Jim Keyes served as the CEO of 7-Eleven from 2000 to 2005. And then he became the chairman and CEO of Blockbuster from 2007 to 2011. He’s also the author of Education is Freedom: The Future is In Your Hands.

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  • From adversity to the stars. Per ardua ad astra is a Latin phrase meaning “through adversity to the stars.” Adversity is your advantage. The tough moments you’re going through will help you be stronger long term. This is a useful mindset shift.
    • “Adversity is an advantage.”
  • How did Jim get hired the first time and continually get promoted?
    • He told the truth. 
    • He was unafraid to tell it like it really was. No fluffy language. He got right to it and let them know how he could help them.
    • He focused on THEM, not him. They don’t care about why you think you deserve the job. They care about their company and if you’ll be able to help solve their problems. Focus on them, their issues, and how you can help them. That’s what Jim has done his entire career.
  • The C-Suite Learnings
    • What – Change, Confidence, Clarity
    • How – Critical thinking (ask why), curiosity, and creativity (have fun)
    • Why – Collaboration, Culture literacy (learn from others experiences), and character
  • Jim became one of the youngest managers in this history of McDonald’s.
  • “The only one that likes change is a wet baby. Change is reality. Change equals opportunity.”
    • CEO = “Change Equals Opportunity.”
  • Confidence is all about preparation. The more you prepare, the more confident you’ll be.
  • Clarity and Simplicity. “The hardest thing in the world is to keep things simple.”
    • “True elegance is in simplicity.”
    • “I can’t lead if you can’t understand. So, it’s up to me to keep things simple and clear.”
  • Nelson Mandela once said, “I never lose…I win, or I learn.”
  • “There are three prerequisites to a successful business transformation in the face of change: cash management, confidence, and collaboration. Managing cash flow is, by far, the most important but maintaining sufficient cash requires confidence and collaboration.”
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Time Stamps

More Learning:

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

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode #300: AJ & Keith Hawk – How To Instill Work Ethic & Curiosity In Your Children

Episode #303General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership