David Novak – Founder and CEO of David Novak Leadership

Episode 134

Meet David Novak, former Co-Founder, retired Chairman, and CEO of Yum! Brands, Inc., one of the world’s largest restaurant companies with brands like KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. Now the Founder and CEO of David Novak Leadership, David is helping people become the best leaders they can be. Listen to his amazing corporate experiences that led him to ultimately discover the awesome power of recognition. Check out the latest episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow now!

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Transcript

Hi everyone. It’s the Kara golden show and this is Kara and we are here with David Novak. I’m so excited to have David here. I was actually on his podcast a few weeks ago and we started chatting as I normally do. And I was like, well, you can’t be on mine, be so awesome. And just a little bit of background on David. So David is the founder and CEO of David Novak leadership, as he just reminded me is in blissful heaven over in, uh, Florida hanging out right now and, uh, in wonderful weather and, uh, enjoying himself. But, uh, for those of you who are not familiar with David, he, uh, is retired chairman and CEO of yum brands.

Kara Goldin (03:40):

One of the world’s largest restaurant companies with over 45,000 restaurants, uh, across the world. And, uh, brands included KFC pizza hut and taco bell. But like I said, he has just some major, major wisdom and know-how and leadership and has written some incredible leadership books too. If you haven’t checked them out, uh, some of his books include the New York times bestseller taking people with you, the only way to achieve big things, the education of an accidental CEO, and lessons learned from the trailer park to the corner office and his latest is, Oh, great. One, a little story about the Austin power of recognition, which by the way, I loved so much, it was such a great book. So thank you so much for being here, David. And let’s just jump in, I mean, where, where does the story begin? Tell me young years of data.

Speaker 3 (04:40):

Oh, well, uh, I have a really interesting background, Kara, that you probably don’t know too many people like me, I was born in Beeville Texas, which is outside of San Antonio. My dad was a government surveyor. And so the biggest house we lived in by the time I was in seventh grade was eight feet wide by 46 feet long. And it was a trailer. And my dad would survey in small towns with his surveying party and we’d move every three months. My mom would check me into schools, uh, and she’d say, David, you better make friends because we’re leaving. And, uh, you know, so, but I thought everybody did that care. You know, I was very blessed. My, my mom and dad were so supportive of me, all they wanted for me to do was to live the American dream. I was the first kid to go to the, uh, get a college education, in either one of their families. And, uh, you know, so, you know, everything’s turned out well, but you know, I think my biggest break in life was having parents like my mom and dad and being born in this country where I really do believe you can, you can achieve great things. If you set your mind to

Kara Goldin (05:44):

It, did you have brothers and sisters?

Speaker 3 (05:46):

I have two sisters. You know, we, we, it’s funny. We, we lived in a trailer and, uh, no matter how big the house is now, Kara and we get together for 4th of July, Christmas, we all end up sitting on the couch, clumped up right next to each other. I think it’s just a, you know, you’re sort of a creature of, of how you grow up, but we have a very close-knit family and it continues to be that way.

Kara Goldin (06:13):

I love it. And so you first in your family to go to college and did you know that you were going into business or what was kind of your mind?

Speaker 3 (06:23):

I went through the University of Missouri, mainly because I could afford it because I lived in Kansas City. It was in-state tuition, but I was a writer in high school. Uh, so the university of Missouri had a really good, uh, journalism school. And so once I, uh, I was a pretty bad student my first couple of years, but once I got into journalism school and started taking advertising courses, I found what I loved. I was lucky right off the bat. I found what I loved and I loved advertising. I loved marketing and I love learning about consumers. And then all of a sudden I never ever had to study again because all I did was just, I just learned, I mean, I couldn’t wait to learn more about marketing and advertising. And, uh, and, and I think that was, uh, a real key for me because so many people go through life and they don’t really find what they love until it’s really late in their life.

Speaker 3 (07:13):

But, I was able to get that in college. And, you know, I started out as an advertising copywriter in a small advertising agency, uh, wanted to move up, uh, ended up, uh, going to Pittsburgh and worked on the Heinz 57 account. And I went to, I thought, Oh, I got to go to New York. Cause everybody in advertising goes to New York, but frankly, Kara, I just didn’t feel comfortable in New York when I was there. I got job offers, but it just didn’t feel like a place that I was going to love. But I got this job offer to go down and be the account executive on Tostito’s brand tortilla chips in, in, uh, in Dallas working on the Frito-Lay business. And that felt really great to me. I went there and, uh, I worked with all the free light people ended up running that account as management supervisor at a very young age.

Speaker 3 (07:58):

And the president of Frito-Lay called me up and said, David, you know, have you ever thought about, you know, coming on the client-side and running the marketing department? And uh, I said, well, that’d be something else. He’s well, the pizza hut jobs open, would you be interested? So I go and interview Steve Reinemund, who later became the chairman of PepsiCo. And, uh, he offered me the job that morning. And, uh, I became the head of marketing for pizza hut. And that’s how I got into PepsiCo because PepsiCo had pizza talk about KFC Frito-Lay and, uh, and, and Pepsi and, you know, that’s that, that was a huge, huge opportunity for us.

Kara Goldin (08:33):

Massive opportunity. And so what do you think was the biggest difference between being internal versus being on a kind of being on the client-side versus being yeah.

Speaker 3 (08:43):

Well, one of the things, you know, uh, that I love doing in the agency business was I loved doing more than my job. I loved trying to make the client feel like giving them. I always like to surprise them with extra. So I always brought marketing ideas. I was, uh, I did annual operating plans for people. I mean, I really got into the business and I loved it, but what always frustrated me is I would give these people really great ideas and they wouldn’t do anything with them sometimes. And I hated not being able to follow through and get the results. And the other thing that I didn’t really appreciate about the agency businesses is you always have to present the agency point of view. One time I got into this big argument with a creative director, I thought the work that we were going to take the Frito-Lay wasn’t good.

Speaker 3 (09:31):

She was the executive creative director. She thought it was great. And I knew they wouldn’t like it. And you know, my boss said, she, we got to give her a shot. We got it. You go over there and sell that work. So I go over there and you know, the head of Frito-Lay hated the the work. Uh, they said, how could you bring us to us, David? And, you know, I didn’t like having to present something that I wasn’t a hundred percent a believer in. And so what the biggest difference for me was, is now I get to go to the client-side. There are no excuses. I get to take something from beginning to end. If I have a new product idea, I can come up with it. I can drive it deep. I can make it happen. And then I didn’t have to sell anything. I didn’t believe in, you know, I mean, I, there, wasn’t the agency point of view, you know, and I hated sacrificing my integrity, integrity in any way, shape, or form. I was pretty stubborn about that. You know, so I really liked being in control of my destiny. I think, as on the client-side, you, you really can’t do that. There’s a lot of great agency people, but if I was in the agency business today, I’d want to be the writer. You know, not the account person I’d want to be the person that really delivers the product that the client has to have and they can’t get anywhere else.

Kara Goldin (10:44):

Yeah. I think that’s, that’s where the boast fun is. My dad was actually on the advertising side and then he went in-house I think you and I talked about this. He went to Armour food company and he had actually launched at our more food company, initially, a brand called dinner classics, which became, uh, which became a healthy choice. And they were acquired by ConAgra, but he always talked about, you know, his, he loved really the copy side, which is where he started to and, and the language of it and the storytelling. And, and, uh, so anyway, I see a lot of what you’re saying, a lot of wisdom around it, cause he always believed that that’s really what kind of got to the essence of the brand. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (11:27):

Well, your dad doing healthy choices that you, it was in your blood to launch hands, you know, so you could have healthy choices. There you go.

Kara Goldin (11:34):

So it’s a funny story because people, I was actually, I got a phone call from an agency that was, uh, working with, with ConAgra, um, a couple of years ago. And it’s interesting because they said, Oh, did he always want health? And I said, no, it was, it was a crazy story. My mom, when I was in kindergarten to go back to work. And so the choice was you’ll remember these T T TV dinners. And so my dad, instead of actually learning to cook, my dad said, I’m not having Stouffer’s TV dinners. Again, tonight I work for a food company. I’m going to figure out how to have better and healthier foods. And that is how it began. And so his initial campaigns, which they were trying to find was actually trying to speak to men about women going back to work and not actually having dinner on the table for them. I mean, just you look at it,

Speaker 3 (12:30):

It was inherent, he was inherently a problem solver, just like you, you know, that’s what you do. You try to solve the problem. All entrepreneurs really try to solve the problems, you know, and you know, when I was in the agency business, you know, uh, I knew Friedl, I needed new products and you know, I worked on the Doritos account and they had a nacho cheese Doritos, which was really great, but they were kind of running out of gas with that. It’s still doing well, but they needed some more news. So I didn’t go to the the, the snack aisle to come up with ideas. I went to the salad dressing aisle and I saw all these salad dressings and the fastest growing salad dressing was cool. The ranch was ranch, uh, ranch-flavored, uh, salad dressing. So I launched cool ranch Doritos and came up with the name and, you know, it was a huge seller, but, you know, I always use as an example that, you know, you can learn so much by getting out and seeing what other people are doing and not going necessarily to the, to the obvious places.

