Growing Lean

Leadership Lessons and AI in Business: A Conversation with Dr. Burl Randolph Jr

October 03, 2023 Ethan Halfhide
Growing Lean
Leadership Lessons and AI in Business: A Conversation with Dr. Burl Randolph Jr
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Join me as I sit down with Dr. Burl Randolph Jr, a retired Army Colonel and current leadership and management coach, whose journey from the military to the business world is nothing short of inspiring. Dr. Burl shares invaluable advice on networking, collaboration, and partnerships, key aspects that have been instrumental in his business growth. He also introduces us to his unique methods of measuring success by setting goals and action plans, approaches that have been tried and tested over his illustrious career. Be ready to explore the upcoming role of AI in business, as Dr. Burl shares his future plans to incorporate AI into his day-to-day operations.

And, if you find yourself wanting more of Dr. Burl's wisdom, he generously shares his contact details for further engagement and learning. Take this opportunity to delve deeper into his literary contributions, including his book "Inspired, not Retired: Leadership Lessons from Father to Son". Whether you're an aspiring leader or just curious about the intersection of military discipline and business growth, this conversation with Dr. Burl will leave you with practical insights and tools to apply in your own ventures. So, buckle up and get ready for an enlightening ride with Dr. Burl Randolph Jr!

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Speaker 1:

Welcome back to the growing lean podcast sponsored by the lean discovery group. This is your host, dylan Burke, also known as Deej, and I'm happy to be here with Dr Burl Randolph Jr, a retired Army Colonel, a bestselling author, a leader and management coach and much more. Welcome, dr Burl.

Speaker 2:

Thank you so much, dylan, for having me on.

Speaker 1:

My pleasure, my pleasure, I'm excited to talk with you. So, to get started, can you tell us a little bit of your history and the background of yourself and your business?

Speaker 2:

So I'm a retired Army Colonel, spent nearly 32 years moved 20 times. I only went on place more than once. That was Iraq, iraq and Iraq. I had three combat tours in Iraq. When I decided to retire, I began a business called my Wing Mandel LC, which was established in 2015. And we helped leaders design legacies that last through leadership and management, coaching, organizational planning, corporate training, legacy expression and government contracting and community action. I immediately began partnering to help grow my business to compete for contracts that I might not be able to complete by myself. So we're a network of consultants. All have at least an MBA. One member had a master's of human resources and another master's of social work. One member was a doctor of management and organizational leadership, and two of us were pursuing the same doctorate. I also partnered with Vistage International and I was the chair and coach for the CEO Peer Advisory Group in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

Speaker 1:

Amazing, amazing. You've done well in your time and it's inspiring, honestly so obviously, as a colonel in the US Army, that required a lot of leadership abilities, and how have you transferred those leadership skills into running your business?

Speaker 2:

And so, again, after spending that 32 years managing and leading at every level, I believe that my expertise would best be utilized as a consultant. I formed my company on that basis, beginning heavily with Vistage to recruit CEOs to lead an industry group in individual coaching. I then joined the Chamber of Commerce for networking opportunities and I also compared the curriculums for the International Coaching Federation against a portion of my doctoral curriculum and I decided that basically they were the same. So I decided to continue on with my doctoral studies, knowing that I would have the skills to coach and do everything else I needed to do and transfer from being a colonel to being a doctor, which people understand a lot better than being a colonel.

Speaker 1:

Perfect, amazing, and can you share any specific tactics or tools that have been particularly effective for growing your business, maybe some that you've learned in the Army or in your Back into civilization?

Speaker 2:

What say basically networking, then collaborating which leads to partnering, has been very effective. I don't just network to build my connections or Facebook friends. I look for ways for us to help each other so that we can grow together. That means finding contracts, opportunities and, in some cases, community service that exposes our organizations to those who might be interested in our services. Also, many of our partnerships have provided referrals and we've provided services to each other 100%.

Speaker 1:

I actually come from a small community where networking is it's a huge part of our life and it's great to actually use your network to better people and not just use it to benefit yourself, and I think that's that's great. Um, definitely. Can you talk about any challenges or obstacles you've faced in your business and how you've overcome that?

Speaker 2:

Sure. So I say my biggest challenge was just getting started in a community that I didn't grow up in but was assigned to by the army. So upon retirement, I was the deputy chief of staff for intelligence and security over rock on an arsenal. And to do that, to go from that to working in the community that I wasn't didn't grow up in and you become discouraged very easily. I kept forming relationships, participating in community and business events and establishing my credibility through outstanding service.

Speaker 2:

And, of course, I had to expand my networking efforts, because about 6 months prior to retirement I began networking on LinkedIn. But after I actually was retired I knew I needed to expand that my horizons on social media accounts such as Facebook for business, twitter, instagram and a lineable, and also had to create a website. And as a coach, my clients range from aspiring leaders and managers through presidents, ceos, business owners all of which come from a different background and you reached them in a different way. So I had to be on all of these social media platforms and those are the ones that work the best for me. I still do quite a bit of networking, but normally I'm not the one reaching out, I'm being reached out too. So I think it's worked for me fairly well so far.

Speaker 1:

Amazing, amazing. And what kind of metrics or KPIs do you use to measure the success of your business or the success of the people that you coach?

Speaker 2:

So I develop a goal and action plan yearly to establish what I want to accomplish, for example, the number of coaching contracts in my various coaching categories, the number of corporate training contract contracts I'd like, the number of books I'd like to sell or write in various genres, formats and distribution sites. So quarterly and mid-year are reviewed if I'm actually on track to meet my goals and, if not, do I need to reset or readjust which area is appropriate to continue pursuing my goals? According to excuse me, according to how long the coaching contract is for 3 months, 6 months, a year. Midway through I send them a survey and the questions are based on what they told me at the beginning they wanted to accomplish. And I ask my coaching clients are we on the right track? Because it doesn't really matter if I think we're on the right track because I'm not the one being coached. So I get the feedback from my clients. So far I'm not using AI in my business, yet I strive to better use the tools I already have to their full potential.

