Episode 34 – Evan Hackel


Evan skis his way to business success

 

Evan Hackel loves skiing. So much so that he says it’s more than a passion — it’s an addiction. He averages 60-80 days on the slopes each season, skiing all over the world. In addition to being a successful businessman who has started more than 10 companies in his career, Evan is also the Head Coach for the Mexican Freestyle Ski Team.

In this episode, Evan talks about how learning to ski is similar to learning how to run a successful business. The most important thing is to know how to stop safely so you can go full speed ahead, rather than using the snow plow technique that many skiiers and business leaders use. And I love how he says that life is more than just business, so have a passion about something outside of work.

Evan Hackel is the Founder and Principal of Ingage Consulting, a consulting firm headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts. He is also the author of the book Ingaging Leadership.

He is a graduate of Boston College – Wallace E. Carroll Graduate School of Management.

I’m doing a research study about Corporate Culture!

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Other pictures of Evan

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Evan’s book Ingaging Leadership: 21 Steps to Elevate Your Business.

Evan is the Head Coach of the Mexican Freestyle Ski Team.

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Evan hits the slopes with his wife.

Evan’s links

 

Transcript

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    Episode 34 – Evan Hackel

    John: Welcome to episode 34 of the Green Apple Podcast where each Wednesday I interview a professional known for a hobby or a passion. I’m doing a little research for a book I’m writing to make corporate America better for all of us, so it’d be super cool if you just take 60 seconds to do my anonymous survey by going to greenapplepodcast.com, click on the big green button on the top right there. It’s only a few questions, because I know you’re super busy. It’d really help me out, because the more data points I have, the more legit my research. Thank you so much.

    Okay, now let me introduce you to this week’s guest, Evan Hackel, who has started more than ten companies and is the founder of Ingage Consulting and the author of the book Ingage Leadership. Those are all Ingage with an “I”, which we’ll talk about it in just a bit.

    But first, Even, thank you so much for being here. How would you describe yourself to everyone listening?

    Evan: Well, I kind of look at myself as a serial entrepreneur, serial business person. I started ten different businesses. I was part of a company I did not start. I was the fifth employee. I joined in 1989. In 20 years, we went from being a very small company to a $10 billion system-wide sale company and franchising in co-ops.

    John: Wow. That’s awesome.

    Evan: It was 29% compounded growth, which was an amazing run. The company, by the way, without me is still doing quite well. As part of that, I pretty much started like everything. I started the training department. I started the marketing department. I started selling memberships in the co-op and franchises. I started the communication department. I just started everything.

    Then I did strategic planning, and a lot of our growth was through acquisition. I got very involved in that. My crowning achievement there was I took a bankrupt franchise company called Flooring America in 2002. The parent company had closed 400 company-owned stores. The franchisees were rightfully very upset. System was doing about 700 million in sales. In four years, we were doing two billion in sales. A big part of that – and part I’m really more proud of, because we certainly added a lot of locations – was what the same-source sales growth was for the franchisees was huge.

    In my career, I’ve started three different franchise businesses. The first one was a videotape rental business in the early ’80s. I think there’s one of them still open, but the other two are still going and going strong, which is fantastic.

    John: That’s awesome.

    Evan: When I turned 50, I made a life decision. I read a book called The Portfolio Life. The gentleman that wrote the book had a company that helps people decide what they want to do with their life. I wanted his program. I decided to create a portfolio life.

    First, I took a year off from work. I skied 102 days all over the world. Just had a fantastic time. I started a small boutique consulting firm working on franchiser-franchisee engagement. My real talents in life are leadership and bringing people together in shared common vision. When you can do that, you can do anything.

    Then, about three years ago, I bought a company called Portal Training. We are a training company that focuses on making effective training easy. I had a pretty big training background. In fact, I like to say at CCA Global Partners, the company that grew so much, the key to our success was training. We were able to out-execute people because we were able to out-train people. Then I just came out with my book, Ingaging Leadership, in bookstores. Life is good.

