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Ms. Michelle Reines with Badass Leadership talks about why you need Badass Leadership Today!
20th November 2020 • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie
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In this week's Industrial Talk Podcast, we're talking to Michelle Reines, Founder and Head Leader, at Badass Leadership about "Being Bold and the 12 Badass Leadership skills for today's challenges". Get the answers to your "Leadership" questions along with Michelle's unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!

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Scott MacKenzie


Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott MacKenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots. And let's get right it's another episode of the industrial talk podcast. This platform, of course, is dedicated to you, the women and men of industry, the women of men, of manufacturing, all things in between you are bold, you're brave, you dare greatly you innovate like nobody's business, you're changing the lives and you're changing the world as we speak. That's why we celebrate you on this particular podcast, because we just plain love you. All right, in the hot seat in the hot seat this time, Michelle is her name. Reines is the last name that's spelled r e i n e s. Badass Leadership is the company. She's the founder of that wonderful leadership company. It's a great conversation. She brings mad skills. Let's get cracking. All right. You're gonna like this conversation. You just can't bring the goods if you come in and say, hey, I've got badass leadership skills. You can't you've got to live those bad, badass leadership skills. And she does man. She's got a great, great attitude. Great story. Great motivation. Absolutely wonderful conversation. Okay, we're gonna make this one quick. Again, you need to be collaborating, innovating, right? And you need to be educating all the time, all the time. Because you need to be resilient. You need to be tenacious, and you need to do it with a sense of speed, we need you more than ever. Absolutely. Without a doubt, we need you more than ever. Now, you can always go out to industrial that's where I'm at. Reach out to me, I would love to have a conversation with you. I would love to be able to get you on the podcast, I would love to be able to celebrate your story because your story needs to be told, get on this doggone podcast. And let's get that story out there. Because you deserve it. Yeah. And and I'm the water's fine, man, I'm, I make it easy for you. You don't even have to worry, you don't have to sit there and say, Oh my gosh, I'm going to be on a on a podcast, we're gonna be heard by a lot of people. It's, we have a great time. But the most important thing, the most important thing is that you do need to get your story out. It does have to happen. You have a wonderful message to tell people who need to hear it. And more than ever, right? And that's why this bolt. This platform is about collaboration. 100% It is about innovation. We highlight all of the great people that are in the world of innovation, you know that? And it's all about education. We got everything out there on industrial reach out, Doggone it I saw technology baby. I can I can reach you in a big way. All right. She's in the hot seat. Michelle is in the hot seat. She's got a great snack card out there on LinkedIn. But I get you got to understand, man, I love this type of candid reality type of points and we go through all 12 and it goes by fast and she doesn't mess around. And we have a great conversation. So enjoy this particular interview because she's badass. Alright, Michelle rhiness. Welcome to the industrial talk podcast absolute, and I mean, absolute honor that you have taken time out of your busy schedule. And I think you're at the West Coast and it's still early there.


Yes, it is. I have one cup of coffee down so far. Oh, yeah. I'm


a coffee. off of that. It's good stuff. By the way. good coffee, Stumptown.


Oh, haven't heard of that one.


Oh, you got a Stumptown there you go Stumptown, I just give me a plug out there they go. Cool beans, grinded French press it delicious. Whoo.


I can think I can handle that.


Yeah, it is. It's it is good. All right, for the listeners out there. Now, I want to make sure you understand listeners, you need to go right now why she's telling her story about who she is sort of a little background loop. For one one, you need to get your paper and pencil because we're going to go down 12 and has this cool, badass leadership, things that you need to consider and write them down. Plus, we're going to have a lot of connections. So Fear not, you're gonna be able to connect with Michelle in a big way because you're not going to be disappointed. Alright Michelle, with that, give us a little 411 on who you are.


