this world where we just try to pack a whole bunch of stuff in, and we look at it as the more we can do, the better we are. But if we could just take the time to watch, look, and listen, search out people that may not be able to or have the ability to get to a C-suite or see anybody in the C-suite. Reach out to these young people. When I was in corporate, back in the day where they had the mail room, I remember going there, and talking to not only the women but the men because they weren’t expecting to see somebody at the VIP level, but I knew there was a need. So, if you sit back and think about it, you’ve got to have a passion for it, you’ve got to want to do it.
Pat Hurston: [00:30:44] But I would advise people to just take a few minutes out of your day and think about, “Who could I help today? If I could just help one person today,” and make that your mantra that you’re going to look as how many people can you help from the people who are serving you food, from the people who are cleaning up, what can you do, and people who are on your team. Because sometimes, it’s a matter of just going over to somebody and saying, “Hello, how is your day?” It doesn’t cost you anything. You can do it on the way to the bathroom, right?
Rita Trehan: [00:31:13] A surprise sometimes. They’re like, [crosstalk] to me, right?
Pat Hurston: [00:31:15] Yeah. And people will respond so very positively because the thing that people need to know is the people that you think are the least might be the people who are the most for you.
Rita Trehan: [00:31:26] Say that. So, describe that again. That’s a really interesting point. Like give me an example of what that looks like.
Pat Hurston: [00:31:33] The least of them, right. So, the people that you don’t think that can help you, right. Maybe that is the cleaning person. All right. Maybe that is the cafeteria. Maybe is the lowest person on your staff.
Rita Trehan: [00:31:43] Often, they’re most connected.
Pat Hurston: [00:31:45] Absolutely. Let me tell you something. When I worked at the bank in Chicago, I got the best meals and people would say, “Well, how did you do that?” It’s just being kind. And they would always look out for me, they know I’m a potato eater. And so, they would make sure that they would have that for us. So, they can do the most for you, or maybe they clean your office just a little bit better, your desk a little bit better. But they, also, are so connected to your point that there are people and connections that had nothing to do what you’re doing that they can help you.
Rita Trehan: [00:32:14] Usually, also about respect.
Pat Hurston: [00:32:16] Absolutely.
Rita Trehan: [00:32:17] Don’t you think that, sometimes, the higher up we get, the less we remember what it was like lower down the organization.
Pat Hurston: [00:32:25] Absolutely.
Rita Trehan: [00:32:25] So, how do we help leaders sort of not forget the path where they came from? I’m a big believer, like never forget your roots. Never forget where you came from. Never forget like some of the values that you have learned along the way. But it is interesting that you do see when people rise to power that they lose that perspective. What can we do to help leaders to make sure they don’t lose that perspective? Is it just simply calling out? Is it making it part of some of the leadership training, or development, or coaching that we give to them? How can it help?
Pat Hurston: [00:32:56] I think it’s I think it’s all of the above. But again, I’m going to go back to, you got to want to do it. You got to understand that it is to your benefit to do it because along the way, you never know who you might have to to count on. And it could be something completely outside of work. And so, it’s important. I would always make it a habit, and I would say this to everybody, “When I get too comfortable, I make sure I get uncomfortable.” So, I’m going to go, and reach out, and do something. So, maybe you’re coming through the cafeteria, and we grab and go. Maybe you can sit down and talk to somebody. Go to—talk to people that you ordinarily would not talk to. Get to see, and meet, and talk to people, but be intentional that this is all about creating better leaders. And so, they see you as a leader, and they see you as approachable.
Pat Hurston: [00:33:50] The best leaders are the ones the people that are approachable because, by the way, they’re going to tell—the employees are going to tell you everything that’s going on, and they will watch your back. And so, it’s important that people get uncomfortable and go and seek out people that you ordinarily—but you gotta want to do it. And you say, “Oh, I don’t have time.” You can make time because this is probably the most important work you’re going to do.
Pat Hurston: [00:34:16] One of the people that I watched as I was coming through corporate America was Jamie Dimon. He was our CEO. And Jamie—and I got a chance to work with him, one thing that Jamie would do, he would go and visit your organization, and you didn’t even know he was visiting, right? And Jamie would—he would go in the mail room. He would manage by walking around and talking to people. That is some of the best information you’re going to get.
