Ep. 35: Calvin Stovall on The 4 Ways You Or Your Brand Can Become ICONIC

In this episode, David sits down with Calvin Stovall, Chief Experience Officer for ICONIC Presentations, LLC, to discuss the four ways you or your brand can become ICONIC.

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Sponsored by Sourcewell

Calvin’s Bio:
Calvin is the Chief Experience Officer for ICONIC Presentations, LLC. Calvin specializes in delivering high-energy, customized keynote presentations for organizations that desire to reach or maintain ICONIC status. Calvin focuses on delivering the perfect blend of business concepts, story-telling and music themes to bring home an impactful message that touches both the heads and hearts of his audiences.

Armed with more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality and non-profit services industries, Calvin’s audiences learn real-life, hands-on practical customer experience and leadership principles which can be easily applied to business challenges today. Calvin designed a practical and systematic technique called The ICONIC Framework™ to help organizations achieve and maintain iconic status in the eyes of their customers. Calvin is also host of The ICONIC Mindset podcast where he and his co-host John Avola share the secrets behind what it takes to make your business, idea or movement iconic.

The pinnacle of Calvin’s hospitality career was his promotion to vice president of brand marketing with Hilton Worldwide where he was responsible for the marketing and public relations efforts for more than 150 Homewood Suites by Hilton hotels. While under his leadership, Homewood Suites by Hilton was voted best in class by numerous consumer advocacy publications, including Consumer Reports and recognized four times by J.D. Power and Associates for its unwavering commitment to customer service quality.

Calvin’s Links:
Website: https://iconicpresentations.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ICONICPresentations/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/calvinstovall/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ICONICSPEAKER
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqneK3LGcSAoWGiyyPnpGVw/videos
The Iconic Mindset podcast: https://www.theiconicmindset.com/

Key Quotes:
1. “You can’t have a great customer experience unless you have a great employee experience.”
2. “You have to have some level of differentiation to stand out.”
3. “Everybody has a gift, and everybody has something that they can contribute to the world.”
4. “People emulate and mirror what they see.”
5. “Bring your best self to everything you do.”
6. “You can’t accomplish the vision that you’re trying to accomplish without your team being connected to that.”
7. “Embrace your difference.”
8. “You should have a diverse team because that brings diverse voice, that brings diverse ideas.”
9. “People want truth.”
10. “Focus on what matters most.”
11. “Never become too comfortable or complacent.”
12. “Sometimes success can be a barrier to innovation.”
13. “You have to watch your competitors.”
14. “Focus on the things you can control.”
15. “Sometimes we feel like we have to know everything, but you don’t and you can’t.”

Links Mentioned In The Episode:
“Powershift” by Daymond John: https://amzn.to/3qfPVAF
FUBU Clothing: https://fubu.com/
“Change Your World” by John C. Maxwell: https://amzn.to/3cZf9hA

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Show Transcript

David Horsager: Welcome to the trusted leader show it’s David Horsager i’ve got a special episode today he’s been an executive at Hilton worldwide the Hilton hotels he’s been a.

David Horsager: brand strategist with St jude hospitals he’s been an entrepreneur a CEO is run a nonprofit amazing guy we got some great things to talk about today, thank you for being with us today Calvin stovl.

Calvin Stovall: Oh man day Thank you so much man i’m excited to be here truly honored man, thank you.

David Horsager: it’s great, and you know what.

David Horsager: we’ve been friends and you’re down in North Carolina and moved away from me in Minnesota you’re.

Calvin Stovall: in the workplace, but let me tell you it’s warm today in Minnesota too.

Calvin Stovall: Rare.

David Horsager: let’s get started, I want to get into your framework and some of the things you’re doing and just talk about leadership, a little bit before.

David Horsager: I do work a couple things we need to know about Calvin stovall that that you know what what’s what are you passionate about I know you got a couple kiddos what are a couple things we should know to get started.

Calvin Stovall: Oh awesome man yeah I do have two boys that i’m raising them and they’re they’re actually 11 and one will be ton of 14 next month, so i’m having fun with those guys they’re eating the out of house and home but i’m loving it.

Calvin Stovall: But, but other than that man i’m just i’m just passionate about you know, helping people aspiring people reach that will help them reach their full potential, I am a true blue hospitality person.

Calvin Stovall: And most of my of my career has been in the hospitality industry.

Calvin Stovall: You know started as a desk cart i’ve been to you know, be an executive with Hilton worldwide, so you know i’m truly focused on helping companies, become more customer centric.