Absolutely. My name is Michelle Reines. I'm a Southern California bass gal but originally a Midwestern are out of shy town. Love it. miss it, especially the pizza and the hot dogs and the baby


food is just oh my god is committed to the food. Food Industry stuffs fine, but the food is where it's at.


It's not Yeah, I think on a diet. Just to go Because I always gain five to seven in three days. It's


insane. It's delicious.


Yes, yes. Anyway, so I'm a leadership development coach now. But really, I'm, you know, a grassroots gal I grew up, started out in sales, and then worked my way up through operational leadership and made a lot of mistakes. Hence, the book is called from bad to badass. So the book is primarily about all the bumps and bruises. And so that's been my journey. And that's where these lessons were born from, from all the mistakes that I've made all the human capital casualties that I've caused, the operational dysfunctions that happened along the way. And so really, that's who I am and why I'm doing the work I'm doing as a badass leader.


I like it. And if you were listening to a little buzzer back there, I had a fan on me. So I'm sorry about that. I've, I've shut it down.


You hot flashing this morning.


I'm always hot flashes. I'm always warm. I don't know. And I live in Louisiana. It's amazing. I'm gonna digress real quick. When we first moved out here 20 years ago, I remember and we moved from California Yorba Linda area and moved out here. And I remember, mowing my lawn in Yorba Linda took me about a half hour max. And that's with chit chatting with the neighbors. Coming here. I got this big ol yard, I thought it was gonna have a coronary. A ride mower with a cup holder. Right? So let's let's start into what we're talking about what if this was a leadership conversation, this is truly important. You know, as well, as I do listeners out there, we've been talking a lot about collaboration, innovation and education, with a sense of speed and purpose, and tenacity. This is where we're at today. This is what you need to do. And all of the conversations that I have, regarding any innovation, technology, anything like that it gets down to culture, and people, you need leaders. And if you've been listening to the podcast, you know that I think this challenge is to finger death punch that we had with COVID highlighted, unfortunately, are fortunately, great leaders, and not so great leaders. And I think I put the pressure on the ones that are not so great. And and really expose some of the challenges. And that's why this conversation is so, so spectacular. All right. I'm going to start out with the question real quick, Michelle, like, let's let's lay the mistakes down. You said you made eggs. Just let's talk a little bit about that.


There are so many let me start with my, what I call my cataclysmic wake up call, which was when I was, you know, I firsthand experience the Peter Principle. So for those of you who haven't heard of it, it's when you're promoted to your level of incompetence, which I most definitely was the greatest sales field, put some fantastic numbers up on the board, got some recognition from the powers that be at the corporate headquarters and boom, earned a promotion. Now I had 14 to 18 lives it was responsible for and zero competency when it came to understanding how to lead. And my wake up came in the form of a pile of resignations and in keys and some very colorful language letting me know where I could stick it and what they thought of me. And it wasn't and you know, the the scariest part about it is I was oblivious. You know, I was an unconscious manager, I wasn't a leader. So I lacked self awareness, I had no idea I was blowing it, especially when it came to human capital. And that was the first time that I realized and really became familiar with my mere with it my team, that's my results. And I was fortunate enough to be 25 at the time, or just turning 26. So to get that lesson at such a young age was really important because it really set the course correction for me of what would be a lifelong commitment to learning how to lead.


Isn't it interesting how companies and as happens all across that it's not one company or another companies just do this, you have success, you have success out in the field, you're doing whatever you need to do. And there's just this natural tendency to say, ah, success out in the field, great leader. Not the case carry on. It just happens over and over again. And not only that great leader, but we don't have to train because we don't want to train. We don't want to educate. We don't want to do all of that. But why not? Because she's had success over here. guaranteed success over there. And it just is an absolute. I could say some


It's dangerous. It's a little dangerous. Yeah.


Not to say it doesn't happen successfully. And sometimes it does, but that's the reality of it. So you have this experience. You're saying Damn, I got I've got some challenges here. People are putting the right and Yeah, you got to build it back up. You got to figure out you have some real challenges. So this started your journey on on the badass leadership road. Is that correct?