Speaker 3 (13:25):

And I did that throughout my career. I think one of the biggest things that I see in leaders like yourself and leaders that I interview is that they’re avid learners. You know, they just w you know, they, they just are just craving information, craving ideas, looking for the way, how other people do it. And then their pattern thinkers, I may say, well, Hey, look, if you know, Frito-Lays doing this, how can we do this, a Procter and gamble, or, you know, you, you say, Oh, okay, if they’re doing this, how could I do it? And there are so many ideas that you can develop just by keeping your, your, your mind open too, to how other people do things.

Kara Goldin (14:02):

Well, I think also just the fact that you stayed in innovation too, right? I mean, you wanted to still stay creative, which I think are the best CEOs today are really the ones that, I mean, even during the pandemic, I, you know, saw this hole for hand sanitizers, as crazy as that sounds. And I said, wait, how can we make a better hand sanitizer? Because these are some of these smell rants. So still being involved. And to your point, actually being aware of what else is out there is so key.

Speaker 3 (14:34):

You know, I was very, you ha you know, I, I loved what I did and when I was running young brands, because I love people and we had like 1.4 million employees around the world, you know, I, I love food and, you know, I love to eat. And I, I think I have great taste buds, you know, and I think I’ve got a good sense for what people are going look like. And I love marketing and consumer behavior and understanding consumers. So that’s what you do in the foodservice industry. And, and so it was, it was really, you know, an amazing thing for me to be in something that I, an area that had everything that I really love. And that’s, that’s really a lot of fun when you can get up every day and go in there and fired up and, and try to figure out how to innovate.

Speaker 3 (15:19):

But I think innovation is solving problems. You know, one of the things we did at taco bell, which was really fun is we launched three products, uh, uh, a case of DIA, grill stuff, a burrito, and a crunch wrap. And they all did pour and test markets. But then we found out that the single biggest problem that consumers had with taco bell is not our products. Weren’t portable. When you go through the drive-through, that’s a big problem, you know, and they were messy to eat. Okay. So we went back and repositioned those products on the basis of portability, the crunch ramp became good to go. Then, the case of DIA was the hottest new handheld. We actually had Jeff Bezos do the advertising, you know, years ago. And then, you know, grill the grill stuff. Burrito became our heavy-duty, portable. We solved the problem of being messy at eight and not on, on the go. And the sales went through the roof. So, you know, I think all of them, you know, everybody really needs to look for those pockets of opportunity to come through from solving.

Kara Goldin (16:19):

I think that that’s so key. Would you say that was one of the biggest lessons you learned in your time at yum brands? Yeah.

Speaker 3 (16:26):

Yeah. I always said that, uh, you know, I I’m big consumer behavior person. I think the most important question you can ask if you’re running the businesses, uh, what consumer perceptions habits do you have to S uh, to reinstall or re reinforce or change to grow your business? Okay. So you really got to understand what’s going on inside consumers’ minds. And then, you know, what can you reinforce about your brand that really drives home? What’s important to them and what we need to change to make your, your, your brand more relevant. And I think once you understand the answer to that question, you can, you can grow any business for, for taco bell. It was clearly the fact that we didn’t have, uh, the portability that people were looking for. We were too messy to eat. When you went through the drive-through and picked up the food, you know, you could need it on the go. Once we fixed that,, we drove our sales for KFC. It became valuable around the world.

Kara Goldin (17:26):

Interesting. And I, you know, what’s so interesting that you touched on too, is that if you were to ask consumers, do you want portability that the taco bell consumer, do you want portability? They probably would say, no, not really. I just want a good taco, right. Or that I want good food, but yet you get in there, and then you actually tell them what they need. I mean, Steve was famous for this, that he said, I, I didn’t ask the consumer. I saw what the consumer needed, and I solved the problem, which yeah,

Speaker 3 (17:56):

You did too. You did the same thing with a hint, you know? And, and I think that’s, that’s what, you know, almost everybody, you know, that I know that’s an entrepreneur solves, solves that problem. You know, I never liked a research that told you what you were to do. I like to get what I loved was problem detection studies. We always had consumers tell us all the problems they had with our brands and with the category. Then we had them say, okay, what are the most important problems you have? And then, you know, how, how frequently do they occur? And then if you could solve the most important problem that occurs most frequently, you are going to kick the button in the marketplace. And that’s what everybody does when they disrupt the category. And, and, you know, I think people really need to get inside of how people think, you know, and, and, and what the behaviors are. And then you can really make some hay.

