Be Relentless with Jeffrey Hayzlett

EZ 15 | Be Relentless


In this episode, primetime TV and Radio Host, and Former Fortune 100 CMO, Jeffrey Hayzlett brings lessons from the highest levels of the C-Suite to stages, podcasts, and TV screens sharing the biggest strategies, advice, and stories from the most influential business leaders.

Here’s his take on success… “If I’ve learned one thing over the years, it’s that there’s no secret to success. It takes hard work, dedication, and your blood, sweat, and tears. Most people only do things when it’s convenient, and I’m here to tell you that hard work’s just that – hard work. But I promise it will be worth it in the end.”

This is an OUTSTANDING conversation…not to be missed! 🙂

Listen to the podcast here:

Be Relentless with Jeffrey Hayzlett

This episode is about being relentless. Our guest is the great business guru, Jeffrey Hayzlett. I have a love-hate relationship with the concept of being relentless. I’m someone who can hold onto something like how a dog holds a bone and is chewing and chewing it. I’ve got to admit that it’s gotten me far in life. I’m also aware that there are times that I might have been better off letting go, reflecting on other options or taking a break. I can be a bit of a control freak. I’ll argue my point until I win, that sometimes means winning the battle, but not necessarily winning a war. There’s a quality that I need to be monitoring within myself and I’m working on it. Maybe there are people who are even worse than I am, people who won’t give up until they get you to agree with them, so they get to win the battle. Even if they succeed in getting you to agree with them, you’re pretty much done with them. You don’t want to deal with that person anymore because they are so remarkably bullheaded, focused and controlling. The only way they’re going to get any pieces is to get you to believe them. They create a lot of drama around them.

I had a conversation about that process on a show. We were talking about how much of our awareness needs to come to bear before we realize that that we might be pushing too hard or being too controlling. Hence, my love-hate relationship with the idea of being relentless. There’s a distinction between being relentless and being bullheaded. I look around me and see there are lots of people who are bullheaded and are on that side of the spectrum. I also see a lot of people on the opposite side who give up too easily. People set a goal for themselves and they start moving towards it until they hit the first obstacle and then, they pull the plug.

For me, it comes down to mindfulness. Are you self-aware enough to realize when you’re barking up the wrong tree or when you don’t have the resilience to stay in an uncomfortable place? Do you have initiatives in your work or even in your home that you’ve started and then stopped too soon? Are your efforts a mile-wide and an inch-deep? Are you digging little holes and then moving onto the next little hole and then moving onto the next little hole? You’re hoping finally that you can figure it all out and get answers and results, but never digging in deep enough to get the results that you’re looking for. Do you have ideas that you’ve never executed? Then seeing other people take similar ideas all the way to the back because they stuck with it and they kept digging.

Thomas Edison never accepted defeat. For him, there was no failure, only feedback. When he was questioned about the process of inventing the light bulb, somewhere in the midst of the process, he was probably 9,000 attempts in at different filaments that might remain lit. Somebody said, “Are you discouraged by having failed 9,000 times?” He said, “I didn’t fail 9,000 times. I succeeded in finding 9,000 things that don’t work.” It’s a fascinating question. If there is no failure, only feedback, are you at least getting the feedback? Do you push on something too long or not long enough? How do you know which it is? How do you monitor your state of consciousness? How do you know when to give up and when to keep going? What does it take to develop a compelling enough vision that it’s worth being relentless?

Those things that drive us and pull us toward a lofty goal and a positive image of that might make the world a better place. That might help to benefit us and bring prosperity to us and our families that you know that’s something worth going for. How can you become relentless without becoming addicted? When does passion become an obsession? When does obsession cease to produce results? Maybe when we start looking at ourselves and evaluating our level of resourcefulness. Maybe we need to know when to take a break, when to change our focus, when to a step back.

Winning the battle does not necessarily win the war. Click To Tweet

There’s that quote that we all have heard by now, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Maybe it sounds like it argues against being relentless, but we’re going to look at the nuanced approach to being relentless. You are probably in some form of business, you’re probably a leader and you’ve probably gotten where you are because you’ve applied a certain amount of relentlessness, but to what end? Are you doing it with wisdom or are you doing it in a bullheaded way?