Calvin Stovall: on creating memorable customer experiences and things of that nature and really inspiring leadership to you know really motivate and empower people to deliver those memorable experiences, whatever it is that they do, because I think that’s just so essential.

David Horsager: And, but we’re going to come back around at the end of the end of the podcast to you personally and some other thoughts around that how you lead yourself and those kind of things.

David Horsager: But let’s jump in because you created a framework all your experience with everything from Hilton hotels to.

David Horsager: You know your brand strategy work, and all this, I think it’s really fascinating you created a framework for becoming iconic and, in my mind, as you know, if everything we talked about here it’s like becoming trusted right trusted.

David Horsager: trusted friends and what I like about it, and you know we’ve talked about this before, but when you, you talk about even what it is to be iconic.

David Horsager: And it’s not just stand out like some people think it was also being relevant.

David Horsager: And it was having longevity so it’s not just say you know iconic is isn’t just like oh amazing for a moment it’s got longevity and we love that because that says a whole lot about trust, but tell me what you mean by iconic before we jump into the framework.

Calvin Stovall: Okay awesome well when I talk about I kind of got think you kind of just you described it very well Dave is short and simple it’s about relevancy.

Calvin Stovall: And how do you keep yourself relevant, basically, how do you stay in the marketplace and continue to evolve, because things change all the time.

Calvin Stovall: And how do you continually evolve and keep your customers engaged and and also keep your employees engaged because that’s a critical part of become an iconic has got to be both there’s I just i’m a proponent of you can’t.

Calvin Stovall: Have a great customer experience, unless you have a great employee experience and they.

Calvin Stovall: Both work hand in hand.

Calvin Stovall: So that’s that’s what I talk about iconic you got to have all of that.

David Horsager: And if you’re being iconic like you’ve helped a lot of brands become iconic or that’s what you’re you’re helping people and what about what about individuals.

Calvin Stovall: Oh absolutely this this framework, and I know we’ll talk a little bit more about that you know i’ll just say day 2020 was a pivotal year for a lot of people.

Calvin Stovall: A lot of people will still trying to figure things out a lot of people had to pivot really change how they were just a mindset and how they were approaching things.

Calvin Stovall: And so, this framework works for of course it works for brand or an organization, but it also can turn you can turn it inward to help you thrive doing uncertainty so basically doing 2020 a lot of my virtual experiences or not too many live events anyway.

David Horsager: If the virtual ones.

Calvin Stovall: were really about helping people be able to embrace the unknown how they can better pivot and change their mindset and be able to thrive and times when you really didn’t know what to do next, so this framework really helps can kind of help you do that as well.

David Horsager: let’s let’s jump into the framework, this is going to help a lot of people today, and I think whether you’re a leader and what I love about it is you know we’ve got the eight pillars trust the framework for building trust.

David Horsager: This year there’s a lot of overlap here on on how to become iconic it’s really a lot about how do I become trusted.

David Horsager: By being relevant and last thing and a whole lot of what you’re going to talk about so let’s take a look first of all, and over where there’s it’s a four quadrant framework people trusted leaders out there can think about this, how do we.

David Horsager: You know, look give us an overview and then let’s go into them a little bit so people have something they can take away tomorrow morning.

Calvin Stovall: Okay, also the first quadrant Dave is is to be unique and we all know from a brand standpoint, you have to have some level of differentiation.

Calvin Stovall: To stand out, but the terminus inward.

Calvin Stovall: is really about finding your why what is, what is your purpose right and what gets you up and gets you jazzed every single day everybody I believe everybody has a gift.

Calvin Stovall: And everybody has something that can contribute to the world and, but you gotta you gotta figure what that is what that’s what that is.

Calvin Stovall: And, and once you have that that’s the anchor of everything the other three quadrants surround that.

Calvin Stovall: And you know, and then, when you’re talking about a company it’s got to be right it’s got to be about more than just money and profitability right.

Calvin Stovall: it’s got to be a higher purpose, so people can rally around that and it’s the same as a person, you want to you want to have something that you rally around every day what gets you fired up I call them blue diamonds.

Calvin Stovall: And I call them blue diamonds are kind of core values basically your blue diamonds are, and I call them blue diamonds diamonds are rare.

Calvin Stovall: You can only find them three places in the world, India, Australia and I believe in South Africa but i’d like to use blue diamonds, what is your blue diamond.

Calvin Stovall: or diamonds, what makes you different than everybody else, what are your gifts, so that whole be unique is all around that and again that can be a company or looking at yourself.

David Horsager: let’s take an example let’s take this bite by bite I like this, a lot let’s take maybe an example, what would have been when you’re working with let’s say Hilton.