Kara Goldin (18:51):

I, I think that that is so true. So we, one of them, I mentioned this before, but your book. Oh, great. One, a little story about the awesome power of recognition, which is so great. So talk to me about recognition and the importance of that in employees.

Speaker 3 (19:05):

Yeah. Well, you know, the most compelling story that had the biggest impact on my business career was when I was running operations for Pepsi. And I always went out and went into the plants every morning and six o’clock. I bring coffee and donuts. And I sit around with people, the route salesman, people who worked in the warehouse, et cetera, asking what was working, what wasn’t working. And so one, one time I’m in St. Louis, Missouri, and I’m talking to eight merchandisers, eight route salesman, and I’m talking to them about merchandising and they all start raving about this guy named Bob. Who’s sitting directly across the table from me. And they said you want to know about merchandising and how to deal with customers. You need to talk to Bob. He taught me more in four hours than I learned my first two years. Oh yeah. Bob, you should see with customers.

Speaker 3 (19:55):

He’s amazing. This guy is incredible. I looked across the table just like, I’m looking at you right now. And he had tears in his eyes and I said, Bob, why are you crying? These people are heaping all this praise on you. He said, well, I’ve been in this company for 47 years. I’m retiring in two weeks. And I didn’t know, people felt this way about me and that hit me in the gut. And I said to myself, whatever business I run, whatever team I have, I’m going to make sure that recognition is the number one value that I try to drive home, the number one behavior that I want to have in our company. So I’m a big believer in purposeful recognition. If you have five, let’s say, I don’t know, Kara, when you look at your company, what are like the three or four behaviors that, you know, if your people do, you’re going to have great results sales,

Kara Goldin (20:48):

Right. I mean, that’s right. Great. At sales. Uh, I think also, especially during the pandemic, looking at just making sure that people, uh, recognize that they’re part of the team, right? So players, team players, and what’s the other, uh, and costs,

Speaker 3 (21:13):

Cost, okay. Being pro productivity. Right. Okay. So, so if those are the three big things, you know, the dry behavior recognize the heck out of them. Yeah. You recognize those three things all the time. And then you tell people in front of their peers and in front of, you know, and you do it spontaneously or whatever, you’re going to get more of it. And so I actually have a training program in my David Novak leadership, which is called purposeful recognition. And it’s all about how to do recognition in a way that’s powerful. Now I had a lot of fun and recognition of our culture at yum brands. We got, we had great results. We had unbelievable years and people would tell you the number one reason was because of our culture. And the single biggest thing that people loved in our culture was the recognition we did.

Speaker 3 (21:58):

I gave away these young walk, the talk teeth that I would give. And I do it spontaneously. Like, let’s say you make a presentation and it’s unbelievable. And I would go into my office and say, come back and sit and have my, that, that, that yum award. And I say, Kara, that was that fat technology presentation you just made was amazing. That’s going to change the way, how we do things around here. Thank you for all you do. I would write on it exactly what she did. I’d number it. I’d take a picture with you. And then I’d say, look, you can do whatever you want with that picture. I’m going to send it to your frame, but I’m going to put your picture in my office because what you do is what makes our business tick. And if you went into my office in our headquarters, you would see that I have people that I recognized all around the world from floor to ceiling.

Speaker 3 (22:48):

In fact, I even put them on a ceiling. You know, people love to see this, the the, the CEO’s office. And I wanted my office to represent what business is all about, which is people and people making really great things happen. And if I would’ve just done it, that would have been one thing. But I think leaders cast a shadow. People do what you do. What happened was as people saw all the joy, all the power of what I did when I recognize people, and they came up with their own recognition awards. So if you were in construction, you might give away a shovel. If you love basketballs, you might give away a little mini basketball, but you’d ride on them and people all around the world. And it worked in every country believed in, I in China, you know, where people at India, the UK, where people are sick, it was powerful. It’s a universal thing that people love. And so we made recognition a huge value in our company, and we had a lot of fun doing it. And, uh, it was very, very successful.