    John: Yeah. No. That’s awesome. Yeah. Your book, Ingaging Leadership – I noticed it’s I-N-G-A-G-I-N-G.

    Evan: Yeah. That’s a very important distinction. The I is for involvement.

    John: I got it.

    Evan: People can be engaged. A leader can get up and give a speech, rouse everyone, everyone’s engaged. I’m like a really engaged Red Sox and Patriots and Celtics and Bruins fan, but I have yet to have Belichick give me a call and ask my opinion.

    Ingaged is a higher level of engaged where I’m actually asking people that are part of the business to participate in the company, thinking about its business, thinking about its strategy, thinking about its tactic. That goes beyond just people working in a business, but that really leads to customers, vendors, everyone, because great ideas come from a lot of places.

    Everyone feels like they were part of building that plan. The embracement and the support for that plan just exponentially improved. If you want to have incredibly high growth in a business, you just have to have everyone focused on the same things and passionate about it. When I do consulting, I interview people. I interview people. I interview people. That’s what consultants do. It’s a good thing to do. My first question is always “What is the vision of the company?” I can tell you that 95, 96% of the time, I get “Uh…I think it’s this.” That’s even true at the C-suite.

    John: “To make a lot of money. To do stuff.”

    Evan: Yeah. “Hold on a second. I got a document somewhere. I’m going to get the dust off of it.” You build it. You build it collaboratively. Don’t get me wrong. It’s senior management’s job to make decisions. It’s not a democracy. But when you get people involved, you get a better plan. You get greater support. Then you have to make them live and breathe it.

    I could talk about this forever, but in my company, every time we have a team meeting, we’re talking about our values. We’re talking about our mission, where we’re going. We’re all about making effective training easy. We’re training champions which is part of why I’m on this call. We share our knowledge freely, because we want to change the world of training, and we want people to be better trained. We’re passionate people about training.

    John: That’s fantastic.

    Evan: These are things that are very, very important to me.

    John: Right. Absolutely. No. You can just tell in your tone and everything. I think that everyone listening can probably agree that we’ve all had some pretty bad training experiences or worthless training experiences where you’re like “Wow, we could have done this in half a day.” That’s awesome. But I like that – the I is for involvement.

    You can get rah-rah-ed up, and then you go back and you’re not even part of the plan, or you’re not part of the whatever. Getting the people involved is huge. That’s cool. It’s very cool.

    Obviously, you’re very, very busy starting all these businesses and running obviously Ingaged Consulting now and then Portal Training. But what hobby or passion occupies your time? I think you hinted at it earlier, but when you have some free time, what is it that takes up a lot of your time?

    Evan: I’d like to say skiing is a hobby. I’d like to say it’s a passion. But I think I have to go as far as saying it’s an addiction.

    John: Addiction? Nice.

    Evan: I love skiing. It’s my sanity. I prioritize it. The most I’ve ever seen was 102 days, but I probably skied 70 days this year. I just love skiing. To me, just being outdoors, the physical fitness, the challenge is to me just exhilarating.

    John: Yeah. We’re talking downhill skiing, right?

    Evan: Yes.

    John: Not the cross-country moving your arms type of stuff? This is the “Holy cow, we’re going 80 miles an hour, I don’t know how we’re going to stop” skiing.

    Evan: Well, I always know how I’m going to stop.

    John: You do. Right.

    Evan: I would generally say that when I’m skiing fast, I’m skiing about 60.

    John: Wow. That is fast, though.

    Evan: I’ll share a fun story with you. I have a son. He’s a professional freestyle skier. He’s a pretty good skier. We’re both bombing down this trail. I don’t know. I’m probably going 45-50 miles an hour. It wasn’t that steep a trail. I’m just happy I’m keeping up with my son.

    Then he looks at me, waves at me, jumps up in the air, flips his skis around so he’s now skiing backwards, and he skis away from me as if I was standing still.

    John: Oh, my gosh. Backwards.