I would say that the real the reality of badass leader was wasn't born until after I became a leadership coach. But I definitely got on the path of recognizing that I needed to do something differently for people to want to play on my team. And at that time, we're talking early 1990. So I'm 56 now, right? So in early 1990s, there wasn't, you know, an abundance of great leadership books, we were still very top down as, as leaders. And then I'm a female leader in downtown Chicago, right. So man's down, especially in the 1990s. So I didn't have a lot of resources didn't have the support. So I had to figure out how to basically bolt it together, and, and try different things to figure out how to get people to want to get out of bed and come and play their ass off for me on my team. And so that's where I started to get on the path of Okay, how do I figure it out? And one of the first things I did was Well, first off the bad news, the really bad news that made that cataclysmic failure even worse is I was working in a unionized an environment. Yeah, you don't want to mess with the union. People.


My there man, bad.


Shy town unions. Yeah, I mean, it was so I really blew it. So I had, you know, the unions weren't anxious to bring and give me personnel replacement personnel. And I'm sure not going to have people walk through, you know, in the blacklisted because they're, you know, trying to come to work for me. So I had a lot of bridge rebuilding to do and trust to earn before I could even start rehiring. So it was it was bad news was with the engineering and janitorial unions and downtown for building managers. not pretty. Yeah. So but great experience, you know, and what a great education for me to figure out how to, you know, choke down some Humble Pie very quickly, and then figure out how do I now get replacement workers it'll it'll come to come to work for me because my reputation was was crap at that point.


Yeah. I don't want to ask what you did. It was not fun. It was easy. Hi, I found the the napalm bomb. Just sitting there just torching and it's sticking on people and everything. I've been there done that I know exactly what it's all about. Let's, let's turn the table. All right, paper and pencil time. Everybody out there. We're gonna go through the the 12. Right. The 12 is I can't say 12 steps. It's not


your ship lessons.


That's about right. That's 12 leadership lessons. And we're gonna start with number one. Okay, paper and pencil right here. It's easy. It's an easy one. Talk about Don't be an ass. Exactly.


Yeah, talk, guys. Yeah, so that was my that was my first bull ride, what I call in the book, my bull ride my fall from grace. So with that team, that's why


you are NASS,


you're an ass absolute ass. And I was oblivious to that fact, which is actually quite dangerous. And, and over the years, I've worked with a lot of executive leaders and middle mid level leaders that are oblivious to the fact that they're also a mass. And so that lack of self awareness is scary, especially in an environment, which was the environment I was in where the metrics were looking good. I mean, we were month over month kicking butt. And so on paper, if you're sitting in a C suite, and you're looking at reports, you're thinking Michelle is out there getting it done, and her team's kicking ass. And the reality is the way I went about it, it's not sustainable. And it you know, fortunately for me, they walked out that the really scary part of the slow bleeds, right? The people who you start losing one at a time. And so it's really doesn't hit the radar, you don't get the blip that, hey, maybe it's a leadership problem. And so you get that slow attrition. But for me, I had an abrupt wake up, multiple people walked out at once. And so I couldn't hide behind that. And so that's where it gets really scary when you have unconscious leadership at the helm. And they're getting results either because of you know, the industry is wrong, right. And they have the right products, and they're in the right timing in the right environment. But they still suck as a leader. Imagine how much that's costing organizations. But here's the deal. How


did how did you come up with the fact that you were being an ass? I know, I,


I did it you made.


But you have to have a self awareness, you have to have that level of humility to say, yeah, I'm not a nice person. And it's, and it shows. Yeah,


well, and the metric I was measuring for success was the one that was on the page, right? And so when the people came up and basically said, You're a B, and you're this that need to get more out of here. You know, that was my wake up call. It wasn't my self awareness. They brought it to my attention. And then I realized I'm the common denominator here.


I'm the...



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