Kara Goldin (23:47):

So talk about your leadership, uh, that the Institute that you have.

Speaker 3 (23:54):

Yeah, well, you know, I have, uh, you know, my whole approach now in my, uh, for the rest of my life is my big vision for, I have for, for, for my life is to make the world a better place by developing better leaders. So I’m trying to develop a pipeline of leadership initiatives that help people become the best leaders. They can be from elementary school to college, to business. Okay. So, you know, we have a program called global game-changers, which is for elementary school kids where we teach them self-esteem, what is it that makes them unique, that becomes their superpower, and you apply your talent to that. And that’s how you’re successful. Then we have this program called to lead for a change, where I took my take, taking people with your book. We created a curriculum for middle schools and high schools. Um, and it’s, you know, we’ve reached over a million and a half kids the last, uh, uh, last five years.

Speaker 3 (24:56):

Then we have, uh, the Novak leadership institute at the University of Missouri, where we have 12 hours of curriculum on leadership development. And then we have, um, uh, I’ve created David Novak leadership for aspiring leaders. And that’s why I do my podcast, how leaders lead, which you are so nice enough to, to come on. And because I have access to people that other people never get access to, and I can interview people like you, and people can learn from you. And, you know, that’s a big benefit that you give people because I want to help people, uh, be the best leader. They can be a problem in our society. I think today, certainly, in business, there’s a recognition deficit out there where people don’t feel valued for what they do. Okay. And there’s a leadership debit deficit, you know, 80% of people go to work and they’re disengaged.

Speaker 3 (25:48):

Why is that? That’s because there are terrible leaders out there. There’s toxic leadership. The people aren’t leading in the right way. So I want to do everything I can to help people lead better, have the light bulb go off in their head that they can say, gee, if I do that, man, I could make a difference. Not only in my life, but somebody else’s life and you don’t care the most, the best leaders or other-directed, you know, the the happiest people in the world care more about other people than they do themselves. And, and, and it always comes back to you. Yeah. I mean, I can’t believe you ha how much recognition I got. I’ve got more recognition. You know, my, I can fill my office with recognition and CEO of the year or racial algebra, all this stuff. I never intended to get any of that, but it came from, you know, focusing on other people and, you know, bingo. It comes right back at you. That’s. So what do you think,

Kara Goldin (26:44):

I mean, managing during the pandemic, obviously we’re living in a virtual world today. How do you think that’s changed leadership?

Speaker 3 (26:53):

Yeah, well, you know, I think it’s actually helped a lot of people understand what leadership is all about because people had to go online. They had to go virtual there more, more CEOs, know their companies better today than they did before the pandemic because they’ve, they’ve been forced through forced to go online, to have town halls, too, to, you know, have, uh, you know, webinars, you know, and I think that that’s opened the door up, you know, for, for better communication. And, you know, Sam Walton said it best, the more, you know, the more you care. And I think people are learning that you know, people who work in your company want to know what’s going on and they want to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. So I actually believe there’s been a lot of good that’s come out culturally because of, uh, of COVID.

Speaker 3 (27:43):

But I, I do think that collaboration, you know, it’s, it’s very difficult to do online and, you know, you have to, you know, humans have got to do what computers can’t, and, and I think, you know, empathy being empathetic, being collaborative, these are the skills that, you know, I think that that are needed in the, you know, in the next decade to really get the kind of innovation and, and to stay competitive. So I think people will, you know, be, do better at that when, they actually go back to work. But I don’t know, maybe it’ll be four days in the office or one day at home because I think the balanced part of life is something that people have understood now better than ever before.

Kara Goldin (28:23):

Yeah. I think they it’s definitely come up as, as a topic. I was part of a fortune, uh, group a few weeks ago, and we were talking exactly about this. And I think that the challenge is that while, you know, it sounds great to work remotely. I think that there are, you know, millennials are 70% of the workforce right now, and there’s a number of millennials who actually for a variety of reasons, maybe they’re they have roommates in their, uh, in their living environment or they just don’t have the connectivity. And, and they also, while they might not have considered the guy that sat at the desk next to them, as, as a friend, they sort of enjoyed and being there and saying, Hey, what’s up? How was your weekend? And just simple things like that I think are being missed right now. But does it go back to five days a week?