The flip side of the of the whole “don’t work too hard” argument are those stories about people who were about to give up and stuck around a few minutes longer and hit gold. I was introduced to a country singer, he was a winner of The Voice. Before he won, he was just about to give up. He was about to let go of his dream as a singer and pull the plug on the whole thing. He was despondent because of all the failures he experienced along the way. Yet had he stopped when he thought he would stop, his whole life would be entirely different. Jeffrey is the master of this question and I know he’s going to have an answer that is both wise and nuanced. He’ll set me straight about my wrap on being relentless and we’ll come up with ideas to improve your business which must grow or perish. Our topic is being relentless and I will be speaking with media, personality and international business guru, Jeffery Hayzlett.

EZ 15 | Be Relentless

Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless

I’m thrilled to be introducing our guest, Jeffrey Hayzlett. He is the primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives on C-Suite TV, and business podcast host of All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on C-Suite Radio. He’s a global business celebrity speaker, bestselling author and Chairman and CEO of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. Jeffrey is a well-traveled public speaker, former Fortune 100 CMO, and author of three bestselling business books. Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless, Running the Gauntlet and The Mirror Test.

Jeffery Hayzlett is one of the most compelling figures in business and an inductee into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame. As a leading business expert, Jeffrey is frequently cited in Forbes, SUCCESS, Mashable, Marketing Week and Chief Executive. He shares his executive insight and commentary on television networks like Bloomberg, MSNBC, Fox Business and C-Suite TV. He is a former Bloomberg computing editor and primetime host that has appeared as a guest celebrity judge on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump for three seasons. He’s a turnaround architect of the highest order and maverick marketer. He is a C-Suite executive who delivers scalable campaigns, embraces traditional modes of customer engagement, and possesses a remarkable cachet of mentorship, corporate governance and brand building. In my own personal experience of having met and worked with Jeff, he’s a great guy. Welcome, Jeffrey.

It’s good to be here. Thanks so much, I appreciate it.

It’s an absolute pleasure to have you here. Where have you been in a world these days?

I travel about every single day. I’m on the road about 260 days of the year, hundreds of thousands of miles. I just got back from South Dakota. I was at my ranch and I was back home tending to some family things. I had to go see a nephew’s birthday party and do some family stuff. You’ve got to check in and be a real person from time to time instead of doing all this southern stuff.

A lot of people get overbalanced on the work side of things and it’s a breath of fresh air to hear somebody of your caliber saying you need to do that other stuff too.

It’s tough for me because I am a workaholic. I had to talk about this professionally. I had to go to some retreats and get some help for it because I love to work, which is bad if you’re an alcoholic or drug addict or something, they try and take it away from you. When you’re working, everybody says, “Good job.”

It’s the least popular addiction there is.

I went to this workshop and I was with all these alcoholics, addicts, sex addicts, drug addicts and everything you can think of. I was sitting in the back of the room, and I’ll tell you how bad it is when you’re a workaholic. I’m figuring out the take of the room, how much the workbooks costs, how much the staff costs, how much the meals costs. I was thinking, “This is a pretty good business.” That’s how bad it gets.

If you’re an alcoholic and you’re a recovering alcoholic, you don’t go into the bars. When you are recovering workaholic, it’s hard to avoid the things that pull you in.

Especially when you love what you do. My wife says all the time, “You’d do this for nothing.” I said, “Don’t tell anybody.” That’s how we keep score. I enjoy it so much. I lay at night in the bed hoping I’ll hurry up and sleep so I can get started the next day. That’s how excited I am about it. Although there are times, like any entrepreneur and any person in business, I get like, “This is nonsense. I’m tired. I’m done with this I don’t want to do this anymore.” There are times when you get like that, but those are fleeting moments. As a cowboy would say, “Farts in the wind.” You’ve got to get over that stuff.

