Jerry & Sheryl Isenhour, CVC Success Group coaches

CVC Succcess Group coaches Jerry & Sheryl Isenhour

Being successful in today’s world will require transformation, to give your customer what they’re looking for. In this week’s episode of The Chimney & Fireplace Network podcast Jerry and Sheryl talk about transformational leadership and how this type of leadership is needed to lead a business in a totally new direction. 

The Chimney and Fireplace Success Network is a weekly podcast brought to you by the CVC Success Group and hosted by industry expert, Jerry Isenhour. Each week you will find new presentations to assist business owners and managers in turning their business dreams into their business realities.



Jerry Isenhour.: Good afternoon, appreciate you joining us today here. We’re in the brand new broadcast facility here at CVC success group. And this will be our weekly podcast that we are going to be doing both live, and it will later go up as a podcast with the audio into it.

Recognizing the wisdom and words of Mack Story

I appreciate you being with us today. So our subject matter today, what we’re going to talk about, I’m going to actually recognize a really good friend of mine and his name is Mack Story. And I was recently listening to Mack while I was on the road, on the trip. And Mack said something about transformational leadership.

And that is what we are going to talk about today in our podcast is transformational businesses and transformational leadership. Because see, this is one of the most important things there is about a business, is we make a decision we’re going to change the business, we’re going to move it in a totally new direction.

And that is transforming. But what we’ve got to do is have transformational leadership to lead it through. You see, the transformation never starts at the bottom; the transformation has got to start at the top. It has to filter down. It can’t start at the bottom and filter up. So Sheryl, as I talk about transformational leadership and transformational businesses, tell me what’s in your thought process today.

If You Are Not Transforming The You Are Likely Getting Stale

Sheryl Isenhour: Well, the thing about it, if you are not transforming, that is where we are getting from, then you are getting stagnant. We need leaders today that want to change their business. We need businesses that really need to be changed, to be changed. And many times, we just get stalemate and stuff, and we don’t do any kind of transition. And you will stay right where you are.

Jerry I.: Right. And here’s one of the things we see from the coaching aspect. Many times, we can have the leadership of the company. In other words, the ownership will decide that they want to transform that company.

Often mid-level managers cannot buy into the leader’s vision of transformation

But the problem is they may have middle-level managers, or they may have experienced people that work there with a lot of years of experience, a lot of seniority, and they are just not into this transformation. In other words, they simply cannot buy into the changes that have to occur in the company.

And Sheryl, do you ever see that in the clients that you deal with, that the leadership just can’t make that 90 degrees turn for that transformation that’s required to move to that higher level?

You have got to start at the top

Sheryl: Yes, and you see it all the time. And the thing about it, you’ve got to start at the top. You can’t transform the business from the bottom. You can’t fix the low man and then the next man and the next man and get to your leadership; you as a leader have to change it from the top down. We see it all the time. In fact, more businesses when we really want to see this happening to.

It goes down to our hiring processes

Jerry I.: Right. And this goes down to our hiring; it goes down to everything that we do every single day. You see, probably one of the leading challenges that you as a business owner probably face today is the ability to find, hire, recruit great people.

And recently, myself and Sheryl and one of our networking partners we had a conference call, and we talked about this challenge. And his name was Taylor Hill, and Taylor came up with a great SOP for the way to hire people. But we had to go back to the beginning because the first step in this whole process is being able to tell the story.

Often, we cannot tell the story of who we are

You see, and that is often what we cannot do; we cannot tell the story of who we are and where we have been. And recently, we then called in Scott McCain, one of the leading experts in the speaking world, about telling a story. And Scott met with our coaching group earlier this week. And that was the subject matter of how to compile your story.

That is not a story, that is a resume

Not a story that is a resume, but a story of what do you do for your community. How do you make a change? See, that’s what the difference is today. In today’s world, people want to go to work for a company that is transformational. Sheryl, you interview people all the time, that’s one of the biggest things that you do for many clients.

They have you doing their interview process, their recruitment process, and then you make recommendation. What is today’s new hire looking for? What is it that that excites them about taking this job? And like you said, you get ghosted a lot; I’m sure that’s a big problem. But finding that right person. What’s this employee looking for? What is the story of transformational leadership that people have to pass to their job applicants in the interview process?