Kara Goldin (29:13):

I doubt it. I think for most, uh, office jobs, I think there’s, there’s something in there, but I also think that you know, you talked about empathy and, and I think there’s, there’s a line there also between, you know, somewhere around recognition and get, and talking to people and getting to know them too. And some of the mental health issues that I think are so, uh, they’re, they’re there. And as a leader, trying to really dig in, I it’s, at times I feel like I’m a, you know, the den mother to some extent, trying to really understand what is going on in the company. And, uh, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a tricky time, I think, too.

Speaker 3 (29:53):

Yeah. I, I agree with you, but, you know, and, and I think that you know, the best leaders are high touch, you know, in their own way, they have a way of, of, uh, being there, being there with knowing the team. And, you know, it’s hard to do that, you know, in your, you know, virtually, you know, it’s it, you know, you can learn a lot. And there’s a lot of things that I think people have picked up, but I think the CEOs who’ve learned about communication and how valuable is weren’t that good at it before? Yeah. I’m just saying, I’ve seen, I’ve seen the light bulbs go off on people that didn’t quite get it, but now they get it now a little bit better. Okay. And, but to your point, there’s no substitute for being able to walk down, uh, the, the hallways poke your head into somebody’s office, ask them how it’s going and having that conversation where all of a sudden one plus one equals three, I’m going to ask.

Kara Goldin (30:48):

That’s a powerful thing. Yeah, no, absolutely. You know, it was, uh, I’m so curious to get your thoughts on this. So I was speaking to a group of college interns at a friend of mine’s company. She asked me to come in and speak to them. And one of the interns asked me, uh, she, she preface the question by saying, you know, it’s a tough job market and I’m an, how would you go and get a job? And, you know, you, first of all, you’re not going to be able to get a job when you actually think what you think right now. Right. You’ve got to actually go in and go. And, and what I ended this conversation with her by saying is that I don’t believe that it’s impossible for an entry-level person to go and get a job. Right. And w would you agree with that?

Speaker 3 (31:44):

Oh, absolutely. I totally agree with you. You know, I, I, you know, I think it’s, but you have to take the initiative, you know, you, you’ve got to go in there and you, you got to get started. You’re not going to start out a CEO. You know, I started out as an advertising copywriter, you know, writing ads for real estate companies, bank ads, you know, and it was like, I was in the Gliss little cubby Hill. I made 7,200 bucks a year, but I got started. And then when I could look up and I’d say, who’s doing that job up there that I’d like, you know, ahead, had any, do they have anything? I don’t have no, I’m going to do that job. Now, I’m going to go make that happen. And then I go from that job to the next job, the next job. And, but you got to get started, but I do definitely believe that, uh, the, if you take the initiative and you, you pound on doors, you know, people want people who are hungry and ambitious,

Kara Goldin (32:38):

I think that’s so, so than the part two of this conversation came from a manager inside of the company and she said, my company is downsizing. And she said, how do I keep my job? And, and, and if you’re a manager or director and it’s real, right. Companies are downsizing. I mean, how do you, how do you make sure that you’ve noticed, how do you all of these things, and especially in a virtual room world, how do you do that?

Speaker 3 (33:10):

Yeah. Well, I think that’s really tough in a virtual world. It’s tougher. Okay. But, you know, I think what you, the way I used to stay get noticed is you, you have more desire to Lorne, more desire to contribute than anybody else. And people see that in you, people see that burning desire to contribute, and yeah, you know, people are gonna downsize, but you know, there’ll be some people who get to stay. So who’s, do you want to be that one that’s going to stay well, then you do everything you can, okay. To demonstrate your worth, your value, your ability to contribute the, to the enterprise. And if, if you’re not doing it better than the next person next to you, you’re going to lose your job. That’s the way it’s always been. You know, we’ve had a lot, there’s been downsizing going on for a long time in corporations, you know, just because people have gotta be productive. You mentioned the third, the third thing that you want to recognize is productivity. Okay. So if you can do something with fewer people, as much as you love people, you’ll, you’ll do it because your company will grow faster and you’ll, you’ll be able to provide more jobs for somebody else. Okay. So who stays, it’s the people that, you know, are going to bring home the bacon

Kara Goldin (34:32):

Well, and I think it’s also those people that might even, you know, recognize the bigger picture of the company and what you can do to, you know, to some extent even take on the extra right. Sort of in areas that have been, you know, needed, but maybe not needed for a full-time role. So that was sort of my advice to that. Don’t roll up your sleeves and be scrappy and say, let’s just go get it done.