Speaker 1:

Okay, awesome. And where do you see your industry heading and how do you think the AI revolution is going to impact that? Because obviously we have so much information available to us at the click of a button. How do you think that's going to impact your business in the future?

Speaker 2:

So great question. Many magazine authors I've read believe that automations such as Alexa, google and AI will replace consultants as we know it because, as you just said, people can look up things for themselves. But I'll tell you the differences that anyone can look something up, but that doesn't mean you understand what you just looked up, and once you realize you don't understand it, you still may not know where else to search to find your answers. So consultants can provide their experiences and education to provide the answers that an automated tool cannot. Additionally, you can build relationships with people, but not with tools. So I think coaching will stay around for the near future and probably for our future, once people realize that you can't just get everything through automated tools 100%, 100%.

Speaker 1:

I believe that AI is a great tool to have, but that's just it. It's a tool. It's not going to replace us, especially for people like you. You know what advice do you have for other business owners that look to succeed in your industry? Because obviously you come from a quite a heavy background, being a colonel in the army and you've got that experience. So what would you advise other business owners looking to be coaching to do coaching, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Okay. So as a leadership and management consultant, I recommend having heavy doses of competency, credibility and compassion. As a consultant, your clients need to trust that you know what you're recommending will actually work, based on either your education, your experience or both, and so that covers competency. Credibility means having a good reputation that people can trust that you can't actually do what you say you can do. And then, lastly, your clients also need to know that when things go south, you'll still be there for them. That's where the compassion comes in. At going south could mean having a family tragedy, national, regional or local natural disasters, or significant business shortfalls through a lack of sales, contracts, donations or over expenditures. So competency, credibility and compassion is what I would tell anyone thinking about starting in the leadership and management consultant or being a coach.

Speaker 1:

Okay, amazing, thank you. And then let's talk about your book. Can you tell us about your book and what inspired you? What's the book called? Give us a little bit of history on that, and when did you know you wanted to write a book?

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, this is the book is called inspired, not retired leadership lessons from father to son. But this actually isn't my first book and I had not planned on writing books. My first book is can God trust you with trouble. The author is Pastor Stanley Moore and he challenged me when I was a doctoral student that I know how to write a book. Well, of course, I'm a retired colonel, I know how to do anything, and so you have to have a good title. And when he said can God trust you with trouble, it threw all of us in the room off. It's like, wow, that's pretty deep. And so that was the first book. I'll actually help someone write. Pastor Moore has passed on, but his books still selling well, and so help someone else. Another book and then a dissertation, magazine articles and clients start asking me. So you help us write stuff, but we don't know anything about you except what you tell us. You don't have a book. So again, what do we know about you?

Speaker 2:

The inspired, not retired part came from in 2015. You know I retired in 2014, applied for jobs just like anybody else would, and as soon as I said retired, people's eyes were glazed over. They figured he didn't want to do any work and they thought you know he's retired. I thought you're dead gone and I'm retired. Not, I'm inspired, not retired. But what was I going to do with that title?

Speaker 2:

And I thought about how my dad's transition was very difficult and I said leadership lessons from father's son and I thought through all the lead, the lessons he had taught me over the years while he was alive and then, of course, the ones I used after he passed on. So there's about 26 different values in the book that this that are broken down and Inspiration, inspiration and application and application, and it talks about how I overcame certain challenges throughout my life. Some of my family members thought I was a little bit too Open, if you will, but I'm a person, just like you, dylan, and I have challenges. So isn't it easier to hear about my challenges and how I overcame them, as opposed to making you think I'm just some perfect person who Automatically joined army as a colonel in just in my 30 years?

Speaker 1:

100% social proof is definitely one of the best Ways to get people to understand you, and the fact that you have your own story definitely resonates with people. What would, if you had one piece of advice for our audience, for them to, for difficulties that they're facing or challenges that they've that they're going through, what would the piece of advice be for them?

Speaker 2:

Piece of advice Dylan would be don't fall in love with her problem. Some people just stay in their problem like there's some romance. Find a way to grow and get out of it. You asked me about AI. So if you're having a problem in your business and you just can't figure it out, maybe just maybe you want to reach out to someone who knows something about our artificial intelligence and maybe that will help solve your problem. Maybe, just maybe, you want to get online and find a business such as yours, or Find leadership books, management books or anything that could help you with your problem, because the thing about being a coach is that I'm simply helping you bring out your potential. I'm not just telling you what to do. I'm helping. I'm helping you to refine the knowledge you already have. So don't give up. Just keep moving forward, because there are no problems that are insurmountable.

Speaker 1:

Perfect, I really appreciate that. Thanks for being on the show, Dr Bill. I really appreciate your time. What would the best way for people to be to get in touch with you if you have any offers for them or if you have anything that they could take advantage of, even if it's just to find out where your book is, where to buy it? What's the best way people can reach out to you?

Speaker 2:

Best way to reach out to me is through my website, wwwmywingmanllccom, or I can be called toll free at 1.866.242.2260. Also on the contact page on my website info at wwwmywingmanlccom I have the listings for my books and how you can buy them. They're all available on Amazon and they're actually all. They're available just about anywhere.

Speaker 1:

Okay, amazing. Once again, thank you so much for being on the podcast, Dr Bill. It's been really inspiring. Thank you.

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