What makes a company good for you to come to work every day?

Sheryl: Actually, that is one of the questions I ask at every interview. What makes a company good for you to come to work every day and enjoy what you’re doing? And it always comes down to the culture, the people, how they feel about my family.

Can I balance my family work ethics? Can I just have a close-knit company? I mean, I know big companies. They know you by numbers, not by name. But the younger people of today especially are wanting to be something special to their company.

A lot of time we do not face the need for transformation

Jerry I.: Right. And see, a lot of times, we don’t face the need for transformation because we just don’t see what is happening around us. This could be because our business is doing really good; our business could be overwhelming us. The business could be zapping all our energies, and we are spending all our time working in the business.

One example I often point to is Sears Roebuck

And I like to use examples of this, and one example that I often point to is Sears Roebuck. Sure, you heard of Sears Roebuck, been in business for many, many years, started in the 19th century. But what did Sears Roebuck do? Sears Roebuck did not transform as they needed to as the world of commerce changed. As the world of commerce changed, Sears Roebuck stayed in the little corner they were in; they stayed in their comfort zone.

Well, back in the 1990s, this guy out in Seattle decided that he was going to start selling books out of his garage. And today, this is the leading supply avenue that so many people go to, and the name of that company is called Amazon. But if Sears Roebuck had simply been transformational with the right leadership to carry it through the change, Sears Roebuck would be Amazon today. And we see this with so many companies.

If Sears had transformed they could likely be Amazon today

When you look at it, I love to read the stories and hear the stories, such as about Colonel Harland Sanders. And where Colonel Sanders had a restaurant and a motel roadside, motel up in Kentucky. And what happened was they built a new road, and it bypassed his establishment; people didn’t come by anymore. So when they didn’t come by, that meant they weren’t stopping at his restaurant, and they weren’t staying in his motel.

Now Colonel Sanders was in his 60s, and colonel Sanders decided he couldn’t live on his social security check. So Colonel Sanders got out and started selling a fried chicken recipe. Sleeping in his car, think about the transformation this was.

How low he was in life to make this move. But Colonel Harland sanders finally started making sales, he stayed with this transformation, and the day came that Colonel Sanders, Kentucky fried chicken, became a really big name. Now Colonel Sanders sold it, it is went through a lot of rebranding in the years. The funny thing is I see ads that they have brought the colonel back from the dead because they got a fake colonel on their commercials these days.

It was all about transformation

But it was all about transformation. And I think Sheryl and I can tell you that in our lives, we have been through tremendous transformation because of personal adversity, because of challenges in business, and other things.

Change is painful

And transformation is change, and change is painful. But what you’ve got to decide to do is the pain of change worse than the present pain that you’re going through? Because what you’ve got to do to be successful in today’s world, you got to be able to transform into a totally different company so many times, to give your customer what they’re looking for, and that’s transformation.

Jerry I.: So, Sheryl, what is your thoughts at that point?

I do not see a company out there that cannot use improvement

Sheryl: My biggest thought is that the companies that do not think they need to be transformed usually need to be transformed the most. I don’t see a company out there that cannot use improvement, and especially the smaller companies, because you came in a lot of times as a one-man band, and then you got employees, and then you got more employees, and you got more trucks.

Okay, did you transform your mindset from the time you were a single truck company to a person with a lot of employees? Did you change? Are you still running the same round wheel that you were doing then?

You have something called a future

Jerry I.: Right. And see, this is what you have, if you’re living, you’re breathing, you’re listening to me today, you have something called a future. And see, your future is actually a blank canvas. And what you need to paint onto that blank canvas is you need to paint a picture of what you want your future to look like.

You know one of the things that we stress through our company is you need to decide what is the size of your company to be. What do you want this company to look like? It is not all about scaling to a larger size unless that is what you want.

Paint this blank canvas

In business, it is your business. And what you got to do is paint this blank canvas. Just take a wall, a blank wall, and then look towards this blank wall and see and visualize what you would want your business to look like in three years.