    Evan: Yeah. Backwards. Just like – “Bye!” Fortunately for him, he skis a lot more than I do. He probably skis close to 300 days a year.

    John: Yeah. That’s so fun. Where do you go skiing mostly?

    Evan: I ski at Sunday River in Maine. In my opinion, it is the best ski area in New England for a lot of reasons. One, there are eight different mountains, which are fantastic. The topography and the skiing is very different which mountain you’re on. A lot of ski areas, you’ve got a lot of runs, but they all ski the same. But they also make a ton of snow.

    This year, they had by far the most open terrain, because they make so much snow. I like Killington, but I ski all over the place. I skied Aspen this year. I skied Steamboat this year. I skied A-Basin. I skied Vail. I skied Park City. I skied Breck probably ten or 12 days. I skied Copper.

    John: That’s awesome.

    Evan: I have an epic pass. I have the New England pass. I have the max pass.

    John: You just show up, and they’re like “Oh, Evan’s here.”

    Evan: Well, certainly, at Sunday River, I know everybody.

    John: Sure. That’s awesome. That’s so cool.

    Evan: I do know a lot of skiers, because my son is on the US Ski Team. As you know, I’m the head freestyle ski coach for the Mexican Ski Team which is a lot of fun.

    John: Yeah. I was going to ask you – how did you get into that?

    Evan: It’s kind of more of a funny story than anything, but it’s – my son, Alex, has a friend who’s a professional skier. His name’s Robbie Franco. One of the nicest people you’ll ever meet in your entire life. It’s extremely hard to get to the Olympics as an American. The slope style – I don’t know if you remember it or not, but the gold, silver, and bronze winners were all Americans. There’s just a ton of great American freestyle skiers.

    Robbie came to the conclusion that it would be very hard for him to make the team as an American. His mother was Mexican. He became a Mexican citizen. The Mexican government approved him creating a Mexican ski team, which he is currently the only member. They had no budget. He was staying at my house in Fenway Park. I don’t know if you saw. It had this great, big air contest.

    John: Yeah. In the baseball stadium.

    Evan: It was the most incredible setup you’ve ever seen in your entire life.

    John: I mean, I thought guys were going to go flying out of the place. It was crazy.

    Evan: I will tell you something that people don’t know when they look at it. That thing was super dangerous. Actually, what is was was ground ice with just a quarter inch to a half inch of snow on top of it. It was super, super hard. The in-run, this 45-degree in-run, which is steeper than normal, and the landing was smaller than normal. You had to be really on top of your ski game.

    Robbie doesn’t have a budget for a coach. I said to him I would help him out, and I would coach him for free. Then of course brought him the issue of “How can I be an effective coach to somebody when I’m really not an expert at freestyle skiing. My son’s a great freestyle skier. I’m a great skier, but I am not going off these 70-80-foot jumps. I’ve got to knock one off the ten-foot jumps.

    What I did is I really worked on the things that I think are really important in coaching which is motivation, being positive, creating a plan, and connecting my athlete with people that are experts in their field. That’s really what I focused on was trying to be really positive, talking about the positive, thinking about things in positive ways.

    Anthony Amos, who you probably don’t know is a professional Australian rugby player. He is now in the United States actually touring the country. He’s got a program where he’s going around raising money for animals. He’s got a company called HydroDog. They wash dogs. He’s going around the country with this bus and his family for like 18 months and stopping in cities and raising money for dogs by doing free dog washes.

    Anyhow, great motivational speaker. I got Anthony on the line with him to get him energized. I got him in line with the right people. I think that that’s really, when you think about management, one of the most important things, because many times, particularly if you’re C-level manager and you’re running a business. The person that runs the marketing department for you should know marketing better than you do. Your chief capital officer should know technology better than you do. It’s not like one person is an expert in all these areas. If you’re only hiring people that aren’t as good as you, you’re not really hiring great people.

