From his TV hosting duties on shows like C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett, and Executive Perspective to his radio show All Business, Jeffrey Hayzlett is at the top of his game, with a finger on the pulse of today’s business.
He’s a global business celebrity speaker, bestselling author and chairman of C-Suite Network. An author, Hayzlett penned two bestselling business books: Mirror Test and Running the Gauntlet and just released his third: Think Big, Act Bigger.
When Hayzlett talks, people listen. Even when – or maybe especially when – it goes against the grain of conventional wisdom.
“I tell everybody to not do anything you don’t want to do,” he says. “And I’m not trying to be a contrarian, I’m just trying to be me. I want to be me why would I want to be somebody else?”
The advice almost seems too simple. But Hayzlett makes a good point.
“What I’m trying to do is instill in everybody the ability to be able to tell their own story. And be their own story,” he begins. “What is it you’re trying to solve? What is it you’re trying to do and want to be?”
“What are the elements that make you ‘you’. When you know this you can eliminate all the things you don’t have to be, and focus on what you do best and who you are.”
Hayzlett says it’s all about the unique value of people and doubling down on one’s own strengths.
“A lot of people forget that. And companies forget that,” he explains. “They forget the unique value. People hear about unique selling propositions all the time and how they need to be able to stand out and sell more. But the key thing is to know your story.”
Hayzlett says that knowing your conditions of satisfaction are a key calculus of knowing yourself and finding success.
“In business, you typically set goals for yourself,” he says. “The difference between goals and conditions of satisfaction are what I refer to as promises. You make a promise with your kids to take them to Disneyworld. You don’t break that promise or they’ll kill you.
“So in business we need more promises, in life we need more promises and that’s what I call conditions of satisfaction.”
So what are Haylett’s own conditions for satisfaction?
“ Making money, do things that are interesting, and having fun.
“Those are the three standards I have to meet in order for me to do whatever I’m doing. Whether it’s with a client or a speech or consulting or buying a business and running the business or being a Fortune 100 CMO which I’ve done,” he explains. “I need all three of those things.”
[bctt tweet=”@JeffreyHayzlett Conditions for Satisfaction: Making money, do things that are interesting, and having fun.”]
What’s astonishing about Hayzlett is that even with having his own standards for achievement, he stays firmly connected to all of it. Staying grounded is part of what makes him so responsive on so many fronts and being grounded is something Hayzlett consciously works at.
“People write me all the time saying, “To the person who’s writing this on behalf of Jeff please thank them,” he chuckles. “I have to write back to say ‘no, it’s me’”
Sometimes Hayzlett has to preface emails with an note explaining that it is actually him contacting them, and not an intermediary. And though he does have people do some of his correspondence, he handles more than some would think. His groundedness is often captured in the almost apocryphal anecdote about how he cleans his own bathrooms.
“It keeps me grounded to the business,” he says. “It’s important for leaders to keep their hands dirty in the business. And though I don’t mean dirty figuratively, I’m talking about just in running the business, staying connected. So I clean my bathrooms in the business.”
“I have an office building in Sioux Falls and other offices, but when I’m there I clean the bathrooms,” he says flatly. “People ask, ‘Why do you clean the bathroom?’ I say well I like a clean bathroom, that’s one.”
But despite’s Hayzlett’s practical rationale about cleaning the bathrooms, there is, of course, more to his atypical habit. It’s about leadership.
“It shows people that one; I care about the most minute details of the business,” he says. Two, there’s no job that’s above me or below me. What I’m saying is if I do that job, there’s no job in the business you can complain or bitch or moan about when I ask you to do it.”
He goes on to explain that it shows the staff that he knows about their jobs and how they’re done. And when cleaning the bathroom, his mind wanders and muses on the reality of that business, what makes it tick.
Hayzlett literally does it all which is easy when you’re a millennial. Yes, a millennial. When pressed, he calls himself a millennial. When eyebrows are raised at that, Hayzlett has an explanation.
“People look at me like what, are you crazy? You’re 55 years old,” he chuckles. “I said I’m a millennial in mind because I think it’s a state of mind and because I am very connected.
“I’m probably one of the most connected people around. I walk around with the phone, an iPad, a computer or have those things within arm’s reach. They’re always connected and they’re always on and they’re always synced.”
Jeff Hayzlett, the 55-year-old millennial.
Listen to the full interview below.