David Horsager: hotels what’s unique you got married he got this you got that.

David Horsager: What was the You know, as we all stay on these hotels what what would have been something that would differentiated them compared to others, and I know you were especially driving results on one big brand book, what would be a.

David Horsager: You know how would, I think about it, if I can anchor to a brand like you worked with what What was their examples there for Hilton.

Calvin Stovall: yeah absolutely what what what what homewood had that was very different in our I guess you would say our Goliath was resonance in.

Calvin Stovall: We were a small brand homeless with small homeless week was a small brand at the time we had like 35.

Calvin Stovall: Residence had had about 200 plus or whatever, so they had the distribution we didn’t have, but what we did have was the highest guest satisfaction ratings in that segment, so we have that and our product was top notch.

David Horsager: What was it what what what made it different Well, first of all.

David Horsager: Why do you think they said.

Calvin Stovall: It was a people, it was experienced that we created for them.

David Horsager: We know how did you create.

David Horsager: People because he got the same people different you know different place how did you what was different about it.

Calvin Stovall: Well, I think that we, we really communicated with them all the time and we talked about what the brand stood for.

Calvin Stovall: And we exemplified that in all of our communications, we talked about it, and everything all of our because every year, we had an annual meeting we talked about, we made sure that the leaders did their huddles with their team.

Calvin Stovall: We inspired all of the leaders themselves to know how how important their engagement was to the employees engagement, so we emulate we understood that people emulate mirror what they see.

Calvin Stovall: So we focused a lot on the importance of leadership, because the product is the product anybody can copy the product, we, I mean you know, even though we were newer brand.

Calvin Stovall: People can put in new carpet, they can paint the walls, they can do all that stuff but we knew if we have the right leadership in place day.

Calvin Stovall: And we knew that those believers were inspiring that team to create those experiences that guests would talk about and tell their friends and relatives and colleagues about we knew we could win.

You can.

David Horsager: You.

David Horsager: Can copy the product you can’t copy the experience.

David Horsager: There it is I love.

Calvin Stovall: It and copy.

David Horsager: And copy the product but.

David Horsager: Not the experience that’s exactly.

David Horsager: And so let’s go to.

David Horsager: let’s get an example personal maybe it’s yours, maybe it’s a leader, you know what’s an example of a real blue diamond for you.

Calvin Stovall: Ah, so that’s a good question a blue diamond for me is really something different, that I like to bring is my passion and and, and that is.

Calvin Stovall: I bring I bring my whole self to any project that I that I do, and so, when I when I talk to clients or anybody that i’m communicating with you will know.

Calvin Stovall: Calvin is in the game i’m in the game.

Calvin Stovall: And you will see it on my face, you will see it in my body actions in my body language and everything and I, and I truly believe people are inspired by people that.

Calvin Stovall: That that that communicate that way and and I just know that Could you imagine Dave you know you’ve been doing this for a long time and i’m sure you’ve seen a lot of speakers, I have to and some stand out from others and typically.

Calvin Stovall: The passion and the fire that comes off the platform inspires people in the audience, and so my my blue diamond for me is spreading that passion and and that’s a core about me hey bring your best self.

Calvin Stovall: To everything you do, and you know, and although some things may not work out you gave it your best shot and That to me is enough.

David Horsager: I love it so your uniqueness, one of them, and I know firsthand.


David Horsager: Your authenticity, by the way, yeah look passionate and it’s not often yeah.

Calvin Stovall: Right yeah yeah.

David Horsager: yeah.

Calvin Stovall: that’s the second quadrant.

David Horsager: yeah all right.

There we go.

Calvin Stovall: The.

Calvin Stovall: Water just be authentic that’s the second quadrant, and that is all about connectedness and what I mean by connectedness and if we’re talking about a company is connectedness around your.

Calvin Stovall: Your your customers understanding their needs, their wants understanding having empathy and their journey and things of that nature and also have a connectedness with your team.

Calvin Stovall: I think you can accomplish the vision that you’re trying to accomplish without your team being connected to that and that is through.

Calvin Stovall: Communication and showing that you truly care about their well being xyz turning inward be authentic is all about being yourself and being comfortable in your own skin, and that is, you know I think sometimes people feel like they have to morph into something else.

Calvin Stovall: To be accepted and I like the idea of of youth being.

Calvin Stovall: Happy being you.

Calvin Stovall: And so you know, like I said everybody’s different and embrace your difference, I know some people heard here all the time hey look you don’t fit in you don’t you’re not a cultural fit.