What would you want it to be doing? How many people would be working there? How many trucks would you have? What kind of showroom, warehouse space? The world is your oyster, it’s all up to you. This is your vision. And what you have got to do is establish that vision, and you do that by painting that picture on that canvas, and that canvas will become your future, okay. 

We teach a process called mind mapping

That is what you are looking at. Now one of the methods is we recommend and teach a process called mind mapping. We didn’t invent mind mapping; in fact, the first time I saw mind mapping, I thought it was the craziest thing in the world. Because we actually went to a book writing seminar, and when we went to the book-writing seminar, that was how they taught us to put a book outline together with a mind map. So, Sheryl thinking this in mind if someone were going to do a mind map of their future, what would be coming out of that?

What am I going to have to give up?

Sheryl: What I would suggest doing first get your picture, get what you want. Then you are going to take it from that picture to what steps, what goals am I going to take to get there. What am I going to have to give up to get these steps? What many people don’t realize they’re going to have to give up something to get where they’re going.

So as you branch out on your mind map, you just keep going into different directions. If I go here, this will happen; if I go here, that will happen. And then when you sit down and really try to outline, I’m going to use that word, your future.

Then what you do, you pick the path you want to follow, but always remember those paths can change. They can always change. Do not be afraid to open a new door even when you are on the path to the goal that you thought you were warming.

Jerry I.: Yes. Good afternoon Donovan, glad you could tune in. That’s one of our team members here at CVC success groups. Donovan Blanks. And Donovan’s a perfect example of somebody that’s having to go through in life this transformation because things happen. And what you have got to do is look at the potential from that point.

This gives me an opportunity to reboot my business

I think last year, when we had the COVID crisis, one of my clients really impressed me with his thoughts. Because he said, you know Jerry, I’m really looking forward to this shutdown. And I said you’re looking forward to it; he said yes, this gives me an opportunity to reboot my business and transform my business into what I want it to be. So what he was doing was he was looking at adversity in order to move to that next level of what he was going to do.

Yes, you’re right Donovan, these are the conversations that you and Sheryl, and myself we often have as we build the curriculum and everything we do here in the company of taking people to their dreams all the way. Ron Clark, good afternoon sir, glad to see you could join us here on today’s broadcast, also my friend, and that’s another guy that is transforming.

Recently made a career change, and what he’s doing, he’s going through building a miraculous curriculum with his workforce at the chimney chap upon south shore, and it’s really coming together. And it’s really impressive. And that is a challenge to you, Ron; it was not easy to do that; when you faced that, you had to learn to administer an online learning platform, put curriculums together, build your teams.

Nothing you would have imagine a year ago

Nothing that you ever imagined you would ever do probably a year ago to be successful at building your training program. So this is a transformation we’re talking about, and see a lot of times you got to have mentors, you got to have people you can talk to. You got to have people that are going to help you through challenges.

And some of the people, I said it’s going to take transformational leadership. And one of the people that I have studied under, and I’m certified by, is Dr. John Maxwell. And Dr. Maxwell has written a book, and there’s a copy of it, it is called the 21 irrefutable laws of leadership. The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership.

The 21 Laws are very important points for every leader to strive to attain 

And as you look at these, these 21 laws are 21 very important points of every leader needs to do, right Ron, you are still trying to figure it out, my friend, but the thing is you are working towards it, and you are getting there, and it is going to happen for you. Because you’ve been dedicated to this transformation that you’re going through.

So I want to congratulate you, sir, because you’ve really done a great job of what you’re doing. And like I said, if you have a problem, you know how to reach out and get that assistance, and we’re glad to be able to help you through this challenge and this transformation. Now, there is another book that Dr. Maxwell wrote, and I want to show it to you.

The Greatest Story Ever Told

And the name of this book is entitled the greatest story ever told, okay. The greatest story ever told. Now some people would say that the holy bible may be the greatest story ever told. But this is the whole thing, I got this book because Dr. Maxwell wrote this book, and when I got it, I’m going to read the first page to you. And it says as follows, and it has a handwritten note in there.

The greatest story ever told can only be written by you

And it says, dear friend, the greatest story ever told can only be written by you. I want you to fill these blank pages with intentional acts of kindness that add value to people. Every day, let your words be a record of how you’re making a positive difference in the lives of others. Start now, and intentionally make a great story with your life. Your friend, John Maxwell.