Pat Hurston: [00:34:43] And so, when you get to understand people, and then put that all together with making connection. Listen, if people are—we had some people in one of my groups, and they wanted to—one of the girls wanted to—I don’t know. She wanted to be in a different group. While she was sitting there, I picked up the phone and called the leader of that group, I got somebody—I was going, “Who is this person? Go work with her,” but I’m going to help that person, right. At the end of the day, that person went up the ladder and was able to help my organization. So, always look at it as if I help you, I’m going to get some help myself. I’m going to move up a few notches in what I want to do because it’s just all about the community. It’s just all about the ecosystem.
Rita Trehan: [00:35:28] And I guess, what you’re really—in a nutshell, what you’re saying is people talk about being time poor today. They don’t have enough time to be able to do everything that they want. So, being time poor means like prioritize the things that are important. Prioritize the things that will really make a difference, not only to yourself, but to the greater good, to the greater purpose that that’s out there.
Pat Hurston: [00:35:47] The one thing that the world has changed a lot, we got a lot of technology and all kinds of things have gone away. The one thing that isn’t going to go away, and that is just being good to people. That is not going to go away. So, it’s absolutely important that you really take the time to begin. That’s what good leaders do.
Rita Trehan: [00:36:03] I’m smiling as you say that because it just like—it hits you in the face when you say that, and you go like, “Do you know what? That’s so true.” And nobody actually said that before that I’ve heard. So, it’s such a powerful statement that I think—I really hope that listeners felt the same reaction as I did when I heard you say that.
Pat Hurston: [00:36:22] Good.
Rita Trehan: [00:36:22] Do you want to talk a little bit about like, we get really excited when we see a woman become a CEO. It’s all over every newspaper. People are going like, “Oh, yeah. Look we got a woman as CEO.” I get really frustrated because I’m like, “Great. That’s great that they made it as a CEO. And I’m glad that we’re showcasing it. But shouldn’t we also be doing more to showcase those women that are already-”
Pat Hurston: [00:36:45] Absolutely.
Rita Trehan: [00:36:45] “… like at those levels underneath?” Because it feels a bit like tokenism to me. So, how can we help to get more, I guess, feasibility, publicity around women that are doing good, to your point, women that are helping other women. I’m very proud that we do have women CEOs. I’m really proud of that fact, and that they come from different backgrounds, and they’re very diverse. But I would just love to see the newspapers and the media really focusing on other people that are doing things to actually move that forward.
Pat Hurston: [00:37:17] Yeah, I really think that it’s really about the promotion that we do for each other, right. And so, when people are doing good, CEOs, because you’re right, there are a number of CEOs we never even hear from. And, God bless those women because they don’t try to—a lot of them are not trying to get out and say,”Hey, I’m the CEO.” They’re just, heads down, just doing good.
Rita Trehan: [00:37:41] It’s our problem now. Are we just sort of like shy about being out there as a woman CEO?
Pat Hurston: [00:37:46] I don’t think so much that it’s shy about it, but I do agree with you that we do need to promote that more is to say—and this is why our Leadercast Women is to showcase it. Well, one of the things we’re doing besides a LeaderCast Live and LeaderCast Women is that we have on a monthly basis these evolve sessions where we invite people for free to come and hear some of the great speakers that we have. Some of those are—you’re going to be one of our speaker CEOs that other women can see and promote. And it’s by them knowing that.
Pat Hurston: [00:38:22] And look, what’s the best way? They used to say telephone, tell a woman. It’s social media now, right? It is by getting out there and having social media. I love it. I didn’t initially embrace it. I’m of that generation. But I am out there, and I am seeing how people are responding. So, we can promote these CEOs and what they’re doing. And when I look at my network, every day I’m looking on there, and there’s something that women are doing. And we need to applaud that, we need to support that, so others can see and share it. Let other people see it.
Rita Trehan: [00:38:57] It’s an interesting thought perspective because, actually, I was lucky enough to interview on a podcast a young woman from the UK, who actually has gone out and published a list about women to sort of watch and admire. And I’m humbled to be on it. But it was the fact that here she is, this young woman, and she’s gone out, and she’s just literally looked to people that she has connected to. So, really saw almost personifying exactly what you’ve talked about on this podcast and said, “Please, please, please, consider these women. If you need something, go talk to them. If you think that they can help, go talk to them. Like they will be out there to help you.” And you’ve just personified that in saying that’s exactly what we need to do. And so, there are some women that are doing that. I guess, social media is a massive way for us to do it. And we need to find ways-
Pat Hurston: [00:39:46] Absolutely.
Rita Trehan: [00:39:46] … to encourage that more.