Calvin Stovall: And, and I don’t like cultural fit because cultural fit means everybody’s got to be the same.

Calvin Stovall: To me, I like cultural add.

Calvin Stovall: Because your experiences your background the things that you bring that are unique to you that that’s your that’s your brand that’s your authenticity.

Calvin Stovall: And, and I think that’s important to bring to any company or anything you know your relationships, because people want to know, I mean people should embrace your differences, and I think that’s important.

David Horsager: How can I tell if a company’s authentic as a brand how what’s that look like.

Calvin Stovall: well.

David Horsager: If everybody meaningful.

Calvin Stovall: To me if I look if I look at all your leadership, and they all look the same.

Calvin Stovall: To me that’s not being authentic because authenticity, to me, is caring about other people’s backgrounds experiences and things of that nature, so you should have a diverse team, because that brings diverse voices that brings diverse ideas and.

Calvin Stovall: Again, that leads to the iconic status because that’s, the only way, you can do that, so you have to some some organizations, you can tell if they have a myopic view of things.

Calvin Stovall: You become bland you become boring, and sometimes you just be stagnant, but if you have authenticity you’re being true to who you are as a brand you’re thinking of other people’s values and and experiences and caring about.

Calvin Stovall: Other people bring to the table to me that’s an authentic company, because it shows that you’re you have really truly branched out and really want to embrace your other people’s things that they bring.

Calvin Stovall: In some organizations, I think probably not not like.

David Horsager: What would you say to this, though, though I hear what you’re saying I agree in many ways, would you say everyone’s a fit.

David Horsager: Can everybody, be a fit of every let’s say culture.

Calvin Stovall: I would say, well, if.

Calvin Stovall: It depends, I would say, you can be if your cultural add you can fit into an organization, but it depends on that the type of organization, we talked about.

Calvin Stovall: So if you go to an organization and you go in for an interview they and you ask the right questions are you sitting there and you’re watching and you never see anybody that looks like you.

Calvin Stovall: Or you see everybody is all white male or you see know females and leadership or you see there, there are cues that you can say well.

Calvin Stovall: If that’s the kind of company you’re looking for if you’re looking for a company that is authentic or is going to embrace differences.

Calvin Stovall: That might not be the company, you want to be, and I think now in the environment that we’re in today, I think, particularly with the younger generation jen’s ease and you know millennials they’re looking for organizations that have that level of authenticity and diversity in it.

Calvin Stovall: So you know i’m not saying you can you it takes time to can you know convert if you if you’re all like looking at the same now that’s going to take time, but I think you have to first of all be aware that there’s an issue here.

Calvin Stovall: And then start making some changes can happen overnight, but you have to be able to embrace that and realize that hey things have changed, maybe we need to change our mindset and a little bit and start doing things a little bit differently.

Calvin Stovall: You know, and that that I believe that’s how you connect to people.

Calvin Stovall: And that’s why the whole connected, this is.

Calvin Stovall: Important because if people see that and they know that their voice is going to be heard and their differences are going to be valued and the experiences that they bring is going to be, you know, help the organization move forward.

Calvin Stovall: I love that that’s why I love right like brainstorming sessions, you should have a diverse group of people in their offering ideas, and I just believe that will help you get to the best solution.

Calvin Stovall: But you know, in a lot of organizations, if you have you know when you’re trying to be innovative, as they say, you know and they’ll have brainstorming sessions, but who’s in those sessions.

Calvin Stovall: yeah top tier people you know senior people that but they rarely will talk to the line level employees and have them be involved because typically that closer to the customer to, and so you know you want to make sure you have their voices as well.

David Horsager: But I guess Lee.

David Horsager: yeah no I just think there’s a lot to go out and go into here, I think.

David Horsager: Yes, it is it’s a it’s a interesting world what we’ve learned is you know I mean, in fact, one of the biggest Harvard Putnam study shows diversity as an example diversity of of many kinds not just colored skin of many kinds.

David Horsager: tends to it tends to pit people against each other.

David Horsager: Unless you increase trust, yes, but you have to increase stress to do it now, how do we increase trust well actually our experiences, do you have to have.

David Horsager: Certain commonalities to get the best out of diversity, so we have to have the same vision let’s say we have the same unified purpose let’s say so.

David Horsager: i’m just thinking about.

David Horsager: You know, so, in fact, that means for us, at least, and we have this you know smaller relatively diverse company of our for our kind.

David Horsager: Night love more always but um that we have to actually to get the best out of diversity, even equity inclusion we actually have to have a sameness that cut some people out that shows they aren’t.

David Horsager: You know if they aren’t about this kind of purpose it’s not a.