There is no failure, only feedback. Click To Tweet

I’ve got a good friend who’s a mindfulness coach and he says, “It should be like water off a duck’s back.” We challenge you to face sticky rice. You don’t want to stick into you, you want it to roll off.

It’s not easy. You do take it personally and too real. People with great values and people who want to do great things and good things. It’s tough some days to do it. I have a podcast show called All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett right on the C-Suite Radio Network as well. The biggest thing I talked about to most executives is always about people, it’s about talent. Those are the biggest issues that we have to face and motivating people, get them going, do the right things. It gets a little down, but I’m ready to be up now.

You heard my wrap on relentlessness, I’m curious what your thoughts were about.

It was awesome, Steve. In my last book, Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless, I’m not the best at what I do, but I am relentless at what I do in terms of trying and trying. I love your story about Thomas Edison because it’s so true. People looked at him as failing but he wasn’t failing, he was just finding different ways to improve the light bulb. In everything that you do, especially in business, you are going to fail. The key is to win and to win the best you can. An idea without implementation is just air. It’s important for you to be relentless in the scope of the things that you want to do, but you’ve got to be realistic in that too. One of the underlying themes is when you know to give it up and say, “This isn’t right. This dog isn’t going to hunt.” That comes with the experience of understanding that it isn’t going to work that way. I’ve done things, I’ve built things and hope that people would come and they never showed up. I didn’t even think about it as an idea. I spent a lot of money doing it, but the key was to figure out the right ways to do it. Being relentless is if you test it and find out that this is where it should be, what it should be, how it should be and you’ll get there.

Being relentless is about staying with it, but it’s not about staying with the exact same thing over and over.

It’s like, “That hurts.” It’s like hitting your hand with a hammer. You still got to pound the nail but you don’t have to hit it in your hand. That hurts, so change that. To be relentless in the pursuit of greatness for the things that you want to do, it means that that idea at the time of what you were doing was a stupid one in hindsight. Sometimes it could be improved on. You have to learn that it’s not the tactics that you have to worry about, it’s being relentless in terms of the overall goal or where you want to go.

Be relentless in the pursuit of greatness. Click To Tweet

Don’t get addicted to the tactics because they might be crap.

Be relentless about what you’re going to do. Let’s say if I’m going to build the C-Suite network, I’m going to build the world’s most trusted network. I try things all the time and that didn’t work. That doesn’t mean my idea’s bad and that the value of what I’m trying to build is bad, it means that that tactic didn’t work, that step didn’t work. Let’s get to the next step. I tried to build something for online, for executives to come to. They don’t want to go, it’s not in their behavior pattern. We built it, spent $1 million on it, and they never showed up. Let’s stop doing that. That still doesn’t mean that the value of a network isn’t good. The value of the network is awesome because I hear that all the time.

It’s about not getting addicted to the tactics and not even getting addicted to what the thing is going to look like. You have to stay with the ultimate dream. In your case, creating a network. That’s the ultimate dream, but maybe what it’s going to look like has to change.

In the stuff that I’m doing now, I’m building with C-Suite TV, C-Suite Radio, C-Suite Book Club, C-Suite Network, C-Suite Advisors, the Hero Club, all the things that we wrap into our network. I’m building it and flying the plane at the same time. I’m flying this plane and I’m attaching wings to it, fixing the tail rudder. I’m putting new tires on it as we fly it in, but I’m not giving up on it. The things that I’m doing along the way, it’s like, “That part didn’t work, let’s get a part that works.” I’m doing that constantly. You need to understand that that’s okay. It’s not perfect, it shouldn’t be. If it was perfect or easy, everybody else would do it.

EZ 15 | Be Relentless

Be Relentless: Understand that if it were perfect and easy, everybody would be doing it.


People tend to divide up into different categories. The people who tend to manage this experience that you’re describing, building the plane while you’re flying, it’s a certain mentality. You’ve got to be the person who’s comfortable with complexity and uncertainty. Not everybody is, but people can learn from.