Speaker 3 (34:58):

I agree with that. And I think that I’ve always said my way of saying is that the best leaders, the best people always play on two teams, they play on their team and the team in the total team, you know, and, you know, I couldn’t agree with you more. And that’s, that’s the person though that, you know, has stretch that has potential that, and, and, and those are the people you want to invest in. Yeah,

Kara Goldin (35:22):

Absolutely. And those are the people who, during challenging times will, you know, stay or get recruited to go and do something else. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (35:31):

And that’s one thing by the way, that the reason why I wrote Oh, great. One is that

David Novak (35:38):

There, there, there are two reasons why people change jobs. Okay. One is they don’t feel appreciated for what they do, which means a lack of recognition. The second reason why people change jobs is they don’t get along with their boss. And you know what, the number one reason why they don’t get along with their bosses, they don’t feel appreciated. Okay. So, and so, you know, to me, you know, I’m trying to do everything I can. And I, that’s why I wrote the book, which is all about my experiences. It’s an, a parable form, but that, you know, I was the basic, uh, the guy who was running happy face to wake company in the, in the book, you know, I did all those things that were in the book. And it’s a fun way to tell your story. And, but, you know, I, I think, you know, people need to understand that recognition could be your S your secret weapon as a, as a leader.

David Novak (36:35):

You know, a lot of people say, well, what if I recognize somebody, will they work, work, uh, as hard, well, would net us the craziest thing I’ve ever heard in my life, of course, they’ll work just as hard, you know, they’ll work harder in some people say if I recognize bill Sally, won’t like it. Well, if you’re only gonna recognize one person for the rest of your life, maybe you shouldn’t, you know, you know, but can’t, you recognize Sally when she does something. Well, yeah. You know, so, so it’s just like, Hey, people come up with all these reasons of why you can’t do it. Okay.

Kara Goldin (37:12):

Life, right. People will come up with the walls, but it’s the people that figure out how to climb over the wall or knocked down the wall. Right. Are the ones that ultimately will be the ones growing. Well, I absolutely love this. And David, you are such an inspiration on so many levels. Uh, so where can people find out more in addition to all your amazing books, which everybody should pick up and come listen to his podcast as well, which is so great. Where can people find you?

David Novak (37:39):

Yeah, well, uh, uh, David Novak, leadership.com, you can learn about that’s where you can tune into our podcasts. And I think they’re great. Uh, you know, just post, just posting one this week with, uh, Marvin Ellison, the CEO of, uh Lowe’s and you’re going to be posted, I think, in the next six weeks, you know, which I can’t. Yeah. You know, it will be great to have you on. And I also try to do daily, uh, inspirations on Twitter at David Novak. OGO, you know, where I just try to, every morning I get up, do my gratitudes, then I think about, well, what could I share with people today that might, might help them be a little bit better at what they do or think about the world in a more positive way. So, you know, but, but I’m, I’m like you, Kara, you know, I love being able to make a difference, you know, help people in this world. Uh, and, uh, it brings a lot of joy in my life. So I really do appreciate having the opportunity to talk a little bit, on your show of, sorry, if I talk too much.

Kara Goldin (38:39):

No, not at all. It’s just, I feel every minute I’m, I’m hanging on to it. Cause you’re just a legend. So, so thanks to everybody for listening. Come back. And, uh, every Monday and Wednesday and come listen to us and give David FiveStars cause he is awesome. And we can’t wait to have, uh, have you back for more conversations, but definitely pick up his books. Everybody they’re so inspiring. So we will see you all soon. Thanks, everybody. Yeah, that was great. And just wait for one quick, second and we’ll do it. That was so great. You are just amazing, amazing, amazing on so many levels. Uh, I just, you know, really inspired how it, so do you like retirement? Are you,

David Novak (39:26):

Well, you know, I, I spend, you know, I, I’ve got sort of the dream life, you know, I, I live in Florida for six months. Then I go into South Hampton for the summer. And then I, I, uh, the shoulder months, I go back to my hometown Louisville where my daughter is my three grandkids and, uh, you know, so I like it, you know, I always told everybody, I loved you. Um, uh, but I didn’t know that, you know, I could love something so much and miss it so little, but, and I think that’s because I’ve been able to move on, you know, I’ve, I’ve really am focused on our family foundation, all this stuff I’m doing on leadership development and, and, you know, so I, I, I love golf. I’m an avid golfer, so I’ve got, you know, the best clubs in the world. And so I get, you know, I work 25 hours a week, maybe, you know, uh, more I’m on one board, I’m on the Comcast board. Uh, I’m not a big, uh, board person I’ve turned down, you know, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s, I like to do things, you know, myself, you know,