Calvin Stovall: Yes.

David Horsager: it’s actually not a color skin thing or a or a.

David Horsager: certain kinds of diversity it’s a.

David Horsager: it’s a what it takes to serve our purpose our clients and our mission well.

David Horsager: yeah it does take some people and that’s nothing to do with skin color.

Calvin Stovall: Right exactly.

David Horsager: What it does.

David Horsager: mean, some people are not the right fit.

Calvin Stovall: Yes, yes, and that is, you are absolutely correct.

Calvin Stovall: Oh, that is so fun and.

David Horsager: I want to get a clue from the expert so.

Calvin Stovall: That is true, and that is true, and that is when you’re in that’s that goes back to the wire that goes back to the why the purpose that’s what everybody has to have that common core value the blues the blue that all that all that has to be common across.

Calvin Stovall: Or you just got wiped.

David Horsager: out on the same bus with our blue diamond folks.

Calvin Stovall: Yes, right you gotta get.

David Horsager: You gotta jump to jump to the third quarter.

David Horsager: that’s being iconic.

David Horsager: be relevant.

David Horsager: yeah.

Calvin Stovall: Go ahead national yes be passionate and you know what that is, that is all about if we talk about a company on leader.

Calvin Stovall: that’s about leading by example leading with vigor and vitality, you know energizing and engaging and empowering and inspiring a team, so you know.

Calvin Stovall: Like I said before, I believe people mirror and emulate what they see, so I think 2020 was such a pivotal year for a lot of people and particularly if you are in leadership.

Calvin Stovall: You have to be careful.

Calvin Stovall: Because you know your employees are watching everything you do, and if you were to type of LEADER that was like the sky was falling oh woe is me.

Calvin Stovall: With with with no optimism that will rub off on your team and, of course, that will rub off on the customer experience, which is what you don’t want to see happen, and so I think in this, in this case particularly leaders that I like to call it, pragmatic optimism.

Calvin Stovall: And why I call it, that is, people don’t want a leader that has their head in the sand, either, and just say you know what i’m just going to ignore everything that’s going around me where the skies wonderful things are going to be great now that’s not going to work people want truth.

Calvin Stovall: But they also know that you can help, and we, together, could get to a brighter future I think there’s a balance there and so.

Calvin Stovall: You know that whole that 2020 was a year, where I think that that and the connectedness was so important, if you were if you were the type of leader and you all, you did was talk about.

Calvin Stovall: You know, because a lot of people were working from home and all of that, you know.

Calvin Stovall: If you’re only focused on productivity spreadsheets all of that stuff you you missed the boat because really The thing is, you should have been talking more about.

Calvin Stovall: People self self making sure they’re taken care of themselves you showing empathy for situations and things of that nature, because now that we’re coming out of this trust me people never forget yeah.

Calvin Stovall: And they will know if you only cared about your numbers versus me as an individual.

David Horsager: We saw that for sure we said we had a phrase around here lead with empathy lead the.

David Horsager: conversation with them, but the.

David Horsager: lead with it’s something else that you, you talked about whether you know whether wherever it was inspired probably your own brain but it sure reminds me of some other truth.

David Horsager: That pragmatic optimism piece I love the balance of that because, as you may or may not have heard the story, but I think it was, if I remember right Admiral Stockdale was the highest ranking.

David Horsager: prisoner war and the Vietnam War and excuse me, he was you know.

David Horsager: He was asked after people got out he said he saw so many people die as prisoners of war and it ate them so deeply and then a reporter, I believe, or some.

David Horsager: might even been calling to interviewed him and said what was it about those that died, was it was there anything specific and he said.

David Horsager: It was the optimists they all you know said Oh, they all thought i’m going to get out by Christmas i’m going to get out by Easter and they they just blinded themselves to the pragmatic part and they just.

David Horsager: wow, and so this became known as the Stockdale paradox that those actually that made it were actually.

David Horsager: able to first confront the brutal truth and we saw this in the in the pandemic many people like you said put their head in the sand, what I was not happy not real those that they were able to confirm this.

David Horsager: we’ve got some issues we gotta do we got to empathize we’re gonna do this, but they did have it was a paradox, because that was balanced with a long term optimism.

David Horsager: yeah a.

David Horsager: Long term hope and so while they had to confront the truth or did they also had long term hope and that’s I think saying the exact same thing is what you found in your world.

David Horsager: And that is pragmatic got not blind optimism, not just hey everything’s gonna be alright.

David Horsager: dining it’s actually raining you know.

David Horsager: So I think that’s very interesting let’s let’s jump to the fourth quadrant of being iconic.