I don’t know if they can always learn to be, but they can be more comfortable or tolerant inside of their own deal. I think who you are is who you are. I don’t think we changed much of that, the way we behave or we’re tolerant of others. We’re wired to be analytical, to be a driver and to be expressive or amiable. We’re pretty much in those buckets. Sally Hogshead has a little bit different twist. We all have different twists on it, but we have certain ways on which we’re wired. From the time we were raised when we were little and our own DNA make us up that way.

Our environment impacts a lot of that. Once we’re there, it’s tough for me to change. I can learn those things and be tolerant of them but doesn’t mean I’m going to do them. I have people on the team who are Debbie Downers and come to me, “This is broken. Did anyone die?” No one died. Let’s walk our self through that. Let me walk you off the cliff and let me show you that this is okay. We’re going to lose X percentage of our customers per year or members because that’s the nature of the business. We’re never going to keep 100%. I knew that and we’ll lose X percentage. Can we minimize that number? Can we reduce that over time? Can we get better reliability, greater customer satisfaction? Can we get greater customer attention? Those are the things that you have to learn and improve on.

You’ve got people who fall into the different buckets and have different personality profiles. Everybody’s got their strengths and weaknesses. If you fit into one category, you might be particularly strong in forging ahead and keeping a positive outlook. Other people might be detail-oriented, but they’re like a Debbie Downer. What do we do with our strengths and weaknesses? Do we try to strengthen the weaknesses or do we try to strengthen our strengths?

It depends on what it is. I tend to try to focus on the things I do well and try to backfill with people who are good at other things. I practice what I call the Caitlin Rule, which is in the first story in my last book. A young woman came to me right before we were leaving for the meeting and said, “Do we need to take color copies?” We’re about to go and present to a CEO who we’re helping to make his company public and I was advising him. I said, “You’re new here. You probably don’t know the rules, but you get to ask me 21 questions. That’s all you get to ask me this entire month. You get 21 questions in which you can ask about the meaning of life. You can ask me, ‘Does this dress make me look fat?’ You can ask me, ‘Where’s the best Italian restaurant in New York City? What’s the best way to get to work? What’s the best train?’ Is that one of your 21 questions?”

She goes, “I don’t think so.” I said, “Good career move. If I have to answer that, what do I need you for?” It’s incumbent upon great leaders in the businesses not to do the jobs of other people. I’ve got talented people. That’s what I hire you for, that’s why I want you. I dealt with a great sales coach who I love. He has the no show, do rule. I know it, I’ll show you, now you do it. I give everybody that cadence. Once I show them to do it, I’m not doing it again. I’ll let you make a mistake or time or two, but if you keep it up and then you’ve shown me your reliability is to be incompetent. If I give you a couple of times when you could mess up, but if you keep doing it then you’re unreliable and incompetent. It’s important for us to focus on what we do well, as leaders of the business, and then backfill with the people who are good at the other things. For instance, I can’t stand accounting, I can’t stand finance. I’m not good at the details. I can do details, but I don’t want to.

It’s incumbent upon leaders in the businesses not to do the jobs of other people. Click To Tweet

Most of the better leaders that I know are people who have built a fairly broad spectrum of skill sets. In a pinch, they can do all of those things because that gives them the wisdom or the insight to be able to look at the people who are doing it for them and say, “Is this person at least towing the line or not?”

Are they pulling the wool over your eye? If someone says, “You can’t do that in salesforce,” you can because I’ve done it. I do it all the time and I do it better than you do. You better get better than me. It’s great for a leader to walk in the shoes of everybody. When I was a Chief Marketing Officer at Eastman Kodak, I used to go to Best Buy. I’d put on a blue shirt and sell printers because I wanted to see what it was like in the field and what it was like. People couldn’t say, “This is what customers are saying.” I knew what customers are saying because I was out there on a Sunday working with a blue shirt at Best Buy and that’s important for you to do.

I was a Chief Marketing Officer of a multibillion-dollar company. I had a marketing and sales budget of $17 billion and here I am putting on a blue shirt working at Best Buy on a Sunday. I wanted to be able to walk the talk and understand what customers were saying about the product, that way I knew for sure. Over time, you get good at it. You start trusting your team more and more. The more you trust your team, the better. Sometimes when I didn’t always trust the data, I’m going to go find out for myself.

I wish all leaders took the time to go out and do that and truly know what’s going on in the field.

Good salespeople, marketing execs and CEOs, that’s what they do. I was at a company where the president of the company and the CEO of the company never met with customers. They used to push that off to the Head of Sales and to me as the Marketing Head. That blew my mind because, to me, that was the thing.

You can’t lead anybody to do it if you don’t know what yourself. You’re a competent guy and sometimes the frustration is that it can be difficult finding people that could do what you can do, if not better than you.

Nobody can do it as good as you. Remember that movie, The Replacements with Gene Hackman with Keanu Reeves. He says, “Winners always want them all.” Most great leaders always want them all, “I don’t think there’s anybody who can do it as well as I can.” That’s egotistical, call it big headed. That’s what I believe, that’s my competence level. Do I ever once in a while get my butt kicked? Yes, that means I’m not on my game that day. The key is to try to find people. A third of folks would get it right away, a third would eventually get it and a third never will. In operations or companies, I call it the Rule of Thirds. It’s that way with customers, it’s that way with everything. It’s always about getting rid of the bottom third and we don’t spend enough time doing that. We coddle a bottom third. We try to bring them along. I’m going like, “No, stop doing that.” I know I’m going to turn over team members and I prefer not to do that, but that’s what I will do. If I have to do it, I’m going to find the people who are going to be the top two thirds. That’s what I want. I want customers, vendors, partners, and investors who are at the top two thirds. I don’t want to deal with the bottom-thirds.

EZ 15 | Be Relentless

Be Relentless: Nobody can do it as good as you.


You’re holding people to a higher standard.

I call it conditions of satisfaction. I like to have conditions of satisfaction. There’s some interest from language out there that I worked with people years ago to develop that piece. In everything that we do, there’s always a customer and there’s always a performer, no matter what you do. You’ve got to figure out what’s your role in that action cycle. Are you the customer or the performer? In either way, don’t you want to have great clear conditions of satisfaction? If I’m the performer, then I want to know what the conditions of satisfaction for the customer. If I’m the customer, I’m the CEO and I’m asking my team, “I want this and this.” I want to be clear about my conditions of satisfaction, so you know what I want. That includes the color of it, the timing of it, the price of it, the quality of it. Whatever it is, I want to be clear about that because then I know what I’m going to get. I know how I’m going to get it, when I’m going to get it, at what price I’m going to get at, what level of satisfaction I’m going to get. It makes the world a lot cleaner. We don’t spend enough time in business talking about conditions of satisfaction and the more you do, the less hassle it creates. What we do is we assume these things and that’s a pain in the ass.

Conditions of satisfaction, the clarity piece, and then the inability to communicate, that’s an ongoing process. We can all get better and better at noticing the muddiness of our communication or the muddiness of whether or not I thought this thing through enough to know what it is I want to communicate.

That’s the action cycle. Here’s the offer from the customer, here’s our negotiation in the terms of conditions of satisfaction. Then there’s the actual performance of doing it, there’s delivery and acceptance. That’s the action cycle. The more time you spend on that, it’ll make the doing a lot easier.

The more you do, the less hassle it create. Click To Tweet

There are certain industries in which that shows up in a more broken, dysfunctional way than others. I’ve had some work done on my house. In my experience, it’s hard to find people in the building trades who are consistently good at these conditions of satisfaction, action cycle because the communication piece is lacking. You say, “We’ll put an extension on my house.” As time goes on we started refining exactly what needs to happen and the original bid changing, but nobody says anything. Then you get surprised by that. This is useful for those people who are self-employed. For people who have a business where they’re having a conflict or they’re experiencing dissatisfaction or causing dissatisfaction for others, maybe they need to be looking more deeply at conditions of satisfaction.

The whole notion that this is a promise. Not stories but promises. What’s your promise to me? What’s my promise to you now? That’s how we talk in our company, we talk about, “What’s the promise here?” When people are all talking about what we’ve got, doing a brochure or we’ve got to do this, people all start talking about it like it’s this thing. I always say, “What’s the promise?” They go, “What do you mean? We’re doing a brochure.” I go, “No, that’s an idea. What’s the color? Is it at full power? What’s the size? Is it trifold? Is it a double fold? Is it multi pages?” We’re talking about what the promise is and what’s it supposed to be doing. Is it supposed to be in glossy stock? Once you outline all that stuff, then that’s the promise. I need to know if you’re making the promise, you’re delivering on the promise. If you’re delivering on the promise, then we get out of all these other stories that we get.

One of the biggest problems that we have is not being good customers. You’ve mentioned the house work on this stuff, we need to be better customers. To call the contractor and say, “That’s not acceptable. I’m dissatisfied.” I don’t think we do enough of that. That’s not being a pain in the ass, rude, or mean. It’s saying, “You made a promise. This is what you said you were going to do in this state. You didn’t deliver that promise, you’re not reliable, you’re not competent or you’re insincere. My trust with you has been broken.” You can speak in those in the manner and that’s important to do.

For a lot of people, that means a little bit more assertiveness training, a little bit more willingness to confront and learn how, so that it doesn’t feel so uncomfortable that it turns into an emotional battle.

For some people, that’s tough and I get that, that’s okay. You can continue to have people walk over you, that’s okay if that’s what you want. I don’t think that’s what you would like to see happen. How do we fix that? It’s like the hammering, you have to hammer his nail but you keep the hammer in your thumb, “That hurts.” Stop that, change the way you do it.

That story about the guy sitting on the construction site. He opens up his sandwich box and then he says, “Bologna again.” He does it every day and his friend finally says, “If you don’t like bologna, why don’t you get your wife to make you something else?” He says, “What are you talking about? I make my own sandwich.” Getting back to relentless, how can leaders be relentless without being plain old stubborn and missing the cues about when it’s time to try something new?

I talked about that in my last book as well. Leaders are supposed to be a little bit irrational from time to time. I have a television show that was on Bloomberg and it was a primetime show Thursday night. it was a show that was called the C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett. I did a show where Life Technologies was selling with Thermo Fisher for about $13 billion. They’re about a $4 billion company and they’re selling for about three times revenue, which is awesome. When I went to interview them while they were in the process of being sold because I thought it was interesting, the entire C-Suite was going to be wiped out. Their job was to sell the company and they were going to lose their jobs in the end. I thought that would be an interesting thing to cover. What were the conversations like in the C-Suite that’s what the premise of the show is all about? I go to places where 95% of the people or 99% of the people worked for the company never get to go into the board rooms and into the C-Suite and have conversations with the C-level executives.

EZ 15 | Be Relentless

Be Relentless: Leaders are supposed to be a little bit irrational from time to time.


I was covering Greg Lucier, who was the CEO of the company at that time. Greg’s a former GE executive. Now, he’s gone on and he’s an investor and doing another CEO job somewhere else right now. He was speaking to a group of Harvard MBA alumni in San Diego and we were cutting what we call a B-Roll. That’s where I’m sitting and listening to them and the cameras cut over me, show him and show the people in the audience, so when I’m talking later, we’ve got some good footage to show. He said, “Leaders must be irrational.” I thought, “What?” This is a biotech company. It’s mapping the human genome and he’s in a publicly traded scientific Company. He’s sitting here saying that we should be irrational. I wrote it down, I was circling it and got my producer to do a close up on my notes. I was going to chew on his ass. I was going to hit them hard like, “Why would you say such a thing?” He said, “Sometimes in our companies, we must take company from point A to B. As leaders, we’ve got to tell them we’re going way over here to see way over here so we can get them to B.” We’ve got to be a little bit like that high school coach. Did you play sports?

I was a soccer player before soccer was popular.

You remember at the end of the practice, you’ve got to do sprints or running around the field or something and you’re exhausted and think, “I’m done.” You collapse on the ground and the whole team and the coach says, “Do another one.” You think, “He’s crazy. I’m going to die.” You did it and you didn’t die. We have to be relentless in that manner and we have to be a little irrational. We have to put the goal further out there that we can sometimes get in order to get to a better place than we are now. If they’re doing it when impossible goals are impossible to reach or impossible situations, that’s a little different. It’s important for leaders to be a little bit irrational and somewhat pigheaded.

I’ve got a favorite play, a mantra, called Don Quixote. I quoted this in my last show, but there’s a scene in this play where somebody says to Don Quixote, “You’re just a dreamer, you’re not looking at reality.” He says, “Maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as ought to be.” It’s this willingness to look beyond the appearance and beyond the seeming limitations to what’s possible beyond them. Maybe we aren’t going to get all the way there, but let’s at least shake the tree a little bit

Go for it as much as we can.

An idea without implementation is just air. Click To Tweet

Any favorite books, Jeffrey?

There are so many. I read all the time. I’m reading one of Montefiore’s Jerusalem. My favorite books are always biographies and reading about the lives of other people. Ever since I was little, I’ve always enjoyed that. I do like reading business books. One of my favorite ones is How to Win Friends and Influence People, Think and Grow Rich, The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. The Salesman by Og Mandino. These are the classic classics. I also like things like Barbarians At the Gate, that was one of the first big books I read about the takeover of RJR Reynolds Nabisco. When I read that, I was hooked on business from there on out. I had been in politics for years and I finally realized that businesses are a lot like politics. I live those kinds of things every single day. I’m watching what’s going on with blockchain, crypto, medical marijuana, AI and robotics.

I haven’t read Barbarians at the Gate, but now you’ve got me curious.

It’s an old book in the mid ‘80s, but it’s great read. Michael Lewis wrote a bunch of different books like that. There were some good books.

One of the books that popped into my mind was a little tiny book called Acres of Diamonds. The guy’s digging around and he was moments away from finding his wealth.

EZ 15 | Be Relentless

The Old Man and the Boy

I also read lots of books, I like hunting and fishing books, Robert Ruark, The Old Man and The Boy, and The Old Man’s Boy Grows Older. He was a classic. He was very much like Ernest Hemingway. In fact, they were compared to each other. Both committed suicide unfortunately, both are manic depressive.

It’s unfortunate how many great, brilliant minds also suffer.

Depression is a bad thing. I battled through my own bouts of it, but I’ve learned to cope with it.

It enriches your life if you know how to manage it. If you’ve had depression, anxiety and you understand the power of developing your mind in the same way that you would vanquish and an outside enemy, you’re working on vanquishing the enemy within. I’m curious and interested to think more about this idea of customers, actors and performers. You’re always one or the other. When you’re the CEO and you’re placing a demand on people on your team, you’re a customer and they a performer. I never thought of it that way, but the dynamics carry over nicely. That’s one of the big takeaways for me.

If you sit down at a restaurant, you’re a customer or a performer. If you’re sitting and watching a player, you are a customer or performer. If you’re in a conversation with your wife, are you the customer or the performer? If you look at it from that perspective, everything that you do, you’re helping you. When you sit down with your grandchildren, are you the customer or performer? It depends. Many times, you’re the performer because you’re trying to teach, show. A lot of times you have to be the customer, like take out the garbage or do the chores and do the thing. It helps us get out of the stories of what is it we’re trying to get accomplished. If you think like that, it’s easier to have a lot of those conversations. Sometimes you just need to listen and be there.

I can see how that could make you a great leader. You’re not talking stories, you’re not talking personalities, you’re not attacking anybody’s fundamental humanity, but you’ve got expectations. Are they being met or are they not being met?

It’s very much clear. I wrote something on my Facebook. I was in some private conversations with people who wouldn’t let other people have an opinion about certain things. It was so stupid and trivial in terms of the conversation, but important for the conversation. The people who were having the conversation wouldn’t allow other people to voice their opinion and I thought, “I’m done with this. I’m not going to have conversations with these people anymore. I’m just done.” I would choose that you allow people to have these kinds of conversation or I’m not playing with you. That’s not being rude or mean. It just says, “I live up to this expectation. I’m okay with it.”