Kara Goldin (40:30):

It’s interesting. Well, if you hear, if I’m, I’m actually finally, I was called for a number of boards over the last few years, and I’m finally looking at potentially doing a couple of boards in addition to our board, in addition to hints. So, um, if you happen to hear people reaching out for, uh, people who are founders that have taken a company,

David Novak (40:52):

Oh yeah. I think your, your, your background with your technology and consumer piece, you know, you, you, you will, my, my biggest coaching to you is, you know, be very selective because you don’t jump at the first thing. I mean, you know, make sure you really find something that’s great. And then I wouldn’t go on to have them until you really loved the first one. Okay. You know, it’s just very careful because they can suck up a lot of your time, you know, and you know, maybe some of your joy, you know, I mean, you know, and make sure you go on a board giving you more advice than you need, but you know, you make sure you go on a board that you’d love the CEO. Okay. You don’t want to go in and have to fix that. You go into a company that’s, well-run that you like, you’re going to learn from them.

David Novak (41:41):

They’re going to learn from you and you can, you can help that CEO be successful. You know, that’s, that’s, you know like Jamie was on my board and then I was on his board for 10 years, you know, uh, I didn’t know, finance, but I learned a lot more about finance, but I was very good at people in marketing. And so I was able to help him with that. It was a good thing. Um, but 10 years was enough. That was a very hardboard to be on because it was, for me, it was like going to Latin class. Yeah. You know, if I asked if, you know, it was, it wasn’t as exciting, you, you, you’re a consumer person technology, you know, you know, go on something that, that you’re going to really enjoy. Okay.

Kara Goldin (42:25):

Well, if people ask you, I mean, just know that I’m out there and I ‘d love to do one public board just because I don’t, I haven’t done one. And also, uh, and you know, we’re, we’re also just trying to figure out what we do next too. I mean, frankly, we’re looking at, you know, do, do we take this company public? Do we, um, you know, continue to do we sell the company? We’ve had a few people kicking the tires, uh, and we’ve had 50% growth year over year growth, um, in, during a pandemic and we’ve tripled our size and direct to consumer. We have a pretty interesting technology play, um, that frankly could be plugged into a lot of different companies. So, um, but yeah, so it’s something that I actually want to go back to Jamie and I want to talk to him, we’ve talked to, we’ve actually hired his team to kind of help us, um, and he’s put the right people in place to kind of help us figure out what to do, but it’s a, you know, it’s an interesting, interesting time for sure. It’s good problems to have, because I think we could still keep growing and, you know, and there’s plenty of room for,

David Novak (43:33):

It’s you, it’s your baby. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I mean, you know, you, you, you know, you, you, you got a lot of energy.

Kara Goldin (43:42):

I said I think that that’s the thing that we, I I’ve talked to so many entrepreneurs over the years who were just burned out. I’m not burned out, you know, and that’s another thing, like, it’s just, we built this company to be a company that is, uh, you know, really unique and really different and, and also focused on health, which is, I mean, everybody is concerned about health after this last year in their own way. And, and I think it’s a, we just went into Walmart and Sam’s club, uh, at the beginning of, uh, the pandemic and Costco and so huge growth. And it’s turning and, you know,

David Novak (44:20):

You got, uh, you got, you know, different categories you’re thinking about moving into and, you know,

Kara Goldin (44:25):

Well, the interesting thing about our other categories is that we launched those and were there online. We haven’t put any marketing against those and they’re still selling. And so it’s, you know, we’ve, for us, it’s been like, let’s just have them there and really focus on the water right now. But we could, we could do that. We could also sell off the water and go and build sunscreen and hand sanitizers and go and do that if we chose to do that. But yeah. Lots of different options.

David Novak (44:56):

Well, I you’re, you’re, you’re lucky to be in that position. That’s great. You’ve created something really, really special and it’s growing and it’s hard to build a business in packaged goods, the size of yours. Yeah. You know,

Kara Goldin (45:06):

So it’s, it’s been a lot of fun, but anyway, I’m so happy that I met you and, and, uh, yeah. And if you have any recommendations for any people, for my show too, that are just, you know, leaders and learners, and it’s really focused on either CEOs or founders or like yourself. Um, that would be amazing. So.

Speaker 3 (45:25):

All right, great. Thank you. Have a good rest of the week and safe, and my team. We’ll get your team, everything from this. Thank you. Thank you. All right. Bye-bye.