Calvin Stovall: No right all right Dave, this is probably all of them are important, but I think this one’s really critical and that is the be consistent and it’s two things two points to this one.

Calvin Stovall: focus on what matters most course you want to make sure you’re focusing on your product and make sure you’re being consistent and things of that nature, but the biggest thing for this quadrant is never becoming too comfortable or complacent.

Calvin Stovall: And so you don’t want to get you don’t want to be a blockbuster or or circuit city or some of these other brands that that didn’t want to innovate.

Calvin Stovall: You know, because of the situation, you know, everybody knows the situation with blockbuster when the guy came to him and told him about hey look, I want to do this netflix thing you know as male or at the time and and the guy that was.

Calvin Stovall: I think I think his name is john and yoko I think that was his name, he was running blockbuster at the time, and he told him, no, thank you.

Calvin Stovall: People going to be written these things for ages, I got this you know, and then they were back up 10 years later.

Calvin Stovall: same thing tower records same situation that owner russ Solomon he he just dismissed downloading music, so my whole thing here about this one is sometimes success can be a barrier to innovation.

Calvin Stovall: So you can you can become so comfortable that you, you lose sight of where things are headed you don’t want to I love this term, people say you don’t want to get uber arrived.

Calvin Stovall: Right.

Calvin Stovall: No, no uber turn things upside you know turn that you know the taxi industry upside down and so that airbnb same thing with the hospitality industry, they weren’t ready for that and that’s why I always always encourage people you know.

Calvin Stovall: You have to watch your competitors that’s that’s true and I think that’s that’s you have to make sure it watch what they’re doing but but it’s typically when you get disrupted is usually not your competitor is somebody outside of.

Calvin Stovall: You know, so I always encourage people look outside of the industry as well, and what they’re doing this innovative that you can borrow.

David Horsager: How else can they do it yeah because you know you get yeah it’s like okay I didn’t you know we were taxis were attacked, you know taxi drivers and.

David Horsager: And they just didn’t think about that positive there’s no way someone’s gonna get in with a stranger it’s you know people often tritely sale, just think outside the box.

Calvin Stovall: well.

David Horsager: Right so easy to do it it’s like okay you at Hilton you know worldwide the market cap on airbnb is magnificently higher with less than 2000 employees than five believe 5 million, you know Hilton.

David Horsager: properties that are magnificent so something hit even Hilton right so.

Calvin Stovall: yeah yeah.

David Horsager: How do we actually you know we talked about innovation I love this, by the way, success as a barrier to innovation that’s.

David Horsager: Totally true we’re doing well, but how do we actually keep pressing ourselves to innovator, see the next thing, most people know people didn’t see the pandemic coming when I asked.

Calvin Stovall: As a.

David Horsager: futurist I had one of the editors on this show you know top features in the world, and they can see certain things, but they don’t see a lot of things, is there any.

David Horsager: way to you know actually get rid of the blind spots and see things in time.

Calvin Stovall: yeah you know what i’m not my thing is this, you know day there are there are things that you can control them those things that you can.

Calvin Stovall: And I just tell people to what frustrates what most guess most people frustrated is they’re typically focusing on something that they have really no control.

Calvin Stovall: So, but my my recommendation to people is focus on the things you can’t control and what you can control is to constantly keep learning.

Calvin Stovall: And and and have a have a curious curiosity mindset, because if you are always reading or The thing is, those those great about the world when today Dave Pack is.

Calvin Stovall: Learning in such a great way, I mean now podcast now you have Ted talks, you have audio books, you have a lot of things like that, where you can you can leverage and take advantage of.

Calvin Stovall: But just just continue to learn and what it does, is it, it helps you think differently there’s a lot of smart right people out out here like yourself, and so you know you, I think it just just keeping that you know when you’re a child, like my boys man they they’re curious about.


Calvin Stovall: Everything and as we get older we feel like we know everything, and you know we’ve done everything that you know but but that’s not the case, and sometimes as leaders, sometimes we feel like we have to know everything, but you don’t and you can’t.

Calvin Stovall: Right.

David Horsager: We talked about this this morning we’re actually filming.

David Horsager: On our trust edge pillar of competency, how do we stay fresh relevant and capable.

David Horsager: And we have everything from.

David Horsager: You know podcast to coaching to masterminds to being a part of associations to having.

David Horsager: mentors to reading you want a great new idea read an old book right so there’s a whole lot of ways we can stay fresh and relevant than capable, so that.

David Horsager: How do we be iconic Calvin stovall you be unique be authentic be passionate be consistent, you have an example of a brand that’s doing this, or two.