Now in this book, I want you to see what’s here. It is blank pages with lines. Because just like Dr. Maxwell said, the greatest story ever told will be your story. And that’s what this book is all about. Several years ago, I sent this book out to all my clients and encourage them that it was time for them to write the greatest story that they could ever tell, and that was going to be the story of all the things that they did in this world.

What inspires you?

And it is something that you can work on to it. You just work very much onto it. Ron, we appreciate you, sir, and we appreciate you saying that. So Sheryl, what about you? What inspires you? What’s some of the places that you’ve gone to get inspiration? Because here’s the whole thing, people need to understand. We are coaches; we are both certified coaches, carrying multiple certifications to coach others. So, Sheryl, who inspires you?

I trained under the Zig Ziglar umbrella

Sheryl: I trained under the Zig Ziglar umbrella, I am a certified coach and trainer. And his main thing is see you at the top, and I think I’ve always lived by that. But he brought it more to the forefront. Always excel to move to the top, not for yourself always. It’s selfish if you’re always doing everything for yourself. Part of his teachings is to do for others because it comes back to you if you do for others.

All the people you deal with are important

And I guess that’s part of the thing that I push more than anything else. Even though your life’s important, all the people that you deal with are important. So when you’re painting your picture, paint those people into the landscape. Because they’re the people that are going to hold you up when you falter a little bit. They’re the people that are going to be there when you reach the top.

Jerry I.: And one of the things, and I have not been through the Ziglar training that she has like I said, she went in to become one of their coaches, excuse me a trainer, and then you went from training to being a certified coach.

You do not have to be great to start, but you must start if you are to become great

And from that aspect, it is like the quotes that they put out; one of the ones that sticks with me the most is where he said the following. You don’t have to be great to start, but you got to start to be great. And Zig said so many things like that. It is said that Zig Ziglar influenced over 250 million people in his lifetime and if you meet his family at this point. What is it like to meet Zig’s sons and daughters?

Sheryl: I am so proud that I was able to become friends with these people. I don’t look at them just as coach or as trainers and coaches to me anymore. I look at them as friends. I mean, we have text back and forwards, just like I do a regular friend.

You’re not a number to them. I can go back in and sit down with Tom, and I know that he cares for me. I know that they would do anything to help if we needed it. It’s probably one of the most close-knit certifications that you can get. I mean, I could call Tom and invite him out to dinner, and he would go. I do not think Jerry could invite John and get him to go.

Jerry I.: Not going to be breaking bread with Dr. Maxwell, it is a numbers game there.

That is my culture

Sheryl: But that is what makes it right for me. That’s my culture; my culture is helping other people. And that’s what they instill. And regardless of the years that go by, I will never forget the first day I walked into the Ziglar offices.

Jerry I.: So, that is the whole thing, and here as a leader, if you are running a company, are you managing people. If you’ve made a decision that you’re going to be a transformational company, that means you’re going to transform your culture, you’re going to transform everything you do into a vision that you have. This is the hard part of leadership.

You are going to have some people who you cannot transform

You are going to have some people that cannot be transformed. It just they are set in their ways to that degree; they cannot be transformed. And as a leader, you’re going to have to make this decision. There’s going to be a time that if you’re going to transform that company if you’re going to transform your life. You may have to make some decisions that some people are not going to be able to make this right.

There comes a time when you must grant those who cannot change the freedom to seek employment elsewhere

That is one of the things that Larry Winget used to talk about when we studied under Larry, is there comes a time. And what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to grant these people their freedom. Well, I think that was one of the things that Larry Winget said; he said, well, when you are firing someone, you are releasing them.

You are giving them the approval

You are giving them the approval to go and find what makes them happy because that is what you got to have to have this transformational leadership. You’ve got to have all your people headed towards that same goal. But to do that, you also have to learn how to tell your story. You got to be able to tell the story because they’ve got to see, and they’ve got to understand that vision.