It’s clean boundaries. It’s about what you call conditions of satisfaction. I appreciate it. To learn more about Jeffrey and to find out about bringing him to your business, to teach your team to be relentless and to enter his world, he’s got a great website, If you’ve enjoyed the show, please send your comments to Feel free to suggest a topic that’s particularly meaningful to you. Your host is an author with a deep knowledge of mindfulness, positive psychology, and communication. I’d be very happy to draw in my 30-year career and a rather large Rolodex to bring you shows from guests that are most relevant to your needs. If you’d like to learn how to bring me to your company to create a mindful holistic organization of fearless leaders, contact me through

It’s great for a leader to walk in the shoes of everybody. Click To Tweet

We like to end our shows with a metaphor, a quote and a challenge. The metaphor for this episode is the woodpecker. A woodpecker pecking along at a tree and working his way deeper and deeper into the pulp of that tree to find whatever it is woodpeckers like to eat. I would equate that with being relentless. It’s a great thing to be a woodpecker pecking away and getting your pulp, bugs or whatnot are in there for your consumption. You could be a woodpecker pecking at a telephone pole by mistake. You could peck all you want, you’re not going to get what you want to get out of it. Be the woodpecker who’s smart enough to realize that maybe you’re pecking on the wrong item. That’s that thing we talked about in regard to take a look and see if you need to do things a little bit differently, change your tactics. Keep the goal but change your tactics in order to get you where you want to go.

The quote for the day comes from an unlikely source. Most of you know that one of my skillsets is magic and there’s a guy by the name of David Blaine. A lot of people know some magicians like them. Some of them are a little bit rankled by. He said, “Whether you’re shuffling a deck of cards or holding your breath, magic is pretty simple. It comes down to training, practice and experimentation followed up by a ridiculous pursuit and relentless perseverance.” With that, I’m going to leave our challenge for this episode to our guest, Jeffery Hayzlett, to share his challenge with you.

Since we get to talk about conditions of satisfaction, let me ask you what are your personal conditions of satisfaction? What are your satisfaction goals or conditions of satisfaction for your personal? How about your family? How about the spiritual? How about your business side? With friends? What are your conditions of satisfaction? The clearer we are about those and make your life a lot easier. When I enter into business relationships, I know what my conditions of satisfaction are before going in and I know if it’s the right fit for me. I don’t think twice. It takes me ten seconds to figure it out that this is a good thing or a bad thing. Yes, I’m doing it or no, I’m that. What are your personal conditions of satisfaction?

Thank you so much, Jeffrey. What a great conversation. When we return next episode, my guest will be White Institute Founder, Dr. Gary Sanchez. We’re going to about talking about finding your why and applying it to your branding. Share this with your friends, subscribe to my podcast, visit iTunes, find my channel Executive Zen and tune in to my show right on C-Suite, Jeffrey’s organization. Thank you to all of you. Live consciously and profit responsibly.

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About Jeffrey Hayzlett

EZ 15 | Be Relentless

Primetime TV & Podcast Host, Keynote Speaker, Best-Selling Author and Global Business Celebrity

Jeffrey Hayzlett is a primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives on C-Suite TV, and business podcast host of All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on C-Suite Radio. He is a global business celebrity, speaker, best-selling author, and Chairman of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. Hayzlett is a well-traveled public speaker, the author of two bestselling business books, The Mirror Test and Running the Gauntlet, and Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless. Hayzlett is one of the most compelling figures in business today and a member of the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame.

Jeffrey is a leading business expert, cited in Forbes, SUCCESS, Mashable, Marketing Week and Chief Executive, among many others. He shares his executive insight and commentary on television networks like Bloomberg, MSNBC, Fox Business, and C-Suite TV. Hayzlett is a former Bloomberg contributing editor and primetime host, and has appeared as a guest celebrity judge on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump for three seasons. He is a turnaround architect of the highest order, a maverick marketer and C-Suite executive who delivers scalable campaigns, embraces traditional modes of customer engagement, and possesses a remarkable cachet of mentorship, corporate governance, and brand building.

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