Calvin Stovall: Oh wow man, I think, I think, and one of my one of my favorite brands and I know is chick fil a and I know it’s a it’s kind of fast food, but not really but, but if you.

Calvin Stovall: And I like because it’s as simple as that, but there they always at the top of every food and beverage restaurant rating because they’re consistent their product is good but they’re people are chest.

Calvin Stovall: unique.


David Horsager: So kids are over at.

David Horsager: The other place, but these how did they learn to say my pleasure and keep a clean bathroom right.

Calvin Stovall: exactly that that is a that is a blue diamond that’s a core band that they have and and I just find that.

Calvin Stovall: fascinating Southwest airlines is not like every other airline eating, they are they they train their people different that people are unique experiences different you know.

Calvin Stovall: nordstrom department stores ritz carlton these days they understand the importance of of creating experiences, but they’ve also empower people to create those experiences.

David Horsager: Interesting since you’re in the you know hotel industry or we’re, especially now with your consulting and speaking still all over hospitality but but we had her sheltie on who is one of the founders of.

David Horsager: And it was he who inspired chick fil a to say my pleasure, because that’s what they did at the ready.

David Horsager: And they say, well, we want it, we think that’s a good idea let’s just do what you do at the risk that okay okay so boom, all of a sudden my pleasure goes across chick fil a I.

David Horsager: We were joking last night with some friends, we wish that the chick fil a drive thru folks their system would be used by government and the license.

David Horsager: Commission see what God immensely.

Calvin Stovall: Oh, my God man isn’t this amazing with all of the things that that that’s out here today, some the government just doesn’t they don’t get it.

David Horsager: they’re not incentivized to, though.

Calvin Stovall: yeah.

David Horsager: I mean you’re not incentivized if you, you know when you’re incentivized financially to be efficient than there’s some you know we have to incentivize it’s just like our government in many ways in our media in many ways are incentivized against building trust.

David Horsager: yeah so also we pay for you know D, instead of ization trust So what do we get less trust in government let’s trust the media and so forth, and that’s why that’s why free enterprise in many ways is so good, because we incentivize.

David Horsager: Effectiveness and we actually incentivize what the customer wants many some people think of course we’re incentivizing making money or we’re in sentiment know we’re incentivizing actually doing what’s best for the customer, because if we don’t take.

David Horsager: care of them better than anybody else we don’t get paid and feed her.

David Horsager: Children so.

Calvin Stovall: I love it I love it.

David Horsager: Anyway, that’s a little side note that i’m sure I will get flak and critique for.

Calvin Stovall: That it was all true.

David Horsager: You know.

David Horsager: Try to stay on the side of truth in spite of critique I.

David Horsager: say you know if you want to get critiqued for a living.

David Horsager: I brought my wiser older brother, used to say this economist yeah you want to get critiqued for the living.

David Horsager: yeah I mean what he says we’re in more critical world than we’ve ever been in without the ability to critically think, and I say, if you want to get critiqued for a living, give a speech write a book or lead anything.

Calvin Stovall: Right yeah.


David Horsager: haven throw darts if you write a book or give a speech or have a podcast there, so you got that right you gotta tie so.

David Horsager: i’m great well I love it any can you, you know we’re we got to wrap this up before we do, is there any person that you say where they live, this out, is there a leader that you see, and maybe maybe we know that maybe we don’t but.

David Horsager: Is there any person you think of Okay, because I know you help a lot of leaders, you know use this framework to, in essence, be iconic to.

David Horsager: be relevant and, last but any any example.

David Horsager: of someone in one part of this.

Calvin Stovall: yeah but I, I am a huge fan of john Maxwell and and.

David Horsager: I loved I was on stage with him last week.

David Horsager: What yes we’re at the Houston at world series of sales with 1000 people whatever I was on right before him, it was a treat so we got to.

Calvin Stovall: Actually, also one up anything, by the way, but yeah my new book trusted leader, he.

David Horsager: He put his code on the pivotal guide for days later, so i’m honored.

David Horsager: That and also.

David Horsager: We sit on an expert of experts in residence at high point and some other things so.

David Horsager: You said that.

Calvin Stovall: yeah that was yeah because that was just coincidental but he is he is somebody that I follow, I have followed for a long time I just like his his his authenticity is always passionate and very consistent he’s you know he’s iconic in my eyes to me, one of the people that I just I admire.

David Horsager: Right great well let’s bring it to to a little bit personal as we wrap for the clothes, you know we talking leadership, and I know you’ve been a leader in many organizations from.

