Ep. 66 – Understanding is Half the Battle – with Ken Kannappan
It’s the middle of the year… are you still on track to meet your goals? Many of us have gotten off track but now is the perfect time to determine how the rest of the year will go. It’s time to grab the opportunity bull by the horns and ride it into submission with the help of these inspiring guests. Get ready: this episode is part of the Halftime Series.
Today our inspiration is Ken Kannappan, Executive Vice Chair of Plantronics. He is an incredibly thoughtful leader with a wealth of insight about humble leadership, generosity, and smart working philosophy.
In a former life, Ken Kannappan was Senior Vice President of Kidder Peabody. He then took a massive pay cut and jumped into the entrepreneurial tech space. As President and CEO of Plantronics for nearly two decades, Ken helped transform the company from a manufacturer of contact center headsets with annual revenues just over $100M into a global audio communications leader with annual revenues of approximately $1B.
As G.I. Joe very nearly said, understanding is half the battle. In every area of your life, you can make better decisions and communicate more effectively when you understand what other people are saying and what they want.
If you want to understand, you have to listen – and it’s important to listen with your ears AND your eyes. People say more with nonverbal communication and tone than they do with their words.
In the workplace, understanding what other people want is one of the most valuable skills you can have, which makes collaboration and communication with others imperative. The best developer can’t sell an app if it doesn’t appeal to others and the most creative person in the world can’t create something valuable in a vacuum.
“In the real world, creativity that comes from understanding what people want is going to be very successful in the market”
A sad truth of leadership is that, as people move up the ladder, their ability to listen and understand often diminishes. This is because understanding is heavily correlated with humility.
Humble and open-minded leaders can simply do more. The more humble you are…
- the more open you are to what other people are telling you.
- the more you are listening and learning all the time.
- the more likely you are to notice when things are going off target.
“Focus on your vision. Focus on what you want to accomplish. Focus on what makes you happy… then the fit’s going to become natural. You’ll wind up doing something you love and you’ll be very happy.”
Don’t be a podcast junkie…
- The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
- The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg
- How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen
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Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters