Episode 203: Todd Rovak – Emotional Intelligence, Trust, Authenticity, Hiring The Right People

 Todd Rovak is Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer at Fahrenheit 212, and Chief Executive Officer of Capgemini Consulting North America. He is the architect behind the unique theory, capabilities and talent that drive the company’s innovation process. He oversees F212’s ability to predictably unlock growth on behalf of both Fortune 500 companies and institutional investors, and is responsible for the commercial impact of the company’s work.

Since joining Fahrenheit 212 in 2009, Todd has developed successful innovation pipelines across a wide array of industries, including financial services, payments, utilities, media, consumer electronics, CPG, technology and retail. His impressive track record led to Todd quickly becoming the firm’s youngest partner in 2011, and later taking on the role of Strategy Practice Lead. In 2013, Todd was named Managing Partner and is now tasked with leading the firm’s evolution and scale.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania summa cum laude and a Ben Franklin Scholar, Todd joined Goldman Sachs & Co. in a strategy role for the Investment Management Division. He then obtained his MBA from Harvard Business School before joining real estate private equity firm Tishman Speyer.

Episode 203: Todd Rovak – Emotional Intelligence, Trust, Authenticity, Hiring The Right People

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The Learning Leader Show

“As a manager, you are responsible for the success of people.”

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Common themes of leaders who sustain excellence:
    • They know why they’re there
    • “They always have their eye on the why”
    • “They think about success often”
    • They understand their strengths and weaknesses
    • “Surround yourself with people who compliment your strengths/weaknesses”
  • How did Todd make a quick ascent to CEO?
    • There must be an opportunity and then you “must go like hell when that happens”
    • “I love the outcome, I love the impact we have”
    • “When coming up through the company, I always kept an eye on the overall strategy”
    • “Don’t focus on getting credit for the project.”
    • “Make sure your personal goals and company goals are aligned.”
  • How he does two separate CEO roles? — “Must surround yourself with people you trust”
    • “A strong WE”
  • Calendar/Time Management
    • All meetings are 15 minutes in length — This forces people to get to the point immediately
    • Week unfolds:
      • Front load all staff meetings by 1:00 Monday. Must be done by Monday afternoon — “What are the goals for the week?”
      • Having a chief of staff is important
      • Todd is an introvert and does not do back to back meetings all day.  Needs 30 minutes breaks every 3 meetings to think
      • “You said an important word… And that word is THINK”
  • “As a manager you are responsible for the success of people.” — Management means you have a responsibility for them
    • Must give feedback.  Feedback is a gift.  It’s generous to give feedback.
  • “There’s nothing easier than sharing credit.”
  • “Management is around understanding the differences in people, and getting the best out of them”
  • “Leadership is about painting a vision”
    • Lead with trust
    • Todd’s story of his first client engagement – FAILED… How his boss responded with trust was powerful — “I trust you”
  • When managing through a crisis… BE:
    • Clear
    • Calm
    • Credible
  • How sketch comedy can help you be a better leader
    • Bring your whole self to your job
    • Build emotional intelligence
  • Paying employees to take a class that has nothing to do with work (Learn a second language, guitar lessons, etc)
  • Hiring process:
    • “What are the first 5 things you read everyday?” — “Okay, now tell me the real answer. I want to learn about you, not what you think I want to hear”
      • “I want to hear them defend or support an argument.  It doesn’t matter what it’s about
  • Books to read: The Enders Game — Incredible story about getting the best out of people and creating teams
  • To be a Learning Leader? — “A process of building.  It’s a thing you do.”
    • “Time is a really expensive leader.” “Must always evolve and pick up lessons”

“What are the first five things you read everyday?” — Interview question Todd asks

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 071: Nate Boyer – Green Beret, Texas Football, The NFL

Episode 179: How To Sustain Excellence – The Best Answers From 178 Questions

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

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If you enjoyed hearing Todd Rovak on the show, please don’t hesitate to send me a note on Twitter or email me.

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

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