    When you’re leading these kind of people, you’re coaching this kind of people. I kind of looked at this in the same vein. The unfortunate part of the story is that in the practice, Robbie fell on extremely hard ice. He separated his shoulder. He is in the middle of getting better right now. He just had surgery a little while ago. He is a terrific person and I’m absolutely confident that he’ll be back. I think he’ll make the Olympics and such.

    John: That is so cool, though. There’s so many layers to this. First of all, it reminds me of the Jamaican Bobsled Team. You know that movie? It’s just one guy that loves skiing. Now it’s the Mexican Freestyle Ski Team. I think that’s such a cool thing. But I think it’s great that you’re helping him out. I think it’s also really neat how you see the parallels to your business world.

    It’s not just a hobby, the skiing and the coaching. It’s actually very similar to being in the C-suite and running a business. I think that’s fantastic.

    Evan: When you look at skiing, it’s a very interesting sport. I help a lot of people learn to ski. I have a thing I call Ski Mastery. In two hours or less, I can take you from an intermediate skier to double black diamond skier. I approach the sport so differently when it comes to coaching.

    Most people, if you take a beginner, 99% of the people teaching skiing will teach that beginner skier how to do a snow plow. It’s basically you take your skis, you make them like a pizza pie, and it helps you control your ski. You put someone down a very gradual slope, and they learn to snow plow, and then they can shift their weight and learn to turn.

    It gives them a lot of great confidence. The problem with teaching someone how to snow plow is that good skiers don’t snow plow, and you’re going to be caught in a situation where you have to unlearn to snow plow to become a really good skier.

    I don’t teach snow plowing when I work with a new skier. I teach them hockey stops. A hockey stop is you go straight, and when you want to stop, you hop and you jump to the side, and you come to a stop. When you teach somebody that technique, they feel very comfortable stopping.

    John: Well, plus, it looks fancy.

    Evan: It does look fancy.

    John: You’ve got all that snow blowing around.

    Evan: You teach them to stop in one direction, then you teach them to stop the other direction. Then what you do is say “Okay, now do the same thing, but don’t do a full hockey stop. Just do a semi-hockey stop. Start sliding and turning one turn into another turn.” Before you know it, they’re making some decent turns that you can build off of. They’ve never snow plowed.

    John: Right. I think that’s great. Those are skills that you can actually use that the expert skiers are using.

    Evan: Yeah. Exactly. Knowing how to stop enables you to ski more aggressively. It’s the fear of not knowing how to stop that stops people from becoming really good skiers.

    John: That’s exactly it. I know whenever I ski randomly, it’s exactly it. My fear of stopping is my face. Like my face is going to be the thing that stops me. Or I fall, and then I’m at the bottom of the hill, and my ski is somewhere else, and I’ve got to walk down.

    Evan: Yeah. So many times, I see people force themselves to fall because they’re going too fast and they don’t know how to stop.

    Apply this now to business. If you want people to take and push themselves in business, then they have to know what it is that they’re allowed to push, and what they’re not allowed to push, and where that safety is. It’s kind of an interesting analogy when you think about what you do in business to grow, because part of the success of a high-speed company is innovation.

    If you’re not spending a little bit of your time and energy on innovating, then you’re not going to make those leaps that cause companies to do great things. A lot of companies, they’re constantly in a snow plow. Maybe they’re trying to go faster than their snow plow, but they aren’t doing anything that allows them to break that mold and become much better at their business. It’s an interesting principle.

    John: No, I love it. I figured your secret was a blindfold. You just blindfold them and go.

    Evan: Yes. That’s the secret.

    John: “Hey, you’re at the bottom. You did it.”

    Evan: I showed them Caddyshack where Chevy Chase is blindfolded and shooting. I say “See, you can do this too.”

    John: Exactly. See? There you go. Awesome. I think it’s great. I love the parallels. It’s pretty awesome.

    What’s your favorite place to ski, or the coolest place that you’ve skied? Well, you’re favorite obviously being in Maine, but in the world.

    Evan: Well, I think Ski Alberg in the Alps. Think of a ski area like Vail, which is 5,000 acres. Think of it being five or six times bigger.

    John: Holy cow.

    Evan: The other thing is they have much better lifts there. Ninety-five percent of their lifts there have heated seats with domes that come down.

    John: Oh, my goodness.

    Evan: It’s so deluxe in there. All six or eight passenger seats.

    John: Wow. I would never get out. I would just ride the thing and be like “Is that guy coming back again? Why’s he going down?”

    Evan: I love to ski, and I’ll go out, and I’ll ski 20 below, because I love to ski. I know how to dress. But the only thing I won’t ski in is big hail. But the point I’m making is there are so many people that don’t like to ski because it’s so cold out. Your time proportionately is on the lift. It’s not skiing. Ten minutes up the hill, it’s two minutes back. When you’re skiing, your body’s moving. It’s making you warm.

    But I will say that there are so many great ski areas in the world. I love Whistler. I love Alta. It’s just a fantastic ski area. But I’m going to give you a shout-out to a ski area no one has ever heard of. It’s the Missoula Snow Ball.

    John: Where’s that?

    Evan: In Missoula, Montana.

    John: Missoula, Montana. All right.

    Evan: I highly recommend it. It’s really cool.

    John: Yeah. No. That’s awesome. That sounds so great. I think this goes without saying, but it seems like you’re skiing is so much a part of you and like you said an addiction that I imagine that at work, it just comes out. Everybody has to know that “Oh, yeah, Evan. He’s the skier guy.”

    Evan: Yeah. There’s no one that doesn’t know that I love to ski. I do ski with a lot of people that I end up doing business with. It’s like golf, I guess. I actually incorporate skiing into one of my keynote speeches.

    There’s just a natural progression. Look at everything in life. You look at cars. You look at when you stay in a hotel. You look at every part of the world of business. Nothing is going backward. Nothing is staying the same. You’ll always have to be sitting back and saying to yourself “How do I move forward?”

    John: Like you said earlier, just knowing where that jump stop is and the hockey stop, and then you’re able to push yourself harder.

    Evan: I’ll tell you a cute story about my son. He takes skiing so seriously, when he’s 15 years old, we send him to a special academy, and in this academy, two of the world’s best were at this academy at the same time he was.

    They put the students in housing. Well, Alex is housing with these two guys. I go “Alex, how did this happen? Was it sort of an accident?” He says “No, dad. I had to work on it.” He said “I knew that if I wanted to get better, I had to be around the best.” These boys were both two years older than Alex. At the time, Alex was really short. How they agreed to let him stay, I don’t know, but I think it’s really incredible that here, he’s 15 years old. He already recognizes the importance of modeling and understanding people are better than you and how to take that and become better yourself. I think everyone knows that if you seek out great people and you spend time with great people, not that it rubs off on you, but maybe it does rub off on you. At least you’re learning from it. That’s part of what allowed Alex to become much, much better at his sport.

    John: Yeah. I mean, that’s awesome. Yeah. At such a young age that he was able to see that. I’m sure that your example with starting so many businesses and things like that – I’m sure that he learned vicariously through that as well.

    Evan: Yeah. I think that’s great. How did you get into skiing? I imagine that this is something that’s been a part of your life this whole time. Even when you started your career, before you were starting all these businesses and what have you, I imagine that skiing was a part of you.

    John: I started skiing probably when I was four or five. I lived in Vermont. My parents would take me.

    Evan: That’s how you got to school, right?

    John: At times. My parents would take me to the High Pond Ski Area, which has since closed, and I would spend my time with my brother and sister on the small rope tow. Eventually, we moved up to ski area which actually had the bigger t-bars and chair lifts. I really enjoyed skiing a lot.

    I went to college in Colorado. I certainly took advantage of that. Then I pretty much backed off. I was working a lot. Then I went to Italy. A show-of-the-month club, which is a theater club, they had a ski trip to Italy for $695 you get airfare, life tickets, and lodging. On the same group, what is now my wife, she was on the same trip and we met. We really both had a great love for skiing. From that passion has really been a big center of our lives and what we do together.