David Horsager: As they talked about the Hilton groups to St jude’s to nonprofit where you were a CEO and now running your own organization, where you teach this framework around the world.

David Horsager: Yes, what, how do you lead yourself what are you have any routines are things i’m you’re trying to be a good dad just like i’m trying to be you’re trying to We hope that we’re a bigger hero to those that.

David Horsager: Know us the most than two people way out there and the audience, how do you how do you, what do you do consistently that last part of your framework to lead yourself well.

Calvin Stovall: Well, you know I I am I am a believer you know so, so I do spend time in the word a little bit you know enough to.

Calvin Stovall: really strengthen myself because it’s tough out here man and sometimes you need to that it is, and you know, like you said, people can critique you all the time and so.

Calvin Stovall: The Bible is a good source of energy for me and it gives me, you know more inspiration to keep pressing so i’m pretty consistent with that I can always be better but i’m pretty consistent with it and and self care.

Calvin Stovall: I gotta take care of myself, because I want to be here for my boys and I love to have I love that have a high energy and so.

Calvin Stovall: I work out consistently and trying to eat better but and then and then my boys and then my family they’re not they’re my guys, so you know I want to make sure that they are.

Calvin Stovall: You know just impactful citizens in the world and, of course, be able to make their own decisions, but I want them to be gentlemen and scholars.

David Horsager: I love it.

David Horsager: Oh, I love it and you have one little takeaway favorite resource or book right now, these days, that you’re like.

David Horsager: ooh that right now, this one’s hidden me.

Calvin Stovall: I have been you know I have been on this damon john kick for a while and you know, yes, yes, several books that he has but but I like his philosophy his whole hustle philosophy and and it’s kind of I mean I know he’s on that show, and all of that, but his books are really.

Calvin Stovall: kind of grassroots and so I like his approach to things and him having been with football and how he brought that up.

Calvin Stovall: I just love that whole hustle mentality so i’ve kind of been on his i’ve been on his coattails a little bit for the last last several months so he’s kind of been a guy i’ve been following quite a bit.

David Horsager: love it.

David Horsager: hey this has been a treat we’ve got one final question we asked everybody on the show before we do that question where can we find out everything about you.

David Horsager: Your framework and you’re even getting your podcast you’ve got iconic presentations.net will have linked in the show notes so everybody just look at the show notes iconic presentations.net anywhere else we should.

David Horsager: Look, or can we put everything there.

Calvin Stovall: You can find everything there pretty much but i’m almost all the socials you know, an iconic speaker on Twitter on g of course i’m only then.

Calvin Stovall: And you know in in so of course I do have that patek podcast called iconic mindset um I do that with a Co host and john of Allah and they’re on all of the platforms as well there, so you can just type in Calvin stobo iconic.

Calvin Stovall: he’ll come up.

David Horsager: I love it Calvin final question you’ve already you know offered a few of them in daymond john and john Maxwell but we always ask it’s the trusted leader show who is a leader you trust and why.

Calvin Stovall: Yes, there is a guy that I know.

Calvin Stovall: His name is Jim hall hauser Jim was the.

Calvin Stovall: brand leader or SVP for homewood suites when I was at Hilton.

Calvin Stovall: i’ll never forget, Jim because Jim was iconic particularly and how he laid his people he trusted us, and he, let us try things that had never been done before.

Calvin Stovall: Which, which is why I think homework was so successful and, of course, you had to make sure that the ideas that you brought on strategy and all that.

Calvin Stovall: But, but what I what was unique about Jim was that he was one of the best listeners talk about empathy in leadership that was it he embodied that and he was just a unique guy he actually runs focus brands now.

Calvin Stovall: But he so he’s he’s going over to to the food and beverage side of things.

Calvin Stovall: But, but he was just I will always remember him because he was just so different in his approach to leadership he had everything that you talk about the trust.

Calvin Stovall: The leadership calm and all of those things that was that was just him and that’s a guy if you want to emulate a great leader, he was the one.

Calvin Stovall: I love it yeah yeah.

David Horsager: Well, this has been fantastic it’s been really fun to reconnect Calvin.

David Horsager: yeah even though you’re you’ve you’ve.

David Horsager: flown the coupon Minnesota.

David Horsager: Lots of takeaways here today a few my favorites you can copy the product, but not the experience.

David Horsager: focus on what you can control success is a barrier to in ovation.

David Horsager: Then Everybody now knows the framework for being iconic be unique and authentic and passionate.

David Horsager: and consistent Calvin thanks for being on this has been the trusted leader show until next time stay trusted.

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