Pat Hurston: [00:39:48] Yeah, yeah, yeah. absolutely. I think they’re having—and I will tell you, and I do want to say this, it is a joy for me to work with Leadercast. Angela Raub is one of the most authentic CEOs you’re going to find. When I tell you she absolutely cares, and she shocks me. She called me the other day because she knows I’m taking care of my elderly people just to see how I’m doing. Again, that’s about people. When you care about people, people notice. And so, having her as a role model of good CEOs, you’re absolutely right. I think that we just need to promote that more, and let people know what these women are doing, and have these women come and talk about what they do as good leaders.
Rita Trehan: [00:40:36] And that’s really interesting that she rang you to ask you about that because, actually, your conference, Leadercast Conference, the one that one-day massive inspirational event was all about healthy teams, right. And she was concerned. And healthy teams means the whole thing.
Pat Hurston: [00:40:49] Yes.
Rita Trehan: [00:40:50] Everything but like, physically healthy, mentally healthy, healthy in a work/life balance, the whole gambit of what that means. So, I guess that really does personify what she did. So, one last question before we close out.
Pat Hurston: [00:41:03] Sure.
Rita Trehan: [00:41:03] We spent a lot of time talking about women, but we do have men that listen to the podcast too.
Pat Hurston: [00:41:09] Yes, yes. And I love them.
Rita Trehan: [00:41:09] And I love them too because they are an absolutely integral part. This is not—I always say it and, like, it sounds like a mantra, but this is not a woman’s issue. It’s not a man’s issue. It’s not a company issue. It’s everybody’s issue-
Pat Hurston: [00:41:20] That’s right.
Rita Trehan: [00:41:21] … to solve. So, what advice have you got for our dear, dear men who are listening to this that have actually a very influential role to play as well, because I don’t want them to miss out?
Pat Hurston: [00:41:30] Yeah. No, I agree with you. And I will tell you that men have been an extremely huge part of my career. My mentor, [Don Hollas, Chris Carr, Stan Didsel], these are guys who I’ve known for years. And I will tell you, if it were not for them, I mean, they would slap me in the corner when I needed it, and then they would encourage me, and hug me, and do all those things because they cared. I would say to men, show people that you care. Support these women because you don’t have to do it. It’s good business, and I think that it’s important.
Pat Hurston: [00:42:07] And I will tell you that as I see some of the young men I’m working with, Adam Penaflorida, and you’re talking about a young man who is—he’s somebody to watch because I watch how he reacts to—he’s my partner, and told me, “Look, we’re partners in crime here.” And so, he is—got just—such a wonderful, respectful. And I think that’s important that men respect women, and let them know that you really genuinely care about their issues. And then, show them, be an ally, be an advocate. Make sure that you are inclusive when you’re talking about. And correct those men who are not. You don’t have to do it publicly, but, yeah, it’s all right to say, “Well, that just wasn’t cool because this is what you don’t want to do.” And if we do that, I don’t think people necessarily say, “I just want to be mean today.” I just think that people just fall into the zone. But I would encourage men to keep on being respectful and keep on supporting women.
Rita Trehan: [00:43:06] Wow, I think that’s a great answer to sort of end the show on. Pat, every time I do a podcast, I learn something new. I get inspired by something. And today, I’m blown away by all of the tips that you have given and made me sort of reflect on what I can do going forward today and continue to do. And if people want to find out more about Leadercast, more about some of the other non-profits that you help, and more about you, how do they do that? How can they connect with you? Websites? LinkedIn? Twitter?
Pat Hurston: [00:43:37] I’m on all of that.
Rita Trehan: [00:43:39] Because I do want to give out some the-
Pat Hurston: [00:43:39] You can really get me at leadercast.com. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org. And I’ll be more than happy to talk to any of your listeners.
Rita Trehan: [00:43:56] Great. Thank you very much, Pat. If you want to find out about me, you can look up the website www.dareworldwide.com. If you want to find out about my book, the second editions has just been released. It talks about a lot of things that we’ve talked about today. And so, look out for the second edition of Unleashing Capacity. And, of course, you can listen to this podcast, Daring To. Don’t miss out. It’s a great podcast. And thank you very much, Pat.
Pat Hurston: [00:44:18] Thank you.
Rita Trehan: [00:44:20] Thanks for listening. Enjoyed the conversation? Make sure you subscribe, so you don’t miss out on each episode of Daring To. Also, check out our website, dareworldwide.com, for some great resources around business, in general, leadership, and how to bring about change. See you next time.