Business Leadership Today

Karin Hurt – Building An Innovative, High-Performance Culture


In this episode we talked with author Karin Hurt and discussed the Top 10 most important things that a leader needs to do to create a high-performance culture that doesn’t burn people out.

Karin’s work focuses on helping leaders drive innovation, productivity, and revenue without burning out employees.

After two decades as an executive at Verizon, Karin and her husband David co-founded Let’s Grow Leaders, a training firm focused on human-centered leadership development. Since 2013, Karin and David have helped over 10,000 leaders in 14 countries to build sustainable, high-performance team cultures.

Karin is also an award-winning author of four books, including her most recent book: Courageous Cultures – How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers and Customer Advocates

Join us as we hear from Karin stories on how she personally managed leadership issues during her time as Verizon as well as the lessons she has learned from and taught to multiple leaders since starting her leadership development firm.

Here is a link to Karin’s website:
Karin’s Website

Here is a link to Karin’s book:
Courageous Cultures – How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers and Customer Advocates

Here is a link if you want to connect with Karin on LinkedIn:
Karin’s Linkedin Profile

Karin’s Top 10

“You can’t always choose what you show up to, but you can always choose how you show up.” -Karin Hurt

1. Be The Leader You Want Your Boss To Be

“If every single human-being on this planet was the leader they thought they wanted their boss to be, we would be in a lot better shape.” – Karin Hurt

2. Showing Up With Confidence AND Humility

“The confidence to stand up for what matters, to speak the truth, to have an audacious vision; coupled with the humility to surround yourself with people who will challenge you, to know your vulnerabilities, and to admit you are wrong.” – Karin Hurt

3. Focusing Always On Results AND Relationships

“Results are setting clear expectations, having accountability for those expectations; relationships are feeling genuine collaboration, and genuinely getting to know your team as people.” – Karin Hurt

“If you have someone showing up with too much confidence at the expense of humility, and too focused on results at the expense of relationships, you will have a ‘user’ manager. And on the other side if you have someone who is so humble and so focused on relationships that they are afraid to have the difficult conversations you will have a ‘pleaser’ manager, and that isn’t good either.” – Karin Hurt

4. Navigating the Narrative

“This is simply, are you comfortable with speaking up yourself? Because if you tell your team ‘I want you to speak up and share your ideas,’ but you aren’t doing that with your own boss, they aren’t going to believe you.” – Karin Hurt

5. Creating Clarity

“This is clarity around two things; one clarity that you really do want people’s ideas, and clarity about what a good idea would accomplish. Because if you just say ‘Hey I have an open door, bring me any idea anytime,’ that’s a lot. But if you say ‘You know what, in this pivot to working from home, I’m very concerned about the mental health of our employees, do you have any ideas about that?’ That’s more specific and I can give you ideas around that.” – Karin Hurt

6. Cultivating Curiosity

“Proactively go out and ask your people for ideas.” – Karin Hurt

7. Respond with Regard

“If you are asking people for ideas, but then when they bring you an idea you are not responding well, people will stop bringing you ideas.” – Karin Hurt

8. Creating An Infrastructure For A Courage

“How does your onboarding process support a courageous culture? How does your performance management system support it? How does your communication strategy support courage?” – Karin Hurt

9. Practicing The Principle

“One of the mistakes we found in our research is that people would find a good idea and then force everyone to implement it the same way instead of focusing on the principle of the idea.” – Karin Hurt

10. Galvanizing the Genius

“How do you bring your organization along and build this culture so that it lasts?” – Karin Hurt

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