    Evan: Great.

    John: Most of the time, I’m skiing with my wife. It’s a wonderful thing that we share.

    Evan: Yeah. I think that’s awesome. It’s also interesting how you said that you backed off some. When you started your career, I guess you were just working so hard and things like that, so not a lot of time.

    John: It’s not a lot of time. Let’s face it. It’s not the cheapest sport in the world. I didn’t start my career as an immensely successful person. I started my career as a person with a lot of potential.

    I also didn’t have a lot of friends that can afford to ski, either. I actually see this in a lot of people. Skiing is a sport that after college, it’s a little difficult to get into and budget and afford. If I was to give any advice to ski areas, it’s I think that they should have lower-priced lift tickets for people under 30. It’s tough. It’s a tough sport. It’s an expensive sport. I love the sport. I’m very fortunate that I can afford the sport now.

    I would say this to people listening: if you think the key to success in business is to become a avid skier like I am, you’re really missing the point. It is to have passion about something. I think work-life balance is important. I have passion about work. I have passion about skiing. But you can have passion about work and have passion about mountain biking or passion about playing tennis or other kinds of sporting activities. Hiking. It doesn’t really matter.

    Skiing for me in this should be a metaphor that life is more than just business. I think to me you have all these great stories about how skiing and business kind of work together, but the other thing that skiing really does for me is it clears my head so I can think more clearly about my business. I go out skiing for a weekend, and I do all this physical activity, and I’m with friends. I’m taking my mind away from business.

    Oh, my God. How can you take your mind away from business? Well, if you don’t take your mind away from business, how can you ever look at your business with clear eyes? You’re so in the tunnel. It’s dangerous to be in the tunnel.

    Evan: I think having avocations are really important, because they allow you to have another mechanism to do things so that when you go back to business, you’re fresher.

    John: Yeah. Absolutely. I think the big thing is that people might have these hobbies, passions, but they don’t always incorporate them or bring them back to work or just share with coworkers what they do. Obviously, with you, it’s impossible to separate you from the scheme. Like you said, it’s beyond a passion. It’s an addiction.

    I think it’s cool that no matter who you meet, everybody knows Evan skiing. That’s what he does. I think that that’s a huge thing and that anytime anyone sees people skiing, I’m sure that you’re part of something that pops in their head. They’re like “Oh, yeah. Evan. That’s what he likes to do” type of a thing. It makes you memorable and gives you an identity and really makes you stick with those people. I think that’s really cool. I think that’s great.

    Evan: Yeah, also great. My son’s a professional skier, but my older son and my daughter are both fabulous skiers. It’s great time to spend with them. It’s something to bond with.

    John: Plus, you meet your wife. What more do you want?

    Evan: The sport has been very good to me.

    John: All right. Exactly. If anyone out there is listening, and they’re looking for something, skiing – it’s where it’s at. That’s what I’m telling you. Just got to save up and wear a knee brace, and we’re all good.

    Evan: I do think as a general piece of advice, marrying somebody that shares your passion and advocation in terms of an athletic thing is probably a good thing. It’s bad enough you’re separated all day during your work, but then if you each have different things you like to do in your free time, then your together time is pretty minimal. That’s about as much a relationship advice as I ever will give.

    John: Right. That’s your next book. I think everyone’s gotten to know you really, really well. This has been an unbelievable amount of cool knowledge and experiences and cool stories, but as you know, I can’t really say that we should hang out until we do my 17 rapid-fire questions which are a super fun way to get to know Evan. If you’ve got a seatbelt ready, I’ll fire this thing up.

    Evan: Go for it.

    John: We’ll be ready to go. It’s 17 rapid-fire questions. Here we go. First one: crossword or sudoku?

    Evan: Sudoku, for sure.

    John: For sure. Do you have a favorite color?

    Evan: Yellow.

    John: Yellow. Nice. Do you have a least favorite color?

    Evan: No.

    John: Okay. All right. How about Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Evan: Star Trek, but it’s really close.

    John: It’s really close.

    Evan: Probably because there’s so many more versions of Star Trek. The Voyager…I’ve watched every episode.

    John: Yeah. It definitely depends on which kind, for sure. How about a PC or Mac?

    Evan: I’m talking to you on a Mac right now. I love my Mac.

    John: Yeah. All right. When it comes to a mouse, how about right click or left click?

    Evan: I have not a clue what I click. I assume it’s a right click.

    John: Right. On a Mac, I guess it’s just one click. That’s an easy one. How about, do you have a favorite food?

    Evan: My favorite type of food is Greek.

    John: Greek. Nice.

    Evan: Yeah. I love Greek food. I’m an equal-opportunity eater. I love just about every kind of food.

    John: All right. Whatever’s available. How about a favorite sports team?

    Evan: It’s probably going to be the Boston Red Sox.

    John: Okay. All right. Cats or dogs?

    Evan: Dogs.

    John: Nice. How about a favorite band or musician?

    Evan: Little Feet is my favorite band. I’ve listened to them live many, many, many times. I’m sure most people listening have not a clue who they are, but southern rock. I just like it because the actual music itself, not the words, play such an important role in the music.

    John: Right. Okay. I’ll definitely check them out. Little Feet.

    Evan: I’d go with Lowell George, my favorite performer, although he passed away many, many years ago.

    John: Yeah. Those are awesome. How about, jeans or khakis?

    Evan: Jeans.

    John: How about when it comes to financial statements? Balance sheet or income statement?

    Evan: That’s an unfair question. It’s an unfair statement, because you can’t be one or the other. To understand a business, you have to understand both.

    John: You have to do both.

    Evan: I guess I would say this: the biggest ahas come from the balance sheet.

    John: Okay. All right. Do you have a favorite number?

    Evan: It changes, but I’ll go with seven.

    John: Seven. Why seven?

    Evan: Just like it. It’s the most common number when you roll two dice.

    John: There you go. It’s my favorite number, as well. I was just curious.

    Evan: What’s your reason?

    John: It’s always the quarterback. Yeah. That’s really the reason. Do you have a favorite TV show of all time?

    Evan: Ooh. I’m probably going to go with All in the Family. Now, it’s been years since I’ve watched it, but it was so groundbreaking at the time. It was so funny. It had a big impact on my life. Definitely enjoyed that show.

    John: All right. Do you have a favorite actor or actress?

    Evan: Not really.

    John: Not really. Just none of them.

    Evan: I like them all, but it’s not like I sit back and rank order them. I guess I would say that there’s certain actors that I’m more likely to go to a movie because I know they don’t make bad movies. There are other people that – I don’t know.

    John: It’s more the story than it is the actor or actress?

    Evan: Yeah. There are a lot of really great actors and actresses.

    John: How about a favorite comedian?

    Evan: I’m going to go with Jerry Seinfeld.

    John: Jerry Seinfeld. There you go. Pens or pencils?

    Evan: I use pens.

    John: The last one: the favorite thing you own.

    Evan: Favorite thing I own is my skis.

    John: There you go. That was a silly question, wasn’t it?

    Evan: Yes.

    John: Right. Your skis and the pass. That’s awesome. That’s very cool. Well, thank you so much, Evan, for being with me today on the Green Apple Podcast. This was so much fun.

    Evan: It was a true pleasure.

    John: Wow, that was really great how Evan compared his passion for skiing to knowing how to run a business. I love how he said that most companies are in a snow plow mode. They’ve just got their skis pointing together, and they’re too cautious and making it really hard to innovate.

    If you’d like to see some pictures of Evan and a link to his book, Ingaging Leadership, go to greenapplepodcast.com. While you’re there, please click the big green button in the top right and do my research survey. Thank you so much for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re trying to spread, which is to go out and be a green apple.


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