Name: Ira S Wolfe
Title: Chief Googlization Officer
Organisation: Poised for the Future Company
Ira S Wolfe, the "Millennial trapped in a Baby Boomer body," is one of the top 5 global thought leaders on the future of work, leadership, and HR. He is the president and Chief Googlization Officer of Poised for the Future Company, senior consultant with Dame Leadership, and host of the top-rated Geeks Geezers Googlization podcast. Ira is a TEDx Speaker and 2022 inductee into the HRSouthwest Conference Speaker Hall of Fame. His most recent book is The Change 19: Insights into Self-Empowerment, part of the fastest growing personal development series in the world. He’s also co-author of Create Great Culture in a Remote World, author of Recruiting in the Age of Googlization, a book consistently nominated to best recruiting and HR book lists. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Medium and has been featured in Wall Street Journal, INC Magazine, Fast Company, and dozens more.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Ira's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Helping others to have the confidence and courage to thrive and be extraordinary.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
It's a bit of nature and lot of nurture. For as long as I can remember (which is a quite a few decades ago), I also "ended" up in leadership roles. You might say it was a desire to help others propelled by the desire to get things done. Admittedly, many times I was enamored by the title and position more than the role. But with experience and a lot of self-study (including earning a Masters in Leadership), I embraced the powerful positive impact a leader could have on the life's of others and in the community. And while I'm an older Boomer and many of my colleagues have retired, I'm still engaged in the pursuit of becoming a better leader.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Structure? What's that? Other than starting the day delivering coffee to my wife, going to the gym in the early evening, and spending time relaxing with my wife at night, my work day is typically a blur. My work day menu includes a lot of writing, creating content for my business and podcast (as well as guesting), teaching entrepreneurship, and working with clients - probably in that order. To me, it works but to others it might look like bedlam. In a nutshell, I probably have an evolving process more than structure.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Let me share two lessons: You CAN teach an old dog new tricks (in other words, you're never too old to learn and unlearn.) The second I learned from a guest on my podcast. Maslow's Pyramid is a trap. Self-actualization is portrayed as individualism but in fact, you can't achieve self-actualization without the support of others. Thanks!
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey. I read this so long ago the pages turned yellow! I learned how adept some people are at offloading their problems and expect others to fix them. Some of them have turned it into an art.
There are dozens of other books too.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Learn from your mistakes but don't be afraid to make them.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Don't underestimate the impact you have on people even if it's not evident at the time. I can't tell you how many times that I've reconnected with patients, clients, and students - many that I haven't seen in 30 years or more - who tell me about something I did or said that changed the course of their life. So whether you hire or reject a candidate, you're having an impact on them. Every interaction you have has an impact. Make sure the lasting effect has every opportunity to become a positive outcome.