This week on The Winning Zone, Rusty Gaillard, Executive Coach, author of ‘Breaking the Code,’ and former worldwide Director of Finance for Apple, joins Hilmon Sorey to discuss his mid-life career change and how to break the code to fully and effectively experience the version of success that matters to you.
Left Turn Towards a Dream
Rusty begins by telling us that he worked in finance for Apple for 14 years, but he wanted a career path that he was excited about. He wanted to take a risk and do something that he was excited about. It was in this ‘rocking chair’ moment that Rusty decided that it was time to leave Apple and take that risk to become an executive coach and start living his dream. Listen at 01:28 to learn more.
Two Reasons for Making a Change
In his life, Rusty has learned that we make changes in life for two reasons- either something is bad enough that where we are that we have to change, or there is something that is good enough that you are willing to invest yourself in it. Rusty explains that he has been through both types of changes, and in the first type, Rusty gained so much knowledge that he would never trade, even though the experience was bad. He learned that he can handle and survive difficult things. It is this knowledge that helped him as he was making the decision to pivot his career path. Continue listening at 03:18 to learn more.
How Success Correlates to Decision-Making
At 04:57, Rusty explains that success directly correlates with decision-making. It is important to decide what success means to you. We have been programmed to have a definition of what success looks like. However, you must have a clear definition of what success looks like for yourself before you can start to take action. This is what led to Rusty writing his book, ‘Breaking the Code.’ Continue listening to learn more.
Breaking the Code
Rusty refers to the ‘code’ as our self-image, how we have been programmed. Our self-image and beliefs tend to pop up and get in the way of us making new decisions, taking risks, making changes. Rusty’s book helps people break through this to achieve the things they want. He helps people realize what success looks like for them. Continue listening at 06:47 to learn more and hear the analogy to which Rusty compares our self-image.
The Right Time to Engage an Executive Coach
Rusty feels the right time to engage an executive coach is any time you are ready to grow, are growing, or are about to step into a new level of opportunity. He explains that there are two dimensions of success- what does success look like in your work and what does success look like for you as a leader? It is important to take a holistic look at this and realize what matters and what is important and bring your focus to that. Listen at 09:46 to learn more.
Find What Lights You Up
At 11:28 Rusty explains that everyone has a different model of success by which we are incredibly influenced. However, this might not be what inspires you or creates success for you. You have to break through that code and find what lights you up, what fulfills you. For some people that may mean a major change, but for others, that might just be something as simple as supplementing your current career with other things that add value and make you happy. Continue listening to learn more.
Having It All Does Not Mean Doing It All
Rusty says that having it all does not mean doing it all. He suggests mapping out your ideal week or ideal month. How would you be spending your time? Strip away the have-to items and list what you believe is really important. This can help remove some of the noise and give you a clearer picture of what having it all means to you. Continue listening at 13:41 to learn more.
You Can’t Give What You Don’t Have
Rusty feels that what people fundamentally want on a team is to feel seen, respected, heard, and like their work has some meaning. However, if you, as a leader, are not feeling that way, then your team will not feel seen or engaged by you and eventually, they will leave. But in order to be able to engage with your team, you have be grounded and solid enough to convey to them that they are important. Learn more at 16:52.
The Dynamic Has Shifted
Since the pandemic, the whole mode of our employment economy has shifted. Instead of the employer having all of the power, it now lies in the hands of the employee. There are new expectations and the entire dynamic has shifted. Continue listening at 17:12 to hear more of Rusty’s thoughts on this.
Ingredients to Success
According to Rusty’s poll, the most important ingredient to success is overwhelmingly people skills. However, smart, successful people tend to think that their path to success is being smart, but in reality, intelligence really doesn't have much to do with success; it is about what makes you effective and being able to work with people. And this is where a coach comes in, to help fill in those blind spots. Learn more at 18:59.
Three Elements for Success
Currently, Rusty brings together three different elements that are essential for success- leadership, management, and personal effectiveness. Rusty gained a lot of management experience during his time at Apple. Leadership is more about engaging the team; it is more visionary. Personal effectiveness, on the other hand, is a skill that Rusty has been honing because he did not have a lot of it while he was at Apple. He experienced a lot of frustrations and failures because of this. Continuing listening at 22:02 to learn more and hear an example of one of Rusty’s aforementioned failures during his time with Apple.
Personal Effectiveness is Hard to Measure
You cannot measure personal effectiveness in a quantitative metric. It is more of a qualitative result, but you see it in the satisfaction of your team, in your performance at work. It can also be seen in clients’ self-reported degree of happiness and fulfillment. Listen at 26:17 to learn more.
Ways to Engage
Rusty works a lot with people who are younger, trying to help them get to the next level of success. He has several cohorts and offers an execution accelerator for people with a particular goal- to set it and hone it. He offers multiple ways to engage, both one on one and in a group. Learn more at 28:34.
Rusty would love to have a conversation with any successful business leaders who are feeling pressured to reach the next level of success and just need a little personal growth in order to get there. He can be reached on LinkedIn or at his website, svdreambuilders.com.
01:28 Left Turn Towards a Dream
03:18 Two Reasons for Making a Change
04:57 How Success Correlates to Decision-Making
06:47 Breaking the Code
09:46 The Right Time to Engage an Executive Coach
11:28 Find What Lights You Up
13:41 Having It All Does Not Mean Doing It All
16:52 You Can’t Give What You Don’t Have
17:12 The Dynamic Has Shifted
18:59 Ingredients to Success
22:02 Three Elements for Success
26:17 Personal Effectiveness is Hard to Measure
28:34 Ways to Engage