7 Questions with Kevin Eikenberry
Name: Kevin Eikenberry
Current title: Chief Potential Officer
Current organisation: The Kevin Eikenberry Group
Kevin is the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group and the Co-Founder of the Remote Leadership Institute. He has spent 30 years helping organizations and leaders from over 40 countries become more effective. Inc.com has twice named him in the top 100 Leadership and Management Experts in the World. His books include, Remarkable Leadership, From Bud to Boss, and The Long-Distance Leader. His next book is The Long-Distance Teammate.
1. How would you summarise your area of expertise in a few paragraphs?
I (and our team) help leaders reach their potential so they can make a bigger positive difference in the world. Since that is our mission and aim, I focus my thought leadership on things to help make that happen.
More specifically we focus on:
- Mindsets that promote and allow for great success
- The foundational skills that allow leaders to help their teams thrive
- The development of the habits require to apply learned skills
- Working and leading remote or hybrid teams
- Assisting new leaders in transitioning to their first leadership role
- Helping leaders become more effectively personally, interpersonally, and organizationally.
- Providing people with a constant source of positive, practical and proactive ways to become the leaders they were born to be.
2. One big idea: Can you please unpack the one big idea from your work that seems to resonate most with leaders?
I call it the 3-O Model of leadership. Leadership is about:
- Outcomes - leaders are tasked with determining and achieving desirable and needed outcomes.
- Others - leaders move toward those outcomes with and through others. The leaders role is to support, encourage and develop those around them in order to reach the valuable outcomes identified.
- Ourselves. While leadership isn't about us specifically, who we are and how we lead are critical to the success of outcomes and others. Leaders must take their own development seriously in order to be successful in achieving outcomes through others.
This model implies a balance of focusing on others and focusing on outcomes.
Once leaders see the totality of this model they are better able to make conscious choices about how to prioritize their focus and build their skills.
3. How did you become a thought leader? Can you please briefly tell the story and share ONE tip for any leaders out there who'd like to become thought leaders themselves?
One day at a time. When I started it was writing - first a fax newsletter, then an email newsletter, then a blog. Today it is more than writing - it is audio, video, courseware, workshops and more. The tip to becoming a thought leader is to think and produce - whether you are producing a blog, a podcast or videos, you need to find your voice and learn by creating. The lessons you will learn early even if only your family are reading/watching/listening at first are critical.
4. You're sitting down over a coffee with a leader and you can only give them ONE tip to help them as a leader. What would you say to them?
Focus more on other people. Leadership is about supporting and helping others reach your desired outcomes. It isn't about you.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your thoughts on leadership? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted you?
There are so many, but if you force me to pick one it would be The Bible. The lessons of storytelling, human nature, and both the strengths and blind spots of leaders are many. And of course, the example of the finest leader to ever walk the planet would be reason enough.
6. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
I must be more selfless and less selfish. All humans are selfish at times. hence I learn to put my focus on others, and less on myself, I will build a better team, get better results, and paradoxically be happier myself .
7. What is one meaningful story from a reader or someone who's been influenced by your thought leadership so far?
More of a compilation than a single story, but when we hear from people who have changed the course and trajectory of their leadership life we feel so honored. I have had many leaders tell me that their results and relationships were drastically improved because of things learned from interacting with us.