Your people are not mind readers, they’re not. And what you’ve got to do is become a great communicator and get that message across. And once you do that, what can happen is you make a decision, you start, and you will become great, but it’s all going to be up to you; that’s where it’s at. So Sheryl, anything you want to add before we end today’s podcast session?

Fix yourself

Sheryl: One statement, fix yourself, and then it makes it much easier to fix the things around you.

Jerry I.: That’s correct. We only live so many years, we’re only granted so many days in this world, and it is ridiculous to go through life and be miserable. It is truly miserable to be that way. And just like Bart says, you must make the decisions to do the things that others will not do to have what others will never have.

It all starts with the leader

And Bart’s dead on the money; it all starts with the leader. If the leader is not willing to transform themselves and to become an inspiration to those that they lead, then it’s never going to work. So today’s message again, I want to thank my friend Mac Story. I got to know mike because he’s also a John Maxwell certified coach, and I located him through the John Maxwell organization when I was looking for other coaches like myself that work in the blue-collar industries.

And one of the things that mike works with is he works with blue-collar companies just like I do, but especially is rising up the company team members to where you build leaders. See, that’s what you got to be guarantors. You’ve got to build a company of leaders, not a company of followers. That means you’ve got to know what their skills are; you got to be able to recognize their behavior patterns. You got to be able to speak in a way that they will understand you.

You are going to move to a higher level

And once you do these kinds of things, what is going to happen is you are going to move to a higher level. You’re going to move to that plane that you just know it’s out there somewhere. When I look at ourselves and the lights, we went through and the challenges we have faced over the last since we’ve been together, both business and personal, it’s involved a lot of pain, it’s involved a lot of chaos.

But what you’ve got to do is step up from it and keep going, just keep getting where you’re at. So, Sheryl, your turn one more time, anything else you want to add?

Sheryl: I just want to wish everybody the ability to go out there and start on their company today. Start working on your ideas, start grouping everything that you need to do, and then bring it in-house, show it to your people and work it out. Because there is some companies out there that are good, but I only imagine how great they can be.

It is your company and it is your life

Jerry I.: Right. And the key thing, here again, I want to enforce this so hard, it is your company, it is your life. Don’t let other people influence you to take it where it’s not where you want to go. There is nothing wrong with whatever size business that you build because this is where you measure true success in business.

Gauge your business success by how happy you are in it

You measure true success in business, and you gauge it about how happy you are with what you do every single day. That’s your gauge, that’s where the rubber meets the roads. So with that, I want to appreciate you joining us today; like I said, we’re doing our podcast live like this under our tips and tactics label. We’ll also be uploading this to our website in our podcast series, the chimney, and fireplace success network.

We’ve got; I think this will be episode number 126 done quite a few; they’re on our website, CVC success group. You can go back and review all the previous podcasts, and I’ve had some great guests on here in the past about people like Tom.

We talked about the Ziglar’s; Tom Ziglar was on here, Larry Winget’s been on there, Randy Pennington, Scott McCain, Jeffrey Gitmer the list of people that I’ve been unable to have as interviewees or something else. In a couple of weeks, I have got a great guy coming on here, his name is Tommy Mello, and Tommy is going to share some phenomenal thoughts and some phenomenal processes with you. He’s one of the most giving guys I’ve ever seen in my life. What is his energy level like, Sheryl?

Sheryl: Off the chart.

Jerry I.: His energy level is off the chart, that is exactly right. So appreciate you tuning in; hey, do us a favor. If you think this was a value, would you share this on your social media? Just hit that share button. We would love to be able to get the word out to others because our reason for doing this on a Saturday afternoon at 3 pm Eastern Time is we want to inspire people.

We want to inspire people

That is what we are doing; we want to inspire people. And if we’ve inspired you today, we’ve accomplished our goals. So see you next week; this has been an honor, it’s been a privilege, it’s been a pleasure to be able to speak to you in this manner. Let us know if we can help you here at CVC success group; if you look at the bottom of the screen right now, you’re seeing our email address rolling across the stream. Ron, we appreciate you, and we thank you for being here, sir, so thank you very much. And we’ll see everybody on the next episode of the fireplace. Excuse me, the tips and tactics; I get kind of mixed up. So talk to you later, appreciate you being here.